Maxims, rules of thumb and other observations on human cognition and sociocultural affectations

This will be added to on an irregular basis...
  • What is said to humans directly is received with skepticism and considered with dubiousness while that which is heard in passing, especially that which most conforms to their mentality or prejudices, is readily believed.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive latency between exposure to new information or experiences and the ability to think dispassionately and intellectually about it.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive spectrum starting with the moment of exposure to new information or experiences and ending with some point at which the thing is effectively "in the past" for them.
  • This cognitive spectrum is linked to the emotional process often referred to as shock, anger, denial and acceptance.
  • The more and faster information or experiences are presented to people and the closer the quarters and the lesser the distance between people, the more their early reactions in the passionate emotional stage are reflected back to them in the manner of responses to those reactions from others in light of those responses.
  • The more outrages which are suffered without sufficient time to allow emotional bleed-off, the farther the bar for subsequent reaction and outrage are pushed, and the more further events must progress before reaction and outrage.
  • It is possible for serious detriments to eventually sit below this threshold for long enough for their damaging effects to build and multiply until their entire society undergoes some reactive convulsion.
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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Am I prescient or just playing the odds?

In this Slashdot post of mine...

Is it just irrational hatred of Microsoft (Score:5, Insightful)
by suitepotato (863945) on Wednesday July 27, @04:55PM (#13179959)

that drives this neverending fascination with fluff non-news about where Linux is being used or is it to cover up and draw attention away from poor Windows skills, or both?

I think both.

I may use Linux but that doesn't mean I care to hear about every single place, thing, entity, etc. that uses some iteration of Linux. Nor do I need to hear endless fawning over Steve Jobs and Apple and OSX as if it was going to bring spiritual salvation.

Fer crissakes people, it's just an operating system. It's not giving you longer life, making you smarter, conferring beauty and handsomeness on you, or sleeping with you (although I'm sure there's some geeks looking to cyberneticize a real doll with Linux and report on it here). I really think we need to get a grip here at Slashdot when it comes to Linux.

I bet if my mother started using Linux at work and my company stopped using BSD it would get rave reviews and seven hundred replies in a day and a half. Meanwhile, there's actual apps being written that do amazing things running ON various OSes and we're too busy short-stroking to see the forest for the trees.
--If my grammar and spelling are off, I am [distracted/tired/careless] (take your pick)

...I made the observation as to artificial women and geek desire for same. So of course it follows that this very article should pop up right after, referring to this BBC article.

I think this is frightening. Not because I'm prescient, because it really is just good knowledge of geeks and Murphy's Law (support techs all know his law). No, I'm frightened because this is a step back in the progress of geeks. Next thing you know, you can have your own anime girl fuck toy. How much farther behind can furry animatronic mates be for furries?

Meanwhile in the real world...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Kingdom of Loathing Power Up Trick

If you play Kingdom of Loathing, and you know of the money trick, you may not know of the power up trick which works very similarly.

For those who know neither, know this. On certain days, the legenday Ten-Leaf Clover is to be found in the old Hermit's possession. To get any of his items, as you should know from the beginner quest of the Toot Oriole, you need a worthless item from the sewer in the city and a hermit permit from the market in the city as well.

If you find a ten-leaf clover, trade for it and take it to the Cobb's Knob Treasury which is part of the full Cobb's Knob complex that opens to you when you reach level 5 and then visit the city council. Every time you visit the treasury with a ten-leaf clover, you automatically get a single Dense Meat Stack which sells for 1,000 meat.

Sell the dense meat stack and you get 1,000 meat with which to buy more Chewing-Gum-n-a-Strings from the market so you can adventure at the sewer for a chance at a worthless item. For every worthless item you get and mean to trade, you need one hermit permit. It's a one to one relationship for trading. Gather say ten of these pairs and you then trade them for ten-leaf clovers to then take to the treasury for dense meat stacks which would net you 10,000 meat.

Mind you, if you get other things, some can be useful. A ten-leaf clover and a Casino Permit brought to the Money Making Game at the Thatched Roof Casino on the Wrong Side of Town will get you a Rock. Make one Meat Paste for ten meat for each pairing you need to do and you can use the Seal-Clubbing Club and Seal Tooth from the sewer. First combine the rock and the tooth to get a Seal-Toothed Rock and then combine the seal-toothed rock with the seal clubbing club to get Bjorn's Hammer which is not a bad weapon at the lower levels.

Of course Spices from the sewer when cooked with Dry Noodles by sufficiently advanced Pastamancers who own a E-Z Cook Oven or a Chef-in-the-Box at their campsite get you Spicy Noodles.

But I digress.

Once you can pull the money making trick, you might wish to try the power up trick. If you've managed to get Spooky Grow Fertilizer and a Spooky Sapling, you use the fertilizer and the sapling will grow in the Distant Woods to open up the Hidden Temple.

The Hidden Temple is a slightly risky way of building stats. No monsters are found there, but instead you have various challenges which are engaged automatically every time you adventure in the temple. Most of the time you will have a very good chance of winning and gaining 10 or more points to a sub-stat contributing to Moxie, Mysticality, or Muscle. You could also lose a number of Hit Points or Mana Points temporarily (until you rest at the campsite).

If you adventure with a ten-leaf clover in your inventory however, you always get three challenges, one for each category of stat, and you always win. Each adventure costs you one ten-leaf clover. So far, I've found that you get about one full stat point for every three ten-leaf clover adventures you do at the temple. As you may notice, the higher your level the more you need of your primary stat point to reach the next level. Therefore, on ten-leaf clover days in the game, provided you aren't hurting for money, you might want to instead build up clovers to use at the temple to build yourself towards the next level quicker.

Note that it doesn't necessarily mean you will summarily kick all ass. You still stand a good chance of monsters at the Friar's Gate and Catacombs beating you down fiercely and easily. But it will help you carry more powerful weapons as you find them or buy them from your clan with saved karma.

One other note. If while adventuring in the Spooky Woods to get the fertilizer and sapling you manage to get a lot of Wooden Stakes and Bar Skins, combine them using meat paste to get a bar skin tent and simply use it which will put it at your campground. It adds more hit points and mana points when you rest than the Newbiesport Tent from the market. You can also combine Spooky Shrunken Heads with Spooky Sticks to get Spooky Staffs which when combined with Wooden Stakes will get you a Scarecrow for your campground. So don't let things go to waste that you get while adventuring to gain entry to do these tricks.

Good luck, fellow adventurer.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Fedora Core 3 and Logitech QuickCam Chat

I bought a couple of these as presents for my wife and myself. Windows drivers were no problem. Linux on the other hand...

Well, after a lot of searching, I found exactly what I needed. If you use Fedora Core 3 and maybe even 4, I don't at this moment so I do not know, you can follow these simplified instructions to get this particular webcam up and running under Linux. Read the README file that comes with the following driver for a list of compatible cameras.

First, you need to go to this site.

Second, you need to get this package.

Third, you need to open up a terminal window.

Fourth, you need to be logged in as root or just act like it so...

[suitepotato@fedbox2 ~]$ su -
[root@fedbox2 ~]#

Now you need to unzip the file. If you're in Gnome then File Roller should do the job nicely. Extract the entire folder spca5xx-20050701 and then...

[root@fedbox2 ~]# cd /home/suitepotato/spca5xx-20050701
[root@fedbox2 spca5xx-20050701]#

Now you need to build it and install it. Plug in the webcam and so...

[root@fedbox2 spca5xx-20050701]# make
(insert a lot of stuff from the machine here)
[root@fedbox2 spca5xx-20050701]# make install
(insert a lot more stuff from the machine here)
[root@fedbox2 spca5xx-20050701]# modprobe spca5xx
[root@fedbox2 spca5xx-20050701]# modprobe videodev

Fedora Core 3 took the Logitech QC Chat model camera fine with just this proceedure and Gnome video conferencing now shows my ugly mug to me. Sweet.

Now if only Yahoo would port their webcam viewing goodness to the Linux version of their instant messenger...


Google Ad Whore? No, just basic opportunism...

So I added Google Ads to my blog. Why not? They host it, they should make some money too. And if I make a little bit on the side, would that be so bad?