Monthly Archives: February 2013

Programmers Ain’t Easy To Love

and they’re harder to hold,

Good morning people!

I know this sounds geekish, but it pays to use the scientific method in relationships with other people. When conflicts arise, as they always do, instead of assuming you know why your friend is doing or saying something, take a deep breath, put on your lab coat, and ask them to describe their experience. 

Listen carefully. Remember this is a person you care about. This is not one of your ancestors (unless it actually is) and they are not behaving just like someone you know very well.

Read the whole thing. It was written in ’97 and linked from something just yesterday,

I actually do think people should learn to code, at least a little — just as you learn a little chemistry, biology and math in school. Learning how to program is imho easier than those things, but then I have a natural ability to program, so what do I know. 🙂
 
But I don’t like the way people at code.org are pitching it. And I don’t like who is doing the pitching, and who isn’t. Out of the 83 people they quote, I doubt if many of them have written code recently, and most of them have never done it, and have no idea what they’re talking about.

Via /. 

I think the first link is probably more educational than the second. What I like most about Code.org is that it is there. Anyone that wants to learn to code a wee bit can scoot on over there and do it. It isn’t the first or only source of tools to to what it is doing.

What it does do is tie into the Raspberry Pi, with Scratch which is, like I said, included with the Raspian distribution of the Pi kit. you can order from Raspberrypi.org.

The idea behind a tiny and cheap computer for kids came in 2006, when Eben Upton and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory, including Rob Mullins, Jack Lang and Alan Mycroft, became concerned about the year-on-year decline in the numbers and skills levels of the A Level students applying to read Computer Science in each academic year. From a situation in the 1990s where most of the kids applying were coming to interview as experienced hobbyist programmers, the landscape in the 2000s was very different; a typical applicant might only have done a little web design.

Something had changed the way kids were interacting with computers. A number of problems were identified: the colonisation of the ICT curriculum with lessons on using Word and Excel, or writing webpages; the end of the dot-com boom; and the rise of the home PC and games console to replace the Amigas, BBC Micros, Spectrum ZX and Commodore 64 machines that people of an earlier generation learned to program on.

 You know, if anyone has a better solution we’d all love to hear the plan. But for most of the world programmers come across as self centered 3l337157. I choose to take the good where I find it, and assume that most people are decent at their core. I don’t really care about all the rest of the bullshit.

So Many Tools

So few sheds

Allen and VandeHei wrote:

‘Nuff said.

Update: You did to yourselves. *Any double entente is purely accurate.

Update 2: With what? A fucking book?

Oh That’s Just Karazy Talk

et tu teardrop?

Lest I be remiss.

Update: Disconcerting aren’t I?

Lat Me Say This About That

A good question,

Tuesday night’s PBS Makers documentary on feminist history was powerful, inspiring, infuriating and hilarious. Watching the fabulous feminists of the 1960s and 70s raise hell, often with more than a wink of humor and creativity, and seeing how quickly they toppled institutions and shifted social mores felt electric.

Since I barely missed the sixties, to quote Tom Petty, I woke up between the memory and the dream, most of what I know of those years are either the personal events in my adolescence or what I’ve been able to learn by reading, or on rare occasions, talking to my older siblings and their peers about those years.

The documentary reveals quite a bit about those times, not just the women’s movement, and how what started with the SDS and Civil Rights movement fractured along sexual, racial, and sexual orientation, which also may give some background to the phrase, “if you remember the sixties you weren’t there,” because as, Mz. Steinem, in one of the smartest observations noted, we need to stop looking at people as groups and start seeing them as individuals. No one could keep up with all the changes in interpersonal lives and the movements, nor did they anticipate where those changes would lead, so that Tom Hayden would remark that no one in the early days working in the Civil rights movement even anticipated that African Americans would take liberation as a springboard to becoming the middle class, a value system that they, at the time abhorred. Times change indeed Mr. Justice.

Another thing I was impressed with, although I disagreed with her on many, many things, was Phyllis Schafaly’s counter movement. It was smart, and effective politics which anyone involved in political activism would be wise to be familiar with. If that isn’t feminism then I don’t know what was. It also reveals a certain level of bullshit that has been well emulated ever since by reactionaries and Christian fundamentalist in their movements.

But let’s not kid ourselves either. most people, if you ask them what they spend most of their time and energy on will tell you about their jobs and families. They don’t have the time or the inclination to think deeply about any other issues like the politically active do. We are a minority, and if you haven’t noticed, the conservatives control most of the crass media outlets, and they shape the messages and frame the debates. It is a liberal media in the same sense that Christie of New Jersey is a liberal now too. Only the rubes buy into the liberal media myth. I was lucky(?) enough to be called by my Representative to join in a telephone town hall where he catapulted the Republican propaganda to his constituents, who decried sending money to Iraq and Iran, (informed citizenry indeed,) instead of spending it here at home for Social Security, etc. The Rep talked about the Obama sequester as though the House and Senate hadn’t passed the damned bill signed into law by President Obama. That ties into my previous post perhaps more than this one.

The point however remains that no matter how informed someone is the vast majority of people are uninformed, or misinformed. It is hard enough for the activists to even get information, much less not spin it into something saleable with fact fudging themselves. Bad information and habits are equally hard to unlearn.

But the idea that modern feminists are under represented is hardly accurate. Women have voices that can are heard. Now if we can reach the point where, beyond biological functions, we accept that men can do anything women can do, (H/T), we will have achieved the women’s movements greatest goal.

My Thoughts On That

The Republican Party does not want black people to vote. Everybody knows this. So let’s say it: The Republican Party does not want black people to vote.

I think the Republicans would rather split either the African American or Hispanic vote away from the Democratic Party, which is entirely possible given the lack of strong leadership in either group in addressing their common issues and working together to solve them. Think Southern strategy if you will.

No one should have any delusions about Republican leadership’s principles. They flat out lie to their own base, which actually has them. That is almost as striking as the previous.That base is stuck between swallowing the lies, or accepting an ideological position inwhich they fundamentally disagree, *from the Democratic Party.

The Republican Party in fact wishes to accrue power and wealth to themselves, and in so doing coddle the rich because that’s where the money is. Everything else about that leadership is just bullshit.

*Added

Next Week: Cleaning Loaded Wepaons

Don’t try this at home foke!

An employee in a Texas school district on Wednesday was accidentally shot during a district-sanctioned handgun training class, the Tyler Morning Telegraph reported.

We did it for the children!

Also too so you don’t sound as stupid as you behave.

The Invisible One Hand Clapping

And other tales invented from whole clothe, or cobbled together to shoe invisible feet.

Just Wondering

Why, if the ACLU and journalists cannot get redress from the courts because they cannot prove they were harmed, (catch 22,) does the court not require Shelby, Alabama to show harm to Shelby, Alabama from the voting rights act?

Further thoughts: The political thrust of the suit is to remove the Justice Department from oversight so that the concurring states can gerymander their Congressional districts and dilute Democratic voting strength. It’s a fucking ploy, and I find it difficult to believe that 5 of 9 Justices can be both so obtuse and sitting on the bench. Therefore I must conclude they are in fact and deed activist judges, seeking to not only make law, but excerpt  federal political influence into matters that they ostensibly say resides within the states.

In short, the Supreme Court is bordering on being a farce.

What Ever Shall We Do?

Busy, busy, busy today.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the BOA leak  which is a 15g blob released by some Anons, supposedly left on an unsecured server in Israel, which I figured was too large to download and given the circumstances probably riddled with malware, YMMV, and then of course the other leak of passwords from Australia’s ABC,
and then the rather informative advice to all ye olde phantom programmers out there. Anyway, that should be enough of that sort of stuff for the wee wee crowd.

I really didn’t feel like writing until now, so I didn’t have anything to say about Apple or the Orange man, Supreme pizzas for the court etc. etc. Still don’t.

I have to observe that at the current rate, Chrome and Mozilla will both reach 65 before I will. I still think it should go without mentioning that a dollar is also fungible, but such is our economic situation that anyone can say anything on TV so long as the rubes will buy into it, which is why Texas policy on Medicaid is tied to the Federal debt, which is tied to the previous flim flams. Kinda boring really.

I’m sure I will feel like writing tomorrow after a hearty meal and a good night of sleep. If not. well maybe your luck will hold through to the weekend.

Good Morning "Makers"

Yeah, I watched it. Best documentary I’ve watched since Soledad’s “Black in America” on CNN. In fact it’s the first one since then.

So

When is Warren Buffet going to fix his damned railroad crossing? Inquiring drivers want to know.

In Fact

American media outlets almost make it a certainty:

But the most profound moment of the town hall came when a woman in a light blue headdress rose and asked Kerry what he thought about when he saw people like her – and what he viewed as the difference between Muslims in Germany and the United States.

Kerry answered that he didn’t know enough about the German Muslim community to make a comparison but he talked about the American Muslim community.

“In America we have total – sometimes you have somebody who’s a little, not as tolerant as somebody else, and that happens anywhere,” he said. “But as a country, as a society, we live and breathe the idea of religious freedom and religious tolerance.”

Speaking in this city where the history of Naziism runs deep, Kerry spoke about how the United States deals with intolerance.

“In America, you have a right to be stupid if you want to be,” he said. “And you have a right to be disconnected to somebody else if you want to be. And we tolerate it. We somehow make it through that. Now, I think that’s a virtue. I think that’s something worth fighting for.”

Like I said, read a fucking book once in awhile.

Heh

Paranoia big destroyer,

Remarkable. Our uncles and fathers turned the Empire of the Sun and Third Reich into cinders in four years, and this generation is all wee-weed up over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“For all intents and purposes, (Bibi) Netanyahu is now the West’s protector,” says Rubin. How so? Because Obama and Chuck Hagel seem to lack the testosterone “to execute a military strike on Iran.”

Yet, according to the Christian Science Monitor, Bibi first warned in 1992 that Iran was on course to get the bomb — in three to five years! And still no bomb.

I’m glad someone reads Rubin so I don’t have to.  Now I need to find some else to read Pat.