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Sunday, November 30, 2008

How to Create Jobs

Leave us alone!

Even the WSJ seems to be on board with what sounds like a very Keynsian plan to "Build infrastructure to create jobs and stimulate the economy." The press releases sound more and more perversely Atlas Shrugged-esque, with talk about creating a post called the "economy-czar" (at least colloquially) in addition to the nationalizations that have already occurred and the ones that are scheduled to occur in January. Who is John Galt?

Funny, as I was typing this I realized a totally unconscious parallel to my own personal plans. I've been talking for the past few weeks of getting my life ordered such that I can support myself on very little money, maybe take some time off to travel the continent. My romantic vision has me following the summer on my motorcycle, guitar strapped to my back, shipping my few necessary possessions from destination to destination in trunks. I'd finally have the time to read the stack of books I've compiled for myself, I could spend lots of time improving my musicianship, and I'd have the opportunity for adventure that a routine lifestyle doesn't offer. I'd also plan on developing some of my ideas on AI into more serious research projects.

To stay engauged and give it structure, I could plan my trip around different conferences that are happening accross the continent, as well as taking classes at universities where I stay for the quarter.

The parallel is that that's exactly the sort of thing the heroes of Atlas Shrugged did, though I didn't have the book consciously in mind at all when I was conceiving the plan. The men (and women) of the mind refused to shoulder the burden of the collapsing society and retired to private lives, living simply and pursuing their passions without the benefit of using societal infrastructure.

Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged, in part, to keep the scenario in it from becoming real. Ahh, well
... is it time to strike yet?

Motorcycle

In all its forty-year old glory, here's my motorcycle. I took the handlebar extension and sissy-bar off, so it looks a little less chopper-ish. Next thing is to get the oldschool seat.
I rode it maybe 20 miles on the friday after thanksgiving, first time ever in traffic, and not legally. I was trying to do it all legit, but its tough playing by the rules, apparently. Because I bought it out of state I had to take it to the BMV to get it inspected in order to get a title and plates. My temporary plates expired, and all the trailer rental places were closed. Sheesh. So I just rode it up there anyway.

Anyway, the bomber jacket was a good investment for the purpose of riding in the cold. Its warm enough that I could probably ride through the winter if I were to get some leggings. Maybe some thigh-high striped knit leg warmers to go over my jeans.