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.

, ,

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.

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!

, , , ,

Discontinued Distribution

There are times, I am told, when only violence will settle a problem. No, I don’t mean pogroms or what is inaccurately called genocide. Since the only genus we have left is homo, what with the Romans being reduced to not a city state, so genocide only applies if we are going to extinguish humanity. Which is a bit much for this nuisance.

My primary gripe with Linux is upgrades. They are the riskiest aspect of using the OS. They are what almost completely generates the term “nuke and pave”. Which I hope is self-explanatory? 

Anyway, I have been doing a lot of N&P (hopefully that is also self-explanatory) the last year. Mostly due to a combination of hard drive failures and something really whacked in an install of Ubuntu with KDE grafted on since Unity is so painful and aproductive. But for the last two months I have been getting increasingly stressed as a new Long Term Support release loomed, arrived, and I waited for the upgrade release.

Several years ago the hassle of selling actual media got to be too much for Canonical, probably offended some financial delusion of Saint Mark, and they started trumpeting the idea of direct by internet upgrades. Updates direct by internet were working pretty well, as they still do, but that’s nominally a few Mb rather than a few Gb! But they offered downloadable CD/DVD image files of the upgrades as well.

That turned out to be a necessity for me. Being a good user, I tried the direct by internet upgrade. I forget the numbers but it was one of those half-year things. If failed spectacularly. I downloaded a DVD image of the new release and did an N&P. Six months later I tried again and again downloaded a DVD image of the new release and did an N&P.

Thereafter I downloaded an upgrade DVD image and that worked pretty well. But when the next LTS (Long Term Support – read organizational version) came out I camped. And when a new LTS came out every two years I downloaded an upgrade DVD image and upgraded.

This year they announced that they were discontinuing the upgrade DVD image. Exclamation point. I was left with three choices: do nothing – not a good security strategy; try the direct internet upgrade; or N&P. I opted for the latter since if it failed, as I expected, I would have to exercise the third anyway.

So I did all the back up stuff, engaged the upgrade process, and it failed spectacularly!  The good news is that I now have statistical significance! The direct by internet upgrade process does NOT work! At least here in the hinterland. The other good news is that I am cutting ties with Canonical. If they can’t support me minimally with an upgrade DVD image then I ain’t going to support them. My deskboxes are now Ubuntu-free. They are still running Debian based distros but not Ubuntu based. And the few lapboxes I have still running Ubuntu based will be replaced as I can touch them. 

Canonical, you are herewith discontinued in Castellum SCP. The pony to poo ratio has finally gotten TOO low!

Not Programming

Still rather shy at the gym. Strange? Quite low temperature this morning, at least for August. More like October. Omen of busted pipes?

I ran across this cartoon: [Link]

the other day and I took reflection on it. I have come up with the conjecture that DVRs (and microwave ovens and like appliances) are deliberately manufactured to be difficult for everyone to program. I asked several of my programming colleagues, the actually acomputate folk, and they all reported that they had problems with appliances. Not as much as the acomputate, but some. The consensus is that the “programming” interface is not designed but a hash constructed by someone who knows how the hardware works but has no idea how to interface with humans. From there the opinions diverge, ranging from the organizational klutz who cannot be permitted to interact directly with the hardware to an intern who is likely related to senior management but has no other credentials and must be given something that appears important but isn’t.

Regardless, the result is the same. An interface that is almost unworkable. The closest we could come up with was the programming interface for a nerd calculator, probably not RPN, but we all agreed this was a poor comparison by at least 10 dB. No calculator interface is as bad as the best appliance’s. 

So actually “programming” a DVR or other appliance is indeed bragging rights. Unless one is some form of idiot savant.

I was pleased to hear that one of the IT types had started a project to develop a way to connect appliances to computers and actually program them. Using real programming tools. Great idea. Won’t work for bogs. Good reason to proceed.

Scoundrels and Scalawags

It is still strange. Gym very shy this morning. Including educationalists. And schule, I am informed, is resessioned. At least the podcasts were amusing. The primary, the Guardian’s science podcast, dealt with superintelligent AIs destroying humanity. And claiming Asimovs laws to be rubbish.

Speaking of which, the recyclage was finally collected yesterday. Three days and then some late. And no communication from either city government or vendor. Complete moral and ethical failure. So perhaps it would be better if superintelligent AIs did extinguish humanity. It often seems we are nothing but a plague on the planet.

And politicians are the worst of the germs.

, ,

Harsh Taskmaster

Back to week in. And maybe schule resessions this week? Anyway, the gym was decidedly uncrowded although there were less than a hand of educationalists there this morning and they were not noisy. As much as their want, at least. And the podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” was passable, dealing with Thucydides’ writings on the Peloponneseian war.

Last evening was sufficiently dire to make today seem promising. The Arab Electron Uncooperative did their favorite thing and go hide in a dark place once the first whisper of thunder could be heard in Greater Metropolitan Arab. And, of yes!, they took their electrons with them. So no potential difference nor flow for an hour and a half. Happily the precipitation had weakened since flooding nearby Stephen so that all we obtained was a cooling wetting. Albeit in the growing gloom. All thought of observing Luna were forgotten in a desire to restore operation to the paraphernalia of house. 

I noted this cartoon: [Link]

over weekend, and it seemed rather appropriate for the situation. “Reality is a harsh taskmaster” and that applies to Arab Electron Uncooperative as well as to all the rest of us inhabiting this universe. 

Now we await some indication of what happened to the collection of recyclage that occurred not over the week out. Government is still in disgrace for both violating trust and failing to communicate.