I am Jack's Smirking Revenge

little, yappy dogs

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Caps Lock


This message has been sent out from various points on the internet many, many times by many people.

I feel I need to promote it, and carry on in the spreading of this message.

And the message is this: Though you may be completely comfortable typing in all caps, you look like a retard when you do.

You're like that drunk uncle at family gatherings who can be heard over everyone's conversation- yammering on about some inane crap, not caring how loud he is, ignoring everyone's glares, requests for a sane volume, etc.

Quit it.

For the love of god.

No more.

Yes, you.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Girl-Parts Gearshift

Yep. It's bad.

So, I often hear people say they don't want children. I don't myself, but I know deep inside there is a possibility... the possibility that I will fall, hit my head, and a.) become a republican, b.) become a born-again [insert radical life change here], or c.) suddenly decide I want to have kids.

Anyway. When it comes to my own personal relationships, I take this stance-

Any woman who is under 30 or so must make it to 34, and if then they can still claim they do not want kids, I will believe them.

Us men, well, it doesn't take much to explain our motivation. Deep down in the animal mechanics of hungry-eat, tired-sleep, bored-play, there lies: eternally horny-procreate as much as possible. The how and why of each person's spin on these motivators is what keeps the world interesting.

Women, however, their parts don't work like that at all.

Let's pause a moment.

You've been out drinking, and, in fact, you've had too much. You get quite horribly sick and now, the next day, you swear you don't care if you ever drink again. But later, at some point, you're thinking a margarita with that enchilada sounds pretty good.

Or maybe you're up watching videos, eating chocolate ice cream right out of the container. Oh, naughty. You're quite miserably ill from your favorite ice cream, and swear you never want to see ice cream, chocolate, or any combination thereof again. And then one day you have a craving, and there's no changing your mind that you want some.

Your body can override your brain. It does so on a regular basis, those examples are just extreme ones that most people are familiar with.

Now, if you think you don't want kids, well, my theory is that somewhere between 30 and 34, this is when the Girl Parts switch gears- if they're ever going to, that is- and change your mind about wanting kids. The same not wanting to drink or eat ice cream will magically be lifted away and the candy-like lure of making babies will be there, pulling you in like Disney's "Black Hole". (they were saved from the black hole in the movie... please rent and reference this in case of any sudden urge to procreate.)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Your Fellow Man

So, I was talking with a friend today about all kinds of things, one of those great, amicable political discussions that just goes on for hours.

Well, at some point I wanted to describe part of my own personal operating philosophy. After some investigation I have discovered it is a gray and fuzzy rule, but one which I figure others could make their own.

Quite simply, don't screw your fellow man. Don't cheat him, don't steal from him, don't cut him off in traffic, don't curse his name when he cuts you off, don't do things to him which you wouldn't want to happen to you. Why? Because he is you. He is your neighbor, your coworker, your friend or enemy, but in any case, he's just another poor schmuck trying to make a dollar, feed himself, and maybe enjoy a few moments of his existence.

Part of the definition which is fuzzy is- how far does the idea 'your fellow man' extend? Is it everyone you see? Is it just people you know? Or maybe the people they know, too? Just your family, or maybe it's the people you know, everyone they know, and then everyone those people know. You decide that. Certainly, Mother Theresa's would extend to every person. That's not what this rule is about.

None of us are Mother Theresa. That's what this rule IS about. I certainly don't want to dissuade anyone from great, altruistic and noble tasks. Our time and energy in a given day is nickel and dimed out to a great number of mundane and boring things, and what time and energy we have left we like to spend on things we enjoy- and unless you're quite a piece of work, you enjoy your friends. Being decent to people takes effort and concentration. Limiting the scope of your efforts can be a relief, and 'your fellow man', however you define it, is a nice place. Even if you don't change a thing in how you behave, knowing what your task is can set you at ease.

The problem with this idea is that you must also accept hypocrisy. How is that? Well, being a decent human you believe in human rights for all, equality, etc. However, this rule includes the acceptance of the fact that you simply cannot be Mother Theresa and care about every living person on the planet. And you shouldn't have to. This is not an excuse to dehumanize some people, it is a means by which to limit the scope of your efforts in your day.

With a set goal in hand, the mere task of treating [the people you define as your fellow man] well, perhaps if you find yourself wth extra energy, go on ahead and expand that scope until you're the next Gandhi or Mother Theresa.

Yes, people all over the world die of starvation, abuse, etc.

Some of them die right across the street from you. Fix the world around you, and then set off to fix the rest.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

DOE: Up Yours, Pal

So, I'm looking for a job.

One way looking for a job can be hell is that potential employers place ads or make job postings which include useful information like: "We're not going to give you a clue what we plan to pay for this position."

The problem with this is, other employers tip their hand and let on that they want 5 years experience in X, Y and Z, and they'll gladly pay squat for it.

Thus: you can find what appears to be a pretty good job description, and chase the wrong lead all day long.

Another lovely result of this is that everyone ends up applying for every position: the employer 'thinks' they are getting the most applicants they possibly can, what they are really doing for themselves is getting 100x more resumes than they could possibly review. Thus, they end up going through and sorting by things like layout, trivial spelling errors, etc.

In short, they're wasting our time, on purpose, so that they can then be overwhelmed with applications, and pick bullshit arbitrary methods to sort them such as choice of font and ease of reading so as to determine which persons to pay attention to/ignore. The help wanted ad should instead read: "Wanted! Network Technician with fantastic writing, publishing, editing and PR skills, who can make a resume that we'll like to look at as well as do the job we need done."

I am suddenly reminded of the 'famous' misanthrope who, before cutting down a tree in his yard, first went into town to make sure nobody wanted to hang themselves from it beforehand.

Anyway, I just wanted to rant.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A yet-unnamed rule

You're walking down the sidewalk. 100 yards away another person is too, and they are approaching you. Between the two of you, not quite in the middle, there is a telephone pole and a newspaper vending machine partially blocking the sidewalk such that two people couldn't pass through without rubbing against each other, a clear breach of sidewalking ettiquette.

This rule states that, regardless of the pace or varying distance of the obstacle, the two approaching people will arrive at it at the same time, so that one must stop, or step out into the street.

I'm accepting suggestions for a name.

Newton's 4th Law of Motion (special)

Recently it has been discovered that in addition to his work in physics, the brilliant Sir Issac Newton also dabbled in prophetic prognostication. Aware the scientific community would ridicule him, he never published his fourth law of motion.

The prediction side of it is astonishing, as I am the very subject he foresaw.

The fourth law is in reference to me, and was written as follows:

"Objects in motion, especially man-made objects such as frisbees, footballs, volleyballs, shall, by some unknown hand, be made to strike this person in the head, so long as he is not paying attention to them."

Translation: Anytime a ball is airborne, if I am not looking, it will hit me in the head.

I do feel special, what with being the subject of a very famous person's writings, and it does explain a lot.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Zenia Kavala

I'm annoyed.

Someone sued over the origin of the story in "The Matrix". They've since given up, but what seems to be missing by my accounting is that nobody has bothered to read the original story, entitled "The Third Eye", and compare it. Sure, it might be out there somewhere, but after a cursory search, zippo. And the author who sued has given up, but still runs a website which promotes the idea that they were, in fact, the creator of the concept The Matrix was based on.

Well, that's just lame. The whole deal. The lawsuit, the giving up, the still pretending (may not actually be their website, I don't know), the no review by someone else.

I mean, we get no decision by a court. SO, the story is out there in undecided land, but nobody bothers to read it? I suspect the following: the whole deal looks like baloney, especially since the author gave up, so it's likely the comparison was tenuous at best, and nobody wants to waste their time on it. Well, I want someone else to waste their time on it for me. Go on now. Do it for me.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Godwin's Law

Godwin's Law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probablity of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 100%. "

The reason for the law was that, when such a discussion reached this point, the discussion was effectively over, and whoever had brought it up had lost the argument.

That is to say- people get worked up when they really hate something and begin to compare it to the Nazis or Hitler.

There has been a lot of comparison between that Austrian and the current president of the United States, and this may have promoted Godwin's Law up through the ranks. Plenty of people object to the comparison, for a variety of reasons. But is there more to it than just 'we hate him so much'? Can the proof be laid out and compared for accuaracy? Get your gag-reflex in check, we're about to see that guy's name a lot.

Hitler: Reichstag Fire
Bush: 9/11, theft of second election
Conclusion: while some believe Bush knew about 9/11 before it happened, and that his second election was fixed, it cannot be proven, so comparing 9/11 to the Reichstag fire is not valid. The Reichstag fire has been called Hitler's enabling moment, where he was assured dictatorship. 9/11 and the ensuing worry about our country's ability to protect itself can be viewed as the reason the second election results were never investigated- many believe the results were tampered with. the passing similarity of the events is not enough.

Hitler: used the media to brainwash the country
Bush: used the media to brainwash the country
Conclusion: Bush does not have direct and exclusive control over the media, although most major media sources do parrot the whitehouse stance on 9/11. There is a full range of news from far right to far left. As with all wars, the CIA has done their job and correctly seeded the media with just what was needed, but that can't be proven- not until 50 years from now when it is revealed that, indeed, the CIA was doing what they have been for decades. Probably true, but yet unprovable.

Hitler: often claimed that god wanted him to rule Germany, and do what he was doing
Bush: often claimed that god told him what to do, encouraged him to be president
Conclusion: there are simply too many quotes in the press and on video to ignore this one, it's valid. The two are both examples of manipulative media-whores.

Hitler: spied on his own countrymen
Bush: spied on his own countrymen
Conclusion: as the media is slowly beginning to reveal, the Bush administration has taken liberties above and beyond that of law enforcement, spying on whomever they see fit. this comparison is valid.

Hitler: gave riveting, powerful speeches
Bush: gives riveting, powerful speeches
Conclusion: ok, I included this as a joke. Sorry. Back to the comparison.

Hitler: was extremely secretive
Bush: is extremely secretive
Conclusion: this would depend on how much attention you were paying to Bush, and whether you thought that certain evidence or information was something any president should have to divulge- regardless of whether all previous presidents had. This comparison would take a lot of effort to call completely true- we'll say it's somewhat true.

Hitler: claimed to be one of the regular people 'just like you'
Bush: has used his 'just like you' image to his advantage
Conclusion: I had trouble finding historical references online specifically citing this behaviour, but as the inventor of the Volkswagen, 'the people's car', it's hard to ignore. Just like you, it's true.

Hitler: supporters followed and believed blindly
Bush: supporters follow and believe blindly
Conclusion: Many of Bush's followers will not stop to listen to any truth which makes him look bad whether it is provable or not. However, there is no way to prove the entirety of follower blindness for either leader. The fact that Bush was elected does not prove anything if there is the possibility that the election was rigged (and if it were, his followers wouldn't be blind, they'd be fabrications), so this whole argument is invalid.

Hitler: started a war for political reasons
Bush: started a war for political reasons
Conclusion: While the White House still insists it never lied or misled, it is widely accepted that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The war in Afghanistan which was started "to capture Osama Bin Laden" has ended and Bin Laden has still to be caught, and, in fact, the white house has stopped looking for him. The fact that there really is no connection between Bin Laden and Hussein, Al Qaeda and Iraq is completely ignored in the media- it's sad, really. This comparison stands as true.

Hitler: drastically altered laws to better suit his rule
Bush: drastically altered laws to better 'protect'
Conclusion: Hitler, thanks to the Enabling act of 1934, had complete lawmaking power. In the wake of 9/11, eager lawmakers rushed many alterations of rights and standing laws into the books in the name of better 'protecting' the citizens. Conclusion: valid.

Hitler: vilified Jews (and Many others) as enemies, killed them
Bush: vilified Afghani and Iraqi as enemies, killed them
Conclusion: invalid comparison, even if we accept that the Iraq war of '2004' was started for political gain. The Many were citizens in Germany and other occupied areas, the Afghani and Iraqi killed were not and are still not considered USA citizens. While the press ignores civilian casualties in these events, if they continue to occur, they could possibly validate this comparison- Iraq is an occupied country, and the war has been declared over.

And now, having made that effort, that comparison, I have to say, Bush is nothing like Hitler. Terrible historical figure or not, Hitler was a smart person who rode a political trend in his nation to its ugly end. Bush is simply a vacuous idiot who neither formulated nor controls any of what is happening- he is an excuse, a diversion, and a disgrace to our great nation.

The Nazi party, however, and our current administration, share likenesses due to the situations they found themselves in and the attitude they held before they ended up there. See also: "The Project for a New American Century". If they aren't cousins with the Nazis, I'll eat my hat. If you do not know what this is, then go look at the site. Read what they say. They are right-wing neocon warmongers. Their website has been up since 10/2001, but they formed in 1997.

The holocaust taught us a valuable lesson- had things gone just slightly differently, the Nazis might have covered up and destroyed all record of the people they murdured. But those we lost have had their story told, and we now know of the atrocities which happened. Just like those who died at the hands of the Nazis, the USA citizens (among others) who perished on 9/11 due to the complicity or inaction of our current Thug regime should have the truth of their passing brought to light, and the perpetrators should be tried and prisoned for their actions.

Godwin's law will have to wait in this case. We've got terribly important things to take care of.

Positive Word Negation, Negative... what?

Some words are such a hassle. Thinking about words and how we use them can sometimes make your head hurt. You paint yourself into a corner and get stuck.

Take 'happy' for example.

We know the opposite of it is 'sad'.

And we're quite comfortable with saying someone is 'unhappy',

but nobody who knew better would ever say 'unsad', unless they were trying to be silly.

And then we have 'wrapped' and 'opened'-for presents, maybe. In this case, everything seems to be OK. You can have an unwrapped present, or an unopened present. Here we're in trouble again with our word meanings. An unwrapped present can be either one you haven't wrapped yet, or one which has been wrapped and then opened... yet an unopened present is only one which has not been opened.

Our first case showed opposite states which didn't agree in their ability to be negated, our second case showed words which ran off in random directions when you negated them.

I am sure there is a linguist somewhere who can pin all of this down, but the more you think about words and theor opposites, and then their negations, a lot of illogical stuff starts happening.

clean - dirty
unclean - undirty

healthy - sick
unhealthy - unsick

wholesome - sleazy
unwholesome - unsleazy

sane - crazy
insane - uncrazy (?)

It seems like some words have the meanings 'good' and 'bad' attached, and the ones which are 'good' are the only ones which can be usefully negated. Now, why would we have things like that? Maybe because people would rather just say 'sane' instead of 'uncrazy'? Or do these words try to represent the proper human state? Are our words dictating to us how we see the world?

The Paradox of Decency

The concept of decency: That there is a way to behave around others which is fair and proper in respect to others, which shows respect, and allows others to be themselves.

The paradox: While being decent, it is not possible to point out when others are not decent, because doing so by definition exits the realm of allowing others to be themselves.

Therefore, a decent person has no chance to help others discover their own lapses in decency.

Simple, yet perplexing. While it may sound old-fashioned, I think this is a far more proper method of operation. The offending person will either eventually recognize their problem and overcome it, or they will continue on being a lout.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


A rant, a bit.

"Any sufficiently advanced science is indiscernable from magic."

Now, this was to be the basis for a fairly focused, brief mention of the people who still don't get computers- they're a lot like the parents of second-generation immigrants. Laden with superstition and fear, such that certain aspects of this 'new world' are simply beyond them.

Instead I got thinking about too much stuff, and so who knows where this will go.

A friend once visited with his dog, and the dog had always been taught not to walk on the new hardwood floors at their lake cabin. Well our whole house was hardwoods, and the poor dog just stood at the door and whined. Certainly, not the same concept, as the dog had been taught specifically not to walk on the floors, however, she'd never been taught not to walk on -these- floors. She was applying the "can't" idea to the wrong subject. The act of walking, something she knew well, simply couldn't be put to use with this, a different floor, no matter how she tried. Well, I don't blame her, she's just a dog.

Most people, in their lives, learn how to file things alphabetically. They learn how to file things chronologically. In fact, they see a stack of papers and wish it had some sort of order so they could figure out the problem held therein. In addition, people can also discern the difference between using a hallway to walk to the next room, painting the hallway, rebuilding the hallway, and sleeping in the hallway. The 'parent' concepts for each of these actions is different. Utility, repair, construction, shelter.

With a slightly relaxed and open mind, and an appreciation of the fact that you're never going to learn anything complex instantly, you can sit down at a computer and, over time, learn to use it. None of the layout is meant to confound or confuse, none of the design is random, none of the actions are useless or without reason.

I understand the feeling these afflicted non-tech-minded people have, because try though I might, I do not get the concept of programming. Basic, maybe, html, kind of, simple scripting, yes. But beyond that there is an element missing. So, fair enough.

And that idea segues into one nearly unrelated.

The idea that with each sufficient advance in complexity, our technology moves toward lightspeed, and by that I mean, if Einstein's e=mc(squared) holds true, then as we approach lightspeed, the amount of energy needed to push the mass of the object toward lightspeed approaches infinity, and thus, lightspeed is impossible for all practical purposes.

What does that imply? Our technology is requiring more and more effort to advance? Well, is that true?

The wheel has been done. Very little effort. Round thing, hole in the middle. Further and further advanced through the years, we've gone from a crude circle to a massively engineered piece of technology which required many prototypes, years of engineering expertise, and billions of dollars in hours worked to achieve. And that's just a wheel.

Another example is our sources of energy.

Wood- go get it, burn it: effort low, and attainable by one person. Side effects: smoke, less trees.
Coal- go dig it up, possibly process it, burn it: effort still fairly low, 1 person. SE: lots of smoke, big holes in the ground, runoff, acid rain.
Oil- go dig it up, possibly process it, burn it: effort medium, a few people. SE: lots of smoke, toxic emissions, acid rain.
Hydroelectric- build a dam or paddlewheel, supporting hardware: effort high, several people. SE: a ding to the environment, disruption of rivers/natural habitat.
Nuclear- get fuel, build facility, monitor facility: effort extreme, many people. SE: huge facility, extremely toxic in process and waste produced, dangerous.

And what of our next great advance in energy sources? Cold fusion? Something else? With each step forward in energy, we have spent tenfold the energy as the last step to attain both the supporting technology and also the process by which it occurs, and the more powerful a source is, the more toxic it is (so far anyway).

Nothing is getting simpler. Unlike the wheel, by this thinking, the next step in energy sources will not be invented in someone's garage.

Which brings me to my sort-of point: somewhere in the future, the collective effort of every living person on the planet will not be enough to push us to the next level of invention, it will effectively not exist. The want of the whole planet will meet the limitation of human understanding and the limits of physics.

So what of computing?

Processors have advanced in the last 15 years from less than 100 megahertz to, currently, 3.8 GIGAhertz, or an increase of 38 times. The current paradigm in processing hardware has been pushed to the extreme, over and over again, with advances in speed coming from further miniaturization of parts, further heat management, further understanding of electrodynamics-- all of which has come through great effort by thousands of very educated people.

However, as we're all painfully aware, a faster computer does not mean a computer which is more helpful- it just means it can do what we tell it to do more quickly.

These advances have not yet made the leap from dumb machine to sentient machine.

This is where all of this wants to go. We want the mundane things in life to be done for us, despite an obvious and perilous tradeoff: being scared of what the future holds with these thinking machines in it.

And we're back again at magic.

The same future with thinking robots is as unattainable for today's brilliant minds as the hardwood floors are for the big cute dog. There's a want, an idea of maybe how to get there, what it'll be like when we get there, but simply no way to GO.

I think when we can understand our own motivation to ask "Why?", we might be on our way. Once we can recreate in a lab not only the motivation for 'why' but the environment to support the concept... the machine which can ask why. Currently a magical machine.

Will the planet end up stopped in the doorway, or will we make it past to someday meet our magical machine?

The Country Previously Known as "The Land of the Free, Home of the Brave"

Well, like all things cool and popular, the lame crowd has shown up and overrun the place. I mean, I've known it was coming, but I hoped it would go away, I figured if I just ignored it long enough it'd stop. It's just getting worse. It's time to go to the doctor, rather than put a bandage on it and look away.

Your favorite bar, nightclub, that band whose shows you used to be able to get into with no hassle, burning man, the evergreen state college, broadway avenue in Seattle... after a while the coolness of things is pounded away by invading morons.

This time, though, it's our country, and the invading morons already lived here. And the sad fact is, they were invited to come and trash the place by other people who already lived here.

Farewell, constitutional rights.

Goodbye, fairly balanced legal system.

Sayonara, law enforcement agents who have time to actually protect people rather than enforce useless internet/porn laws.

Not to mention the respectability of our country worldwide.


I made some bumperstickers for the fourth of July last year, and I need to make some more.


I see the havoc happening now as a distraction. Big-money fatcats (in business and government) make deals for themselves and their friends- pay forwards, pay backs, favors. In the meantime they wreck enough things and create enough distractions that by the time the world has conclusive proof of their criminality, they are long since in their grave, of natural consequences, and with plenty of taxpayer money funding every step they took on their way there.

Politicians are liars, by default, it's what we pay them to do.

We're screwed from the outset.

Some of them, though, see the acceptance of lying to get their job done as de-facto permission to lie about everything and rob us blind.

And then there's the people who defend them, unable to separate personal belief and feeling from fact.

Thank you, Fox news networks, for further retarding an already mentally disabled nation.

I look for respectable figures in the news, and all I find is Jon Stewart, a comedian on a fake news program. Why, you ask is he the only one? When something big goes down, the very next day Jon is the only person reporting what happened and calling out precisely the point that all other news sources avoid: calling a spade a spade.

When the jester is the only source of truth in the court, the court is screwed.

Welcome to the Land of the Free*, and the home of the Brave*.

*(insert millions of pages of absurd legalese here)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Hollywood thinks we are dumb


I said it.

You buy or rent a DVD. What's on it? Well, aside from the actual movie and fbi warning, 99.9% of the time you will receive a lovely barrage of ads and previews.

However, in addition, you are likely to recieve, before you can even start watching the movie, as part of the play/setup menu, a lovely preview of the best parts of the movie you are about to watch, a video clip which loops over and over again!

This is a BRILLIANT idea, as nobody really wants to watch a movie without having a bunch of the surprises ruined for them- just as they sit down to watch it.

The thinking here, I assume, is that since "everyone" wants to watch previews, and "everyone" knows all about what happens in a movie after it comes out (because it's widely talked about in the media), then "everyone" won't mind having to watch that stuff anyway.

Whether it is a stupid stuffed shirt CEO, clever PR person, or filthy spawn of hell who came up with this idea, it's time for it to stop, because, and let me shout this part here for the whole world to hear:


Put a menu in which does not include clever animations, tidbits of the damn movie, little easter eggs, any of that garbage. You are stupid, and I am trying to help you to look less stupid. See? I'm nice.

Now, get to work.