Particularly stupid anecdote Karl told me recently:

Some decades ago, I (istakenly) got Karl interested in participating in something called “MOO” (Mud, Object-oriented”).  Basically, they’re a sort of text-based “virtual world”.

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

So anyway.  According to Karl, there was this one woman on (I think) Rivermoo, who tended to mention  the fact that she had supposedly “fucked the guy who wrote the BASH shell”.

I’m not entirely sure why this woman would have thought that would confer any sort of “status”.

Did she think that everybody else would be all “oh wow!  Maybe if we fuck YOU, it’ll be like getting sloppy seconds off of the Bash shell guy?”

I don’t “get” it.

What’s more, I have no idea why Karl thought mentioning it to me some while back, would be of any possible interest.

Then again, looking back over this post, I have to ask myself why any of my (vanishingly vew) readers would actually find this anecdote interesting, either.

Yes well.  It is what it is (whatever that might be).

 

 

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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”.

 

 

 

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. 

Richard Stallman is a pretentious ass-hat:

Don’t get me wrong:

the GPL/LGPL are slightly less horrible than 99% of other “licenses” (in that they explicitly “permit” things which you’d be able to do anyway, if the “public domain” wasn’t so damnably impoverished, due to obscenely long copy”right” terms.  (“life plus 70 years?  My ass.”)

No, the thing that pisses me off about Stallman is: the fact that his quixotic obsession with the “GNU Hurd” ended up hobbling the “GNU Project”, in many ways.

Let’s be clear about something:  Stallman’s tendency to get butthurt and throw tantrums when people refuse to pander to his idiotic “GNU/Linux” fetish is about one thing – and one thing only:  the fact that their oh-so-precious “Hurd” was vaporware for decades.

According to Thomas Bushnell, the initial Hurd architect, their early plan was to adapt the 4.4BSD-Lite kernel and, in hindsight, “It is now perfectly obvious to me that this would have succeeded splendidly and the world would be a very different place today”.[12]

Unfortunately for the world-at-large, “Saint IGNUcious” has a serious lapse of judgement – with predictable results:

In 1987 Richard Stallman proposed using the Mach microkernel developed at Carnegie Mellon University. Work on this was delayed for three years due to uncertainty over whether CMU would release the Mach code under a suitable license.[11]

With the release of the Linux kernel in 1991, the primary user of GNU’s userland components soon became operating systems based on the Linux kernel (Linux distributions), prompting the coining of the term GNU/Linux.

Development of the Hurd has proceeded slowly. Despite an optimistic announcement by Stallman in 2002 predicting a release of GNU/Hurd later that year,[13] the Hurd is still not considered suitable for production environments. Development in general has not met expectations, and there are still a significant number of bugs and missing features.[14] This has resulted in a poorer product than many (including Stallman) had expected.[15] In 2010, after twenty years under development, Stallman said that he was “not very optimistic about the GNU Hurd. It makes some progress, but to be really superior it would require solving a lot of deep problems”, but added that “finishing it is not crucial” for the GNU system because a free kernel already existed (Linux), and completing Hurd would not address the main remaining problem for a free operating system: device support.

In other words, after 20 years of utter failure, even RMS himself has (grudgingly) admitted that the “Hurd” is a total piece of shit.

There’s nothing “really superior”  about a mircokernal which is essentially Stallmam’s masturbatory fantasy.

This is the primary reason why I refuse to pander to his “GNU/Linux” bullshit delusions:  Linus Torvalds actually managed to COMPLETE the “GNU Project” – by means of the LINUX KERNEL.

Stallman is jealous, because a university student suceeded, where HE failed.

What was RMS doing for those 20 years of “active development?”  Whackin’ it to the EMACS documentation?

The great thing about relatively permissive (“Free”) licenses like the GPL is: They render any particular developer IRRELEVANT, in that, in the event that particular developer dies/goes insane/turns into a tyrannical knob-gobbler, anybody interested enough to do so can merely “fork” the project, and pick up from before everything went wrong.

(Of course, the same could be said for what would happen with a significantly more robust Public Domain – due to significantly shorter copy’right’ terms, but that’s another topic, for another time.)

TL;DR: even a crude approximation of “software freedom” is better than none.