Reconstruction Regained

Saturn’s day and dihydrogen oxide falleth from the sky. So I made do with stationary bicycle, and a barely diverting segment of episode of podcast. But the cyclical nature of the activity brought my thoughts to the idea that “those how fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.”

This seems to fit with current events. It seems to me that we are experiencing Reconstruction again!

Consider the following ridiculous string: the Sesquicentennial of the Second American Revolution just concluded in April; the flags of the Confederate States of America are banned; the Yankee government is issuing several prescriptive edicts primarily against the states of the old Confederacy: upholding national medical insurance; extending the legality of marriage outside heterosexuality. Shall I keep going?

Point being this is all a massive “victory” for the Yankee “Blue” states and a massive defeat for the old Confederacy “Red” states. Or is it?

I hate to say it but the Second American Revolution was a horrible adolescence. I can think of no other characterization to instill any rational aspect to the utter stupidity of cleaving a nation over something as evil and inhumane as slavery. It should have been abandoned or condemned when the nation was established and wasn’t, largely due to the efforts of men like Thomas Jefferson. All I can say is an outstanding example of social inertia.

And then we went and fought the most terrible war in our history. A war that is still worshiped by those of our people who suffer from irrationality and mental perversion. We cannot afford to forget it lest we repeat its mistakes and horrors but we also cannot worship its memory lest we do just that. Those who refuse to abandon its worship are broken and in need of care; those who refuse to permit its memory to be kept are deluded fools who need care and control.

I liken the matter to when one is a child and burns one’s hand on a stove. Yes, that is horrible but necessary that we learn not to do so again. So to protect ourselves we have to keep that unpleasant, painful memory.

This is a time of great peril. We must treasure the memory of the pain to prevent its recurrence. Many would enshrine its false glory. Many would abolish its memory. Both are wrong. 

Into the Abyss

Fifth day again. No gym. Off to park for constitutional. Air almost pleasant. Podcast diverting a bit from the aches and pains of walking but not really engaging nor memorable. Only staunch negative was a couple of people who drove in and left their lamps engaged so that high intensity photon streams were periodically flooding my peripheral vision. A bit of laser reply reminded them of their manners.

The calm (otherwise) and the photon streams gave me occasion to consider a topic I mentioned earlier in the week, of whether there is some competition between science and religion. I stated at that time that I didn’t see much between personal religion and science but there might be between organized religion and science. I have formulated a preliminary observational conjecture since.

Organized religion is characterized by the organization espousing a collection of doctrine and dogma that transcends the individual. Even denominations that claim to encourage individuality tend to have some organizational rules. In some cases, especially in the old Confederacy, there are denominations whose doctrine/dogma express daily life/experience in mystical terms characterized by continual interventions by the deity to take action directly beneficial to the good/worthy denomination adherents. 

I find myself exposed to this daily, usually in one of two forms. One is people who babble about this, talking about how they survived a shopping trip to the MalWart as a direct intervention of the deity. The other is television news whose coverage often takes the form of some obese, neotenous Southron, hair in foam rollers if female, unbarbered but hacked if male, who babble similarly, usually associated with some phenomenon of Nature.

In all the cases I have considered, the survival can be adequately explained by simple science, probability theory, and statistics. No physical laws are violated in the creation of this imagined (?) miracle. Of course, if the deity is devious and cany then there would not be but this still raises the question of the perception. I have learned not to discuss this with the claimant because the vast majority have closed, violent minds. 

This is where, I conjecture, there is actual competition between (organized) religion and science. It is related to religion only in its prescription (and wrangling?) by the organization. The doctrine/dogma espoused also denigrates science and establishes an inimical dichotomy. 

Further cogitation and observation is indicated.

More Oppression

Thor’s day and an end to gym for the week. Quite vacant this morning and the podcast was passable, an episode of the British Ubuntu podcast. Nothing worth remembering but nothing outright boring either. The only notable thing was a bunch of bitchin’ about the lack of HW for Linux.

I have to agree with this. Every Linux box I have is repurposed. (I don’t count Android slabs as actually Linux any more than MS-DOS counted as CPM.) And after ten or fifteen such I have only had one, a Dell Lapbox, where the wireless didn’t work adequately. 

But I do rather dislike people who say they are going to have a client for Linux and then renege. Case in point. The MacKicgan company, which does NERD LaTeX SW, advertised for several years that its next version of the basic client would support Winders, Apple, and LINUX! Now it’s out and NO LINUX SUPPORT.

I do love prevaricative corporations. 

Anyway, MacKichan, no upgrade by this fellow. Unless you change your mind. And I intend to make you notable for your perfidy.

I will continue to run my old version on an XP box suitably divorced from the internet.

So much for excellence in NERD software.

Genetically Evil?

Two day. Another later in the summer degree of heat day, or so the weather beavers foretell and their predictions haven’t been half bad lately, probably because they are far from phase changes?

The gym was typical for the DOW and summer. I saw only one educationalist and he is a staff type so comes to gym even when schule is desessioned but lacking his entourage was less bullying than usual. The podcasts were a mixed bag although the longest, the Guardian science podcast, [Link] was a bit thought provoking when the interviewee, a theoretical physicist who evidently writes popularizations, made the assertion that there is no fundamental enmity between religion and science.

I am not certain of this and am cognitive pursuing the idea now so perhaps Film at Eleven.  

Instead, I dredge up an article [Link] from last week about some work done at U Portsmouth that claims that EXTROs are “too busy” to be green. Evidently EXTROs are too wrapped up in themselves to be concerned about their environment and the species.

I fear I don’t find this surprising although I am a bit abashed at the basic evilness implied by the findings. They imply that EXTROs are fundamentally damaging to the species. 

That’s also going to require some cogitation since they are the majority and hence rather difficult to control. 

It’s also a bit bemusing to consider the religionist aspects of this as well.

The good of the few outmasses the good of the many?

Mundane day and back to gym. Summer is either officially here or eminently so. It has been such for several weeks now here in Nawth Alibam and this week promises to be more like August or September than June.

But the politico-fascists are still in denial mode as the death toll from heat stroke mounts. It must be amazing what goes on in the heads of politicians, especially with respect to morality and ethics.

On which note I have taken such of the grrr brrr to remove the Confederate States of America battle flag from its staff in Charleston. This is supposedly to honor the nine religionists who were gunned down by a GEN Y whacko. Evidently the religionists’ social group finds the flag objectionable.

I have a few problems with this. First of all, why the battle flag? The only reason I can come up with flying the battle flag rather than the national flag is if the staffing is to honor those who died serving in the war. (Actually, I can come up with another reason which is insecurity in the Yankee government but that I suppose is best not mentioned?) If that is the case then the matter seems rather clear. The best figures I can get are that about 600K soldiers – Union and Confederate – were killed on the battlefields. And those soldiers died settling, at least superficially, whether slavery would be legal in Nawth Amerika.

And this flag is somehow repugnant to a social group. And we want to remove it to honor 9 dead. By dishonoring and abandoning 600K?

Is this the new maths? Or just politician maths? Or just Yankee politician maths?

I don’t really care that much whether the Carolinians staff the Confederate battle flag or not. But I do care if they cease their display honoring resolute soldiers in response to the deranged actions of a single aberrant human and the misplaced emotions of a single social group.

Or is that how we behave in modern Amerika? Facade or function? Honesty or pretense?

I’m not at all sure I want the answer. 

Amateurs versus Nerds on Writing

Ice Cream day. And falling (as opposed to scattering) dihydrogen oxide being absent I assayed the park for a constitutional, which was essentially at my wanted, model rate. I was also able to listen to an episode (partial) of “The Pen Addict” [Link] where they were discussing made-to-order pens in terms of some pros and cons that I found inadequate. Hence this morning’s commentary.

The downside of special made pens are twofold. First, if it doesn’t work right, it never will so all is wasted. Hence there is a significant probability of not only wasted monies but crushed expectations. Not as badly as a child who becomes a justicer or used car salesman but close. The second is that if it works and works well it will be a great disappointment in future when you discover it cannot be replaced and when it dies, as everything except perhaps protons must, you have lost a valuable part of your existence. Rather like having a child discorporate before you. So getting a special made pen is rather a bigger gamble than the podcast protagonists indicate.

This consideration also led me to consider – again – the nature of NERD STEM writing. Writing is, and continues to be, a crucial and fundamental part of my daily activity. It is that way for most of my colleagues. And there are some characteristics that I have noted. 

  • Those who write as part of their professional activity eschew ballpoint pens.
  • Most use some sort of gel or roller ball pen but the truly serious use fountain pens and almost all of those eschew cartridges for bottle.
  • Pen appearance is the least important feature; comfort of writing, ease of mindlessness, and inking are crucial. 
  • Quality of pen is important, as measured by longevity and reliability. The ideal pen should last a lifetime. 
  • Ink is selected primarily for its mechanics – flow, cleaning – and optical contrast. Brightly colored inks are almost only used for grading student papers, not for serious writing.
  • Notebooks are gauged on how well they take writing with the preferred pen (or pencil in a few cases.) 
  • Serious writing is first done by hand and then transferred to computer. Some write complete manuscripts, others outlines only, before transferring and some delegate the transfer to students or staff (if trusted.) 

Probably more but I am sagging. Selah.