In Praise of Linux 1

While clearing tabs, I ran across an article [Link] entitled “How to Get Started with the Linux Operating System” on Lifehacker.

It’s not a very original article and while it’s fairly complete, it’s not very engaging nor compelling. In fact, it’s a whit short of discouraging.

No fire. No excitement/ No endocrinology.

So I am going to float a few bits of blot on adopting/using Linux. Not because I think I can do a better job than some guy paid to write on Lifehacker but because I consider the whole Lifehacker thing to be tragically organizational and socially mired.

I started using Linux after I retired from the Civil Service. That was partly due to being deeply micturated at Winders and MegaHard and nauseated by Fruit and its OS/hardware. Both of which I had been compelled to use by the Yankee Army of Occupation.

So I started using Linux. Ten years ago and a bit more. The path has not been without bogs and miring and avalanches. But I no longer have an OS that takes control of my machine from me, just to do updates, without recourse.

The Linux talk about Free and Open Software. What counts is free as in how this country used to be before the political parties established their dictatorship.

Yes, there are barriers and boundaries and difficulties but there is a lack of slavery and serfdom. Almost an absence. One is tempted to say a freedom but that would be a bit overblown. If one is to use a computer, including cellular telephones, then one must use an OS, and unless one is very good and knowledgable and does nothing much else, one does not build one’s own OS. You gotta use some OS. And Linux is the freest of them.

It’s also pretty much free as in beer. Yes, you gotta have a stein and a fridge, metaphorically speaking, but you can pick what you want and all the costs are indirect. The OS only costs the time and bandwidth to download and unpack onto a USB stick or a DVD. SO there’s the cost of the stick or the DVD. You’ve got to already have the box (computer) to do the download. And you’ve gotta sacrifice your time to learn how to do this and the install and such.

Something like how the freed slaves had to learn how to be Free Men after the Recent Unpleasantness. And maybe one of these days the poor southrons, salt and pepper both, will learn how to be free from the rich overlords.

So what’s great about Linux? Well, that’s going to be rationed out a bit at a time, because this is going to be a voyage of discovery for both of us.

For today, I am going to be superficial and juvenile. Maybe artsy. Today’s wonderful thing about Linux is eye candy. It’s not locked away, with steep proces for limited access, like Winders. It’s right there.

Flying Toasters screen saver. Built in. Just gotta download the pictures and install. From the standard repository (software store.) 

Can’t do that on Winders.

It’s a trivial thing but so is a flag flapping in the breeze. 

 

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Stupidity and Greed – Humanity in Action

Seven Day. The  weather beavers foretell a flood starting this night and through the morrow. So seems a good time to clean out some tabs before settling into real work.

First, an article [Link] entitled “Why humans are quick thinkers: Our ‘selfish brains’ have evolved to take priority over muscle when using up the body’s energy.” From what I have observed the only thing slower than most people – Bogs – rate of thought is a rock. Maybe pond slime? But I don’t know that pond slime thinks. 

But then it is unclear just how many Bogs think. Probably not most. They seem to go through life on endocrine secretions and emotion. Especially anger. And some violence. And they get upset when their violence is prevented or deterred. 

Which proves again that Sturgeon was right.

Second, another article [Link] entitled “CDC: Suicide Rates Increase in US Rural Areas.” These two seem to fit together. 

I am not opposed to suicide. If someone wants to not be alive then that should be their decision. No interference from Bogs or organizations. We have too many people on the planet as is and anyone who wants to end their existence should be permitted.

But what rather ruffled me about this Bog arrogance article was the prissy way it talked about how there are inadequate services in rural areas.

Surprise?

Let’s consider. Rural areas are low in population, hence low in tax base. Financial activities in rural areas are low profit, which should be another reason for low tax revenue except that most rural areas are ruled by Repulsians who don’t want any taxes beyond what is collected to give to their rich donors. So no money for services. And thus, no services.

If you create Tartarus, you have to expect escape attempts. Don’t be falsely righteous when all you want to do is maintain the population of wage slaves. 

Third, an article [Link] entitled “Does science need mavericks?” This article is written by an academic who is rightly concerned about losing employment as the universities become factories. So the article answer is NO.

The real answer is YES. And the reason why is that without some real scientific advance, not the nit noid crap being churned out by academics with lots of fudging and outright cheating, we are doomed. We may be doomed anyway, but without some science advances we are surely doomed. And what has been coming out the last century hasn’t been very advancing.

Yes, there have been some advances, and some have even been done by the expensive organizational science folks. But compared to the revolutions of the first part of the Twentieth, the last hundred years have largely been static and decimal place increasing.

So while I believe in permitting suicide I am not in favor of the Bogs and Organizations killing us off from their stupidity and greed.

 

Shrubbery Combustion

This has been an exciting morning. First, the air temperature was a bit higher than yesterday, enough that I didn’t have to worry about the integrity of my teeth. And then I experienced a series of mental lightning strikes.

First, I received an advertising e-mail from Amazing. [Link] They were soliciting me to purchase Winders software from them.

This is not the first callously arrogant, ridiculous solicitation I have received from Amazing. They send me a weekly selection of shoes to purchase, none of which are available in my size.

But in this case, they know I use Linux because my browser tells them this when I visit their web site.

So what politician reject thought to try to sell Winders stercus-ware to a Linux user? The World Wonders.

Second, I got off on one of those evangelistic emails. This one was canny enough to evade the SPAM filters but it also gave me a few moments of rolling laughter on the floor.

Simply put, a thought occurred early on. Why is it that the Christianist bible does such an exquisite job of attributing human characteristics to the deity but never consider that the deity – if the human characteristic thing is accurate? – might have a sense of humor. Certainly observation of humanity evokes such a conjecture sine die.

Could this be an indication that organized religion is just about the organization?

Third, it also struck me how Amazing is like an organized religion. It has to be obeyed and placated with sacrifices. And it provides in return?

Sludge Musings

Follow-on to the preceding. Ran across article [Link] entitled “The fridge that sends you shelfies… so you’ll never need a shopping list again” while doing the morning tab exploring.

Usually, I have the considerable respect for British journalists; they seem to have more intelligence and integrity than Amerikan journalists. But in this instance, I am forced to offer a question:

Then how does one know what to replenish in one’s pantry?

Or do Brits store foodstuffs (and kitchen gear) in their refrigerator? Seriously, zip bags in the fridge? Waxed paper? Flour and sugar? Bread?

The World Wonders.

Alchemical Musings

Seven Day. Time to clear out tabs. Rather a weird bunch this week, at least the ones that inspire some discussion.

First, an article [Link] about how the Schule of Alchemical Studies at the Campus of the Boneyard is celebrating a century and a half of existence. I was not invited. That probably indicates some wisdom on the part of the organizers. At least I shall give them credit as such.

Chemists, at least based on my observations, are the best balanced of the STEM Nerds. Physicists tend to be rather intense and oblivious to any social interaction outside of physics. That’s probably why their marriages seem taken out of soap operas. Mathematicians are the Timothy Learys of STEM Nerds. They are almost continually in a drug modified state that is questionably consciousness. The drug, of course, is maths, which mathematicians correctly view as proofs – all else is mummery and illusion. That mummery and illusion is, of course, all that other STEMs care about with regard to maths. So mathematicians are rather like holy hermits sitting for years on the tops of columns.

Biologists and Geologists tend to be outdoors people. They seem ill at ease inside a building, as if the critters are too mundane and the matter is too newly stuck – even in buildings that were laid down just after the rebellion. They also tend to be acalculate – maths blind – and hence left without roads to think along. The idea of testability is alien to these STEMs, hence they argue and pout about accuracy.

Chemists sit in the middle ground of all this. Also, they have the means and desire to make physiologically active potions. They control the ethanol and use it liberally internally. 

So it is probably best I didn’t get invited to the bash. 

Next, a rather overblown article [Link] entitled “This Is How Online Dating Has Changed The Very Fabric of Society.” I include this because not only is the title contemporary journalistic rubbish, it is amusing. 

Humans have known about incest penalties – the biological kind, not the organizational artificial kind – for lots of years. We evidently learned about genetic stupidity back when we were still Hunter-Gatherers. What the article is really about is social networking as facilitated by the internet. Humans have always had social networking; the drive to geographic dispersion was driven by mating (safe fornication?) and greed; deterred by Us-Them and greed. 

The only thing intriguing about “online dating”, which the journalist does poorly at, is its dynamic, not its medium of propagation. Most social networking proceeds from physical world interaction to internet world interaction. “Friendships” that originate in most social networking are relatively rare. Yes, there are the occasional friend-of-friend associations but these tend to be politeness driven.

But “online dating” is the reverse. Here the “friending” is initiated in the internet world and may propagate into the physical world. But this is the only substantial uniqueness.

Social networks are as geographically diverse as the network substrate which we erroneously call the internet. If we examine the geographical extent of individual’s “friends” then we find it to be large, often multi-national. So such geographical diversity is the norm rather than the exception. What makes “online dating” different is the flow of the “friending”. 

Which seems too alien to journalists these days to explain. 

Or else they think their readers are too cognitively deprived to comprehend.

Lastly, another article [Link] entitled “Wikipedia’s Science Articles Are Elitist.” This one is bemusing and if not for the nausea it engenders, perhaps amusing.

The journalist argues that most STEM NERD articles in Wikipedia are written for STEM NERDs. And this is elitist because Bog journalists have problems reading (and understanding?) them. (The latter question arises from the uncertainty that contemporary journalists are capable of understanding anything STEM.) 

Wikipedia is supposed to be the crowd-sourced encyclopedia of today. When I was a kid growing up I had five sets of encyclopedias. The simplest was the “Golden Book” encyclopedia and the most accurate “The Library of Science.” Over a period of several years I worked my way from one end to the other. And when I went to college I found encyclopedias of even higher accuracy and specialization. I recall one in particular, which was an encyclopedia of chemical syntheses. I recall the section on LSD was well thumbed. I also have a copy of Besancon’s “Encyclopedia of Physics” on a nearby bookshelf.

The point here is that writings – including encyclopedias – are written for an audience. The author has to pick what that audience is and be capable of communicating with that audience, at least if the writing is to be useful and successful.

The problem here is that the journalist seems to think he/she must be the audience. The obvious question is “Why?” I am not sure that question can be answered. Having dealt with journalists over the years, I have found them to be somewhat black boxish.

An easier – maybe – question is whether Wikipedia should be written for journalists. Given their rush to extinction, such a strategy seems ill advised. So we are left with asking who is most likely to read a Wikipedia article? If it’s an article on a celebrity, then clearly it should be written for Bogs, but if it’s an article on STEM NERD stuff? 

And there is the matter of Elitism. How do we measure this? If one is illiterate then all writing is elitist? If one is an omnipotent deity the no writings are elitist? Is any measurement possible in between?

It strikes me that fear of “Elitism” is inherent in Amerikans. If the modal Bog cherishes ignorance, and anything written that that Bog cannot comprehend is Elitist, then Elitism is nothing more than the opposite of ignorance?

 

One Nation Stupid?

The weather beavers foretell a colding tomorrow. About time. But this does raise all manner of questions as I mumble walk down and up the lane.

Why do we call people without skin pigmented white when they are actually pink? Why do we call people with brown complexions black? 

Not that any of those are colors, but people keep calling them colors.

Why do we continually vote for members of political parties when we know (or should) that organizations only care about themselves? And the elected clearly demonstrate that they do not care about those who elected them.

Except enough to tell repeated, outrageous lies.

I think I understand Us-Them but I am continually surprised that there is ever any Us. 

Why do Amerikans take such delight in flaunting – and developing – their ignorance? 

There is a frawg in Sowth Amerika that is brightly colored but immune to being preyed upon and hence arrogantly oblivious to predators. It secretes a noxious poison through its skin that will assure any predator that consumes it a horrible and painful death. 

Do Amerikans suffer from frawg envy? 

Some days I wonder if the British provoked the rebellion so they could abandon the Amerikans.

After visiting the Bank

HANLON’S RAZOR: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

SCP’s corollary: Never attribute to stupidity that which can be trivially explained by technology.”

Sub-corollary – Technology is understood by so few people, none of whom are willing to admit their ignorance, that policy, reason, and rationality are swept aside.

At least in Amerika where ignorance is treasured above all else.