thinking about the world differently . . .
August 5th, 2017

I bet we know …

The Huffington Post posted that Anthony Scarramucchi will "go dark" in an article titled Why The Mooch Lost His Cool by Vicky Ward.



Contemplating what he was and what he would become, ’cause it’s a small dark place… How will the ego fit in there?

I bet we all have theories and descriptions for what he was before, and what he will probably be when he returns (God forbid!)Now, clean thoughts only πŸ™‚



Got my ass fired. Got my bags right here, am ready to travel…


December 13th, 2016

The Upcoming Administration of the 45th US President

A few moments ago, while reading a comment in The Register in an unrelated article, I found out that there was actually a movie made by the name of Idiocracy. It was made in 2006, directed by Mike Judge. You can read about it in Wikipedia, or in IMDB.

Who’d have thunk?!

   am, 22 April 2017

Someone defined it in a word:

IDIOCRACY

Sadly, seems insanely accurate. In addition to the obvious, we are painfully reminded of the heady days of presidential debates in November 2011, when a candidate for presidency vowed his desire to eliminate 3 government departments: Commerce, Education, and er…. [insert a word here for brainfart…] Yes, the same inimitable buffoon, Mr. Rick Perry.

Now repeat: i-d-i-o-c-r-a-c-y, and again, so you do not forget… OY!

January 6th, 2016

The Right to Bear Arms

A (deadly) serious political cartoon that says it all. Have we had enough yet? The arms race is now accelerating to the point that soon the danger will be crossfire.

Published December 11, 2015 by Aussie cartoonist Sean Leahy [Wikipedia entry] in the Brisbane Courier Mail, this commentary focuses on the total lunacy of this “right”.

The Right to Bear Arms

The Right to Bear Arms

November 23rd, 2015

“Call A Professional”, Indeed!

I have waged battle trying to setup a printer to work wirelessly. The technology is there. The technical details are likely to be VERY understandable by anyone with 8th grade education who is not drooling. So where’s the battle? Manuals and user guides written by persons with zero comprehension of sentence structure, zero attention or care that OTHERS read what they wrote. In fact, I suspect almost NO USER MANUALS were EVER read by whoever wrote them! Yeah, I am disgusted.

I won’t name names, these companies already have a sullied reputation without my slashing at them.

But today, facing the prospect of “back to the torture chamber” to continue the battle, I saw this cartoon in the November 23, 2015 edition of How To Geek Newsletter. It fits to a tee!

2015-11-23 Geek Comic Call A Professional

October 27th, 2015

The power of programming

Scott Adams is the brilliant creator of the Dilbert cartoon in 1995. The cartoon below is from September 18, 1996, so quite an “oldie”. Still, you can see the distinct characters and “hear” the sardonic “voice” that permeates his cartoons even to this day.

I like this cartoon because I have been programming quite a lot lately and algorithms, functions, and how to solve problems has been filling my mind a lot. Thank you Scott Adams. (See this Wikipedia article about Mr. Adams.)

Enjoy…

dt960918dhc0

March 10th, 2015

Government Efficiency

A political hot potato, undoubtedly… Extreme Republicans would like to shrink government to such a size that would make it possible to drown the governement in a tub. Of course, they would like to have the road to their homes ploughed out of the snow in the winter, potholes filled and repaired in the summer. Presumably, this would happen via that well-proven process called “magic”…

Government Efficiency

Government Efficiency


Let’s see, medical research on the disease afflicting them should be financed by another segment of aforementioned “magic”.

The other side of this coin is a behemoth, overburdened by regulations detailing how one may lift their little finger, when, and the necessary forms to fill out prior to such lifting. I doubt one needs to worry much about such beasts – they fall and may never be able to get back up because of their own weight…

Somewhere in the middle lies the answer. And the target efficiency moves aroind, never staying in exactly the same spot. Milk production, meat packing or medication safety, should be heavily regulated with plenty of money for inspection by competent and well educated inspectors. Our lives depend on such government processes – they better NOT be tiny and bathtub-drownable.

The only way to reach a spot that may be proper is by continuing to calibrate the optimal spot. It is called politics and it REQUIRES transparency.

Either you become part of it or yoi are a person looking for “magic”. Good luck to you, but please stay the heck out of politics, lest you are called delusional.

December 12th, 2014

Sitting on the razor’s edge

On Thursday Dec. 11, 2014, CIA Director John Brennan uncomfortably sat on the razor’s edge.

In his comments in defence of torture methods in interrogation following 9/11 (he called it “harsh interrogation techniques”) he said that it is “unknowable” if the intel could be extracted from persons being interrogated by conventional methods. (I am paraphrasing what he said, but you can read a report about his speech here, in the Washington Post.) he said this according to the report:

β€œThe cause-and-effect relationship between the use of [harsh tactics] and useful information subsequently provided by the detainee is, in my view, unknowable.”

As I see it – and hopefully each of you who read this see it – if you have no idea which is better, Brennan feels it is ok to go immoral, inhumane and to torture because, heck, why not?

I bet it is hard on Brennan’s backside to be so firmly seated on the razor’s edge, talk about “enhanced seating” arrangement…

I also note the interesting linguistic structure that permeates the defense establishment:

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

Donald Rumsfeld

(Above quotation found here.)

November 28th, 2014

How democracy is practiced in most of the world

One of the mechanisms of democracy that facilitates representation of The People in the decision making process is “representative government” or “representative democracy”. All western democracies in the world today include this mechanism. In this scheme of governance, people select representatives which in turn represent the will of the people who elected them in the legislative body of the government. This is how it is SUPPOSED to work, but we all have witnessed various degrees of degradations of this mechanism and its distortions to suit other power centers. For example, we see the injection of large monies into the elective and legislative process, which lends the entities behind the money undue political influence. The Supreme Court of the USA established recently that corporations – inanimate entities created by humans – are endowed with “personhoods” and thus have certain rights as natural humans have, although not some of the obligations and burdens humans have (such as going to jail for legal transgressions!)

One of the themes of yesterday’s Thanksgiving celebrations in the USA and Canada was to give thanks for the freedom to live in a free country, elect political leaders and so on.

Wiley Miller is the artist behind the cartoon strip Non Sequitur. His view on our form of “representative government” is summarized in his strip for today which you can view online here:

nq141128

Let’s think over our “blessings”, be more thoughtfully critical of what they really are, and consider the adjustments to be made to accomplish true representation of people, and less of the “personhoods” of corpocracy and their oligarchic paymasters.

November 26th, 2014

Quite hard to swallow considering the source, but…

In an article titled North Korea says the U.S. is doomed just like the Roman Empire, in the Washington Post Nov, 26, 2014 [read here online], writer Adam Taylor reports how the North Korean government portrays the USA, in view of the current tumultuous events that are tearing the USA. They draw a parallel to the Fall of Rome.

Clearly, their reading of history is slightly distorted to serve up more of their self-interested and self-aggrandizing propaganda. But they are not 100% incorrect, either!

Look at the events then: repeated defeats in military adventures (now we have Iraq, Afghanista), huge disparities growing in the Roman society of then (oligarchy and 1%ers now), lots of mind-numbing going on in the form of games for Roman population (yesteryear’s version of electronic shoot-em, nuke-em Xbox games of today), events in the Coliseum that drew huge flocks (“reality shows” today), and growth of political despotism along with oligarchy (today’s political ruling class and the ilk of Koch Brothers.)

The same happens to be mostly true for North Korea but the propaganda machine chooses to ignore the doom knocking on their doors.

But we should perhaps keep our minds open to critique and the lessons of history.

November 23rd, 2014

Long time…

The Election campaign here took a time-toll, and I did not post for a long time. I am disappointed with the results of the elections, because it shows the growth of oligarchy in the USA, it made them more entrenched and more powerful. It is also a huge disappointment to see the masses of people who voted against their own interest – not because they self-punished, but simply because they were too lazy to inform themselves and to care enough about their lives. That it is a huge indictment of the people amongst which I live.

Anyway, enough of this – history shows that this may well be survivable. We’ll see.

The post today is about a funny-funny video I saw in the Atlantic today. They titled it “The Best 71-Second Animation You’ll Watch Today” – and I agree wholeheartedly… You can see it here http://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/383057/the-best-71-second-animation-youll-watch-today/, or here…

March 20th, 2014

Goal Setting

Hmmm...

Hmmm…

March 20th, 2014

Arrogant US Senator

Knows it all, Sen. Burr. When he is confronted by eloquently presented facts that refute him, he slithers around, slides around the questions and the facts, and goes on like he is still right! Can you spell n-a-r-c-i-s-s-i-s-t?

Watch the video below.

January 26th, 2014

Prediction: NRA will say “People Kill, not Guns”

My personal prediction is that in the usual manner the NRA responds to shooting instances in the USA, in about 5 days they will repeat their mantra “it is people who shoot and kill, not guns!”

They will follow by assisting more whackos buy more guns, lobbying stronger in Congress (whom they pay plenty in various ways – try campaign donmations!) To pass more lenient and permissive laws to allow more whackos to buy and own larger, more deadly assault weapons “for self protection”.

What a crock of horse manure!

And our society buys it, laps it up, endorses it and brainlessly adopts the “rational” explanation: see, if we had more guns out there, someone would have been able to shoot down the shooter in the Mall of Columbia in Maryland yesterday.

Great thinking – put more guns out there to shoot down the increased number of people who have guns and use them to shoot people. We live among morons.

Of course, the NSA, another three-letter organization like the NRA, now licks its chops in glee, saying: “if we could spy more openly on US Citizens we may have been able to glean the intentions of this one shooter in advance, and stop thayt person!”

Presumably they would have stopped him by shooting him down, or???

December 30th, 2013

Happy New Year 2014 – and your right to vote!

First of all, Happy New Year to all for 2014! May this year bring to you all that you desire and wish for.

The Atlantic today published an article by Andrew Cohen. It is an attempt to counter the following question: “If I Need ID to Buy Cough Syrup, Why Shouldn’t I Need ID to Vote?”

The article goes into some length discussing and explaining the issues surrounding the concerted Conservative movement in the USA to limit the voting right, or at least limit the voting public and make certain their decline in the demographics is not reflected in the voting on issues.

The short answer is simple: “Voters in the USA have a constitutional right to vote, but there is NOTHING in the constitution that provides them with the right to buy cough medicine.

But go deeper – if you have time!

The question is BOGUS! To vote, you must identify yourself – so the entire premise of the question is totally false.

This becomes clear when you understand the question is NOT about identifying a voter but about what sort of identification is required. Invariably, when you delve deeper into the types of ids the Conservatives “approve of”, it becomes clear that they are harder to obtain, require time and effort to obtain, and generally cost more money. That might limit the population that will obtain such ids. It also means that poorer folks in the USA are less likely to obtain such ids, i.e. they cannot vote.

It should be NO SURPRISE that poorer folks in the USA generally tend to vote more liberal and more progressive and less for Conservative causes.

Imagine the surprising coincidence πŸ™

The article quotes the ACLU as follows:

Research shows that more than 21 million Americans do not have government-issued photo identification; a disproportionate number of these Americans are low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, and elderly. Voter ID laws have the potential to deny the right to vote to thousands of registered voters who do not have, and, in many instances, cannot obtain the limited identification states accept for voting. Many of these Americans cannot afford to pay for the required documents needed to secure a government-issued photo ID.

[Quote came from this source.]

Conservatives also decry the “voter fraud” that is perpetrated. Amazingly, there IS FRAUD, but all the documentation points to the fact that when it exists, the extent is so minute that is does not change results in any significant way. In another blog here I wrote about a GOP official who claimed that there were 4-5 cases in a county of over 1 million voters.

So, no, the fraud is another bogus reason.

Don’t let Conservatives pull this fraud on you – beat them to the punch, stand up to their fraudulent claims and speak loudly to defeat their efforts to limit voting participation.
 

October 30th, 2013

I can’t stand lazy software

Last week I lost two critical files (among others!) when my Blackberry went kaput! I tried to upgrade one piece of software, and the BlackberryWorld – the applications store manager that runs on the Blackberry demanded to be upgraded too. I agreed. Thereafter, nothing worked right.

When I installed the initial upgrade to the application program I originally tried to upgrade, the Blackberry kept rebooting every time the BlackberryWorld application even stirred. Yeeech!

But that was just the beginning. The Blackberry then lost its mind! With all that booting, the operating system probably went south…

I connected the BB to the laptop where the “Blackberry Desktop Manager” runs, to correct that problem.

It started and ran into some roadblocks.

The process goes like so: All the memory in the Blackberry is downloaded to the laptop. It contains all the information that is in the calendar, emails, contacts, and in my case also the password and accounts access information.

Then the operating system is repaired. Then the data is restored.

The data is stored on the laptop in a file with the date in the file name.

So far so good.

The first repair failed. The process repeated. Good data was downloaded from the BB to the laptop and place in that file with the date in the name.

You can do this as long as you want and everything is fine. AS LONG AS THE MEMORY in the BB is intact. If the memory blanks out or is corrupted somehow, the next iteration of the process will download garbage from the BB and keep it in the laptop.

So now you know the way this story will unfold. In the second failure, the memory was corrupted, in fact, blitzed out, blanked out, erased.

The desktop manager program went about doing its thing again: Copy the memory from the BB to the laptop, and in the process WIPED OUT THE ONE GOOD COPY of the critical information.

The Contacts file can be restored from the backups – and after much work it succeeded, although it was not the most current copy, but an older generation. Some issues which I decided to not delve into.

The password and account access file was lost. The software I used for that became obsolete a few months ago and I started copying the info – manually! – to another password application on the laptop. I did not finish the entire process, only about half. The remainder was lost and I have not been able to find any way to restore it.

So where is the “lazy software” part? It takes just a few short lines of code to make the name of the backup file unique. In my case, each iteration of repair would create a backup of the memory into a uniquely named file, without destroying the previous backup copy.

This was not done!

At this point I have sustained so much damage to the information that I am officially done with Blackberry – may it be torn apart and sold in pieces or wherever the latest corporate shenanigans will take this business. It is a pity – this was a GREAT company, and it did GREAT software, GREAT hardware, and exquisitely goo networks for businesses and individuals. It prided itself on being super careful and aware of the needs of industrial strength processes, hardware and software.

But the laziness of one piece of software caused me enormous damage and turn me off on that company!

So I am done with Blackberry.

Not 100% sure how to proceed. There are two thoughts –

(1) Get a dumbphone and a 7″ tablet. Keep data on the tablet in a form that is replicated on the laptop and lock it up super tightly in terms of encryption. Carry the tablet with you for the data. Keep the phone only for calling.

The choices for phone and tablet are obviously at issue. Also, the cost of connecting the tablet to a cellular network, as well as WiFi.

(2) Get an Android of some sort – a Samsung. I am not enamored with iPhones, but keep an open door for that platform.

The issue here is that I’d like to have a little better than iPhone or Androidal smartphone for the work I occasionally to do on the go.

The keyboard is functional, but will make me tear my hairs out if it is longer than 25 minutes at a stretch πŸ™‚ …

So this story explains why I did not post here for a few days, and what the BIG THING in my professional and technological life is.

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