Apr 27


People complain about false-color images — of space, heat maps, the like.

But your whole visual sensory apparatus produces false color images all the time. What is “real color,” anyway?

Read some philosophy. It’ll take a while.

I know what they’re getting at. Sort of. They want to know how it “really” looks. To what and to whom, though? To a tetrachromat? To a dragonfly?

There is no “real” picture of the world. Never can be. False color images are just another way of seeing what’s there, not some fantasy. They are useful tools and no more unreal than any other depiction of the world.

Apr 26


The Linux permissions model is very terrible.

The Windows permissions model is only mildly annoying.

But the Linux permissions model is unfriendly, basically unworkable across systems, and not “designed” so much as slapped together from several different incompatible approaches and models.

If I were setting up an enterprise where multiple user access was important, I’d never even consider Linux. Though I am pretty skilled in both Linux and Windows, in Windows I could get 100 users set up correctly with no issues in less than a day.

In Linux, I might be at it for weeks.

Not a good value despite some other advantages.

Apr 25

Command me

The most useful Linux command of the day is xwininfo. After running the command, it’ll show you the geometry, bit depth and other useful info of any window you click on:


Useful for scripting window actions, determining running bit depth and other assorted general nerdery.

Apr 24

Oldie but

Well, that covers Clinton — but what about Trump?

I kid, I kid.

Kind of.

Apr 24


I don’t agree that there is a technological stagnation. Tech moves in fits and starts, and to the extent that it is true that most of the low-hanging fruit has been plucked, keep in mind that the definition of “low-hanging fruit” changes over time.

But where there is stagnation it’s because we’ve given up nearly completely on basic research, forsaken undertaking large, outlandish projects, and also that the best minds have been driven to finance, law and other well-remunerated but generally-harmful pursuits rather than doing anything useful.

That one factor I think explains a whole lot — if you’re a lawyer busy destroying an innovative company or idea with a patent lawsuit, you’re a huge long-term harm to society. Same with bankers and nearly everything they do.

Stagnation in some areas isn’t occurring because there’s nothing left to discover, to achieve, to imagine but rather that the entire idea of human progress now has got its head pushed underwater and is drowning under the weight of a system that does not value it.

Apr 24


Someone didn’t spend much on a translator.


“I am too many bugs.”

Aren’t we all, my friend. Aren’t we all.

Apr 23


Because I like a challenge, and liked the model’s look (tall/gracile) I decided to see if I could figure out who this person is.

And I did. Her name is Maria Ryabushkina. If you click on this next link at work, you gone get fired — but apparently she models a lot.

I didn’t look at all the photos because they were very boring and too photoshopped, but I do like this photo of her. She’s not been photoshopped all to hell so she looks like a real human being still. And she’s smiling in an authentic way. And her hair looks great.

Apr 23


I was ten years old in 1986. I remember that year very well.

The reason for my better-than-average recall (for me) is because that was the year that I became functionally an adult — it was when my cogitation noticeably transitioned from some remaining childish notions to fully fleshed-out and abstract. I don’t think I’ve gotten really that much smarter since then, just learned a few more facts.

I could’ve functioned just fine in the adult world at 10 years old if you’d transplanted my brain somehow into an adult body. Which explains why I was vastly bored and disgusted with everything around me for the next eight years.

In many ways, I was a better thinker then because I was more open to new ideas than I am now.

My fifth grade teacher luckily recognized this and pretty much exempted me from class and let me do what I wanted. She was great. Just an empathetic, intelligent and hysterically funny teacher. The kind of teacher that is now leaving the field in droves, I might add. (I just did.)

But this shows how small a town I lived in: the teacher that I mentioned above, some nosy Googling tells me, is now married to a former friend of my dad who was an uncle of my dad’s closest childhood friend — all of whom are also related to me by blood in various ways. So I was actually a relative in some way of my first grade and fifth grade teacher, and also probably others — and now am by blood and by marriage.

The teacher mentioned above called me “Mr. Science” because she (to her credit) quickly realized that I knew much more about science than she did, and allowed me to explain science- and tech-related things both to her and to the class. Endear me that did not, but by that point I was well past giving a crap.

1986 is a year I remember well, as years go.

It was also the year of the flood, which I’ll write about later.

Apr 22

Rigging is important

Improperly-rigged heavy drops.

I used to be in a unit that did these. Heavy drops always go first for just this reason. Paratroopers follow. One can see why the opposite might be a problem.

My unit used to drop tanks from the air. This is no longer done, but wow was that a sight to see. They were M551 Sheridan light tanks — “light” in this case still means they weighed 34,000 pounds each.

Below is a pretty decent video of what I used to do for a living. I’ve jumped out of both those aircraft types onto that specific drop zone many times.

Apr 21

Tabs on it all

Jesus Christ. I just realized that I now use VMs as “tabs” for programs that don’t properly support tabbed operation, or sometimes even when they do.

This is getting out of control.