Category Archives: Internet

Selectively breeding human beings for food

Hi readers.  Probably most of you know already that human beings are being selectively bred for food by competing species of space aliens.  That’s what’s causing so much trouble for us as a species.  Our damned overlords can’t make up their minds, keep changing what they want from us.

It’s the reason French mothers gave birth to a century of runts after Napoleon got a generation of their male breeding stock killed off in Spain, Portugal and Europe.  Then the other group of space aliens got into the driver-seat and brought Germans, British and Americans into France with WWI to impregnate all the French women in an attempt to undo the Napoleonic accomplishments.

It’s the reason cheerleaders want to propagate with football stars.  One of the groups of space aliens likes the physical traits, dumb as cluckshit, beefy males, big titty women, and they want a strain of offspring for their high-dollar eating joints.

A few people probably still doubt this is happening, but all you have to do is look around you to prove it to yourself.  Why do you think all those fast food joints are out there peppering the surface of our great land?  One of those groups of space aliens is fond of meat with a lot of fat on it.

The one thing all the space alien species agree about, though, is brains.  A human brain is about the same amount of food product for discerning aliens, whether it’s generally a brain with an IQ of 80, or one of 150.  And the one with an IQ of 80 gives them one hell of a lot less trouble.

Space aliens all do everything they can think of to improve the likelihood their breeding stock is nearer 80 IQ than anything higher.  And they’re fairly successful in that regard.

I just wish they’d make up their minds about the rest of it.  All this seesawing back and forth over football and wars gets old after a while.

Old Jules

Bummer if that tree fell on your house

He said NEVER!

Ever noticed how many people hang around discussion boards of every description watching for things they can tell other people NEVER to do?

NEVER play with matches! NEVER ride a bicycle with no brakes! NEVER point an acetylene torch at your face when you light it! NEVER try to get inside a tree shredder while it’s running!

I think there must be something about typing a command about never that feels validating, self-affirming. Telling people what they’ll either have better sense than to do anyway, or who will pay no attention and will do it anyway.

And the fact is, it could as easily be said in ways people might listen to because it wasn’t so offensive and presumptuously downtalking:  How about, “Sure would be a big bummer for a person to get his hair caught in that fanbelt.” Something along those lines.

About the only response I can think of appropriate to the NEVER command is “NEVER say NEVER!”

FFFuture Shock

The Internet came fast, though it’s tempting to take it for granted and just absorb it as it comes along without having to faint and revive yourself.

A person can hop over to Craigslist to see what types of travel trailers and cheap RVs people have they want to sell in lordee-knows-where places he tried to forget exist in Texas.  Pop off an email or two to the people doing the selling.

Exhaust that and pop over, shoot off an email to the USFS district handling the Gila Wilderness to find out the condition of this-or-that trail nobody in his right mind would use. Whether a particular trail has been cleared enough to a particular spot to allow a mountain bike to use it.

Pop over to Google maps for a quickie satellite look at a mountain or three, reboot the machine to clear the memory when things start to die.

Pop to dogpile.com to do a search of bicycle forums and discussion boards to see what mountain bikes are costing and what people are saying about them.  Then another search or two  to find out how much weight a burro could be expected to carry.  Whether anyone’s got a notion about them as riding animals and the maximum weight of the person they could carry under particular conditions.

Spang, another websearch to DIY sites looking for ideas for load carrier devices people have put together on bicycle frames, or using bicycle wheels.

Doesn’t appear to be any limit to it.  However obscure and esoteric the interest, there’s somone, somewhere on the Internet thinking along the same lines who’s already done some of the heavy thinking.

The neighbor up the hill tells me people are putting together 3D printers in their garages allowing them to duplicate anything that’s ever been manufactured.  Putting what they do up on the Internet so other people can manufacture the same thing somehow.  Some guy making a crescent wrench that works from his old crescent wrench and a printer.

It’s no wonder the governments of the world are suspicious and concerned.  With things like that going on there’s no predicting what will come of it.  People might get used to thinking and begin to make a habit of it.

About a century ago two bicycle mechanics put something together the scientific community was busy agreeing couldn’t be done.  Without any help they took a manned heavier-than-air flight convincing enough to turn everything upside down.

Didn’t even have computers and the Internet.  If they’d had those someone might have been able to convince them they couldn’t do it.  Or everyone and his dog would have been making one in his garage.

The Legal Money Raffle Consortia

Previously posted in 2005:

I used to know a guy named Mike, down in Socorro.  A man with a lot of ideas.

During the mid-‘90s, about the time the Internet was cranking up big-time, Mike had the idea it would be cool to start an online raffle.

Mike had some money lying around.  Just about enough to buy a full-sized Harley, and a large RV.  But he thought he could increase the amount of money he had by taking a risk.  He’d sell raffle tickets online for a Harley and a large RV without buying them until someone won the raffle.  If he didn’t sell enough tickets, he’d make up the difference with his savings.  But if he did sell enough tickets, he’d give away the Harley and RV, and pocket whatever extra came in.

It turns out raffles are illegal at almost any level, though the cops and prosecutors look the other way if they feel the cause is a good one, or if it’s just small potatoes.  But item one for Mike turned out to be that if he went online he’d be almost certain to be prosecuted.

Item 2, was the fact he was, in effect, proposing to raffle a motorcycle and an RV that didn’t exist.  The fact he didn’t own them yet compounded the felony he would be committing.

Now what Mike was proposing to do was precisely what lotteries do.  Raffling off something that doesn’t exist…. Money that they plan on earning as interest.

But, of course, when a government-sanctioned, or government-owned administrative entity commits an act that rhymes with something that would be a felony if an individual behaved identically, all’s well with the world.

Unless they happen to have a lot of attention focused on their behavior, which sometimes happens.

Similarly, I used to know a guy named Dan, who had a lot of cash lying around doing nothing.  He dreamed up an online something he called a ‘money club’, or ‘money pool’.  Members, Dan dreamed, would pay $5 per month into the pool.  Every month the total proceeds, minus 10 percent (to Dan as operational and administrative fees) would be handed out to some lucky member by a process known as Random Number Generator…. Something nearly identical to what’s being done by lotteries.  Except it would be private enterprise….. private sector.

Dan figured the payout percentages would be so much better, the odds so much better than any lottery that it would cause players to flock to him.  He might have been right.

But there was naturally a catch.  What he was proposing was and is a herd of felonies at almost every level of jurisdiction.  Even though what he proposed was a lot better for the players involved, than the competition (the government and the various legally recognized mob) could (read ‘would’) offer.

So neither of these ideas ever came to fruition, though each represented the cleaned up versions of corrupted first-cousins we all accept as normal in the lottery systems.

It’s surprising sometimes to see people who claim to believe in free enterprise so blindly support any government monopoly.

Old Jules

Surveillance Weirdness

Saturday October 28, 2006  

 

This brave new century offers a lot of interesting twists and turns for the observant.  I was reading a blog this morning, someone ruminating over a friend request he’d gotten from someone, maybe in India.

I’d gotten a similar request yesterday, so it caused me to consider whether blogs aren’t being used by intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, both here and abroad, to find folks with particular sets of viewpoints.

For instance, I came across a blog the other day posted by a person who called himself something like ‘dope-smuggler’.  Hmmm, thinks I, is this for real?  The blog entries and photos all involved various aspects of the use of controlled substances.

Suppose I worked for DEA, I went on thinking.  Would I throw out a trot-line or two searching for folks who’d like to admit on blogs that they were felons?  I think I might.

Or suppose I worked for Mossad  (I think that’s the right spelling), the Israeli intelligence agency.  Would I like to know as many names and locations of people who held Nazi-like viewpoints?  Would I be equally interested in folks who rabidly approve of anything Israel might do?  Probably.

And so on.  But that’s not what this blog is about.

This blog is about what’s happened with surveillance technology and general nosiness, both of government and individuals.

The technology and availability of spying equipment with amazing capabilities and invisibility at a shockingly low price is out there for anyone.

At least it was shocking and amazing to me when I found myself moved to investigate the matter.

One day I’d been sitting at a blackjack table for about twelve hours, and when I got to my car in the parking lot my cell-phone rang.  I answered and was treated to hearing a long playback of my conversations at the game-table several hours earlier.  I thought back and recalled a guy who sat next to me for a while wearing an unusual fanny-pack he kept messing with, so I figured it was him.

But his motive for doing such a thing was a mystery, and how he happened to know my cell-phone number was one, as well.

That happened several times, the casino playback thing, but I only saw that particular person once, and when he took the chair next to me I asked him if he had his equipment with him.  “Oh yeah,” he answered with a laugh.  “I always carry everything with me.”  And left the table.

During the same time-period Jeanne was in New Mexico.  We were in the living room, me standing, her sitting across the room, having a conversation.  The land-line phone rang and I answered.  Similarly to the casino experience, I had a conversation played back to me, but this time it was the conversation Jeanne and I’d just had within the past five minutes.

Someone obviously had the capability to listen to what was said in my home.  But what’s intriguing to me is that they wanted me to KNOW they had that capability.

That happened a couple more times and I could never see any signs around the house of any microphone/camera, but it was obviously here.  From then until now I’ve gotten spam emails I don’t open, but with subject lines referring to something or other that’s happened in my life, said or done, recently.

Which confirms for me that I am one helluva interesting guy.  I cannot for the life of me imagine why anyone would put that kind of effort, energy and expense into my life, but I do try to provide with them with some amusement in various ways.

Sometimes I figure it’s the rich neighbor kid, sometimes I think it’s the neighbor across the street next-door to my buddy, Wes, who’s generally known to be a negative busybody.  But that doesn’t quite fit the casino incidents.

I haven’t a clue. 

But after the first phone-at-home incident Jeanne and I went to a surveillance store and looked over what was out there on the open market.  After seeing it, I decided we live in a time when it’s useless to think there are any secrets, any privacy, if anyone’s determined enough to want to know, sick enough to be willing to put out a few bucks and plant a device.

Flattering, though, knowing that despite the fact I don’t talk to anyone but the cats these days unless I’m on the phone, I’m still one hell of an interesting feller.

Golly.

Old Jules

About Discussion Boards and Chat Rooms

From a previous post April 3, 2005

Okay.  What’s been on your mind this morning, the readership asks, me adroitly putting the words into the communal mouth.

In between working on other internet projects, I’ve been thinking about Discussion Boards and Chat Rooms.  What is it about those things?  What’s the appeal to us?  Why do they so frequently erode into acid exchanges between the users?  How do complete strangers come to have such a rancor for one another?  And how to otherwise, probably nice enough people (they have to be… someone would have taught them manners if they behaved that way offline) come to have such nasty streaks when they wear a mask of anonymity?

I’ve seen discussion boards and participated in a few previously.  In those days, a few people were still doing non-spectator things outdoors.  Enough were, at least, to keep sites of that sort in business selling metal detectors, gold pans, books, sluiceboxes, dry-washers and whatnot.  That’s when I first noticed this discussion board spinoff phenomenon I eventually came to think of as the snake pit.

People would come to the boards to learn about prospecting, about a particular lost mine, about some piece of equipment or other. But on any site there’d come a time when a specific group of individuals would just sort of hang out there.  They weren’t there to learn, and they obviously weren’t there to share information.  Mostly, they were just wasting time, disparaging people who asked questions, disparaging the attempts others made to answer.  The snake pit.

These weren’t just trolls.  They were men who knew the subjects the board was created to discuss.  But treasure hunters and prospectors have never been long on the information-sharing business.  So instead, these guys hung around blustering at one another, arguing which had the most skill with a metal detector, which detector brand was best.  Online acquaintances who frequently hated one another and everyone else, but still hung around.

Mid-1998, I became convinced Y2K was an actual threat.  That belief led me to another type of chat room.  A place where people who believed similarly hung around to talk about  TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) and exchange information about Y2K preparedness.  At least, that’s how it began.

Before too long we all discovered that, while we each believed Y2K was going to happen, to one degree or another, we had some serious rifts in the other aspects of our lives.  Some were born again Christians who wanted to ask one another and answer one another whether this was going to be the Rapture, and if so, when it would begin, and what it would be like, both for themselves, and for the non-believers who’d be left behind to suffer it out on the ground.

That sort of thing.  That, and just how bad would things get, post-Y2K.  And how much a person should bet that it would happen at all. Attempts at risk analysis, though most of us didn’t know a lot about computers.

From mid-’98 until I departed for my woods-retreat mid-’99, I watched the Y2K chat room with a measure of awe, disgust, concern and wonderment.  I watched those people who came to the chat room to learn become experts after a few visits (the fundamentals of preparedness were, after all, relatively simple).  I watched the competition among the new survival experts when `newbies’ came to the chat room. People who’d just heard about Y2K and wanted to know more.  The poor old newbies found themselves swarmed by all the old-timers who were, themselves, newbies a couple of weeks earlier.  Everyone wanted to demonstrate his knowledge by telling some newbie about it all.

Meanwhile, the rancor, the snapping and snarling, the pro-gun/anti-gun, born-again/non-religious wars raged among those folks who came there first to just learn, who all had the same reason for their original visits.  And, of course, the romances.

The snake pit.

So.  How do strangers who have no reason to give a hoot in hell what one another think come to such a pass?  What is it about discussion boards and chat rooms that draws people so closely into one another that they wish to apply pain, sarcasm, poison?  That they actually allow the poison being spewed by the malignant random stranger to pierce their feelings?

It’s a study.  I’ll swear it is.

Old Jules

The Ask Old Jules Blog

Jeanne’s migrating the Ask Old Jules feature from Facebook to a blog to be linked to this one.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Facebook thing, here’s what it’s all about.

Several years ago I used to amuse myself between doing other things by answering questions on a Question/Answer site.  Over the years I somehow managed to build up 13,000 answers to every sort of question imaginable, many of which were inappropriate or off-the-wall enough to forever have them banning me from the site.

I’d send them an apology promising never to do it again, they’d restore my membership, and in no time at all some pencil-necked stuffed-up questioner would report me again and get me banned.  But while all this was going on, Jeanne was religiously copying and pasting the stuff, saving it for her own incomprehensible reasons.

When this blog came to being and nobody was reading it Jeanne decided to use some of the more inane Q/As in her files on Facebook to point people towards the blog.  But a lot of the Q/As were too long to post on Facebook, so eventually the choice was to drop them entirely, or to continue them on a blog.

She’s been working like an illegal alien or some foreigner setting it up, putting some of her art work as headers, generally creating a pleasant blog site.  Her thought is that people reading it might wish to participate by asking questions there.  I welcome any avenue providing me more opportunities along the lifelong journey of discovery to discover what I think.  Especially in an environment where I’m less likely to be banned than was the case in that other Q/A thing.

So beginning February 1st the Ask Old Jules blog will be up and running.  A link will show up in the blogroll. All the old archives from the whatchacallit, Facebook one, will also be stored there if you want to have a look-see to get an idea what she was doing.

Old Jules

Note from Jeanne: Posts here on So Far From Heaven will continue as usual when Old Jules and WordPress are cooperating with each other.
At this time posts are scheduled on Ask Old Jules for Wednesdays and Sundays. That might change depending on participation.  Comments are  welcome as usual, but if you ask a question, it might be used (without your name) as a new blog entry with an answer.
Shorter Ask Old Jules entries will still show up on Facebook from time to time.
And here’s some Leonard Cohen that I’m fond of, even if he’s not singing:

Priorities Floating in a Syrup of Reality

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming for a read.

Sometimes I surprise myself with how stupid I am.  Every time I get thinking I’ve plumbed the depths of human folly something comes along to prove there’s another layer down there for me to probe.  One of the ways it all manifests itself in my life has to do with sorting out priorities and shifting things around to accommodate critical paths.  When enough pressure builds behind a particular critical path stricture my focus is drawn there and I begin some new stupidity energy release intended to allow the dammed up whateverness to pass through.

At the moment the focus is computers.  The one I’m typing on is an old XP machine I bought at a garage sale a year-or-so ago for a strictly online machine for browsing and downloading data.  But gradually for the sake of speed and convenience I sneaked around and allowed myself to do other things with it project-wise.  Stupid stupid stupid stupid.

Now this machine is trying to take a hike into oblivion.  It wants to join the other two computer carcasses stacked over on the futon that once did what it does.  I bought an old XP in a thrift store for $50 to replace this one when I knew this one was going to retire, but a lot of files and settings in the one in front of me now need to be transferred to the next one.  One of those is the modem driver that allows that machine to use the external modem this one uses to go online.  It won’t recognize the modem, absolutely refuses to acknowledge there’s a modem connected to it.

Everyone tells me there’s nothing to transferring this stuff.  I’ve got a cable especially made with a CD to allow this comp to talk to that one and transfer what’s needed.  Both machines are reluctantly willing to admit they’re capable of doing it, each proclaims it’s ready and more than willing to do it.  But then, each points the finger of blame at the other, claiming the other one has something faulty causing it to drag its heels.  Neither will acknowledge a connection is live between them, thought the light on the cable says there is.

So I have a dying machine here I can’t get any of the downloaded or installed programs off of into the other machine, which is bad enough, but worse is the fact the replacement machine doesn’t even have the brainpower to recognize the phoneline modem.  So it’s not figuring on having to go online.

Meanwhile, the offline machine I use for actual heavy-lifting is off the table and residing over with the two carcasses because the power cord, the keyboard, the mouse and screen it uses are being used by the XP intended for the next online one.

A lot of the day yesterday was spent trying to get these two XPs to shake hands and talk to one another.  But today, I think this ‘new’ XP is going into the pile of carcasses where the heavy lifter is now, and the heavy lifter’s going back to work doing what it needs to be doing.

Wasted a lot of time getting there, and more time telling about it.

Stupid stupid stupid stupid.

Old Jules

No Blog Awards Appeal and the So Far From Heaven Blog

Jeanne's work

Please help me control the egos of the hats, cats, chickens, deer, wild hogs, dead trees and the Communist Toyota 4-Runner.

I appreciate all you visitors who come here and the kind words many of you say about So Far From Heaven.  But I’m asking a favor of all of you.  Accept our gratitude, but don’t offer awards.

There are thousands of fantastic blogs on the web.  Many of those great blogs are getting blog awards.  I believe all of those receiving those awards deserve them, aside from the awards offered to this blog.  This blog is not yet worthy of any blog award.

Jeanne and I work hard on So Far From Heaven and we’re both determined to make it better, possibly good enough to receive an award someday.  But we both know we aren’t there yet.  So Far From Heaven has a long way to go..

Giving blog awards to So Far From Heaven detracts from the value of the awards.

But the blog awards offered to this blog have also bloated the community ego.  The cats, chickens, deer, dead trees and even the Communist Toyota have all become insufferable.

So until some time in the future when we consider the blog to have reached a better standard, please accept our thanks for the thought, but don’t nominate So Far From Heaven for blog awards.

Gracias,

Old Jules

More Future Me: Bass-ackwards Letter to the Past

I was discussing  the Future Me post with Hydrox and his littermate, Naiad, a few days ago and they suggested some other letters to the guy I was would probably be in order.  Those two were there through those years wondering with me where the next bag of Purina cat food would be coming from after I gave us a Y2K [ http://sofarfromheaven.com/category/y2k/].

To be delivered January 1, 2002.

“Hi Guy,

“This is me, Hydrox and Niaid, talking to you from 2011.
You are in for a lot of strange experiences over the next few years, and some profoundly difficult times.  You’re going to do a lot of things you’ve never dreamed of doing, just to get by month-to-month.  You deliberately chose to give yourself a Y2K, whether anyone else had one or not.  Trust me, it’s the best decision you ever made.
 I can tell you now:
“Don’t waste your time trying to get teaching jobs, any job where you can take advantage of your education and job history.  Save yourself a lot of energy and discouragement.  [Hydrox suggests I mention it also won't buy any cat food.]
“That part of you is gone.  They don’t want any white male in his late 50s, no matter what he might have done in the past.  You are going to have to become really good at some unconventional approaches to survival to just squeeze by without going to live under a bridge somewhere. [Naiad says to tell Niaid to stay the hell away from that pool of water running out of the pipe behind the motel next door and quit worrying about Mehitabel bullying.  She's about to get hers.]

“All that Y2K credit history and the mistooken belief the IRS would collapse is catching up with you.

“You’ve always succeeded in everything you did.  Now you’re basing your decisions on that history, but you’re failing to comprehend that everything’s changed.  Don’t waste your life in all those months of self-doubt and guilt, judging yourself against a set of standards and assumptions you learned from Grand-dad and you’ve always tried to live by.   Those are dead.

“You are still you.  You’re still strong, and you still have a million things to be grateful for.  What those human resources departments believe is meaningless, doesn’t say a thing about whom and what you are because they reject you.

[Hydrox says to tell Hydrox he can save himself a lot of grief by staying out of that bucket of waste grease behind the Chinese restaurant in front of the apartment.  And if he gets it on him, tell him to just belly up to the bar and get it shampooed off in the bathtub.  Licking it will provide a lingering case of the Egyptian Ducksquirts.]

“You’ve always relied on yourself and you now have to start doing it again in ways you never thought possible.  You are about to have to become a person living in the shadows, off the government paperwork, inside the underground economy.  The sooner you understand there’s no place for you in the ordinary job market the better off you’ll be.

“Old Deano,  [A Strange Way of Thinking] over in Belen’s going to try to talk you into learning blackjack.  You’ll want to shrug and resist.  My advice to you, is ponder it.  Don’t resist so hard, but don’t believe anything he, nor anyone else tells you about the nuts and bolts of playing it until you study it all and think it through.  What’s said by the experts is largely BS.

[Hydrox and Naiad both want you to urgently inform their counterparts NOT to stay indoors when you go off working 11pm to 7am at that damned motel every night and to keep a sharp eye out for those damned cat-killing dogs.]

“Don’t let anything surprise you except by hindsight, as it surprises me, all these years later in 2011.

“These are just short-term morsels.  Deano’s been dead so long I barely remember him.

“You, my friend, are entering a brave new world.  Savor every minute of it.  Maybe I’ll send you an email occasionally to hint you along.

“Hang in there amigo.  You can do it.”

[Hydrox and Niaid in two-part harmony to Mehitabel:  "YOU ain't here, BITCH!]

Yourself, 10,000 blackjack hands in the future, and after it’s a dim memory.