November, 2020 archive
Geeking Out 0
Virtual machines of Slackware –Current (foreground) and CentOS v. 7 in VirtualBox on Mageia v. 7 using the Fluxbox window manager. The wallpaper, a scene from Land’s End, is from my collection.
The Stock Market Is Not the Economy, One More Time 0
The editorial board of the Bangor Daily News explains. A nugget:
“How have stocks remained so resilient in the face of such a severe shock? In part, it’s because of inequality. Stocks are overwhelmingly owned by the top 1 percent, which means speculation has been able to continue even as more people have lost their jobs than at any time since the Great Depression,” Boushey* wrote.
More at the link.
*Heather Boushey, president and CEO of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.
Facebook Frolics 0
A shopping cart full of frolics.
Every once in a while, someone will ask me if some news or news-adjacent item is true.
My first response has become, “Did you see it on
Via Job’s Anger.
A Notion of Immigrants 0
For a humane take on this “nation of immigrants,” see the marvelous article by the Des Moines Register’s Reka Basu. Here’s a bit:
In this, a nation of immigrants, many are doing hard reckoning. They followed the American dream as the early settlers had done (without visas), expecting the natives to make room for them. They worked to become part of the fabric that binds us, only to now see the rips in it and feel the welcome mat pulled out. Even the ultimate prize of U.S. citizenship is being whittled down by a president who rules by dividing.
Two Different Worlds 0
At The Denver Post, Ian Silverii contrasts reality and the MAGA Fantasy Land. A snippet:
In reality, the coronavirus pandemic has taken the lives of over 260,000 Americans and over 2,800 Coloradans.
In the alternative reality, which we’ll call the “MAGA universe”, COVID-19 is a hoax, a conspiracy, the “China Plague” or just another common cold. The hospitals aren’t overflowing, there are more than enough ICU beds and nurses and doctors to go around, and Americans aren’t going to let politicians tell us we can’t be with our families.
Continue the tour at the linkk.
Maskless Marauders 0
In the Hartford Courant, a contributor who lost her aunt to COVID-19, tells of dealing with maskless morons in the retail establishment where she works. Here’s a bit:
All I did was ask the customer if he had his mask. No answer. I asked again, making sure that he heard me. Still no answer. I waited until he got to the counter. I asked again if he had a mask. He finally told me no. I told him that he needed to have a mask for one of us cashiers to serve him. He got upset and started to storm out, while I politely said, “We have four signs. All we ask is that you respect our rules.” He was boiling. He made a few more remarks, said “Screw You” and left the store.
More moments with morons at the link.
When Silence Is Complicity 0
Lee Seglem directs his comments to New Jersey Republicans, as he is writing at NJ.com, but it should be directed to all Republicans. A nugget: follow the link for the rest.
Many people, many “important” people, stood silently by throughout most of this degradation or actively defended it. They call themselves Republicans. Well, here’s a bulletin for them: The Republican Party no longer exists because you gave it away. You handed it to a cult of personality led by a criminal con artist and then let it be stripped bare of pretty much anything resembling socially redeeming value. What’s left? An ugly frame-work of a party dominated by lies, self-delusion, isolationism, racism, greed, corruption and plain old willful stupidity.
It’s All about the Algorithm 0
At Psychology Today Blogs, Charles Johnston looks at the dynamic–and the dilemma–posed by “social” media and the disinformation superhighway. A snippet; follow the link for the rest:
By offering electronic substitutes for real fulfillment, our likes and clicks mimic the mechanisms of addiction (addictive substances work by providing the feedback that accompanies feelings like pleasure or power while requiring none of the vulnerability demanded for the real thing). It has been a dirty secret of high teach companies that they were optimizing programs for these addictions effects, but we would see the effect even without their efforts. Simple optimization depends on hijacking our attention—an necessity that is multiplied many times over by the fact that sites are advertising driven. Addiction is a much more reliable way to get attention than providing content that actually benefits us. A related consequence is that social media algorithms inherently create distortion and “fake news.” It has been well documented that the soap opera of sensationalized contend (sic) (and outright lies) is much more likely to attract eyeballs—and more likely to trigger search algorithms—than real news.
A Cavalcade of Lies 0
“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0
The hunt for politeness continues apace.
What’s in a Word? 0
The Angry Gammarian decodes de code.
Great Moments in Zoom 0
I am continually nonplussed (though not surprised–I’m too old to be surprised by venality of any sort) that persons seem incapable of restraining their hate-full-ness in public places–and a class, even if conducted via video over a network connection–is still a public place.