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Journal: like hot ice 17

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.

User Journal

Journal: it boggles the mind 33

Journal by Bill Dog

So tonight around 12:30 am, and I'm sitting downstairs watching TV. It's hot right now, so I had the windows closed and the central A/C on. Set to 76, so it hadn't run in a while.

My "living room" (it's an open concept downstairs in my townhome condo, so it's really just one big room) part is right by the front door, and I have my ceiling fan on at its highest speed during the hot months.

So the vertical blinds are flapping away in the window by the front door, and my TV is on this end, facing towards the front door, so at my doorstep you can hear that it's on.

And my recliner is 12-18 inches from the door handle. At about ear level where I'm sitting.

So I'm sitting there, and plain as day, someone tries the door handle. Now the setup here is that the door handle turns freely (although outside there's nothing to turn, you grab the handle and depress the latch with your thumb), but there's a deadbolt above it, keyed on the outside and with a switch on the inside, and that's what locks the door.

So whoever it was, clearly could tell that someone was home, up/awake, and most likely downstairs, given the blinds were flapping and the TV was semi-blaring (I play it a little loud, having lost some hearing or quality of from too much loud heavy metal with headphones, such that sometimes I have a little trouble making out what someone said).

And unless the person's watched me for a while and knew I was single and lived alone, would think potentially there was another person in the house, because I left the light on in my 2nd bedroom upstairs. (It's a CFL, and those I like to not cycle too much, and just leave on if I plan to come back into the room in a little while.)

And yet this person tried to come into my house. Now I've got 3 other doors around me, to my neighbors' places, but I can hear when they come and go from my recliner, because one door is right next to mine and the other two are in the next building just a skinny walkway's width away (we're packed in pretty good here).

Now I've heard reports of prowlers coming into peoples' homes when they're asleep at night, through an open or unlocked window. But this person had evidence to the contrary that the folk(s) who live here had gone to bed.

Which brings to mind the question, what if I hadn't had the top latched. What was this person prepared to say or do upon entry into my house, to the person(s) downstairs they would expect to encounter.

This person did not ring my doorbell nor knock on the door. I can't hear doorbells of my neighbors', but I can hear knocks on their doors, and their weren't any, so it wasn't some lost person in need of some kind of assistance.

The last neighbor who left their light on all the time for our walkway moved out recently, and my outside light on the light-sensitive controller broke a few years ago, so it's been completely dark out there, unfortunately. Apparently I should get that fixed and be the one who leaves that switch on all the time.

And maybe it's time to think about getting my first firearm. (And some lessons some where, having only ever shot a BB gun before.) I live in a nice neighborhood, but maybe that makes us a target.

And since I'm a heavy sleeper, maybe even getting an alarm system. Although I think those only detect a window opening, and not breaking.

Which leads to the other question that had come to mind about this person of the night. S/he was evidently prepared to confront this residence's awake occupants, so why not break a window to get in. The only thing I can think of is that the person wanted the element of surprise, and quietly slipping in through a mistakenly unlocked door would enable that, that a shattering window would not.

And yet occupants could come from other parts of the place, potentially with guns, so even if surprise was had on a downstairs occupant, it still potentially could've gone very badly for the presumably would-be intruder.

Oh, and no one tried the keyhole on the deadbolt, so it wasn't a neighbor who was just coming home drunk or something and walked down the wrong walkway, in this row of buildings.

And so I'll close with the ultimate question that came to mind: Why does really weird shit, happen to me. And no it wasn't a dream/I wasn't asleep, I'm a night owl kind of person, and had slept in until about noon-thirty today. I was watching stupid Friends reruns, after coming downstairs to catch Stossel's "Security and Liberty" special from 10-11. (Who's a whole topic unto himself.)

User Journal

Journal: weather.com's Faces of Death 1

Journal by Bill Dog

"Featured Videos" for just the afternoon of today included:

* (Something like "boy dies after stunning collapse", before I saw some of these others and noticed a pattern)

* "Boys Perish Soon After This Selfie"

* "Teen Dies While Attempting World Record"

* "Exchange Student Falls to Death"

<Goes there right now to see if there are any more>

* "Study Abroad Trip Turns Tragic" (the still for the video showing a young guy's face)

* "Cause of Death Released for Teen"

What the heck is it with their fascination for young people dying? I just wanted to see how fucking hot it was today (work on-site in fed. govt. bldg, and they don't give us A/C, in SoCal). I don't want to see death porn or whatever.

p.s. "Incredible Photos of People Laying in a Week's Worth of Trash" WTF?

User Journal

Journal: I'll bet the book is better

Journal by Bill Dog

So they're advertising a new movie coming out, starring then presidential candidate BHO's penpal, that explores the fascinating idea of given that we use only about 10% of our brains, what would it be like if we were to use 100% of them.

And apparently the answer involves lots of guns (and some knives), kung fu, car crashes, 'splosions, and gravity-defying flying across the room brought on by blunt force trauma, that curiously, for the amount of force that would be occuring, does not instead have a disintegrating or hole-punching result.

User Journal

Journal: private enterprise discouraged 5

Journal by Bill Dog

From some FA on the Hobby Lobby ruling:

"But the government points to a long line of cases holding that for-profit companies may not use religion as a basis for failing to comply with generally applicable laws."

Earlier this month we learned that the FAA decrees that it's legal to use drones for fun, but not for profit.

Why do I lose rights in America simply by virtue of trying to make money on my own time, or with my own association with others?

User Journal

Journal: why shouldn't it work both ways 20

Journal by Bill Dog

Stossel's show was irritating tonight. The topic was Conservatism vs. Libertarianism. As a Libertarian, Stossel misrepresented Conservatism, and various Conservatives were on appealing to the same things Lefties appeal to; the greater good, majority norms.

Stossel said he used to be a Liberal, so that explains enough of an inability to think straight about things to be able to be a Libertarian. But it's shocking how Conservatives seem blithely unaware that effectively saying it's okay to legislate morality, means then the other side can legislate its morality on us. (And where we're only for it in certain cases, the Left is for doing it all but a few cases. I.e. it's a patently dangerous idea, and used vastly more against us than in what we favor.)

I might journal about some of the topics later (maybe if I can find a refresher of my memory of it on youtube), but the show spurred a chain of thinking on a particular topic that led me to the following.

Let's say I'm a landlord, and I'm also bigoted against homosexuals (which I am, but not in the following way), and refused to rent to them. Most people would say the government should step in and force me to rent to them. I.e. Despite homosexuals offending my sensibilities, I should be forced to associate with them anyways. Because otherwise they could potentially have a hard time finding a rental place to live.

Now let's say that instead I'm a landlord, and I don't refuse to rent to them, but I'm a very outspoken disparager of them in the region, and the homosexual community knows it. And let's say the homosexual community represents a significant %-age of the region. What if I'm having trouble keeping the complex full all the time? Should the government force some homosexuals to live in my complex and pay me rent, despite my offending their sensibilities?

And what about quotas. Lefties say that if a community is 10% Black, then roughly 10% of the programming jobs in that community must be filled with Blacks. Else there's racial inequities.

Well janitorial jobs, at least around here, seem to be disproportionately filled by Hispanics. Should the government tell Black people in that area that 10% of them need to switch careers into the custodial arts?

It seems like either quotas are a good idea or they aren't. And it seems like if it's good to force association between parties when one desires not to do so, then it's good.

If it's one thing I can respect Libertarians for, it's at least they're consistent*

*Well, except for their being pro-choice, which flies squarely in the face of being for individual rights.

User Journal

Journal: TV idiocrisy is coming 2

Journal by Bill Dog

It started with the ability to show a network logo watermark. Networks would show a translucent version of their logo in the bottom corner for a few seconds, after resuming from a commerical break. Evidently someone who makes tons of money thought it was important that you be reminded where you're seeing the currently airing content.

I didn't mind that, at all. Stupid, but not really obnoxious. Then they moved onto the phase where they left that up all the time. I took me a while to train my brain to tune that out. Until I was able to, it annoyed the hell out of me.

Then they moved on to the next phase, of colored-in/opaque logos, that they leave up all the time. I.e. blocking part of the content (in that corner), all the time.

Then came promos for other shows on the network, after coming back from an ad break, that took up much or all of the bottom portion of what you're fucking trying to watch. I.e. all the commercials played, the movie has resumed, and you're trying to get back into it, and then here comes an overlay commercial, while the movie is still going. Sometimes it's animated, so basically you miss part of the movie they're showing.

So last night I'm flipping thru, and FX is showing some Ice Age or other cartoon animals movie (not at all my cup of tea, so I don't really know). Now I don't know if it had just come back from break or not, but it popped up an ad for the sequel to whatever it was, evidently now playing in theaters or coming soon.

I.e. they've taken the overlays from just promos for the network, to content-related adverts. I don't have for example a "smart TV", so maybe this has already started in other things.

I used to look forward to progress. When it meant a better picture, or more hp at an affordable price point, or easier and more advanced programming ways.

It's like standard of living is a bell curve. As technologies and advancement of capabilities has increased, our standard of living increased. But ever increasing capabilities doesn't seem to equal better quality of living, forever. My DVD player says "operation not permited by disc". WTF? Cars now have gadgetry to wrench the steering wheel from you or press the brakes behind your back. My dad can't go to a favorite finance site anymore, because it watched a few of his clicks and now doesn't show him general news but only the things relating the few topics it last remembers him clicking on. (I could try deleting cookies, as long as it's not fingerprinting him in other ways.)

So I don't think it's just old-fogeyism. I just like things that are better, not worse. And when you start running out of ways to make things better, I guess it's human nature to just keep on going, because the capabilities do. Didn't we used to be thinkers, or is that just another faulty assumption, about how the world works, of mine from childhood?

p.s. I have the flu, and feel miserable so I'm probably more babbling here than my normal level of babbling on.

User Journal

Journal: note to Slashdot

Journal by Bill Dog

You put "Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015" on the front page on Monday June 02, 2014 @11:25AM. It got 407 comments.

Then you put "Windows 8.1 Finally Passes Windows 8 In Market Share" on the front page on Monday June 02, 2014 @07:10PM. It got only 78 comments.

See what you did there? You put up Microsoft flamebait topics _on the same day_. This is sub-optimal because all the little Slash spazzes were all tuckered out from whipping themselves into a mindless hate frenzy earlier.

To maximize ad impressions, it would behoove you to space these out to one per day. Thereby also giving Slashdotters a reason to visit each and every day; there would be no more slow news days!

And while you're at it, consider endowing the system with a set of canned posts, for convenience with such topics. Similar to how a greeting card store provides you with the known small set of ways you can say happy birthday, without having to come up with one yourself, Slashdot could for example provide all the typical variations of "The only thing Internet Explorer is good for is to download another browser".

Like the polls, the UI could be a simple list of radio buttons and a Submit button. Present a different list depending on the specific subclassification of flamebait topic, comprised of all the inevitable "insights" that would get posted. And might as well have them post already at +5, and Slashdot would attain new levels of user friendliness, saving the user base collectively a ton of time.

Contact me for my consulting fee amount.

p.s. One more hint: Flip the sign on the Redundant mod and it'll get more use.

User Journal

Journal: the morality of the profit motive 32

Journal by Bill Dog

I wrote in a post here today:

When in actuality what it really boils down to is whether one thinks that the death panel effect would be worse under the cost-cutting and profit motive of private healthcare, or the cost-cutting and social engineering motive of public healthcare.

I'm not about to say that capitalism is moral. I'm just saying it's more moral (or less immoral, for those who want it worded that way instead) than the alternative. I know that sounds lame in the sense that ideally we'd have something that's moral, but I'm just coming at this pragmatically here.

I have to assume that part of my preference for the system of unfairness that is the free market must be due to it being the only thing I've ever known. But I think most of it is that it is almost strictly predictable in the outcomes it leads to, and that I accept those outcomes. Sort of "better the devil you know...", but not exactly.

My philosophy on wealth as far as I can remember is that you're working to attain whatever levels you might be able to in life, for greater comfort in life and access to greater luxuries. You figure out how much you want to work and how well you want to live and figure out the balance that's right for you, factoring in the kind of brains, drive, and luck that you know yourself to have.

And then be happy where you are, when you reach that. I don't begrudge the richer man for having a better car than mine, because his fate in life is not mine. I feel sorry for the poorer man, but he probably makes worse decisions in life than I do. Or at least worse from my POV.

So I guess I'm okay with the inequalities inherent in life (like brains and luck) and that are a function of what each individual chooses for himself (like drive).

And consequently what I'm not okay with is forced, collective, man-made alterations to this. For example I'm okay with a rich man offering some kid a scholarship to college and possibly thereby altering his chances of attaining a higher wealth level in life than he normally would. But I'm not okay with for example Affirmative Action.

Firstly in the alternative, it can be more chaotic, being based on man's whim, for whichever kind of men are in power in that era. Today's members of a govt. death panel may decide to favor the young, but tomorrow's may favor the old. Whereas under the profit motive, directors can come and go but the goal stays the same. Profit is a uniting goal and one that's orthogonal to differences in politics/religion.

Secondly, but BD you may say, for now and the foreseeable future a federal govt. run anything will be entirely predictable; predictably Leftist. True in a way, and that's why it's not "...the devil that I don't know". But I also don't like many of the outcomes targeted, not to mention outcomes that I might like but never get achieved.

Capitalism has been very successful in raising standards of living. Leftism, not so much. (Granted, maybe it's in part a function of how corrupted that ism has been.)

In short, unproven political preferences has a large tinge of arbitrariness to me. And part of what's fair and right is that which you can count on.

User Journal

Journal: How do UNIX/Linux people make web applications? 17

Journal by Bill Dog

I'm trying to make sense of the dizzying array of languages/technologies purportedly used in the customer-facing portion of the HealthCare.gov site. I understand ASP.NET, JSP, and JavaServer Faces to be web templating engines, comprising 39 files. I don't see PHP or ColdFusion listed. And there's 1635 HTML files. It doesn't seem like all of these could be just static content.

It's possible a lot of them could get their dynamic data via AJAX, and maybe that's what a lot of the XSLT is for. But I think most people these days move JSON back and forth and not XML. But in any event, how are placeholders in the HTML files getting replaced? There's only 23 files between Perl and Python, and 248 Bourne shell files, so are they using [showing my age/what little I know] SED and/or AWK to do this? Or would the .sh's be calling the Perl and Python files?

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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