Tag Archives: internet

A surprising search tool [--------- admits]

Hi readers.  I was messing around trying to find out what’s the current claim of choice regarding that airliner in the Ukraine and made a surprising discovery.  Turns out if you want to find intriguing news and information and type, [name something admits].  You’ll enter a new world.

Russia admits will give you pages and pages of things you never dreamed needed admitting to.

Argentina admits turns up stories of how Argentina would like and plans to get the Falkland Islands back.

Britian admits, among other surprises, to selling several billion dollars in weapons to Israel.

Mossad admits will have you wondering more than ever what they’re likely to admit sometime in the future.

Honduras admits brings up all manner of issues about how International banks are putting the squeeze on them.  And how they, and Mexico are trying to clamp down on people trying to get to the US illegally.

Mexico admits brings up, among other things, a story about a train refugees from Latin America hitch rides on to get to the US International Border.

I’m wondering now whether this might open a door to other phrases destined to drag unnoticed and unwanted weeds out of the web-garden.

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

Housekeeping

Hi everyone, Jeanne here. Please bear with me while I make a few comments on the status of things here at So Far From Heaven.

First of all, the blog site isn’t going away. I’m sure Jules will post from time to time, but he’s also relieved to have made the decision to post only when he feels the urge without any dedication to a schedule. So, less stress, fewer posts, but not going away. If you’re not already signed up for email notifications, you might consider it. I’ve certainly found it helpful on other blog sites that I follow.

I have permission to post some other things that Jules has written in the past, some items from previous blogs, poetry, some pieces from other projects. I would appreciate your feedback about this idea. I suspect I am biased about his writing and don’t have enough distance from the situation to really know whether our followers  want to see anything “old” or just wait for something current.

For anyone who wants a daily dose of Old Jules’ writing, please visit  Ask Old Jules, where you are still welcome to ask questions there through the comments.  Although I only post one question and answer per day, there is a lot of variety and randomness from day to day that you might enjoy.  The Facebook page So Far From Heaven: Ask Old Jules will also continue with shorter q/a posts more appropriate to the Facebook format.

We’re very gratified that at this point we’ve got a nice solid core of dedicated readers. I’m also following a lot of nice people that I never knew existed, and intend to keep doing so. We appreciate all the responses we’ve had so far and look forward to continuing in the same vein although not with the same frequency.

Until next time,
Jeanne

Bat in the bug light and other big news and events

Evidently a bat got confused and got snagged in the buglight instead of coming into the cabin to fly around as they usually do.

Every m0rning the chickens feast under that light as soon as I turn them loose.  But I think I’d best unplug it before I poke around with a stick trying to get that bat out of there.

Ah well.  Maybe the chickens will eat it.

This cool morning had me putting on clothing instead of running around with nothing but shoes on to turn out the chickens and feed the cats.  But it reminded me I’ve been almost a year without any gas for the cookstove and no way except the woodstove to knock the morning chill out of the cabin.  I’m going to have to do something about that.

Then there’s this:

It’s coming nigh onto time to haul water again.  Probably also ought to try to figure out what’s wrong with that well pump.  It’s been since last December it quit, but I didn’t want to rush anything.  If I need to pull that pump I didn’t want to do it in cold weather when it happened, but didn’t want to do it in hot weather the rest of the time.

Saw this in the parking lot of the Humane Society Thrift Store the other dayInside the guy was easy to identify, looked about like you'd figure

 

He was poking around in a box of old LP records.  I tried to start a conversation with him about old music but he wasn’t having any of it.

This old XP’s going kerplunk.  I picked up a replacement at the Thrift Store and if I can figure out where all these wires go I’ll have it in here in a jiffy as soon as I get around to it.

Great day to you.

Old Jules

This Anonymous Manifesto

I’d wondered when something of this sort would happen without actually believing it ever would.

Someone keeping better track of current events than I do will probably see this as a yawn. . old news.  But when someone sent me an email after talking to me on the phone about it yesterday you could have knocked me over with a feather.  After pondering it a while this entire grassroots Occupy [fill in the blank] thing strikes me as rhyming a lot with what happened during the early 1990s when the Eastern Block, the USSR, and Iran all fell to pieces in less time than it takes to tell it.

Rich, a close friend, sent me a link to a site, We Are the 99 Percent, which if there’s any substance to it, might be the beginnings of something unpredictable enough to keep it interesting for a while.  I suppose I didn’t think there was enough of that left in the world to even consider.  My initial reaction was a bit of a ho-hum.  These seem to be peaceful folk demonstrating peacefully, which, while gratifying to see going on isn’t likely to undo anything. 

But then, in walks someone, or some group called ‘Anonymous’ and joins hands with the Occupy folk. 

PC Magazine Article

Here’s the transcript of the latest Occupy Wall Street video from Anonymous:

Greetings, institutions of the media.

We are Anonymous.

The events transpiring within Wall Street have caught our eye.

It seems that the government and federal agencies enjoy enforcing the law a little bit too much. They instate unjust laws as mindless automatons, blindly following orders with soulless precision.

We witness the government enforcing the laws that punish the 99 percent while allowing the 1 percent to escape justice, unharmed, for their crimes against the people.

We have observed this same government failing to enforce even the minimal legal restraints of Wall Street’s abuses. This government who has willingly ignored the greed at Wall Street has even bailed out the perpetrators that have caused our crisis.

We will not stand by and watch the system take over our way of life.

We the people shall stand against the government’s inaction.

We the people will not be witnesses to your corruption and ill-gotten profits.

We will not labor for your leisure.

We will not assist you in any way.

This is why we choose to declare our war against the New York Stock Exchange. We can no longer stay silent as the population is being exploited and forced to make sacrifices in the name of profit.

We will show the world that we are true to our word. On Oct. 10, NYSE shall be erased from the Internet. On Oct. 10, expect a day that will never, ever be forgotten.

Vox Populi, Vox Anon.

The Voice of The People is The Voice of Anonymous.

We are Legion. We are the 99 percent.

We do not forgive. We do not forget.

Wall Street: Expect us.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2394071,00.asp#fbid=_qbOvyUs5hm

That seems to shine an entirely different light on things.  I don’t know whether anyone’s actually able to jiggle remote computers in a way that allows them to shut down something like Wall Street Stock Exchange, especially after giving warning ahead of time they plan to do it.  But I think making the threat is bound to have every capability in the kingdom concentrated on keeping them from doing it, first, and hauling their butts off to the slammer as soon as they can slap a pair of handcuffs on them.

Gutsy stuff, or a level of confidence surprising from the perspective of a person who figures the powers-that-be can do anything they want to do with impunity.  If they manage to do it the resulting power-shift leverage would inevitably seem to make a sharp turn in favor of the people calling themselves the 99 percent.  But do or don’t, it pulls things out of the realm of peaceful demonstration and gives the powers the excuse they might have been wishing for to drag out the machine guns against the 99 percenters.

The people posting on the 99 percent site appear to be just regular people with a lot of justified bitterness about how things are going and a determination for legitimate change.  But thinking back on the history of revolutions, the signs and banners walking out in front of the parade have always been followed back in the baggage train with enough guillotines to separate a lot of fact from fiction after the dark underbelly of human nature is exposed.

What comes out the other end tends to look a lot different than anyone thought it would going in.  If this isn’t just a flash in the pan it sounds as though the people in the collateral damages zones might be in for some interesting times.  But, hell.  I guess we’re all in the collateral damages zones.

Revolution – The Beatles

 http://youtu.be/KrkwgTBrW78

Crazy Lost Gold Mine-ism

This post requires some background to get to what it’s about.  The first part is background.  The actual subject of the post doesn’t start until ‘way on down toward the bottom.

Back before Y2K happened I spent a lot of years and energy researching and searching the mountains of SW New Mexico for a particular lost gold mine.

Doing a thing of that sort, the smart individual would keep his mouth shut about it.  But I don’t qualify in that regard.  I spent several years poring over records and winter nights poring over maps with a magnifying glass, almost always certain of knowing where it was, chawing at the bit to get out into the barrancas to file a claim on it.  But also putting my research into a form others searching for it might find helpful.  Insane.

Eventually I found a location where evidence on the ground fit the legend locations well enough to keep me working the west face of that mountain, climbing and unclimbing it with friends and associates, building up a lot of muscle, finding a lot of interesting rocks, and getting surprising assays, but no joy to speak of on gold.

“A burned out cabin ruin with an aspen tree growing out of the inside, bear claw marks 12 feet up, 3 hand forged nails, a longtom sluicebox axed out of a 3 foot diameter log, a spring 75 feet above the sluice, an arrastra below.  A mysterious map chiseled on the face of a 300 pound rock surface depicting the exact layout of the canyon, the cabin, the waterfall, all so accurately depicted the person had to have scrutinized the layout from the mountaintop, then scratched it on this stone 600 vertical feet below and half a mile away.  The rock was carefully placed on the canyon wall above eye-level so it was easily seen, but only by someone looking up.”

By 1998 I’d spent a lot more treasure, worn out vehicles, worn out relationships with lady friends and put a lot of friends to sleep going on about it and spending all my waking hours thinking, searching, or talking about it.  I decided it had taken up enough of my life and it was time to move on to other things after one final effort.

I took several weeks of vacation from work and spent it determined to get that gold mine out of my life, or into it in a way that didn’t include continued searching for it.  During part of it Gale and Dana, another old friend, joined me up there.

But that’s all another story.

During the 1990s I used to get several letters and phone calls a week from other people who were searching for the mine, asking questions about specifics of my research findings, asking questions about various terrain features, or just wanting me to go climb a mountain where they knew it was but didn’t feel like climbing themselves, willing to give me 10% of it if they were correct.  Of course they always knew they were correct.

But gradually that all tapered off.  In 2003, in the desperate throes of surviving the desperate financial aftermath of Y2K I published a book about my research, and the calls, emails and letters started coming in again for a while, but again gradually receded after a few years.  Those guys all got old and everything quieted down.

That lost gold mine slid spang out of my life.

But finally, here’s what this post is about.

Suddenly, beginning a couple of months ago, my old email address box began a new trickle, becoming a stream, of questions about all manner of details about those canyons and researches I elaborated on in the book.  Old guys, some older than I, were suddenly making noises about ideas, searches, evidently studying the book and maps, wanting refinements on what I’d described.

2011, every old worn-out has-been treasure hunter in Christendom  is suddenly wanting me to search my memory-banks about canyons I once stomped around in.  I’ve mostly answered the emails, tried to remember and flesh out what most of them were asking about, but a lot of it’s just too mixed in with too many other canyons, rocks and trails to recover with clarity.

But some of them are actually being subtle but provacative, wanting to argue with me about research findings, value judgements I made regarding 160 year old documents I dug up in the US Archives, military records, and a particular Apache I consider a key in the affair.

Heck, it ain’t as though I found the damned mine.  I don’t know where it is, though I spent a lot of years, treasure, sweat, and women thinking I did.  Now, suddenly I have people coming out of the woodwork wanting me to change my mind about where I thought it was because my reasons for thinking it weren’t the same as their reasons for thinking it’s somewhere I didn’t think it was.

Absolooooodle, incomprehensibly, insane.

Yeah.  It’s real important where I think it is.  If I don’t think it’s where it is, that old gold mine’s likely to switch places with where it thought it was.  Next thing you know it will be where I thought it was.  And that ain’t where these other guys now think it is, so I need to change my mind and think it’s where they think it is.  Otherwise it won’t be there.

I have no idea what the hell this is all about.  Maybe the price of gold combined with worrying about Social Security has the geezers going crazy thinking they’re 50 years old again.

Old Jules

Billy Vaughn And His Orchestra – The Shifting Whispering Sands ( 1956 )

Future Me


Morning Blogsters:

Someone showed me a website where a person can send emails to be delivered to themselves at some specified future time.  http://www.futureme.org/

Interesting thought.

What’s more interesting, however, is that a person’s allowed to have those emails to his future self posted for the public to read, though those are anonymous.

It’s a study in the way a lot of people view themselves.

One intriguing shot some 16 year old fired at his 22 year old self,

“I hope you’re out of the Marine Corps by now.  If you aren’t, you are an idiot.”

A 16-er who ain’t yet in the Gyrenes telling his future self he hopes he’s out by now and implying going in was a mistake???

But what’s most puzzling is the way so many are lecturing their future selves.

“I hope you own fifteen rent houses by now and are driving a Corvette.  If not, you’ve been procrastinating.  Get busy.”

Evidently a lot of people are going along on the assumption they’re as wise now as they’ll be five or ten years from now, and that the person they’ll be won’t shudder, nor blush that HERE’s what they used to be.  Here’s how they used to think.  Whew.

“No wonder my life is such a mess if THAT’s where I came from”, they’ll be saying.

One cute one  from some young adult of indeterminate age was addressed to him/herself to be delivered, January 1, 2013.  It congratulates the future self for being there to read the email, reminding about how he/she had been into Mayan prophesy predicting the end of the world in 2012.

OOOOOOOkay.

Got me thinking, what’s really needed is a site where we can send emails to be delivered to ourselves at specified times in the past.

For instance, I could send one to me for delivery January 1, 1999.

“Hi guy.

“You just took your retirement funds out of their safe haven, retired, and you’re getting ready to go off and prepare for the collapse of civilization. 

  • “You think the banks, the IRS, everything’s going deep South a year from now. 
  • “You think buying that land on installments is a smart move, that the money’s better spent buying food, shelter, barter items, medications, for hoards of refugees that will be coming out of the cities.  Because,
  • “You think when civilization collapses the taxes, the installments, even paper cash will be gone, kaput.

“I don’t want to influence you about most of what you’re going to do during the next year, but I do have a couple of suggestions.

  • “First, notice I’m sending you this email by computer from 2011.
  • “Second, you’ve asked yourself what you’re going to do if the lights don’t go out and think you know the answer.  Prepare yourself for a surprise or two.  No need to change anything much, but keep in mind life is full of the unexpected.  Savor the adventure. 
  • “Third, store your retirement cash you’re depending on in case Y2K doesn’t happen in a metal container where the rats can’t get to it. (Trust me on this one.  Just do it and don’t ask any questions.)

“Other than that, you’re doing fine, sport.  Just go on with what you were doing when you opened this email.

“From the man you’re going to be twelve HARD years from now,”

“Jules”

“PS – There’s a website out there where you can answer this email and have it delivered to me now.  Don’t bother.  I  was you once.  I remember all about it.  You don’t have anything to say I don’t know already.

“PPS – Start learning as much as you can learn about playing blackjack.  You’re going to need it for a while. 

“I’d probably be remiss if I didn’t mention that you are one incredibly stupid SOB, though you don’t know it yet.  You won’t know it in 2002, 2006, 2008, even 2010, either, though it won’t have changed.  In fact, you’ll always be convinced you are right on top of things during all those times.  No problem, chum.  It will add a lot of adventure and spice to our life.

“You don’t get to be smart until September, 2011.  Tough gig but it’s something to look forward to.”

Old Jules

George Harrison– Any Road

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NOTE:  I can’t visit Face Book because of the load time and my slow connection.  However, Jeanne’s posted a video on my FB what? Account?  Site? Whatever they do over there.  It’s a short thing of a fawn born under my porch she caught on camera while she was here.  Those of you who are able to open Face Book might enjoy it.  Jules