Spending Memorial Day at Fort Sumter where the Civil War began reminded me that the first celebrations of Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day occurred shortly after at the end of the War, and one of the most remarkable was here in Charleston.
Late in the war Union prisoners were held on the infield of the race track at the Charleston Jockey Club. Over 200 died during the time and were buried in a mass grave behind the grandstands.
NFT’s, Blockchain & Copyright
Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFT’s are unique digital asset that is verified and stored on a blockchain network. While cryptocurrencies are interchangeable and can be divided into smaller units, NFTs are one-of-a-kind and cannot be divided, thus non-fungible. They can represent ownership of a specific asset, such as digital art, music, or other collectibles. More on this later.
I think NFT’s are pretty dumb. The majority are forms of useless artwork, some no bigger than the icons on a windows desktop that sell for hundreds of $’s. The “Pudgy Penguin #4066” shown to the right is priced at $8000. I don’t know anyone who would pay that for a digital cartoon, but obviously there must be many who will. Nor do I know what one would do with it since, unlike “Starry Night” and all “real” art that can hang on a wall, it exists as only bits. (My kids would point out that I am not the right demographic.)
`But then I considered that there may be other uses for NFT’s as an alternative, or adjunct to copyright, so I decided to give it a bit more study. Indeed, many NFT’s can be designed to transfer copyrights, but it turns out “ownership” it is not so simple. Here’s why.`
Evolution of the WEB(s)
This is the first of a series of posts on the evolution of internet services along with some comments on where things might go in the next few years.
My primary goal is to combine things from my experience with new understanding, and if all goes well, a bit of insight.
As I always do, I will try to avoid detailed explanations and present enough for the reader to gain a basic understanding, and then pursue a deeper knowledge on their own.
The Web is not the Internet. In the beginning there was only the ARPAnet, a collaboration network of universities and some government departments running packet-switching protocols. There were no passwords. You could open a telenet session on a time-sharing computer, and work your way to all manner of interesting places by opening telenet on the next computer in the chain, and so on. In the mid 80’s I was able to connect to the catalog of a library in the USSR. It did not do me much good, but I could do it!
Between 1989 and 1991, Tim Berners-Lee created the HTML protocol, the first website at CERN, and a web client, “WorldWideWeb” (all one word, later named Nexus), built in Objective-C on a Next computer. You can browse it here.
The Blockchain, Smart Contracts & DeFi
In the previous post on Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT’s) I took a skeptical view of their value in the real world. This was based on the observation that the most common use of NFT’s is for digital artwork and other intellectual property, and the fact that people were paying a lot of money for “the pride of ownership.”
However there are other uses for blockchain technology that have real potential value. Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is a primary goal of blockchain technology – the ability to transfer funds and ownership without the participation of banks, credit card companies, or similar institutions. Here are a few.
I have settled on a logo for Geekemeritus.com. It is the Nyansapo (pronounced: knee-in-say-bow), a West African symbol that seems to capture what we want to do here. It is also called the ‘wisdom knot’. In that culture it represents the following characteristics which are core to a modern geek.
- Broad knowledge
- The abilities to apply one’s knowledge and experience to practical situations
- The idea that a wise person has the capacity to choose the ideal path towards achieving a goal.
- Wisdom and intelligence
- Patience and humility
It will be added to the website identity over the next week or so, and will be modified somewhat. (I don’t like the current colors.)
I left Portland on the 17th, and after a couple of stops found myself on US Highway 2 crossing the continental divide at Marais Pass south of Glacier National Park. US-2 parallels the Canadian border from Seattle to the Michigan UP. I would follow it as far as Duluth. Local residents call it the High Line.
This is the golden triangle of the Montana High Desert and is mostly flat and filled with thousands of square miles of wheat, barley, hay and other crops that can grow without irrigation.
I have spent quite a bit of time sorting out the travel tools that are available for RV planning and travel. I will take a bit of time to talk about a few that for me are the more important ones.
This is my primary trip planning application. (Cost: $59 / Year)
My dad was a multipotentialite. Don’t know what that is? Neither did I. But when I recently learned about multipotentiality I knew I found a term that described him. Multipotentiality has only become a thing in the past ten years. It describes people whose interests cannot be confined to a single activity and it accurately describes my dad.
There are only two significant attacks by enemies on American soil — Pearl Harbor and 9/11. All of us are aware of the efforts to “get bin Laden” and its ultimate success, but not many know about the retribution for Pearl Harbor.
In the summer of 1970 I took my first vacation. Ever. I had a new yellow Fiat 124 Spider convertible that I packed with a tent, a duffel of gear and a cooler, and headed west from Detroit. It was maybe the second or third day out; cold, constant rain and dark. I saw the sign that said Mount Rushmore and decided to pass on setting up camp in the rain. I pulled the car up an incline on the verge of a side road to make reclining easier and quickly fell asleep.