Saturday, November 24, 2007

We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties...

As my laptop blew up weeks ago, again, (and in the middle of my exams!), I've had limited access to the Web as of late. I have yet another laptop at home which runs only on a Linux CD, and amazingly, allows me internet access via a wireless network. The thing though, is that I don't pay for a wireless network, and it seems that I am able to tap into one nearby, fairly often, but also with occasionally being unable to connect at times as well. Hopefully, all of that will soon be over, as I've ordered a used IBM Thinkpad from Ebay. All of the stats on this laptop seemed fairly good to me, at least for my limited purposes, with the exception of the RAM capability seeming a little low, but I figured everything else included made up for that issue. But, if anyone knows how to increase RAM on a laptop, please let me know! I don't think it will be an issue, my other laptops had fairly low RAM, and it wasn't a problem, but just in case . I've heard that computers take virtual memory from available hardisk space when additional RAM is needed, so that should be ok for this laptop, which will have a lot of HD space available. Wikipedia seemed to have pretty good things to say about Thinkpads in terms of durability and reliability, so hopefully this one will last a little while longer!

When I do get the laptop through the mail, I need to really begin working on my thesis project, which will have to do with New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. One of my ideas was to interview Katrina evacuees whom have settled in the Denver area, as to their experiences before and after the devastation wrought by the hurricane (and more probably wrought by a woefully inadequate levee system in New Orleans - courtesy of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers). This would be an ethnographic-type study of several of these families, with Critical Theory and a critique of the neoliberalist model ("free-market" solutions) as being inadequate for such diasasters as occurred during Katrina. The other possibility might have to do with actually living and working (on my thesis, that is) in New Orleans, as a part of a project my faculty advisor is currently attempting to get going. The thing on this though is that I don't know a lot of the details as of yet, as I have not seen the grant proposal he has written concerning the details. Apparently that is in the hands of a colleague still, so I don't know what it would entail. I've heard that it could include living in one of the "gutted" properties (as we wouldn't pay rent that way), and I don't know exactly what that would mean. At a minimum, I at least need water, for heaven's sake! I would love to spend a longer period of time though in New Orleans than I already have; I just have fear that anything that we do is probably not going to stop the eventual condemnation of a lot of private property, for the purposes of business and investment. We really need the right "juice" in order to get the attention and pull the proper levers, that will affect a "rebuilding" of the city, and not a "remaking". I am more and more interested in the campaign of John Edwards for President in this regard, as he seems to be the only candidate who has shown an interest in New Orleans, making several trips to the city, and has actually made the rebuilding of the city a plank in his proposed policy platforms. I more and more also like his continuous challenges to big-business (he's the Anti-Hillary, in this sense; taking no corporate/lobbyist donations); but can he take it all the way, or will he be forever labeled as the "Breck Girl" (because of his hair and looks) by the Repugnicans? It seems like the media has already anointed Hillary and Rudy Giuliani as the only possible real candidates for the presidential race, but that's only Big Business expressing its hegemonic opinion.I would certainly vote for a Breck Girl, if she would only rebuild New Orleans, that's for sure.