Archive for the ‘ Rants ’ Category

Cognitive loading…

“Eight, five, seven, five, three-oh…”

“Twelve! Four! Two! Twenty-six!”

“Eight, five, seven, five, um… Five…”

“Pony! Squirrel! Potato! Potato! Potato!”

“Eight, five, uh… Eight. Five. SEVEN. Eight five seven five three oh…”

“Eight, five seven, five three oh two.”

“Got it! I’ll call you tomorrow.”

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Who cares what Nancy Grace thinks of the budget ceiling debate?

Arguing from the facts, Opinionator, NYT (paywall).

Using recent debate over raising the Federal Government’s debt limit as an example, Gary Gutting has attempted to illustrate the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning but, to my way of thinking, has made a needlessly complex argument whose example positions are really only talking past one another. Each has a series of factually correct issues they wish to address, but rather than acknowledge their opponents’ arguments, they merely introduce new arguments, moving the goal posts and leaving neither any basis for compromise much less an opportunity to create consensus.

It also reveals some of the complexity of the issue and reveals its nature not as a principled debate about a contentious issue, but rather shabby political theater.

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Today is a good day…

A while back, I was talking with a fellow Okayer, NightOwl, about COPD, of which she said “You have good days and you have bad days” and for the last couple of months, I’ve had way more bad days. This really makes me appreciate the good ones all the more — while I tend to suspect that recently, the problem has been with barometric pressure and high humidity, I have no way of learning this with any certainty and even if I did, there isn’t much I could do to compensate. At one time, I had an industrial-strength dehumidifier and was removing maybe a gallon of water a night from this little 16×16′ bedroom, but this had no effect.

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Dear Hollywood…

The reason your sci-fi sucks?

You’re all on Macs. Final Draft on your MacBook. Twitter on your iPad. iTunes on your iPhone.

Would be a great, seamless utopia. EXCEPT YOU’RE LOST. ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Unless you’re Mark Sheppard, and if you’re not, you should hang on his every word.

Golden Age science fiction writers were all science geeks, though. Nowadays, you have to be a computer geek, too. It’s really no different than needing to learn how to handle a gun if you’re going to write a cop drama. Occasionally, you’ll catch examples of where people really get it — “Leverage” probably owes a whole hell of a lot to it’s art director, for example, but yeah — they come out a little more believable than CSI a lot of the time.

You need to put in the work, though. Get a PC, get some games, and troubleshoot your way through the installation and playing of them. THEN write about the FBI’s network infrastructure.

Why do people become stupid?

This is a question I wish I would have spent more time examining. I devoted an awful lot of time to figuring out how people should think — and almost no time at all into considering how they actually do, which bears very little resemblance to the former. In fact, I’ve found the latter so distasteful that I actually went to great lengths to avoid it.

Earlier today, I came across a post depicting a semi-redacted Facebook wall post in which the poster effectively said “Now call me racist, but I really hate people from country X” — which, as an example, is probably over-generalizing a bit much to be considered an example of true stupidity so much as general ignorance. But I started thinking about the factors likely behind the mistake.

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Self-esteem

When I was a kid, I was much more deeply affected by what other people thought of me than I am, now. At the time, I knew that a lot of people who at least claimed that they were pretty independent in this regard, but my own ‘forest for the trees’ worldview made me genuinely question whether anybody ever accomplished such a thing. It took many, many years of attempting to think my way out of this corner, and while I would not at all claim to be completely unaffected by what people tell me, now, it isn’t the end-all, be-all it once was.

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Withdrawing a bit futher…

So there will be fewer updates to the blog, most likely. Subject to change on a moment’s notice, but there have been significant changes to my personal regimen that weight this outcome more heavily from the standpoint of probability.

Probably the simplest being that I’m just very tired these days. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it, elsewhere, but I began participating in my hospital’s home hospice program following my most recent discharge; this led to a change in medication, not only in terms of self-directed protocols for antibiotics and steroids, but the addition of others for pain management and sleep.

In short, anti-anxiety meds and heavy opioids. This, in turn, both leave me even more fuzzy and disoriented as well as encouraging me to spend more time resting. I can’t say this is a bad thing at all; I’m still experiencing issues with respect to adjusting to the change in seasons (it turns out that there is some relationship between humidity level, barometric pressure and temperature and respiratory illness — things I’d suspected but never heard broached directly until recently), so the additional rest compensates for problems I’ve been experiencing in the early morning hours when the worst of my symptoms seem liable to flare up.

So if you don’t hear from me? Please, don’t take it any too personally. I’m just too tired, too high and too preoccupied with keeping the basics together anymore. I still love you, but my reserves are running pretty low these days, and I need to stay focused on carrying for myself properly.