Pic

I always see this photo posted on Reddit other places to “prove” that women are incompetent with firearms or just crappy in general.

First of all:

1) It’s a fucking air rifle, so no real recoil.

2) Her finger is behind the trigger guard, so there’s no real danger even if it were a real rifle.

3) She’s obviously using it to get a better look at something far away.

Because I liked shooting and couldn’t afford ammo, I had an air rifle with scope much like this as a kid. I bought it with my own money that I earned gathering pecans to sell by the pound.

So how do I know it’s an air rifle?

Almost all firearms eject their brass from the right side, since the vast majority of shooters are right-handed. See anything like that? Nope? Ok, that means it’s an air rifle. (There are other clues, too.)

Anyway, so that’s that.

VirtNerding

I know quite a lot about virtualization, so I’d always wondered why graphics performance on a desktop/consumer PC couldn’t be “passed through” with 95% of the original performance as everything else can – so for instance you could run a hypervisor on top of Linux, and then boot up Windows and run games in that with nearly the same performance as a native game in Linux.

I’d always assumed – because I’d never looked into it – that there was some obscure technical reason even though I could not think of one.

Nope, it’s all just vendor gouging.

So to sum up that, because Nvidia (and I am sure AMD too) wants you to buy their $1,500 GPU, they deliberately break the possibility of having decent 3-D GPU performance on consumer cards with virtualization.

Well, that answers the question of why I couldn’t think of any technical reason this shouldn’t be possible.

Because it is possible, and is done already (if you buy the $1,500 GPU), but it’s just blocked for consumer use.

Knife

Are all cops wimps these days?

Why is there ever any justification for cops shooting a teenage girl who is armed only with a knife?

Shit, I’m older and slower than I once was but pretty sure I could still disarm a teenage girl with a knife without too much trouble (unless she had some sort of special training), and all without hurting her too.

What a bunch of wastes of humanity.

Theory and practice

Weeny Western liberals like to argue that Islam is not innately oppressive.

But who cares? Nothing is innately oppressive. Christianity is not innately oppressive. Yet it and its institutions have nevertheless subjugated hundreds of millions of people over the years.

Western academics are afraid of Islam and are also afraid of not being seen as all-inclusive.

I have no such fears of either, and I care (like this commenter) about practice not theory.

In practice, hundreds of millions of women are oppressed every day around the world by Islam. Don’t tell me this is not true. I have actually lived in a Middle Eastern Islamic country.

Have you?

Anyway, Islam is not innately oppressive. So fucking what. I care about what actually happens in the real world.

And no, arguing that, well, the chattel-women in Islam like it (or at least say they do), so it’s not really oppression.

You and I are very different liberals, then, because I do not believe someone can commit themselves to slavery even if they claim to really, really want to do so. I think it is morally wrong and incompatible with any sort of secular humanism one can imagine.

So what should we do?

Nothing. We should do nothing. It’s not our fight, yet we are fighting it.

Bombing and invading countries where Muslims live actually makes it worse. Far worse. We should stop all that immediately.

Other than that and offering some humanitarian support, there’s nothing we can do.

But pretending that Islam is immune from criticism ain’t my bag. All religions harm people, and I make no exception for Islam’s harm.

That one thing isn’t innately some other thing doesn’t mean it does not have those qualities in practice. Simple logic, but not so simple I guess for those stuck in theoretical clouds of obfuscation.

Forgetting

I’m always mystified by how quickly and completely adults forget what it was like to be a child.

That was a long time ago for me, but I remember it well. Why do so many adults forget? Is the average person just that self-focused? Does me being aware that I am self-centered actually make me functionally less so?

I don’t know, but man most people have the brains of a cantaloupe it seems.

Rube[n]s

Ok, fatlogic people, let’s talk about Rubens. Peter Paul Rubens, specifically. ld

Those who support their god-given right to a miserable life and early death cite Rubens as “proof” that in the past Western society preferred fat women to those damn waifs.

Well, it depends on what past we’re talking about. And as usual, people writing about it utterly misunderstand the historical context.

First, before we get to that, it’s good to note that Rubens’ paintings were an historical outlier. His contemporaries did not paint such voluptuous models, and in fact in Western art models as large as those in Rubens’ depictions are and have always been an extreme outlier, all the way back to Etruscan and Greek art.

However Rubens’ choice of models was not about beauty or aesthetics, but rather his reaction to the tendency of other painters at that time to depict very thin or nearly-starving models to support the church’s view that privation and denying oneself earthly pleasures was virtuous.

Rubens’ painting were a rejection of this church doctrine and had nothing to do with the aesthetic preferences of anyone directly.

So.

You can kind of see where not understanding historical and cultural context can get you. And that place would be called “Dumbassville.”

I think people should be as fat as they want to be. It doesn’t harm me at all. In fact, it might help as obese people tend to die quite a bit earlier thus reducing lifetime health costs. So thank you for that. My insurance premium thanks you as well.

But I hate disavowal of truth and those who just are stubbornly resistant to operating outside of their own cultural context.

Rubens is not some example of how in some delightful past fat women (or men) were upheld as paragons of beauty. With a few very rare historical exceptions, they just weren’t.

Rubens was making what today would be called a political point, or using painting as an editorial.

(By the way, the picture of Lorde has absolutely nothing to do with the post. I just like the hairstyle and photo. The milkmaid braid is great. She also looks like an alien this way, which I also appreciate. Aliens are cool. Lorde aliens are cooler.)

The 5K

I’ve told numerous people that that $20 shirt they bought in Target would in today’s dollars cost ~$5,000 in the year 1400. They tend to not believe me. But they are as usual wrong.

This person says $3,500, but she acknowledges not accounting for some production costs.

When you realize historically speaking how fantastically rich our society is – and even how much richer it’s gotten since say 1950 – you then know that the idea that we can’t provide universal healthcare and a UBI is just poppycock.

Video

Look What They’ve Done To My Song

A cover by Miley Cyrus.

She is very talented. The music industry exploiting her? Ha. Way to deny female agency in choosing her own path. She’s fucking good even if I don’t like most of her pop work.

Check out her cover of Bob Dylan, too. It’s great. I hate Dylan, but she makes this song real. She’s the best modern country singer I know of when she sings that style. Really fantastic.

French culture

I’m likely one of the few Americans not of French origin who had ever heard of Charlie Hebdo much less read it before the Paris massacre.

Not some sort of humblebrag, but context. I read French periodicals and though I don’t speak French well at all – about like a four-year-old — I understand it spoken fairly well and read it just fine.

That said, most Americans – and especially Tumblr – writing about the magazine really just have no fucking clue.

They don’t understand French culture, they don’t understand satire and have no idea of the context of the debate or even really any knowledge of history.

That’s what’s tricky about two-layer satire like Charlie Hebdo’s: the joke only works if you see both layers, which often requires conversant knowledge of French politics or culture. If you don’t see that layer, then the covers can seem to say something very different and very racist.

Yeah – after the massacre, I saw consistent and pervasive interpretations of the cartoons as being racist when all the ones I saw cited where specifically and (to me) obviously making fun of racism and racists.

That’s what context and actually knowing something about French culture can do for you.

I’m amazed at how many people are willing to spout off at the mouth or at the keyboard in reference to things about which they have absolutely no clue at all.