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Journal: [Beloved] It Is Not a Word

Journal by johndiii
It is not a word spoken,
Few words are said;
Nor even a look of the eyes
Nor a bend of the head,

But only a hush of the heart
That has too much to keep,
Only memories waking
That sleep so light a sleep.

-- Sara Teasdale

I remember.
User Journal

Journal: Seagate - At least I got a heads up 6

Journal by stoolpigeon

Booted up my Fedora box at work this morning but instead of starting normally it put me in emergency mode with a message to check the logs. On the whole I'm very pleased with this development. It gave me a prompt to give it the root password and then I could view the logs with journalctl from there.

Unfortunately though the resolution of the text was such that I couldn't read most of it - it went off the screen. So that's a bit of a problem. I had the system start up to the default state and then I was able to look at the logs in Konsole - which was a lot nicer. Looks like the hard drive is on its way out the door.

I ran smartmon and double checked. So now I'm copying everything off that I might be worried about. (In addition to my normal backups. I like to do this just in case.) And I think I've found the Western Digital drive that I'll be buying to replace this Seagate drive that is toast.

From what I've read WD is much more reliable than Seagate. Though I can't complain. It is the original drive that came with the machine and I bought in 2010. I don't think 4 years is an impressive time for a drive to last but I don't think it is terrible either.

But kudos to Fedora for alerting me to the problem and giving me time to plan ahead. The system still seems to run fine, I'm typing this JE from it - but I know that this wont stay true. And probably I could route around the damage for a while but I'd rather not. Storage is too cheap nowadays. I'll be picking up another TB drive for about $50.

User Journal

Journal: The Glass On My Galaxy S3 5

Journal by stoolpigeon

A while back due to a freak accident, the glass broke on my S3. I decided to buy a kit and replace it myself. It went o.k. but I wasn't too crazy about the result. Touch didn't work as well afterwords and the home button was a little too recessed. I figured either I didn't get the adhesive set right or the glass was thicker.

Not long after I fixed it ( within 6 months?) my daughter knocked my phone off a counter and the glass broke again. So I ordered another kit.

This one came with a sticker on the glass packaging. It said, "There is a thin layer of plastic on the glass that is very difficult to see. Be sure to remove it."

As I pulled up the glass I installed the first time it broke - it pealed away with a layer of plastic under it. The first kit hadn't had that warning and I installed the glass without removing the plastic. Now that I have it in correctly it fits much better and everything works much better. I celebrated by updating Cyanogenmod and now I'm running KitKat.

So my daughter did me a favor busting the glass on my phone.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal: Reverse Mod-bombing? 1

Journal by damn_registrars
Slashdot just informed me that recently 5 of my comments - all in different discussions - were up-modded "underrated". It seems an odd coincidence; perhaps someone had mod points they didn't know what to do with? (could it be related to this JE?

Though just as with the people who mod bomb me in the other direction, mod points are likely more effectively used elsewhere. It also isn't likely to bring people to read those comments as the discussions they were in are teetering on extinction.

But hey, to each their own. If someone has mod points they can use them as they please.
User Journal

Journal: When both sides are completely nuts 12

Journal by fustakrakich

Why the hell should I care who "wins"? What could possibly be nihilist about that? In a World Series game between the Yankees and the Dodgers, who the fuck cares? It's the Cubs you're supposed to be cheering on, whether they have a chance or not, it doesn't matter, unless you're actually placing money.

Funny how all things are alike.

GNU is Not Unix

Journal: systemd 1

Journal by squiggleslash

Having read up on it, I don't think systemd is a bad idea. I rather like:

1. Doing away with shell scripts with huge amounts of redundant, and frequently badly written, garbage to manage starting and stopping system services.
2. Using cgroups to properly isolate, contain, and track system services.
3. Centralizing the services concept so it's network aware, rather than a separate inetd server

The major criticisms seem to be "I don't like change/I understand shell scripts" (well, true to a certain extent, but I don't think the current situation was particularly good), XML configuration (reportedly, having seen it, but yeah, XML sucks), and the developers are rude, arrogant, and assholish, which I assume means that the critics are also boycotting Linux and half a dozen other FOSS projects...

I think criticisms 1 and 2 are valid concerns and are essentially the same concern expressed twice. My belief is that there's much to be said for making configuration files as simple as possible, and to avoid manual configuration where possible. Hopefully that's what the systemd developers believe too.

User Journal

Journal: Using VirtualBox Guest as a Server 3

Journal by stoolpigeon

So right after I wrote my last je I googled a bit and set it up so that I could access my Fedora vm from the host OS (Mavericks).

It was pretty simple though I had to piece together exactly what to do from a few different places. These instructions work well though they leave out one part. The first part about creating a new interface - for me vboxnet0 wasn't already there. I needed to do go into the VirtualBox preferences, then in the networking section I needed to create a host-only network. Then it made it possible for me to create the host-only connection.

Now I can ssh to the guest and browse to it. Very nice. This will allow me to be a lot more productive when I travel.

User Journal

Journal: The Macbook Pro 5

Journal by stoolpigeon

I am getting more used to my Apple Laptop.

It still makes me crazy when I need to hook it to external displays. I wanted to show a video to some friends the other night and thought I would just connect the mac to my tv via hdmi. Couldn't get it to work. Crazy. I just switched to my PC that is always connected and downloaded the video there.

This post I am writing though from inside a VirtualBox instance running Fedora 20. It took me a little bit to get it working properly but now it is pretty good. I need to figure out how to get the mac to connect to the virtual machine so I can run the vm like a server.

I don't know how often I'll use the vm but I like having it. Sometimes it feels good just to get back into Linux and have a break from the Mac way.

User Journal

Journal: Aiming, Trigger Control, and Ferguson 4

Journal by RailGunner
When you're at the range, and you line up your shot to center mass, and you pull the trigger, where you miss is indicative of what you're doing wrong -- if it's consistent. (Some short barrel concealed carry guns are not accurate at longer ranges; they aren't intended to be, either. However, the average full size hand gun is intended to be pretty accurate.)

Here's a link to a helpful free (PDF) target that may make you a better shot.

If I miss at the range -- which is rare -- I usually miss down and to the left of the bullseye (but not by much) because I'm pulling my index finger a little too hard -- I'm tightening my fingers.

If I was in a high stress situation -- say one where a yelling, large, aggressive nearly 300 pound man is charging me, I'd probably tighten up even more and miss to the left, say, hitting the assailant in the right arm. As I continued to pull the trigger, I would likely start missing up from the recoil of the gun -- more likely if I've firing a .40 cal, which has a sharper, more upward recoil than a .45 ACP or a 9mm does. (I've shot a few .40 cals before -- I've not shot a .40 cal Sig Sauer, but I have shot a couple of Berettas and I wasn't a fan. Besides -- .45 ACP is better than .40 anyways :) )

In this regard, the autopsy result of Michael Brown tends to support the officer's account of what happened. Brown was charging him, and under stress he over tightened, and missed to his left from center mass which would be the assailant's right arm / shoulder as he likely did not take a lot, if any, time to re-sight as he was in the line of a charging bull.

The other piece of evidence is going to be the brass. If it's all in a localized area, the officer was standing still. If it's scattered, then he was running toward the assailant.

The other question, which leads into another somewhat related point: How many rounds did Officer Darren Wilson fire? His gun had a 12 round magazine (+1 in the pipe) so it's possible that he missed a few times - which wouldn't surprise me, as here's a dirty little secret:

The police do not train with their firearms enough, or even as much as the average CHL holder.

A couple of my closest friends are police officers, and I can out shoot them any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Despite their "training" I have a much tighter grouping and many, many more bulls-eyes with the same weapon than they do.

The reality is, this trend tends to hold across the general population. You are far more likely to get shot by a cop -- whether intentional or not -- than you are a legal concealed carry licensee.

Consider that little fact the next time you want to think that "only the police should have guns".

And if you are a concealed license holder -- when was the last time you practiced? Find a range and keep those skills sharp.
User Journal

Journal: one of my mental problems 5

Journal by Bill Dog

Yes, that was plural. One other is that I'm deeply misanthropic. No, not like the Leftie kind. I'm totally with the Left on the belief that people can't be trusted to make the right decisions. But my religion (which is a reference point to my politics, and not one in the same), or my God, commands me to love and forgive others for their failings [if only I could apply that to myself!], and to recognize that despite being highly flawed, my species (i.e. not realy about race, or gender, or other, for me, although I have my prejudices) that I despise so much was made in the image of God and unlike the rest of creation possess cores that will live on past this very beautiful and at the same time very ugly physical world.

So I've never been like for example my sister when she was in college (studying biology/chemistry at UC Berkeley) who wanted to invent something that would, as she put it, wipe out all the human beings so that the animals could live in peace. Nor am I like more adult-thinking Lefties, in feeling that the masses should be enslaved in some sense, for their own good (and that of the earth, and fairness/some universal cosmic karma I guess, etc.)

But though I'm not as bad as maybe around 1/3rd of Americans who are solid Left, it's still something I want to work on.

And then another would be the constant mini-digressions, that I'm prone to, that can be seen in the first couple of paragraphs here. I think this condition of mine manifests itself, in my writing, in lots of parenthetical clauses, and lots of commas, to break up the subthoughts of a thought, and to separate out the hyperlinked if you will related illuminating or context-adding pieces to a thought.

You see, if I don't try really hard to control it, I'm naturally an incoherent mess. So that's another I continously try to work on.

But it's also this second one that leads me to the third and last one I can think of, which is the real topic of this JE. (!)

I constantly get caught up in my own little world, in my head.

From a work performance aspect, I think I was born to be a programmer because I can get in the zone quickly, and get in deep. And I think I create stuff expressed in a way that makes sense, and is robust.

But from a soft skills aspect of work performance, it hurts me badly.

1) In meetings I'm constantly zoning out. My mind frequently wanders back to the issues at hand in the quiet, individual, at-my-desk part of my job. Sometimes unnoticed by me the conversation has meandered to something I've worked on and a question gets posed to me all of sudden, requiring the context of what has transpired so far to interpret. This is hugely embarassing, and is not so swell for my career.

I don't know what to do about this except just try to remember to stay focused on all the floundering around and illogic that the idiots I work with do in meetings, and probably in their own minds.

2) Now I don't think everyone is an idiot of course, and I actually like some of the idiots I work with, because they're nice (goes a long way with me/I can overlook a lot with that), and so my frustration and disappointment with another manifestation of this condition. So I'm deep in thought in what I'm doing, and someone comes by at the end of the (or their) day just to be friendly and social and say goodnight. Like a slug I often just mumble uh-huh or something.

This really hurts, because I don't want to be that way, I'm not really that way when I'm, well, of a fully conscious (of my surroundings) mindset. I really like to socialize with the nice people (who are so few (in today's working world in general?)), I'm just not my "normal" self when I'm engrossed in something. So I come across as a cretan, and so undoubtedly also affecting my working relationships and success.

3) The final aspect of this is that so much time or such frequent trips to my own little world, also coincides with an unhealthy amount of introspection. Don't get me wrong, I treasure my introspective abilities, in a land of what I think are mostly oblivious dullards. But in the workplace, and sometimes in social situations, I would really like some effing obliviousness, as far as internal that is.

Because one deadly way this manifests is in, broadly, public speaking. My somewhat proneness to anxiety attacks are physiological and not psychological, it seems to me, so that's not really part of what I'm talking about here. But examining my voice and my self for cues of it, worrying about if or how much it's coming across, really makes me dysfunctional in orally presenting.

Because of this I dropped most every course in college that included a speech, because I know how my body freaks out (while mentally I'm not worrying about anything, except my body freaking out!). I.e. it's not a preparedness thing, about knowing my topic well enough, or anything like that.

But whatever it is, this also holds me back (as another example I can totally block during a job interview, on something I know full well), and I don't know what to do about that. My mind wants to zone out and focus inward, at the most inopportune times, and it means I don't get to convey to the team everything that I want to about something I've done or researched, and it means I can sometimes just stop, and then the anxiety builds as I can't get myself to focus on getting back to where I was because I'm stuck in worrying about how long it's going to take for me to regain focus! (Usually it's an external stimulus that snaps me back to the task at hand, like someone speaking or otherwise some kind of noise.)

I don't have ADHD or whatever, as I can almost always get myself to sit and read a book and study something for long periods of time. I get engrossed in a movies.

So I'm normal, yet I also grapple with being normal. I don't know how people switch so fast, between deep thinking and social awareness, and how they think and communicate* at the same time without their minds being violently distracted by related thoughts.

*Maybe that programming involves being constantly mindful of related concerns is why I can think and communicate to a computer at the same time.

[Edit: Hit the wrong button while checking for typos; regret if this means redundant notifications get sent out by this system.]

The Matrix

Journal: Foley is a Fake 18

Journal by Jeremiah Cornelius

Kidnapped in Libya, got away. Kidnapped in Syria, "beheaded".

Orange jump suit? Not even b-movie material. Edited from hours of footage, Photoshopped and Premiered to forensic nonsense - and hey! Look, they cut a different place than the "severed head" was separated.

He is probably dead. That's what happens to CIA screws.

You remember, don't you? Like Nick Berg...

It's all fake, turtles. All the way down.

User Journal

Journal: H2G2: The saga?

Journal by Timex

I was talking to someone at work about how some of the best political wisdom I've heard came from a Douglas Adams book, specifically the bit about how the ones who aspire to positions of authority are those least qualified to have said positions. The conversation then devolved into how the Beeb had created a site to act as a real-life Guide.

Out of curiosity, I set out to see if I could find my posts, and I did. The problem is that I hadn't posted there since April or so of 2000. I had no idea what my login was, no clue on the email address associated with it, and certainly not my password. I went back and forth with their "Gurus", explaining all this and how I would gladly answer any question they had in an effort to identify myself. I gave email addresses I used at the time, too. Next thing I know, they're sending me my login and my password via email, in cleartext.

Wow.

Needless to say, I changed the password right quick.

United States

Journal: Why Ferguson Is Just the Beginning of Future America 12

Journal by Jeremiah Cornelius
by Malooga
lifted from a comment

@154 luca kasks: "Why don't you people wait for all the facts to come in?"

Facts are not like beloved relatives coming in to visit on cherished holidays; facts are like murdered ex-collaborators, to be secretly disappeared and buried deep in some dank forgotten hole in the ground.

Facts, for the ruling class, are dangerous beasts. Myths and stories are far safer fare.

Facts may escape unexpectedly at the very beginning of an event, before proper control systems are in place, after that all one is likely to get is the official story, or if that fails, the official fall-back position.

How could one get what is going on geopolitically by following this blog, and not get that the same conditions and principles of domination, control and brutalization operate similarly on a local scale?

Perhaps it might be helpful to detail those conditions and principles in order to remind ourselves what the theater in which these events take place is truly like, both for the residents of places like Ferguson, and for the police who manage those residents.

The war on drugs was not a war against drugs. It was a war for the ultra-rich rulers to control and profit from the cash streams of illegal drug profits, to finance un-sellable illegal wars, a method of destabilizing other countries through drug addiction, and a method of criminalizing the intentional poverty and hopelessness of the bottom 30%, or more, of the domestic population. (See: US protection of heroin in southeast Asia and Afghanistan, CIA crack distribution in US cities, Gary Webb, etc.)

The "War on Terror" is virtually the same thing: An outright war on the poor, and a destabilization of territories the empire does not control outright. Additionally, like drugs, the "war" is largely synthetic, that is to say, fake and victimless, where the perpetrators have to be secretly sponsored to create an artificial enemy, with what Rowan Berkeley accurately termed "pseudo-gangs."

These wars are not real, in the sense that the problems as described are not real; and, such problems as may exist, are intentionally handled so as to exacerbate them, and reinforce the problem-reaction-solution dynamic.

Drugs are not a problem to be eradicated, rather, they are a medium to be employed, a means to an end. Terror, as we know, is not even a thing, it is just a tactic. You can't criminalize a tactic, but you can employ it as a means to an end.

I don't need to remind you that the US, the "land of the free," has the largest -- in absolute and relative terms -- prison population on the planet. And the vast, vast, vast majority of those who are imprisoned are there for victimless crimes.

But that's not all. Because if you grow up in the projects, and you raise your kid right, and miraculously manage to keep him away from guns and gangs, you still face two more daunting hurdles: poverty and police violence.

Let's start with poverty. Official unemployment rates are lied over, real rates can be many times higher, and many in the projects can find no work at all, or only part-time work, without benefits, in a fast food joint. Lack of work equals lack of money, which equals lack of education, which equals lack of opportunity and work, and so on, in an endless vicious cycle.

Domestically, a new war is underway: an outright war on the poor, where those who can't -- because of unemployment or other reasons -- keep up with their financial obligations are threatened with imprisonment for non-payment of bills, taxes, child support, court fees, parking tickets, etc. Indeed, we as a society have regressed to the days of Oliver Twist and workhouses. Prisoners must work for their keep these days as low cost producers for corporations, and quaint notions like labor laws or minimum wages do not apply to them.

Prisons have been privatized, and prisoners are just another commodity to be profited from in the capitalist system, like pork bellies, or wheat futures. Judges, like police, have been proved to have quotas: they are expected to meet a production goal where, like a factory worker, a certain number of people must be imprisoned each month or year. After all, the owners of these prisons are top campaign contributors, and they provide "jobs" to the local economy, so they must be kept happy. Cops, like judges, are under pressure to do their part in maintaining prison occupancy rates.

Any fool can see that this is not a description of a society, as anthropologists might have studied 100 years ago, but of a catabolic process, whereby a sick or diseased body (politic) greedily consumes itself on the way to the grave. And, as they quietly lament around my way, "it is what it is."

And yet, it is worse: for those that escape these first three evils -- drugs, the "war on terror" and poverty -- which I have briefly detailed, there is a fourth evil to be circumvented: what the sociologists call "structural violence." And this takes two forms. The first comes in the form of what psychiatrists term "frustration aggression." Watch industrially raised chickens, confined to 2/3 of a square foot of cage space, artificial lighting, and a diet of drugs and GMO feedstock engage in vicious acts of cannibalism, and you will get a sense of what that is. The ghetto is a similarly sociologically confined space, and frustration and the inability to cope or escape can lead to misplaced violence or acting out against others.

The second type of violence is institutionalized violence, where, in an intentional process of social engineering, one group or class of people is taught to hate and fear another group or class. This is the process that I, employing Gregory Bateson's insights, term schismogenesis. It is divide and rule at its most base level: Civil wars, genocide, pogroms, mob violence, etc.

And yes, the police are deeply inculcated in perpetuating institutional violence. They are trained to both hate and fear the public they lord over. And the system is not accidental, by any means. The police on the beat, the SWAT teams, the civic snipers, etc. -- these are people of rather limited intellectual abilities in understanding how the entire geopolitical system works. They are, by nature, not curious in that way -- rather, they are ordinary people who value fitting in, convention, tradition, and law and order in society. In other words, they buy into the myths of our society, its "freedom," and "liberty," and "goodness of purpose," and "rightness of heart," and "exceptionalism," lock, stock, and barrel. And they expect others to buy in as well in order to be "good" patriotic Americans. After all, "if you are not with us, you are against us," as George Bush Jr. explained in one of his few elegantly articulate formulations. Therefore, the police are vulnerable to being easily propagandized.

They are then compartmentalized in knowledge, grouped into subgroups, and endlessly trained and drilled in hate and fear of the official "enemy" of the day, and then trained in techniques of the highest level of violence in thwarting the alleged goals of these enemies. Police no longer make use of bobby clubs, they are now given the elite weapons of war that our soldiers use in combat. They watch movies to see how these weapons are employed. And to seal the deal, they are given special classes, trainings and drills from the same "specialists" on "terror" that train our military because the American way of subversion always includes making people feel special. Now, they are not dumb cops anymore, they are well trained, and they are told that they are our elite guard protecting the "homeland" from those who hate our ways of freedom.

They are also economically privileged compared to the people of places like Ferguson. Police have unions, and theirs are probably the only labor unions in America today not under constant attack from the ruling class. So they get generous overtime, benefits, can buy houses and raise kids in safety outside of the leviathan that I am describing. They also, to a certain extent, benefit from the inequalities of society. So they look down on those they are policing and look up to their betters: The wealthy and those who are experts in the "threats facing society today." Go to a real wealthy neighborhood, and the cops don't have that same smug attitude. They address you as "Sir" or Ma'am." If they have to pull you over for having a headlight out, they can be downright apologetic -- after all, you may be a judge or a city councilman. They know who their betters are, and now they act like public servants, albeit a little falsely servile. This is obviously not the case in Ferguson, where the number of police stops annually is greater than the population of the town, and arrests are similarly elevated.

Finally, police on the force for any length of time must face the complete corruption of our society: They know that justice is a farce. They know who the drug dealers are, the money runners, the pimps, the bought politicians, and judges -- the whole nine yards. And they know that there is no will to change any of this. Moreover, they have no power over any of this: They can either choose to be complicit in the corrupt system, or keep to themselves and hope for the best not to be set up one day as a patsy.

Thus, police in our society live in a state of total cognitive dissonance, what one might call an ethical double-bind. They are forced to see that on one hand, we are supposedly the greatest society ever; on the other hand, life is hopelessly brutal and corrupt. They must believe in, or at least publicly pay lip service, to the myths they are sworn to uphold: the wars on drugs and terror; the promise of progress and a quasi-religious kind of civic and moral redemption -- that if you just keep your nose clean and work hard, you can escape the poverty of the ghetto they police; and that we live in a just society in which they are the protectors of that justice. Meanwhile, they like everyone else in America, watches as the whole system is rapidly breaking down. They know that there are no real jobs for the people of Ferguson, and that, like in the movie, "TheTruman Show," the residents cannot escape the set.

This double bind is of course unresolvable. So police themselves, under tremendous internal strain, resort to the same frustration-aggression, and unexpected violent lashing out, in order to cope.

Under these conditions, the only power police have is over the people in the community they are supposed to serve. And the only way they can demonstrate that power is by acting out brutally and violently.

Sociologists and criminologists know that the methods police are taught and trained in don't work, just as economists know that "trickle down" really means "flow up." Gentler methods involving community involvement, restorative justice, etc. have all been worked out and proved to work. But the new methods actually do work, only for different purposes and to different ends: they frighten and cower populations, they allow one group to dominate another, they isolate people and pit them against each other in fruitless zero-sum games, and they destroy human lives, values, and charitableness. In sum, they control people, and allow them to be selectively harvested for profit, like a slowly maturing cash crop in the sweltering St. Louis summer heat.

And, community policing, bad as it is these days, does not even compare to the violence perpetrated by the new elite SWAT teams. These groups are as brutal as the teams used to clear houses in Iraq -- and no surprise there, for they are taught the same methods: If it moves, take it out.

And that brings us back to the police. Under the conditions I have just detailed, under the impossible constraints they forced to endure, how can they not be violent, at least some of the time. And how can they, as an organized force, not be violent in a systematic manner. Perhaps not all the time, but more often than not the social forces which police work under these days force violence to be propagated down in a systematic and totalizing manner.

And it is the awareness of all that I have described that causes many commenters here to reflexively assume police lies and violence to be ubiquitous. I hope that this is more understandable now. It is not a judgment of an individual's (the cop who shot Michael Brown) -- who one obviously doesn't know well -- moral value, rather it is an holistic appraisal of the social and material conditions of our society today, in which the American underclass, and their handlers, seek to operate.

Therefore, as for the police themselves, yes, perhaps out of the many hundreds of cases a year like this of police murder, corruption, assault, brutality, cover-up, bribery, theft, etc., there are possibly a few that were accidental, unintentional, or even false charges. If that were to be the case -- which appears practically impossible -- the facts would get out -- unless the cop were being intentionally set up. But, to focus on this petty detail, and insist upon its importance to the bigger picture, is to miss that bigger picture altogether. I hope we can all see this.

Posted by b on August 20, 2014 at 06:49 AM Permalink

You have a tendency to feel you are superior to most computers.

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