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, April 27, 2006

I must be taking crazy pills

I must be taking crazy pills
As the gas prices in the USA continue to rise, the political hot air does too. More deadly than a methane clathrate release, this hot air seems to be headed for doing what the sun cannot, and that is slowly baking us to death. Ideal time to be a Montgolfier if you can get close enough to collect some.

I listened to NP(Z)R and their All (NO) Things (Logic) Considered. I watched the nightly network news. I listened to the radio. I read the newspaper. I threw up in my mouth.

IS ANYFUCKINGONE ACTUALLY THINKING LOGICALLY AND CLEARLY AT ALL??? I feel like Mugatu in Zoolander being the only one noticing that every one of Derek Zoolander’s looks is the same one look.

  1. Oil Prices
    We’re not out of oil, we’re not running low, and we’re not running into problems getting to it and recovering it. We’re watching yet another market manipulation by OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing nations no different than the so-called energy crisis (that never was) of the 70s when we had even-odd license plate number rationing.If you believe the news, the shortage is being purposely caused by “Big Oil”, which in all cases is defined as strictly American oil companies.

  2. Additives
    We’re requiring additives, neither of which are in proper supply, and given the long term supply picture and well known seasonal variations, the suppliers don’t have much of a choice on pricing.We could stop requiring the additives and eliminate a big chunk of the problem and you would think a looming economic disaster as a result of this collective unfunded mandate-a-thon on the people would spur someone to consider it. Well, you’d think that if you were maybe something other than a human from this point in history. The present inhabitants don’t notice this simplicity.

  3. EPA Regulations
    Thanks to a congress that has for decades ignored the Constitution and simply delegated their authority away to various executive branch agencies which should not be a problem in the first place since those delegations are to enforce and dream up new regulations which neither branch should be doing under the theory of “government being the lesser competent of the two, the other being the people, they should do as little as possible”, we have an environmentally unhealthy obsession with fact and science free environmentalism where we make up regulations based on politics and not on science and logic. This didn’t work for Mao with the Chinese agricultural system and it won’t work for us.

    We have allowed the EPA and the various state environmental agencies to make a simple cost benefit analysis on the subject of renovation of oil refineries to modern EPA standards something so simple, your dog could do it. I’ll spoil it so don’t wait for the cable version: it’s pure profit due to ever increasing demand and obviously decreasing supply to close them down and pure loss to comply.

  4. Consumption
    Unless you’re working out of your home, chances are you have to drive to work. I know of no business that wraps its schedule around some group of ninnies’ idiocy about the environment which is becoming yet again one of those lies that people always fall for like “it’s for the children”, “it’s to stop terrorism”, “the check’s in the mail”, and “I won’t come in your mouth”.

    Also, since we are becoming more affluent, we are more and more being able to afford to drive to work. If you live within walking distance of work, you either work out of the house or you have a really low end job for all places outside of downtown Manhattan and working in Manhattan can be its own punishment anyhow.

    We cannot simply stop driving to work, build ninety mile subway systems, knock down thousands of houses to put in new rail systems, infringe at will on others’ freedoms simply in the name of theories and social engineering.

  5. TAXES
    Goodness knows we already pay too much money so the government can bribe us to vote them back in with our own money. In ancient days, robber barbarians noted that if they didn’t totally sack the agrarians, they could sack them just a little each year and then later on sack them a constant basis in return for not actually sacking them in the classic sense. You paid them to protect you from other robber bandits which they’d do anyways since you were their livestock, and if you didn’t they’d sack you themselves.

    Thus was born government and other protection rackets.

    One of their wonderful slow blood lettings is to hit us for money at the pumps every single time. Federal and state, there are taxes on the gas which serve only to make the situation worse.The government would have it that if it eliminated the taxes that it would be like a shoe horn and have done its job of expanding your wallet enough for that extra room freed up by the tax elimination to be taken up with increased oil company profits. The average consumer is apparently just stupid enough to believe this.

The best the politicians can do is to scream at each other and scream at American oil companies. They pose idiocy such as INCREASED taxes (SAY FUCKING WHAT?!) to force a change in consumption (as if you have a choice in driving to work or roller skating instead), INCREASING the ethanol/etc. blend requirements as if the supply problem that already exists at lower demand levels will magically eliminate itself and supply twice as much additives as they already cannot, TAXING the oil companies and thus giving a big FUCK YOU to countless Americans whose 401K plans invest in those companies, and giving you a $100 rebate check which at the current rate of increase will fill a single SUV in southern California in about one week from now.

Solutions are obvious. Eliminate as many taxes as possible on the gas in this country and give fair warning that taxes on the oil and gasoline companies will follow in retribution should they take up the slack by jacking up the price. Relax the regulations and declare an emergency and stop requiring additives that are in short supply and do everything possible to encourage increasing refinery capacity rather than discouraging it with insane environmental policies which make no sense because as a whole, they are dragging us to economic and social collapse and collapsed societies no longer care about the environment; they only care about survival and that means fuck the environment.

I keep hearing Princess Leia’s words in my ears about the tighter the grip and all. We seem to be locked into a crazy world of crazy people who are truly believing against all logic to the contrary that their actions will the opposite of what logic dictates. Counterproductivity. Inefficiency. Misdirection. Self-delusion. We’re drowning in a sea of idiocy and believing it’s holy water. If only it were gasoline.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

What an Easter

What an Easter…
     So, was I the only gentile in a 2-1 Jewish home who got the double holiday?

     It began on Good Friday with my wife telling me about the weekend special dinner. I replied, “we’re not having naked horny guys with furry goat legs over for dinner.” She of course screamed, “that’s seder, s-e-d-e-r, NOT satyr!”

     Yeah, I knew, but it’s a yearly tradition. The only bitter herb I know was on WKRP and she threatened to throw a bottle of horseradish at me.

     So anyhow, we watched The Ten Commandments. Twice. Two different versions. I was aghast at the realistic portrayal of violence in the newer version, and at the future people of Israel being led around by the president of the National Rifle Association in the older one.

     My wife as is her skill waited until the last second to put up the roast, and then kicked it into maximum. Inside of two hours, it was about as tough as an old carpet and about as tasty. All oils had been removed and now encircled the meat in the cooker and the moisture boiled off like spit on an Arizona highway in July.

     Overcooked beef, beef drippings, water, crock pot and seasonings… beef soup.

     We couldn’t afford a lamb bone. Oh well. We couldn’t find candles until the second day of Hanukkah either. I think we got our Christmas tree up within a week of the day and bought Halloween handout candy on October 31.

     (insert rolling eyes emoticon here)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Odds n Ends

Odds n’ Ends
     Well, over this weekend a lot of things got done, and a lot of other things did not. Most importantly, the much needed cleaning and renovation did not. After the mortgage payment, there’s not much left over. Here’s hoping a family member moves back home with some money to kickstart things.

     What also did not get done was to find a good adoptive home for the five brand new kittens gracing our place. Well, sort of new. Old enough to eat like voracious… things that eat a lot. Beautiful gray tigers and one black kitten. Need to get to the vet to get some referrals to adoption centers she trusts. Don’t want them going to some asshole to use to train fighting dogs.

     What got done was my decision to move past shock, anger, and denial at the loss of data on an ext3 Linux partition holding my main Fedora Core 3 workstation’s data. I’ve used that box and abused that box for a year, but I made the spectacularly bad decision to remove an old unused Windows XP Home partition and move and resize the Linux partition using Partition Commander. Should have used Qtparted from a Knoppix boot CD instead. Managed to fuck things up so bad that between fdisk, parted, and fsck nothing could be done to retrieve it.

     This experience did teach me though that the majority of that partition was Linux stuff. Stuff that I installed as part of the full DVD install with everything including the onions, chilli, and the kitchen sink. I lost some PGP keys which I probably backed up to someplace or not. I lost some source code from dozen projects that I can resurrect from memory and improve on them when I do. I lost pr0n that I can download again anytime I want to get aMule up and running again.

     Now into acceptance phase, I decided to go back to experimenting. The FC3 boot disk will allow an FTP/HTTP install no problem. The FC5 disk not. WTF?! Hmmm… I shut down and swap out the cheap CNET Ethernet adapter with a 3Com which I have a case or two of on hand and suddenly the install goes right.

     I went out to do some shopping like buying a cheap USB2.0 external HD case to make use of a spare 40GB drive I had on hand which came with a used Dell into which instead went an 80GB drive from the previous Fedora box which had received a 250GB drive before it was rebuilt from Windows to Linux. When I got back, most of the network install was completed.

     Things like Really Slick Screensavers don’t want to install due to dependency Hell issues, but sooner or later I’ll manage. The new gnome-screensavers paradigm requires a .desktop file and a .xml file to go with each screensaver. Though I did find a nice way to make the skyrocket screensaver my desktop backround. I can get them on my box, just not where the screensaver preferences tchotchke will notice them, and yes, they’ve been copied to the right places and the .sh migration script run. Oh yeah, the new Gnome interface in FC5 doesn’t allow advanced manipulation of the settings for each screen saver. No advanced tab. Not as my normal login and not as root either.

     Oh well.

     I got the WinXPPro box to work, fileshare to work, and the USB external HD. Now I can shovel things about without problems.

     Meanwhile, the anti-stress pills prescribed for me after a stint at the hospital for chest pains are only making be drowsy and dizzy, not lowering my stress level. No, my heart is fine. Supposedly. Docs bombarded me with radiation and hooked up wires to my nipples, I felt so damn kinky. I was still pulling those sticky tabs off parts of me for two days.

     I should, if I can find the interest, start writing more.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

VMWare Works

Well, after you spend two days fighting with Windows XP Pro to get that set up right to where you need and want it. Once that is out of the way, no problem.

So far I've gotten CentOS and Ubuntu to work and am going after Fedora Core 5. Windows tchotchke apps and Linux open source stuff all at once. I am in nerdvana...