Mar 07

On losing

Below, about losing weight, I don’t want to make it seem easier than it was.

It was not all that easy, especially at first. My comparisons are off, as my partner frequently reminds me. My definition of “easy” is far from other people’s, due to my background and proclivities.

Many times, my definition of “not that hard” amounts to “did not lose any limbs or major organs.”

Probably not what most people’s definition is, I am guessing.

But sometimes, even now, I am still hungry. The other day I was thinking about Kate Miller-Heidke’s music and then about the singer herself. Due to eating even less than normal I was quite hungry, so my thoughts drifted unconsciously in this direction: Hmm, Kate Miller-Heidke, she’s cool, I wonder what her favorite food is?

In other words if you can’t stand being hungry, you will probably not be able to lose weight. Me, I can stand about anything if I want to, so there’s that.

Mar 07


Though I disagree with some parts of this, in the main I think it is correct about the self-delusion and general harm done by this sort of thinking about obesity.

But their overriding problem is that the attempt to uncouple obesity and health/well-being/longevity has the same goal as that of global warming deniers: to convince you that the vast majority of evidence, as well as the medical and scientific consensus, is wrong.

As the piece points out (and with which I fully agree), it is wrong still to persecute and discriminate against obese people. But ignoring evidence that is really quite clear and tossing aside well-established medical knowledge is not the path to wisdom and is harmful to everyone, obese people included.

Study after study confirms that obese people have worse health outcomes, and also that they are beset with more chronic health problems, even if they don’t turn deadly.

Some anecdotes (yeah, anecdotes aren’t data, yada yada….).

At work, two extremely obese people broke their ankles on the stairs at around the same time. One was out for weeks; one was out for months. This is not a normal recuperation period for a mild ankle break, and it’s far less likely either break would’ve occurred at all if BMI had been in the normal range.

If I’d broken my ankle at work, I likely would’ve been back the next day, or more typical of me, in about 10 minutes. “Uh, yeah, I think I broke my ankle on the stairs, I’ll go to the hospital after I finish building this server.” That seems a lot easier when you aren’t packing an extra 250 pounds.

Second, I used to be straddling the line of obesity. Over three years ago, I lost 27% of my body weight. I now feel much healthier, can hike much further and my knees have gone from barely-working to fine. I also seem to get sick less and in general just have had a great improvement in personal well-being.

Yes, losing weight is hard and I am an outlier, but it wasn’t even as hard as I expected, so it can be done and is very much worth it.

Also, this comment about losing weight made me chuckle.

So yes, it’s possible to lose weight by constantly monitoring yourself and enforcing caloric deficits by eating less and doing more. It’s also really goddamn hard to do because your body thinks it’s dying and will fight against you.

I was a paratrooper in the US Army. Who gives a shit what my body thinks about anything? When something is tough here’s what I do: I fucking deal. What do other people do?

Yeah, I know, it makes me sound like an asshole. I’m really concerned about it. Sometimes, that is life; you just have to toughen up and do it.

Or not, as the case may be.


Mar 06


If Quidditch were a real game with the rules of the Harry Potter universe, the optimum strategy, given the extremely high value of the snitch, would be for everyone to be seekers (If allowed by the rules; I am not a Harry Potter expert. Even if the rules didn’t allow, having everyone act as seekers while nominally holding other positions would probably be what actually happened).

It’s not a very balanced game, needless to say.

As a corollary, that would mean that most teams would be nearly all girls, as they tend on average to both be lighter and more flexible, meaning they would on average also be better flyers and snitch-catchers.

Mar 05

Home slice

Most companies, even if they allow it, really hate having workers working from home.

Part of it is human nature – we’re monkeys with barely-modified DNA, so part of us believes if we can’t see it happening, it ain’t happening.

The other portion has to do with power. I realized many years ago that even more than profits, managers and companies care about power. This explains why the MPAA and RIAA deliberately harm their own customers and their own future prospects to exert more power over the marketplace.

This is another way of phrasing the observation that relative status matters more than absolute status to most humans.

Personally, working from home for me is around 2-3x as productive. Not exaggerating at all. I can do twice as much easily. Why is that? At the office, I am interrupted once every 10 minutes, sometimes as frequently as once every five minutes.

Since most of the work I do is highly cognitive and requires focus, any decrease in the interruption rate helps me immensely.

At home, the interruption rate falls to once every 2-3 hours.

And yet, my company is firmly against working from home, despite the fact that the rest of my team is all in the UK, and I have no US boss, and no US team members.

So for the sake of a fake appearance of control, my company is willing to accept me (and many other workers) being 1/2 or 1/3 as productive.

Figure that out, why don’t you?

Mar 05

Making Darkness

Making Light is a strange site for me. I like the site, but I hate everyone who writes for it.

All of them are copyright maximalists, with at least one of them apparently not even believing in fair use. That’s not the only reason I hate all of its writers, but that’s probably the top of the list.

I am a copyright radical – in my opinion, society would be better off if copyright were abolished altogether. No one listens to me, of course, as there is too much money to be stolen.

Mar 04

Nacker Hews

Mathbabe observes that she gets a large number of nasty comments any time one of her pieces makes it high up on Hacker News.

Surprise me this does not. Most of the folks there are entitled, privileged-but-unaware-of-it geeks with a deep streak of misogyny.

In other words, seeing an intelligent woman demolish many ideas they hold sacred put them into a mite of a tizzy, don’t you know.

At one point I was a well-known and high-ranked user of that site. I got fed up with it and asked for my ID to be deleted altogether. Though there is no formal deletion process, it was deleted by the site owner himself. Now though I read the site from time to time I rarely look at the comments as they are a cesspool of uninformed speculation (engineeritis), thoroughly-disproven theories and oh yeah, misogyny.

Good reason to avoid all of that.

Mar 04

Kidding yourself

As I often say, Oh, bullshit.

I know exactly what having a child would be like, and it would be horrible.

It is a rational decision, contrary to this deeply stupid article dressed up nicely in academic language to conceal its inanity.

I hate hassles, and having a child is nothing but a hassle. I would do extremely poorly at every task to do with the little shit, and would hate it every minute. I have absolutely no paternal instinct at all and am not family-oriented in any way.

Also, since I hate or at least have strong animosity to most humans, why would I feel any differently about a random child, even if that child were mine?

Shit, I don’t have pets for a reason. Having a child would be like having a pet you can’t even legally get rid of easily.

This article is really no different than all the assclowns who’ve said to me over the years, “Oh, just wait, you’ll meet the right girl one day and then everything will change and you’ll both want kids so bad!”

Well, no. The “right girl” would get an abortion ASAP if she ever got pregnant, as she hates children more than I do (which is barely possible, but still true).

Just because most other people become blubbering fucknuts around children don’t mean all people do.

Mar 03


I am so unaccustomed to seeing advertising anymore that when I see one, I often don’t even understand what I am looking at or what it’s supposed to be telling me.

How do people live like this?

Mar 02


When I was about four or five years old, I figured out that when adults said, “You’ll understand when you grow up,” 99% of the time it meant that they were doing something stupid that they didn’t want to be called out for.

My distrust of adults started out early. I was not I think a pleasant kid to be around for adults, for a whole host of reasons.