Puritan Heat Death

End of week in. No gym. Slept in till 0430. Must be Friday?

On which azimuth I ran across an article yesterday about the end of work. [Link] The idea is that robots/computers will take over so much of the work load that our current situation will be turned head over heels.

Right now we have about 0.1 unemployment, rough order of magnitude. It appears this is pretty well a magic number that has to exist for society (and civilization) to operate. But as is, it is a matter of great political and social hand wringing and garment tearing. Whether due to our Puritan work ethic or just New Deal propaganda, we have the idea that everyone should e employed. Every adult, that is. Except the retired. But not the infirm or mentally or physically unable. They;re just slackers and parasites.

Now let’s turn that upside down. How about 0.1 employed? That’s 9 of 10 without work responsibilities. The very idea brings Hobbesian shudders to the average Amerikan. They can’t imagine how society will function without honest labor. How can anyone live without earning money. Horrors!, everyone on welfare. Everyone white/black/… trash.

I have to admit I can’t imagine it very well either, but I can’t buy the idea we are all going to become gentlemen/lady philosophers/academics/crafters/……. Mostly because 0.9 of humanity are bogs and bogs don’t do those things very well. They especially don;t do intellectual things. So can we expect an increase in violence, gratuitous pursuits, and shortened lifespans?

Probably.

This is a good topic. Lots of room for cognition. Not clear it is good for the species.

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P/p ~0

So far this morning, the pony to poo ratio has been very low. And yes, I am writing this from a lapbox. Details to follow.

Rose this morning and off to gym. Low human density, as is usual on Thorś day. Listened to an episode of he Linux Action Show [Link] the sixth in a trail. They failed. The podcast will be dropped from the accumulator and erased from the MP3 player. Simply put the podcast is too much ¨Dude” talk, unrestrained extrovertism, and too little of relevance to Linux use and care. There is also atendancy to excessive profanity of a rather gratuitous sort.

Then I returned to Castellum SCP and the poo emerged from the quantum foam. FD SCP has medical draws this morning so she was sleeping in and I was charged to awaken her about now. I began my ablutions and had completed the brushing of teeth and was about to shower when the Greater Metropolitan Arab Electron Uncooperative [Link]discontinued the electric potential difference for a moment. That was the first of many. As I was typing the last, the tenth interruption was executed.

Amazing display of incompetence, eh what? Number thirteen! Number sixteen! The putz with this counting! It just gets deeper and deeper.

Is this some conspiracy to make us associate with Sandy?

Decade Theatrics

Back to the in week routine. Gym this morning and an episode of CBC’s “Best of Ideas”, this one dealing with the memories of a woman biologist who specialized in giraffes. Not modal in the least. And the density of educationalists low, making this a good session.

Frankly, after yesterday I needed some calm. Overall, I found myself identifying with the Doonesbury cartoon, which was the only one among my regulars who criticized the media for exhibitionism, which was extreme. I also came across a PEW poll [Link] that seemed not at all at odds with my own outlook.

I recall where I was that day, and how I felt. Since then I have been exposed to more data dealing with the human and organizational behavior. On the one hand there is much to be honored and respected, on the other much to be criticized and someday eliminated, especially the fascism that has grown up since.

Quite frankly, the sheer bulk of commonality on the audio-visual electromagnetic receiver yesterday was an insult to the memory of the day. By such extreme coverage and redundancy and cacophony, the events of the day and the deeds of the people were belittled and diluted.

This was disappointing but not disillusioning. If anything it was upholding of the basic absence of honesty and integrity, to say nothing of good behavior, of the Amerikan news media. The only thing upheld yesterday by their programming was their own greed and arrogance. But I would rather have had my opinions of that estate not be upheld; rather I would have appreciated some surprise from dignity and compassion, but there was none, only acting and falsehood.

So ten years in, have we forgotten? I think not. As a matter of interest I ran some comparisons of numbers. The loss of human life that day compares most closely, among my data set, to Pearl Harbor. The difference was the ratio of civilian to military. The numbers were much less than Gettysburg or Vicksburg, much greater than Lexington and Concord. The magnitude does not exalt or belittle the event. We cannot forget that everyone discorporates and most are innocent of guilt when they do. A count of deaths is not a measure of the enormity of the deed.

Nor is the amount of self-serving television programming. Memorials are best kept brief and intense, not droning and dulling. Ten years ago was an infamy, yesterday was an embarrassment.

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Reverse Management Notation

HP seems to be sagging more rapidly than Mubarik’s government. Not only have they dropped Web OS, [Link] but they also seem to be dropping out of being a PC manufacturer. [Link] So what are they trimming themselves down to and why?

I hate to say this but this sounds suspiciously like one of those money ‘management’ descending spirals of pruning off low earning appendages until noting is left but the executive suite, which is immune despite its negative cash flow.

It is sad when a good company is killed off by poor management, especially so for HP. Few companies can stand up and claim to have made a difference. HP can. Evidently making a difference is no longer viable in the present.

I doubt that HP is essential. Others will build the stuff that is needed. Perhaps not as well, or as well made, but good enough. But I can hope there will be chapters in management textbooks, the modern equivalent of Peters and Waterman, not about how companies are made good, but about how they are led to slaughter.

A suitable question seems to be how long we can continue to exist as a society when the manufacturers no longer try to sell the best product they can but only worry about how much profit they can make. It may be Hobbesian, but it isn’t sustainable.

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Odor of Rat

Well, we seem to have weather the holy day, whose principle aspect of goodness seems to have been a good drenching rainstorm yesterday afternoon. I returned happily to gym with only a few bitter words about any exercise facility that sees fit to be closed on weekends and holidays when people have the leisure and time to exercise. And if the beer stores can get people to work then the excuses of giving staff time off at gym is specious in the extreme.

But while we’re on this branch of nonsense, I note that in and amidst all the combustion confusion at Los Alamos last week they had an electric power failure because a squirrel attacked a transformer. [Link] The question that immediately arises is whether Los Alamos has its own squirrel ranch or do they get shipments from the squirrel ranch run by Arab Electron Uncooperative?

I tend towards the former. Somehow I do not see a great economy of scale in raising and transporting squirrels to excuse electric power outages. But I do have to contend that it is a less good excuse than here in Greater Metropolitan Arab. After all, Nawth Alibam is replete with bumpkins and hicks, particularly acompetent subspecies of bog. But Los Alamos is almost as nerdy as Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill, power is part of their shtick, and do we seriously think a bunch of boffins would design a power terminus so it could be sabotaged by a tree rat?

Or then again, is designing such beneath the attention span of boffins?

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Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

Last night I was observing the local ‘news’ on the audio-visual electromagnetic receiver. One of the episodes was a film and a bit of near meaningless yak about tornado drills at a local shul. I was struck by the similarities of the drills back in the ’50’s, when I was a student, for nuclear attack.

This rather makes sense. After all, both exert a temporally weak impulse (mitigated to weakness by the atmosphere) of a pressure wave. The end result on the buildings, except for the glow-in-the-dark factor, is the same.

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