Occupy Oakland’s Port Action

ZunguZungu’s account of the Occupy Oakland Port Action.  I really wonder how far this all will go.  It’s amazing how the informational connections we’ve created in the world are playing out.  How quickly things echo and get re-interpreted by new minds.  The derivative is still positive, so far as I can tell.

Why Is This Cargo Container Emitting So Much Radiation?

In Genoa, Italy a radioactive cargo container appeared.  Nobody knew where it had come from, or where it was going, or what was in it.  It took a year to get rid of it.  It’s as if a pixel got stuck on, in the real world, not the digital world.  I have to imagine given how automated the container transshipping is in some ports, that you could almost treat the insertion of something like this as a software problem.  You just have to get a truck to pick it up without knowing who you are, or what you’ve loaded, and from there the 20 ton packet of reality moves, guided by a disembodied digital hand.

The Box That Changed the World

The cost of moving a shipping container between most any two points on Earth is about $5000, and only part of that cost is fuel.  So if your container of goods is worth much more than that, then their price and the viability of your business is not going to be particularly sensitive to the cost of liquid fuels.  You can pack half a million dollars worth of manufactured goods into one of these boxes.  Increase the price of oil by a factor of ten and the cost of those goods goes up by 10%.  Annoying?  Sure.  World changing?  Hardly.