atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#5786: blurry

This morning, my eyes are full of crud. Why? Because they interpret "contact lens" as "foreign object" and react accordingly.

I can't really blame them. Heck, contact lenses are foreign objects. It's just that they're foreign objects designed to be placed on the eyeball; they shouldn't give me this kind of trouble.

Yet they do. At least my glasses are repaired enough for me to wear them, so I don't have to fumble the things into my eyes so I can see anything at all.

* * *

Autoplay warning: NYT, eager to make Trump look bad, does something stupid.

The Times claimed that "scientists", fearing that the Trump administration would suppress their climate report, leaked the report to them. All the leftists promptly repeated the party line, that this oh-so-secret report was leaked by a scientist who was desperate to make sure the truth would not be crushed. There was only one problem with the story.

Fake news.

The report's draft version is available on-line even as we speak. It was made available for its review and comment period, and remains available via the same page's archive. The report is not secret, thus no one NEEDED to leak it. The authors of the report themselves took the Times to task for saying it was secret and was leaked when neither was true.

And further, given the tweets reproduced here, the media is unlikely to give the contents of the report much play considering that it appears to repudiate the predictions of the warmistas.

Got to love seeing the NYT, which supposedly sets the standard for journalism in the United States, actively lying to gin up anti-Trump stories. But of course there's no bias in the media, or anything!

* * *

Who the hell gave the EPA this power? Take it away immediately. How can the EPA force Volkswagen to spend $2 billion on building recharging stations for electric cars?

* * *

And while we're on the subject of electric cars and "green energy", let's not forget that 60% of the world supply of cobalt comes from Congo, a shithole of epic proportions. And when I say "epic proportions" that epic includes child slavery.

The self-same people who are all about "fair trade" and against "exploitation of labor" are all in when it comes to electric cars and windmills, but the cobalt needed to make those things is not coming from "fair trade" sources and "child slavery" is the worst kind of economic exploitation possible.

* * *

Well, ain't that just too damned bad: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is upset that he's accountable for his failures to DO ANYTHING THE GOP PROMISED TO DO.
McConnell, R-Ky., told the group in Florence that he found it "extremely irritating" that Congress has earned the reputation of not accomplishing anything.
The thing is, they have actually earned the reputation.

After the Republicans won back the Senate in 2014, McConnell was fond of saying that the GOP just needed to win the White House to get anything done. It was weak--the party should have been able to accomplish something with both chambers of Congress in hand--but not ridiculous. If the Republicans had passed anything significant President Obama certainly would have vetoed and they didn't have a veto-proof majority.

Now it seems that was all just so much convenient cover for dysfunction and a lack of will.
Perhaps if the GOP were actually getting anything done and laying off with the failure theater horseshit--if the GOP were actually trying to repeal Obamacare--the people might cut them some slack.

What we see instead is more of the same-old-same-old: GOP puts up something, it fails, and they walk away shrugging: "Well, we tried, but we just can't do it. You need to elect more Republicans, and we can try again next time." But it's schtick, something they do to appease the rubes in flyover country. When was the last time the GOP actually fought for something? Because putting up a bill and allowing it to fail, that isn't fighting.

Here's how you fight: you pass a bill and send it to the President. When he vetoes it, if you don't have the votes to override the veto, you pass another virtually identical bill and you send that to the President. And you keep doing that. You make it a daily occurrence. You make sure that nothing else gets done until that bill is signed into law. You let the President say whatever he wants to say about it, but you make him veto the bill every day. And you get up in front of the people and you tell them what you're doing, and why, and you make sure they understand that the President is the one who is standing in the way of the will of the people.

GOP has no stomach for that. It's not just a lack of guts; it's a lack of motivation, because the GOP leadership likes Obamacare just fine. They don't want to repeal it. They don't want to change it. They want to leave it the way it is, and they want it to lead to single-payer just the way the Democrats intended, because whoever is in charge has that much bigger a budget to play with. Money is power, and the GOP elites want that power just as badly as the Democrats do.

And to hell with what's good for the American people.

So--"Whiny Bitch" McConnell is upset that he's being held accountable? Sorry, Bitch; you're an asshole.

First comment I see at that post sums it up nicely:
I would like to let Senator McConnell know that President Trump's expectations are the same as my expectations, as well as those of millions of American voters who gave the GOP the White House and a majority in both houses of Congress on the expectation that the party would keep all those campaign promises it made, first and foremost the promise to repeal Obamacare.
We are now seeing that voting GOP does not one damn bit of good; it would be an "excessive expectation" of the first magnitude for party leaders like McConnell to anticipate any more electoral victories.
The simple fact is that Trump was elected President because the GOP has done nothing. Its failures have reeked of theater, and it has done nothing that its voters elected it to do. They got Trump in spite of their best efforts; Geb Bush was supposed to be the nominee, and as Trump picked off his competitors one by one you could hear the GOP elites becoming more and more desperate.

Bitch McConnell complaining that now he's being held "accountable" is more of the same. I realize that he thinks being elected to national office is somehow a sinecure which is not supposed to force him to do anything difficult, but allow him to make scads of money while the American taxpayer pays for everything--but that's not the job he is supposed to be doing, and with Trump in the White House his feet are being held to the fire.

If he doesn't like it, if he doesn't like the work he has to do, he should resign and give the job he's got to someone who will do it.

* * *

Looks like the Department of Justice was in panic mode after it came out that Bill Clinton met with Loretta Lynch, who was Attorney General at the time.

Collusion is a bad thing, and if there is any evidence that the two of them colluded about anything important, it could mean jail.

AHH HA HA HA I AM SO FUNNY it's Bill Clinton so nothing will happen.

* * *

Well, the Googe diversity story just keeps getting better and better.

This article alleges illegal hiring practices in the name of "diversity". Like?
In this first exchange, Damore explains that he decided to write his now-infamous memo after attending a 'secretive' Google "diversity summit" in which he says presenters talked about "potentially illegal practices" intended to "try to increase diversity...basically treating people differently based on what their race or gender are."
You're not allowed to discriminate based on race or sex. That's black-letter-law illegal.

And a response by someone at Googe to the memo that sparked everything is fatuous.
Anybody can write code! And right there you have the core problem with [former Distinguished Engineer at Google named Yonatan] Zunger's manifesto, which also happens to be the core problem with pretty much everything you hate about every program you've ever used: The tech business has decided, as a whole, that the writing of code is no longer important enough to be done well or even conscientiously. That's why we have pair programming and offshore teams and mystery-meat APIs. It's because we decided that code does not matter. That Moore's Law will make up for all faults in the code in a short time after said code is released. Doesn't Flight Commander run great on an Intel i7, even if didn't work on the 486DX33 for which it was written?

According to Zunger, and a lot of other people who should know better, the hard graft of software engineering is in fact just a fungible commodity. And that is why every single program, application, and software appliance you use in 2017 seems unable to perform at the rippin' old velocity of an Apple //e playing Lemonade Stand: because the software business has decided software doesn't matter.
Emphasis removed. And he doubles down on that point later: "If good code is so easy to write, where is it?"

The problem with the software business is that good code is NOT easy to write. If it were, do you think we'd have had Windows Vista?

I once bought a copy of Streets of Sim City, a program meant to take the savegame file from your SimCity game and let you drive around them as if you were a Sim. You could pick your car and hoon around, doing whatever you want. It was a sandbox game, the kind of thing where there are no goals or timers or scores, just the ability to experience something from one game in a different way.

I ran it once.

I ran it once, because I started driving through my SimCity, and in the first minute of play I ran into a gas pump. My car got hung up, somehow having wedged itself between the two pumps even though it was much bigger than the space between them. When I hit the "jump" key--something that made your car hop into the air kind of like the Mach V, which among other things was there to help you get unstuck from scenery--it obediently hopped, then fell through a miniscule crack in the universe...and I watched my SimCity scroll to the top of my screen, and then shrink to insignificance, as I fell into a bottomless teal pit.

There was no way to return to the starting area; that function hadn't been built into the program at all. I couldn't even exit the game and start over from within the program, because the menu button had also scrolled off the screen. I couldn't get out of the game at all, and had to restart the computer. I took the disk out and put it back in its package and expressed relief that I had not paid a lot for the game, because I knew at that point I was never, never, ever going to play it again.

That was literally the worst game I ever played. Somehow that software was released even though it didn't work.

So when someone tries to say, "Anyone can write code!" I simply bring up that example, because no, not everyone can write code. Anyone can put computer commands into a text editor, and eventually they can get it to compile, given access to the appropriate documentation; in that sense, anyone can write code--but if you're writing anything more complicated than a "hello world!" program, that's just not enough. To do useful and complicated things takes skill and experience and training, but further to do them well requires a knack not everyone has.

Take me, for example. I'm excellent with computer hardware. I can write functional code; most of the time it does what I intend for it to do. It usually will not compile on the first attempt as I find I've made this or that mistake, but usually it doesn't take much work with a manual to sort it out.

My code--however well-structured and documented--is clunky bloatware. It does the job, but only the fact that the computer is so fast, and my program so simple, keeps that from being obvious. I do not fancy myself a good programmer; I'd once thought I'd program computers for a living, but all the time I spent hacking around on the C-64 convinced me that I was never going to be any good at it. And that was just using BASIC and 6510 assembler; when I got into college and started mucking with Pascal and C+ it became bloody obvious that I didn't have the knack for programming.

Anyone can write code--sure, and anyone can chuck a baseball or kick a football. Anyone can drive a car. But not everyone can do that stuff for a living, because they're simply not good enough at it and can never be.

And the same as star athletes, really good coders used to be treated like stars, because they were. You had a guy who could bang out an algorithm in a week that took other people a month, you hung on to him and you tolerated his idiosyncracies because his work was pure gold. He insisted on wearing shorts and flip-flops to work even though that was against dress code? You made an exception, because his work was so good he was worth it, and if you didn't he'd find work elsewhere, probably for more money--with his skills, he could walk off the job at noon Thursday, just up and quit, and be in a new one Monday morning.

Guys like that are the ones who built the earliest PCs. MS-DOS was largely the brainchild of one man. Steve Wozniak wrote the BIOS for the Apple series singlehandedly, and AppleDOS on top of that. Even things like UNIX and C and a host of other things are the result of one guy, or a very small group of men, who were basically wizards with code.

So what does that have to do with Googe?
Today's Google home page is a slow-loading mess compared to what it used to be, loaded with buggy features and featuring plenty of bugs. Browser-dependent, hugely bloated, more like the old Excite! homepage than anything a Google user would have enjoyed a decade ago. It's simply not very good anymore. That should worry the people at Google. Fixing that should be a priority above "social good" or "diverse teams". They should hire the smartest people and have them write the best code. Period. That's what Google is supposed to do. Whenever Google does that, it succeeds. Whenever they try to change the world, it's a ridiculous failure.
Googe doesn't even perform its original function well any longer. It used to be a search engine; but now when I type something into that search bar--even if I limit its search to a single site--Googe frequently fails to find anything useful.

Half the time I check my e-mail, I'm presented with the option to view the page in HTML "for slower connections" even though I'm (supposed to be) on a fat pipe. The other day, I wanted to send a two-sentence e-mail to my niece, and Gmail hung for five minutes trying to do it.

Because their focus has shifted from software to social justice.

Social justice is a jealous god. It will not share its adherents with any other function; if your organization is dedicated to social justice it will not, in the end, do anything else. If it somehow manages to expend some resources on whatever its supposed raison d'etre is (in Googe's case, software) it will be done with increasing incompetence until it can no longer function at all.

That happens because the organization begins to place more emphasis on social justice than it does on hiring the people who can get the necessary work done. If you want people who can write code, by and large you will be hiring white and asian males. It's a fact: the number of women who are excellent programmers is lower than the number of men who are. The same goes for blacks and hispanics when compared to whites. Any world-class software development department is going to be awfully white and masculine, because by and large other demographics just don't produce a large number of excellent programmers. They do other things that they like better--human resources, ethnic studies, fine arts, whatever--and relatively few of them do STEM degrees at all, and the few who do are spread across a great many disciplines.

So if you insist that you have a software development team that "looks like America" you're going to have to relax your standards. You might have one white male on the team who really has a gift for writing code; but then you'll have the lesbian of color who took programming classes in college but never really absorbed any of it because she was too busy with pride parades. You'll have the white woman who made a serious effort to learn how to write programs, and did very well in class, but when presented with real-world assignments nothing she writes will compile even after extensive rework. You'll have a hispanic guy (may be gay, may not be) who really loves computers, and really likes writing programs, but everything he writes is three times bigger and more complicated than it needs to be, and frequently introduces more problems than it solves. You'll have this and that and the other thing, filling out all the various demographic boxes you can possibly fill out, and your department will write code that does something useful, even though 90% of the useful output is done by perhaps 20% of the people in the department.

...code which is full of bugs, and God help your users if they have anything less than the latest-and-greatest hardware on which to run it.

Googe is getting there.

* * *

The weather over the past couple of weeks puts me in the mind of mid- to late September. This is not August weather at all. Here we are in the middle of the "dog days of summer", which are supposed to be hot and humid. And it's not.

This is the kind of summer weather I'd expect in Maine, not Illinois.

* * *

Well, here's my plan: I'm going to take Maki to the vet, and then I'm going to come home and clean the kitchen. Such a stimulating life I lead.

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