Morning Amusement?

Reading daily tabs. Except maybe on Wednesday when I have to go do real stuff. But in the process this morning I ran across an article [Link] entitled “Which is Better, Mac or Windows?” on LifeHacker. This is a podcast and I didn’t listen to it for reason that are (or will become) obvious. Not telling others to not listen, just that it ain’t my thing.

I also have to admit that I have only listened to one LifeHacker podcast and that was only for ten minutes. And controlling the urge to regurgitate kept me from smashing the MP3 player and only erasing the abomination file.

But the idea that there would be people who would listen to a podcast arguing the merits and defects of Apple OS versus Winders was engaging. I had not thought there were any people like this, or at least any statistically significant number.

I have known many Winders users. Almost none had any interest in changing OS. And of the few who did, most were frustrated by the high monetary cost of Apple and the high (?) cognitive cost of Linux. Apple for the exorbitant (but excellent) hardware and Linux for an increased need to actually think and learn and do. 

Hence the mutterings about Appliance Bogs.

Of the Apple folk I have known all had the conviction of rabid christianist evangelicals. Those who believe Sprague DeCamp’s version of Freedom of Religion is holy writ. That the week isn’t good if you haven’t killed an other-believer. Either by actual discorporation or bullying into your perversions. They are better mannered, admittedly, and most are Jewish in attitude towards evangelicalism, namely that you have to prove you are worthy of Apple. Which is maybe better?

Cost aside, there is no real competition here. Apple OS is lots better than Winders. At least 10dB. Maybe more. Winders is for herd bogs who are afraid of learning. Who have been mindwiped by their schules and employers into thinking they have to be well behaved serfs who never learn anything about computers other than surfing and socialing. The make Eighteenth Century chattel slavery look enlightened.

Not that Apple is much better but at least the OS is. And the hardware. But not the chains. Soma by electronics.

But the most bemusing bit was the personal notes of what each commentator was doing. Laughable. I listen to a Linux podcast and the commentators are doing great stuff, either writing code or bashing metal or learning something. These guys are making ice cubes or counting hits on their social media. Makes me wonder what their creds are to actually do a geekcast?

I’m gonna go open an editor and write some code. Then maybe the urge will abate.

Organized Irrationality

Obese Two Day. Mysticism meets Orgy.

On which azimuth, I came to consider subjectivity today. I am periodically (?) bemused by how much of how society operates is wholly arbitrary and subjective.

Let’s start with justice. Whenever someone is injured, that person (occasionally,) their relatives (always,) and friends (seldom) clamor for justice. The justice they want is usually revenge and it is always what they think should be inflicted not any rational or shared assessment. Rather reminds me of Sean Connery in that Elliot Ness movie about constantly upping the retribution until radioactive extinction occurs.

Intriguingly, and despite its claims, the legal system is not about justice. It’s about control, keeping the violence in the hands of organization and out of the hands of individuals.

Fairness is another one. What someone considers fair is always theirs, not a necessarily shared thing. Having both parties in an interaction negotiate “fair” is rare and even then probably isn’t or they wouldn’t have wasted time and effort on it.

Why this subjectivity today? Because both are all about the individual feeling good and not thinking.

American Failure

One Day. Back to Gym. Moderately sparse. Not many weight bouncers. The podcast was an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” about fire. It was a piece that started out well and then degenerated to schmaltz about the Twin Towers Terrorism. I don’t know what the creators’ intent was but I doubt it was being alienating and boring.

Not that I am bored by the loss of life and property but the presentation was singularly ineffective for INTROs. All social emotion stercus and no real substantive content. If anyone should be ashamed it should be those creators.

But this did give occasion to reflect on a Stanley Schmidt editorial in the March 2012 ANALOG. (And YES, I am WAY behind on reading my ANALOG subscription.) He was talking rather critically about manufacturing corporations abandoning their customers by dropping old implementations to sell new ones. 

This is not a new topic to me. I have harped several times about tool versus appliance, but not so much from the standpoint of the greed of the manufacturers. This is a major problem and one totally ignored by ALL politicians, probably because they get bought by those manufacturers. 

But perhaps not? I have noted that politicians no longer worry about their legacy; what they are remembered for. Evidently they think they cannot be remembered and thus only worry about getting re-elected. Which is another problem that we need to fix. But can’t so long as we have no control over politicians.

The problem is that in the midst of an information age, we are losing information at a rate greater than we create it. Yes, a net loss of information. Take PowerPoint files as an example – and Yes, I will acknowledge that MegaHard owns the right to that name and is one of the major causes of this problem. The problem with PowerPoint is that MegaHard keeps updating the file format and orphaning all previous formats. So all old PowerPoint files are unreadable and hence effectively lost.

Now in many cases this is actually a boon since most PowerPoint files are rubbish. Rotting rubbish in several meaning of the term. But some are not and when they cannot be read something is lost.

We have gone through this before. In the Dark Ages. In fact, this loss was part of why those times were Dark. Because when the Roman Empire fell a LOT of information was lost. Similarly, the library of Alexandria was burned by superstitionists. So much for the value of organized religion. 

And we’re doing it again. But the perpetrators are corporations who are uninterested in producing tools and only want to produce appliances. 

Sadly, information doesn’t work the same way food does.

Looking around at the corporate oligarchy, I am glad to be ORF, especially knowing that the politicians are doing nothing to aid their constituents. 

Rust Box

Seven Day. Solid Dihydrogen Oxide outside. So no constitutional. But the morning groats were welcome. 

Part of this week has been spent arguing with Winders. And I feel a bit soiled after doing so. Rather like when one changes the lubricant in one’s motorcar and feels rather slimy/slippery for a couple of days after despite several applications of detergent to oneself. In this instance sort of like falling into the LaBrea tar pits, extricating oneself, only to encounter a Mephitis Mephitis on the bank and fall backwards into the pits again choking and gagging on the noxiousness.

Hence my positive mood this morning when I ran across an article [Link] entitled “Get Yourself a Chromebook For Under $150, Today Only.” I have to admit that I bought a ChromeBook, a refurbed one for a bit less than this price.

And I also have to admit that I feel like I was cheated.

The hardware is abysmal but even so it is sterling compared to the OS. It’s worse than the OS on the IBM 360 I had to use in undergraduate days. 

All you can do with a ChromeBook – effectively – is browse. Almost nothing constructive. 

After a bit of research I discovered that the implementation – hardware – is virtually the same as a Stercus lapbox I have wrangled with because of the way Horrible Packaging implemented secure boot UEFI. But even less useful.

So I have to conclude that the combination of HP and Chrome is Sturgeon’s Rule to the nth root. That is 0.91/n. Where n is large; bigger than 1E2. 

Oh! And I can’t even run FORTRAN code on it!

But what scares me is that there are actual people who define their lives via this. 

Three Cheers for the Extinction Meteorite! May it arrive soon!

Information Mechanics?

Five Day. Off to gym and an episode of the “Linux Action Show.” Passable. A couple of tidbits of potentially useful.

But in and around I was exciting neurons to consider the nature of combination hoarding + sharing. In particular, books.

Why is it that we have a model where we buy books, read them, keep them even if we never read them again, and will gladly loan them out to people we trust?

Why we even pay for libraries if we can keep the politicians out of the process. Ugly people, politicians, they seem to think that the citizenry should be kept in chains and rags and ignorance except for the few who give them big contributions and must be repaid a thousandfold from the tax coffers. Irrespective of party or anything except the addiction of power.

But this isn’t about the corruption of government by its officers. It’s about what is patently a strange behavior.

I am not saying we don’t hoard other things, but we also don’t share them either. 

I am a case in point. I have lots of books. Some I have never read but bought with good intention of reading someday. Some I have read once but have no plans to read again and have no strong intention of disposing of. (Admittedly there are some books, mostly contemporary fiction that I read partly or wholly (the minority that latter,) and put in the disposal pile immediately. And let FD SCP drag off to the used bookstore to trade for bosom rippers.

But of those I keep, almost all I would gladly loan to anyone I have any inkling of being likely to be honest and return it. I might even let them keep if they asked. But not to people I have no resonance with, no feeling of trust.

Why is this. Why is information, either in form or substance, so important and precious? And why are we so avid to propagate it through the species?

The World Wonders.

OS Off

Today has been a day of Operating Systems.

First, I went to the gym. Opened at 0350. The opening clerk was a bit late. The podcast was an episode of Linux Voice. This was the first time I listened to. Have been trying to find another good (?) Linux podcast to replace Linux Luddites. And yes, I did subscribe to Late Night Linux the successor to Linux Luddites but it lacks some quality. Besides I want some depth of field to sample. 

I forget which podcast I sampled last week but it was a failure.

Not so Linux Voice. Quite comparable to Luddites. Not much in the way of profanity – I understand people getting emotional but it adds nothing to why I listen to a podcast, which is education. I wanna learn something and since I can curse in six (or so) languages now, not including FORTRAN or PASCAL or even FORTH – maybe all of FORTH is profane? – ain’t much some keyboard jocks are gonna lay on my profanity vocab.

So that was a plus for Linux.

Then I had to go get my ears lowered. Which was also an exercise in hair cutting OS. Not very useful but entertaining. And fun.

Then back home to wrangle with some Winders VII boxes. Way does anyone use Winders? It takes me an hour to do something I could do in five minutes on Linux. An hour is enough to install a new distro after reformatting the HD. When it comes to brainwashing MegaHard makes the Chinese look like kindergarten kids.

And just so I don’t let Linux off the hook, I have decided that KDE 5 is a pile of stercus. Have tried six different distros with KDE 5 native in the last two weeks and on all of them the rendering goes crackers within a day regardless of anything I do. Install card driver or not. ….. Piece of CRAP!

I’m gonna stay with KDE 4 until it goes away and then find something else.

Also, how do Winders people live without repositories? Poor uncivilized asentients? Multi-cell amoebae? Definitely not really human.