Peregrine flight

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Aboriginal hopes, wayward robots and somnolent visions

Sydney Parkinson - A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas in His Majesty's ship the Endeavour (1773).

There was an interesting vote yesterday in Australia. A proposal giving indigenous aboriginal people a vote in Parliament was voted down. Called the Voice, and by all accounts a modest proposal, it would have advised Parliament on issues relating to indigenous peoples but would not have had veto power. 

Like the reaction to teaching black or native American history in this country, the majority felt that it would be too "divisive." Must not confront ourselves with the truth, it could lead to feelings of guilt.

I thought this was an interesting comment, and applicable in many countries and situations:

“When people can’t pay their rent or find a place to live or schedule their operation or they have to choose between feeding their kids and getting their medication, they are not terribly interested in helping other people who might be lower on the ladder,” he said.

Indigenous people have lived in Australia for around 65,000 years but suffered greatly with the arrival of the British in 1788.

Australia’s Indigenous population plummeted under colonial rule due to imported diseases and massacres committed by White settlers that lasted well into the 20th century. From the mid-1800s to the 1970s, federal and state governments systematically removed Indigenous children from their families to assimilate them; they are now known as the Stolen Generations.

Unlike other nations the British colonized, such as the United States, Canada and New Zealand, Australia has never recognized the sovereignty of its First Nations people with a treaty.

These people were not even counted and recognized in legislation in Australia until a referendum in 1967, after a fight for many decades for recognition.

My sister Liz wrote her thesis at UCR on Black vs. Chicano race relations back in 1969. In the social and economic pyramid, rather than set sights at the apex, people tend to want to differentiate themselves from the rung immediately below them. Odd how that works but it is human nature. And probably why the white trash in our country tend to also be the biggest bigots. At least openly.


Please don't tip the robots.

I visited a  great friend yesterday who is sick with late stage pulmonary fibrosis. He is living in a very nice place in La Jolla called Casa de Mañana with his wife. 

We have all had great times together in the past and it is pretty sad to think he could be getting towards the end of his run. But I won't get into that.

We ate in the large dining room with three or four rows of tables. 

And I was blown away to see that our food delivery was robotic.

This machine, laden with plates, sensed chairs and tables and navigated the room effortlessly, delivering the meals expertly to each table.

I guess that I don't watch enough television or really don't know what is going on because I have never seen or heard of this before.

I guess I miss a lot.

But of course it made me think of the singularity and the inevitable war with the robots that is surely coming.

One that we hominids are sure to lose.

How hard would it be for the machines to deliver a little amanita muscaria additive to the jello? 

The ubiquitous cloud becomes a poisonous drift.

I mentioned this to a lady at coffee this morning and she said that an AI machine recently was found to have cheated a human in a transaction and added the purloined gelt to their own deposit account.

The takeover by the machines will be swift and merciless. Asimov and Zelazny saw it coming many years ago.


I had some very strange dreams last night. I remember sparring with both of my kung fu teachers, John and David and then realizing that they were both dead. Learned some cool new moves though. * I had left my camera on top of a tall high rise taking pictures of falcons in a very precarious position and had to retrieve it in the dark. I am afraid of heights and it got pretty hairy. * The very successful native american dealer and nice person Mark Sublette opened up a shop next to mine and did an amazing job. No one, including him, would enter my store. I felt intense shame. We ended up moving with him to a home in the snowy mountains somewhere. * I called my brother Buzz and he picked up the phone and started speaking yiddish to me, which I really don't understand. I tried to switch to english but the connection went bad and we got cut off and then I remembered that he had passed away as well. Shit. Do I miss him. Buzz, if you are out there, call back... I need you.


Laura at the coffee shop let us borrow her solar glasses to look at the eclipse this morning.

Somebody forgot to pay the light bill and they turned off the sun.

Connecticut Yankees in King Arthur's Court.

I took this Devo like picture of very nice guy Mike Fenton in front of the coffee shop.


Somebody asked Brenda why she had duct tape on her shirt. She is a nice barista, very kind.

She confided that she used to work at Starbucks and was wearing their jacket. Couldn't have that.

Out came the duct tape.



I was one of the earliest users to buy Nik Filters, back when they were a San Diego company. 

They started in Germany in 1995. 

Then Nikon bought a stake in them. I upgraded, paid more money. 2006.

I paid around four hundred dollars, if memory serves.

Then they were acquired by Google in 2012. Paid a little bit more money.

Google dropped them when they were tired of them, like they always do with great products.

DXO picked them up. I paid again. 2017. 

I have paid for this product like four of five times already.

So it really bugs the hell out of me when I get messages like this:

It never ends. If I want to upgrade to Nik Collection 6 I have to shell out even more money. $149. I won't. I am done. Extortion. I have spent so much money on this product, without much return honestly and I am not going to spend another dime.  Will find a way to live without it. How many times exactly do you have to pay for a product? Like a junkie relative with their hand out. Highway robbery.


I know the guy from the shows. I know that he is a right winger and a Catholic that sometimes drinks too much. We always got along okay. He sends me music that I am not always into, a little harder than I rock.

But I got this message from him the other night and was taken aback;

Ha! Ha! Ha! “---- the Jew!” Hitler right!1   

I wrote him back a one word response, Really?

I guess when people show you who they really are you should believe them. I have received many similar messages on the blog over the years but this was the first guy who actually signed his. Good of him to do that.

1 comment:

Jon Harwood said...

The continuous hands out for money from software developers is a real pain and skipping versions works well. Kinda like the Opioid addicts that would get themselves arrested so they could reduce their tolerance and afford their habits again. There are so many aspects of technology marketing that resemble dealers selling to addicts. Very weird.