OK, can we get back to some semblance of modality now?
FD SCP and I survived dawg sittin’ although I am still suffering from a bit of allergy reaction that – again – puts me in mind of both Lester Sprague DeCamp’s “Lest Darkness Fall” and the Gahan Wilson cartoon about life being better without dogs. Not that I really credit the latter, not after something like 15 KY of communality. But I don’t think I would pick dogs large enough to send me to hospital by nudging me and not large enough to ride. But the DeCamp bit still applies.
The cold front was again enjoyed this morning as I constituted through the park. And I managed to take the MP3 player with me this morning so I had a bit of a diversion as I attempt to increase my duration. The penalty is paid in the small of my back.
Speaking of which, I ran across this cartoon: [Link]
just yesterday and I was struck by its accuracy. Except for the last frame, of course. Let us face it, Gooey may be backed by a bunch of high tension pseudo-engineering, but it reflects a web that is predominantly bog and whack content.
Nonetheless, I do use Gooey, primarily Gooey Scholar, to help me survey what is going on in my micro-disciplines of research and thought. Of course, internet did not really exist when I was in graduate schule so from the get-go of internet and internet search, the pickings in my field(s) were extremely slim to nil and often whackoid stercus. Of course some of the people who put out that stercus hold that my stuff is stercus. And that volume has waxed and waned over the years as the search capabilities evolved and the internet rotted.
Yes, I am going to proselyte a bit that there was a golden age of the internet and it ended with Amazing and all the other internet commerce biggies beginning. The internet used to be about information. That’s why it was called the information revolution. Now it’s just about internet stuff and money. Yes, the revolution flopped. The new feudalism has arrived.
But to return to the cartoon, when I do technical searches on the stuff that I am doing research on, I get very few responses. And almost all of them – more than Ivory soap stats – are myself or people I know. Newness is the exception. And Gooey is almost useless. Because it tries to offer up money sites and that at least makes for a sort of galgenhumor. Like Stalin’s comment about capitalists. But there are other search engines that do better. At least in terms of not offering to sell me stercus. Stercus information maybe, and in small quantity, but not good and services.
But I haven’t broken Gooey. Simply put Gooey broke Gooey. Or rather capitalism and greed and all that good human stuff broke Gooey. And I feel not at all sad.
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.
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.
A moderate night. Below the phase change temperature but barely. And I did my tim on the stationary bicycle so I can now proceed with the day.
The road to “civilization” began with the desire for more gear (goods) and has evolved to the search for entertainment (diversion.) Somehow it seems rather a let down, but that is what the majority of humanity does, spend the bulk of its time being divorced from life.
And that, in large part is what the internet has come to be. It started with sharing “funny” things, like labeled cat photographs and has developed where there are serious political debates over whether preference should be given to the transport of entertainment files over the internet. So much for DARPA’s dream. Not that DARPA is very good at either dreaming or taking action on their dreams. They are more in the nature of the mathematician in the burning hotel room.
But the question is whether the entertainment on the internet, which apparently is at least half of it, has value? Is there value in diverting those who lack any form of creativity or will power from creating mischief? Perhaps. Is there value in preventing those who have creativity but inadequate will power from exercising their creativity? Only negative. Is it possible for entertainment to itself have value? Probably not, at least based on observation and history.
So we have a situation where entertainment on the internet has a value somewhere between zero and assuredly negative. In other words, maths words, non-positive.
This is beginning to get discouraging. Is my lantern too dim? Or are there really no honest men?
Not a very fun night. Got moderately unwarm. The weather beavers once more overestimated the minimum temperature. They have a long way to go in rebuilding trust. A VERY long way. And apparently no effort in that direction.
The brrrrrrrrrrrrr gave me occasion to contemplate the value of the internet some more. From its beginning – once it got out of the direct control of the Yankee government – it has engaged in commerce. In fact, even accessing it is a matter of commerce. So the question must be addressed: is internet commerce beneficial?
Note that this is not an efficiency question, nor it is a cost question. Efficiency in the marketplace has always been a question relevant to suppliers not demanders. Customers are never efficient, only gullible. And any savings enjoyed – apparently – by customers is irrelevant since only profit is a meaningful metric.
On this basis it is very hard to make a telling argument that internet commerce has social value. There were marketplace transport arcs and market nodes prior to the internet. If the internet were to go away these or equivalent arcs and nodes would reappear. So the transport aspects of the internet are not relevant to the question.
Except, from the standpoint of centralization. In much the same way as MalWart, excessive centralization is a negative. It depletes communities of their survivability by destroying their local economies and it makes them fragile when disaster occurs by removing local concentrations of goods and services. So in this sense, the internet is an overall negative. At least from a commerce standpoint.
We do have to consider whether the diversity of goods offered on the internet is a good. This is a bit denser. Unless the thing offered is a survival thing, the diversity is irrelevant. And we have to argue that if that survival thing had not been available in the local marketplace pre-internet, then those who needed it would have found a conventional source or lived elsewhere. But since it is now available on the internet, it adds to the increased fragility of the local environment and hence is actually a negative.
In summary, the internet of goods is a negative value. So our search has to proceed.
Is the Internet worth while? That may seem a ridiculous question given what all happens on the Internet, but the question is really about effectiveness and productivity.
At gym this morning, happily sparse and surprisingly warm for so unwarm a morning, I listened to a Linux Action Show podcast episode. This one had a segment on Canonical’s Ubuntu Edge cellular telephone. I have to admit to being more appalled than intrigued with the idea of a cellular telephone that would replace all my computers.
I have to admit to being rather negative on “smart” cellular telephones. The only merit I can attribute to them is that they are at least large enough that I am not having to move the phone constantly while having a cellular conversation so I can hear what my conversant is saying and then so the microphone can pick up what I am saying. Small may be wonderful but not for telephones; I need an instrument that reaches from ear to mouth.
Would I want an Ubuntu phone? Not right now. I don’t want an Apple phone and my Android is not too bad. It is hideously slow. My old IBM PC circa 1984 CE was faster. In fact it is arguably the second or third best computer I ever had. It was well made and its only negatives were no hard drive and too few pixels. The one after it, a Wyse AT was easily the best I ever had. The build quality was almost as good as IBM’s, it had a hard drive and a few more pixels. And I could get great things done on it.
Partly because it didn’t connect to anything. Except a printer.
As a computer, my “smart” cellular is about as useful as my Radio Shack mini color computer. Maybe less. The color computer certainly was faster and the programs, which I had to write myself, were faster. And the only thing it connected to was a television and a cassette tape machine.
Yes, my “smart” cellular lets me check simple emails, and my calendar, and lots of other things that depend on wifi access and a lot of patience. And it wastes a lot of my time, and aside from the telephone part itself and maybe the calendar, it doesn’t contribute to my getting stuff done. And the helter skelter nature of Android updating assures that every time I turn it on I have to waste time updating. And then I get to recharge. So the availability factor of the thing as a computer is around 0.5.