I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
February 20, 2016 - 1:20 p.m.
I'm still having trouble with my computer. Task manager says "Disk" is 100% and I thought it was disk space. It isn't. It's time the cpu spends accessing the disk. It's accessing it all the time. I tracked down an official Microsoft solution which didn't apply to my commuter. I'm still hunting. If you have heard about this and know what to do please tell me.
Yesterday was one of those exciting days I didn't leave my house. At least I made good meals. Dinner was my special jerk chicken with garlic salt and MSG. I committed the terrible sin of overcooking it. There were two possible reasons. The first is that I made a breast and though it was large it can take less time than the dark meat I usually make. The second is that it wasn't quite defrosted so I popped it in the microwave at half power for 2 minutes. It was hot when it came out. I cooked it for three minutes less than usual but I guess I should have made it at least five.
Yesterday was my sister Sue's birthday so I called her. She said I was the third best singer of "Happy Birthday." She clearly does not have friends that are good singers. We did a lot of catching up. We haven't spoken in a long time. As my anxiety causes a lot of problems.
I watched more Stargate Atlantis and was reminded of two fallacies that are very common in science fiction, one involves knowing real science, the other violates what everybody knows but just doesn't think about. Movie and TV science fiction loves energy beings. It's such a cliché that in the Star Trek episode of Futurama the energy being they encounter quizzes Fry on energy beings on ST:TOS. Energy beings are impossible, at least ones that are on a planet. By very fundamental physics, the theory of special relativity, anything that is pure energy my necessity moves at the speed of light. They can't just stand there.
OK that involves physics that most people don't know. This next one involves things that everyone should notice. I noticed it as a kid. Think of all the TV shows and movies where somebody ages rapidly. You see their hair turn white. Hair in your head never changes color. It's dead tissue. Hair turns white when it starts growing in white. That means the characters hair must have growing superfast. Nobody is giving them a haircut why don't we see it growing? Often the character goes bald. But when the processed is reversed not only does their hair grow back it grows back to the exact same length it was before. Not only that it is perfectly coifed. If they grew a beard the beard disappears. Enough people must accept this to make it something repeated over and over again. In written science fiction you don't see this. In Niven's the Magic Goes Away when Warlock gets his youth back he still has no hair.
People always tell me to suspend my disbelief when I encounter things like that. Yet they will say plots are unbelievable when it goes against things they know. If you were watching a cop show and a cop protected himself from a bullet by holding up a piece of paper would you suspend your disbelief? No you'd say that was idiotic. It has to do with what knowledge is internalized. There's a difference between knowing something and knowing it automatically without thinking.
The acrimony in the Democratic race is getting to me. I'm going to go back to not posting anything partisan. I am not going to convince anyone. I don't like disagreeing politically with people whose politics I agree with. That sounds like an oxymoron but it's not. We want the same things and are just arguing over who is the best person to get as much of them as we can. The race is distorting people's conceptions. I read a column, I think it was in the Upshot section of the time which described Krugman as a moderate liberal. He's an extreme liberal, as am I. As are lots of Hillary supporters. It isn't about the degree of liberalism but about the approach. There's a partial analogy to the Bushes. Bush II wasn't more conservative than Bush I, he was more ideological and less pragmatic. Not a great analogy as even Bush I famously said, "Read my lips; No new taxes." He wasn't claiming to be pragmatic, but it's how he acted.
I'm starting to get tired even of Krugman's writing so often about Sanders. I get it. He's being attacked and he is somewhat thin-skinned and it hurts him more coming from the left. Hell it's just what I've been doing.
I'm becoming a conscientious objector in the social media front of the primary fight. Believe what you want. Call me on something and I won't react. At least that's what I'll try to do. I'll probably slip now and then.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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