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Topics - Jasper

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Literate Chaotic / Stories my boss tells me
« on: January 16, 2012, 02:04:54 am »
Here's an abriged collection of the stories my boss Don tells me.  He's had a lot of adventures, to believe it all.  The odd thing is, whenever a bit of evidence comes up, it's always in his favor.   So I thought I'd start writing it down to keep better track.  I can't really tell how true these stories are, but I enjoy them and I can't disprove them.

Most recent story he told:  He's having a shipping container of random stuff being packed by his guys offshore to be sent here.  A collection of wine and guns in the mix along with furniture and other crap.  He tells them to keep them hidden because he could go to jail if it gets seen on inspection.  So, naturally, they drink all the wine, send the empty bottles, and pack the guns in plain sight.  It miraculously arrives, uninspected.  They are totally busted and he calls them on it.  Don tells this story with just the mildest opprobrium of his employees, no hint of a grudge.  I comment on the unbelievable nerve of stealing his wine and sending him guns, and he remarks that they're still in his employ, and they are good team, they just "have problems when they start drinking."  He smiles faintly as he says this.  He is always seemingly unperturbed by these sorts of offenses when recalling them.


A couple times he tells a story of his factory in Guadalajara, where some of his employees were smoking pot in the bathroom.  He decides to park a forklift in front of the door, and sprays fire extinguisher into the bathroom's air vent, putting an end to the siesta.  When they come out, he apologizes, saying that he mistook the smoke for a fire.  He seems to get a kick out of this.  It's a good story.  If I'd done it myself, I would enjoy retelling it too. 


Once, he caught a few of his employees using his personal bar at the factory to get some of the office girls passed-out drunk.  They then used Don's camera and computers to take naked photos of the drunk office girls in compromising positions.  These are the same guys who would would look at and save shitting girl porn on the company computers while on the clock.   They are mostly if not all still working for him.


This is my take on Don's dog, Boss, the generously named "guard dog" whose hacking coughs and goofy partial paralysis makes him unable to do anything but lie around, accept head scratches, and fart, used to be a beast back in Mexico.  Don says he'd attack bulls and lose.  Get thrown thirty feet through the air, come bounding back...  This dog is supposed to have been the runt of the litter, and Don told me one story where he saw a cat or something, and started pulling his wife so hard that she hit the ground, and got all her knees skinned off and she still held on to the leash because she's so insanely attached to it for some reason.  Now the dog's got a lot of dead nerves halfway down the spine, and he says he's been having some weird stoner veterinarian lady shock his nerve endings with electrodes.  He says that Boss was paralyzed from the waist down completely until this treatment, and couldn't even lift his leg to pee.  What's extra weird is that his wife Da treats Boss like he's her baby, always coo-cooing him, giving him treats, setting up nice beds for him, petting him all the time.  Like, the other day I'm working at my desk, and I start to hear this sound like a boar or a goat trying to cough up a tonka truck.  I look over and Boss is on his back, and Don's wife is tugging at his forepaws, and he's trying to bite her hands, all the while making this noise.  It isn't a dog noise at all. It is the sound of Boss laughing.  It's like an oink, if there was ever a pig that chain smoked for thirty years.  And the tired old beast follows her around like he's attached at the waist, loping around clumsily trying to lie next to her and whining for attention while she works. 

Soon I'll try and write up the story of how he escaped Puente Grande...

Or Kill Me / Information Threat
« on: June 05, 2011, 01:55:20 am »
The name commonly given to our times is The Information Age. This is to denote that the main
characteristic of this period of history is the way in which networks and data manipulation have shaped
the world we live in. This is a fair assessment, but the name suggests a sort of benevolence and
renaissance that is somewhat unwarranted.

The contemporary age is something akin to, or perhaps the opposite of, the Dark Ages of the medieval era, where information on any subject was nearly impossible to acquire except by word of mouth or personal observation. Society hasn't lost any knowledge, and we have no difficulty in acquiring information. On the contrary, in recent decades humanity has created so much, so quickly, that it has outpaced itself. In academia, art, philosophy, music, and technology, we have created more than the sum of all mankind's advances up until now in the last century alone, and all of it is available for next to free, except all of the very newest material. Even then, media of any kind is cheaper than it ever has been.

Data consumption in industry, academia, and the private sector has increased by leaps and bounds. There is so much raw data in our environment right now that we can never comprehend it all, and any amount of verification in the data we do use is nearly impossible. If a person wants information on a subject , their challenge is to be able to critically select the most trustworthy source, but the nature of the beast is that it will always be a leap of faith, since the proliferation of sources, combined with the lack of authoritativeness in such an impersonal and anonymous environment is so difficult. Even if a person's name or a reputable publisher's logo is on an internet source, there is still no verification that it is legitimate, since anyone could misrepresent themselves. All we can do is trust to the goodwill of anonymous sources.

It's not dark anymore, it's so bright that you can't see a thing. The internet is not a light that illuminates, but a glare that blinds. And it's always getting brighter. We're in The Glare Ages.

Aside from the merely conceptual noise of the internet and mass media, actual noises are a
constant companion due to our technology. Highways can be heard miles away, even indoors.
Machines clamor and groan. Computers and phones whir and beep and jingle. Fluorescent bulbs
whisper endlessly. Clockwork ticks. Every item wears the sigil of it's licensed manufacturer. Humans
have created a world where they are hounded day and night by gibbering, howling, and moaning
machines, and have put up with it for so long that they've stopped noticing it altogether.

The Flobots said there is a war going on for your mind, but they're wrong. The war is already lost, and the enemy
has granted no quarter. Every consumer product is stamped with logos, every telephone pole is riddled
with flyers, every piece of food has stickers, and every email and web page is littered with
advertisements and propaganda, and there is no expression left that has not been co-opted, whether
poetic or prosaic. The information has won, and quiet has been abolished. We're addicted to noise, and
we've lost the ability, collectively, to survive without it. So is the problem to do with all of our
technology? What would we do without the the networks, the broadcast system, and data satellites?

Some will hasten to add that we'd return to an agrarian society. No we couldn't, bless their hearts.
Some would certainly try, but there are far too many people for the entire US population to subsistence
farm on what arable land there is. According to numbers taken from the CIA world fact-book and
an internet source on sustenance farming that I quickly checked on, the US has barely more than half of the arable land
needed for each person to subsist on the fruits of their own labor. Make no mistake, as long as we have
the population level of a developed nation, we're stuck with the economic trappings of one. And the
population is increasing.

The law of supply and demand states that the value and availability of any commodity in a free
market are inversely proportional. As a commodity becomes rarefied, it's value will rise due to
increased demand between competing . Even intangibles, such as services, can be treated in this way,
as shown by labor markets in action, most notably during the time after the Black Plague, when a
shortage of labor due to population decrease caused laborers to prosper. Attention is another thing that
can be treated by the law of supply and demand.

As our attention spans decrease, therefore, market forces will shape events so that attention is more fiercely sought-after by businesses and institutions who need your attention to get your money. Commercials and propaganda will become increasingly engineered to stick in the mind. Ever since the advent of psychological science, this has been an increasing trend. Advertisements are fine tuned and clinically tested to have the greatest impact on human behavior possible, with or without active awareness. Computers and cell phones demand more and more attention by simply being addictive. Facebook, YouTube, and legions of other time wasting websites that derive their income from advertisements are under pressure from their own bottom line to get as many advertisement clicks as possible, and therefore as much of your attention share as possible.

Our ability to pay attention since the so-called Information Age has dwindled to comical proportions
due to constant distraction and entertainment. Humans aren't suited to the environment they have
created. Denizens of this world have free access to unbearable amounts of information on every topic,
imaginable or otherwise. Access is elective, meaning that to find information, you must decide what is
wanted. Readers are free to select information that agrees with their worldview. There is a
scientifically documented behavioral trait of humans, relevant to the mass of information available to
us, that skews the ability to take into account evidence.

The findings show that if a person with strong opinions is shown evidence regarding those opinions, that person will tend to become more sure of their viewpoint regardless of what the evidence actually said. This factors into the Information Age in a profound way; Are beliefs going to continually polarize due to the proliferation of evidence? Such a phenomenon will tend to have terrible and systematic effects on any political climate. Essentially, it ensures that only the most immoderate voices are heard. And this will only add to the difficulty of
finding authoritative information.

When the chainsaw juggler misses a beat, his problems have only just begun. The way things
are going, it doesn't look like humanity will be able to deal with what it's done. We can't fight or eat
our way out of this problem. We can't legislate it away, and we can't protest it in front of columnized
buildings, demanding the plagues and woes be put back in the box. We can only push the envelope like
we always do. It is too complex and vast of a problem for your or I or any group of people to do
anything useful. Will exabytes be our epitaph? What does the endgame look like? All that can be said
for certain is that this will continue to be a problem that few see.

People don't talk about these problems because they don't have the words for it. It is a nebulous sense of things being wrong in some way that many feel but few understand. It isn't anomie, and it isn't a “kids these days” problem. The problem's source is economic and intellectual forces that have been at play for a very long time, and are only now becoming problematic. It's not that the system has failed, which might be a mercy. No, the system works better than ever. It's simply stopped doing what we need it to.

Apple Talk / So delightfully NSFW: Marquis (1989)
« on: May 31, 2011, 07:11:05 pm »
Thanks for the tip, LMNO. 

A movie about marquis de sade, done all with puppets.

Or Kill Me / WHAT??
« on: May 02, 2011, 02:36:15 am »
It's the second dark ages.


It's the "so bright you can't see a damn thing" ages.  We're swamped with information.  We consume it constantly, as fast as possible, but there's always more.

And so much of it is COMPLETE SHIT.  More than ever in history it is readily apparent that most of the information humans generate is garbage.

The solution is not to shut it all off and pack it in.  Firstly, we can't.  Secondly, that would be quitting while ahead.  We're humans.

The only way to stop it is to make the machines SHUT UP.  Tell the spam servers to SHUT UP.  Tell AdWords to SHUT UP.  Tell the pop ups to SHUT UP.  Tell the mouthy bus driver to SHUT UP.  Call the talk shows and tell them to SHUT UP.  Tell your boss to SHUT UP.  Everybody and everything that is not feeding you timely, interesting, or useful information needs to SHUT UP, so I will now


Apple Talk / So, like, BASICALLY
« on: May 02, 2011, 12:39:00 am »
I'm moving to Seattle after my transfer degree finishes up in June.

Until I get into a 4 year in the bay. 

That is all.  Move along, netizen.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / "The Benefits of Madness"
« on: April 26, 2011, 07:51:50 pm »
A less wrong post I thought was interesting.

The ability to loosen one's associations and build bridges between disparate ideas seems to help us solve problems not amenable to direct, formal computation: to intuit mathematical truths before sitting down to prove them, for example, or to recognize that a pattern seen in one system is reflected in another, totally unrelated system.  A state of mental excitation, even to the point of fervour, is also useful for overcoming akrasia, and promotes the quick thinking necessary when you don't have time to sit around and compute.  If this is the case, then there is considerable benefit to be had in learning to depart from rationality in a safe and controlled manner.  I say safe and controlled because, as we have seen, there are real dangers in overextending oneself; but with proper technique, I believe these dangers can be minimized while still reaping the benefits.

Or Kill Me / Madness and Apathy
« on: April 09, 2011, 09:43:48 pm »
This isn't a rant, but it's rant related. 

Maybe this isn't other people's observations, but I feel like when people are really excited and having irresponsible fun, even if I'm into it too, the effect I have on the crowd tends to be akin to a splash of cold water. 

My rants are angry, but in a calm, cold sort of way.  And even trying to ape the more fiery styles of writing comes off as sort of...freeze dried.

I guess I'm just filing a bug report.

Bug #0094242:  Can't get angry enough.  Suspected shortage of swap space in limbic system.  Status:  can not fix at this time

Apple Talk / Strangers who text me
« on: March 16, 2011, 09:54:54 pm »
Ever since I got this phone, people from Colorado keep texting me and calling me Matt.  Sometimes they are mad at Matt.  Sometimes they bear good tidings for him.

I have tired of telling them I am not he;  I have begun to use the opportunity to make the world a stranger place.  I've begun saving the contacts and replying.

Or Kill Me / Pressure and Release
« on: March 15, 2011, 08:00:59 pm »
The City is a product of economic forces.  

The textile and iron industries of the 18th century, the rise of patents and the advent of steam engines making urban population growth inevitable.  

Trains made the city.  They were it's veins.

Trains also made rock'n'roll.  Trains rock, and trains roll.  Ask Johnny Burnette.  He met a dame, on a train.  "Get along, creepy little woman."

I hardly need to spell out who She was.  

People argue about where rock and roll came from.  I have a hunch it was made on trains by scary alcoholic hobos, mixing blues and country and everything that felt right.

That's what rock and roll is.  Everything that feels right, in a place where nothing does.

Rock on, PD.

Discordian Recipes / Weird Food Observations
« on: March 11, 2011, 06:25:39 pm »
I just noticed that day old coffee, microwaved until past boiling, and diluted with a bit of water tastes EXACTLY like powdered coffee.

ITT weird food observations.

Techmology and Scientism / Optics experiment
« on: March 09, 2011, 03:15:04 am »
I have read that if you wear glasses that flip everything upside down, your brain will start to correct it.  And that if you take the glasses off, your vision will be upside down for a brief period.

I want to try this.  Can anyone point me in the right direction Re: equipment?

Techmology and Scientism / Chemistry / Ballistics spags!
« on: February 24, 2011, 08:40:37 pm »
I have acquired some Cobalt(II) Carbonate for the purpose of manufacturing a blue flame.  I have played with it, and I have done an amount of web searching in vain hope of finding information on what, when it comes down to it, the best method is. 

Currently my plan has been to stuff some of it into a blank 12ga. shell and fire it from a shotgun, but I have hitherto been unable to determine, well, anything.   :oops: 

I could use a clue.

Literate Chaotic / Homo Altruis
« on: January 23, 2011, 08:45:52 pm »

Original science fiction.   In its current incarnation it's just a plot, actual scenes are not yet written.  Still, this is the longest story I've ever written, and my friends seem to like it.

Discordian Recipes / /b/on appetite (warning: many images)
« on: January 16, 2011, 06:44:34 pm »

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