atlas shrugged 2-3-4
okay so we watched all 3 atlas shrugged movies. gawd. ayn rand. sheehs. so john galt abandons the working class. cause they're fucking morons. and then when they're completely beaten down. he comes back. told you so. we love you john galt. i think i threw up in my mouth a little at that part. anywho. i gave 2&3 all of 1 star. like don't waste your time. 1 got 2 stars cause the acting was pretty decent. and it's the only one where dagny was hot. anywho. after watching atlas again and again and thinking nothing like this can possibly happen, we watched inside job. and gah. okay. maybe. shit.
a long time ago we decided it was a bad idea to force people to get married. less long ago we decided it was a bad idea to force people to stay married. recently we decided it is a bad idea to keep people from getting married. progress! a while ago we decided it was a bad idea to force people to be soldiers. and we've never had a better armed force. hoo-fuggin-ray. at about the same time, the supreme court ruled that it's a bad idea to force people to be parents. unfortunately progress has not been as smooth as with marriage and soldiering. maybe after another 50 years or so we'll wonder why we ever thought forcing people to be parents was a good idea. till then, we will have to continue putting up with people being assholes.
note to businesses: please ensure your customer support people are qualified for the job. first, they need to be able to speak english. second, they need to be able to spell common words. like dummies is not spelled b-u-m-m-y-s. third, ensure your qualified english speaking customer support people follow a script that doesn't piss off your loyal customers. sheehs. how hard is this? so i called aaa. cause the man child drives more than i do. so piece of mind is cheap. how can i help you today, she axed. i want to add my son to my membership. are you happy with your membership? how far do you and your wife drive every day? can i confirm your auto pay settings? wtf does this have to do with adding my kid? no i'm not going to answer any more questions. i don't care if you are required to axe me. if i wanted to be upsold or update my auto pay options... when you said what can i do for you today... i'd have said i want to be upsold. i would have said i want to update my auto pay options. but i didn't. cause i don't. don't even fucking axe.
web sites have picked up a new annoying habit. i'm done looking at the page. so i move the mouse out of the content region of the page and up to the tab. and boom! the page changes. pulling my eye back. cause wtf? and it's a goddamn ad. fuck you. i am so done with this page. irritating me will most definitely not get you whatever it was that you wanted.
i left windows about 9 months ago. the only thing i miss is visual studio debugger. sigh. but that's pretty much it for big things. there's a few small things. like pulseaudio not playing nicely with playonlinux. i 6box so generally the sound is off anyway. so i just kill pulseaudio. it comes back sane. which is a workaround. disappointing. but. the other minor thing is, well was, volume control in amarok. it didn't seem to have one. i figured i was missing something. so i googled it. and folks were talking about amarok as if it had one. so i looked again. and randomly switched to the slim toobar. oh look. a speaker icon. click on it and a volume control shows up. a working volume control. well dang. i switched back to the main toolbar and looked again. lotta buttons and controls and doo-dads. but no volume control. dang. okay. i prefer the main toolbar. but slim it is. at least until someone pushes an update. course i could get the source and be that someone. maybe when i retire.
i bash former president george w bush fairly regularly. some say religiously. but no. i bash him cause he deserves it. notice that i called him president bush. usually when i bash him i drop the honorific. cause in that context he doesn't deserve it. but today's different. i explain. homelessness isn't like poverty or starvation. you can make huge reductions in the number of homeless people by giving them homes. like duh. oddly enough. this strategy works. unlike analogous solutions for poverty and starvation. anywho, the status quo is to round up the homeless and offer them this deal: get off drugs and we'll give you a shitty place to stay. stay off drugs and we'll give you a nicer place to stay. and pretty soon you won't need us any more. problem is, it doesn't work. in order to get off drugs you need to have a sanctum sanctorum. a place you can retreat to that's safe. where the bogeymen in the real world can't get you. so there's an anti-homeless program called home first. which does exactly that. it gives people a home first. offers them drug rehab options second. it's much much cheaper than the status quo. cause it gets people off the streets. out of the emergency rooms. and out of the jails. all of which are way more expensive than giving people a tiny apartment for free. president bush adopted this program. and not just on a trial basis. so big fat kudos to him.
it's raining here. that's good. is the drought over? no idea. we're at pretty much normal rainfall year to date. so that's good. nevada's well above year to date normals. so that's really good. cause that means snow. on the other hand, we were at normal year to date rainfall percentages this time last year too. and the drought most definitely was not over. so is the drought over? no idea. ask me again in six months.
so last night b and i were having a major discussion. the spirit rover looks like some wonky looking six wheeled car thing. it stopped working and we abandoned it. just left it there all alone on a big planet far from home. farther from home than any human has ever been. do you think we would have done that, abandon it i mean, if instead it looked like a human female android?
a few christmases ago, we acquired a good cookie book. from time to time we pull out the book. pick a page at random. and make those cookies. assuming they sound good. then we pretend we didn't pick that page. and re-roll. so far they have all been good. not great. just good. but sheehs. what did we expect? it is called the GOOD cookie book after all. it's not like it calls itself the GREAT cookie book. which is good. cause if it did, i'd be bitching about it. and i'm not.
centos had a major update recently. one of the bugs i bitched about seems to have been fixed. i haven't had my computer wake up with only 2 of 3 displays awake. that was annoying. thanks guys!
gently heat 50 ml of oil in your favorite popcorn popping pot. mine has a nice thick bottom and no fancy coatings. turn down the heat next time if you have to clean the pot with steel wool. add 3 popcorn kernels. wait for them to pop. turn off the heat. remove the pot from the heat. add 150 ml of popcorn. start counting 30 seconds in your head. or out loud if you've got kids to entertain. remove the popped kernels. discard. or let cool and eat. your call. swish the popcorn in the oil. after the 30 seconds are up, return the pot to gentle heat. shake occasionally. my pot is too small. so i pour some out when the lid starts to pop up. return to heat. when there are no more pops for 10 seconds or so it's done! add a little salt. let the popped popcorn steam out for a bit. eat. there will be a few unpopped kernels. but not many. do not add butter. there's 50 frikken ml of oil soaked into the popped corn already. sheehs. besides, you can pass off a tasty snack as healthy too. enjoy.
oil hit $29/barrel. which is news. which is weird. this is the historical inflation adjusted price of oil. it's almost as if energy is the fundamental unit of currency. and all other currencies adjust to it. gee there's a thought. anywho. there are a couple of exceptions that are interesting. first there's the opec induced oil shock of 1974. high prices lasted for 12 years. in more recent history we've got the middle east war of 2004. high prices seem to have come to an end after 12 years. which is a rather amazing coincidence. or maybe not. we'll know if there's some major event in 2034 that spikes oil prices for 12 years.
i got a 2 on the fark weird news quiz. heh. with pure guessing you'd expect to get 3 right. obviously i've been working too hard this week. not enough time to read the news.
people say that trump supporters are misinformed. but i think that's a misuse of the word. i explain. who is the president of zimbabwe? i don't know. i am uninformed. who is the president of zimbabwe? mickey mouse. i am misinformed. no, it's robert mugabe. oh sorry. i was misinformed. who is the president of zimbabwe? everyone knows mickey mouse is the president of zimbabwe. gawd you've gotta be a fucking moron to not know that. um, no. it's robert mugabe. well look who's a fucking idiot. i'm gonna beat the shit out of you. and folks is gonna give me a fucking medal. get the fuck out of here before i hang you from that there tree. ... that last example is of a person who is disinformed. the difference between misinformed and disinformed should be obvious.
suppose you held a lottery ticket worth $10 million. i offer to trade you that ticket for a 10% chance to win $100 million. would you do it? of course not. how about a 1% chance to win $1 billion. that's billion with a b. again, of course not. the expectation of all three scenarios is the same. they are all of equal value. so either should be a fair trade. but you'd have to be insane or a serious gambling addict to make the trade. or i suppose ridiculously wealthy. okay what about a 10% chance for $1 billion? hrm. no. but at least you should think about it. how about 90% chance for $20 million? tempting but no. why not? economists call it utility. your utility for $10 million is high. your utility for $1 billion is higher. but only a little bit higher. so when you decline my kind offers, you are subconsciously maximizing the expected utility. which is what you should do for any game of chance. the dollar expectation for powerball is +$1.18 or so. ie $3.18 minus the $2 you paid for the ticket. it's also irrelevant. the relevant number is the utility expectation. most of that positive dollar expectation comes from the remote chance of winning huge sums. which means the utility expectation is significantly lower. and almost certainly negative. let's put it this way. winning $1000 is nice. but it's not a life changing event. like winning $1 billion dollars. or like winning $100 million. so as far as utility is concerned: utility($1b) and utility($100m) are nearly equal. so substitute $100m for $1b in the dollar expectation calculation. so that $3.18 becomes $0.32. and the reality based expectation becomes a $1.68 loss. which means 'go buy as many tickets as you can afford' is really very bad financial advice.
atlas shrugged part 1
so we watched the movie adaptation of ayn rand's book. which i've tried and failed to read on several occasions scattered over the course of my life. the movie really helped me identify what it is exactly that i hate about the book. the smartest most successful innovators and businessmen who should be the richest people in america get totally screwed by a government gone totally communist. which is where i lose the ability to suspend disbelief. governments are owned by the richest people. this is a fundamental fact. it's true all over the world. it's true for a wide variety of governing methods. except ayn rand's world. where the second richest people completely own the government. and can do whatever they want to the most richest. sorry not buying it. i'll watch part 2. cause i want to see how it all ends. but i'll watch it the same way i watch a movie with time travel or faster than light travel. as fantasy. as entertainment. besides, the chick is pretty hot. even if she doesn't get nekkid. like they tell me she does in the book. ;->
so i'm running amarok on my linux box. cause no itunes. my ripped collection is on my windows drive. which is ntfs. which because of some madness really doesn't like to be polled for changes. which is what amarok was doing. ie making gam_server and mount.ntfs-3g use like 50% and 80% cpu respectively. ya. bad dog. no biscuit. fortunately just had to go to setting -> configure amarok -> local collections. and uncheck watch local folders for changes. voila! fixed that nonsense.
i built android from source. it took 5 hours. which isn't as long as i was expecting. unfortunately it's in an inconvenient category. ie too long to be convenient. yet not long enough that i can justify upgrading my computer. sigh.
i can walk into a room, assert that x+1 is greater than x, and start an argument. seriously. for some reason this simple statement just lights people up. they'll transform from mild mannered civilized intelligent human beings into wild-eyed, spluttering, shouting in-your-face, monster zealots. it's the strangest phenomenon i've ever encountered. apparently their collective point is that i'm looking at x+1 completely wrong. the right way is to look at it is x+1 is less than x+2. and that is the only way to look at it. or they'll bite my fucking head off. the rage continues until i concede they're right and i'm wrong. x+1 is less than x+2. with no buts. as in but x+1 is also greater than x. rage! but... never mind. then and only then will the rage subside. whew. don't believe me? wondering what the fuck am i talking about? try it yourself. wait for a moment when the conversation is boring and everyone is calm collected and civilized. then say, you can't reduce the population (x) by having just one child (x+1). and watch the transformation. here's another one: you can't reduce pollution (x) by creating it (x+1). where that +1 is a fuel efficient car. or led light bulb. or a "green" house. or an energy efficient shower/thermostat/computer/phone/fridge/air-conditioner/etc. and the last example which is a variation: you can't save money by spending it (+1). the trolls argue that "saving" means to spend less. spending $1 instead of $2 is still spending $1. sheehs.
the other day b used the term morass to refer to people. like the teeming millions type of people. the beautiful and talented alisa got the giggles. cause morass means swamp. sea of people. sure. swamp of people? not so common. but i suppose perfectly appropriate at say a trump rally. course i think i'd go with the much more descriptive morassholes.
anyone who thinks climate change is a crock of shit should go to florida during king tides. these are the highest of the high tides that occur twice every lunar month. ie when the sun earth and moon all line up. many coastal cities flood. when i say that you are probably thinking monster waves that run right up the beach and crash dramatically over the containment walls. heh. i don't blame you. i did too when i first heard about the phenomenon. but what actually happens is much more boring. florida (the land) is fairly porous. so the sea just rises up everywhere. videos look a whole lot like a broken water main. and in fact many people think that's what's happened. they call the city. and the city guy comes out has to explain that no, this is the ocean. you've heard of sea level rise? well, this is it. so for several days every month, you now live in the middle of the ocean. usually their reaction is something like madre de dios. florida is losing land area due to sea level rise. so it has the distinct honor of being both the fastest shrinking state (by land area) in the nation and also the fastest growing state (by population). which is going to make for a rather interesting reality check in the next few years. madre de dios indeed.
heh. while crunching numbers for yesterday's post... i calculated the excess mommy factor. ie the number of mommies that we have divided by the number of mommies we need to replace the people who die. it's 1.5 if you don't count immigrants. it's 1.9 if you do. right about then i had an offensive thought. i haven't shared one of those in a while. so i'm due. anywho, every new american immigrant means one less american mommy. one less american child is born. and saying the same thing the trump way, every immigrant we let into this country is another american fetus aborted.
mommy is a very important occupation. i really don't want anyone to get the idea that i might possibly think otherwise. okay. that said. we have too many mommies. in the us every year some 2.6 million people die. 3.9 million people are born. and another net 1 million people immigrate. which means our population grows every year by some 2.4 million people. about 0.75%. which is below the world's growth rate. it's also still too high. i assert that historically and for much of the world population is controlled via poverty. if you're poor you elect to not have children. or they don't survive because you can't afford to feed them. or get them medical care. i'm more of a survival of the fittest in this regard than the bleeding heart liberal. but poverty as birth control is appalling. especially when god gave us other methods. like the pill. and condoms. but for some reason humanity rejects them. as if they were evil or something. which sometimes makes me want to just give up on you fools. sigh. deep breath. okay. since you complain about being poor. and you refuse to use birth control of any kind. what else can we do? we can encourage women into occupations other than mommy. we should subsidize women in the work force. cause every riveting rosy is one less worker in the baby factory. we currently pay women 20% less than men in the workplace. which seems like it's pushing women into the mommy job. so a small girl bonus could do the trick. we'd need about 34% of mommies to give up the mommy job and do something else. which would be pretty cool. honestly however i think the barrier to this plan is not with the women.
why didn't ya'll tell me the comics links were busted? sheehs. heh. anywho. i noticed. yahoo sucks. i fixed the links. they now go to gocomics. which is somewhat less convenient than the old yahoo format. ah well. i guess yahoo didn't want those eyeballs on their ads anyways.
we are all children of immigrants. unless of course you're a native american. then you're the children of settlers. i suppose you could be white and legitimately claim to be the child of settlers. but that means something somewhat different. i explain. the first people here are clearly settlers. cause they're settling on land that belongs to no one. then the invaders come. and they bring death via disease and violence. and eventually the land is cleared of people again. ready for the next wave of settlers. who claim land that used to belong to someone else. someone who was forcible removed from it. or murdered for it. i can think of other words for that type of activity. none are very nice. so when some stupid white chick says she's not the descendant of immigrants, she's the high falutin descendant of settlers, i kinda throw up in my mouth a little. cause she seems to be rather proud of her thieving murdering ancestors.
should we be willing to wait in lines for the tsa? i revisit this question every now and then. cause the numbers change over time. as does the way i choose to frame the results. these results: for every 10 minutes you spend in line participating in the security theater you gain 1 second of life expectancy. at best. i'm assuming the tsa stops every single aviation related death due to terrorism. which ha ha. anywho... so next time you're waiting in a security line set a timer on your smart phone to go off every 10 minutes. ding-a-ling-a-ling. then dance around celebrating that extra second of life you just gained. woo hooty! you're gonna live forever.