Why I Ride

This summer I discovered motorcycle riding. It’s so much fun! I’m not really sure why I waited so long to get a sportbike. I love it.

Last week I was at a party chatting with someone who asked me, incidentally what’s becoming a recurring question of late, “Why do you ride a motorcycle, oh isn’t that dangerous?”

“Sure, it can be”, I say.
“I suppose if you’re not aware of what’s going on around you, namely the absent-minded drivers who’ll mercilessly cut you off because they’re too distracted texting or chatting away on their phones, in which case you’re in a heap of trouble.
Sometimes you feel like you’re invisible. People are generally oblivious to cyclists —motorized or otherwise— rolling around in their Napa leather appointed SUV living rooms.”

But here’s a better reason taken from the pages of Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance:

“You see things on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.
On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it’s right there, so blurred you can’t focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness.” —Robert M. Pirsig

Riding a motorcycle is such fun I almost can’t even put into words the whole experience and what it feels like to find a twisty road and open up the throttle and just go! Pure exhilaration. If you ride a bike you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Bewildering Spam

bewildering email spam
I’ve been getting a string of bewildering messages infiltrating my email in-box recently. Yeah we all get this crap. It’s become a nauseating part of the morning routine. Wake up, eat breakfast, brew coffee, open email and waste a few minutes or so deleting dozens of bogus email messages.

Lately the senders oddly appear to be randomly generated Gmail accounts. No fabricated identities here just automated nonsense. What’s going on here? Has Gmail become a conduit for bottom-feeder spammers?
Let’s call them digital hucksters. Unscrupulous individuals looking to push useless wares on us or, worse, grab our personal information and exploit our bits and bytes for financial gain.

Yes the brilliant minds over at the Googleplex can devise cutting edge innovations like self-driving automobiles but can’t solve the seemingly rudimentary task of freeing us from the tyranny of junk information circulating the net each day.

As I write this post I see that I have no less than 647 spam messages awaiting moderation in the comments area of my blog. Akismet tells me that in the past 6-months 36,449 spam comments have been blocked and in the month of May alone apparently 6,733 spam comments have been effectively thwarted.
Oh hurray… …I’m overjoyed.

Just this week one of my clients emailed me with questions and concerns over the large number of spam comments their blog has been receiving in the past few weeks. I’m really at a loss to explain this recent rise in spam. It’s as though the Web is becoming this vast digital apparatus for circulating fake automated information of absolutely no real value other than wasting our time.

Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, is this the networked world you envisioned?