Jul 16


Why do we demand flawlessness of character in writers especially?

There isn’t a truly great writer alive or dead who is a paragon of wholesomeness and good living. It just can’t happen.

First of all, to be a writer you have to be uncommonly stubborn. Writing is not a natural act, especially writing in volume. Uncommonly stubborn people tend to persist in inadvisable actions for longer than they should. This alone leads to many of the common flaws found in the character of writers.

Second, to be a great writer you nearly have to have lead an interesting life. An interesting life is impossible to have without making mistakes – sometimes very large ones.

Third, no one who ever wrote anything great did so by avoiding the tendentious or concentrating on the anodyne. Revelation and novel thought doesn’t emerge from a void – chances are the writer has explored a range of possibilities in his or her own life from which these insights came.

So give me my writers bloodstained, mud-blotted, buffoonish and antagonizing – just as long as their writing is interesting.

Jul 13


Being an introvert does not mean being awkward or even shy. Why do people think this?

I’m very much an introvert, but not in any way awkward nor do I get stage fright. And I am quite definitely not even a little bit shy.

Want me to go speak before Congress tomorrow? Fine. Ain’t even a problem. Just let me rest and read a book after.

Not saying I’d do a great job, necessarily. Just saying that it would not make me nervous or worry me that much.

Jul 13


The great thing as a director that hiring Tatiana Maslany gets you is that you don’t need to hire any other actors.



Mother #2?






Hit man?


Family dog?


She needs to start a union for herself or this could get out of hand.

Jul 13


Quote of the day: “Windows task manager really needs some sort of ‘EXPLAIN YOURSELF AT ONCE’ button where you can click on a process that’s just used up all the cpu and have it confess, no bullshit, exactly what the fuck it thinks it’s doing.”

That that would require an AI? No matter. I completely agree.

Jul 12


Still trust Microsoft to safeguard your privacy, idiot Americans?

Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users’ communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company’s own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

That Ars Technica piece about SkyDrive the other day where people scoffed at the idea of the NSA having access? Well, being wrong is what those infected with engineeritis and/or geek arrogance do best.

The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide.

If you aren’t using something open source to encrypt your data, it’s not safe. And if it’s stored in the cloud, it’s doubly unsafe.

Of course, nothing is completely secure and verifiable as very smart people can embed an undetectable backdoor in the compiler itself, but there’s only so much you can do.

Jul 12


Back in the BBS days, I remember being able to type faster than my computer’s extremely slow modem could send text to the remote console and then echo it back to me.

Struggling to get anything useful done on terribly slow, bad hardware. Wishing for the sweet release of death while waiting five hours for that 300KB text document to download, and hoping you didn’t get disconnected.

Tablets feel like that to me, scaled at least to what is possible now – using them for anything other than reading books, that is.

It’s interesting to me that due to smartphones and tablets, the average person is going to lose the ability to type again, as was once the case.

Many people are now too young to recall, but back in the early and mid 1980s, knowing how to type was a relatively rare and valued skill.

Then PCs became common, and typing become a lot more widely-known.

Since real keyboards will always be used for work, the ending of the era of the PC (for most people) will mean there will be future generations nearly completely unsuited for corporate office work without more training than is now necessary.

Jul 12

Three feet tall, but a helluva forehand

I was looking for some Wimbledon matches to watch on a website that slant-rhymes with The Ferret Way, and saw something like this:


It took me a moment to figure out that the number was their world ranking, not their ages. I don’t really follow tennis, but do have a few players that I enjoy watching play, so age is what occurred to me first.

I’m glad they are not letting four-year-olds play in Wimbledon.

Jul 11

Corporate zombies

Well, this is not a shock.

Being self-employed could hurt your chances of landing a corporate job, new research has found.

In a two-year field experiment, researchers found that self-employed individuals who sought company jobs scored significantly fewer interviews than peers who were employed by companies.

I’ve worked with people who were self-employed and then gotten corporate jobs. They are far, far less likely to just take corporate bullshit handed to them on a platter and pretend it’s filet mignon. That’s why corporations don’t want them – they are no longer fully zombies.

Jul 11

Losing people

Congratulations, you just lost 99% of the people who might’ve listened to you.

Today I learned that it is racist to cover a song.

It’s a good reminder why I don’t consider myself a member of the self-flagellating liberals, and neither am I anywhere close to being a conservative.

People say they don’t like being pigeonholed, but that is usually a lie. What they really don’t like is when you refuse to pigeonhole yourself for them so they don’t have to do all the work. And of course it’s just easier to pigeonhole yourself because it buys you a social group.

But I like being thoughtful more than I like having a social group.

A commenter from another site got it all too right: “Old: article. Really really old: Jezebel middle-class, college-educated white women arguing viciously over which of them is the least racist.”

Is it racist to like rap? Judging by this article, it would be. Not that I care at all. Because I like rap a lot and listen to it all the time. I don’t intend to stop because someone with all the deep thoughts of a sea anemone tells me that I shouldn’t.

And is it racist to be interested in other cultures? Most new things are cultural appropriations. Rock and roll is a cultural appropriation (I really hate that term, by the way) of hundreds of years of African-American musical traditions. So by that definition, any white person playing a rock song is racist.

And does this idiot Jezebel writer really think any artist would cover a song just to make fun of someone? That’s just moronic.

Or the even more daft interpretation is that no white/Latino person should ever cover a song that was originally performed by a black performer. What about if the song is “Green Onions” by Booker T and the MGs? Four members, half black and half white.

Guess I can only cover that one if I am Barak Obama or someone else with one black parent and one Caucasian progenitor.

When I used to play Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” on the piano?

Also like totally racist, of course.

Jul 09

Going South

My partner might not be a Southerner, but I’ve gotten her hooked on sweet tea, catfish and boiled squash.

Sweet tea made well and properly iced is about the best thing ever. How anyone can not like this simply mystifies me.

The catfish doesn’t taste as good as it did when I used to catch it myself and we’d eat it fresh from the river, but it still is pretty delectable.

And boiled summer squash is one of the side dishes with the best ratio of taste to effort. Takes 10-12 minutes to make and tastes better than most things that take hours.