A refreshing morning. Courtesy of the weather, the temperature was sufficiently high to satisfy my cardiologist’s conditions and I was able to venture to the park for a constitutional. The wind was relatively still so little cooling and I was well bundled and had a new headlamp so I was well appointed and situated for the walk. All I had to do was stay on the path, not destroy my MP3 player, and marshal my thoughts.
The first was easier, largely because of the headlamp, which, despite rather shoddy construction I would not expect from an outfitter like Eddie Bauer (C), was relatively bright. The second was difficult. The podcast this morning was an episode of the Pen Addict [Link] that was rather egregiously grating. The discussion on this podcast varies between putz and ferd and the grammar is exceptionally bad, so much so that the grammar of most other podcasts becomes withstandable by comparison. But the discussion today was excessively oily and false-ringing and I was only glad that my stomach was empty. I never cease to be amused that this is supposed to be the best of the pen podcasts although that amusement was sorely strained this morning. Still I primarily listen to this as a means of diverting my conscious attention during constitutional since the podcast is usually lengthy enough to encompass three constitutionals and I don’t have to waste good podcasts when I can’t stop and appreciate the discussion.
Which is not to say that they do not have some useful information but it is almost always in sidebars or unscripted bits.
But the illumination did raise a new variation of one of my recurring disquietudes. Tonight is the spring shift to daylight savings time, that left over wartime expedient that the Yankee congress refuses to adjust to the desires of the citizenry. I suddenly realized that a measure of their perfidy and selfservice is the absence of any accompanying legislation that would compel clock manufacturers to automatically adjust their clocks for this delusional torture.
I will spend a bit of time tomorrow going through Castellum SCP adjusting clocks. For this transition the effort is small since all clocks set forward easily. It is the sheer number and diversity that is the problem. Other than the computers, only the few atomic clocks reset themselves and each has a different reset procedure, a failure of our Congress that should be dealt with by requiring congress critters to reset clocks for their constituents.
The real pain will come in fall when the clocks have to be set forward 23 hours since most clocks can no longer be set back.
I take up the cry of criminalizing partisan ship and shudder to behold the dark tomorrow morning. All to placate and titillate a bunch of obnoxious schmucks.
Three degrees. That’s what kept me from walking in the park this morning. Three degF. Sometimes I think I am entirely too much of a rule follower, especially with respect to my cardiologist.
On which note, I recently ran across an article [Link] entitled “When Friends Tell Friends to Use Linux”, which we may primarily translate as when we try to tell Winders users to get freedom. I have learned not to have the discussion with Apple users because its a waste of time. And frustrating. I have also learned not to expect anything from the Winders users except rejection, whining, and abject terror. At least 0.9 of the instances. So Sturgeon’s Rule applies.
I read an article a few weeks ago – don’t have the citation – written by an European who lamented how Amerikans were cognitively lazy when it came to computers. Again, I think Sturgeon’s Rule applies, as does Bose-Einstein condensation. Something like 0.1 of Amerikans use Linux and/or putter with Raspberry Pi or Ardunio or even real electronics and/or make stuff and/or ….. and 0.9 are MegaHard serfs or Apple mind slaves. And they tend to clump together. So the serfs and slaves are out-group of the Linux/rPi/Ardunio/Maker/… folks and visa versa.
Some of it is corporation servitude. They use Winders or Apple OS at work and have to cling to it at home. And the ones who do stuff: want to write Python code; or play with rPi; work ten times as hard to do so with Winders or Apple OS. One of my colleagues, otherwise a quite rational and striving nerd, spoke at great length about how hard and long he had to work to get where he he write Python code on his Winders box. From experience I didn’t tell the short tale of open Synaptic and install Python (if not already) and an editor and go at it. Five minutes with coffee in the loop. His fox hunt took days and lots a baying and fence jumping.
Some of the obstacle is learning. For some reason bogs quit learning sometime between puberty and children. And the ones who do still learn don’t learn useful stuff, creative stuff. Just social stuff. Mostly. And for the geeks and nerds, new and mildly complicated are orthogonal in this respect. When I try to tell serfs (or slaves) how to install a Linux distro it’s no more complicated than a recipe for Sunday dinner but they look at the list, all of it alien to the modal Winders/Apple OS users, and bolt for the coffle closet.
So I have pretty well quit trying. In a way its like explaining physics. It’s about as simple and fundamental and basic as you can get but almost everyone, including other discipline nerds, think it too complicated and HARD and act like they’ve seen the attack rabbit. Even if I’ve offered them the holy nuclear hand grenade. So I let them be bumpkins. It’s an old Southron tradition and it took me a while to accommodate it. Still haven’t completely but I’m working at it.
Which is more than most are doing.
Incidentally, that accommodation is also orthogonal to most christianists. For them I have found that a spray bottle of skunk essence is an effective antidote.
Ran across this cartoon [Link]
the other day and was reminded: All Advertisements are Lies!
Is the Crimea Putin’s Sudetenland?
Yuck. A mediocre night. Had to drip. Only up twice to check faucets and did manage to get to the gym this morning but the minimum temperature foretold by the weather beavers was considerably off. This winter has definitely damaged or destroyed what trust we had in the local weather beavers. Their temperature-time accuracy was worse than the NWS foretelling, which raises questions of why we sh0ould even bother with them at all?
And from that, why bother with the local news broadcast either? Most of the news is irrelevant and ridiculous, sob sister kitsch, or tardy spectator sports reporting that is a good time for a bowel movement or anything at all. In fact, a root canal might be preferable. So absent trustworthy weather prediction, what value local programming? Is this a sign that television stations are going the way of newspapers?
I have to admit to subscribing to the Arab Tribune, a biweekly, but not to the Huntsville Times. I gave up on the latter when it couldn’t find delivery people who were 0.5 accurate. Now they print fewer days per week than I used to actually get delivered. And considerably less news. So no loss.
Not that there is much news in the Arab tribune. Mostly advertisements and gossip. But the local governments – city and county- are internet blind and the only way to receive tyrannical announcements is via the newspaper. Not that I plan on continuing my subscription once the Tribune ceases paper publishing. For one thing, the internet is still not a legal announcement vector for government. And second, I don’t like reading news on line. At least not in newspaper format which is about all the publishers have imagination for. So I suspect in a few years local news will entirely disappear except for social networking sites and those are so transient and temperament/age dependent I see no way for adequate coverage. So the information age is fast going away. Too many pipes and not enough poo.
Write that on Amerika’s headstone.
Not a bad morning so far. A bit nippish but nowhere as heat deprived as the middle and aft end of the week, Or at least that’s what the weather beavers foretell and I suspect they are being optimist and misleading. The gym was pleasantly sparse although the podcast was a bit dull.
So I was in a very good situation to consider an article [Link] sent me by a colleague, Magnetic Inductance Force, about how natural scientists are more intelligent than social scientists. I am not sure of this, personally. It seems to me rather like comparing one type of fruit with another. Are biologists less intelligent than physicists because they can’t do maths as well? Are biologists more intelligent than economists because what maths they can do they get right? I am not sure.
From what I have seen, intelligence quantification is somewhat arbitrary and subjective. Not to mention that intelligence itself is poorly posed and worse defined. It seems rather like measuring the mass of a proton with a postal balance.
Having worked with other STEMs, and I think I can, on an individual basis, extend the appellation to include social scientists, I know that their smarts – I shan’t call it intelligence – is different from that of natural scientists. In facts, mathematicians are different from physicists from chemists…….. So there.
But I am still not convinced that bogs are actually intelligent. Or even sentient.
But A good morning so far. The weather beavers are foretelling temperatures well below the phase change for the middle to end of the week and I have scant doubt they are pulling their predictions short to avoid a mod storming their station. Despite this I bundled up and ventured out to the park for a constitutional and it was enjoyable until my back began to complain about the winter inactivity cost.
But I had chance to further consider a cartoon [Link]
that I happened on the other day. In my case I am a bit older since the day of the hand held calculator started when I was in college.
A convenient starting point might be the spring of 1966 when TIME magazine broached the subject of the existence of the deity: [Link]
It is intriguing, in a warped human way, that the question was posed as it was. The idea of the deity, especially in the christianist sense, at least in Amerika, was so ingrained that it was impossible to posit that all our grrrr brrrrr might have been merest superstition and mumbo jumbo.
This was not mentioned in high schule. We had prayers uttered at most gatherings but no mention of denomination or any of the things that cause riots and head bashings. Such were reserved for teacher disciplinary actions. I have long entertained the idea that the primary reason for competitive elitist athletics in public schules is to have stalwarts with strong arms to wield the truncheons. But in the fall we went off to college and the matter was at least discussed in dark corners, away from the fanatics of the various religionist centers adjacent campus, whose buildings seem to rival the actual campus in size and number, by people who inquired of things they could not inquire of previously.
Skip ahead to the fall of 1971. I was a graduate student at the Campus of the Boneyard. And every STEM graduate student, and many of the upper class undergraduates, had an advertisement for the Hewlett Packard 35 calculator [Link]
taped to a wall for easy admiration and dreaming in idle moments. Seldom has a thing so riveted a population. The mania, strangely, even spread among the faculty. This was indeed a thing of great wonder. A rechargable calculator that would do nerdish number crunches, like logarithms and trigonometric functions, and fit in a (large) pocket (the actual leather case had a belt loop, unknown to us until years later.,) far beyond the scope of even a twenty inch slide rule. In one fell swoop the desk straining Frieden and Marchant calculators were obsolete and the numerical practice of STEM created anew.
The phenomena was nationwide, if not planet-wide. All STEMs of any metal and merit wanted one of these and alternately asked Santa Claus and the deity for one. Except for a few faculty with trust funds or extravagent but thrifty wives (STEM faculty were all men in those days, except the rare woman in maths or biochemistry) and undergraduates with doting but wealthy parents, all were disappointed. And in that season the outlook of young STEMs everywhere towards Santa/deity changed a bit, fulfilling the nature of TIME’s question. In that brief period, and courtesy of the innovation of two STEMs named Hewlett and Packard, the STEM conception of the role of the deity, like the nature of STEM itself, changed throughout the social segment. And in the terms of the cartoon, all because of the technology of a hand held calculator.
Well should we remark on it.
Marvelous. Actually warm enough I got to venture out to the park for a morning constitutional. Of course, I was more bundled than Nanook but it was a good experience.
Also good was an article [Link] I ran across that supports my repeated impression that Alibam is a third world state. Turns out there actually is some statistical data that indicates Alibam really is repressive, antediluvian, oppressive, feudal,……………
This is not satisfying. If one smells blood and finds oneself in a slaughterhouse, perception of accuracy is not satisfying. And now our council of thieves is off again oppressing women and those who are not mind ridden by superstition.
Alibam used to be a good place to live, mostly on account of the climate. Now, because of the denialists, even that isn’t the case.
Social media is all abuzz about the committment of Remington to bring a manufacturing facility to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. The reactions are either resoundingly positive or resoundingly anti-gun. My reaction is suppressed laughter.
The laughter is at the humor of the situation, how a community founded on engineering excellence has degraded itself into rot and ruin. In days previous the Huntsville community, which styled itself the “Rocker City”, built rockets that took humans to Luna (and back!) and missiles whose probability of kill given a hit (Pk|h) was 0.8 or greater by design.
Now they are giving great effort and voi9ce to a company the manufactures weapons – firearms – whose Pk|h is in the range of 1E-03 to 1E-06. Way, three to six ORDERS FOF MAGNITUDE less lethal. And the Huntsville community is excited to have such ineffective weapons manufactured there?
Perhaps they should change their stylization to “Maiming Capital of Tellus” since that’s what firearms are good for. Their Pm|h is about 0.5 or so.
And that’s why I am laughing.
Somewhat belatedly, I noticed over weekend that the CVS drugstore chain has announced they will cease to purvey tobacco. What makes this noteworthy is that this is proclaimed as a morality matter. Which is intriguing since organizations not only don’t have morals, they almost always also don’t have ethics.
The reason given for this withdrawal from the marketplace is that tobacco causes all manner of diseases. So far, accurate. But if they are ceasing to sell tobacco because it causes diseases that kill humans, why are they continuing to sell foodstuffs that are laden with salt, fats, and other ingredients that cause diseases like obesity and heart disease and such? Have they decided these are not fatal or are morally (?) acceptable diseases? And what about homeopathic remedies that don’t cure any diseases? How can they justify such morally since they have discontinued selling tobacco on a moral basis?
I rather suspect that the profit of tobacco is marginal to their business and the demographic askew to their business model. In effect, they don’t want to sell tobacco because it doesn’t make them enough money and the people who buy tobacco don’t spend enough overall in their stores. Which is obviously a quite moral basis of decision. Not enough profit and the wrong clientele has always been fundamental to Amerikan social morality as reasons for exclusion, persecution, and abuse.
Isn’t it nice to know that greed and evil are still rampant among Amerikan corporations?