Flyin' Dandy

Electoral College Hijinks: NOT GONNA HAPPEN

The only conceivable way that electoral college hijinks could prevent a Trump Presidency (however brief it turns out to be), from happening is if Texas electors come to believe that there is a conspiracy among Florida electors in cahoots with Republican electors from several other states to vote for Jeb Bush, and in retaliation, the Texas electors defect in significant numbers for Rick Perry. And simultaneously, perhaps, some Utah electors defect for Evan McMullin. So... if enough paranoid Texans defect for Perry, and enough paranoid Floridians defect for Bush, the combined efforts would then send the top three vote getters to CONGRESS. So, there would be Trump with 269 or fewer electoral college votes, Clinton with 232 and either Bush or Perry with who knows... 20 or so?

Whichever Republican can ring enough phones in the next week to get 20 electors to defect has a decent shot at the White House, for real. Is there any chance that the Republicans would go for this? Any? NONE WHATSOEVER. It is pure folly. It's freakin' Monkeyshines! They would go from having a President who lost the popular vote by 2,700,000 votes (and counting) to having a Usurper who was put in place by Congress. EVEN CONGRESS WOULD NOT WANT THIS. And there is a good chance that if it went to Congress, Congress would install Trump ANYWAY. This Electoral College Hijinks Nonsense is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Hope I'm wrong!

Out of Control Advice

Sometimes advice takes a very bad form. People get "stuck" on certain things, and these things spiral out of control. An analogy would be how in society, a police state can form out of bad or misinformation. All problems lead to the same answer: More police. Crime is up! More police! Crime is down! The police are working, MORE POLICE! Crime is flat. Better not risk a crime wave, MORE POLICE! No matter what the situation is, the answer, to some people, is MORE POLICE. This really happens with firefighters. Suggest a modest cut in expenditures on firefighting and watch the world explode around you...

There are many places, where this out of control advice loop happens. One of them, that took me ten fucking years to discover is in breadmaking. This is a little different than the "more police" loop. This advice stems from the assumption that you, the baker, are actually a lying, self-deceiving, impatient moron. So, if you say, "My bread is not coming out full and fluffy," everyone will tell you, "let it rise longer." No matter what the problem is, the answer is always that you are impatient. The more you protest, the more people will tell you that the problem is YOU, and that you are a moron and you need to let the bread rise for longer. I was letting bread rise for 24 hours and telling "experts" on the internet that that's what I was doing. And I WAS doing it, and they would respond, "Let it rise for longer."

They were assuming that I was an impatient moron (like they were) and that when I said 24 hours that I was lying, and that I was mixing up hours and minutes or something stupid like that. I wasn't. I was overly patient. I was exactly the opposite of all the impatient morons they had dealt with a hundred times before. They never considered that someone might actually take their advice. Because everyone is an impatient moron. And here's the key... THEY NEVER ACTUALLY TIMED HOW LONG THEY LET THEIR OWN BREAD RISE. They just "figured" that they were letting their bread rise for two hours because it "seemed like" two hours to them. But actually, they were only letting their bread rise for a half hour. So, THEY are the impatient morons, and this advice gets coded into EVERY bread recipe out there.

No one says, "Get a timer, and let your bread rise for 45 minutes." They say, "Well... if I say 45 minutes people will let the bread rise for 15 minutes, so I better say 2 hours so they let it rise for 45 minutes." And that's how the bad advice loop gets rolling.

I managed to uninstall the realtime kernel

I managed to uninstall the realtime kernel and zotz all the old kernels. This morning... New kernel in the update queue! It looked like it was going to reinstall a realtime kernel. I did it just to see. And the update figured out that I don't want a realtime kernel!

$ uname -r

See? Things worked out. Now I have to redo the whole machine and update to 16.04 on a solid state drive. This will require some plumbing. And I am going over to a new monitor too. New monitor, new harddrive, all kinds of new doo-dads. There are a few things I am worried about...

_ getting the scanner to work in the new install
_ the "Super" key
_ my bookmarks
_ gedit script thing-a-ma-bobs

Maybe I should just start from scratch? Screw it! Go for it! That sort of thing. Getting rid of the real time kernel did nothing to stop the crashing... I think it's coming from shockwave, flash and chromium fighting each other. Adobe apparently is angry at the open source world lately.

"Todo" list morphs into rolling failure pile

Does anyone else have a "todo" list that turns into a rolling failure pile? Because a "todo" list is eventually going to accumulate certain types of items. These items are complex, multi-stepped, ambiguous, difficult, and their success or failure have lots of implications. Let's look at a concrete example. I have had, on my todo list, a rolling item for a long time now, maybe six months. I can't get it done, and I can't break it into discrete steps. It appears like this:

_ uninstall realtime kernel

It just rolls from day to day, along with things like "_ get a job" or "_ lose weight." There's no real way to break these things down into discrete steps because "step one" would be something like, "_ overcome overwhelming existential dread and fear" and step two would be, "_ press button." And all these things trigger a cascade of anxiety in my mind, which lead to me looking out helplessly over a wreck half-undone and three-quarters-not-started "projects." But I will try to elucidate "_ uninstall realtime kernel" and why something so seemingly simple is heart attack inducing.

I got this machine seven years ago with ONE idea in my mind. I would use to make multi-track recordings. I would generate "click tracks." Then I would listen to the click track while recording another track. It's pretty simple. That's what I wanted to do. And I have NEVER been able to get it to work. Not for a day, not for an hour. There have been countless positive leads, almost-works, nearly-theres, I think I can I think I can, I KNOW I CAN I KNOW I CAN, and... I can't. But... I THINK I CAN.

One of these missteps was the installation of a "realtime kernel." And I think the realtime kernel is fucking everything else up. But there is no real easy way to uninstall a kernel. Well... there is, sort of, but not, but yes, but this other thing, but if I do it, I could screw up this, or that, or that thing, or maybe I should. Should I? Shouldn't I? I don't know. Maybe? Ehh? What if... and so on and so on and so on. And I am not just typing a random pastiche of thoughts. There are things behind ALL of those. And ALL of the things behind all of those sentiments lead to their own rabbit holes of similar thoughts.

Then I start thinking about other things. And those things are their own endless labyrinths of maybes, possibly, might, kinda, ehh..., I don't know, NO!, maybe sorta...

_ uninstall realtime kernel
  _ uninstall old kernels

There. There is a possible, discrete, first step. What is involved in uninstalling old kernels. I think I have a list of steps somewhere that I have worked out...

dpkg -l | fgrep linux-image- > image_list
   # lists all the kernels (fgrep not necessary, grep works)
uname -r
   # lists the kernel currently running
sudo apt-get purge
   # zotz all the packages you want to zotz
sudo apt-get autoremove
   # Zotz dependencies that are no longer required
sudo update-grub
   # So it doesn't go looking for shit that ain't there. I think this runs automatically.

sudo purge-old-kernels --keep 3

That's something I should do today. It doesn't really help, actually. I will get the list down to two kernels one is the generic kernel and the other is the realtime kernel. The final step SHOULD be to simply eliminate the realtime kernel while the computer is up and running in the generic kernel. But the Linux world is FILLED to the brim with situations like this... That SEEMS like the obvious thing to do. But no one would ever say to DO IT or NOT TO DO IT. If you ask, "Should I do this?" People say, "That's one way to do it..." and then go off on a rant about something that has nothing to do with what you are trying to do. If you do it, and then there are problems, people say, "You should never have done that!" Why didn't you do this or that or the other thing?

And Linux (really, all computer systems) has all these commands that are mixed bags. In one mode they do what they do, and in another mode they just give information. So something like:

killallhumans -hair=blonde -eyes=blue

Is a nice straightforward tool that kills all blonde-haired, blue-eyed humans. But if you just want to list all these humans you would do something like:

killallhumans -l -hair=blonde -eyes=blue

See the little -l? That makes a BIG DIFFERENCE. The -l means "just LIST all the blonde-haired, blue-eyed humans." And then there can be other switches that make a big difference.

killallhumans -v -hair=blonde -eyes=blue

That might mean kill all humans who aren't blonde-haired and blue-eyed. It's a lot of punch to pack into a single little -v. You don't want to mistype that. And why is it -v? I don't know, look in the manpages.

The Linux world is filled with these little tools that can deal out big damage depending on what swtiches you put on the command line, or what you forget. And there is no way to distinguish between "exploratory" programs and "execution" programs. Often the difference is just a little doo-dad switch, usually a -i, -v, -l or something like that. Sometimes it's a horrible combo like: --info=list or --list=info or --list=all.

Anyway, I am going to go delete a bunch of old kernels now.

Is there a method?

Is there a method for measuring or monitoring currency flow within an exchange system?

There must be. The currency itself is a essentially a... uh... metric that represents (allegedly) value. Therefore, the currency system itself is what I am looking for. But information is hidden in the currency system. There is great transparency at some points (where it serves the people the system is set up to serve) and bewildering murikiness at other points (for example when corporations "depatriate" and "repatriate" their money). This transparency/opacity is itself a way of making (or destorying) currency out of nothing.

[I typed "destorying" when I meant "destroying" again. It's a slip, but one I feel has a great amount of meaning.]

Currency systems have this way of "eating" everything they come in contact with. Let's say you were alive 800 years ago anywhere in the world. "Work" would be something you did like... breathing, eating or sleeping. It wasn't really connected to any sort of currency system. There was a quasi-currency system of the internal trust-metering social network that we all build in our heads: Francois is a good guy. He gave me the same number of eggs even though he knew that my butter was a little waxy (whatever butter does when it's not quite as good as it should be 800 years ago). Next time, Francois gets first dibs on butter. Stuff like that. The general tally of who we owe, and who owes us. This turns into a general tally of who is "trustworthy" and who is not. It is a kind of currency, but it is not discrete or measurable in any way.

But once "money" infects a society, or an aspect of society, then that game is about money. And we've all watched this happen in our own lives. "Social Media" is an engine... a tally-keeping meter that has hidden parts (almost everything) and visible parts, that is designed to (or rather has evolved to) monetize our French peasants internal, natural trust-tally system.

In all currency systems, there MUST be "flow". This is a largely ignored (except by Economists, I reckon) concept. When currency "freezes" it starts to "rot" in a way. It MUST flow. THE SPICE MUST FLOW.

Since flow is so essential to the functioning of a currency cycle, and the currency cycle is essential to the systems (trust, attention, resources, carbon, oxygen, CO2, etc...) it allegedly monitors. We MUST have or develop a measure of this flow, and where the flow is "blocked" and currency is piling up, and where the flow is starved, and systems are in a state of "rot" or "decay." But I know of no such system. But we see the results in reality of a lack of this system. There is both a lack of awareness and a lack of control.

FOR INSTANCE, there is a battle for "control" of two markets right now, that we are fighting blindly. The one system is our beloved money system. The other system is nature's glorious carbon cycle. Our money system, through ignorance (deliberate or not) thinks of itself as infinite, boundless, powerful. Meanwhile, carbon has been "put out there" in the form of CO2 and the resultant energy of burning fossil fuels. And it MUST BE PUT BACK in the form of "carbon capture." If this does not happen, EVERY CURRENCY SYSTEM that is related to carbon (which is ALL of them), will suffer unintentional blockages to flow. Rot and decay will set in. "Productive" areas of the planet will turn into deserts, and so on. From the perspective of the "money" system, the "carbon problem" is a blockage in and of itself. Because "productive" (in that they serve a class of people who control violence--another currency) relationships will be "disrupted" by the necessity of capturing carbon and storing it so that the atmosphere doesn't... you know... KILL US. This is seen as a "waste" in the money system for some reason.

This is bizarre, because people LITERALLY taking money out of the system and putting it in a big pile and DOING NOTHING with it is somehow NOT seen as a "waste" in the money system. Which is hilarious to me. This is because, I think, the money system and violence system of currency are intertwined and trapped in self-perpetuating loops.

We know where we are going to end up. We are going to end up building solar collectors that power atmospheric collectors that capture CO2, release the oxygen and convert the carbon into a long term storage medium... probably graphite, as it is stable, dense, and cheap, compared to say... diamonds. We MUST do this if we want to have anything close to our current lifestyle. And there is more we must do... in the water cycle and the "wild" cycle, if we are to have any hope at all of a future with billions of people on the planet. We really, literally, DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE in this matter.

And this begins, I think, by making certain people understand that like violence, trust, attention, and productivity, carbon is a system THAT MUST FLOW. That what burns must return. If it does not return then that failure will inevitably cause blockages in other currency systems, and these will not be productive blockages (like pooling wealth, for instance, which serves a function), but rather strangulating, rotting, decaying blockages... like a stroke. We're gearing up for an "eco-stroke" in both senses of the fragment "eco." And the blockage WILL BE the failure to return atmospheric carbon to a stable, solid (as in phase of matter) form of one sort or another. I prefer graphite.

Which is to say... We should be MAKING COAL, not burning it.

Weird Trope/Meme

We watch The Walking Dead and last week's episode had a narrative trope that I think is a little annoying. First of all, I can't remember who any of these people are. The episode begins with "The Lesbian" and "The Braids Guy" in a camper. We are supposed to like them, I think. The show has gotten a lot of criticism for killing the black guy... Anyway, "The Lesbian" and "The Braids Guy" are separated on the bridge. And the episode is about whether or not we believe people are inherently good or bad. Is cynicism a good strategy? Is evil real? That sort of thing. During the separation we are left to wonder, "Did 'The Braids Guy' abandon 'The Lesbian' on the bridge?" Thus confirming that we are all alone in the world and we can't rely on anyone, people will always put their own interests above others, and cynicism is the best strategy.

Eventually, "The Lesbian" makes it back to the bridge, where in a flashback it is revealed that "The Braids Guy" did NOT in fact abandon her, and therefore trust is the best strategy. While not everyone is good, some people are EVIL, most people ARE good and can be trusted. But where is "The Braids Guy" now? Did he survive? Oh no! There is a person who resembles "The Braids Guy" but is a zombie. Wait... they turn around... It is NOT "The Braids Guy!" It's just a fucking Rando! Yay! Fuck that random person! We are glad they are dead and not "The Braids Guy!" What a relief.

And this is irksome to me, because Rando was probably just as good a person as "The Braids Guy" for all we know. Poor Rando is just a tool in the narrative like a Henchman. I just think it's rude that some person's life is just used as a sort of punchline in the story.

(Says the guy who refers to the main characters as "The Braids Guy" and "The Lesbian.")


Blazing Through 20 Years...

They are playing "nice" now. And on January 21st they are going to toss out the filibuster and push 20 years of the most insane bullshit through so fast we won't even know what to put on our newly illegal protest signs. New "dissent" laws. New police powers... You name it. And they'll finally put the ridiculous laws they already have into place... Private prisons, $500 a day. A return to debtor's prisons. Debt peonage. People dying of preventable diseases. New "emergency powers." This is whether or not Trump approves. He will have to sign everything they say, or they'll impeach him and Pence will be their rubber stamp. Who knows what they have in the queue? They probably don't even know. Passed and signed, passed and signed, passed and signed. Goodbye ACA. Goodby Roe v. Wade. Goodbye EPA. Goodbye Medicare. Goodbye Social Security. The whole country is an open air prison now.

There needs to be a word(s) for this (these)

Two things that there needs to be words for...

1) When people get all high and mighty in retrospect.

2) When you introduce an abstract concept and people argue about the particulars of one instance of the abstract.

Here's an illustration of both in one event: A few years ago, everyone was "outraged" when it was revealed that The Olive Garden didn't put salt in the water when they cooked their pasta. This was because during some kind of strange legal wranglings or something, their instructions for cooking came out. I am not really sure what the details are. It doesn't matter with regard to the point I am making. What I am trying to illustrate is that all the people who are "outraged" by this revelation never said a thing prior to the story hitting. This means that they never noticed the pasta wasn't cooked in saltwater. THEY NEVER NOTICED. THIS MEANS THAT IT DOESN'T MAKE A GODDAMN BIT OF DIFFERENCE if there is salt in the water or not. Because if it DID make a difference, then people would have said something. But NO ONE NOTICED. Billions of people ate meals at this fucking place and NONE OF THEM said a goddamn thing.

At this point, the fake fucking "gourmets" among you will say, "Well, I never ate their anyway..." And that is ENTIRELY MISSING THE FUCKING POINT. No one gets this. And then they illustrate point #2 by going into fake, bullshit detail about the "science" of cooking pasta as taught to them by the tiniest, testiest, Italianest Grandma imaginable in a kitchen full of pictures of Mussloini, they're so fucking Italian and you're not. Which, again, entirely misses the fucking point... Which is that NO ONE NOTICED. But after the fact, they all act like they're experts. What you are an "expert" on is the fact that YOU DIDN'T NOTICE. Doubling down by declaring that you never ate there anyway ONLY MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE MORE OF AN IDIOT.

The only person who has grounds to say a thing about the situation is the person who ate a pasta dish at Olive Garden prior to the release of the cooking instructions and remarked to someone, somewhere, publicly, that they could tell that there was no salt in the water that the pasta was cooked in. And this person doesn't exist. Now, in retrospect, you get shit-tons of assholes who will say, "Oh, I was forced to go there for a work function ten years ago, and I noticed. I could tell immediately that they didn't salt the water that the pasta was cooked in." NO YOU DIDN'T YOU FUCKING LYING PIECE OF SHIT. You're making up "evidence" in retrospect.
Flyin' Dandy

I need a word for this. Where I get words for things.

We have been looking for a microwave with a mute button for a decade. Seems like a simple thing. But it is impossible to find. They are out there. It is often listed as a feature on ridiculously overpriced microwaves. We want a sort of basic model with a mute. I will be using this as a specific example of an abstract interaction for which there should be a word. So let us say that I go to a forum of some sort and ask simply:

Poster: Frank Lloyd Wrong
Date: 2016/11/01 06:00
Subject: Microwave with a Mute

I am looking for a microwave with a mute. I want to turn all the beeps off.

> Reply: Nebbie Nellie
> Date: 2016/11/01 06:15
> Subject: RE: Microwave with a Mute
> I like the beeps. They let me know that my popcorn is done! Hugz! ;) :)

> Reply: Joe Mangrel
> Date: 2016/11/01 06:22
> Subject: RE: Microwave with a Mute
> No. They don't make them. Because fires. What are you, a fucking idiot?

> Reply: Horton Hellivant
> Date: 2016/11/01 06:31
> Subject: RE: Microwave with a Mute
> Why would you want something like that?

So, you see... No help here. So, WHY ANSWER? It is mystifying to me. These first answers amount to "I don't know." I don't understand why someone would go all over the internet saying, "I don't know." But apparently some people do. I sometimes reply to these sorts of things. But mostly I have learned that there is absolutely no way to ask for help with anything (especially on the internet) because there are really only two possibilities. First, the answer is a google away. Second, the answer is difficult, in which case, no one will be able to help me anyway. There is no point in asking for help with anything. Nothing exists in that no man's land. But I persist:

HH: Why would you want something like that?

FLW: Well, as it happens, I work at night and I don't want to wake up my SO with microwave noises.

HH: You should get a job in the day.

FLW: I guess I could. I think it would be easier to get a microwave that doesn't beep.

HH: What's wrong with you? Why can't you get a job in the day?

FLW: Well, I really want a microwave that doesn't beep. Not a job in the day.

HH: There are good sleeping pills now. You should really be disciplined.

You see where this is heading. What is this compulsion that some people have. They seem to want to help, but they have no answers. So rather than admitting that, they are spouting off suggesting that I should start taking sleeping pills and who-knows-what-else rather than answering the question. What is this? What is this bizarre impulse?

Let's call it...


There's this subreddit:

It's a program that posts a new, pronouncable pseudo-English word every fifteen seconds.

What? What? What?

We have a "yard" of sorts, and we also have a couple of Likely-Trump-Voter neighbors across the street, and we also have a "flipper" trying to flip the house across the street. Someone has called the city and told them our yard is "full of weeds" and we have to "get rid of the weeds." That's fine. Our yard is... atrocious. I hate this sort of shit. I've lived in the idiocy of Suburbia my entire life, and I have seen what a "yard" mentality does to people... It's a fucking nightmare. People become servants to their fucking yards. It's pathetic.

But now the problem is... now that the man has been called down upon us... what the fuck does this MEAN? There's no specific demands, really... just a non-descript, non-description of a problem of some sort... The "yard" is "full of weeds." We need to "trim" things, and "make things tidy." But what the fuck does that mean? And when are we out of trouble with the yard police and how do we know we are out of trouble with the yard police? I might spend two fucking weeks out there doing everything I think is necessary, but if no one is monitoring, or policing, and I don't know what I am supposed to do, or NOT supposed to do... then what? Then we get another letter? Second warning? And then what?

I don't know what to do. Ever... About anything. I guess I will just go do something... But I know that... I am missing some point... It won't be enough. I am supposed to be hiring some kind of landscaper. Everything is supposed to have straight lines and sharp corners... all the stupid ass fucking Suburbia HOA bullshit... Why? So we can make the bees extinct? I don't know? Because some people are fucking morons? What the fuck do I do? What is the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM that I have to do to make this stupid fucking non-problem go away?

It's one of those situations where I look like a moron because I am smarter than the morons who have power.

Authority: Get rid of the weeds.

Me: Define "weed."

Authority: What?

Now I am an "idiot" because they don't know that THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.

And it ultimately becomes personal... They will, if pressed, just slyly say, "Look, just hire a landscaper..." I don't know. I don't fucking care. You are all fucking idiots, etc... Now I have to spend 20 fucking hours getting horrible cuts (everything out here is covered in thorns and needles) and bullshit... and at the end of it, we'll probably just get another fucking letter.