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#SJWs, discrimination and…#Lucifer!

When I first started reading about the burgeoning rights of gays and transgenders in the USA, I was confused. Here is a country that, without hesitation and–indeed, with malicious glee, tramples the human rights of others, and yet is vehemently pushing for the rights of gay people (and I include lesbians and transgendered in this categorisation, for sake of brevity).

While segregation was being broken down in their own country, USians still thought it okay to teach their conscripts that the Vietnamese were “gooks”, not really human, and fair game for any psychotic macho squad leader with a chip on his shoulder.

How could both concepts–equality regardless of difference, and wholesale massacre because of difference–coexist in a country that has always boasted of being the world’s beacon of democracy? How could both be accommodated without the country imploding? Look, if we were talking about Ethiopia or Paraguay or Poland here, I wouldn’t argue the point. But Ethiopia, Paraguay and Poland aren’t standing up and declaring themselves to be better than everyone else. The United States is, and has, for the past seven decades at least.

So what the hell is going on?

Continue reading #SJWs, discrimination and…#Lucifer!

Humans vs Terminators? Maybe. Maybe not. #AI #war #psychology

In a lovely example of synchronicity this week, a book and an article from The New York Times converged. The book is ON KILLING by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. The article is “The Pentagon’s Terminator Conundrum: Robots That Could Kill on Their Own”. The book moves smoothly into the article, so let’s begin.

We are subjected to an incredible amount of violence via the popular media. I’m not specifically talking about children or video games. I’m talking about us, the global society that accesses Western or Western-aping popular culture. This includes video games, of course, but also movies and books, not to mention Top 100 music and their slick videos. There are death threats on Facebook, insults on Twitter, jeers on Instagram, and so on. No channel of popular media is free of it. We’re told that humans are an inherently violent species. “What other species kills members of its own species?” you’ve probably heard. Actually, quite a few, but let’s not let that stand in the way of a good bromide. Quentin Tarantino unleashes fables of bloodshed so bloody that you need to put a bucket under the screen to catch the excess body fluids. And yet…

Continue reading Humans vs Terminators? Maybe. Maybe not. #AI #war #psychology

Review – Independence Day: Resurgence #politics

The family sat down and watched INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE the other day. We weren’t expecting much, having watched the original, but thought we’d enjoy the hokey-ness factor. Oh my. In the intervening twenty years, much has changed. (Has it really been two decades since the original? Wow, how time flies.)

We have the same basic plot. An overwhelmingly superior alien force decides to visit Earth to dish out some kick-assery and is defeated by the plucky Earthlings…or, more correctly, defeated by the plucky Americans, with a few minority sidekicks thrown in to justify taking all that foreign production money! Booyah!

To put it in a nutshell, this movie wasn’t so much a journey as a checklist.

Continue reading Review – Independence Day: Resurgence #politics

Colonising #Mars is senseless #ItsTheGravityStupid

Elon Musk has been breathlessly quoted by various news organisations as stating that he is pushing for human colonisation of Mars. There’s a spiffy YouTube video on this entitled “Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species”. Be warned that it goes on for almost two hours. I’m not buying it, for several reasons.


Assuming the gravity on Earth is rated as “1”, the gravity on Mars is 0.376. So, it’s a little more than one third that of Earth’s. Has anyone told you that? Probably not. Even the film adaptation of Andy Weir’s “The Martian” doesn’t show it. We see Matt Damon going hipster on a planet that appears to have a gravity very much like Earth’s. Considering the technology that’s available to modern film-making (resulting in the snoozefest that was “Gravity”, for example), that’s downright dishonest.

Continue reading Colonising #Mars is senseless #ItsTheGravityStupid

Installing #Linux on a #Dell #Windows10 #laptop #VirtualBox

This is the streamlined process for taking a new laptop with Windows 10 installed on it, wiping it, installing Linux, and recreating your Windows 10 installation within VirtualBox on that laptop. This is not for newbies, but for intermediate Linux users who know their way around their distro and have several Linux installations under their belt. It’s more a checklist than a blow-by-blow. The internet is your friend.

(I’ll assume you’ve already checked that you can install Linux on your hardware.)

Continue reading Installing #Linux on a #Dell #Windows10 #laptop #VirtualBox

#Freewrite: How NOT to do #software

I (or, rather, my hubby) was one of the early backers of the Freewrite, back when it was known as the Hemingwrite. It’s been a bumpy year and a half, but my machine (a belated birthday present) finally arrived late last week.


It’s a nice bit of kit and the keyboard is a joy to type on. But, as a past IT Project Manager who has a husband who was also an IT Project Manager, if there’s a case study of how not to do software, the Freewrite is it.

Firstly, there is an SDK (Software Development Kit) with the Freewrite, so that means that the creators are opening up the architecture for future tweaks. This is good. But I can’t help feeling that the creators are using the SDK as a way of dodging their own responsibilities.

Continue reading #Freewrite: How NOT to do #software