Monday, May 01, 2006

Save the Internet

AT&T want's to control what you think.
Stop them.

Save the Internet

AT&T want's to control what you think.
Stop them.

Save the Internet

AT&T want's to control what you think.
Stop them.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Do talking heads...

...even TRY to do research into what they are talking about?

i'm currently listening (while I'm typing) to an idiot. his name is michael groff. He has a talk radio show on the internet.

now, far be it from me to call anyone an idiot. well, maybe not so far. actually, i think everyone's an idiot. but i especially think this guy is an idiot.


well, first off, i disagree with him on way too many things. don't get me wrong, i realize that i'm not an MIT canidate. i failed the test to get into mensa. i can't solve a rubik's cube without the help on an online guide, and i'm a horrible speller. however, i'm not that dumb. i have to have gotten one right, at least, but i didn't agree with anything he said. not one thing. either i'm an idiot or he is, and i'm more inclined to think that he is. here is my evidence:

he asked why the democrats should be allowed to respond to the state of the union address. "When did that start?" he asked. The implication seamed to be that the liberal media, you know, those huge corporations that own almost everything we hear, see, and read, including him, the liberal media only let them have a response because they are democrats. "when did this start?" i asked myself. unlike groff, though, i tool the 14.5 seconds to type in the words "state of the union response history" into the google search bar. first response: wikipedia entry. when did they start the responses to the state of the union? 1966. Johnson was president. yeah. a democrat.

then he made fun of black people. not just any black person, but Ray Nagin. (He's the mayor of new orleans.) well, he was giving a speech, calling on the black community to work together to rebuild new orleans. groff, over Nagin's speech, started making "uhhn, yeah, yeah" noises, like a rapper, you know, before they rap and can't think of anything else to say. i must confess, the pure retched idiocy and obviously inapropriateness made me laught my ass off. however, i still feel that this qualifies me as being much more intelligent than he is. i realize that intelligence is subjective, and any test for intelligence is completely arbitrary. (at least i like to think that ever since i failed the test to get into mensa), but he failed the first stupid test, imnsho.

let's see, what else did he say? He said that things are so bad now that he could get sued by a listener if he said that he ate chinese food and didnt' actually eat it that day.

then he made insulted john stewart. he said he just "didnt' get it". he doesn't understand john stewart's humor. what a moron. i can understand having a different sense of humor, but just not getting it?

he said that he never saw the daily show because it was on during the day (dayly show, i shit you not) when nobody's home. jesus christ, dude, how much crack did your mother need to smoke?

other gems that came out of his mouth:
"only women and homosexuals watch the oscars"
"...when terrorists attack the U.S.S Cole" (in case you missed that, a terrorist is defined as someone who attacks a civilian target, not a military one")
"i'm not stupid"

Monday, February 13, 2006

cognitive dissonance...

...however it's spelled, can be an ugly thing that drives people apart, segregates you from those who would otherwise be your friend, and punishes those that are simply trying to be honest in a world filled with bullshit.

"yes, but... i don't know what you mean, exactly", you may say. Well, what I mean is this: cognitive dissonence, however it's spelled, does something more sinister than simply dividing us with others, it separates us from reality itself by imposing a world view that not only goes unchallenged, but defends itself. it is a virus. it is the manifestation of pure ignorance.

"no," you may say, "i just don't know what the hell 'cognitive dis-oh-nance' is".

that's because it's kind of a pompous, psuedo-intellectual thing to say. (me being a pompous psuedo-intellectual, i figured people expect this from me, but i digress...)

what it means is this: you believe something so strongly, that nothing, not even pure, blinding truth, acts right in front of your eyes defying your belief, can convince you otherwise. you are locked into an ideology. a framework for thought. margins. limits. you are enslaved. cognitive dissonence is the process of denying that reality, and we are all guilty of it.

...even me.

ironically, our strongest beleifs are usually the ones that hold up best against truth. that, in a sense, is what makes them strong.

in another sense, it's what makes us strong.

for example, i think the war in iraq is a crock of shit and i hate the fact that we went in there. i think that our government, your government, lies up it's ass about the motivations for this war. i think that the real reasons for the war aren't even mentioned in the news or in newspapers, who serve as mouthpeices, more or less, for the powers that be. these are beliefs that i have. i hold them pretty strongly, despite the fact that there is a lot of "evidence" that goes against what i'm saying.

after all, how could the media really be controlled by the government? it just logistically impossible. there's no way it can be done. there can't possibly be that much collusion involved, at every level, in ever media district. besides, the media outlets that cover the "real" story are clearly biased in many ways. so why do i still believe it?

saddam hussien was a brutal tyrant. he was an asshole. he gassed his own people, tortured his political enemies and their families. he forced everybody to live in fear of him. he thought very little of human life when compared to his power. its a good thing that he's gone. so why do i still think we shouldn't have gone to war?

i think i know why i feal the way i feal. it's my perspective. i have this need to see more. i have a need to see things from different perspectives. while most people are satisfied with seeing one part of the whole, and having the rest explained to them, i'm not. i need to see all the angles. i ask "what if this wasn't true?". i ask "where is this information coming from?". i ask "why?".

if you listen to the president, watch the news, talk to your patriotic buddies and properly ignor anyone who disagrees with you (it helps to call them "ignorant", "uninformed", and "stupid") and catagorize everyone into "us" and "them" (polorization), then it's easy to see why the war must be fought, why we did the right thing, and why we should stay the course and "support our troops" and leave our flags out an tie yellow ribbons around our trees and leave magnetic ribbons on our cars.

it's easy, because we are avoiding the considerations of the other side of the equation. we justify our own misdeads and exagerate our enemies. we exagerate our own benevolence and call any attempts to portray our enemies as human anti-american propaganda. we devide information into two camps: one that supports our perceptions, and one that attacts them. we learn how to defend our beliefs by attacking the information that contradicts them, and we learn to accept things that we wouldn't normally accept if it's laced with things we agree with. this means that cognitive dissonance, however it's spelled, makes it easier to control us.

so, i ask myself why i believe the things i believe. am i sure? can i defend my beliefs? can i honestly say that i am more informed than everybody else that disagrees with me? do i honestly believe that i know more about investigative journalism than, say, investigative journalists?

of course not. however, somebody has to have the perspective that i do.

hell, you never know: i might even be right.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I love my job...

...for the first time.

most other jobs i've had have been jobs that i did to earn a paycheck. however, about 4 years ago, i decided to turn a hobby (computers/programming/web design/graphic design, put them all together and you got "web development") into a more time-consuming hobby.

then, i turned it into a failing part-time business.

then, i turned it into a mediocre, still failing part-time business.

then, i turned it into a potential job. was a "potential" job for a long time.

i studied, made some sites, read some books, did a little of this and a little of that, learned the buzzwords, kept up on new developments, got to know the standards, found out who's who and what's what, and got fairly good, i guess. (though, i admit that this blog isn't much to look at). remained a "potential" job for a little while longer.

then, something pushed me over the edge: an asshole. there was an asshole i worked with. he knew he was an asshole. he was proud of being an asshole, and, as an asshole, he was pretty good at it. almost admirable, the amount of prick this guy could be. it was quite an achievement.

he refused to talk about anything other than making money. money this, money that. any time you mentioned anything that didn't directly translate to greed, he got pissed. (and, if you were of the democratic pursuation rather than the republican pursuation, he was doubly an asshole).

well, one day he said a few things that really got on my nerves. he started talking about how i was unsuccessful and i was "like a 14 year old kid with no sense of direction". now, bear in mind that he was saying this because he was intimidated by my intelligence. i'm not THAT smart, but i could see him get annoyed whenever i used a word that had more than 2 sylables in it. also, i was always telling everybody about my ideas, that i never do anything with. he one of those guys that wanted to be the big dick in the group, the alpha male, and i don't believe in heirarchy, so we didn't get along. eventually, i made nice with him to shut him up. it's amazing how much the "alpha male" can act like a little bitch whenever he doesn't get his own way.

however, there was some truth to what he was saying. i definately wasn't living up to my full potential, mostly because i hadn't decided what i wanted to do with my life yet. i figured "hey, i haven't decided what i want to do, but i have plenty of time to decide. i don't have kids, and i'm not married, so fuck it". i was right, but i was looking at it the wrong way.

i should have started deciding what i didn't want. i should have started eliminating possibilities that just didn't fit into my ideals. it's not about adding on to your life, it's about taking away. one thing that i didn't want was to work for some big corporation. another thing i didn't want was some asshole like him thinking that he was above me. i figured i could be more successful than he was in 5 years (he owns a lot of real estate).

so, i worked 2 jobs, saved a shitload of money, etc, etc, but it still wasn't enough. i knew i wanted to be successful, but i wanted to be successful on my own terms. i didn't want to waste my life like he did, driving a truck for 70 hours a week, alienating everyone, removing myself from human contact until everyone thinks i'm a prick because i don't know how to treat people.

i wanted something more, but what i wanted wasn't success in the traditional sense. i can't get myself to care too much about money or property, because it's not important. think about what the purpose of money and property is: power and comfort.

however, the world is changing. people think that property is power, but that's not going to be the way it is: we're moving away from a a property-based society through a knowledge-based society, into an idea-based society. people think that investing in real estate is a sure bet, but is it? a single idea can make the cost of property drop faster than you can say "i'll suck your dick for $20". for instance:

the process of building a house involves several things: planning, legal considerations, gathering materials, organizing labor, and actual construction.

Right now, EVERY ONE OF THESE THINGS except construction can be automated by somebody who knows how to program a computer and knows a little bit about marketing and networing. hell, all you need is ONE plan thats already legally approved in the district you're in and you can duplicate it any number of times. you can even modularize the design for customization. why not? it's just information, and information can be manipulated, generated, obfuscated, and many other "ateds".

The only x-factor is the construction. enter robotics.

with the combination of genetical algorithms, physics engines, and rapid prototyping, we're on the verge of revolution in robotics similar to the revolution in computing in the 70s. sure, they had computers before then, but they didn't have accessible computers. they didn't have a bunch of hackers trying to make something different. they didn't have a popular movement of hobbiests learning about this shit for the sake of learning about this shit.

one by one, dreams were dreamed, plans were attacked, and problems were solved. ordinary guys sketched ugly drawings on scraps of paper to have them become reality in under a year. as one layer of abstraction was mastered, another layer was being created. more questions were being asked: questions about what was possible, or more to the point, what was no longer impossible. with new questions came new answers, with new answers came new questions, and new possibilities.

we went from vacuum tubes to microprocessors. we went from punch cards to wysiwygs and IDEs. we went from dumb terminals to AJAX applications (which, ironically, aren't all thet much different---hmmm... ajax-based ssh terminal, anyone?). we went from telnet to firefox. bash to kde. switches and knobs to keyboards and a mouse(which, ironcially, are just a bunch of switches and two knobs, but i dirgress). the point is, if you take just a minute to reflect on what advancements are DESTINED to happen within the next few years and what will happen to society when they do, you can't help but notice how utterly obsolete our entire lifestyle is.

what the hell was i talking about again? oh, yeah, that asshole guy. yeah, he was an asshole and i didn't want to work with him anymore, so i got another job, where i get to play with some of the technology that i was just talking about.

i love my job.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Democracy in the middle east... the reason why we're there, isn't it?

well, that's not the reason why we were told to go. we were told to go because there was a very evil man who wanted to poison our children with toxic gas and have terrorists put a nukyooler bomb inside a small can of beer and put it in your local 7-11.

but if he didn't have the ability to do that, why did we go?

well, we didn't know he didn't have the capability of doing that. our intelligence agencies told us that he did. we had reports of him plotting to attack us.

the CIA never said he was a threat. the intelligence agencies we are talking about were foriegn inteligence agencies, the most important of which was the famous "brittish dossier" which we later found out was written by an American: a 19 year old America, over 10 years ago.

he lied to us, and had been lying for 12 years.

Well, that's a good reason to go in and check all his sites to make sure he's not lying to us. unfortunately, even though the Iraqis were completely complying with inspections leading up to the war, they didn't obey the final altimatum that "caused" the war: Saddam and his sons didn't turn themselves in.

he gassed his own people.

Yes, he did, in 1988. we supported him at the time, and said nothing. so did england.

he tortures his own people.

Unless you haven't read the news, you'll realize that we torture his people, too. we have made some of his people disapear, and we have sent his people to other countries where they are much more effective torturers.

he had supported terrorists, including members of al-quaeda.

he gave money to the families of palestinian suicide bombers. i realize that many people sympathize with isreal. after all, nobody can justify people who kill innocent poeple, unless of course, they're isreal or the united states. they can kill as many innocent people as they want. it's really funny how difficult it is to really, clearly separate what we call "terrorism", to what we actually do and lable "counter-terrorism". as far as al-quaeda goes, if by "supporting" members of al-quaeda, you mean a few guys who are associated with al-quaeda went to a your city once, well, then, you're right. i guess they did support members of al-quaeda. even if they were your sworn enemies and were most likely in town plotting your death. hey they're all sand people, right? they must be in cahoots.

well, why we got into the war is not important anymore. we need to focus on getting the iraqi people a functioning democracy.

you do realize that we "change course" a lot. we focus, not on what our leaders got away with yesterday, but on what bullshit our leaders are currently getting us to swallow, for instance, the idiotic idea that our glorious leaders want a functioning democracy in iraq.

first off, just step back for a second and ask yourself: what, exactly, would a functioning democracy in iraq look like? well, like my favorite right-wing libertarian wacko Jay Severin would say, it would look like Shiite.

a democratic iraq would be a prominantly shiite controlled iraq, which would mean stronger ties with iran, which would mean, at the very least, an economic aliance, which would control the 2nd largest oil reserves on the planet.

hey, don't give me that. we didn't go into iraq because of the oil.

uh, yeah we did. if you actually believe that we would give two shits about iraq if it didn't have any oil, you're an idiot. if iraq was just one of the many countries out there with cruel, heartless dictators, policies of torture, ties to terrorism, and NO OIL, most americans would think "iraq" was what the kids were listening to nowadays.

lets take this logic a step further, though, shall we? if the us and it's allies really wanted a democratic iraq, they would do something: leave. the old power structure is gone, the people are taking control (or, at least, attempting to), and the overwhealming majority of iraqis think we should leave.

the thing about democracy is: you have to let the people decide. i'm pretty sure that's what the "demo" means in latin, or greek, or spanish or whatever. let them get their own shit together. let's pull out.

hey, there buddy, just one gosh darn minute! we can't pull out of there! if we did, why, then, it would be unstable, and then there wouldn't be any stability, and, uhh, without stability, there would be no democracy!

right, numbnuts, "democracy" and "stability" are, like, almost the same thing, right? listen, a real, functioning "democracy", is, ipso-facto, unstable. "stability" means "controlable", and "democracy" means "controlled by the people". Therefor, YOU CAN NOT CONTROL PEOPLE AND STILL HAVE A DEMOCRACY!

saying that we have to maintain this level of draconian control over iraq in order to safeguard democracy is like saying that you need to stuff big shards of glass up your ass in order to safeguard your anus.

I'm delusional...

...and it's fun.

but then again, aren't we all? every thought that comes up into our heads isn't real, but yet reality, as we know it is made up of the cumulation of all those little thoughts, reflecting on the world around us, which is made up of, not only solid objects taking up physical space, but behavior, messages, media, in short, the manifestation of the delusions of others.

so, who's to say what's a delusion and what isn't? it's the ones that do the best job of convincing us of the reality of thier delusions. in short, we live in a world where majicians rule.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

there are 7 things that cause confusion... the human race as a species.

and i'm talking about the "meta-confusion". the big ones. sure, you be confused why your dog has a bigger dick than you do (or your husband does) in the evolutionary scheme of things. I often wonder the same thing about my cat. After all, why did god need to make my penis larger than my cat?

yeah, that's right, baby. no " 's ".

seriously, i'm talking about, on an evolutionary scale( or at least the scale of cultural evolution (c. 4000 BCE-- present.)

After all, something had to make us confused. why would we try to figure anything out if we weren't confused about it?

what were the first things that we started asking questions about? my guess, based purely on introspection, (read: "pulling this out of my ass") are the following 7 things, in no particular order:

number 2:
number 3:
natural disasters
number 4:
number 5:
number 6:
number 7:

Every one of these things produced questions in our ancestors' minds:
how does one understand sex? why is it there? what happens? why do all the babies look like the guys with the biggest dicks? why are our dicks bigger than a monkey's? (notice this time i included the apostrophe.) it might have led to rules, maybe the realization that the tribes with statues of naked chicks in them survived? maybe we should have one, we'll call it a "god" and call the rules a "religion".

But if there's a god, how did he get here? where is he? what kind of person is he. then, you hear about a flood, a volcano, a tornado, maybe you experience one. why did god do that? they must have been doing something that made god angry.

angry? more confusion, more thought. more fear.

and as the master yoda says:
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

well, maybe not in that order. I would say that fear leads to violence, violence leads to hate, hate, to ideology, which is basically saying "you are wrong and i don't care if you're right". and anyone who has ever watched bill o' reily or rush limbaugh know all about suffering.

this led to greed, which lead to technology, which confused the hell out of everyone. we're still paying for this. this will lead to nothing but bad things, say a "weapon", which makes people die faster, for instance. die, commie, die! (of course, at this point, they were just people who wanted to share the food supply instead of by the God's insistance that the man with the largest dick have 50% of the food and the food supply would be divided regressively based solely on dick size. We called this "economics". (now, of course, social evolution has reversed this preference, with the people most driven having the most, shall we say "need for compensation".

all this led to the realization that mr. horse-dick kept getting very fat compared to the rest of the population, and this happened in more than one land. Some lands were more sucessful than others. maybe it's because this, we'll call him a "king", had more of an influence over the tribe than others, or a better influence. if he was important, then what does he think about things? maybe he want's more milk. if you have people who listen to and obey you, and you want some milk, what do you do? enter murder.

(now, by "murder", I'm not talking about bouts of anger in sexual contest or in a fight over the food supply. I'm talking about a special kind of murdery: a planned killing.

damn I'm tired. I'm gonna leave it at that. maybe i'll talk to you about the first sucide later. You might have heard of him: Jesus Christ.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

toys, toys, toys....

...every time i look around, there's a new toy to play with. for a while now, i've been playing with javascript toys. they're fun. for instance, did you know that you can change the value of something on a page by typing in javascript into the title bar? i call it "javascript injection".

for instance, type this into the title bar:

ok, so you can use javascript. How far can you go?
javascript:m='';for(i in document){m+=i+'\n'}alert(m);

ooh, complete access to the dom. nice. why do we want this?
well, how about looping through all of the hidden form elements on a page?
so what? you may say.
how about changing the value of a form field?
so what? you may callously say again.
well, what if that form field was, say, the price of something to be purchased?
depending on how they determined the price on the other end...