Social Hashing?

Third day. Gym was marginally easier today. The indisposition may be ebbing but definitely not at tidal speeds. Otherwise a blah visit. Podcast was unmemorable other than a mention of the first parasite on grass. Still quite unpleasant to drive.

I noted this morning, without opening the article, that Los Angeles has raised its minimum wage to $15/hour. This strikes me as a wonderful way to improve one’s city. First it drives away cheap chain corporations like MalWart and McDougals. They can’t survive paying those kind of wages so they’ll have to pack up and leave. Lots of law suits coming over franchise cost recovery I bet. Maybe even of the city’s conscript parents for passing the law. 

Of course that puts the folks who worked there out of work and eliminates their hopes of getting employment so they will either starve, which improves the city’s quality of life, or move away, which also improves the quality of life. One thing Los Angeles can definitely use is a reduction in population. 

On the down side this will surely precipitate riots by the different ethnic minorities since they will be the ones uplifted. We can only hope the city constabulary has adequate quantities of excessed military munitions on hand.

Literature and Stupidity

Mundane day and so far not so. Managed to whelm the indisposition enough this morning to motor to Scant City to gym for a truncated session. Mixed bag. Different set of aches and pains. Didn’t try to contend with the weight bouncers. The podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” about coping with aging via literature was both boring and alienating. Simply put, it was boring because it lacked any substance, being at best superficial and unrevealing.

The alienating part was more personal. All of the literature mentioned is uninteresting to me. My tastes in literature are fairly constant, if not stationary. Have been since I was an undergraduate. Naturally I read a lot of nerd books, that is, books on nerdish topics rather than books written by nerds (or journalists) about nerdery. The former are usually called technical, the latter I call stercus. More on that later. 

When I was traveling a lot for the Yankee army of occupation I read a lot of what I call ‘airplane trash”, mostly bad science fiction (which is usually too short on the former and too long on the latter.) As the quality of SF deteriorated I added selected mystery novels, notably those by English and ethnic authors. About half of my reading still falls into these genres.

Since retirement my attention span has been freed up from worrying about the bureaucracy of preserving the nation so I have added a great deal of non-fiction to my reading, mostly history and analysis. Also a wider range of periodicals. More “news” magazines. 

But nothing of the sort of thing described in the podcast. No popular literature. No self-help polemics. Poorly written, worse cited, and reeking of untrustworthiness. So far from the general trend of the diminishing population of readers.

Which brings me to a discussion on the FaceScroll yesterday by one of my colleagues Magnetic Inductance Force. The question, a very good one, was why do the bogs not want to know about science? The general thesis was that they are unable to handle the transiency, the aspect of continual change in the search of understanding. Never mind that denying the change is discarding any hope of understanding; that seems irrelevant to the bogs. Rather it seems they are unable to handle anything more than facts, even when those facts are imaginary, illusory, or transitory. 

In a sense, this is the very essence of being biologic. All animals “pin” themselves in the now. We root ourselves in the moment. But we humans are supposed to have the capacity to recall the past and imagine the future. Doesn’t that require an embodiment of change? Is there something about the majority of humans, perhaps an increasing fraction, that cannot do so? Are we evolving away from intelligence? In the now there seems a reasonable case supporting that conjecture.

I hope that this is an artifact of contemporaneity, that we are not really becoming asentient and aintelligent. But if so, I am glad I am senior and won’t see it destroy us.

Sorta Back

The indisposition seems to be abating a bit. At least to the point where the low level ache compromises most rationality. And since this is rather a plague of seniorness, it gave me occasion to consider the nature of the contemporary the-best-things-in-life-can’t-be-bought.

That seems a strange paen in this golden age of capitalism but the weakness of mass production is that what isn’t manufactured isn’t available. 

Case in point: I have a Pacific Coronetta mug

that I greatly enjoy. I use it every day that I am not traveling or attending a coffee conference. It’s a stainless steel double walled Dewar mug that lets me misplace my cuppa and it not equilibrate thermally too rapidly.Sadly it is getting a bit old and worn and sadly the company doesn’t make this model any more. So when it dies it will become refuse.

That’s the epitome of the modern production paradigm. Lots of stuff produced but if it doesn’t sell well enough most of it is transitory. Some gets discontinued just to offer new items. 

Sometimes this seems the opposite of civilization.

Early to Decide

Two day. Happily the gym was sparse and only the respectful, congenial weight bouncer in evidence. Sadly the podcast episodes were mediocre at best and the primary one, the weekly from the Guardian, was spoiled by some pundit/author who emitted so many inaccuracies that I quickly zoned out lest something material be harmed in the frustration.

On which azimuth I ran across an article [Link] about some work at Columbia Business Schule and Ben Gurion U that indicates that decisions are best made early in the day. The context of the article is business and is written so poorly as to be as exasperating as those podcasts. Apparently this applies regardless of one’s wanted hour of arising. 

This isn’t really surprising, I think, but it does illuminate why one wants to do real work in the mornings and reserve useless meetings for the afternoon. Especially those with large numbers of bogs in attendance.

It also gives some insight in what makes the difference between a good secretary and an exceptional one.

Along the same lines, I ran across this cartoon: [Link]

which seems to give somewhat the same advice: wait until when you are ineffective to visit the FaceScroll. I have wondered several times whether it is worthwhile or not. Ultimately this comes down to whether I want to abide the political and religionist nonsense that has overwhelmed the site for the occasional bit of communication with someone I used to see often but now never.

I am still musing that. 

Shattered Window

Mundane day. Not bad so far. Moderate weather if a bit high in air temperature for this time of year. Fear the Whirley Birley! Only a couple of weight bouncer bullies this morning and the podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas”, was a ‘Radio is Dead’ thing along the lines of ‘Deity is Dead!’ Not particularly convincing or even memorable, in either case, but diverting from the ache and perspiration.

On which note, I see [Link] that MegaHard has announced that Winders X will be the last Winders. And, apparently, no, this is NOT the happy news that MegaHard has imploded and is going away. Rather they are plagiarizing – again! – from the FOSS community and re-normalizing Winders as a rolling release.

This is somewhere between amusing and horrifying. On the amusing end is that MegaHard has once more gone from its fascist pillorying of FOSS – read LINUX – to stealing their best ideas. The rolling release is a mixed bag. On the one hand it is notoriously fragile, mostly because most such distributions are more interested than cutting edge – which can, AND does , fail specularly, too often. This Makes rolling release NOT a good idea for neubs. My personal experience, with MANJARO, a derivative of ARCH, has been singularly positive – that is, non-negative in maths speak – in terms of the rolling release itself. I don’t like the SW client but it works and I can abide. 

On the other hand, the rolling release is a great thing for folks who live in the hinterland where broadband is more fairy tale than true crime. Having lots of smaller updates is preferable to a few BIG updates as evidenced by my repeated history of late of failed version upgrades. The number is now five when my upgrade from WHEEZY to JESSIE failed after download, in the middle of install, and left me with a sand box. That box is now running SolydK which may or may not still be a rolling release.

MegaHard, however, is a different can of worms from a Linux distro organization. The rolling release may seem to really give corporate IT shops hope of streamlining but if one considers all of MegaHard’s integration failures in the last few years they are probably going to find that too many of these bigger updates are going to break the corporate PC population necessitating a LOT of rollbacks and stoop labor. And those corporations – everyone? – are going to have to contend with developing a new replacement model for hardware. Back when the Winders version increment was the same (approximately) as obsolescence, replacing boxes was pretty simple in accountant-speak. Now it gets nasty when real need may have to be considered instead of a top down hand-me-down. 

This also seems to be yet another sign that MegaHard is abandoning the home and small business marketplaces. People who don’t have IT staff are going to view bigger updates and more likely dead boxes as increased reason to join the ranks of those who get an update/upgrade only when they buy a new box. Are they just abandoning their largest population market to Chrome? The World Wonders.

Think Chinese Curse. 

No Hackencruz

Saturn’s day. Higher air temperature than yesterday. Amazing collection of caravans in the park. Most of parking lot blocked off with orange cones so I had to hike in to the trail. The whole thing rather reminded me of the Berlin segment of the Indiana Jones Grail Quest movie. Even had what passes for book burning: smokers and peanut roasting devices. Not many goosesteppers in evidence but they are only early risers when they are practicing theo-fascism?

I noticed the face scroll was loaded with all sorts of grr brr about the Texas theo-fascism incident. Great polarity! The demodenialists were bemoaning the execution of thems while the reprodenialists were trumpeting the whupping of terrorists. Sometimes I think the only difference among religionists is their weapons of choice. Almost all of them seem to be engaged in ‘be us or be dead”. 

My struggles against the waywardness of upgrade seem to be on a smooth path. Everything is working well so far and I have had no problems installing the clients I need. Only problem is remembering names. Of clients, that is. My experiment with Debian itself is concluded for now. Too many burnt fingers. Not that I am satisfied with any distribution right now but that is a set of thoughts that seems worth exploring further.

Evidently we are in a news vacancy. Or I am not bending attention span that way. Not sure which yet. 

And I am definitely going o stay away from the park until tomorrow morning. Politicians are much more irritating than pollen.