Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Job

I have a new job, which is wonderful when you know how long it took to get it. I have had temporary work in between, and I still write my Android Apps for a penny or two of remittance. But those things could not be depended on for money to pay the mortgage or even eat decently.

But I kept pounding the keys and eventually something came through.I may be old but I can still be useful.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Reasons For Inaction

There really are no reasons to be dead beyond being physically deceased. But many times I view the world, thinking about what I might have to say about it, unable to really think of anything worthwhile. And other times I am filed with anxiety to blabber whatever nonsense my frenzied mind can generate. 

The extinction of the planet is always an interesting topic, if not realistic as a coffee table magazine. If I just rattle of a few examples of what might extinct our species, or even just our civilization, it just sounds like desperate paranoid ramblings. Short of the Sun exploding, there is probably nothing that could just suddenly extinct our planet of all life. Perhaps all higher forms of complex organisms could be blown away by some kind of distant star going supernovae and a concentrated gamma beam irradiating us by accident. That is unlikely.

Certainly, when all factors are considered as having equal probability, then the Chicken Little type of scenario is very easy to propagate. Yet, our own actions as individuals has more effect on our survival and for the common survival of mankind. If everyone thought and acted that same, it would be very easy to either over-populate the planet or under-populate our species, either of which would be possible to impact us negatively. Yet there are so many pluses and minuses in the patchwork of humanity that there is only a slight advantage of births over deaths over the long, long term. 

Things like that are not exactly changed by individual action. I cannot simply refuse to have children and effect the graph very much whatsoever. I could also immediately commit suicide, which would also barely register above the background noise, if at all. It takes a large group, such as China deciding to limit births to 1 per household. That had unintended consequences, although it was obvious that such a culture where the male inherits all important aspects of the family, that females would be scrapped in one way or another.
Yet, even of each person in China was to disappear from the planet, which is unlikely any time soon, there would still be a very large population of humans, with a very large effect on the biosphere. And other animals, insects, plants and even other humans would quickly fill in the habitat opened up by such a huge displacement. It would not be long until all traces that China existed might disappear, yet the overall meter of life would be very little effected.

I am not happy with the destruction we do to this place. It is not simply the pollution and destruction of jungles and so forth, it is the stripping of the land of all usefulness, leaving our descendants with sludge pits filled with toxic materials. We will soon have either burned or spilled all available petroleum and other fossil fuels, although there is probably enough coal underfoot that given a strong enough disregard for surface life, we could get to that and keep on burning it.

We are not plants, which are very restricted in motion and thereby more efficient stores of energy. Humans and other animals cause net depletion of  energy, since we must move all the time to stay alive. Breathing, swimming, running and just having a heart beat -- all take energy and produce none. The balance in nature is either zero or close to zero overall. There are so many plants that invade areas we do not actively strip of life that they tend to erase history very quickly. In desert areas where plants are more rare, the more durable pieces left over from prior layers of civilizations might remain for a longer period.

Fish and other forms of ocean life tend to destory plants pretty quickly wherever they might grow, unless the plants are able to taste extremely bad, produce toxins in abundance or grow in areas where animals cannot, such is anoxic regions. Yet, no matter what, bacteria will grow. Algae will grow. There are many forms of such microbes that can survive in virtually any surface or ocean environment, and even in solid rock, so long as some moisture is trapped within.

Animals probably would never had evolved on the surface of the planet, leaving that completely to microbes and plants, except that there was such a struggle to survive amongst voracious carnivores underneath the waves. Plants could reproduce by action of the wind and rain. Insects would not be necessary in the earliest forms of plants. And since they needed no protection from insects or being eaten by herbivores, their surfaces need only to protect against microbial or weathering effects. 

Once animals reached the land, and once they could increasingly nibble and digest the plants, the plants had to develop means of surviving despite that, even to the point of giving in entirely to the fate of being eaten, and to simply use it as a means of locomotion, of spreading spores and seeds.

 Yet, still, after hundreds of millions of years, the plants mostly do nothing. The have no need for action.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Voices In My Head

There are many kinds of pathos in the human world. Just to list them would be a boring, endless list of depressing descriptions. Even to think of them is probably harmful, like the Joke that Kills.

People are always thinking up new ways to do stupid things. I have a button on my browser(s) that causes a random webpage to be invoked. The vast majority of purely random links are family pictures with unreadable drivel written around them. The next popular things are similar to the Cat Pictures, although in some ways the Cat Pictures are less depressing than to find humans or their babies doing even dumber things.

When I think of any politician, no matter which point on which dimension they appear, I think mostly of pathological liars. I grimace to listen to them because everything they say has already been proven to be bull manure, hundreds of times over.

One of the biggest lies is "to produce jobs, reduce taxes for rich people." What happened the last time we gave them tax breaks? They fired us and moved their companies, or at least the actual labor, to India or China or someplace. So we should reward them?

Another lie, "we can borrow for this program now, and it will pay for itself."

Other lies and totally nuts ideas are that killing murderers is not itself murder, fetuses are persons, oil and nuclear power are necessary and harmless. But everyone has their opinions. Opinions don't have to be "proven true." Just look at Phox SNooze, for instance. Not a word that has been uttered beyond whatever ideology the propagandists demand.

It would perfectly logical for a politician to promise that he can make chickens lay 2 eggs at once, as well as sliced bacon for the side dish, without batting an eye. He can make cornbread from oats. His horse manure doesn't smell bad.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Slogging thru the Spam Logs.

I spent about an hour on all my blogs -- several that I use for different purposes -- deleting all the comments, except for REAL comments. Most of them were Chinese, which I cannot understand, and had links to adult sites that I'm not interested in.

I'm not against Chinese, per se, but it really is a pain to rid all those dumb links. So now I require a word-test before each blog comment. I don't mind REAL comments, even if they are negative. I just don't like SPAM.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Living with Children

I am not so old, really, but I am old enough that small children -- my grandchildren -- are much too rapid and wild to engage too often. My office is a massive assortment of bookcases, computers, both servers and workstations, plus laptops occasionally. Also, which is my own fault, there are enormous quantities of computer components lying about, in boxes, in tubs, in cabinets, on shelves, in drawers, and basically everywhere you step.

This is bad enough, however it is also the denizens of the playground that frequent my office, because of all the interesting things in here, and also because Papa is always kind and understanding, regardless of how angry their mom may be at the moment. This results in large numbers of toys, parts of toys, and boxes of toys that accumulate with my own hoarded collections.

I am not really so compulsively a hoarder, it is just hard for me to throw away books, or working pieces of equipment -- regardless of how obsolete they all may be. There are some things I can dispense with, if I get the time. I really don't need 200 feet of Thin Wire ethernet cables anymore. The last thing I used those on was a HP Unix workstation about 10 years ago or so. I also have modems that don't exceed 2400 baud -- useless in today's world, as well as a collection of charging adapters that could bring down a power line if I used them all at once. I can't -- because I don't know which one goes to what device -- they are rarely labeled or even receptacle matched.

I will never use Wireless-B. That can go. I will probably never use Wireless-G again, either -- at least after all of the 3 routers I have are burned out. The Wireless-N will probably last a little while longer, but who knows what will come next. Actually, I prefer direct connect Ethernet for most of my computers, but that is very inconvenient for the other members in the family, so I have to maintain everything all at once.

In front of me are many bottles of pills, directly under my terminal, so that I don't forget to take my 10 different pills throughout the day. I wish I could dump those, and they are a hazard in case any of the children decide to test them for candy content. I also have 10 pairs of glasses, of which perhaps 3 are any good at all, and only 2 which I can stand to wear. I have to use far-glasses for far-things, and close-glasses for close-things. I also have bifocals, but they really don't work very well for using computers all the time.

I have many trash cans, usually filled with napkins from cleaning sticky things off my desk, invariably carried in by the children. There are also other things in there come time to empty them. Toys, parts, stuff I have to sort through.

But I love my grandchildren. Much more than I love my junk.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Stones

No, this is not about a rock band. This is about religions that have rocks in their numerous heads.

There can be no justice in a world that stones women to death for ANY reason short of some kind of similar crime done by those women against children. Even in the US where we have the death penalty in many states, it is usually carried out quite reluctantly, by the use of drugs or some other quick method, and very rarely at all upon women, regardless of the insidious nature their crimes.

We are supposedly a "Christian" nation. In the Bible it speaks of stoning harlots and adulterers. The method was not in some manner where the woman is running away and people are pelting her with pebbles. No, the method was to tie the woman to a pillar, or to bury her up to her chest so she is helpless to defend herself, and then to use especially chosen rocks, not so large as to kill her quickly, and not so small as to be merely annoying. The stones would slowly and painfully kill her. I wonder who could proudly throw such rocks at dogs hogtied to a stake, let alone a woman.

For the most part, in the "Christian" world, there has been a reluctance to carry out such sanctions, especially since it takes more than just a woman to be an adulterer or a harlot. There must be partners in her crimes, which even if in need of punishment, has been unfairly apportioned. Either get them both, or let them both be punished in some more fitting manner -- like public humiliation or the like.

We had our Scarlet Letters, our Witch Burnings and other forms of this kind of cruelty, no doubt, but in modern times we have overcome such overt brutalities toward women. At least in the public sector. There are always the woman haters, the murderers and sadists out there that can't get through the day without harming somebody, anybody, especially the innocent.

However, this is happening today in "certain" Islamic countries. It is not an abstraction to talk about over Starbuck's, or in a blog. It is real, it is the Taliban; it is the Iranian Islamic Republic; it is the so called "honor" killings all over the world, carried out by medieval thinkers like Islam's and many other religion's zealots.

And this is only one tiny part of the injustices of the world. It is either a black mark on the truthful nature of religions, or it is simply the impotence or reluctance of any "just" God to intervene on our behalf. Either way, it is a human tragedy.

To Hell with you who believe in such things.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Glenn Beck

Politics is a messy business, and propaganda is a continuous effort. If you live and die by propaganda, much like the Maoist, the North Korean, the Stalinist and the Republican, then propaganda is ALL there is.

Glenn Beck is a despicable fraud. However if I just state that as a fact without some proof, then that is just propaganda, no better than the GOP.

If you want proof, merely watch his program (on the Propaganda News Channel). Except that watching it is exactly what the creators of this barrage of carefully chosen keywords want. They also depend that the watcher is some kind of idiot who cannot simply "google" the nonsense they are told and find out for themselves what is true and what is a load of crap.

Glenn Beck spouts "Hitler", "Stalin", "Mao", "Jesus", "guns", "socialism", etc., etc., blah blah. If those kinds of words trigger a certain emotion in the viewer/listener, and then they are associated with the next barrage of keywords like "the government", "Obama", "liberals", "socialists", "environmentalists", etc., etc., then they (the producers of propaganda) have earned their nickels.

If you really want to know what totalitarianism is, merely visit your local Massive Dynamics type of corporation. No socialism, no "Mao", no "Stalin" -- yet nothing but dictatorship and total control over employees. Of course an employee can go elsewhere, perhaps to a less crappy place, or perhaps into the unemployment line.

The oil and coal corporations can poison the entire Earth, kill massive amounts of sea life, poison our children with smog and exhaust products, and then claim "economic injury" if anyone complains about it. Somehow Beck and his team love these people -- the Princes of Petro Coalia, with gushing praise for all their heartless, deathly occupations, keeping all the illiterates of America employed in the most horrible working conditions. Not to mention the money we pay to the foreign oil barons who use their vast oil wealth to fund religious wars and terrorism against us.

But, I am no one. I am a single voice in the roar of the diesel engines and power plants. Who am I anyway? Compared to Beck and the other propagandists of our world, I am merely a gnat to be swatted aside without a thought. And it doesn't really matter anyway. I am not trying to propagandize -- I have nothing to gain from it.

I merely want to point out the blood on the carpet. In our world, much like in medieval days, there are the very rich and the very poor. The rich always win, whether they deserve it or not. The poor always lose. The rich trample on the poor, and if they complain about it, then they become a blood stain on the carpet.

What would Jesus do? Probably drive him out with the moneylenders and other charlatans.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

China Blues

My wife has traveled to China for her work as a Software engineer. The company works with LG to produce computer components.

For one thing, I suppose China is quite civilized, so there will be no fear of her being consumed by wild savages in a jungle or mugged in a dark alley somewhere. Her hotel would be classified as a palace in America, and only in the actual work environment will their be any discomfort -- being in a clean room bunny suit is the first stage of that. Eating strange stuff from a big tank of strange stuff is another stage.

China considers women to be something along the lines of a butler or shoe polisher, if they are lucky, but usually not masters of some technical field like electronic software engineering. They will have to swallow their pride and just make room for her. She will not be pigeon holed some way like that.

Anyway, she is there now, so I'm home alone, writing this stuff at 1 am.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

Going from America

Benito Mussolini created the word "fascism." He defined it as "the merging of the state and the corporation." He also said a more accurate word would be "corporatism." This was the definition in Webster's up until 1987 when a corporation bought Webster's and changed it to exclude any mention of corporations.

This is from an article about the recent "Supreme" Court decision to make Corporations have the same "freedom of speech" (meaning the ability to spend huge amounts of money on propaganda) that the little guy has.

I guess that would be OK if we were all individual corporations, but I don't feel comfortable with Exxon and BofA being able to buy whatever election they want and I am only able to just complain about it on my little (mostly reader-free) blog. And it is always the most evil corporations that buy all the elections -- just like in Mussolini's Italy.

If this is what America has become, then I am no longer proud to live in this place. It has become a place that I am chained to, with no avenue of escape. I am much like someone stuck in Libya or Iraq, with people I don't believe in calling all the shots. I am in a prison, and enslaved to uncaring corporate interest -- an interest purely in profit. And corporations can be owned by anybody who owns their stock. I might have 50 shares. China has 50,000,000 shares. And so forth.