Jul 29

CRT

Ha! I agree. CRTs felt just more physically present. De-gaussing, the weird “clunk” sounds they made sometimes, and their other electrical noises, and just how damn heavy they were. They were formidable physical objects with their own personalities.

LCDs feel like the future. They are sterile and lack personality. Their temperament is always neutral, their behavior always predictable.

I prefer them but they also have no soul.

Younger people probably won’t believe this, but it used to be possible to destroy your CRT — and I mean physically destroy it — by setting it up wrong in Linux. I remember the first time I ever loaded up Linux and checking my CRT’s documentation about 10 times to make sure I had all the settings correct before I pressed the enter key.

Luckily, my CRT survived and Red Hat showed me a pretty GUI rather than smoke. I was a happy dumpster goblin.

Jul 29

Imp of Reason

It’s easier to do the “impossible” when you realize that often what people tell is you is impossible is emerging only from their own fears and limitations and not any aspect of the real world.

Jul 29

Proust

I was reading this piece today and it made me ponder again something I’ve been thinking about on and off recently.

As we looked over our carefully assembled treasures, they still didn’t seem adequate for a great journey into the future. I had an idea: Why not each write the story of our lives? Whatever else we put in the tin, we knew this would make for good reading, especially if we’d forgotten our childhoods, like most adults we knew.

I’ve never understood it, but most adults seem to have no ability to remember anything about their childhood at all. Oh, sure, they might have specific event memories but they seem to have no recall at all of what it was like, how adults treated them like subhumans, and no memories of what it was like to be under the complete control of someone else.

This puzzles me, as I have very good recall of how that felt and how much I thought most adults were idiots (spoiler alert: I was right, they were). Might it be that adults must forget so they can allow themselves to treat children as poorly as they were treated?

Also, something I learned only later in life is that most people — the vast majority — are not very introspective or contemplative. Assumption of similarity bias, I know. I thought most people were mostly like me. I was wrong. Thus, if you are not very contemplative, you probably don’t even consider how you were treated and connect that to how you in turn treat young people.

Jul 29

A Schtick Up

Kevin Drum is so fucking stupid that it’s hard to understand how someone can breathe and be so fucking stupid.

I know, it’s pointless, because his whole schtick is showing how young people are just somehow pretending to be broke, and that therefore nothing at all should change.

I love how this (actually decent) economist calls Drum’s hokum “data free” and makes Drum look like the complete assclown that he in fact is:

Drum is what motivated reasoning looks like in combination with not understanding your own data, not realizing when someone else is far more an expert than you are, and in addition you are a huge fucking dipshit.

Jul 27

Market Forces

I don’t often agree with Megan McArdle, but when she’s right, she’s right:

Right on. For the past 30 years, much of the left and a large part of the right has told Americans that they are “deplorables” if they don’t want their job replaced with an immigrant willing to work double-shifts at $4 an hour under the table, and that the immigrant due to their lack of privilege has more of a moral claim to this terrible job than an American citizen.

That’s what I mean, partially, when I say that neoliberalism has taken over all of the thought and discourse. It annexes morality claims about human rights and human worth into its domain, conflates them with the needs of the market (which is itself equated with a natural force) and then declares that anyone that doesn’t support this unholy miscreation is a racist cretin.

In a very real sense, then, under the dominant neolib thought structure and societal organization (and everyone will hate me for this), supporting ill-conceived notions like “open borders” is more racist than the opposite as it imbues greater moral worth and more notional rights on those with different-colored skin rather than everyone having the same natural rights by virtue of simply being human.

Of course, it doesn’t work this way in the real world, but I am talking about liberal utopia dream world here — which in reality are just ramifications into dreamspace of current conventional neoliberal thought structures.

After all, Consuela has a right and a duty to wipe your nana’s doody.

Jul 27

Lefebvre

“Computerized daily life risks assuming a form that certain ideologues find interesting and seductive: the individual atom or family molecule inside a bubble where the messages sent and received intersect. Users, who have lost the dignity of the citizen now that they figure socially only as parties to services, would thus lose the social itself, and sociability. This would no longer be the existential isolation of the old individual, but a solitude all the more profound for being overwhelmed by messages.”

— Henri Lefebvre, Critique of Everyday Life, 1981 (!!)

Jul 27

Boeing Boing

The Roots of Boeing’s 737 Max Crisis: A Regulator Relaxes Its Oversight.

No. This was only the proximate cause. The deeper cause is the idea of “shareholder value” dominating all other concerns, stemming in turn from the overarching dominance of neoliberal thought, of which shareholder value ideation is a subset. This better explains both the regulatory lassitude and regulatory capture of the FAA and Boeing’s billions and billions in share buybacks in lieu of designing a plane that did not routinely crash into the ground.

But that sort of analysis is not one you’ll find, ever, in the NYT.

Jul 27

Eating

Absolute horseshit. Almost no one in the Western world is in fucking starvation mode. No fucking way. Just not possible. Adaptive thermogenesis just does not work that way and it has a real scientific definition that has nothing do with what this fraudster believes. That people can believe this heinously unscientific information rather than study for a moment how the body really works is an indictment of the shoddiness of our education system and our society’s priorities.

Her clients I am sure thought she was a decent personal trainer. People believe in doofy shit like “intuitive eating” and “starvation mode” occurring if you miss one meal and such, so she probably cleaned up at least in monetary terms.

Intuition is worthless when it comes to eating, and frequent eating will fail most people. A far more effective strategy for most is to have “eating windows” of only a few hours a day.

I hate the whole “starvation mode” idea because almost no one who discusses it has a fucking clue what it really is. Adaptive thermogenesis takes at least a day — bare minimum — to kick in. For some people it could be as long as 3-4 days with no or little food.

I wish it were legal to prosecute and fine people who told lies about “starvation mode” to clients to bilk them out of money.