Oct 28


Reading this article, this line struck me:

“It seems our profound fascination with serial killers is matched by an equally profound lack of interest in their victims.”

In America, where serial killer fascination seems most prevalent, we worship power above all else. And serial killers hold the power of life and death –  perhaps the greatest power of all for us mortal beings who have foreknowledge of the eventuality of our own demise.

It’s another – and perhaps the main – reason bankers and other rich fraudsters have never been prosecuted. I don’t think it’s just the influence they wield with their money over the political process, though that has something to do with it too of course.

Rather, I think it’s the worshipful nature of many Americans, including politicians, to the power itself they hold via their money, absent of any implied present or future quid pro quo.

A subtle distinction, I know, but to most people power itself is an enormous aphrodisiac.

Don’t believe me? Do something I’ve actually done and go in a department store on different days dressed in a really nice suit with short hair, an arrogant and confident air and see what you can get away with. Trust me, you can get away with damn near anything at all.

Try that with a ratty trenchcoat and long hair and see how long it is before security is trailing you even though you’ve done nothing wrong.

Power worship is another of those odd human things I can’t make much sense of.

Oct 25


This was my response to a woman at work asking me via email if I planned on coming to my company’s trivia night:

“At first I looked at the invitation quizzically as I usually don’t concern myself with trivial pursuits, but so as not to put my reputation in Jeopardy, I then asked myself the $64,000 question and decided that if I did well then my renown as a font of all irrelevant knowledge might daily double and so phrasing my answer in the form of a question, I was forced to ask myself, what would Alex Trebek do?

My brain bowled over and my head rang like a buzzer as if a family feud were going on in my skull, or perhaps that was just Regis Philbin being attacked by an enraged badger, but I did not need to ask the audience or phone a friend to know that though I do want to be a millionaire, it’s not likely to happen at company trivia night.

Though I will be there, and plan to press my luck.”

Oct 24

Ain’t no way

Every time I feel the temptation to break my new eating habits, even a little, I remember how unpleasant it was to be fat.

Pretty easy then to say no to that eggnog in the fridge.

Oct 24


Most things we’d see now as advances won’t be needed when it becomes easier to transport reality around.

There are two paths to shaping the universe. One is to go out and seize it, and bend it to the will of intelligence.

The other is to create a universe and then live there. We’ll do the latter, as I suspect most intelligent species do if they don’t destroy themselves — which is the other possibility of our species.

That wraps up the Drake Equation nicely.

There is after all no meaningful distinction between simulation and reality if the simulation is robust enough.

Oct 24


I don’t really give a shit about two women kissing either way, but the expression on the faces of the anti-gay protesters in the background is great and makes the photo.


Perhaps it’s just projection, but many of them look disgusted and envious at the same time.

Also, the two kissing have enormous bags.

Oct 24

Harping on it

Why didn’t someone tell me before that there were electric harps? Very cool, but I’d rather see them when they are actually playing the piece, not just miming playing something they’ve already recorded. (I mean, they are really playing it even in the video, obviously, but we are only hearing the audio they’ve already recorded in studio.)

Oct 23

It’s a pirate’s life for me

Why you should pirate absolutely everything.

Contrary to this story, it’s not clear that Amazon actually wiped her Kindle (it might have been broken) – however, they did delete her account and left her with no recourse, and no books.

You know what? Pirates don’t have to put up with this shit. Ever.

The only sane, rational choice until companies stop being so asinine is to pirate everything, all the time.

Why would you ever do anything else?

Oct 23

Lance it

I guess writing about it indicates that I care a little, but Lance Armstrong losing his Tour de France titles? Who gives a crap.

Everyone who has won that race in the last 35 years has probably been on some form of drug or another. At that level of competition, when everyone else is already doping, it is the only way to win.

That does not justify or excuse it. It’s just reality.

Oct 21

Unfucking 8

If you are interested in using Windows 8 but want to unfuck it, there are many methods.

I will stick with Windows 7 until Windows 9 or 10, and then see where Microsoft stands.

I would use Linux, but the fonts are too terrible. If high-res large LCDs come out in the meantime, this will become a non-issue.

But for now, Windows 7 for me.

Oct 18


What a load of mendacious bullshit from Microsoft.

Not only is the Surface tablet cursed with Windows 8, its display has the resolution of a broken Etch-a-Sketch.

Microsoft claims that users can’t tell the difference. And I think of some people – perhaps even the majority – that is actually true. I am constantly amazed by how unaware of brain-shatteringly low resolution and eye-terrorizing fonts most people can be.

I remember walking into an acquisition only a few years ago where people were still using CRT monitors from the mid-90s that had aged so poorly that I literally could not read their screens, and they barely noticed. We’re not talking here about the fonts just being unpleasant but readable. From normal viewing distance, the screens were so blurry that I had absolutely no idea what more than 50% of the words on the screen were – but they were so used to the bespoke system, they didn’t really need to read much.

These people are the Surface tablet’s ideal market, I guess.

For me, I could no more use the Surface tablet than I’d go back to a mid-90s Packard Bell cheapo CRT.

1366*768? You have got to be fucking kidding me.

When the Nexus 10 with 2560*1600 comes out, I’ll have to think about that. That should be gorgeous.