Jul 31


Though I did not almost die, this reminds me of the last time I went to the dentist.

Today, I almost died after getting an epidural in my neck. The medicine paralyzed my entire body, including my diaphragm and lungs. The doctor tried to say it was a panic attack. I had turned blue. FML

A bit through my dental procedure, the dentist (who was very young; I assume he was new) asked me why my eyes were watering so much. Through the gauze and such, I mumbled, “Because it hurts a whole lot.” He asked me if I wanted to stop and get more anesthetic injected. I told him no, and to just go ahead since he said it would be short anyway. I didn’t say this, but I wanted to be in the chair as little a time as possible as the social aspect for me is far worse than the pain.

As promised, it was a short procedure. However, as I was walking out I noticed that my nose, the orbit of my eye, my forehead and some parts of my scalp were all numb. My mouth, however, was not. He anesthetized the wrong nerve — maybe the ophthalmic instead of the mandibular? I don’t know. But either way that’s how I got to feel the full force of a dental drill going at my teeth.

Do not recommend.

Jul 31


The whole idea of everyone having their own personal pronouns is idiotic. I don’t feel like examining the sociology of it (though that’s fascinating), but like most people I can barely recall other people’s names and associate those with the correct faces most of the time.

So me remembering 50 or 100 sets of different pronouns is just not gonna happen.

This is what occurs when the neolib idea of “choice” goes completely bonkers.

Jul 31


I just found a new trick for giving myself permissions in Windows that I assume is a bug.

No, I won’t reveal it here because I want it to keep working. Like the NSA, I need my bag of tricks and exploits to stay functional.

Jul 30

Means Well

I know this person means well, but so often people just miss the meta of what is occurring.

This is exactly what I mean about how it’s just becoming verboten to meet anyone in anywhere except Tinder and other similar online meat markets. And since when is liking someone or complimenting them treating them like a sex object? That’s a new one. But let’s talk about what’s really happening here. Abby, as most people have, has fully imbibed the neoliberal “wisdom” that one should be a worker bot all of the time, with no possibility of, well, anything at all outside of that. This is social control, and exercised very intelligently. In addition, it’s the very best sort of propaganda and ideology because others promote it — and like the ideology of Big Brother in 1984, they actually end up not only promulgating it but believing it completely.

With most social movements and beliefs, I am not interested in what people claim to actually believe and why, because most of it has had no more thought behind it than what sort of granola bar they’d like in the morning. I know it annoys people and they hate it, but I prefer to examine how societal trends and much larger forces shape what they think are their freely-chosen certitudes and predilections. Otherwise, if you do not do this, you will never understand much at all about why anything is happening. I’d prefer knowledge and understanding over being liked.

As with men, there is a great deal of hypocrisy about what women say they want vs. what they actually want, but the societal trend (at least among white collar liberals) is to allow greater hypocrisy on the woman side now than the man side. This is probably overall a good thing as it reverses other longstanding trends that were far more harmful.

Now, though, I am digressing. My main point is that neoliberalism wishes us all to be sexless, friendless workbots, with no other interests, and to meet others only through approved, easily-monitored channels. This sort of behavior and thoughtless thoughtfulness by Abby and others plays right into this trend.

Unfortunately, meaning well is not enough. You actually have to be improving the world. This does not.

Jul 29


Great scene, and one of my favorite shots from any movie. Says so much while doing so little. Excellent photography and directing.

Jul 29


Other than writing and communication abilities, I think one of the reasons I am successful in IT is that I often know half a dozen ways or more to do the same thing. Most IT people know one, maybe two.

For instance, I was just trying to copy a directory structure but not the files, and then move the entire structure somewhere else that is (supposedly) firewall-restricted and has no copy and paste ability. The first few things I tried did not work. This is where most IT people would’ve been halted. But I pulled out some IT jiu jitsu from the 1980s and got the dir struct copied and then ferried off to where it needed to be. This structure would be impossible to recreate by hand, as it involves a few thousand nested directories.

I know that anyone can learn IT, and I understand how the mythology of “I’ve been doing this my whole life” can harm women and others, but at the same time there is definitely some difference when you’e been doing this shit since you were four years old.

Jul 29

The Whole Point

The problem with the “economist hat” is that it makes otherwise smart people very, very stupid.

If I put my economist’s hat on, there is an incentive problem with the basic income plans, unless one is very very careful. And that incentive problem is that for many people the basic income looks better than working in low-pay jobs or perhaps in any jobs.

Yes, that is the whole point! UBI is effectively a price floor, in economic terms, as I am sure she knows since she is in fact an economist. A binding price floor imposed by UBI would definitely change the labor market, though economists are ideologically restricted from understanding the full scope of changes over time — just that minimum wage is bad, mmmkay?

Economics causes brain damage, alas. Avoiding technical jargon for now because I don’t have time to make a million links to Wikipedia, but over time the entire labor market will shift. The same jobs (will mostly) still get done, effective redistribution will occur, and the real consequence is that the very rich and some of the petite bourgeoisie will be somewhat less rich.

This is why economic ideology doesn’t wish to allow for UBI, etc.

The Australian minimum wage is currently $18.93 an hour and yet office buildings still get cleaned, they still have fast food restaurants, and somehow work still gets done.

(If you don’t get my point, a min. wage and UBI are both similar price floors. But a UBI could be the floor below the floor.)

I am not sure that UBI is the right solution. A job guarantee would probably be better, with a combination of the Marshall Plan focused internally with the best parts of the space race because we’re going to need all that and more to combat climate change.

But I do know that modern economics is capable of telling us very little useful about any of this.

Jul 29


I got some sort of lemon cake flavor ice cream. I don’t think it’s ever seen a real lemon as it tastes like lemon cleaner smells.

But I also kind of liked it. I guess that means I like eating lemon cleaner. I will probably eat more of it — the ice cream, not actual lemon cleaner.

Jul 28


Greece burning down. California burning down. The UK burning down. Sweden, Siberia…ok, are we allowed to say it’s climate change yet?

The world a hundred years from now is going to look nothing like today. Glad I am not young. Sorry, Millennials and those of more recent vintage, but you are pretty much screwed.

Jul 28

The High Cost of Being Skint

Yep! Here’s all the things I don’t pay for that I did when I was poorer:

1) My bank accounts.
2) Money orders.
3) ATM fees. I can use any ATM anywhere in the world and guess what, it’s free!
4) Foreign currency fees.
5) Cashier’s checks.
6) Checks in general.
7) I get super-low interest rates. Like at or sometimes below prime.
8) Mortgage fees are either lower or non-existent.

Also, I earn higher interest rates, I can do free stock trades if I wanted to at my bank account, and many other things I am forgetting are free or waived. (And I know I am forgetting a ton.)

Being (relatively) well-off has saved me so much money I can’t even tell you. Being poorer would cost me at least $3,000 a year, conservatively. More likely in the $5,000 range.

Being poor costs in other ways, too. If you’re poor you have to take whatever job is on offer. You can’t afford to wait. If you have enough to wait, you can pick and choose (which I do). So this increases your potential and actual income greatly, too. I know it has mine, that luxury of being picky.