A Decade, Layal style.


My most memorable memories of the past decade:
I survived the bush years
I now get to try and make it through the Obama years. anyone else concerned that a new czar of something or other gets appointed every day?

Zahi Hawass, professional Egyptian media star is an international media star. Oh, he’s the head of antiquities in Egypt, btw. Has his name plastered on anything Egypt and archaeology.

Conan O’Brien, late night savior from every day boredom.

I started and finished my undergrad.
I started and quit my first “career” to follow my heart.

I jumped right through interwebz 2.0 and skated into Second Life, which is arguably web 3.0 and got me a job there. NonprofitCommons.org is amazing!

I finally started wondering if Penny’s magical notebook was what made her smart enough to guide Inspector Gadget, or it really was her smarts.
I’m on my second magical notebook now. I still sometimes cry in awe of technology.


The Internet has grown up to become its own skewed collective unconsciousness. Much of the world still does not have access to it. It is very Western centric in its information (and dominant language). But its all we have. Being able to connect with this much information still has me in awe. But there’s not a day that goes by when I don’t miss my option only being books. Something pure and isolated about a book. A relationship which cannot be produced with the Internet and your ability to look up everything instead of reflecting on what you read.

I fell into the Internet, and then came back from it, a little. I realized that not only is the Internet a series of tubes and wires, but our lives had become the same. Our cars travel roads like current through a wire. We programmed our machines to tell us the time, and now we follow like zombies. I’m so in love with technology, I’ve almost forgotten what we’ve lost. But I remember every day what we’ve gained.

Water, water everywhere! We found it on Mars, after being called kooky for believing it beforehand. We found it on the moon. We found several planets much like our earth.

We used Google Earth to find explore our little planet. Archaeology, interesting imagery, and a little medicine for when I miss Syria. I don’t know my old address, I just “walk” home from the park, and find landmarks as my cursor makes its way there.

A side note, we also used Google Street View to see interesting moments in people’s lives as the car photographed them. You hear about virtual world and Facebook divorces, but I wonder how many divorces have occurred because of Street View. Lol!!

We awakened to this decade with badly photoshopped images of an imaginary nuclear facility that started a war. We ended it with presidential addresses from inside Second Life. I said it in 2000 and I will say it now. With our available imaging technology, we can never believe our eyes. We can only laugh at lighting errors, and obvious fakes. But if a film featuring blue alien breasts can make $1 billion dollars because of its realistic imagery, anyone can now fake any photos or video footage.

We saw a glimmer of hope with the fall of the Berlin wall. This dimmed with the rise of the walls that now suffocate the West Bank and attempt to sweep Gaza into the sea.

We were dazzled by technology that made our lives easier, blind to the technology of oppression. A machine gun robot went insane and fired off round after round at the Australian soldiers that were testing it, killing many. Cameras fill up Arizona’s freeways to catch speeders, while the ones in London watch every move of its citizens. Protestors concerned about the world’s starving were deafened by the shrill sounds of armored vehicles, corralled by new crowd control techniques, and threatened by robot voices. It was like watching Judge Dred.

This is only the beginning.

As biotechnology evolves, I wonder if the US and China’s prison population numbers have anything to do with the need for of test subjects. I also wonder the same thing about the military. I wonder if every war gets started to make money for large corporations, and to have the land serve as a testing ground for new technology. I also wonder when the brain tests that predict behavior and thoughts will be used for security.

Most of all, I wonder when humanity will cease to look at the sky waiting for answers, and roll up their sleeves and create solutions to each other’s problems by figuring out the causes.

Movies I really liked: All of the Matrix, Kill Bill 1&2, District 9, Repo: The Genetic Opera, Sweeny Todd, City of Lost Children, The Dark Knight, Kung Fu Hustle, Memento, The Prestige, Slumdog Millionaire, Shaun of the Dead, Asoka, Paheli, Veer-Zaara.
I’m sure I’m forgetting many.

The best music? I hardly paid attention to it. My radio turned off in 1998 when I heard Brittany Spears for the first time. I still had to hear many songs as others played them. I feel like the only person that did not go Ga-ga for Lady Gaga.

Who did I fall in love with? Caustic, Psyclon 9, Tinariwen, Dimi Mint Abba, Tabla Beat Science, Marcel Khalife (old, but I rediscovered it).

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