Oct 18

This other Eden, demi-paradise

Few know about them outside of the state, but some of the most beautiful places on earth are in North and North Central Florida. And I say this not just because I grew up there, but as someone who has traveled much of the world and knows it to be true.

Fern Hammock Springs, Ocala National Forest, Florida:

juniper

This photo in no way – not even minimally close, not even an iota – does the place justice. In person, it is heart-stoppingly beautiful.

I’ve been to a lot of springs in North Florida. Hundreds of them. First time I’ve ever been to this one, and when I turned the corner and saw it, I was gaping in awe.

The water is so clear that it looks what, maybe a few inches deep? Try 6-8 feet.

Even with the best medium format camera in the world with the ideal lighting, I couldn’t convey 1/1000 of what it’s like to turn the corner of the trail and see this before you in the forest. And sorry for the crappiness of the picture. I was using my little camera, in poor lighting for good photography.

If what I felt when I saw this spring is close to what people term a religious experience, I can understand how that could be addictive.

Most of these springs will be gone in my lifetime due to climate change and water extraction. Some are already dying.

If you want to see them, come now. Soon they will be no more.

Oct 17

Diatomic

I’m curious if the sexual dimorphism of human females were genetically eliminated, how that would affect the likelihood or sexual harassment, rape and other similar crimes and insults.

Much of that behavior is caused by culture in the immediate sense, no doubt, but I wonder how much culture would shift if the greater physical threat were in principal more equalized.

Speaking from personal experience, I was raised in a culture where fighting for males was the norm and was widely accepted — expected, even. I grew up fighting because I had no choice — because I was male and a complete misfit growing up in the rural South. (On that note, really fucking funny how my dad thought I was effeminate and weak and not manly, when I got in a fistfight nearly every day at school for years*.)  I’m smaller than probably 65% of US males, but that size differential versus the cultural expectations under which I grew up — and my own nature — hasn’t prevented me from confronting harassers, bullies and other dregs of society when called to it, even when alone or sorely outmatched.

I’m not trying to glorify myself or to blame the victims for not fighting back. Mainly just thinking aloud. Anyway, there’s little glory in beating someone’s head in even if they are a bully and do very much deserve it. Most people haven’t fought much and aren’t very good at it, so it’s almost like taking advantage of them when they stroll in with such confidence — getting by on intimidating people with their size and bluster for years — and find someone who knows how to fight and better yet (but worse for them), enjoys it and likes bleeding and likes righteous pain and likes the red mist of hand-to-hand combat.

But enough about my mental problems.

I’m guessing over time if sexual dimorphism were genetically eliminated, the change would precipitate a cultural shift toward far less harassment and sexual violence. More men would be more afraid if Cassie from accounting could also bench 200 pounds, in other words.

I’m not saying that’s the only way to get there, but I like thinking about possibilities. I am also sure that this post will offend in some way nearly anyone who reads it — whether it’s the violence, the talk of monkeying with the human genome, or a million things I’ve not thought of. But so be it. I’m a die-hard liberal, but I’m a militant one, and I won’t be shoved into the milquetoast mode that most liberals seem to adore.

Liberals spend too much time worrying about hurting feelings, and not enough time out there offending sensibilities and breaking shit. Not gonna be me, sorry.

*I even had a pair of steel-toed boots that I wore for a year as they were really good for taking someone out at the knees — I mainly used these on a few really bad higher-grade bullies who were so much taller than me that I couldn’t even punch them in the face easily. Quite a bit easier to reach their faces when they are on the ground crying.

Oct 17

Spaceballs

Neil De Grasse Tyson, allegedly: "Asteroids are nature’s way of asking, ‘How’s that space program coming along?’"

For any wankers who think the space program is a waste of money, that should be pondered a bit.

Oct 16

No more Compy386

The future of general-purpose computing is pretty bleak, and what a great loss that will be.

Most people don’t care, even though the effect on their lives is immense. I used to hesitate (ok, not very much) to term these people stupid, but really they are. In practice, in the real world, when you care not a bit about something that will make your world very much worse, you are stupid. There is no other word for it.

Of course it is hard to fight against the propaganda and FUD foisted onto us by an increasingly corporation-dominated world.

General purpose computers will never go away, of course. They can’t – else no content could ever be created, no new programs could ever be written, etc.

However, I suspect they will be increasingly restricted legally, and eventually will require special, expensive licenses to operate.

Probably by 2025, if you are government-approved for a “general purpose computer” license, you will hand over your $10,000, all your activities will be monitored, and the license will require renewal every year.

That’s best guess.

Worst guess I don’t even want to think about.

Oct 16

Not mysterious

File sharers buy 30% more music than non-P2P peers.

Well, duh. Completely obvious. If it weren’t for file sharing the past decade, I’d probably have spent less than $50 on music of any sort, including concert tickets.

With file sharing, I’ve spent closer to $1,000.

The RIAA’s quest to stop file sharing has nothing to do with protecting artists or creating incentives to make more music – it’s all about protecting a business model that harms artists and fans.

Oct 15

In the band

When I do something I’m gonna do soon, I’ll be rockin’ a mohawk, custom-tailored banded collar shirts, corduroy pants and cowboy boots. And you know what?

It’s gonna be awesome.

Oct 13

Moore Chloe

Wait, how did I not know that Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore were going to be in a remake of Stephen King’s Carrie?

If they had to pick a white actress, Moretz should have been Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games movie. She’s the right age now. What a lost opportunity, because she’s great.

But I wasn’t really interested in the new Carrie film until I found this out.

Oct 12

Book it

I hate almost all mainstream book awards because they’ll generally pick the top five most boring-ass books about white men having mid-life crises published in the past year, meanwhile absolutely wonderful so-called genre books are completely ignored.

In my opinion, the best book of last year was Jo Walton’s Among Others. It was far better than at least two of the books on the NBA list that I’ve also read. Far, far better, really.

It pisses me off to no end that Walton’s masterpiece is ignored just because it had some fairies, but Eggers’ somnambulistic male midlife crisis book-curse of the month club is chosen.

Makes no damn sense.

Oct 12

Here, kitty

I would bite the heads off kittens for a 27”+ monitor with the PPI of my iPad.

How awesome that would be is nearly incalculable. Not biting the heads off kittens. The monitor.