10.10.18

Catch him while you can

b1-66er: i don't know if you've seen/saw this, but it's simply excellent.

Fungus R Us

The dear hunter:
I consider fungi to be the seashells of the forrest.
Major mushroom season at the moment.
I have not seen some these b4.
<b1--white ball one>Size of honey dew Melon.  A bit huge.

15.9.18

how's that hitting your hand with a hammer going?

b1-66er: How's your work, we never talk about it.

Special K: It's great that it gives me money and insurance, and not demanding. Otherwise it's terrible, boring, dumb. 
First time in my life I can have a boring job and be OK with it, not have to brag about how great my job is.

14.9.18

Loon shot

the former flyer: People are so lame! I was told that there was a joe Rogan/Elon musk interview where Elon goes a bit crazy and smokes pot. My friends were commenting about how he must be suffering from stress and stuff. I just watched the interview and thought it was fantastic. The guy was super open and interesting. Ideas were fantastic. He did take one puff of a marijuana/tobacco joint. Big deal. They also drank whisky. People are so weird. 

b1-66er: one of the weirdest things about the internet -which i never would have guessed- is that everyone's an expert because they can look everything up...
...but people have become remarkably lazy.  so they don't actually refer to the source, they refer to a biased synopsis OF the source...
...but people have become remarkably lazy.  so they don't actually refer to the source, they refer to a biased synopsis OF the source...
...which almost certainly is some one (or thing) that's:
A undereducated
=and/or=
B looking for consensus bias in what they already believe
=and/or=
C have monetary interests in what they're saying...
...i never, ever, would have expected all this to turn out this way.

FF: Have you seen that interview?

b1: no.  I've read about it, though.
I'm not a fan of musk's, so i don't cross into his reality distortion field.
I'll watch it if you want me to.  (you have THAT MUCH) control of my behavior.

FF: I personally thought it was interesting. I liked the discussion about AI. What don't you like about him?

b1: I'm not convinced he's doing anything to save the planet... 
...but a lot of stuff to tear it up.

FF: They talk about planet saving stuff in the interview 

b1: so here's his non-planet saving stuff i know about...
he's making electric cars with no obvious frame recovery and battery disposability...
he's hell bent on getting to mars.  which requires HUGE resources, trashes the Earth's atmosphere, endangers another planet's nearly pristine ecosystem.

FF: Ok. I get your pint of view. 

b1: i think he, desperately, wants to be > SJ.

FF: If you think about it, it's not such a bad desire to want to be better than Jobs. It's better than not trying to achieve anything. I'm sure he has completely messed up ego stuff. But I still find him interesting. I'd prefer to hear about theories on AI and it's future in our society rather than stupid politics and out of date racist ideas being revamped to serve someone's financial agenda.


At least one of us is

b1-67er: Having swype problems with my phone. Perhaps virus.  Almost anytging I swipe prints as "I think"

b1-66er: crazy.
do you NOT think?

67: The second one I swyped as "I am Devo"
I am devo
I think

66: THAT'S GREAT!
i want your phone.

16.8.18

So THAT'S where cell phone babies come from!

b1-66er: Why's a cell phone called a cell phone?  
What's it a cell OF?

Robotron: "Cellular" refers to the architecture of the wireless network, where the physical space is divided into individual cells. Each cell has antennas and equipment to handle all the phones that are in that cell. A cell can hand off a user to a neighboring cell when the user moves. 
Each cell only has to handle a finite amount of users. This is the design that makes it scalable.

b1: So great.  
Does anyone aside from you, Wayne-o, Woz and Bill Gates know that?

Robo: I'm not even sure the architectural features that gave it that name are still applicable. By the time it got to Europe, they wound up adopting the more general term "mobile".

b1: Do your super genius children?

Robo: Not a chance.

b1: Okay.  So it's kinda obscure.  I'm not a complete NOP for not knowing it.
Is the phrase "cell phone" antiquated?  Is it like talking about a transistor radio?

Robo: I'd bet no one under the age of 30 knows it, unless they are in a related field.
The network is still "cellular", in that you move from one cell to another. But the term is a "leak" of technical jargon into the public lexicon that shouldn't have happened. The device manufacturers and carriers should have done a better branding job at the start, way back when.

b1: I hear your dad voice when you say that.
(I actually chuckled.)
I think I'm going to blame Wayne-o about the fact that i say "cell phone."  I'm calling him the leak.  I don't care if he is or not.
SUPER great story.  Thanks.  And thanks for taking the time.

Robo: Sure. Blaming Wayne-o is a good idea.

2.7.18

When push comes to jerk

Entropy Dave: Funnily enough, just today I described the urban design of Los Angeles as being like Godzilla had a wank and splooged out a giant lake of goo. That's my origin myth for LA. I say that as a fan of the culture of LA, just not the urban geography.

I was being serious though. A yankee friend of mine asked me dead in earnest, "As a patriot, I feel like I should do something, but what?" The New York Times is my primary newspaper so I keep up pretty well with American politics. It's been bad, getting worse for at least 25 years, ever since that asshat Grover Norquist decided to cripple the Republican political class by demonising legislative compromise. But the decline is reaching a new low, because the Republican political class has now effectively been neutered by an egocentric fool with no regard for anything but his own emotions.

The power of America has been that it has a thin culture. What I mean by that is not that it is not rich with things like music, football, food, rituals, etc. It is. Rather, the culture of membership and citizenship is thin. It is not based on 800 years of this or that region's history, like Europe or China. History doesn't matter--how could it? most American families have been in the country for less than 100 years--it is the ideas that matter, and it is from these ideas that the political institutions are made. So to become an American you just need to buy in to a few civic ideals. This is great because it means America can absorb anyone at any time, irrespective of creed, history, etc.

But the downside is that when someone violates these ideas, when someone undermines these institutions built on this thin culture, there are relatively few resources on which to draw. It is all held together by a shared belief in a few basic ideas. The French can reply, with the weight of history behind them, by saying this is not true to France. I don't think you can really do that in the US, unless you hark back to a few (mostly inaccurate) stories from the founding days of the country (think of George Washington and Paul Revere). These stories don't give us much traction.

We've seen the Republic subverted by subtle means, as Cheney did when he suborned the Office of Legal Counsel. But now we're seeing it subverted by unsubtle means that move the norms, that remove the inhibitions, that dismantle the thin culture that holds these institutions together. It is like everyday is a day to use the "nuclear option" in the Senate, everyday is a day where what matters is only whether you win (compare Merrick Garland and Neil Gorsuch), and where all that matters is whether you can get away with it (cp. Scott Pruitt).

This nothing to do with feeling alienated from the American voting public or having expatriated myself. It is about seeing a great country, my homeland, being destroyed almost literally day by day from within its own institutions. I only hope the next generation are better people than we were.