Principia Discordia

Principia Discordia => Literate Chaotic => Topic started by: chaotic neutral observer on August 26, 2019, 12:20:11 am

Title: The Scrapyard --or-- CNO's brain dump
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on August 26, 2019, 12:20:11 am
This thread is for me to dump half-baked, disjointed, or otherwise unsatisfactory ideas or fragments that I don't think deserve their own thread, and don't want to leave in the open bar, but which I need to get out of my head anyway, before they are lost like tears in the rain or some shit.

I don't expect more than a 10-15% yield rate.  You don't need to tell me if something is crap; I already know.  I'm going to try not to spend too much time editing, either.

Maybe I'll post here regularly.  I probably won't.  But, I've got three to start with.
Title: Summer
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on August 26, 2019, 12:20:37 am
Have you ever tried
to take a picture
of a butterfly
in the wind?
Title: Patriotism
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on August 26, 2019, 12:21:35 am
You say you love your country, are willing to kill for it, even die for it.
I don't know what you mean.
The idea of "country" is abstract, and maps to a number of different realities.

Do you love your government?  Because, speaking as a foreigner, your government is the most visible manifestation of your country, and.. uuh... that's incredibly stupid of you.

Do you love the lines on the map?  Is this patch of sand worthy, but the one on the other side of the fence of less value, somehow?  Seems arbitrary.

Do you love the geography, the countryside, the trees, the grass, the sky?  That I get, but that isn't really what most people think of, when you say "country."  Say you love nature, or something.

Do you love the people, the culture?  Well, I get that too, but you shouldn't confuse that with the idea of the country as a whole.  If you join the military, you're just signing yourself up as a particular type of government employee.  I can see how you might like it as a job, but don't get the idea that there's some greater good involved.  "Boots on the ground" do make a difference, but unless you're fighting WW3, your efforts are best spent locally, not halfway across the globe.
Title: The Meaning of Life
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on August 26, 2019, 12:22:51 am
In spring, I clear the garden, and plant the seeds.  I protect the seedlings, fertilize them, water them, kill the weeds.
I mourn those who die, eaten by bugs or shredded by hail or dug up by cats, and treasure the survivors.
If they crowd each other, I thin them out with regret, but without mercy.
As the season continues, I watch them blossom.  I clear away the dead and the diseased.
When the time comes, I harvest them.

And when winter approaches, I rip them all up and toss them in a pile to rot.

What is the meaning of my life, or yours?  Probably about the same as one of my garden plants.  Let's not overcomplicate things.
Title: Re: The Scrapyard --or-- CNO's brain dump
Post by: altered on August 26, 2019, 01:20:57 am
You vastly oversold these. I expected garbage, not new Holy Nonsense material.

Okay, Summer is kinda average. But the rest is quality. Refund please.
Title: Now we're all sons of bitches
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on August 27, 2019, 04:26:41 am

A.

In 1945, The United States was presented with the necessity of invading Japan in order to end the war.  Such an invasion would cost hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides, and would leave Japan in ruins.  The Japanese people were prepared to fight to the death, with even schoolgirls being trained to fight with bamboo spears.  Having little choice, the Americans dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6th, and, when the Japanese failed to surrender, dropped a second on Nagasaki on August 9th.
Faced with the overwhelming destructive force of this new weapon, Emperor Hirohito surrendered to the Allies a few days later.


B.

In 1945, the Japanese navy was in tatters, and despite publicly declaring they would fight to the end, were quietly attempting to negotiate with the Soviet Union.

At the same time, the Americans, eager to bring a quick end to a war that had already dragged on too long, and wishing to make a show of strength to establish their position in the post-war world (especially, to demonstrate their technical superiority to the U.S.S.R.) dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.  This also served as a field test of their new weapon, which had only been detonated once before.
Despite the devastation, this was not enough to cause Japan's surrender; the earlier fire-bombing of Tokyo had been even more destructive, and the Japanese believed (correctly) that the Americans only had a few of these bombs.

The situation changed abruptly with the Soviet invasion of Manchuria on August 9th.  Outnumbered, outgunned, facing imminent defeat on the Asian mainland, and having little standing left to negotiate from, the Japanese surrendered on August 15th.

The first deployment of a doomsday weapon was not only unnecessary, but unsuccessful in achieving its stated objective.



(A) is the official story, or how I remember it, anyway.  (B) is paraphrased from Oliver Stone's "Untold History of the United States."

Why do I find it easier to believe the version that paints humanity in a worse light?
Title: Re: Now we're all sons of bitches
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 27, 2019, 03:25:42 pm

A.

In 1945, The United States was presented with the necessity of invading Japan in order to end the war.  Such an invasion would cost hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides, and would leave Japan in ruins.  The Japanese people were prepared to fight to the death, with even schoolgirls being trained to fight with bamboo spears.  Having little choice, the Americans dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6th, and, when the Japanese failed to surrender, dropped a second on Nagasaki on August 9th.
Faced with the overwhelming destructive force of this new weapon, Emperor Hirohito surrendered to the Allies a few days later.


B.

In 1945, the Japanese navy was in tatters, and despite publicly declaring they would fight to the end, were quietly attempting to negotiate with the Soviet Union.

At the same time, the Americans, eager to bring a quick end to a war that had already dragged on too long, and wishing to make a show of strength to establish their position in the post-war world (especially, to demonstrate their technical superiority to the U.S.S.R.) dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.  This also served as a field test of their new weapon, which had only been detonated once before.
Despite the devastation, this was not enough to cause Japan's surrender; the earlier fire-bombing of Tokyo had been even more destructive, and the Japanese believed (correctly) that the Americans only had a few of these bombs.

The situation changed abruptly with the Soviet invasion of Manchuria on August 9th.  Outnumbered, outgunned, facing imminent defeat on the Asian mainland, and having little standing left to negotiate from, the Japanese surrendered on August 15th.

The first deployment of a doomsday weapon was not only unnecessary, but unsuccessful in achieving its stated objective.


It was perfectly successful in achieving its actual objectives.  All 3 of them.
Title: Re: Now we're all sons of bitches
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on August 27, 2019, 03:39:11 pm

The first deployment of a doomsday weapon was not only unnecessary, but unsuccessful in achieving its stated objective.


It was perfectly successful in achieving its actual objectives.  All 3 of them.

It was the first detonation of a uranium-based device (Trinity was plutonium), which doubtless provided lots of data on the effects of dropping a bomb on a populated city.  It also got a lot of international attention, which helped to set the stage for the Pax Americana.  But what was the third objective?  I'm drawing a blank.
Title: Re: Now we're all sons of bitches
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 27, 2019, 04:35:22 pm

The first deployment of a doomsday weapon was not only unnecessary, but unsuccessful in achieving its stated objective.


It was perfectly successful in achieving its actual objectives.  All 3 of them.

It was the first detonation of a uranium-based device (Trinity was plutonium), which doubtless provided lots of data on the effects of dropping a bomb on a populated city.  It also got a lot of international attention, which helped to set the stage for the Pax Americana.  But what was the third objective?  I'm drawing a blank.

The three objectives:

1.  Imply that the idea of global conflict as a tool of statecraft is dead.
2.  Get everyone's (by which I mean "Russia") attention.
3.  This is what you get WHEN YOU FUCK WITH US.

All three of these are valid reasons, though not sufficient to warrant the use of the bomb, even collectively.

But then again, it was that kind of war.
Title: Re: Patriotism
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 27, 2019, 04:37:29 pm
You say you love your country, are willing to kill for it, even die for it.
I don't know what you mean.
The idea of "country" is abstract, and maps to a number of different realities.

Do you love your government?  Because, speaking as a foreigner, your government is the most visible manifestation of your country, and.. uuh... that's incredibly stupid of you.

Do you love the lines on the map?  Is this patch of sand worthy, but the one on the other side of the fence of less value, somehow?  Seems arbitrary.

Do you love the geography, the countryside, the trees, the grass, the sky?  That I get, but that isn't really what most people think of, when you say "country."  Say you love nature, or something.

Do you love the people, the culture?  Well, I get that too, but you shouldn't confuse that with the idea of the country as a whole.  If you join the military, you're just signing yourself up as a particular type of government employee.  I can see how you might like it as a job, but don't get the idea that there's some greater good involved.  "Boots on the ground" do make a difference, but unless you're fighting WW3, your efforts are best spent locally, not halfway across the globe.

I stated this very same concept here back in 2005 or so.

"When you say 'your country' do you mean the constitution nobody pays attention to, the real estate, or 312,000,000 dysfunctional primates?"
Title: Revelation
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on September 05, 2019, 07:17:14 pm
And then I prayed, saying "I am lost, and know not the path to take.  Oh Lord!  Send me a sign!"

And as I set forth, lo!  A sign appeared, and it read "PERMIT HOLDERS ONLY."
Title: Re: Revelation
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on September 06, 2019, 02:14:35 pm
And then I prayed, saying "I am lost, and know not the path to take.  Oh Lord!  Send me a sign!"

And as I set forth, lo!  A sign appeared, and it read "PERMIT HOLDERS ONLY."
*Inspired by actual events.
Title: Math blah blah blah
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on September 14, 2019, 03:13:38 am
On May 30th, 1832, 20-year-old Evariste Galois was fatally wounded in a duel.  He died the next day.  The reason for the duel is still unknown.

During his life, Galois was an activist, a revolutionary, a soldier, and a mathematician; he spent time in prison; he was expelled from one school for his politics, and failed admission to another because the examiner was too stupid to understand what the hell he was talking about.

Galois left behind a number of significant mathematical manuscripts, including one that developed the concept of "finite fields", which are often called "Galois fields" in his honour.

Mathematical fields are an extension of "rings".  A ring is a set of numbers which is closed under addition (and multiplication).  That is, if you add two numbers in a ring together, the result is another number in that ring.  The set also contains an identity element (zero), which, if added to any element of the set, produces the original element.  Integers are an obvious example of a ring; adding two integers together always produces another integer.

A field is a ring which is also closed under division.  Rational numbers (anything of the form x/y) form a field, since dividing one rational number by another always produces a third rational number. (The exception is division by zero; if you do that, then the Math Police will appear and Fuck Up your Shit.)  In addition to zero, a field adds another "special" element, the multiplicative identity, one.

Integers do not form a field; if you try to divide an integer by another, you don't necessarily get another integer.  (Divide one by two and everybody dies.)

Both the ring of integers and the field of rational numbers are unlimited in size (you can always make a bigger number by adding to it).

A finite field, as its name implies, has a finite number of elements.  But how can you allow for arbitrary addition, if there is a "largest" element?  The answer is to perform addition modulo the field size.

For example, let's take a field of size 7 (named GF(7), or Galois field 7), which contains the elements {0 1 2 3 4 5 6}.  In the field of rational numbers, 5+6 = 11, but 11 lies outside of GF(7), which clearly won't do.  But (5+6) mod 7 = 4, and 4 is one of our "allowed" elements.  Similarly, any other modulo-7 addition using the elements {0..6} produces an answer in the range {0..6}.  Multiplication is simply repeating addition some number of times.

Division is a matter of finding a multiplicative inverse for each element in the field (other than zero).  Let's say we want to compute 1/3 in GF(7).  By brute force, 3+3=6, 3+3+3=2, 3+3+3+3=5, 3+3+3+3+3=1 (finally).  So, 3*5=1, or 1/3 = 5.

Because reasons, the modulus addition approach only works for creating finite fields which have a prime number of elements.  However, we can use field extensions to construct fields that are a prime power in size.  A useful field size is 2^8, since we can now treat a byte (or octet, if you're a Frenchman) as an element in GF(256).

Here's a link, if you want to get an introduction to field extension: https://johnkerl.org/doc/ffcomp.pdf

The horror begins when we discover that Galois fields aren't just a mathematical curiosity, but that they have Practical Uses.

In digital communications, forward error correction is the process of adding redundant information to a transmitted signal so that if part of the signal is damaged in transit, it can be repaired at the receiver (up to some limit).  This is why DVDs can tolerate a small amount of surface scratches, and why your phone doesn't drop the signal everytime a bird poops on the cell tower.

You could accomplish the same effect by cranking up the power, or sending the message repeatedly, but adding 10-25% redundant data (and shuffling the data around a bit) is more efficient.

It turns out that Galois field arithmetic provides us with the tools to perform some types of forward error correction.

The Reed-Solomon and BCH error correction codes both take a sequence of bytes (or bits), treat the sequence as a polynomial in a GF field, and divide that polynomial by a special "generator" polynomial.  The remainder of this division is appended to the original message before it is transmitted.

As long as the message doesn't accumulate too many errors in transit, the receiver of the message can perform a further sequence of finite field operations to determine if the message was received properly, and repair the damage.  In general, the number of errors that can be corrected depends on how much redundancy is added.

I'm starting to ramble, let's cut this short.

Further reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89variste_Galois
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Galois_field
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reed%E2%80%93Solomon_error_correction
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BCH_code
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlekamp%E2%80%93Massey_algorithm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chien_search
Title: Wolf!
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on October 05, 2019, 04:17:49 am
Once upon a time, there was a boy whose job it was to watch over the village's sheep.

One evening, they heard him yelling out, "Wolf!  Wolf!"

The villagers rushed out to the pasture, and discovered a large wolf menacing the flock.  They dispatched it quickly, and thanked the boy for his efforts.

A few days later, the cry went up again:  "Wolf! Wolf!"  Once again, the villagers rushed to the rescue, slaying the wolf before he could do any harm.

This state of affairs continued for some time.

One night, a merchant from out-of-town was showing his wares in the tavern, when they heard the boy yelling again.  The villagers showed no interest, preferring to continuing perusing the merchant's goods.
"Shouldn't you see what that's all about?"  The merchant wondered.
"Nah," said one of the villagers, "that boy yells that all the time."

Moral:  Even when it's the truth, people eventually get tired of having warnings yelled at them.
Title: Re: The Scrapyard --or-- CNO's brain dump
Post by: altered on October 05, 2019, 05:51:03 am
:mittens:

Thatís really fucking good.
Title: Re: The Scrapyard --or-- CNO's brain dump
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on October 05, 2019, 02:10:16 pm
Thank you.

It's inspired by climate change, one of the Doktor's posts (https://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php/topic,38490.msg1431060.html#msg1431060), and something somebody once said about me in a meeting.

Me:  <detailed and horrific description of how this project could go wrong, predictions of doom, etc.>
Project manager: "Should we do something about this?"
Business development weasel: "Eh, that's just how cno talks."
Me: :-|
Title: Re: The Scrapyard --or-- CNO's brain dump
Post by: altered on October 05, 2019, 11:38:05 pm
In all fairness, your bossís statement is (as far as I can tell) a different problem. The prevention paradox: if you must put resources toward preventing something and it never ever happens, clearly you donít need to put that many resources into preventing it. When there are not enough resources and now itís happening a lot, suddenly people remember why they had that shit in the first place.

This is how we get anti-vaxxers. And itís a different problem from the ďcry wolfĒ issue. One is about mental exhaustion, or tuning out: if you hear about the problem all the time, it becomes background noise and you stop paying attention.

The other is about invisibility: if youíre doing your job right, no one thinks they need you around. (Or in your case, that they need to listen to you.)
Title: Re: The Scrapyard --or-- CNO's brain dump
Post by: LMNO on October 09, 2019, 01:20:47 pm
Paging QG.  Would QG please report to the thread.
Title: Catalog of Defects
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on December 23, 2019, 02:06:37 pm
He started hanging out around here after the antidepressants cut in.  The diagnosis was general anxiety disorder and depression, with some OCD.  The anxiety disorder is debilitating.  Having OCD is kind of neat.

The anxiety runs in the family.

He's quiet, and doesn't smile much.  If his smile is shallow and symmetric, he's doing it because he thinks it's appropriate for the social context.  If it's lopsided, and he looks like he's trying to fight it back, it's genuine.

He usually doesn't filter the truth, especially if it's negative. "You have a way of telling truth to power", one of his co-workers said, once.  He can keep his mouth shut if he has to, but he will almost invariably answer questions directly and honestly, even if it's not in his best interest.

He doesn't like physical contact.  He'll tolerate handshakes as necessary, and hugs from relatives.  If he's handing you an object, he'll make an effort to avoid contact.  He'll also make an effort to avoid looking like he's trying to avoid contact.

He continuously rehearses the future, and reviews the past.

He doesn't get out much.  His car is 14 years old, and has 57,000 kms on it.  He hates it when you comment on this.

He's a 41-year-old virgin who lives with his mother.  The anxiety disorder is debilitating.

He's had the same job since he graduated.  They pay him for sitting around solving math puzzles.  Having OCD is kind of neat.

He has difficulty with positive reinforcement.  Graduating at the top of his class in high-school was awkward.  Graduating at the top of his class in university was traumatic.

He has no trouble reading your emotional state from your expression, body language, and tone of voice.  The problem isn't that he doesn't feel sympathy, it's that he doesn't know how to express it.

If it seems like he's doing something nice for you, he has an ulterior motive.  It means he likes spending time with you, and thinks you should have some sort of compensation for tolerating his presence.  He is careful to stop short of the point where it appears he's trying to buy your friendship.

His self image is severely distorted.  He is intelligent enough to recognize this, but not strong enough to edit his own psychology.

He doesn't have many friends.

He has difficulty remembering faces.  Maybe he has a touch of prosopagnosia; maybe it's just because he avoids eye contact.

Sometimes, when he's conversing with you, you're talking to a real person.  Sometimes you're talking to an emulation, generated in real-time, of how he thinks a human would behave.  You can't tell which is which.  He can't either, sometimes.

He has seriously considered, but never attempted, suicide.  If he had, he would have gotten it right the first time.  The antidepressants have almost completely stopped these thoughts.

If you're intelligent, female, and between the ages of about 20 and 35, there's a chance he has a slight crush on you.  The only outward indications are that he will avoid eye-contact more than usual, and might stammer a bit if you say "hi" when you pass him in the hallway.  Don't worry about it.  He's harmless.  He'll get over it.  If you express interest in him, he'll pretend he doesn't notice, even if he likes you back.  This hurts like hell.

He's imitative.  If he spends enough time around you, he will absorb part of your personality, your vocabulary, even some of your abilities.

Unless you're watching very, very carefully, you can't tell there's anything wrong with him, other than some shyness.  He's good at faking normality.  Or thinks he is.

He doesn't see reality the same way you do.  He doesn't experience it the way you do.

It hasn't occured to him that he's autistic.
Title: Factory Acceptance Test
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on December 23, 2019, 02:08:13 pm
"We need a hand on Project D", he says.  "There's a test that we've wanted to get out of the way for a while, but we don't have the manpower to spare.  The module already been debugged.  It should only take you a couple days."

I laugh.  The laugh is 80% amusement, 40% sarcasm, 40% giggle, and 9% manic hysteria.  That's 169%, motherfucker.

He thinks he knows why I laughed.  He doesn't realize I meant it.

I don't bother with the actual testing.  I pretend I've already done it, and that it's failed, and skip ahead to my patented "debug-by-inspection" process.  I hit a snag.  The module has been implemented to follow two contradictory source specifications.  This was never going to work.  Ever.

A meeting is called.  The systems engineer insists there's no contradiction.  He's an idiot.  The general agreement is we need to figure out how two contradictory specifications made it into the system requirements.

The argument continues via email.  The systems guy misinterprets my statements, possibly wilfully, probably a result of his innate confusion.  I ask for a copy of the original communique with the customer.  He says that my questions are answered in his requirements document.  I repeat the request; he finally complies.  There are a lot of people on the CC list.  There's a limit to how long he can play dumb in front of an audience.

Reading the customer's email makes everything clear.  There is a language barrier, but if you construct a mental model of the customer's thought process, it's clear that one of the source specifications was only provided as background information.  We weren't supposed to follow it.  The thing he actually wanted was not captured in the requirements.

I get a piece of the customer's equipment, which has been sitting around for months, untouched.  I power it up, hook it to a prototype signal generator, and a couple days and a hundred lines of matlab later, it's blinking acknowledgement.  Why didn't anyone do this before?  It should have been the first step.  I am vindicated; our requirements specification is, indeed, Just Wrong.

I unleash my true power:  Destruction.  I tear through the existing design, throwing away the work of weeks and months, of the vile n00bs and senior magi who formed and reformed the code before me, none of who had thought to ask if what they were doing actually made sense.  Hardly anything survives.

Upon the smouldering ashes I erect a new edifice, faster, more efficient, and with out-of-band spurious levels so low they could make a brave man weep.

I connect the new design to the customer's unit, perform a round of debugging, and am rewarded with the congratulatory blinking pattern.

Now it works.  Now the testing can begin.
Title: Abuse of Power
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on March 06, 2020, 03:56:12 am
In dim-lit cell, long hours he strove
O'er arcane scrolls and weary tomes.
As sun in heaven's orbit sank,
Thoughts ebbed slow and eyes grew blear.

From shadowed cloister forth he strode,
Through passage rough and bending, then
Down two and twenty stony steps
To windowed, vaulted, airy hall.

Past vict'rys emblems, walls of brick
To hall's far-end he walked apace
At last to pause 'fore faceless fount,
The rune-clad fane of latter gods.

Six shining coins in off'ring placed,
A prayer, a pact, an homage paid:
The shrine clanged soft, and hands unseen
A bracing potion gave in trade.

Elixir claimed, he turned away
To climb again to cell's confines,
Head bowed in thought, he walked alone,
The draught in hand, as cold as bone.

Then thunder-spirit conjured he
And storm-god brought he into thrall
With powers old and grim, he called
A blast of wind to warm his drink.


Sometimes I'll get a Dr. Pepper from the vending machine.  But since I don't like my drinks too cold, I'll hook a fan scavenged from a old photocopier to a rather expensive bench power supply, and blow air over the can until it warms up.
Title: Re: The Scrapyard --or-- CNO's brain dump
Post by: Cain on March 06, 2020, 11:46:30 am
As a wise man once said, it's not power if you can't abuse it.
Title: Re: The Scrapyard --or-- CNO's brain dump
Post by: The Wizard Joseph on March 06, 2020, 12:52:34 pm
That was pretty dope CNO!
Title: Seclusion; escape.
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on May 06, 2020, 02:37:56 pm
The ladybugs must have gotten into the house when the potted plants were brought in for winter.  By the time I noticed, it was already freezing outside, so I let them be.

They congregated around the grow-lamp in the basement, and seemed to prefer thyme to rosemary.  As time passed, the population of tiny flies in the house dropped precipitously.

After a few weeks, I began feeding them moistened raisins, leaving one in the thyme pot where they could find it.  When I found a bug wandering around, I would entice it with a raisin, and when it had a firm grip, put it back in the thyme.

There were deaths.  I found one near the base of the stairs, tangled in carpet lint.  Another, perhaps confused when the lamp was turned off for night, wandered down the hallway to perish, desiccated and pale-shelled.

I wondered if any of them would survive until spring.  Ladybugs live only two or three years, and winter is long.

As winter turned to March, and thyme was replaced by tomatoes, I learned to recognize three survivors by sight.  A lethargic one with a discoloured shell, a shy orange one, and a bright-red winged one, very aggressive.  The red one was seen seldom, but would rush along the edges of the tomato pots, or even atop the lamp reflectors, using its wings to hop over obstacles.  Unlike the other two, who would usually stop and snack when they encountered the raisin, this one would crawl past it, just another obstacle.

When it grew warm enough, I transferred two of them outside, placing them next to one of their wild cousins in the front yard.  I found the third, the bright-red winged one, in a tomato plant when I was putting it on the front step to get some sunlight.

I coaxed him onto a fingertip, and as I walked toward the lawn,
he leapt into the air,
and flew away.
Title: Reflection
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on May 21, 2020, 04:46:04 am
I pulled a loose thread
From the tattered fabric of my life.
The stitches came apart, and now
My ass is hanging out.
Title: False dilemma
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on September 21, 2020, 04:34:08 am
If you had a choice:

Would you rather be the stupidest person in a room full of smart people, often embarrassed, always afraid of making mistakes, struggling just to keep up, rarely fitting in
sometimes learning something

Or would you rather be the smartest person in a room full of stupid people, often annoyed, always contemptuous, struggling to make yourself understood, rarely able to make a connection
but still number one?

By the way, you don't get to know which kind of room you're in.
You have to guess.
Title: Dying disgracefully
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on September 21, 2020, 05:06:36 am
If you're about to die anyway, might as well rig a catapult with a dead-man's switch, and climb into the bucket.

Think of it as a timely, brief, and fully-automated funeral service.


Title: Re: False dilemma
Post by: TheAudience on September 21, 2020, 01:33:05 pm
If you had a choice:

Would you rather be the stupidest person in a room full of smart people, often embarrassed, always afraid of making mistakes, struggling just to keep up, rarely fitting in
sometimes learning something

Or would you rather be the smartest person in a room full of stupid people, often annoyed, always contemptuous, struggling to make yourself understood, rarely able to make a connection
but still number one?

By the way, you don't get to know which kind of room you're in.
You have to guess.

I generally assume I'm in the former. I feel a pang of terror at the idea of ending up in the latter and realizing it.
Title: Anti-solipsistic
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on October 26, 2020, 09:42:41 pm
It doesn't matter who I am inside, for I only exist on the outside.
Title: Vespers
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on March 01, 2022, 03:44:20 am
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the wounds won't be too deep
If bombs should fall before I wake
You maniacs, you blew it up, damn you, damn you all to hell.
Title: Fuck you, Mike
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on March 13, 2022, 04:39:43 pm
A month ago, a friend of the family passed suddenly.  He was diagnosed with cancer, and then shot himself in the head.

He was a small-town resident handyman, someone everyone knew and liked.  He was the kind of guy who, given a problem, would immediately grab his tools and tackle it, without thinking it through much.  Sometimes he made a mess, but he got the job done.  In the end, he applied that work ethic to himself.  So it goes.

He and I weren't more than acquaintances, but he was good friends with my mother, and she's pissed--not that she expresses it much.  I'm not sure what I feel about all this, or what I'm supposed to feel about it.  Am I supposed to be angry?  That doesn't make sense, no one exists to be angry at.

My last memory of him was last fall, when he helped me remove the stump of a plum tree.

This is all very stupid.
Title: Nonsequitur
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on March 13, 2022, 04:48:08 pm
I drive a coupe.

If we were meant to drive vehicles with four doors, God would have given us four arms.
Title: Lemonade
Post by: chaotic neutral observer on May 06, 2022, 05:12:37 pm
You can make lemonade out of your lemons, but the acid remains.