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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Sad Crunch

I rather hate to step on pine cones, those reproductive macrogametes of the ubquitous Southron pine tree. The reason for this is two=fold, a lose-lose situation.

Pine cones fall in a collapsed state and once on ground and under the proper meteorological conditions open up and free the seeds within. In the latter state they are at once delicate and attractive rather like some ornamental thing blown by a master glassblower. And once opened up, they dry and become quite brittle.
And in Nawth Alibam, they are as close to ubiquitous as superstitious (and obnoxious) christianists. So just walking from one’s house to the motorcar or the mailbox is a bit of a minefield dance to avoid the things. And if one is distracted by actual thought, admittedly a rare commodity here in the old Confederacy, especially among members of the Alibam Council of Thieves, it is a simple search calculation that one will step on a pine cone (or several) as one walks from point A to point B.
If you step on a pine cone, and it has been previously trodden and hence, crushed, and one is an ORF or even just clumsy, then they are just large enough – usually – to provide a substantial probability of relieving one of one’s balance. So as the children’s rhyme goes, “All fall down.”
If you step on a pine cone, and it is untrodden, then the crushing emits a hideous noise of breakage and wonton destruction. In some ways it is worse than losing one’s balance because that noise seems to exemplify the human practice of abusing Nature and destroying the environment. Falling down is almost preferable other than the significant probability of crushing other cones in the process. And, of course, the difficulty of arising. And abating the impact damages. 
I am told that there is a firm in Jawgah that collects uncrushed cones and anoints them with wax to make a thing for easily starting fires in chimneys. I also remember that while a bairn in loer schule painting cones and anointing them with painted stickerburrs to make solstice tree  models. I am unsure of the goodness of either of these activities, neither of which seems to be permitted to long survive by humans. 
(I am getting closer to having my primary deskbox replaced and then – hopefully – will be able to have spell check on blots.)

Falling Freya

Into week out. And I squeaked a constitutional in the park. Got back  half an hour ago and the dihydrogen oxide is just now beginning to fall. Evidently the weather beavers didn’t get the time line quite right. I can excuse that. Turbulence tells! Just get the temperature extremes accurately!

I was glad to see the return of the Big Bang Theory program last evening. I don’t expect much from the television apparat but selling out to the roundball perversion was mentally nauseating. I can only rationalize it as the result of tertiary syphilis among the network executives. The only question is whether they got it on their own or it was passed to them in utero

My colleague, Magnetic Inductance Force, was regaling me about his correspondence with the maker of the SCIENCE podcast. Evidently he sent in some constructive criticism about the podcast episodes getting too short – which they have been – and ended up with a useful dialog. I have to agree that this is the sort of thing that makes SCIENCE podcast first among. Not that the journal itself isn’t anal retentive and Sturgeonish, but the podcast is definitely good. Which is surprising since Amerikans can’t seem to get the hang of podcasts. The other English speaking peoples do, but not Amerikans. Perhaps this has to do with having a dysfunctional political system?

Speaking of which, how do we start a petition to recall all congress critters? And have a national referendum on the matter. Given that most are approved at the local level but don’t function nationally indicates that some change is needed and I would prefer it not wait for armed violence.

Meanwhile the Alibam council of thieves has adjourned so at least they won’t do any more damage for a while. And in the interim maybe the Yankee government justicers will correct some of their vandalism.

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Jock Itch

Being an alumnus of the campus of the Black Warrior and the campus of the Boneyard, both colleges with spectator sports, I find myself in a bit of a quandary over the recent decision by the Yankee government that college football (American heresy) players can unionize.

The first order, proper disrespect response is a resounding approval. But my second thought is what happens now that the fiction of college jocks actually getting an education is declared null and void? Does this mean the end of college spectator sports? Or does it mean that the players are now employees of the college and are held to higher standards than the students are?

I have not subscribed to the fiction that college jocks are actually students. The same goes at the campus of the Black Warrior for most Greeks as well, some of whom are also jocks. But the fiction has resulted in a system that works, albeit poorly, and now it seems that the system has to collapse or change.

The obvious change is to eliminate all but intramural athletics. That way the whole pay-to-play aspect goes away. And while some revenue is lost much of it is evened out by the dissolution of the costs of coaches, scholarships (sic,) and other instrumentality. And by the way, education may actually benefit. Those who come to college to party can just skip college and go directly to professional fanaticism and college will be left for the people who actually want to learn stuff. And the few who want an education.

Not going to happen. Sadly. That little bit of “profit” is too inviting. Especially to the politicians who can slight their educational responsibilities by claiming the funds come from spectator sports. So instead the money is going to be diverted from education to paying jocks who aren’t students to pretend to be students and play. So education loses. And the nation loses.

I fear that the Yankee government has really sabotaged what is left of the college system in Amerika. That may be a good thing. Waiting Is.

I also have a bit of a bleeding heart conflict. I read an article about TOMS shoes yesterday. Seems it is closely related to the campus of the Black Warrior. It’s also a BOGOG – Buy One Get One Given – business. And as much as I admire that, it suffers from a common problem of show companies. It doesn’t make my shoe width.

I feel cheated. Doubly.

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Internet Prevarication

The lowering of temperatures has begin. While the temperature was greater this morning than last, the convective cooling was greater and more miserable. And the weather beavers are foretelling nastiness overnight.

The gym was again blissfully shy of bullies. Even the staff bullies were somehow restrained as if they lacked critical mass to sally forth and bludgeon the seniors in their usual fashion. The podcasts almost made up for it in the form of being TOO short. SCIENCE was below 20 minutes. NPR was down to sixteen. I am going to have to find other ‘casts or change my program.

One of the NPR episodes had to do with some anniversary of the internet. As is usual it was riddled with errors, inaccuracies, prevarications, and poor construction. It did strike me however, that the lesson we have learned from wireless (radio,) television, and the internet is that stercus, not cream, floats. As a result all three media have become as bad as they can be at any moment with a steady increase of bad over time. Wireless today is garbage, television is a collection of all the varieties of porn except biological, and the internet is a carnal pit of capitalism and greed. And they will get worse.

But I am still laughing at the fool who announced that we had to learn not to save what we liked on the internet because it would be there forever. Well, we now know forever is awfully short.

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Local News

Yuck. A mediocre night. Had to drip. Only up twice to check faucets and did manage to get to the gym this morning but the minimum temperature foretold by the weather beavers was considerably off. This winter has definitely damaged or destroyed what trust we had in the local weather beavers. Their temperature-time accuracy was worse than the NWS foretelling, which raises questions of why we sh0ould even bother with them at all?

And from that, why bother with the local news broadcast either? Most of the news is irrelevant and ridiculous, sob sister kitsch, or tardy spectator sports reporting that is a good time for a bowel movement or anything at all. In fact, a root canal might be preferable. So absent trustworthy weather prediction, what value local programming? Is this a sign that television stations are going the way of newspapers?

I have to admit to subscribing to the Arab Tribune, a biweekly, but not to the Huntsville Times. I gave up on the latter when it couldn’t find delivery people who were 0.5 accurate. Now they print fewer days per week than I used to actually get delivered. And considerably less news. So no loss.

Not that there is much news in the Arab tribune. Mostly advertisements and gossip. But the local governments – city and county- are internet blind and the only way to receive tyrannical announcements is via the newspaper. Not that I plan on continuing my subscription once the Tribune ceases paper publishing. For one thing, the internet is still not a legal announcement vector for government. And second, I don’t like reading news on line. At least not in newspaper format which is about all the publishers have imagination for. So I suspect in a few years local news will entirely disappear except for social networking sites and those are so transient and temperament/age dependent I see no way for adequate coverage. So the information age is fast going away. Too many pipes and not enough poo.

Write that on Amerika’s headstone.

A State of Evil?

The peopling of the Americas has always been a fractal of mysteries. A great part of the mystery is embedded in current societies. As a nerd, I find the objections of descendants of earleir emigrants to science to be obstructionist and mystically petty. Hence I was surprised and pleased with the “news” of DNA sequencing of a human of Clovis culture.

The results are, as often are, emotionally charged and mixed. Yes, current Amerindians are descendants of the Clovis people, but the Clovis people are themselves related to humans who dwelt in central europe. So yes, the remains are an ancestor but current Amerindians are also the same humanity as the hater “white” man.

I have to admit that I am continually puzzled by all this “race” grrr brrr. As a child growing up I was exposed to the whole spectrum of old confederacy prejudice towards those who are not (adequately) “white”. I vividly recall the paired drinking fountains in the Woolworth’s downtown and the striking differences in the school environments. But I also recall noting that (a) the whole idea of difference was specious and just plain garbage, and (b) that if I wasn’t careful to hide that attitude I would be injured or killed by those who did not perceive as I did.

When I got to college I was pleased to learn that the whole concept of “race” is absent any substantive scientific validity, but this did not improve my understanding of the concept, especially as it changed from being righteous to sinful. I use that terminology carefully because the whole “race” rhetoric seemed to have some religionist context; it could only be used in a pronouncitive, derogatory fashion, immenable to discussion or analysis. “Race” was bad, never mind that we don’t know what it is or that it is specious, I have decided you are “racist” and therefore BAD.

I realize this is not unusual among bogs. They consistently do things based on an absence or actual contradiction of data. It is, sadly, in the nature of bogs to do so. I see no way to alter that situation short of extinguishing all bogs and since that means extinguishing the species, not an action to be entertained. And sadly, it seems that such attitudes are also anti-science and themselves apparently contributing to the extinction of the species. So not only is the concept of “race” outside of comprehension, it is also detrimental. Simply put, whether righteous or sinful, “race” as a meme has a negative effect on humans.

And we still don’t know what it is.

Internet Value 4

Another middling night, above the phase change temperature, and hence this morning to ablutions and the bicycle. Now back to the internet.

I am not sure there is much left. In its original form, the internet was supposed to be a means of communication and data exchange among creative STEMs. That, of course, is a minor positive in that there are other ways of doing the same. Admittedly there is a convenience to email and file transfers that makes that minor positive rock solid.

Sadly however, the internet has been corrupted with so many unSTEM, uncreative people that it is almost impossible to move STEM data about any more, so that minor positive has been largely eroded by kitsch and gibble. I suppose that if one evicted all those parasites then the utility of the internet could be restored but I suspect that is an idealistic pipe dream that sublimates in the fierce glare of actuality and irreversible social thermodynamics.

In that illumination, it is clear that the internet lacks any real value. Sadly, it will not dissolve away but continue as the money leech of capitalist oligarchs and those who would destroy the species for a profit, the kind of people Stalin talked about who sold rope. And in this context the efforts of FOSS and EFF and such like are nothing more than speed bumps on the road to extinction. But it is notable that lemmings to not discorporate in place but run great distances before plunging.