It is hard for me to look at something without seeing the states buried in it. To show you what I mean, I deleted the other text from the picture to the right. Virginia, Utah, and Massachusetts have nothing in particular to connect them, but they have been associated on my desk for so long there must be something connecting them. Which one has a paper thin respect for the laws of nature? Who would know? I live in California, where an eighth of the American people inhabit a world that is so complex most of us have no idea how it connects to the political system. We simply do the best we can to pay the bills and stuff like that.

In case you were wondering, this is a picture of the Java Solutions CD that I have used as the coaster on my desk since 1997, when I hot glued the 1991 cent over the center hole to make it more than a piece of litter on my desk. I have used it for so long now that it is an old friend. The wear marks I covered up with candy wrappers are part of its charm. Not shown in this picture are the four blue coffee beans that gave it the "coffee" quality that all Java stuff seemed to need at that time.*

I think of this as the "information virus CD". That started when the guy in the next cube dumped it because the thing had some sort of electronic virus. At the time I was new to the idea of figuring out how to symbolize my relationship with issues of scale. Consider the red, white, and blue foil blobs to the right of Utah. What could they represent that would be thought of as a way to save energy?

I go through all this because I think we need to engage our imaginations in the battle to protect the intergenerational equity that a healthy ecosystem represents. Without something like that, the greedy will plunder the rest of our ecosystem as surely as they have made many fertile croplands into suburbs. That old slogan "think globally, act locally" only works with us if our views of reality scale well.

Tian Harter, 4/26/2002

Cosmic Osmo says "HOWARYA?"

I remember fondly the days when my girlfriend's daughter played Cosmic Osmo (pronounced Oz-mo) on my computer.


*Not long after I made this thing, I took a course in Java programming from Tony Green. He said "Java will be a real language when it gets beyond the coffee metaphor." I think we are still waiting.