Physical Failure

A bonnie day. Dihydrogen oxide falleth. Goodly. When I arose this morning the fall was moderate and tapered as I performed ablutions and robed myself – in old clothes – so that while I wore a repellant jacket and hat when I departed Castellum SCP I needed them not except for heat retention.

By lap 3 the fall had resurged and I needed the buffering garments. And upon my return I divested down to nether garments and even now sit with left foot unshod while the toe of the sock demoistens. Obviously the old walking shoes I wore have a leak.

As a bit of a variation I listen to an episode of “Linux Luddites” that I had started on Thor’s day. I( found it gave me quite a different pace although since I was also being wetted the experiment is not conclusive. But my frame of mind was decidedly different. Much more amused. And hence to review a few articles on my return.

The first [Link] dealt with the demands of the Olympics Administration to the host country:

They demand to meet the king prior to the opening ceremony. Afterwards, there shall be a cocktail reception. Drinks shall be paid for by the Royal Palace or the local organizing committee.

Separate lanes should be created on all roads where IOC members will travel, which are not to be used by regular people or public transportation.

A welcome greeting from the local Olympic boss and the hotel manager should be presented in IOC members’ rooms, along with fruit and cakes of the season. (Seasonal fruit in Oslo in February is a challenge …)

The hotel bar at their hotel should extend its hours “extra late” and the minibars must stock Coke products.

The IOC president shall be welcomed ceremoniously on the runway when he arrives.

The IOC members should have separate entrances and exits to and from the airport.

During the opening and closing ceremonies a fully stocked bar shall be available. During competition days, wine and beer will do at the stadium lounge.

IOC members shall be greeted with a smile when arriving at their hotel.

Meeting rooms shall be kept at exactly 20 degrees Celsius at all times.

The hot food offered in the lounges at venues should be replaced at regular intervals, as IOC members might “risk” having to eat several meals at the same lounge during the Olympics.

Talk about arrogance. This even transcends that of members of the Yankee government council of thieves congress and their staffers. I don’t mind that they want to meet the tyrant. But it will be a real waste of time since no one will learn anything from the experience. 

I have to admit to not being a fan of the Olympics. I have no objection to them being held but I don’t want my tax money spent in them nor do I want my usual audio-visual viewing to be abolished by their perverse voyeuristic events. Participating is questionably healthy; watching is definitely evil. 

I rather like the original approach. Have a dedicated site for the olympics. Someplace that can be used summer and winter. Let it support itself by honorable means other than blackmailing others. Let those who want to compete go, on their dime, not mine. And don’t make me avoid information in general to avoid seeing and hearing their competition. It’s criminal and immoral to force people to be perverts. 

And do what you want with the governing aristocrats. They should be gainfully employed. Perhaps as ticket takers or custodians of latrines? 

The second article [Link] is about the (American) football instrumentality of the campus of the Black Warrior paying other teams to play with them. Why? The article never makes that clear. Is that the only way they can get opponents? And if so, why do they continue to exist? Bread and Circuses? Probably.

Given the number of people who want to be on that team, and who really can’t cut it as students, it would seem somewhat cheaper if the campus just had two teams and let them play each other every game during the season. That way every game could be a home game, more seats would be available to sell to the non-alumni fanatics, and the cost of operation would be reduced. And if things sagged a bit, they could always alter the rules to permit gladiatorial combats during the mid game recess. Preferably between the coaches so that some monies could be saved on their exorbitant salaries.

I keep coming back to the question: what does athletics benefit anyway? I know that exercise has it benefits, but this voyeurism and intense competition? That isn’t healthy. How can we pretend to be modern and civilized if we still perpetrate such troglodytic activities? At least we shoudl make them pay their way and benefit the rest of us rather than us paying for the perversions and immoralities of a few. And I don’t mean the athletes. 

Mouth Leather

Yesterday, one of my news subscriptions brought me this article [Link] entitled “FBI Director Comey Gives Apple and Google a Tongue-Lashing”. And I rolled out of my chair onto the floor laughing. Which I regret this morning because I am sore in places I would prefer not to be sore. 

I keep telling me that this fellow is a political appointee and political appointees and politicians are techno-schmucks. But this fellow now qualifies for being a real schmuck, if not a ferd, just by his so-called ‘tongue lashing’.

Let’s start in that order since it will be a bit clearer. The techno bit comes about because both OS phones have had encryption add-ins (apps) for some time. These are not built into the OS but since both OS are *NIX OS, adding on is rather simple and inherent. So the only distinction we can raise here is that the OS masters have added a capability that already existed as an add-on. This practice has a long history. It goes back to CPM and DOS and probably before that.

So bitching about ‘smartphone’ encryption is techno-stupid. But more important, since the capability has been around for some time, the esteem political appointee grand exalted kudzu of the FBI has demonstrated that he is a social stupid by chewing on folks for what has been established as acceptable. 

Privacy issue or no the sure result of this is that the nation’s, or at least the IT community’s, trust in the FBI has been serious eroded by this brazen display of incompetence. 

Chalk up another success for the antediluvian district!

Impasse and Insecurity

Not bad so far. Back to week in. Didn’t want to arise this morning. But my bladder did and so hence to empty it and thence to gum. The fall of dihydrogen oxide has been less than predicted by the weather beavers which is not the best of news. It will be enjoyed by the bogs but since we are under our mean the water balance will be strained.

The podcast this morning was an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” dealing with Nietsche. Lots of noise, not much signal. But diverting more than usual. Which is about as much as one may hope for in a podcast.

On which azimuth I noted a couple of articles yesterday in the RSS accumulator tap yesterday. The first, [Link] dealt with whether we, as a society, are producing too many or too few STEM graduates. The basis of the question seemed to be a disconnect between the graduating STEMs and the needs (demands?) of corporations. Much was made about this. Nothing was made of its mirror image.

Point being, I am not surprised at this. From what I have seen of GEN Y and corporations in recent years, the disconnect is mutual and probably mostly the fault of the corporations. Pensions have disappeared, if not actually stolen. By corporations. Trust in corporations is low, almost nil. Corporations want puzzle piece employees. They have no interest in diversity unless it makes them money.

The graduates are, in my observation, equally discriminating. They do not want to work at a job that is neither fun nor conducive to their life style. Sacrifice is not going to be forthcoming. Loyalty must be earned continuously.

In a way, this is an analog of the situation in the Yankee congress between demodenialists and repubdenialists. There seems to be no interest in compromise, in finding middle ground for the sake of accomplishment.

The second, [Link] is about a PEW poll that indicates that the public is losing interest in organized religion. This would be welcome if it indicated an increase in rationality but my observation of bogs leads me to doubt that. But what is noteworthy is that the religionists want a greater say in politics. As if Amerikan politics weren’t already overcomplicated to the point of impasse.

This smacks rather desperately of insecurity. The religionists, despite the constitution, have had great implicit influence in politics previously. Now, with their social importance waning, it would seem they are unwilling to accept their minority status and must set themselves up in a master role. (See! I did listen to the podcast!) Which is a very unchristianist thing to do.

Electro-phonon Debacle

Yesterday was a young disaster. Got up, went to gym. Good, relatively speaking. Low density of educationalists and weight bouncers. Not much harassment. Podcast, two episodes of the “UK Ubuntu podcast”, was passable. Not much useful information but adequately diverting. Got in motorcar, drove towards Castellum SCP and as soon as I got to the city (?) limits, the dark engulfed. 

Total power outage. No house lights. No street lights. Perhaps no traffic lights although I didn’t get that far. It was so dark that I missed my turn off and had to overshoot and return. Since no electron potential difference, no point in awakening FD SCP. So I sat for a half hour. FD SCP woke up – it’s a sinus season – and after another ten minutes the potential difference was restored.

Sidebar: it just seems as if Alibam is one continuous sinus nightmare. It isn’t. There are actually several distinct sinus seasons,most months long and separated by a few days to a week of not-sinus season. Some are lucky; they are only susceptible to one or a few nose nasties. Our spectrum of pollen is enormous, spanning most of the spectrum of the nose. Even the dead of winter has its nastiness. 

Anyway, while FD SCP was doing her ablutions I did the tooth abrasion thing and then busied myself resetting the clocks in the castellum. Did my own cleansing ritual, attired myself, distributed seed to the tree mammals and dinosaur descendants and then assayed the orge. 

Rebooted both my deskboxes successfully and then discovered there was NO internet. The ass hats at Oneonta Telephone Company had economized again and fired more IT staff. This in a company that is bleeding land line users at thrice the speed of ISP users and still they maintain land line service is their core competency. Happily FD SCP motored off to her employment and I was free to say foul things in languages other than that uttered in Alibam.

Departed on errands and when I returned an hour later.- well after the 0800 opening for the corporate tardigrade that is Oneonta Telephone Company – the internet was back and I could get my network reconnected. But by that time I was mentally and emotionally drained and hence no blot.

Not that this travesty is much of a story. Other than a micro-paradigm of corporate greed, stupidity, and denial. Which seems to fit quite well in Alibam. 

One of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, asked – rhetorically? – on Face Scroll the other day when politician and denialist became synonyms. I thought that most apt. So I am considering renaming the two brands of Amerika’s oligarchs as Demodenialists and Repodenialists. Neither likes science. Both have their own way of ignoring reality to service their masters. None (?) have integrtity? Or if they do, we can’t tell it from the facade of the others. 

I keep getting propaganda from both sides urging me to assure that I exercise my franchise in November. The dilemma is that the only choices are those of the two parties and neither candidate is acceptable nor worthy. It’s a true Hellerian Catch-22. Everyone gets to vote but it does no good because no change nor benefit can be obtained. 

The only good thing I can say about it is that at least it is smarter than the Soviets with their one party/candidate elections.

Life Physics

Another morning of inadequate wind speed. Comfortable so long as one moves but not stationary. Of course a constitutional in the park is ab initio and de facto kinetic. Rather enjoyable podcast this week out. The guest was not only knowledgeable and engaging but also not the usual pen/pencil/paper for the sage of pen/pencil/paper geek. Although the grammar was egregiously bad and hurt the mind sharply. Smartly, even, if I may assay a bit of a pun.

My colleague, Magnetic Inductance Force, sends me cartoons of what he – rightly, almost always, > 0.9 – perceives as mutual interest. Which usually mean physics and a few other nerdish practices. The first [Link]

is rather hurtful. Not, of course, for the tag line. We physicists admit we are rather immature. In fact, we brag of it in the gravest of insecurity since physics is really only done by the immature and to call a physicist mature is really a horrible insult.

No, what is hurtful is the “rubbing it in”. Prizes are largely irrelevant, negative even. They do no good for the recipient and they are embarrassing no end. How does one act? Falsely humble? We know what our strengths and weaknesses are and usually, what we have accomplished. And we don’t need some outsider to affirm that to everyone else. What do I care what you think? Thank you, RF!

But the Nobel is moderately acceptable. It lets you make a boring speech on physics to a bunch of bogs who have to sit through it nicely. So it is like a Scots’ confection. Very sweet. 

I noticed that the Scots have declined “independence”. Wonderful. Very satisfying. It is nice to know that among nations they are still one of the most rational, perhaps the most. This was an enormous display of rationality – not having to pick up all that boggish nonsense of getting along with others, and furriners at that, something better left to the English who are rather too stuffy to realize how unpleasant it really is – and charity, rescuing Great Britain from its own stupidity and incompetence. Absent the Scots the rest of the house of cards would soon collapse into children fighting in a sand pile over a plastic pail. Or the Bog equivalent thereof. 

And they, alone of all nations, know how to spell whisky. And make it. 

The other cartoon [Link]

is a bit more fun. It reminds me of a delightful seminar presentation I heard at an interdisciplinary conference on philosophy and the sciences. The seminar dealt with the idea of the vacuum. No, not a suck broom. Nothingness. This is a topic at the basis of science. We forget often that Boyle labored mightily on this matter at about the same time Newton was inventing fluxions and gravity and poking his eyeball. 

Of course that’s not what the cartoon is about. It’s about bogs and lectures and how their minds work. Or is it all children. The problem with schule, especially the oppressive public schules, is that what they present is what someone else has decided is important and MUST be impressed into the minds of the youth. And thereby it is in some degree rot and cancer and garbage.

For me, my years in schule were torture and pain until I got to college. Then I got to college and could, increasingly, ignore the unpleasant and useless and concentrate on what was pleasant and useful. I am told that is not the way any more, that even college is unpleasant and useless, and not just because it admits everyone. So one more reason to be glad to be old.

No Area under the Integral

Back to regularity? This week has been the pits, mostly because I had to go to Huntsville on two day for a gum cleaning. Happily that went well with no new unhappiness. So I did the food acquisition while I was there and cancelled the usual Woden’s day gallop. Which I sorely missed, both in terms of networking and activity. So yesterday was a real DRAG. Higher order, maybe velocity magnitude to the third power or so. But this morning was back to usual.

I won’t say normal because I don’t like the way too many misuse the word. My dictionary tells me that the definition of normal is:

   1. According to an established norm, rule, or principle; conformed to a type, standard, or regular form; performing the proper functions; not abnormal; regular; natural; analogical.

But my problem is that no one seems to know what that established norm/rule/principle is. Nor can they show me in wirting. So the viable hypothesis, while admitting we can’t prove a negative, is that the norm/rule/principle doesn’t exist and this usage of normal is one of those social delusions.

To me normal either means the normal, that is perpendicular, to a surface or curve, or a function that is normalizable, that is, has finite area. There: simple testable rule/principle. And norm only makes sense in those terms. 

On which azimuth, I ran across an article [Link] on the “Convergence” of the Linux desktop. I read this article because my outlook on the Linux “Desktop” is rather normal to convergent, in the orthogonal sense, that is. If I compare Gnome 3, Unity, KDE, XFCE, and LXDE, among others, I don’t see what I consider to be convergence. Turns out the use of the term is worse than that, rather misusing the term desktop, to include slabs as well as boxes. 

Stercus Tauri. And not very respectfully. I am not given to abiding ferds nicely. And this is very ferdish

First of all, I don’t like the association of desktop with computer device. What is on my screen is not a desktop. For one thing, it isn’t big enough (even with a 24 in screen) nor, and most importantly, it isn’t horizontal. My desktop is the top of my desk, it is horizontal and it is about five ft by three ft. And I put physical objects on it. None of that applies to my deskbox. Which is why I call it a deskbox. And because it is a bunch of boxes: CPU/RAM/HD box; screen box; key box; mouse box;….. Similar for a lapbox. And I have a ‘smart’ cellular telephone that is smart in the sense of unpleasant neural sensation. And I have recently purchase a tablet, which is not in the sense of oral medication, but is commonly used in the sense of a bit of rock with symbols incised. Which is another horrible metaphor but that’s what happens when we let bogs name things.

Not that geeks – especially – or nerds are really any better, just different. And we nerds at least declare – strongly – when we are going to name things ridiculously. 

But this “Convergence” thing is evidently the idea that we are going to use the same OS and GUI on all of I visual information presentation devices. That is, boxes and slabs. And maybe the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver? And that idea is rot. As I have been saying for quite a while. So reading an article that says this is important to Linux is essentially impossible because the thesis is so flawed as to be unsuspendable. So the article is bad fiction. 

I do not make phone calls on my boxes. I do spreadsheets on my boxes. I do calculator on my phone slab. I do word processing on my boxes. I don’t on my phone slab. Simply put I don;t do the same things on slabs as I do on boxes. And visa versa. About the only thing I do on all of them is check email and maybe use a browser. Bog things.

But I use different email clients on the boxes and slabs. Because I can’t use Thunderbird on my slabs. And since I have bought a tablet I have found that the email client I use on my phone won’t work on my tablet. That doesn’t mean it won’t execute; that means it won’t work. It’s a thermodynamic thing. Like a free expansion. The code/app/client runs but no work gets done. But I have found that an email app that didn’t work on the phone does work on the tablet. 

Another bit of data that indicates – consistently – that the different visual presentations are not the same and that “Convergence” is a bunch of corporate propaganda. And the corporate bull has been fed too much stool softner. 

Selah.

Joe Physicist

It falleth. Dihydrogen oxide that is. From the sky. Which is itself a concept of much depth and breadth. But the liquid was not too obnoxious save for its diffraction on the windscreen of my motorcar.

And the gym was mediocre, which is about as good as it gets given the management’s incompetence and the overall paucity of good sense that abides in the organization. The weight bouncers were more than a bit arrogant this morning and there were moments when I was glad the gym is next the hospital even though that establishment is not greatly better than the gym. In competence, that is. Same management, of course.

And being two day, it was science podcast day and a poor representation of such at that. First I had to listen to some fellow from the Large Hadron Collider, a name that dares any male to misspell it, arguing that the folks who work there are just ordinary men-in-the-street.

Hardly. Just being a physicist is offsetting given that the number of physicists in the Yankee repulbic is o(2.3E4) and the population is o(3.1E8) which gives us a fraction of ~ 7E-5. Now given that most people have about 250 friends and acquaintances the probability, simply estimated, that any random person “knows” a physicist is o(2E-5). This is, of course, warped since physicist condense, like bosons, and so one wither knows no physicists or several.

So based on frequency of occurrence, physicists are not common.

Could the argument be construed to be one of temperament and behavior? That doesn’t seem to hold dihydrogen oxide either. All physicists have to do maths which distances them from the algebra fearing herd. They have quite specialized knowledge and are generally considered to not behave as the herd does. Yes, they still drive motorcars – in the main, and they wear clothes and eat food. They are humans. But a great fraction of them are nerds and aspects of autism spectrum are more common among physicists than in the general population.

So I come back to my original head shake that the contention that the fellows working at the LHC are average joes is specious and farcical.

Note that this is not a statement of elitism. Haven’t argued here that physicists are better than other people. Just that they are outliers in the spectrum of humanity.

But it is a bit disturbing that a physicist would make such a ridiculous contention. Probably this fellow is an administrator whose physics neurons have been rotted by bureaucracy. At least we can hope.