Air Bogs

Once more into week out. Foul mood. Spent yesterday with floorers redoing the spare bedroom and arguing with Scant City Memorial. At least the floorers were competent. And the constitutional was passable this morning.

Speaking of competent, I read that Eric Shinseki has resigned. I admit to great respect for this man. He has steadily taken on jobs with unsolvable problems and he has often solved them, or at least found work arounds. But it is not clear the VA has any solution nor work around other than it is just too big a problem. So there is no shame in failure; failure was assured. But the criticism is unjust and ill deserved. But he takes it because that is part of the job: try as hard as you can, perform well if not brilliantly, and be subjected to the indignation of the bogs who want more but can’t do an iota as well.

Gee, that puts him in company with Sokrates.

I also ran across this cartoon: [Link]

yesterday that seems pretty well apt. I don’t know that balloons are the most fun but they are quite intriguing, in company with bubbles and foams. And any balloon that told me about physics would be intriguing in that aspect doubly. So the first two boxes are quite good, but the third is the clunker. The reaction of the protagonist seems to be one of boredom or apathy. How can one be bored by such great stuff with so many azimuths ranging from human vision through quantum mechanics?

So what this cartoon is all about is boggery. Superficial interest so long as things are aintellectually entertaining – porn is good I should suspect? – but once real content appears the interest evaporates (sublimes?) with near infinite speed.

“Nothing is faster than the departure of bog interest.”

This may quite be why we shouldn’t try to do science outreach to bogs. It’s rather a waste and runs the risk of the same sort of vicious, gratuitous violence that Shinski has experienced.

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Real Strength

Yesterday was quite harrowing. My first physical after aging into Yankee government oversight and much leaping through burning hoops and other pains. To be continued next week. Funeral not to follow, regardless. And the constitutional this morning was fair, a bit depressed even because I had to return to my usual “The Pen Addict” porcast as the diversion. My previous experimental samplings of “Probably Science” and “Professor Blastoff” were highly undiverting, unentertaining, and unscience, the former spending rather too much time on exterior defecation and Hitler’s dementia and the latter on primary sexual organ cancer self-screening. Not that the latter isn’t of importance but it isn’t my idea of a science podcast. I should mention that both of these were recommended by POPULAR SCIENCE magazine and were the only ones on their list I was unfamiliar with. Overall grade for PS: C-; mostly because they missed the best science podcasts for some strange reason that I have been unable to get an answer to. I should also mention that my subscription was quite discounted and when it expires will probably not be renewed. I have to put PS in with SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN for satisfying Sturgeon’s rule with an exponent between one and two.

I was rather relieved however, to note an article [Link] about research done by the Max Planck Institut for Darwinian Biology. The study claims that humans traded off muscle strength for mental strength (intelligence) as they evolved. The study is based on muscular comparisons with other primates.

Yes, reverend, animal comparisons. Since we humans are ANIMALS! Including cheerleaders. And debutantes.

I find this rather entertaining and amusing. It seems to explain a lot. First of all, the true measure of humanness is smarts not strongs. Our perverse engagement with spectator sports and macho and all such is nothing more than insecurity and primate envy. From this it is clear that nerds, and geeks, are the actual humans and the bogs are degenerate lees of the gene pool. And algebra rejection is a form of denial.

But I still have to think to figure out politicians since they seem to have neither type of strength. Perhaps our attitude in Alibam is accurate that electing politicians keeps them off the welfare rolls?

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Ghetto or Cloister?

End of gym week. Not bad. Density low, especially of obnoxious weight bouncers and educationalists. Only a few over-haughty senior women with entitlement issues. And the podcast, as episode of “The Linux Action Show” was passable, mostly because of the absence of red neck talk about NASCAR and gym flick actors. So I had time and attention span to think about other matters.

I was a bit surprised last evening to hear on the evening news program – the network one, not one of the “local” stations – as if Huntsville is local – that Maya Angelou had discorporated.[Link] My first reaction on hearing this was “Who?” I admit this is not an unusual or rare reaction to such announcements. About half of the people (probably more) so announced I am unfamiliar with, but they are usually journalists of some pelt, so I can blithely dismiss them. Some are sports people and even easier to dismiss, but occasionally the news writers actually acknowledge someone of actual importance and so I had to go do a search on this woman since I had never heard of her before but the coverage – as it always does – makes them sound as if they are founders of civilization.

I am still not certain of this woman. She was evidently one of those people who suffer great indifference by society in youth and then succeed because of that. The former is more occasion to respect than the latter, in my estimation. But whether the woman is worthy of notice or not is not what is pertinent here. I was quickly reminded of Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s address to the American Physical Society meeting. [Link] I was not there but I read the transcript and the journalism and found myself in rather sincere disagreement with Dr. Tyson. Contrary to his claims, science is not in the public awareness. The television comedy “Big Bang Theory” is about stereotypical nerds, not about science. What science is in the program is Potemkin facade.

From what I see here in Alibam, science is only part of bog consciousness as dislike, either as costing too much for too little (no) gain, or taking money away from welfare programs. Evidently the attitude is ‘millions for asprin but zero for a cure’, or the continuation of the species. And scientists are the butt of jokes and hatred by climate change denialists which is definitely policy here in Alibam.

But what I did agree with Dr. Tyson about is that scientists are ghettoized by their disciplines. Not only from bogs, but from each other. And that means we are not cognizant nor knowledgeable of boggery. But I am not at all convinced that we should be. The argument for education of the public on science is altruistic and weak. The strongest bit seems to a rather fragile construction that if the public is educated and in support of science then the congress critters will follow. I find this specious. The congress critters want what they want and are actively engaged in brain washing the electorate to their ends. And they have money and means far beyond those of scientists. So the effort is handicapped, if not doomed, from the get go.

I am not convinced the boggerate is educable. My observations indicate they operate at a catch phrase, personal gratification level and science does not do those well. I am not adverse to measured attempts. IMHO COSMOS is a great success but measured on the stage of political mindmelding, it is a distant echo in an unpopulated desert. Yes, we need to do it because science is worthwhile and we need to attract a few children to study but overall it is a waste of effort and time. Rather like teaching a pig to sing.

And I conjecture that it is good that scientists are largely orthogonal to social “reality” lest they become depressed and cease to strive and humans become extinct.

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Morning Musings

Listening to the political commercials this morning – all Repulsian – I have to wonder how we elected this combination of Adolph Hitler and Atilla the Hun  to be POTUS. The answer is, of course, that Alibam didn’t elect him; they elected the Repulsian capitalist oligarch tyrant.

But now that he has settled into his second term, I have to wonder how Alibam politics is his vilification? How can the folks in Muntgum, themselves lackeys of Alibam oligarchs, make such comic opera treason with straight faces?

But they do.

And because of that I have come to understand why they can get away with being climate change denialists. It’s because the second civil war will occur and kill off millions before the climate change gets to that stage.

Chinese curse in action.

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Young is too hard

A belated start to the week. Schule must be desessioned given the density of educationalists this morning at gym. And I had to remind myself to listen to two-day podcasts. Which were diverting if not entangling.

Which gave me occasion and opportunity to consider a bit emitted by the campus of the Black Warrior on how high schule students should prepare for college.[Link] The meat too the form of a bullet list:

  • As you are preparing your four-year plan with your counselor, include classes to help you prepare for college. Many colleges require foreign language and science with lab components, among others.
  • Remember, your grade point average counts now, so work hard!
  • Commit yourself to extracurricular activities.
  • Create a resume that documents your successes, such as honor roll, civic clubs and sports recognitions.
  • During summer, evaluate your goals. Make needed changes to stay on track.
  • Take advantage of summer academic programs or volunteer opportunities that interest you.

I have to admit that much of my thought was along the azimuth of how different this was from my high schule days.

I don’t recall much opportunity to choose courses, much less classes. There were only two tracks in those days: college; and trade. And grades were a matter of parental demand. But extracurricular activities? There weren’t much of that that I can recall. Some kids had to work because their parents needed them to or they weren’t going to college and needed the experience, but for the college bound – the majority in techno-Huntsville – work was viewed as a distraction from good grades.

I do know some folks who were active in things like boy scouts but they were all extros. The closest I came to extracurricular was belonging to a couple of schule clubs that met sometimes after hours. And sports and civic clubs were out as well; they were for extros going into trade.

Summer was when you got to study what you wanted to mostly full time, in and around yard mowing and house chores and transporting younger siblings and their friends out of pester range for parents. I liked summer because I could increase my weekly reading of not-schule books to twelve or so a week. And spend time working on the project I wanted to work on, not assigned in schule. But there was never any evaluation of plans going on, just chugging away to finish high schule and go to college.

And the summer academic programs were remedial in those days. Summer schule was limited to those who were failing but only due to one or two courses and might recover in an intensive environment. It was not college enhancing. And volunteering was unknown in those days. Especially among Intros.

Makes my head hurt. Makes me glad I am not young.

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Draping the Day

I do dislike this. The gym people take holiday too often. But then any down time of a gym is too much to me. IMHO, gyms, like hospitals and grocery stores, should be 24/7. But especially on holy days when people do not have to job and may actually want to exercise. Message: quit being stingy and hire enough staff.

The reason is that today is Decoration Day, improperly renamed Memorial Day by a government not interested in the needs of the citizens. Which brings me to the meat of the message,

Yes, today is for contemplation of the sacrifice of thos who soldiered for the nation, both those who returned from the war and those who did not.

But we should also reflect on whether the war was just, whether it was conducted in the best interest of the nation and not just of the capitalist oligarchs, and how we go about compelling the government to satisfy those conditions.

That is a primary responsibility of the citizen.

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Alibam Superiority

This is getting tedious. A bit of aerosol this morning. Questionably fog. That is, it’s  dense enough – optically – to be fog bu not spatially extensive enough to trigger the visibility criterion/definition. And the podcast is crap. Which definitely puts Popular Science on my list of crap periodicals alongside, but second to, Scientific American. If they think this is a good, funny, sciencey podcast then they have been using controlled substances illegally too long and their neurons are disrupted.

Speaking of disrupted neurons, my thought naturally turn to Alibam. One of the reasons I live in Alibam, besides being born here, is the feeling of affirmed superiority that I derive just from living here. Yes, it is unpleasant living with ferds and putzes, but then being an introvert it is uncomfortable living with anyone. Even my friends, which, courtesy of the podcast, I have too few of. Sadly – or happily – depending on viewpoint, I seem to be doing better than the moderators of the podcast who most obviously aren’t introverts. On nerds, for that matter.

Anyway, I ran across an example of brilliance in Alibam this week. [Link] Seems this fellow – an American football fanatic – was caught with unprescribed controlled substances. And his defense was to invoke the catch phrase of his fanaticism. I should comment that Alibam, like most states, has numerous colleges and universities, but only two are the primary generators of spectator sports fanatics: the campus of the Black Warrior and Alibam Polytechnic Institute. The majority are of the former persuasion, and the fanatics of the latter are, in the mode, better behaved, than those of the former. I shall not overdo by telling you who the miscreant followed.

I was rather entertained by the idea that one should be excused of illegality (and neuron disruption) because of ones religionist delusions. But upon consideration and cognition I realized that all religionists have this delusion. Their wat is the right way and any deviation they may have with reality or its organizational misuse should be ignored and forgiven purely on the basis of their delusion.

Since it is also the season, I then turned to consider the delusion of governance. So far this season I have heard numerous political commercials on the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver. I say hear since I don;t like to actually view the horror and pain that is presented of horribly oversized people(?) who obviously have some conservation law of the form

mass * intellect = constant

and all have the same message: they offer to do nothing positive; on the reactionary, probably prevaricative, side they offer to prevent the Yankee government from enforcing law; and they represent the citizens of the state. Since most of what they propose to do is (a) harmful to the citizenry, (b) intended to benefit corporations and oligarchs, and (c) likely to be struck down by the Yankee government after much wastage of taxpayer money, the prevaricative aspect is obvious. Less immediately obvious is that they are proposing to nothing positive or constructive.

This is why I enjoy living in Alibam. It is frustrating, but definitely leaves me feeling superior.

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