Friday, July 31, 2015

It's a Gun, Not a Condom: The Series Index

(Edit: Let's be clear that I don't care about sane people owning guns. Sport hunting and home defense are legit reasons. This series is about all the dumb excuses for why nutjobs should also be allowed to keep their guns, and why otherwise sane gun owners seem to defend nutjobs rather than do anything about the problem.)

I started writing this series on a lark, but it works.  It was  a case where I got tired of hearing people say "a gun is for protection," and then some meme just hit me wrong, and I realized what a load of crap that whole concept is, because the only thing a gun lets you do is threaten to shoot someone, or to actually shoot at someone.  It has no other function - it's entirely engineered for offensive purposes.

So many of the memes are composed on the presumption that a gun is a magical device, that can somehow be used for some function other than shooting back.  So many of them are also predicated on the assumption that having a gun magically turns someone into a heroic action figure - not to be confused with someone who instantly thinks "Oh, shit, I could die!" or "Oh, shit, I'd better get my family the fuck out of here, then run away!" or even just "Oh, shit, I just violated the Sixth Commandment by killing someone, and now I'll always have blood on my hands, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit...."

I mean, I know there must be millions of people on the Interwebs who actually understand WTF a gun is, WTF a gun does, and have a healthy respect for a device-meant-only-for-killing.  I'm actually lucky enough to hear their voices sometimes, because they speak up on my threads, and I'm grateful for that, because it's nice be reminded there are sane firearm enthusiasts, and to know they are just as frustrated as I am.  I just wish those healthy people would write more memes - they'd make more sense and facilitate conversation better than the idiotic drivel that floats around instead.



It's a GUN, Not a Condom 1 - it can't "protect" you from anything


It's a Gun, Not a Condom 2 - Gun's can't "protect" you, so stop being stupid


It's a Gun, Not a Condom 3: Your Penis is Small, Unless You Own a Gun


It's a gun, not a condom 4: National Defense against whom?? Canada??


It's a Gun, Not a Condom 5: The paranoid, delusional, Open Carry movement - fucking psychonuts with too many guns

It’s a Gun, Not a Condom 6 - Mandatory Firearm Insurance

It's a Gun, Not a Condom 7 - total perspective check in one quick video

It's a Gun, Not a Condom 8 - The NRA is not your friend

It's a Gun, Not a Condom 9 - technically a G+ thread, which ought to have been a blog post, it's got such great comments, but whatever

It's a Gun, Not a Condom 10 - Fear is not Freedom









Thursday, July 30, 2015

Batting 9000!


I'm still stunned, flattered, and geeked by that last column. You guys are so awesome!


view count days
(delta)
days (total) views per day
during the period
posts (delta) posts (total) views per post (total average)
1000 94 94 10.6 85 85 11.8
2000 72 166 13.9 52 137 14.6
3000 34 200 29.4 28 165 18.2
4000 21 221 47.6 16 181 22.1
5000 15 236 66.6 12 193 25.9
6000* 30 266 33.3 17 210 28.6
7000 17 283 58.8 18 228 30.7
8000 34 317 29.4 18 246 32.5
9000 14 331 71.4 10 256 35.2



* 6000 views happened while I was on hiatus, so I have no concrete values, and so extrapolated based on available data

Image text from CoolText.com





Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Memory and value

This is one of those "deep thoughts" I shared with someone on G+ one day, and thought it was worth keeping and sharing again.  Out of context, it lacks something, but still might make people think a bit, so here it is.

--

You keep the memory of your grandparents alive, and tell their tale. For me, it all happened to someone else, and that distance is only going to get worse. Human memory is short, and history shows those who fail to learn the lessons are exploited by those who do learn them - and then use them as blueprints to repeat history again and again.

I tilt at windmills to get people thinking. I figured out ages ago my role in this life is to spark the movers and shakers, not to be one. Was hard on the ego at first, but it's potentially more powerful in the end.




Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cool Quotes - Taking "Pro-Lifers" seriously

And the bingo goes to Jean Liss for

"I would take a pro life person much more seriously if they expanded sex education/condom distribution, but reducing unwanted pregnancy doesn't seem to be a priority in their policies regarding abortion."

--Adreana Langston (source)




Monday, July 27, 2015

Musical Monday: Nine Inch Nails vs Taylor Swift

A really well crafted mashup.  Mashups are fun, because essentially a new song is created from it.  This one blends the sounds really well.



I've long enjoyed Nine Inch Nails, but generally could care less about Taylor Swift. Mega-props to her for all her success, though. Ms Swift has created an incredible career through hard work and dedication. I mean, seriously - she baked cookies for radio people who played her songs, back when she was a teenager?  She knew what she wanted and chased the Hell out of it.  Her music doesn't mean much to me, but I admire the Hell out of her.

I think it's funny the idea of the veteran referring to the newcomer as the "perfect drug."  In a lot of ways, Taylor Swift is a drug for kids today (let's ignore the Dirty Old Men for moment).

The smashup of visuals is really funny.

You know, I really don't have anything particularly pithy to say about this one.  I just liked it, and wanted to share it.



Friday, July 24, 2015

Observations on blocking on G+




People fascinate me. Some things I've noticed

  • the person doing the blocking almost always announces it, with emphasis, some kind of pride, and the verbal equivalent of a "talk to the hand" gesture;
  • the blocked person often doesn't care, but sometimes does, and continues to be pissy, or may even crow, as if "driving off the infidel" was some kind of victory;
  • usually, no one else in the thread ever seems to care.

Now, as I understand, blocking is one-click easy to do, but is kind of a pain in the ass to undo. Ergo, it is - for practical purposes - permanent.

For purposes of the following essay, I'll write in the first person for convenience and clarity, and reference the fictitious Dave as the other person.

Me: "I'm offended by what you said, Dave Buttweasel! I'm blocking you, loser!"

Now, I see two problems here:

  • I let myself get offended and wound up. At some level, I chose to lose control of my own thoughts and emotions;
  • I chose to permanently prevent myself from ever being exposed to Dave again, even in cases where we have mutual connections, which could result in my trying to experience a thread with one or more pieces missing, thus disrupting my ability to comprehend or enjoy the thread.

Now, I have blocked people, so I'm not innocent of the behavior. I'm just saying I it seems like it should only be after putting some thought into it.

The sample above is what I would consider a knee-jerk reaction, and frankly I find it pretty lame. Maybe he hated my politics, and this was just the tipping point? Maybe he secretly feels ashamed that he's posting these pictures? (I could suggest several reasons to justify a sense of shame, but I'm sure you're already way ahead of me.)

I don't know. He blocked me, so I can't even ask him. I can't apologize, or discuss it. I can't make amends, even if I wanted to. He'll never actually know if I give a crap, or not. He has decided I'm totally unimportant to his life. That's fine, really. He's entitled to decide who and what he cares about. It's just such an extreme choice to make, especially for something so trivial.  I was trying to make a joke, and use it as an excuse to drive other people to his thread.  He got offended; whatever.  I liked him, and didn't mind the pictures.

Then again, I have a high tolerance for assholes and idiots, because in many cases, they're really decent people just having a stupid moment. I know I have stupid moments, and some of them have been really embarrassing and caused me a lot of pain when people reacted badly. They say first impressions are important, and that's really because people are stupid and suck at ever changing their opinions on anything, but that's beside the point.

Conversely, I've muted piles of conversations in which I felt I said my piece, and feel I no longer want to be exposed to the negative stimulus of that particular thread. I'm not some kind of all-patient saint, I'm just a little more tolerant.

I usually find un-circling to be sufficient to reduce my exposure, while still allowing me to be exposed, when it suits a purpose, e.g. shared connections in a shared conversation.

Maybe I'm just not passionate enough? Maybe if I had stronger convictions, I'd find more things toxic?

I don't think so. I have very strong convictions, but getting into ugly fights isn't one of them. I'm perfectly comfortable walking away from a conversation that has no value to me. I don't need to "win" fights. Or maybe I call making my point and walking away "winning"? Bet the other person claims victory after I walk away; it's all subjective, and I don't have to care.

I've seen several people remark that they block others, because they don't want the toxic exposure. This makes sense, again, because it blocks viewing the comments.

Maybe if I was involved in more G+ communities, I would use the "block filter screen" more often. I guess I do this already, in the sense that I have joined only a couple of communities (actually, I think only one), and therefore already limit my exposure to stimulus I would consider negative.

Ultimately, at the moment, I think blocking is overused, as "mute conversation" and un-circling are also efficient at eliminating negative stimulus that I don't want to expend energy not getting wound up over. Maybe I'll change my opinion someday. :)



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Every Sperm is Sacred - Masturbation is Murder

Science has determined that every sperm represents half the genetic make-up of a human being. That means that each and every sperm is a potential human being.

Therefore, the destruction of sperm is the destruction of human life.




God, in His Infinite Wisdom, has designed the male body to expel thousands of sperm with every ejaculation. Since we lack a method to save all these lost potential souls, we can only do as God has ordained, and limit the loss of life.

Therefore, in order to honor and protect life, henceforth the following actions are illegal for any man to do:

  • Masturbate (alone or with a partner);
  • Anal sex;
  • Oral sex;
  • Premature Ejaculation;
  • "Nocturnal Emission" (whether at night, while sleeping, or not).


The evidence on presence of sperm in "pre-cum" for stimulated males is pending.

Only the following methods of sperm release shall be permitted to men:

  • Vaginal orgasm with a consenting, adult, female, to whom you are lawfully wed.

Only the following method of "birth control" is acceptable, since all others require the murder of human life, either the slaughter of sperm, or the death of a fetus:

  • "The Pill";

(Note that use of "the pill" might be morally objectionable under the "promotes being a slut" provisions, even when used by a lawfully married woman, prepared to provide documentation she is having sex only with her husband, and prepared to sign a pledge saying she will not become a slut, harlot, or loose woman.)

(Note also that we have given this a lot of thought. If you fancy you can think of a method of "birth control" that we haven't, then you're wrong and should seek medical attention - from a licensed doctor, or aggressive religious leader, whichever - for your deviancy.)

  • First time sperm murdering men will be sent to self-control education classes;
  • Second time sperm murdering men will be put on medications to control their unnatural, psychotic, murdering urges;
  • Third time offenders will be shot by a robot-controlled gun, on a random timer, because every life is sacred, and guns don't kill people, people kill people, and the random timer means that God ordains the moment of death for the sick, murderous sinner.



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Abstinace-Only - failure by design

Doubling-down on "abstinence-only" is like the athlete who says "Hey, smashing my foot with a hammer every morning, isn't making me run any faster. I clearly need a bigger hammer!"

That's what the bad shepherd does - double-down on policies that are killing the flock.

The good shepherd says "This isn't working, we need to try something else."

But, the sick truth, is the assholes who invented "abstinence-only" as the modern alternative to science, are very happy with the results, because these are exactly the results they had planned all along.

It's Class Warfare, Bitches



Monday, July 20, 2015

Musical Monday - Amaranthe - Digital World

These guys are almost unique in their combination of three vocals - pop rock, hard rock and heavy metal.  I love their sound.  They do an amazing job of blending their voices to create an unique sound that is a lot of fun to listen to.

 


What a brilliant idea for visuals, right?  Put your talent in front of green screen, and build an entire gorgeous visual display around it?

This Patric Ullaeus guy is a genius.  I've loved every single vid of his I've ever seen, and that includes vids for other bands.

The choice of visuals is very cyberpunk, and makes each of them seem like their in the Matrix (from Shadowrun) or in the net (for some reason I'm thinking of Snow Crash).

I could do without the "analog jumpiness" in the visuals, but whatever. After a while I started to filter it out and just have fun.  

I think the "false ending" works really well, and the "ink cloud" over Jake seems very comic book superhero.  Makes me want to build an ink cloud ninja or something.

I've played this one on loop a couple times. I just love the sound.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Easy Citation of Wikipedia - Oh, Come On!






Seriously? I know there was once a study that compared Wikipedia to Britanica, and it scored well, but I really think this is a bad idea to give Wikipedia quite so much credibility.

I mean, in truth, it really speaks to how much people use Wikipedia, and how much it has become a cultural icon, more than its reliability as a source. I mean - people are simply using it, therefore people are going to use it. Bit of a self-validation thing.

Anyway, yeah, this is a smart feature to include in MS Office, and mega-props to the Wikipedia team both for quality of content and for becoming such a defining iconic institution.

Still, I can't help feel like this is a bad idea.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Batting 8000!


It's a good run, and I feel good.


view count days
(delta)
days (total) views per day
during the period
posts (delta) posts (total) views per post (total average)
1000 94 94 10.6 85 85 11.8
2000 72 166 13.9 52 137 14.6
3000 34 200 29.4 28 165 18.2
4000 21 221 47.6 16 181 22.1
5000 15 236 66.6 12 193 25.9
6000* 30 266 33.3 17 210 28.6
7000 17 283 58.8 18 228 30.7
8000 34 317 29.4 18 246 32.5



* 6000 views happened while I was on hiatus, so I have no concrete values, and so extrapolated based on available data

Image text from CoolText.com





Wednesday, July 15, 2015

GOP: Personal Accountability, My Ass

Republican candidates whine when people dare to quote them at themselves.

Reminds me when a Tea Party person went thru the one tax return Gov Mitt Romney released, then asked Mitt during a town hall meeting to explain all his offshore taxhaven money, and Mitt blew him off.

Or when semi-Gov Sarah Palin embarrassed herself, and tried to blame Katie Couric for "gotcha journalism." Sorry, lady, Katie threw the raw footage up on YouTube, and we learned that Katie and her editing team had tried really, really hard to save you from your own incompetence. Your whining just dug your own hole deeper.

So, no surprise to see Cruz taking the attitude of "You can't take anything I say seriously, even the things I say seriously, so put me in charge of your government, trust me. Seriously."


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

President Obama Is and Isn't

President Obama is neither the second coming of Christ, nor the long-anticpated coming of the Anti-Christ.

He has brought amazing change to the country, both positive and negative. And all of this while being far more Centrist than the Lefties felt he lead them to believe, and yet still being accused lof being some weird kind of socialist-Maoist-Marxist dictator by the Righties.

Yeah, whatever.



I think the Trans-Pacific Partnership and lack of Net Neutrality are going to plague his legacy.



Quite frankly, for anyone thinking Gov Romney would have been a better choice, I'll remind you that Romney built most of his fortune by tearing companies apart, kicking the employees to the curb, and sharing the spoils with his other rich, elitist buddies.

Yeah, that would have been the perfect guy to ruin run the nation.



Monday, July 13, 2015

Musical Monday - Camille and Kennerly - Iron Maiden "Fear of the Dark"

The 2Cellos guys have some competition.

I've always enjoyed acoustic music, and the harp has an especially beautiful sound.  It lends itself well to a lyrical, lilting quality that most other instruments can't. A big part of that is - and I'm not a musician, so bear with me - I think the sheer number of strings. It's a bit like a portable piano - get a bunch of strings vibrating at the same time, and you get overlapping harmonics.

Unlike guitar, piano or cello, the harp does not lend itself well to speed, though. I think there is an upper speed limit on the harp, and that speed is... lyrical and lilting. Which makes Iron Maiden heavy metal sound funny. In a good way. Ha.

Still, this is a fun video. I really like the sound, and mega-props to these ladies for the adaptation. They've done a bunch of other adaptations, and have a lot of vids up on YouTube.




I'm comparing them to 2Cellos, because both musical groups are comprised of very attractive performers, playing electric versions of classical stringed instruments, who happen to appear to be ascending stars on YouTube.  They have similar styles, in that the performers never speak.

The harp doesn't allow for the pacing and energy the 2Cellos guys can get bowing the Hell out of their cellos, but Camille and Kennerly - a couple of hot blond twins? Yeah, 2Cellos are gonna lose this one, despite the greater energy the guys bring to the music and their vids.

Or, wait for it - I give it maybe six months before a fan-driving team-up video.  I think the 'Tube will melt, getting that much eye candy in one vid.

Just for aural contrast, here is a version of the original Iron Maiden song.





Friday, July 10, 2015

D&D 5e - Summon Monster [not] in 5e

I am unashamed to say that I liked playing summoner-types in  D&D 3.x, especially with some of the really abusive combinations possible with 3rd-party materials.

In my defense, I always brought my monster cards, and own minis, so I was prepared. I always prepared my action list in advance, and was usually one of the fastest turns at the table, despite sometimes having as many as eight critters and sixteen attacks. Heh. Yeah, I love me them minions.

Which is probably why Summon Monster has disappeared from the 5e PHB. After all, 5e is intended to streamline play, and be a less-complicated experience.

But, whatever. I'm not alone in feeling the gap, and this looks like a pretty fun and creative way to fill the void.

So, break out your buckets of mini-monsters, and let's get summoning!




Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Where has the CO2 gone - debunking bullshit persuasive argument

You don't need to know why I occasionally see these articles by this Norm Rogers guy, but let's just say I find him amusing.

In one of his earlier pieces on American Thinker (a misnomer, if ever there was one), he outright came out and said - quite literally - that he hates "global warming people" because way back a million years ago, when he was fresh out of college, and shiny-eyed and optimistic, he went to work or volunteer for the Sierra Club. Whatever office he was in, there was an issue about some erroneous information in the "please give us money" letters they were sending out. Someone in management said "send it anyway, as it will get us bigger donations."

Well, poor little starry-eyed Norm was apparently devastated, and has forever decided that all environmentalists are really just materialist bastards, out to make money from trumping up bullshit atmospheric arguments.  

Science be damned.

Which is funny, because apparently he's an engineer by training, and incredibly well-versed in both science and persuasive arguments.

Which brings me around to my being amused by his incredible ability to construct persuasive arguments.

Persuasive arguments are just that - essentially opinion pieces with the intention to convince the reader or listener that a particular point of view is valid, or to believe certain things, or to take certain actions - the goal is to convince the audience of something.  

Television commercials are persuasive arguments - they want you to buy their product.

The assholes on Fox News give you persuasive arguments all the time - they care less about informing the audience than convincing the audience to believe certain things (often times these "certain things" are total bullshit, misdirection, or even outright lies), but I digress.

So, Norm Rogers has pet peeves against climatologists. Therefore, he writes gems like this one about how the oceans can absorb CO2 indefinitely, so there isn't really a problem with CO2 levels, and anyone who says there is a CO2 "global warming" problem is really just seeking fame and fortune, and doesn't really care about the environment, at all.

And I thought I was cynical ;-)

Okay, so there's his piece about how the oceans can absorb CO2 and life is fine, quit-being-greedy-bastards-you-climate-whiners.

Well, except that rising CO2 levels in the ocean are destroying the ocean, including human food sources, and - ironically - the oceans' ability to absorb CO2.

Because, you know: Science.

See, all these complicated systems are interconnected. You don't get to pretend they're not.  This isn't metaphysics, it's reality. It's the same concept of interconnection that the gravitation force of the Earth drags on the Sun, and the collected bodies of the solar system pull on nearby star systems.

You pull enough small strings - or one  big string - and you start affecting the outlying systems: One country increases CO2 emissions, one small string. Everyone does it, and all those small strings build into big strings.  Drag those strings through the oceans and the plankton die. The plankton die and the fish die. The fish die and humans don't have fish to eat anymore, let alone shark fins for expensive delicacies.

Persuasive argument is fine. Just don't claim a high horse when you don't have one.  Glass houses and all that crap.

Because, you know: Science.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Yet another one about the psychosis of the Interwebs

I read this again last night, and lost sleep over it. I don't lose sleep over anything.

The psychosis of the Interwebs is that everything is about US, as individuals, all the time. We, as human beings, like to get self-righteous. Forgiveness becomes a joke, when the Interwebs mean that every stupid decision - ever will always be new to someone, somewhere, and therefore can haunt us forever.

Justine Sacco is a person. She is a person who will forever be haunted by the independently-living meme called #JustineSacco. They are not one and the same. However, I just learned about the meme, and therefore I have the choice to be a self-righteous idiot - right now - or not.

Most people on the Interwebs don't bother to ask themselves "Will I chose to be an idiot, or not?" - they just jump off the cliff of stupid, and a conflagration of stupid that is years old becomes a new conflagration all over again, and a person who made one simple, mindless, stupid careless word choice is pilloried again and again, because stupid people want to be selfish and wallow in their own self-righteous anger because it's NEW to THEM.

I live in fear of that shit. I walked away from my cherished Faceborg account when they demanded proof of my identity. I am not prepared to risk having my personal information leaked anymore than I already do.

Read the story - a young woman dressed as a Boston Marathon bombing victim. She quite probably did it because she cared about how they had suffered and wanted to remind people in a humorous way. However, the self-righteous stupid fucks of the Interwebs sent her death threats over a photograph.

Yeah, I lost sleep both from empathy for these victims of the selfish, self-righteous, and because I fear I could lose my life (figuratively or literally) to the next #JustineSacco meme.



Thursday, July 2, 2015

Theological Thursday: Your church probably says abortion has a place in reality

Given the aggressiveness of the lunatic fringe and Republican politicians to prohibit and restrict the artificial termination of pregnancy, almost invariably while screaming "because, God!", it is very nearly shocking how moderate most of the official church policies are.

And by "official," I mostly mean "established more than 20 years ago," since let's face it: the last twenty years have seen an insane growth in mom-and-pop and for-profit "Christian" churches, and these people lack any sense of history.  Without that history, none of the bugs in their doctrine have been worked out, so they keep making the same radical and stone-headed mistakes the "established" hierarchies sorted out decades or centuries ago.




#abortion

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I don't do Hangouts

Just a reminder, I don't do Hangouts, and I almost never respond to private messages.

If you do have a reason you want to PM me, then make the reason clear. For example "Sorry, I hope I wasn't an asshole in that thread," or "Hey, can I have your opinion on Topic XYZ?"

I think every woman reading this instinctively knows my reasons, but it boils down to boundaries.

For example, if you look at my "profiles" gallery, you will find a picture of Meghan from Snorg Tees. I thought it might make a nice avatar, but the tipping point to never again try alternate avatars was the marriage proposal via PM.  I shit you not. It was very polite, but WTF!?

I love you all, and I share that love willingly, but I do still have boundaries.