Ember

By | September 18, 2018

I was reading this today, and made me think about that the stupidest fucking thing many academics do — and I don’t know why this happens — is that they believe if you can’t draw clear boundaries around something and locate it specifically, it doesn’t exist.

This is not the way the world works! A species is a human construction. So is a generation. Or even a star, or a galaxy. These things are not in the world; they are in our minds.

I don’t know what to call this tendency as it’s not quite reductionism. It’s a very strange mindset since when you examine it closely enough, what completely discrete phenomenon even exists in this universe? Above the quantum level, zero. This universe is one of continuous gradations, of unclear boundaries. This ridiculous fantasy that something must have an extremely clear border to be able to discuss it is something so inane and witless that I don’t know how anyone can believe this, much less “educated” people.

Roam the Funway

By | September 18, 2018

I shouldn’t complain so much about the harm and uselessness of smartphones. In the meta sense, they are to my advantage.

They make people both more anxious and stupider, more prone to be less attentive in public, less able to exercise self-control, and also less able to use a real working tool — a full computer.

So, in other words, it makes the smartphone-addicted far less competitive in the job market and their disadvantages accrue to me as advantages as I am not and never will be wedded to my smartphone, nor beset by FOMO or anxiety from its various beeps, exhortations and cries for attention.

I don’t even know where my phone is right now, and that is not uncommon. If I didn’t need it for work, I’d throw it away.

Tech Types

By | September 17, 2018

Techie types almost always assume they know the way someone else should be using their product, and they are almost never right.

Bee Cord

By | September 17, 2018

To this day I miss phones with physical keyboards. They are so superior to on-screen keyboards, which are just dismal, it’s not even a contest.

I’m always surprised by people who will make their lives 10x harder for the sake of “convenience,” but it seems a common human failing.

Lehman Lies

By | September 17, 2018

Yes. I see all the time the contention that if we’d just saved Lehman that there would have been no financial crisis, no wave of foreclosures, that all would have gone along humming just fine into the infinite future.

That’s what the public has been propagandized with (along with “no one could have known”) but it’s just completely false. Saving Lehman would’ve shifted the time scale a bit and the crash would’ve happened in another way. No matter what, all those CDOs and CDSes were garbage, inter-bank lending would still have frozen up and people still would’ve been unable to pay their mortgages, etc.

Recognize that “we should’ve saved Lehman” is just propaganda for the next crisis so that we make sure to save every bank and rich banker rather than letting even one of them fail.

The Stupidest Thing

By | September 16, 2018

I was thinking of this reference Mozilla, but it’s generally true. For me, avoiding doing the stupidest thing possible is usually fairly easy, but it seems really very difficult at crucial times for most organizations and people. I wonder why?

Often, I don’t do the smartest thing, or the cleverest, but at least I avoid doing the absolute most harebrained action possible. But it seems a huge attractor to many. It was for Mozilla and so many others. This is also something else I am thinking about a lot lately.

Long Time Gone

By | September 16, 2018

This is pretty close to a discussion a friend and I had over 20 years ago, when the DMCA was being debated.

We both posted on some popular (at the time) boards and newsgroups with our concerns, but we were told essentially that what we were worried about “could never happen.”

Every bit of it has happened, and worse. It’s no fun seeing a future that sucks.

The Authoritarian Left

By | September 16, 2018

I advocate this exact opposite of this advice for men and women.

One of the best things I ever did was dating women significantly older than me. It helped me learn and grow more than just about anything else I did at that time.

What’s with this narrative of female fragility that’s taking over? Women can’t be trusted to make their own decisions now? And I don’t understand why anyone who dates a younger person is automatically labeled as predatory? That’s just not the way relationships work. Is everyone really a weak fragile flower when they are 21? I somehow doubt that. I certainly was not.

I think this is more about policing assortative mating, etc., than anything else. (In other words, this has absolutely nothing to do with protection from harm, but rather eliminating more interesting, more resourced competition from the dating pool.)

Let people date who they want to date, as long as they are not minors. Must we really find yet another way to shame and control people?

Thank you, authoritarian left.

Juliet Couplet

By | September 16, 2018

It takes everything I can do not to speak in rhyming couplets to people. My brain just thinks that way and it’s also how I remember things.

So, if I do that to you, I am only somewhat sorry.

Paths

By | September 16, 2018

This isn’t about #metoo or anything specific, but I am really not down with the left’s idea that one bad choice or saying the wrong word makes a person irredeemable forevermore.

That’s another sign of creeping authoritarianism, just as is the left’s increased and unrestrained cheering for the use of the carceral system, said system which probably should not exist at all.

Nearly every ideology is the same these days, and that’s not just to do with neoliberalism. I need to think about this a lot more.