Spider Webs

Returned from the monthly gathering of the Marshall County Linux SIG. Cleaning up stray tasks, mostly digital in scope. Which includes some early tab ‘hawg’in. Hence away.

By now, the article [Link] entitled “Politicians fume after Amazon’s face-recog AI fingers dozens of them as suspected crooks” is a bit dated but still worthy of consideration, mostly because we discussed AI at SIG this morning. More than one of us has written code. My reflection on the article, and the deed prompting, is that such may be accurate. I cannot speak for other states’ political but Alibam’s politicals are notoriously such. Almost all of the guvnuhs in the last two decades have been affirmed as such by the Yankee guvmint’s justicers. And, if the advertisements bought by their opponents are accurate, which we know thet are if they were shown to the public on television, then everyone running for office in Alibam is. 

What is not clear is that extension to the national level is accurate or justified. Where is Diogenes when we need him?

Next, an article [Link] entitled “The CDC Is Pleading – Stop Washing And Reusing Your Condoms!” This is actually very encouraging. I can remember not too long ago when the majority of people in this nation of ours had no idea what a condom was. This was especially true for my age cohort who were told that so long as the woman – everyone was strictly hetero in those days – was on THE PILL, nothing could go wrong. Happily that was during the glory days of the Domino Theory and when things did go wrong the erring man could volunteer for the Yankee Army and go to Asia to frustrate godless Communists.

And lastly, an article [Link] entitled “Microsoft devises new way of making you feel old: Windows NT is 25.” This is another thing that is completely orthogonal to the Millennials. Winders NT was the last good OS to be excreted by MegaHard. everything else satisfies their quota of Sturgeon’s Rule. 

And, of course, no Millennial has ever used NT. Nor a slide rule. Poor deprived children. 

Midway Sinkings

Neck-down elections this week. On Tuesday, the polls opened – and excluded lots of undesirables to the Alibam way-of-existence – to do neck-downs to the party selections in early winter. I found it much more civil than the primaries a month or so previous when the new rules to prevent thinking and choice were implemented – without telling the electorate about in advance. Now that the most egregious of voters and poll watchers have been left moldering in a dirty alley somewhere, things were much smoother.

The good part of this was that it concluded – for this go about – the inter-party smut slinging. So far as I can tell, the global temperature went up a significant fraction of a degreeF from the decomposition of that smut. I particularly enjoyed the match between the Leftenant Guvnuh candidates, Hostess confection and Tiger thief. The accusations did stop short of the latter being accused of pedophilia and the former of pandering, probably by mutual consent. Other races were similar with the attorney private’s race decomposing into a childish “you’re a Democrat,” “no, you’re a democrat,” nattering.

I think I liked it better in the old days when the pair were each given a revolver and they laid to until one (or none) stood. In the latter instance, the guvnuh appointed someone, which was often the best possible outcome.

I should comment that Alibam is as close as one can come to the Soviet Union these days. It has always been a one-party state with any members of THE OTHER party subject to gelding or destruction of the Hyoid bone. The general governmental incompetence of the two is about equal, just compare the department store: MalWart is Amerika’s GUM.

This seems to be a characteristic of contemporary Amerika. I recently ran across an article [Link] that began with:

“Religious individuals are, on average, less humble about their intellectual prowess than non-religious individuals, and it is right-wing authoritarianism that accounts for most of the correlation between religiosity and lack of intellectual humility”

continues with:

“Conformity to norms, obedience to leaders, intolerance of deviance, and hostility toward other groups are associated with lack of intellectual humility, and these sociopolitical attitudes are, in turn, associated with right-wing authoritarianism.”

and concludes with:

“In conclusion, research shows that religious individuals may be slightly less humble about their intellectual abilities, but those who are have their sociopolitical attitudes, which fall under the umbrella of right-wing authoritarianism, to thank for their lack of intellectual humility.”

Other articles have identified these folks with great dissatisfaction over their inability to further their economic well-being and support of the current administration which, like all Alibam politicians, have promised kittens and moonbeams for all.

Most of the aspects of this are annoying, sometimes frightening, especially the part about over-confidence in personal intelligence and knowledge. The surest way to fail in a knowledge competition is hubris.

This leads to another article [Link] which concludes:

“Over the course of the 20th century, changes in importance of religious practices appear to have predicted changes in GDP across the world. This doesn’t necessarily mean that secularisation caused economic development, since both changes could have been caused by some third factor with different time lags, but at least we can rule out economic growth as the cause of secularisation in the past.”

IOW, don’t expect any improvement in the economic situation with the current political environment.

Alabama Election Insights 3

Earlier this week, I ran across this statement:

Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle privately complained to one of his GOP primary opponents that their race for governor had become about “who had the biggest gun, who had the biggest truck and who could be the craziest.”

and several things struck me.

The most obvious, and perhaps worst, was that the construction “biggest gun” might be interpreted in a connotational rather than a denotational sense. That is, when the noun “gun” is used as a substitution slang for a male human organ.

The more I cogitated on this quote, the more I entertained it as also applying to the political election propaganda here in Alibam. Certainly the male candidates are engaging in a length-or-organ competition. They are all claiming that their opponents not only have diminutive organs but that they are riddled with pustulent venereal diseases that they contracted in the womb. 

Of course, based on the symmetry of the claims, it can readily be inferred that all the male candidates are so afflicted.

What is intriguing is that the women candidates seem relatively immune to this preening. Except for the few who have men opponents. These competitions make for some graphical considerations that makes one wonder about GMO among politicians. 

What is not intriguing is that the competition is indeed shaping up to be a case of which candidate is the greater “crazy”? Of course, the election is still prior to the party run-offs and so thus far the only mind slime displayed has been purely partisan. There is still hope for some independent or third party candidate who is actually sane. 

But not much. 

Along that line, some other thoughts have surfaced:

Q: How many campaigns does it take for a candidate to become a “career politician”?

A: One

Q: What are these candidates trying to conserve?

A: we don’t know but it has been suggested that since the CERN LHC has been able to find the Higgs Boson, perhaps they can be funded to find out what Alibam (Amerikan) politicians are conserving.

Q: All of these candidates claim to be Christians? 

A: ????????????????????????????????????????????

I shall leave the truck aspect a sleeping bandersnatch.


Friday Feedly

Those few, those valiant, foolish few, who regularly read this blog are aware that I make my hours at the gym less difficult by listening to podcasts. Some months ago the Guardian – a British newspaper – offered me a new service, strangely absent of their usual palm displays, named “Hear Here”.[Link] The purpose of the service, manifested in a weekly email, is to offer me alternative, supposedly good, choices in podcasts. 

In effect, a bit of a podcast gossip column.

I have now received the weekly email for more than ten times and I was, this morning, struck by something: none of the suggested podcasts have gotten beyond the mildly nauseating level. At least one in each offering set is a “run away throwing the nuclear hand grenade over your shoulder” also known as a Monte Python “RUN AWAY!” Or as a young Major who used to work for me would say: “Seen the Bunny Rabbit.”

Of course, all majors are young by definition because only the most inexperienced would ever take the job of being too senior to command a few troops and too junior to command any more. Some do advance beyond by surviving the jobs they are given. Like working for SCP.

Anyway, after realizing the statistics on the Guardian’s offerings, I mused a bit. I regularly – Tuesday mornings – listen to their science podcast. The SCIENCE (magazine) podcast [Link] used to be the best podcast but then they dined with it, cutting its duration in half and lowering the tone down to Bog level and it not only dropped off the rankings charts for science podcasts but out of my MP3 player. Now the Guardian science podcast is ranked best by SCP. 

There are some good American science podcasts. But they are all very not-Bog. Most are not-Geek. And very single channel. Which probably reflects how apathetic the Bogs are to podcasts in general and science in particular. They seem much happier with their mysticism and superstition. And dementia.

Perhaps we can invite the Brits to take the country back? Trade one tyrant for another?


Alabama Election Insights 2

Yesterday I had occasion to talk with a couple of candidates for elected office here in Alibam.

One of the questions I asked was “what is an atheist?” The answers I got can be pretty well consolidated as:

“Anyone who doesn’t belong to my church.”

So now we know what a “Conservative Christian” is.

By extension:

  • Muslims are Atheists;
  • Catholics are Atheists;
  • LDS are Atheists;
  • Most Protestants are Atheists.

Sprague de Camp was right.

No Hill Kings

Seven Day and a bit of tab hawgin’. Which brought me back to an article [Link] entitled “How 250 Siberians Became the First Native Americans.” which is the sort of horrible composition that rather rubs my pelt in the wrong direction – mental or physical.

Point being is that humans are NOT native to the Americas. So calling people who got here before Western Europeans “Native” is bad composition. Ignorance. Prevarication. Politics, maybe. Definitely from the sense of politicians being evil and mean and greedy and nasty.

But over and above the penchant for thieves to want to be elected to government, we have the popular lie that there are “Native Americans.”

Ain’t no such animal.At least, human animal. There are some animals that seem to be native but that’s because they evolved here. And humans didn’t. We all trace back to Africa. Although there is some evidence that some humans did evolve elsewhere, like Neandertals and Denisovians. Maybe. 

But not in the Americas. That’s why they were so pristine. Until the humans of this article, maybe, arrived, the Americas were unspoilt, unpolluted by humans. It’s hard to even conceive but there was a time when Mesopotamia was a garden and not a desert.

My point of this natter is that not only is it stupid to talk about Native Americans – and certainly we humans have a strong claim to being stupid – buy we may also be the enders of life on the planet.

Gee, isn’t that a cheery thought?

So why can’t we plagiarize the Canadians and call them “First Peoples?” Then we can refer to a generation or so from now as “Last Peoples.”

If there is anyone left to write it down.