Mind over Misery

The weather beaver on last nights evening news proclaimed that the snow is gone. I looked out my aft window this morning and beheld the verification of her prevarication. The snow is still with us. But at least I was able to sally forth yesterday and lay about at clods and villains. And as such I am not as spry this morning as I should like. But I am reminded of all the childhood complaints about seniors smelling of liniments.

Not much to comment from yesterday. There is a medium furor over the role of the Yankee government in managing the internet under Title II but I personally consider a known enemy preferable to an unknown one, or several. Asking whether we trust the yankee government is a relative thing. No we do not but more than we trust almost any ISP corporation. My only concern is what conspiracies they will hatch together.

This puts me in mind of a cartoon: [Link]

that I saw some time ago. This is a perennial theme of leader-follower fables. It isn’t mind reading. Rather, it is pattern recognition. What things does the leader/organization do and how and how can pain/suffering/time wasting be minimized by anticipating? This is one of the characteristics of good workers. The ones who can anticipate what is needed and have it ready expeditiously are good. Those who cannot are to be issue red shirts at the first opportunity.

It isn’t just about graduate schule but it does have a special significance in that setting. When a graduate student begins to know what to do before being told, what a teacher has yet to teach is diminishing. In effect, when this happens regularly it is time to write one’s thesis and prepare for defense. The rite of adulthood is nigh. 

The problem arises when the teacher isn’t good. This happens. Good and bad are situational, as we have discussed previously. But when one has a bad advisor-professor then this level of learning may never occur. And the sad part is that the professor is never at fault. That’s why we don’t trust the leadership and the organization. Because sometimes they are bad and aren’t good.

The other cartoon: [Link]

 

has to do with another aspect of being human. Our ancestors are still with us. So I wonder where in the parade the flag officers go? Between Neandertals and Cro-Magnons? No, silly. As everyone knows the flag officers don’t march in parade; they are on the reviewing stand.

And on that sorry note I rest.

Shredded Dreams

Spock is discorporate. Yes, I know the Hollywood oligarchs have tried to substitute a younger to continue but this is a blatant failure to those of us who grew up with the real thing.

I sat Kaddish last night. It seemed right. And I shall try to live up to the image if not the actuality.

The planet is lesser. You will be missed.

Snowphobia 2

The weather beavers foretell the end of (this) snow episode today. It has been tiring. But I am ready, more for an end to this travesty of a winter than anything. I don’t really mind snow. After all, it has to be (relatively) warm to snow. Its the ten+ degF below the dihydrogen phase point that I detest. It strains my health and my marriage. Not breakingly, more like defect enhancing. Sort of a Listerine thing. So I shall be happy to put that away for a few days.

Of course in the longer term, I give up the stress of frozen plumbing for tornadoes. Poor trade? I am unsure.

On being unsure, I ran across an article [Link] that some chaps at Cornell U have discovered (?) that there is less resistance to the phrase “climate change” than to “global warming”. This was particularly the case for Repro-denialists, less so for Demo-denialists and the unpartisan majority. 

I am not sure this isn’t sugar candy. It is increasingly evident that politicians are servants of their corporate sponsors and not of their citizen constituencies. The prevarications and propaganda claim otherwise but the rational observer sees otherwise. So while I don’t really care what you call the end of humanity on Tellus, the end state will not be changed. 

In a more relevant bit, another article [Link] is about work at Brown U that indicates that there are two different types of EXTROs. This differentiation is based on observation of behavior and brain scans. The article labels the two types as “people persons” and “go-getters”. The latter use more of their brains in some sense, although it is somewhat difficult to associate brain activity with EXTROs given their vast tendency to be bogs. And given the general distastefulness of EXTROs it is also hard to describe them as “people persons” when they radiate something that drives INTROs away. Sort of the mental equivalent of odor of skunk. 

But I think I can see the distinction. The alienation of “go-getters” is subtly different. The EXTRO pp are just off-putting; somehow false, facadish, and insincere, with a large component of can’t-do. On the other hand the EXTRO gg are self-serving, egotistical, and all talk but still can’t-do. But I may be missing something.

Ah well, anything that improves out understanding of EXTROs make avoiding and overcoming their inabilities easier. I am less certain that word wrangling will preserve the species. Especially since almost all of the Politico-denialists are EXTROs.

In Praise of Incompetence

Day three of snow. The mountain folk are now ignored by the lowlanders, especially those in Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill (not on the mountain!,) since their snow is well disposed. Ours is still upon us and we are reflecting poorly on a governance that spends enormous monies on holiday lights but nothing on clearing the roads. What pathology is this? 

I cannot say I am surprised at the council of real estate agents. After all, clogged roads are irrelevant to their interests – except perhaps flow of cash which is why they seek office. But I somehow expected better of the former civil servant now mayor. Is he bound and gagged in a closet in city hall to prevent him doing corps of engineers type stuff? The World Wonders.

At least the Arab Electron Uncooperative has not yet failed us. This is surprising. Usually they are utter cravens and drooling pensioners who pull the plug at the least sign of weather. Conditional kudos. 

Now, a bit of diversion. It seems fitting to start with a Register article [Link] that has the wonderful title “HAWKING ALERT: Leave planet Earth, find a new home. Stupid humans”. I particularly like the Stupid Humans part since it fits so well. It would be criminal to inflict the details on any politico-denialists or theo-fascists who might be reading – since Arab is predominantly populated with both of these degenerate types – but leave it be said that their type has made do-do too much in the wrong way and Tellus is about kaput. Not a new song but never tiring.

And on a lighted note, an article [Link] on how much a cloud (modal?) weighs. Well, masses, which makes a lot more sense. The boffins, if they be such, say a modal cumulus cloud masses 5E5 kg. Much bigger than the average airhead in Greater Metropolitan Arab. Probably not as large as the sum total of the masses of all the ferds and their pickup trucks in Arab. And sadly, they won’t float away to somewhere else. Or dump snow on the town. Instead they keep driving about on the snow and doing great damage with their pickup trucks. Not that I blame them except for their moral deficiency in driving while incompetent.

I have been cooped up too long and need to get out to relieve my humors. Not likely today according to the weather beavers.

Selah. 

Inside the Moat

Under siege. Castellum SCP is surrounded by an inordinate, for Alibam, depth of crystalline (?) dihydrogen oxide. And we have the firm assurance that the government of Greater Metropolitan Arab will not do anything to allay the situation. Oh, the constabulary have closed the roads but nothing will be done to clear them. Except perhaps hang lights on street poles. After all, not many people will be coming to look at houses to buy while the streets are closed so there is no reason to expend effort or money.

This is what comes of having a government of real estate agents. No concerns for the safety and welfare of the citizenry.

I have heard it advanced, I think by Greater Metropolitan Arab’s token Democrat, that this is actually a civic betterment effort. The idea is that despite the roads being closed, the town’s extreme ferds and nincompoops will get out in their pickup trucks, which they cannot steer not guide competently absent weather, and discorporate themselves thus cleansing the gene pool. This conjecture has several flaws. First, it assume that even real estate agents have human scruples. Also, that these ferds and nincompoops haven’t already reproduced. Both assumptions are specious.

And the whackadoodles who support the chief bigot with pseudo-coherent tracts in the local newspaper continue. The question they studiously avoid is when does denying people liberty and the pursuit of happiness become tyranny?

A good topic for thought on a day like today, because no matter how hard humanity tries, the evil in us cannot be alleviated, much less eradicated.

Quest for Books

Off to gym. Clear roads. Low density, zero weight bouncers and educationalists. Why does this correlate strongly with schule being desessioned? Podcast, an episode of CBC’s “Quirks and Quarks” was a hash of over-records so I had attention span to give to other things.

Observed on electromagnetic audio-visual receiver: Texas is still using prisons as asylums so if you are going to be mentally ill and/or a veteran, don’t do it there. 

One of my colleagues sent me a link to this picture

on the FaceScroll. This is a picture of the sowth side of the courthouse square of Huntsville. That was in the ’50’s or so when Huntsville wasn’t sure whether its future was continuing to do cotton or to embrace rockets and missiles and technology. 

The focus thing here is the building labeled T T Terry’s. I am not sure what all they sold here but I do know they sold public schule textbooks. Every year, I think in August, my mother and I and later, my brother, would go to the store to purchase out schule texts for the session. I am not sure of the economics of the matter; I think the state set the prices of the books. What I remember most clearly is a great unruly mob  of parents and bewildered, often evil, children rioting in place in a hot – horribly hot – building. I do not recall any rational system to the queuing except crowd dynamics. I do recall people, usually women, fainting and occasionally being trod upon. I remember a cacophony of unhappy, often violent talking, seldom paired in conversation. 

The people would inch their way to a long counter, attract the attention of a sales clerk, and state their requirements in terms of schule grade. Then the clerk would scurry off into the stacks and return with a stack of books. I do not recall the payment process but I think it was a separate queue and cash only; I do recall the difficulty of carrying the stack back out through a squirming, unhappy press of those not yet served. People movement was totally outside the care of the merchant. As were any injuries of customers. And, I think, any injuries of employees. I believe one of the clerks died of heat stroke one year.

By the time I was in high schule this system was long gone, replaced by a schule based system. But once I got to college I got to reacquaint myself with the process albeit at the Alabama Book Store at the campus of the Black Warrior. 

I also recall a more leisurely process in the summer of buy back. This was a less subscribed system since the fall exercise was so onerous, parents bent considerable effort to identify some acquaintance who had a child a year advanced so that a private deal could be struck for books. 

I also recall this was long before highlighters, those fiber pens with slightly glowing (?) inks for accentuating segments of text. In those days all we could do was write in margin or underline. I never did this. I think I was admonished by my mother not to as it diminished the value for buy back and was unfair to the next user of the book. At any rate, to this day I only use highlighters on photocopies that I will not pass on to others. Mostly I use sticky notes these days although I find that their glue deteriorates in a couple of years and my books, especially the ones that I disagree with, get rather fat.

I was asked once which was worse, highlighting or underlining. They are both horrible, in my opinion. Underlining is horribly distracting and highlighting is overwhelming visually. Both are anti-productive since I almost always find that what others think important isn’t. 

But I do still have a great affection for good book stores and libraries and I suspect some of that comes from T T Terry’s.