Freedom and Stupidity

There has been a bit of a row this week about some professional athlete who declined to rise for the national anthem. It seems that he is not a furrin national but is protesting some inequity having to do with the flag?

The furor has been diverse. Some of the media applauds his support of some idea of equity, perhaps even tolerance. Another part of the media is intolerant of his behavior and apparently wants to punish him nastily. The populace is similarly divided with the added factor of being distraught at some or all of the media, quite ignoring that the media is always motivated by money.

This led me to the matter of freedom and thence to democracy. Democracy, of course, like all organizations, including governments, is opposed to freedom. And unlike other forms of government, at least in degree, democracy is self-consuming. The path of democracy is one of preventing the majority from destroying the minority. This obviously has great implications not only for this incident but for the Yankee republic in general as we pursue our death throes as a nation.

I see no reason to restrict freedom except when its practice injures someone else. That’s a nice statement that is almost impossible to implement above the personal conscience level. The problem is what constitutes injury. In this instance, we have to ask how remaining seated during a musical performance harms anyone else. 

Obviously, all those who protest the act consider themselves injured. So we come down to a matter of measurement. Which organizations are amazing incapable of. Almost all organizational measurement is the lowest of hanging fruit. Difficulty is only executed if survival is blatant. IOW, the teeth of the lion are enumerated only as the jaws close.

There is also the question of help and harm. The act was supposedly motivated to help the minority. So how do we measure the relative merits. How many lollipops distributed to poor children justify one execution?

And why is life imprisonment more acceptable than execution?

And I shan’t even touch the nonsense of celebrities. 

Humans deserve their self-created Hells.

Towers dropped from Ball

One Day. Back to gym. CBC’s “Best of Ideas” podcast. Episode about “Single Personality Disorder” and the DSM.

Almost immediate failure of credibility.

The talking head – a psychiatrist? – who built the program and interacted with the host, blew her credibility early on by using Galileo Galilei’s house arrest as an example. Not that it may not be such but she claimed the reason for the house arrest was Galileo espousing a “NEW” idea. 

Emphasis on the NEW part.

And it is generally accepted these days to be absolutely inaccurate. 

The story is also pretty involved. As any emergence of human society has to be. And historians fail knowing they will, perhaps the only discipline other than scientists who know so ab initio.

A reasonable starting point is Bruno. The guy who was excommunicated and then burned to death by the Church of Rome. In those days this was variously seen as right and proper or horribly cruel. In actuality it is how organizations naturally behave if there are no controls on them.

And the Church of Rome had few controls on it in those days. And not many in these.

And Bruno said things the church didn’t want said. And he alienated all the other organizations that could protect him – governments and religionist organizations alike.

So he got cooked for disobeying.

Similarly for Galileo. Except that by this time the church had gotten a bit more careful. Mainly because the other organizations had gotten a bit more powerful.

So they charged him with saying things he wasn’t authorized to say. 

Not that what he said was wrong, mind you, but that he didn’t have permission to say them. 

And they locked him up for that.

And we still have this today. Edward Snowden, e.g.

But his incarceration – Galileo’s – wasn’t for what he said but that he said without permission.

Logics of Sundae

For once – things have been hectic lately – cycling through the cartoon folder. Ran across [Link]

which has an intriguing logic degeneracy. Not that I can fault the cartoonist for building it so. This one isn’t in keeping with the tenor of the strip.

The logic leads equally well to being a Deist.

 But the really gathering one [Link] is

which took me back to my own days of being drug off to a department store (yes that was a LONG time ago) and later a young men’s store for schule attire.

The azimuth of the distress was different but the effect was similar. I hated (!!!!!) this activity. I might have hidden from it entirely except for two factors. First, as much as I didn’t have any “fashion” sense, I didn;t trust my mother not to dress me like someone who would get walloped every day at recess. And second, more importantly, the trauma was so great that it actually made going back to schule less painful. 

Which is saying something for in INTRO.

New Laws for Old?

Yesterday, one of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, sent me a [Link] to an article entitled “How to Keep Specific Android Apps from Auto-Updating.” Now this is a VERY useful article – as he pointed out – because like all OS, any specific instance of Android – I make the distinction because each cellular telephone manufacturer and service provider adds their own stuff – includes some actual and apparent CrapWare.

That is, apps or clients that you don’t want or don’t need and can’t get rid of. My example is that there are several Gooey utilities built into Android, so deepest source CrapWare, that others may use but I don’t.

So short of being able to delete the stercus, keeping it from updating is a mitzvah.

Why? Because unlike a real computer, slablets are basically portable devices with fixed instrumentality. That means you are limited to a battery and the memory (CPU) built in. And you can’t yet build-your-own slablet.

And since updates generally grow because patching is NEVER as efficient as writing, the apps just get bigger and hungrier. Bigger relative parasites.

So being able to minimize them for real is a boon.

But this article, which is mediocrely written and is something that should be in any decent OS documentation, put me in mind of Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s “Laws”: [Link]

Clarke’s first law – When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

Clarke’s second law – The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

Clarke’s third law – Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

in the context of modern techno-society. One where all the politicians have gone into science denial/hatred and no one provides technical manuals any more. 

So my whack at the laws – revised – is:

  • First law – When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right and will be ignored, vilified, denied, or killed by the politicals.
  • Second law – The only way of discovering the limits of the impossible is to venture a little way past them into the possible, if you can find anyone who is willing to abandon their social reality delusions.
  • Third law – Any advanced, undocumented technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Enjoys your superstition if you are one of the decreasing few who can stomach religionist organizational fascism. Otherwise, stay home today and explore some reality. Not social reality. Not political reality. Actual reality.

Surprise Motoring

I am repeatedly amazed at how many contemporary motor vehicle operators are unable to execute a right turn at an intersection unless both the lane they are turning into and the one adjacent it are vacant.

Apparently steering is no longer a qualification for an operator’s license.

Finger in the Dyke

Six Day. Muggish. The only striking thoughts while walking were avoiding inundation from clumsy water wasters. And then I ran across an article [Link] entitled “University of Chicago Strikes Back Against Campus Political Correctness” and the thoughts started streaming.

The basic idea here is that U Chicago is reaffirming that what universities are about – even in Amerika! – is education and that does not mean censorship of ideas.

Political Correctness. Social Correctness. Racism. Racial Cleansing. ….. Liberal colleges running off conservative professors. Religionist academies crucifying Liberals.

Everything but education. Now if they’ll do something about the factory system?

I attribute a lot of this to parenting. Too much oversight. Helicoptering. But what amazes is that it seems to have taken.

When I was a bairn I was allowed to read (almost) anything in the house. But I wasn’t allowed to ask questions about. The least hint of “Why do you do that?” and I was whisked off by my father behind the shed for a session of grab-your-ankles with one of his belts. And a couple of days of painful sitting in schule – uncushioned desks. 

Most of the parents of my generation seem to have been worse. And where I grew into someone who questioned almost everything – once I thought to question it – the modern young don’t seem inclined to question anything. Especially themselves.

So they want college to be a period when they get their money-making tickets punched and never get exposed to any real information or ask any real questions.

And too many of the colleges like that because it makes their profits greater.

Which is one of the several reasons we have become a third world nation.

Just look at the POTUS candidates. Makes it clear that not only were we never great, we are pretty depraved and parochially bankrupt.

This is no longer a nation-state. It’s a State of Denial. The United States of Denial.

And Ignorance.

And I am glad I am ORF. For obvious reasons.


Medicine Statistics

It occurred to me this morning that pills are Bosonic. 

You can almost never get just one pill to come out of the bottle. Mostly none or several.


And you have to struggle to cram all back but one.