Saturday, August 20, 2005

Political Thoughts on a Saturday

Edward Jay Epstein's Web Log
Found this site through an article on Slate. The writer looks at "data mining", basically ways of analysing data in the systems of various government bodies to come up with people who fit certain criteria. He suggests that researchers apparently did come up with names of people identified as being involved in the World Trade Center disaster more than a year before it happened. Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, not only did no one pay any attention, but later people testified in the 9/11 hearings that the information wasn't there.

The amount of information that can be mined on people who travel these days is, in itself, rather spooky but not altogether a bad thing, I suppose. The fact that no one spoke about it and that the information was a) ignored and b) later denied is even more spooky.

The weather is cooler and clearer today with a wonderful breeze. A two hour ride in the countryside with a good friend and her horse was an absolute blessing. We found ourselves laughing out loud for no other reasons than the wind felt good, the clouds were fluffy and white, and the horses were happy to be moving. Children and farmers who have been wearily dragging themselves through the heat were walking briskly and scampering down the paths and roadways today. I know that there will be more heat before the autumn (such as it is here) hits, but I thank whatever powers may be for such a blessing as this morning. Horses, companionship, and beauty...what more can one want?

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