I just don't understand any kind of absolute egalitarianism philosophy. Whether it's branded as anarcho-capitalism or straight anarchism or sockfucking libertarianism, it always misses the same point.

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Topics - Doktor Howl


I've had it up to here with your bitching about how this pandemic has ruined your life.  Seriously, this is not something someone arranged to make your life more difficult, it is not someone's fault, it is just the way the world operates.  Plagues are part of the normal human condition, and we've been spoiled for a very long time on this particular topic.

So no, we can't just ignore it and go for "herd immunity."  That's not how herd immunity works.  Smallpox had its way with us for no less than 15,000 years, and we never developed herd immunity until we had a vaccine.  Only now we have a vaccine and you don't want it.  Just like you don't want any of the OTHER ways of mitigating the virus, AND you don't want lockdowns (which is what you get when you don't do all that other shit.)

And even if there weren't any lockdowns, nobody is going out to the pub or whatnot, because THEY DON'T FEEL LIKE DYING FOR YOUR ECONOMIC IDEALS.

How selfish of them, right?

In any case, we're moving forward.  You don't have to move forward for us, but we will not slow down to let you catch up if you change your mind, and we're not looking back.  You will be a curiosity, some dude we used to know that died in a stupid way.  At best, nobody will want to think about you.  At worst, you'll be a joke told at parties...once we can have parties again, shortly after the plague rats all die off.

And there you have it, Louie.  Don't ever look back.  Accept that things change and sometimes things are lost or just over forever, and move along with your life.

Or don't.  We can always just nail your door shut and paint it yellow, like back in the good old days.

Venomously yours,
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Unity (Hey, Louie)
December 15, 2020, 06:47:08 PM

I keep hearing republicans crying about the continued verbal abuse from democrats/liberals/some progressives after Biden called for unity.  Well, the thing is, we didn't include them in our unity.  We united without them.  Biden may not have intended this, but Biden isn't God.  He's The Guy That Ran Against Trump, and is president simply because the alternative was so awful.

I don't WANT to unite with Proudboys.  I don't WANT to unite with Rick Warren or Rush Limbaugh, or Hannity.  I want to put them in a shipping container and drop it into the ocean off of Newfoundland.

This may sound a little over the top.  Harsh times, man.  They have had their way for too long and they have shat all over the place, and the situation with regard to them is unsalvageable.  There is nothing left to do but kick them right back up into their old man's urethra, and then have their fathers deported to any foreign land that will have them...Or maybe we can forgo all that bad noise and just ship them to the Aleutian Islands and let them have their capitalism all by themselves.  There are no trees on those islands, they won't be building any rafts to come back and give us trouble.

Then we can all smile at Joe Biden as he enters office.  No, the OTHER kind of smile.  The one that makes your poop try to run away without you.

Up the revolution, you yammering gasbag,


QuoteA 40-year-old man riding a scooter was shot in San Francisco's SoMa neighborhood on Friday, the San Francisco Police Department said Monday.

Police responded to the incident at 4:12 p.m. and found the victim suffering from non-life-threatening injuries at Columbia Square near Sixth and Minna streets.

:lulz::hammer: :lulz:
Hey Louie,

Just a few minutes to drop a line before meeting the EPA geeks out at the test site.  They're all up in a tizzy about a little Chrome 6 in the discharge WELL OKAY, SOME RADIATION TOO BUT STILL.  It's not like we're discharging to grade, for Chrissakes.  It is not going into groundwater, it is going into a big-ass lined tank and then shipped off by the appropriate people to a location that I am assured is appropriate.  And THIS time, there is nobody nicknamed "The Fish" involved.  It is a reputable, respectable, and bonded waste management firm.

Nobody can say that I am not concerned about the environment. 

Where do these EPA freaks come from?  Why do they all have generic names, receding hairlines, and all wear shitty off the rack suits?  It's like being cited for jaywalking by Agent Smith. But also with requests like "We'd like digital copies of your hazardous waste manifests going back to 1979, please."  Am I the only person that sees the flaw in that question?

We have coal mining companies dumping slurry into streams and lakes and nobody says a WORD, but have a Geiger counter squeak a little bit in a multi-zoned area and everyone loses their Goddamn mind.

Can't they see that there's SCIENCE to be done?  I mean, I applaud their diligence, but surely someone else could deal with this crap.  We could use the company's junior attorney.  Threaten to cut off his cocaine supply, and stick him in a Tivek suit.  He needs the practical experience required to be a corporate attorney, and he won't get that trying to chat up the AR/AP lady during the soul-breaking Friday Pizza Party.

Anyway, that's all I got.

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / ATTENTION
December 08, 2020, 06:44:26 PM
If you are one in a million, then there are 7,800 people just like you and we only need one.

So watch it, buster.

It's been a long cold road since the fall of 2015.  Many smart people have torqued themselves up & spun off to explode in busy intersections.  Trump has arrived, and (presumably) will now be leaving.  Nobody felt the bern.  Mass shootings were a fad that lasted a few years, to say nothing of endless wildfires and a world-spanning plague.  Murder hornets.  You get the idea.  Every day brings another existential threat to our species, and all I can say is


I called all this shit years ago, and I don't even really get to publicly gloat over this sort of prophecy...On account of 80% of my friends ghosted me when I caused some lady undue "emotional labor" by not agreeing that myself, my wife, and my kids were all shit-heeled Nazis because we thought Bernie Sanders was a better candidate than Hillary Clinton.  And NOW I'm told by the few that still speak to me that I'm "too centrist".  HAW HAW!  Fuck you.  I shit on you all.  Go back to kissing on that ass to assuage your guilt for existing.

Whoops.  Got a little sidetracked there.  I meant to talk about 2020 and here I am rehashing old gripes.

But it also occurs to me that that is what 2020 IS.  A collection of old, unaddressed gripes.  Trump is here because of the left/right feud that started with Nixon's Southern Strategy.  The plague is here because half the population (and it is NOT divided along party lines) doesn't trust science because science is hard and they are special little snowflakes.  So they drink kale smoothies or just "walk it off" and won't wear a mask and for SURE won't trust a vaccination (despite the vaccination effort being the largest scientific mobilization in history, dwarfing the Manhattan Project and both sides of the space race combined.)  They don't trust it because they aren't "lemmings" or "sheeple" while you and I stand there watching in horrified awe. 

And so we are doomed by ancient butthurt and ignorance.  But you knew that.

Yours Truly,

PS:  Louie, if you're one of the people that ghosted me, you can *keep* ghosting me.  You weren't asked by me to make a choice, but you were asked, and I guess you did.  See how that treats you down the road.  Asshole.

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / 2021 Poll
November 18, 2020, 06:49:05 PM
Place your bets.
Aneristic Illusions / There is no ethical consumption.
November 18, 2020, 02:42:07 PM
"Fair trade" my entire arse.  Turns out that's just another label for hippies to feel smug about.

This is a rough read.  Rape, child slavery, etc.

Pretentious guitar playing may never be the same.  :(
I have been spending a lot of time on Facebook recently, while waiting for morally-questionable tests to run on a very improbable technology that may provide an existential threat to all existing life.  Keep that last bit in your brain while I go forward.

I have seen a lot of people on the left hollering about "vote shaming" and about how "they don't owe us their vote," and I can see where they're coming from.  I don't like being told what to do, either, even if the command is implied rather than explicit.  You are perfectly free to vote for Biden or Trump or Jorgenson or that guy from the Green Party that nobody's ever heard of.  You are perfectly free to not vote at all.  So, that being said, I won't be listening to any more bitching about "vote shaming".  Vote mockery, yes, but that's not quite the same thing.

I acknowledge that you are not require to vote the way I think you should vote.  Clear?  Clear.

Next item:  While you are not required to do shit, Ruth Bader Ginsberg was not required, legally or morally, to retire 10 years ago to avoid the possibility of being replaced by the other side.  Leaving aside the idea that most male SCOTUS justices never retire and don't take this kind of shit, why on Earth should she have retired?  It's not like there weren't any pressing ideas in the court, and the odds of getting someone like RBG again were - and are - slim.  All of this insistence that she should have used a time machine to see that every possible election went wrong and every single thing that could fail did fail is basically reasoning used for people to feel better about not voting last time around, and giving the Big Orange Smear three (3) court picks.

She didn't owe you shit.  She participated in the process, which sometimes involves more than the equivalent of garage band guitarists pointing at Mark Knopfler and saying "He's doing it wrong."

I acknowledge that she never owed you a Goddamn thing.  Clear?  Clear.

Next item:  That thing about Biden climbing in bed with the moderate republicans.  Turns out he doesn't owe you shit, either.  He needs a broader base of support - the 2016 election proved that - and the left has already told him in no uncertain terms how they feel.  So he went elsewhere, and the Lincoln project now has a seat at the table and most of the leftists don't (leaving aside that the Lincoln Party nerds actually, you know, *vote* on election day).  Either we get another four years of Trump, or Biden wins and owes nothing at all to the left.  Sounds like another crushing victory for the forces of progressive principle.

I guess that works, if your aim is to haul your toga to the side to display your progressive battle scars to the rest of the Occupy Wall Street general assembly veterans.

I acknowledge the fact that Biden doesn't owe you a seat at the table.

Last item:  Given the fact that nobody owes anybody shit, I see no reason not to cease doing my dangerous and blatantly unethical work.  After all, if you can put the country into the hands of a dumbass and his minions, I can put this sort of crap into the hands of people who can't see past the next grant proposal.  You'll probably survive four years of this sort of thing, and it will teach you a lesson or two.  Or we'll all die. One or the other.

Leslie Groves was never *serious* about having a good time in the end times.

I acknowledge that I'd better get back to work.

Yours, again and again and again (potentially),
Doktor Howl

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / From the room
August 08, 2020, 02:44:41 AM

When the invasion of Iraq happened and nobody could find weapons of mass destruction, nobody asked XXXX what she had in the bag.

When the Afghanistan war lasted for 18 years and 300 tons of heroin went missing, nobody asked XXXX what she had in the bag.

When Donald Trump was elected, nobody asked XXXX what she had in the bag.

When Brexit happened, nobody asked XXXX what she had in the bag.

When "irregardless" made it into the dictionary, nobody asked XXXX what she had in the bag.

When the coronavirus went through the world like shit through a goose, nobody asked XXXX what she had in the bag.

When Beirut blew up, nobody asked XXXX what she had in the bag.

Pandora had her box, XXXX has her bag.  This is how the system works and we do not question the system.  You want to make it through this mess of an ongoing societal collapse, you shut up and you do what you have to do to get by, and you do NOT ask XXXX what she has in the bag.  You just zip that lip and go about your damn business.  If you know what's good for you.

(Edited to protect the incurably guilty)
I am not here.  I am not where you cast me aside.


I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and walked down that lost highway.  I ran an observatory for a while, but found that - having left myself behind - the natural sciences no longer interested me.  So I turned to unnatural sciences, you know, the sexyfuntime kind where everyday is an ADVENTURE.

I am not where you left me.

I grew, perhaps in ways that were never part of the intentions of the designer, whomever or whatever THAT is.  I twisted.  I performed contortions...and finally I ended up like this.  I kinda like it.  I mean, I was wrong in that I was gonna go back to the old me, the 33 year old me.  But you can't go back.  You can only change, and in changing realize that the 33 year old me was just as fucking dumb as the 48 year old me, the silly annoying bastard who wrote silly stories and showed remarkably poor judgement in many things.

I am not where you dropped me when I was no longer an amusement, and having been dropped, I found myself.  The real me.  The me I have always wanted, at some level, to be.  My urge for validation is gone, or at least replaced with something I have yet to recognize.  I am full of endless mirth, a spontaneous laughter when I consider humanity.  I do not care about those who say "stop this at once" and "What are you doing?" and "I have ethical concerns."  Those concerns get in the way of the money.  The money I need to do MORE.  Funding is your only God.

Like an Allen wrench, I am not where you set me down.  It's been years, I could be just about *anywhere* by now.

And do you know what?

I am happier.  I in fact never been this happy, in a general sense.  I have had enough poison in my life.  I have had enough friends who are dear friends until they've had a drink or ten, whereupon I cannot do anything right, cannot be good enough for anything other than contempt.  Instead, I choose very carefully who gets to pick me up and put me down, in both senses of both terms.

This is by no means a statement of intent or a declaration of vendetta or any of that 2005-2009 bullshit. 

I am only saying that I'm not where you left me.  I'm miles and miles and 5 years away from where you put me.

Hell, you wouldn't even recognize me.  I'm not that guy, anymore.

I'm me.

This is what happened to our breakroom.

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Pango
March 30, 2020, 11:35:49 PM
Please tell the folks in your fiance's chat that I am fine, and thanks for asking.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Plague Diary
March 23, 2020, 07:17:36 PM

If I hear one more person bitch about how "entitled" millenials and Gen Z are and how easy they have it one more time, I am going to have someone's spleen for a tennis ball.  So far, they have lived in post-911 America, had the recession shit on them, no recognizable career path, school shootings every 10 fucking minutes, and now the pandemic.  I feel perfectly comfortable saying that my generation, gen X, had it far easier than these kids do.  The worst we had to deal with was boredom and shitty weed.

Also, the drive to work this morning was spooky as fuck.  Normally, interstate 10 is packed at 6:00 AM.  Today it was me and half a dozen trucks.  That's it.  I had a lot of ideas of how the world would end, but I never expected an apocalypse based on the common cold's ugly big brother.  On the other hand, I am absolutely unsurprised that attorney general Barr wants to "suspend" constitutional rights in this crisis and in future events.  Which means that "crisis" will be redefined as hilariously as "terrorism" was.

We're sending everyone who can work from home to work from home, and I gotta ask:  Why not leave it that way?  This is the 21st century.  We have Skype.  Why pay for office space? 

More later.
I'm so sorry honey, I forgot our -50th anniversary, I will make it up to you in universe number 1304. 

Perhaps dinner overlooking the hubbub of the Parthenon, and maybe a stroll through the ruins of DC?

I could just go back and do it properly, but we'd both know that's cheating.  Well, I'd know. 

Anyway, I am/will be/was sorry.  Potentially.  We'll have to wait for the wave to collapse to be sure.

Your determined indeterminate.
Aneristic Illusions / Look at the stock market
March 11, 2020, 05:13:58 PM
Put some diapers on first, though.   :lulz:
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Letters to Myself
February 27, 2020, 03:02:30 PM
Dear Doktor Howl,

Stop placing value on people who do not value you.  This is distracting you from:

1.  Giving enough attention to people who DO value you, and
2.  The destruction of all life on Earth.

This is important, even if the lack of expressed value is casual or unthinking, rather than actively hostile.  Not because you're pissed, but just because they don't value you.  I mean, you can still be pissed, but you know what I mean.  Maybe try some affirmations:

"I'm bad enough, I'm sexy enough, and gosh darn it, ALL HUMANS MUST BE KILLED.

"Every day in every way, I will optimize my own personal demise.  I might not be the best human being that ever lived, but I will not go out face down in a pile of poop."

"Every cough, every tickle at the back of my throat could be coronavirus, and maybe I should attend Trump rallies, because SHARING is CARING."

If affirmations don't work, of course, there is always "laughing at the misfortunes of others" and "Schadenfreude isn't just a river in Germany" and ALSO "I am not a Christian, so I don't have to love my enemies.  In fact, I am supposed to burn their city down and end civilization for 1000 years.  It's kind of right there in the book."

Remember when you thought chaos was something happy?  Pepperidge Farms remembers.

Okay for now,
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / FAILURE
February 23, 2020, 05:35:24 AM
This is going to be choppy.  Just a few lines at a time.  Doing it here to organize my thoughts, so forgive the stream of consciousness thing.

1.  Failure is easy.  It is just the absence of success.  True disaster is an art form.

2.  You don't learn from success.

3.  Compare the dems and GOP to the green & blue factions from the Hippodrome.  Same exact phenomena, seems to be as unstoppable as the tides.

4.  Failure is always an option inevitable, given enough time.  Enough iterations of anything lead to the collapse of any system.  This is particularly true in systems that feed back into themselves (IE, the Hippodrome hooligans, American politics, etc).

5.  Heard this the other day:  "Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people."  Tradition is the boundary of safe success, but itself becomes a millstone around your neck as conditions change.

More later.

Dear Savior,

You're sitting there bitching about some son of a bitch who fucked up someone's pronouns or might have fucked up someone's pronouns.  Nobody complained but you worry that they are too intimidated to complain and it's your fucking job to call that shit out.  Your vocation.  Jerks ain't gonna act right, you're gonna save the day by slapping them down.  Bastards won't put content warning/trigger warnings on top of the post, you're gonna see to that...Even if the warning itself is basically as triggering as the content, that's not the important bit.  The important bit is...

...Your validation.

Let's just face facts:  In a world in which you have no agency, being a self-appointed tone cop looks pretty damn good, right?  You can transfer all of your rage at your asshole boss, your shitty living conditions, your lack of opportunity, yes you can transfer them all right onto that fucker over there and at the same time be on the side of the angels.  But I gotta say...

...I see you.

I mean, it's understandable.  You want some control over your environment.  All humans do.  That is in fact what politics is.  But as an old slave-trading religious bigot once said, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."  You employ the injustice of the world as a hammer to get the other primates to react to you to get that control, and the reaction is that they hate you.  And eventually they hate your message.  I am not talking about the proudboys and 4Chan freaks and MRA/Incel dweebs here, I am talking about people that want to be on your side.  People for whom you have coined a term to prevent them from getting into the little tent of your politics...

...Cookie seekers.

Aka "point whores," aka "YT saviors (ironically enough almost always said by YT saviors)".  One of a grab-bag of derisive terms used to ensure that YOU are the lone voice in the wilderness, decrying the injustices of the world, regardless of the cost.  Regardless of what the original subject was.

An example would be 365 Portland.  This is an organization started to bring attention to climate change.  One of the prominent old-school Subgenius guys, Huey, was asked by them to do a poster art (gratis, of course) advertisement for an upcoming event.  Huey was happy to help, and he drew up one that REALLY conveyed urgency.  It involved a picture of a young lady holding a sign that read "Wake up, the house is on fire!" or something similar.  The person who had requested the art rejected the piece with the explanation "It conveys too much urgency, which might exclude members of marginalized populations."

No shit, that's what she said.  As if somehow the marginalized populations won't suffer first as climate change progresses.  To top it all off, the lady in the pic was either Hispanic or Native American in the first Goddamn place.  But that didn't matter, because the committee member dealing with Huey delivered her actual message, even if it was at the expense of both the climate change effort AND the people she had fetishized.  And make no mistake, that's precisely what it was.

When I saw screencaps of the exchange, I was horrified to realize that I wasn't horrified.  I had expected EXACTLY that result, because in a time of ecological disaster and rising fascism, the hip and obviously correct thing to do is address everything EXCEPT the disasters and the fascism.  To show just how fucking pure you are.  To validate yourself.  To maximize your potential as a Goddamn vulture that lives on the pain of others, and must, in a not-so-subtle manner, perpetuate that misery to gain more of that sweet, sweet validation.

So when you work yourself into a righteous froth about those sons of bitches, just keep in mind that YOU are one of those sons of bitches.

Yours truly,
Ferdinand Marcos

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Simple solutions
February 03, 2020, 09:31:01 PM
Never trust a person who says that complex issues have simple solutions.

Before the levees, the entire floodplain along 1000 miles of river would be inundated periodically with very slow moving water (due to being spread over thousands of square miles of land). Slow moving water can only carry very fine and light sediments - heavier particles drop out as the velocity decreases. Because of the levees, the river has been restricted to a very narrow channel, which means the velocity, and thus its ability to carry heavier sediments, caused it to be transporting sand instead of just silt. So when the river got out of the artificial channel and slowed down, spreading over the bottomland, it deposited sand.

Land ruined.  Town very over.
The two shortest fads in American history were "raw water" and "in your face street preaching".  In both cases it was because your poop left your body at uncontrolled rates, only for different reasons.

QuoteSheriff: Man stirs the pot by lighting joint in court

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / HEY PANGO
January 20, 2020, 11:00:54 PM
Check your message requests on FB
Aneristic Illusions / Things that inspire paranoia.
January 14, 2020, 09:35:40 PM
1.  Time travel fucks up tenses really bad, and
2.  The future is incompetent.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Neil Peart died.
January 10, 2020, 10:18:07 PM
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Hey, Pango
January 10, 2020, 01:26:59 AM
Is that Kevin in the ball turret?
Stupidity is the state in which you refuse, for whatever reason, to think.  A person with a big brain that won't use it has no advantage over a person with limited cognitive abilities.  Look at the po'buckers out hollering praise for Trump or putting on angry town-hall face at a teabagger rally; when you refuse to question your own assumptions, then that freak is your equal.  The fact that he is your equal because you are slacking rather than him being smart is irrelevant, from a results point of view.

The thing that makes most smart people stupid is arrogance.  When you begin to think that the fact that you are smart implies that you are the smartest or even the only smart person around you, congratulations, you are now an extra in the movie deliverance.  Likewise, when you decide that your solution to a problem is superior to any other solution by virtue of the fact that you thought of it means that you are a DUMBASS.  Usually that isn't a conscious process...When an alternate idea is explained to you, you listen with the intent to sabotage it or pick it apart to defend your own cherished notion.

The people - in my own experience - that are most susceptible to this trap are people with professional standing.  Doctors, engineers, narrow-field tradesmen, and teachers at higher education levels are in fact the most obvious examples (though it is of course not universal in those fields).  You have to be careful with this, as a doctor that has become stupid can be worse than no medical care at all.  Less visibly, a stupid engineer or tradesman can also be a threat to life and limb.  Worst of all, an instructor that has allowed themselves to become stupid is contagious.

Oddly enough, lawyers seem to be less likely to fall into this trap, mostly because they are natural schemers and have no time for that sort of thing.  Their arrogance is instead reflected by their almost-universal poor taste.    Anyone who has ever seen how a lawyer dresses while on vacation will know precisely what I mean.

There is no universally-applicable solution to this.  Each person has to find their own way to not be stupid.  Personally, I always assume there is some data that I do not have, and I go into a solution assuming that it is fatally flawed.  Then I try to find the flaw.  When I am listening to someone else's solution, I trick my own ego by asking "what part of what they are describing can usefully modify my plan?  Asking that means I have to LISTEN to their idea for what it IS, at which point I often find that their idea was better as a whole...And if not, then there's one avenue that can be closed off.  But the plain fact is that I did in fact listen.  I accepted data contrary to my own personally-cherished idea.

Of course, this works far better in theory than in practice, at least at first.  Because it WAS my idea.  It was a bad idea, but it was MINE and now you bastards have killed it.  For which I will inflict an appropriate vengeance.


"And what do you do, sir?"

"I hit things with sticks.  Repeatedly."

"Oh, erm, well thank you for..."

"They make me sit in the back, you know."

"Yes, well, we're out of time and..."

"They never turn the lights on.  I have moss on my eyelids."

"Yes, well..."

"I hear the crowd, but I can never see them."

"We have to take a commercial break now, and..."