The Inevitability of Decline

It’s bound to happen. Someone is “offended” by what you think or say, and the only thing to do is destroy your voice. This is happening all over the Internet, television, books, newspapers, radio and government. The idea that people have a right to go through life without hearing something they don’t like is becoming a monumental problem.

Do I personally think things are offensive? Sure I do. I’m human. But I don’t get the idea that because I’m offended I can silence the other person. Only the government can censor, but there is a huge difference between censorship and chilled speech. Using the courts (or the U.N. over the ludicrously laughable “cyber-violence”) to stifle what is freedom of speech over “Feelings” is about as useful as a poop-flavored lollipop. The difference between being a me and an authoritarian is I don’t believe in other people’s power to silence (or the government’s either). Zoe Quinn and her ilk do. She doesn’t feel the need to have to prove her accusations. She believes in “guilty until proven innocent” for things as innocuous as disagreement.  Her and Anita Sarkeesian are textbook examples of authoritarians.  May they never gain another inch of ground against freedom and free-expression.

I for one don’t want to live in a world that punishes speech. There is no such thing as “hate speech”.  Words have no actions. They don’t offend unless YOU let them.  Stop letting them and grow up.  It’s not that hard to do. We all have to at some point, so stop clinging to your infantile past and join the real adults at the big table.  We even let you fart at meal time.

Fun and excitement 140 characters at a time

I admit, I tend to be a glutton for punishment. I spend too much time arguing on Twitter. It’s not productive, and it’s not easy to convey subtle meanings in 140 characters (minus the name of the random person you’re talking to.) Most people are easygoing enough, but there are always outliers (and in the case of Trump and Sanders supporters, LOTS of them). I am tickled pink that someone supports both of these folks, but their politics are not what these people are leaping into. It’s hard to explain in 140 characters that these folks (Sanders/Trump) are using the “faithful” for an agenda that will eventually enslave them.

Case in point: The “income gap.” Sanders is keen on pushing the “1%” narrative as if there’s some sinister club of people stealing money from the rest of us. The premise itself is nonsense, because it assumes a zero-sum game (a finite supply of wealth), yet in his tweets he keeps saying “99% of the -new- money goes to the top 1%”. That right there contradicts his narrative, but in this age of “I want what YOU got, and I don’t want to work for it”, petulant children lap this confirmation bias up. I’m not one to be completely dismissive of an idea (no matter how strange it sounds), but the idea that the government can tell me how much money I can make is a scary proposition.

These precious snowflakes need to think hard about this, because the real world will come soon, and they’ll have to live with the whiny “have/have-not” choices they made as stupid college kids. I will be old enough to enjoy when they turn libertarian and want the government off their back and out of their lives. I hope I don’t miss the hilarity.

Mechanical Keyboards revisited

After many moons using a CherryMX-Black keyboard (Filco Tenkeyless), I decided to get a numeric keypad back. I realized I used it with things I had previously dismissed (like my infrequent and frustrating trips down the dungeon in Nethack).

So I got one from WASD (great company btw). I got one with CherryMX-Green keys. It is a functionally equivalent keyboard to my Filco, and it’s comfortable enough to be used moderately. The problem arose as my hands started to hurt. I didn’t have this problem for decades of computer use (even a C64 keyboard), so I just chalked it up to old age and didn’t pay much attention to it. It got worse, so I dug around for my Microsoft Curve. In a couple of days, the pain went away. I knew it was either the heaviness of the keycaps, or the shape of the keyboard.

After much fiddling, I have come to the conclusion it’s not the shape but the amount of effort put into “hitting” the keys. This old Curve has light touch and very easy travel (it’s a membrane keyboard after all). My two mechanical ones didn’t have that feature, and as such it was extremely difficult at times to type for long periods (I’m a programmer, so I type quite a bit).

So what to do? I love these mechanical keyboards. I guess I’ll have to find one with a lighter travel (Blue keycaps perhaps?) or just use the Curve and remember my fingers aren’t as nimble as they once were. :)

White Privilege? Seriously?

I have read quite a bit about “white privilege”, and quite frankly, the more I read, the more I realize it’s not only not true, it’s a miserable attempt at blaming someone’s skin color for achievement. It’s not about “special, unknown benefits all white men enjoy”, no.. it’s about whining when the white man does better than you. Somehow it’s his fault. Somehow he is responsible for your lack of initiative, drive, and intellect. It’s the White Privilege that keeps your ambition to levels so low it can’t be measured.

Here are some facts that are not in dispute (but try to be, because they infect the narrative of the grievance-mongers who claim White Privilege is a thing):

1. Blacks and whites have been going to the same schools since the late 1960s. Integration, rather forced integration, has been in effect for at least two generations (more in some “progressive” states). They have access to the same teachers, books, libraries, free breakfast and free lunch programs, after school tutoring and in the case of blacks, access to mentors and reduced test scores for admission to college or to obtain scholarships. There are organizations made specifically for blacks that can ONLY have black applicants for grants/scholarships. Typically when scholarships are open to all races, the black applicants have a lower bar to hit in terms of GPA and SAT/ACT scores. I know you’re fuming right now saying “where’s the evidence!!!” Just look at a college entrance booklet. Any one will do. I can show you a booklet from 1988 that has scholarships for blacks only (full ride) where the GPA is 3.0 and the SAT score is only 960. For integrated scholarships, while GPAs for blacks are 3.0 or 2.5 and SAT scores under 1000, the same applicant (if he’s white) has to have a 4.0 GPA and 1250 minimum on SAT score.  This from the integrated group of students who had the same teachers, the same classrooms, and the same opportunity. So much for equality.

2. Asians are thriving in the United States with the lowest level of per-capita poverty than any other race represented in the US. They on average earn twice as much as blacks, latinos, and whites. They are more likely to get a bachelor’s, master’s or even PhD than their non-asian counterparts. If there is such a thing as “White Privilege” then why aren’t Asians suffering and falling behind? After all, non-whites claim systemic racism all the time, well, except Asians.

3. Affirmative Action has created a climate of quotas in our nation’s universities that even Asians are being discriminated against as applicants, because somewhere, there’s a race-baiting asshole like Al Sharpton willing to sit and protest a college because “not enough blacks” are on the attendance roles. When you turn away MORE than qualified applicants because you have to have X% blacks in a school, you’re doing something WRONG.

So, dear friends, White Privilege is just a code phrase for “I hate whitey.” It’s not about facts. It’s about bullshit. And anyone who says otherwise is part of the problem. That includes whites who have “guilt” over being white. The only guilt you should feel is how stupid you sound claiming “White Privilege” exists. You’d be thought less stupid if you believed in Bigfoot.

So, Progressives, NAACP members, Black Panthers, etc. Let me be the first Irishman to tell you to FUCK RIGHT OFF. Peddle your bullshit elsewhere. No one’s buying it.

Progress So Far…

Well, it’s been an uneventful week of learning PyGame and fiddling around with some ideas. I have been a little distracted by other endeavors, such as getting one of my Raspberry Pi’s set up as a NAS on my LAN, and playing the brutally hard and obviously sadistic “Darkest Dungeon“, which even though it’s difficult, I am enjoying it. (In a “Dark Souls” sort of way, not a “Bloodborne” or “Shadow of Mordor” sort of way.) But, rest assured, I’ll start on it soon. It may take a while to get a prototype working, though. That’s where the fun is. :)

I’m thinking of making a game using PyGame…

I  am actually not making one from scratch, but I found at the local Half-Price Books a couple of Metagaming microhistory board games that look like they’d be fun to try to make a 2-player hotseat game (before attempting to making anything resembling a computer player.)

I think I’ll do it like Avalon Hill used to do with their hybrid games on the old Atari computers (and Commdores I suspect). The game had counters/hexes and the screen told you where to put the pieces. I think I can manage a map and counters, but I’ll have to handle some of the other things in code, rather than on the board itself. (In the particular game I’m going to try called “Rommel’s Panzers”, there is off-board artillery, die rolls, and buildings to contend with. I think with some random numbers and decision trees, I can make some reasonably good scenarios. :)

Wonder if there’s a decent line-of-sight routine I can find somewhere? :) If not, this game will be fought with no obstacles, just distance. :)

I’ll keep up with documenting this endeavor (as much as I can remember to) on here. If it becomes a chore, I’ll probably abandon it and look to make it my mission to find the 2 player space combat game that uses a regular deck of cards (I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called, but it sounded FUN.)

Twitter and “Social” anything…

I’ve decided to re-vamp my use of Twitter. In the past, it’s been 140 characters of nonsense between monolithically ignorant jerks who prowl the internet trolling for fun, and the occasionally reasonable conversation with semi-normal people. Quite frankly, the denizens attracted to social media are, to put it bluntly, damaged. I deactivated my original Twitter account and decided, rather thoughtfully after spending some time in hospital, following things I enjoy (Raspberry Pi, Python, Linux, etc.) makes more sense.  I no longer follow the “controversial” nonsense. I don’t follow the pseudo-techies who are simply grievance-mongers in disguise. (Note to the reader: If you call yourself a contributor to a BSD/Linux distro, be sure you actually have contributed.) The war on Twitter for the soul of freedom and individuality is lost. The noisiest, most prolific (yet sparse in number) hate-mongers on Twitter have turned it into an echo-chamber for the Tumblr/Bored Idiot/”Social Justice” Gestapo crowd.

Does it bother me? Yes, in a way, it has tainted technology. The stupidly anti-freedom idiots on Twitter have successfully corralled off a piece of the Internet again. First it was LiveJournal. Next came Myspace. Follow that up with Tumblr. Now that they have Twitter, I am certain their next target will be anything their expensive iPhones can connect to with little effort. Technology has created a wonderful new world. The accessibility of technology has created an online world as stupid, underhanded, and chock-full-o-nuts as the real world.  I’ve been around computers in one form or another since I was 8. Got my first computer (an Atari 800xl) in 1983. It was a wonderful toy, but it took effort to unlock its secrets. Now, any soccer mom with a credit card can get on the web and spew her socially-mobile nonsense to impress her “play date” pals.

I am not a person who longs for the “pure” days of the past, but you have to admit the democratization of technology has had one bad side effect: It amplifies stupid. Technology didn’t lift us out of the stupid end of the pool. It just made the stupid end much bigger.

I hope one day we figure out there’s no “us” or “them”… just “we.” (That goes doubly for the Social Justice Inquisition.)