Friday, January 27, 2017

And without a whiff of irony...

Tweets from earlier in the week, courtesy of one of those "alt/rogue government" Twitter feeds:  "We're not going to let politics get in the way of getting the truth out."  Fine, it's still a free country, and unlike the president you should have things other than politicking to do on company time, so it's great to keep them separate whether or not you were being above board.

Tweet from yesterday, from one of those very same feeds:  "...so now we're handing the reins over to some journalists and activists."

Really?  That seems perfectly natural, and you can't hardly be brought even to guess why some people are skeptical of your facts when your actions run this way?

No, I guess you couldn't.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Maybe I just need to get off social media.


Teh stoopidz, it burnz.

I usually skip right over it, but I just spent twenty minutes chasing articles on Twitter looking for some sobriety.  What did I find instead?

Mockery of "deplorables" allegedly griping about the election being rigged and then backing down when a recount is proposed...but when does a faction that wins an election ever complain about corruption and demand recounts--and then, only in swing states they won, and not swing states they lost?  Red flags raised about allegedly alt-right Twitter feeds getting suspended, insinuating it's official and wannabe neo-Nazis who are getting censored but not really showing that it's not just a broad list of people who were reluctant to support Mama Hillary in her time of need, or at least not making it clear that censorship of people you mildly disagree with on some issues is bad no matter who you are.  Some doctored photos and quotes that probably also were doctored showing Obama emitting rainbows and threatening not to be so nice once he stepped down--rhetoric I haven't seen since his '08 campaign, rhetoric that was tellingly absent in '12.  Outrage about Trump doing personal deals and threatening national security, even though he's not in office.  Outrage once again at the failure of the electoral college, where eleven states can cinch the presidency...but somehow it would be okay for politicians to focus on Boswash, Chicago, and L.A., which if they thought it through would be sufficient in a strictly democratic system, because, y'know, this is modern America and we have modern needs.

Again, there's lots of stupid on the other side too, but one point I'm trying to make is these people whose security in social media seems assured don't even recognize the irony (to put it politely) of their concerns. 

And another point?  This is the status quo.  Things aren't any different from what they've been for the last, oh, eight to eighty, maybe even 190, years.  Act appalled all you want--things aren't perfect--but don't act shocked.  This goes for high level politicians as well as hoi polloi who voted for them.

Be mindful of the dangers of taking privileges that you wouldn't like your opponents also taking but in a different direction.  You can hold a tiger by the tail, but you can't hold a snake.


Thursday, December 01, 2016

So, in looking for other things, I found an image similar to the one below with a caption that read something like "Can we stop telling women what to do with their bodies?"

The irony puzzled me.  This wasn't the first piece of evidence I've found that the originator wasn't intellectually all that like most post-theistic "life is a tool and we are its master" types think they are, but it didn't seem like the most insightful juxtaposition.

So, a word to the wise:


This might be a picture of a girl, but it is not a woman's body.

Bodily autonomy is not the answer that cinches it for abortion.  It is the question.

You and we might be talking about issues that are related, but they are not one and the same issue.  Both sides need to be reminded of this from time to time.  And then we can actually have a discussion.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Some wisdom from Dan Lane, commenting over at According to Hoyt:
Why with all that extra time… [saved by having students memorize knowledge] You could actually *teach* instead of indoctrinate. ... Ah, heck, we can’t be having that, now can we?
Indeed not. Children who learn their lessons are harder to lie to. Children who are afforded a richer education for having memorized important/useful facts before they are mature enough to discern them from raw data and first principles are also going to be harder to confuse and mislead. In a word, they will be less gullible sheep than what our would-be betters would prefer to "take care of." Instead of just checking your kid's homework and making sure it's done and hopefully resisting the urge to "edit" the occasional mistake to make sure he gets a good grade, look at the curriculum itself. See what they're teaching and see what they're not teaching. Keep in mind that the weird things you see and the weird gaps you don't are not all just pedagogical fads.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

To be fair, I don't think highly of any of the candidates in a lot of ways; nor will I claim that they are without merit...

...but I do wonder, with the lousy "why can't they both lose?" and "they're obviously just different brands of the same party" candidates we've had the past several years: How many of the neocons, the fiscal conservatives who were socially liberal, who migrated Rightward in or around the 90s, were actually setting up a false flag operation that is coming to fruition today?

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Deceptive juxtaposition

I wonder if it's just where I work.

A few years ago I moved from a red state to a blue state.  The area I live in is in many ways like where I used to be, so it's easy for me to use the mental shorthand of thinking I'm in one of those place where it's actually a mostly red state that is overcompensated by some large, ultraviolet population centers, but then someone says something that I'm shocked to hear when I'm not on the Internet.

I may have mentioned a certain coworker before; nice young lady, smart, talks about how she grew up in a conservative redneck family--and they have their issues, I won't knock her that--and then how she got to college and her eyes were opened.  I appreciate her somewhat hipster taste in restaurants and breweries in the area, but I couldn't help teasing her once about professors saying "Didn't you know everything your parents taught you was a lie?" with a straight face.

Totally lost on her.  But also only tangent to my point.

She's a minority amongst the abortion supporters I cross pass with these days.  She likes to talk about how going to third world countries to "teach them about" contraception and abortion would be a great way to help bring education to women and bring their country to modernity.

The majority?  In the abstract, I hear talk about the real hardship cases, how it's a necessary last resort for lonely and helpless women in a real bind.

In the concrete, however, "real hardship" is a little nebulous.  One suggested a few weeks ago mandatory abortion for pregnant women who contract zika.  Another said to me that if she found out her teenaged daughter was pregnant, they'd immediately take a trip to Planned Parenthood; no discussion, no negotiation, no consideration for alternatives.  "So much for being a choice," I said.  "No!  She's not old enough to know what comes with motherhood!"  That argument would have gone in a different direction if her teenaged daughter weren't just hypothetical, but I did notice a pattern.

There's a lot of talk about the hardship cases.  But mostly there's a lot of people who want to preserve some right to a certain lifestyle, and they're willing to destroy real civil rights to get there.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Try again, Hulu, Microsoft, whoever you are....

Okay, so I was going to post some gripes a few weeks ago about how Hulu replaced the Favorites list with the Watchlist, because now it was mixing all the shows I want to watch with shows I no longer want to watch (either because I didn't like them after a few episodes or because the show had ended) all in a non-list format that was harder to apprehend in a glance.

It seemed I had to click on the shows I did want to watch every few weeks to see if there was an actual new episode, and then dig around to make sure the episode that started playing by default was the earliest unwatched episode or just the most recent one.  Turns out I only have to read the green flags in the corners of the show icons a little more closely to figure that out--admittedly there's no good way for Hulu to know if I stop watching a show after ten minutes because I don't like it or because I got interrupted--but defaulting to the latest episode after I've missed three is really bad functionality, and I still have to dig to find it how soon or how long ago an episode would have expired.  I used to be able to see all that at a glance, Hulu.  I'd understand if you were pelting me with more show suggestions to try to get me to watch more things, like how grocery stores put dairy in the back to maximize the number of people who have to walk past the largest amount of product, but that's not the experience they're giving me.

It also took me a while to figure out how to get the shows I'm done with off my Watchlist, but I'm still wondering about all the defunct shows I never got around to watching that didn't make the transfer.  Maybe I'm getting too old for technology, but I don't think that explains why Primer is still on there, but "The Aviators" isn't.

Lately I've also seen a similar change in the functionality to the programs I use at work, and it seems to be based on some aesthetic that is not the convenience of the user.  Why is it that when I edit a file and go to save it, Windows defaults the save location to the last place I saved a file of that type, instead of where the file already exists?  This was a problem developers solved in the 1980s.

And, Adobe?  You're guilty, too.  Let me turn off that infernal tool menu that pops up with every PDF I open and takes up a third of my window, and if you're going to bury commonly used functions under five levels of clicking instead of two, let me customize my toolbar and put it there, all right?