The Good of a Pen

Five Day. Last day of gym under the new schedule. And an intense hope the weekend will actually be enjoyable.

The first morning of BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! Bundled up like Nanook. Southrons and heat are nasty but Southrons and not-heat are just plain pathetic. Even more pathetic than Clinton-Trump supporters. 

The podcast this morning was the second half of an episode of Linux Luddites. Passable. Consumed the time well. But not much in the way of ideas. So my mind wandered to the subject of writing and then to pens.

I sometimes listen to Brad Dowdy’s “The Pen Addict” [Link] podcast, mostly when walking. He sometimes has useful things to say about pens. But mostly he waxes adoringly on Field Note paper. Not that it isn’t good paper but pocket notebooks aren’t real notebooks. At least in my frame of reference.

Which brings me to note taking and composition and writing. One of my colleagues, Force Spring Constant, gave me an Economist article entitled “The Comeback of Cursive” [Link] about why cursive is making a comeback in schules mostly because – they claim – of push-back from Common Core and the extra-office existence of corporate serfs these days. Neither seems a good reason but then humans almost never do things for good reasons. Mostly they glandular. 

I have nattered on writing and note taking previously so I won;t compete with a search of the blog site. And get to the marrow. How do I rate a pen?

Importance 1: How well does the pen put into on the page? This is primarily about the interstices of the pen. Does it skip? Does it drag? Yes to either question is failure. And the pen ends up next the telephone to write down pointers.

Importance 2: How well does the pen feel. Is it comfortable both at rest in the hand and while writing? No to either is a fail.

Importance 3: Is the pen painful in any way? Is it unendearingly ugly? Or nastily garish? Depending on the depth of 1 and 2, a Yes may be a fail. But not usually. This is a distant 3.

The problem is that we can assess these with opposite order of ease. A glance and a touch answer 3, A bit of manipulation and test writing answer 2 and much of 1. But a new pen does not perform like a developed pen. So sometimes we buy and then amass at the telephone. 

So when someone tells you they buy pens for visual appearance or cheapness, you know they are a BOG. Pity them. Perhaps they will abstain from reproduction. 

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Making Travel Hurt

Had to put my motorcar in hospital yesterday for a transplant. More of this balloon nonsense of incompetent manufacturing. And since US231 is a “bloody mess” of road muckers making travel painful for the citizenry – courtesy of a bit of pork from the state Council of Thieves – I went via US431 which increases the distance by 0.25 but decreases the wrack and ruin on me. And then I had to molder in what is laughingly called a “Quiet Room” for a not too interminable period of time before being able to return to Greater Metropolitan Arab.

Which meant that I got exposed to a lot of “media” rubbish yesterday. And that’s the basis of this blot.

Second of all, I perceived a transmission over the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver last evening of a news item on “air rage”. Seems the corporate masters of the air want to make the punishments for bad behavior – in their determination – uniform over the planet. This is rather more adventurous even than drug laws which are uniformly strict but dis-jointly applied. 

My initial reaction was that the corporate masters would catch more flies with honey than acetic acid solution. IOW, if people are raging then instead of bottling up their rage so that when it does manifest it’s in the form of guillotines and firing parties, just moderate the causes of the irritation.

This, of course, might reduce their profits and thus with typically microscopic planning, would be impossible to even contemplate. So thumb screws and iron maidens it will be. I would be concerned that if people are going to be threatened with twenty years of prison, probably in some tartarus hole of a country with a 0.99 convict death fraction, some will decide they need to take a few myrmidons of evil capitalism with them. Which will also reduce profits.

But then I thought secondly about the videos I had seen leading into the news reading and I realized that all of the example incidents were perpetrated by people who had the appearance and behavior of neotenous adolescents.

Which brought me to the first of all which was listening as I returned from the motorcar hospital to GMA on a satellite wireless channel. This was a “comedy” (???) monologue about the behavior of teenagers. A tirade – never more than briefly humorous – of the obliviousness to communication and learning and the emotional maelstroms. Which is closely the behavior of air rage.

It then occurred that during most of human existence, ever since we came down out of the trees, we were Hunter-Gatherers, and therefore we evolved pretty much in that mold. And in HG bands of 25-50 people where almost no one lived past 45, teenagers were much more determining members of society.

In effect, Civilization if a conspiracy to dis-empower teenagers. Throughout recorded history, the age at which adolescents become “adults” has steadily increased. 

Which means that there is reduced pressure on adolescents to develop adult behavior. And we have a lot of people in our environment of society-is-the-only-reality where chronological adults are really neotenous teenagers. 

If so, trying to punish air rage is already a lost cause. 

Just like trying to find adults to operate pickup trucks.

 

Cleaning out tabs. Ran across one [Link] entitled “Coding is not ‘fun’, it’s technically and ethically complex” and was a bit offput by it. I noticed the author is located in Italy so this may be an Italian/European thing.

The guy is railing against the fun/easy thing being propagandized by a lot of Geek Leaders. Notably Fruit Folk. The article states that

“Unfortunately, this rosy portrait bears no relation to reality. For starters, the profile of a programmer’s mind is pretty uncommon. As well as being highly analytical and creative, software developers need almost superhuman focus to manage the complexity of their tasks. Manic attention to detail is a must; slovenliness is verboten. Attaining this level of concentration requires a state of mind called being ‘in the flow’, a quasi-symbiotic relationship between human and machine that improves performance and motivation.”

which is largely Stercus Tauri. (To use an Italian language.)

Yes, programming is rather strictly grammatical. In fact it is the strictest in a grammar sense but there is still plenty of wiggle room to abuse the grammar. The reason for this is fairly simple. Compilers aren’t very smart. The strictness has to do with the conversion of conversation – code – into executable.

Second, the mind set isn’t that uncommon. When I was an undergrad, almost all STEMs learned how to code. (The notable exceptions were biologists and boundary people like anthropologists and psychologists.) So unless the author thinks STEM skills ate rare, coding mindset isn’t uncommon. Disciplined, maybe, but not uncommon.

Is it fun? It is for me. Yes, it is frustrating but when the code runs there is an adrenalin rush that is indistinguishable from fun. It’s also soothing and enveloping. A sort of womb thing.

Ethically challenging? Is this one of those science fiction “Is there a God?” things? If you’re a back-to-nature kill off the human rave to hunter-gatherer levels arealist than maybe, but not otherwise. At least based on the author’s arguments. Which are sparse and vapid.

 

Food Evil

Whew. Days are strange. Have to wear sweater in morning and then shuck when the air temperature heads back up into the ’90’s. Ah!, the JOYS of GLOBAL WARMING!!!!!!

Spent much of yesterday in Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. After her visit with the Oculus Quackus had to brave Manhattan level lunch time traffic while exploring. If it hadn’t been so stressful I might of died from boredom.

After ran across an article [Link] entitled “Kids Joining ‘School Lunch Advisory Councils’ to Deal With Michelle Obama’s Rules” about how the Administration is enlisting schule kids to police their companions’ eating.

Lunch Nazis. Or worse, reminds me of the Self-Criticism Committees the Russian and Chinese Communists were so fond of. Home grown committees of zealots who called their neighbors in to confess to their sins. And be chastised and harassed and even punished. Some got sent to concentration camps.

Evil. Tyranny. Amerika.

It occurred that they will populate these councils with the popular, cool kids to “self-criticize” the unpopular, uncool, ordinary kids just for being unpopular, uncool, and ordinary. Kids who need some comfort food. Need some psychologal comfort period. 

One more evil of organization.

Enough to really smoke my ire.

And probably slanted against the INTROs as well. More EXTRO harassment and beatings condoned by the schule instrumentality. Let’s kill the INTROs because NO ONE CARES!

Let’s make Auschwitz out of every public schule!

I know the waste is up with the new dietary rules. Understandable. And not the right way to induce the kids to eat right. They eat like they do at home. Any major deviation is not gonna work

What I would like to see is the stats before and after on kids bringing lunch. That was how we responded to disliked cafeteria practices. 

Another reason I am glad I am ORF. Bad enough with the Medical Nazis without dedicated food Nazis.

Out & About

Waiting room duty. Responsible Adult for FD SCP at eye physician. Many people and little diversion. 

Trying to figure out why women wear long blouses made of teeshirt fabric that rides up and frames their derriere?

Is that their goal?

Lost Dream

I ran across this cartoon [Link] this morning:

And was struck by how it captured how I feel about GEN Ys sometimes. 

They are lost and gone forever?

And do they have any redeeming social value?