Saturday, December 7, 2013
I've seen a couple of rants recently complaining about people on welfare. Seems to me we are a little confused. We put all this energy into being more productive, we make big investments in automation in order to relieve ourselves of the drudgery of repetitive manual labor so that we could have more leisure time, and now that we have made those investments and we no longer need people to spend all their time slaving away at repetitive manual labor we are unhappy that people are sitting around and watching daytime TV. Well, WTF did you expect? You eliminate the great majority of unskilled jobs. We don't need that many engineers. One engineer with a pencil can easily replace a hundred men with shovels. The whole point was to eliminate drudgery and now that we've done it, you're complaining about it. STFU.
Oh, I understand the complaint. We built this nation on the Protestant work ethic, work hard and you will be rewarded, and here we are busting our collective asses at some thankless job, and all these welfare queens are sitting around eating bon-bons and jabbering away with their "friends and neighbors". Okay, maybe they aren't eating bon-bons, maybe they're eating potato chips and drinking diet pop. Doesn't matter. The point is they are idle, they are not working, and they are leading the Life of Reilly.
So we basically have it backwards. Instead of expecting everyone to get a job and work hard and let the chips fall where they may, we should just put everyone on the dole, and hand out jobs only to those people who really want to work. If you are on the dole, you have no worries, you can sit around all day and watch TV (or be on TV!), and for some people, maybe even most, that might be enough. But there is going to be a certain percentage for whom that is not enough, who will want something more, and for them we can offer the possibility of getting a job.
The funny thing is, we need the masses of do-nothings, because to keep them fed, housed, clothed and entertained, we need mass production. Without the enormous demand they create, we wouldn't need all the automation we have, and we would be back where we were a couple of hundred years ago. With handcrafted, one a kind implements for every task.
All in all, I suppose this isn't really any different than what we actually have. It's just that you should be thanking the welfare queens for not working instead of complaining about them. You can if you want. I won't. I am going to keep grumbling.
Friday, December 6, 2013
The St. Nicholas’s Day Guide to Punching Heretics
Oh, yes, there are rules:
1. Remember, St. Nick only got patristic on Arias’s hind-quarters because he stood up in council and started going on and on about Christ’s non-divinity and wouldn’t stop – so, Pow! Right in the kisser. Tempting though it might be to go out on the streets to smack some heretics around, that’s right out. Fortunately, you will not lack for appropriate targets even with this restriction.
2. So, as you contemplate where to start among heretics in the church who deny essential doctrine and won’t shut up, it is important to remember to keep your wrist solid and in alignment with the bones of your forearm. Heretic heads tend to be very hard and dense, so you run a serious risk of breaking several small but important bones in your hands if you do not follow proper punching technique.
3. You’re looking at a busy day ahead. All in all, it would probably be a good idea to get a corner man to tape you up. A cut man probably wouldn’t be amiss, as there’s some chance you might come across a heretic that doesn’t fold like an accordion file at the first hint of pain. They’re rare, but out there, and they can be feisty. But always remember: God is in your corner.
4. At the first sign of retraction, you’ve got to stop. No, really – this is brotherly correction, here. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, and all that. That said, we have it on good authority I just made up that a *few* extra shots would likely be considered heat of the moment venial sins at worse, so don’t let scruples unduly curb your righteous fervor.
5. We must be careful not to scandalize the faithful. If you are physically unable to deck a given heretic with a single clean shot, perhaps you should stick to argument and leave the physical discipline to St. Nick style manly men. An exception is made, of course, for the complementary sex: Gals, if you’ve got one of those round house slaps in you, have at ‘em!
Lernstift Handwriting Recognition Pen
Well, that's what they claim it will be able to do, if and when they get around to building one. From the number of buzzwords packed into this piece I'm wondering if they have even made a prototype, or whether this is just vaporware.
It does have the advantage of doing away with the keyboard, though I am not sure that this is altogether a good thing. I mean, didn't we come up with the keyboard because the pen was so much work? I'm not sure my kids even know how to write in cursive,
I cannot think of a worse application for Linux. I think this is a case of microprocessor buzzword injection phenomena, although they labeled the computer as a "mini". Last time I saw a mini computer it was the size of refrigerator. And why do they need WiFi? Maybe because their pen will not have enough processor power to perform handwriting recognition on it's own.
I suppose that if you could combine this pen with a system that could project icons in your field of view (Google glass can do that, right?) you could have a truly wearable computer. This might be a challenge for the RF engineers (in order to maintain enough bandwidth on enough channels), though they seem to be able to handle a room full of cell phones without any trouble.
Via Posthip Scott.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
TIME Magazine has a new website called Swampland. Did I miss something? Have the lunatics taken over the asylum? Or maybe the sane people have booted the crazies out? I thought TIME was all about serious discussion, not the crass tabloid crap that makes American politics look like a swamp. Or maybe they just realized where they are and have made peace with it. I dunno, maybe I have been so accustomed to American political double-speak that when something approaching the truth appears it just throws me.
Anchor Handling Tug Jasco 4 & cook Harrison Odjegba Okene
Reading yesterday's paper at lunch today (because the paper doesn't come every day anymore) and I see this story about a guy who was rescued after spending three days trapped in a tugboat that had sunk in 100 feet of water. Wow! That's amazing. But then I see that this happened six months ago, so why are we hearing about it now? Because now we have video. None of the current stories gave a good account of the event, but I found a good one in the Telegraph from shortly after it happened.
There are still a couple of things that are not too clear, like the bit about all the other crew members being locked in their cabins, and whether the tug was towing something or simply manouvering, and how big are your anchors if you need a dedicated tugboat for handling them?
The area is awash with oil industry vessels and platforms.
Tank biathlon is a mechanized kind of sport invented by the Russian Military. It is supposed to utilize the complex training of tank crews including their rough terrain passing skills combined with the ability to provide accurate and rapid fire whilst on-route. - Wikipedia
I came across this picture a few months ago but I didn't realize it was called a tank biathlon, even though that was the filename of the image. Today I came across a news report that mentioned it and a YouTube video. The video is kind of long and is full of people speaking Russian, but there are some good scenes of tanks in action here and there.