Corporate Maskarovka

I noted this morning [Link] that the FaceScroll is chasing people away. The claim is that this is “to make sure people are spending quality time on the service, and not just passively scrolling.”

Since this is a corporation, we can apply Sturgeon’s Rule and have a confidence of 90% that this is not why FaceScroll is running people off.

As an occasional user of FaceScroll, I suspect this is a campaign to run off the folks who make snarky comments and/or don’t fall for the embedded and ubiquitous (also misleading) advertisements. Simply put, most of the people who post on FaceScroll are not only boring, they have such horrible things to post that they invite snarky comments. In fact, 90% of what is good on FaceScroll are those snarly comments.

Advertisements, or course, are 90% of what is bad and evil on FaceScroll, but they gotta pay the bills for their overpaid salaries somehow.

Cummon, Folks. This is Amerika. You aren’t supposed to make noise; you’re just supposed to spend your serf-wages enriching the already wealthy!


Contradictory Parentage

Wherefore it being Seventh Day and the tabs upon the browsers being numerous and slowing, it is discovered that it be timely to prune back a few by inflicting them upon the righteous rationals who frequent the blog.

I told you I disliked (hated) winter; it doth have a nasty effect upon my cognition, and this last week of warmth contrasted to the previous has tilted the spins of sensation into new orientations.

The initial point [Link] is entitled “Why Aren’t There More Smart Americans?” which, as we may infer from the title (a rarity with contemporary journalism, but the editors of this periodical are more subtle in their villainy,) dabs away at the question of the stupidifying of Amerika. I quote:

He says that one reason the US lags behind other countries is a political culture in Washington in which too many leaders are ignorant of and hostile to basic science. 

The he is the fellow referenced in the article. I hesitate to say anything about him because I have never heard of him before.

Let us talk a bit about the matter, however. The primary reason that the Critters of Congress are anti-science (both parties) is that they are arrogant, stupid, and unaccountable. Amerika has succumbed to a Dictatorship of the Parties, to paraphrase the Russians a bit. The arrogance manifests in a belief that Amerika is unassailable and that scientists are irrelevant nuisances. 

This is abetted by the parents of Amerika. Simply put, contemporary parents do not want their children to be smart; they want them to be socially integrated but adored. Geeks and nerds have, in one generation, become invisible pariahs. Because their parents want them to be socially modal. 

This contrasts rather amusingly with the second point [Link] which describes efforts to legislate a right to repair. On surface this seems completely alien to our legislative serfs of capitalist oligarchs. But when we consider the coming disasters of climate change with widespread poverty, death, and suffering, it makes sense to give those oligarchs a boost in a savagely curtailed marketplace.

Thirdly, and oddly contrasting, [Link] is an article entitled “Half of Americans think young people don’t pursue STEM because it is too hard.” This completes the cycle of the blot. Parents want their children to be social integrates, but they also want them to be successful financially. And those two have come into opposition. To be successful these days means to study business or STEM, and only old money is successful in business; the rest are serfs. And the thought is right: STEM is hard. Because it requires lots of mental activity opposite to being a social drone. 

So parents are doing their own children in. 


Last Hawgin’

The year ends today. And yes, I know it is a silly artificial arbitrary designation based on local – i.e., planetary – seasons rather than the actual orbit of Tellus but it still has some social impact and more inertia. I have scant doubt the evening will be marred by repeated explosions of illegal fireworks and more illegal firearm discharges. One may only hope no collisions – humans are not good at killing each other, only maiming.

The winter has settled upon us, admittedly rather gently so far. But we shall plumb the immediate depths by the morrow, which will be another wasted day of pseudo-holiness. I shall retain my bile for such till then.

It being the end of the year, it seems appropriate to natter a bit about some tabs that have survived far too long, kept alive only because of my lack of attention span and will power. Somehow the two enjoy a Heisenberg-like relationship. 

First, an article [Link] entitled “Mystery solved: why hot water freezes faster than cold.” The title is a bit of a rubbish since we have had theories of the Mpemba effect for quite a few years. It’s also rubbish because the results reported are based on a simulation that hasn’t been experimentally verified.

So it’s typical contemporary journalism, a mixture of pony and poo. Which doesn’t seem to bother contemporary journalists and indicates why we have a problem with news. 

I though this article appropriate at this time since it addresses why we need to drip the hot water lines as well as the cold now. I’m also not going to elaborate on the why because it’s the end of the year and I can be a bit grumpy. And intolerant of asentient, arational, aintelligent Bogs. I also want to share the article’s gratuitous illustration:

I fear that I rather identify with this chap even if I am nowhere near as handsome.

After that, it seems appropriate to include an article [Link] entitled “Why evangelicals are OK with voting for Roy Moore.” I realize that the election is over – shy of the named individual mounting armed rebellion – but the density of ground state crazy is still way TOO HIGH in Alibam. I have to admit the explanation offered by the journalist makes some sense but it is still evil at its core. I am undecided if it’s hubris but I am sure that there is a classical Greek term for doing unspeakable evil for misplaced good reasons. Personally, I put it down to curing dandruff with a plasma cannon: yes, you do get rid of the dandruff; yes, you also get rid of the head and thereby the person. Of course, I am assuming that the person is good which may be a misplaced assumption in this context.

Some insight is offered towards this by the next article [Link] entitled “Religion may alter your psychology, even if you’re a non-believer.” An academic study performed in Finland indicates that the idea of God is wired into our physiology. 

That’s a nice way of saying it’s hard to be rational about the deity. And that Bogs probably can’t do it at all. Hence the Evangelilcals – or, as they have revealed themselves, Evilgelicals. 

Bottom line, religion ain’t rational. And today is an Ice Cream day. Literally, it would seem. 

This is a pretty dismal picture. It’s one of those instances of looking about us and wondering how we not only haven’t killed ourselves off – because that’s about all we seem to do – but that we have made progress from hanging in trees and screaming insults at the predators below to being able to destroy the planet. Which we seem to be doing. 

And the politicals and religious seem to be taking satisfaction in that destruction. 

So, yes, it is colding. Inside and out.

And the new year offers scant encouragement. 



Der Tag

OK, it’s Christmas Day. The renormed holy day plagiarized by the Christianist Church from Nature worshiping Solstice Keepers and then further plagiarized by Capitalist Oligarchs for their personal greed and profit. So basically a pit of cold nastiness. Similar to Dante’s depiction of Tartarus.

The Nerd channels have been full of rationalization the last week. Very human. When you are confronted with superstition and ignorance and apathy towards what you have demonstrated accurate, a bit of shouting in indignation is in order.

Wasted, of course, but in order. 

The point is that this is a Bog thing and the more pronounced the boggery state, the more excessive the Christmas thing. It is always the workers who are paid the least and have the least skills and knowledge who have the most “festive” electrical lamps strung on their houses and shrubbery. 

The good news is that the number of Nerds and Geeks who are abandoning the practice is increasing. FD SCP and I have not used seasonal lamps for ten years or so, and the density in our neighborhood has been steadily decreasing. None of which, I suspect, can be seen by the naked eye from Low Earth Orbit. The city of Greater Metropolitan Arab still has its tasteless display of lamps, most in effigy form, in the city park, but that is transferred Capitalist greed and hence ensconced until the influx of portraits of dead Caucasian politicians becomes less than then outflux of taxpayer monies.

And no, I am not going to rail about the inequity of supporting needy Capitalists with the taxes of taxpayers. Politicians, of whatever rank, care not so any verbiage is wasted. 

But back to a sampling of articles. First, an article [Link] entitled “Gifts are a traditional part of Christmas – but why do we give presents at all? ” The thesis here, advanced by a Fremch anthropologist, who evidently has been heavily influenced by Claude Levi-Strauss’ work on “the primitive mind” is that we give gifts to control, or, at least, influence, the recipient. This sounds a bit childish, on both side, which it is, since we aboundingly these days try to make our bairns “behave”by invoking a shelf sprite. 

I have to admit that the first thought that comes to mind is that Tolkien would shudder at the abuse of dignified elves in this manner, but them perhaps shrug since they are extinct, mostly due to humans. I am unsure of what his reaction would be to the parallel adoption of this nonsense by the Capitalists. Probably aggregate them with Orcs of the worst odor. 

The model of gift giving projected by our Frenchman is that of Potlach, the idea of government by gift. It’s a novel idea this century of politicians taking from the poor and giving to the rich, a bit of a comeback of King John and his Shire Reeves (Sheriffs.) Certainly no one in politics today has any attitude towards the poor except to permit them a lingering death. 

I have to admit that I gave a few gifts this season. Most of them were to people that I treasure and cherish, as people. If there is an aspect of control there, it is an attempt to cozen them into failing to recognize what a bad person I am. So, as I often advance, an instance of human insecurity.

This brings me to the second article [Link] entitled “An anthropologist explains why we love holiday rituals and traditions.” It’s written by a Connecticut academic and it seems to me that the colding has disrupted his neurons. He cites all manner of reasons for liking holidays from buffering stress to family relations. 

All of which is pure EXTRO rubbish. Utter CRAP! He quite ignores that the season is itself a source of stress and family gathering the penultimate form of such stress. This is why the suicide incidence increases in this season, because apathetic relatives and greedy Capitalists are making the environment so toxic that poor INTROs cannot stand its abatement in a few days. 

If this is the rot that they teach in anthropology classes at U Connecticut, then I have reason to be proud of the Campus of the Black Warrior’s department, at least back when I was a student and they understood the tension and stress of the season. Oh, how I envied those few who got to stay on campus over the holidays. And how I enjoyed that one Christmas stuck tending the radio observatory in central Illinois. 

In a way, Christmas has become a parody of both Solstice and religion. Both use it to advance the idea of increased life, in one instance the lengthening of the day, in the other the birth of a messiah. Never mind that the birth was months apart from the period and that the events of that birth even more months removed. Religion is about misinformation all too often.

But Christmas has become about destruction and death. Destruction of the environment to the enrichment of Capitalists and death through our unhealthy activities and the escalating stress of the period. 

Perhaps it is time for us to re-examine our customs and readopt some that have been taken from us, like freedom and dignity. Those are things more to be admired and celebrated. At least, so say I.



Fawg Gift

Lovely fawg this mawn’in. Not as dense as yesterday so the lamp glow balls are a bit larger and less bright. 

As I sat in the car park at gym waiting on the clerk to arrive and open, I got to watch motorcars and lorries go past. It struck me that nothing advertises idiocy so well as motoring in fawg with one’s lamps on high.

But then I sorrowed from being unable to speak with the drivers and determine whether their idiocy was the result of inability to learn or learning stupidity, probably superstitious or social.

Idiocy nonetheless. 


Language Porn

For those who have better things to attend to, it snowed yesterday in Nawth Alibam. Mostly a nuisance snow. The only dangerous part was sharing the roads with the typical Alibam driver who practices the somewhat suicidal idea that the best way to drive on low friction roads is as fast as possible. 

This is an intriguing concept based on minimizing the time of risk. The problem is that it doesn’t minimize risk; in fact, in many ways it maximizes risk. And I cannot decide why this is so: are Alibamians just naturally not-smart; or is it a blindness thing mentally like being unable to be rational or do maths? 

So the only actual risk of the snow was the people who were not minimizing the risk for themselves and others. In particular, the rational, sedate drivers were at considerable risk of some typical Alibamian spinning out into them, or ramming them for driving too slowly.

Happily I was available to avoid both with some difficulty because of the high optical densities of falling snow flakes. The real kind, not the pseudo-curse word used by Repulsians.

After a night of dripping faucets to ameliorate the low temperatures, considerably below the liquid-to-solid phase transition of dihydrogen oxide, I ventured out this morning to gym. There I was exposed to a dialog on Faux News that reminded me that it an elected official announces that something is false, it is generally not. And since this politician’s tirade was singular negative, I was unable to establish the converse. 

Then driving home I met a fellow walking in the road – on the wrong side – that is, with the traffic flow. And his ears were muffled. 

So even without the snow, we have ample signs of the behavior – nationally.

Along the way I began to muse on a couple of phrases. One I heard yesterday – “We do not know the future” – and the other – “The future is not promised/guaranteed” – today. And I reflected on these. 

Yes, we do not know the future, even if, as Quantum Mechanics may indicate, the future reaches back – probabilistically – to drag us forward. But more the situation, we do not know much of anything about future, past, or even present. All we know is what we experience, what we sense. So while we know nothing about the future, we know astoundingly little about past or present. In effect, we can say that we know very little about anything that is not universal. 

If we live in Alibam, we cannot experience or sense what goes on in New York. In fact, other than what is immediately around us we cannot sense, so we only know about a small part of Alibam. 

So the “We do not know the future” is a rubbish statement. What is intriguing about it is that the majority of humanity doesn’t understand this. They keep uttering and believing this sort of garbage.

Similarly, “The future is not promised/guaranteed” is a rubbish statement. Who promises or guarantees the future? Other than that there will be a future? Time will not change. I resist saying “time will not stop” because we don’t know if time is discrete or continuous.

But the point is that no agency we have, human or social or legal, can guarantee or promise the future. Except as a prevarication. So the very idea of expecting a promise or guarantee of a future is void. To say nothing of how would we collect on a broken promise or a violated guarantee? Would we receive an apology or a return on investment? 

Time is not a commodity. We cannot contain it, nor can it be traded or refined. I can understand people not wanting to think about it since it is intangible. Hunter-gatherer genetic heritage does not make us natural philosophers. 

But we continually say things that are absolute garbage. Reeking and with maggots. And that is worrisome. 



Alabama Morality

Evidently, for most Alibamians, being a Democrat is worse than being a Pedophile.

And almost all of those people are professed Christianists.  

Not sure exactly what that indicates but it certainly makes me feel like I am living in a third-world state.