A Hat Thought

In the real world, one of the things I am known for, I suppose, is my tendency to wear classic hats - fedoras, porkpies, caps, even a bowler, now and again. I think there are so many good reasons for wearing them - protection, warmth, shade, the soft feeling of a good felt, and, perhaps best of all, the fact that tipping (or doffing) one's hat is, it seems to me, the last sign of respect which can both excite joy, and never offend. Everyone understands and accepts the hat-tip as a sign of respect, and it's a wonderful thing.

So I've been thinking - why has this wonderful thing disappeared. Somehow, this idea got mixed up in my mind with thoughts of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest (accidental thought collisions are probably the only thing responsible for my limited creativity) and I realized that, among other things, that is a story of height - the narrator sees himself as small, even though he is huge, and sees the imposing nurse as huge, until the protagonist restores the narrator's faith in himself, and the narrator sees himself as big. We've all experienced this, a feeling of elevation when we are "winning" because height and size are power, in our common metaphoric structures. (Great Lakoff tie-in)

So, the thougt occurs - a hat, especially the bowler, looks rather rediculous on a short man, yet few can disagree with the look of it on a tall man. Even more so with the fedora (though it does not look as silly on the short man). Could it be that the disappearance of hats is symptomatic of the disappearance of the can-do culture. Think about it - which culture still has the can-do attitude in America? Cowboy culture, perhaps? And which culture still wears hats, in the traditional sense? Even more curiously, isn't a bare head associated with shame, even biblically? Think about crowns in cultures across the word, and laurel wreaths. Interesting, interesting, interesting.


My hope for fame: applying geekiness to swearing

So, a few friends and I invented a swear word the other day -


It's wonderfully simple. Just represent 132 using your fingers as binary digits - AKA, right thumb is 1, pointer finger is 2, middle finger, 4, ring finger 8, etc...

A few suggested uses:

fu&132. or fu+132

also plausible: "But officer, I was just telling you I had four drinks... in binary!"

For those who still need help, 132 is 2 to the 7th plus 2 to the second.

Incidentally, 132 is Steve Job's number on the Forbes rich list 2007. Hmmmm....


The manifesto I wish I could write

I live in a nation without borders.
I live in a nation whose stock never fails.
For my nation invests in information, in wisdom, and knowledge - and though they may fail, for they are human, they are never less valuable.
I live in a kingdom of information
Stretching around the world
In this kingdom, there is no single king.
There are many kings, and they are mostly symbolic.
Symbolic, but personal, rather than powerful, yet distant.
They are the best sort of kings.
There are many rulers, but none of them rules, only advises, for each man has dedicated himself to this - knowledge and wisdom, these are worthwhile beyond gold. They are also capable of a socialism beyond the wildest dreams of the most fervent Marxist.
They gain value as they are shared.
In fact, that may be their only value.

It is partly true, but I so wish it were more true.
I wish I lived in a nation without cowboy leaders.
A nation whose politicians dedicated themselves-
not to hope, not to nation, not to party, not even to people,
but to love, and, because of love, wisdom
because love without wisdom
is a foolish, dangerous love
and hardly love at all.