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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.

RE Politics: I still hate them. We have a different sort of president this time around and he's making some of the right moves and plenty of wrong ones as well. But I accept that no president will ever satisfy me at all. They're all idiots. At least this idiot won't attack anyone unprovoked. But... that's about all I have to say for that

RE The Economy: We played with fire believing that the economy could be ballooned out infinitely and this is where it got us. However, there is a part of me that wonders what other financial games on the global front were more stealthily responsible for the problems we're seeing. The economy is like the water system in a house. I think someone else on the planet just turned the cold water onto maximum and we're getting scalded in the shower. My money is on China.

RE tonight's Perseid Meteor Shower: Every fucking year on the peak night of the Perseids, we get massive cloud cover. EVERY FUCKING YEAR SINCE 1998 when I first started paying attention.

RE Facebook: Yeah. I'm there. Mostly for personal and professional reasons. It has it's ups and downs. But damn I'm feeling old now. I've been through quite a few "social networks" this place included since 1989. 20 years of social networking and seeing that same stuff repeated over an over and over... Tonight's rerun: the Meyers-Briggs personality assessment seems to be all the rage on Facebook.

RE Operating Systems: Still using Linux. I prefer to actually know how a computer works vs. being completely trapped by a lack of knowledge when a more "friendly" system breaks in a way that can't be tweaked or fixed by a non-coder like me. However, I am pretty impressed with the Windows 7 trial so far.

RE Career: Everything is up in the air now. My organization has experienced massive budget cuts from the state of Ohio. So there is a high likelihood of layoffs this year. We're already foregoing any raises of any kind. But that hasn't been enough to meet the shortfall. So who knows what will happen. I'd love to get out sooner rather than later. Need to bone up on the application and interview processes. I missed out on a rather nice job possibility because I sent my printed resume via snail mail and that organization no longer accepts that format. Had I read the super small fine print at the very bottom of the page with application instructions, I would have found that the online application is NOT optional.

RE Art/Music: I've had zero time to spend on this ever since becoming a parent. By the time I have late night time, I'm too mentally tired to give it a try. But I need to persist. I've had just a few short victories in the past five years. Sadly where I used to be able to spend 6-12 hours on making full songs, I now have just barely enough time to get about a 20-30 second start and then I have to go to sleep. The choice is between being a good dad or a good artist. Right now I choose being a good dad. My kid needs that more than I need an artistic outlet.

So that's my semi-state of the union address. Hope anyone who is still here and reading is doing better than they were a few years ago. And if not, I wish you the best of luck in the coming years. I'll check back again. Someday.

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...)

If you can't change something about your life, your town, your state or the country, that would help not only you but everyone around you, then you have little power. How does that dynamic even interact with your current presidential candidate selection? Think deeply. Discuss (Heh. All three of you left on Slashdot). I think you'll find that election 2008 is the most fruitless of all presidential elections in recent memory. (Don't mistake this for class warfare either. There are varying levels of power in each economic class)

User Journal

Journal Journal: ELECTION 2008: What it Takes to be President 3

This is a work in progress. I may come back to it. I may never:

No one has "what it takes" to be president. America has reached the limits of what it can do in the world and is failing. There are no good candidates this election because no human on the face of the planet can meet the challenges of 21st century government.

The problem is caused by many parts, but the two biggest are:

1. The failure of the abilities of human consciousness to be able to make multiple decisions quickly and effectively without being swayed by any kind of personal interests. With the conservatives, those personal interests are profits and business. With the liberals, those personal interests are any number of emotionally driven issues which are used to control them.

2. The inability of most of the western world to accept that unless you adjust your expectations to voluntarily live with massive inconvenience, and discipline yourselves to respond appropriately and holistically to those inconveniences, you will fail in your goal to remain a cohesive civilization.

Your response to every problem that has been thrown your way for these past 50 years has become increasingly inadequate. The majority of the cause for that inadequacy is the cult of individuality that arose from the 1960s and 1970s. The lie that the individual is all important has utterly weakened any firm intellectual foundation that once existed previous to the changes born out of that era. Born of that same family is also the dislike and distrust in any organization with any power over individuals. This prevents people from organizing in any productive way to achieve a goal. The more successful the organization, the more it will not be trusted.

You face the threat of environmental disasters on many fronts of which a decent number of our modern technologies can take the blame for causing. How do you respond? You either waste your time and energy protesting the businesses that are responsible. Or you try and create the modern day equivalent of the indulgences of the catholic church and excuse certain polluters because they're throwing money at the problem. Or you just bury your heads in the sand and say, "there is no problem because we can't even prove it's man made".

You face terrorism from a variety of people and groups with self-serving and negative agendas. Instead of trying to find ways to thwart terrorists that involve real security, what do you do? On the one hand, you launch a poorly planned attack on a country that had little to do with terrorist attacks in the world. That attack turns into the current quagmire in Iraq that you have little choice but to remain engaged in now. On the other hand you waste more time arguing and protesting in the name of peace without ever accepting that humans are not a peaceful animal.

Do you even consider that part of the problem for the massive disagreements in directions to take might be caused by the intellectual "software" of one or more cultures being completely incapable of understanding or relating to other cultures? No. That's massively inconvenient to the liberals because it smacks of nationalism or even racism. To the dimwits on the right, it's not even conceivable. They actually labor under the delusion that everyone "good" thinks the way they do.

There is no human solution for the problems you are having. The population of the planet has gotten too big to be managed by human beings. The pace of change has increased tremendously to the point where no human being is capable of keeping up. You are seeing humanity reach the limits of self-governance on a world-wide scale and you are headed for complete failure.

So all of you people with your candidates picked out for this Fall, the joke is on you. You are all failures if you can't understand my warnings. There is no acceptable candidate, nor will there be. Do not deceive yourselves into believing in any kind of solution that human beings create. Humans are nothing more than arrogant, foolish animals with a tenuous and illusory set of laws and rules as your only distinction from other animals.

User Journal

Journal Journal: RUMBLE: What's this Place Up To? 6

Holy shit. I leave for a couple years and what happens? The place dissolves. My take:

1. A seething cesspool of filthy and lowly minds with nothing to contribute to the online universe. But they're having a grand old time being that way, aren't they?
2. Meh. Only reason to be there is old friends who left here. Yeah. I'm there. But I don't have enough free time at the moment to keep up with things.
3. With the ejection of the excreta that used to be here over onto the Digg pile, it looks like the tone of the discussions has gone up a bit, but the submissions have slowed to a trickle, so there's not much to talk about anymore. Sad indeed.

Why am I back? Because I'm looking for a fight. As usual. I don't know how long I'll be here though.

User Journal

Journal Journal: A Prediction 4

If my prior comments on wikipedia are any guide, after the post drops off the front page, a wikipedia editor with mod points will mod-bomb all my (currently 5,5,5,4) comments in the Wikipedia story.

The wikipedia administration, for whatever reason, is extraordinarily defensive and hates to see criticism remain un-suppressed. If this is reminiscent of a cult, well, if the show fits....


Journal Journal: Innate Gender Preferences in Toys 25 Million Years Old? 2

Some 25 million years ago, humans and vervet monkeys diverged from a common ancestor. In very rough terms, perhaps one and a quarter million human generations, or five million vervet generations, have been brought forth upon the Earth since that common ancestor lived. Of course, many differences have evolved between humans and vervets in those 25 million years: among other things, human parents choose toys for their children; vervet parents do not.

But after all that time and genetic change, and despite studies attributing human children's toy preferences to adult stereotypes, a new study by Dr. Gerianne Alexander finds that vervet males, like human boys, prefer toy trucks and balls, while vervet females and human girls prefer dolls and toy cooking pots. What's more, the vervets play with the toys much as human children do: males roll trucks on the ground, females inspect dolls (apparently) for genitalia. Previously on Slashdot: Harvard president Larry Summers and his daughter's "baby truck", Gender and gaming.

[Submitted and, of course, rejected.]

User Journal

Journal Journal: Slashdot fans! Help me! 9

I've got a number of fans, and I've never asked for anything other than that you appreciate my comments here.

But now I need your help.

A spark jumped from my finger and now my Touchstream LP keyboard is dead. Like the parrot in the Python skit. Dead.

Windows plug-and-play doesn't recognize it at all.

So I need your help.

Can anyone either

  • suggest possible repairs
  • or, tell me where I can get a replacement?

Neither of these are easy: the keyboard uses capacitance to track fingers, so the spark may have burnt those out, or -- since it doesn't respond at all -- the main circuit board may be fried.

And the manufacturer of the Touchstream has been bought up, and Touchstream keyboards are no longer manufactured.

Please, Obi-Wan, ^HHHH er, Slashdot fans, you're my only hope.


Journal Journal: Laptop functionality in handheld form factor? 5

I'm playing around with the idea of getting a laptop and (geek warning) some sort of VR glasses instead of a screen.

Optimally, I'd like something with the form factor of a Sharp Zaurus, but with a hard drive and standard ports.

Basically, I want a "real computer" that I can put in my pocket. To use the VR glasses, I'd need standard USB ports and the ability to use a standard video card.

Is this too bleeding edge? What are my options for a really small laptop, possibly without a screen?

This is slashdot, so I know you guys have some good ideas, and a good sense of what's possible.

Data Storage

Journal Journal: Your secret stash of ancestral DNA to the rescue?

(A)bort, (I)gnore, (R)evert to Grandma's DNA A jaw-dropping revision to Mendelian inheritance: bad genes can be replaced from a secret ancestral stash. (Is the stash in RNA? DNA? A gzip file? We don't know.)

The same researchers have previously mentioned other ways to get around Mendel. See abstract #34.

Almost as interestingly, this discovery could undercut the deleterious mutation hypothesis theory of why sexual reproduction is useful, useful despite what John Maynard Smith termed its "two-fold cost", and explain the eighty-million years of asexual reproduction without extinction in bdelloid rotifers.

Also, brought to you by the letter... 3FB? DNA gets a fake fifth letter.

(This was submitted to Slashdot and rejected, so you get to see it exclusively in my journal, or over on MetaFilter.)

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Dangling Conversation (apologies to Simon & Garfunkel)

"When you wanted me, I figured I had, or would have down the road, better prospects than you. Um, things didn't work out as bright and shiny as I hoped. Now I'd, you know, be willing to settle.

"Ok, actually, I really don't even think of you anymore, and your name doesn't still make me pause and wonder 'what if', if it ever really did, (it doesn't, even though the mere thought of me is still like a fresh punch in the gut for you after all these long withered years).

"But if it consoles you to think that you cross my mind on lonely white nights at three a.m. and I feel some sort of vague formless regret -- honestly, any regret I feel is more for my lost youth than for you per se, at this point you just kinda symbolize that lost youth for me, like an old 'Letter' sweater from highschool or a copy of the program for that play we were in together, or those pictures of guys with long sideburns that you know instantly are from the time of the Nixon Administration --, well, you always were the sentimental sort who wrote poetry and believed bathetic crap like 'true love', so keep on with what's essentially your form of mental masturbation if it makes you feel better."

"Ok, stop crying, it always annoyed me when you cried because it made me feel like I was supposed to do something and what did you want me to do, I mean, you were nice and fun and all that --- yes the sex was good, why do you always ask about that --but, come on, we never -- hell, you especially never really expected it to last, I mean we travelled in different circles and you weren't Jewish, not that that's a big deal to me, but Jesus, your family -- please stop crying, ok, so sometimes on occasion I miss you, is that what you wanted to hear?

"Ok, so sure, sometimes I think of you, but really, if I'm the 'one who got away' for you, don't you sometimes stop to think there's one who got away for me too, and it's only natural that rather than think of you when I'm lonely -- yes, yes, yes, sometimes I do think of you, and you were really nice. Yes! Yes I mean it! Why would I lie now?? Really. I do mean it.

"Yes, you were really nice. Ok?

"And it was great talking to you. Sure, sure, same time, next year, give me a call like always. No, I do like hearing from you. I do.

"Ok, you have a nice night too."

United States

Journal Journal: Visitors to US to be tagged with RFID by Homeland Security 4 reports that 'the US Department of Homeland Security has decided to trial RFID tags' .... 'to track both pedestrians and vehicles entering the US to automatically record when the visitors arrive and leave in the country.'

Welcome to the Land of the Free!, number 4c62c570-70c5-11d9-9669-0800200c9a66! You'll be reflecting at 2450 MHz, enjoy your stay!

The article goes on to explain that

The testing phase will continue until the spring of next year. The exact way RFID will be used with the travellers is not yet known.

. . . .

US Under Secretary for Border & Transportation Security, Asa Hutchinson, said in a statement: "Through the use of radio frequency technology, we see the potential to not only improve the security of our country, but also to make the most important infrastructure enhancements to the US land borders in more than 50 years."

What is your frequency, Kenneth?

Remind me again why the most talented foreign scientists are no longer doing research in America?

And how soon will the "success" of this program lead to tagging government employees and contractors as a prelude to tagging all citizens?

The Almighty Buck

Journal Journal: "senior level web programmer" and SQL DBA, $10 per hour? 8

On I see under "Computer Gigs", an ad for a "senior level web programmer" with, additionally, "exceptional Microsoft SQL 2000 administration... skill".

By "senior", the ad explains, they mean "someone with at least 5 to 6 years working experience in Microsoft Platforms. Microsoft certification is a plus."

The offer requires a minimum three month contract, with set hours of 10:30 am to 3:30 pm, Monday through Thursdays (with Fridays off). That's 20 hours a week (but without apparently the ability to time-shift or moonlight so as to accomodate another 9-5 job).

The compensation offered is $800 per month -- in other words, a "senior level web programmer" is apparently worth only ten dollars per hour.

And yes, I emailed them to confirm this, and they really do mean ten dollars per hous, twenty hours per week, minimum three month contract. And this is in the San Francisco area.

So my question is, is this what's becoming the norm, or is the job poster smoking something?

Addendum: As artifex2004 (766107) notes below, the job posting has been removed from craigslist.

However, another craigslist reader was er, kind enough to respond to the original listing; but I'm not sure how he calculated $12.50 an hour. (And no, I didn't make the response.)

Also, for those wondering about my email with the job poster, this is his reply to my query confirming his ad, with addresses elided:


Yea exactly we are a small start up. And that is our offer


----- Original Message -----
From: orthogonal's address elided
To: job poster's address elided, too
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 2:42 PM
Subject: Wanted: SQL 2000 Admin With ASP, HTML skills

>> From your ad at:
>> You're offering $10.00 per hour for a senior level web programmer?
>> Quoted:
>> This is a senior level web programmer position. You will program and
>> manage our existing database driven community portal.
>> We are looking for someone with at least 5 to 6 years working
>> experience in Microsoft Platforms. Microsoft certification is a plus.
>> Working hours will be 10.30am to 3.30pm with Fridays Off. Salary is
>> $800/month. Minimum 3 months contract required.

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.

I'm still around folks. Maybe some of you have figured out who the "new me" is aleady, maybe you haven't. :) I wouldn't have logged in as T4D if it hadn't been for that ass trying to 0wn my account.

Oh yeah... and FUCK BUSH!

P.S. - The "Ghost of T4D" posts as AC have been me so far. Also, I'm glad to see that Twink of the Mists has deleted his JEs. No one wanted to hear what he had to say anyway. Maybe he took the hint. OK... we can dream can't we?


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 as "informed political views" from the neocon losers. Since my wife was off to Washington to protest the saber rattling of our simian Unpresident and I was stuck at home tending to a work related problem I figured, I should be the voice of dissent here on Slashdot. Not "liberal" dissent, mind you. But the voice of anti-corporate dissent. You CAN be a liberal and a capitalist at the same time no matter what the neocons are spinning this week.

So I took my first stab and boy did I hit the jackpot with a nicely crafted troll that got tons of up and down mods and a nice amount of responses. It was carefully written and included links that discredited a lot of what Bush and his peanut gallery were saying at the time. The thing is that I didn't "research" it at all. I just linked a few relevant Google results and made sure that it went on and on for quite a few paragraphs. Enough that it had to force people to click on the "Read the rest of this comment" link. When they DID do that, then I had a nice multiple line "meta-troll". I take credit for being the inventor of the meta-troll as NO ONE did it before I did. It paid homage to the best trolls of days gone by and made light of the dumber trolls plus it threw in a few new ones of it's own. It was exquisite even if I do say so myself. Getting people to read my comment so earnestly only to find it punctuated with nothing but crap at the end was pretty satisfying. This was the perfect way to illustrate to the politically minded people of Slashdot that I DON'T GIVE A FUCK WHAT YOU THINK.

After a while... my style settled down a bit and I found that people started friending and foeing me. This was new and interesting. It was also interesting to see the interactions with other people. I was quite happy to see that many of my "fans" came from OUTSIDE of the US. I've always felt like a stranger here anyway. Maybe it's because I was raised by a hispanic mother who conluded that Americans can get REALLY silly sometimes. Who knows?

From the beginning, when I chose my Slashdot ID I was trying to think of something that really symbolized what I thought of the neocons. Then I hit upon Trolling4Dollars. It's a semi-regional bit of humor. Where I live there used to be television program in the 60s and 70s called "Bowling for Dollars". This program was undoubtedly duplicated in many other markets in the US. When I read the pap that guys like Neocon and Twirlip of the Mists spat out on a daily basis, I realized that whether they see it or not, they are trolling on behalf of the dollar. They live for money and profit and the corrupt form of capitalism that rules the land today. Their "trolls" are driven by their greed. So my Slashdot ID was me thumbing my nose at them.

What I found endlessly entertaining was that they assumed I was "just a troll" and would probably eventually go away because of their "shining intellect". However, the grandest days for the T4D account were when Twirlip of the Mists and Neocon foed me. Especially Twirlip because he paid lipservice to not caring much about making foes because he's so "open minded". He made a big deal about how humble and gratified that he was that he had so many fans. Just "little old him". But he was an arrogant prick if you weren't on his side. One day he foed me. It seemed to be counter to what he claimed and boy did I enjoy that. When Pudge foed me it wasn't nearly as satisfying. Now, I will be the first to admit that Twirlip is not an idiot. He's a smart person, but he's not on the side of the person who makes less than $50,000 a year let me tell you. To me, that is the most dispicable kind of person. It doesn't matter how smart they are, but if they can't see the value in trying to help others, then I have no respect for them. Oddly, there are things that Twirlip and I did agree about, but he'd pretty much dismissed me even when I pointed them out. Twirlip... it's all in the implementation dude. Your implementation sucks.

Getting back to Slashdot as a whole. It's pretty much ruined. What I used to love about it was that it was like a much nicer version of Usenet news groups. I used to be able to discuss real important stuff like Bash shell tips, getting IP Masquerade and NAT to work under Linux or getting a Quake server up and running. I learned some and I think I also taught people a little too. That's what this place was supposed to be about. The news stories were supposed to be the fodder for the discussion. But once Slashdot got invaded by mouth breathing AOHell users and people started talking about their politics, and then CmdrTaco encouraged all of this, it just went south. (If anyone of my friends has a relationship with Taco, pass this JE along to him I think he needs to read at least this part) Slashdot was a great opportunity to link a bunch of like-minded computer geeks together, throw some interesting tech news at them and then get the discussions going for better or worse. People would trade tips about hardware or software. They would relate horror stories about one OS or another. But in general it was all kept pretty friendly. That's all gone now. To actually survive on Slashdot you need to be a bully otherwise no one notices you. It's truly sad. Truly sad indeed.

My only political statement I'm going to make here is this. If you're an American, I don't care who you plan to vote for in November. I plan to vote for Kerry and my neighbor (who I think is a pretty nice guy) plans top vote for Bush as the sign on his lawn professes. Will I go over and pants him until he changes his mind? No. It's not my place to change his mind as he believes in his candidate for his own reasons as firmly as I do mine. Sure, I'll be vocal about my support of Kerry. I'll be interested in persuading those open to persuasion. But I'm not going to really expect to walk up to a Bush supporter and get him to change his mind. And in the end, regardless of who wins, we're going to have to live with the consequences and the "I told you sos" from either side. In the long run, it's just going to be more of the same. More moved in one direction, then back the other as the population has mass amnesia and forgets how "bad" things were the "other" way. The only thing I want is to make sure that every vote really does count. No dirty tricks. That's the best I can hope for.

I've noticed that some of my fans have dropped away. I imagine that one or another comments I've made regarding religion, OS choice or political views may have been the cause. It could also be something as simple as them wanting to add a different person they like better and I was on the short list. That's fine. There are still people I like regardless of what their reasons for dropping me. (bethanie ;P) I've also noticed some people just dropping out altogether because I think they, like me, are just sick of what Slashdot has become. It's kind of sad because some of them kept EXCELLENT journals. (the_mad_poster ;) ) Then there are the groups of really genuinely nice people who still seem to somehow rise above all the sludge and slime and keep their little group a nice place to be. Thanks for being a fan of T4D (DaytonCIM, Ethelred Unraed, tuxette, Zontar the Mindless, cyranoVR, JeremiahCornelius, SamTheButcher, SolemnDragon, danill, tomhudson, Zeriel, insanecarbonbasedlif, GigsVT). Then the folks who just write damn interesting things regardless of whether they are fans or freaks or friends or foes or neutral or even whether or not I agree with them. (Chacham, BlackHat, PerfessorMultigeek, js7a) There are a ton of other folks that have made my stay as T4D fun and enlightening but I'm running out of time to go through the list... take it as read that I am really glad to have known you all.

I might pop back in and out from time to time with T4D, but my other accounts will likely become more active. I want to pull out of the political discussions and the OS religion wars and see if there is some bit of Slashdot that still does what it used to. Vain hope I know.

Goodbye for now and [insert deity] bless.

P.S. - Please pass this on to anyone who you may be friends with who I mentioned but who may not be friends with me. Thanks. Over and out.

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"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.