Cusp in the Anger Landscape

Back to week in and gym. And strangely quiet today. The holiday – bastard that it is – must be wider ranging than I thought. Even the educationalists were in scant density.

The podcast was an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas”, an interview – first part – with an old style anthropologist of the female plumbing type. She related a visit to Canadian/Alaskan native people – a LONG visit – that occurred about the time I entered high shule.[Link] The stories of her educational travels through college were instructive, being in many ways parallel to my own, and giving me further insight into how today’s educational (sic) process has become over regularized and uneducational. No wonder he GEN Y thing a diploma is an education! I also got some insight into the aversion, even then, of anthropologists for theory and theory making.

I have to admit that I find such views foolish to nauseating for a science. Perhaps this does indicate why the anthropologists are now saying they are not a science? Perhaps they have the integrity and honesty to admit that if they cannot bring themselves to transcend individual atoms of data they are not actually a science but just a scholarly pursuit? If so, this gives us new perspectives on what is stamp collection science.

The people she lived with, arctic circle band size or so, do not display anger beyond a certain point in childhood. They evidently greatly fear it, or at least the killing that it leads to. And she talked about her own anger and the heavily hidden anger of those she lived with. And how the group kills people who do not “fit in”.

It then occurred to me, despite the taboo on theory, that the group lives much closer to a survival cusp (maths catastrophe theory) than does our society. This would seem to be due to an interplay of (small) size of society, its strong social interdependence, and geographic location. But what resounded from this was that these people limit their violence to stay away from that cusp. And this might apply to other peoples.

This brought me to consider all the grrr brrrr these days with gun ownership as a means of controlling violence. I have held previously that such will not work, that the advantage of widespread gun ownership is that it keeps violence to a simple, containable form. Take away the guns and tomorrow it will be IEDs in Amerika. But this is a new wrinkle. If accurate, it indicates that the members of society tolerate violence to the extent that it does not move them too close to that cusp. And since we are far from the cusp – all the arguments are not about violence, they are about death – any efforts to control violence by restricting gun ownership will be ineffective and wasteful, if not propagators of worse forms.

Who sez froo-froo podcasts aren’t useful?

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Dust Bunnies

Clean up of some of the outliers once again. First, I note that MegaHard had a bad first quarter of the year. [Link] They were down compared to first quarter last year.

This is a bit major. It’s the first time MegaHard has taken a decline in sales. They give an excuse of the global recession but that doesn’t quite sound right. Could it be that the fiasco of VISTA has finally come home to haunt, complemented by the changing nature of computer users. That is, users increasingly define themselves in terms of what they do on a computer and what clients they use to do those things.[1] As a result, what OS you use is not defining, especially now with virtualization making cross OS clientage more common.

I read in Matt Asay’s blog/column [Link] that this dip is due to MegaHard buying its dominance in the netbook (itty-bitty-lap-top) market at savage cost in revenue, a sort of economic empire overterritorializing. I can’t pose a cogent argument against this, especially since the MegaHard dominance in netbooks is illusory since with the possible exception of Dell, who loads UBUNTU on one of their netbooks, I cannot find anyone who abides the Linux installed by the OEM anyway. So the real numbers of netbooks running something other than Windows are not observable from manufacturing and sales statistics. Indeed, since MegaHard is taking a hit on Windows on netbooks to the point of pricing Windows netbooks less than Linux netbook it only makes sense to purchase a Windows box and do the mind transplant in the time honored fashion for Linux users.

On a close sheaf of that bundle, it seems that it is relatively simple to shoehorn the Apple OS onto that Dell netbook. [Link] This is especially titillating given the recent tantrum pronouncements from Apple executive management (see earlier blot) that Apple doesn’t do netbooks. As before, I am not sure what their ‘air’ series is if not mediocre netbooks. If anything that particular Dell with the MAC OS is a boon for MAC users. They get their OS and clients of choice on a box considerably more capable than what Apple offers for several times the quantity of official Yankee government portraits of dead presidents.

Speaking of boons, it now appears that there are some health benefits to being a weight lifter. [Link] Other than the rather dubious, traditional advantage of permitting old jocks to carry around bigger beer bellies, it now seems that moderate weight training is actually good for you in reducing blood pressure. Afterward, not during, of course. Just don’t celebrate by going out and celebrating that reduction with all sorts of fatty, salty foodstuffs.

Nexy, while we’re on jocks, some research at Temple University [Link] seems to give some insights into their violent inclinations. Seems that they found similar inclinations in band geeks and math club nerds who also stay after shul under less tightly supervised circumstances. It isn’t at all clear how that is a causative, unless it’s a matter of having to repress natural behavior all day long is compensated for with a pendulum swing of violence. I’m also sorry, but that’s not quite enough insight and understanding. Quite frankly, there is no way a band geek or a math nerd is as intimidating and frightening as a jock. I don’t shudder around the other nerds and the bogs at the gym now, long past high shul age; the jocks are still intimidating and they talk about violence consistently. My anecdote trumps your academic study.

Although I do have to admit that a jock with a belly wider and deeper than his shoulders is not quite as frightening as it would be without the belly. But then if it wasn’t for those bellies how we would recognize the athletic heroes of yesteryear? After all,  nerds can be recognized by their eyeglasses and their pocket protectors, and those are lifetime observables. Perhaps old jocks should be required to wear athletic cups and garish helmets, and cheerleaders carry pompoms so that they can be adored in seniority as they were in high shul?

[1]  Tasks and tools? On a computer? But those things are supposed to be appliances, aren’t they?