Friday, July 14, 2006


Pud is pissed.

“I try to be a good citizen,” Pud says, “I try to pay attention to the casualty reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, but the numbers just swirl around in my head.

“It’s the fucking twenty-four hour cable news and all the stuff on the internet. Plus the time difference is really difficult.

“Like, you check the internet on Monday night and read about a market bombing in Baghdad that happened Tuesday morning. Now there’s a mind fuck. And you make a mental note that 20 people died, mostly Shiite women, plus a roadside IED killed two American soldiers. Oh, and another of Saddam’s lawyers was assassinated.

“Then, you wake up the next morning, and you hear very similar sounding reports, like, a market bombing killed twenty-five Shiite women—and you think, is that the same market bombing or a new one? Or, when they say another of Saddam’s lawyers has been killed you think, ANOTHER one, or are they still talking about the last one?

“It’s the medium,” Pud says, “it’s like, hey, Microsoft Office is a SUITE—Word for prose, Excel for numbers. Prose is a really fucked up way of presenting statistical data. We need spreadsheets!

“At the very least, the vertical axis would be time. Each row representing like a day, or week, or month. Then each column could represent a type of casualty, broken down by theater (Afghanistan, Iraq, other), nationality (American, coalition, terrorist) and type (dead, maimed, other).

“As a public service they could make the statistics down-loadable, so that anyone with standard spreadsheet software could sort, subtotal, and create piecharts and Venn diagrams up the wazoo.

“With the distribution of computing power to homes and public libraries, the electorate is ready for it,” he concluded with his statesman’s voice.

So, that’s Pudinhand Wilson. While the rest of the nation is quietly downloading porn and recipes, he wants to download casualty statistics.

“And the national budget,” Pud sparked, “hell, everyone has Quicken!”

BTW: I’m trying to get Pud set up as a team member on this blog so that he can create his own posts. He told me to wait while he works on some “identity issues.”

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