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User Journal

Journal: Might explain some of the behavior here 23

Journal by smitty_one_each

I have quoted before my old friend Theodore Dalrymple on the purposes of lies in totalitarian societies:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.

This has a ring of truth to it with respect to Slashdot. I've been on the receiving end of repeated accusations used like bludgeons to the point there are some people on here to whom I just ain't got jack to say beyond: "Lord bless your heart".
Which is not to whine about it. This is Slashdot; let the incontinent go elsewhere.
Rather, I'm yawning.

User Journal

Journal: And you thought Twitter useless 11

Journal by smitty_one_each
User Journal

Journal: Nebbishes Yearning for Truth (NYT) 26

Journal by smitty_one_each
Pravda on the Hudson decided to un-frack itself with its Gail Collins hit piece.
I don't really care if Slashdot's favorite dirty diaper un-soils himself on the subject as in this JE.
It would be fine if he manned up and repented of being a total crapflooder; I'd enjoy adult conversations with him, as he seems an intelligent person. But then, we're talking about a dedicated bile spewer here. The sort that yields to nothing less than full-on Divine Intervention. So let me pray for that.
User Journal

Journal: You can all blame me 39

Journal by smitty_one_each

I'm really past caring. Somewhere around the thousandth iteration, the trash talk just got tedious. It's my fault. I'll take the hit, like an RPG striking a helicopter carrying Brian Williams. I just can't muster the interest any more.

User Journal

Journal: Parents aren't perfect 7

Journal by squiggleslash

Seen rather a lot of the "Parents are evil because they did something wrong because they believed that something was right" meme that's going around at the moment.

Worst case: massive harassment and threats against the parents of a trans teenager who killed herself blaming their insistence on "Christian" therapy. Horrible case, entirely the wrong approach by the parents, but at the same time if the parents hadn't cared, there wouldn't have been any therapy to begin with, bogus or not. The parents were convinced by people they trusted that the wrong thing was the right thing. Screaming at them, particularly at a time when they are mourning, that they are evil and heartless is evil and heartless.

Now seeing it in the vaccine "debate". Not the only problem I'm having with the pro-vax side (Reminder: yes, I'm pro-vax, and yes, I'm in favor of it being mandatory for the obvious deadly common diseases), but there's a world of difference between a lazy parent not having their kid vaccinated because they can't be bothered, and a parent being too scared to vaccinate their child because they've heard from convincing sources that vaccinations can cause terrible things.

User Journal

Journal: Worth it for the howls on here alone 51

Journal by smitty_one_each

What's changed is that Walker has, in the last week, gone national. His speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit earned rave reviews, and was followed with what appears to be the first pro-Walker presidential ad. And everyone seems to have noticed what Walker's opponents in Wisconsin have learned the hard way, repeatedly: he's a formidable politician. This should worry his GOP rivals not only because of Walker's win streak, but also because Walker is doing something many of them aren't: he's setting the terms of the debate instead of following the terms the Democrats have set.

Walker has the same virtue as Sarah Palin: making the Left wet itself. Unlike Palin, Walker has a substantially better record of standing in the breach and surviving. Stipulate that fustakrakich is correct, and it's all rigged. Fine. Let's go for max Lefty head 'splosions, then.

User Journal

Journal: Round Three 10

Journal by smitty_one_each
I'm growing to despise the word "entitled", preferring "earned" or "merited":

I think it's a real opportunity for federalism to allow states and local school boards to figure out what works for them. There isn't a thing wrong with the Department of Education that we can't fix by just reducing to some light oversight. In particular, federal financial interactions with non-employees should just stop.

Previously:
1. All forms of racial segregation and discrimination are wrong. 2. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion.

User Journal

Journal: I guess I can't get him to hold up his end 29

Journal by smitty_one_each
We had what I thought was a deal, but, after a month, he's blowing off his end of the deal. Serves to underscore what a crapflooder he is. News to none.
Meanwhile, we have a source for a series of JEs that could be of interest.

1. All forms of racial segregation and discrimination are wrong.

I hate this question at the first word. Using a universal quantifier blows away discussion.
In this case, people voluntarily segregate themselves all the time. What would you do, have forced randomization, for crying out loud? And discrimination: what is Affirmative Action, if not state-managed discriminatory behavior.
If if involves giving careers to Yet More Bureaucrats, my going-in position is against the idea.
To ATFQ, I'm against segregation and discrimination, but I think that attempting to regulate behavior via legislation is folly. Rather, we need to use the court of public opinion to promote positive behavior and chide negative behavior to minimize it.

User Journal

Journal: Is the Touch UI irredeemable? 4

Journal by squiggleslash

Thoughts related to the Windows 10 "Desktop is a desktop, no "Start" screen" thing:

From 1984 to 1990, there was a serious debate as to which was better, the command line or the WIMP (Window/Icon/Mouse/Pointer) UI. Why? Well, because Mac OS's Systems 1-4 were user friendly in the sense people knew how to use them, but user unfriendly in the sense that they got in the way, were kludgy, awkward to use, and offered zero advantages - beyond a lack of training for users - over the command line. At best you could say some applications needed a mouse, but some, such as word processors, were actually harder to use in the prehistoric era of WIMP user interfaces than the keyboard based versions.

What changed? Microsoft Windows. From Windows 1.0 onwards, Microsoft offered a vision, initially a very, very, ugly vision, as to how a computer could be more, not less useful with a WIMP UI. The critical feature was multitasking. Windows offered a better way to multitask than command line based systems, because each Window, representing an application or document, could co-exist in the same "world", the desktop.

Windows wasn't anything like the best implementation, but it was the only implementation of the concept available on standard PCs.

When Microsoft pretty much forced manufacturers to provide Windows and a mouse with all MS DOS based computers, users had a straight choice of using one UI or the other, and they overwhelmingly chose Windows. By comparison, when GEM was bundled with many PCs in the late nineties, GEM was a nice to have that was ignored by most users (anecdotally, outside of stores, I never saw an Amstrad PC1512 running GEM in the wild, despite it becoming with it and being a major advertised feature.) GEM, a Mac OS UI clone, did not offer multitasking.

So: timeline:

1. Mac OS released around 1984. Causes schism between WIMP and command line users
2. Windows 1.0 released 1985ish. Most users recognize it's a very powerful system, but are put off by user interface and memory requirements.
3. DOS vs WIMP rages for next five years largely because Windows is crippled by other factors.
4. Finally PCs are forced to be powerful enough to run Windows in 1990, and Windows UI improved enough to be "good enough" compared to Mac OS. Everyone jumps to Windows. End of DOS vs WIMP debate.

Touch UIs? Where is the touch UI that is more powerful, as opposed to being easier to use, than the WIMP UI? It took Microsoft (and Commodore too) less than a year to come up with something that was actually an improvement on the command line having seen WIMP. It's been nearly a decade now, who has come up with a touch UI that is more versatile than a WIMP desktop?

The degree of technical confidence is inversely proportional to the level of management.

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