Mutual Abandoning

It seems somehow fitting to maunder about this on All Hallows’ Eve. The subject has much to do with spirits.

I should preface by noting that many “primitive” peoples bind their children’s heads to boards – usually pne per each – to produce a flattened skull and forehead post infancy. The practice has differing purposes. In some societies it serves to differentiate uppers from lowers. In others it displays some perverted sort of superstitious piety.

A similar effect can be achieved by repeatedly banging one’s head against a firm vertical surface.

 

I have empirical data on the latter.

 

The leading edge of this is that I have abandoned, somewhat, Ubuntu. This is not without reflection nor cognition nor sorrow. Ubuntu was the Linux distribution I settled on when I first had the opportunity to throw off the chains of Winders and become free. Using any OS involves a certain trust being invested in the organization that produces that OS. The personalities of those organizations vary somewhat. MegaHard treats its users feudally while Apple is more like a Mississippi cotton plantation prior to the Recent Unpleasantness. Only Linux had a robust interaction between users and organization.

 

It is not unusual for organizations to violate their members’ trust. That is in the nature of organizations. Indeed, we have grown unsurprised with the Yankee government violating our citizenly trust. But we are not used to such in the Linux community.

 

But Canonical has being doing so repeatedly and has reached my breaking point. First it switched the buttons to the left side. Then it introduced Unity and removed my ability to do work. And abandoned member interaction and community projects. All for the goal of a common interface on all devices. Regardless of how they should be used.

 

Rather makes Napoleon look like a micromaniac.

 

I had already reduced my usage to LTS releases. And replaced Unity wth an independent install of KDE. And even then Unity crept in and messed things up. KDE crashed with a mean of once per day. And there were minor annoyances, like having to reset the permissions on the slave HD every day.

 

And then last week they pushed out an update that rendered the OS unbootable. And beyond my capacity to repair.

 

So I shifted to Kubuntu. And it works much better. KDE only crashed when I run some alien client, and not always then. ANd much less frequent than day^-1.

 

but I still have to reset the drive permissions daily, so that must be a kernel issue. So I take that one off the Canonical damnation list. But it is already too long. And I am looking further for another distribution. That isn’t dependent on megalomania.

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Nature of Lieing.

What makes a lie? How big does it have to be? I don’t know of any system to measure lies? That’s one reason science doesn’t talk about truth and lie except in simplifying thing for bogs.

It seems to me that lies have to be considered absolute. There is no situation, no value of N such that if you make a promise to N people and the promise is false it’s not a lie but for N+1 people it is.

Similarly, if you make a promise to N people and the promise is false to one (1) person, then the promise is a lie.

So let’s get past the political rhetoric. The chief politician lied. All politicians lie. All humans lie. What is sad is that too many of us fell for the lie.

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Fear the Answer

This is mightily strange weather. At least from the standpoint of my aches and pains, mostly sinus. But I did run across another cartoon: [Link]

that struck home with my own gripage. I have enormous problems with many of the security questions associated with certain accounts, especially the ones that ask for a favorite something. Why do I have to have a favorite something? And how do I answer the question meaningfully?

The Yankee army is by far the worst with all this. They not only ask security questions that have no answer, but they change the questions without warning so if you do need to answer questions for access there is a high probability that you will never have seen the question before.

But I find these sorts of things a security risk. Since many of the questions have no answer, but are required, I end up making a list of the questions and answers that I keep stored in various places so that I can recover my made-up answer to an unanswerable question.

I also dislike them asking questions that have answers that I cannot remember. I do not remember the name of my first dog. It has gotten lost in the years. And who makes up these questions? Can we have them jailed?

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Ex Oram Infantas

Rough day yesterday. Had the shivers all day. And a low grade headache which persists into this morning. The joys of temperature changes, I suppose. Anyway, not much cognition to blog this morning so all that I am doing is a cartoon: [Link]

that I ran across over week out. Its value is ENTIRELY in the last frame – life is indeed more complicated than children (or adults) are led to believe. Indeed, it may go all the way to complex as I am sure I have seen emergent behavior in what we call life, which is not the biological thing, but the social thing of existing.

The moral/ethical question is whether we should tell our children about this. I think not unless it is an actual learning moment. So much of what parents try to tell children seems irrelevant, or gets contradicted, that confusion and alienation naturally results. But when they figure it out for themselves it is occasion for celebration. I think.

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Dried Leaves of Journalism

We come once more to the back end of week out and time to trim tabs. Given computer failures this week that isn’t much of a problem.

Yesterday, I ran across this cartoon: [Link]

which reminded me of how I rather dislike brown bag seminars/discussion groups. I suspect it has to do with the ingestion of food triggering digestion which takes energy away from the brain. Or perhaps it’s that having gotten one’s mouth moving to bite and chew it is all too easy to operate the vocal cords without the intercession of the brain. Or perhaps the two are connected?

Anyway, next I ran across an article [Link] entitled “5 Unanswered Questions That Will Keep Physicists Awake at Night.” I should first of warn that this is a Scientific American article and in this case SA is living up (down?) to its recently degraded reputation as genderist and bullying. The simple matter is that this is rather egregiously Yellow journalism. While physicists do often stay awake at night wrestling with physics “problems”, the fact is that only particle physicists and cosmologists habitually spend these nightime moments on the questions advanced. Most physicists are NOT particle physicists or cosmologists and they lie awake at night worrying about other physics questions. Sadly however, at least to money grubbing journalists, such as SA, these other types of physicists aren’t considered – by the journalists – to be newsworthy at this time. So they can be ignored. Which is why SA is a basically a ponyless pile of poo.

And meanwhile, I can stare at the ceiling at night and wonder about all manner of difficulties in dissipative physics and organizational mechanics. And neither elementary particles nor cosmic coefficients intrude.

But I did run across a rather intriguing article [Link] about a cosmologist who has some very nasty – and accurate – things to say about tea partiers. I just have to wonder if there are any such in physics? Maybe not, but plenty at SA.

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Corporate Bubble

Cowardice. That’s me. After yesterday, and the temperature lower today, I did not assay forth to the park for morning constitutional. Instead I sneaked an ansatz on the stationary bicycle in my study here at Castellum SCP. In the process I save a few minutes not enwrapping myself in clothes of the exterior and motoring across and back. Not much but enough to do a bit of Solstice Holiday shopping.

And then I snuck a few emails in and came to a rather startling epiphany: focused advertising is a social fiction!

 You know of what I speak, the promised benefit (????????) of internet civilization that merchants will know what you want to buy – even when you don’t know it yet – and only offer you advertisements of resonant and relevant things and services. You know, all those ‘especially for you’ sliders on Amazon? And it’s all a prevarication!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My realization started with Amazon, who can’t separate out the occasional – few – things I order for FD SCP from the vast majority that I order for myself and always offers me more in the FD SCP bin than the SCP bin. An artifact of my eclectic tastes and the sparsity of the marketplace, I thought. But the precipice obtruded courtesy of on-line shoe stores that are continually sending me eAdvertisements for shoes that are not available in my size. And if there is anything these merchants should know, it is my size since there is ZERO variance in their records!!!

But then looking at emails from merchants proclaiming that these goods are “special” for me pushed me into the abyss and realization. The whole thing is an elaborate maskarovka! (And yes, that may be redundant, my Russian isn’t that social.) Yes, they do some analysis on what I have bought before, even just looked at, but it isn’t very good analysis – which puts me in mind of the pompous asses who run INFORMS these days. Simply put, all the vast data processing and mining and analysis that is supposed to personalize internet society is largely a fiction, especially once you get a standard deviation out from the mode. It probably only looks convincing to bogs whose cognitive faculties rival slime mold’s. But certainly not that of rational people like geeks and nerds.

In one sense this is quite comforting. All that spying by corporations is obviously superficial, low hanging fruit, and propagandistic. In other words, its advertising and hence utter overt falsehood. Deliberate, evil, inaccuracy. So what they tell you they know is far from any actual semblance of what you are.

But that is also scary because it indicates that if they decide you’re a borderline terrorist or schule berserker then the decision will almost certainly be a false positive. Which means a massive inflation of the phase know as “Punishment of the Innocent” that is part of any project. The epitome of this, right now, is the O’BamaCare web site. The politicians vertically copulated it but that is being covered over with histrionics over STEM malfeasance. It’s an old management trick: keep sacrificing virgins until the people quit looking at the priest.

Enough. Gotta see if there’s a frost or not.

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I can’t feel my nose

A most challenging morning thus far. The temperature is in the 30’s (degF) this morning for the first time since last winter, and the weather beavers are foretelling that tomorrow we may be below the phase change from liquid to solid dihydrogen oxide.


I was off this morning, trying to take my constitutional in the park but I became rather chilled and had to abandon the effort about half-way through. I fear Antarctica is not for me.


Similarly, I note [Link] that the new iPhun 5C is not selling at all well. In fact, it appears to be a bomb or whatever the bogs are calling a failed product this week. That is singularly unintriguing however. What is intriguing is that the reason (?) cited is that the phone is so “cheap” and slime moldish that

“You can’t use the iPhone 5C to make your friends feel bad about themselves”

There is a certain fit to this argument. After all, Apple has established itself as being an elitist product and has developed a rather vacuous clientele – in the main – that have (or are willing to spend) overmuch money for questionable functionality and seem – again, in the main – to lack adequate mental faculties. This represents a rather considerable fraction of bogs and some geeks, who display symptoms of a disease that may be best characterized as hurtful and me-ish. Think ‘valley girl’ but absent the genderism.


I have to admit that I do not fully comprehend the Apple phenomena. I suspect it is like swimming; it cannot be comprehended unless one does it. Successfully. More appropriately, the same can be said for urinary tract infections and that may be a more valid analogy. But it does raise the question of whether the Apple infection can be cured short of nuking the Apple campus?


On a related note, I found an article [Link] – rather splashy and misleading – about some work by Jawgah Tech wonks who had determined that the bladder evacuation time of mammals has a mean of 21 seconds. The catch is: plus or minus 13 seconds. A fact unmentioned in the article. I had to go to ArXiV to read the actual paper, which is only an extended abstract. Dull, but somehow it seems to counterpoint the Apple iPhun thing.


I have to admit to conducting some personal experiments after finding this article. Mostly when FD SCP is out of the area. The 21 seconds seems to be right on for normal daily urinations, but I have found that some urinations greatly exceed the findings of the learned Oglethorpians. Morning urinations upon arising from slumber are considerably longer, greater than a minute in all cases. And urinations after motoring to/from Huntsville are over 40 seconds. I wonder if I should contact the authors? I wonder if I should contact Apple?Of course I should only do the latter if it would make them feel bad.

Not that I consider Apple a friend. Friends have to be human, ofter all, which is something that bogs evidently don’t understand these days. But anyone who is in the business of hurting humans, even bogs, needs to feel bad about it.

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