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User Journal

Journal: I'm a trendlagger [LONG] 5

Journal by Bill Dog

When people complain about Facebook, for example, I have basically no idea what they're talking about, because I've never been on it. I avoided Myspace, and Linkedin, and whatever else. The good thing about being very late to jump on trends is that you can avoid some entirely. I'm glad I'm not on any of those services because I've heard (later on that) they're sleazy.

FASHION

I still have a CRT (non-digital) television set. That's my only one. I still get non-digital, standard-def cable TV. I still record all my desired stuff on a VCR. The thing is, all that stuff still works, so I'm loathe to chuck it just because it's comically out of touch. Still, it's 2015 and the thought's crossed my mind, I might move it all to the bedroom and buy myself an HD screen for downstairs, and then figure out if a DVR is something you buy in a store or if it's something you can only rent via your cable co. or if it's something that's not a box in your home but a service you stream from you cable co.

At least then I wouldn't sound like an idiot talking with coworkers sometimes. Many of my adoptions of trends have been based on that. I was the last of my friends to get an answering machine. Remember those? I still have one. No not the tapes kind; I didn't jump on these until they were all non-mechanical by then. You might remember them associated with those old land line things, that we all used to have. Still have a land line. And still pay for long distance service, now that I think about it, and not sure why.

I was the last of my cohorts to get a cell phone, a small Nokia brickphone that everyone had (for a year or better) at the time. Then I was last to have that, and even though it worked fine, I spent $99 to move to a basic flipphone, only because everyone had those by then, and I was starting a new job, and didn't want to look like an idiot. What a reason to spend $100!

I plan on looking for a new job this spring, so just a few weeks ago I got my first ever smartphone. (Which one? Let's just say that I've now joined all the iDiots, I'm sorry to say.) The flipphone isn't broken, it's just unfashionable! So now I've gone from a $100 phone to a $650 one, and a little more than doubled my monthly service payment for it, just to learn about the smartphone world so I don't say something and reveal myself to be too far behind the times at a next job.

I got a netbook at the very end of that trend. But short-sightedly, I got one with Windows XP instead of Vista Home, for performance reasons, and now while it works just fine, I can't use it for anything serious because it's unsecured. And now that I have a smartphone, which boots to being able to check something on the web even faster, dunno what I'll use a perfectly good netbook for. It did get a fair amount of use for note-taking in classes (it's a Sammy 12" with a near-laptop-sized keyboard, which I needed to be able to touch type on it), so maybe I got my money's worth. (But how will I get my money's worth on the smartphone?)

AHEAD

I have been ahead of trends a couple of times in my life. In college I bought myself a Hayes 1200 baud modem (around $400 at the time; a *lot* for a ramen-eating [I miss those] starving college student back then) and was one of only a few at my college who did their homework on their home computer and then dialed in to upload it and, re-run it already developed and debugged on the school's system, and print it on the campus main printer. The only time I was in computer labs after my freshman year was to work (paid) in them. (Okay and for late-night study/party sesssions with my homies if I had been scheduled for some closing shifts and it was nearish the end of the semester.)

I also got the idea from a coworker at my first job back in the early 90's to fax one's resume to places. I know for a fact that that technique got me one of my jobs, as after I started there I found out the lady who placed the ad, with her company email address, promptly left, and no one was checking that account for resumes! But faxing resumes may not have ever gotten wildly popular, so what it was I was ahead of might not qualify as a trend I guess.

INVISIBLE

The good thing about not having gotten caught up in the social media trend is that I'm invisible on the interwebs. I use a robots meta tag with noindex/nofollow in my personal web space, that I only remove for the duration of looking for another job. I may be getting dinged in a job search by not being findable on social media, but at least then I can have *some* (controlled) web presence. Hopefully that's okay going forward.

I don't use my real name here, and have never revealed any personally identifiable info, such as things that would give away what city I live in or where I work. Since [goes and looks it up] 2004 the Slashdot journal system has enabled me to say what I really think (I mean politically; I'm a not necrophiliac or some other kind of societally-shunned weirdo besides being Conservative), without it possibly affecting hiring decisions. Just have to exercise a little care, and think before hitting Submit.

Actually I can be found, with some political/religious views exposed, in Usenet archives. At least in the programming forums on Usenet, back then, if you used a pseudonym you weren't taken seriously.

But it's near impossible to get that far in a web search, because, luckily, there's someone with my name and middle initial, in my region, who's a prolific writer. And later hits show someone who has their own business. So I got lucky in having a shadow for my name that seems to go on and on in the search results.

Who knows how exposed I am on Monster and Dice. They don't let you actually delete your account, just flag that you're not actively looking, as I recall. Some of my spam may be from any schlub with a few bucks creating a faux employer's account and trawling for victims. Same if I decide to try one or more dating sites this year. I'll have to really think hard about what I want to put out there (but to still make it hopefully worthwhile). Not that I think Monster and Dice and eHarmony and Match would sell me directly, like I've heard Facebook and Linkedin have, but that they'd not worry about being too careful about who they sell privileges to view my account to.

Beyond that Amazon knows tons about me. Probably Google as well, as I had to sign up for Google Groups once for a class, which tied my name to my IP address at the time. Probably browser fingerprinting, in my IP block, continues to identify me after my ISP issues me a new dynamic address. So I started using Bing last year, but I don't always remember to.

THE BAD

Being late to trends means, well, when I had hair on my head to really speak of, I was usually behind in hairstyles. In elementary school I just had a mop head of hair, but then in jr high I noticed everyone had moved to a center part. Who knows how long before that had happened. Then in high school a side part came in, so before I went off to college I figured I'd better finally lose my center parting.

Until last year when I said eff it and am now buzzing the top of my head, my side part had turned into a comb-over, without me noticing it, as my hair gradually thinned on top. So I had the side part for almost 30 years, completely skipping the moussed front sticking up thing. And of course then the Justin Bieber swirlie thing, although which I guess no one my age ever went to.

And I've skipped the goatee thing, retaining the moustache that my face started growing in 7th grade. So I've looked like a 70's porn star all this time (I would imagine!). No bit of fuzz growing under the bottom lip. Thought that may have been a short and/or non-widespread trend.

No tattoos or piercings. I think that makes me really behind the times. After watching a few seasons of Naked and Afraid, it's occurred to me that basically *everyone* now has a tattoo.

Clothing styles don't permeate my brain until they've been around long enough that they're just about to die off. I still wear polos to work. I still wear very light blue jeans and white tennis shoes on Fridays, even though I think that pristine look went out long ago. Everything's dark colors now. I'm so sick of black (especially in car interiors). I need to wear light, bright things half the time or it's depressing. And my dark colors load gets too big and the light colors cold load too small.

And finally another bad thing about being late to trends is, I hate pop songs when they first come out, and I don't give popular TV shows a chance. Their overwhelming popularity overwhelms me and makes me revulse. But then years later I get in to a show in re-runs, and then no one gets my references! Or I hear a song from a prior era, that's pathetically locked style-wise in that era, and it's stuck in my head and I hum it and people think I'm dangerous.

User Journal

Journal: how to get to all the prefs here? 3

Journal by Bill Dog

I noticed I was asked to meta-moderate. I thought I had turned both M1 and M2 off. Anyone remember how to get to that screen?

For that matter, anyone remember how to get to the screen where you can adjust +/- modifiers on posts, based on various criteria?

I had saved some links in the old URL format (/x.pl?op=y), but apparently not these.

User Journal

Journal: I guess that's where we are 12

Journal by Bill Dog

So I'm waiting in the Wendy's drive-thru after work tonight, and there's an ad on the radio I guess from the BSA. It said software piracy is not only wrong, it's illegal.

Doesn't "not only x, but also y" mean "as if x wasn't bad enough, there's also y"? When you use that rhetorical structure, aren't you going in increasing badness about something? Saving the worst for last, for the most dramatic effect and hopefully to seal the persuasion deal?

So now something being against the law carries more convincing force than something being wrong. I guess the needles of the moral compasses of most these days spin wildly instead of track steady. And without the force of government we'd be ethically lost.

Reminds of seeing on Cops a few weeks ago, teen gets arrested for taking a gun to an argument, luckily the cops stop things before anyone gets hurt, and dad is at the station talking to the young lad, very disappointed, and says son, don't you know you could get tried as an adult for killing someone? WTF? Because that's worse than ending another human being's life?!? That's why you shouldn't murder people?!?

p.s. Also heard on the radio tonight some announcer pronounce the TLD of that web site as oh arr gee. Made me think, I want a .OMG site!

User Journal

Journal: x is bad for x? (Continuation) 3

Journal by Bill Dog

Rights are distributive (with our Freedom of Association).

A x C + B x C = (A + B) x C

A = me
B = you
C = the right of Free Speech, in this example

Us speaking together is the same as you and I speaking separately, as far as the government should be concerned. To remove the C factor from the rhs, is to also remove it from the left.

An AC posted to my last JE, a kind of user I don't normally read posts from, but I was convinced he is someone who is on my Friends list. Because my response got long, and by posting AC he might not see it and notice the opportunity to say how I'm wrong about something, I've just made a new JE out of it.

If an entity doesn't get to vote in the ballot, that entity has no business influencing votes.

But the entities we're talking about here are not some kind of disembodied mysteries. They're us. It's a violation of my rights to have to shut up because I formed a business with someone or joined a union or a church or whatever. I as a legal citizen of the U.S. have the God-given right to free speech, of which political speech is especially "sacred" (in a democracy), no matter my associations.

Okay, that is, except in the capacity of an agent of the government. Our rights (are designed to) protect us from government, so if you take a job with the government, that's voluntary, and you don't have free speech on the job. So cops can't proselytize while they're writing you a ticket, and teachers, well, shouldn't be allowed to brainwash kids with their Leftist garbage. But if I want to run a grocery store where the check-out people try to convert you, or tell you who to vote for, that's my right. (And then you can decide whether to shop there or not.)

I'm okay with politicians being beholden to corporations. Or unions. Or environmental groups. Or the NRA. Or the Mormon Church (I'm not Mormon). As long as that makes them also aligned with their constituents. And if it's not, then bad on the voters. How can we expect accountability for politicians when we won't hold ourselves accountable?

A politician comes into office with (hopefully) some dead-set beliefs, and some that they haven't gotten all the information on yet and are potentially swayable (or are issues they just don't care about either way). The most concerned about an issue raise it with their representative, and attempt to persuade him/her. Those that aren't really concerned about an issue, don't. So the politician decides based on which side of the issue seems the most important to his/her constituents.

Lobbying is pure, wholesome Americana. You can pay someone to do it, or do it yourself(s). On an FNC special one weekend during one of the more recent times the EPA or whatever was trying to make life hard for a rancher, members of the family flew to D.C. to speak to someone to state their case. I personally think it's ridiculous that they couldn't get time while their rep was in town, and that legislators should be part-timers somehow, but I haven't thought that completely through and it's a separate issue.

But special interests, despite thinking certain ones are okay and others are not, is what we all are, and is not a reason to shut people up in violation of their rights. I for example am a walking set of special interests like, as a male I would like to see equality in reproductive rights among others, as a programmer I want the importation of competing slave labor stopped, etc. If I form a software business with some people, I would want those who would apply progressively more and more costly regulations on that venture with my life's savings at risk to not be elected. Denying me free speech, in whichever of my private capacities I'm engaging in, is immoral.

Without knowing the person, if someone says free speech is okay only except for corporations, to me that's not so much a position on speech as it is on corporations. If someone thinks corporations are evil and therefore should be excluded from x (among others), well, to me that's not a reason. I don't like the vast millions that the unions donate or that George Soros' various front groups donate, but I believe they have the right.

p.s. On a much less serious note, in case anyone reading this missed it, a couple of funnies (well of course I think the first one was funny): http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=6180957&cid=48459463

User Journal

Journal: x is bad for x? 11

Journal by Bill Dog

I saw on another tech news site the following:

"Despite the obvious corrupting effects of money in political campaigns, ..."

Huh? That's saying "despite the obvious corrupting effect of political speech on political speech, ..."

How is that obviously corrupting? Is grass roots organizing corrupting campaigns too? Do debates corrupt them as well?

I thought a political campaign was a candidate getting his/her message out. Getting your message to as many ears as possible requires, like most things in life, time and money.

With money you can buy mailers and slots on the airwaves. With time you can canvas. Contributions of money let you buy more distributions of your message, and contributions of time let other people call and canvas for you. In campaigns, donated time and money are multipliers.

Maybe the poster meant opposition money. That's doubtful because that's mainly a tactic of the Left (to funnel money in from all over the country, to squash a local candidate or proposition), and most people who speak up, well, anywhere, are Lefties.

But even so, unless debates are corruption, then opposing messages are just as valid in the arena of ideas.

Even attack/smear messages are valid. I don't like deceptive tactics, but if there's stuff that's true about a candidate that also reflects poorly on him/her, then it's fair game. I want to know if a candidate recently flip-flopped on an issue, or has a history of it, such that they might not really be passionate about a certain position.

I want to know if they groped women or diddled interns. What the Left does in timing revelations about such things, for maximum impact, is distasteful. The truth should be disclosed when it's known. But Leftists are distasteful. (Because gaining power to them is infinitely more important than acting tastefully. Shame, embarassment, bald-faced lying, none of these are anywhere near enough of a deterrent, as is constantly seen. Power at any and all costs is so important because the issues are so important to them.)

I don't need to know so much who's supporting a candidate, because that only matters if I already know that they don't have solid beliefs themselves and are primarily just doing what their supporters want. Because if they don't have principles they stick to, they're already disqualified in my mind, so who's pulling their strings is immaterial at that point.

A principled candidate is naturally going to attract support from like-minded causes. This is so obvious it shouldn't need to be said, except the Left has probably convinced most people that no politician would be for something if there wasn't the demonized "special interest"* backing for it.

If I was in political office and the NRA for example supported me, that wouldn't make me bought and paid for, I already believe in gun rights, and would vote that way anyways. Same for abortion and a whole host of other issues.

I suppose there are things I don't really care about, or that I think don't make a difference either way, like the minimum wage, that I could potentially be bought off on. But then that's up to the voters, to decide if they want to elect someone who really cares about a, b, and c, and not so much x, y, and z.

But if one side or campaign raises more money, or more volunteers, or writes a smarter big data program suite, this is not corruption. It's by definition the process.

So what it's really saying is that one doesn't like and would like to radically transform or throw out and replace the process. Not liking certain kinds of political speech means you don't like a political process which speech has a significant say over. You'd prefer a much less, or completely un-, democratic process. Which does afterall jibe with the Left's view that people are too stupid to make the right decisions, in general.

So that's what's meant by things like the quote above; the translation of that (dishonest) Leftie speak is "there really shouldn't be any speech involved in the political process". (Dictators are best. (Which is true, just not by humans/in this life.))

And that's why, despite popular belief, it's not safe to vote Democrat. It's often times not a safe vote to vote for the Republican, as they often are detrimental to the country. But it's basically never safe to vote for a Democrat, because they're almost all Lefties, and Leftism is an opposition to the main things that distinguish Americanism. Like democracy and free speech.

*Calling special interests bad is calling freedom of association bad. If I have a right of political speech, and a right to group together with like-minded people, but then I lose the right to speak as a member of that group, then I don't really have those two rights.

User Journal

Journal: it's a good time for TV (part 3 of 3) 1

Journal by Bill Dog

p.s. on part 1: So on FU Garage earlier in the week they located and haggled over and bought a 1970 Torino 429 Cobra Jet, of which they said not a whole lot were made. (And with an engine that size, would be highly desirable.) They had no project car to work on at the time, so the wrench monkeys were idle. And the possibly head partner guy flipped it for only $2500 profit. WhyTF not fix it all up and sell it for a $25K profit?!?

3) Zombies

It's a good time for TV these days because there's so much zombie stuff. I've been a zombie nut since being a kid, although I didn't get around to seeing the original ("They're coming for you Bar'bra!") until later in life. Before having to work summers I'd rent marathon sessions of Day of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead (prior to the Ving Rhames remake), Return of the Living Dead Parts I, II, III. All great fun. (Still remember a great scene in one of those: One house occupant notices the other has obviously become very sick (a zombie), so calls for an ambulance. Paramedics arrive, and are overtaken in their van by zombies. Then more paramedics are called, as one of the zombies gets on its radio and says "Send more braaaaaaiiiinnnns!")

Then later Shaun of the Dead (first half comedy, second half serious), Flight of the Living Dead (subtitled "Zombies on a Plane", after Laurence Fishburne's "Snakes on a Plane" was a fad at the time), the 30 Days of Night stuff (SyFy did a few sequels I think), 28 [unit of time]'s Later, and of course Martin Lawrence's I Am Legend. And countless SyFy channel variations in their Saturday night originals. I didn't care that much for Romero's final zombie film, as the zombies were somehow smart in that one, and could swim. (I like 'em dumb and feeble! Like all good dead people should be!)

So I was really surprised when AMC of all networks came out with The Walking Dead. Gosh I wanted to like that, but I gave up on it several times/for chunks of several seasons because half the episodes were written for women or something. There was more crying and emoting going in some of those than in Seventh Heaven probably. Thankfully the existence of Z Nation, which is a lot more up my alley -- zombie kills and jokes -- may be causing TWD to keep its edge going, hopefully.

I also gave Helix a chance (they're doing a season 1 marathon on Black Friday). The variation where they're not dead, but infected with something that makes them zombie-ish. But an interesting setting, in a remote research facility in the arctic. I think they blew that up at the end of the first season, so when it starts up again I think in January they'll have to be somewhere else. But good conspiracy angles mixed in. Just didn't like the couple (only, thank goodness) of episodes with an over-acting Seven of Nine.

And I guess not zombies but vampires, but still, FX's (and Guillermo del Toro's) The Strain is bloody good just to even have on the tube. I don't watch sitcoms, cop dramas, or hospital dramas, which have in my lifetime seemed to be the big three in television programming (until so-called reality shows came along (and infomercials; yes Virginia, they really did used to show movies late at night on TV)), so having all this apocolyptic creature serieses is quite nice.

Moar creatures! (I do watch a bit off Face Off, and other misc. stuff sometimes I guess like House Hunters and Top Chef, but my preference is for a creative story over contests or (scripted) "reality".)

User Journal

Journal: it's a good time for TV (part 2 of 3) 3

Journal by Bill Dog

2) Survivalism

No I've never watch Survivor! (And the band sucks too.)

I've passed on Bear, and I think some British guy who was also doing solo survival demonstrations. Dude You're Screwed is going solo, but there's the other guys at basecamp interjecting things and keeping it interesting. Otherwise I guess I need at least pairs, so Dual Survival and Naked & Afraid with their sometimes complimentary and sometimes clashing aspects of the personalities involved are what keeps my interest.

Esp. Naked & Afraid can be somewhat boring though, if the particular two can't find any real food and basically just spend the 21 days starving and suffering and trying to keep themselves together mentally. I like success stories, although in Dual Survival it seemed like they were helped along sometimes, circumstance-wise (like happening upon a group of fisherman or something, so the episode could eventually end).

Not learning as much as I thought I would, though. I've learned that even if you're a hotshot at making fire, you're going to fail in an actual survival situation. I've learned that snakes are, at least on land, your best bet for decent protein. Everything else is too fast/elusive, but venomous snakes will stand their ground, stupidly. (And I've learned that venonous snakes have vertical slit eyes like cats, and non- have round eyes. So that's something, I guess.)

And I've learned not to do what they do. Everyone seems to think making shelter is the number one priority. And then they proceed to walk around in an area where the ground is covered in thorns, destroying their feet and critically affecting their mobility, instead of making shoes first. Or building their shelter in a downpour, letting all that fresh water slip by them, to then spend the next several days parched and looking for fresh water!

Speaking of which, the number thing I've learned not to do, is drink unboiled water. Esp. on N & A (T & A?) those people again and again make a dumb decision to risk drinking water running off a rock or sitting in a puddle, and then they're shitting their brains out for the next few days (or carted off to the hospital with some jungle bug), getting even more dehydrated then they'd have been without it.

Dude You're Screwed is the funner show as, besides the ambush the next victim for the next episode schtick, there's the aspects of the weird stuff that they give them, that they then use in suprising ways, and also the stuff that they steal on the way out of the plane or that they have hidden on their persons that gets by the guys as they search them before dumping them.

If you're going on Naked and Afraid, you each get one item, bring a big multi-purpose knife, no matter what, for chopping wood for fires, and skinning anything you might be lucky enough to catch. Then, if it's a wet clime, bring a firestarter (and then don't break it; they're not impervious), else bring a metal pot. Boil your water in the pot, or bamboo tubes you might be able to find.

Some worthless people have opted for, as one of their team's only two items, a pair of swimming googles, a magnifying glass, and duct tape.

I wonder why no one has brought any kind of real weaponry. Unless you're lucky enough trap something in its burrow, you would need some kind of projectile weapon to catch most meat. In re-cuts of the show they show some things that didn't make it on to the main episode, and they do cobble together grubs and miscellaneous things to eat, but not much calories, and nowhere near what they need to keep chopping up firewood, and to make their journey on the last day to be picked up. It's like no one ever thinks about how they're going to get enough protein, so at the end of the 21 days the women lose around 20 pounds and the guys can lose up to 40. And who knows what that kind of malnutrition (and the dehydration) is doing to them in the long term.

p.s. I also watched a few of those... um, maybe specials rather than a series, on how rich people purchase the services of survival bunker builders. Like taking a cargo container and outfitting it for n people to survive the apocalypse for m days. (Last night's SyFy movie reminds me. And leads into part 3.)

[Edit: Just thought of the third unusual, worthless item that's been chosen to be brought along, that I couldn't think of a few minutes ago.]

User Journal

Journal: it's a good time for TV (part 1 of 3) 2

Journal by Bill Dog

Apparently the stuff I've been watching on TV in recent times have mostly fallen into three categories.

1) Cars

I'm not so much into the fix-em-up part of those kinds of shows. Maybe partly because I'm oblivious to what they're doing or why. So I used to watch some of the block of car shows (I forget what they nicknamed it) that I think was mid-day Saturday on Spike (or maybe its prior incarnation, TNN), for a while there hosted by Danica Patrick, just as she was starting to get famous.

So I like the primetime shows a lot better because there's less grease-monkeying and in-show ads for stuff and more monkeying around and getting to the final outcome quicker. And the searching for new and interesting project cars. So I watch a little Count. I used to watch Ass Monkey a lot, but they really pissed me off when they fired a couple of the mechanics that I liked, and suddenly featured new faces that we were just supposed to accept I guess. Happily, those two partnered with some others and started up a competing business, that's now on the same network (as Misfits Garage).

I don't know WTF is PBS's problem. I used to watch Motorweek every week at college in Northern California. Down in SoCal, the station in one area used to run it at 2am or some shit, and where I'm at now doesn't run it all. Since they've stopped running that, and old Mr. Bean and Whose Line reruns, they're completely worthless to me.

Top Gear went from bad to worse. The British version was at least a fairly interesting show, you just had to accept that America and Americans were going to be the butt of literally every single joke, and that like Slashdotters, they never tire of the same old ones. (It's the element of mean-spiritedness and the feeling that gives to the tellers that keeps them from getting bored of it.) I've tried to watch the American version, I've wanted to like it, but it's just sooo boring! I don't know how I could find a car show boring. It seems there's not much about cars, just three guys screwing around. And they're not my kind of guys I guess.

I think Motor Trend or Car & Driver had a show on for a couple of years that I used to watch, but not anything that lasted.

My cable company used to advertise some new car shopping network, but that was one of the digital channels, and I'm still on analog cable TV. (And I felt a little funny about the idea anyways, as to me a separate organization talking about new cars is a show, but the manufacturers doing it is an ad.)

User Journal

Journal: like hot ice 23

Journal by Bill Dog

Thanks to smitty for spurring a little Wikipedia journey, with:

Yeah, I don't mind the label "classical liberal", in the Hayekian sense.

So it seems that one way of looking at the Liberalism scale, politically L to R (at least in the U.S.), is:

Social Justice - Large amount of governmental intervention in peoples's lives.
Social Liberalism - Medium amount of governmental intervention in people's lives.
Classical Liberalism - Small amount of governmental intervention in people's lives.

And with Conservatism:

There is no single set of policies that are universally regarded as conservative, because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time.

In the U.S. at least, a free market and a free society are for now still recognized as our traditional form.

Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others, called reactionaries, oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".

So I'm a Liberal Conservative. Reactionary (and growing moreso, the more we move "forward") in my Conservatism (roll the country back to much of its traditional ways) and Classical in my Liberalism.

p.s. But when I look up Liberal conservatism, it says not to be confused with Libertarian conservatism. Yet I'm not seeing the difference between the two. I especially don't get this bit:

It contrasts with classical liberalism and especially aristocratic conservatism, rejecting the principle of equality as something in discordance with human nature, instead emphasizing the idea of natural inequality.

I believe in both, so maybe it's really splitting hairs by this point. This is me too:

Libertarian conservatism is a conservative political philosophy and ideology that combines right-libertarian politics and conservative values.

That is, I have very Conservative values, yet don't think they should be imposed by law. And I come at my libertarian bent from the Right, vice those who come at it from the Left, like my sister and John Stossel, which to me doesn't not make for a very predictable libertarian.

Finally, I like this:

Nelson Hultberg wrote that there is "philosophical common ground" between libertarians and conservatives. "The true conservative movement was, from the start, a blend of political libertarianism, cultural conservatism, and non-interventionism abroad bequeathed to us via the Founding Fathers." He said that such libertarian conservatism was "hijacked" by neoconservatism, "by the very enemies it was formed to fight â" Fabians, New Dealers, welfarists, progressives, globalists, interventionists, militarists, nation builders, and all the rest of the collectivist ilk that was assiduously working to destroy the Founders' Republic of States."

User Journal

Journal: precious phone spam 1

Journal by Bill Dog

Had two identical messages on my machine, arriving at about 10am and then around noon.

In an unrecognized accent, the recorded voice said:

Hi, uh, this is <unintelligible> Jefferson.

I'm calling you from Internal Revenue Service, Tax Audit Department.

Please listen to this important message really carefully.

The nature of my call is to inform you that we have received a legal petition notice against your name
under your Social Security number regarding tax fraud.

The lawsuit is going to be filed in federal claim courthouse today.

So, [to] receive more information about this lawsuit you can reach us at 509-590-0195.

I repeat, 509-590-0195.

And now please note that, a <unintelligible> arrest warrant has been issued on your name
as five criminal allegations are been pressed on you.

So please take care about it. Goodbye.

Not even a "This message is for Mr. Bill Dog..." opener, like all my official business messages begin. I guess Mr. Jefferson doesn't even know my name.

Googling that phone number, apparently Mr. Jefferson is also known as Brian Smith, to others from earlier this month. Maybe that's why he had to pause a moment before stating his name.

User Journal

Journal: new job criteria, prologue 1

Journal by Bill Dog

As with any job, there are some plusses and minusses at where I currently slave away. A pro is that our newish sys admin pushes us onto newer versions of things software. In contrast to our senior developers, who don't want the group to move to more modern development practices.

I plan to start looking for a new job after the raises come out next year, which happens beginning of March. This is also in part timed to the graphic in this FA that shows what the biggest hiring months have been. I've reordered it chronologically, and see that I really need to try to get in somewhere before the beginning of summer:

Jan 110,480
Feb 101,120
Mar 111,480
Apr 118,040
May 134,760
Jun _87,125
Jul _94,400
Aug _61,875
Sep _95,840
Oct 108,000
Nov 109,750
Dec _91,667

I'm mostly looking to leave over money. I do C#/.NET web development now, and was hired there based on prior web dev experience in classic ASP, and having completed a certificate program in .NET at the local university's extension program. And this after being out of work for two and a third years, being laid off at the beginning of the Great Recession, and seeing zippo employment action (in my area) going on with my old Win32 C/C++ desktop application skills.

So despite being a senior software engineer, I hired in to a level II position, and probably near the bottom of the pay scale for it at that. And don't get me wrong, I'm damn glad to have gotten the opportunity at all! But my raises have averaged 1%, and we seem to be kind of a low budget shop as it is, and the boss is not (the kind of guy who would be) impressed with me, and I'm 48 and burned a bunch of savings during the downturn, and have only been (able to be) putting away the bare minimum to take maximal advantage of the 401K matching.

So it's not like I'm greedy or I live extravagantly, and I'll wait and see, to be sure, but I'm not exactly expecting a boost in my income from this place any time soon. And at my age and how I've been only able to sock away a modest amount for retirement in my career so far, and how I can only afford to put away very little with what I'm making now, it comes to the point where it seems like it would actually be financially irresponsible to remain at my current job, if I could find better.

But better for me isn't just more money, but then lesser learning, say. In the mid 2000's I was paid well, where I was able to do most of my retirement saving, but I had a lot of down time between projects, and my skills atrophied. And I stayed almost 7 years, and lost touch with what was going on in the job market.

I really like getting experience on the newer versions of things and don't want to give that up in a job change. (For example a place I had interviewed at during the recession ran an ad recently, and they're *still* stuck on 2005's MS technology. Which would be giving up a lot, i.e. 9 years of nicer features and better ways of doing things.) And I want to get into newer development practices, which is what the follow-on will be about, but I don't want to be at a place where they exercise those development chops sporadically.

I.e. it's not really worth it to me to be paid more, but then be in danger again in my next job search.

So what do I want in a new organization, besides recent versions of things and steady development work, and how am I going to select for that in the portion of the interview where I get to ask a few questions? That's next.

User Journal

Journal: familiar faces from film and TV in commercials

Journal by Bill Dog

I was shocked when Laurence Fishburne first showed up in those Capitol One commercials. He was so great in Pulp Fiction and the Matrix, I thought, oh no, is his career over already? And now Jennifer Garner (no doubt the daughter of Jim Rockford) is shilling for the same.

The creepiest is Matthew McConaughey driving around at night in a butt-ugly Lincoln SUV softly waxing sweet philosophical nothings to us.

The latest is (the now forgettable) Sarah Marshall and Punk'd Employee of the Month (who I just found out are married (to each other, I mean)) doing like a minute and a half mongo commercial where a Samsung Galaxy tablet is part of every aspect of their lives.

And just like that, poof, the shame and presumed damage to one's career for resorting to "acting" in TV commercials is now gone evidently.

It used to be just voices. Like I can never forget a face, I can pick out a famous actor's voice (I just can't remember names for shit). That way an actor could lend a brand some familiarity, without getting himself all soiled in it. For example I most recently heard a new spot with King Ralph as the voice of it. Have no idea what the product or service was, as in my case I'm usually distracted by the familiar voice.

Which I would think is even more of a down-side when they actually appear in the commercials. As in, the focus is on the spokesperson and not the product or service being pitched. When I see Flo (who, incidently, was in that Ben Stiller honeymoon movie before becoming Ms. Progressive) or Red, I think car insurance or Wendy's. When I think of Matthew McHowdoyouspellhisnameagain, I think of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, not a dying carmaker division whose vehicles' front ends all look like hideous barn owl faces.

User Journal

Journal: one of my mental problems 5

Journal by Bill Dog

Yes, that was plural. One other is that I'm deeply misanthropic. No, not like the Leftie kind. I'm totally with the Left on the belief that people can't be trusted to make the right decisions. But my religion (which is a reference point to my politics, and not one in the same), or my God, commands me to love and forgive others for their failings [if only I could apply that to myself!], and to recognize that despite being highly flawed, my species (i.e. not realy about race, or gender, or other, for me, although I have my prejudices) that I despise so much was made in the image of God and unlike the rest of creation possess cores that will live on past this very beautiful and at the same time very ugly physical world.

So I've never been like for example my sister when she was in college (studying biology/chemistry at UC Berkeley) who wanted to invent something that would, as she put it, wipe out all the human beings so that the animals could live in peace. Nor am I like more adult-thinking Lefties, in feeling that the masses should be enslaved in some sense, for their own good (and that of the earth, and fairness/some universal cosmic karma I guess, etc.)

But though I'm not as bad as maybe around 1/3rd of Americans who are solid Left, it's still something I want to work on.

And then another would be the constant mini-digressions, that I'm prone to, that can be seen in the first couple of paragraphs here. I think this condition of mine manifests itself, in my writing, in lots of parenthetical clauses, and lots of commas, to break up the subthoughts of a thought, and to separate out the hyperlinked if you will related illuminating or context-adding pieces to a thought.

You see, if I don't try really hard to control it, I'm naturally an incoherent mess. So that's another I continously try to work on.

But it's also this second one that leads me to the third and last one I can think of, which is the real topic of this JE. (!)

I constantly get caught up in my own little world, in my head.

From a work performance aspect, I think I was born to be a programmer because I can get in the zone quickly, and get in deep. And I think I create stuff expressed in a way that makes sense, and is robust.

But from a soft skills aspect of work performance, it hurts me badly.

1) In meetings I'm constantly zoning out. My mind frequently wanders back to the issues at hand in the quiet, individual, at-my-desk part of my job. Sometimes unnoticed by me the conversation has meandered to something I've worked on and a question gets posed to me all of sudden, requiring the context of what has transpired so far to interpret. This is hugely embarassing, and is not so swell for my career.

I don't know what to do about this except just try to remember to stay focused on all the floundering around and illogic that the idiots I work with do in meetings, and probably in their own minds.

2) Now I don't think everyone is an idiot of course, and I actually like some of the idiots I work with, because they're nice (goes a long way with me/I can overlook a lot with that), and so my frustration and disappointment with another manifestation of this condition. So I'm deep in thought in what I'm doing, and someone comes by at the end of the (or their) day just to be friendly and social and say goodnight. Like a slug I often just mumble uh-huh or something.

This really hurts, because I don't want to be that way, I'm not really that way when I'm, well, of a fully conscious (of my surroundings) mindset. I really like to socialize with the nice people (who are so few (in today's working world in general?)), I'm just not my "normal" self when I'm engrossed in something. So I come across as a cretan, and so undoubtedly also affecting my working relationships and success.

3) The final aspect of this is that so much time or such frequent trips to my own little world, also coincides with an unhealthy amount of introspection. Don't get me wrong, I treasure my introspective abilities, in a land of what I think are mostly oblivious dullards. But in the workplace, and sometimes in social situations, I would really like some effing obliviousness, as far as internal that is.

Because one deadly way this manifests is in, broadly, public speaking. My somewhat proneness to anxiety attacks are physiological and not psychological, it seems to me, so that's not really part of what I'm talking about here. But examining my voice and my self for cues of it, worrying about if or how much it's coming across, really makes me dysfunctional in orally presenting.

Because of this I dropped most every course in college that included a speech, because I know how my body freaks out (while mentally I'm not worrying about anything, except my body freaking out!). I.e. it's not a preparedness thing, about knowing my topic well enough, or anything like that.

But whatever it is, this also holds me back (as another example I can totally block during a job interview, on something I know full well), and I don't know what to do about that. My mind wants to zone out and focus inward, at the most inopportune times, and it means I don't get to convey to the team everything that I want to about something I've done or researched, and it means I can sometimes just stop, and then the anxiety builds as I can't get myself to focus on getting back to where I was because I'm stuck in worrying about how long it's going to take for me to regain focus! (Usually it's an external stimulus that snaps me back to the task at hand, like someone speaking or otherwise some kind of noise.)

I don't have ADHD or whatever, as I can almost always get myself to sit and read a book and study something for long periods of time. I get engrossed in a movies.

So I'm normal, yet I also grapple with being normal. I don't know how people switch so fast, between deep thinking and social awareness, and how they think and communicate* at the same time without their minds being violently distracted by related thoughts.

*Maybe that programming involves being constantly mindful of related concerns is why I can think and communicate to a computer at the same time.

[Edit: Hit the wrong button while checking for typos; regret if this means redundant notifications get sent out by this system.]

User Journal

Journal: greatest spamming of /. evar 3

Journal by Bill Dog

by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644037)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644039)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644041)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644043)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644045)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644047)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644049)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644051)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644053)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644055)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644057)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644059)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644061)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644063)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644063) 15

by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644075)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644077)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644079)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644081)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644083)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644085)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644087)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644089)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644091)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644093)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644095)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644097) 12

by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644113)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644115)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644117)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644119)
(#121 is by a real user who happened to post within this barrage)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644123)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644125)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644127)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644129)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644131)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644135)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644137)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644139)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644141) 13

Someone posted an ad to Slashdot, it looks like 40 times, in 3 batches.

* How did they get the system to accept 12-15 posts a minute from one account?

* In looking at the message ID's, I thought maybe it involved every other post being to somewhere else, such as to foil the moronic "slow down, cowboy" filter. But then I looked at the user ID's between these two accounts, and apparently /. had at some point gone to odd numbers only (to make activity levels look bigger?), as there are only two accounts created between them, #'s 53 and 55, and 52, 54, and 56 are "not found".

* Not new news, as RG got spoofed some time ago, but it was an unfortunate font choice that was made by /. that makes capital eye and lowercase ell look the same. The real "jellomizer" has a 103300 user ID, not a 3 million something.

* The spoofer even replicated the bio text from the real account's bio. This is pretty cold to poor old real jellomizer.

* I don't really have any way of telling how recently these accounts were created. But my what is maybe the non-subscriber's view of their comment histories shows only the spamming of two articles, today and Friday. And yet, they have "achievements". One they both have is a +5 score comment achievement. Which I guess would, of course, be all too easy to quickly garner if having just read /. for a little while.

* The newest account in the system as of this moment is #3781073, which is 55,061 account numbers away from this person's first here. I can't think of any way to estimate how many account creations /. sustains on average every day (sans going to the trouble of checking daily for a few days, which I won't), so can't tell if said spammer created these a while back, or say right before the weekend to do the posts this weekend.

Anyways, surely the system should disallow such things. Points to how /. is truly the one of the big dumpsters of the Internet (where at least the trash from spammers and trollers provides a little, humorous break from the tired, common trash from the hoards of commies that post here), and that the owners/operators, as always, do not care.

p.s. I wonder how said spammer picked that jello person to spoof.

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