Karl isn’t a “collector”, he’s a hoarder:

According to this website:

Hoarding has three components:

  • Acquiring possessions compulsively – compulsive buying, or collecting free things.
  • Saving all these possessions and never discarding.
  • Not organizing and maintaining all the saved possessions.

Collecting vs. Hoarding

This sums up Karl’s approach thing his various “collections”, nicely

For one thing, the overwhelming majority of the stuff he has “collected” over the decades does not consist of items he deliberately purchased or intentionally acquired.  Rather, the fast majority of the stuff was amassed willy-nilly, mostly from stuff that other people at Hamfests didn’t want to bother taking home after the ‘fest.

For another thing, he has never reliably cataloged any of the stuff (other than claiming to have a “running list” in his head).  How the fuck is he ever going to run a “computer museum” if he has no idea what his “collection” even contains?

The whole thing is just incredibly haphazard, sordid and pathetic.  If it wasn’t for the storage-units, he’d be buried under vast amounts of (unsorted) stuff which may or may not contain working/fixable equipment.

Quite simply, the “computer museum” is both a (futile) pipe-dream, and particularly transparent rationalization for compulsive – and utterly purposeless E-hoarding.

 

Advertisements

“KJV-only”: even dumber than other Fundie Protestants:

So, some while ago, one of my wife’s friends (who I consider more of an “acquaintance” — she’s definitely ‘closer” to my wife), happened to mention something fascinating:

  1. Both this friend and her husband self-idenfity as Christians.  Moreover, they attend a local congregation/bible study which can probably best be described as “Independent Baptist”, and/or “Baptist-leaning” (as she describes  it.)
  2. Their next-door neighbor also self-idenfies as a Christian.  The personal interaction between the neighbors could probably best be described as “cordial, if somewhat frosty”.
  3.  Her neighbor has explicitly told both my wife’s friend and her husband that they are both hell-bound — specifically because they use the “wrong” Bible translation.

As you might have guessed, this woman is a KJV-only literalist.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_James_Only_movement

The KJV-only thing has always highlighted the utter hypocrisy and viciousness which lurks just under the surface of even the “nicest” religious folks.

I guess part of why I find the KJV-fetishists incomprehensible has to do with the fact that the region where I was born (South-Central PA) is still heavily populated with two Non-English-speaking “White” demographic populations:

The Amish and Mennonites

Up until approximately 50 years ago, neither of those ethno-religious subcultures treated English as their “first language”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_language

Rather, both populations predominately used what was then called “Pennsylvania Dutch” .  Lately, some “pride” groups have taken to calling it “Der Muddersprooch” (the “mother-tongue”):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_German_language

Both the Amish and Mennonites represent Ethno-religious subcultures derived from the (post-Lutheran) German “Anabaptist” heretics/schismatics/”Reformer”).

Another such ethno-religious subculture (with which I am significantly less well-acquainted) is the Hutterites.  Their various farm-colonies tend to be more in the Midwest and Canada, and suchlike.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutterite

So, yeah: I can’t help but recognize the fact that my own ancestors are approximately 40 years removed fro having been a Non-English speaking population.  (The fascinating thing about this: the “Pennsylvania Dutch” managed to reside on the North American continent for over 150 years, without “assimilating” either linguistically or culturally, into what is now widely regarded as mainstream “White” American culture.  And yet some of my own relatives have actively embraced the “English-only” fetishism — especially in regard to those of Puerto Rican/Latino ancestry.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-only_movement

(I find it amusing when some bigoted dickhead starts yip-yapping about how they should “learn to speak English” if they’re going to live in the U.S. — and then proceeds to sprinkle his ignorant, racist dog-whistle screed with “words” like “ferhoodled”, and verbal tics such as “naw, wunst.”

Dutchified English (Pennsylvania Dutch English)

Oh shit, I’m off topic again! 🙂

But, yeah: the “KJV-only” idiocy is yet another reason why “dialog” with Fundies is futile.  THEY get to decide wither you’re a “true Christian”, or merely “believe that you’re a Christian”, or just somebody having their “Ears ticked by unsound doctrine”……

THIS is why I don’t bother to “engage” with any of them.

Don’t get me wrong: it must be really, really reassuring and warm-fuzzy to never have to stick your head out of your own sub-cultural “echo chamber”.  That level of ignorance (and the bigotry with which it goes hand in hand) — must be a hell of a “security blanket”.

Then again, I guess you could say the same thing about racism, or any other form of “Groupthink”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink

I’m way past where I can even begin to take that kind of bullshit seriously.

 

 

The “Desert Island” gambit:

I remember listening to an “introduction to Objectivism” type lecture done by (I think) Gary Hull.  The basic rhetorical gimmick consisted of posing the following question:

“What would you do if you were stranded on a desert island?”

He then went on to rattle off a myriad of “options” which were (either) brazenly inapplicable to the context (“Would you write your congressman?”) or non-sequitur (“would you pray?”).

The “point” was to deliberately “load” the example in such a manner that it could serve as a “platform” for explaining/propagandizing for (the ARI version of) Objectivism — while simultaneously affording Gary Hull the opportunity to take random pot-shots at stuff like religion, or “political liberalism”, or suchlike.

The thing is: very few people are fortunate enough to be “stranded” on a desert island.

What I mean by this: individuals are (typically) “born into” preexisting social, political and economic “systems”, and indoctrinated into them before they are capable of rationally evaluating the merits of such systems.

In other words, individuals are VICTIMIZED by having various (externally-imposed and unchosen) “identities” and “roles” foisted on them — by others, without their consent.

Blatant examples of this: any “ethnic” ghetto (“Chinatown”, etc.), ethno-religious subcultures (Hasidic Jewish enclaves, “Amish country”, Mennonites, Hutterites, etc.), only being given “gender-role” based toys during childhood, etc.

Eventually, a variant of “Stockholm Syndrome” sets in, where the victims begin to “identify with” — or outright admire — their Victimizers:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

Unfortunately, the vast majority of such victims simply cannot allow themselves to acknowledge their own Victimization.  As a result, they tend to cover it over with layers of euphemisms and rationalizations (for example, the entire notion of “socialization’, for example.)

Eventually, at least some of them will  discover that it is possible to reclaim the illusion of “power” by “policing” the dissidents/malcontents who happen to have been crammed into their particular demographic “box”:

A particularly blatant example of this is so-called “Gender policing”:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_policing#See_also

My point is: In principle, none of the above-mentioned sociological “cruft” makes any sense, whatsoever.  The only real “purpose” such sociological “roles” serve, is to hobble individuals, by systematically depriving them/conditioning them against having even the bare modicum of basal knowledge required to function outside of whichever specific sociological “box” was imposed on them — for any length of time, no matter how brief.

So long as individuals are conditioned to regard (for example) food-related activities as distinctively ‘feminine” (‘women’s work’), or tasks involving manual dexterity/self-defense as stereotypically “masculine”, those individuals will be utterly dependent on their specific “herd”.  In principle, they will even be incapable of even meaningfully communicating with “foreigners”.

Quite frankly, the “acid test” with regard to any and all sociological ‘categories” or “roles” is: WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO “GET AWAY WITH” THIS in an “abnormal” situation?

If the answer is “no”, then that specific “identity”/”role” etc. is mere sociological “cruft”, and should be actively disregarded, as an impediment to the survival/flourishing of all concerned.

The fundamental problem with deliberately shaping oneself to conform to any externally-imposed “role” or “identity” is this: “society” is incredibly brittle.  “Specialization” is inherently problematic, if that “specialization” involves ignorance of — or apathy toward — anything outside of that ‘specialty”.

Too often, “specialization” is basically a euphemism for “buck-passing”.  People thing they can get away with (near) total ignorance of (say) even the most rudimentary aspects of how the technologies they use every day function.  (“I don’t have to know about cars — I can just pay a mechanic to fix whatever goes wrong!”

Bullshit.

EVEN to be able to do that much requires the ability to differentiate between someone who says the problem is most likely a bad spark plug, and somebody who wants you to do a séance, because your automobile has become “possessed” by the spirit of “Jack the Ripper.

NOT EVEN “specialization” can excuse ignorance.

(For example: I might — currently — understand computers in (somewhat) less detail than a (purported) ‘expert” — but I do NOT attempt to “get away with” total ignorance.  I also make at least a basic effort to CONTINUE LEARNING about things, as needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what happens next?

It is overwhelmingly likely that Trump will lose, and Hillary Clinton will become the next president of the United Staes.

On one level this is good, because Trump is an imbecile.  Quite frankly, it is exceedingly easy for an already-wealthy individual to become wealthier:  all it takes is being in a position to pay folks who are infinitely more intelligent than you are, to actually do stuff.

Thus, Trump could be a barely-literate imbecile for decades — an individual who spent most of his time attempting to “grab ’em by the pussy” — and become absurdly wealthy by way of casinos — the only purpose of which is to fleece stupid people.

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/110415/why-does-house-always-win-look-casino-profitability.asp

So, yeah: Trump is a barely-literate, racist, pandering sub-animal whose entire “campaign” has consisted of ginning up racists, xenophobes, religious bigots, etc.

The problem is: WHEN he loses — his “base” will continue to exist.

They won’t magically evaporate.  They will still be as ignorant, bigoted, racist, xenophobic and belligerent as they’ve always been.  Trump’s “base” is merely a re-branding of worst elements of the “Tea party” — which was itself merely a re-branding of the worst elements of the “Militia”/conspiracy-theorist weirdos you used to hear on Short-wave back in the ’90s.

(True, some of the less gun-crazy have gravitated toward David Icke and Alex Jones, but you get the idea.)

So the question is: WHAT HAPPENS AFTER HILLARY CLINTON WINS?

Most probably, exactly the same general trajectory that emerged after Barrack Obama won the first time, back in 2008.  In many ways, the Obama years were something of a “replay” of Bill Clinton’s presidency.  The whole era had a definite ’90s vibe.http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/110415/why-does-house-always-win-look-casino-profitability.asp

So, yeah:  I genuinely believe that Hillary Clinton will be the next president.  Unfortunately, best-case scenario for the next 4 (or even 8?) years is: partisan grid-lock coupled with yet more of the same, tired-ass racial/religious/”gender”-based “culture war” which has been going on virtually nonstop since at least 1964.

Quite frankly, the whole thing bores me shitless.

 

 

 

 

Some of Karl’s other obsessions:

Over the course of our (nearly) 30-year “friendship”, Karl has become obsessed — nearly to the point of mania — with the following (that I know of):

  1. Bill cooper (Conspiracy-theorist, shortwave radio host, wife-beating drunk, committed suicide-by-cop back in 2001).
  2. The Matrix trilogy
  3. Electronics/computers (especially old 8-bit machines: CoCo, Amiga, etc.)
  4. David Icke
  5. Nutritional/herbal supplements (when he can “afford” them — since so much of whatever money he has on hand always goes toward paying for his various storage units of E-scrap).
  6. Sub-collections (LED watches/calculators)
  7. Anything involving “nixie tubes”
  8. Nikola tesla

For a (somewhat) time-shifted glimpse into his mind-state as of (I think) May 2001, you can go to http://users.digitalindigo.net/techno/

(Warning: EXCEEDINGLY Spergy.

Also interesting is the fact that he hasn’t actually done anything with his “experimental” homepage in over a decade.

Oh wait, did I mention that there’s MORE?

His “web presence”: http://users.digitalindigo.net/ka3rcs/

<Fun Fact: one pseudo-sentence, one link, one 404 error! :)>

For even more of the same kind of — whatever the hell you want to call it, check out his personal profile on QRZ.com:

http://qrz.com/db/KA3RCS

(Please note the stream-of-consciousness rant about RF-noise, with no off-side links, whatsoever.)

Undoubtedly, (in the exceedingly unlikely event that anybody actually bothers to view any of his shit-tacular nonsense), Karl will probably accuse me of having “doxed” him, or of “cyberstalking”, or something along those lines.

Just bear in mind: the individual responsible for the above-linked screeds spends the vast majority of his non-work hours hanging out in various parking-lots, streaming vast amounts of “creepypastas” on Youtube, or staring in slack-jawed amazement at the fact that automobiles have burnt-out license plate lights.

 

 

 

 

Karl is *still* losing his mind:

So, Karl (KA3RCS) is just depressing at this poing.

As I’ve mentioned before, his “lifestyle” outside of his work hours consists (nearly) exclusively of loitering in various parking-lots.  His latest obsession is the “fact” that he’s seen an inordinate number of burned-out license-plate lights over the past several months.  This (of course) inevitably signifies something cosmically profound and otherworldly.

So, Karl evidently wants me to fawn over this, as if it were the equivalent to solving the Roswell mystery, or finding out that I have sasquatch DNA in my ancestry, or some such thing.

At best, I regard it as representative of the  “paradiculous” —  that particularly asinine “grey area” where the “paranormal” begins to shade into the MIND-NUMBINGLY ridiculous/idiotic.

Karl wanted me to “help him figure out what it means”.

Couldn’t be confirmation-bias.  Couldn’t be some sort of vaguely-interesting (but extremely localized) statistical anomaly.  Couldn’t have anything to do with whether or not the local police departments actually give a shit about license-plate bulb-related offenses in that area.  (law Enforcement prioritizing resources?  Nah, couldn’t be.)

So I suggested the following:

  1. Get video documentation (if possible).
  2. Scope out a specific location, at specific times (say — the same two-hour period over the course of several weeks.)  explicitly write down when this “uncanny” phenomenon occurred – location/time).    
  3. Change to a different location after a specified amount of time.  Actually document THAT   Lather-rinse-repeat as needed.
  4. Post the “results” to any of the numerous Reddit forums/websites related to such topics.

In other words: actually invest some sort of systematic effort into INVESTIGATING the fuckin’ thing, instead of merely assuming a prior that it MUST be some sort of otherworldly/profound/cosmic message SPECIFICALLY DIRECTED TOWARD HIM.

Sadly (but predictably) all of my suggestions are “utterly superfluous”, since I’m supposed to merely gape in utter bemusement at the “fact” that he — alone, out of the 7 billion other humans currently inhabiting this planet — has stumbled upon to what just has to be the most Earth-shatteringly profound phenomenon in the history of humankind — instead of, y’know, actually figuring out ways for the stupid dickhead to actually CONFIRM it, or anything.

Then, he hung up on me.  Lovely (but – again – totally predictable.)

I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised that this license-plate bulb thing strikes him as “profound”;  literally every other aspect of his “lifestyle” is (rapidly) circling the drain.

Sad….really, really sad.

 

 

For most (White) Libertarians/Objectivists, “Limited government” is basically a floating abstraction:

One of the genuinely execrable things about Libertarians/Objectivists/”Conservatives”, is their tendency to completely misunderstand (or “selectively” apply), the concept of “Limited Government”.

Quite frankly, this is so consistent and blatant that it basically guarantees that self-described “Libertarians” and “Objectivists” will continue to be lumped in with overt racists,  and the wider “Conservative” movement — whether they like it, or not.

The basic issue is blatantly obvious in terms of Barry Goldwater, a senator who ran for president back in 1964.

In many ways, Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign is the most recent “common ancestor” of the Objectivist, Libertarian, and “Conservative” movements.

It is also illustrative of why those “movements” continue to fail.

Here’s the thing:

The history of the United States has essentially consisted of a “duel” between two conflicting (and irreconcilable) facts:

  1. The Professed convictions (some would say “Glittering generalities”) invoked by the “Founding Fathers” as pretext for insurrection against the British Empire.  (The “authorized” term for that insurrection is “The American Revolution”).
  2. The ACTUAL CONDUCT — bot of the “Founding Fathers” themselves, AND of the nation-state which they created.

In another post, I described a conversation with Karl (KA3RCS) some years back, which illustrates what I’m getting out:

The “Founding Fathers” made a big deal about the concept of ‘unalienable rights’ — to the point where they incited armed insurrection against the then-ruling power (the British).  At the same time, many of them “owned” slaves.

Slavery (in any form) necessarily involves ignoring the “unalienable” Rights of the enslaved (most particularly, those of “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.)

My question was: How did they do it?  What level of “Doublethink” was involved?

Well, Karl’s answer was revealing, to say the least:

“They said ‘men’, not ‘niggers!’.

At the time, Karl attempted to pass the above off a “only joking” (which is inherently problematic in its own right — would he have dared to risk making the same “joke”, with a Black guy in the same room?)

The thing is….if you read the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision….well, judge for yourself:

“[T]he legislation and histories of the times, and the language used in the Declaration of Independence, show, that neither the class of persons who had been imported as slaves, nor their descendants, whether they had become free or not, were then acknowledged as a part of the people, nor intended to be included in the general words used in that memorable instrument (the Constitution).

They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect…This opinion was at that time fixed and universal in the civilized portion of the white race. It was regarded as an axiom in morals as well as in politics, which no one thought of disputing, or supposed to be open to dispute; and men in every grade and position in society daily and habitually acted upon it in their private pursuits, as well as in matters of public concern, without doubting for a moment the correctness of this opinion.”

Now, here’s the problem:

IF the “founding Fathers” actually believed that Non-Whites were subhuman, and thus, not possessed of “Unalienable Rights” (like, for example, “Life, liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”), then quess what?  The U.S. — from its initial founding right on down to the present day — is fundamentally no different from any other racialist hellhole.

In other words: IF the “Founding Fathers” really did believe that  the glittering generalities for which they are (in)famous only applied to ,”White” male land-owners — then the U.S. becomes just another “caste system”, which attempts to rationalize the brutalization of its various “underclasses” (Non-Whites, females, etc.) — in hopes of preventing itself from being BURNED TO THE GROUND, by its own victims.

Actually, viewed from that perspective, U.S. history makes a hell of a lot more sense:

  1. 1776-1865: “Race”-based chattel slavery
  2. 1865-1965: “Jim Crow”-style apartheid
  3. The systematic “relocation” (and — often — deliberate extermination — of (Non-White) “Indians”.
  4. The fact that the “Bill of Rights” was not explicitly held to apply to the “Several States” until 1925.
  5. The fact that it took until 1965 for the Southern apartheid regime to finally be de-legitimized.

That’s where the true rat-fucker of “States’ Rights”-advocates comes in:

Unless “Limited Government” explicitly applies to EVERY “level” of government, it is nothing but a “floating abstraction”, glittering generality, or thought-terminating cliché.

That’s where Barry Goldwater comes into the picture:

Goldwater also carried his small-government convictions into the arena of civil rights. “Conscience” features numerous dog-whistle appeals to American racists. Pretty much everyone, including Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, and Julian Bond, is willing to concede that Goldwater was not personally bigoted. But his vote against the 1964 Civil Rights Act would speak for itself, even if Goldwater didn’t speak for it: “the Supreme Court decision is not necessarily the law of the land,” he said in 1964, and he (or [ghostwriter Brent] Bozell) said likewise in 1960, describing Brown v. Board of Education and allied decisions as “abuses of power by the Court.” In italics, Goldwater declares that politics needs to take into account “the essential differences between men.” And the only states he won in 1964, apart from his own, were Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, a Deep South bloc that, with the exception of Louisiana in 1956, hadn’t gone Republican since Reconstruction.

Quite frankly, Barry Goldwater didn’t give two liquidy shits about “individual freedom” or “limited government”.  His biggest concern was limited one level of government (Federal), while systematically evading the fact that OTHER levels of government (the “Several States”) were actively perpetrating what amounted to a “racial” caste-system.

That’s the bottom line: advocacy of “limited government” MUST apply to ANY AND ALL forms and levels of Government — else, it is nothing but a particularly mealy-mouthed rationalization for tyranny.

And ultimately, that is why Libertarianism/Objectivism/Conservatism FAIL to appeal to anything but a (limited, and rather pathetic) subset of Non-Whites and Women: they comprehend the fact that INDIVIDUALS JUST LIKE THEM have been tyrannized and oppressed in the past, while purported advocatees of “limited government” ACTIVELY enabled their continued victimization — often as a matter of “conscience”.

The message?  To paraphrase Orwell: SOME “RIGHTS” ARE MORE “UNALIENABLE” THAN OTHERS.