The early 21st century is weird:

The most obvious aspect of this time-period is also probably the thing most people fail to notice: this era has finally exposed the blatantly hypocrisy which was (somewhat) easier to conceal, before the advent of our so-called “digital” lifestyle.

Here’s what I mean:

On the one hand, literally everybody (of every ideological persuasion) is apt to start chortling about how wonderful it is that – finally, after decades where the “legacy media” put up extreme “barriers to entry” which systematically marginalized  – or outright silenced – dissenting views – the Internet/blogging/”social media”/whatever has finally enabled near-instantaneous, global access to the sum total of human knowledge – including formerly-marginalized viewpoints and ideas – essentially at the touch of a button.

Everybody absolutely loves this fact – except, of course, that there is (supposedly) a “dark side” to it.

As with all previous “moral panics”, the (supposed) “Dark Side” of the information revolution boils down to two undeniable facts – neither of which bode well for would-be “social engineers” – of any ideological stripe:

These two facts are:

  1. Both your “good” ideas, and your enemies’ “Bad ideas” are finally equally accessible.
  2. Censorship/suppression/”control” of information is, basically, impossible.

A mundane example of both the above points was Kathy Griffin’s severed trump-head fiasco/photo op.

Fiost, she claimed that it was all about “images that make noise”.  Then, when that “noise” became too “loud” for her taste, she attempted to “delete” something which had already gone “viral” – and been “mirrored” thousands – if not millions – of times, in the process.

Another (extremely prosaic) example is the endless yip-yap about “Internet porn”.  “Parents” conveniently disregard the fact that earlier generations of teens did everything from looking at their dad’s stash of Playboy right on down to  “accidentally” stumbling acrosss “dirty” videos from the local “adult” shop.

Anti-porn “activists” are impotent (pun very much intended) to enforce whatever their specific sort of prudery might happen to be.

Now, extend the above fact to cover: religious apologetics/propaganda, advocacy of atheism, non-“mainstream” politics/philosophies (Objectivism/Libertarianism/”Green” party/Anarcho-syndicalism, whatever.), information about how to make guns/explosives/”illegal” drugs, “apps” specifically designed to make it more difficult for cops to “kettle” protesters – the list is so vast, because somebody, somewhere, is guaranteed to want some portion of “the sum total of human knowledge” – CENSORED and/or SUPPRESSED.

Big Pharma would really love it if the myriad of “alternative” medical approaches magically disappeared .   “Mainstream” scientists would genuinely love to see purportedly “fringe” or “crank” notions consigned to the dustbin of history.  This is especially true in regard to (so-called) “Climate denialism” (the “snarl-word” used by would-be eco-tyrants in an effort to silence anyone who would even dare to question their purported “consensus’/the “nice tricks” played by  climate “scientists”, etc.

Again: my point isn’t whether any of the above happens to be true:  my point is – damn near everybody would really, really, really, really REALLY love  at least some form of censorship/”thought control” – provided, that THEY/their “faction” were the ones holding the whip.

Now, blatant hypocrisy was a “thing” long before the Internet, of course:  a perfect example is Yawwon Bwook/Leonard Peikoff’s rather pathetic hand-waving on the topic of “gun control”.  (Hint: either you explicitly favor no restrictions on “production and trade” – even in the “production and trade” of potentially ‘dangerous” items/substances – or  you favor some such infringements.

It makes absolutely no difference whether you personally manage to rationalize such infringements as “minor”  (by what standard?  BLANK OUT!).

ANY such restrictions on production and trade cede the principle of “separation between State and Economics” -and quite frankly, from that point forward, the march to the “Total State” is merely an issue of time, and consistency/

The amusing thing about “gun control” advocates in general (and purportedly “objectivist”/”Libertarian” onces specifically) is that they know full well that their proposed “law” WILL fail (IE: merely turn an existing market “Black”, and drive it  – somewhat -‘underground’) – but they clamor for such “laws” anyway.

Didn’t they learn anything from the “war on drugs”?  Obviously not.

At any rate, blatant hypocrisy. is “better than hidden hypocrisy – in the sense that a gaping, spurting, bloody wound is “better” than internal hemorrhaging.

Neither of them are anywhere near “good”.

 

 

 

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Why does Karl get away with being how he is?

Karl’s latest claim is the notion that everything that is happening to him is “being done to” him – by others.  He is utterly blameless for any of it.

Let’s think about this:

  1. His father had to sue him in order to get Karl to remove the copious amounts of E-waste cluttering up the basement/garage – some of which had been languishing there for more than twenty years.
  2. He has either been fired from every job he ever had, or “maneuvered into quitting” (whatever that means).
  3. Both “romantic” relationships ended horribly – with both women explicitly stating that he cared more about the hoarded E-waste than he cared about them.
  4. Supposedly, the only thing he can “afford” to do anymore (other than occasionally go to the laundromat) is loiter around in various parking-lots for hours on end, listening to “paranormal” (on Satellite radio), and watching for burnt-out license-plate bulbs.

Now, let’s think about exactly how much of the above is being “done to” him:

  1. His parents were insanely generous to permit him to amass such a vast amount of e-waste.  They were also amazingly generous to refrain from disposing of all of it, after he moved out, the first time.
  2. Likewise, they were extremely generous to allow him to move back in, after the first romantic relationship failed (IE: the one with the woman who later claimed to have enjoyed her various mental-hospital stays more than living with Karl).
  3. He has been gradually pissing away the (vanishingly few) opportunities for employment in “his field” in that area – most likely building up a reputation as an unreliable, arrogant nut-ball.  During the same period, he has steadfastly refused to even consider exploring job opportunities outside of “his field” (IE: those not directly related to electronics/computers/radio, etc.)
  4. He is incapable of even pretending that his romantic-partners are real people.  He  seems to regard them as ambulatory fuck-toys (as evidenced by the fact that he stubbornly insists on everything about the “relationship” centering on his pet obsessions/delusions (IE: the hoarded scrap).
  5. The “computer museum” will never happen.  Karl is either unable  (or unwilling) to recognize the fact that the money he is wasting on the storage units/Mexican prepaid cell phone account/satellite radio subscription etc. – could be used to repair his rickety shit-bucket of a jeep, and/or as “seed-funding” to enable him to GTFO, and relocate to an area where he might have better prospects.

Predictably, Karl has resorted to  exactly the sort of “victim-mentality” he purportedly hates – as a means to avoid recognizing the fact that he has managed to  (irremediably) fuck everything up, at every turn.

The only “positive” aspect of Karl’s existence is the fact that he is most likely too apathetic to even bother committing suicide.  Suicide would involve things like decision-making, the purposeful expenditure of effort, planning, etc. – none of which are even vaguely possible to Karl.

 

 

Steven K. Roberts is interesting:

One of my favorite books is Computing Across America, by Steven K. Roberts.

This book was published in 1988, but it chronicles a genuinely amazing lifestyle which Steve Roberts had been living since 1983.  In essence, he was a free-lance tech developer/writer, who decided that the standard “Yuppie”/Suburbia lifestyle was horrible, and proceeded to invent a whole new lifestyle, involving:

  1. An increasingly impressive recumbent bicycle, which (gradually) ended up tricked out with a truly impressive amount of communications and computer technology.
  2. Traveling around the U.S., writing about his advantures, doing freelance technical writing, etc. – by means of a Radio Shack model 100 portable computer, and the Compuserve network.
  3. Later, generating media “buzz”, and doing appearances related to the above-mentioned “tech-nomadic” lifestyle.

This lifestyle (or some variant) went on well into at least the 1990s, at which time he appears to have changed direction to some degree, gotten more of a “home base” somewhere or other out west, and started development on what appears to be some kind of sea-worthy home/worskshop.

The whole thing just amazes me, from square one.

His website is at https://microship.com/

Quite frankly, the whole thing is amazing from square one.

When I first became aware of the guy (back int he early 1990s), this was literally everything I wanted to become.  However (due at least in part to the fact that I am fairly severely visually-impaired, and not anywhere near as “tech-savvy” as this guy – it never happened.

The book itself is amazing, in that (at least in the early years) one of his primary goals appears to have been to “bang” as many women as possible, in a myriad of different areas – using his “tech-nomadic” lifestyle as a come-on.

He also appears to have “crashed” on a lot of folks’ couches over the years (having compiled something he describes as a “hospitality database” of people he befriended on the Compuserve boards, back in the day.

the whole thing is just amazingly cool, although, I can understand at least some of why he changed up his lifestyle a bit over the years:

  1. Hacking together a suitable setup wouldn’t be nearly as difficult, today: custom bike designs, 3d printer technology, smaller/faster processors, etc.  Hell, I’m pretty sure even I could cobble something together nowadays, given enough inclination to do so.   He effectively did most of the “beta”-testing for anybody who would want to do something like that, afterward.
  2. It probably wouldn’t be nearly as fun, nowadays: Anybody with a cool, high-tech recumbent bicycle of that sort would probably end up getting robbed and murdered, having the bike cannibalized, and being left to rot down, out in the weeds, somewhere.

Either that, or any prospective “Tech-nomad” would have to carry firearms of some kind (at least a hand-gun), which could get potentially “sticky” in some regions.

Several reason I could probably never nerve myself up to actually live anything even remotely resembling his lifestyle – even though I do genuinely admire it, as so totally badass as to be nearly unbelievable.

I’d like to meet the guy at some point, but he and his wife live….somewhere out west (Oregon?)

Probably never happen.

Yes,  well.

 

 

Upgraded to Debian 9:

Like the post title says, I recently upgraded to Debian 9 (“Stretch”), which recently transitioned from having been Debian’s “unstable” release, to “Stable”.

So far, it seems pretty good, except inasmuch as I was having some sort of really inane screensaver-related problem.  For whatever reason (probably having something to do with my having installed multiple GUI environments during the initial install), there were at least two screen-saver programs trying to do stuff, if my system was “idle” for any length of time.

Now, I typically don’t use a screen-saver:  I seldom leave the monitor itself powered on if I’m going to be away from the machine for any length of time, so there’s really usage-case I can foresee which would lead to the sort of “burn-in” issues which initially excused the existence of something like a “screen-saver” in the first place.

So, no.  If I’m not away from the machine for more than (say) a few hours, I typically don’t even power down the monitor (especially if I have something active in the background, or whatever.

At any rate, periodically (even thought i thought I had disabled the screensaver/lock screen bullshit) I would come back – even after a ridiculously short period of being AFK (such as, for example, dealing with some minor domestic what-not for my wife) –  to be confronted with a black screen, and a system which at least appeared to be unable to even accept keyboard input/mouse movement.

At least, I hope that was some sort of screen-saver/display-lock bullshit.  haven’t seen any mention of that sort of “bug” on any of the forums etc., although admittedly I might be phrasing the issue wrong.

Extremely annoying.  Less annoying than anything the latest Micro$oft abortion/infestation had done before I switched over to Debian, but still…

 

“Genres” piss me off:

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

Quite frankly, I am so totally over the whole “genre”-thing, I can’t even be bothered.

I tried to give a shit, I really did:  I genuinely tried to take the (misbegotten and idiotic) notion of a unified aesthetic “scene” involving a narrowly-circumscribed sonic “palette”, ready-made “tropes”, and clothing/hair-styles seriously — but I just don’t seem to have whatever serious cognitive defect is involved in that level of herd-conformity/pretentiousness seriously..

Quite frankly, any of the above-mentioned bullshit indicates that you don’t actually “like” any of it – and are merely using it as a system of “subcultural shibboleths”.

I find such things ridiculous.  I simply cannot help it.

I don’t find herd-conformity (even to a “niche” subculture) to be at all ‘edgy” – let alone “rebellious”.  Likewise, I simply can’t make myself stupid enough to be able to do/enjoy things “ironically”.

What the hell does that even mean, exactly?  “Oops!  I just did something/expressed an opinion which conflicts with the particular STEREOTYPE I’m slavishly aping!  Gotta figure out some way to “distance” myself from that lapse!  I know…..maybe if I SMIRK AT IT, I can “bluff” my way out of having failed to be sufficiently conformist!”

Doing things “ironically” is tantamount to the attempt to spit in your own face.

TL;DR: shove your “microgenre” bullshit. 

I should have realized it back then:

My wife and I relocated to Florida in November 2010.  At that point, I hadn’t really had any contact with Karl since some point during 2008 (because he had annoyed me).

I should have realized exactly how stupid Karl was back in 2008 – but I didn’t.

Here’s the problem:

Back then, I used to (occasionally) attempt to help him out with the storage units of E-scrap.  At that point, he was already going on about how he should relocate to Texas/Arizona/North Carolina, wherever — any of the myriad of places where he could supposedly ‘walk into” any electronics/computer-related job, with no effort expended, whatsoever.

The thing he claimed was stopping him?  How to sift/move the storage units full of scrap.

At minimum, this would have required the following (even back then):

  1. Systematically sort (and catalog) every item.
  2. Figure out how to pack the above items in such as way that they woudln’t be damaged/destroyed during the move.  (Bubble wrap?  Rubbermaid tubs?)
  3. Transport the entire collection (via how many truckloads?), to – wherever.
  4. Dump all of it into storage units in the new location.

Alternatively, his other “plan” consisted of leaving the “collection” in PA, while he relocated to wherever, after which he would continue paying for the storage units, until such time as he was able to get back to PA, to actually do steps 1-4, at some indeterminate point in the future.

Presumably, when he had accrued enough “vacation time”/funds.

Needless to say, this was an abysmally stupid idea (as is everything else Karl has ever devised).

Put bluntly, it is a foregone conclusion that karl would be unable to refrain from accumulating ANOTHER equivalent hoard of scrap at the new location – resulting in him being buried under another hoard.

Of course, this was also at a time when his vehicle was at least semi-functional (before he acquired the rickety shit-bucket of a jeep), and prior to his credit rating being irremediably fucked, due to the medical bills from the hernia surgery.

TL;DR: Karl was /is stupid, and is now irremediably fucked.

I used to try to help him “back in the day” -even when he treated me like garbage.

I will never make that mistake again.

 

 

 

So, this is actually pretty impressive

Rummaging in the Debian repositories.
Found an application called QTM which is essentially an application for writing/publishing blog posts “offline” (IE: without having to use the “post to my blog” applet).

This is actually pretty cool, because I genuinely like the minimalism of the interface, and also the fact that I can compose/edit posts in a thorough fashion.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve concluded that approximately 90% of the content on most blogs (and the vast majority of “websites”/social media in general), is fluff. Nobody gives a shit what you had for breakfast 3 days ago.

To be honest, this goes for my own efforts at blogging as well.

I mean, seriously: how many times can I blog about the “geography of religion”, or Karl’s idiocy, or how much my “blood-kin” suck – and still expect it to be at all interesting?

Not as often as you’d think.

Worse yet, the fact that I blog about the above issues doesn’t translate into anything actually chainging, about them:

1. 99% of the global population will still continue to merely ape and parrot their religious “beliefs” and “practices” from others – as opposed to actually bothering to think them through rationally. (Regrettably, Emotional blackmail “works”, far too frequently.)

2. If my “blood”-kin actually gave a shit aboutt my views/values, (or even just about me as a person), they wouldn’t have mistreated me they way they did, in the first place.

3. Same goes for Karl: if he was either willing – or able – to be better, then he would do so – without me complaining about it on the blog.

So, what the hell am I doing, exactly?

Same objections obtain in relation to broader sociopoligical issues: Trump voters are stupid/gullible/racist/xenophobic/sexist etc. – and nothing I post to this blog (or anywhere else) will magically change that.

So, there’s the ironic thing:

I’ve simultaneously figured out how to make the process of “blogging” easier – and also realized that most of what I’ve been “blogging” about was utterly pointless.

On some level, I guess my reasoning with this blog has to do with it being a “cautionary tale”: about the perils of mindlessness and enabling one’s own destroyers.

Thing is: no matter who this blog manages to ‘reacdh”, it will NEVER be those who caused the problems in the first place.