Eat Moog’s Food

The title is likely unknown to all but the most congruent. It refers to an idea expressed by Edward Elmer Smith, Ph. D., in “First Lensman” that all intelligent (?) species that have civilization have advertising. He didn’t say so but I have the impression he considered advertising the rust of civilization. That made civilization a pseudo-physical thing and that, and civilization, was key to Smith’s story telling.

One of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force. who also reads Smith but is more mindful of the Skylark vector, claims, with some good empirical analysis, that

“Every Advertisement is a Lie.”

This is clearly improvable since it requires an infinite sample but so far the finite sample standard deviation is zero. That is, no advertisement examined has not contained a factual inaccuracy.

The reason I offer this is that last week another colleague, Force Spring Constant, made much at discussion of a bit of grrr brrr of the death of the internet. The cause of the grr brr was the recent inclusion in the Apple OS of code to permit the blocking of internet advertisements. The thesis was that most internet information propagators are funded by capitalists who pay to have their advertisements on internet sites and documents and the negation of these advertisements would abolish the financiality of the internet.

At the time I poo-pooed the idea, not as irrelevant, but antediluvian. This was patently one of those publicity grabs practiced by the Apple community where they take some topic that is quite dated in the context of the not-Apple universe and ressurect it as if it is new because it is now being considered by Appleites. This is somewhat akin to information only being validated once it has been examined by academics; all others are irrelevant in their examinations.

And such it is. The AdBlock (trademark used as generic) matter is quite old in internet terms. I believe the debate over the financiality was conducted in the Mozilla arena several years ago, five at least. (I am too lazy to go look up dates but I know I have had ad-blocking add-ins for at least that long.) The general consensus was that ads on the internet were a nuisance and nuisances may be swatted, if not squashed. Consider the sales of mosquito repellent.

In my case the decision was a bit more deliberate. I learned to code in a time when compilers were included with the mainframe. When a new compiler came out you got it automatically if you were up to date on your hardware payments. So software is inherently free. That was reinforced in an academic environment where you had access to lots of folks NERD code. It wasn’t until the PC came along that SW had a price and by that time the outlook was instilled in habit and Nature. Hence the Amerikan attitude to SW piracy. Hence folks who write SW to make money are evil and deluded.

When I got to the internet, which was in its not quite early days – I started out with Netscape and an Earthlink account (the latter being the primary source of recognizing evil capitalists on the internet.) So the sense of the environment was that information is free. No price. And to this day I consider paywalls to be evil and I avoid them. Except for really important things like refreed NERD journals and in that regard I am used to paying subscription.

So advertisements on the internet are either nuisance or irrelevant. The rare exception is when I want to purchase something and I see an advertisement for that very thing. The probability of this is vanishingly small, better than observing a proton decay, but still so small as to be irrelevant to any consideration. So disposing of advertisements on the internet is a public health (mental, in this case) activity, rather like spraying for mosquito’s prevents malaria and other nasty diseases. Notable also that neither mosquito nor advertiser are liable for their damage and hence have no claim to humane or civilized consideration. Except maybe to a Jain? And then there is the question of whether capitalists are actually living.

And if the web site goes away? So what? The internet today is much larger but less well populated than in those days. It is clearly an evolving environment. And not suffering very much except at the hands of capitalists. My observation has been that the web sites that I return to have not gone away. That means my blocking ads has not done them in. So ads really are a nuisance and not the financial mainstay of the internet.

Despite what cracked Appleite journalists claim. One more datum of their whackedness.


Puddle Padding

Lovely day so far. Dihydrogen oxide falleth but lightly. So I was able to execute my constitutional but had to exchange outer garments when I returned to Castellum SCP.

To set the tone, I have noted some folks using the designation dihydrogen monoxide. I suppose that could be a matter of taste but I consider it a bit pretentious. Pauli exclusion principle and all that. Forewarned.

I ran across this cartoon: [Link]

after I did catch-up – not the red non-Newtonian liquid in the intransigent bottle – and was rather taken by the humor. The overall tenor of religionist self-righteousness and arrogance lapping over into violence was excellent galgenhumor. Accurate, deadly so. See earlier blot on the Bishop of Rome and the Spanish connection. 

But I was most taken with the last panel. It caused reflection. Education is also – most importantly – about testing theories. Especialyy religious ones. They don’t fare well. That’s why they try to brainwash that testing is evil and bad. 

If it can’t be tested, it can’t be trusted.

I also ran across an article [Link] advancing that people are retaining their electronics longer. In effect, everyone is becoming ORF. (I still have my HP-35 calculator; if I could just remember where I put it.) Actually this is unsurprising. It isn’t like the old days when a new processor or memory type came out every year. In effect, we have reached the Edsel period of consumer electronics. All that Apple seems to be able to do these days is change the size of the iSlab. 

And lastly, I ran across another article [Link] entitled “To cut costs, college students are buying less food and even going hungry”. The thesis is that college students are not spending as much money on food, I offer this quote:

“When asked if they ever went without eating for an entire day because they lacked enough money for food, 7% of students at two-year colleges and 5% of students at four-year colleges said yes.”

The only problem with this is that it ISN’T NEWS! College students were this way when I was in college almost fifty years ago! My freshman year I lost 28 pounds. Of body weight. There were days when I didn’t eat because I didn’t have the money. And I didn’t have the money on me partly because I didn’t have time to go cash a check and partly because I thought I was spending money too fast.

That latter is one of the problems with college. You walk in the door and you get hit with more than 0.9 of the semester outlay in the first day or so. Tuition, room rent, books, … Not just sticker shock, sticker catatonia. 

It was worse in graduate schule. Adult activity, no running to parents. I have already bored y’all with my stories of cosmetically damaged television dinners and bulk commodity peanut butter on week old bread. Read it previously. 

But the contemporary media is good at incompetence. Part of it is an information age thing. Doing library research is unknown. It’s too hard since it isn’t electronic. So nothing that happened before the internet is defacto irrelevant. Part of why so many GEN Y are vapid, vacuous even. At least mentally. Especially the journalists. Who also seem to lack any integrity. Repackaging oldness as new. Sounds like something a corporate oligarch would do, doesn’t it? But that’s another blot.

So get used to. News isn’t if you trust journalists. 


Phones and Cos-play

Ice Cream day. End of week. Dihydrogen oxide falleth. Walked in park anyway. Refreshing. Gave me the oomph to return home and do stuff. 

Noted this cartoon: [Link]

which struck me first with the misuse of the word “dumb” which means “Destitute of the power of speech; unable; to utter articulate sounds; as, the dumb brutes.” [1913 Webster] A common misuse is to equate silent with stupid. So why do I tend to associate talkative with stupid? Possibly because that is more accurate?

Which brings us to “smart phones”, which most assuredly are not. They are neither intelligent nor sentient, at least in the consciousness aspect. Yes they do sense an environment but they do not have anything but programmed ability to respond to that environment. But I have noticed that the most persistent users of such phones are people who appear to lack intelligence. Neuronegs, as some refer, which is a term I dislike but have to grudgingly admit has considerable validity. Not quite a synonym for bogs; bogs don’t use their intelligence, if they have such, which most do but appear not to. 

Anyway, I am of the conjecture that I should like a not-smart phone, clearly not a dumb one or I should be unable to hold converse with people I call, or who call me, but one that does not waste my time doing things I do not want it to do. I suspect my desire is irrelevant and orthogonal to social reality.

The second cartoon: [Link]

which struck me as a further dichotomy of geeks/nerds – those who hide behind (e.g.,) bike racks and those who do not. I suspect we all want to dress up in costume – without ridicule, of course. I am unsure of bogs in this matter but I suspect it is not so much a lack of desire as an aversion to social critique. Bogs tend to be unable to handle being laughed at. They tend to get violent or psychotic under such attention. But are those two the same?

Geeks, and to a lesser extent, nerds, are more open about such amusement. They raise costuming to a high level. Notice the increase in “cos-play” in recent decades. Of course, since they do such, they are expected to do so and the quantity of derision and laughter is much abated. Or is that the Bogs being envious of the greater honesty and chutzpah of geeks and nerds. Sadly such envy will probably result in more bog violence. 


Fat Monday

Mundane day again. Fall portends, evidently. If one can consider high ’80’s degF Fallish. Gym was sparse this morning. Very few educationalists and weight bouncers. Not sure why.

The podcast episode, one of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” had to do with the North American overeating epidemic. Blame for this one went to overzealous Capitalism and the campaign against fat. Seems all the fat in foods was replaced with sugar. Which just moves the fat into the body.

One of the bits that caught my attention was a claim that of all the household chores, cooking is the most pleasing. From the context of the housekeeper, that is. I devoted some cognitive cycles to this and have a conjecture. Most household chores (all?) produce no product. It’s rather like grass mowing, which I have previously discussed. You work hard at something and have nothing to show for it and hence no satisfaction. Cooking produces a product, at least if you do it right, which sets it apart from the other chores that do away with product, at least in the main.

What didn’t get mentioned was that the processed, packaged foodstuff debacle is also responsible for the demise of marriage. If one entertains Wrangham’s thesis that marriage is primarily about cooking to entice the man to stay around to raise the children then when he is no longer dependent on she for cooking, and in many cases she can’t cook, then there is no reason to stay in the marriage. Hence 0.5 of all childholds is singleton in parent. 

I also ran across an article [Link] that argues that the internet makes us think we are smarter than we actually are. I could not resist sharing a quote:

“We show that searching the internet for explanatory knowledge creates an illusion whereby people mistake access to information for their own personal understanding of the information. Evidence from nine experiments shows that searching for information online leads to an increase in self-assessed knowledge as people mistakenly think they have more knowledge ‘in the head’.”

I sometimes think my problem is that I think (know?) what is on the web page is inaccurate and what is in my head is more accurate.

The internet, to me, is access to misinformation.

So is this blog. Be Mundane!

Free? Survival!

Yesterday I noted an article [Link] about how MegaHard can give away upgrades to WindersX absent payment to individuals. When asked MegaHard poo-pooed that revenue from individuals was negligible.

I beg to differ.

MegaHard is running scared. The last few releases of Winders have alienated a lot of users. Those who can afford to have moved to Apple. Others have moved to Linux either in its actual incarnation or its heretical incarnation of Android or Chrome. They have in effect lost the server marketplace, or so I am told.

But they have to have those individual users. Otherwise the cost of organizations using Winders goes up because their users are not getting skills at home. Also, if their customers switch to something else, the organization now has a business mismatch. They need to be compatible with customers or they will not be dealt with.

Yes, the corporate/government base is large but the individual base is larger. And therein lies control of infospace.

Semi-liquid Stupidity

Freya’s day. Not a pleasant start. Muggish. The weather beaver was saying something last evening about rain but he was highly incoherent, probably trying to say too much in too little time. But the air was not refreshing in the park. And the creek bed was unwetted.

So I had plenty of time to reflect on the failures of modern society/civilization. I have decided to entertain the hypothesis that one of the minor but weighty problems is stercus pumps. I speak in particular of the pumps incorporated into the containers of semi-liquids sold by corporations. Mostly lotions and soaps. There are two aspects of the problem.

The first is good product with horrible, ineffective pumps. This mostly applies to soaps. I have repeatedly purchased liquid soaps made by “organic” (that’s organic in the contemporary hippie sense, not the scientific sense of containing carbon atoms in the molecules. Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Stupid Bogs with Causes!) manufacturers and packaged in containers with pumps that flat DO NOT work. These are easily repackaged into a container with a good pump and the value of the product realized without frustration and alienation.

The second is fair product in annoying containers. The pumps are acceptable except for the frustration and alienation. This primarily applies to lotions packaged in asymmetrical, usually ovate, containers. The pumps on these containers can be turned OFF and ON and the ON position is at a pi/4 angle to the semi-major and semi-minor axes of the ovoid. This means that the container has to be rotated on the using surface and not only takes up more room but disrupts the regularity of arrangement. Sadly these semi-liquids cannot easily be recontained so I have been switching to lotion packaged in cylindrical containers. As a rules the lotions are not as effective but the containers are not annoying.

Which brings us to the role of annoyance in the collapse of civilization. It is hard to be creative if one is annoyed. Mad works, so does happy, but not irritated and disgusted. It is also hard to work on fixing things under such circumstances. If one’s petty annoyances cannot be fixed then real problems are quite out of reach.

Hence, the whimper that ends it all.

Bag Flop

Ran across this cartoon: [Link]

this morning.

This is why I insist on wheeling my buggy to the motorcar myself. So the bagger won’t see me dynamically rebagging as I put the groceries in the boot of the motorcar.

Bagging groceries is a lost art. They don’t seem to understand the four quadrant system: hot; cold; soft; hard.