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User Journal

Journal Journal: in which i am a noob all over again 17

I haven't posted a journal here in almost three years, because I couldn't find the button to start a new entry. ...yeah, it turns out that it's at the bottom of the page.

So... hi, Slashdot. I used to be really active here, but now I mostly lurk and read. I've missed you.

User Journal

Journal Journal: More reflections on geek relationships

This post got a lot of points and apparently a lot of traffic interest. An A.C. suggested that it was the first post they'd ever seen that should have been modded "+100", and _their_ post got modded up.

So now that I've gotten lots of people to read and think about what I wrote, and many who liked it, I'm going to diagree with part of it.

I think I was perhaps being too hard on AMD lady, and perhaps I was missing the focus of what she was talking about. My post deals a lot with _maintaining_ relationships and building them. But I think TFA was referring to _meeting_ geeks.. "catching" them if you will. And my post is potentially not relevant as a response to TFA.

There are some key points that I think still stand, but one thing that I want to revise or comment on a bit is when a woman takes an interest. The 1-liners or plausible topics of conversation postulated by the AMD lady didn't hit me because I am not that interested in PC video cards any more. So in the context of an advice blog to women about how to approach some easily-fits-in-a-box hypothetical geek, I rejected not only the premise but the specific lines used.

But then I got to thinking about my own history, and I remember a specifc time where I was at wedding reception or "couples baby shower" or some similar thing, and there was another woman there who had a real interest in cars and spirited driving. And so we chatted just breifly about it...I think she had heard that I was a car guy and so she approached me to talk about it.

Later that night I had to admit to my wife that it was troubling me just how _haunted_ I was with thoughts of this gal, because she approached me about an interest of mine, essentially out of nowhere, and it is an interest that women typically don't share -- certainly my wife doesn't. And so even though I was happily married, my thoughts that day kept returning to this woman. It was a few minutes of conversation and it was at least 8 years ago. Yet i still remember the experience and how i felt about it.

So there is certainly something to the idea of "snaring" a guy by letting him know you share his interests. I think the parts of my post that suggest you need to be authentic, legitimately interested, and so on all still apply. But I wouldn't want someone to read what I had written and come away with the idea that approaching a guy about his interests would be detrimental.

(As an aside, a great friend of mine, who is also a go-fast junkie, ended up having a very serious relationship with a younger girl who was _also_ a driver. And it turned ugly. Sometimes, shared passions/interests/hobbies make better introductions than they do compatible mates. I bet there is some interesting literature on competitiveness/etc dynamics within relationships where each party has some similar jobs/hobbies/interests/whatever).

User Journal

Journal Journal: sorry slashdot.. end of ads

after seeing the influx of political ads on slashdot's home page i have finally decided to click that ol ' "disable advertising" checkbox.

User Journal

Journal Journal: a return which is long overdue (plus achievements!) 17

I've lurked at /. without posting for ages, mostly because I just don't have the time to interact like I used to.

But I've been clicking through the old RSS feed more and more lately, and when I saw the PAX Plague thread today, I came over to comment, since I'm kind of affected by the whole damn thing. I thought I'd take a look around since I haven't been here in awhile, and I saw that there are freaking ACHIEVEMENTS associated with our accounts. It's silly, and I'm sure it's been here forever, but I thought it was awesome and I was delighted when I read it.

I didn't realize how much I missed Slashdot until I spent some time here today, and I bet that anyone who joined in the last 2 years doesn't even give a shit about my stupid comments or anything, but it felt good to come back here, and feel safely among my people again.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Some Assistance with Perspective

It has come to my attention as I watch TV and listen to the radio that many people have lost the ability to understand numbers. Specifically keeping things in perspective.

Recently on the Drudge Report there was a giant bold 120 dead concerning this Pig Flu nonsense.

120 isn't hardly news. In fact more people died around the world in the time it took me to write this sentence from AIDS.

The media likes to scare people. They like to throw around numbers. I am going to help you. Buy a bag of Jelly beans. Seriously.

Ok Now count how many J-Beans you have (you chocoholics can use M&Ms if you perfer). Regardless of how many you have this is you POOL. The pool is all mighty in separating nonsense from reality.

Ready? Lets say 5000 people died in the USA from this new virus. Is that a lot? Lets use the pool to figure that out.

First off there are 300,000,000 people roughly in the United States. I want you to take the number in your pool and divide 300,000,000 by it. This is the number of people per J-Bean. Simple Right?

Here is the sanity test when ever they start throwing around numbers. Does the "GIANT EVIL NUMBER OF DEAD, DYING ETC" cause you to remove a single jelly bean? One. If I have 100 jelly beans That means that before I have to remove 1 jelly bean 300,000 need to die for JUST ONE jelly bean to go away.

This is sainty. This is reality. 5000 people isn't a disaster, a pandemic or an outbreak. Thousands will die from the every day flu this year, thousands will die from car accidents, hell last I checked more then 500 people alone this year will die from trying to get high on paint fumes.

180 dead from a new Pig Flu? More people will die from falling down stairs in the USA this year. Over 200 will die from suicide, and several thousand will die from homicide.

You can live in fear people. You can watch big flashing headlines and talking heads on TV telling you the universe is about to explode. Reality is where the rest of us can rest easy.

And remember... as a wise man once wrote on the cover a book.... Don't Panic...


Journal Journal: Tech Interviewing someone higher up than you? 9

First of all, I don't want this published to the frontpage...
Having said that, I have a quick question. I'm a Java guy that manages a few younger java guys. I have been asked to tech a .net guy that (according to his resume) has managed over 30 developers. How do I tech a guy like that? Do I just stick with OO/patterns questions? I know how to tech a java guy, but one that has more experience than me is a daunting task...
User Journal

Journal Journal: Twitter 3

fyi - can't multiply cause of work, so I've become a twitter man... that's where I do my updating... if you twitter, my id is my last name...
Christmas Cheer

Journal Journal: Lions fire Millen! 10

Yeah, really.

Only took that organization like five years to see what the rest of the football world sees... 'bout time!
User Journal

Journal Journal: A possible return... 14

New job (back to consulting) and current client blocks 'social networks', so I may have to make my return here until the situation changes.

What really sucks is hurricane ike destroyed Cincinnati, and I've been without power at home since Sunday, so even if I wanted to blog on multiply, I can't...

Stay tuned, I suppose...
User Journal

Journal Journal: An observation on America this election

The primary cancer eating at America is the population, as a whole, no longer possess the skills and mental tools to discern perception from reality.

They cannot read an article, pick apart the fact, fiction, opinions, and speculation and draw a conclusion of their own. They either agree or disagree rather then view an draw a conculsion of their own.

It's sad. We get "McCain sucks" or "Obama sucks" but when asked why, their response is "They voted against X,Y, and Z." Then when asked if they knew why they voted against those, they break down and say, "I don't know". Then when pressed again with the question, "Then how do you know voting against it was a bad idea?", they will summarize the bill's name and say, "how can anyone vote against X,Y, or Z"

Again, ask "How do you know that anything in the bill X, actually addressed X? Did you read the purposed bill?" You'll get a "no". There is no reasoning, or perhaps massive ignorance on how politics function. Did Senator A vote for X in order to get Senator B to vote for Y? Have we lost our understanding of politics? Or have we lost out very ability to reason though a problem?

This is a complete break down of normal human reasoning. We cannot collectively separate sound bytes from the actual context of a sentence. We demand change, we are promised change, we cry out for reform for what ever cause suits you, yet we go to the very people that got us in the trouble in the first place and expect them to change what they active worked to create... Total breakdown of human reason. You wouldn't ask the arson who just burnt down your house to help put the fire out right?

Without the ability to reason we are rapidly regressing back to animals, reacting out of a mental reflex, rather then reasoning through an obstacle,problem, or issue.

The very understanding of a difference is slipping. I do not like Ocra. Because I do not like Ocra, why would I have any dislike of people who like Ocra? Would I personally develop a hatered of people with a taste for Ocra? Would I ride around with a sign that say "John Doe Sucks!" simply because John Doe like Ocra? Why then would I develop a dislike of an political canidate mearly because I disagree with them? Why would that factor in personally? At most I might have a sign that reads, "Don't let John Doe cook unless you like Ocra." I can't say Obama sucks or McCain sucks because, quite frankly, I've never met either of them. Reason tells me that I can't develop a personal dislike for someone mearly because I may disagree with them. Reason tells me that I cannot judge a person on the color of their skin, but rather the content of their character. So would I not judge a canidate personally not by their approach to solve health care but by the content of their character? There is no rational way someone can tell me that I am supposed to dislike someone, or say someon is stupid or evil, because one may want to raise taxes to provide health care while another may want to let market pressure and incentives improve health care. Both want to fix it, each may have a different approach. Regardless of approach, what rational person develops hate over a difference of views?

Reason tells me that most special interest groups are made up of people that got organized and petition the government. Moveon.org is a special interest group, the NRA is a special interest group, so is the Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Shriners, Rotatry Club, VFW, and the Scouts. I certainly don't want them silenced as I am a member of several special interest groups. Those that tend to cry out loudest against special interest groups are simple those that aren't part of one. You local church is a special interest group, your local chamber of commerce is too. Our ability to reason has slipped that we cannot see the problem is the CONDUCT of special interest groups, not the existence of those groups themselves. We generalize because we no longer have the capacity to dissect a problem, find the root cause, and address it. We find even our idiology and problem solving skills are disposable. The VCR has a frayed power cord? We throw the whole thing out rather then just fix the cord. A canidate has a flaw? We discard the entire individual. They disagree with a single viewpoint and we discard the whole. This has to stop or we are in serious trouble... Politics is the process of compromise and debate, not mandate and partisan dictatorship.

If the behavior of the American public doesn't frighten you as we move through this election, go rent Idiocracy and tell me, how far away are we? In many ways, we are already there...

User Journal

Journal Journal: What do you do with hardware you can't give up?

Growing up, I was a big fan of workstation class machines. This persisted all through highschool and college, and for a while, a bit afterwards.

For instance, I left highschool with a Sparc IPX and a Sparc 10, but no car. Goofy priorities, I guess. When I was in school I picked up an SGI I^2 High Impact. I outfitted my SS10 with dual SunVideo cards, a dual-proc upgrade, a couple different framebuffers (TGX, ZX, etc).

The Math Department of my school auctioned its entire remaining inventory of NeXT workstations -- which I bought in its entirety. In addition, I picked up a color Turbo, an NCD X-Terminal, a few VT100 clones, etc.

Now, I've moved a lot since then. I sold my SS IPX to get some other hardware. I gave my SGI machine to a friend that had never used SGIs or IRIX before. I sold my Color Turbo to a guy who might make better use of it. The X-term ended up with a friend I think.

I divested half of my NeXT lab -- including the monitors -- to people that wanted to play with them. I have 3 non-functioning 030 cubes left, and with a sheet of plain glass, they make up one of my coffee tables. I also have my SS10, which I cannot let myself get rid of because of all the money I dumped into it.

I've made my peace with using the remaining NeXT cubes as furnture. I'm not sure what to do with the SS10 - it uses a lot of power, it's very loud, and I can't think of much interesting to do with it. It's utterly worthless on ebay.

I think I still have my Apple ][+ somewhere. It's the machine I learned to program on.... :)

What do you do with old computers that are "special", but that you don't have a computing need for?

User Journal

Journal Journal: [Update] Memeprisal: "Tis the season" 24

This comes from shadow wrought, stoolpigeon, JC, Smitty, and originally, I think, RM6f9

Post a comment to this thread, and I will:

1. Tell you why I befriended you.
2. Associate you with something - fandom, a song, a color, a photo, etc..
3. Tell you something I like about you.
4. Tell you a memory I have of you.
5. Ask something I've always wanted to know about you.
7. In return, you must post this in your Journal/Blag/whatever.

Update: Ahh, the 2 minute rule... killing my productivity from answering all these... I'll get to you eventually, but it'll be off and on over the next day or two. Sorry!

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"Would I turn on the gas if my pal Mugsy were in there?" "You might, rabbit, you might!" -- Looney Tunes, Bugs and Thugs (1954, Friz Freleng)