Nov 17

Google and evil

In an old blog now defunct, I stated that Google once it went public would be absolutely no different than any other public company.

Investor demands and lack of regulation just don’t permit any other model, no matter how the company is comprised.

And that is exactly what is happening.

The default model of capitalism that we practice now allows only amorality, which in this world is equivalent to evil. This was as predictable as the sunrise.

Nov 16


This is one of the simplest, strangest and most captivating videos I’ve ever seen.

Sort of reminds me of the classic Sinead O’Connor “Nothing Compares 2 U” video in its simple focus.

Here’s a good short interview with her. Just shows that wisdom comes from wisdom, not age.

Nov 15

Logic problems and their inapplicablity

I’m terrible at logic problems but yet am really good at figuring out things in the real world that others cannot.

For instance in a remote data center that we do not have physical access to, some equipment was installed by the vendor. My job was to figure out using the data available which port an ethernet cable had been plugged into, and to be absolutely sure about it. I had these items to work with:

1) A packing slip containing a list of items of what was included in the equipment shipment, though not where it was installed.

2) Knowledge that one Ethernet cable was plugged into a port on the router (that has many ports)

There was a bit more to it than that, making it more complicated, but I don’t really want to spend a long time on fiber transceivers and their operation, and daughter cards and the like.

But anyway, I was able to figure it out using that one bit of given information (one ethernet cable was plugged in), combined with the packing list, and knowledge of how port numbering on Cisco routers and transceivers work. At the end I was able to pinpoint exactly which port that cable was plugged into without having access to the vendor router remotely and without having physical access to the data center (it’s a thousand miles away).

And yet you give me one of those typical logic problems, an age of the universe could pass and I could not figure it out.

Nov 14

The way that I talked

Funny that before I completely minimized my Southern accent, people from other areas would sometimes ask me why I talked like a black person.

I used to speak like a rural North Floridian. Still do when I am angry or very tired. While the BEV dialect does exist in rural North Florida, more so than in most places it overlaps heavily (and vice versa) with how white Southerners speak due to the cultures blending and co-existing for so long.

North Florida has a very distinct accent, even as Southern accents go. Sometimes I can’t identify other regional or foreign accents very well, but I can always tell a fellow North Floridian in a few words.

(In fact it is so specific that a woman from Valdosta, Georgia, which is just 40 or 50 miles up the road was able to tell that I was from Lake City, Florida, just by my accent.)

I don’t feel that speaking with a Southern accent (or not) gives me any more authenticity one way or the other. “Real Americans” is a pernicious and terrible concept.

I learned standard American English to avoid people thinking I was stupid; I use the rural North Florida accent when I want people to underestimate me.

Both are how I “really” talk and both are authentic and valid parts of who I am.

Nov 14


I would be perfectly happy if every show and every movie I ever watch existed in a parallel world where women and LGBT people had already achieved radical equality.

I’d much rather have that in real life, of course. But failing that, if it existed in entertainment only at least it could lead the way like Uhura on Star Trek and provide some better entertainment.

I just can’t watch shows (especially) any more where women are just orbitals of the main characters, the “real” characters. Mad Men, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad – those are completely out for me. I just cannot do it. My mind recoils. Even if they are “historically accurate,” whatever that means.

When I find a show like Lost Girl where two women spend longer than a minute talking to each other – it’s like my brain does a happy dance. Even if at times the writing is forced, the dialogue is stilted – but it’s two interesting women! Doing things! And not just orbiting some (as is the case) usually-incredibly-boring guy.

Not that I think every show has to have a female protagonist. And not that I think every guy is boring. No. But in the main, shows like Breaking Bad et. al have been done oh-so-many times before. Come on, do something original. Lost Girl is at the least original.

And when the succubus Bo kills the creepy-but-realistic rapist near the beginning of the first episode– what a great scene. It was wish fulfillment, in the best of the ways. Not that I think all rapists deserve death. But if I saw something like that happening, I’d leave the guy in a pool of his own blood and certainly not care if he lived or died overly much – so I understand. (And not to get kudos from the woman I “saved,” because it is the right thing to do. In fact, I’d prefer that she never know who I am if something like that happened.)

All that said, shows like Breaking Bad were on TV during the 1950s. We can do better now.

Nov 14

The cycle continues

I would no more ride a bicycle on an American road than I would strap a dead chicken to my chest and go swimming in the Everglades.

I’m a very alert and observant driver, but it’s difficult to watch for cyclists – the roads are just not designed for them, and often they violate every traffic law in the book making it even more difficult not to run them over by accident.

Bike lanes actually make things worse in most cities. There is no good solution that wouldn’t cost a trillion dollars at this point.

Nov 13

The humes

I disagree with perhaps 50% of what this guy writes, but this is one of the better explanations for why the humanities are indispensably important to a functioning society.

“The entertainment industry,” and to a lesser extent “the marketing industry,” provide more direct windows into the structure of things, because they are the facets of the illusion modeled more closely after its authors. More clearly, when we consider the openly-acknowledged stories the powerful tell, we can see them following the same patterns they use in larger-scale storytelling. Nations, and history, are shaped much like bad screenwriting, and the inability of most people to understand narrative manipulation–to read and understand complex stories–is the same handicap that prevents them from figuring out what’s really going on around Earth. Understanding how stories are discovered, transmitted, and experienced (“written/created, read, and analyzed”) helps us figure out what most people are missing, and why they’re so easily manipulated–and gives us insight into how they might learn to demand better stories, both in their personal entertainment and in their outer world.

I could elaborate on that, but why? Nothing I could say would make it any better.

Nov 13


I think the Occupy movement’s debt jubilees are by far the most subversive thing they have ever done. Compared to the protests which were basically these days the equivalent of putting a bag of burning poop on someone’s porch and ringing the doorbell, the debt actions have an actual chance of making a difference.

Good to see.