I have learned more by simply finding online resources, viewing/reading them, following “tutorials” etc. over the past several weeks, than I *ever* learned from Karl in nearly 30 years:

The most pleasant aspect of this (beyond the acquisition of knowledge itself), has been the fact that I have not had to sit through ass-face’s rhetorical questions about “how can I not know this stuff?” or “where have I been!!!!?”, or any of his other stock INSULTS.

Nor have I had to listen to him whining incessantly about how much his life sucks, how little money he has, how he doesn’t have “enough time” or “resources” to meaningfully sort through the detritus — er, I mean “computer collection’, etc.

I honestly hope that his rickety shit-bucket of a jeep has finally become utterly nonfunctional, resulting in him being fired from his job.  That state of affairs would probably result in him losing the storage units of scrap and (as a bonus) becoming homeless (due to nonpayment of rent) — ALSO resulting in the loss/destruction of the hoarded E-waste cluttering his trailer.

I genuinely hope the above scenario has occured.  There are very few individuals who i genuinely loathe — but I am becoming increasingly aware of the fact that Karl is definitely one of them.

 

Trying to learn anything from Karl is an excercise in futility

I’ve come to the conclusion that any attempt to acquire information from Karl is utterly futile.

Several reasons:

  1. Any information I could possibly acquire from him is available elsewhere.  (The only real difficulty is figuring out where).  Typically, there are a myriad of potential sources.
  2. Given Karl’s track-record of abysmal ignorance in regard to other subjects (history, religion, politics, etc.), and his tendency to buy into viewpoints which are so abysmally stupid as to be “not even wrong” — it is  a safe bet that Karl is probably equally stupid with regard to the few subject areas where he does actually exhibit “skill” (Electronics, amateur radio, computers, etec.)
  3. He tends to resort to what Ayn Rand would have called the “Argument from Intimidation” with alarming frequency.

As Ayn Rand described the above “gimmick”:

The Argument from Intimidation dominates today’s discussions in two forms. In public speeches and print, it flourishes in the form of long, involved, elaborate structures of unintelligible verbiage, which convey nothing clearly except a moral threat. (“Only the primitive-minded can fail to realize that clarity is oversimplification.”) But in private, day-by-day experience, it comes up wordlessly, between the lines, in the form of inarticulate sounds conveying unstated implications. It relies, not on what is said, but on how it is said—not on content, but on tone of voice.

The tone is usually one of scornful or belligerent incredulity. “Surely you are not an advocate of capitalism, are you?” And if this does not intimidate the prospective victim—who answers, properly: “I am,”—the ensuing dialogue goes something like this: “Oh, you couldn’t be! Not really!” “Really.” “But everybody knows that capitalism is outdated!” “I don’t.” “Oh, come now!” “Since I don’t know it, will you please tell me the reasons for thinking that capitalism is outdated?” “Oh, don’t be ridiculous!” “Will you tell me the reasons?” “Well, really, if you don’t know, I couldn’t possibly tell you!”

All this is accompanied by raised eyebrows, wide-eyed stares, shrugs, grunts, snickers and the entire arsenal of nonverbal signals communicating ominous innuendoes and emotional vibrations of a single kind: disapproval.

If those vibrations fail, if such debaters are challenged, one finds that they have no arguments, no evidence, no proof, no reasons, no ground to stand on—that their noisy aggressiveness serves to hide a vacuum—that the Argument from Intimidation is a confession of intellectual impotence.

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/argument_from_intimidation.html

In karl’s case, this tactic takes the form of:

  1. Bloviating endlessly about whatever conspiracy-theory happens to have captured his attention at any particular time.  (Hint: he will be obsessively dedicated to doing “research”/”uncovering the truth” on whatever-it-is — for at most, a few weeks, after which it will merely serve as a source for convenient “catch-phrases”, and/or window-dressing for the next bout of idiocy.)
  2. Frequent use of phrases “rhetorical questions” such as “How can you not know this, already?”, and “Where have YOU been?” — inevitably prefaced by the same, exaggerated (and vaguely petulant) sigh — something which is undoubtedly intended to “communicate” both his own Olympian greatness and the claim that I should somehow be overwhelmingly glad that he even “bothers” to answer my ‘stupid” questions, at all.

I no longer see any value in wading through his ever-rising sea of bullshit, or attempting to placate him long enough to stave off the next tantrum.  Quite frankly, if it wasn’t for the fact that I live around a thousand miles away from him, I would find it extremely gratifying to punch him in the throat.

 

Did you ever wonder what Karl would be like if he had actual skills?

He’d probably be somewhat like Richard Stallman.

Here is an off-site link to Stallman’s publicity-packet thingy:

https://groups.google.com/a/mysociety.org/forum/#!msg/mysociety-community/zkyZpOXjgoQ/_8xyXSxv9zYJ

Richard Stallman is a very strange man.  Having said that, he has actually done an amazingly  valuable thing by springboarding both the FLOSS (Free, Libre, Open-source Software) and “Free culture” movements.  These have both  fueled the “IP Skeptic”/pro-public domain movement.

At any rate, Stallman’s personal idiosyncracies are actually pretty charming and “eccentric”, as compared to Karl (Ka3rcs).  Plus, he devised  the GNU variant of EMACS, which is just about the most convoluted and over-developed text editor in history. 🙂

Plus, the “Friendly parrot” thing is…..funny?  I dunno.

 

Cool off-site link:

http://www.netlingo.com/

Appears to be a site compiling (as they call it) “netlingo”.

“Netlingo” (as they use the term) appears to be a morass of legitimate tech-related terms from engineering/electronics/computer-type fields, mixed in with a morass of “Leegspeak and pseudo-acronyms created to get around the (idiotic) 160-character flaw endemic to SMS.

On some level, I really, really, really, really, really hate it when people claim to “admire” something which originated as a “work-around”, for something which should never have been a problem in the first place.

A perfect example of this, is so-called “cursive”:

Cursive (in addition to being inherently ugly as fuck, and virtually impossible to actually read, originated because of the flimsiness of quill “pens”:

The origin of the cursive method is associated with practical advantages of writing speed and infrequent pen lifting to accommodate the limitations of the quill. Quills are fragile, easily broken, and will spatter unless used properly. Steel dip pens followed quills; they were sturdier, but still had some limitations. The individuality of the provenance of a document (see Signature) was a factor also, as opposed to machine font.[2]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cursive#Origin

Question: Do YOU write using a quill?

Answer: NO.  NOBODY encounters quill “pens”, inkwells etc. outside of historical reenactments.

There is literally NO excuse for ANYONE (other than amateur/professional historical reenactors) even being aware of the existence of “cursive”, at all — as anything other than a particularly shitty trivia question.

Much less wasting valuable class time “teaching” it, as part of the curriculum.

Guess what?  Gutenberg’s printing-press dealt a fatal bitch-slap to the “professional” scribe.   “Cursive” should be regarded as extremely obscure, and at least somewhat pretentious — much like caligraphy (which ALSO requires specialized writing implements).

Do we foist calligraphy classes on all students as a core aspect of the curriculum?

No?

Why the hell not?  Cursive-fetishists seem to (mistakenly) regard the (purported) “elegance” of such “handwriting” as intrinsically valuable — so why the fuck don’t we go all the way?  ALL STUDENTS SHOULD BE FORCED TO WRITE EXCLUSIVELY IN ‘CURSIVE’ — USING A QUILL AND INKWELL.

“Penmanship”, my sweaty, wrinkled sack! 😦

Well, shit…..I’m off topic, again! 🙂

 

“The Boy Electrician” = a hell of a book

I’ve always been attracted toward “retro” informaiton sources.

One of the weirdest things I’ve ever discovered is: oftentimes, older texts do a better job explaining the technologies.   For one thing, they tend not to implicitly treat the real world as a pale shadow of the mathematical models.   There’s someting just conceptually ‘off” about starting from (garbled) descriptions of Bohr’s atomic model and only getting to observable (and thus verifiable) real-world phenomena such as magnetism, conductors/insulators etc. “downstream”

Quite frankly, a much better approach is one which recapitulates — at least conceptually — the sort of observations which culminated in what we can do with electricity/electronics/computers, etc.

That’s where “the boy electrician” comes in.

Quite frankly, as I said: it’s a hell of a book:

Not only does it recapitulate (in abbreviated form) the broad outlines of how human knowledge advanced in regard to magnetism/electricity/electronics, it also contains a myriad of designs which (in principle) would allow someone with the right tools/supplies to do the experiments, and/or build the devices.

The order of presentation is as follows:

  1. Magnetism and magnets
  2. Static electricity
  3. Static electricity machines
  4. Voltaic cells and batteries
  5. Electromagnetism and magnetic induction
  6. Electrical units
  7. Wires and accessories
  8. Electrical measuring instruments
  9. Bells, burglar alarms and annunciators
  10. Telegraphy
  11. Microphones and telephones
  12. Induction coils
  13. Transformers
  14. Wireless telegraphy
  15. Racio recieving sets
  16. An experimental “wireless” telephone
  17. Electric motors
  18. Dynamos
  19. An electric railway
  20. Miniature lighting
  21. Miscelaneous electrical apparatus

I mean, seriously: there’s even a section on winding your own resistors.