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Friday, June 29, 2012

Comment Forum Litmus Test

In order to gauge where you stand when making forum comments, here's a guide:

Comment Forum Litmus Test -

If your comments target the article, you're a conversation participant.

If your comments target a participant, you're a forum troll.

If you've resorted to name-calling, you're a forum troll.

If you're nitpicking another participant's comments, you're a forum troll.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Future Vision - We become the computer

The inevitable, in the mid-term, will be voice recognition to replace the keyboard while still using touch for commands too complicated to easily utter, like zooming and rotating on a particular part of a photo, for example. In time, even that will become a voice option as crucial command language evolves.

Beyond voice is integrated cerebral electrography where a device, or at least its interface, becomes part of the human anatomy, either worn or surgically integrated, and reads thought commands through the appropriate technology.

Beyond that, who knows, but I would offer this, that a receiver/receptor could be integrated with our bodies, probably a simply worn or skin-integrated device, which will not only allow us to upload our desired commands to a central HAL-like device, but will also present us with visual augmentation that allows us to see information we request with our own eyes, appearing before us as if we were inside the display panel. It might even go so far as to allow a dual mode, where we get cyber-augmentation in the form of business information displayed in our open-eyed vision right on the building itself as we see it, but also to be able to have a closed-eyed vision capable of giving us things like spreadsheets or presentations, or even games and movies, that we either verbally command through the HAL-unit, or possibly command our interface to display locally on a physical display or on the inside of our eyelids, an eyelid-display if you will.

Imagine the gaming experience with THAT!

And beyond THAT, an interface that allows us to tap into the unused processing power within our own brains.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jerry Sandusky, Roger Clemens, Pete Rose, and Tonya Harding

What do the 4 "athletes" above have in common? Bad behavior!

Since the early-80s and my time in college, I have felt that college athletics have taken too large a chunk of many schools' budgets. I realize that some schools reap a profit from athletics, too. But college is supposed to be about academics, not sports. There's nothing wrong with having football or any other sport at colleges and universities, but sports should never be the focus of the school, as it so often is. 

Here in the South, football is a way of life for many. It seems that most associate a university's name solely with the sport and if asked about its academic programs, one gets a blank stare, as if you'd asked God's middle name or the Speaker of the House of their state legislature. Total...vacuum.

In high schools here in the South, it's not at all unusual for a coach to pick up the phone on Monday morning and get a star athlete out of trouble with the law. These are going to be Captains of Industry, not jail fodder. That's what poor people who can't afford to play football are for. So they get poor-but-pretty cheerleaders knocked up. Well, you know, wink wink, boys will be boys...

I see these guys in executive positions in companies whose staffs are filled with people imminently more qualified to fill the Athlete's shoes than the former sports star ever will be. I've worked for these Athletes. They make great parrots, regurgitating any information given them (and given them, and given them, and...), but haven't had an original idea, or at least one they haven't stolen from their staff, since they came to the company. Trophy hires. So they get the poor-but-pretty clerk knocked up. Well, you know, wink wink, boys will be boys. But let's keep this quiet from his wife...OK? We'll just keep that between the two of us and I'll owe you one. But, of course, if you should ever try to cash that chip in, you'll get your ass fired so fast you'll think the building exploded.

Because there are two tiers of civilization in Football, USA. There are Athletes, and then there is Everyone Else. Those Athletes have important contributions to (steal and pretend to) make that will benefit (the wealthy guy who owns the company). They'll play golf on Wednesday afternoons (and the good Prosperity Christian boss told me to lie and say they're with another client) and leave early on Fridays...if they show up at order to get out on the boat a little early. Gotta have that tan in order to make the new suit look good and, really, isn't it all about looks, anyway? 

Of course, there are also the Little Folk, aka Everyone Else. Mr Athlete gets pulled over for 85 in a school zone, well...wink wink...Have fun out on the links! Mr Little Folk does 57 in a 55 and gets a ticket, a fine, points on his license, and maybe traffic school. And that's how it SHOULD be because God Wills It. Yep, God's a Prosperity Christian, too. Pretty sure! I mean, he gave us the win on Saturday and that always makes everyone a little more...shall we say 'tithe-ful'...on Sunday. And by "everyone" I mean the Little Folk. Because Mr Athlete gets a pass on anything extra in the collection plate until such time that it can be made into a Big Deal...and then the local paper will be there to write up a fine article about how Mr Athlete dug deep (a whole extra .01% of his salary, dontcha know!) and there were photos taken, and of course, it was announced that the new annex will be named after him. Yeah yeah yeah, don't go on about all the extra money the Little Folk have put in the plate all these years before this...I mean...hell, they're not important anyway...right? 

Besides, Mr Athlete needs the spotlight to shine a little less on his personal life right now what with all those unpleasantries being said about the kids popping up that bear a striking resemblance to him...but not his wife.
So, yeah. Damn right! It's sports for me, buddy. You take your faggy smart self back to your cubicle...but leave that proposal here with me. I'll take care of that, don't you worry your poor noggin one lil bit. Wink wink!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Heere Bee Dragons!

I have so much respect for my fellow veterans, but after a recent comment forum exchange, I realize that many of them are as duped by Christo-Fascism as non-veterans. 

When did this country become so partisan? Personally, I lay much of the blame on country music artists. People like Hank Williams, Jr. sought not to broaden horizons for those they entertained but to narrowly focus them - using the most insidious way they could: entertainment - on how different they were from "city folk". 

I know it's not all one-sided, either. Let me start by saying that in my 54 years, I've lived about equally between some of the world's largest cities, and some pretty rural areas. Still, I know people who think that if you live in a rural area, you deserve not to have high-speed internet, cable TV, or any of the other luxuries afforded to urban dwellers. However, if you point out that, using the same logic, they don't deserve food, fresh water, or building resources including wood and metals, they come back that living in rural areas is a choice. That's true, it is. But does that mean that we shouldn't expect to enjoy modernity? Really?

The difference that I've found is this:  The city dwellers tend to focus on a single individual. Yeah, they might make fun of yokels, but hey, even we ruralistas make fun of them. But the country folk tend to paint with a much broader brush. I don't know many city dwellers who haven't traveled and visited rural areas. OK, I don't know ANY who haven't. But I know TONS of rural folk who have never done anything more than pass quickly through a city, or have made a flying trip into one, such as Atlanta, and got out as quickly as possible. How does that qualify someone to make sweeping generalizations about city dwellers? Well, it doesn't.

Back in the Age of Disco, people like Hank Williams, Jr. made a living by rousing the rabble. He made it sound like any country dweller could be thrown into the wild and thrive, when the reality is that most of them wouldn't make it any longer than a city dweller would; Winn Dixie isn't legal game.

Add to that that the GOP had an epiphany concerning connecting itself to the rising, mainly rural, religious fundamentalism movement and which noticed entertainers like Williams in the mix, and it was the perfect storm. Fueling that was the end of the millennium approaching which signaled to some the return of Jesus Christ and it wound up being a maelstrom that swept the hickest, bubba-est, beer-drinking-est, church-going-est idiots into the limelight, and eventually even the White House.

The GOP knew that, despite what they preached on Sundays, love doesn't sell, but hate would fill their coffers, their churches, and their desired elected offices.

And here we are. Today, we all seem to fall in one of these three camps: Normal, Left-leaning, or Heere Bee Dragons!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Where's our Hunter S Thompson?

The problem isn't socialists or socialism. The problem is the fully-grown fascist movement in America, where former-conservatives have capitulated to the Tea Party Taliban any notion that accommodates common sense. And it's an Oroborous movement where the head - Newton "Mittens" Romulan - eats the tail and regurgitates the same shit that every other ditto-head before him has espoused. Listen to any conservative and you've listened to every conservative because they have NO IDEAS! None. So what passes for Repubi-Christo-Fascist policy can adequately be described as 'Same shit, different candidate'. In fact, the introduction of any new idea is frowned upon, UNLESS the idea is so whackadoodle crazy that Lyndon LaRouche would have to move right to find the political center under it. Logic and common decency have been held hostage by a gun-nut fringe that demands the first born of democracy and compassion. 

We have to deal with them now and goddamnit, we need our own Hunter S Thompson. Matt Taibbi and Ezra Klein have been fending off the forces of the Dark Side for us, but we need a knight, a champion. Taibbi could pull it off if he could get on the main stage but the bastards know that and won't let him.

We'll see what tomorrow and the recall of Scott Walker brings, but I hear the rusty gates of Mordor opening and I fear the Riding of the Wargs.