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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: Ferguson 2 4

Journal by RailGunner
So I'm seeing a bunch of wailing and caterwauling from the Left about how the riots hurt minority owned businesses...

Hey liberals -- why do you care? According to you: they didn't build that, someone else made that happen.
User Journal

Journal: Ferguson 38

Journal by RailGunner
Told You So

And then I went further.

Now I'm going to tell you the rest:

The protests are nothing more than an attempt at a Reichstag fire, an effort to give Chairman Zero reason to declare martial law - for "social justice" (which of course, is not justice).

Any question of whether Chairman Zero was on the side of justice or mob rule was answered last night during his press conference. His body language and visible anger spoke volumes. He is on the side of the unruly howling mob (but, if you've been paying attention, you knew that already.)

Justice for Michael Brown?

He strongarm robbed a convenience store then assaulted a police officer. It's really a shame he wasn't able to survive his wounds, justice for him would have been 10 years in prison.
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: Slimy 1

Journal by stoolpigeon

Having to carefully unselect crap I don't want installed on every Java update? Slimy
Rechecking the "stay logged in" button on facebook for me? Slimy
There's so much slimy stuff. Found a new one today. That Win 7 VM I mentioned, it wanted me to upgrade IE. Which I want to do - no problem. As I'm about to hit the Download button I see a small line further down "Download non-enhanced version." My gut tells me I don't want enhanced - do a quick google and I'm right. Non-enhanced means just the browser. Enhanced means that I'm selecting bing and some MSN junk. It used to be a check box and you had to unclick it. Apparently too many people did.

User Journal

Journal: Storage is Cheap but Come On Windows 1

Journal by stoolpigeon

EDIT: I cleaned up restore points and that got the space used down to 27.4 GB - still crazy.
 
I have a Fedora 20 vm that I run in VirtualBox on my Mac. It gives me access to some tools I like, and it lets me run a web server that's closer to what a production environment would look like.
 
Yesterday I got around to setting up another VM. This one is Windows 7. I started the same as I did the Fedora image, with a 25 GB hard drive. That was fine for the windows install but I thought I'd check out the new community edition of Visual Studio. When I went to install it, it told me I didn't have enough free disk space. So I made the "hard drive" bigger - I bumped it up to 30 GB. The install worked then, but I have under 600 MB of free space on the drive. I have only installed Chrome and VS. That's it. WIndows 7, Chrome and VS are 30 GB. I've installed a bunch of stuff on my Fedora VM - Apache, MySQL, KDevelop, QT and the QT tools and so on. Lots of stuff and it is sitting at 18 GB right now.
 
Fortunately it's easy to give the Windows VM more space - it just surprised me I'd need so much.

User Journal

Journal: Things I Can't Avoid Knowing 5

Journal by stoolpigeon

I spend a decent amount of time at Reddit. The key is finding good subreddits. I usually hop on Facebook a time or two a day as well. As an expat it is a good way to connect back to home.
 
Anyway what's interesting to me is that sometimes things happen and those sites just go kerbonkers. Like, for example, if it rains in Phoenix my facebook feed will be absolutely full of it and I'll see it about a million times.
 
With reddit it is more noticeable because certain events will show up in multiple subreddits multiple times and on other sites like Slashdot and Hacker News. Yesterday I'm pretty sure a probe landed on a comet and MS open sourced .net. I'm not sure, but I think I saw something about it - about a million times.
 
Not totally related - the other site I spend a lot of time on is youtube. I watch a lot of starcraft and some different shows like tabletop and I enjoy music videos too. I should write a post just about youtube now that I think about it. Anyway - yesterday I saw something there for the first time where I recognized another user. I guess the real surprise is that with g+ it didn't happen sooner, but still it was funny.

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: A World Clock with an Analog Face 2

Journal by stoolpigeon

I'm still learning a lot about my Mac and getting better at using it. Today I was going over trackpad gestures and learned that there is this "Notification Center" that I can pull out by swiping in from the side with 2 fingers. I had no idea it was there. It's mostly useless. I don't care about stock quotes. I don't use any of the Apple calendar, reminder or other stuff. But I did think that the world clock thing was a good idea.
 
On my living room computer that is hooked to my TV I have 3 time widgets I keep up. It's Win 7 and each widget is set to one of the 3 time zones where we have family. I figured I could have something similar in the notification center on my laptop. The thing is, as far as I can tell there is no way to change the way it represents the time. It does it with little analog clock faces. I can't think of a worse way to do that. There is no way to look at it and know if the time displayed is AM or PM. It makes me have to think too much.
 
I read somewhere that third parties can create widgets for this space. I'll have to look into it.

User Journal

Journal: The Sixth Stage of Grief is Retro-Computing 2

Journal by stoolpigeon

The Sixth Stage of Grief is Retro-Computing
 
This is just a beautiful piece of writing. It doesn't match my experience perfectly but so many notes really resonate with me. It's funny, I've been on this Steve Jobs video binge lately and this just fits right in.
 
I had to scroll down to start reading the piece, which threw me for a second, but again - I really recommend reading this. It's so well done. I will be thinking about it and quoting it for a long time to come.

If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.

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