Mirror Sinister

Five Day. Into the valley of week out. Yuck.

Occurred to me this morning during a twenty minute set of pedaling the stationary: the best thing that can be said about the Equifax breech is that it makes the way OPM handled its breech look good.

So much for private capitalism being better than the Yankee guvmint! 

On a similar azimuth, I ran across an article [Link] entitled “Atheists Are Nicer Than Christians, But There’s a Complicated Twist.” The twist is explained in a short quote:

Atheists are much fairer to Christians than Christians are to atheists, according to a new study that has analysed interactions between the two groups.

But if you’re an atheist, don’t get too excited about your moral superiority yet. The study suggests that atheists are nicer in an attempt to compensate for the stereotype that atheists are immoral.

Not the wrinkle I perceive in this is that this means that atheists are insecure enough to not only be concerned with how christianists think of them but they actually try to make up with the christianists. 

What I’m not sure of here is whether this is delusion or denial. Everyone who has observed christianists has seen their smug self-assurance and insufferable sense of entitlement. Everyone who isn’t of their sect, and many who are, are evil noxious pond scum. It’s an extreme example of “Us-Them” that is the root of all those nasty things like racism and anti-semitism and anti-intelligence and anti-rationality. 

So the conjecture that we are forced to consider after observing this is that the atheists are the actual chosen of the deity?

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Swiss Cheese IT

Intriguing week. Lots of confusion and strife. Had to motor into Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill Wednesday for a gum inspection. Two weeks early. Not bad but draining with the uncertainty going in.

Then on Thursday I had to motor to Guntersville to help a colleague install Linux Mint on an old (relatively) W7 lapbox. Which turned out to be severly whacked by its Windows install and had to be given religionist internment.

Did I mention the box was made by HP? Sad. Used to be a good company when I was in college. Stercus now.

After the debacle we shared our experiences with IT staffers over a mediocre cup of coffee distilate. I won’t mention the location since coffee distillate isn’t part of their mission.

Then today, at gym, I listened to an episode of Linux Links podcast. On this, the part I listened to this morning – the rest tomorrow afternoon (I do hate the religionist discrimination the gym management practices!) – the four talkers held a telecon with some young woman who was a Freshman in college studying Computer Science. This conversation – and the discussion Thursday – reminded me of a couple of things

  1. Computer Science folks can’t do Nerd computing.
  2. If you have to tell me your discipline is a science, then it isn’t.

I have visited the latter several times previously and won’t elaborate much on the matter. Computer Science is considered to be a STEM discipline but too many of the folks who study it are not nerds. They’re geeks. They collect stuff mostly, and do sometimes. But mostly in inordinately well defined environments.

Take the physical universe. The only manuals we have for it are the ones we have written for ourselves. (And, NO, religionist books are not manuals!)

Take the biological universe. The only manuals we have for it are the ones we have written for ourselves.

Take the computer universe (relatively speaking.) All the manuals we have for it are how the universe was made. In effect, Computer Science guys are gods because the create their stuff from the physical and biological and social universes. 

So why do they have such problems? If you ask, they will tell you it’s because of all the people who aren’t IT and the IT folk who are idiots and sociopaths. The latter usually being everyone but the individual and his (very few her – mostly because of good sense) drinking buddies. 

Did I mention that this is a construct of MegaHard and Forbidden Fruit attitudes towards computing? The more serf-like the users, the better. Especially management, who is seen as the great evil because they never make the IT budget large enough. 

But all the wiring diagrams of their universe are there from the get-go.

What does this have to do with nerd computing? Well, nerd computing is different from everybody else’s. Most people do browsing and spreadsheeting and word processing and maybe a bit of databasing. Nerds write computer programs, something that only IT folk are supposed to do. But the Nerds use languages that the IT folk don’t know and, in most cases, can’t learn very well. 

Say FORTRAN to a young IT person and they’ll have to go into psychiatric analysis. And that’s what all the supercomputers are programmed with.

Nerds also want to attach computers to things they have built for themselves, like spectrometers and particle accelerators. IT folks mostly can’t make stuff but they can – sorta – repair what they have. At least if it can be repaired. Only the minority of IT folks can design IT stuff. 

IT folks claim that IT is a profession. No argument, if profession means a body of knowledge that you get paid to know and use. 

So what is NERD computer programming? For example, a simulation of the formation of the universe? Can IT guys do this. Unless they’re the rare ones who are NERDs, they can’t. Generally only NERDs can do NERD programming. And that really bugs IT folks. Because it’s a knowledge hole in their domain.

The good news is that some of them can learn it. If they are taught by NERDs. Unfortunately, if they are, they too become NERDs and can’t be “real” IT folk any more. 

Sleeping with the Enemy.

And I need to reveal a big secret. The NERDs are happy with this. Because they want someone else to do all the scut work on the Internet. NERDs don’t mow grass. Not because they can’t but because after the first time it’s a waste of time. 

And I ain’t even gonna mention Quantum Computers. 

Motley Transcendant

While breaking fast I scanned a news summary for the week and was reminded of the discorporation of Dick Gregory and Jerry Lewis.

Both were described as comedians. I still find that strange. I have seen/heard their comedy work and found neither particularly humorous or amusing. In fact, unfunny is the word that comes to mind for both but in different contexts.

Gregory, in my estimation, was a Roger Ramjet, a Hero of the Nation. Admittedly foul mouthed, he struck fear and loathing in the hearts (figuratively) of the insecure bigots of Amerika. 

Lewis was a parody of the Three Stooges, awarded a medal for comedy by the French government, which perhaps explains French pipes, toilet paper, and beer. He raised nausea in the gastro-intestinal tracks of rational Amerikans. 

Gregory has left little behind; Lewis leaves behind one decent movie which is better than any number of equestrian statues.

Porn Polity

Ice Cream Day. Just returned from morning constitutional. Late, at least for me. Slept in – not as much as I should have liked, but more than usual.

Being ORF means being disappointed. Society and civilization is decaying around one. And being ORF one cannot do anything to prevent or deter. 

So I was considering how we have become a nation and society of pornography. The idea for this came from my undergraduate Alma Mater, the campus of the Black Warrior. Their instrumentality repeatedly barrages me with appeals for money either as direct gifts or by participating in some organizational EXTRO orgy of some sort. The last one was pandering a combination football viewing and food consumption. That was the straw that tipped the catastrophe (the maths kind) that what they were pushing was pornography. Obviously, viewing an athletic competition in which one has no children or family involved is pornographic. But the exaltation of food consumption, it occurs, is also pornographic.

From this, I hypothesized that our entire society has become, at root, pornographic. With overtones of hedonism and I am not sure what else. 

Consider selfies. I have commented previously how symptomatic they are of a society where individuals lack friends. But they also glorify oneself in the vacuum of that friendship. And friendship itself is exalted because what we have is so unfriendly.

I was reading an article on Lifehacker yesterday about ‘the four types of Rebeccas’. I have to admit that I read it because I understood neither content nor context of the title. I found the article to be a polemic about how everyone is evil. Nothing surprising there – everyone does have a bit of evil and it’s unavoidable because of the substantial subjective aspect of evil. IOW, doing good for some one means doing bad for another. The Greek heroes are archetypes of this: they usually obtain the admiration and celebration of the downtrodden by disposing of the downtrodder. 

In a way this is a snapshot of our society. The recent melee in Charlottesville, and the mumblage of government, are a microcosm. Both sides have aspects of good, at least as seen from within, and bad, at least as seen from within the opposing group. Neither is interested in the other except as epitomes of what they wish to eliminate. No coexistence, no meeting of ideas and means, just polar animosity. 

Anthropologists have a term for this: groups within societies who detest each other and will only cease fighting among themselves to protect the society as a whole. Basically, Us-Them carried to the deepest depths of depravity. 

Which is what we are buying, or at least being sold these days. Most of the advertisements are pushing things that would be considered bad a generation previously. 

Case in point: the recent flooding in Texas. Almost all of the media coverage was directed at Houston, none at any of the small towns that actually make up Texas. Further, there has been no coverage of flooding outside the Yankee republic.[Link] Even our management style has become pornographic.

Once again, glad to be ORF. But wondering how to continue in what has become a traitor trash country.

OS Schule

Five Day. End of Week In. Cleaning up a bit around the Crunch Corner. 

One of the articles [Link] waiting for reading was entitled “5 of the Best Linux Distros in 2017” and after reading it I had occasion to contemplate how I grade OS.

First of all, are they available live? That is, can I burn the OS on a DVD or USB stick and boot the computer to try the OS? If not, they grade out F–

Note that this fails both Winders and the Apple OS. They are in the buy-then-try category. And they’re the primary reason Linux exists with this and other crippling defects (like inbred susceptibility to digital cancers.)

My father had a quite narrow foot – 12AA with an AAAA heel. When he was bored on TDY he would go into shoe stores and ask to try on shoes, saying he needed several pairs. Then the clerk would have to own up to having no shoes in the store that would fit him, thus no sale and no commission for the clerk.

That was a long time ago when one could actually buy shoes that fit instead of the gunboats of today.

My similar activity is to go into a computer selling store and ask how much a computer is without Winders. When the clerk gets obnoxious, I ask for the manager’s name and social security number so I can report them for legal violations. 

If the OS boots but can’t work with the WiFi adapter and the video card in the box, then they grade out F. The article I mentioned about included two OS I tried this week: Debian 9 and Solus. Both failed this test. Yes, they could talk to the monitor but neither one could talk to the WiFi stick. 

If the OS gets a passing grade, and I like how it feels, then I install it on my test box. Then I test it for a while. The tests are fairly broad. For example, I try to see how much it degrades over time. This is where Ubuntu fails. Their LTS releases are 24 months apart but the probability of failure at 18 months is O(50%). So Ubuntu (and its clones) only gets put on machines with constipated UEFI that lock up when Secure Boot is disabled. So far the only boxes I have found with this flaw were made by HP. 

Right now I am mulling SNAPs and FLAT PACKS. At the moment I am negative, mostly due to their overhead and the state of ISPism in the hinterland. I have mentioned earlier that in the summer – when the bairns are unleashed from schule – I have to do updates at night because they – the bairns – hawg the bandwidth so much. The problem is that most of Amerika, outside the megametropolises, has stercus for bandwidth. All courtesy of capitalists, of course.

So why do I want a software store that offers me no bandwidth benefit if I have the OS installed? That’s the question no one seems to want to address, much less answer. Most of my updates are a few Mb. Most of the new programs I add, even with additional supporting SW, are a few MB. So why do I want those to climb to Gb? Odor of rattus.

Polarity in reading

I was reminded this morning, while scanning an Opensource eNews, that there are good O’Reilly books, the ones on computer stuff.

That is in contrast to the O’Reilly books from the demogogue of the name who abuses women and anyone else who disagrees with him.

Isn’t it wonderful that there is some redeeming social value to the name and product after all?

ROY G BIV

Well, I seem to have survived the “Great American Eclipse”. That’s quite a name. Indicates a level of imperialism that I don’t see as fitting any more. But I managed not to hurl massive hard things at the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver so FD SCP wasn’t too upset.

In fact, the whole thing was more than a shade (no pun intended) humorous. The idea of a nation-state owning an eclipse was the cherry. The ice cream was the composition and behavior of the NASA talking heads. And the nuts and fruit sauce were the social Bogs who made up the eclipse tourism. 

The NASA dialog was the most humorous stuff, a mixture of poorly composed science and worse composed guff. Happily the folks who were doing the actual work, the camera folk and such, were competent and not called upon to sully themselves with verbal stercus. 

Despite this odor the NASA presentation was still better than those put on by the local news folks. They tried earnestly but were whelmed by their toothiness. And a bit of ‘Aw Shucks’.

As the eclipse deepened outside Castellum SCP, I retired to the porch to watch the sky. Not the eclipse mind you – I have seen several eclipses previously but before I had mostly watched the body being eclipsed. 

I also have to own up that I prefer Linar eclipses since I don’t have to worry about retinal damage.

But this time I got to just watch the sky. That is, the atmospheric light.

And it was marvelous. In it rarity better than fog. 

And hence it is over and I have much that I saw to mull upon.