Second Best

Two Day. Higher air temperature. Almost at the phase change point of ice to water (solid -> liquid dihydrogen oxide) when I motored to gym. Very sparse. Three patrons plus the clerk. Relatively quiet other than the noxious video track of hospital advertisements that are egregious examples of every advertisement is a prevarication. Unhappily most of my non-damaging counter-measures have been figured out and I am not resolved enough to sabotage the equipment.

However much it grates and annoys. 

Sad day for diversion. The Guardian science podcast was all about space stuff which is about as diverting as a hangover. And in much the same way. I fear my taste for space opera has rather sapped my attention span for things like hole boring on Mars. I won;t say it isn;t important but it isn’t engaging for me. And it isn’t my kind of science. If you’re inept at experimentation then experimentation isn’t really attractive. Rather like the chemistry of milk for those of us who are modal and lack any of the cattle herder mutations. After being forced to drink milk into adolescence one develops an aversion to milk.

Which means that those advertisements for lactose-minimized milk are not only nasty but nauseating. 

The weather beavers say tonight will be a repeat of Sundae night so that is another nasty/nauseating. And they are already making dire threats about next week. I do so hate winter.

Nothing of substance to mutter today. No great ideas bubbling up.

Film at Eleven.

Neandertals and Nincompoops

Ice Cream day. And despite my hatred for the persistent misuse of the word literal –

Literal Lit”er*al (l[i^]t”[~e]r*al), a. [F. lit[‘e]ral, litt[‘e]ral, L. litteralis, literalis, fr. littera, litera, a  letter. See Letter.]   1. According to the letter or verbal expression; real; not figurative or metaphorical; as, the literal meaning of a phrase.      [1913 Webster] 

– today and the next few days will be close, closer, at least, that what most of the bogs mean when they use the word. 

The organizational stress of yesterday’s rainfall was cancelled, but not before its approach played merry ned with my sinuses and teeth. Too often that ache is the worse part of the weather disaster trumpeted but  unfulfilled by the weather beavers. 

Evidently their predictions of wind speed and intensity proved to be overoptimistic. I use “optimistic” because it has become evident that the weather beavers have been “crying wolf!” to increase their dwell time and hence revenues. This is sad. Now they have reduced themselves to the level of journalists and can no longer be trusted.

It seems, according to the Max Planck Institut, [Link] that allergy problems such as these can be blamed on miscegenation. Seems we got some disease resistance/protection and allegies from Neandertals. 

This brings up the intriguing question of whether those late comers from Africa do not suffer from allergies? You know, the ones who are pure Sapiens, unlike the rest of us mongrels. 

Along that vein, a study by wonks at Carnegie-Mellon U [Link] indicates – by claim – that outgroup violence – themism violence – does not arise from religion belief. Does this indicate that evangelism – and its muslim equivalent – are organizational in origin? Answers unforthcoming again.

It is becoming increasingly evident as we complete one-sixth of the twenty-first century that its great challenge may be whether we succumb to the tyranny of religion slavery?

Increasingly, all religions seem to be deciding that their existence is incompatible with both other religions and self-determination – to include democratic government.

I hear every day here in the old confederacy from some christianist thumper that his denomination is under attack. Indicatively, this attack is blamed on those who want to determine what they believe and that – almost certainly – isn’t his flavor of superstition rather on the other denominations who want to destroy his and absorb its adherents involuntarily. If it were not so horrible it would be entertaining given the conflict’s Darwinian nature. 

And Hobbesian? 

Another time I am glad to be a senior. Despite my neandertal DNA.

Happy New Year

Saturn’s day. Past – hopefully – the horrible holiday season that ushers in winter. Except that Monday  is Newtonmas but is that hyperimportant STEM day really a holiday? Does a holiday have to be official? And what organization makes it official? Government or Religionment? Or can we just make these up and force them on society by dint of persistence and perseverance?

And the evil days did usher in winter. Below the solid dihydrogen oxide temperature this morning. And foetold to be so for at least the next three before any improvement. My lower legs and feet have entered a “cold” state and my upper legs a clammy (?) state that bodes to be continuous until deep into spring, months for now. The outlook is dismal and so am I. 

On a happier note, I observe that my dire concerns over the state of the schules has been (possibly) upheld. [Link] I offer a quote about a high schule in Nawthern Karolinia:

“According to college entrance exams administered to every 11th grader in the state last spring, only one in 10 Berea students were ready for college-level work in reading, and about one in 14 were ready for entry-level college math. And on a separate test of skills needed to succeed in most jobs, little more than half of the students demonstrated that they could handle the math they would need.”

Now I note that this is a journalist written article and hence rather untrustworthy, and college entrance exams are notoriously undependable and poor predictors of life after college. That latter however, is not the purpose of the test. It is simply to identify those who will be a waste of the college’s resources for inadequate compensation.

It also identifies those who will be a waste of the colleges’s resources but will compensate adequately. These however, will not be rejected if space is available. Better a rock with money than a penurious genius. But that’s about the university as factory and that is another tirade.

Point being is that the nation’s public schules are abysmal failures. They have sold out. And as a result our young are not only ignorant but effectively unteachable and alearnable after years of being exposed to rot and rubbish and greed.

This is not a serious problem. No, it is a survival problem. This level of slime moldness is sufficient to completely destroy the country.

And we have done it to ourselves.

No pity. No sympathy. Just joy that I am old and will die before the worst.

Monday Richness

Once more into week in. And the weather beavers are foretelling another spate of rain. This time only five centimeters or so. Matybe.

So it seems meet that I do what I should have done yesterday and clear a few tabs.

First, an article [Link] on how seniors are messing up their medication scheduling. Scant wonder. I am pretty good at scheduling. I lay out a schedule, then I use a client that does scheduling, then I compare and refine. And it still isn’t easy. Because the physicians can’t be bothered to discuss medications with patients, probably because patients are in too much of a hurry to escape before something gets added to a day already consumed by medicalist requirements, and the information handed out by pharmacies is more about legal protection for them than helping patients.

Case in point. Several of my medications say to take their incremental dose with “a cup of water”. Is that a figurative more than a sip or actually a quarter-liter? And if I drink a quarter-liter per pill so instructed my dihydrogen oxide daily consumption is up around four liters which is itself a bit risky and definitely has ill effects.

But no one is working to help with this problem, perhaps because those who have the medicalist knowledge can’t do scheduling and don’t have time to devote to every senior that way. 

Next, my colleague Magnetic Inductance Force sent me a link to an article entitled “Android on the desktop: Not really “good,” but better than you’d think”.  Having used Android on slablets, I am not about to use it as a desktop, sans ANY OTHER CHOICE. Well, maybe. If left to a choice between Android and Winders (akin to choosing between the Hillary and the Donald) I would be highly conflicted. Let me put it another way: leave my Debian based KDE desktop FC? Sooner would I give up the cellular phone and the tablet. They are not very good at what they do on a touch screen so why should I want them for real work?

Can one do real work on a slablet. My considered opinion is NYET!

But the question I raise is how much longer are we going to be sold the lie that there is one OS/GUI/DTE for all screen sizes/computers/tasks? It’s distracting us from doing things efficiently and effectively. 

Lastly, an article [Link] entitled “Hating parts of Star Trek is an essential part of loving Star Trek.” This after I saw this morning that the latest segment of Star Wars has broken a billion American of inflow. Not bad for a racist, sexist, slavist story line. That’s the primary reason for liking Star Trek. From the get go it’s about freedom and self-determination and sentient rights. 

But yes, there are some bits not to be liked. For one, I find TNG to be sadly deficient compared to any other ST segment. Even the prequel with that time travel actor. Although, as always, all the cool is concentrated in the techies and Vulcans. It is hard to find why humans are the least bit noteworthy for anything but being amateurs. Which is a whole lot. And I know that puts me at odds with many, but that’s also part of the richness of ST. 

And ST is a whole lot richer  than SW. Just calculate the entropy of their collected societies. 

Selah. Sit and await the rain.

After the Pogrom

Saturn’s Day. And the rain abated enough for me to have constitutional. Despite the paths being more than wetted and the drainage ditches gurgling and spitting. In fact I discovered a couple I had been unaware of just from their noise. 

Yesterday was horrible. It rained so much that every leak in the roof was made apparent. Most of these are drying leaks and correct themselves once the wood has absorbed a bit of water. But yesterday the rain came so muchly that wetted became drip and drop. 

At least the worst (?) (hopefully!) day of the year is past and I may enjoy a bit of solitude and silence for a while. At least until the next holiday when I have to endure relatives and suppress thoughts of discorporation. 

I have decided that I do not like holidays. With being ORF I have scant need of holidays and many reasons need them to go away. Accesses to medical care and merchants being at or near the top of the list.

They have their uses but I am not sure those uses are still valid. Especially now that so many corporations are ignoring them. Yesterday’s blogs were shot through with discussions of how to avoid the holiday and what services and access were still present despite the inertia of the event.

Part of it is likely also the commonality of the observance. I enjoy private moments of reflection but have no need to be exposed to ear piercing bairns or nattering parents. And the food. Dire digestive distress! Almost as bad as the sinus drainage last evening. 

Enough. On to a brighter (if not bright) future.

Day of Joy and Merry???????

Freya’s day. And the observance of the holiday of Christmas. Highly conflicted. So far as I can tell by library research, the actual birthday of Joshua ben Joseph was sometime in March. So the old saw, often attributed to the Nazis, of the early organizational church taking over the Winter Solstice, with all the benefits thereby. 

Good philosophy, evil organization.

But what does the day matter? Isn’t it the social aspects?

Of course part of the conflict is the commercialization. Which grew out of the social aspects. The gift giving and cards and drunken brawls and such. So we are programmed from childhood to associate this day with the greatest benefice of loot for the calendar year. Even bigger than birthday anniversary loot. Exceeded only by graduation loot (maybe) and marriage loot (shared and too often, then days, lost)

So the spirit is often smothered in the materialism and consumerism and other pseudo-religions.

Not that there isn’t a great deal of pseudo to organized religion. But not going there.

The other aspect is stress. Not sure why having merriment has become stressful but it has. Too much planning and effort and control and regimentation and civilization. Very NAZI. Especially by parents.

And even as adults we can’t escape it. For a variety of reasons.

So I took solice in a couple of cartoons. First: [Link]

My higher family gathering was yesterday and the lower family gathering is tomorrow. So today I can avoid all family but FD SCP. And I have a large bottle of hard cider laid on for the afternoon. And maybe even a beer or so? Why? Because you can’t ethanolize if you are traveling or around bible thumpers and religionist terrorists. 

The second: [Link]

expresses a stress that I thought was a curse of being a INTRO NERD STEM. Instead it is part of life. Of how you try quite hard to do the loot thing well, especially for the SO, and it flops. Not occasionally. Consistently. Repeatedly. Regularly. Like the desired state of defecation.

And it’s common enough that some kitsch cartoonist can make humor of it. So “damn the torpedoes. full steam ahead.”

Do hunter-gatherers do this? And is the problem with gifting whether it gets discarded the next move? How long has this been around? Is it in our genes? Or just in out most basic society?

Is it good?

So much for the great storm. Horrid winds. Abounding rain. 

Slept through it. Only wind I saw was at gym walking in from the carpark and observing another patron struggling with a ‘brolly. And the downfall of dihydrogen oxide was moderate and only had the disadvantage of frawging the inside of the windscreen. 

The podcast was passable, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” about Machiavelli’s “The Prince”. Much academic kritik and analytik. Not much rationality, I thought. No one seemed taken with the idea that Machiavelli was a wannabe. All the academics espoused the ideas that he was deadly serious or was being ironical. The latter holds more substance but overlooks his other works which were satirical and comedic, clear signs of someone who wants but cannot do. 

On another azimuth, I ran across a PEW poll [Link] about how Amerikans think about other Amerikans. 

The operant discriptors are : patriotic; honest; intelligent; selfish; and lazy.

Somehow I find patriotic and honest and intelligent to be somewhat immiscible. Being patriotic often requires one to be unintelligent and dishonest, especially to oneself. Selfish also contradicts these, although laziness and honesty are definitely orthogonal. So much in the way of contradictions.

For myself, I find my fellow Amerikans to be superficially patriotic, making an outward show but accepting no sacrifices. Happily there are enough exceptions that we may continue to send the young off to die (and be maimed) for the sake of elder politicians and capitalists. I find honesty to be plastic. We disobey any law that we seem unlikely to be punished for, speeding being a prime example. In fact, bad driving is the primary characteristic of Amerikans. As a nation we are arrogant, dangerous, and uncaring when we are guiding (?) our motorcars. And those who drive (ha!) pickup trucks are worse, true criminals of evil bent, sociopaths totally lacking any morality.

Intelligent? Hardly. Most of the population is acalculate; too many are acomputate, and despite the efforts of our schules, a few are actually literate. Most are driven to hedonism and pornography, especially the spectator sports variety. Canny? Perhaps, at least in a wannabe capacity. But intelligent? Too few. Amerika continues to be a country where ignorance is prized above knowledge.

Selfish? Definitely. In fact, it is the Great Amerikan Virtue. Consumerism is our religion, after, perhaps, pornography. And that distinction may be specious. What we have is more important that what we know or what we think. To the point that the latter are vanishing, embarrassing, and detested.

Lazy? Hardly. We are not intelligent enough to be lazy, at least as a population. Laziness requires thought and sense and we lack both. What we are is unengaged. We hate work and any activity that is not diverting and destructive of thought. Hedonism and sensualism are hallmarks of modern Amerika. 

But the rain is nice and offers some opportunity for cogitation.