Aug 31

Dutch West America

No matter how it uses its power, Google might be the single most powerful corporate entity ever to exist.

In principle (and perhaps already has in practice) it could determine the fate of elections, of wars, of what we do or more likely do not do to combat climate change.

There is no part of the world unaffected, and a minor algorithm tweak affects billions of people — their opinions, their ideas, their very thoughts.

Used to be, power was in controlling bodies, determining who went where and did what. These days, it’s controlling the minds of who controls those bodies, including their own.

Google has a complete de facto lock on the information access of billions, and fighting for net neutrality will do absolutely nothing to help with this.

Aug 31


It’s weird how the justification for so much pointless math in school really always boils down to, “You’ll need it when you take another math class!”

My partner today said as we were discussing a similar topic, “I used to like physics before I took physics classes.” Her objection to all her math and physics courses was that they had absolutely no connection to the real world, and she never once learned at all how some disconnected equation had anything to do with anything. Luckily, she has some talent at math and actually has a minor in it, but she still despised just about all of her math instruction.

A survey of math is all that 95% of students need — knowing what tool to reach for is far more important than knowing how to use every single tool on the shelf, which is our frankly idiotic approach now.

Every student should be taught the basics. That is, math right up to algebra. Even algebra is useless for the vast, vast majority, so stopping there is the logical place.

Then, a few semesters of “Math Survey” and that’s it.

What a waste of time teaching so much math.

Aug 31


I don’t think anything in the tech world has ever made me angrier than what Firefox is doing to itself, and how useless it’ll be after it does it.

Literally no useful extensions will be left and the browser will be worthless and no better than IE at that point. There has rarely been such an epic incident of foot-shooting in the tech world.

Such a goddamn shame.

Aug 30


If you were thinking of buying an SS — which I heartily recommend if you can swing it — do buy a new one.

Not really worth it to buy a used one. Not if you can bargain at all.

I paid not that much more than that, and got the full manufacturer warranty and two free oil changes and services, too (for a car like the SS is a $200-$250 value or so).

Even the olders SSes are pretty dear.

I expect it’ll actually rise in value (as the GTO did) after people realize what they missed.

I also figured out why a few people have asked me at gas stations and such, “Is that a BMW?”



I like how BMWs look just fine, but won’t pay the extra 50% for the nameplate, so that works for me!

Aug 28

Social Darwinism

Today, Charles Darwin would be hounded out of science and academia as he was a slow worker and didn’t use any math in his work.

In fact, many of the world’s greatest scientists of past era would receive the same treatment.

If anyone thinks that is a good thing, then you and I have some huge fundamental disagreements.

Aug 26


What a strange world we live in where we have Juggalos set to do battle with Nazis with Donald Trump as President while a hurricane destroys Texas.

If you’d written this in a novel twenty years ago, it’d’ve been dismissed as utterly implausible trash.

But now we live in an utterly implausible trash reality.

Ah, wish we still inhabited such a footloose and fancy free era where we cared about the Juggalo opinions on magnets vs. whether Nazis kill them in street fighting.

Aug 26


Why I do not support Kamala Harris:

She’s a torture-supporting neoliberal.

Simple as that.

However, I do support Tulsi Gabbard and Tammy Duckworth.

Aug 26


Almost everything everyone does on Twitter these days would be much better-suited to a blog.

It’d be easier to read, easier to link, and much easier to aggregate.

The future seems to be using stupider and worse technology so you can get idiotic, low-value things done more quickly.