Music Messiah

One Day. And I got reminded I am ORF at gym this morning. And not by the polite weight bouncers – all one of them. Rather, the podcast was a episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” about Jewish Canadian talk fest about the nature of the electronic revolution. AS is often the case, the focus isn’t on what’s important like field theory or quantum mechanics or even manufacture and design of the electronics. No, it was about the social aspects and that was a resounding mental thud for me. 

Yes, I care about the parasitic nature of contemporary organizations, especially the corporate ones. And yes, Facescroll and Gooey and such are the evil pretender or some such superstitious thing. And I care that human slavery is being reinvented by everyone from greedy entitleists to politicians to whizz wizards. 

But I’ve heard it all too often and climate change has already gotten too far, so what difference does it make how the species ends? 

And then I ran across an article [Link] entitled “Apple Just Killed Off 2 Iconic Products, And People Are Super Sad.” Turns out Apple – one of those corporate slavemasters – is killing off two of its lower end (as in cost/profit) offerings. And they’re both MP3 players.

OK. The news flows – I call them that because they span a range from a torrent, as in SMS news bulletins, to a diffusional creep, as in television broadcast news programs that seem to always be hours out of date – have been full the last few years with the demise of the MP3 player. (I do watch the local weather foretelling, mostly so FD SCP and I are on the same (erroneous) sheet.) 

I have commented on this previously, mostly about the so-called demise of the MP3 file because its copyright has discorporated, but this blot is more about the players.

The demise of the MP3 (/OGG/…) player is supposedly because everyone is using their cellular telephone to stream music. And so the dedicated MP3 player is irrelevant.

I feel like taking my claymore to the tertiary STD infectee who claimed that. Mostly because the type of stercus caput (that’s fecal cranium for the Bogs) that says such a thing is the same type who says all one needs in the way of a knife is named Swiss Army. So I’ll give him a Swiss Army knife against a claymore any day. And when I clave him from the nave to the chaps, I won’t have to listen any more?

The Swiss Army knife is exemplified by the MacGyver stories. More the original ones than the current farce on the television. Not that it isn’t entertaining, but it’s not congruent enough with the book. Like most remakes. Like ALL remakes?

Anyway, I see folks at gym with ear buds – those wired raisins one sticks into one’s ear canals – plugged into their cellular telephone trying to get it to play music. And when they finally waste enough time to get that to work they have to figure out how to secure that cellular telephone on the short leash of the ear buds. Most of them spend more time wrangling with the hardware than exercising. 

I have a dedicated MP3 player. It acts like a USB stick when I connect it to my deskbox. So all I have to do is tell my RSS accumulator which podcasts to download and then I use the file manager – usually one that supports two panes – to drag and drop the podcast files onto the mp3 player. And then I put it in a pouch attached to a neck strap, attach the earphones – not earbuds, I see no reason to irritate and inflame my ear canals – and I’m ready to go off to gym and spend less than a minute queuing up the podcast of the session. 

So on the one side we have cellular telephone and ear buds that doesn’t work well but does lots of other stuff not well too and on the other we have a dedicated player and ear phones that work very well.

A classic instance of the Swiss Army Knife paradigm. We can even express it as maths:

number of things it can do * how well it does each thing = constant

For the acalculate, that means the more things you can do with one tool, the worse those things will be done.

If you want to walk around unencumbered with a multitool for emergencies, carry a Swiss Army Knife. If you are in the emergency business, you carry a toolkit. 

That’s why the MP3 player is repeatedly declared dead; because Bogs can’t understand why they are useful and most journalists are Bogs.

And what about music? I have a separate MP3 player for music. Why? Because what I listen to isn’t available on those streaming services.

Weighty Thoughts While evading suicidal motorists

Three day. Off to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill for staff call and provisioning. Survived but not without wonder and a touch of amazement. 

Along the way, I had two particular thoughts about all the recent grrr brrr over monuments commemorating (or reminding?) The Recent Unpleasantness:

Why is the Alibam Council of Thieves Legislature so fearful of Alibam cities that they have to pass legislation forbidding the removal of such monuments? This seems to be part of a trend and one has to question what irrational insecurity this reflects?

And if we are in such a rush, as a nation, to remove these monuments, why have we retained Memorial (Decoration) Day? After all, it is the ultimate memorial to the Old Confederacy. Or is it untouched because most of the electorate has no idea of its origin nor meaning? After all, they seem incapable, in the mode, of distinguishing Memorial Day from Veteran’s Day.

I am tempted to play a Bobby Horton CD while I consume my morning coffee distillation and reflect on the nature of policy.

Existence is Trying

Six Day. Week Out. No excursion to gym this morning because the capitalist poltroons are too money hungry to open at a reasonable hour. The only good is that it confirms the hospital proper is just as foul and incompetent.

As I was downloading Podcast Episodes this morning and moving onto my gym player, I came to reflect on things that are going away maybe, inspired by all the rot being emitted about the demise of the MP3. Presumably these are the same people who try to sell luxury paper plates. You know, the ones made of hand pressed paper with hand painted designs? Great market for such in Alibam. Or am I thinking about college athletic pornography souvenir plates?

My first thought was the supposed demise of Unity. As the one or three loyal readers of this blog know, and everyone else runs away from screaming in pain and horror, I am not a fan of Tile GUIs. In my mind, it is rather a toss-up whether Unity or the Winders X GUI is the worser. Certainly Gnome 3 has some redeeming value. And it is a bit offputting to me that Canonical has abandoned Unity for the latter. Is there actual rationality in the MegaHard of Linux? 

Of course, the actual MegaHard is not absent of rationality, at least the kind that is welded to greed and mental pathology. It’s the primary reason I keep rooting for ReactOS. 

I do not expect Unity to go into the night, quietly or otherwise. In a community that can support so many GUIs, including things like Budgie, Unity will continue. So when I found an article [Link] this morning about life after Unity I kept thinking that some group of dedicated independents would continue the GUI. That’s the nature of the Linux community; it turns stupidity and insanity into something constructive: the hope for humanity as it were. 

I personally do not like Unity. But I have other choices and I want to keep having choices. Which is why I detest MegaHard and their no choice dictatorship. Which is, in some sense, a mirror of Amerikan politics. Two parties, no choices.

Anyway, because I like choices I cannot (and do not) deny them to others. So I am in favor of Unity staying about so long as anyone wants to use it. (And yes, I am still micturated about Gnome 2 and about to be micturated about KDE 4.) 

Something perhaps similar is the current matter of public displays of Confederate veneration. I noted that New Orleans, the home of freedom of sin, is removing its Confederate memorialization statuary. I also noted [Link] that Alibam has gone the opposite direction and posted militia units and ambulance chasers around all such. The matter is deeply divisive and at the root of contemporary political differences.

As a matter of illustration, It takes me about twenty minutes to drive from my domicile Castellum SCP here in Greater Metropolitan Arab to the southronmost point of Huntsville just past the Whitesburg bridge across the Tennessee river and I will observe at least a dozen flagpoles flying the battle flag of the Confederate States Army. About half of these are private (?) residences but the other half are businesses. Apparently, in Alibam, displaying a battle flag improves cash flow. Clausewitz would marvel and write a chapter were he alive today?

I do not object to this so long as it does not restrict my freedom. It does. The people who do this tend to be insecure and express their insecurity with violence. And the constabulary, especially the politically elected kind, are loathe to even consider being in the area much less enforcing law. 

But it is basically amusing. Indicative, I fear, of the general distribution of rationality and intelligence in Alibam that the flag displayed would be a battle flag. Reason and a brief knowledge of history such as is supposed to be conveyed by the third grade in Alibam public schules would seem to show that the proper flag to be displayed would be the Confederate national flag. But for some reason that flag holds no attraction to these people.

In sum, The World Wonders.

Similarly, another thing going away is medical insurance. The politicians seem to now be back on their outlook that nothing is to be denied them but everything to their constituencies. Except those who are richer than the politicians. What doesn’t seem to occur to them is that taking away well being and life is a form of tyranny in the sense of disposing of freedom. The freedom to die is, happily?, not being infringed, and given the nature of the actions of government perhaps a good thing. 

On the positive side, we read [Link] of the first imprisoned birth of a Humboldt penguin chick  in a decade. The beast has been named Fluffy McFluffyface which not only displays some sort of strange naming custom in England but also the sad nature of many things including the rather nauseating and hemorrhoidal names being foisted on infants these days. It used to be that the offspring of the so-called “dirt poor” were blessed with names like “Smut” or “Phrobizher”. Now it seems universal, perhaps reflecting that everyone – except politicians – think they are “dirt poor.”

It is also saddening that a significant fraction of the population of several (too many) endangered species are inmates of zoos and torture corporations. So perhaps that discontinuance of medical insurance will be good for the planet?

 Perhaps the only reason humanity survives is for the humor value?

Hammered

Four Day. Off to gym. Pleasantly sparse. No LOUD Women, only one weight bouncer. Podcast was the start of an episode of Destination Linux [Link] that is coming across rather poorly. Made me think of the guy who broke his nose when he fell asleep on the job from boredom and smashed his face into his desk. Made rather a bloody mess – literally – of the (actual) desktop.

I suppose I have a bit of a problem relating to a stereotypical Southron Red Neck who claims to be a Linux Guru while prating about his Red Neck behavior. Not sure that bragging about killing lots of animals and roughhandling lots of women is congruent with the basic ideals of Linux.

On which note I got to hear from the clerk at gym how Scant City Memorial Hospital [Link] had their annual (Yankee Government mandated) outreach to ORFs. 

What is notable about this is the discrimination. The event is EXTROs only. No, not by announcement, by action. They structure this this event to be as unfriendly and hurtful (and harmful?) as possible to INTROs. 

Why? Because they are Southron and go beyond not caring into actual hatred. INTROs are as bad a people with brown or black skins or epicanthic folds. Maybe worse. Because they are generally smarter and better educated and more likely to know when they’re being cheated and bullied. 

Ayep. Medical capitalism in Marshall County, Alibam. All the usual prejudices plus Southron.

No Moms Need Apply

Huzzah! While at gym this morning I learned that Alibam has been given a most prestigeous recognition.

It seems Alimab has been (subjectively) determined to be the WORST state in the Yankee Republic for Working Mothers.

Hurrah! Number ONE!

This achievement has only been made possible by Alibam politicians who are, in the vast majority, the archetypes of Alibam males, that is superficially pious and unthinkingly brutal. Alibam women, of course, are supposed to be fecund, witless, and homebound. So any effort to suppress any deviation from these norms, especially for women, is not too small.

In Alibam, the ideal of most men, some women, and all politicians is to revert the state to its social and cultural environment circa 1850.

Complete with the restoration of chattel slavery. 

Taking women back to the 1950’s is the current step in the program to achieve that end.

The reason for this, I am told by psychologist colleagues, is that all Alibam men (well, almost) were raised by their mothers and hence have enormous hatred, fear, and loathing there of, mostly stemming from rabid insecurity. 

Much as I would like to discount this thesis, any examination of the Alibam government, however superficial, tends to affirm it.

Other Kind of Hack

One Day. Back to gym. Dragging a bit. And the podcast didn’t help, an episode of CBC’s “Best of Ideas” rehashing their fifty years of existence.

Horribly boring, nauseating in places. Excruciatingly maudlin. Too much Ideas-cleaned-up-my-life sort of homilies. I suppose it’s very Canadian but it’s not good fare before breakfast.

On which note, I ran across an article [Link] this morning entitled “France’s Macron Hack Likely By Same Russian Group That Hit DNC, Sources Say.” I should probably mention I got the link out of a military eNewsletter.

What this brings to mind is three possibilities:

Courtesy of the electronics revolution, we have reached a point where any new tactic has a novelty period of one (observed) use and then it’s old hat. This is a far cry from the days of Napoleon Bonaparte who could usually count on a new tactic lasting for at least a couple of years. Of course this was back when hereditary tyrants ran the world.

The French are smarter (?) than Amerikans. The French may be terrible at some things, like fountain pens and (smoking) pipes and motorcars, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be smart as well as inept.

The French are so opposite to the behavior of most nations that the hack had the reverse effect intended. The French, after all, are the only people who detest anyone furrin who tries to speak French. All other nationalities take it as an indication of adaptation and cooperation but the French take it as a deadly insult.

As with most such things, there is no way of objectively determining which, if any, of these possibilities is relevant. What is sure however, is that the French will have a situation where it will be unclear how much they can distrust the pronouncements of their government.

Passion for Poverty

Getting started on tab hawgin’ early. Looking at articles that I pushed into a clipping cleint some time ago but haven’t finished digesting or gone snarky with.

This blot is about an education analysis article [Link] entitled “Why the most successful students have no passion for school.” The study was performed evidently – in New South Wales, so the nature of the schooling is likely different from that in the Yankee republic. Especially from how it is done in the Old Confederacy. And very different from Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill in the ’50’s and ’60’s when I attended public schule.

The study claims that the best students have no passion for schule. That seems evident from the title but it seems also that the title is rot. 

It seems that the determination of “best” is based on grades. That’s not a bad metric but it is low hanging and incomplete. And the determination of passion is based on the answer to a multiple guess question:

    (a) school has done little to prepare me for adult life when I leave school

    (b) school has been a waste of time

    (c) school helped give me confidence to make decisions

    (d) school has taught me things that could be useful in a job

asked to 15 year old adolescents. It’s this question that precipitated my cogitation on this article.

I have to admit that age 15 is shrouded a bit in a whole lot of years and experiences and thoughts. That age approximately corresponds to when I entered high scule as a sophomore. 

It’s also when I pretty well registered dissatisfaction and disappointment with high schule. Because of the same information rationing that I had hated in previous grades. But what is most troubling is my assessment of how I would have answered this question. 

When I was in high schule, I was there because it was necessary. Most of that necessity was the role defined by my parents and society and a little bit was an awakening anticipation of college. But none of that had anything to do with being adult. That wasn’t anything overtly talked about in those days. 

There was a thread of schule being a waste of time but that primarily came from people who did poorly on grades and learning and wanted to be on their own. And those people didn’t like Intros so their outlook was alien.

Schule wasn’t about confidence. I don’t ever recall hearing that word in schule or from my parents. And jobs weren’t mentioned. Except for the disabled kids. Who were untouchables. 

So I am unsure how I would have answered the question. I know I wouldn’t have left it unanswered because we were lectured before every multiple guess test to guess if we didn’t know. Don’t leave any blanks. That was hammered into us. 

 

The article reports that the passion-best correlation was “almost zero.” This is a lot worse than random choice. Why? I know from reading that kids today are indoctrinated to be job and career oriented – and not care about learning. So based on kids aping and amplifying their parents’ prejudices and gripes, I can see where (A) might get short shrift. 

I did fairly well in schule. My parents expected – demanded? – good grades and I got good grades until I got accepted into college. My last semester in high schule was a complete disregard of playing nice.

The reason for this is that if you got good grades you got more opportunities to learn than if you blew off. Not much admittedly, although my library trips were conditional on grades, but little is better than none. And the high schule textbooks did good to last me a month before they were sucked dry. Although I do have to admit that boring subjects didn’t get sucked as dry.  But once I got a motorcar the library standard retreated and once I got admitted to college, knowing I couldn’t not graduate shy of criminal activity, I quit overachieving on the tests. 

So the passion for schule was really a passion for learning and giving the facade of liking schule was a way to more learning. 

So I have to wonder just how close to reality this study ever came?