Jan 29

Politically dissect

I don’t write about politics much. Or Clinton or Sanders or Trump.

It’s because it doesn’t matter. Sure, in the short term who gets picked for the Supreme Court makes a difference to many lives. This is not nothing, I agree.

But in 70 or 90 or so years, there won’t be a Supreme Court. There probably won’t even be an America. People have no idea at all about how hard climate change is going to shatter the world. Even the clued-in are relatively clueless because no one knows much history and they can’t imagine that something like that can happen.

But it has, it can, and it will again.

Most apocalyptic prophecies are specious bullshit. But this isn’t prophecy. It’s just baked in (ha). It is the future, as inescapable as space-time itself.

I told my partner that talking much about who is going to win in 2016 is like arguing about what color underwear you’re going to wear as the house is in conflagration all around you.

Yeah, sometimes I pay attention as entertainment. But the truth is neither Clinton nor Sanders is going to do much of anything about climate change — and especially not on a global scale — and neither will anyone else.

So I get my jollies while I can, and am glad I’ll be dead before the worst comes.

Jan 28

You can’t spell asshole without SSL

This decision of Google’s to shame any non-SSL-based website has nothing at all to do with protecting their users.

It has everything to do with pushing people to Google’s services by making it harder for small businesses and others to create their own websites.

Have you ever installed a cert yourself? I have, and it’s not easy. Nothing about it is simple. It only takes me a few minutes now because I’ve done it dozens of times if not hundreds over a 15+ years IT career. But the first time I did it it took several days to get it all working.

People assume the good will of companies, and I can’t understand it. Have they never worked for a corporation? If there is any good will it’s all accidental because of a serendipitous alignment of user and corporate interests.

Google made the web better for a while but now it’s making it worse.

And so it goes.

Jan 27

Hire someone else

Who writes this shit?

Securities are fungible with cash. What, did this ninny think Apple had a huge pile of gold and dollar bills sitting in a vault somewhere Scrooge McDuck style that Tim Cook swims around in from time to time?

This is a financial journalist, apparently. Or what passes for one. And yet somehow has no idea about fungibility, how corporations finance ongoing operations (yep, even if they have a lot of “cash!”) or really how anything in that realm works.

Other than the should-be-illegal stashing money overseas to avoid taxes, a company like Apple is engaging in a few different tactics — with its reserves, it’s making more somewhere than it’s paying out on its own bonds. And it can smooth out various expenditures by funding ongoing operations with bond sales (as well as other advantages).

I’m constantly surprised by what I read on various sites where you think you’d find expertise. You just don’t.

And when interest rates are ridiculously low it absolutely makes sense to borrow a lot of money while keeping cash elsewhere in other securities.

This whole article is a storehouse of fail.

Jan 27

How many

I see posts all the time like “Ate a healthy lunch today.”

By healthy, usually meaning low-calorie (they think) and such. Most of the time, it’s something like the above photo.

That’s a caesar salad and what, cottage cheese and peach? Or potato salad with cheese? Either way, hugely caloric. And Odwalla drink.1,200 calories or so, easy.

By contrast, my lunch was somewhere around 500 (k)calories — and that’s a big lunch for me. The average American’s lunch is more than I eat most days total.

How can you be so self-delusional and wildly wrong about something so obvious?

Even this article on Ars Technica — usually a bastion of reason — is 90% bullshit and 10% science. Especially since they don’t seem to realize that most people wildly underreport their calorie counts. Self-reporting does not work when people even lie to themselves.

I think more than any chemical, etc., fantasy-based thinking contributes to obesity.

Jan 25

AD

Ani DiFranco is very much worth seeing. Great concert. I’ve heard the word “force of nature” used about people before. I didn’t really get it.

Now I know. Her stage presence is massive and just such a force.

Her guitar-playing is virtuosic– among the best I’ve ever seen. She has more personality than some entire countries and her band is also stellar.

My favorite song she did live was “Fuel” which she completely changed up to a 70s-style funk-inflected jam that was completely unexpected but also worked perfectly.

If you can see her live, do so.

If there were any justice in the world, her songs would be as culturally iconic as those of Led Zeppelin or the Beatles.

Jan 24

French experience

I’ve been looking for actual numbers, because that’s what I do. Turns out that most reported sexual violence even in France is already perpetrated by refugees/foreigners. That’s long been the case in Sweden which apparently as a country has a deathwish, but I didn’t know that about France.

Les 322 agresseurs identifiés par la police sont tous des hommes (pour les agressions sur majeurs), et âgés en moyenne de 34 ans. Plus de la moitié d’entre eux sont de nationalité étrangère (52 %) et 44 % sont sans emploi, rapporte le quotidien. 48 % d’entre eux étaient connus des services de police, dont 20 % pour des infractions sexuelles.

The important part of that is that 52% of the sexual assaults were committed by foreigners (which has a little different meaning in France than it does in the US). Admittedly this is only Paris and is a relatively-small sample…but still, think this is likely to decrease? Somehow magically get better?

Yeah, that whole “let anyone and their cat in” was a great idea, dontcha think?

Jan 24

Sacrificed by all

Other than the assault and rape that could’ve been prevented by not allowing unrestricted mass immigration, what bothers me the most about the events in Cologne and other European cities was just how many feminists were perfectly willing to sacrifice women to “refugee rights.”

Echidne talks about that a bit here and draws some interesting parallels with the Clinton and Sanders campaigns.

It should be pointed out again that just because the conservative idiots happen to be claiming something, that doesn’t make it automatically wrong. It just makes them accidentally right for ideological reasons. It doesn’t mean you should discard it automatically — which seems to be the feminist also-ideological response — it just means that you should do your own thinking for once.

Ignoring all that, I’m very sorry, European women, for what’s about to happen to you and to your lives. I wish that you could blame just conservatives or neoliberals or chance and circumstance, but you can also blame feminists, too, for bringing this down on you.

The betrayal of someone who should be on your side is always more excruciating than any other perfidy.

Jan 23

Precession

We are probably already in recession, by the way.

Because the economy is a large and slow-moving beast and difficult to assay, recessions often aren’t declared till well after they begin — sometimes 6-8 months after.

Hope you enjoy President Rubio!

Jan 23

Righting writhing writing

I like writing. I do it all the time. I did it before there were blogs. One of the reasons I forced myself to learn to use a computer was so that I could write. And in the past 10 years on various blogs I’ve written around 2 million words. That’s a staggering number, really.

I’ve never wanted to make a living at it. There’s no money in it. But I enjoy it. Why I keep doing it.

This blog like Frank’s is not the best example of my writing. In fact, it’s probably the worst. I spend about 3-5 minutes per post; maybe 10-20 for the lengthy ones.

When I take my time, when I cogitate, cerebrate and really get down, I’m not a really great writer — not like David Foster Wallace — but a pretty damn good to sometimes great writer. I have no illusions that I could ever write like David Foster Wallace. At least not consistently. Maybe one or two essays in a lifetime. But I am better nearly every time than almost all of the literary darlings you care to name. (Which is I think why I have trouble reading them.)

Like this asshole.

I’ve seen the novel City of Fire praised widely and many reviews declaiming what a great book it is, how deft are the sentences, extolling the succinctness of its expression and the parsimony of its metaphor.

It sounds like some garbage I wrote 10 minutes before class in 8th grade. Those sentences are so atrocious I wouldn’t wipe my shoe with them after I stepped in dog crap. It’d make the crap dirtier.

My god. This guy is famous for some middle-school level turgidly clueless word expulsions.

Yet I have no desire to compete in this field because it’d be a great deal of hard work to be poor — especially for the sort of writing that I enjoy playing with. But it does give me comfort that I’m better than those that are considered great for whatever reason.

This post took about four minutes to write, by the way. A little slow for me.