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Journal: According to my records...

Journal by Kymermosst

It has been well over a year since I looked at Slashdot.

I see that some of my friends are still writing journal entries. Want them to know I'm still alive. :-)

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Journal: [TCM] Communist Manifesto Reading Club, Part 5 2

Journal by smitty_one_each
We've passed the halfway point in the first chapter. Golf clap. Let's continue the journey. I'm going to use a lone capital B (Das Kapital) for "bourgeoisie":

The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilised ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West.

So Marx is against urbanization, without explitely saying why, other than crediting his B strawman with the development, while decrying the "idiocy" of rural life.

The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and of property. It has agglomerated population, centralised the means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralisation. Independent, or but loosely connected provinces, with separate interests, laws, governments, and systems of taxation, became lumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class-interest, one frontier, and one customs-tariff.

Well, that blows away a lot of thought which credited technology with liberating agrarian labor, in addition to providing new work in cities, for the urbanization. Is technology, itself, a B conspiracy in the B movie of Industrialization?

The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature's forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground--what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour?

Marx's genius is elevating the B to near-Cthulhu levels of diabolical power. Here we are decrying all of the improvements that have made modern life possible, AND set the stage for the reactionary counter-charge that labor is being exploited and Gaia molested.

We see then: the means of production and of exchange, on whose foundation the bourgeoisie built itself up, were generated in feudal society. At a certain stage in the development of these means of production and of exchange, the conditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged, the feudal organisation of agriculture and manufacturing industry, in one word, the feudal relations of property became no longer compatible with the already developed productive forces; they became so many fetters. They had to be burst asunder; they were burst asunder.

So Feudalism--it's not clear whether it was as bad as the B, or merely a precursor--was superceded by this hellish B force. As far as I can tell, Marx is noting a technological progression, and attributing societal side-effects to his B group. Has he confused horse and cart here? Perhaps. Is this a deliberate rhetorical choice? Let's keep the disbelief suspended.

Into their place stepped free competition, accompanied by a social and political constitution adapted in it, and the economic and political sway of the bourgeois class.

Heinlein replies:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded--here and there, now and then--are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as "bad luck."

A similar movement is going on before our own eyes. Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. For many a decade past the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeois and of its rule. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put the existence of the entire bourgeois society on its trial, each time more threateningly. In these crises, a great part not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises, there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity--the epidemic of over-production. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation, had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed; and why? Because there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented.

It's as though Marx views technological improvement as though it were nuclear fission. Was he a proto-Luddite?

The weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself.

Here is a critical point: Marx has said that the B are bad, and will now be hoisted upon their own petard. But who is managing that? If the B were so clever as to fell Feudalism, how is the B to be eliminated by less than an Ueber-B?

But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons--the modern working class--the proletarians.

Oh, the Proletariat is going to be bigger and tougher enough to slay the B dragon, while somehow not actually becoming even worse than the B, even though the slope of history sketched by Marx seems rather negative.

In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i.e., capital, is developed, in the same proportion is the proletariat, the modern working class, developed â" a class of labourers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital. These labourers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market.

Wait--are the Proletariat the victims, or the conquerors of the B.

Owing to the extensive use of machinery, and to the division of labour, the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character, and, consequently, all charm for the workman. He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him. Hence, the cost of production of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that he requires for maintenance, and for the propagation of his race. But the price of a commodity, and therefore also of labour, is equal to its cost of production. In proportion, therefore, as the repulsiveness of the work increases, the wage decreases. Nay more, in proportion as the use of machinery and division of labour increases, in the same proportion the burden of toil also increases, whether by prolongation of the working hours, by the increase of the work exacted in a given time or by increased speed of machinery, etc.

OK, here is what I don't get. If "individual character" and "charm for the workman" are a key component of work in the market, why aren't the workers in the proletariat leveraging that? I'm talking craft beer, artisinal cheese, and hand-made furniture.
That is, Marx seems to appeal to fear of obsolescence in the proletariat, rather than appealing to individual greatness and pursuit of excellence.

Modern Industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist. Masses of labourers, crowded into the factory, are organised like soldiers. As privates of the industrial army they are placed under the command of a perfect hierarchy of officers and sergeants. Not only are they slaves of the bourgeois class, and of the bourgeois State; they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the overlooker, and, above all, by the individual bourgeois manufacturer himself. The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim, the more petty, the more hateful and the more embittering it is.

One of the interesting aspects is how readily Marx both (a) rejects individual responsibilty for life outcomes, and (b) places individuals like sheep in the B factory pens in support of his argument.
In this, Marx seems ready to agree with the B, while purporting to attack them.
The contemporary version is rioters destroying small businesses in Ferguson, in the name of "Fighting the Power". Because #Justice.

Previously:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Pastable version:
<a href="http://slashdot.org/~smitty_one_each/journal/1342943">Part 1</a>
<a href="http://slashdot.org/~damn_registrars/journal/1343899">Part 2</a>
<a href="http://slashdot.org/~smitty_one_each/journal/1344465">Part 3</a>
<a href="http://slashdot.org/~damn_registrars/journal/1553731">Part 4</a>

User Journal

Journal: I guess that's where we are 9

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!

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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 26

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.
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Journal: Verbiage/Rant: Customized email addresses problems (4)

Journal by Chacham

I like to customize my email addresses. (parts 2 and 3 are not as relevant here.) The problem is, not all websites accept this format. Somehow the extra period throws them for a loop and either i get no response from them or they reject it from the outset.

So, like Froman's comment i started using + which is supported in GMail.

That all worked great for a while. Recently, however, many websites are rejecting the plus sign! Worse, some sites that used to accept it, no longer do. For example, Barnes and Noble used to accept it as my login email contains a plus sign. No more. I had to create a new account to login. Part of their stupidity is putting sign-in and create account on the same form, so the validation routines validates email addresses that are already registered. But, wait, don't buy yet. We'll throw in a free stupidity. Free nookbooks now require you to have a credit card listed. Really?!

It's as if some moron wrote code with checking the RFC and somehow that code became standard. The beauty of this is that whereas emails to sub-domains are now supported, plus signs are not. Flippity flop. Luckily, i can do both.

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Journal: x is bad for x? 10

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: Cardow cartoon cannot be unseen 14

Journal by smitty_one_each
Click at own risk:
http://www.cagle.com/2014/11/could-obamacare-architect-be-prosecuted-for-his-deceit/

While the 2013 "Lie of the Year" was Obamaâ(TM)s pledge that you can keep your doctor and your health insurance, the 2014 "Weasel of the Year" must surely be Herr Gruber, architect of fraud and deceit.

I guess, since damn_registrars doesn't really fib (does he?) and Gruber is an Economist from MIT, that MIT is some kind of an insurance company, right?
I recall going to my soon-to-be-ex Congresscritter's town hall on the Affordable Care Act, and being verbally accosted by an Obama drone of working for an insurance company because I opposed ObamaCare. #GoodNotGoodTimes

That does not compute.

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