Jun 24

Polley-nomial time

Figure I’ve been carping and complaining too much around here.

Sarah Polley. Love everything she’s ever been in, and can’t wait to see the documentary she’s made.

Check out ths interview with her.

Then watch this. This sequence is one of the best openings* of any film of its type due to Polley’s reactions and facial expressions. Just perfect.

*It’s actually not quite the opening, but close enough.

Jun 24


Blogs are once again becoming less stylish and less used – mostly the consequence of mass migration to social crap like Facebook.

Perfectly fine with me. It just means the smarter people who can handle long-form, complex discussion will still visit blogs while the simpering masses will inhabit Facebook.

I see no problem here. I’d rather have one smart, engaged reader than 10,000 morons.

No great loss.

Jun 22


I was reading this article about hiring.

I’ve hired a lot of people in my life. Many of them turned out to be terrible. Some turned out to be great. I had no way to predict this from the interviews.

Something I’ve always wanted to try but no HR department would allow is to hire people completely randomly (well, sort of). I’d find resumes that are at least very minimally qualified for the job, put the names in a hat or a randomizing computer program and hire the first person it picks.

I bet the results would not be much different than the rigmarole of interviewing and such. In fact, they might be better.

Jun 22


Are game developers fucking idiots? Apparently so.

Yeah, because the market for new cars was destroyed by having a used cars market. Or the market for new laptops, or cameras.

Actually it is pretty well-known economically speaking that a healthy and robust used market supports the new-goods market. After all which product are you more likely to buy: a brand-new product for $100 which is impossible to resell and has to be thrown away if you do not like it, or a $100 product which you can resell for $75 if you don’t like it?


Jun 22


Even at home, I realized I routinely use four different machines. Try that on a damn tablet.

1) My main machine. Right now, running Windows 7. In the past, it has run everything from various KDE-based distros to off-brand Linux distros only heard of by some housecats living in rural Minnesota.

2) Our Linux server that I remote into using NX and\or putty.

3) A virtual machine running Windows XP for various work-related tasks.

4) Another Windows 7 virtual machine for testing/security.

That’s what I use just at home. And yeah, I really do use those all at the same time.

Jun 20

Cog fal

There are many cognitive fallacies that humans are susceptible to.

One of the most insidious and difficult to detect is I believe the false dichotomy. I find myself falling for that one even when I am aware of it. Those very good at setting up false dichotomies (conservatives, Tea Party plutocrats, banksters, etc.) are much more likely to persuade folks than those with more nuance (liberals, anarchists, socialists, etc.).

There is no easy way around this though constant vigilance to avoid it is worth it. One must be aware though that other areas may suffer as a result, causing a person to become more likely to suffer other cognitive fallacies since processing power and attention is finite.

Jun 20

Caught up

What makes this great catch so funny is that she is the daughter of a baseball catcher so well-known that even I have heard of him, and I’ve never seen a baseball game nor do I know really anything about it.

Jun 19


Today I solved two big problems at work that no one else could figure out — using a combination of archaic knowledge learned the very hard way, brand-new knowledge and a bit of dirty hacking.

Some days you ride the wave and some days it rides you. Today I rode it all the way to the beach and someone handed me a margarita as I stepped off the board onto the gleaming sand.

That’s just how smooth it was.

Jun 18

Those chromosomes

Since I was young and read Skeptic magazine, I’ve been interested in the formal skeptical/secularist movement. I thought it might be a good place to meet some like-minded people one day.

No fucking more.

It’s clear that they do not want women in their organization(s), and want to support harassers and other lowlifes more than women who wish to participate. I cannot and will not ever support an organization that holds such priorities.

I’m always surprised, no matter how many times I see it, at the sheer number of (mostly, but not always) men who seem to actively hate and in some way fear women.

Yesterday this post from Roxane Gay that a friend linked to also caught my attention. Appears that progress is impossible, even in something so obvious as the fact women are fully human and deserve to be treated as such at all times, no matter how much some entitled dudebro wants to do some harassing.

What’s unfortunate is that I am as suspicious of men as most women are forced to be – I know it’s not the same, really, as I am not afraid for my physical safety as women nearly always have to be, but I just assume because the evidence points that direction that the average man I meet will be so misogynistic that he is not worth getting to know.

So far, I have rarely been wrong about this.

Right now we live between two neighbors, one of whom has a “I want your lipstick on my dipstick*” sticker on his vehicle, while the other has a sign up in the garage that reads “Man Cave: Women by invitation only.”

Those are my two immediate neighbors. No special looking for this shit required.

*Which is such a stupid phrase that I insist on remembering it as “I want your chapstick on my lipstick” most of the time.