Aug 16

Ann-a Kata

What do you do when Ann Coulter is 95% correct?

“[Feminism is] totally a class thing. Feminism is about upper-middle class women who went to Smith or Wellesley and are supported by their husbands… they [don’t care] about people who work at Walmart,” Coulter says.

That’s a valid critique. There is no lie there, at least about mainstream, Amanda  Marcotte-style feminism, which is almost all visible feminism.

Aug 16

Gödel, Escher, Bullshit

I rant about this frequently. I can’t seem to help it.

Every time I see science books mentioned, I see praise for Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. Why? I just can’t understand it.

The book is littered with second-rate ideas told in third-rate prose. And it’s like a billion pages and it could’ve been 200 or less. But Barbara from Goodreads said it best.

This book told me something about intelligence – the smartest thing to do is to avoid this book’s overly lengthy babblings of a self-important graduate student who is way too impressed with himself. It took this guy over 700 pages to illustrate by analogy his not-particularly novel theory….

Good on you, Barbara. You summed up Hofstadter’s picayune claptrap very well.

If you like, I can recommend a lot better books than GEB that don’t condescend to the reader, are based in more solid science, and aren’t so goddamn annoying.

Only read GEB if you have a whole lot of time to waste or it’s the only book within 500 miles.

Otherwise, tear the pages out and do something useful with them. They can make good kindling or can line a bird cage, or even soak up minor spills.

Bad in10tion


Windows 10 just assaulted my cat, set my car on fire, and ate all my pizza.

This just keeps getting worse and worse.

Aug 14

7 sock it in

Hey, I remember Socket 7!

Used to love that because you could pop just about any CPU in there depending on your budget. It’d take $40 CPUs or $800 CPUs. Though the $40 CPUs were as so slow it was quicker to use a pen and paper.

Built a lot of machines with good ol’ Socket 7.

Aug 14

Also, this

Oh my fucking god, what the hell is this?

Kirk writes, “This weekend we upgraded my 14-year-old son’s laptop from Windows 8 to Windows 10. Today I got a creepy-ass email from Microsoft titled ‘Weekly activity report for [my kid]’, including which websites he’s visited, how many hours per day he’s used it, and how many minutes he used each of his favorite apps.”

Seriously, is Windows 10 some sort of practical joke? Is this a real OS, or did Microsoft spend a few billion to troll us all for fun?

And by the way, you can disable the “feature,” but I betcha the data will all still get sent to Microsoft.

Aug 14

10 again

All I have to say is that if you use Windows 10, there is something wrong with your brain.

It simply is not possible to make the OS secure. It cannot be done. It is a huge risk to you and to any company who runs it.

Can it even legally be run in a HIPAA or PCI DSS regulated environment? I don’t think so.

Aug 14

Scientific method

I think the headline is a bit unfair, but the points made in the article are good ones.

Science is and always has been an iterative, flawed process. The truth isn’t delivered in golden runes on sacred parchment; it is discovered and then refined over time. Thus it has ever been and will be.

However, what’s different now is that academics and researchers have to scrabble ever harder for perpetually-decreasing funding, which leads to all sorts of bad results for them and for society.

It’s not that science cannot be trusted, it’s just that it like nearly everything else has been co-opted and eviscerated by the neoliberal/managerial mindset and is now a client state, for lack of better terms, of big business in many ways. And even when it’s not, the priorities usually do not align with society’s needs nor is the focus on doing actual important work, but rather the effort is aimed at what can be published, and soon.

People like Peter Higgs and Maria Goeppert Mayer — both of whom spent years thinking about their discoveries before publishing a thing — would be summarily kicked out of academia today.

So, do not trust or not trust science. Realize how it is changing and that it no longer serves society, but vested interests in business and the relentless publishing schedule of academic life.

Aug 14

Ballroom Blintz

We made blueberry blintzes tonight for dinner. First time we’ve ever made those.

Turned out quite good, toothsome and light, yet filling.

The strange thing about blintzes is you cook the crêpes three times.

The recipe is like:

1) Cook the crêpes.

2) Cook the crêpes some more.

3) You thought you were done cooking the crêpes. WRONG!

But we’ll add it to our list of keepers.

Aug 13

All 10 of everything

Good god, Windows 10 is even worse a security disaster than anyone thought.

This morning in some free time I spooled up a Windows 10 VM and did some packet capture and can confirm 90% of this. The rest I haven’t checked.

Anyone casting doubt on this probably doesn’t know how to do a packet capture. This is absolutely occurring. However, what is actually being transmitted to Microsoft isn’t clear as it’s encrypted.

But you can pretty much assume everything, absolutely everything, is being sent to Microsoft.