I would ilke to say:
Thank God Obama has given millions of American families something to discuss at Thanksgiving dinner. I'm looking forward to a rousing and intellectually stimulating conversation that will certainly not end in anything good.
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I'm going to say that no, finance-driven capitalism like we see in the US and UK cannot exist is inherently anti-democratic. Industrial driven capitalism has a better chance.
A black man is gunned down by police for handling a toy gun in a Walmart. A gun that Walmart was selling.
But this white guy can carry a real, loaded rifle (and body armor) in front of a school, refuses to show ID to police and nothing happens.
Open Carry laws are clearly meant just for white people. Laws that only apply to one race are the definition of racist.
If you haven't dumped Comcast yet, you better hurry:
Reports have surfaced (Via
/r/darknetmarkets and another one submitted to us) that Comcast agents have contacted customers using Tor and instructed them to stop using the browser or risk termination of service. A Comcast agent named Jeremy allegedly called Tor an âoeillegal service.â The Comcast agent told its customer that such activity is against usage policies.
The Comcast agent then repeatedly asked the customer to tell him what sites he was accessing on the Tor browser. The customer refused to answer.
The next day the customer called Comcast and spoke to another agent named Kelly who reiterated that Comcast does not want its customers using Tor. The Comcast agent then allegedly told the customer:
"Users who try to use anonymity, or cover themselves up on the internet, are usually doing things that arenâ(TM)t so-to-speak legal. We have the right to terminate, fine, or suspend your account at anytime due to you violating the rules. Do you have any other questions? Thank you for contacting Comcast, have a great day."
This post relates to the preceding "Web of Trust" post. I'm putting my Public Key on the Internet in multiple places, where people can access it and see that it is the same data in those different places --and where, presumably, only I had the ability to post that data in all those places. At this writing the data can be compared at this site and this site, and is downloadable from here as a file that can actually be used for things like verifying digital signatures. (You could also open the file with a text editor and compare its data with the data below.)
-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
Version: GnuPG v1
-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
Think about the number of different sites you typically visit, and the number of sites where you joined to become someone who could post some sort of content. You've probably used different passwords at those sites, which means that, in general, you are the only person who is able to access your accounts at all those sites. Now suppose you fired up a "Pretty Good Privacy" program like "GnuPG", and created a Private Key (that you keep secret) and a Public Key that you post at multiple web sites. Since this would be the same data at each site, and it is assumed that only you can access your accounts at all those sites, it logically follows that there is a high probability that no hacker has posted a Public Key while pretending to be you. You have basically used the Internet to create a Web of Trust that authenticates you! Think about that in terms of SSL Certificates and Certificate Authorities --they charge big bucks to verify that you are you, so that the SSL Certificate you get from them can be trusted by others. But instead of that, you could create a "self-signed" certificate, and associate it with a "digital signature", which you also post at multiple web sites. Again, when the same data is at multiple places that only you can modify (and when the data includes a list of those places), it follows that others can trust that your self-signed certificate is practically as good/valid as one issued by a Certificate Authority.
So this is a thing. It inspired me to write this:
Day 1: A "git clone email@example.com:thegreatoldone/offerings.git", "make -f makefile/unix" and I'm off generating Cthulhu Offerings cryptocoins!
Day 2: I managed to find a couple optimizations. It's almost as if the code is speaking to me! Also, switched to clang 5.1 and got an extra 8% performance boost with the LLVM toolchain. Awesome!
Day 4: My cryptocurrency generation is going quite well! I'm hoping to have enough to pay my tuition at Miskatonic University by the fall term.
Day 9: A quiet scraping noise seems to be coming from one of my hard drives. I should maybe have sprung for SSDs to save my coins.
Day 12: I awoke with a fever in the night, and the scraping noise has transformed into a frightful howling. Though the console monitor is off, strange non-Euclidean symbols reveal themselves from time to time on the screen. What it means I cannot say.
Day 17: My fever has broken, but I can no longer tolerate the sound from my compute cluster. I have pried the cover off to diagnose the problem, and the drive array is not in there. There is only a horrific eldritch non-emptiness that sears my very soul.
Day 22: Turning, turning, falling falling, Oh! How you speak! It is so...
Day 26: vvvvvvvvvvvmggggngl;l;;m122222
You play this at your cubicle, loud, and it's the opposite of workplace violence.
Lately, I'm seeing more and more "reign in" on Slashdot and I've got to say, I'm disappointed.
Then-PFC, now-SGT Bergdahl may in fact have deserted his post. There are certainly credible accusations to that effect, and if so, then he should be tried and convicted for the crime. But it's a whole lot easier to investigate those charges with him here, and we don't let the Taliban mete out justice for us.
The military idea of "taking care of your own" has a lot of different aspects. Holding the line and leaving no one behind are obvious; less obvious, perhaps, is that our people are ours. Loon or no, deserter or no, even traitor or no, whatever else Bowe Bergdahl may be he is someone who raised his right hand and took the oath, and that means that whatever reward or punishment he receives is ours and ours alone to give.
It astonishes me sometimes, having at this point been out of the service several more years than I was in it, how strong and pure those ideas still are in my head: how much "us" the profession of arms still is to me, and I suppose always will be. I'm a civilian and happy to be one now, but both the infantryman and the medic are still very close to the surface. The latter is concerned mainly with bringing back the wounded--and the former is ready, willing, and perhaps even eager to kill anyone who stands in the way of that mission.
Whatever else we did, whatever else we may do, we had to bring him home.
I need a new system on which to run asterisk, bonus points if I don't have to configure it from scratch. I'd like to spend less than $200 (ideally I'd pick up something used if necessary for $100) but I have storage devices available, whether CF, SD, USB, or what have you. It can have wireless, but it doesn't have to because I have a routerboard for that. I have found my pogoplugs to be unreliable at best.
I am tired of the trolls here and I have made quite some enemies over the years. I feel like this is now a 35 year old version of highschool where it is popular to say certain things complete with squeaky cheerleaders girls rather than a place of intellectual thought.
Arstechnica.com serves this much better.
I got modded down 0 troll for putting IOS in development requirements because it wasn't an official real language by self righteous asshats who feel threatened by their own unique C/unix way regardless of market demand which was my point. I do not belong here anymore. I am not a linux fanboy anymore as I feel it is not longer keeping up with the times and I refuse to be brainwashed into an idea and never change and grow old and set in my ways. I change with the times and adjust accordingly. I want a place where I can do this. Most importantly spend less time here and go better myself like a good middle aged person is supposed to do.
[cranky rant warning]
"Lies, damned lies, and statistics." It's coming up again with depressing frequency, being used as an argument instead of a snide observation.
Okay, here's the thing. Can you lie with statistics? Sure. Statistics is a branch of mathematics*, and math is a language; you can lie in that language as easily as in any other. Does this mean all statistics are lies? No more than all statements in any language are lies--and if you believe that, you've gone so far down the rabbit hole of anti-intellectual mysticism that you'll probably never find your way out.
Meanwhile, in the real world, and in the ever-expanding torrent of data we have about that world, statistics as a discipline is pretty much the only hope we have of understanding anything. The low-hanging fruit has been picked. The equations we learn in Physics 101 are as valid as they ever were, but they're not nearly enough. No matter how certain you think you are, no matter how many times you repeat your experiment and get the same result, if you don't do the statistical tests you don't actually know whatever it is you think you know. And if you do the tests--well, you may still be wrong, but you can at least quantify your uncertainty. And you have to do that, because you can always be wrong.
None of this is meant to defend the misuse of statistics, any more than as a writer I'd defend the misuse of natural language. People can and do wilfully misinterpret statistics, or cherry-pick them, or just outright make them up, and those are bad things. Guess what? They do that with every other kind of statement too. At least half of statisticians' job is fact-checking, and it's a charge we gladly accept.
So the next time you're tempted to say "lies, damned lies, and statistics," or "figures don't lie but liars figure," or "correlation does not imply causation" or any of its variants, or post the umpteen-thousandth link to "How To Lie With Statistics," and think you're being clever--please, just stop. Because one thing I am so sure of that I don't even need to put a p-value on it is that if you feel the need to resort to any of those lazy, thought-free responses, you don't know enough about the issue at hand to have an informed opinion, and the best thing you can possibly do for yourself and everyone else is to keep quiet.
*Opinions vary on this issue, but if statistics isn't exactly a branch of mathematics, we can at least say that math is the language in which it's written.
Wow, it's been 15 years but I've finally got my own personal troll!
I must apologize to everyone I've ever called a troll now that I've seen a real one. Yeah, there are trollish comments, but this... it's a different league. If you ever wondered who these brain-damaged morons were who set up geocities homepages with blinking purple text on blue background with red dots in Comic Sans - that kind of different league.
Now it does make me wonder about trolls in general. Has there been a study on this? I really wonder if psychologists have tackled this because quite honestly, you cannot be mentally stable and post in this and this content at the same time. So I do wonder if trolls on the Internet (the real trolls, not the people occasionally posting something stupid) do have a mental problem. It definitely looks like it. Probably insecurity issues, definitely an exaggerated need for attention, might be related to borderline syndrome or schizoprenia.
And, of course, the Internet provides:
As someone who has had to deal with family members suffering from mental illness, let me tell you that it's not funny. So despite the fact that they are, in fact, obnoxious, aggravating assholes, these sad little fucks also need help and their miserable little existence is not something you'd want to trade for yours, no matter how much you think your life sucks. Trust me, with a mental illness on top, it'll suck more.
Obviously, we can't offer therapy to people who usually comment anonymously and will often go to great lengths to avoid being tracked down. What we can do, however, is get a better understanding for how they act this way (they can't help it, mental illness is stronger than your conscious mind) and that the best thing we can do for them is to not continue the feedback loop. "Don't feed the trolls" - old wisdom there.
The last link in that list contains a few more ideas.
Now that I'm at the end, I kind of regret the smiley face at the top. But I'm leaving it in because this journal entry is a bit of a journey, even if it is short. Thanks to some Internet resources, a bit of research and connecting the dots, I've come a short way, changing my mind a little on this particular sub-sub-sub-part of life.
A short additional statement on how to treat trolling. From what I've gathered from the resources above, a few comments (both here and in the various spammed threads) and my own life experience:
First, don't feed the trolls. Most of them seek attention, so if you stop giving it to them, they become frustrated and go away. Notice that they seek attention, not validation. A rebuke or an angry rant or even a shootout of personal insults satisfies them as much as anything else. Much like the old PR saying "there is no negative publicity", it is all about the attention itself, not about its content.
Second, stand your ground. Do not leave the site or stop commenting just because you're being trolled. It takes a bit to do that, yes. Trolls consider it a "victory" if they shut you up, either by simple flooding or by frustrating you enough to disappear. In their twisted minds, it gives them validation and somehow proves that they were right.
Third, if you see someone else being trolled, give them support. Doesn't take much - a single sentence is more than enough. Someone under attack by a real troll is being flooded. The troll will commonly post under multiple aliases or otherwise attempt to appear as more than one person. Psychological experiments such as Solomon Asch's show how we humans as social animals experience conformance pressure. So give that other person support by showing him that the flood he's getting is no the only opinion around. It doesn't matter if he consciously knows it's just one troll, the pressure is subconscious.
I'd like to have comments disabled on this journal entry, for obvious reasons, but you can't publish a journal entry with comments disabled, so... 1000:1 bet that he's stalking the journal as well and will add his drivel below?
Also, if the formatting looks atrocious, turn off beta and revert to classic. Seriously.
The gent who wakes up and finds himself a success hasn't been asleep.