Jul 11

Noisy Lucidity

Lucid dreaming for a while this morning.

I was morphing bodies and other cool stuff, Mystique-like.

As I was beginning to wake up, I actually forced myself to stay in the dream. Been a long time since I’ve done that.

Two tiers of thought: surface and reverie — is like thinking with two linked brains concurrently. It feels very strange, like being two people at once.

Lucid dreaming is the nearest thing I know to living in another world altogether.

Jul 11

Elleninated

Ellen Pao is now gone as CEO of Reddit. Good riddance even if it was some strategy to enact unpopular changes and then have a scapegoat. I don’t believe the Reddit staff is that smart, personally.

But at least one person at Slashdot understands what the bans were really about.

Don’t mistake what the FPH ban was : a political move to gain mainstream political correctness point in the eyes of the HAES and FA movements. Remember : 70% of americans are now overweight (source : http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/overweight-obesity-statistics.aspx [nih.gov]). It pays to cater to the majority.

The Fat Acceptance SJWs think they won a great victory. But if SJW crap falls out of favor, their subreddits will also be shitcanned faster than a CEO racks up dollars in Caymans bank accounts. (By the way, I think Pao was making $500 an hour as CEO, not that high as far as CEOs go.)

FA in my mind stands for “Failure Acceptance” these days. FA: for when you’ve well and truly given up.

Jul 11

Why so many sites seems broken

Because of this bug.

The same bug is in Chrome, though they probably don’t call it a bug.

It arguably made sense not to cache HTTPS content in 2000. Not in 2015. Not caching HTTPS means that when you go back, the page loads afresh from the current URL.

Which means when you go back to look at something, there’s a good chance it won’t be there again.

This is terrible, terrible behavior, anti-user and violates all sorts of usability guidelines.

I used to use Opera because it was the only browser that implemented caching correctly.

When I hit the back button, I FUCKING WANT GO BACK AT WHAT I WAS LOOKING AT BEFORE DAMN.

Jul 10

ACrapA

Health care premiums going up: Obamacare has been solidified. But it’s failed to control health care inflation.

Last week Oregon’s insurance commissioner, Laura Cali, announced that the state had approved a 25 percent premium increase for the largest health insurer on the state’s exchanges. The second largest insurer did even better: It received permission to boost its monthly charge to consumers by 33 percent.

Oregon might be the first health insurance exchange equivalent of a penguin getting shoved off an ice floe, but it won’t be alone in the freezing-cold waters for long. For example, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee requested an average 36 percent price increase for the plans it offers—after receiving a 19 percent bump last year. And that sounds like a relative bargain compared with Minnesota and New Mexico, where the BlueCross BlueShield family is looking for increases of more than 50 percent. Even if the final numbers are lower than the asks, it seem

But Kevin Drum assured me that the premium increases would “only” be 4.8 percent. What happen!

How dumbass Dems can continue defending the ACA I have no idea.

There was never a chance in hell that the ACA would do anything to control health care costs for individuals. Now that it’s passed and the initial furor has died down, the insurance companies are going to jack the rates right up and continue to do so.

I don’t mind saying I told you so, so: I told you so.

So there.

Jul 09

Religious

This comment is so right.

From my experience, controlling and limiting the UI has become a “religious thing” amongst young programmers who believe they know best and want to impose that on the rest of the world. The lame excuse I see most from the script-kiddies is “we don’t want to re-invent the wheel!” So they make the wheel square and claim it’s “betta’ than eva’!” and call it a day.

During the 90s — when programming such things was much harder than it is today — nearly every UI was configurable. That capability to configure hasn’t gone away for technical reasons or ease of coding for that is easier than ever now, but because of these religious views on UI.

As the culture at large has gotten more authoritarian, software developers have gone right along with that. They are swimming in the same stream after all.

Jul 09

Parsecs

This band is not from earth. Just look at the singer. She does a pretty good job of acting like a real human woman, but she’s too well-coiffed, too poised, too perfect to be a member of Homo sapiens. Perhaps a replicant, perhaps an alien, but still a great performance.

Jul 09

Sometimes

Sometimes I’m so good at troubleshooting it is scary.

Well, scary awesome.

I spent 15 minutes today looking at a problem that half a dozen other people had been looking at for days and fixed it. Just. Like. That.

I don’t get paid enough, I really don’t.

Jul 08

The Elect

There are no circumstances under which I will vote for Hillary Clinton.

I will vote for Bernie Sanders if he is somehow nominated, though this is extremely unlikely.

I would’ve voted for Elizabeth Warren.

But Clinton? Hell no. That she’d be (very, very) slightly better in some areas (and worse in others) than whatever horror the Republicans throw on the ballot means absolutely nothing to me.

Jul 08

Mean Green

The demonization of John Green is all of a piece with the relatively-new identity politics-fueled received wisdom that an author should not create a character save for one exactly like him- or herself.

I can’t understand it, really. And I have no interest in being an author, but if I were most or nearly all of my characters would probably be female, though I doubt I’d write any teenagers as that category has been well-covered indeed.

The reason is that I don’t really understand modern masculinity and I could not write a realistic male character who seemed to exist in this world.

Perhaps some far future sf where masculinity had been utterly redefined. I don’t know. But I’m just not interested.

But I really can’t understand the whole idea that authors should only write about characters exactly like themselves. That means that a novel like Seveneves would not exist. Most of the main characters are women, and nearly all of the important ones. (And if you are wondering if you should read the work, hell yes you should. Best hard sf book in a decade at least and I am not a true Stephenson fan.)

By conventional identity politics wisdom, fucking great characters like Tekla Alekseyevna Ilyushina, Ivy Xiao and Moira Crewe would not exist. All of the characters would’ve been white males just like Neal Stephenson.

Does this somehow make sense? Is this desirable? I can’t imagine how requiring Neal Stephenson to write white male characters just like Neal Stephenson helps anyone.

Authenticity

Quote

Seemingly conscious of the rhetorical bait-and-switch she’s performing, Sandberg cautions her readers: “And, yes, this shift to authenticity will take getting used to and will elicit cries about lost privacy. But people will increasingly recognise the benefits of such expression.” Converging your real and virtual selves naturally requires Facebook to know what you are doing and thinking at all times.

Authenticity is an unreachable goal. An important part of identity, as it’s long been understood, is that we act differently in different situations. We put on different roles, we code-switch. We might speak differently with our parents than we would with our children or a coworker or someone we’re flirting with at a bar. At the risk of slipping into something hazily postmodern, there is no single “self.”

–Jacob Silverman, Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection