Fifth Horseman

End of gym week. And the place was even less populated than is usual for a Thor’s day. Of course it is the end of summer. By the only metric that counts in Greater Metropolitan Arab. Not seasonal or meteorological or scientific. Bureaucratic. The resumption of schule

This is a mirror of human existence today. Nature is a nuisance, not an environment. What counts is society and organizations. And for all of us, a bit more so for parents, fall is when schule resumes. Vacations end. Traffic clots. The internet is actually accessible in the daytime. And screams and nuisance take on a less fiendish face. 

And illness returns. [Link] This is how the world ends, not with a bang but schules providing the vector. Kids spreading disease among themselves and then  sharing with parents. Positively makes boarding schules seem an excellent idea.

And the educationalists go overboard so if it isn’t disease, it’s auto-immune disorders resulting from too much use of hand sanitizer. And the Triclosan gets into the water supply and poisons the water cleaning bacteria in the treatment plants.

So much for wisdom. More like homo stupidus.

Chernobyl looks Green and Healthy

Not a good day so far. When I got to gym I discovered that the management – if I may use that term so inaccurately – had once more performed one of their favorite stunts of removing machines preferred by the membership. Gaping emptiness greeted us. And replacement by hated machines is the next step. One has to wonder how long this place would survive if it were not the only game in town. And how it can pretend to be part of a hospital. Except hospitals are once more factories of death and pain.

I did however, run across this cartoon: [Link]

over the weekend and I was taken by its accuracy. As I have commented on previously there seems to be a conservation law of television that the total quality of what is broadcast (?) on television is a constant. It may be a slowly changing constant, but we can safely take it as close to a constant for our discussion.

This means that the product of number of programs/channels and their individual qualities is equal to a constant. Hence, the more channels/programs the lower the quality of each in the mode. 

FD SCP and I are in the midst of a transition from our old, analog, clear cable connection to a new, digital, encrypted cable connection. The number of channels will increase largely because the television provider has been steadily reducing its analog channels over the last few years. We currently have 40-50 channels, the exact number is uncounted, but only watch maybe 8 channels regularly. Vast swatches of channels – spectator sports for example – are unwatched but must be endured because there is no cafeteria option.

The new system, assuming it can be installed and works as claimed, will have many more channels but I rather suspect that the number of channels we watch will actually diminish since sometimes it is better to turn off the television than to put up with stercus.

I think I may be looking forward to the day when the number of channels is effectively infinite so that I may get rid of television entirely. 

Bad Writing

Strange morning. First of all the gym was strangely populated. I suspect this reflects this being the lass week before schule resessions. And the podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” was decidedly strange. First, I had to cycle through three episodes because the first two were repeats. Not sure how they got into the folder but they did. And the third was a lecture on journalism. All I can say about it is that I came to the realizations that:

Journalists act like they create stories; they don’t; all they do is ‘write” them.

And I ran across an article [Link] that is rather poor journalism. It doesn’t even tell me where the work was done although there is a link to the journal. 

Anyway, the article advances that children raised in religionist homes have difficulty telling real from imaginary. And when challenged they use their religionist beliefs to justify their delusions. 

What makes this such a neat article is that while we all – except maybe the deluded religionists? – that this is the situation and a common one at that, the academic officializing actually makes this something that can be discussed. Usually we accept that most religionists are deluded and going to do and say whackadoodle things but we never say anything about them because they usually resort to some form of violence when we do.

But now there is some hope of having a rational, perhaps even peaceful, discussion when this occurs and get these people to quit persecuting everyone else.

And if we can make that happen then there is hope we can persuade the journalists to do better as well,