Red

By | September 20, 2018

That we’ve never sent humans to Mars is such a travesty, an utter failure of initiative and imagination.

Paper Wasp

By | September 20, 2018

I need Times Older Roman, that looks the same but compacts the font. Never have written a paper or article that didn’t run too long. I can keep going forever, as I am sure you can tell from this blog.

A 3,000 word paper? Sure, will have it done by lunch. What next?

Weighty Matters

By | September 20, 2018

How to Build Strength.

This is really good. I recommend. Only a few problems, none worth mentioning, and building any strength is better than doing nothing.

I’d recommend using free weights as much as possible, though. They will allow for better form and quicker muscle building if you are otherwise healthy, but they are somewhat more challenging to use.

And it is a good counterweight (heh) to this ball of garbage. Nearly everything in there is wrong, invalid, or outright propaganda and lies. Especially the portions about health and obesity are just utterly factually wrong, just completely scientifically unsupported. I would not be surprised if the processed food/fast food industry paid for this.

There’s a reason doctors mention obesity so much — it contributes to, exacerbates, or sometimes causes every single health problem there is. Just about every single one. I see progressives linking to this utter horseshit article approvingly because they want to be inclusive and all that. But that kind of inclusiveness is killing people and pretending it’s all good is not going to help, just as shaming will not.

Anyway, I took the push-up test that was linked from the NYT piece. I am doing pretty good!

Screen Shot 2018 09 20 at 4 22 46 PM

Fifty-five reps is what I can do now without resting. When I was in the army, I could do 130 at my peak. I’ll get there again.

Waver

By | September 20, 2018

I want a microwave for offices that detects when someone is attempting to make popcorn and then forcefully opens the door and ejects it onto the floor.

Just as one should not take a dump in the hallways at the office, one should never make popcorn. I believe my popcorn-ejecting microwave should be an OSHA requirement in all offices.

Why else do we have all this AI and such? We need to direct it to the truly important problems.

Magee

By | September 20, 2018

“Now if we consider together the two points that have just been made — the point that no argument can add to the content of its premises, and the point that all arguments have to rest in the end on unproven premises — it becomes clear that the widely accepted notion that every truth needs to be proved, and that only what has been demonstrated is true, is the opposite of what is actually the case; in fact every proof must rest on foundations whose truth is not demonstrated, must go back eventually to something which is not the conclusion of an argument. We may be inclined, for as long as we do not think about it, to suppose that human knowledge about the world has come into existence through chains of reasoning, and is embodied in their conclusions, but in reality all the information we have is already embodied in the premises from which those very chains of reasoning begin — if we know anything about the world we know it not because it has been demonstrated or proved but because it has been directly experienced or perceived, or else because it follows by logical processes which contribute nothing all in the way of empirical content from what has been directly experienced or perceived. In this fundamental sense, all knowledge precedes all demonstration.”

–Bryan Magee, The Philosophy of Schopenhauer

How To Do a Bad Cover

By | September 20, 2018

This is how to do a bad cover — try to clone the song. This might as well be sung by a robot. There is nothing wrong with her voice, if you like robots and dislike emotion and depth.

Now compare and contrast the song done with emotion and actual depth:

Just what a great, great song. I mean, if I ever wrote anything even half that good, I would just hang it up. I’d be done and fuck all the rest. Time to retire and laugh at all the people who couldn’t compare. (She used to cry nearly every time she sang this one. She’s visibly crying at 3:18.)

Out of the Woods

By | September 20, 2018

Remember when everyone just knew that Taylor Swift had no talent and that it was all autotune? This song captures anxiety better than just about any song ever written, except perhaps “Time Baby III” by Medicine.

I think “All Too Well” is perhaps one of the best songs ever written from any time, but “Out of the Woods” is probably my favorite Taylor Swift song because it just resonates more for me.

Love this next performance, too. It’s so simple yet so effective.

Lift Up

By | September 19, 2018

When I was in the army, I could deadlift 400 pounds. That’s a lot for someone my size and my bodyweight at the time (174 pounds, 8% body fat). But it’s all I could do. I don’t think I could have ever lifted much more because that’s just about the limit of my frame. Maybe if I trained really hard for many more years I could’ve gotten to 450.

So watching these World’s Strongest Man competitors deadlift nearly 1,000 pounds is humbling.

I am going to get back into weightlifting in the very near future. It was the form of exercise I enjoyed the most in the army and if you do it right, you are only competing against yourself. I routinely lifted with guys who could deadlift 600+ pounds and they were ecstatic when I hit 400 for the first time.

It’s also one of the few forms of exercise with well-done and valid scientific studies that show both quality of life and longevity increases, so it’s beneficial to everyone. (And no, women won’t “look like men” if they start weightlifting. Unless you take steroids or work out 8 hours a day, it’ll feminize your shape more than anything. Jessica Biel is a gym rat. Think she looks like a man?)

Deadlifting 1,000 pounds. Damn. That’s half a small car.

Pastry Me

By | September 19, 2018

Sometimes I just sit around and think about the pastries and baked goods I’ve eaten in Germany, Italy, China and other places and get angry. Like burn down the building kind of angry. Except the building’s this whole country of atrocious food.

The Real Deception

By | September 19, 2018

I appreciate that Matt Taibbi’s article spends so much time refuting the “no one could have known” narrative that was firmly established by propaganda during and post-Great Recession.

The blog “Calculated Risk” spoofed this even at the time with their “hoocoodanode?” taunt (fuck I miss Tanta to this day*) and it seemed obvious to me — who at the time was only vaguely paying attention to this — that the inevitable housing crash was going to cause problems of some type.

This colorful language – dominoes, a confidence game, an “iceberg,” a “storm” – artfully disguised reality. This wasn’t weather coming at them, but the consequences of years of untrammeled criminal fraud.

One of the most successful propaganda efforts in all of history was that poor little babies, just no one could have known that all of the criminal fraud, money laundering, and financial “engineering” was going to lead to trouble. Really, that probably kept a few thousand bankers, mortgage lender CEOs and other similar slimeballs out of prison.

And I was amazed how well it worked! I had friends explaining to me confidently that the callow delicate CEOs who only had access to every blatantly criminal activity and had explicitly approved everything undertaken by their organization could have had just no idea the wild speculative fraud and swindling their companies were up to.

I’d write or say, “You know, that’s not how companies work, right? No one puts $50 billion on the line and the CEO and top execs don’t know every detail about it?”

And they’d say,”But I read in the NYT that they didn’t know!” Or something very similar.

“Oh, ok then. That makes it true.”

As I said, one of the largest criminal conspiracies in history was followed up by one of the most well-organized and successful propaganda efforts of all time. Taibbi is one of the few who refutes that revisionist history every chance he gets. As the propaganda effort was to the benefit of most journalists and others, most didn’t bother to say a word against it and never will.

*I am puzzled how I can intensely miss someone I never met in person, never did anything but read words on a page, heck never even knew what she looked like until after she died. But I do, and so do a lot of other people. One of the best non-fiction writers ever to live.