ross d. martin
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A semi-regular diary of Dr. Martin's musings. Read. Discuss. Act.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2000
I know it's not Thanksgiving yet, but I've been in a thougtful mood today, considering all that I have to be thankful for (plus I've finally been getting around to writing thank you notes for gifts Kym and I have received for our Summer Solstice wedding). The last 12 months have been a rollercoaster ride for sure, what with a cancer scare, a wedding, an unexpected conception, two deaths in the family (each more a blessing than a curse)... the list goes on. But the resounding truth in it all is that Kym and I have found a love -- and that love has endured. Amen.




Monday, November 20, 2000
I�m really not as obsessed about the election results as I probably sound. It�s just that it�s a topic so ripe for pontification that I just can�t resist. So please forgive yet another electoral rumination�

When the whole concept of a �chad� (which, by the way, received the �red under-squiggle of shame� as I typed it into Word) was dumped into our collective memory databanks, I thought briefly, �Hmm� �The Hanging Chads.� Wouldn�t that be a cool name for a band?

A few days later, a fellow musician from Southern CA (check out The Over-Reactors) sent out his periodical e-mailing which said, �Wouldn�t that be a cool name for a band?�

I did just a little snooping at Network Solutions to see� Sure enough, you�ve already missed out on the opportunity to reserve www.thehangingchads.com, www.thepregnantchads.com or just about any derivative of these top-level domain names. I could only find two that had actually been put to use yet � a conservative pol has reserved www.thepregnantchad.com and www.thehangingchad.com and is starting to fill them with commentary.

No doubt it�s not the first time a concept has hit the scene and brought many individuals to the same conclusion spontaneously. It�s called zeitgeist. So don�t go suing anyone saying that they stole your idea. The courts are too busy already.

One last word about that squiggle � even though Word didn�t recognize chad as a word (nor did my very dusty Webster�s Unabridged 3rd Edition), Bill Gates slyly put it into his Bookshelf 2000 dictionary. Isn�t that interesting that an earlier product did not have the word, but a more recent one � one that was still before the election � in fact did. Coincidence? Perhaps. Conspiracy? We may never know�




Sunday, November 19, 2000
Another day, still no President-elect. I'm starting to not mind it so much. The rest of my life is in limbo (the new company I'm helping to found is still searching for that ever-important next round of funding), so why not share the feelings of uncertainty with the rest of the nation?

The stock market hardly knows what to do with itself. Pundits always say that the market hates uncertaintly. That's always seemed funny to me because uncertainty is what makes it possible to have a stock market in the first place. If everyone had perfect knowledge of each company's performance, there would be no need for a market; stocks would have a solid value, like that of currency.

At some point, we all get comfortable enough with the idea that life is pretty much an unpredictable phenomenon. Some shroud that unpredictability under a cloud of denial, saying life doesn't change, life changes but I can control it, or life changes because of intervention from a higher power. The higher power issue aside for a moment, it seems pretty outrageous to say that we have much control at all about anything except our response to what is happening around us.




Thursday, November 16, 2000
This is my first blog. I thought it would be a good place to dump random thoughts. Here's one...

I sent this to NPR last night...

The bright side of our election debacle is that the national consciousness is now riveted on a subject of much greater social import than our prior obsessions, most notably the O. J. Simpson trial.

The downside is that the legal eagles involved in the case are comparatively far less colorful. If Johnny Cochran were on Gore�s dream team, the verdict would be a done deal: �If the chad doubts mount, you must recount!�