Smilodon Missed

Yesterday was hospital day. It served as a stern reminder that for any given sample the likelihood of it being negative, zero mean, of course, is the same as being positive. And regenerated the outlook that putting things at risk are unavoidable and hence we need to accept a certain level of risk to exist. 

Nothing – I hope – permanently wrong but it was rather stressing for several hours. Largely due to some hardware failures. Which led me to reflect on the differences between the FDA and the Yankee army. Not saying one is better than the other, but instructive nonetheless.

No gym nor constitutional today. Just fatigue. Physical and mental.


Alienation or Prevarication?

Which is worse: a journalist interviewing another journalist on a technical subject; or a journalist interviewing a STEM on that subject? Bear in mind that the STEM has to recast his knowledge in what he thinks is understandable by his visualization of Joe Public, and that the second journalist has taken what a STEM has told him/her and cast into journalist-speak.

This question arises because this morning when I listened to an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” that covered the health perils of sedentaryism, the moderator did this by interviewing another journalist. Not a physician, nor a physiologist, or any STEM. A journalist.

The response to his questions varied from a cacophony of cliche to astounding inaccuracies. The most egregious was the definition/description of what an accelerometer is. If I had not know the definition before, I would not know now. I was unsure for several minutes whether to weep or laugh. I finally selected the former.

This is not news. The vast preponderance of observational data replicates this abysmal situation. In the mode, journalists are STEM incompetents and are destructive in representing STEM to the public. 

The other side is not without peril. Most STEM try hard to communicate with the public and fail miserably. They either cannot simplify or simplify too much, in either case alienating their audience. 

But the question is, which is worse, alienation or error? 

This is a great unpleasantness. When I was a bairn I read several quite good STEM books written by journalists. No more, at least that I can find. Evidently competent journalists are an extinct species.

Wasted Youth

Much grrr brrr about the appearance of Luna. Harvest moon last night. Amazing what the bogs choose to miswonder about. Not that I suspect they wonder very much. Denial seems to be adamantine. But the news mongers on the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver probably needed some positive filler to divert from the failure of the nation’s political system. 

We now have a fairly strong hypothesis that politicians are anti-democracy. Every test in the last couple of years has been resoundingly positive. Amerika is now a dictatorship of the partei

But not much I can do about that, any more than the weight bouncer bullies that were happily sparse in gym this morning.

There is also some indication on why the bogs are so irrational and wayward. Work at Boston U indicates that difficult scientific concepts – they used natural selection as an example which is a bit mystifying since it isn’t difficult – should be taught children at an early age, age 5-8 rather than 13-18. This is academic confirmation of something the nerds have known for quite a while. Bogs pretty well quit learning after the third grade. Especially the jocks and the other gammas and deltas. 

So can we expect  the educationalist system to change and incorporate this. No. Resoundingly NO! Because most of the teachers don;t know what natural selection is and if they did they wouldn’t teach it because it violates their religionist delusions. So the only place this is going to do any good if in furrin countries where there is some rationality and smarts in the schules. At least on the back side of the desk up front.

Not a bad morning so far. The gym was only moderately crowded and the weight bouncers were only moderately harassing and intimidating and the educationalists were actually rather restrained. The only negative, per se, other than the non-absence of the previous two categories, was the podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” about Moses Znaimer’s ‘Ideacity’. [Link]

‘Ideacity’ is a technology (???) conference that bills itself as TED for Canadia. It live up to that if TED stands for ‘Technological Entertainment for Dummies’, which is what the American TED conferences are, a bunch of bogs and not-quite-geeks trying to be nerds. And failing. 

This episode definitely obeys Sturgeon’s rule squared: 0.99 crap. In the duration of podcast I heard exactly one accurate thing – the issue of big data, corporation, and individual privacy – and a lot of blatant inaccuracy. And that’s across three presentations. The one with the robot loaded with a human was egregiously a failure. Makes me hope that I just die and turn to goop. Easily the most horrible representation of Singularity I have experienced.

And I had to listen to some other bog prattling about how wonderful GEN Ys are because they are digital. If they’re so digital why can’t they do anything? Why do I, a GEN X nerd, have to continually be doing IT support for GEN Ys who can’t even understand how to interface with a wifi access point? Or format a hard drive. Or add memory to a computer. Yes, they’re good at using digital appliances like FaceScroll and Twatter but where is their technical competency? So far as I can tell they’re just as bad, in the same proportions, as GEN X. Bogs are bogs whether they are analog or digital. And almost all aren’t helpful.

Another sad thing? This episode is the first of four. I will sample one more. And if it’s the same pile of pony poo, with a pony so small that the like hasn’t been seen in millions of years, then the ERASE button on the MP3 player comes into play. Happily. Ridding my attention span of digital rubbish. Rotting digital rubbish. That will never turn to peat. 

In other news – HA! – the aerosols are back. When I got to gym the wind was quite refreshing but it evidently slacked while I was perspiring, and being bored/alienated/harassed/…, and when I emerged, there was a stiff haze. Might have been a light fog but I don’t think so. Luna was quite visible, which shouldn’t be if there were fog, with an aerosol scattering halo that (approximately) doubled its radius. Very attractive. Almost pure pony. So I thought about Debye potentials and Diran Dermendjian all the way back to castellum SCP.

I was also put in mind of a cartoon: [Link]

that I ran across earlier. Fun, I fear, for nerds at least, needs to be brief, punctuated. Otherwise it cloys and ceases to be fun. Like that podcast. 

Stercus Ice Cream

Better this morning. Less aerosols, largely due to more wind, and hence a lower temperature and greater heat dissipation during constitutional. 

Since it is Sundae I need to do some bits of clearing tabs. So to start, a rather ambiguous article [Link] about the continued relevance of eMail. The ambiguity arises because the article starts by claiming that eMail is still viable and necessary and then wanders off to talk about its demise by plugging a specific product that seems to fail in providing the scope described in the early-on article. 

In a sense, eMail i like Listerine. It’s an unpleasant necessity. It is also, arguably, the earliest manifestation of the internet. Perhaps it’s the bedrock and one can’t get rid of it without getting rid of the internet? It’s the price of commerce? I always enjoy it when journalists start claiming that we can exist without necessities. We don’t need air, breathing is a luxury. One has to wonder how they manage to think so and how their editors let them continue? Perhaps because editors of journalists are just as bad? Or it’s part of the entertainment. I recall several years ago one local news program did quite well primarily because the chief female news reader made so many outrageous errors. People watched to see what she would do wrong.

Next, I read [Link] that meal preparation is stressful. Really? Did you actually believe all that propaganda from the media that idealized home life. Or did you stop to think about the theories of that Hahvahd perfesser Wrangham that the only reason men stay in family organizations is because of the cooking? So if you are a cook and the stability of your social organization (and life style) depends on the cooking, of course it’s going to be a source of stress. Duhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Next, a study [Link] from a Bahston medical institut that indicates that prayer by unknown people has no effect on health. Evidently prayer for the sick and afflicted has some benefit only if the sick/afflicted know the prayers. This makes a somewhat whacked sense in that if you don’t know the folks praying for you you don’t have any trust in them. Or something. 

But it is amusing how the scientific methodology is compromised to avoid saying religion is ineffective. From my perspective the science is pretty well compromised by the social concerns.

A UN report [Link] that 0.1 of all women are raped by age 20. If there were ever a good reason to require everyone to carry a firearm, unless granted an official exception, this is it. Better a bit of death than this evil continue. 

I specially saved these rather nasty bits for Sundae. Somehow it seemed appropriate. 

Saturnine Humor?

Heavy haze this morning. The average bog would call it a fog but I think the visibility is a bit better than a kilometer. If nothing else the particles are large enough to see so there aren’t enough to really cut the visibility down. 

But there’s no wind and the heat capacity of the air is quite high so I got a bit heated during my walk. Of course, as I noted yesterday, the lack of wind is part of why there’s aerosol. 

Despite this, there is quite a bit in the tabs to inform and amuse. First, I find out [Link] that Alibam failed to make the list of “The most abnormal states in America”. Mississippi made it, but not Alibam. That seems abnormal in itself, especially that the term abnormal is misused in both instances.Mostly because the authors – MegaHard types – don’t talk about how they configured their effort to be statistically sound, which likely means it isn’t. Read TRASH and STERCUS!

Next, and this one [Link] is so funny that I hurt from rolling on the floor, McDougal’s is transforming itself into Burger Monarch. Sounds like the military: if you can’t beat them, become them. Sorry, guys, but I don’t do either, Don’t do McDougal’s because back when SCPdatter was a bairn the only “restaurant” she would eat at was them. And I apologize for the abuse of the word “restaurant”. But someone might be upset if I used the term “swill trough”. And I have decided to not ever visit Burger Monarch again since they have decided to do a tax bug out and commit treason. So until the corporate executives face a firing party, they are off the visit list. Not that I will be missing much: excessive sodium; excessive cholesterol; excessive fat; inadequate taste; excessive free radicals;…..

And lastly, a cartoon: [Link]

I have to admit I don’t see the problem with the NFL part. After all, as Fitzgerald would note, they are hardly gentlemen, and aren’t they mostly gay these days? At least that’s what the media is portraying in their coverage. And the violence is either angst or compensation? 

But nerds have always been cool. Geeks are cool too, but less so, just because there are about an order-of-magnitude more of them and so the cool is diluted. It’s the bogs who haven’t been cool, except among themselves, and that is entirely angst or compensation. So yes, bogs are obsolete but necessary. Society will always need deltas and even gammas to do the nasty things that have to be done to keep the machinery working. So the only real question is why are we wasting medical resources on an individual whose mental defects can’t be cured?