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Messages - Doktor Howl

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1
That's a good thing.  But still.

2
My new favorite personal endorsement "Having argued with you, I find the idea of somebody trying to cover your back amusing. "

 :lulz:

Saw that.  All the same, I am glad you had some goons at your back.

I am glad goons were around, too. I'm okay with taking a punch but it'd be nice to not take more than one.

You are in fact a bit brave for your body weight.

3
My new favorite personal endorsement "Having argued with you, I find the idea of somebody trying to cover your back amusing. "

 :lulz:

Saw that.  All the same, I am glad you had some goons at your back.

5
Apple Talk / Re: George
« on: Yesterday at 09:57:21 pm »
January 1st, 2019, 10:45 AM

Daniel plodded out to his car.  I know I get bad hangovers, so why do I do this?  His car was really nice, at least to him.  It was a brand new Honda, fly by wire with all the latest safety gadgets.  Sure, it was Mister Middle Class sedan, but Daniel was not much on status symbols.

He made it precisely three blocks when his hungover state, on a road he had travelled hundreds of times, caused him to blow through a stoplight at 60 miles per hour.  Less than a hundred feet ahead of him, a van pulled out, not expecting anyone to come through the light.  Daniel just gaped, his mind frozen.

January 1st, 2019, 10:49:0045, subordinate program 23,723,005

Daniel cannot react in time, as his human reflexes could not move quickly enough, even if he wasn't acting in a diminished capacity.  98 feet.  I apply the brakes and turn both front wheels inward. 

There are two possible methods of dealing with this accident, which I do not calculate to be at this point avoidable.  The first scenario leaves Daniel with a 90% chance of surviving, but leaves the other driver with only a 20% chance of survival, for best-case outcome odds of  .27.  The second scenario gives both drivers a 60% chance of survival, with best-case outcome odds of .36.  My directives dictate the second option.  85 feet, 53 miles per hour.

I send a surge of power from the alternator to the tire pressure sensors, blowing all 4 tires.  I slide both front wheels into an out-wardly opposed position and back again, repeating this process.   70 feet, 42 miles per hour.

I judge at this point that the accident is in fact unavoidable.  I turn all four wheels to the left, and the vehicle begins to slide sideways to the right. 40 feet, 38 miles per hour.  There are no further options to slow the vehicle down.

.05 seconds before impact, I fire the explosive pins in the car's frame, trigger the air bags, and turn the radio on.

Impact. 

The orientation of Daniel's vehicle causes less damage to the other vehicle, but the Honda is scrap, and has unexpectedly had its fuel line severed.  The car's sensor pack detects a small fire beginning.


January 1st, 1019, 10:49 AM

"Daniel, please exit the car."

"What?" Daniel replied in a confused voice.  He had no idea what happened, but it felt like the car left his control over the preceding second and a half.  And now the radio was talking to him.

"Daniel, please exit the car.  There is a fuel fire starting just under the engine.  The car will be fully-involved in 28 seconds."

Daniel unlatched his seatbelt and staggered out of the car.  Sure enough, he could smell smoke.  He was unable to detect, however, the incredibly quiet hissing "pop" of the car's computer shorting itself into a ball of slag.

He walked over to the other vehicle to check on the driver.  What the hell was THAT?


(more later)

6
Aneristic Illusions / Re: E-Democracy
« on: Yesterday at 09:21:37 pm »
But nobody elects them.  Why?  Possibly because of brainwashing, but another possibility is that just because the 3rd parties are funnier, doesn't mean they're better.

Duverger's Law.  No exceptions.

I dunno though.  Is the green party really that hysterical compared to dems or repubs?

BUMP  :lulz:

7
But you also have, like, open space. Lots of Class G airspace, Iíd expect.

Between JFK, Newark, and LaGuardia, and dozens of small private airports and a scattering of military bases, there is almost no uncontrolled space in this part of the country.

But all of that is generally moot, because the FAA, so far as I can tell, has barely any resources put into governing this stuff, much less the will to enforce it. And the airports donít seem to give much of a shit as long as you arenít, ya know, in the way of the planes.


Sometimes there's two airplanes in the sky.  At the same time.

8
So I'm at work today, because I had the horrible fucking stomach horrors all week.  Pretty sure I brought up my tonsils, my back teeth, and cake I had at my 5th birthday party.

But while I was away, the mice didn't play.  They did jack & shit.  Piss all.  The purge begins on Tuesday.

9
I think you're 75% correct. The missing 25% is the profit motive from privatized prisons and cheap prison labor.

Text of the 13th Amendment: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

This was the amendment that prohibited the practice of slavery in the United States after the Civil War. Notice the bolded exception, and consider who the United States tends to put in prison a LOT more than everyone else.

Taken from that angle, it starts to make much more sense as to why thing are the way they are. Criminal justice in the United States is deeply warped by profit motive (and, y'know, racism). It meshes nicely with "Get Tough On Crime" and "Zero Tolerance" attitudes: indulge people's gut-level desire to punish wrongdoers and spend effort on scooping people up to exploit, rather than spending effort on improving standards of living or community health.

Now the ICE detainees are being put to work.  Totally called it.

It's just small stuff now, cleaning the facilities they are housed in (to include offices, etc), but it is only "voluntary" in the Sergeant Detritus manner.  "It's voluntary only you gotta do it."

10
FAA Part 107. I suspect it matters a lot more in parts of the country where huge chunks of the airspace is controlled. We have a shit ton of airports down in Swamp Yankee territory, as it turns out.

We honestly never checked that shit.  Our drone at work is controlled by whomever wins the toss.

We also have airports.  Busy ones.  Sometimes it takes 10 minutes to get through security.

It's something that is technically meant to be governed by the FAA, on account of how easy it is to deliver a "present" via cheap, easily accessible drones. Hence Part 107.

The reality is that the processing for getting a controlled airspace exception takes absurdly long and is completely unusable for commercial operators. It's a legal grey area that will almost definitely need revisiting in the next few years.

At my previous employer, we just called the small airports and let their management/air traffic control know we wanted to fly a drone 100ft off the ground 5 miles away, and no one seemed to mind.


We don't have small airports.  They're international.  Yuge.  We have the biggest runways and the best runways ever.  But we are doing this.

11
FAA Part 107. I suspect it matters a lot more in parts of the country where huge chunks of the airspace is controlled. We have a shit ton of airports down in Swamp Yankee territory, as it turns out.

We honestly never checked that shit.  Our drone at work is controlled by whomever wins the toss.

We also have airports.  Busy ones.  Sometimes it takes 10 minutes to get through security.

12
They told me they're looking to expand their team later this year/early next year. I happen to already possess a drone pilot license and have an educational background in spectral imaging/remote sensing, in addition to the other resume fodder I've accumulated so far. So I think I've got a strong chance.

Resume is in their hands. Now I just have to tolerate my current situation. I'll have to pay back my relocation bonus for leaving less than year after being hired, but fuck it. It'll be the best $1500 I ever spent.

You need a drone license?

13
Got a new job in May, thinking a pay raise and a change in scenery would be the ticket out of my funk.

I'm not in a funk anymore, but the downside is that I now realize that this line of work is really not the way I want to spend the next decade, regardless of employer.

Luckily, I have an extremely specific set of nerd skills and credentials that hopefully make me an ideal candidate for a potentially WAY cooler job, in a less expensive part of the country. So if all goes well I only have to put up with this for a few more months.

What line of work are you in, now?

Environmental consulting. There's money there, but the kind of work I'd have to do to advance and start making more money is boring shit. Also, while the new employer does some pretty interesting work (EPA, Puerto Rico, Superfunds, etc), my old employer was honestly a better work environment and a lot of these new jobs are fucking grueling.

The potential new gig involves drones and spectral imaging. Much more my speed.

From a man with a weird career path, I say GO FOR IT.

14
Literate Chaotic / Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« on: Yesterday at 03:43:12 am »
TUC?

The Unholy Consult, seventh and final book in Bakker's The Second Apocalypse series. It has... an ending. It definitely fucking ends.

Everything is properly fucked, then?

15
Got a new job in May, thinking a pay raise and a change in scenery would be the ticket out of my funk.

I'm not in a funk anymore, but the downside is that I now realize that this line of work is really not the way I want to spend the next decade, regardless of employer.

Luckily, I have an extremely specific set of nerd skills and credentials that hopefully make me an ideal candidate for a potentially WAY cooler job, in a less expensive part of the country. So if all goes well I only have to put up with this for a few more months.

What line of work are you in, now?

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