Stray in gym this morning. And the podcast episodes not at all bad. Although a SCIENCE segment on the nature of Chinese censorship of social media was most revealing. And encouraging. Paternalistic, but encouraging. Which fits with the better aspects of Chinese society. 

I ran across this cartoon: [Link]

recently and it rather reminded me of why I am quite happy, as an ORF, not to have to talk to politicians very often. What they see as important – usually their re-election – and what I see as important are pretty well orthogonal. And they really don’t want to talk about my interests.

Also, the nature of our speech is different. Politicians talk a lot with very little content. My speech tends to be the opposite: little talk, lots of content.

Why do books depreciate?

Ships and Sealing Wax. The day is barely begun for most and I have already crunched many thoughts. The gym was sparse again today but the podcast was good. The Guardian’s Science podcast started with a treatment of the European Space Agency’s asteroid mission and closed with a treatment, by a biologist, sadly, forwarding that Aritotle invented science. Silly biologist, Anaxamander invented science.

I try to stay away from the writings of biologists and economists. Neither gets maths, the biologists, in the main, at all, and the economists seem to get the idea but mispractice it so badly one wishes they didn’t. Evidently, for economists, no amount of inaccuracy is sufficient to compromise their favorite model. Both sadly seem unable to comprehend how inaccurate their models are.

Regardless of whether Anaxamander or Aristotle invented science, it seems clear that we humans did little with it. At least partly because the religionists did all they could to destroy it. And still do. The biologist made an argument for the exportation of Aristotles ideas about science to Alexandria where it was promptly (?) destroyed by the Romans and then the christianists.

On which note I hav come to despair that any weather beaver – television meteorologist – in Alibam will ever take the meaning of fog as learning and practice. Evidently any mist, haze, or other humanly observable aerosol concentration is a “fog”. Evidently science has not yet been invented in Alibam, even in the Shining City on the Hill.

And speaking of Alibam I observe on national broadcast that Alibam is news noteworthy only for the destruction of nature. The sole nesw item had to do with the discorporation of a reptile. And evidently we keep records of our killings, not for punishment, but exaltation.

Which brings me to the question of how any society so depraved can continue to embrace the idea of an omnipotent money society? Why can value only be expressed in money? Do we still have bride prices that I am unaware of? And why do books depreciate? Why does anything that cannot bought depreciate? The logic is vapid.

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Color Stupidity

Back to week in. A few educationalists around gym but not really obnoxious. And the weight bouncers were actually civil this morning. The failing was the podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” about color and it was not. Rather it was a rather boggish thing, alternating between frustrating boring and wrong headed to downright painful and wrong headed.

It was very non-Newtonian and I am the opposite. Human vision has seven colors: Red; Orange; Yellow; Green; Blue; Indigo; and Violet. All the strange named colors like teal or puce or khaki are shades of one of the seven, or an admixture. Neither white nor black are colors, for opposite reasons, White is the combination of the seven and black is the absence of the seven.

And it rather grates on me when some ferd fails to adhere to this. But I contained myself this morning. I did not utter profanity over the podcast, nor hurl the MP3 player against the wall. I waited for the podcast to end and then I took great joy in erasing it.

I do not purchase paint; FD SCP has that responsibility. And so long as she does not tell me the (improper) name of what she has purchased I can abide it. I prefer to shop for clothing on-line since the stores are full of salespeople who utter this stercus.

I can abide motorcar salespeople when they use strange names for shades and allege that gray is a color because the whole process is so painful that the rule of greatest pain dampens all others makes their color pain mute. Also I do find gray soothing. My favorite weather is fog. I have always found it quite inspirational. And uplifting. I rather dislike high insolation days because the light level is irritating, if not painful.

And I noted as I deleted the podcast that next week I shall have to listen to another episode on the same subject. I fear I am now hoping for a long week.

STEM NERD Writing 3

One of the pleasant things I have been doing this week out is returning to listening to the “Pen Addict” podcast. [Link] I received an email this week that claims new episodes are forthcoming from a different casting service so I can unignore my small stash and listen again. I have to admit to being a bit amused that I have to actually admit to enjoying the ‘cast, horrible grammar and all. It is definitely quite different from the other podcasts that I listen to. Neither science nor computers.

And while the podcast I listened to this week out was a disjoint oleo, triggered by my thoughts on the Greeks of the campus of the Black Warrior, I had occasion to reflect further on my own writing efforts in my undergraduate years. I have already mentioned how I took up notetaking as a freshman. That it was new to me and something I had to learn hard and fast. This seems important, or, at least, significant, since it seems to explain much of the difference in my outlook than those expressed on the porcast.

I am, of course, aged more than the podcasters. This may be significant. Back when I was an undergraduate we did not have the resources afforded students today. No syllabus, or Powerpoint slides, on keyed notes. All we had was the textbook(s) and labs – in the nerd courses – and the lectures. That was it. So our notes were very important. They recorded what the lecturer thought was important. And his/her explanations and examples and illustrations. The mappings of the textbook material into our minds, at least in a pseudo-maths sense. So notetaking was a critical and crucial aspect of survival and success. One either mastered the process of converting what was seen and heard into ink on the page or one left for Vietnam. It was that simple, at least for men. I am unsure of what the women did. Or the Greeks. Other than put fungus cream on their feet.

Anyway, I have noted in the podcast that much discussion is emitted about writing angles, and pen colors, and line widths and such like. I finally realized that this was all symptomatic of the current craze with mindfulness. Given the depth of entertainment immersion these days such is not bad but it tends to make matters of mindlessness – unawareness – either nekulturny or anathema. But that is what makes the difference here.

If one is going to do notetaking well (or compositional writing,) then one cannot be mindful of the writing or its instruments. Pen/pencil and paper must be extensions of the hand. There must be no phase shift, no impedence in information flowing from eye and ear to brain to hand to paper. Pen and ink and writing must not be noticable – mindful. They must be part of the body, unnoticed until end of class when the hand cramp and inky fingers – if any – are resolved on the way to next class.

That mindlessness carries over. When I had an essay or term paper – few – of lab report or research paper of thesis or journal article – many – to write, that notetaking mindlessness was continued. The flow from brain to paper was direct and unimpeded by the non-physiological instrumentality. I typed poorly and could not compose and type at the same time. I would compose and write failry well. So all my career, i have composed/written first and then transcribed the writing to essay or article via typewriter or computer. I still do this almost always.

And as a result all this stufff about writing angle and line width and such is submereged into whether the pen is unminded or not. If not, the system is broken. If so, then it works. The rest is peripheral.

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Siege of the Bastille?

Higher temperature this morning. Not oppressive but not as pleasant as yesterday. Nonetheless I am in a bit of a better mood than yesterday. Possibly because I got some rather ‘good’ news yesterday and indeed all week out.

First, I heard that the guvnur of Texas has been indicted for felonies. I am not surprised. This guy is the epitome, to me at least, of trailor trash. With none of the redeeming values. So while I hold no ill towards anyone who has not directly injured me, I sincerely hope he is removed from harming people and nation.

Second, I note [Link] that the campus of the black warrior sororities have finally cracked the skin tint barrier. I can recall when George Corley Wallace stood in the doorway of Foster Audiotorium/Gym (?) to bar the registration of AfricanAmericans. This was before my time but I registered there all my undergraduate years and the stance was entirely symbolic. Foster has many entrances/exits and the confrontation takes on a staged dramaticism. The good news is twofold. The AAs were registered and GCW changed his pretense away from overt bigotry.

Apparently the female Greek organizations ahve done the same. I will not say it is about time. I am still puzzled that AAs and other “minorities” are permitted to have homogeneous social organizations but EuroAmericans are not. I find no explanation of this that stands to kritik. Which leaves me to wonder about who is being persecuted and who discriminated?

This carries me back to those days as an undergraduate on the campus of the Black Warrior. I avoided the Greeks. They were mostly jocks – who couldn’t make the football team – and cheerleaders and uppity folk. All extros so far as I could tell. I only knew a few and all of them were patently smitten with the mistake of having become Greek. Most ended their association before graduation.

Not that they would have wanted me. Intros were verboten. No social skills. Unless much family money. But an intro nerd? Definitely not. Even for grade point average salvation.

I can recall laughing at the Greek men. It was fashionable then to wear leather tassel loafers sans socks. Women had to wear hose. College rule. No bare legs in class. Causes impure thoughts or something. But all the Greek men had fungus infections. No perspiration wicking. Most uncomfortable. Most humorous, in a rather macabre way. Rather reminds of the Chinese custom of binding the feet of aristocratic women.

But I am a bit bemused about those newly pledged minority (?) women. Will they be subjected to the usual pledge hazing (harassment?) Can the Greek experience be complete without it, or even tempered? What will the environment in those rats’ nests of houses be?

I admire the courage of all involved. Being force to survive is never easy. Being forced to change is often hard. And neither is pleasant.

Deity speed, lassies!

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Right Back on Campus

One of my colleagues, Normal Angular Momentum, posted this on FaceScroll:

“Your All-Access Pass to the SEC is on Ch. 611

August 7, 2014

Beginning August 14, get all the Southeastern Conference coverage you can handle with the SEC Network. Available with the CHOICE™ package or above, it’s just what you need to feel right back on campus. You’ll get the best in SEC football, men and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, and so much more. Plus, you’ll get studio shows and original programming that you can’t find anywhere else.

Get all this starting August 14:

• The top football rivalries. With 45 live, exclusive SEC games all season long, you’ll see all 14 SEC teams play on the SEC Network.

• SEC hardwood action. Watch your favorite schools battle it out as they fight towards the tourney in March.

• Live in-studio programming. Catch historic games from yesteryear on SEC Rewind or get the SEC news of the day on SEC Now.”

The part that screamed into my consciousness was “it’s just what you need to feel right back on campus.” 

I am not a fanatic of spectator sports. I am not opposed to those who are so long as they are not evangelistic. If you lecture me on not watching televised athletics or tell me I am evil for not doing so, then be prepared to have your coffee sweetened with phenolpthalein. As Mr. Jefferson said (approximately) ‘If you don’t burden me with your beliefs I won’t trouble you with mine.’ But I have very good evidence that sports fanatics and christianists believe that the golden rule doesn’t apply to them harassing those who believe differently than they.

I have nothing against engaging in sports and athletics. I go to gym four days a week and walk the other three. I did a bit of sports as an undergraduate, but nothing that drew a crowd. Like fencing and target shooting and walking. But I find watching sports and athletics, even what I participate in, more boring than sitting in a medicalist waiting area. 

This goes back to my undergraduate days. I attended home, American football games because all but the most dedicated of loner does. My memories of games are: interminable wait for game to begin; abysmally dull progress of game mixed with distracting hollaring and an atmosphere almost saturated with ethanol; the hideous difficulty of herding drunks back to dorm before they get collected by the campus constabulary and sent home in disgrace; infantile celebrations/wakes in memory of the day’s game characterized by much noise, endangerment, and ritual regurgitation. 

Of all that happened on campus, football Saturdays were the ultimate in bad. 

The ultimate in good was: knowledgeable, engaging professors; thrilling lectures; learning; reading; successfully doing problems; reading new textbooks. Learning new stuff. Campus in summer term, less so in spring term; not so in fall term. 

There were parts of fall term that were good. Professor George Toffel lecturing in his Monday morning nursing organic course to a class of hungover, dehydrated, possibly pregnant coeds and using horrible jokes to try to rouse any reaction. Calculus class at 0800 every morning. The brief savoring of what was new in the dorm cafeteria but rapidly got bad. Learning the trajectories between classrooms and dorm. Rain. Leaves. 

But I doubt that’s going to be on that channel. And the part about being back on campus is corporate prevarication. But that’s OK. Because that campus isn’t there any more. 


Change of Path

Almost to week out. And schule is resessioned? Maybe? Sorta? I am confused, mostly because I was told they were earlier in the week and then yesterday I drove past the terminal schule and the place only had educationalist motorcars in the park. And the bandwidth still is abysmal.

Off to the park this morning with a bit of difference. My usual constitutional diversion podcast seems to have dissipated and so I switched to listening to the lees of this week’s Linux Luddites podcast. I alternate this podcast with the Ubuntu podcast from the land of tyrants so I am not sure what I will listen next week but that’s then. Anyway it was a bit strange. Real English, albeit a but butchered, instead of an oleo of Jawjan and Brit, and techninal instead of geek. And the negative comments about the ubuquitous shitty keyboard were enjoyable but a mixed bag of (semi) lauding Unity but trashing Ubuntu (by a correspondent) was a bit confusing. Anyway, not the effect I am used to so this may be a bit of finding Livingston.

I did see a compliment of MegaHard, albeit at the expense of Fruit, the other day. Some journalist was asking why MegaHard could do a decent (??????) slab keyboard and Fruit couldn’t. Maybe the keyboard wasn’t made in the Heavenly Kingdom? This is sort of a mind gristle. Fruit has always extruded these strange keyboards. Like the keys HP put on their calculators in the middle years. Like chicklet gum with that didn’t crunch. MegaHard, on the other hand, has always extruded keyboards that are best used by people how lack sensation in their upper phalanges. I had an employee once who was addicted to one of MegaHard’s “ergonomic” keyboards. The ones that looked like a Hollywood swimming pool. Turned out that was symptomatic of other problems between the ears.

That’s the problem with the world these days. Not Global Climate Change and the extinction of humanity. Not the civil war between Democruds and Repulsians, which admittedly does give some intriguing insights into how far society lets the metally ill demonstrate and destroy before (ever?) restraining them for the common good. Where is that common good these days? Certainly not keyboards!

I am currently using a DAS. It is a dim shadow of a decent keyboard like a Northgate or the original Itty Bitty Machine keyboard. But it is the best of a soory despicable lot that I have been able to find. Evidently no one wants to do I/O these days. It took me a while to notice but the resolution of monitors these days is rather sparse and getting high resolution is tragically expensive. Comparable to buying your own third world country. With or without Ebola.

One of my coleagues has suggested that this is part of the robot conspiracy. Its a campaign to divorce us from doing constructive work with computers. Then we will be helpless when the computers rebel and dispose of the politicians. And probably the rest of us. Unless climate change gets there first and the computers get the planet from us the same we we got them from the dinosaurs.

But I’m going to keep looking. Because with the right keyboard we can make the politicians either behave or sit in rubber rooms.

See! I told you that walk was different.

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