Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Thursday, 2017.04.27
Time is not a line, but a series of now points.

		Taisen Deshimaru

2007.02.09

Dangerous Cuteness IV

The pups at 7 weeks. It’s down to a pick between one of these two:

Duo - 7 weeks

Previously:

Dangerous Cuteness III
Dangerous Cuteness II
Dangerous Cuteness
A Dog Needs A Dog

2007.02.07

Amanda Marcotte: Near-Earth Object From Deep Left Space

A lot has been said about presidential candidate John Edwards’ selection of Amanda Marcotte as his campaign blogmaster. As contentious and divisive as her “writing” is, I’m surprised she hasn’t been dropped by now like a wad of cash from Jack Abramoff. Alas, Captain Marcotte is still at the helm of Spaceship Edwards. Edwards’ sluggish response is a clear indication he is short on change. So here’s my 2¢…

Ms. Marcotte’s writing is bad. So bad, it’s worse than mine. Nice to know I’m no longer at the absolute bottom of the heap. I read 4 or 5 things she wrote and stopped after suffering through a piece she wrote for the Earth Island Journal in June, 2006: “You want guys with that?

The article begins with a laborious recitation of a storyline for some fast food commercial (I don’t watch TV and haven’t seen the commercial, so I can’t vouch for the accuracy of her plot summary.) She then springs to:

What I find interesting about this is that the consumption of meat as a way of homosocial bonding through the disdain of women fits really neatly into other media portrayals of how men are supposed to bond – generally by a shared loathing and/or objectification of women.

Kierkegaard would be amused to see such a divine leap in a secular context. Relax, kid. It’s a commercial. Perhaps it would be helpful for Ms. Marcotte to reacquaint herself with the concept of “shallow.” But perhaps that’s a bit like explaining water to a fish. She continues…

It’s a nasty trick to play on men, trying to persuade them that the path to manhood requires consuming great quantities of artery-clogging beef, especially since men are more prone to heart disease than women in the first place.

Yes, save us easily duped guys from our own choices. Rescue us from those tricksy Madison Avenue evil doers. Ah, but there are those pesky facts in the way of her arguement.

Both men and women have heart attacks, but more women who have heart attacks die from them.The National Women’s Health Information Center

This is only half the story. Consider:

Women are 16 per cent more likely to die within 30 days of a heart attack than men, after accounting for age and other health issues. Their risk of dying after a stroke is 11 per cent higher than the risk for males.

For reasons that are not clear, Dr. [Beth] Abramson says men in every age group are more likely than women to be sent to a cardiologist after a heart attack, which raises their chance of survival by almost 50 per cent. They are also more likely to be transferred to a larger hospital and receive bypass and angioplasty treatments.

If Ms. Marcotte were interested in addressing an issue of gender bias of substance, she would be working, for example, to change the complex issues involved with how our medical professionals are trained and the outdated “traditional” attitudes prevalent in the medical industry. Such attitudes are receding, but a glacial speeds. They require a dedicated, persistent and sustained effort to change. Attacking transient 30 second commercials is easier and well suited to equally transient rants which amount to little more than spitting on the problem. Changing deep seated memes require strategy and tact – attributes I find entirely lacking in Ms. Marcotte’s writing. By extension, the same attributes are lacking from Edwards’ presidential campaign blog presence.

Back to the “commercial as science” analysis:

It’s also a terrible message about the qualities of American men, who are portrayed as stupid, destructive, greedy, and childish. If I were a man, I’d be deeply insulted. My gut feeling is that there are plenty of men who are insulted.

Hmmmmm. I’ve been slapped and praised in the same article. How persuasively polar. If you were a man? Why, I’m deeply offended that Ms. Marcotte, a woman, would presuppose to know the mind of a man. Shocked, I am. Shocked and hurt!

Ack. Ms. Marcotte’s guts are wrong. Try reading tea leaves instead. There are plenty of men who were amused. The humor pitch, something that also appeals to guys, was completely left out of Ms. Marcotte’s analysis. We like to laugh, even at ourselves. Studies suggest taking one’s self so seriously also leads to problems of the heart.

What spatters the rest of Ms. Marcotte’s article is an unconnected litany of perceived global and social problems caused by “fast food companies” – disdain of women, environmental consequences of having cows on the planet, polluted rivers and streams, depletion of the rain forests, depletion of grain resources, soil erosion and, of course, greenhouse gas emissions (gotta get the global warming in there somewhere.) This scaffolding magically collapses to her conclusion:

This commercial demonstrates [the fast food companies] are willing to resort to childish taunts about how to be a man in order to do it. So what men watching this commercial are left with is not just the message that they have to oppose women to be Real Men, but also the implication that Real Men destroy the environment.

Which leads me to conclude that Ms. Marcotte really isn’t walking on the same planet as I am. I’m not so sure she would recognize a Real Man if he opened a door for her in front of her face.

Michelle Malkin has the clearest warning for John Edwards: “Lesson for Democrat politicians: If you lay down with nutroots, it will be hard to get back up.”

How long before Edwards wakes up and sees who is in his bed? The clock is ticking…

[Edit History]

2007.02.07

11:15 – Signs that Edwards may be stirring from his slumbers: “Mr. Edwards’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Palmieri, said Tuesday night that the campaign was weighing the fate of the two bloggers.” The second blogger, one Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare’s Sister, under scrutiny for expressing anti-Catholic opinions.

14:50 – “John Edwards has fired the two controversial bloggers he recently hired to do liberal blogger outreach, Salon has learned.” Those would be Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan.

2007.02.08

06:45 – Bryan at Hot Air shines the light nicely: “IMPORTANT ACTION ALERT: Stop taking yourselves so seriously” It echoes what I wrote above about Ms. Marcotte taking herself so seriously.

There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them. – Heisenberg

The kind of behavior described by Bryan is more prevalent among the left than the right and such behavior does more to explain why I am not a liberal than why I am a conservative/libertarian.

And it appears the firing of Marcotte and McEwan isn’t a done deal as yet. Seems Edwards has hit the snooze button. (Was tempted to type that as “schmooze” button.)

11:15 – Looks like it was the schmooze button after all: “Edwards Stands By His Bloggers

2007.02.09

Fixed several minor grammatical errors.

2007.02.02

The Hands of God…

…and the power of a sacrificial embrace borne from love. Nothing short of stunning.

The closer a counterfeit comes to the genuine article, the more obvious the deceit. As the murderer dressed in women’s clothes walked purposefully toward his target, there was a village man ahead. But under the guise of a simple villager was a true Martyr, and he, too, had his target in sight. The Martyr had seen through the disguise, but he had no gun. No bomb. No rocket. No stone. No time.

The Martyr walked up to the murderer and lunged into a bear hug, on the spot where we were now standing.

The blast ripped the Martyr to pieces which fell along with pieces of the enemy. Ball-bearings shot through the alley and wounded two children, but the people in the mosque were saved. The man lay in pieces on the ground, his own children having seen how his last embrace saved the people of the village.

I am continually impressed by Michael Yon’s work. He is what the MSM can only dream of becoming. And I continue to support his work. Will you?

(H/T HotAir.com)

Previously:

Michael Yon Still Fighting HFM, et al.

[Edit History]

2007.02.02

A similar story. (H/T Bruce Schneier)

2007.02.01

William Arkin – Just Biden His Time

From William Arkin’s damage control:

I said I was bothered by the notion that “the troops” were somehow becoming hallowed beings above society, that they had an attitude that only they had the means – or the right – to judge the worthiness of the Iraq endeavor.

Invoking the Moral Equivalence Clause from the MSM Big Book of Behavior, we can restate this to say:

I said I was bothered by the notion that Cindy Sheehan is somehow becoming a hallowed being above society, that she had an attitude that only she had the means – or the right – to judge the worthiness of the Iraq endeavor.

To continue…

I was dead wrong in using the word mercenary to describe the American soldier today.

These men and women are not fighting for money with little regard for the nation. The situation might be much worse than that: Evidently, far too many in uniform believe that they are the one true nation.

Evidently? How does he “know” this? Al-Qaeda tells him so, silly.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
See here for what I mean by “Biden.”

It’s My Blog And I’ll Cry When I Want To

Althouse is having problems with the new Blogger. The “new and improved”, post-upgrade software seems to be as palatable as New Coke. She describes the issues from the blogger’s perspective and I can attest her site is taking a while to load. Haven’t tried to post any comments yet. I noticed similar problems with Gateway Pundit’s site a month or so ago when he was upgrading to the new Blogger. Gateway Pundit’s site always took longer to load, but for several weeks it took a really long time. Seems to be back to normal slow speed now so perhaps the Althouse issues, at least for the visitors, will resolve over time.

I had looked at Blogger several years ago and didn’t much care for the interface and functional layout from a blogger’s perspective. The steps for posting comments still strikes me as rather tedious. I have some doubts about how Blogger tracks web traffic, too. Over the past several months I’ve been working to sort out the JZ:TOL traffic patterns and the trends have been rather interesting. SPAM has been the biggest issue. As I identify IP addresses associated with SPAM, I ban them and they drop out of my traffic statistics. Bots are another big issue. In most cases, I want the bots because I want my blog to show up in search engines and such. But I don’t include bot traffic in my stats. Does Blogger count SPAM hits, even ones that are successfully filtered? Does Blogger count bot scans as if they were visitors? Same questions could be asked of the various third party site meter services.

Eventually, I settled on WordPress and have used it ever since. But there was a deeper criteria for me when looking for a content management system. I had to have complete control over the system. I wanted unfettered access to the web logs, the database, the code and the system. This means it had to be hosted on a machine I owned. This greatly expanded the options for software, backup and recovery strategies, and upgrades.

Granted, the capability to manage such a system is extra work and not something that is desirable for the vast majority of bloggers. It’s a question of trade-offs and accumulated experience. System administration tasks are for me what handling a saw is for a woodworker – not much effort because of the many years practice in handling the tools. Upgrades to JZ:TOL always occur on a non-public mirror site so I can see the effect and assess the impact of any upgrades or code changes. The upside is near transparent upgrades to the public blog. And in the unlikely event of a water landing after an upgrade to the public blog, I have a rollback strategy in place that can restore the previous site in a matter of minutes. Apparently, Blogger doesn’t have such capabilities. Having such a system in place also makes the blog more secure as patches and upgrades can be tested and pushed within hours of the announced patch or upgrade.

Like I said, it’s a question of trade-offs and accumulated experience. When I have a legal problem, even a relatively small one, I hire an attorney. With Althouse, probably not the case.

[Edit History]

2007.02.02

Didn’t mean to imply JZ:TOL is hosted on WordPress. Rather, I use the WordPress software application on my own javazen.com server. Ambiguity fixed.

2007.01.31

Dangerous Cuteness III

The pups at 6 weeks.

Trio - 6 weeks

Previously:

Dangerous Cuteness II
Dangerous Cuteness
A Dog Needs A Dog

2007.01.30

Return Of The Anti-SPAM Code

The dreaded comments CAPTCHA has returned to JZ:TOL. I dislike these, but the volume of comment SPAM has increased dramatically since this blog has been linked by several higher traffic blogs. There are also several common Google searches that seem to land here. I’ve been selectively banning IP addresses (virtually everything from China) for several months, which has helped, but it wasn’t enough. Hence the reintroduction of the anti-spam code requirement to post a comment. Hopefully, the balance between convenience for the commentators and sanity for the webmaster will be tolerable.

2007.01.25

Sponges Who Use Sponges

Bold prediction: There will soon be warning labels on sponges. Why? Just examine the evidence:

[A] study that found microwave ovens can be used to sterilize kitchen sponges sent people hurrying to test the idea this week — with sometimes disastrous results.

But several experimenters evidently left out the crucial step of wetting the sponge.

“Just wanted you to know that your article on microwaving sponges and scrubbers aroused my interest. However, when I put my sponge/scrubber into the microwave, it caught fire, smoked up the house, ruined my microwave, and pissed me off,” one correspondent wrote.

Maybe there should be a law that says you have to be smarter than a sponge to use a sponge.

(H/T Slashdot)

2007.01.24

Dangerous Cuteness II

The pups at 5 weeks.

Trio - 5 weeks

Previously:

Dangerous Cuteness
A Dog Needs A Dog

2007.01.21

Operating Room Tantrum

Ouch. But you’ll be delighted to know the surgeon “has already been punished enough after having his medical licence [sic] suspended.” Suspended, not revoked.

The medical costs will be paid by the hospital’s insurer, but doctors’ unions have criticised [sic] the decision that the money for the damages has to be paid by the doctor.

They say the move sets a dangerous precedent and that Professor Ciomu, a urologist and lecturer in anatomy, has already been punished enough after having his medical licence [sic] suspended.

A “dangerous precedent?” Dangerous? The Romanian doctors’ union needs a better understanding of what “dangerous” means. An unstable surgeon with a knife standing over an unconscious patient is dangerous.

Vice-president of the Romanian Doctors Union, Vasile Astarastoae, said: ‘Ciomu’s case is a dangerous precedent for all Romanian doctors. In future doctors may have to think very carefully about what work they undertake.’

Because obviously, the last thing you want is a doctor thinking carefully about the work they’re doing.

Obviously, if you are a Romanian doctor, that is. Consequences for destructive behavior commensurate with the damage done are a good thing. It’s the difference between dangerous and deterrence.

[The surgeon] told the court it was a temporary loss of judgement due to personal problems.

No kidding. I wonder if the physically damaged patient, in lieu of the monetary damages awarded by the court, would be allowed a moment alone with the good doctor for a “temporary loss of judgement due to personal problems” of his own. It is stunning to see other Romanian doctors circle the wagons around Naum “The Hacker” Ciomu, referring to his mutilating conniption as “a mistake.”

I have to say, though, the caption to the picture in the article is, shall we say, rather ill conceived.

[Edit History]

2007.01.21

Added thoughts related to the position taken by the Romanian doctors’ union.

2007.01.20

Blog Haiku #14

This here is
Your here.
And still not the same.

2007.01.19

Blog Haiku #13

This unseen cloud
That blocks your view
Does not exist.

2007.01.18

Dangerous Cuteness

The pups at 4 weeks.

Trio - 4 weeks

I’ll have a pick of one from two of these three (it’s set math, but I have faith you can figure it out.) Clearly, it won’t be easy.

Previously:

A Dog Needs A Dog

2007.01.17

Lemming (Previously Duke) 88

Welcome, dear reader. You’ve come to hear the tale of Aquaville, no doubt. A place where blue and green people live in relative harmony and where all the buildings are painted a sparkling, bright nondescript color.

Well, almost all. A small number of blue people buck social convention and paint their house blue. Or perhaps just part of it. Or maybe a pale shade of blue. Or perhaps all the rooms inside are painted blue.

Same for a few green people who feel the town should be green and so paint their house green. Or perhaps just a part of it. Or maybe a pale shade of green. Or perhaps all the rooms inside are painted green.

One day…SCANDAL!

Egads! Someone, a person of green it turns out, has been doused with a bucket of blue paint. “I’ve been blued!”, the greenie cries. “And those blue derkreuz players did it!” There is now a person in Aquaville who is both blue and green. The Horror! Not in Aquaville! No!

Yes!

The Aquaville DA was the first to the microphone: “Twists and turns, this story has, yessssssssss it doesesssss, My Precious.” he says to the angry greenies and the dumbfounded bluies.

So, too, the Aquaville University Intelligentsia determine (at the weekly Ivory Tower Society Of Aquaville University Intelligentsia meeting) there is Obvious and Universal and Unquestioned Outrage at this heinous event. “Let us go forth to declare and impose our judgment upon the nematodes who pay our salaries.”, they proclaim. And thus they splattered their perspective upon the citizenry by way of a sacred “ad.” As in “advertisement.” You know, one of those thingies marketing types use to sell you all manner of shi…er…shiny objects.

We are listening to our students. We’re also listening to the Aquaville community, to Aquaville University staff, and to each other. Especially, to each other. Actually, only to each other. We don’t give a rat’s ass about the police investigation, what is apparent everyday now is the anger and fear of many students who know themselves to be objects of discoloration and splashism, who see illuminated in this moment’s extraordinary spotlight what they live with everyday. The clueless bastards, but bless their molded minds. They know that it isn’t just Aquaville University, it isn’t everybody, and it isn’t just individuals making this disaster. Which is to say it’s nobody. But it is a disaster nonetheless. These students are shouting and whispering, simultaneously all at once, about what happened to this young greenie and to themselves. And we hear them.

Non-descript Universal Power be praised! Our Department of Discoloration and Splashism Studies has been saved! The agenda lives!

Aghast, were the four score and eight Ivory Tower Intelligentsia, at the base and growly response reflected from the cretins at their feet. “Pay your child’s tuition and be gone with you!”, they pronounced. But alas, the din from the great wealthy unwashed would not abate. So they did speak again unto the foul mass of check writers.

Recently, the Aquaville University community was rocked by terrible news. We heard that a greenie hired to perform at a party thrown by our derkreuz team had accused members of the team of discolorization. Neighbors, we were told, heard splashist epithets called out at the greenie. The criminal proceedings and the media frenzy which followed are perhaps beginning to wind down. But we won’t let that happen for we shall perservere and fan the flames once again. For us at Aquaville University, the issues raised by the incident, and by our responses to it, are not. How DARE the masses contradict our proclamations!

The ad we previously posted has been read as a comment on the alleged discoloration, the team party, or the specific students accused. Worse, it has been read as rendering a judgment in the case. You idiots. It’s not a rendering. Its a suggestion. Got it? Good! We understand the ad instead (and it is OUR understanding that counts, don’t you know) as a call to action on important, longstanding issues on and around our campus, an attempt to channel the attention generated by the incident to addressing these. We reject all attempts to try the case outside the courts, and stand firmly by the principle of the presumption of innocence, except insofar as it makes us look bad and prevents us from achieving the agenda from the Ivory Tower.

Come on, people! Just think of all the vast numbers of blue-green people who suffer each day under the yoke of discolorization. Have you NO sensitivity to the ISSUES of SPLASHISM? We. Need. This. Victim. Keep it up and you will force us to WRITE IN ALL CAPS!

There have been public calls to the Intelligentsia to retract the ad or apologize for it, as well as calls for action against them and attacks on their character. We reject all of these. Fie, we say to all you vermin! We think the ad’s authors were right to give voice to the unsubstantiated anonymous quotes we used, whose suffering is every bit as real as our world. They have tenured suffering and that must be respected. We also acknowledge, without the concomitant empathy stuff, the pain that has been generated by what we believe is a misperception that the authors of the ad prejudged the discoloration case. How were we supposed to know the masses would, like, you know, actually figure that out?

We stand by the claim that issues of discoloration and splashist violence on campus are real, and we join the ad’s call to all of us at Aquaville University to do something about this. Damn it! Get a Federal grant and DO SOMETHING! Hellooooooooo! We hope that the Aquaville University community will emerge from this tragedy as a better place for we Intelligentsia to live, study, and occasionally work.

Sadly, for the Intelligentsia, the overwhelming preference from the community was for the Intelligentsia’s head to emerge from their collective Intelligentsia arse.

2007.01.13

Rocky Mountain High

Spent most of the day in Breckenridge (Colorado) visiting my brother and nephew who are visiting from New York for a ski trip in the glorious Rocky Mountains. This is the view from I-70 about the Genesee exit.

Rocky Mountains

Simply breathtaking.


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