Jul 30

Blat her

Here I blather on about why I can’t get aboard the Hillary Clinton train. I won’t reiterate what I wrote there.

I truly do understand the idea of voting for Clinton because of her gender and because of the vast and vile misogyny she’s faced over the years. But damn, I just wish there were a better choice.

The choices this year are between clueless (about different things, but clueless both) rehashes of last century’s thinking, with the same failed prescriptions of and from the past that will in fact doom the future. Their only art is artifice; their only skill is to project is a simulacrum of shared humanity. Neither candidate comprehends what it is to govern, but rather both wish to rule. Neither nominee understands the epochal changes underway in both their own parties or more importantly in the world.

The only “bright” spot to either is that both will speed the inevitable collapse due to global climate change, and from that we might be able to construct something better — if we survive it.

Jul 30

Immi not great

About the immigration debate: why we are supposed to conclude against all evidence that mass immigration of millions of people either explicitly or de facto opposed to Western liberal values is not harmful to the societies into which they are immigrating?

I’m not talking about terrorism, though that’s a part of it. I’m talking about women being afraid to go out on the street (Munich), about harassment and sexual assault (Sweden, Germany), and about why it’s ok to sacrifice Western liberal values for this.

That’s the real debate, but no one is engaging in that one of course.

Instead, you have idiotic racists on one side screaming that all brown-skinned people are evil, and idiotic racists on the other side screaming that Ahmed just can’t help raping that German woman, because that’s his “culture.” And that she brought it on herself anyway for being, like, white and not wearing a burka. And that’s the “liberal” side!

Some debate.

Jul 29


Fuck, I thought I was going a little nuts. But turns out I wasn’t — at least not in the way that I suspected.

Scientists and journalist have sworn over and over in numerous articles that no one ever claimed or wrote that a new ice age might be imminent during the 1970s and 1980s, despite me and many others having very clear memories of just such a thing.

Knowing the corruptibility of memory, I just assumed I was misremembering somehow, despite the fact that I recalled it being conventional wisdom that a new ice age was likely.

But no, it did happen.

Third, the climate change movement inflicted a disastrous own goal on itself by insisting that nobody with scientific credentials ever claimed that an ice age was imminent, when anybody over fifty whose memory is intact knows that that’s simply not true. Any of my readers who are minded to debate this point should get and read the following books from the 1970s and 1980s:  The Weather Machine by Nigel Calder, After the Ice by E.C. Pielou, and Ice Ages by Windsor Chorlton and the editors of Time Life Books. These were very popular in their time, and they’re all available on the used book market for a few bucks each, as the links I’ve just given demonstrate. Nigel Calder was a respected science writer; E.C. Pielou is still the doyenne of Canadian field ecologists, and the third book was part of Time Life Book’s Planet Earth series, each volume of which was supervised by scientific experts in the relevant fields. All three books discuss the coming of a new ice age as the most likely future state of Earth’s climate.

Glad my memory wasn’t that faulty. I’m not over 50, but I started paying attention to such things 15-20 years before most people do (when I was seven or eight, specifically.)

Why would the climate change movement do such an idiotic thing, claim that something that millions and millions of people remember never happened?

How does that even help?

Jul 29


So strange to see something from one’s small hometown just pop up on Reddit.

Before I even read the words (there are numerous towns yclept “Lake City” in the US) I recognized the streetscape behind the sign. Funny how a place gets into your brain like that.

For the interested — all none of you — here is the approximate spot from which that photo was taken, within 20 feet.

Know that spot and that park well because it’s three blocks from the library and as a kid I tried to get someone to take me there as often as I could cajole, beg or guilt someone into driving me that far.

Jul 29

Why I’d never live

The reason this guy declined a job offer from Amazon is the same reason I’d never live in a “hub” American city again: Seattle, Los Angeles, NYC, or any place like that.

Right now, I make a fairly high salary in a pretty cheap area. Not as inexpensive as most of Florida, but my salary here is much larger than any I could earn in FL and here I could find a new job in a week (real recruiters contact me nearly every day with actual interviews and offers).

In Seattle (where I once lived), I’d need to make about $300,000 a year to have the same standard of living as I do here. Think anyone is going to pay me $300,000 a year?

Of course not.

And on the flip side, if I said “screw it” and decided I wanted to work much less or do something else, here I could live on almost nothing. In Seattle or LA or San Diego, to have any sort of decent middle-class-ish standard of living (ok housing, food, etc) you need to earn at least $60,000 a year.

Here, I could get by on 1/3 of that and not suffer.

What’s the reason for moving to a hub city, then? The housing stock is worse and is also ridiculously expensive. The jobs don’t pay enough to remunerate one for all the inconveniences and expense of living in such a place. And they are only getting worse and more untenable for anyone not making well above six figures, so your standard of living will decline over time.

Jul 28

Same same

Review: Radiohead Revels in the Key of Dread.

Well, I dread hearing a Radiohead song, and I find it dreadful when someone accidentally torments my ears with one.

They are the band that I find it most inexplicable that anyone can like. Well, there’s the old rancor-ready standby Nickelback, but at least all their songs sound the same so the pain is predictable.

With Radiohead, every song is terrible in its own unique way, with its own special torment to be inflicted on the unwary and unsuspecting.

To be fair, I saw Radiohead live in 1993 and they were surprisingly good. But that’s because they sounded nothing like their albums and nothing like they do now.

Jul 27

Trade made

I feel bad for all ya’ll on the other side of my trades.

Not bad enough to not take your money, but still bad. Hope that is some consolation.

Jul 27


Barb forever.

Barb strongly reminded me of someone I knew in school. Thirteen years. The moment I saw the character, literally, I said “That’s Della.” The Barb I knew even had red hair and dressed so similarly to Barb in Stranger Things that they could’ve traded wardrobes in some time machine incident and no one would’ve noticed.

We weren’t close friends, but she was always friendly to me and I the same to her. I’m glad to say that I never ostracized her, played social status games with her or treated her poorly. The minimum fucking standards of human decency, but most people fail to meet even those. Especially in school. More than a few times, I also defended her against my own friends.

Looking back, in school she obviously liked me as more than a friend but I was too dense to notice and she was too shy and awkward to express that.

Since there was nothing special about my school, I’m guessing there were Barbs everywhere during the 80s. Just odd that my Barb also had red hair and looked shockingly similar in other ways to TV Barb.

Years later — many years later — I saw Della somewhere in public.

One of the few times in my life I felt I got something really right, though it did burnish the old ego a bit, too.

“Mike,” she said. Because that’s my name. It’d’ve been weird if she’d said some other name. Anyway, she said, “Mike, I always liked you. You were nice to me no matter what else anyone did and said. You just didn’t care about any of that. I know I’ll probably never see you again because your world is a lot bigger than mine but it meant something. Thank you.”

She was right. I never saw her again.


All the crazy shit I’ve done, all the awards I’ve won, the certifications I’ve earned — all those achievements and accomplishments I’ve managed to collect over the years by chance, luck and some skill — none of them have meant or ever will mean as much to me as hearing Della say that to me in a Burger King in Lake City, FL.

I’m not as gruff in real life as I seem on here (I hope), so this might seem uncharacteristic for me to say, but really it’s amazing what some kindness can do and how long people remember it. I changed someone’s life and I didn’t even realize it. If you think you have no power in the world, that alone shows you’re probably wrong.

Jul 26

Dirty dealing

Now that we know for sure that the DNC and Clinton campaign were up to some dirty dealing, expect supporters of Clinton to minimize her and the DNC’s obvious corruption while claiming it’s all (somehow) the fault of mythical BernieBros.

Something like 80% of Americans believe the country will be on the wrong path with either Clinton or Trump.

80% of Americans are correct.

Clinton’s message is to vote for her and you’ll only have somewhat more of your liberty and prosperity stolen, and the consequences are that if you don’t you’ll get Orange Theodore Geisel Hitler/Stalin.

This is not a very winning message, if you haven’t clued into that.

No, I am not voting for Trump. But voting for Clinton feels like a compromise with the devil, and I won’t have any part in that, either.

Jul 25


The office I work in has smarter-than-average people, even for an IT shop.

For instance, I just heard someone discussing cosmology (pretty accurately) on a personal phone call. Specifically, he was discussing the Cosmological Principle, and how the universe is homogeneous and isotropic — that is, it appears the same from all positions and from all viewing angles.

(He didn’t use any of the words I just did, but words don’t matter if your concepts are correct, something scientists often fail to understand as a way of hierarchy preservation.)

Being that we don’t have any cosmologists on staff, I was pretty impressed.