Re: Dropping out of grad school means you wind up on the streets, it just takes time

1

Whoa. Well, that's just not good at all. Sympathies to baa et al. Maybe we should flood his blog with comments.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 8:15 PM
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I don't think comments put out fires. Also, I think the fire's already out.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 8:18 PM
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Moreover, his blog doesn't have comments.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 8:19 PM
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Some firefighter you are, parsimon.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 8:20 PM
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3: Oh. Fuck. Well, actually, I think I knew that, but hey. Thought that counts, and all that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 8:22 PM
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I hope to god that when I die the most prominent internet thingy about me is something other than the occasiona front-page mention on unfogged.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 8:38 PM
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Don't we all, Michael.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 8:39 PM
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6: You have to be the change you wish to see on the internet, Michael.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 8:40 PM
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points for the title, ben. Unlike the post below.

Net score: 0.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 8:40 PM
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6: Are you kidding? I only wish my death would merit a post. I figure I'd get an OT comment, tops, when some economic topic comes up and PGD wonders "hey, where's that guy who dsquared usually calls a cunt at this point?".


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 8:42 PM
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8. well, damn.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 8:42 PM
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12

Reads too many blogs department:

baa just showed up at EoTAW in a Great Depression thread.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 8:46 PM
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10: PoMo, nobody even read that thread, okay? I heard about it somewhere else. (ha!)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 8:59 PM
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14

Tanta of CR passes away. 47.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 9:01 PM
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12: yeah, that's the only place I see him, anymore.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 9:08 PM
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so young, my cousin's age


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 9:11 PM
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14: Wow, that's sad to hear. She did a great job writing about a very important but extremely undercovered area.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 9:15 PM
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Mammoths are good.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 1:05 AM
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Ooo, poor baa. At least the post sounds as if he has everything under control.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 6:07 AM
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I would wholeheartedly support an Apollo Project level national effort to clone the pygmy mammoth.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 6:46 AM
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If I read the mammoth thing right, every piece of preserved DNA is sacred.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 6:53 AM
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Mammoths are good.

Can you imagine how much meat you could get from one? Will no one at the Times think of the hungry children?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 9:25 AM
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23: Within one year of the first successful cloning of a mammoth someone will be pitching a business around mammoth meat.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 9:29 AM
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mammoth meat.

Mammoth Burger - the biggest and the best!™


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 9:37 AM
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AND I BET THEY'RE REALLY, REALLY SLOW COMPARED TO HELICOPTERS AND SNOWMOBILES!!


Posted by: OPINIONATED SARAH PALIN | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 9:42 AM
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23-25: But would it actually be tasty? Their closest living relative today is the asian elephant. I know elephants have been eaten as bush meat in the past, but I'm pretty sure it was mostly in desperate times only, and even ivory poachers generally just remove the tusks and take no meat. I bet mammoth kinda sucks.

Still cool as hell, though.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 9:46 AM
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Snowmachines, you trollop.


Posted by: OPINIONATED TODD PALIN | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 9:57 AM
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But would it actually be tasty?

The Kobe beef treatment—a diet of grain, beer and sake, and regular massage—might improve the flavor.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 10:00 AM
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whenever i read about the kobe treatment, i think cut out the middle-mammoth and massage ME as i tuck into grain, beer and sake


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 10:02 AM
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28: WHAT PART OF "TALKING TO THE LOWER 48" DON'T YOU GET, YOU DUMB CUCKOLD?


Posted by: OPINIONATED SARAH PALIN | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 10:13 AM
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31

Wow. He makes it sound like things are okay, and insurance is a good thing, but there are some things that really aren't replaceable. Stiff upper lip good and all, but jeez. What a pity.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 10:31 AM
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but there are some things that really aren't replaceable

Eh, my house could burn down and as long as no one was hurt I don't think I have anything in there that is non replaceable. It definitely be annoying getting temporary housing and such though.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 10:34 AM
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re: 33

No family photos? Favourite books? Childhood stuff?

Also, in my experience, insurance is never all that ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 10:36 AM
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32: And not even things that are irreplaceable in a sentimental sense, but things that are just an immense hassle to replace. Imagine suddenly not owning any clothes beyond the ones you were standing up in. (Not that I know that baa and family lost stuff on that level, but might have.)

My father painted a little when he was younger -- not seriously, but some -- and a friend had one of his paintings framed on the wall in a house that had a fire. Dad still preens over the fact that an insurance investigator looked at his painting and authorized some ridiculous sum of money to have it professionally cleaned and restored from the smoke damage.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 10:36 AM
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No family photos? Favourite books? Childhood stuff?

Nope.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 10:45 AM
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36

Who doesn't have a single prized possession? Either you are Buddha, or a serial killer.

Not one photo? Nothing like that?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 11:29 AM
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37

CJB revealed as another pdf23ds pseudonym?


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 11:34 AM
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37: I don't have much that I can think of in that category. There's the hassle factor of losing 'all my stuff', of course, but if you told me the building was burning and I had enough time to, say, fill one duffle bag with stuff, I'd be grabbing a change of clothes and a toothbrush rather than anything irreplaceable I can think of offhand.

If I was thinking of things that really are irreplaceable, I suppose there's the silver spoons my great-grandfather bought for my great aunt when she was a little girl and the box with all the letters I got from friends and family when I was in the Peace Corps (and I think there's paper correspondence from high school and college in there as well), but losing either of those things really wouldn't faze me for a moment.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 11:36 AM
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I don't think I own any sentimental artifacts either. I own a lot of books, which I'd hate to have to replace (and I doubt I'd even try), but none of them hold any special sentimental value. Baby photos are the only thing I can think of. They're all stored electronically. And I'm not even sure I'd feel immediate sadness about their loss, as much as I'd worry that I'd be really sad about it twenty years hence. Wedding album too, I suppose, although I think I could technically obtain another of those from the photographer, if I had to.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 11:48 AM
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If I lost my correspondence, I would weep salt tears, not on my own behalf, but on that of my future biographers.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 11:50 AM
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I have a ton of stuff I won't part with. Old books (reading certain ones for the first time is an event. a new one isn't the same), old love letters, letters from relatives, postcards, handmade items. Clothing I wouldn't care about losing, although I do keep some old shoes because they remind me of where I've gone in them, and I'd hate to lose those. Losing all of those souvenirs would be an absolute shock.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 11:54 AM
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42

I have lots of stuff -- books, CDs, cameras, etc -- that would be quite hard to replace but which wouldn't be actually irreplaceable.

But I'd be quite upset to lose some of our photos. Even of the ones stored electronically, they are on hard disc here, rather than on some on-line vault. Crappy 100K jpegs aren't a replacement.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 11:55 AM
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I suppose my August '81 Penthouse could be replaced, but it wouldn't be the same.

I do have a lot of collectable or very hard to find VF old SF. Ace Doubles kind of thing.

Nothing sentimental.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 1:46 PM
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I do have a lot of collectable or very hard to find VF old SF. Ace Doubles kind of thing.

That stuff can be worth something, bob, if you're ever in need.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 1:55 PM
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And the predatory nature of used book selling rears its ugly head. Sure, Bob, she sounds friendly and helpful now, but once she's stripped you clean you'll find yourself wandering, lost and alone, bereft of all your old pulp paperbacks.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 2:01 PM
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Some of us haven't lived lives full of love, joy, and passion. Some of us also keep forgetting to buy new batteries for our camera. Some of us have also bounced around the country a bit in recent years, and have pared down our things in the process. As such, some of us don't have many prized possessions.

In my old bedroom at my parents' house, there is a folder of shitty "poetry" I wrote in HS. Losing that would probably be a good thing, in fact.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 2:08 PM
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The external hard drives and one cat each, though I suspect - and I say this with approval! - that Rah would be trying to goad the firefighters into saving his library before anything else.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 2:11 PM
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48

I guess if your house burns down while you have your few valuables out on the lawn to take advantage of better light to photograph them for insurance purpose, it might be deemed suspicious.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 2:19 PM
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I'm sure my 'prized possessions' would fit in a small bag, even if I was pretty liberal with what I counted as 'prized'. Maybe one or two books, an envelope of family photos, a watch.

I've also gone through the total downsizing thing [when I left college for the first time] and pared things down to a bare minimum [although I am back to loads of crap and junk now], but it wasn't pared down to absolutely nothing at all.

Some of us also keep forgetting to buy new batteries for our camera.

Most of my cameras don't even use batteries! [Which is sometimes really nice, and also sometimes a bit of a pain in the arse, it has to be said]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 2:20 PM
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A function of my blinders at this point: I'd grab the external hard drive and the wedding photos. The former because I am not writing this dissertation all over again*, and the latter because my mother would be upset.

*yes, yes, I have it backed up on the university server.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 2:25 PM
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45: Heh. But no, that was informational only. A bookdealer would be able to give bob only a fraction of the projected value of such material. He'd be better off peddling the stuff himself on eBay. Which I imagine he knows, given the way he described it in the first place.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 2:26 PM
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I should note that both Rah and I are packrats and we have a fuck-ton of memorabilia between us that we would both woefully mourn but I'm guessing that when one smells smoke one's to-do list dramatically shortens.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 2:30 PM
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If I lost my correspondence, I would weep salt tears, not on my own behalf, but on that of my future biographers.

If W-lfs-n had been born in an earlier generation, he would have been the type to keep carbon copies* of all of his letters, just in case his correspondents weren't far-sighted enough to hold on to them.

*I miss the days of teaching Introduction to the Internet, and having my super-tense adult students relax and smile when we got to the "cc" portion of the lesson. Didn't need to explain that part, hey!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 2:36 PM
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DARN it, stupid html. First sentence of 53 in italics, of course.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 2:42 PM
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I write with far too light (deft, even) a hand for making carbon copies to be feasible. It's really unavoidable, given the pens.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 2:44 PM
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"A cunning little wretch, they say, and of deft tongue"—that's me.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 2:45 PM
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Losing photos (and I have inherited my ancestors' photo collections) would be heartbreaking. I am scanning them at 800dpi, but that's a slow process. I also need to get an external HD for this project. I see that 2 TB drives are cheap now. Woohoo!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 3:00 PM
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Ben's a quotation? No wonder he doesn't need heat.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 3:03 PM
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On the one hand, photos, books, memorabilia -- they're only things, and your life is your life.

On the other hand, losing something like a wedding certificate (signed by all in attendance; witnesses to a joyful marriage that lasted until death) would be really, really sad.

I'm having all of my old electrical wiring replaced next week, so perhaps this is on my mind a bit.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 3:10 PM
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re: 57

Yeah, my father has some amazing photo albums that his father took when he was a soldier. One day I'll scan them. Losing those would be tragic.

2TB gets you a LOT of 800dpi scans (tens of thousands).


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 3:18 PM
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That old wiring saw a lot of meaningful events, sure.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 3:18 PM
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All my photographs are electronic (and half are on an old laptop), and I don't back up any of my data. A housefire is the least of my worries.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 3:19 PM
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re: 57

Also, fwiw, standard archival practice is 600dpi scans from prints (at 100% of original size). You don't even need 600dpi to get decent reprints at 100% of original size.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 3:20 PM
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re: 62

Yeah, we've discussed this before.

The bulk of digital photography, at least from the past few years, is toast. Just gone. In comparison to say, the post-war period from the 1950s through to the late 90s, the past decade will be a photographic black hole.

I don't have that much in the way of digital image files -- 30GB or so -- but even that small amount isn't easy to archive off-site somewhere.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 3:31 PM
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How bad are CDs for archiving purposes? I have a vague memory that they suck for periods of more than a decade or so, but I'm not sure why.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 3:34 PM
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The 800dpi was dictated to me. I'd have stuck with 600, that's for sure.

The tricky stuff is some panoramas from the Great War. My grandmother (f) was in the Army Nurse Corps and had a staff photo from a number of camps.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 3:38 PM
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re: 65

Yeah, they allegedly deteriorate, although I gather that more recent CD-Rs are much more stable.

I've heard of some photographers who use memory cards like film. They fill a card, they transfer the images to their computer, they file the card. They buy a new card. They start again.

The card then acts as a compact backup. With cards that hold hundreds of high-res images coming in at 20 dollars or so it's not actually that crazy a practice.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 3:40 PM
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re: 66

This sort of thing is my day-job, btw. I work for a digital archive/imaging unit.

Really big negs or really big prints are always a hassle to deal with. Maps or scrolls are the worst.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 3:42 PM
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My understanding is that they aren't going to last more than 20 or 25 years. Wikipedia says 20-100 years for CD-Rs. My guess, though, from other digital memorabilia I've stored for years (writing projects and the like) that they would be transferred from one physical medium to another with enough frequency that a lifespan of 20+ years on any one of them is effectively infinity.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 3:42 PM
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re: 69

The problem is, that doesn't actually happen. Transferring a few MB of text files isn't like transferring 100s of GB of binary images.

Obviously the technology gets easier for this -- faster drives, faster interface technology, lower price per GB, etc. -- but it takes a while for that to get going and for people to get into the habit of making the effort and we aren't there yet.

In practice, those images, for most people, are going to disappear. Most people in 50 years time aren't going to go through grandmas old pictures from the early 2000s and laugh at the old-fashioned clothes because most of those pics won't exist.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 3:50 PM
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It happens for me, but I'm probably an outlier. I've moved all digital files from an old drive to a new drive in every machine I've owned for several years and have kept all my photos both locally and in two different online image galleries for probably ten.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 3:53 PM
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re: 71

Yeah, you're an outlier and I'd be very surprised if the images in the online galleries are particularly high-res or a complete archive of everything you've ever shot. If so, you are an extreme outlier.

I have copies of all of my scans and RAW files on 2 discs [the main disc and an external] but I don't have more than a few hundred low-ish (1 - 2 MP max) jpegs online.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 3:57 PM
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Most people in 50 years time aren't going to go through grandmas old pictures from the early 2000s and laugh at the old-fashioned clothes because most of those pics won't exist.

I'll still have my mp3s, though, and play them on my old-fashioned winamp simulator on whatever cybernetic implant is being used instead of personal computers in 2050.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12- 1-08 4:00 PM
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