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User Journal

Journal Journal: Life is too short to engage with arrogant assholes

The Internet is full of assholes. Pretty much anyone who has used it for more than a day is aware of this.

Message boards, forums, and pretty much any method of interaction online brings out the inner asshole in so many people. I decided to post this so that such people on Slashdot can be aware of why I frequently do not respond to comments posted in response to my comments: life is too short to engage with arrogant assholes. Yes, sometimes I do engage, but frequently the tone of a reply to one of my comments instantly tells me that the poster is brimming to the top with confidence in their own superiority. Why should they stoop so low as to actually be polite? So much easier to just be an abrasive douchebag.

Often this sort of behavior is accompanied by a taunt that I won't reply because I'm wrong in, well, whatever it was I said in a given post. Standard Internet Tough Guy line, and one that is unfortunately just encouraged by a response (and is a means to stroke their ego even more if there is no reply). So, this is my general note to anyone who wanders through here. If I don't respond, it's either because I'm not paying attention to Slashdot, or your post clearly indicates you're a self-involved asshole and a reply is a waste of time. You can probably figure out which it is on your own.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Sometimes you just have to laugh 6

Well hello there Slashdot Journal, long time no see!

Somewhat surprisingly, given the nature of Internet forums, I don't encounter too many people of this ... let's say ... caliber. At least not directly. I guess I caught Sexconker on what appears to be (at least from a perusal of their comments as they exist at this moment) a very rare non-dickish post. Well, there's still the ubiquitous swearing in it, but it was targeted at people who, to be fair, usually actually are assholes of some stripe or another.

The chain of posts starts here. It's actually fairly reasonable, allowing some license for what appears to be a decided lack of foresight. That is, until you get to the end. As a result of my disagreeing that a GPU can perform all operations available to the newer ARM processors (specifically access-controlled states and the use of specific cryptographic instructions), I "don't get it." As a result, I am worthy of nothing but the derision of a "lolbro you dumb."

The irony of that statement made me chuckle a bit. Sometimes, you just have to laugh...

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Hhrrrrmm? 4

So soon on the heels of my first freak comes my second!

Alas, I can point to no specific comment for what picked this one up, only that according to his journal I (or anyone else on his foe list) have engaged in "assholery."

The really interesting thing is that he claims this is because it helps him avoid people he'd rather not read, and yet also claims that he reads at -1. The only thing I can come up with is that he must see the little yellow dot and use Jedi mind tricks on himself to be oblivious to the content ... or scroll really fast.

Anyway, looking through his recent posts uncovered this gem of moderation. It is absolutely stupefying that this guy posts a completely relevant rebuttal to another post using an exact quotation of the Slashdot FAQ and gets modded to 0, Troll!

I still find things on this site to bring wonderment to my jaded mind. Heh...


Journal Journal: My first freak! And a comment on moderation... 7

Both are related to this comment: #11630402

My first freak is Walles (99143) as a result of that comment! :)

Maybe it's because I made indirect fun of lythander (21981) and disagreed with b-baggins (610215), in the same story. Both are his friends.


As for someone moderating my comment troll, here's Wiki on trolls. Last I checked, disliking the opinion in a comment does not automatically make it a troll.

I relate all this not because I really care, but because it's all highly amusing. Karma-stalking or not? Make of it what you will... :)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Discourse on voluntary servitude, excerpt

Poor, wretched, and stupid peoples, nations determined on your own misfortune and blind to your own good! You let yourselves be deprived before your own eyes of the best part of you revenues; your fields are plundered, your homes robbed, you family heirlooms taken away. You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as your own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaned your property, your families, your very lives.

All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose 'greatness'you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death.

He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you.

Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves?

You sow your crops in order that he may ravage them, you install and furnish your homes to give him goods to pillage; you rear your daughters that he may gratify his lust; you bring up your children in order that he may confer upon them the greatest 'privilege' that he knows - to be led into his battles, to be delivered to butchery, to be made the servants of his greed and the instruments of his vengeance; you yield your bodies unto hard labor in order that he may indulge in his delights and wallow in his filthy pleasures; you weaken yourselves in order to make him the stronger and the mightier to hold you in check.

From all these indignities, such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands on the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces. [emphasis mine]

Éttiene de La Boétie, Discours de la Servitude Voluntaire (1552), translated, formatted for readability

User Journal

Journal Journal: They can be taught!

Well, it appears that miracles can happen. I didn't get the whole story, but it seems my father blew a gasket the last time he went to the DMV. He finally got some higher-up schmuckety schmuck and ran them through the ringer. Said schmuckety schmuck apparently saw the logic in using his own discretion to accept a US passport as proof of legal residence.

I've completely given up on the intelligence of Americans, so instead of being consistently disappointed, I can instead find myself pleasantly surprised on the rare occasions when they act in a manner other than abject idiocy.


Journal Journal: Crack monkies hard at work

A little history: I applied for an Idaho State driver's license on 12-06-2004. I don't have a Social Security number, and Idaho requires a letter from the Social Security Administration confirming this fact before issuing a license. After many hours of the comedy of errors that is the SSA, I left the building with said letter.

Upon actual application, I presented my valid out-of-state license and the SSA letter confirming my lack of a Social Security number to the nice lady staffing the office. The letter, being hand-written by a Social Security employee, was my only expected point of failure in the whole process. The examiner didn't even blink at it, but accepted it at face value.

This is where the story starts to get interesting, because only after the one non-certified document was accepted did things start to go horribly, horribly wrong. Slowly, at first, and then with stunning rapidity.

The license I was surrendering was a brand new 2004 model. The examiner's book of out-of-state licenses was last updated in 2002, and my previous home state changed their license format in 2004.

After much rummaging, the pady put a call in to the central office in Boise. After several minutes talking (quite clearly) in hushed tones, she described the license and they agreed that it seemed to be authentic.

Apparently accepted, I was handed the written examination (the easiest I've ever taken), and left shortly thereafter with my new soon-to-be-national-ID card.

Three days after getting my new license, I left Idaho to visit my fiancee through New Year. A couple days later I get a call saying that mail has arrived for me from my insurance company and from the DMV. Having titled my truck the same day I got my license, I figured they were sending me the title. Pretty snappy service, huh?

So I ask for the DMV envelope to be opened, and lo-and-behold it's a notice saying I have one month to appear with proof of legal presence or have my license cancelled. Apparently the visa (??) I used didn't give me the right to apply for a license. Visa? Where the hell did they get the idea I was an alien?

Oh, wait, I don't have a Social Security number, that means I must not be a US citizen. Makes perfect sense, I get that all the time.

So, I ask my father to take my certified US birth certificate and my US passport down to the licensing office to get the question of my citizenship straightened out. Should be pretty simple, as unless you're a spook it's fairly difficult to get a US passport. Should be good enough for a lowly DMV clerk in Idaho, right?

<ranting starts somewhere around this area>


My birth certificate is one of those old ones that's hand written. Actually, it's a photocopy of a handwritten birth certificate. However, it's also embossed (physically imprinted) with the State Seal of the state I was born in. Good enough for the State Department, should be good enough for Idaho State, right?

Wrong again!

While he's at the DMV, the clerk tells my father that, because of the 9/11 attacks, and the fact that my previous state DMV didn't absolutely require a birth certificate to obtain a license, they have to verify that I'm a US citizen.

That's all fine and well, but my valid US passport isn't good enough. It has to be a certified US birth certificate. That's there too! Apparently my birth certificate was no good either because, even though it was certified with the State Seal, it was hand-written. What else can you expect with someone who was born at home in the era before computerization?!

That's alright, you can get a new birth certificate from your state of birth! How long will it take? 4-14 weeks! How much will it cost? An arm and a leg! What proof is required? 2 utility bills (or US passport, or valid driver's license)!

What? 2 utility bills is all that stands in my way of absolute "proof" of my identity? Do you know how easy it is to get a utility in a false name? And they still won't accept a US passport, one of the most secure documents available to your average US citizen! Welcome to the USA, land of bureaucratic ignorance!

So let's break this down: I have a valid license from Idaho, because they haven't cancelled it yet (there's an extension till this is resolved). They want a birth certificate to prove I'm a US citizen. I can get a birth certificate with a copy of the Idaho license, the one that's not "really" valid until I show a copy of a birth certificate, which I can get with ... ad nauseam.

Do you see a problem with the logic here? This logic was even pointed out to the lady at the DMV. May I recommend NEVER attempting logic with a government official regarding regulations. There is no logic in regulations, and they tend to be very offended when you point things like this out.

Fortunately, my father can request a copy of my birth certificate, and so I don't have to leave the state I'm in to deal with this (yet). We'll see how they handle being told the absolute earliest (according to the state of my birth) I can get a "new" birth certificate to them is another month. Wouldn't surprise me if the cancel my license, sticking me in another state with my vehicle and without a valid license.

Crack monkies, I tell you!

<end rant>

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Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley