What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Linkee-poo knows this world is killing you

I'm going to break with the usual flow of links in this post because I think the next two are related. Old man grumblings about "kids these days" are boring and annoying, especially when I find myself doing it. These post relate to a few others I recently did. The first one relates to Tobias Buckell talking about quantity vs quality and how the former often leads to the later but starting with the later leads you nowhere. And the second relates to the article about how kids can't use computers. There's a mindset that locks one into "user" status. Many of these kids who are "computer literate" aren't more than users because they don't know there's a different way to be. I've also overheard complaints of some parents of kids who are now of an age to learn to drive. Most of them are having great difficulty because they've been so distracted all their life they never really watched how their parents drove nor how they got to wherever they were going.

Here's part of what's wrong with design these days. Here's a Sr. Art Director talking to "Juniors" about "where's the craft." Craft? And thinking computers have only changed what we're doing for the past 10 years? Dude, really, it's been 25 years since the computer revolution in design. If it's only affected you the last 10 years, you are way behind the curve. Now in the main I agree. What we do today as compared to what we did 2 decades ago, design is a very diminished form. I don't think I've handled more than a handful of what I would call "quality" photographs (even hiring a "professional" these days is no guarantee) in the past decade. Design has been democratized. If you haven't seen it until lately you have been living a rarified life. Here he is again talking about "craft as beauty", but it's the same argument. Now actually, like I said, I agree with him (except when he calls people "Juniors", which is a reference to Junior Art Directors and Junior Designers, to which I say a hearty "fuck you, dude", let's purge the condescension crap from some of the "Seniors" and we might be able to get back to craft). Today we're beset by ugly but wonderfully manipulated communications. And I would love (love) to have a job where I could do an actual "creative process" instead of having to grind out the work faster today than I did yesterday to drive more profits to the owners' pockets. The sad thing is, with the creative process I could drive even greater profits, but that's a long term game. So, yea, I have contempt for "Seniors" who talk down instead of across, but I also have regret that kids these days are taught computers without learning the basic forms of communications.

"Bret Victor's The Future of Programming should probably be required viewing this fall for all CS majors." And here's a direct link to the video of the presentation. Computing from the viewpoint of a 1973's IBM engineer, back at the dawn of the ARPANET (which is probably the least interesting tech he outlines as "the future of programming"). Also pointed to because of the simplified presentation form of using overheads (every Powerpoint user should take notes - when some of us old codgers talk about the death of the presentation form, this is what we're talking about). This is one of the few anachronisms in his presentation, it's clear his overhears were laser printed. Also good to keep in mind both the progression of "future programing", and how the world is different than what we imagined. Just so much in there and so much to unpack. Highly recommended if you're interested in technology and especially if you're a computer programmer/scientist. What's really sad is I remember a lot of what he's talking about. Man I'm old. And watch until the end. The last 5 minutes are very interesting. "The most dangerous thought you can have as a creative person is to think you know what you're doing." Substitute "computers" and "programming" with "science fiction" and "fantasy" and I believe you also get a cogent statement between the "Golden Age" and the current market of SF/F. (Grokked from Dan)

Elizabeth Bear is running her book sale.

If you're taking photographs, know your rights. I don't do that much photography anymore and I've had to explain to an officer what I was doing. Another tip is to keep calm and be polite. Also, don't give up your rights just because an officer looks and behaves imposing. They're trained to do that. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Two stories about wind power. “Wind farms are being given around £30million a year in compensation to switch off or slow down their turbines because nearly half the electricity they make is not needed.” We need bigger batteries. "'The prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers averaged $40/MWh for projects negotiating contracts 2011 and 2012, spurring demand for wind energy.' That’s $0.04 per kWh." Wind is now cheaper than some other forms of production. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"The goal of Project Pterosaur is to mount an expedition to locate and bring back to the United States living specimens of pterosaurs or their fertile eggs, which will be displayed in a Pterosaur Rookery that will be the center piece of the planned Fellowship Creation Science Museum and Research Institute (FCSMRI). Furthermore, the rookery facility will establish a breeding colony of pterosaurs in order to produce specimens that could then be put on display by other regional institutions or church groups." Um, yeah, Bob. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

And now in real science news, the Sun is about to flip magnetically. Queue the End Times and Tin-Foil Hat Brigades. (Grokked from Tor.com)

The internet troll as the modern equivalent of the witch hunt. (Grokked from Tor.com)

"This doesn’t mean that there’s any racial profiling going on(in Atherton, CA), of course. Could be that Latinos in the area just converge on Atherton for the purpose of driving without a license, which is also the most common violation listed." I'm sure there's no racism here, in one of the countries most wealthy communities. "We’ll have to assume that Atherton cops are just really, really good at spotting the telltale signs of a driver whose license is expired. Black hair and brown eyes are among the most common." I'm mean, we're a post-racial society, aren't we? Take the good folk of Beavercreek, OH, just outside of Dayton. I mean, they only want those people who might take the bus into their community to be comfortable with requiring AC and heating in all bus shelters. Might as well add an electrical outlet to charge up your cell phone while you're at it. And I'm sure it's just activist judges who basically said, "BS, get on with it," and are making the good citizens of Beavercreek accept bus service from Dayton to their suburb (also, I wonder how much their legal council makes, if they have them on salary or on an hourly basis). It's just like the good people of King of Prussia, PA who have only charity and warmth in their hearts when they say, "If somebody can't get to King of Prussia by car, they shouldn't be coming at all." And, you know, we can't have brown kids singing our National Anthem. Because, hell, I don't have anything here. My daily allotment of sarcasm has been used up. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

Idiots gonna be idiots. And just a reminder that being an idiot knows not real party affiliation. "Progress Kentucky, the bumbling liberal super PAC that did more harm than good for Democrats during its eight-month existence, is no more."

Yea, the anti-Obama people aren't racist. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

The Onion often takes people along for a ride, here's 35 times.

"After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a new benchmark was set for business behavior. Once you hung out your shingle, you could not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, or sex, regardless of your religious justification or personal belief. Ironically, the re-emergence of attempts to claim constitutional protection for discriminators over those discriminated against is a measure of the success of the expanded vision of the women’s rights and gay rights movements." But now we're trying to roll those back. One of the first places we saw it was in the pharmacy. State lawmakers would pass laws that would allow pharmacists (and now pharmacy workers) to not have to provide "Plan B" (and now any form of birth control) which would go against their consciousness. Then they expanded it to hospitals, doctors, and nurses to not have to perform abortions. Really? I was approached to do a calendar for the local Right-to-Life group. While I could charge them double, technically I couldn't refuse the work (and unfortunately I worked for someone who supported their cause - fortunately they never had the money and my boss didn't want to do it for free). And if we start allowing these "exemptions" from "commercial businesses", there is no end to discrimination in sight. And, seriously, refusing a booking because the people make you all squicky? Sigh, you want to go down that road? Okay. Many Christian religions are anti-masterbation. Start asking all your customers if they've ever pleasured themselves and then refuse them service if they have. How about if someone enters your establishment wearing poly-blend clothes? No, really, this is a bullshit response unless you want to start enforcing Kosher Laws. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

"Mike Huckabee doesn’t want you to think he’s a bigot. He just wants you to know that he sees himself as superior to more than a billion people whom he regards as sub-human. Huckabee thinks it would be unfair for you to twist that into making him out to be a bigot." Fred Clark wants you to understand that it is a moral imperative to shout back at hate speech (since hate speech is usually shouted to begin with). The form that shout back takes can be of your choosing. In this case, I'll fight fire with fire (as it were) and say "Mike Huckabee, bless his little heart."


Eric said...

If I convert, can I have a pterosaur? Pleeeeeease. I promise I will take very good care of him and love him and feed him and take him on walks and share my ice cream with him! It won't be like the last time with the plesiosaur in the bathtub, promise!

Steve Buchheit said...

Eric, you already had one. And I'm sure in two weeks when you get bored with it again, we're going to be the ones feeding it and taking it for glides. Plus, you already have a bicycle.