Pet Peeve Now!

Ran across an article [Link] entitled “Skulls reveal Neanderthals, humans had similarly harsh lives” this morning. Spiked my composition hemorrhoids. 

Basically, Neandertals – Homo Neandertalensis – are Human! That’s what the “Homo” means. And I get tired of journalists and bogs, in general, saying our ancestors of genus Homo weren’t human.

Ex Oram ab Bog, Stercus!

Where have all the Intelligence gone?

Thrilling observance of Veterans Day. All the parades cancelled in recognition of the precedence of Mother Nature. Even by the politicals who deny climate change. And women’s equality. And tyranny. Their own, of course.

Anyway, have been keeping an ear to the audio-visual electromagnetic receiver since FD SCP is home and I just caught one of those NO GMOs AV advertisements. Which led me to ask a mental question:

Don’t the people who eschew “GMO” foodstuffs know that they are the product of a gene modification activity?

I’ll talk about DNA mis-reproduction and elementary particle – DNA interactions later.


Eleven Cubed

Today is Armistice Day. At least that’s what it started as. And that’s how it tends to be remembered by those of us who find social and political correctness odious.

In some ways it  is hard to think of Armistice Day as a happiness, although easy to think of it as a good. After all, it commemorates the end of a rather nasty war, a war fought over the same nonsense that we are glorifying these days. 

So celebrating the end of slaughter and (temporarily) stupidity is a good. But it isn’t clearly a happiness.

I was once told by a professor that there is great merit to dying young. One avoids old age and disillusionment. At the time I thought him foolish but the older I get, the wiser he becomes.

But I can still regret that anyone has to die for a social construct. After all, society is what brought us slavery and money and epidemic disease. 

So it is hard to recognize and admire the stupidity of nation-states or war. 

But I can still admire the courage to risk one’s life for the sake of the good – scant as it may be – in the social construct. 

While hating the evil of those who used the construct for war and other crimes.

Nor can I criticize those who went to war. The vast majority are good humans.

But I am saddened that they had to make such a sacrifice.

In Media Res

I am a Linuxian. That doesn’t mean I consider myself a citizen of some imaginary country but in a sense, Linux is a nation. The people who use Linux are generally of different stuff than those who use Winders or AppleOS (whatever it is called.) For many, the difference is between that of a free human and that of a bound human, either serf or slave.

Recently, there has been a great deal of attention spent on the retreat (in a spiritual sense) of the founding father of Linux, Linux Torvalds, from his role are First Coder. The association considered here should be more that of Asimov’s “Foundation” series than the dictatorial idea of “First Citizen.”

Now I need to strike a metaphor: FaceScroll is a battle ground. The battle is “fought” between those who believe good syntax usage is an obligation of being human and intelligent and those who believe syntax is discretionary and situational. The metaphor I want to strike is that almost all of these people are adequately human to be considered good. Only the extremes: those who think syntax irrelevant and that anyone should be able to understand them if they shout loudly enough; and those who consider others who do not meet their standards of syntax to be subhuman; are evil and of questionable humanity.

Of all human languages, computer languages are the most exacting when it comes to syntax. In a sense, this is good because if something doesn’t work, its syntax is a failure; it it works then the syntax is good.

The problem with this is that even with this razor’s edge of functionality, the variation of good enough is subject to the subjectivity of not-good-enough-for-me and over-exacting-as-error.

Each human being is a battle ground. What is good and bad is a constant conflict being redefined. Some of us are diligent  in this pursuit; others over and under do it. Some of us remain forever frozen in our conceits and some of us are able to renormalize ourselves and our world views and actions.

None of this establishes what is good and what bad, but it does give us a model of human behavior. And often it is best if we stay in the middle of the distribution.

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.