Feb 20

Chaos Chaos – Closer

Far better than the Tegan and Sara original, which I do not like. (Yes, I did intentionally publish this one under the other post, even though I composed this one later. Because context is good.)

Feb 19

Your business model

I’ve seen repeated justifications for the idea that I should do or not do something because someone’s business model will suffer due to my actions or lack thereof.

Fuck your business model.

I don’t give a crap about your business model.

I should look at ads on the web because it’s the business model? Who cares. It’s a terrible business model that makes my life worse. I’ll look at your ad when you pay for my $3,000 computer and screen to look at your virus-spewing bullshit. You know what? I see about one ad a year and it’s great.

What’s that you say, there’d be less content on the web if no one looked at ads? So be it. Something better will then develop as it’s not like we’ll just abandon the web if ads disappear.

I remember it before it had ads, and you know what? It was better.

The car dealership business model will suffer if I buy a car direct from Tesla? Sounds good to me. I’d buy 3-4 if I could afford it.

Your business model ain’t got a single reason I should do a goddamn thing. Nor will I.

Feb 18

Control and Power

It’s something that I’ve written about before and will write about again, but each time another wound occurs I feel the need to use some of the spilt blood to limn out another useless cri di couer.

When I first started using computers during the early 80s, each new upgrade brought more power, more control, more capabilities.

No more. Now, more is being taken away, being seized and locked down tight — for “security,” for “safety,” for “usability” and a million other bogus reasons. But it’s all for the same reason. It’s all for control, a form of power.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that what really thrills people, what innervates them and makes them feel worthwhile is the exercise of and enjoyment of power.

Not a new insight, but in a capitalist system it is assumed by nearly everyone that the highest desiderata is profit, but in reality it is as it has always been: the lust for power drives it all.

This explains why I can’t do with a computer the things I could do easily in 1985, or even 1995 — why I can’t control my own hardware, my own browser, where I read my books or how I view my own videos and the movies of others.

To those who believe that “profits” and the desire thereof explains this, how do you explain Gnome or its rabid developers, all the restrictions gestated in and foisted upon open source projects where profit is a minor concern, if it exists at all?

No, profit is a poor framework for understanding why computers and similar devices (tablets, phones, websites) now exist in a permanent state of brokenness: power and its thrill is the explanation, the golden apple for which these types grasp.

Each upgrade I now fear, and dread. My partner said the same thing, about how wary she is wary of upgrading anything on her machine, her devices, for she also knows much that made it useful will be removed, discarded, for her “own good,” and the tool rendered a paperweight or the application the software equivalent of a Bop It.

Even Linux is not immune; in fact, it is one of the worst now in both its GUI projects and the behind-the-scenes “innovations” like systemd. Linux and its ecosystem is in the main now more similar to Apple and its worst aspects than any other company and set of practices.

Not much can be done. The industry is consolidating and worthless putzes like Lennart Poettering and whoever runs Mozilla these days are in full control. But at least I can spew hearty imprecations at them which while it won’t reverse the tide will at least offend their ever-more-fragile sensibilities.

Feb 17

Rollin’ in my 5.0

Right now I don’t have a car. This is the longest as an adult I’ve not owned a car — a little over a year.

But given that we are about to become a two-job household again in a regular American city (meaning no real mass transit) a car is very soon going to become a necessity.

I’m probably going to buy a 2015 Mustang. I know the specs already. Except for one thing. So the important question is, what color? I’d like either green (Guard Green as they call it):

2015_00005_01

Or grey: (Ingot Silver to Ford):

09-2015-ford-mustang-ingot-silver

Right now I’m leaning towards the green as the grey looks too much like a primer coat to me. Thoughts?

Feb 16

Snow job

The more I think about Edward Snowden affair, the more I think Snowden is still an NSA employee and all that occurred was a deliberate operation. I just can’t make any sense of the events otherwise. Too much of it just doesn’t add up.

Naomi Wolf says the same thing here.

A year ago I thought it possible but unlikely that Snowden is still employed by the NSA. Now I think it’s about 70% likely.

I’m not normally a believer in conspiracy theories, but this one could actually work as only a very few people have to be in on it for it to not fall apart (maybe 5-6). The rest will work no matter who knows about it or not.

However I think Chelsea Manning was the real thing.

Something about Snowden always just smelled…off. Intuition tells me that Snowden and his “revelations” is some operation designed for some goal that I don’t quite understand.

Feb 15

Flankin’ and shankin’

So I was watching the movie You’re Next.

One thing that always bothers me in horror movies is there is never anyone who thinks like me in them. In the first main scene, the antagonist is firing flechettes through the windows at people.

Of course they go into a panic. But the best thing to do in such a situation is to immediately conduct quick reconnaissance and then attack. The beginning of an attack is when things are most unknown and chaotic also for your attacker. There is no better time to disrupt plans than at the start of them before your opponent has consolidated control and power.

You know what sort of weapon he has. You know his distance and direction of fire and thus his location (as flechettes are very short-distance weapons). Best thing one or more of them could have done would’ve been to run out the door opposite his firing position, flank him then shank him. That’s exactly what I would’ve done, and it would’ve been a very short movie I guess in that case.

Not trying to be some tough guy on the internet. Just military training and common sense. If under attack in most cases the best time to do something about it is right away. Waiting and seeing gives your opponent more power and you ever less as time goes on. Especially when their intentions are very clear, you’ll never get a better chance.

Note that this only applies to in-person situations. I’m not making statements about nations or similar.

In that situation, an attack is the last thing he’d be expecting and thus the best time to catch him by surprise.

Feb 15

Adulthood

I don’t agree with everything in this piece, but it reminds me of something that I’ve discussed before.

I’m guessing that in my lifetime, the age of legal adulthood will be raised to somewhere in the 22-25 range. Utterly irrational — I’d support it being lowered to 16 — but that’s the way society is moving.

We’ve already seen examples of this with the drinking age being raised to 21, so it’s not without precedent.

Of course Republicans will be very much in support of this because it will remove a lot of Democrat-leaning voters from the rolls.

And lefties will support it as well because they are in general nearly as paternalistic and prone to helicopter-parenting as their counterparts on the right (actually probably more prone to helicopter-parenting).