Cinema Crack

Watched “Casino Royale” on the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver yesterday.

The good one.

With David Niven and Peter Sellers and Woody Allen.

Any one of whom would be better choices for POTUS. 

Than the current partisan poo-poos.

Democrat Deboned

If Hillary the Criminal Teacher is the best qualified for POTUS, what does this say about the people who are seeking the office?

When are we going to learn that the best way to pick a POTUS is to survey all citizens, find the one who wants the job least, and put them in the office?

But when has Amerika ever been rational?

Firearm Fsychology

I had a bit of an insight this morning. It was the kind where you view something in the context of something you already knew.

Many years of studying management and people and being a manager has given me a strong conviction that 0.9 of human behavior can be traced to insecurity. Sort of a management corollary to Sturgeon’s rule. 

Anyway, it occurred to me that perhaps this explains the numbers of people who carry firearms on their persons as a daily routine. 

I thought about the people I know who were not required to carry firearms as part of their employment. And I realized that almost all of these people had deep insecurities that they refused to confront. And this made them naturals to want to carry a pacifier. 

And the few exceptions were people who genuinely had need of a firearm. Of course there were some of the insecure ones who needed to because their personalities and people skills were SO BAD they were virtually assured of being discorporated.

Contemporary Disappointment

Two Day. Back to gym. Sparse. Lost day. At least the good clerk is returned, complaining greatly about having to return from holiday. Sadly, this is the contemporary state. No one seems happy nor content with their work.

On the opposite tack, I ran across an article [Link] entitled “Scientists suggest a PC to solve complex problems tens of times faster than with massive supercomputers.” The title is a bit whacked. What these wonks in Russia found was that running their code on a GPU on their PC was orders of magnitude faster than running them on a supercompiter. 

Not surprising. Some of the game graphics rendering is a lot nastier than most simulations. And than well posed physics codes.

Nonetheless, such posing is an art form and I have known very few Amerikan STEMs – especially Computer Science types – who were very good at it. They kept wanting to either use library routines or what was in the rather inadequate textbooks on the subject. SO much of their ineptitude is not their fault, but that of their education. 

I should like to say that this is what comes of the overemphasis/dependence on GUI, but that is only part of it. Ultimately the key component missing is the time and effort to find (or develop) the best algorithms and write all the code for efficiency. 

One doesn’t do well trying to kill flies with ten pound sledges.

Modern Mammal Mush

One Day. Back to gym. Quite sparse and the usual clerk is on holiday, replaced, hopefully temporarily, by the aggressive, assaulting one. She also ignores any requests for television tuning. Not at all well suited to the job.

The podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” dealt with modern sexual aberration. Evidently modern sexual congress is mostly a matter of violence and self-service. And I used to think I wasn’t sharing enough.

The interviewee was a semi-academic psychologist. Feminist, which struck me as a bit strange given the slogans of feminists in my young adulthood that seem to have advocated the current state of practice. 

To hear this woman talk, modern sexual activity is all about erection and ejaculation and that’s it. Foreplay was never mentioned. Any sort of commitment seems to be defined in terms of the congress, not the reverse.

Once again, I am glad to be ORF.

Anyway, I escaped the gym unbattered by the clerk.  

Futile Openness?

Another milder morning. Once more to the park for constitutional, but I had to share the path and that rather upset my concentration. Not completely, but more than I should like.

We sit on the edge of summer solstice and it seems a strange time to be thinking about schule, but I ran across an article [Link] entitled “College courses without textbooks? These schools are giving it a shot.” I should comment that the title is rather a bit of the contemporarily usual journalistic stercus tauri. One of the things that was learned in the early days of universities was that the students learn better if there is a textbook for every one and not just a “lecturer” reading out of his copy while the students take down his reading. Of course, that was before Gutenberg did the technology and manufacturing development of printing.

We have deviated from this model and in recent years are reaping the punishment of it with a generation of students who were issued schule owned book that were recovered and reused at end of term. So these students have no appreciation of the inertia of textbooks and display it in their lack of knowledge in later time. Another incidence of politicians economizing to destroy civilization.

But the textbooks referred in the title are those produced by the textbook publishing corporations of Amerika. I had occasion yesterday to visit the Barnes and Ignoble site with a discount coupon and was shocked. The inflation of textbook prices since my undergraduate days is a factor of about 20! I looked at some introductory texts that I paid $10-15 for and all were north of $250! No wonder the students dispose of their texts at end of term!

A more accurate way of describing the alternative being explored is open source materials which may include texts. It is another bit of a program I have seen growing in recent years to offer alternatives to hideously expensive textbook and learning materials. I strongly support any such efforts. 

Sadly, I have been unable to find any support among my collegiate colleagues. They seem addicted to the bribes conveyed them by those publishers – outlines, syllibi, slides. They claim that the press of their duties precludes them doing a competent job of preparation. Evidently one more indication of the factoryization of college. 

I weep for the deprived students. They can no longer take notes for lack of cursive, thereby they cannot learn, the lectures are standardized and unengaging, and they discard their textbooks. No wonder they emerge from college as ignorant as they entered. We are out own enemy as Pogo sayith.