Dark Thoughts 4

I have made no bones, positive nor negative, of being a Linuxian. Once I retired from the civil service of the Yankee Republic, I was able to lay aside Winders along with my organizationally demanded loyalty and support to/for it. Nowadays, the only time I deal with Winders is when I have to bash FD SCP’s boxes or deal with a friend or colleague who continues to practice this aged and creaky “religion.”

That’s not quite accurate. I do still keep a few Winders boxes about, almost solely dedicated to running Scientific Word since there is no equivalent in Linux. The manufacturer of SW, who promised Linux support with the latest version, proved themselves to be a “true” Amerikan Capitalist by prvaricating and not producing a Linux client. Sic Transit…

But I still need SW, which I run in a aged version on an WXP box or two, to write Nerd papers, Linux lacking any equally useful alternative.

Anyway, I was reading an article [Link] entitled “A tour of elementary OS, perhaps the Linux world’s best hope for the mainstream” and it provoked some cogitation. For those who do not know, which is the majority, Elementary OS is a Linux distribution, and it is billed as the Linux Messiah that will instantiate the “year of the Linux desktop.”

After years of stentorian announcements of the “year of the Linux desktop,” I have become cynical, or, at least, more cynical of the claims. But lately I have come to focus a different view of this.

If we go back to the period before Thucydides invented history, when the Greeks told fantasy tales of heroes, we find that heroes were not always nice people but they were few in number. 

In a similar vein, in the centuries just prior to the quantum/relativity revolution, “civilized” nations have Explorers’ Clubs, dedicated to people who went in harms way to find new places, people, things, and ideas. These Explorers were not always nice people, despite the propaganda of King and Country and Media, but they were few in number.

Heroes and Explorers were not majority human beings. They were driven to activities alien to the rest of humanity, and by so doing, enriched that majority.

I will argue that (at least one of) the modern equivalent of Heroes and Explorers are the folks who deliberately, without coercion, adopt Linux. Because doing so enriches the majority who remain Winders serfs and Apple slaves. 

We should not therefore try to entice great numbers to embrace Linux, for such power is inherently unstable and would damage the mundanity of society too much. 

There is no year of the Linux desktop any more than next year there will be fulfillment in Jerusalem.

Alternately, the year of the Linux desktop is every year that these few, these explorer/heroes improve the lot of humanity. And suffer as much from the apathy and hatred of that majority as they do from privation and opposition. 

Those who seek the Grail are opposed by all, good and evil alike.

Dark Thoughts 3

Now that the package rush is over, it seems fitting to post grades for the delivery organizations.

In alphabetic order:

  • FeDeX – F+ (The plus is merited because once (!!!!) a driver actually knocked on the door;)
  • UPS – B+;
  • USPS – A++.

I am seriously considering denying business to any company who uses FeDeX without other choice. 


Dark Thoughts 2

With FD SCP taking off for the holidays, I have been exposed to more television than usual. As a result I have come to some understanding of brands that advertise on television.

The brand of any commercial that:

  • is nauseating, pornographic, or promotes diarrhea;
  • has a (pseudo) celebrity spokesperson I have never heard of;
  • has a (pseudo) celebrity spokesperson I have heard no good of;
  • contains more than one blatant prevarication;
  • is blatantly unintelligible;
  • is morally flawed;
  • gets physical reality grossly wrong (I’ll excuse cartoon physics so long as it is tastefully – ala Coyote – done;)
  • implies physical reality is nonexistent and social reality isn’t made up; or
  • has a tone inconsistent with the nature of the product;

adds the brand to a do-not-buy list. 

Additionally, if it’s a political advertisement and lacks sufficient civility, respect, and dignity, I vote the opposite.

Weather Eye

One of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, alerted me that one of the local television stations [Link] was playing a bit ‘fast and loose’ with visibility again. I watched their broadcast last evening and his report was accurate.

The (few) consistent readers may recall that these are the same people who embarrassed Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill for proclaiming fog when the visibility was greater than one kilometer. They subsequently switched to reporting the observed visibility in miles, which was another embarrassment to the community. If anyone in Alibam speaks metric, they are most likely to reside in Nawth Alibam. 

This time, they are forecasting visibilities of zero. I am not at all certain what short cut they took, but I did, as my colleague, find it amusing that these chaps could conceive of an infinite extinction coefficient. 

I do admit to having been in snow storms where the visibility was quite short, a couple of meters at best, so I suppose, given the reticence of these meteorologists to use decimal places, I can conjecture where the zeros may have come from.

While we’re on the subject, perhaps they can do a public service announcement to motorists not to use their high beams in fog. A sizable fraction of the first order scattering off the fog droplets goes right back into the motorists’ eyes, which does wonders for increasing the probability of a driving mishap.

Update from the actuality: Worst reported was a visibility of a tenth of an (Imperial) mile. 

But I do have to give the fellows at this station credit for the largest meteorological mistake ever!


Winter Blues 4

This morning I noticed that a USG justicer in Texas has declared ACA to be unconstitutional.

What I cannot understand is why so many Repulsians are working so hard to kill off all their constituents? Do they think they can establish an oligarchy where people of color are all slaves and Caucasians are all rich and own slaves?