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.

Geek Doillies

Mundane day again. Mediocre time at gym. Moderately sparse, weight bouncers few and restrained (absent?) and educationalists sparse enough to keep the noise level down. Podcast poor, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” dealing with some minor immigration incident a century ago in Canadia. 

This did lead me to the current practice of issuing apologies for incidents (?) of the past. I am not sure these do any good except to possibly open the path to communication. If they do that, they are worthwhile. However, given that they are issued by politicians their veracity has to be highly unlikely.

This seems a corollary to the rule that all advertisement contain at least one deliberate inaccuracy. Which leads to the observation, only recently obtained, that once the density of advertisement in a segment of television programming reaches some critical amount – which may vary with the individual observer – the observer ceases to watch the programming and either goes elsewhere or does something else. Hence, More is Failure.

On which note, I ran across an article [Link] entitled “Girls prefer computer science without the geek chic”. This article is about a social science (sic) experiment that is claimed to indicate that girls – pre-maturity women – are more comfortable in computer science classrooms that are decorated for girls and not for geeks. Presumably this partitions between girls and geeks so there are no girl geeks in this sample?

Some of this is unsurprising. I always found myself more comfortable in old classrooms with squeaky board floors and pipe visibly above than in more modern classrooms with linoleum (preferable to indoor/outdoor carpeting) and sound absorbing tile pseudo-ceilings. I also never cared for work-spaces with motivational posters. Such were the opposite of motivating and always made me consider whether management was whacked to think these had some effect or that the bogs were so whacked they were motivated by such. I later found out – as a manager – that they are cheaper than artwork and saving money is more important than employee satisfaction or effort.

The question is then how important is the disciplinary decoration of a classroom. Thinking back to my college days I recall that all chemistry classrooms had a periodic table which came in handy maybe once per term. All physics classrooms have blackboards on all walls except the back wall which is usually the entry/exit wall. Maths classrooms are similar. But I do know – from a solitary FORTRAN course and a couple of applied maths courses – that engineers set great store in having “inspirational” or “camaraderie” artwork in classrooms. And despite its name computer science isn’t a science and is more like an engineering discipline. 

So why don’t girls want to be part of the group? That is a question that isn’t answered by the survey. Is this one of those things where people want to know something to make money but not to be part of the group of the something. If so, why is such behavior desirable, or abided? This seems the relevant question. If the group malfunctioning and malfunctioning because of its social nature, then it should be altered. Otherwise we should question the motives of those who do not wish to be part of the group but profit by it. That sounds like theft.

Futile Denial

Mundane day. Sparse gym. The only educationalists staffers rather than classroomists. Podcast episode part of a series on walking. Not very dense nor gathering. Lots of attention span-time left over for other things. Bits on the electromagnetic audio-visual receivers about states defying the supreme court ruling on LGBT marriage. 

Occurred that these states, many in the old Confederacy, including Alibam, are states of futile denial. But then the question occurred of why?

First inclination is that state politicians know that their theo-fascists vote but have no real data on LGBT voting. So the zero level reason for the denial is pure and simple pandering to a voting block. 

But this seems inadequate. These idiots know that the Yankee government will come down on them nastily and harshly, especially in absorbing their monies. So why waste those monies?

Perhaps some of this has to do with our old friend (?) insecurity. Are any of us really secure in our sexuality? Everyone I have know who claimed they were found themselves in a whirlwind later over the matter. I suspect this is not something that becomes stationary until we get too aged to care. 

So let’s consider that all these politicians, many of them Southron, are insecure in their sexuality. Their behavior certainly seems to indicate this be the situation. Their peacock behavior and macho arrogance certainly indicate such. Perhaps more so than most? Why else would someone with no interest in bettering the state want a position of power? To placate and deny their insecurity, of course.

It isn’t clear whether this is a situation deserving laughter or weeping. Perhaps both. It’s both sad and humorous simultaneously. The question is, can we summon enough sympathy to let this continue? Evidently. Perhaps that’s because we don’t really care.

But I do wonder what the local delegation’s insecurities are. Other than the obvious.

Immoderation Considered

Saturn’s day. Week out. Muggish. Not much comfort in the park and I was having some problems loosening up. And the podcast was somewhere between banal and boring. 

Which put me in mind of the philosophical idea of ‘Everything in Moderation’. What defines moderation? When does research and learning cross the line into lack of moderation. Also, on the other side, how much research and learning is enough to alleviate ignorance? And how do we know what ignorance to alleviate?

Somehow this all shines brightly of subjectivity. And maybe sociality. If my friends know less than I do does that mean I have exceeded moderation? Or are they criminally (socially, at least) ignorant? 

And what of bogs and nerds? In a social context bogs are moderate by dint of mean so nerds have to be immoderate. Is this why bogs detest nerds? Or are nerds moderate and bogs terminally ignorant and ashamed of their handicap? For after all, inability to learn, the hallmark of the bog, is a handicap.

Are justicers and physicians immoderate? 

Is there some sort of ensemble here and a distribution function of how much immoderation is acceptable?

Or is the whole social embedding artificial and inaccurate? Irrelevant? Since society is essentially a construct of bog incompetence and justification thereof of its supposed “normality”, a misuse of word and concept.

I am not at all sure this matter can be considered, accurately if not rationally. I suspect it’s a Cartesian thing. The old “I think therefore I am” and thereby the more I think and know the more I am?  But does that mean they who know and think less are less? And what about those things I think not but others do? Which of us is moderate.

I have no good answers. But much grist for the cogitation mill. I think the only way the matter seems to have any measure is when it is in a social context and the dimensionality of that society is small and constrained. But I am not through thinking.

Is thinking that much immoderate?

Entitlement and Tolerance

Thor’s day and sparse in gym. Listened to an episode of “The Linux Luddites” that actually had some potentially useful data embedded, not just blather. But I still had attention span-time enough to think on the matter of entitlement and tolerance.

Item: A group of christianists held a “biblical marriage” rally at the county courthouse over the weekend. Heavily covered in the newspaper (lots of free advertising for religionist organizations) and local television (‘look at the dinosaur brains in the next county over”.) Since they were supposedly peaceful (doubtful) they probably were no worse than the usual nonsense going through on US-431,

Item: Big story on the FaceScroll about some muslim woman who caused a row on airplane because she wanted her own, unopened, can of body rot soda. (So much for the validity of religionist dietary restrictions!) 

It occurred to me that both of these are relgionist entitlements. And that’s ok so long as your entitlement doesn’t penalize me. In any way.

But when it allows religionists like these to be intolerant of others and deny them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it crosses the line from entitlement to harassment or persecution. And that infringes my entitlement to be neither harassed nor persecuted. 

In some cases, it’s a hate crime. 

So how do we get our stercus together and find the right way to permit (e.g.,) religionists to enjoy their entitlements without destroying my entitlements?

Tolerance isn’t easy and especially for people who have sinfully repressed their intelligence.

Ideal Motorcar Law

I survived the expedition to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill with only a few close encounters of the stupid driver kind. This led me to muse upon the following:

Car_Cost * Car_Volume = fudge_factor * Driver_Schmuckness,

where the variables are self-explanatory except fudge_factor which is maths for constant-to-be-determined-by-technicians. The resemblance to the Ideal Gas Law motivates the name.

Worse today. Have to assay US431, Alibam’s answer to the Dixie Dieway.

Big Red

I am always amused and bemused whenever I see someone in Alibam with a large, red “A” on their motorcar. I speculate on whether it stands for Atheist or Adulterer. Both have intriguing aspects.