Just a lazy update on an old issue

The boy that cried wolf is the fable that just keeps giving.

SARS, H5N1....the list just keeps going.

I have a nasty feeling, after living in the lab for all those years that there is a trend among the viral cognoscenti to treat any potential "threat" to the currently distended human population as a call to lobby for billions of dollars to be given for salaries, jobs for college friends, and trips to conferences.

A new virus is discovered and it is a race to the feeding trough for the academics and NGO's that, like any flavor of high priesthoods, try to make the general population pay for their beliefs.


Putting the Cart Before the Horse

So head over here

Manipulating the markets, any market, is supposed to be illegal, but don’t count on the bankers going to jail.  Dr. Roberts, who has a PhD in economics, thinks, “The big banks, the big Wall Street money, are essentially agents of the government.  This is why they don’t get prosecuted.  This is why they can break all kinds of laws, commit felonies and settle with a fine.  This is what we’ve been watching in the financial arena.  When these financial gangsters are caught, instead of being indicted and put on trial, they pay money.”

The key phase is:

 “The big banks, the big Wall Street money, are essentially agents of the government." 
More accurate may be the phrase
 the government, is essentially an agent of the big banks, the big Wall Street money."  


Ugo Bardi is great

But sometimes he publishes things that make me giggle.  The extended whining by Professor Malamud is a classic self-pity-party.


I wrote a comment and then came over here to chat a bit more.  If the comment gets posted (and I cannot see why it wouldn't, but one never knows) I will add it here.

But the overall tone is, encompassed in the phrase:
since we're hovering on the verge of extinction, but it will leave an interesting time capsule for whoever might come to recolonize the planet after we're gone.
Man...what a douche.

An Ivy league educated English Professor at a State College might see in the upcoming demographic collapse the end of the world.  All we will be seeing is the end of the unnatural life that he is the poster child for.

Given my druthers, I think that I would have preferred being a nomad of the Pontic-Caspian steppe in the early ninth century CE to being a spreadsheet-brandishing bureaucrat in the early 21st, or for that matter, a privileged child (Ph.D., Columbia) instructing a new batch of not-quite-as privileged children at a second tier university (Georgia State) in a bankrupt education system of a dying empire.

I have a feeling that the future pastoral nomads of the fifth millennium would find the whining equally amusing


You have to be shitting me

This is an actual quote from a blog that holds some respect in Doomerland.

Like the economy, ecosystems are complex systems.  That means that they owe their complexity and order to energy flows and, most importantly, they are inherently unpredictable.  How they will respond to the change by a thousand rapid insults is unknown and literally unknowable. 

OK asshole.  To say that ecosystems are like economies is stupid beyond belief.  Economies are man made constructs.  They do not support life, they are a simple system of generating symbols to be used in the catagorization of social status among a group.

It is dumb-fucks like you that keep the problem going.  To view the economy as a natural thing, subject to immutable natural laws is the mark of an idiot.  The natural environment is many many orders of magnitude more complex than a system for simpletons to dick-match in

Then to sit down and try to tell your fellow profit-by-doom followers how to make money off this is the mark of a true asshole.

Fuck you


Try this on for size

Wow...sometimes words fail me.

Money is stored labor.  Labor is part of human life.  To devalue money is to debase life itself.

This little quote is part of a greater article.  If you wish, you may read it here


Some fucked up shit my friends.  Golden Calves are nothing to some folks, just the way things should be.

I may be getting over it

For years, I was a full-on nerd.  Had to buy the latest and greatest box at the first blush of new tech.

Now....I have been noticing that hings have been changing.  My seven year old Compaq is currently back in use (fried hard drive) and so I brought this old dog out and updated my linux.

cat /proc/meminfo
cat /proc/cpuinfo

gave me these screens:


So a seven year old computer with dual pentiums, 2gb of RAM, running LinuxMint Quiana, a mail client (evolution) a big spreadsheet (LibreOffice) and five or six pages worth of Chromium is loafing along at around 50% memory use and maybe 25% CPU.

There is plenty of there there.  Granted, the beastie has a SSD drive to speed things up, but it really cruises enough for any task.  Around thirty seconds to fully boot from power-off.  Not a crash or a hiccup all week.

What do you use your computer for?  I think that you will find that for most purposes, you can make things last a lot longer than you think.

How much of your computer purchases are driven by the words "new" or "more powerful" instead of "fully functional.


Tell me you aren't a little stoked!

Been a while

My life is proceeding without my incessant worries taking over.

Anyway, that is why I haven't been posting much lately.

Just went in and filled up the spreadsheet on ebola and it is still going up in a linear manner.

Still going up, bad.  Still linear, good.

The public health folks are still screaming, but looks like things aren't going south in a big way yet


Busy Boy

Sorry about the lack of posts.

I am getting the boyos grown up and out of the house.  Lots of work to be done, lots of time spent.

Maybe I'll start writing again soon


respondeat superior

So, there was recently a little hissy fit over at the Electronic Freedom Foundation about how ISP's were dicking around with the encryption of e-mail.


Now, let's get a couple of things straight.  If you want privacy, you by god have the right to keeping your business your own.   But it is your responsibility.  It is not the default.

The idea that the internet is a good place to do shit you want to keep private is a foolish pipe dream.  Nothing more, nothing less.  The actual structure of the internet is such that it appears to be custom made for open and public communication.  Secrecy is not how it was designed.

My favorite line in this little bit of hand wringing is

In 1991, Phil Zimmerman implemented PGP, an end-to-end email encryption protocol that is still in use today. Adoption of PGP has been slow because of its highly technical interface and difficult key management. 
 So, there is a good, publicly available system for keeping your secrets secret.  The reason that you don't use it is that it is hard.

Well, keep relying on others to keep your secrets.  I'm certain that just complaining about how others don't do it for you will soon be working.