Identical but for Lies

Once more into the boundary between out and in, and once more adult supervision. FD SCP has ended her work week and I am already smarting under the onus of her projects. The park was a bit low in warmth this morning but not from a wind. Not quite comfortable and the necessary bundling seemed excessive for what the thermometer proclaimed. I tried out a new Linux podcast and was disappointed, which probably contributed to the ill ease. Not that it is a bad ‘cast, just that it is a style not amenable fully to me. 

On those azimuths, several thoughts. I have been watching the political races in Alibam increasing in heat. I have a great interest in the guvnuh race since it is really a good versus good failing and being evil race. The latter is the incumbent who found ways to grease the pockets of cronies but not provide medical care. That latter is still a repudenialist tactic, of taking an opponent’s good and making it seem bad. This is particularly the case with the attorney general race. If we go on positive aspects – what the candidates are for – then the two are indistinguishable to a confidence level of 0.95 which is the standard statistical goodness for bogs. 

I should comment that the bogs don’t understand that – heck!, I don’t understand it fully but that’s because statisticians are a special subspecies of nerd – but the parrotage they are taught in college stats classes – and then promptly repress – is o.95 (or 0.05 which is the same) confidence level. And I will insert the snideism that that confidence level is on the posing of the situation, not its actuality. At least, not always.

But getting back to the attorney general candidates, the two are essentially the same on what they are; the difference is in what they say the other is. The incumbent is claimed to be incompetent and the toady of monied interests – what politician isn’t? – while the challenger is claimed to be incompetent if elected because of – good political logic here – twisting good things done into evil and bad. We can only worry if the same goes of the incumbent. 

I don’t expect my concerns to be resolved. An article [Link] in IO9 shows the restrictiveness of state voting laws:

Alibam is notably one of the most restrictive states. In fact, voting in many ways is more restrictive than in the days of poll taxes when money was openly paid to purchase votes. 

The real lesson is about society. Individual voters are well aware that they are being deceived and prevaricated. But they vote for the evil anyway because with the partisan system there are no alternatives. And in Alibam, there is really no difference between the parties. Except which lies they throw about each other.

Hurts Talk

I had occasion yesterday to come to consider the nature of human communication. And yes, this was a result of my weekly pilgrimage to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. Which was abbreviated and amodal because of seasonal sinus drainage. Headaches and nausea. Neither of which inspire communication effort.

Anyway, I came to reflect on conversations between an adult and a child. Leave aside for now the ones where the adult tries to ‘reduce’ to the child’s assumed level and the conversation is an abysmal failure because of the artificiality and deception. No, consider only honest conversations.

These conversations are generally failures because of differing world view and a mutual absence of interest. Such conversations fail quickly and are difficult with increasing magnitude over time. And this is for modal children (adults) who don’t suffer any communication disability such as Autism spectrum. For them communication is much more difficult.

It struck me, mostly because all of my communications (verbal, at least) yesterday were with bogs. Nice people all, insofar as I could tell with brief conversation, but bogs nonetheless. And then it struck me how like adult-child conversations these were. And no, I am not going to say which side was adult or child. Not relevant and highly distracting.

But what it reminded me is the enormous world view differences between bogs and geeks and nerds. Talking with a bog is much like talking with a slightly mentally disabled child. One can’t talk maths because they deliberately forgot what little they learned immediately after high schule. Nor can one talk about reality because bog reality is social while nerd reality is rational. At least in the main. There is some overlap but usually not much. And the density of interest is almost always different. What bothers bogs is almost always nuisance parameters for nerds (see! math speak,) and what bother nerds is irrelevant to bogs until it kills them. 

Further, what interests bogs is highly voyeuristic while what interests nerds is participatory. Again, that maths handicap, at least in part. So there is this fundamental impedance mismatch. Which brings us back to the model of adult-child conversation. 

And perhaps some insight into why nerds have so much problem with society. 

Order beyond Comprehension

Nothing is more alien to the mind of the military monk than change.

The quote is from J. F. C. Fuller who has the distinction of having more periods in his name than I. Among other things. But a companion to this is: nothing is more irritating to the military mind than a form of order they can neither understand nor control.

This weekend I came across this cartoon: [Link]

 

and I was immediately precipitated into consideration of my years of dealing with the Yankee army’s policy of “clean desk”. First of all, the name is completely inaccurate. No, not the desk part. We had desks, nice steel ones painted olive drab (O.D.) green, when I first went to work for the YA. Rather, it is the ‘clean’ part that is horribly, in all the depths of that word, inaccurate.

The opposite of clean is dirty and I have seldom had dirt on my desk and when I have it is either immediately removed or kept in a proper storage container. In some, many, instances it was actually soil but that is another distinction only understood by the most sentient of infantrymen. So for a time fraction greater than the floatability of Ivory Soap my dest was not dirty and hence within the modal usage of American English, ‘clean’.

Not so. The proper term for the policy would be messy desk and the nature of messy is almost uniquely military. 

In the same vein, the opposite of messy can be taken to be orderly or ordered. My desk is always highly ordered. But from continual experience I know that that ordering is not always apparent to other people, especially FD SCP. But it is NEVER apparent to the military mind. And therein lies the discontent.

I would be informed that my desk did not meet “clean desk’ policy. I would respond that it was neither dirty nor disordered. The only response would re reiteration. At that point, after a few years of nodding and then ignoring, I found a wonderful way to ‘nuke and pave’ the discussion.

I would ask why the minion of mindless organization was so insecure as to be unable to endure an ordering he (never she) could not comprehend? And the fireworks would begin.

No serving member of the military can admit to insecurity. It is alien to both the culture and the society. I have speculated that this is why disorders such as PTSD and Shell Shock and Funk are so much worse in the military. It is hard enough for nerds to confront insecurity, for military bogs it is, however, almost impossible. 

So they try to divert. Accusations of insubordination or mutiny are not uncommon. But if one stands one’s thesis and persists they will slink away. Until the next time. If one only brings the subject up in this solitary context. Somehow insecurity over the incomprehensible is barely, marginally, acceptable. But must not be spoken of openly. Or, at least, only by nerds who are necessary evils to preclude the destruction of the nation. 

So it’s quite a good cartoon. 

Marriage and Politics

Another morning of lowish temperature. Not as low as yesterday but low enough to provoke a search for heavier gym pants. The pair I had initially substituted for the summer ones were inadequate and being a shivering ORF I opted for more substance in the hope of lower thermal diffusion.

The podcast this morning was an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas”, the third in their coverage of a rather strange conference – aren’t they all, it seems? – called Ideacity. The subject of this one was contemporary mating rituals. There were three and they were all varying degrees of Extro which indicates once more how biased society is these days. The first segment was an economics academic prattling on the economics of modern (?) marriage. Sex barter. It reinforced my observational hypothesis that economists and economics are whacked. The tenor was decidedly that women endure sex for the sake of something — anything? – else. 

I subscribe to Wrangham’s cooking model of marriage: men stay around for the cooked food. And sex is mutual beneficial, it provides the women with offspring and the men with gratification. Not only does it make more sense, agree with my observations better, but anthropologists, in my observation, are less whacked than economists. 

The second segment dealt with social media courtship. The proponent was some sort of business analyst who kept prattling about her excellence at maths at what I took to be about the level of high schule algebra. Definitely teleological and not at all scientific. But at least honest trial-and-error correction approach and as close as they came to any aspect of Intro. She also did a better job of exploring the external versus internal dimensions of courtship. 

The last segment was a man who sold himself. On the stock market, not the meat market. The stockholders voted on his courtship. And his wife-to-be bought him. Blatantly Extro. Revoltingly so, in fact. Nauseating. At least to Intros. 

But then I thought about the upcoming election and the politicians courting the electorate. And all three of these folks came off amazingly honest and above board. No blatant lies. Like saving jobs that are going to be eliminated by the economy anyway – and wasting taxpayer funds. And doing things touted as benefiting the voters which actually sicken them and shorten their lives. 

So even the Extro tummy wobbles are better? It seems so. And there is cooked food involved that is edible. Unlike politician fare. 

Another datum indicating I should be happy to be ORF.

Sleep and Such

Once more into the boundary of week out. The outer boundary. And another pseudo-shabbat. So we have to endure all manner of superstition and mysticism on the media but tomorrow will be mundane day and we may resume a modal trajectory. The temperature was not as low as threatened by the weather beavers but whether that was the usual, not-polar-vortex, weather or just being early. Sometimes the temperature continues to fall after Sol becomes visible due to increased wind. 

I did a bit different this week out. Finished a podcast episode of “The Linux Luddites” rather than the usual to provide both variation and incite cogitation. The noise was definitely more amenable. Less self-discussion of the nonsense and stupidity being uttered. But the learning material was quite different.  And the thought processes.

Noted an article [Link] that claims that seniors get adequate sleep but don’t feel it is enough. Hockitus non est! Been that way since I was in my fifties. And haven’t had a dozen good night sleep since heart attack. I am of the opinion it is about brain chemistry although the article says naught along that azimuth. So my discontent is unabated.

I was rather befuddled that the O’Bama would name a justicer as tsar of Ebola. I can see not laying the duty on a medicalist but why not a nicely fascist military guy? The kind who can order firing parties unblinkingly. If history teaches us anything it is that the rule of law functions negatively during epidemics. For the bogs, that means that being strictly legal during epidemics gets more people killed. Of course that may be the administration’s intent. They may think the country needs to lose a sizable fraction. And a lawyer can have all the nice paperwork drawn up to implement martial law and firing parties and all that, all nicely legal. And they can probably find military guys to do the dirty deeds and leave the tsar to bleed?

After all, the black plague was the womb of modern democracy, wasn’t it?

Sturgeon’s Prize?

I ran across this cartoon:

yesterday in an email. My initial thought was that I am not sure I quite agree with the father. My second thought was that the Peace Nobel, while not about nerdery but instead Nobel’s haunted conscience, is still a worthwhile prize. In that it is like the others. It recognizes some accomplishment. Admittedly, the peace Nobel is considerably more subjective in that regard than the nerd prizes. But none of them are any more than recognitions on a subjective level that the recipients have done something. In the case of the nerd prizes there is some substantiation of the accomplishment so only the selection is subjective. But the peace Nobel is completely subjective and that, in a sense, makes it a lesser prize.

Of course, we may argue that the peace Nobel is more important than the nerd Nobels since they only recognizes things or ideas while the peace prize enhances the survival of the species. Arguably.

But then what do any prizes matter? If we agree with them we nod and smile a bit and if we don’t we ask “Why did that ferd get the prize? Must be politics.” The recipient gets a bit of attention but happily can soon escape most of the notoriety as soon as some media facade acts irresponsibly for attention. Modern society is unable to give attention to positive role models

Which brings we back to the cartoon. I suspect I would be more concerned if my child got the peace Nobel than not. Occasionally they give it to someone who has done a great service to the species but usually it is politics or statement or some other manipulation. And that kind of attention is not healthful.