Wages of Greed

I have been reflecting on the matter of Nasim Najafi Aghdam this morning.

I applaud her courage and I identify with her frustration. 

I dislike how she applied her courage to express her frustration. Sadly, her response is about all that is possible for citizens to express their dislike of capitalist, corporate Amerika.

It is unfortunate that she had to express herself against salary serfs. Somehow it might have felt better, more moral, if she had inflicted the pain and suffering on the executives of the organization.

But that isn’t going to happen in Capitalist Amerika. 

I regret she couldn’t express herself in more constructive ways.

The association with Martin Luther King seems appropriate, somehow.

Food and Genes

Once more on the back end of week-out and suffering from an absence of motivation and will power to take on heavy tasks so hiding in the excuse of hawgin’ tabs.

First, a lovely article [Link] entitled “No human DNA found in Neanderthal genome .” For once the journalist actually got a useful title. I include this for several reasons. First of all, there has been a great deal of grrr brrr lately about the presence of neandertal and denisovian DNA in homo sapiens. Much of this grrrrr brrrrr arises in the redneck community. (It is amazing that redneck bogs can read and comprehend something like this, to say nothinbg of reading sources of such information. We may have to revise our estimation of such folk?)

Anyway, the quandary they find themselves in is that the only folk who have “pure” homo sapiens DNA are folks who only left africa in the last few kiloyears. So these rednecks find themselves confronted with either admitting they have “unhuman” DNA (because only homo sap is “human”!) or that they have some afroamerican heritage. Both of these are socially impossible, at least in redneck society. (Remember, these are the people who normally inbreed and such like.) So many arguments over whether they have “N” DNA or non-human DNA. 

Second, and more interesting, if less amusing, is the absence of homo sapiens DNA in neandertals. Does this indicate that sapiens DNA is contra-survival? This is an idea that makes sense given our current prediliction to do things that seem assured to result in sapiens’ extinction in a few years.

Next, an article [Link] entitled “Ranking the Places with the Most (and Least) Fast Food in America.” The article is basically a list 1-50 of the states of the Yankee Republic ordered by how many fast food “restaurants” they have:

We note from this that Alibam is once more the first among states in doing something bad. In this case, it seems safe to say that Alibam’s restaurant food is easily the worst (and least healthful) in the Yankee republic. 

Take that Alibam Council of Thieves Legislators. Also please note the enormous difference between Alibam’s score and number two’s score. When it comes to food, we are really REDNECK! In fact, we are so redneck that rednecks in other states think we are trash. 

If it wasn’t so friggin’ amusing, I would be ashamed. No wonder our politicians are so cancerous and evil, carrying around all this guilt and insecurity.

Selah. Gotta roll around on the floor for a while.

Acognitive Alibam

Yesterday’s Arab Tribune had an article [Link] about how the suggestion of the Legislative Embarrassment (Shame?) of Marshall County, having proposed to arm public schule teachers, has been studiously ignored by the rest of Alibam’s Repulsian Partei. 

As he should be. 

Two thoughts here. First, the Alibam schule system consistently comes in first in the competition for the nation’s worst schule system, occasionally being bested by Mississippi. Given the antipathy, or perhaps, ineffectiveness, of Alibam public education, do we really want to make it worse by further alienating students and teachers. If we have learned anything from watching the events of the last week, it is that today’s students have some psychological and emotional aversion to firearms and the people who carry them.

Which is probably most of the Repulsians in the state. Even in the legislature. Not that I can blame them. If I had to spend any time in the state legislature, I would want protection, although probably something more effective than a firearm.

But I ain’t gonna go down the path of ineffective weaponry. I am gonna go down the path of noting that shooting incidents on college campuses, since that sniper thing at U Texas back when I was a student, are consistently fewer and less damaging than those on high schule campuses.

This indicates that the problem has something to do with how the latter are administered and the problem may be successfully ameliorated by studying how college campuses are administered – and imitating that – than arming teachers.

As I recall, Chicken Man (aka Neil deGrasse Tyson) said something along the line of “Good students are successful in spite of Bad Teachers.” Let’s not let the politicians turn all teachers into Bad Teachers.

Because frankly, Alibam ain’t got that many good students.

Fundamental Contradiction

The massacre yesterday in the Floridas at a high schule has provoked some thought, reflection, and research on my part. 

One of the first questions I had was why was this fellow so much better than previous berserkers? I haven’t gotten a good answer to that yet, but I have learned enough to advance the conjecture that this fellow is someone that human civilization should be proud of.

Our civilization has accomplished many things, about as many bad as good. This instance seems to be a bit of a collection of the bad. 

One of the bad things we do is to discard people who don’t do well. We practice slavery. We vilify the poor. We ignore the incompetent, the mentally ill, the physically ill. And if they demand attention, we either kill them or hide them away in a hell hole, either a prison or a fool farm. Except that fool farms have some humanitarian aspects, which makes them expensive and thereby bad in themselves.

The young berserker yesterday is a paradigm of civilization’s failure modes.  And what makes it damning is that most of these modes were identified and ignored, sequentially and deliberately.

So who is responsible for yesterday? We are. Homo Sapiens. We blew it. Again. So we could eat at McDougals and pollute the planet with conspicuous consumption. 

This brings up the question of how ethical and righteous it is to mandate the survival of all conceptions so that a large fraction thereof can be destroyed by society’s greed and apathy? 

For that matter, how ethical and righteous is it to vote for politicians who direct this greed and apathy and create the infrastructure for the damnation of these abandoned children? 

And how ethical and righteous is it to exalt other humans who make religious dogma of this behavior and exalt it? Of course, this is another form of mental incompetence that we not only abide, but exalt. 

Some days it is hard to be human and not ashamed of being such.

Stacked Deck

 Back end of Week Out. Nasty. Himicane rumbling through. High air speeds, at least for a Model T. And for trees. And dihydrogen oxide falling. So a good day to hunker down, be miserable and try to not dwell on the damage upcoming to domicile.

This has actually been a good week for some indication that Homo Sapiens may actually be smarter than he/she usually appears.

First, a couple of articles [Link][Link] indicating that by 34 KYA humans had figured out not to have bairns off their sisters.

This does raise a few questions. The obvious ones are: why so late?; and how did they come to this?

One would have thought, with humans, in various flavors, being around for about 2-3 MY, that we should have figured out early on that kinfolk kuddlin’ (as people in the old Confederacy put it,) would result in greater stupidity. But then, since it does that, the likelihood of each successive generation figuring it out would be decreased, so if you tried it for two generations it would be established. (As it sometimes appears to be in the old Confederacy just based on observing Bubbas.)

Of course, if this is the situation, the second question becomes even more relevant. Was the discovery something emergent like art or Pop Rocks, or was it an epiphany? And if the latter, from whom? Space Aliens or Neandertals?

This brings up another, related question, which is when did humans realize they were ugly? And is the ugly basic DNA or miscegenation originating? Did it take a genus level mutation for us to realize that daughter dinkin’ made kids that were not only stupid but ugly as well?

If the idea didn’t emerge until recently, a few KY in the past, then this could explain why humans have spent so much time futzin’ about and doing little more than rock knocking and drooling. Civilization makes a lot more sense if smarts started 50 KYA (approximately) than 2 MYA.

Second, another couple of articles [Link][Link] that relate a study that indicates religion is instinctual (and hence totally irrational.) This is even more uplifting. One quote is especially good:

our brains are hardwired with cognitive biases that have evolved in order to help us to survive, but which have the side-effect of making it natural to develop religious belief.”

In other words, religion is a congenital disorder like impacted third molars or failure of blood to clot. And we have the possibility of disposing of it with gene therapy.

Short of that we can be aware of it and do exercises to diminish its debilitating effects. And we can find ways to help people who are particularly afflicted with this horrible genetic disorder. Perhaps we can even form a national charity, akin to the March of Dimes, to search for a cure?

And lastly, [Link] indications that a lot of our undesirable aspects were passed on to us by Neandertals, probably in the process of explaining to us about miscegenation.

The traits they identified included those that affect hair color, skin color, skin tanning and burning, sleeping patterns, mood, and tobacco use.

So we can blame everything from skin cancer to drug addiction on those beetle-browed precursors of ours.

Probably the price of getting smart and inventing civilization and such like.

Orf Arf

Five Day. A day of falling dihydrogen oxide and briefly perhaps, a diminution of temperature of the air. FD SCP has decreed today a day of unconsciousness, for herself, at least, and so being constrained to a consistent attempt at silence, an opportunity to ‘hawg’ tabs is presented.

When I first retired from the employ of the Yankee Army of Occupation, I underwent some biological changes. These have been pretty steadily down hill, which I rationalize by living far beyond the two-score-and-five that men lived when we were hunter-gatherers. Some of these changes are easy and some are difficult. The latest two are getting used to putting eyeglasses on to read after most of a lifetime of taking eyeglasses off to read and learning to decouple defecation from micturation. And, of course, I wonder about the biological aspects of these.

Anyway, I ran across an article [Link] that claims that Old Flatulences awaking early may be a survival mechanism to counteract adolescents who stay up late and rise late. (Ain’t no retireds among Hunter-Gatherers; retired = discorporated.) I went through this change when I retired, going from having to drag myself out of bed at 0530 to rouse the bairn to schule and motor myself and FD SCP to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill for employment, to where I arose just after 0300 and try as I might, couldn’t stay abed much past 0400.

The question I ask is whether the change – among hunter-gatherers – occurred for protection of the band against others or so that the population of the band could be maintained. If the Old Flatulences are awake they’ll put the dampers on the young flatulences’ reproductive amusements. 

The next article [Link] meshes with this. It claims that we sapiens did out the neandertals not because of our smarts or such but because we got adopted by dawgs and they didn’t. How does this fit. Well, dawgs are sunshine animals if they can be. If there’s a nice fire after mealtime then a dawg will curl up and nap, and they sorta like to do it with old flatulences who will spoil them a bit with choice bits of mastodon. During the day they want to associate with the young flatulences but once the planted has revolved out of line-of-sight to Sol, it’s old guy time. So reinforcement?

 

Alimentary Internet

One Day. Back to Gym. Not bad. The podcast episode was, as usual, from the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” entitled “Uncommon Knowledge” and quite good. I shan’t go into it now but may later if the muse concurs.

A new source of annoyance has emerged at gym. I have commented about the weight bouncers who delight in load shrieks of groaning and the sound of concrete flooring crunching when they drop their weights from a height, and the loud, strident voices of educationalists who seem unable to summon “indoor voices.”

A new wrinkle of the latter has emerged. It is unclear if they are educationalists but they are a group of women, all young, who shout across the gym at each other in banal conversation. They appear to be the type of people who take great umbrage that you are “eavesdropping” on them so I have not yet complained about their noise level exceeding the volume capability of my MP3 player. 

Some of this clearly is the higher frequency of women’s voices (in the mode,) but some is also a demonstration of the antipathy of GEN Ys towards courtesy to any but their immediate circle of friends. And their immediate rancor if they are treated in a reciprocal fashion. 

For some reason the combination of this and my thoughts on the “WannaCry” malware phenomena led me back to consider the nature of Sturgeon’s rule. I went and consulted the internet of the demographics of OS usage.[Link] The combination of Mac OS, Linux, and “Other” is almost exactly 0.1 of the population. That means that windows users are 0.9 of computer users. Since Sturgeon sez that 0.9 of everything is crap, I was a bit startled. Of course, there is no indication of any determinism here. The best that probability will tell us is that 81% of computer users are Winders serfs and crap.

This seems reasonable. Not all Winders users are crap. Some – many – are forced by employers to use Winders and many of these – the crap ones probably – use Winders at home because they are too busy (Bog code for too lazy or stupid) to learn another OS. Besides Mac hardware is unreasonably expensive and Linux is TOO HARD. 

This latter, incidentally, is one of the few joys one gets from those crap Winders users, at least until one considers the base line.

Along the way I got to thinking about some of the recent reports I had seen associating brain/mind whackedness with nastiness. The original information [Link] had to do with an observed connection between damage to the prefrontal cortex of the brain and religionist extremism (specifically fundamentalism.) Evidently the damage to the cortex results in a diminished ability to think for oneself and thereby a greater propensity to believe unquestioningly,

Another study [Link] showed a strong connection between studying/practicing business or economics and being a psychopath, narcissist, and/or self-serving egotist. This certainly explains a great deal about the whackendess and evil of capitalists and economists. And thereby the basic dedication of elected politicians to punish the poor. 

All in all, more evidence that 0.9 of humanity is crap. 

“And I don’t like anyone very much.”