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Perhaps there will be a modem sound when I dial the phone

Why is it that in the year of our Covid March 723, 2020, that I still have to peel off that impossible stupid fucking sticker to open the CD that I paid for and didn’t download off Pirate Bay? The adhesive of which will still be sticky in March 1420, 2020.

Why do I still have to watch the unskippable FBI warning on a Blu Ray that I legally purchased, and not any of the ones on bittorrent?

Somehow I don’t think the pirates are as annoyed by their illegal goods as I am by my legal ones. I suppose I should ask when inconveniencing your legal customers became better than not, but then I’ve been paying Ticketmaster service fees most of my life.

Yes, I still buy physical media [1] because I like to a) support artists, and b), have backups that I own [2]. But a) just seems like it’s going into some VPs or VCs pocket.

 
 

[1] I also buy ephemeral media, for convenience, or when there are no other options. Looking at you Columbia. Why can’t I buy the BR 4k UHD version of Lawrence of Arabia except at part of limited edition out-of-print six BR package that includes Jerry Maguire, for gods sake.

[2] Still can’t get a copy of Strange Days streaming or hardcopy anywhere. And the Gunbunnies are largely absent from any streaming service anywhere.

PotD 20220220

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PotD 20211230

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PotD 20211229

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PotD 20211228

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PotD 20211227

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PotD 20211023

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Lest you think I’m a total Apple fanboi

This is iOS 15 Safari dark mode. White text on white background. Does no one at Apple even use their own hardware/software? [1]

Let’s zoom in:

Yeah, no. Not even light gray on white. White on white.

 

File under the same heading as:

  • Innumerable screenshots of my lock screen because the buttons to do that are so stupid
  • Siri being completely useless
  • The complete inability to delete or rearrange podcasts
  • iTunes Music automagically and inalterably rating every song on an album five stars if any are, thus screwing up any kind of star-rating smart playlist sorting.
  • iTunes Music automagically and helpfully removing all the album artwork carefully curated over the many years, and a complete inability to find a replacement on iTunes Music even if the album is there [2]
  • MacOS Mail deciding it needs to redownload over 2 million messages from 20 years of work, with attachments, over and over and over, killing the battery and using 2 CPUs full time [3]
  • The complete inability to ever dismount a disk once attached without rebooting the machine [4]
  • Oh yeah, here’s a new one that’s bitten me twice in the last couple of weeks. When installing a mandatory (zero-day) security update, Apple decided I wasn’t really serious about all but three of the Safari pages I had open, and just threw them away, along with all the tabs on them. Now, yeah, I might have been a bit excessive and had maybe 300 tabs open (maybe more), but if that doesn’t bother me, it shouldn’t bother the ghost of Steve Jobs. Apple Bookmarks are a PITA, and impossible to search through, so saving things as bookmarks is like writing the line on a piece of paper, putting it in a bottle, and throwing it off the Santa Monica Pier. Useless, dangerous, environmentally unsound, and equally likely of finding it again. This happened on both my work and home machines within a week of each other. [5]

 

[1] Eat your own dogfood, as the kids say? Or not kids since that saying has got to be going on 40 now
[2] And you think I’m ever going to let iTunes Apple Music ever in a million years have read/write access aka Match aka Sync Library to my terabyte of music? Hahahahahaha. Some of that stuff is irreplaceable and not on any streaming library
[3] One for Mail, one for mds
[4] Because fuck you, that’s why
[5] Helpfully Safari left all the now empty Safari windows open, in different Spaces than they originally were, so Apple-tilde does nothing for Safari until you find them all and kill them with fire

There used to be all these Safari extensions that saved the state and resurrected it because Apple would regularly lose everything because you restarted, crashed, or failed to buy anything from iTunes for a month. I let them all go because they were also unreliable in unpredictable ways, and it seemed like Apple had fixed this finally. For about a year. I wonder if they are still around since they were sherlocked.

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POSIWID, QotD 20210904

 

“The purpose of a system is what it does.”

Stafford Beer, 2001
 

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Wilhoit’s law of conservatism, QotD 20210903

I’m glad to see this blog post comment has caught on a little bit. It stunned me when I first read it, and now I’ve seen it in such disparate places as LGM, Jalopnik, and Charlies’s Diary [1] [2].

 

Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:

There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.

Frank Wilhoit [3] , 20180321 crookedtimber.org

 

Read the whole thing, as the kids say:

 

There is no such thing as liberalism — or progressivism, etc.

There is only conservatism. No other political philosophy actually exists; by the political analogue of Gresham’s Law [4], conservatism has driven every other idea out of circulation.

There might be, and should be, anti-conservatism; but it does not yet exist. What would it be? In order to answer that question, it is necessary and sufficient to characterize conservatism. Fortunately, this can be done very concisely.

Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:

There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.

There is nothing more or else to it, and there never has been, in any place or time.

For millenia, conservatism had no name, because no other model of polity had ever been proposed. “The king can do no wrong.” In practice, this immunity was always extended to the king’s friends, however fungible a group they might have been. Today, we still have the king’s friends even where there is no king (dictator, etc.). Another way to look at this is that the king is a faction, rather than an individual.

As the core proposition of conservatism is indefensible if stated baldly, it has always been surrounded by an elaborate backwash of pseudophilosophy, amounting over time to millions of pages. All such is axiomatically dishonest and undeserving of serious scrutiny. Today, the accelerating de-education of humanity has reached a point where the market for pseudophilosophy is vanishing; it is, as The Kids Say These Days, tl;dr . All that is left is the core proposition itself — backed up, no longer by misdirection and sophistry, but by violence.

So this tells us what anti-conservatism must be: the proposition that the law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone, and cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.

Then the appearance arises that the task is to map “liberalism”, or “progressivism”, or “socialism”, or whateverthefuckkindofstupidnoise-ism, onto the core proposition of anti-conservatism.

No, it a’n’t. The task is to throw all those things on the exact same burn pile as the collected works of all the apologists for conservatism, and start fresh. The core proposition of anti-conservatism requires no supplementation and no exegesis. It is as sufficient as it is necessary. What you see is what you get:

 

The law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone; and it cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.

 

[1] With and without attribution, or attributed incorrectly to the wrong FW.
 

[2] Maybe not so disparate, but I was surprised when I saw it in the Jalopnik comments with absolutely no push back that it was wrong. It’s apparently self-evident. It’s just whether you think it’s a desirable condition or not.
 

[3] This Frank Wilhoit, a musical composer, and seemingly pretty sharp fellow. However, he’s not that Francis Wilhoit, from subsequent comments which I can no longer dig up. Also he died in 2010, so unless it’s a nom-de-plume, or he’s posting from the grave, it’s a different Frank Wilhoit. Though from the very short Wikipedia entry, he seems like a good dude who might have said this. However, there should absolutely be credit where credit is due for this conception.
 

[4] “Bad money drives out good.”
 

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PotD 20210928

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Expectations

I was raised on The Jetsons. I was promised flying cars, robot house cleaners, and jetpacks.

As a splinter GenX/Boomer [1], the color of sky in my youth was that of a television, tuned to a dead channel. The streets of LA were wet, and it rained and the buildings rotted and dripped.

I didn’t get any of that in this drought-stricken, smoky, orange-skied pandemic world.

The cars sound like Jetsons cars. They do figuratively fly down the streets, almost impossible to hear. But don’t actually fly.

The Camaros and Challengers and Mustangs sound like American Graffiti [2].

It remains true in all ages and all dystopias that you know the score, pal. You’re either cop, or little people.

 
 

[1] Douglas Coupland is my age. I don’t feel like a boomer [2]. I don’t care what demographers say about the year I was born. Curves don’t linearly determine economics or sociology (haha Laff). I didn’t get a pension, low house prices, a lifetime job, or a summer of love. I did get punk, grunge, alt-country, AIDS, Reagan, a 401k, antibiotic-resistant STDs, neoliberalism, end-stage capitalism, worthless startup stock options, OWS, and cheap college tuition. The collateralized tranche meltdown gave me a house and a dog and an old sports car.
 
[2] OK, boomer.

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Mode of transport does not matter

 

It’s one thing when a car tries to pass on a blind curve while you’ve going the speed limit on a 5% downhill grade and almost head-ons into the oncoming traffic just to get around you before a stop sign in 200 m. [1]

After decades on the planet, and especially the last four years, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when people on bikes are assholes to other people on bikes… but I was.

And I suppose I’ll be a bit less surprised next time.

 
 

[1] This guy had a Larry Elder sign in front of his house for about 4 days before the election, and no days after. I guess that’s not something you’d want to be proud of. It fits right in with someone who’s willing to have a head-on collision because he can’t wait a few seconds (literally maybe five – I was going 29 mph and have the GPS to prove it) to get to the next stop sign. He didn’t stop at that stop sign, or the one before. So I don’t ever want to hear any shit about bikes not following the rules of the road. When the two-ton murder machines start following the rules of the road, or even begin to understand the concept of “right-of-way”, then I’ll stop doing Idaho stops, which ought to be legal.

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