Finding the Way

Lovely day. Little pieces of dihydrogen oxide are falling to ground under the force of gravity. Occasional discharges of electrons accompanied by the phonons of an abused atmosphere. Even a bit of solid earlier. And, of course, the Greater Metropolitan Arab Electron Uncooperative was unable to bear the strain and went into catatonic withdrawal. Admittedly quite short, but long enough to dump both my desk boxes and leave me with some waiting while the improperly shut down boxes righted themselves again. You would think after last year’s debacle when the tornado blitz yanked their wings out like a sociopathic infant with drosophila that they would have had the sense to harden their grid. No, of course, again, that would require spending money and that is as alien to them as is change to the mind of the military monk. (To paraphrase J. F. C. Fuller.)

So I find myself of a sundae with the usual set of loitering tabs to close, made more difficult by another ratchet up on the transition from old desk box to new, from Ubuntu 10.10 with wonderful, warm, comfortable Gnome 2 to Xubuntu 12.04 with not quite fitting XFCE. Anyway, to commence.

I note first an article [Link] on a device to provide navigation in supermarkets. The author is quite bored with this device, dismissing it as an unnecessary replacement for a ‘smart’ cellular telephone application. I do wish I could dismiss him for his inability to distinguish between the proper contexts for single and multi-purpose tools. In this case the distinction is simple. This is not something you own, it is something the store owns and wants you to use somewhat in the office of a grocery buggy or a basket. The thing needs to be human proof – child, adult, senior – which phones are not. And it needs access to the full database of the store contents which is not something that is going to be shared without security. So the author needs an infusion of neurons so that his intelligence can be augmented.

I think this thing has great potential. If nothing else, every Mal Wart needs to deploy these, glued securely to their grocery buggies. Given their penchant for continual and chaotic restructuring of inventory and the evolving customer attitude of going anywhere else, they need it. Also libraries and the Yankee army. Anyplace with lots of stuff and overhead too low to take good care of customers. Especially those who don’t have or want smart phones.

On which note, I am still unsure of the smart phone thing. From what I can see from my colleagues who have them they are smart in the same sense that you bash your shin against something. And frustrating. Short battery accumulation. And most of the apps are for bogs with too few brains and too much adrenaline. And they have the evil of propagating the proliferation of mediocre cameras used to photograph too many uninteresting, unimportant, and unattractive people too often. They have made society a continuum of those old macabre collections of photographs of circus freaks. And with the novelty and precision of execution removed.

On which azimuth, I ran across a blot [Link] yesterday reviewing, in a delightfully constructive and nasty fashion a slime mold brain book on how repulsians are stupid. Not that I actually reject the idea that repulsians, or democruds for that matter, are stupid. To quote one of those selfsame ‘stupids’, it depends on the definition. In my experience politicians and members of politicial parties, which are not quite the same, have a sort of animal cunning that never stops short of sacrificing any associate for the sake of survival or avoidance of discomfort. Perhaps because they operate at this Darwinian level their abysmal ignorance and apathy can be explained. Not only do they not know, but they don’t care to remedy the condition. Evidently somewhere along the line we decided in this country that its safety was best assured by the rule of the most ignorant.

The reviewer states that the author of the book thinks repulsians are cognitively defective. He disagrees, but I agree. Politicians, repulsian or democrud, and even some independents, are cognitively defective. The defect is a total self-interest hidden behind a facade of service, and a total absence of either moral or ethical fortitude. In effect, it is not so much what they do not know, and will not learn, but the actions that they ware willing to commit for the sake of themselves at the detriment of everyone else.