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Journal Journal: So like... did I accidentally the Slashdot? 5

It's been a while since I've darkened the door here. What with all the shifts to a different account, then Multiply, then a few of the "Social Networking" experiments. So I just got a hankering to come back here for a night.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I'm Feeling Grumpy 1

My only comment on Election 2008:

It's not left vs. right, or republicans vs. democrats. It has nothing to do with political parties. Instead the simplest two sides in the most general terms are:

People who don't have much power (financial, political, business, etc...)


People who have all the power (financial, political, business, etc...)

Comment Re:The individual is never the problem .... (Score 1) 3

I am speaking more about the damage that has come about from catering to the individual. It leads to people feeling they have a right to preferential treatment. This problem exists at all levels of economic status and in turn leads to people trying to find ways to use systems that might otherwise be beneficial to all for their own personal gain. All the while, their self-serving approaches slowly begin to erode the system for others who are willing to follow the rules. You see this in the people who attempt to cheat the welfare system (so called "welfare queens"). You also see it in the insider trading of the upper middle class and wealthy. Both the welfare system and the stock market can be positive systems that could benefit everyone. But for that to work, everyone involved must follow some rules.

Another less important but example of how placing focus on the individual is a detriment is the concept of "tagging" on the web. It is one of the ultimate examples of the cult of the individual. It places the importance of an individual's perceptions above formal taxonomy of information using known and predictable classifications. Tagging, might have some useful applications in some arenas, but not when you really want reliable classifications. We wouldn't want tagging to be used to classify species, or define parts of the human body, or categorize library books. But, one of those things is being talked about. Some libraries are considering moving away from or entirely abandoning the Library of Congress or Dewey Decimal system in favor of more "friendly" tagging. Can you imagine the morass that libraries would become if they rely on end-user tagging? People have enough trouble finding the books they want on the shelves today. Tagging would make that an impossible task.

Yet another bit of fallout from placing too much focus on individuals is the lack of civility that we've seen in western society. People are much more likely to place far too much importance on their own endeavors and their own time to be bothered with actually thinking of others. It is a major inconvenience for people today to think about how they affect everyone else. And I suggest that this has happened only because we've been raising one or two generations (possibly three) with the idea that they as individuals are the most important thing in life. It's led to an "I've got mine, you go get yours" attitude that is destroying civility. There is no longer any consideration for what was once called "civic duty".

Because of all of this focus on the individual, people also tend to feel that there's no reason for them to put forth the effort and hard work required to keep the rest of the world working. "Leave that to someone else. I'm busy working on making myself a success. Why should I need to know how to do X, Y and Z when I can just become a millionaire and pay other people to do this stuff for me"? The sad reality is that people with that attitude exist at every level of society and because of the cult of the individual, they have increased in number to a count that is far higher than it ever was in previous generations.

People like this used to be considered sociopaths and were ostracized for their selfish behavior. Today, they are glorified in the media as being the prime example of the highest form of human being. Just look at the number of celebrities and "personalities" who are held up as successes, completely ignoring the fact that they've done nothing for the betterment of mankind. In many cases they don't even have any real talent worthy of the attention. And yet, there they are, on display for the rest of the world to emulate.

I concur that the shepherds in this case are the advertising business within the media simply trying to separate people from their money. But, I don't see that as the real problem. The real problem, in my view, is that people are not resistant to these appeals to the individual. The small number of people who are resistant to those appeals are vastly marginalized in our society as modern day outcasts. They are the "fools" who don't see the writing on the wall. Or they are "out of touch" with the pulse of America. Or they are dull, boring and needlessly pedantic.

This cult of individuality reached a turning point enabled first by cable television and then in the 90s, by the internet. It appeals to the lazy, the mediocre and the cunning (which is not the same as intelligent or smart). That is specifically what I am talking about. The growing push for people to be like this has also been accompanied by a society-wide time impoverishment. With the lack of time to do all the things that one wants and needs to do in a day, people are content taking shortcuts. Those shortcuts are built around putting the individual in an imaginary position of authority over their own lives. But the insidiousness of the whole situation is such that the shortcuts simply mold them into the sheep that the various shepherds want.

Mostly I'm just writing this to clarify my belief that placing the focus on the individual is not a good thing. My nature is such that I've always preferred cooperative modes of working to competitive ones. The progress might not be as fast as when competition is the driver, but I think the progress is more stable, and usually fair for all. As long as everyone does the most important thing when working as a group: follow the rules.

Comment Nanotech (Score 1) 1050

It's the obvious solution to all problems and beats out genetics by a longshot since it's cleaner and purer. Why would anyone NOT be interested in what happened with nanotech 100 years from now other than the fact that it should be everywhere carefully cleansing the Earth and keeping it in a pristine state.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Wazzup!!!!! 3

Hello. Is this thing on? [tap tap tap]

I've been away on assignment. I'm back now. If only for a while. I see the_mad_poster has disappeared. Anything else going on I should know about?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Fuck You 3

Some ass is trying to get my Slashdot password for this account. Screw you mother fucker. Why don't you go get fucked? Maybe eat a dick?

Just a warning to my friends, make sure you use a secure password. However, I don't think that's all that's going on here. I think someone might have found an exploit in the Slashcode that allows them to intercept mail. Maybe...

Whoever the fucktard is, go play in traffic.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Why Trolling4Dollars Was Created (last greets) 19

It all started about two years ago around this time of the year. Almost exactly. I had been using one of my regular accounts to interact with sush inflexible thinkers as Neocon, Twirlip of the Mists and their friends. There was alot of heated political discussion that was essentially ruining my Slashdot reading. As I've said before, I FUCKING HATE politics and the people who love them. I got pissed off at reading all the bullshit that was circulating in the comments that was passed off a

User Journal

Journal Journal: I am going to be moving to another Slashdot ID 19

Many of my friends/fans will notice a new person popping up as a fan in the next few days. I'll also start posting in your JEs. So hopefully you'll recognize the snetiments and style. This account will probably be used strictly for toying with the retarded Scott Lockwood trollbots and finally go dormant for a while. Maybe I'll pop up again like Twirlip of the Mists! ;P It's been fun folks. See you on the other side.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Scary Poll Result (Unconfirmed) 49

I have to do a little research, but my wife read last week that in a poll (for what they're worth) that asked what religion Americans identify with across the country, the answer was 41% evangelical/fundamentalist christianity. Sorry, but that just frightens me. When nearly half of the population of the U.S. believes in such a damaging and destructive faith, we are in SERIOUS trouble. It also goes far in explaining why this country is so fucked up. These people need to be educated and shown
User Journal

Journal Journal: Which is the "worse" vice? Sex or drugs? 24

Before anyone jumps to any conclusions about this being a right vs. left thing, I'll say that it's not. I'm specifically asking about personal opinion. If you want to bring up BJs in the oval office vs. coke snorting political marionettes, that's your own look out. The other thing I'll say is that there seems to be a lot of difficulty discussing anything related to sex on /. I haven't figured out why, since contrary to popular belief, many of us "geeks" get some on a reg

User Journal

Journal Journal: Your Favorite Personalized Curse 30

DISCLAIMER: If you find profanity offensive, move along.

This is kind of a fill in poll. This morning when I was headed into work, some asshole cut me off and I went into one of my Tube Bar text strings:

"Why you motherfucker cock sucker! Ya yellow rat bastard! You'd fuck your own mother for a nickle you sonuvabitch"!

That always has the effect of putting a smile on my face.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Cool or Stupid? 20

Read this and tell me what you think. I think it's cool AND stupid. Oh... and don't tell me it grosses you out. I'm not going to stand for that sort of thing. We are Devo.
User Journal

Journal Journal: OK This Freaks Me Out 17

There is a tendency for human beings to assume that everyone else is just like them. It's kind of hard to NOT do that, but eventually we all are able to accept that people CAN be different to varying degrees of success. With that out of the way...

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C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]