Saturday, March 01, 2014

The Global Warming Hoax

I received the following from a family member:

Greenpeace Founder Says Climate Change A Combo Of ‘Extreme Political Ideology And A Religious Cult’
Posted on February 28, 2014

Climate Change in our whole solar system should be taken into account.
Check it out:

This guy is my new hero on Climate Change. Patrick Moore, the founder of Greenpeace, says he left the group back in the mid ’80s after being with them for 15 years, when he says the group took a hard turn to the political left and began to adopt positions he could not accept with his scientific background.

When asked by Hannity what’s driving the Climate Change agenda, he said this:

It is a powerful convergence of interests among a very large number of elites, including politicians who want to make it seem as though they are saving the world, environmentalists who want to raise money and get control over very large issues like our entire energy policy, media for sensationalism, universities and professors for grants – you can’t hardly get a science grant these days without saying it has something to do with Climate Change.
Consider the Source
First, we should consider the source of this information.  This is from "".  Whose tagline is: "Taking a byte out of Liberalism".  Note that their tagline is not "bringing you unvarnished facts".  Here's the first paragraph from their About page: provides you with the latest news from a conservative perspective to counter the liberal bias of the mainstream media. These news bits help you to take a byte out of liberalism, socialism, and other threats to the freedom that our founding fathers fought and died to give all Americans.
 So again, their stated goal is not publishing unbiased information.  They clearly state that they intend to provide "new" to *counter libarl bias*.

All fair and good.  They've found a former "Socialist" who says Climate Change is a hoax to in a bitd for power.  I'll throw this in the category of "Conservatives Discover Yet Another Black Conservative".

Bits of Truth
But even considering how biased the source of this information is, this information is not entire wrong.  There are bits of truth here. The "Greenpeace founder" is right: There are many on the political left whose main goals are gaining power and influence -- just like on the right side of the "aisle".

I have personally read many articles by "scientists" (anyone can call themselves that -- at least until they are actively discredited by the scientific community) drawing rediculous links to global warming.  Years ago, the ruin of every ancient city uncovered was blamed on "an asteroid event".  These days they blame such things on "climate change".  What happened to the civilizations on Easter Island?  Climate change! (I've seen articles literally blaming the downfall of Incan/Mayan civilizations on climate change.)

I suspect this has to do with some researchers with "flexible" moral structures willing to tag onto whatever the political/scientific/social hotbutton of the day is in order to win funding for their pet project.  I'm not sure how many real scientists are biasing their information in bids for power.. but there are many people posing as scientists who are willing to pump the media for the chance at a few bucks.


However, this doesn't mean that global warming isn't a real and present threat.

Just because the Koch brothers declare global warming is a hoax doesn't mean it isn't real.  It also doesn't mean that everyone on the right of the ideological scale agrees with them.  Finding several dozen "Liberals" who think Global Warming is a hoax would likewise be interesting, but not compelling.

We're in the middle of a potentially decades-long drought here in the West.  When a rainstorm blows through, no-one says, "See -- there's no drought, its raining!"

Likewise, just because the South got freezing weather, it doesn't mean global warming isn't happening.

Re: Solar Activity
There happens to be little to no scientific evidence to pin our change in climate to "solar activity".
But does Conservative ideology blaming Global Warming on solar activity mean that "The Right" (whoever that is) concedes that Global Warming is real... just not "our fault"?

Even if it is not "our fault", wouldn't it behoove us to attempt to counteract it?

Burning Millions of Years of Forests
I view our situation as the following thought experiment:
Think of the cataclysmic events that are recorded in the fossil record.  There are several events from mega-volcanoes and at least one (probably more) from giant meteor strikes (one of the events "killed the dinosaurs").  Those events alone weren't enough to kill 90% of life on earth.  But they were catastrophic enough to fill the atmosphere with enough particles to filter the sunlight enough to kill the plants... and hence life on earth.

Imagine, if over a million years, we let all the plant matter on earth regrow, then burned it all -- and repeated this for a million years, no one would argue that the CO2 released in that millions-of-years series of events would not be enough to alter our climate.

Yet that's what we've been doing over the last 50 years.  When we burn fossil fuels, we're combusting carbon from millions upon millions of years worth of condensed plant material.

Puny Humans
It's comforting to think that we humans are still so puny that we can't affect the ecology of the entire planet, but time and time again we have.  To wit:

- We wiped out the *billions* of passenger pigeons -- down to the last bird... with relatively primitive technology -- in less than 100 years.

- We took decimated bison populations estimated at 60 million creatures down to ~700 in little more time it took us to build a railroad.  Those numbers were killed primarily by rifle -- one at a time.

- In a single decade, we turned the American midwest into a near lifeless dustbowl.  (  So much of the American midwest had gone to ruin that single, giant storms would leave 1/4" layers of midwest soil on ships in New York City harbor.

- China today has pollution levels *20* times higher than the UN recommends as the maximum pollution allowable for humans.  China is *literally* concerned that their food supply is in jeopardy due to decreased photosythesis in their field crops. (  Note: The original link is from a government-censored *CHINESE newspaper*.  Let that sink in a moment.  China has been downplaying this for years, so one can only imagine what the *real* situation is like.

Here's an idea of how much land we're talking about:

The pollution in China has really only been building up since American manufacturing moved there in the last 20 years or so.

To stand around and deny all the evidence rolling in is foolhardy -- no matter how comfortable it is to console ourselves there's no problem or that humans could not be the cause of it.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Newest reality show concept

I want to pitch this one.

I am *so* tired of hearing how group X wants to secede from the Union.  Here's the latest I've run across.  Can't control the eye-rolls on this one.

I propose a new reality show. "Start Your Own Nirvana".  Each month, some new group of starry-eyed Libertarians/Liberals/Conservatives/Technologists/whatnot can vie for their chance to start their own society.  It would be very-much like Survivor.  The whole lot of them are dumped into some random location and live-broadcasted as they all work together to form a new country.  They'll start from the beginning: they'll all be given knives (hey, we're not completely heartless here) and a crew to video them.  Let the nation-building begin!

What every one of these "we're gonna secede" idiots blatantly fail to acknowledge is that the most expensive part of starting their own country is the air-fare to go there.  Hell, I seem to recall a certain group of Kool-Aid loving personality-cultists who had no trouble obtaining their own slice of heaven from Guyana.  Doubt they paid much for it.

I'm sure there are other large swathes of real-estate available in hell-holes such as Mexico, South America, Africa and Texas.

Think of the ratings!  After several months, you'd have multiple "Freedom Countries" going strong all over the globe.  Think of the advertising!  Hell, the Freedom Countries could gain revenue by selling advertising rights to simply view their glorious successes.  Before too long, the world would be dotted with new-found whateverinthefuck these 14-y.o. dreamers are yammering about.

Fuck Survivor.  This would be the REAL reality TV.

It would also move these idiots from my news feeds onto the reality TV stations I never watch.  Win-win.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Destroying the Village in Order to Save It

So if I can paraphrase the logic of the Government Shutdown, Congress's argument goes something like this:
"The debt is getting out of hand due to out-of-control spending by Congress (i.e. "Us"). The long-term consequence of this irresponsibility will be that the Government will run out of money and fail (i.e. "Close").
In order to prevent this catastrophe, we, Congress, are shutting the government down now in order to save the country from the pain, suffering and misery of living without a government."
So, in other words, only by stopping those that would shut down the government can we stop the people who have shut down the government. But considering that this whole brouhaha is generated by the people whose job it is to prevent all this from happening in the first place, why are they the only ones not suffering the consequences of this?

If we turn to the first tool of figuring out government (Follow the Money), our real question should be, "Who's benefiting most from the government shutdown?" Obviously Congress itself is high on the list, but who else?

Thursday, October 03, 2013

The old "Shutting Down the Government" game

Once again, Congress is playing with "Shutting Down the Government".  This take on Karaoke theater follows closely to the old, "We Couldn't Pass a Budget" classic.

This gave me an idea:  Since we hire Congress to run (specifically, run the finances of) The Government, I propose that if at any time The Government

A) Is closed due to a lack of funding
B) The Budget is not passed by deadline

all members of Congress be declared in violation of the law and immediately imprisoned.

But that was a stupid idea.  A co-worker had a much better one.  In case of A or B above, Congress would be declared in dereliction of its duty and fired - never to be allowed to run for public office again.  New elections would be held immediately.

Yeah, I know, this would put us much closer to a Parliamentary style of government.  Yeah I know, to get even close to this would require an amendment to the Constitution.  But it sure is fun to fantasize.

If you have any other good reasons why this wouldn't work, keep them to yourself.  Or put it politely in the comments.  Either one.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Why People Hate Windows

People buy computers for a lot of different reasons.  Some like to blog, others tweet, most surf, many use computers to do their work.  Very few people buy computers solely to maintain Microsoft Windows.

But Microsoft hasn't grasped this yet.  In Microsoft's view, we buy Windows to enjoy installing Windows... because you never, ever actually finish installing Windows.

Now, I use my Windows 7 machine once every few weeks.  I turn it on, I want to get a few things done in the hour I have available and I want to move on.  This is impossible with Windows.

First off, without fail, Windows announces there are updates available.  Fine.  Do the updates.  Go away; I've got work to do, kid.

In a sane world, Windows would update everything, finish and pop up a screen that says, "When you're done, please shut down your computer so we can finish the updates."  Rational, brief, sane.

But instead, Microsoft pops a screen to tell me that it's loading a new Keyboard/Mouse sofware.  "Please Wait" the dialog box asks politely.  So instead of continuing what I'm doing while MS installs in the "background", I should instead stop everything and turn my full attention to watching a program *I didn't even ask for* to *DO NOTHING*.    "Please wait." it says.

It doesn't stop there.  I finally push that steaming pile into the backround and the inevitable comes, right on schedule:

"Please shut down what you're doing so we can reboot!"

You can't escape this one.  You fell for the every 10 minute nagging to update your software.  The rest of your work plans are shit now because everything you have open must be stopped, saved, rebooted and restarted.  Every 10 minutes: STOP WHAT YOUR DOING AND DO OUR STUFF.

Unfortunately, it's not just Microsoft.  My workplace has an automated backup system that runs every day.  Its starts whether you want it or not.  Fine.  Backups are a Good Thing.  Leave me alone.  What drives me insane is backup software's driving need to become a Tomogachi pet.  I'm working away on one screen, trying to figure out how to solve some problem or another and the keyboard stops working.  The mouse pointer disappears.  Great!  The freaking network/computer/something has hung/stopped working.  I put down what I'm doing, start searching around for ways I can get things going again.  What's this? There's a dialog box on the other screen:

Backup was successful!

WHAT THE FUCKING HELL?!?!?  It's bad enough that you've competely wrecked my train of thought and made me believe the computer hung (again) but you've done this in order to force me to acknowledge that you DID YOUR FUCKING JOB AND EVERYHING IS OK??  They've turned an almost-decent OS into a freaking cat!  Click me and I'll go away until this time tomorrow!  PURRRR!

This batshit reasoning infects the offerings of dozens of big software houses.  Take Semantec/Computer Associates/whatever they're calling themselves this week.  Semantec believes that you bought your computer in order to run their anti-virus software, and maybe squeeze in a few installations of whatever extra garbage software they're hawking this week.  Installing any of their products means the speed of your computer will immediately cut in half.  Then throw in their constant scans, updates, false virus detections and virus dictionary updates and you may never get to use your computer again.   When is the last time you've gone a week without another fucking update to Adobe Flash?

Tragically, this same line of reasoning that also brought us flashing text, spinning icons, dancing babies and popup windows is also invading the mobile-devices internet.  Every webpage on the 'net detects if you're using a mobile device and completely blocks a screen demanding that you download their iPhone app.  Are we to give up and browsers and experience each site on the internet as a separate app?   Follow this link, download the app, install it on your phone and run it so we can display a 404 message saying the information you want isn't here.

Please: stop this.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Is Capitalism Working Itself Out of a Job?

Years ago, a guy that worked on the Apollo program said, "Then finally, after all that work, we put a man on the moon. Then what happened? They fired us all. Yep, all that effort and we just worked ourselves out of a job."

Our current economy has decided that it no longer needs ~25% of our country's population. (Lazy bastards!) That is in addition to the (I'm guessing here) approx 10% of (300+M) that never had employment. What we have left over has been outsourced to China/India or "insourced" from Mexico.

Meanwhile, the relentless march to "reduce labor costs" marches on. Google and others are working hard to create driverless cars. Airports are just starting "self-check" kiosks where the only person you interact with is at the TSA patdown. Retail stores are continuing to push "self checkout" (see any grocery store or Home Depot checkout line). We've long-since replaced our TV news anchors with robots, now computers are generating the copy, much like the CEOs of Fox and MSNBC.

Once automated car technology hits taxis and 18-wheelers, tens of thousands will be unemployed. These folks are going to just grab a degree and join a biotech startup as a reseach scientist either. We are transitioning to a "service" economy, yet we're rapidly approaching a point where we'll only be servicing robots. The job market for that role will probably be as large as the current one for elevator service people.

So, my previous question on this topic was: "What does a society do with 200M people for whom there is not only little work, but little work that needs to be done? Once the house-cleaning robot is invented, even the Mexican immigrants will be screwed (again). People that wish to dismiss the question fall back on vague promises of the future (i.e. "We'll innovate") How many Silicon Valley tech firms do you know of that are working to create technology that requires *more people*?

So here is my question: Will Capitalism eventually be so successful that it works itself out of job? 200M people (that's just in the US) aren't going to just return peacefully to dust without a *lot* of help.

"Help" could be the traditional approach (war, mass killings, etc.) or the "Star Trek" approach... known amongst conservative types as "Socialism". The anti-socialist members of society will continue to get more and more agitated as more and more tax money goes to social programs. Do we tell these uber-capitalists to stop bitching, get a haircut and "Go make a job"? Likely we'll continue on the same course we have been.

We've entered into an historic time. I believe we have entered into the next stage of human social evolution: the period of No Work to be Had. What say ye?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Fib(?) of "Free Speech" in America

Well, Occupy Wall Street has exposed many lies our society clings to. Of them, "Free Speech"

"We totally support the First Amendment rights of these individuals," police spokesman Randy Jackson told the station. "We just want them to do it in a law-abiding manner. The right-of-way enforcement is going to definitely be taken seriously. We can't afford for people to be injured, tripped, hurt, as they walk through the area."

So you have Free Speech, just make it between the hours of 8:00 a.m and 5:00 p.m. With a permit (2 weeks in advance, please), in the pre-approved area. Also, don't camp overnight. Take public transit to/from each day instead. And don't crowd public transportation mind you, or we'll start "keeping that safe" as well. Please limit your "free speech" to Public Areas, which consit of: the middle of the street (which you can't block, that would be a nuisance), sidewalks (ditto) and that small public park where no one can see you... if it hasn't been sold off to redevelopers already.

Oh, also: if you're demonstrating between the hours of 8 and 5: why aren't you at work? If you don't have a job, we don't have to listen to your concerns as you really no longer exist. Get a job.

As long as we're talking about the lazy, good-for-nothing losers... er the "unemployed: Please only exist where we can't see you. Please don't use a tent -- they're dirty and fetid. Please use a city homeless shelter (now closed due to budget cuts).

Thank you for exercising your "Free Speech(TM)"