Month: September 2013

So Once again with Microsoft Visual Studio

This time it’s Visual Studio 2012. Comes with C++, C# and VisualBASIC. Hmm – I had picked up a cheap learn C# book. I already have more than a passing familiarity with C++ and C and C# (Pronounced C Sharp) isn’t that much different except it’s Microsoft’s version of C++.

As such it has limitations. One of the best features of C++ is object oriented programming. Inherent in that is the fact that the object you create can have what is called polymorphism and inheritance and attendant overloading of methods.

In C++ you’re pretty much unlimited to overloaded methods. But in Microsoft’s fucking wisdom, you get by one in C#. One. Are they serious?

I can sort of understand why they’d do this, as overloading methods can get to be a little hairy with memory management but that’s always been the trade-off in higher level programming languages.

I should mention, most of the code base of Window 7 and Windows 8 are written in, you guessed it, C#.

But I do find it interesting that Microsoft still bundles C++ in there. As a reference point I believe Windows XP was written in C++ which may account for some of the limitations of the operating system and the lack of the new Windows filesystem. But there’s still a hell of a lot of XP machines out there. Particularly in government settings.

Police Brutality and why it happens

I hate to say this but at our root we humans are nasty beasts. I follow on rss and I’m always appalled by bad police behavior, the most recent being the young man who was in a car accident, and banged on a person’s door. That person was a woman who’d been abused by her husband so she called the police. When the young man approached the police they SHOT HIM TO DEATH. In this particular instance the cop who shot the guy is at least charged with manslaughter.

Now in the more egregious categories of police behavior I note a lot of it is black ‘perpetrator’ white cop. The one really irks me. We see it in the ridiculous stop & frisk program in NYC, or here in RI where if you’re driving while black you’re four times more likely to be pulled over.

But as to the why – there were two studies done between the 1960’s and 1970’s that peel away the veneer behind human behavior.

The first is that we humans are capable of some really sadistic and depraved acts. But we have to be given the AUTHORITY to commit those acts. We’ve seen this play out in our military misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So I’ll start with the Millgram study first performed in 1961. 

And the experiments have been repeated. Here’s the setup – a man in a lab coat or other symbol of authority has a man or woman seated before a console. The role of that person is to ask a man in a remote room a series of questions and when the man answers incorrectly the person at the console administers an electric shock, increasing the voltage as the number of incorrect answers is given. At some point the ‘man’ in the remote room cries out in pain.

A pretty good majority of the people just keep amping it up. What the videos don’t generally show though is some people WILL in fact question authority and refuse to administer the increasing voltage. I fall on that side of things. To me I understand that authority is a somewhat false notion and I understand the symbols and practices.

The other study is the Zimbardo Prison Experiment.

That one goes a little farther than the Millgram experiment. It removes the immediate authority.

Now you see how things like the atrocities of Nazi Germany could happen, or the police brutality and racism that is still as prevalent as it was in the 1960’s, in fact worse. It’s because part of the obedience that we use to keep society running also has a dark side. That dark side is practiced by military men, police and even con artists.

In essence our boys in blue are no better than the soldier of Nazi Germany. That’s a shocker but it’s evident in statements like “People don’t become cops because they are humanitarians.”. 

And think about the role of authority in your life. It is very evident in your education, and in the work place it’s even more so. It is sort of the glue that holds society together. But some of us, we question authority. Even in Nazi Germany you had the White Rose movement that KNEW what their brethren were doing was wrong and made and effort to knock it down. 

And here in the U.S. we do have some good cops. Recall Serpico, or Adrian Scowcraft or possibly Schoolcraft. The problem though is that those whistleblowers are ejected from the force post haste. You cannot have society realizing that authority is only a thin veneer of society.



Ruh Roh – Raspberry Pi doesn’t like being randomly non-gracefully rebooted

Accidentally power cycled my RasPi a few times too many and it corrupted something. It comes up in command line which I’m fine with except that the paths are all fubar and you have to absolute everything, e.g. /usr/bin/vim.tiny filename.  Plus it complains LOUDLY when it boots – something on the ext4 volume is corrupted but I cannot get fsck to fix it.

And I cannot mount the SD card on my computer – the system won’t even see it.

Now the card was the former 8GB card I’d gotten with my phone. But I ordered a 32GB card and I’ll just flash the raspi distro on it and start over.

And what a production getting it on HDMI. First off the HDMI1 port on my TV is recessed and then lateral so you have a very small space in which to plug in an HDMI cable. But I had to order a right angle HDMI male to female adapter. That solved the problem as it just fit in the cable head space.


My moments

So a comment left by a reader led me to this post.

It was on my post about Bryan Fischer of all people, you know, the Drunken Uncle.

I’ve always been and cannot help but be an antagonist. And I’ll stand by it too, which infuriates people to no end. Now you won’t be a target of my antagonism unless you say or do things that piss me off. And I do have a fairly high tolerance. But I also have a mischievous side coupled with a mouth, to wit:

At a marriage equality rally in the Rhode Island State House the bigots decided to take center rotunda. But they were surrounded by equality supporters on all three tiers of the State House. I spotted Christopher Young – a perennial crazy crank of the 9E+10^6th (Also known as 9×10^6 the E is an artifact of TRSDOS BASIC) order. I made sure I got his attention and so chose a phrase I knew would enrage him. I yelled from the 2nd balcony, “Hey Chris, the better part of you dribble down your mother’s leg.’

You had to see him, he turned beet red. I know how to punch the buttons.

But there are also the times when I’m inconvenienced or put out that the mouth starts too. The day I’m on the bus and I signal the stop but the driver keeps going. So  the mouth kicks in and I say “Hey you fucking jackass, think you missed a stop back there.”

But I’m also good for the occasional profundity or smooth one. For example there’s the marriage equality hearing at which during my testimony I made mention of something I hadn’t heard anyone else talk about. I said that each and every member of the Judicial committee either had someone they knew, were related to etc. that was gay or lesbian. You had to see the head nods.

Sometimes I see my role in life as helping to bring it all in focus for everyone. For example, I’ve been on the kick of asking the rhetorical question of why the U.S. Department of Justices, when there are Racketeer Influence Corrupt Organization statutes on the books, will not go after the big banks. If you ever get bored do a look up on the RICO Act. And then apply the element to bank behavior that we know about. And you cannot tell me that breaking the big banks into hundreds of smaller banks would cause any economic downturn. If you could break up the biggest telecom monopoly, you can break up a bank.

So now you know a little more about me.


The Drunken Uncle Bryan Fischer is at it again

Homo Akbar indeed. Akbar if you’re interested was a Mughal Emperor. What Akbar  has to do with homosexuality I don’t know.

But the Drunken Uncle who has to keep saying more outrageous things in order to be heard at a party; and that is Bryan Fischer, had this to say:

Notice how the prick Fischer says that homosexual activists shut down the bakery. Again, no we did not. However Aaron Klein decided that he couldn’t stand the heat of being a bigot and shut the shop down voluntarily. The heat in this case was a state investigation because bigotry of the nature practiced by Klein is prohibited under law in Oregon.

It is interesting thought that Fischer seems to go off on increasingly incoherent rants, note above the reference to Homo Akbar, and then trying to paint the Klein’s as victims when the reality was that it was their own lack of understand of a public business and their idiotic religious beliefs that led to their ultimate demise.

And the whole god bothering to which Fischer subscribes, it’s all based on so much bovine effluent. I’ll give my standard retort here, go read Genesis Chapter 4. Then come back and explain to me where the people of Nod came from.