Ex Oram

I have been following – without much interest – the political advertisements for the election of a replacement for Alibam’s former Senator, the one who worked tirelessly to restore the Confederacy and Slavery.

What I have found intriguing is that all the candidates – the ones that advertise – are saying they will have the same behavior if elected: noncooperation; destructiveness; and arrogance.

This may be the first honest campaign in Alibam history, certainly in living memory.

Hammer and Nail

Just ran across an article [Link] entitled “Google Employee’s Anti-Diversity Memo Prompts Company Rebuke.” If you haven’t read the rank-and-file’s epistle, you ought to. Seems horribly comparable to Martin Luther’s.

The engineer – supposedly – who wrote the letter introduced some realities into the matter. That’s not surprising, that’s what STEMs do. Even at Gooey. And some of the realities need to be considered. But they won’t be. Because they get in the way of the corporate culture. Which is to manipulate the Tartarus out of people, both internal and external.

One of the reasons I compare this writing to Martin Luther’s is because of the similarities between the Church of Rome (circa Luther, and to a large extent, today) and Gooey. Both cloaking dishonesty and dis-ingenuousness and propaganda in a cloud of sanctity. 

Sort of also like government. Any government. 

Maybe that’s what driving humans into extinction?

Rammer Politics

One of the things I rather like about Alibam political campaigns is that the candidates declare each other to be prevaricators and criminals.

Why do I like this? Because it’s the only time they speak accurately.

Fallen Branch

Three Day. Off to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. Much dashing about. So late for morning informational ablutions. So while plumbing the depths of FaceScroll, I came across this [Link]

I found this tree rather amusing, mostly for the choices of branches. As with most such amateur attempts at graphical taxonomy, the entertainment is in what is left out rather than what is put in. Among these is the branch of NERD STEMs.

First of all NERD STEMs tend to use Linux because of its capabilities and freedoms. Depending on their depth of interest in computational “science” (used here figuratively since anything that has to tell you it’s a science, isn’t,) they may use either Debian or Arch branch. Only the ones who operate in tight control environments use institutional Linux. I shall not dignify this matter with further comment.

As a rule, NERD STEMs want a non-hassling Linux distro. Geeks may want to wonk about with bit bashing but Nerds generally see the distro as a tool and want it to be tool-like: well behaved and trustworthy. And not in need of repair. But sometimes in need of modification.

NERD STEMs may be theoreticians, experimentalists, or intermediates. Some disciplines, such as biology tend to be almost exclusively experimentalists. 

Theoreticians tend to be primarily concerned with maths. That means that they will generally have several computational algebra clients on their box. No point in wasting time bashing maths for analytical solution when the box can do it. They also like graphs so they will have a couple of instant graphification clients. 

Experimentalists tend to be concerned with numbers. That means they will have some high tension (as in electricity) statistical clients and and maybe some electronics design clients and CAD/CAM/CAE clients. They also have statistics and graphing clients to crunch the experimental numbers.

Intermediates are the intersection/union of the two previous.

Nerds write code. Mostly they write in FORTRAN and NERD PYTHON. They don’t care about GUI stercus once they get to graduate schule. All that matters is numbers. And pictures of numbers. Not pretty box art. 

Enough. The branch for STEM NERDs is probably orthogonal to the sheet of the picture above.

And maybe that’s a good thing.


Language And Dirty Water

Seven Day and the atmospheric temperature, at least in the turbulent mixing layer, is considerably less than yesterday. So the constitutional was almost pleasant. Except for the unhappy joints and muscles, of course. 

It has been a good week for articles, perhaps the few competent journalists getting their licks in before silly season really sets in. Although given the grrrr brrrr arising from within the beltway, it is unclear that the silly season has not become perpetual?

On the geeky side, I noted an article [Link] from the Register talking about which language is the most popular at this time. I probably should warn those of the crimson neck club, most fanatics if not matriculates of the campus of the Black Warrior, that the discussion here is about computer programming languages and not what they are supposed to speak and write. 

The discussion seems to revolve around Java and Python. I have to admit that I am illiterate in both languages although I have a text – somewhere – on nerd (as opposed to geek) python that I hope to actually learn someday. Maybe. Probably not. 

Some discussion of both these aspects seems poised on the nib of my electronic pen. First, it is EXCEEDINGLY difficult to do coding if one uses Winders or AppleOS. Linux is the most useful GUI OS (although it doesn’t have to be GUI) because it is still firmly bound to its “command line” roots. This is at once, as is usual, both a strength and a weakness. The strength is that it is at least an order of magnitude easier, perhaps two, to write and run code on Linux than on Winders or AppleOS. It’s rather like being horribly thirsty and in the one instance being in a rain forest and in the other in a desert. Think Great Lakes versus Sahara. 

The weakness is, of course, that this connection to the reality of the OS and computing is rather offputting, frightening even, to those Bogs who can neither really use a computer as anything more than a means to view pornography or visit a social website. They seem – often – unable to comprehend that that same OS is easier to maintain and fix when they vertically copulate it. Insecurity will be the rope that hangs humanity, to paraphrase Joseph Stalin.

My cynicism about Python also flows from this ease of access. My “milk” computer language was FORTRAN, an adventure that I have related previously in this blog. The reason I am ambivalent about Python comes down to the fact that FORTRAN, PASCAL, and LibreOffice CALCBASIC, are quite adequate to fulfill my coding (and crunching) needs. So Python is a nice to have but not a survival thing so far as I can tell.

Needless to say, none of my languages, which also include FORTH and LISP and MODULA and ADA, are even listed on the popular language list. Somehow that seems rather fitting, very Seventyish, very Fonzy even. The whole idea of popularity and programming language seem antithetical. Back in the days when we still drove Amerikan motorcars and fixed them ourselves and women dressed up to leave the house, people who could write computer code were NEVER popular. Except to the smart girls who knew that STEMs got paid better than jocks who weren’t quite good enough to play professionally and didn’t beat their women and children because they weren’t professional porn stars. (Yes, I know the pronouns in that last are ambiguous; it’s deliberate. Think about it.) The thing, as those of us who went back to our tenth or fifteenth high schule reunion learned, is that nerds have better lives, in the mean, than the popular kids. 

Speaking of better, and changing the subject a bit, I see [Link] that the British National Health Service has decided to quit paying for scripts for homeopathic concoctions. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to be purely scientific, more a mixture of scientific and fiscal. But even then it does give the Brits a Kudo for doing a right thing even if it is for mixed reasons.

This will probably be ignored inside the Beltway. None of the partisan types will be happy with this. What the partisan types want is to do away with actual medications – for everyone but themselves and their obscenely wealthy donors – because the tax revenues should not be spent on citizens, just on rich donors – and political office holders, of course. So any exposition of rationality and sanity will not be appreciated in the district.

Amusingly, the same occurs in different arcs in Britain. [Link] Seems there is some distress over how real English is being polluted and abased by Amerikan English. This, sadly, is not really new. I don;t think the Brits are as paranoid about this as the French and the Germans, both of whom have government-academic councils dedicated to maintaining the purity of essence of their language. (The Bogs probably didn’t catch that reference to either the novel or the movie based on it.) These councils do wonderful work. The Germans have been trying since before the Great War to get “th” out of every word except “throne”, which is why we have perpetual arguments over Neandertal versus Neanderthal. I shall refrain from mentioning the French efforts because they seem a combination of Looney Tunes cartoon and hydrophobia. (The old ones from my bairnhood, not the politically correct sterilizations of today.)

Surprisingly, our elected guano (as in bat stercus) mental officials seem oblivious to this, probably because, in the one case, their disdain of the grammar abuse of the electorate, and in the other, their ignorance of the grammar abuse of the electorate, preclude any awareness. The elite of the district are incapable of communication so any alteration of language is orthogonal.

Enough. For now. I am tired of churning low hanging, almost rotted fruit. I need to leave a bit for later. And for the elephants to get snockered on. 

Ode to Public Service

Sometimes I am so whelmed with joy and thankfulness for our public (?) organizations that I just have to dance and sing.

In a burst of their usual kindness, the Alibam Department of Transportation, which, so far as I can tell, transports nothing, an epitome of capitalist government instrumentality, has also stymied all transportation on Alabama Highway 68 from Scant City to downtown Arab. They have accomplished this with a mixture of technology ranging from orange plastic road barriers to the latest road destruction machinery.

Meanwhile, the Arab Electron Uncooperative, perhaps a tiny bit jealous of the Arab Water Unpumpers who have readopted their program of ruining children’s dentition, have been executing a truly thrilling program of powers flickers clearly designed to improve commerce in Greater Metropolitan Arab by systematically eliminating HVAC units, heavy appliances, and digital computers in Arab households. 

These two programs, along with the wise governance of our local conscript parents, most of whom are real-estate salespeople, has resulted in Greater Metropolitan Arab being named the second best city in Amerika for making its citizens’ lives miserable. They were edged out for first place by the city of Flint Michigan which has a wonderful program intended to totally depopulate the city. 

I firmly expect the Arab Conscript Parents to rise to the challenge and considerably reduce the city’s population by next year’s evaluation.

Social Stupidification

I was bleakly scanning the Scroll of Countenances this morning and noted that a colleague of a colleague, Magnetic Inductance Normal, (ass in orthogonal, not the bog-begotten misuse of the word as Modal,)  was announcing some exceptionally good score on one of those computerized vocabulary tests. He proclaimed that this was an exceptional occurrence since American “English” is not his milk tongue.

Actually, I find it not exceptional. My experience of many years as an observer and INTRO indicate that the more socially attuned an individual is, the less they know. In this instance, my colleague once removed may have been socially atuned to his childhood fellows but when it came to speakers of American “English”, less so and thereby unsure of which words were in “common” use. So he had to learn a whole bunch more than he would have if he had been born a speaker of American “English.”

This phenomenon is not limited to vocabulary. It applies across the board so that one may broadly offer than the more social an individual is, the less he/she knows. This is because all the individual needs to survive, almost all the time, is what one’s fellows know and so one obtains a social group race-for-the-bottom, the least effective common knowledge base.

This also tends to explain the abysmal ignorance, if not arrogance, of politicians.

Admittedly, that latter was telegraphed; it bubbled up to the surface of the mental lava rather rapidly, indicating exceptionally LOW density.

In effect, this is the blessing that those with poor social skills much struggle. They have no royal shortcut of close, asentient, friends who will co-define their rats’ warren existence. Instead, the INTROs and such are forced to learn to survive. In fact, the question bubbles of whether, if the INTROs had not invented agriculture and civilization, would humans be extinct today? The indications are good. And even better that as INTROs and NERDs are devalued and alienated, that humanity is on its way to a deferred disappearance.

But will the socially inept inherit the planet? Do we even want it, given the mess the EXTROs have made of it?