STEM NERD Writing 4

Not a bad morning. Decent if a bit too high temperature and absence of wind in the park but constitutional was bearable. And the podcast was endurable. But it did put me back on the subject of composition and mindlessness but along a different azimuth.

Back when I was in high schule, I was asked to make the halftime public address announcements for the schule band at (American) football half time. I had never done this and actually did not care for any form of athletics but especially spectator sports. Not that I minded the effort of athletics but I disliked the vicariousness of the spectator aspect, the contrived, artificial, meaningless importance of the competition, and the noxious festivity. It was therefore fitting in later life that mu daughter would be a cheerleader.

But I did like the band. Not the marching part. That detracted from the music but it often seemed that the only reason the band existed and music was taught at all in high schule was because of athletics. So I agreed. I then took very exacting notes of what I needed to cover and wrote myself out a script. And when the appointed time came and I was at the microphone, which I discovered had a noticeable latency, I discovered that I could NOT read my script. My handwriting was too poor for me to read it with divided attention.

I did learn from the experience. Primarily to make sure my legibility matched the attention I could afford. And I never tried to announce again. In fact, as soon as I got to college and saw how evil marching band could be, I walked away from that. Leave nonsense like announcements at spectator sports events to bogs, extro bogs at that. With good legibility.

But that lesson with legibility did take root and over the years had to be integrated in the whole idea of composition. In effect, that was the seed of the two part system of composition that I evolved. Write for content and key (type) for legibility (presentation.) Because two different aspects of mindfulness are needed and they should not be mixed.

But high schule never ceases to make me glad I am old.

Political Health

Once more to the edge of week out. This morning a fair constitutional. The weather was clement is a bit muggy and depressing but this after all the month of Augustus and that makes it a downer.

I noted last night an advertisement on the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver of the Democrud candidate  for guvnuh. Several azimuths. The usual political prevarication about jobs. But immediately a challenge over the state’s failure to do adequately in health care, the KEY failing of the state dermatologist and his Repulsian masters. But then he had to blow the WHOLE ting and talk about lottery. Lottery? In a bible thumper state? Has Tartarus had a phase change?

Still, I have high hopes that he can be elected just so he can stall some of the nonsense coming out of the state’s council of thieves. It has become embarrassing how hard they are trying to reinstate chattel slavery. Especially of women. 

Now I expect a lot of christianist harassment and nonsense in this state. It’s the price we pay for clean air. No, I can’t defend the logic but we do have good air and we do have nasty religionist fanatics. I await them any day starting to do head choppings. 

But I don’t like being dragged back into the nasty days of religionist totalitarianism. I know we have been a third world state in Alibam for years but this is getting really bad. 

I also find it amusing that the choices for guvnuh are two has-been physicians. But I do think we are in greater need for care of cancer in the state than acne.

MahJong GUI

Well, I survived the gallop to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. And the gym was pleasantly sparse this morning. More seniors than educationalists or weight bouncers. Not that any of us seem inclined to much converse this early in morning. Those who rise that early do not waste time in idle noise.

The podcast was an episode of Linux Luddites and the criticism of Canonical, Mark the Mokita, and the abomination that is Unity was delightful, putting my mind to consider the question of tile gui versus the conventional windowed ala Xerox SPARC gui.

I should comment that I do use a tile gui. Or rather, more of an icon gui. Evevry day. After all I do have a “smart” cellular telephone. It is not smart except in the definition that refers to the sensation of a wound. And it is rather painful. The gui is unpleasant, inefficient, and difficult, to say nothing of persistingly contrary. I liken it however to the gui of my HP calculators.

The form factor is quite similar. Even the modern calculators have better keys than the touch pad. I do not try to program either. It is enough struggle to get them to do waht I want without consuming my attention span away from matters of real worth. That, fundamentally, is the problem of til gui. They are so difficult to use that one must be mindful and thus one cannot have other thoughts than working the gui. Such a thing is quite all right for a motorcar or a main battle tank but not a tool. So it fails and thus do all tile gui seem to fail.

I was reading an article the other day on Make Use Of. I don’t have the citation because the article was worse than ground tarrantula hair. The thesis of the article was that everyone should use Winders because the majority did. It was an exaltation of being an asentient, irrational herd nebbish over any degree of individuality. The journalist was definitely a Katarina and I had no desire to spend any time and attention span further.

Is KDE/XFCE/LXDE/MATE/CINNAMON/… perfect? No, but they all are vastly superior – small number divided by zero – to Unity/Metro/Gnome3.


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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