Belly Ripping

Yesterday, I attended the March meeting of the Marshall County Linux SIG. One of the ad hoc topics of discussion was how Mozilla is killing itself. Then at gym this morning I listened to a (somewhat dated) episode of the “Destination Linux” podcast where the talkers said much the same thing.

What Mozilla is basically doing is emulating MegaHard – and maybe Canonical. 

It may be recalled that MegaHard adopted a tile GUI in W8 and promptly began to lose users. It is still using albeit at a lower rate indicating how much of the Winders user base really is asentient and aintelligent. What is relevant here is that they did it to themselves. Ostensibly the reason was convergence (which is what got Canonical into the methane bog,) but actually it was stupidity. After you spend umpteen years with a desktop format and then suddenly change it, with it advertised to love it or leave it, you are gonna get lots of leaves. The only stopgap has been drastic changes to the look-and-feel,

Canonical did the same thing when they rolled out Unity, which was also a tile GUI. The only salvation was that there were other GUI choices, supposedly much against the desires of Canonical management.

Now Mozilla has built a FireFox, and is building a Thunderbird, that don’t work with add-ins. So all the folks who treasure the add-ins above FF itself are leaving to either a FF fork or to a Chrome family member. 

Never underestimate the stupidity of management. Even in IT. 


Volunteer Scab Wanted

Recently, I ran across an article [Link] entitled “How to get more Americans to volunteer.” It’s written by academics but it still has some good points to make.

After I retired, I tried to volunteer. I was unsuccessful. What every organization I went to wanted was someone to replace paid service support. Mostly cleaning toilets or sitting at a reception desk or pushing a mail cart.

I don’t want to come across as arrogant or haughty but none of that is engaging. First of all, I feel like I am denying some blue collar laborer righteous employment. That makes it a moral and ethical issue and I can’t work in such an environment.

Second, the work I was offered was not only uninteresting, it was work I have neither capability nor interest in. I’m an INTRO with several college degrees and I have managed organizations with thousands of college graduates. Asking me to do clerical or janitorial working involving continuous interaction with other people is repulsive. It tells me you don’t care about volunteers, only their labor. That’s the worse sort of capitalism and just because you are a charity doesn’t make you inherently not bad.

After two years of trying to volunteer to do something useful and, at least, not painful, I gave up. I am now cynical about volunteering. It’s a scam and a cheat.

So I suggest you need to change my mind rationally and not appeal to guilt and pity.

Knowledge Infusion

This has been an educational week. Thus far we have learned that:

  1. It is all right to put everyone in harm’s way except constables;
  2. It isn’t adultery if you pay for the copulation; and
  3. It is all right for teachers to shoot students and parents.

We certainly can’t say we aren’t getting good return on our votes and taxes.

Blind Actors

Ran across an article [Link] entitled about the Oscar Awards epitomizing diversity.

Stercus Tauri!

I didn’t watch the BOG EXTRO Ego Fest for a simple reason: it lacked diversity.

Where were the INTROs?

Where were the Geeks and Nerds?

Not there!

So where was the diversity? Just the bits that still meet their comfort zone.

Sic Transit Hilaris

I noted this morning the discorporation of David Ogden Stiers who played the character of Charles Winchester 3 on MASH the TV series. This gave me pause to consider the matter of MASH.

I can admit to not only reading the original Hooker novel but many of the follow-ons as well. He was a masterful author although I suspect not well respected by his peers for actually writing a GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL. Many try, and most fail by trying to write literature. As I learned my senior year in high schule, literature is generally a shibboleth, at least none of it was either enjoyable or edifying. Some authors are good story tellers in their lifetimes but get trapped later in the crystal of literature where everything rots away except their writings and the boredom of those it is inflicted upon. 

So I have sympathy for all the authors my high schule and college literature teachers inflicted on me. I like to think they hated themselves a bit for being such punishment to those who came after them. 

Getting back to Stiers, I also have some respect. He did a good job of playing a moderately difficult role in the shadow of Alan Alda who rather botched Hawkeye Piece, especially after the first season. I suspect he choked on his consistent failure to come anywhere near equal to Donald Sutherland who was the only actor who came close to doing Hawkeye adequately.

On which note, the novel was excellent, the movie was very good, the first season of the TV series was good, and thereafter merely diverting. Despite the injection of Harry Morgan and his genius. 

The damnation of the whole thing was a vision that dumped “Dago Red” but kept “Hot Lips.” Such was the Amerikan misconception of humor. And probably still is but I haven’t seen any decent humor on television since. What we can’t observe we can’t measure and what we can’t measure we don’t know. 

Still, mediocre as it was as a whole it is still better than almost anything else done on television. We may have invented it – that isn’t clear – but we perfected it and like we do everything else, we made a desert of it.