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User Journal

Journal Journal: Astute Article on the Turkey/Russia Kerfuffle

A Necessary Conversation

The clash between the Turkish Air Force and Russia is dangerous because it violates the first rule of proxy warfare which is principals don't fight principals. The whole point of proxy warfare is that only the seconds are allowed to cross swords. The duelists are forbidden from engaging each other directly, a convention intended to limit the scope of war.

Read the whole thing.
We mostly discuss international politics as though it were chess, when it really tends more toward of a mafia-driven, mezcal-drenched poker match with arbitrary players every hand.
The ME isn't really "sides" as much as it's a garbled graph problem. Every node is connected, more or less, to every other.
Thus, the principles chosen as a framework for how to react to the current crisis are the least squishy conversation one can have.


Journal Journal: Trump - a warning from the present 7

I don't believe for a second Trump believes a word he's saying.

What I am concerned about is that Trump could, very realistically, be elected because of the views he's espousing. That says something terrible about too many people at the moment, and also makes possible the frightening scenario whereby someone who believes what Trump is currently saying could be elected too.

In the mean time, Trump is also validating the opinions of many extremists.

User Journal

Journal Journal: watching my packet data...

i found a lot of browsing traffic. used wireshark of course, most was news sites and slashdot. This hardware does not trust linux. i know i tried to see if i could get it installed when i was on vacation. I still have two linux machines, though. plus tablets. the head games are getting hard though. I found myself trying to make a decision and would turn back and forth trying to decide what to do. I did start reading again on my tablet. I also have been streaming video. My doctor said 15 minutes of facebook a day would probably be enough, yet i manage to read it for most of the day. I played a game of frozen throne today, my team won even tho i just made spell breakers and priests. they went destroyers thinking i'd do sorcs but i played more passive not even teching to tier 3. i also noticed my fast frost wyrm tech isn't on google. and that 'necropolis' and 'graveyard' are similar words, and that there are dual graveyards in the place where my family has told me i'd be buried. i have been having a lot of 'phantom' swallows that sometimes burn on the way down. like someone is quaffing a potion. the burn in my mouth is why i never used alcohol mouth washes, and one of my teeth died, it was 90% sealed with a grommet (the word for UV hardening fillings) so i know it was the coca cola i was drinking for a couple weeks. back to the diet dew and water. not that i need caffeine it does the opposite of what my care providers tell me i need. when i have been reading there is a strong sense of deja vu, as if i have done this before. and in one case there was a book mark on a story i hadn't started to read, but which when i went to read it, it was partially read. i had transitioned from one state to another state, but didn't use wireless to read the book, so um... I have been thinking of death lately. about how some one had this funny story about when a 'drone' bee fertilizes a 'queen' bee it's balls explode and it's dick gets left behind in her. this was in repercussion for the funny story of how 'mamma had a baby and her head popped off' nursery rhyme where you take a fresh dandelion, pick it and pop off it's funny yellow top. anyway, i had a round of antibiotics for the second time in my life. anyway, i listened to amazon prime music today too, and the familiar songs melded into the tv program list.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress while listening to Time by ELO 1

Don't know why - but I really like that combination.

I've gotten off my schedule of reading Starship Troopers and TMiaHM every year - but I did just reread The Moon is a Harsh Mistress last week-end. My wife was in Ukraine and I was kind of bored but not motivated enough to do something that took effort.

I've outgrown RAH's politics but I still love the story.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Magnet Links from Chrome in Plasma 5 3

For some reason magnet links that I clicked in Chrome were opening the Transmission client instead of Ktorrent. I remember doing something in the past related to this - though I think the issue then was that chrome didn't know how to handle them at all.

So I started digging and founds all kinds of people who had the issue, different solutions and most of it was pretty old. The lowdown - as far as I can tell is that chrome uses xdg-open and I'm pretty sure that is what I set.

I looked in /usr/share/applications for ktorrent.desktop and it wasn't there. I did a bunch more digging, followed some rabbit trails and then finally got smart. ktorrent.desktop was in /usr/share/applications/kde4 and I copied it a directory up. Then all acted as expected.

I think in the upgrade this got borked.

Plasma 5 is mostly pretty much working for me now. I'd have rather stayed on 4 longer but I guess it is o.k. I really just need a new machine. They keep making stuff take more resources and my little Acer just can't keep up.


Journal Journal: Capituation 17

Just a rather obvious observation that nobody seems willing to make. Responding to a terrorist event by banning people who are trying to escape those terrorists does not hurt the terrorists in the slightest. It's actually what they want.

And giving terrorists what they want generally doesn't stop terrorism.

The Military

Journal Journal: There's a reason it's called Terrorism, not Endofcivilizationism. 30

For the next few days, weeks, months, the usual suspects will channel their fears and hatred towards both those who murdered in France two days ago, and those who disagree with them on how to tackle it. They'll whip themselves up into a hatred-filled frenzy against those who are unfortunate enough to share the same religion as the terrorists, and they'll blow the "threat" up out of all proportion.

These people are simply stupid. Don't get angry at them, ignore them. They're victims of terrorism in its purest sense - they're the people shitting their pants at what just transpired, in a way nobody in Paris, New York, or London is doing, or will do. They're weak, scared, and pathetic, and they're lashing out at everyone from ordinary Muslims to Liberals because ISIL just played them like a violin.

Tomorrow is another day. It'll be like Tuesday of last week, except there'll be 150 or so fewer people to enjoy it thanks to a group of religious extremists who represent nobody but themselves. We'll miss those who are gone, but life goes on. Dealing with those who cause such horrors involves reason and human decency. ISIL's plan involves us having neither. Their success requires we have neither.

But we're better than they are.


Journal Journal: Pale Moon

I broke down and installed Pale Moon as my default browser. For those who haven't heard of it, it's Firefox 3.x with updates.

Comments so far? Well, it seems snappy, but then most browsers do if they don't have any crud from a year's worth of browsing sessions. Compatability looks OK. Memory usage is not off the wall but not awesome either - I've suspected for a while that the out-of-control memory usage of Firefox has more to do with how Javascript is being used these days than anything Firefox itself is doing.

User Journal

Journal Journal: F21 - F22 Today 6

Support for Fedora 21 is coming to an end and so I decided to upgrade to Fedora 22.

I don't run the default Fedora install, I use the KDE spin. I realize KDE isn't the primary desktop for Fedora, but until now it's been alright. I use Fedora for a lot of reasons but mostly because it is the distro I know. I know it because it is the first distro I used on a regular basis for more than just messing around. I did that because at my work we got a new server running RedHat.

I've really been putting off this update. It's the move from KDE Plasma 4 to 5.

It's taken me all day but I think I have it working. I'm scared to reboot and the next time I have to run an update will probably suck. I had so many stupid things happen today trying to get this to work. The kicker is my second display. Everything is fine if I use the built-in intel graphics or my Nvidia card with one display. But as soon as I added the second everything went to crap.

There were times I could only log into KDE as root. Then - and I'm not sure how - I got it fixed. I mean there is still some weird stuff happening but it seems to mostly work. Both monitors are on and displaying at the resolution I want.

Maybe I can hang in there long enough for this stuff to get smoothed over. I made it through the jump from 3 to 4.

The kicker is though - if I log into Gnome it works without any issues. It's just that I hate Gnome.

I don't use RHEL any more - maybe I need to jump over to Suse or something.

User Journal

Journal Journal: How Does Cheney Do It? 35

It's important to rephrase all news as a conspiracy theory for the consumption of you-know-who. So, with this Clinton Foundation accounting tidbit, the proper question would be "How did Dick Cheney infiltrate PWC and cook the pristine books to make Her Majesty look bad?" Do I get an "A" for the day, coach?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Teaching Python 4

Well, it looks like I'll be teaching one of my kids how to program.

To an extent, he's already familiar with some programming, as he's figured out how to program a TI calculator (not sure of the model, but it's in the 80s). Whether he understands the instructions he gives his calculator or not, I don't know. He'll know far more when I'm done. :)

I've decided to go with Python instead of any of several other languages available. One thing that I thought was important is that the base installation (in Linux and in Windows) has a module called "turtle". If you're old enough to remember learning Terrapin Logo or Karel (by way of Apple Pascal), then the idea behind turtle should not be foreign to you.

The idea is that you have a "turtle", a cursor that represents where all the action is going to happen. You give it instructions and depending on whether the pen is "up" or "down", it will draw as it goes. Tell it to move left, right, forward, or backward, and off it goes.

turtle is cool because its programs are really Python, whether the student realizes it or not. New functions (methods) can be created. What is drawn by the program is displayed with no hassle.

In all, it's pretty cool. I'm actually looking forward to playing around with it as I teach it to my son. Maybe one or both of the other two will become interested as well? Only one way to find out. :D

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington