Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - Doktor Howl

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 ... 47
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Badly Flawed Signal
« on: March 23, 2015, 11:13:29 am »
The only way to affect real change, I am told by wiser heads than myself, is to find the fatal flaw in a false belief, which will allow the entire false structure to collapse.

Say, for example, that a middle-aged man is walking through a portion of Congress Street that is under contruction, and has those wooden tunnels.  At say, 11:30 PM last Saturday Night.  And just suppose he sees a young lady coming the other direction with a look of terror on her face.  And - just as a hypothetical, imagine there are two other college students, both male, following her and cat-calling and making lewd suggestions, with the sort of smiles that say that the evenings entertainments might involve more than scaring the shit out of a 21-ish girl.

To futher the example, the middle aged man calls them cunts and gives them a one-time offer to fuck off.  The young lady panics completely and freezes, as her instincts betray her...So the situation does not end, and instead becomes a testosterone thing.  The offer expires, and a fairly brutal beating ensues.

That's how it might seem, but every assumption is a product of bad signal.

In no particular order:

1.  The boys thought they were beer-fueled studs.  If they had been, they would have had willing girls that wanted to do more than act like a terrified bunny in a world of coyotes.
2.  The notion that this isn't exactly what the boys were after.
3.  The girl had it in her head - for reasons unknown - that walking in a deserted section of the road, blocked by wooden panels from vision to and from the club entrances 200 meters away, was a proper plan.
4.  The idea that the midde-aged man was there to save her, rather than merely taking out his aggressions and pent-up frustration in a way that generated no moral qualms.
5.  That there was a fist fight.  Middle aged men do not win fist fights with men less than half their age.  This may have been the most important part; the boys expected a fist fight.  The did not expect 30 inches of #35 chain.

In addition several basic instincts were ignored.

1.  The girl sought cover behind her "defender", instead of hauling ass as fast as possible while said "defender" was between her and her tormentors.
2.  The boys were presented with something out of the ordinary, something almost surreal, and (probably due to intoxication) attempted to bluff and talk shit to a sober man who had absolutely no interest in what they had to say, and was in fact moving up for a confrontation involving lots of SHUT UP LIKE HELL.
3.  The boys failed to register the fact that a middle-aged man most likely has kids the exact same age as the young lady.
4.  The boys seemed to fall to the - understandable - belief that this was a white knight thing, which of course it was not.  It was an excuse.

The interesting point here is that if any of the above assumptions/instincts had been properly examined, the beating would not have occurred, and - more importantly - a middle aged man would not have VERY stiff muscles in his back.

I can finally get this shit off my chest.

You haven't seen Tom Selleck since you met Nigel.  Nigel has a medicine bag full of squirrels.  No, the OTHER kind of squirrels.  I shudder to think how she keeps them fed.  There hasn't been a single police shooting in Portland since she left.  Not one.  And the cops don't look like they've just been shocked a few times with a car battery.  It stopped raining.  Religious whackjobs find themselves without an audience.  Politicians are doing what's best for their consitituents.  Lemmings have stopped running off of cliffs.  LMNO was seen smiling.  There haven't been any unusual noises coming out of the cemetery.  The East coast has started to thaw.  Orphans have stopped devouring the elderly in Mesa.


Somewhere, date unimportant

The saloon was hot; the desert sun beat down on it, and there was no breeze.

Inside, the place was empty, save for four haunted lawmen - gunslingers, reallly, who just happened to have taken straight jobs at some point recently - who sat around a table drinking whiskey and playing cards.  To say 'haunted' in this situation is not a metaphor, as we shall see shortly.  The room was silent, save for the flipping of cards and the creak of the floorboards as one of them would, from time to time, go to the bar to refill his glass.  The rules said that there were to be no bottles at the table, and these four were (at the moment) rule-abiding men...To whom I shall introduce you:

Hank was from out East, but nobody held it against him, for he was a good man in a tight spot.  Hank was haunted by the ghost of his mustache.  He had, once upon a time, a glorious handlebar mustache of the sort to make Wyatt Earp weep.  But it had been stolen many years ago, and all that was left was its unquiet shade. Hank said he deplored violence, but this was the only time in his life he had lied.

Abner was from across the sea.  He obstensibly spoke English, but he could not be understood most of the time.  He had brought his ghost with him from the old world, a weeping young lady who, when roused, became a holy terror, and struck men dead with her screams.  For the most part, she merely stood behind him as he played cards.  Ghosts have patience; they take the long view.  Abner had no livelihood after things went bust, and no remaining skills save that of the fist and the pistol.  So he became a lawman who was occasionally a bandit, and on rare occasions a train robber.

Virgil was from...Well, that was sort of unclear.  Virgil had always been here.  It was he who welcomed the rest of this small group, Virgil who showed them where the booze was, and explained the rules to them, in what seemed like the distant past.  Virgil was haunted by his left hand, which had been shot off back during the war.  The fact that he wore two guns when he had but one hand surprised many people, some terminally.  Nevertheless, the others agreed he was a good host - though he denied owning the place - and they decided that none of them needed to learn more about his admittedly bizarre arrangement.

And then, of course, there was the kid.  No story of this type is complete without him; he is a Western archetype. The kid was perhaps - being generous - Nineteen years old.  Blessedly, he had none of the rudeness and impetuous manners of youth; he in fact insisted on being polite on the few times he spoke, and woe to the man that was rude in his presence.  He had no courtly manners, but rather a rough sense of elan.  A tip of the hat to the ladies - should any ladies be encountered - a handshake and a look in the eye for the menfolk.  He, too, was haunted, his ghost being that of his younger brother, dead these 5 years.  His ghost was not present.  If the kid had to guess, Kyle (his brother) would be out by the stables, admiring the horses.

They were playing for matchsticks, the last payday they had being quite some time before.  As the other three threw down their hands in disgust, as The Kid raked in the pile of matchsticks, there was a footstep on the boardwalk outside of the salloon.  The players looked up, somehow hoping not to see the only man that it could be.  And it was.  The undertaker stood in the door, holding a rolled up piece of paper...Their next job.  It is worth noting that the town's undertaker was also its judge, and that he was not opposed in the least to allowing the right hand to wash the left.  Let us be frank:  The town had a gallows, but no jail.

The Kid, who had never been bothered by the undertaker's sallow smile or his reptillian eyes, walked up and took the paper from the undertaker.  He unrolled it, and read it carefully, his lips silently following along.  The looked up at the group.  "Five hundred dollars," he said, "Alive.  No reward dead."

The other three spat.  The undertaker would have his sport. 

One by one, they grabbed their pistol belts and hats, and headed for the door.  The undertaker was already gone.

Somewhere else

The preacher stood over his dead mount.  He was, in spite his calling, an Earthy man, and so he swore under his breath as he snagged up his canteens, placing them in his saddlebags, which he detached from the saddle proper.  He knew the law would be after him soon, and now he was on foot. Of course, being a preacher, he was required to go armed; they would not take him without a fight, and he would save the last bullet for himself.  He didn't want to die, but he was even more opposed to doing so at the end of a rope.  And, given the nature of his crimes, that was the only possible outcome of capture.  Clemency was a fool's dream, no governor had issued such in living memory.

Laughing at the very idea, the preacher hefted his saddlebags over his shoulder and walked West, into the dying sun, the ghost of his faith drifting along behind him.

To be continued



I just thought I'd take a moment out of my day to explain a few things that should be obvious.

First, the laws of the universe do not change for your convenience.  If you expect them to, you will be disappointed.  If you assume they will, you are in trouble.  If you rely on the fact that they will, you are doomed.  No amount of begging, screaming, or angry demands will change this fact, and if you can't learn to see things the way they really are, you are screwed and you should just give up now.

Second, nothing in the world can stop The Dread God Finagle and his Mad Prophet Murphy.  Dinosaurs?  Thud.  Creationist?  Here's an apple, lady.  Evolutionist?  The best doesn't have a monopoly on reproduction...Anything that is good enough for the present conditions will also reproduce.  When conditions change, then say hello to Finagle.

Note:  For those of you who don't know, Finagle's 1st Law is "If anything can go wrong, it will", also, known as the "oil seal principle", and Murphy's first law states that "If there are two ways to do something, a safe and effective method and a dangerous and ineffective method, someone will do it in the dangerous and ineffective way", which can be shortened to "no matter how easy it is, someone will fuck it up".

Ask the Babylonians about Finagle.  Or the Romans.  Ask the Easter Islanders about Murphy...Or, shit, just ask Donald Rumsfeld.  When you hear hollow laughter in marble halls, that's Murphy in action, telling someone a great idea he had.  When you go see the quaint, ancient ruined marble halls, you can be sure that Finagle was right behind Murphy.

When times are tough (ie, the great depression, WWII, etc), people are very wary of Finagle and Murphy.  They are often (though certainly not always) taken into account, at least once the ball is really rolling, and their effects are at least mitigated.  During long periods of prosperity, people tend to forget about The Great Fuckup Fairy, and it's no wonder that most civilizations collapse right at the height of a golden age...Chances are that the golden age was brought about by short-term decisions, and/or people decided to kill the golden goose (the tax cuts of 2000 come to mind).

Third, hubris.  Hubris is that state of mind where you staple a sign to your face, demanding that the universe come along and kick you in the junk.  To stretch the analogy, the sign also obstructs your vision so you can't see it coming, and then when it happens, you assign the blame to someone or something totally unrelated, according to your prejudices.  The Greeks understood the peril of hubris; Americans view it as a desirable quality.

Doktor's Diagnosis:  It is by luck that humans survived the period between "falling out of the tree" and "inventing fire."

The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / AMERICA LOCATED
« on: March 04, 2015, 03:35:57 pm »

I keep hearing both sides of the gun argument braying the same wrong stuff, over and over again.  The gun nuts will tell you that they need the weapon for "protection" (even though they are statistically far more likely to have a fatal firearm accident than shoot a home invader), or they need it to stop Obama's UN troops from giving White women forced abortions (Shay's rebellion.  They had the exact same weapons as the military and lost anyway.), or tell you that you preserve rights with the 2nd amendment...even though they have cheerfully surrendered all of those rights since 2001.  Basically, they say they need guns to protect rights they don't have.

On the other hand, the anti-gun crowd is often just as silly.  "Assault rifles" are no more deadly than any other rifle, for example, and in fact the record number of people killed by one person with a firearm was a crazy Finn who used a crappy bolt-action rifle.  President Kennedy was killed by a bolt-action rifle, as was Martin Luther King, Jr.  Most of the Aurora, Colorado theater killings weren't done with a rifle...The nutcase had a jam, couldn't clear it, and switched to a pistol.

Lastly, it's important to remember that guns don't kill people; Nigel kills people.

This is just one example of everyone on both sides of an issue being wrong.  Even if the facts they use are right, they're still wrong, because what they believe is DUMB.  A crazy person may be correct in knowing what a Faraday Cage does; this does not imply that a tinfoil hat has any effect on blocking mind control rays (which themselves are crap).

Another example is the torture debate.  One side says that we have to torture people to be safe (even though torture doesn't give you accurate information), and the other says "America doesn't torture people" (even though we have for our entire history).  Both of these views are dumb.  The real truth is, once your country tortures someone, your country is no longer the good guy and no longer deserves any kind of safety.  But trying to tell someone that their country is evil is kinda dumb, too, because the moment you do, it becomes impossible to commumicate...So this is best used just to piss people off.

Most of the time, arguments presented are of course not what the person advancing the argument cares about.  Anti-Abortion advocates don't care about children at all, as evidenced by the fact that the moment the kid is born, he/she is vilified as a welfare mooch, and the same people who argued that the fetus had to be carried to term now argue that food stamps and education for the fetus are entirely too expensive. 

What they were really saying is "We wish to control women, and if those women can't keep their dirty slut legs closed, then they should be punished with children they can't afford, and a lifetime of poverty shall be inflicted on everyone involved".  The MEN who argue this have an even simpler motive:  "If a woman fucks anyone but ME, she shall be punished."

Lastly is the Big Bang vs Creation argument.  On one side are the creationists...They believe that God made the world in 7 days, 6000 years ago, sort of like a gigantic Testors Model kit.  Physical evidence demonstrates otherwise, so these people are essentially either indulging in the Manichean heresy (ie, the devil is stronger than God), or they are calling their God a liar (And if their God is a liar, then he probably lied about everything, including creation.  The other side is also dumb, merely for trying to use science to argue against fairy tales to convince people that have believed these fables since the bronze age.

Doktor's diagnosis:  To convince an idiot, you more or less have to become an idiot.   

The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / I'm gonna cry.
« on: March 03, 2015, 11:18:31 pm »

There's a stink about this joint, now, like the kind of stink you'd find on a battlefield were thousands or hundreds of thousands died for reasons they didn't understand...And that even the principals didn't really give a shit about.  The causus belli was unimportant; it just seemed like the thing to do.  Jim's ghost is back for two weeks as a contractor (to finish some R&D work), and I'd pay money to see Lilly wandering around wringing her hands and abjuring the spot to get out.  However, she hasn't contracted Cain, so there the spot stays, even if she doesn't notice it. 

I mean, how could she notice it?  She has the gore of 3 other careers all the way up to her elbows; she has forgotten what blood smells like.

As for Jim, he's a smart guy that chose a bad way to be a schmuck.  I saw him this morning.  He did not look good.  He looked like what ECH's old neighbors might call a "Jumbee", a form of undead that doesn't always mean harm...But does it anyway, because the dead are incapable of doing good.

The younger guys see Jim back on the property, and their eyes light up.  Suckers.  He's here to sit in his office and finish some calculations.  He isn't back, nor is he in charge.  As of yesterday, he is no longer a member of the company, with official power about the same as the janitors enjoy.  No, Lilly is in charge, for the moment.  The guys upstairs are letting her implode.  This all seems very reckless, and the feeling you get is similar to that of those days when you realize that your life while on the highway is in the hands of the least competent driver.

It is like a horrible dream of some kind.  Last week we were building the future, and this week we are the past.  We are like Madam Toussad's collection.  Here a waxen chemist, there an operator.  No, scratch that, it's like the last 7.5 years never happened, and I am sitting in an office, staring at the man behind the curtain, the rat bastard that let us think we were accomplishing things. 

You know, I bet Jim's wife feels the exact same way, only infinitely worse.  All of your accomplishments are ashes in your mouth; the world has pulled back the curtain and shown its true colors.  Hell.  Nothing here is good, and the only things that looked good were just there to build you up until you were slap-worthy.  And that slap is coming, and nothing can be the same, ever again.

This is also why those in Hell never look back, of course.  Not because the contrast of the living world and where you are now is too depressing.  No.  Instead, because the state of your head will color those experiences as hopeless and banal, too.  Some Christians define Hell as "the absence of God", and I am uncertain as to whether I agree with that.  I feel that it is more the absence of Hell's inmates.  You have become a memory of a person, with memories of accomplishments that just don't seem important anymore AND you can't remember why you used to think they were amazing.

Hell is a combination of bad circumstances and your bad brain.  It's easy to say "When you're going through hell, keep on going," or, "There is a light at both ends of the tunnel...Where you're headed and where you came from.  All you have to do is turn around."  These people clearly don't understand what I am talking about.

Okay for now,

My boss (Jim) quit today.  Well, retired without notice, but you know what I mean.

Lilly is at least temporarily in charge - which is a bad thing - but despite the fact that she is an intelligent woman, she is happy about this.  This facility is just beginning to shit the bed in a major way, and she thinks she just got promoted.  What's really happened is that a noose has dropped from on high, to land around her neck.

After all, with all these projects being fucked up - which Mike did, and Jim unable or unwilling to stop him - someone with the words "plant manager" on his/her forehead is going to have to pay.  And Jim just skipped out on the bar tab.

The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / LOBB thing
« on: February 26, 2015, 12:29:26 am »
After 5 episodes of shameful failure on the part of several companies to perform their basic function, I have changed strategies on publishing LOBB.

Instead of print, there will be a smashwords version, which can be accessed by PC, Nook, Kindle, or any other device that can access e-books.

This means I have to bugger with the format a bit, so I expect to have it up in about 4 weeks (I have some travel ahead of me). 

I will let everyone here know when it's up, and it will be up for free for 7 days or until Nigel says she has a copy, whichever happens last.

I know this is yet another delay, but I lack the time right now to deal with printers who can't get the pages in order, or all oriented the same way, or, yanno, not all blurry.



Narratives grounded on conspiracy theories tend to reduce the complexity of reality and are able to contain the uncertainty they generate [1820]. They are able to create a climate of disengagement from mainstream society and from officially recommended practices [21]e.g. vaccinations, diet, etc. Despite the enthusiastic rhetoric about the collective intelligence [22, 23] the role of socio-technical system in enforcing informed debates and their effects on the public opinion still remain unclear. However, the World Economic Forum listed massive digital misinformation as one of the main risks for modern society [24].
A multitude of mechanisms animates the flow and acceptance of false rumors, which in turn create false beliefs that are rarely corrected once adopted by an individual [8, 10, 25, 26]. The process of acceptance of a claim (whether documented or not) may be altered by normative social influence or by the coherence with the system of beliefs if the individual [27, 28]. A large body of literature addresses the study of social dynamics on socio-technical systems from social contagion up to social reinforcement [1215, 17, 2941].

There's a hell of a lot more there, nuts & bolts stuff.  I've known for a long time that you can't talk a CTer out of their ideas, it's interesting to see why.

The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / ORIGINS thread.
« on: February 17, 2015, 05:01:58 pm »
#1:  NIGEL

Nigel is from way back in the future, somewhere around 3250CE.  She defied her bosses and came back to warn us about the impending apocalypse, but due to factory-second parts being used in the time machine, she arrived with fragmented memories and an infinite number of dicks, which she controls though minature space/time portals.  The less said about that, the better. 

In any case, her fragmented memories frustrated her...All she could remember about the coming weird times were odds and ends which are meaningless without context (ie, "hollow fish" and "weaponized chai" and "apocalypse chickens").  What's more, people who lived 1,235 years before her were DUMB and wouldn't listen when she tried to tell them WHAT.

She was heard to say "If I can't be a super-heroine, Then I shall be a super-villainess."  She embarked on a program of terrorist poetry and lethal macrame, occasionally teaming up with other villains such as Doktor Howl, Richter, and Barack Obama, and - this is rumor - even the hideous master criminal "The Absence", who was never at any of the crimes he was suspected of committing, which is in itself proof that he committed them.

Her largest accomplishment was bending Portland, Oregon this way, which turned it from a racist stronghold to a center of liberalism and artistry...Although when she was defeated fighting the Space Demon Jehovahbubba, she landed so hard she bent it that way, and nothing in Portland has ever gone right since.

She has not been seen since the Jehovabubba incident, but is presumed to be alive on account of her dicks are still functional, as anyone in America can verify with their right hand or perhaps a pair of mirrors.


 :cry: :cry: :cry:

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 ... 47