Friday, June 9, 2017

Little Things That BUG Me #12

With global warming posing an imminent threat to the thin veneer of superficial tolerance that we pretend is a civilisation, I, as a person what takes surveys for money, have been getting a lot of surveys about what I personally have done or would be willing to do to help the environment, as if global warming could be solved through consumer choices.

These surveys very often ask: "In order to help protect the environment, would you consider driving a hybrid car?"

My dude, I don't currently drive at all. If I started driving a hybrid car, I would be using considerably more petrol than I do now. It's bad enough that you're treating a global threat as a potential new fad in advertising; did you seriously need to assume I'm actively worsening the problem and then ask if I'd be willing to partially mitigate a bad thing I don't currently do at all?

You're worse than the people who ask if I'd consider no longer paying money for television service.

PS— Apparently an election may potentially have just happened. I'm not talking about it. LTTBM posts are deliberately petty; this isn't the place for serious things no matter how impactful they may be, and I've already had to mention global warming.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Why Do All My 30-Year-Old Electronics Keep Breaking On Me?

Lappy took a spill. Screen broke.

OK, it's not the end of the world. In fact, the lappy is still entirely functional save a smattering of dead pixels that are hideous to look at but don't actually render the screen unusable. And a replacement screen is hardly going to break the bank; these things apparently come pretty cheap. Although it's a Macbook, it's not one of the horrible "unibody" machines that are virtually impossible to repair so swapping the screen will only take about an hour, a few odd screwdrivers, and a heaping helping of profanity because those tiny screws are annoying.

Maybe I'll find another laptop for free in a bin. I've been having surprising luck with that.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Jedi Need Forensic Accountants

Yes, I'm apparently watching Stob Wobs again. This time, I'm at the part where they discover the clone army allegedly ordered by conveniently-dead-person Cipher Diaz.

They already know (from the space-chef at a space-American space-1950s space-diner) that this clone army is expensive, so the obvious next step would be to follow the money to find out who really ordered this army. Of course, that would leave less time for pointless action sequences and fights with silly-swords so that isn't what they do.

But the Jedi Masters don't even dismiss the possibility that Cipher Diaz actually did place the order without authorisation. Which means that apparently, people can just spend a few billion credits out of the Jedi treasury without anyone thinking that's maybe a little suspicious. Despite the fact that they're all fucking clairvoyant. Let me guess, your vision was clouded by the dark side of the finances? Did someone use Jedi mind tricks to cook the books? Perhaps giving Master Ponzi a seat on the council was a mistake. Oh, but I'm sure the fanbois will explain it by some vague appeal to "the force." *hand wave*

I know these prequel movies (a) are hated, and (b) end with the destruction of the Jedi. (I came in too late to complain about spoilers.) I can only assume that (a) is the direct result of (b) not being caused by a massive audit of the Jedi Order that reveals just how much money they've been blowing on force-knows-what and all the Jedi banged up for embezzlement and fraud.

One bonus point for cool name, though. I wonder what gritty cyberpunk story Cipher Diaz was borrowed from.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Tropes I Don't Like (Part 3)— Symbol/Object Confusion

Yes, it's Tropes I Don't Like: Another One! In which I whine about media tropes I'm just not a fan of.

Today's trope is symbol/object confusion, or the assumption that a symbol representing an object contains some essence or link to the thing it represents.

I was a little bit hesitant to do a TIDL for this trope because it's everywhere. Speak of the devil. Poke a voodoo doll. I know your true name. Large swaths of sympathetic magic appear in so many places, including urban legends and pseudoscience that IRL people believe in.

Basically, anytime you treat a word, metaphor, simulation, depiction, or other way of referring to or describing a thing as actually being the thing (or at least having some connection to the thing), you are engaging in symbol/object confusion.

Frankly, I hate the idea of symbols having power for much the same reason I hate the idea of emotions having power; using symbols to understand and describe the world is how we work and treating the symbols as connected to, part of, or even identical to the objects is basically imposing our own heads on the world; "that's how I understand the universe, therefore, that's how the universe is!" Our minds link and cross-reference symbols, so we assume the universe cross-references itself as if the entire thing were in our heads. That level of anthropocentric thought borders on the solipsistic, and I won't have any of it in my writing.

René Magritte won't tolerate your symbol/object confusion either.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Another Survey Update

I'm taking a survey right now about pet products. Most of it is just the usual guff; expensive toys and treats for the sort of morons who think their pets are human. Then I came across a proposed product that made me stop, sputter, and declare: "OH, NO they didn't."

It's a dog treat that supposedly offers health benefits, specifically noting that it will provide your dog with vitamin C.

For those of you who haven't quite kept up to date on your biology, vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) is a chemical required in trace amounts by all humans lest we suffer from scurvy.

Dogs do not need vitamin C.

Because dogs, like most animals, can synthesise vitamin C. The only animals who need dietary vitamin C are those who primarily eat fruit which is laden with the stuff, rendering the genes for it unnecessary and thus no longer conserved by natural selection. And humans, who are descended from such a species.

Friday, March 31, 2017

I Am (Apparently) Watching Stob Wobs

Don't expect a full "My Media Habits" post for it, but it's going something like this:

Quigon: Midi-chlorians are a microscopic life form that reside within all living cells and we are symbionts with them.