Sundae Cherries

Whacked week out. This should be outer boundary but since tomorrow is a holy day, the celebration of labor by not-labor – yes, it is a Yankee government holy day; the conscript parents of Alibam don’t believe in not-labor, especially for the serfs and slaves – so tomorrow which should be the start of week in is only somewhat that. But today is still sundae so it seems fitting we may comment freely and rationally about irrationality and superstition.

But we can also expect things to be a bit of ‘hawgin’ because I need to trim some tabs away.

I ran across a rather intriguing article [Link] some days ago, entitled “Anthropology and Christianity”, which is apparently some sort of shill for a book on the subject. These are both subjects that interest me, partly because I took an anthropology track as an undergraduate and partly because my parents subjected me to all sorts of upliftment – not in the David Brin sense – as a bairn. The author’s tack, as might be expected, is that the two are diametrically opposed. Happily he does admit to being inaccurate. In fact, his summary is rather uplifting,

“When anthropologists today glory in their discipline’s rejection of faith they often have in mind a very specific form of belief: a highly judgmental, narrowly sectarian version of religious commitment that condemns the indigenous people they study as totally cut off from any positive, authentic spiritual knowledge and experience.”

This comes rather close to my own views, which is surprising since Anthropology in recent years has been on a denial-that-anthropology-is-science shtick. My thing is testability. If something is testable and you don’t/won’t test it then that is denial and mysticism and superstition. There are things that aren’t testable, either because of technology limitations or fundamental unsuitability and the latter at least are valid domains for arational faith.

Too many religionists, not just christianists, flatly demand that their beliefs not be tested. Some of this is insecurity; some is greed; some is something else, fear perhaps. Fundamentally I view all of these as bad reasons.

I also have a couple of cartoons to dismiss. First, [Link]

I was rather taken by this cartoon. It is one I follow mostly because of the brilliance of the artist. This seems to be rather a nicely done criticism of bogs. The misuse of “dumb” is a red flag.

This all follows from what I was blogging recently about bogs being shallow but wide ranging in their knowledge whereas nerds are deep but discrete (and not in the behavior sense.) Attention span is related to this. Bogs tend to have limited attention span-time for knowledge. This is largely why they are wide but shallow. Nerds, on the other hand, have great temporal depths of attention span which goes with their depth of knowledge.

The second cartoon [Link]

is related. It also refers to bogs, in this case particularly, to Amerikan bogs. These are the people who tell their children that they will never use algebra after taking the course in high schule. And despite the adolescent rebellion, they do take this to heart, and dismiss their minds, and the nation is third world when it comes to maths.  If it wasn’t for cash registers made in Asia, Amerikan bogs couldn’t do money. Not that they do it very well.

Which gets us to Adam Frank’s article [Link] in the New Yawk Times on science denial in Amerika. One more aspect of our national race for third world state. Or perhaps the “Marching Morons”? Although he doesn’t say it but it appears increasingly likely that that denial is going to get the species extinct.

And in closing, one of my readers has asked me to identify the science podcasts I listen to. Being somewhat lazy, I shall just list the week’s podcasts on a modal basis:

  • Mundane day: CBC’s “Best of Ideas”;
  • Two day: Guardian science podcast, science segments from NPR, and SCEINCE;
  • Woden’s day: CBC’s “Quirks and Quarks:;
  • Thor’s day: Linux podcast: either Linux Luddites or UK Ubuntu podcast;
  • Freya’s day, Saturn’s day; Sundae: “The Pen Addict”

I have some alternatives for when these are unavailable. I have not included the links to these since they are easily found with a bit of web search.

Go forth and find frozen yogurt, ice cream if you are a mutant.

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!

Morning Musings

Listening to the political commercials this morning – all Repulsian – I have to wonder how we elected this combination of Adolph Hitler and Atilla the Hun  to be POTUS. The answer is, of course, that Alibam didn’t elect him; they elected the Repulsian capitalist oligarch tyrant.

But now that he has settled into his second term, I have to wonder how Alibam politics is his vilification? How can the folks in Muntgum, themselves lackeys of Alibam oligarchs, make such comic opera treason with straight faces?

But they do.

And because of that I have come to understand why they can get away with being climate change denialists. It’s because the second civil war will occur and kill off millions before the climate change gets to that stage.

Chinese curse in action.

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Maths Malaria

No cat killing last night. Evidently this is a perversion that the conscript parents only indulge in occasionally. But there was rain this morning and so I had to suffer that during my constitutional, along with a return to the usual walking podcast, the one about writing implements with the execrable grammar. My experimental podcast proved to be spending the entire episode prattling about exterior defecation when I was expecting some science stuff. Although in semi-relief they did maunder a bit about Adolf Hitler having Parkinson’s. But if all their content is stercus and vir sterci, then I don’t want to waste my time on them.

Speaking of time wasting, I ran across this cartoon: [Link]

yesterday and it struck so home that I had to include it today. This is part of the curse of Amerika. Most of the population of Amerika is maths averse. And, horror of horrors, it doesn’t compromise their reproductive capabilities so we can’t get these clots out of the gene pool.

I have noted it is particularly the case with politicians. They seem to have the condition doubled. Which explains much about  what is wrong with Amerika.

After writing that I can blog no more for now. The sheer disgust of the handicap is compromising my cognition and composition. I have to go read an integral table or a maths text for a while.

Unsuffered Sadly

Today is anti-Fools day so it seems fitting to recognize some, those who spring immediately to mind, who qualify as such:

  • Anyone who has to do with professional basketball. This one has the merit of including both fools and stupids as well as being amusing since almost anything that damages the perversion cancer that is spectator sports almost certainly benefits the survival of the species;
  • The multitudinous folk on FaceScroll who have the grammar skills of children who flunked out before getting to high schule. Intriguingly these folks are aware of their inability since they are very insecure in the face of corrections but do everything they can, physically, emotionally, socially, and cognitively, to avoid improving their skills. This leads to the hypothesis that a substantial fraction of humanity is simply incapable of learning grammar and raises the question of whether the population of FaceScroll is demographically balanced or biased to these people; and
  • The folk at Marshall Medical North who compose the text for their on-campus commercials. Their skills seem to reside around the level of a eight year old who has steadily ingested lead based paint since infancy. It can’t – likely – be the folks who do the IT there since IT folks have relatively good composition skills as a group. It cannot be said to be amusing since it occurs with such frequency as to rival acute hemmorhoids of the mind.

More to come later if I have time enough for cogitation and blogging.

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Bog Rot

A dark and stormy night. Well, not that stormy. But precipitous. I arose about 0230 to observe the eclipse and all I could see was overcast and the refraction of street light in the droplets on my glasses. So I returned to bed and almost failed to arise. Gym was blissfully sparse, the present weight bouncers were civil, and the podcast episodes, especially the SCIENCE one, were up to expectations: SCIENCE was deep and exacting; NPR was boisterous and slippery; and the Guardian was romantic.

But in and around that I got to spend some attention span on morning – early morning – television and the rather higher density of advertisements. Or am I just jaded later and don’t notice the nasty things.

Anyway, I have been reading several articles lately about how modern life, i.e., the internet, is causing us to become more stupid as a society. I have been ready to credit this somewhat since it is now almost impossible to have intelligent discourse with a GEN Y old enough to have a “smart” cellular telephone. They are ignorant, defining smart in terms of what they can find with their phone, quite ignoring the fundamental untrustability of the the internet.

It may be argued that this is not surprising. With the rise of social networks, bogs have become boggier, if such a plague is possible, and even geeks have become less avid collectors. I have even been accused of paranoia for not accepting as canonical that the internet is eternal and eternally available. Living in the hinterland reassures me daily that neither is accurate.

But having observed early morning commercials with even more egregious prevarication and inaccuracy than later commercials, it occurred that this is less a matter of fooling somnolent individuals than preying on the ignorance of the GEN Ys. I intend to do an informal survey but my testing hypothesis is that they are orthogonal to these flaws and errors. And there is likely nothing we can do but resolve ourselves for the collapse.

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