Aug 25

La voiture

Co-worker riding in my car after I did a quick u-turn and sprinted away like a demon with a tailwind of hellfire.: “This…this doesn’t drive like a family sedan.”

He didn’t have any idea what the car was. Such a fun car to drive!

Aug 24


Hey. Hey ya’ll. Remember when I said several times on this and other websites that many people who supported Sanders in the primaries would vote for Trump if Sanders wasn’t in the general?

And you remember how I was excoriated, and told this would be 1 in 10,000 rare (actual quote from another website I commented on), and that it’d basically never happen?


1 In 10 Sanders Primary Voters Ended Up Supporting Trump, Survey Finds.

I’m not good at politics. But I do know something about how humans behave and tend to think.

Most predictable thing ever really.

Aug 23

Dare to be stupid

Something I’ve realized only recently how surface level most people’s gloss of events and motivations for those events are.

I knew people were ignorant. What I didn’t realize is just how willfully ignorant they are. It’s not that they don’t know. It’s that they don’t even want to know.

At another site, I posted a comment about how Google’s HTTPS push had nothing to do with the best interests of the consumer and everything to do with Google’s desire to shape and to control the market — including in advertising.

At that site, you’d think I’d suggested that it was ok to decapitate kittens with lawn mowers. Not only was I some sort of deranged conspiracy theorist, of course the HTTPS push/putsch was all being done because fluffy, cuddly little Google cares about you and just wants to make you safer.

It’s not just that specific issue that concerns me — though that one is pretty blatant — but the general phenomenon. Not only are most “intelligent” people content to understand nearly nothing except received wisdom, they are also happy to lampoon anyone who wishes to comprehend anything below that perfunctory surface-level gloss.

I’ve realized it for a long time, but smart people as societally-defined usually aren’t all that smart.

Some of them — many of them, perhaps most of them — are in fact mulishly moronic, and not only don’t mind, they revel in it.

This is something I haven’t fully consolidated in my own mind, but this is sort of antipodal to conspiracy theorists — it’s the obstinate denial of the complexity of the world or that there is anything operating under the surface at all.

I haven’t made sense of it yet. But unlike those people, at least I realize there is something to make sense of.

Aug 23


Many people insist that sociology and psychology are worthless — because physics envy is so inculcated into everyone, no one can believe that a science that doesn’t deal wholly in numbers and equations has any value.

However, what many people perceive as “obvious” in the social sciences is obvious either way, as the tweet above points out.

I agree that it in many cases sociology and psychology need to be held to more rigorous standards (and no, I definitely don’t mean making them more like physics). However, asserting that they are valueless ignores the mountains of valid findings that have influenced nearly everything about our society.

Aug 23


All of this is true of Florida, but mainly because it is a huge state. Or rather, it is long. Very long.

To drive from Pensacola, FL to Key West, FL is a 13 hour trip (if you don’t stop) and 832 miles.

North Florida — where I grew up — is very Southern indeed. South of Gainesville, it gets less so as you proceed further down the interstate. On the coasts, it depends on where you are.

One time in the Army I had a guy ask me since I was going to Florida could I take him to Miami when I went. I said, “You know I’m going somewhere close to Jacksonville, right? That’s a six hour drive from there to Miami.”

He wanted to visit a friend there, and wasn’t very familiar with the state. He thought it was 30 minutes away.

And I think that is true of many people — they perceive Florida as being very small, perhaps because they’ve only flown over most of it.

But yeah, 832 miles from one end to the other (with a bend in the middle) over land. And a lot can — and does — happen in 832 miles.

Aug 22


The idea that the entire universe can be reduced to numbers or that it is “based on math” is as ludicrous as the idea that everything extant consists of earth, air, fire and water.

Aug 22

Proxy virtue

Who gives a shit if Joss Whedon is a feminist or not? And anyway, if someone has affairs or multiple affairs doesn’t make them not a feminist. If that were the case, half of all feminists would have to disavow that appellation, including many former and current leaders of the movement.

The more important question is: was and is his work any good or not? And was it better — for women and feminism — than other work at the time? Did it actually center women, and seem to like them? (Strangely, a lot of work during that time created by women seemed to not actually like women very much.)

And the answer to those questions I think is “yes.”

Was it the perfect unalloyed paragon of peerless feminism? No. But then again, nothing is.

Demanding perfection from any human being is a fool’s demand. No one will ever meet it, and you will always be disappointed.

Whedon is not the perfect feminist. Then again, he never strove to be. That is a label that others foisted on him and demanded that he uphold. It’s not something he ever claimed for himself.

Buffy might seem a bit passé now, after nearly 20 years — but name one other TV show that focused on a young woman as powerful, interesting and worthy of notice not because of how she looked but because of what she did and who she was?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Aug 21


The company I work for is almost 170 years old, and it is not a public company. (A 170-year-old IT company, you say? Well, it didn’t start out in IT.)

Recently, the internal newsletter discussed the company plan for the next 35 years. Can you imagine any public company anywhere doing such a thing? Of course not.

It’s pretty great working for a company that doesn’t wildly vacillate between firing and hiring people quarter to quarter and attempting to do similar stupid things to goose earnings.

It’s the only company I’ve ever worked for that actually considers its distant future — in fact, a future so distant that many of the people currently working here will be dead when it arrives.

Now that’s not thinking quarter to quarter.