Old, I am.

I now have a new appreciation of OLD.

Stopped by the Campus of the Tennessee this morning to check out their newest building. As I was inspecting I realized that in my second year as a grad student I had a class in the previous building on this piece of ground. 

And that building was as new then and this one is now. 

And they tore down the old one because it was too hard and costly to maintain.


And, evidently, so am I.

Mirror Image?

Two Day. Last day of schule? Density actually up a bit at gym. Unusual for a two day. Otherwise, not bad. The podcasts were passable albeit a bit tedious and unmemorable. 

But I did note an article [Link] yesterday entitled “Selfie fans regularly overestimate how attractive they are, scientists find” that gathered my attention span. I am a bit bemused by this selfie thing. It is not, to my domain, the land of speedbumpia portrayed by the media of selfie addicts obstructing passage and causing collisions. I also have to admit to having tried it on myself for both investigation and obtaining photographs for icons on various web sites. There is considerably more art and skill to this than portrayed by the media, which is consonant with my experience with photography.

There is also the matter that while the camera sensor in cellular telephones is quite good, the optics are RUBBISH bordering on STERCUS. 

This article, from U Toronto, asserts that there is a component of egotism. That is unsurprising. Nor is the academic sense of priestliness, that information is gossip until sanctified by a gowned scholar. The form of the egotism is. The intro claims that selfie takers consider themselves more attractive than those who view their work, which raises anew the question of art.

But what was telling was deeper in the article:

When all was said and done, both groups – the selfie-takers and non-selfie-takers – reported themselves more attractive than they were rated by the outside group, though the selfie-takers were off by a greater degree

Seems to control for this the wonks did two sets of photos – selfies and otheries – and submitted them to an independent (?) group to review. And they found everyone had a better view of themselves than others do.

And here I thought that was a well established character of human nature. If we all didn’t think we look better than we do the suicide rate would be close to 1.0.

So I am mulling whether this nulls the whole exercise. Is there any science here? Maybe. But probably not new.

Bad, Darkness is?

One day. Back to gym. Is schule desessioned? I used to be able to tell from the density of educationalists (noise level,) but now the gym is so sparse that it is unclear.

The podcast was a strange one, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” with some female academic commenting on “dark women” in Shakespeare’s plays. The clear message was her dissatisfaction with the current schule interpretation but what that interpretation is and exactly how it is in error was unclear and uncommunicated. [Link

The uncommunication was two-fold. First, the academic was a poor speaker. Her speech was choppy and too littered with “er”s and “uh”s and the like. On the positive side, I never heard her say “you know” and thereby deem her exceptional and worthy of the discipline to try and hear what she has to say. 

The second was technical. For some reason, either in the recording or in the downloading, the podcast became disjoint and distemporal. IOW. it was horribly chopped.

So I never quite got what message she was trying to convey.

I also have to admit that I have not studied Shakespeare deeply. I read the plays in high schule and undergraduate schule, mostly as assignments in “English” courses. And I never managed to come up with the schule solution. For example, I always considered Lady McBeth positively. Yes, I was told she was evil and scheming and manipulative – what human isn’t? – but I also saw her as true to being a supportive wife who was finally driven bonkers by her husband’s incompetence. 

Similarly, I also saw Hamlet’s mother as positive, a woman who had not been able to raise a sane son but still doted on him. And who of us who have raised children does not doubt their sanity. Even as they doubt ours. And we all wish the other gone, at least, or dead.

And the daughters of Lear? Well, I never did figure out that play other than as an attack on absolutely kingship. 

So I was probably oblivious to the academic’s message from the get-go. 

I fear that being NERD STEM, I am too removed from that environment. My wont is to understand physical reality and part of that is that humans are embedded in it and Shakespeare knew that. But I do regret not getting more from the talk.

Grits sans Anything Helpful

Seventh Day. Low air temperature than yesterday morn. So I donned a slightly heavier jacket as I departed for constitutional in the park. The air was refreshing. And I finished the podcast episode , which sadly was a review of the new LTS release of the Ubuntu clan as “grits”, at least in southron wordage.

What was unsaid in the review was the true (?) weakness/flaw of the ubuntu clan, which is its long term fragility. The LTS may be five year releases but they seldom last two without catastrophic failure requiring reinstall or replacement.

Also, I had already looked at the new version of Kubuntu and the live execution left me thinking “grits” as well. So I passed and am still looking for something – KDE NEON? – to replace my 14,04 AIO install. Which basically turned to broken toy six months ago and I am not depending on LMDE – another grits distro – on that box.

But I did reflect on the “full” moon this morning, which was a great help given that my key chain flashlamp seems to be failing as well. Scant wonder, I have been using it for ten years or so. Marvelous piece of manufacturing, a product of the Gerber people who used to produce rather good stuff but have lapsed in recent years into mediocrity and irrelevance. Evidently the market is selling “sabers” to wannabe Stuarts instead of multi-tools to actual Mittys.

Last evening FD SCP and I tried to engage in our evening social ritual of joint viewing of the local news on the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver. This is complicated during week out because the local “news” program is delayed by programming of great Bog interest – like spectator sports pornography – but irrelevant to us. So if our wonted channel is deferred we try others and such was the case last evening.

Anyway, that channel/station’s weather beaver of the ‘cast talked about the “blue moon” and said it was a “rare” occurrence. That struck me as inaccurate. So I considered the matter.

First, a “blue moon” is, according to Wikipedia,

an additional full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year: either the third of four full moons in a season, or a second full moon in a month of the common calendar.

and a Lunar month is ~ 29.5 days. So 365.25/29.5 =~12.4 which indicates that we will have a thirteen full moon expressions in a year no less frequently than every three years.

Is once every three years a rarity? 

Rarity: That which is rare; an uncommon thing; a thing valued for its scarcity.      [1913 Webster]

Clearly the “blue” moon was valued by the weather beaver since it gave her something to say during an otherwise grits presentation, but is it uncommon? Is once every three years uncommon? Or if we count days? 

I am of the mind that this rarity is a Bog thing that, like most Bog drivel, does not stand up to observation.

It’s just another full moon. Enjoy – or not – it for what it is. 

Emergent Question

The podcast I was listening to this morning was an episode of “Linux Luddites” that I began back in gym on Four Day. There was a discussion of the motivations of Canonical. This included a rather frank comment about the Love/Hate aspect of Unity.

I reflected on this. And realized that I have a problem with it. Simply put, I have never met anyone who likes Unity. I have interacted with “people” who claim to like Unity but this has always been “people” who are unpresent and not patently human.

Which raises the question of whether there actually are homo sapiens who like Unity? 


Six Day. No rings. But I did walk in park. Fair to good. Mist. Lots of light scattering. No deep thoughts. Is warm weather the death of cognition? There is a certain appeal to the idea. 

No words of wisdom or even snarky observations. 

Film at Eleven.

Marketplace Evils

Four day. Last of gym. Sparse and the podcast, an episode of “Linux Luddites” was passable if not sparkling. The most engaging part was a discussion of the apparent heat death of the computer marketplace. Evidently sales of all computer devices – desk and lap boxes, slablets, phones, … – are stagnant. 

What was not discussed is whether this is one more incidence of a logistic curve situation being confused with its early, positive exponential behavior? 

This is not new. It has happened many times that I have observed. Motorcars, houses, clothes, foodstuffs. What is uncertain is what form the attempts to keep the marketplace percolating will take. 

Which leads me to an article [Link] I ran across yesterday when I was in Huntsville and purchased a newspaper to obtain my weekly supply of crossword puzzles. A minor thing, those puzzles, but they make what is depressingly labeled as national network news programming less painful when I share time with FD SCP.

The title of this article is “Abortions down in Alabama: Tough laws close clinics, cut numbers” and it purports to report on how abortions are decreased in density in Alibam.

What it actually is, is an exaltation of domestic and governmental/religious terrorism. One of the primary reasons that abortions are down in Alibam is because the politico/religious bigoted office holders have done everything to prevent abortions short of standing up pregnant women in front of firing parties.

And I suspect they would like to but vaguely realize that would lose them their successes.

What is not said is that for many years it is much easier for pregnant women to go elsewhere for abortions and they do so. But not measuring such permits the office holders to ignore how evil and failing they are.

Sadly this reduces to another instance of the economic discrimination that has always been characteristic of the old Confederacy and is still rampant in Alibam today.

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not themselves.”

Sadly a lot of political/religious terrorists are empowered in Alibam and there is no indication they will be deprived of their freedom to hurt and harm.