Book Beggings

Ice Cream Day. And happily quite different from last week. Air temperature in lower fifties degF. Quite a nice constitutional this morning although it has been long enough that I never quite could settle into a contemplative train of thought. But the obviousness of the immersion in Nature was quite pleasing.

I spent all of yesterday following FD SCP about the rest of Marshall county. Rather frustrating. I tend to be a hunter type of fellow, darting about till I find something that minimally satisfies my requirement, acquiring it, and dashing on, whereas FD SCP is a gatherer type who has to look at various instances of the same thing before selecting the optimal, which often is the one back at the first place visited. But it is good to do this periodically so that we may appreciate each others’ insanity.

But I was a bit struck by my winter ear problem and suffered some tension in my jaw as a result which was not painful but decidedly distracting. Which put me in a mode to be quite happy to return home in the late afternoon and collapse a bit. 

I did however, get to scan a few things on the internet and this cartoon: [Link]

which struck a bit of a resonance.

I am not a fan of audio books. Too many things wrong with them. First of all, how do you pause them in a functioning way? How do you carry them about with you? How do you keep them from annoying other folks?

And second, how do you retain the information? Or absorb it in the first place? 

I am one of those people who can keep visual images – of pages, e.g. – for a LONG time but can’t recall what I said five minutes ago much less what someone else said. So I am a barren auditory learner. 

I have some colleagues who listen to audio books. But they all do much like I do with podcasts. Use them as diversion/entertainment. They don’t want to learn, just be diverted from some unenjoyable activity. 

So I don’t even understand why this fellow is trying to buy an audio book at all. Unless he is also just looking for diversion which is given the collapse by the rest of the cartoon. As he notes, audio books are hideously MORE expensive – in most cases – in addition to their other faults. Yes, I agree they are wonderful for handicapped folks who can’t read visually, but modal people?

I won’t stray to the variant about eBooks. It’s just another natter on learning compromise.

Reversed Country

Freya’s Day. Horrible start. Slept in – that was good because it was in moderation and unforced – but then found the air temperature only a degF shy of walking range. So I was denied Nature and left with a book on the stationary bicycle. It’s a good, albeit dated, book, though. More later.

I am starting the tab cleaning early this week, mostly because I am in a hurry for the week to get good. As earlier said, too much dashing about and shouting. 

On which note, I saw a PEW poll [Link] about how voters are skeptical of this year’s POTUS candidates. They structured their poll with five states: two positive, one neutral, and two negative. But to liven things up I calculated the ratio of negative responses to positive responses. The results:

  • Clinton    1.26
  • Trump     1.68
  • Sanders  1.17
  • Cruz        1.11
  • Carson    1.31
  • Rubio      1.21
  • Christie   1.90
  • Bush        2.47
  • Kaisch     1.85

Quite frankly I was surprised the ambivalence to Cruz is so small. I find him too self-serving and bat-shit crazy. How he got elected to congress in the first place is indicative of his Hitleresque qualities.

The second [Link] is an article on how stupid most of our compulsive sanitation practices are. Which does not bode well for the coming election. But we can rest serene in our confidence in the ability of the American people to do what is wrong with complete conviction of rightness. Amerika – the reversed country. 

Hammer Fall

Thor’s Day. Hopefully calm after two days of dashing about and shouting. But I now have front teeth and can bite again. 

The gym was quite sparse, only the polite weight bouncer of his sept, and a passable episode of “Linux Luddites” that whetted my appetite to solve my aging (and ailing) cellular telephone situation. 

Speaking of biting, I was once more surprised by the autarch of New Yawk. His refusal to participate in the upcoming debate, ostensibly over some woman moderator, demonstrated his acumen once more. In this age of social media, debates seem – and are – antediluvian. Other than their entertainment value with the constant biting and whining and foaming, they seem to have no purpose except to hide the depravities and weaknesses of the candidates. So once more, a salute to the evil landlord. 

I can only hope that he will be successful in destroying the Repulsian party and thereby rid this nation of the evil and tyranny that political parties have become. 

Similarly, MalWart has once more demonstrated its ambivalence for its customers, closing some hundred plus stores, almost all in small towns, towns where they entered, drove all the competing businesses into closure, and now are leaving these communities without sources of foodstuffs and the like.

One can only hope that the citizenry will learn from this. But I doubt it. Bogs are neither fully rational nor fully smart and hence will not see that MalWart only cares about wealth and not a whit for service or loyalty. We need to reject them as they have rejected us. 

Let us not rest until every MalWart store is a rusting abandoned shed.

Lithic Warfare

Mundane Day. Back to Gym. Not too bad. Podcast a repeat of a twenty-five year old program on the impact of the Great Patriotic War on the children of fascists and religionists.

Not at all bad. In fact, better than I expected. But then it is quite old and reflects the standards of a previous generation of journalists. So better. Less EMO. More objective. Fewer glitches and errors.

But it did put me to mind of a recent series of articles (e.g. [Link]) about the find of a group of twenty-seven (?) skeletons in Kenya. What makes this particular is that this appears to be a massacre of a hunter-gatherer band. The size is almost classically right, and the skeletal remains indicate violent demise.

The anthropologists have labeled this evidence of war before agriculture. Which is the why of this blot.

Anthropologists and many artsy-sciencey types equate any evidence of violence above the singleton with war. To them, any after-schule or bar-room brawl is war. But this is not what those who actually study war think. Their thinking is considerably more rational and deliberate.

War is not, fundamentally, violence. It is about imposing policy. As such war without organization is nonexistent. Fights between criminal gangs may indeed by war but pick up fights are not.

Often the only way to pursue that imposition of policy is with violence. Largely because of contention. One side wants one policy; the other a different policy. Humans are fighters/fleers Violence will ensue.

Now let’s talk about primitive war. Those who are interested in filling my gaps can read the works of Turney-High. War emerges from hunting, so generally hunters double as warriors in simple social organizations (e.g., hunter-gatherer bands.) So maybe one-sixth of the band’s population may fight. (Assuming the band to be approximately one-third children, one-third young adults, and one-third “seniors – slanted more to the young adults – and evenly divided by gender.) So not a big fraction can fight but more so than in more “civilized” social organizations. 

War is rare. The risks are too great. Lose half of your hunter-warriors and the band starves. This puts a premium on raiding over pitched battles. Ambushes. 

Alliances are difficult. In fact, one of the main types of raiding may be bride stealing. There is some interaction among bands (incest avoidance appears to be VERY old) but military alliances? Logistically disfavored because of food deprivation. So alliances probable only in dire circumstances: overpopulation or nekulturny behavior. 

So this massacre is problematic. Much further thought is needed beyond the anthropologists amateur analysis. (Publicity grab?)

Also, we have to consider that this may have been humanitarian. If you do fight and a band is reduced to the point where it will starve from loss of hunters/gatherers, then killing the band quickly is actually a good deed.

Winter Wonderings 1

Musings on a winter morning:

“I am cold.”

Meaningful communication. You have a sensation called “cold”. This sensation is thermodynamically meaningless but the words do convey that you are sentient, intelligent enough to learn speech, and are at least minutely uncomfortable.

“This room is cold.”

Amusing or frustrating communication. You are uncomfortable with the sensation “cold” and you attribute this to the room having inadequate heat rather than your body not producing enough heat to allay your sensation. Contraindicates the previous indication of intelligence. 

“Is it too cold to go outside?”

Another amusing/frustrating communication. Your intelligence now seriously in doubt, presumed non-existent. Since you are the only one who can sense you are cold, the only way to determine if the outside is too colding – the proper thermodynamically pseudo-meaningful term – is for you to go outside and find out for yourself.

“This heater isn’t warming up the room.”

More amusing than frustrating. Indicates a serious absence of any idea how a thermostat works and based on previous communication, probably incapable of learning. Warm is the complement of cold. It’s a sensation. Compound the previous statements in the complement. 

At this point we depart in search of either quiet, or, at least, a person who is sentient and intelligent. 

Friend List

Ice Cream Day. Twenty degF outside. At least according to the Greater Metropolitan Arab weather station. So any ice cream outside is likely hard frozen. And inedible.

Not that I eat much ice cream. It extracts a penalty. The penalty of being modal. Like the whelming majority (~ 0.75) of adult humans, my body does NOT secrete Lactase. So I cannot digest Lactose. And when I consume Lactose I get horrible gas pains. And other ills.

So I try to only eat ice cream that has been cooked – decomposing the Lactose – of from which it has been extracted. But because of being forced to drink milk (and eat cereal) past puberty – more misplaced parenting that does (did) more harm than good – I have a psychological aversion to milk products. So even though theu make Lactose-removed milk I can’t drink the stuff without becoming ill. Child abuse or self-delusion?

That any adults humans can secrete Lactase is due to one of a group of mutations collectively known as “Cattle Herders” mutations. These developed among people who first herded cattle, for whom the ability to digest milk and cheese was a survival boost. Yea, Lysenko! And while it is preferentially distributed among people of western european heritage, only a quarter (approximately) of the planet’s humans have any of these mutations.

But much of western society acts like everyone does. Just try to get non-dairy creamer at a chain restaurant. Bring your own and complain bitterly to the local spayed management.

As is usual on a sundae, I received the weekly eNewsletter for my high schule class triad. It’s a good rag, well written by an accomplished – former HS paper – editor. And it’s usually got something of merit in it.

This morning the keystone was a bit about our best friends of high schule being our best friends of life. Many reasons are listed for this and it is quite convincing and comprehensive.

It’s also rot. 

I didn’t have many friends in high schule. I had lots of acquaintances, which were important. But not many friends. 

I haven’t seen most of those friends since graduation. We dispersed. This isn’t the first half of century twenty (and it wasn’t then,) so none of this everyone adapting to find a place in the home town.

Some of my acquaintances were important. We went to the same undergraduate schule. They became close for the duration. I still see a couple of them once every year or two. Would like to see them more often but ain’t gonna happen. Dispersion. Of geography. Of interest. Of activity. The closest we get is FaceScroll. 

None of these folks went off to graduate schule. I remet some when I went to work for the Yankee army, but none were close. 

I have a few friends now. Only one can be called a best, because otherwise the word is used wrong. We’ve doen research together and written papers. I have no idea what music he listens to or any such. 

None of my frequently encountered friends did I go to high schule with. 

Not sure if I am fortunate or misfortunate. But I am sure I don’t really care. Friends aren’t stamps or rare widgets. They’re a process. Ride the Wave. And ignore other people’s lists.