kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
My internet connection has been really crappy of late, so it doesn't help me to notice that even when it does work, pages occasionally have difficulty loading, and it's almost always the same reason: the page is waiting to hear from google analytics before it will load. I have no idea why so many pages are linked into google (well, probably ads), but I think it very poor web design if your page depends on an outside source in order to load. This is particularly foolish when it's not even integral to your page. Gah!


May. 23rd, 2009 05:39 pm
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Why do people of late think that the government is the answer to everything? Starting with the founding fathers, there have been many generations of people who believed that limited federal government was the best way to go. One of the main reasons for the war with England was because the king was too controlling, taxing the people to death and requiring ridiculous things like the housing of soldiers. Yet, what do we find as the popular train of thought today? We want the government to handle everything for us. People have griped for years about how absolutely incompetent the government can be in handling things, from building things, to distributing money efficiently. And we want to give them more?! You know, there's a damn good reason for the second amendment to exist, and it's not because of hunting. It is there specifically so that the common people will always have the means of defending themselves against the government, should it ever become a bad one. I'm not saying our government is there yet, but I sure as hell don't want to help it get there by just handing every part of our lives over to them to control. That's just not a great idea.
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I don't understand what the hell has happened to AVG in the move from 7.* to 8. Seriously, you have to take up 90% cpu resources every single bloody time I want to open any application whatsoever? It should not take 2-3 full minutes to open up firefox for the first time! And why the hell do you need to scan my programs whenever I close them down? I mean, what the hell! You used to be so resource friendly! You barely ever made a peep, and updating was a piece of cake. Now look at you. You're a bloated piece of crap, dude; not to mention you now take forever and seriously hog resources just to update, even if there's no update. What the hell is wrong with you?! Did you let a four year old code you? Did you start hating your users? You better shape up, AVG, or I'm moving on to Avast.


Jul. 12th, 2008 09:42 am
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Why you got to be like that, radio? So, like most people, I have a handful of favorite radio stations that I listen to in my day to day driving. Until just the other day, one of my top favorites was the station playing classical music. It was what I listened to when I couldn't take any more lyrics, or just wanted to calm. A few days ago, they suddenly stopped, and now all it seems to be is some sort of news channel. *weeps* I want my classical back!

* Okay, so I looked up the radio station, and it looks like they split into classical music and news, and the news gets the old radio address and the classical gets a new spot on the dial. Only, I'm not sure if I'll be able to get it now or not, as they acknowledge that many people may not be able to hear it anymore. Bastards. I want music, not more damn news!
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
You ever have one of those days where it seems like everyone on the road has just completely lost their freaking minds? Yeah, having one of those days. I don't even know where the hell all the traffic came from. I mean, it's only 3:30 or so now, yet the highway all the way home from work was completely packed, and seemed to have a lot more dickish behavior going on than usual. Did I miss a memo? Is today go out driving like a royal prick day, or what? Bah, I say! Bah!
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Slashdot linked to a rather interesting article (which itself links to another article, woo), regarding the state of the modern intellect and the effect the internet has had on our cognitive processes. Mostly it's a guy commenting, but he brought up some interesting points, and the conversation threads on Slashdot regarding said article has given me much to think about.

The basic argument a lot of people make is that while our general memorization skills have dramatically dwindled, that's not necessarily a bad thing, because the internet now gives us instant access to most any knowledge we could ever want. In essence, the internet has become the extension to our memory. Thus, the new form of intelligence is not necessarily focus on how much you can recall, but how well you can process and sort knowledge coming in from the internet. I disagree with this argument to an extent, and try to remember every bit of information that I can. However, I do agree that the ability to process is now a highly important skill to basic functioning.

However, there is a very large problem with this whole idea. The problem is that most people are actually using these enormous quantities of information in any sort of intelligent manner. They are not learning even the basic methods of sifting and sorting. If anything, this instant access to knowledge has made people far lazier and more stupid than ever before. It's as if the very possibility of accessing the knowledge is enough for people. I realize I'm generalizing, but it's a generalization based on my observations of many friends. And what I see is a distinct lack of interest in learning, or even finding things out. It's already out there, so they figure it's not important for them to look it up themselves. So not only do people not bother to learn the new skills, they don't even have the same amount of personally learned information that people used to have.

What the net has done is to make people lazy and complacent, and that is a terrible place to be in, especially when our connection is so very tenuous. If you've ever had the net cut out unexpectedly, you know just how much basic information you suddenly lose. You forget how to do even simple things because you can find it all online, so when it's gone, you suddenly find a number of tasks that you can't remember how to do anymore. So what happens if a large group of people suddenly lose this connection? Nothing but empty heads, bumping into each other...


Mar. 10th, 2008 09:06 am
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Is it just me, or do a lot of movies anymore seem less substantial. I rarely finish a movie anymore and feel metaphorically full. It's like so many movies they make anymore are just empty calories of movieness. They're the snack food of entertainment! I felt that way yesterday after watching the movie Sunshine. It was an okay movie as far as movies go, though at times I was reminded of Mission to Mars, but it felt incomplete. I feel like a lot of movie people are going the way of the literary elite, that is to say they've gone way far deep into post-modernism and care more about making things arty rather than actually tell a good story. The movies they make feel hollow and make everything obscure so that only the "elite" can enjoy them.

What it really is is no clever, nor truly artistic, it's simply bad story-telling. I liked Sunshine a little, but honestly, there's much they don't explain and much that doesn't make any sense. I tried listening to the commentary, but the director seemed too full of himself to listen to for very long. Why can't we get more of the likes of Joss Whedon? The man knows how to tell an intelligent story without trying to confuse those who aren't "in the know".
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I am thoroughly disgusted by the Palestinian/arab/muslim/terrorist mindset. I just read about an attack by a lone gunman on a Jewish seminary school in Jerusalem. The *expletive* opened fire on a dining room full of young men, killing 8 and wounding 8, before being killed himself. Now, that in of itself is terrible, as we all know from the school shootings we've had in this country; but it is not the worst part. The worst part is that when they heard the news in Palestine, they effing celebrated! They were passing out candy in the streets! I just want to swear a lot whenever I hear about this kind of mindset. When Israel retaliates for some attack, they are always super, super careful to have as few, if any, innocent casualties as possible. But those freaking terrorist bastards do nothing but aim for the innocents, the noncombatants, and the harmless. They revel in the pain, anguish and misery caused to innocent civilians. There will be much to account for on the day they face God, and it won't be the paradise they've been expecting, I can guarantee that.
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Yesterday I found out through Slashdot that Neil Gaiman has put up one of his books, American Gods, up online for free reading. Having now read two of his books, I can confidently posit a few key elements of his work. First, he writes more or less well and, at the very least, interestingly. I spent much of the last two days unable to put down my computer screen; which is difficult as it's one of those old CRT types that weighs like 30lbs. Second, he has many interesting ideas, but I don't think he ever fully delivers. Think most of M. Night Shyamalan's movies, though not quite as disappointing. Lastly, I will never read another one of his books ever again if I have any say in the matter. While most of each of his books are worth a read, the man seems to randomly throw in the most grotesque, unnecessary, inappropriate, lewd, etc. scenes in. It's like watching a movie that seems to be PG-13 for the most part (with a bit of language, so maybe R at times), but suddenly starts throwing in scenes from pornos, bondage flicks, and snuff films. The book I just read could have made for a decent memory, but now all I will be able to remember are all those disturbing and perverse scenes peppered throughout. I feel dirty for having read them. I don't want this crap in my head, but can't get it out. And I seem to have this terribly compulsion to finish the books, movies, etc that I start, so I had to read the whole thing. Blech.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
Okay, so I get absolutely, furiously annoyed every time John Mayer's song Waiting On the World to Change starts to play. I used to think it was a pretty song, and I guess it still kind of is, but I simply cannot listen to its inane, and utterly retarded lyrics anymore. I don't really have the proper adjectives to describe just how foolish and empty-headed the message is. Does he know nothing of history? How can you not even notice what happened in the sixties, when massive changes occurred because the people would not sit back and wait? Waiting on the world to change? Give me a break. Hardly anything in this world ever gets better by waiting for it. It is the nature of most all systems to degrade without energy or effort put into it. It is as much true of physics as it is of social systems. Most all of the world's best changes have come about as a direct result of some small group of people, with often little power, who stood up and took a stand. How can you not realize that sitting back and waiting only ends with something worse than when you started? We have many examples from our very own history, such as black rights and womens' rights specifically because people, who felt as if they had no power to change things, didn't care and kept on moving until they did change things. Oh John Mayer, how could you know so little. He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.
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I grew up on apple computers. Our school had them. We had one for many years (It was one of those tiny black and white screens and only used floppies). I am, in fact, buying an ipod. But sometimes, okay, a lot of times, I really hate apple. I figured since I was getting an ipod, I should look ahead and install itunes so as to actually be able to put my music onto said ipod. And what did it do, you ask, as if you were really reading this and asking such a question? Why thank you, I shall indeed tell you. The bugger installed a metric buttload (you'd think the american standard butt would hold more of a load, go figure) of extraneous "services" on my computer, and without a single question as to whether I cared. I've been able to prune some of the services, but holy cow, is it annoying. Microsoft always gets (the well-deserved) crap about doing whatever it wants and being annoying, but at least it asks. Apple seems to be of the mindset that it knows what we "want" and it's going to give it to us whether we like it or not. Do I look like I want an iphone? No! I do not even own a cell phone! So why do I not have the option of turning off the service that is dedicated to wasting my computer's time, just in case I happen to have one?

It's not just that itunes installed all these services, it's that it made them perniciously unkillable. Most processes, you see it, kill it, that's that. Not with some of them. They pop on when you turn on itunes, and at least one of them will not DIE! Kill it, it pops on again. Kill it, it pops on again. I had to fiddle with msconfig services to get one of the little bastards to stop running. Why apple, why? And don't tell me there's a light on the tree that won't light on one side. I know that story.
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I dearly love what Orson Scott Card has to say about homework and its lack of usefulness. He even explains how studies done have shown that there is no noticeable connection between lots of homework and improved learning. Having gone through a pretty average public schooling, I have to agree with what he has to say about the current state of homework. Honestly, I was the guy who never missed a single homework assignment going through school, and I did fairly well on my tests, but I can honestly say that only a small fraction of the homework I did ever taught me anything.

In fact, I have learned more geography and history from cartoons and personal reading than anything ever taught or assigned in school. I learned more math from a few problems done in class than I ever did doing hundreds for homework. I may have learned a tiny bit, but it no where was worth the amount that I had to do. I remember struggling for hours every evening, trying to do a handful of AP physics problems, and never really understanding a whole lot better. Yet, in ten minutes of class, I could understand at least half of them due to some simple explanation. What's worse, homework never taught me how to learn and recall information. It only taught me how to look up specific words or phrases and to regurgitate it back for a test, never actually keeping more than a fraction of it. I'm paying for that now, coming out of 16-17 years of schooling and not recalling much of anything.

Although, I have to say I also have a problem with the way they sometimes teach in classes as well. I have a decently large vocabulary with absolutely no thanks whatsoever to school. Any knowledge of the intricacies of the language, such as parts of speech and grammar, I learned accidentally through all my reading. My education in proper grammatical structure and parts of speech I vaguely recall as being covered for a few minutes a day for like a week, back in middle school. That was it. I have friends in college who still can barely read. I honestly think we need to go back to the older ways of learning, such as by rote, song, and mnemonic devices. I mean, honestly, would anyone remember the color scale arrangement if it weren't for ROY G BIV? I've learned the majority of the countries of the world thanks to an old Animaniacs song. I remember Magellan because of them as well. I can remember nursery rhymes from when I was like seven easier than I can remember what I learned in high school, or heck, last year.

My long-winded two cents. Five cents or so, given inflation.
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You know, this whole uproar about illegal immigrants and multiple languages has gotten me thinking on the subject. Honestly, as in most things, I can see both sides of the issue, though I think I may be swaying more one way than the other. I have honestly no opinion about deporting the illegal immigrants, though I think it's not really feasible at this point. However, I do seem to have a thought about the whole language issue. On the one hand, it's almost cruel not to try to help people understand the basic necessities of life. When any of us travels to another country, we expect a certain level of understanding and help. However, when we want to live in another country, we're expected to at least try to learn the language (it does help that english is currently pretty much the common language of the world).

I think it's rather arrogant of anyone to come live in a country and then expect the country to start drastically changing everything to fit you. I definitely think it too arrogant if someone disobeys the law of a given country, sneaks in illegally, and then has the gall to expect the country to change for it. In the case of the U.S., I really don't know how fair our immigration laws are, but they are still laws, and as such, should be honored. I don't think we should flat out say english is the official language, completely removing all spanish language assistance, but I do think it's rather ridiculous that we have to go out of our way for their convenience.

I acknowledge that there is an increasingly larger population of perfectly legal mexicans, but I also know that there's a population of what, several million?, illegal immigrants here as well. I think it's a perfectly rational assumption that when one comes to another country, one tries to learn the language. I don't know though. It just seems to me that something's not right with every option.

What I do know, and this is just my personal feelings on the matter, is that I dislike a group of people moving to where I live and demanding that I accommodate them by learning their language and adding it to everything I do or make. I also don't appreciate the attitude I've gotten on several occasions, the one where basically someone barely knows enough english to carry out my request or order, and then gives the attitude that they don't care and I'm lucky just to get that. Though I suppose that's more dicks being dicks. A dick is a dick in any language.
kryptonitemonkey: (Default)
So I was flipping channels this afternoon during lunch, when I came across some channel with a sort of semi-documentary trip with Ashley Judd going to Africa to document the widespread terror that is AIDS. VH1 I believe. Anyway, it was rather interesting at times, but there was moment where Ashley Judd was reading this script for a commercial or speech she was going to give about AIDS (she speaks impeccable french btw, which I find unbelievably sexy) that I was rather struck by an annoying bit of irony. The irony being that she was reading/rehearsing the bit that talked about abstinence, about how kids should wait for marriage. This, of course, is not only absolutely true, and if done by everyone, would greatly wipe out, or decrease, the number of AIDS cases in Africa. There was no crap about condoms making it safe, because come on, they really aren't all that safe when it comes to AIDS/HIV.

What I found terribly hypocritical though, was that when people go to, or are in Africa, they realize that abstinence really does matter, and that maybe it's something worth considering. I've heard of various college campuses in Africa where thousands of students show up to pledge abstinence, because they've seen first-hand the devestation that AIDS has caused. The hypocricy lies in that such ideas are completely scoffed at here in the US, and that some of the very celebrities speaking up at its virtues over there, come back here only to make another movie or show involving lots of casual sex, sending the exact opposite message of what they said elsewhere. It's not like we're somehow different here. The number of STD cases percentage-wise in this country is astounding. The number one STD, which affects nearly half of all sexually active people (47% to be precise), can be transmitted simply through contact with the the affected region, and has become the number one cause of cervical cancer. But I digress. I'm just annoyed at the difference in messages and reactions to said messages we get.
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No, I haven't been living in a hole somewhere (I don't think), so I know it's been this way for a little while, but still. Mostly in reference to christians I hear it, and even from other christians, which is like, to be blunt, one family member spitting on another member, but anyway I've started hearing it in other places as well. I hate that the word fundamentalism has become an epithet closely related to fanatical psycho or something. Since when is wanting to follow the fundamentals of something a bad thing? I mean, how many books and speakers out there are always going on about "going back to the basics"? Take the tax laws at the moment. They're so convoluted and stupid that they're thinking of rehauling it all and going back to a simpler and better working system. Is that not trying to keep with the fundamentals of what taxes really are? That is not a bad thing, so why should it be bad when compared to other things, especially christians?

It just really annoys me is all. I gather I'm something of a fundamentalist christian and I don't really think I'm quite as retarded, or in need of being shot or institutionalized or something, as the media and such says. Unfortunately, the truth is that the crazier ones tend also to be the loudest, which is true of most things. Sometimes I agree with the more vocal, public people, but sometimes not. I just don't like being labeled with an epithet. I'm just really hoping that it'll count towards that whole, blessed are those who are cursed for believing thing... That'd be swell. :P


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