For Want of Paper

Two day. The day portends to be one of those disappointments of Spring – too colding in the morning and too warming in the afternoon.

I have been cogitating a bit on pens and writing lately. My colleague, Total Angular Momentum Inductance Flux, abetted this by sending me a TED presentation on writing. It has been so bad that I can only take a minute or so at a time and am only halfway through over two days time. I am entertaining the conjecture that writing – the use of an instrument in hand to compose on paper (or clay,) – is like consciousness. Those who write about it are manifold in number and outlook and mostly antagonistic, if not poisonous, to each  other.

This put me in mind of a couple of articles [Link] entitled “This new pen digitises your notebooks as you write in them ” and [Link] “Gadget Ogling: Smarter Notes, Livelier Virtual Reality, and Bigger In-Flight Movies” that I ran across recently. Both cover a recent introduction by the Moleskine folks of a “pen” and “notebook” combination. The idea of the combination is that the pen and notebook together digitize and store (in the cloud) what you write in the notebook.

That’s a lovely idea but this implementation is so repulsive that I have ZERO probability of even trying the thing. Part of the problem is that except for the cloud storage part it isn’t new.

It’s not that I am opposed to new. I saw a notice by TWSBI yesterday that they were shortly bringing out a completely transparent, uncolored version of their ECCO and I experienced mild excitement. At my age and degree of pen experience, that’s substantial.

Rather, the problem with the Moleskine (and their pen coconspiratior) apparatus is that it not only isn’t new, but it’s bad technology. Item the first: the pen is probably a ballpoint and ballpoints are STERCUS. They stutter and interrupt the mindless components of writing and are thus disruptive. Item the second: the pen has to have electronic in it and to keep it almost too small, the ink supply in the pen is inadequate. Item the second, bis: because the ink supply is inadequate you have to have refills and they charge more for that quantity of ink than the equivalent amount of the rarest type of human blood.

Item the third: the paper. Moleskine notebook are ALWAYS paired up with balpoints. That’s because the paper is so crappy from a writing standpoint that the only way it isn’t cripplingly obvious is to pair the paper up with an even crappier pen. That is, a ballpoint. Try to write on a Moleskine notebook with a gel pen and you can’t. Try and write with a fountain pen and you immediately tear the pages out of their binding and leave them in the nearest entropy cellar because that’s all they;re good for and not very much at that.

But more than for writing.

There are lots of good notebooks out there. That is, they are well made notebooks with paper that is good for writing. Sadly, Moleskine makes none of these. They are glued to their abominable paper. Which is a shame, because if they would use good paper then they would have notebooks good for writing and not have to resort to sordid schemes like this.


Cartoonist Fail

Ran across this cartoon: [Link]

this morning and though about the quantity of stercus required to compromise humor. This cartoon clearly has more than sufficient. Robbie is clearly superior to any cellular telephone. Any telephone. 

Example: Robbie can not only cook the food but synthesize it as well. And make whisky. Well, whiskey, that we know of. But probably whisky. 

My phone doesn’t even phone most of the time.

Puritan Heat Death

End of week in. No gym. Slept in till 0430. Must be Friday?

On which azimuth I ran across an article yesterday about the end of work. [Link] The idea is that robots/computers will take over so much of the work load that our current situation will be turned head over heels.

Right now we have about 0.1 unemployment, rough order of magnitude. It appears this is pretty well a magic number that has to exist for society (and civilization) to operate. But as is, it is a matter of great political and social hand wringing and garment tearing. Whether due to our Puritan work ethic or just New Deal propaganda, we have the idea that everyone should e employed. Every adult, that is. Except the retired. But not the infirm or mentally or physically unable. They;re just slackers and parasites.

Now let’s turn that upside down. How about 0.1 employed? That’s 9 of 10 without work responsibilities. The very idea brings Hobbesian shudders to the average Amerikan. They can’t imagine how society will function without honest labor. How can anyone live without earning money. Horrors!, everyone on welfare. Everyone white/black/… trash.

I have to admit I can’t imagine it very well either, but I can’t buy the idea we are all going to become gentlemen/lady philosophers/academics/crafters/……. Mostly because 0.9 of humanity are bogs and bogs don’t do those things very well. They especially don;t do intellectual things. So can we expect an increase in violence, gratuitous pursuits, and shortened lifespans?


This is a good topic. Lots of room for cognition. Not clear it is good for the species.

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P/p ~0

So far this morning, the pony to poo ratio has been very low. And yes, I am writing this from a lapbox. Details to follow.

Rose this morning and off to gym. Low human density, as is usual on Thorś day. Listened to an episode of he Linux Action Show [Link] the sixth in a trail. They failed. The podcast will be dropped from the accumulator and erased from the MP3 player. Simply put the podcast is too much ¨Dude” talk, unrestrained extrovertism, and too little of relevance to Linux use and care. There is also atendancy to excessive profanity of a rather gratuitous sort.

Then I returned to Castellum SCP and the poo emerged from the quantum foam. FD SCP has medical draws this morning so she was sleeping in and I was charged to awaken her about now. I began my ablutions and had completed the brushing of teeth and was about to shower when the Greater Metropolitan Arab Electron Uncooperative [Link]discontinued the electric potential difference for a moment. That was the first of many. As I was typing the last, the tenth interruption was executed.

Amazing display of incompetence, eh what? Number thirteen! Number sixteen! The putz with this counting! It just gets deeper and deeper.

Is this some conspiracy to make us associate with Sandy?

Decade Theatrics

Back to the in week routine. Gym this morning and an episode of CBC’s “Best of Ideas”, this one dealing with the memories of a woman biologist who specialized in giraffes. Not modal in the least. And the density of educationalists low, making this a good session.

Frankly, after yesterday I needed some calm. Overall, I found myself identifying with the Doonesbury cartoon, which was the only one among my regulars who criticized the media for exhibitionism, which was extreme. I also came across a PEW poll [Link] that seemed not at all at odds with my own outlook.

I recall where I was that day, and how I felt. Since then I have been exposed to more data dealing with the human and organizational behavior. On the one hand there is much to be honored and respected, on the other much to be criticized and someday eliminated, especially the fascism that has grown up since.

Quite frankly, the sheer bulk of commonality on the audio-visual electromagnetic receiver yesterday was an insult to the memory of the day. By such extreme coverage and redundancy and cacophony, the events of the day and the deeds of the people were belittled and diluted.

This was disappointing but not disillusioning. If anything it was upholding of the basic absence of honesty and integrity, to say nothing of good behavior, of the Amerikan news media. The only thing upheld yesterday by their programming was their own greed and arrogance. But I would rather have had my opinions of that estate not be upheld; rather I would have appreciated some surprise from dignity and compassion, but there was none, only acting and falsehood.

So ten years in, have we forgotten? I think not. As a matter of interest I ran some comparisons of numbers. The loss of human life that day compares most closely, among my data set, to Pearl Harbor. The difference was the ratio of civilian to military. The numbers were much less than Gettysburg or Vicksburg, much greater than Lexington and Concord. The magnitude does not exalt or belittle the event. We cannot forget that everyone discorporates and most are innocent of guilt when they do. A count of deaths is not a measure of the enormity of the deed.

Nor is the amount of self-serving television programming. Memorials are best kept brief and intense, not droning and dulling. Ten years ago was an infamy, yesterday was an embarrassment.

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