May 24

Official supervision

I’m a company officer where I work. Have been for close to a year now, I guess.

Still is weird to see my name next to the bigwigs in company communications and the like.

What it really means mostly is that I can sign expensive contracts and such now that I couldn’t before, that I can legally represent the company out there in the world.

I feel a little proud because it’s a level most IT people never reach. I did it with no college degree and without any political backstabbing.

Not bad for a former North Florida redneck.

May 23

Paint

I used to paint some or all of my fingernails in high school, because at that time I just did not give a fuck.

In rural, very homophobic gender-stereotypical North Florida, too. That I didn’t get beaten into a pulp is a bit miraculous, really. Of course a reputation for not giving a fuck is one of the primary reasons I wasn’t beaten to a pulp.

Couldn’t do it today, though. I’d be fired in a matter of days if not hours.

In some ways it was easier and better when I could just fight with my fists, because why I’d be fired now is something nearly impossible to fight at all.

May 23

Minted

Mint 15: Today’s best Linux desktop.

Agreed. I run it on our home server. The Cinammon and MATE editions are far, far better than the interface apocalypses that are Unity, Windows 8 and Gnome 3.

But as I’ve said before about Windows 8, Gnome 3 and Unity the great thing about those interfaces is that folks who use any of them are absolutely no competition to me in the workplace as I can lap them several times a day in amount of work done.

Maybe Linux Mint with a sane interface will be the new professional OS in a few years.

May 23

Boxed in

I don’t give a crap about gaming consoles really, but the new Xbox console even looks terrible to me, and I plan to own not a one of them.

Slower? More restricted? About “social” garbage? Indie developers not allowed?

Why would anyone buy it?

May 23

Bows

Disclaimer first: I am very much for gun control – far too many people in this country have lethal weapons that they should not, and nothing good results therefrom.

That said, I do have to quibble with the “can’t fight the army” argument against gun control.

No, in a conventional war, a bunch of gun nuts couldn’t take on US Air Force ground attack aircraft and US Army tanks on a conventional battlefield. But why would you ever fight such a superior foe on a conventional battlefield? Did the Iraqi rebels do such a thing? Did the Viet Cong?

Of course not. Because it’s idiotic.

As we’ve seen in our history numerous times, guerrilla wars are very effective and require very few resources, relatively speaking.

Any anyway, in a real armed insurrection against the US government the purpose of the rifles and pistols wouldn’t be to battle it out against the US Army right away; no, it would be to take over and pilfer some National Guard munitions depots, which are both lightly guarded and full of the things you’d need for a real guerilla group: AT4s, Javelins, C-4, SAWs, and the like.

Anyone with 20 long rifles and a willingness for a few people to die could do this.

Hell, a few dozen people with crossbows could do it.

May 22

Healthful

At first when health care reform was being proposed in the US, I couldn’t understand why employers were so dead-set against it as it would save them hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

Didn’t take me long to figure it out. They oppose it because having health care linked to employment basically makes employees into indentured servants – that is if they want health care for themselves and their families.

It’s a way to keep wages low and just as much it’s about power. If you think companies only care about profit, that is not correct. The only thing more corrupting than money is power, and CEOs, middle managers and all of those corporate execs with their tiny fiefdoms love to hold that power over those they perceive to be worth less than they are – even if it leads to somewhat less profit over the long term. If you don’t believe me, it probably only means that you’ve never worked in a public or private corporation in your life.

People have long been worried about the tyranny of government, but it turns out for the last 50 years they’ve been looking in the wrong direction – corporate tyranny is far more prevalent and is getting worse.

In 100 years, it probably won’t matter much as climate change, while it might not lead to global human extinction, is going to so shake up the order of everything that the world then will not be recognizable to us now.

Another thing that people refuse to believe, but is absolutely inevitable.

May 17

NYC this

The last time I was in NYC, I was at a sushi bar eating dinner.

There was a woman next to me at the bar who kept looking over at me, so I knew she’d talk to me soon if I didn’t step away. I was feeling remarkably social for me so I stayed.

About a minute later she did indeed look at me and ask, “Is that one good?”  as she pointed at something on my plate. Turns out she was a dancer and dance instructor in NYC. Twenty-five years old.

We talked a little about our lives. She was remarkably candid. She said she was poor, struggling, and had many student loans. I asked her if she was able to pay them off.

She said, “No, I stopped paying them and don’t plan to ever start again. There’s no way I can pay $80,000 in loans with any job I’ll ever have.”

Later I paid my tab and left, but I think about her from time to time as that story is going to become increasingly common.

We’re creating an underclass in this country. It doesn’t matter if it’s deliberate or accidental, conspiracy or no – it is what is happening.

Some people will criticize her for the very act of being a dancer. But understand this: not everyone can be or wants to be an engineer, which is one of the few employment reasons it is worth going to college for these days.

I’d argue that the world needs dancers just as much as it needs engineers, Hell, perhaps more.

Anyway, no matter what the world needs, I fail to see the wisdom of creating another entire class of people who are basically barred from participating in regular society by debt they can neither pay back nor discharge in bankruptcy.

No matter what you think about the morality of it all, this is good for no one; not for society, not for the graduates, and not even the moral scolds who think that dancer should be punished in perpetuity for perceived mistakes.

May 16

No community

I’ve been a feminist supporter as long as I can remember, even before I knew the word “feminism.”

I’ve confronted street harassers in real life, and will do so again. I’ve gotten in physical fights about this and will probably do so again.

I’ve donated money to causes that help women and equality and will donate more in my life.

I’ve fired creepy dudes at work for harassing female employees, and will probably do so again.

Yet I am not really a member of the feminist community because I am just not good at ideology, though I’ve read more on feminism than even many feminists (This is true on about any subject as I read a lot. A ridiculous lot. If you think you read more than me, you are almost certainly wrong*). This not being good at ideology is why I am not really a member of any community. I can’t seem to drink anyone’s Kool-Aid.

Don’t like the taste. Can’t stand the mental dying.

I like to examine everything, turn it around in my head, figure it out and see its strengths as well as its weak spots.

Seeing the “weak spots” is what gets me into trouble, of course. Can’t mention that. Can’t even point that direction.

Note that I am not picking on the feminist community here. It’s not unique in this respect, not better or worse than any other, just one that I happen to feel a lot of kinship with so it’s easier to see its flaws than a community I hardly know nor care about.

As a sociological experiment once I posted nearly exactly the same comment on several different feminist sites – the comment was strongly feminist, and completely on topic.

If I posted under a very-obviously female name, my comment always, without fail, was greeted positively and with warmth and many responses. If I posted under a male name, a comment with the same content (I actually softened the tone a little) was generally attacked, ignored or outright deleted.

Note that I was expecting this, and it was cruel, so I never identified any of these sites on my blog. And never will. It doesn’t prove anything. It proves that feminists are human is all.

And it proves how distant I am from most humanity, a true Alien.

I’m a member of no community and probably never will be. I’m not proud of it or upset by it; it just is.

Fortunately I don’t need anyone’s approval to do the right thing, nor will anyone’s threats or disapproval make me do the wrong one. Kicking me out of a community doesn’t change my opinions of it in the least. Hell, I’d probably kick myself out. I’m a prickly, difficult fucker who likes to ask too many questions that no one can or wants to answer.

I will always support feminism and its aims because it is the right thing to do, even if its community members are as human and as flawed as anyone else.

I guess my position in any community will be at the periphery, the Crazy Uncle (or Aunt, as you like) who yells things towards the fire that occasionally someone listens to and realizes is right. And then they become like me, and everyone distances themselves from her as well.

*And if you do read more than me, please tell me your secret.

May 16

Dream job

I think my dream job would be to tase in the face men who harass women on the street.

Can hardly think of anything more rewarding than that would be.