30 Nov 2007 @ 9:11 AM 

As if the Livejournal abuse team hasn’t been useless (read: counterproductive) over the years, and the acquisition by SixApart has been anything but joyous and pain-free, now they are attempting to shoot themselves in the back of the head once again.

Community tagging of “offensive” content will allow complete strangers to make your LJ posts invisible to non-adult viewers.  Presumably, this means that your public posts will be restricted to logged-in LJ users with their over-18 age listed on their profiles.  And, how many people will just start sending packs of assholes to assault any community or user who counters their prejudices about the world?  I can see the leftie blogs being completely tagged as “child porn” if that’s an option the wingers could use.  And vice versa, there’s no end to the abuse that can occur when people think they are anonymous.

Naturally, to prove the point, the post that has started all this will soon be tag-bombed with “offensive” and “adult content” tags.  Wanna bet?  Wanna join the fun?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 30 Nov 2007 @ 09:11 AM

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 27 Nov 2007 @ 8:45 PM 

Remember the chucklehead from martial arts class? I somehow couldn’t get it through to him by my reading while he was talking, that I don’t really care to hear his wacko far-right talk radio dittohead talking points. *sigh*

I’m reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s latest trilogy, which hasn’t a name yet that I’m aware of but we’ll call it the Climate Change Series, absent anything better. I’m about 30 pages into the second book, and I do rather like to read books that I have open to read. But, chucklehead decided to regale me with more of his tales from the conspiracy side. Global warming may or may not be happening, and if it is it’s nothing we can fix anyway, blah blah blah. Of course, he admits that he has never read anything on the issue, and only gets his information from talk radio. Personally, I try to read the occasional article from an actual scientist, but I’m sure Laura Schlesinger is very well-read on subtle issues of climatology.

Last time I talked with this man, he told me about the evil Law of the Sea Treaty, which was going to give our sovereignty to some group of UN bad guys (it’s not). Ever notice how the far right has some sort of paranoia about the UN? Considering how completely ineffectual the UN has been in almost everything they’ve ever attempted, how scared could anyone be of them? So, this time around, his UN conspiracy is surrounding the IPCC, which of course he doesn’t even know the name of but just calls “them scientists.” There are some people who wrote pieces of the IPCC-4 report who don’t agree with the totality of that report. Surprised? Of course not. How many people wrote that document? Look up Richard Lindzen; I’m certain that’s the most prominent person that fits his description. Chuckles says that there are a lot, well, maybe a few, at least a significant number, of IPCC signers who want their names removed from the document. Let me just say, every large group has some nuts and publicity hounds. Doesn’t mean that the entire organization is wrong. The lack of any coherent alternate hypothesis to the prevailing one does not imply that there is a conspiracy which is repressing information. There aren’t a lot of coherent alternate hypotheses to the Earth being an oblate ovoid either; doesn’t mean there’s a conspiracy against Flat Earthers.

Wandering farther off the path, chucklehead then had the insane notion that one should “follow the money” to find out who is benefiting from the climate change folks. Um, if we were to follow the largest streams of money surrounding this “debate” (not really a debate in the scientific world, no matter what politicians may think), we’d find it leads to the anthropogenic climate change deniers, as backed by the most wealthy corporations in the world, the petroleum industry. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but if you want to throw around “follow the money” tropes, maybe you should have a clue what you’re talking about first.

I tried to explain thermohaline circulation, and the fact that its disruption took less than a decade but caused the 1300 year Younger Dryas period of intense cold (5 degrees Celsius drop in the North Atlantic region), but I’m sure it was pointless. He’s also oblivious to the fact that our instruments get better each year, and so do our predictive abilities. The concept that theories are refined and perfected over time is foreign to him, of course.

Somehow, he even worked abiotic petroleum into his meanderings. Remember, this is someone who quite openly admits he has read nothing about the science behind all this, but just goes with his instincts on things. Our instincts are great for catching balls and shooting at slow-moving animals; they aren’t much good at megayear musings and thousand-mile discussions. I find it interesting that the majority of abiotic petroleum believers are in Russia, which is famous for such scientific breakthroughs as Lysenkoism (Lamarckian evolution).

Seriously, it’s not hard to learn enough to be halfway cognizant of the underlying science. Chucklehead is one of a depressingly large number of people who are willfully ignorant of things that they form strong opinions about. Just because you wish something were true doesn’t mean reality must bend to your will.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 27 Nov 2007 @ 08:54 PM

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 25 Nov 2007 @ 8:34 AM 

Ham, mashed potatoes, bacon & leek dressing.  Cherry/Orange scones with whipped cream.  A cat that meows so much it must be using the sound as sonar.  Two dogs that don’t know how to sleep without people under them.  One boy who got to put up ornaments and didn’t break any.  One hot woman who gave me a new fuzzy robe to stay warm. High temperatures of 40 degrees.

And now, finally, three days late, Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.

Cheers.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 25 Nov 2007 @ 08:34 AM

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 20 Nov 2007 @ 11:38 PM 

It’s amazing to me how many people will deny reality in order to defend their prejudices and pre-existing notions. And there isn’t just one area of life that is vulnerable to this sort of reality denial; it can be everything from computers to cosmogony to theology.

Linux users have, for years, said it’s not the OS that is causing usability and productivity problems – it’s the lack of drivers. Of course, the average user doesn’t care why their printer doesn’t work, and is not going to blame HP for not supporting Linux, because their printer works just fine in Windows so it must be Linux’s fault that it doesn’t print.

Although the vast majority of the technology industry has come to the conclusion that Windows Vista is more trouble than it’s worth, some people defend it to the most ridiculous lengths. The driver defense comes up, just as with the Linux geeks from years past. “Vista is great, it just needs some drivers and people need to understand how to manage it. And the User Access Control dialog boxes aren’t very intrusive after you get used to clicking them every single session once per program or operation; people just need to get used to it. Of course, you can’t expect to run Vista on a machine with only one gigabyte of memory, no matter that the big box retailers sell 1GB machines with Vista Premium installed on them.”  And so on.

No, people won’t learn the OS in order to work their applications; they just want to click a file and make it work. To assert otherwise is to deny the reality of how the vast majority of people approach computing, in favor of some ideal world where everyone takes a three-week course in Vista before they operate it, and never go to skeezy websites and always keep their virus software updated… Well, you know.

Oh, you thought I was going to talk about theology? Nah. PZ Myers can do that for me.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 21 Nov 2007 @ 03:25 PM

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 20 Nov 2007 @ 8:53 PM 

The final count of animals wanting to use my car as part of their assisted suicide pact tonight: 9.  That’s three cats, five deer, and one skunk.  Something in the air, I guess.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 20 Nov 2007 @ 08:53 PM

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 15 Nov 2007 @ 5:53 PM 

It seems I learn of something new every day, and most of the time I’d just as soon never have known. Today’s example: BeastTube, the YouTube for bestiality fans. I thought BMEZine was twisted, but this is seriously messed up. I’m not going there and looking at anything, but just knowing that such a thing exists is enough to make me wonder about our long-term viability as a species.

In case you’re wondering how I came across this specimen, it’s all Joe Rogan‘s fault.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 15 Nov 2007 @ 05:55 PM

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 14 Nov 2007 @ 9:31 AM 

In case there are people who still don’t understand how screwed up the USA is, in regards to medical care, I present to you Steven K. Brust.  Mr. Brust is a successful science fiction author.  He’s published around 20 novels, been on the NYTimes bestseller list, and is considered a decent fellow.  He’s also in danger of losing his house because he got sick this year.   Commenters on his blog who are not from the United States are aghast that someone could have to declare bankruptcy due to illness.  No other developed nation allows citizens to go broke getting sick.  It seems deeply immoral and inhumane to me.

Fortunately for Brust, he has a dedicated following of fans (personally, I’ve only read Cowboy Feng – it was amusing) who are helping him out financially.  How many less well-known people are declaring bankruptcy today because of a hospital bill from last year?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 14 Nov 2007 @ 09:31 AM

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Foo!

 
 08 Nov 2007 @ 9:06 PM 

The Foo Fighters have a new video. Since you can’t find music on MTV, here ya go:

So, um…soap star turns rock star, star drives car over cliff…is this a Rick Springfield-meets-James Dean reference? Naturally, the Foos remain unique in their video excursions.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 08 Nov 2007 @ 09:06 PM

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 08 Nov 2007 @ 7:02 AM 

As I watched Mark Klein on the news this morning, it occurred to me that none of the major internet peers care about their customers.  In a world where one of the peers was more concerned with the safety of their data and less concerned with sucking up to the government, AT&T would have been routed around via a DNS poisoning. Any organization which cannot be trusted to keep the data on the internet safe and secure should simply not be trusted with that data.

Yet, none of the peers dropped AT&T as a peer. They continued to route data through AT&T’s routers, even as it became perfectly clear that AT&T was copying all the data as it went by for analysis by the government.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 08 Nov 2007 @ 07:02 AM

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Party!

 
 05 Nov 2007 @ 6:19 PM 

The comfort food party went very well. Mashed potatoes and pot roast disappeared like they weren’t even there. Plenty of ham soup for leftovers this week. Yum.

And, the secret dessert can now be revealed. It’s an orange chiffon cake, with mocha butter cream frosting, garnished with sugared rosemary, cranberries, and meringue mushrooms. NovParty_8 It was supposed to have one more sawed-off branch on top, but it was unbalanced and so it went to Alex’s other house with him, along with some meringue mushrooms. He was very happy.

And everyone liked Kat.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 19 Apr 2008 @ 05:26 PM

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 02 Nov 2007 @ 1:00 PM 

From the AltFriday5:

1. What’s in your medicine cabinet? Toothpaste, pepto

2. What’s in your wallet? A tiny amount of cash, ATM card, Driver’s license, 3×5 cards

3. What’s in your bag/briefcase/backpack/purse? The only bag I have is my gear bag, which I only take on trips, so it’s got a video camera, spare batteries, spare tape, digital camera, and epi-pen for the boy.

4. What’s in your glove box? Maintenance records, insurance card, auto documents

5. What’s in your imagination? Can’t wait for work to be over, weekend to start, Kat to arrive, Boy to carve clay at the Chicken Farm, party on Sunday…yeah, active imagination today.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 02 Nov 2007 @ 01:00 PM

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 01 Nov 2007 @ 4:18 PM 

My son, saving the galaxy.  Or something.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 01 Nov 2007 @ 04:18 PM

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