Forward to the Past

Spring may have arrived! I got to go execute constitutional in the park this morning. Dihydrogen oxide fell most of the night and was still when I left Castellum SCP but the volumetric rate of fall was small and I only got wetted below the rain coat, a rather horrible thing from the Maine Guide Store with fleece lined sleeves. Nasty things. Horrible to put on and take off. Whoever designed should entertain a firing party for one volley. 

Anyway, the podcast was an episode of “Linux Luddites” that I initiated yesterday in gym and had time left over so I continued it as I maneuvered puddles on the path. And reminded myself repeatedly to refresh the accumulators in my head lamp. Anyway one of the things they were discussing was the ethical dimensions of FOSS and mentioned the good old days of mainframes. This prompted my attention span – time to the matter.

I first encountered main frames as a freshman. My previous experience had been limited to standardized tests, mostly the ACT/SAT sort of thing. Gathering rather redolent of cattle at the slaughter house. No expectation of any resolution. Perhaps the basis of all adolescent rebellion in my generation. I clearly recall taking an aptitude test at an induction call-up and being whispered about, inveigled to enlist in officer’s training and then told to go home because of hypertension.  Somehow that chain epitomized the wgole standardized test in society thing.

I should probably also warn that as an ORF I am not as accepting of change as I used to be. Although I am not sure I was very much that way. I have always been a late adopter of all but nerd tech. When the HP-35 came out I wanted one enough to sell my nonexistent children. But I stopped short of buying one because my TA stipend wouldn’t cover that and food and somehow eating seemed a bonny addiction. So take what comes with a bit of ‘grano’.

Computers were better in those days. We used them for real work, crunching numbers on all manner of reality things. I spent a lot of senior year time doing molecular structure calculations and drawing graphs by hand. And typing my senior thesis on my typewriter. No word processing on mainframes!

And no cellular telephones. The only mobile phones were radio phones which were almost nonexistent and tied to motorcars. But we had CB radios and they were better than cellulars since we could talk car-to-car and didn’t have to know who we were calling. And if we were late for dinner then we took our admonition.

The only thing I really think is great is the digital camera. All we had then were film cameras and one pretty much had to have considerable skill to be a wake-maker with those. And no matter what, you had to wait for the picture. Of course, it was on paper, but that made it somehow more memorable and important, and besides the pictures were always better than they are now, a result of photographer talent and training. 

I am not sure we were not more productive in those days. Yes, it took us a long time to write/publish stuff and we didn’t “communicate” as much but somehow the publications were better, especially better written, and the communications were memorable and important. We didn’t call home to discuss the grocery list. 

I don’t know that things were better then but I do know they were more satisfying. The food was better, we didn’t obsess over weather, and we didn’t have our lives run by our pocket boxes.

Selah. So sayeth an ORF writing a blot. Fundamentally contradictory.

Mind Hemorrhoids

Survived the expedition to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. I discovered that moderate rain frightens suicidal drivers, the ones who continually change lanes without signaling and the like. The ones you wish would discorporate before reproducing so that the gene pool will be cleansed.

Of course once across the river the country suicidals became outnumbered by the city suicidals but even these were somehow restrained. So driving was actually easier and more pleasant (?) than in fair weather.

On which note I came to reflect yesterday on the word “fair”. Originally it meant attractive but somehow it has evolved into some subjective aspect of behavior. I would like to impose the burden of responsibility on the statisticians and probability bonks who talk about a “fair” coin or a “fair” die. The meaning is obvious to all but acalculate bogs so I shall not belabor. But the term has entered into common usage and one hears babbling about fairness in the workplace and, in particular, the legal system. 

As near as I can tell this is another of those social fictions, like “race”, that is imposed on humans by organizations, for their benefit and the harassment of the former. It has become part of a massive illusion that organizations exist for the benefit of their members when the actuality is the opposite. Humans – members – are cheap and organizations are unfeeling, so anything to perpetuate the organization, no matter how much harm is done to individual humans, is beneficial.

So pray keep fair as a reference to attractiveness and not to your dissatisfaction with reality. Evil is inherent to humans and their organizations and you can’t escape it. Nor is blind chance repairable.

Slinky Play

A lovely spring (?) day. Dark. Still dark. Courtesy of the Yankee government council of thieves. But dihydrogen oxide is falling from the up – in liquid form. Through air well above the liquid -> solid phase change. And happily no tornadoes in sight.

The gym was a bit crowded this morning. The weight bouncers, educationalists, and fair weather patriots have returned. Almost crowded. And the podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” dealing with how dark skinned people around Tellus are bleaching their skin. Very heartening after this weekend when the guvnuh of Alibam got booed for being pale skinned. The skin bleaching indicates a form of tolerance and co-socialization that is in short supply these days. We have entirely too many groups who demand to be tolerated but won’t tolerate in return.

The problem is that equality can only truly exist in an undifferentiated society. So as soon as you seek a personal (or group) identity, you are abandoning equality.

The Floridas are a good case in point. Just after I read an article that “climate change” is less alienating than “Global Warming” I hear that the Floridas have seized the bottom by declaring that “Climate change” is verboten in their domain. Talk about Orwellian thought police. If you can’t say or write the words then in a few years no one can think about it as well. It’s a common tactic and fallacy of despotisms and tyrannies.

But I am sure it will be a source of envy among the Repro-denialists of Alibam, including the Chief Bigot, who have only been trying to eliminate marriage.

Both of which, incidentally, are self-correcting. If you deny marriage for long enough then all the kids will be illegitimate and then who cares? And if you ignore climate change long enough, and you’re the Floridas, then you don’t have a state any more, just shallow water.

I can’t say that I will be saddened by the disappearance of either. Never really cared for the Floridas. Not even a nice place to visit. And marriage? Enjoyable but saddled with all sorts of unspoken baggage. Perhaps this will give us an opportunity to invent something better?

Clock Revenge

Gad! I hate daylight savings time! Even worse – maybe – than winter. I feel worse than I do when I rise every two hours to inspect drips. Beathen with truncheons, I feel!

On the bright side, I want to compliment the Chief Bigot and his Repro-denialist brethren for totally compromising the state of marriage in Alibam. Only a group mystically committed to the matter could forbid it to everyone. Reminds me of Lt. Calley and "We had to destroy the village to protect it."

I suspect that’s another reason why I hurt. Too much laughing at the stupidity.

Now I suppose I can amuse myself seeing how they’re going to vertically copulate Net Neutrality. While I am wondering if any of them have any idea what the issues are? Other than mindless obedience to their corporate masters.

Mind over Misery

The weather beaver on last nights evening news proclaimed that the snow is gone. I looked out my aft window this morning and beheld the verification of her prevarication. The snow is still with us. But at least I was able to sally forth yesterday and lay about at clods and villains. And as such I am not as spry this morning as I should like. But I am reminded of all the childhood complaints about seniors smelling of liniments.

Not much to comment from yesterday. There is a medium furor over the role of the Yankee government in managing the internet under Title II but I personally consider a known enemy preferable to an unknown one, or several. Asking whether we trust the yankee government is a relative thing. No we do not but more than we trust almost any ISP corporation. My only concern is what conspiracies they will hatch together.

This puts me in mind of a cartoon: [Link]

that I saw some time ago. This is a perennial theme of leader-follower fables. It isn’t mind reading. Rather, it is pattern recognition. What things does the leader/organization do and how and how can pain/suffering/time wasting be minimized by anticipating? This is one of the characteristics of good workers. The ones who can anticipate what is needed and have it ready expeditiously are good. Those who cannot are to be issue red shirts at the first opportunity.

It isn’t just about graduate schule but it does have a special significance in that setting. When a graduate student begins to know what to do before being told, what a teacher has yet to teach is diminishing. In effect, when this happens regularly it is time to write one’s thesis and prepare for defense. The rite of adulthood is nigh. 

The problem arises when the teacher isn’t good. This happens. Good and bad are situational, as we have discussed previously. But when one has a bad advisor-professor then this level of learning may never occur. And the sad part is that the professor is never at fault. That’s why we don’t trust the leadership and the organization. Because sometimes they are bad and aren’t good.

The other cartoon: [Link]

 

has to do with another aspect of being human. Our ancestors are still with us. So I wonder where in the parade the flag officers go? Between Neandertals and Cro-Magnons? No, silly. As everyone knows the flag officers don’t march in parade; they are on the reviewing stand.

And on that sorry note I rest.

Stone Food

Once more to ice cream day and the back edge of week out. And the weather beavers are foretelling more periods of solid dihydrogen oxide. Why does winter become a synonym for phase change? With liquid good, or, at least, acceptable, and solid is bad, or unacceptable? 

Speaking of which, I got an article [Link] from a colleague, Total Linear Angular Momentum, about Paleodiets. This fellow claims to be gluten whacked, and is tepid on paleodiets. He isn’t the type to be a fanatic but he claims that there are merits. I don’t disagree greatly but I do tend to agree more with this article that looks at the risks and uncertainties involved in composing these diets. 

Simply put hunter-gatherers ate what was available in their area. There is a feast-famine thing. This is reflected in how we gorge ourselves with foods. Logic dictates that HGs ate what they could when there wasn’t much and were selective during times of plenty. And they had favorites and preferred those over broccoli. 

But we don’t know what those favorites necessarily were, and perhaps more importantly, a lot of the stuff the HGs ate isn’t around any more. Simple example: go to the grocery store and ask for Goosefoot. It’s a veggie, not the feet of birds. And you can’t get it.

Which brings me to my point. Since a paleodiet is impossible in a rigorous sense, the most important part of diet is rationality. First of all, diet is what you eat, not what you eat for the next week. Weight control is important for moderns, wasn’t on the attention span for HGs. Second, are you eating healthily? That’s a trick question since it depends on what you think and what your medicalists think. Valid knowledge is key here, as well as rational thinking. Not the opinions of friends and colleagues necessarily. 

Diet isn’t just something you do. It has to be managed. And not by the advice of television personalities or paid motivationists. Ultimately you are responsible and that means be adult. Accept that you won’t do it right but keep trying. Consult reputable nerd tomes and if necessary, a graduate dietician. 

Next, starve yourself occasionally. Once a month eat half rations and fast over the weekend. Water only. And once every month or so have a gorge meal. That’s a key aspect of the whole paleo thing.

Stay away from manufactured foodstuffs as much as possible. Ditto chain restaurants. If nothing else that will cut your sodium and fat intake and make a critical difference in being healthy. 

Don’t accept others’ opinions and ideas without research. 

And exercise. Not for sculpting or speed, just for well being and endurance. 

And don’t trust any of this without researching reputable information sources.

Selah