Cold Out There?

Gad! A foul night. And I sorrowed for the fowl. Watched a crowd of wee birds engulf the watering bowl I service in warm times for them and the tree mammals. But the outdoor taps are now shielded up for the season and the horrible temperatures last night precluded any refilling. 

On which matter it is 20 degF as I write this which is a good 4 degF lower than predicted by the weather beavers. They did this last winter, overestimating the minimum temperature, and it made for some stressful and frightening times. When one lives in PTSD of ruptured water pipes, such errors are dangerous. But my tap dripping seems to have prevailed last night with the only penalty being an absence of REM sleep after midnight. And a lot of achy this morning. But a stout shower bath has helped and almost steeled me to assay forth into the exterior world on a variety of errands. 

But given that stress some good news needs be recognized. First, that the Repodenialist Tsar of the Yankee government lower house of thieves legislature has rejected draft legislation that would impose sales tax collection on the internet.[Link] I suspect that the real reason for this is unmentioned, that collecting sales tax on the internet will damage it irreparably. I have this vision of the lord high mayor of Greater Metropolitan Arab dispatching an Arab police constable to Maine to extradite some Maine entrepreneur who makes some craft stuff that he/she sells on the internet and can’t afford the overhead of capturing taxes for all the petty villages and shires of the Yankee republic. I am not sure who I feel more sorry for, the constable or the crafts-person?

In a sense this is rather analogous to Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express”. If enough people commit a crime then none are punished. If commerce is too dispersed then tax collection fails. This is why taxes and cities go together. Or as my Great Uncle George would say “doesn’t matter how hot the knife eventually you can’t spread the oleo any further.” uttered – he claimed – during the days of rationing during the Great Patriotic War. 

The second is that the powers of FOSS have defeated the corporate barbarian Groupon who brazenly tried to steal a long standing FOSS trademark.[Link] I personally was quite in favor of the use of tactical fusion devices on the headquarters of the vile capitalist pirates. One of my other colleagues was in favor of enforced sterilization of the staff and their offspring so that such evil can be rooted from the gene pool. This colleague also has conventional religionist leanings.

The combination of the two indicate one troubling thing: capitalism and democracy have become incomparable and one must cease. I fear war is inevitable.

But then my brain is addled from too little sleep and too much temperature deprivation. 

Passive Defense

Survived the expedition to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. Miserable. I already hate winter. And I didn’t even have to drip last night. That’s the worst, short of an actual burst pipe and thence NO water. I have reached an age where I can endure no electron potential difference easier than no water. 

Dripping means no REM sleep. The taps tend to shut themselves off so I have to make rounds every couple of hours to adjust them. Which messes with my head chemistry. Heck, winter vertically copulates all of my chemistry. If my nose is not running unceasingly then it is clogged and I wish it was. And I have to lubricate almost everything.

Needless to say my morale is somewhere between non-existent and negative. 

I’m going to wander off and grump to myself. Perhaps a constructive blot later after the joints are broken loose?

Passive Defense

Survived the expedition to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. Miserable. I already hate winter. And I didn’t even have to drip last night. That’s the worst, short of an actual burst pipe and thence NO water. I have reached an age where I can endure no electron potential difference easier than no water. 

Dripping means no REM sleep. The taps tend to shut themselves off so I have to make rounds every couple of hours to adjust them. Which messes with my head chemistry. Heck, winter vertically copulates all of my chemistry. If my nose is not running unceasingly then it is clogged and I wish it was. And I have to lubricate almost everything.

Needless to say my morale is somewhere between non-existent and negative. 

I’mgoing to wander off and grump to myself. Perhaps a constructive blot later after the joints are broken loose?

Good Addiction

Fawg! Real fawg! Not that stercus uttered by Weather Beavers when there is enough aerosol to see but the visibility is several miles. Real can’t see five point something football fields (American, that is) fer the white goop, not the red. Driving to the edge of Scant City, where it went away, was a lovely exercise in last-man-on-Tellus emotions. 

And the podcast! An episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” consisting of a lecture by A. C. Grayling on liberties.And incidentally, how the relgionists will always cheat and enslave us. But excellent mundane day fare. Which gave me cause to contemplate whence I go with with the new book.

Which led me once more to think about maths and bogs. In keeping with the old saying that “there is no royal road to learning”, there is no special maths escalator for bogs. Or anyone else. But I am entertaining the conjecture that the problem is that bogs are unable to embrace maths because that would make them not-bog and they are unwilling to abandon their current pathetic lives. I ran across an article [Link] entitled “Are we all really THAT BAD at math?” and immediately found a lovely case study of bog and maths. I was particularly taken with some of the article:

“Oddly enough, I got my best grades in math and science. It was mostly because I was a quick formula memorizer. I could plug and chug with the best of them. But there was very little practical application for what I “learned.”

Ask me how to calculate the cosine of a right triangle or, well, to do pretty much anything I learned in calculus, and I’ll give you a blank stare. Heck, just ask me why I would need to do those things, and I’ll give you a blank stare.”

Yes, there is no practical application because you haven’t learned enough. The memorization is inescapable. Until you can learn enough to actually work real problems all you are going to get is memorization and fake problems. That hopefully reinforce the memorization. Expecting to do anything with high schule maths is about like seeing a picture of a screwdriver and expecting to assemble a motorcar. Or a plasma cannon. 

So blame part of it on the constricted hose of high schule – public education in general – education. You aren’t going to learn much maths in high schule. Maybe the equivalent of one semester in college. And then, if you’re a bog, you’re going to avoid that. I forget how many bog seniors had deferred college algebra – a course most nerds place far beyond in college – and suddenly found themselves mousetrapped into a no-graduate situation. Several even offer pittances to take the tests for them.

The only way you learn maths is the way you learn anything. You have to go beyond. If you stick with what they teach in public schule then you are doomed to be an ignernt bog. And yes, that is maybe redundant. I find it amusing that bogs embrace athletics and practice (learn) for a lot more hours than they are in class. But ask them to put in extra hours on maths or science and they act like you want to neuter them. As if learning athletics is somehow exalting? Other than endorphins, of course.

So don’t cry to us when you fail, bogs. You did it to yourself. With help from your parents, who are just you a bit older and not wanting you to be better than they. And teachers who don’t know any more than they present – if that – and don’t want you to know more than they. And a schule system that is more interested in good order than good people. The only road to STEM is doing more than the system provides. Mediocre schules produce mediocre people. Bogs, in other words. And all schules – public at least – are mediocre. So it’s up to you. 

Creativity Sought

Halfway through week out. Saturday was a medium day. And the temperature this morning was almost high enough for a constitutional. But I stayed home on the stationary bicycle and listened to the remainder of an episode of “The Pen Addict”. The podcast has improved a bit recently. A couple of weeks’ alternates made me receptive that they hosts have cleaned up their grammar a bit; there are still egregious errors but the frequency is down. On the negative side they still can’t get the RSS download files named right and I have to download and manually rename so overwrite doesn’t bite me. And the fire seems to have departed the whole thing. Or maybe its just doldrums of a static marketplace?

I have found out part of why I miss the constitutional. Some work at Stanford [Link] indicates that walking generates creative thinking. I suspect I put this in the academic affirmation pile. After all, Darwin was a great proponent of the creative benefits of walking. But then biologists and psychologists are not always very cooperative. So I now have to consider if I want to try to retime my constitutional or not? Or reposition? And is there any indoor place to do so? At least in Greater Metropolitan Arab. 

While we’re on creativity, I ran across this cartoon:[Link]

some time ago and have been slowly, mentally, masticating it. Or its ideation. I have finally settled on the conjectures that this is all about bogs and how they aren’t nerds or geeks. Although, as we know geeks tend to have all sorts of whackadoodle ideas – that’s part of their endearing charm – but they seem to have an extra strong capacity of disbelief suspension and can revert to rationality upon need. 

But it also rings to me of how whackadoodle our education system is choking off the flow of information to students so that they have to wait until college to really learn anything. And maybe not then in modern factory colleges. But I was impressed that the cartoonist had some inkling of just how complex magnetism is. Most people think it is simpler than electricity, all because of paper and iron filings.

OK. That’s it for now. Since I’m trying to write another book I have to save some creativity mana for it. More later if I get depleted.