May 31


Oh, crap, Gardner Dozois died.

I didn’t know him personally but have been reading fiction edited by him for nearly my entire life. Great editor; perhaps the best short story editor and anthologist (in any genre) there ever was. This is very rare indeed, but if I saw his name on the cover I at least knew the work therein would be good, and perhaps great.

It’s strange to mourn people you’ve never met, never been in the same room with, but that is a fact of modern life.

May 30


But, but, economists and liberals have told me that immigration has absolutely no effect on employment prospects and that believing anything else is pure racism!

The second reason why teens work less today is that employers are more reluctant to hire them. First, the rise of low-skill immigration in the last few decades has created more competition for exactly the sort of jobs that teenagers used to do, like grocery-store cashiers, restaurant servers, and retail salespeople.

Huh. Doesn’t it suck when the facts are all racist lies. Except they are still facts.

May 26

Feeding Time

We are all trapped in the “Feed.”

If the internet were destroyed, though I still spend a lot of time on it, I don’t think it’d be any great loss. It’s mostly a negative force now, full of utter fools, all cognizant of nearly nothing, and getting actively dumber all the time.

Fifteen years ago, I would’ve been devastated if the internet disappeared. Today, I’d just say “huh” and go do something else.

May 26


Miley Cyrus performing my favorite Tom Petty song, “Wildflowers.”

No video of her actual performance (as it was a radio show), but she kills it. She has a performance of this same song on The Tonight Show for which there is a video, but this performance is quite a bit better — mostly because I think the other band plays too fast and it throws her off.

I wish I could have Miley Cyrus cover every song I like.

May 25

Olden Times

Modern macOS Is Now Older Than Classic Mac OS Was In 2001.

Well, that did indeed make me feel old, especially since I was using computers well before classic MacOS even came out. My first computer was a TRS-80 that my dad got used by trade, doing mechanic work for someone. I remember pretty well when original MacOS was released as that was about the time I started reading computer magazines in earnest. Yep, I was eight years old, but remember I’d already started reading adult books and magazines (like National Geographic, etc.) two years before. Computer magazines were far less challenging than NatGeo.

Anyway, of course the wisdom of the time was that GUIs were for loser incompetents, and real computer users stuck only to the command line always. Some of that still persists though more computer types these days recognize using the right tool for the job. Hell, even recalcitrant Cisco provides a suite of quite useful GUI tools that are far superior to the command prompt for most things — something they said they’d never do.

May 25


Damn. You can see why there are few conventional battles against American forces any longer. It’s suicide.

In the end, 200 to 300 of the attacking fighters were killed. The others retreated under merciless airstrikes from the United States, returning later to retrieve their battlefield dead. None of the Americans at the small outpost in eastern Syria — about 40 by the end of the firefight — were harmed.

The opposing force had artillery, modern tanks, and APCs. They were not amateurs charging the lines on foot. And they were absolutely massacred. America’s military spending is out of control, and there is no way we should be in Syria, but compared to even what we could do when I was in the service, we can bring absolute hell to a conventional opposing force in a way we could not have dreamed of when I was in. What were those fighters thinking, fighting that way? What was the purpose of that? It makes no tactical or strategic sense, unless it was capabilities assessment? If so, that’s a high price to pay.

May 24


Obama and Trump: both terrible negotiators. Just laughably bad, but in different ways. Obama’s strategy was to give away the whole shebang in advance as a good faith gesture, while Trump’s tendency is to act like a petulant three-year-old.

Both techniques work about as well as you’d expect.

May 24

Fuck That

What the hell will banning plastic straws do other than make aspects of my life and other people’s lives more inconvenient?

When I go to the grocery store tomorrow, I think I will buy 10 or 12 packs of straws — that should last me about 20 years, which is probably about as long as the plastic will last, anyway. That way, when I swing by for a sweet tea I can actually drink the goddamn thing without spilling it all over myself. Will keep a dozen or so straws in my car in a baggie (also plastic).

The problem with all this is that it is the neoliberal left’s idea of environmentalism — making people’s lives worse so corporations don’t have to take the heat.

May 24

Claims and Games

Claiming that humans don’t have a “human nature” is only possible because there is a definable limit already present to delineate such a nature. That is to say, it is in human’s nature to make such claims as the presence or absence of human nature, and to insist that nothing/anything is impossible/possible, though the limits of both of those is of course (invisibly to most) proscribed and defined by those very boundaries of the human nature that all too many claim not to exist at all.

I recognize that leftist claims about the absence of human nature is in reaction to centuries of using the “nature” of various races to oppress and exploit them. However, to say that there is no human nature at all does not help any credible cause; it merely leads to doomed-to-fail utopian projects and the deaths of millions, much like the oppression they are nominally battling.

Human nature is amorphous, agreed, but is not all that changeable. Pretending it does not exist helps no one at all.