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User Journal

Journal Journal: we must study it first (perpetually) 11

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/chris-christie-calls-donald-trumps-immigration-plan-too-simplistic/

"The idea of, you know, building a wall, kicking everybody out, and ending birthright citizenship all sounds appealing in some respects to some folks. But I just think it's a very complicated problem. And it needs someone who understands how to do a complicated and nuanced solution to that problem," Christie said [...]

Fuck nuance. And fuck those who are relativists and excuse-makers who try to use the concept to moderate on what is unequivocal. dam_reservoirs and fussycrackwitch are obviously commies. ISIS is obviously an Islamic terrorist organization. We obviously can build a fucking wall. Trump is popular right now because about a sixth of us in this country are tired of mealy-mouthed pussies.

"Appealing in *some* respects"?!? In what respects is it *not* appealing, to build a wall, kick out the illegals, and stop the madness? Presumably he means such things are unappealing to Leftie Republicans.

"Now what I said was if we wanted to have comprehensive immigration reform, I'd be willing to listen to anything. But the truth of the matter is that that's not something we should be being focused on. That's an applause line," he added.

When two paragraphs up he said:

And I think the difference here in my approach is they know that I'm a guy who knows how to enforce the law," he said.

Umm, what good is it to us that you know how to enforce the law, when you think it's not something worth focusing on?

And everybody knows by now that "comprehensive" reform is code for shifting the policy Leftward. In this case, an all-of-the-above approach of giving us both amnesty and not securing the border.

Why is Christie running? (Or Jeb for that matter? Or fucking Lindsey Graham?) Why is he even in the GOP? Mark Steyn said something to the effect that Republican establishment candidates are good choices because they give such great concession speeches. So Christie's big plan is to alienate the Conservative base and appeal to the big donations class of the party? I.e. raise a lot of money and get no general election votes? I guess how that strategy and inevitable outcome is a good thing is "nuanced".

p.s. Megan Kelly *is* a bimbo. I saw (part of) some segment when Dinesh D'Souza was on, talking about some of the very real shit that was happening to him. That guy has been watching and writing about Leftie trends in America going back to at least the 90's "Illiberal Education". As I recall he basically said what everyone knows, that amounted to saying that Obama is basically an American communist. And then Miss "hee hee look at me I have my own TV show!" immediately laughs and says that's crazy. Dinesh was floored. He's a (admittedly biased) researcher, she's a fake-blonde airhead "TV personality". I guess Roger bumped mutt-faced Greta out of prime time because she's not a breezy enough blonde. Next he should ditch the ditz and put Shannon Bream in that spot. She's guest-hosted the Brett Bair nee Brit Hume news hour and done so credibly.

p.p.s. I got side-tracked there. What I want is someone who'll forget about how "complicated" or "nuanced" a problem is and just start doing the obvious things to address it. And it's 2015 in America, Constitutionality is no longer a problem, when we have assholes like Roberts and Kennedy who'll lick their fingers and stick them in the wind to decide what would be best for whichever way the country is veering at the time.

User Journal

Journal Journal: "Emailgate" 9

I will preface all this with an honest admission that this...scandal...could derail her chance at nomination. It could even, theoretically, leave a bad enough impression on a big enough chunk of the electorate to lose her the general that far. It might. Certainly a lot of man-hours and money will be spent trying, that's for sure. Though it is nice to see Republicans finally doing something about unemployment.

But honestly, it's most likely going to blow over, and there are several solid reasons why.

1. No one gives a shit. Let's do the circuit: Leftists have 2 reasons not to care, not liking Hilary in the first place as well as considering it not an offense to have been sloppy in the handling of minor state secrets. Liberal Democrats want to woo her and conservative Democrats are her base. Independents are tricky, but this is still small cheese, so they'll vote for the person who's not going to invade the middle east and their uterus.

After that, you're left with the remaining 30% who are hoping for a Guantanamo Bay finish to this story. And they're kinda busy right now with the hands-down most interesting Republican primary in 40 years. Oh, and imminent doom, there's always imminent doom. Tends to make one want to focus. Anyway, they hate Hilary already, have done for almost a quarter century now. What are they going to do, hate her more?

2. I know the election cycle starts waaaaay earlier these days, but the shot, such as it were, was fired too damn early. It's 15 months until the election, ain't noody going to remember that shit, no matter how hard you pound the airwaves. All people are going to hear is "email". Hell, millenials barely know what email is, except that it's old and antiquated. You might as well be accusing Hilary of improper use of a horse and carriage.

3. You should have learned the lesson from Benghazi. If 9/11 and the worst implementation of a major land war in Asia cannot separate an apparatchik's head from his shoulders, what makes you think this will? Hell, what makes you think it should?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Laying out some markers 27

Set in stone:

-Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for President

-Biden will never enter the race for nomination

-Neither will Warren

-Trump will not secure the GOP nomination for President

Highly probable:

-Trump will not go third party*

-Warren as Dem VP pick

I got no fucking clue:

-GOP nominee for President

-Whether it goes to convention or not

Happy to eat crow if I'm wrong. Mainly putting this up as a sanity check for all the political media I have to consume daily.

*I got a bad feeling I'm wrong on this one, but human laziness is as powerful a force as vanity. Always bet the long game.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Table of Contents

I've spent the last three days working to fix the ePubs and AZW3s of Yesterday's Tomorrows. I had just ran it through Calibre and did a quick check, noting that the table of contents didn't display anything.

It took a lot of research and learning to fix the ToC, and while doing so discovered something even worse - some of the illustrations were covering up the text. Damn!

Trying to figure out the ToC I tried several things. One was installing the Write2epub extension to Open Office.

It really sucked, especially with this book. It had some ugly sans-serif typeface, and there were huge swaths large and bolded that I never told it to do. And there was still no table of contents.

While googling and reading and finding out that e'books were mostly based on HTML5, XML and a few other things, I got a little disheartened. This was going to take forever, because I had a lot I had to learn.

I ran across Google's e'book editor "Sigil" and installed it. I have no idea if it's any good, because there's no documentation and I can't make heads or tails out of it.

So I went back to Calibre and studied it some more, educated a little but not much by the internet, and saw a long string with an "and" in it, "h1 and h2" and recognised this from HTML and the rest of the garbage from programming for thirty years. Stupid Calibre was telling it to make everything part of the table!

It took a bit of trial and error to get the right parenthesis and brackets in the right spots that the conversion wouldn't crash with an error, but I finally got a working table of contents.

Now to address the obscured text. That took quite a bit of head scratching as well.

I finally just decided to make the input make the output behave, rather than trying to tweak the output itself. What finally worked was to load the offending images in GIMP and add a white space where it was covering the text. That worked.

So if you've already downloaded one of the e'books, you should delete them and download the new version.

ePub

AZW3

I think I'll take the day off tomorrow.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Futurists...

I just uploaded the last item in "Yesterday's Tomorrows", a futurist essay by "the father of science fiction," Hugo Gernsback. In his essay, written in 1926, he describes the year 1976. Those of you who believe the guys who say the singularity is near or that death will be conquered within your lifetime should read it.

Futurists! Where in the hell is my flying car? Why are there no bases on the moon, like the futurists said in the 1960s we'd have by now? Why did no one see digital photography coming? Or phones in your pockets? Or the internet?

Gernsback sold electronic components, some of which he designed himself, yet didn't seem to understand "electricity, the mysterious fluid." He thought we'd be able to control the weather with it, and even more nonsensical things. He seemed steeped in the cult of Tesla, who had promised wireless delivery of electricity.

Coincidentally, Soylent News just mentioned a story about transplanting porcine hearts into humans, and the company's co-founder is a futurist. Of course, I left a comment about futurists.

I go into it in detail about futurism both in the book's foreword and the introduction to the Gernsback essay.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Democrat vs. socialist 46

Just saw the video clip on it last night. A short and sweet article on it:

On MSNBC's Hardball Thursday night, host Chris Matthews stumped DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) when he asked her what the difference is between a Democrat and a socialist.

"What is the difference between a Democrat and a socialist?" Matthews asked, leaving Wasserman Schultz at a loss for words.

"I used to think there is a big difference. What do you think it is?" Matthews tried again. "A Democrat like Hillary and a socialist like Bernie Sanders."

Wasserman Schultz again was unable to answer and instead tried to tell Matthews what the difference between a Democrat and a Republican is.

"The more important question is what is the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican," she said.

"What's the big difference between a Democrat and a socialist?" Matthews again asked.

"You're chairman of the democratic [sic] party. Tell me the difference between you and a socialist," Matthews reminded her.

"The relevant debate that we'll be having this campaign is what's the difference between a Democrat and a Republican," Schultz said.

Schultz, however, was able to tell the difference between a Democrat and a Republican.

"The difference between a Democrat and Republican is that Democrats fight to make sure everybody has an opportunity to succeed and the Republicans are strangled by their right-wing extremists," she said.

While we're still before the primaries for each (major) party, that question is relevant; amongst Democrat voters, that's something they'd probably be interested in knowning, just like amongst Republican voters about how Conservative each candidate is.

A question I'd like to see posed to Prince Rebus or whatever his name is: What is the difference between a modern Republican and an old-school Democrat? As DWS alludes to, is the GOP a moderate party with a small minority of Right-wing members that's causing it trouble?

User Journal

Journal Journal: exactly why the debate sucked 9

I couldn't put my finger on it until now. I watched the varsity one live that evening, and then later that night the JV one that I had recorded while at work.

My thoughts 2/3rds into the varsity one were:
* Am I watching MSNBC?
* I'm not getting useful information.

I thought FNC was supposed to be a pro-Republican network. They seemed like all gotcha questions, having not thought much about it by then. Apparently the FNC "personalities" at least were all gushing in the days prior and following, thumping themselves on the back about what a fabulous job they did, and how carefully they came up with these perfected questions, and if we only knew how much went into it. And apparently the rest of the news media were ecstatic at the job FNC did. Now I know why.

And why I learned very little:

1) Part of it is that there were so many candidates, even with over 3 hours of time. That meant very limited time for each anyways. But the aggravating things are:
a) The candidates were limited to 30-second "answers", which is not enough time to explain anything, with any substance.
b) The moderators were not limited, and by far did more talking than any of the candidates.

Someone from another network kept track of candidate speaking time:

FINAL Talk Times:
1 Trump 10:30
2 Bush 8:33
3 Huck 6:32
4 Carsn/Crz 6:28
6 Kasch 6:25
7 Rubio 6:22
8 Chrste 6:03
9 Walkr 5:43
10 Paul 4:51

This totals just under 68 minutes of time. The show was 130 minutes long. With limited commercial breaks (thankfully). I found a report that the avg ad time per hour on cable for 2013 was 15 minutes and 38 seconds (up from 14 minutes and 27 seconds per hour in 2009). Let's say in the last two years it grew at double that rate, to 18:12 per hour, which would be almost 40 minutes in a 130 minute timespan.

So, approximately, the moderators yapped for 130 - 68 - 40 = 22 minutes of the time. While it definitely felt like much longer, from watching it, that's still more than twice the time for the candidate who got the most time amongst the candidates, and either way it still means that there was only 52% candidate content in the program.

But it's not even that, because:
i) At the time limits per answer they were only soundbite-quality, and
ii) They didn't originate with what the candidates thought was important to convey (i.e. some of their time was wasted in their having to segue).

So this afternoon I saw a re-capped clip of one question from the debate, and hit me why exactly I learned very little, aside from the math on the time. They're weren't "tough questions" (like posing to each, how do we keep Iran from getting the bomb), or really even "gotcha questions" (designed to catch you unaware of the trick in the question, to get you to screw up), what they were were "negative spin". I.e. as misrepresenting of things as possible, customized for each candidate's circumstances.

That's why I learned basically nothing from the 3+ hours. Of course the candidates are going to try to misrepresent their weaknesses, spun positively. The way around that is for the moderators to stick on a candidate after their answer and grill them, not let it stand and move on to someone else, like Fox did.

So I got misrepresentation in the answers, and also (maybe even more) in the questions. And that's why the Left thought FNC did such a knock-up job this time. Because it's what they would've done.

But if FNC was really a network for Republicans, they would've picked topics important to Republicans, and sought to bring out the differences between the candidates on them, to inform. Instead we got crap about things like Trump's bankrupties. That'll all come out in the campaign, with all other news orgs being solid Left. My problem is that FNC now talks about income inequality and racist police etc. So their (news division) being moderate Left, is that what is defined as catering to Republicans nowadays? I fear maybe it is.

User Journal

Journal Journal: How To Adapt To Climate Change

I keep seeing people, mostly out of fear of change, deep in climate denial.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

Is it hard to become energy efficient and reduce emissions while growing the GDP at twice the national rate? Sure. But we in the West have already done that. Just ask WA OR ID CA NV.

How? It's pretty simple. End fossil fuel subsidies. Not just the obvious ones, but end all the grandfather exemptions that allow old power plants to keep operating when they should either be retrofitted or retired.

Require 20-50 percent of all new energy built in a state to be non-fossil-fuel renewables. Currently, the cheapest are solar and wind. But look at a mix of energy, even for the West. It shows solar a small fraction compared to wind.

Why? Because we don't require solar as part of new building construction. Wait, Will, are you saying we have to put solar panels on every building? No. I'm saying use the most cost effective solar there is. Passive solar. Triple pane windows, curtains or blinds or polarized screens so you don't use energy cooling in the summer, but use solar in the day in the winter (and then close blinds). Using LED lights that turn off after an hour of no motion on a floor.

But no solar panels? No. Build new construction so it can support the weight of solar panels where it makes sense (south facing walls, or in valleys east or west walls) and be easily maintained. Cut regulations that drive solar panel costs to $7000 per panel (residential installation) so that it runs $300 per panel on NEW construction, so that the grid is designed to handle it. Make an earthquake interrupt switch so the solar kicks in to power critical systems if the grid drops for more than an hour. Wire in electric cars for storage.

It's not hard. We just have to think 21st Century, not 18th Century.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Yesterday's Tomorrow is now available!

It turned into a beautiful thing. It's full of illustrations, plus photos of the authors and covers of the magazines the stories were printed in. It has the first use of the word "astronaut", the cover story of the issue of Astounding that is said to have ushered in the "golden age of science fiction, A.E. van Vogt's first published science fiction, a few other firsts, and five stories that are printed from cleaned up scans of the magazines. There are biographies of all the writers in the book.

I usually encourage folks to read the stories online or check a copy out from their local library, but not this time. The printed book is head and shoulders better than the electronic versions.

There are stories by Isaac Asimov, John W. Campbell, Murray Leinster, Frederik Pohl, Neil R. Jones, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., A. E. van Vogt, Theodore Sturgeon, Poul Anderson, Phillip K. Dick, Frank Herbert, James Blish, Lester del Rey, Jerome Bixby, and a futurist essay by "the father of science fiction" Hugo Gernsback.

It will be a little while before the HTML version is available, since they're not done yet, but I'll post them as I finish them. Meanwhile, there is a PDF, an ePub, and an AZW3 posted for free download.

Yesterday's Tomorrows

User Journal

Journal Journal: whopper of the week 4

"Star Trek wasn't political." -- William Shatner

Back in the real world, ST is one of the most political TV shows of all time. It embodies multi-culturalism, feminism, passivism, anti-capitalism, and environmentalism, as those just off the top of my head. TFMSNBCA uses the term "progressive", which I would only nitpick at in the capitalization of the first letter.

I enjoyed the original series, less so the later ones, and most of the movies, but let's face it, ST is a communist institution in America. Beside there being a whole movie devoted to the old Leftie "save the whales" thing, we had the Ferengi for goodness sakes, an alien race developed to portray how ugly private enterprise makes us!

But aside from Mr. Shatner's farcical statement, I had been rooting for The Donald for prez, but I'm warming to Ted Cruz after this. He's right about how how in TNG they split Kirk up (and I would say later brought them back together into one in Voyager; which reminds me, include Native American/primitive (i.e. non-successful, non-Christian, non-Western Culture) cultures worship in the list) into the ass-kicker (Riker) and the pussy (Shjon-Luke).

See, they even gave them kick-ass and pussy-sounding names, respectively. And of course the Republican had to be subordinate to the Democrat, as it should be in any good, forward-thinking society amiright.

p.s. As an added extra bonus to this JE, there's also the most metal item of the week.

User Journal

Journal Journal: license plate frame of the week last week 11

"It takes a lot of balls"

"To play golf like me!"

p.s. WTF is up with Left's twinkie defense in the Planned "Get yer baby parts here!" Parenthood brouhaha? The argument seems to go that this pro-life group has been after them for so long, somehow that means this revelation shouldn't count! Like they should get a do-over. What was exposed doesn't count because it was no-fairzees. Because they've really been after us.

User Journal

Journal Journal: FizzBuzz in Swift

The following is my prepared answer for anyone who asks me this stupid fucking question in any interview in the future.

extension Int
{
  func modBool(modulus: Int) -> Bool
  {
  return (self % modulus).boolValue
  }
}
 
for x in 1...100
{
  print((x.modBool(3) ? "" : "Fuck ") +
    (x.modBool(5) ? "" : "You") +
    ((x.modBool(3) && x.modBool(5)) ? "\(x)" : ""))
}

-jcr

User Journal

Journal Journal: Hey, these retards are like the ones I work with 5

http://romancescams.org/ Scroll down to the quiz. The Yes/No choices are not represented by radio buttons (or some other single-selection-only UI element), but by checkboxes. So WTF does it mean if I check both Yes and No to a pretty much binary question.

Kind of like the morons at my work that represent an action with a checkbox. A checkbox represents state, a pushbutton advertises an available action. So we have checkboxes that then visually (along with their label) signal a certain state, even when the application is no longer in that state.

When I brought this up, and said a pushbutton would be more appropriate, I was told that technically I have a point, but that they don't care.

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.

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