May 28 2009

San Francisco Carnaval 2009

These photos are from the San Francisco 2009 Carnaval parade (the 31st,) which took place on 2009 May 24.

(TinyURL for this post: .)

May 17 2009

Asian Heritage Street Celebration

The fifth annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration took place on 2009 May 16.

May 17 2009

Wolfram Alpha chooses side in age-old debate

(What I was trying to do was find out if the code was familiar with ratios. I started with “Ratio of women to men in San Francisco”; it suggested, as a “Related inputs to try”, the phrase “women to men in San”. When I tried that, it then suggested “women to men”.)

May 12 2009

How Weird Street Faire

The tenth annual How Weird Street Faire took place on 2009 May 10.

May 12 2009

Sun Tzu on the disarray of the reactionaries

From Chapter One, “Laying Plans”, of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War:

18. All warfare is based on deception.

19. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable;
    when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we
    are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away;
    when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

20. Hold out baits to entice the enemy.  Feign disorder,
    and crush him.

For the last ten years or so, the reactionaries– the xenophobic and anti-rationalist segment of the USAen population– have organized under the banner of the the Republican party.  As I type this, the Republicans are now little more than a joke.  I fear many are concluding from this that the reactionaries are thus now little more than a joke.

Listen to Sun Tzu.  A specific political party being reduced to irrelevance is not the same as a movement being reduced to irrelevance– just as one must not conclude from the sight of a platoon in disarray that the army is in disarray.  That the Republican party as such is now apparently comprised of dolts running in circles and bonking into each other should be considered nothing more than a distraction.  The effective reactionaries have not disappeared; they’re just not as inclined to wear a straw hat decorated with an elephant.

45.7% of the votes in the 2008 Presidential election went for McCain and Palin.   These people have not vanished.  We cannot afford a repeat of what happened during the Clinton administration; we must not dismiss the reactionaries as mere clowns no longer relevant to the political process.

I’m all for Schadenfreude– more so than most, perhaps, because I’m not a nice guy.  But the correct reaction to seeing the Republicans thrashing like gaffed tuna is not, “The reactionaries’ organization is broken, hooray”– it is, “Given the Republicans are no longer an effective right-wing organization, where have the reactionaries’ organizers gone, and what are they doing?”

22. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to
    irritate him.  Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

23. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest.
    If his forces are united, separate them.

24. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where
    you are not expected.

May 8 2009

Algorithm used to produce “Swine Flu Hemagglutinin”

The algorithm used to produce “Swine Flu Hemagglutinin” (PDF, 16K)