atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6807: Well, that was something.

Not ready for bed last night, but not having the new lineup all moved to Achernar, and having a subscription to Prime for at least the next month, I registered the PS4 with my Prime account and had a gander at the anime lineup there. Nothing really appealed to me, but otherwise I was faced with getting an external hard drive and copying a bunch of anime. I was feeling lazy and just wanted to watch.

Found Just Because and thought, Ah, hell, let's see how this is.

Now, like Flying Witch, that's the actual title of the show. The words are rendered in Japanese phonetic characters, so it reads kind of like Jyaast Bikaasu, but that's what it is. (FW is Furuaingu Uuitchi.)

And it's really good. I binged and watched eight episodes. The only reason I didn't watch the whole thing was that by then it was after 3 and I was starting to get really sleepy.

The animation is a bit uneven in spots. There are perhaps three or four places in the eight eps I watched where there was something that the animators should have done better, or fixed, but didn't.

The music is outstanding. The really nice thing about watching something on the PS4 is that I can plug a set of earbuds into the controller and have perfectly clear stereo sound. That's a big plus in summertime when we have fans running to keep the bunker at a reasonable temperature without spending a fortune on electricity.

But the writing is outstanding. Within two minutes of the start of the first episode I cared about the characters. We are very rapidly introduced to the main cast of the show in a fashion that does not feel forced or artificial, but gives us some insight into who they are. There are no bad guys in this one. It's strictly "slice of life" and everyone is a protagonist, and in fact there's really not all that much actual conflict.

So, yeah--Just Because, decidedly worth watching.

* * *

This is such a fucking lie. It is only "cheaper" to build windmills due to government subsidies. Because the government pays so much money to people who build the things, more reliable forms of energy production are being priced right out of the market.

Of course that money has to come from somewhere, and in the absolute best-case scenario that money comes from taxation. Taxation requires that people give money to the government, and taxes always bear an opportunity cost. That is to say, the money you pay to the government to satisfy your tax bill is money you cannot use to buy goods and services. The goods you buy include government taxes as part of their costs, too--I don't mean sales tax, but the taxes paid by the manufacturer or service provider end up being paid by the consumer.

But when a government spends in deficit (as ours does, to the tune of $1,000 billion a year over the past decade) the economic output of the country is actually reduced by that much.

You see, we figure Gross Domestic Product by adding certain numbers, and one of them is government spending--but that falls down when you consider that the emission of debt cancels productivity, because debts must be paid eventually. So if I make $10 in a day but spend $11, what I've done is to create $10 worth of wealth, but I've spent so much that 10% of tomorrow's productivity is already spoken for. My accountant tells me, "Look, you're doing great! Your personal economy grew by 10%!" The next day I go to my boss and ask him for a 10% raise, because my expenses are greater. My boss reluctantly gives me the raise and at the end of the day I go home with $11...and promptly spend $12. So not only do I still owe that $1, but now owe another one on top of it.

The people who loaned me the extra $2 want something in return, so as part of my daily expenditure I start giving them five cents each per day. But having established that, they're fine with lending me money, and so I go right on spending $1 more than I earn every day.

In this simplified case it takes me 220 days of spending $12 on an $11 budget before my entire $11 budget ends up being consumed with debt service (ie the $0.05 per dollar borrowed) and at that point my entire personal economy collapses. No one will lend me more money and I don't have anything that I can use to pay down the debt. Understand, I'm still generating $11 dollars of wealth every day. But if I don't want the people who loan me money to send debt collectors after me I need to keep paying them interest. If I get a raise, that staves off this disaster, but only for 20 days per dollar of wage increase.

This is where our wealth has gone.

Okay, if I had not been spending in deficit, if I'd gotten that raise and not spent it--at the end of 220 days, instead of not having any money to buy anything for fear of my debts being called, I've got $220 socked away. That's a 22-day vacation. That's 44 half-days off. That's any combination of leisure and luxury you care to consider--and in fact if I am the one loaning out dollars, then my money isn't just sitting there, but is making more money for me. Every 20 days that I am loaning a dollar to someone is adding another dollar to my net worth.

What the United States has done, basically since the end of WW2, is to spend $11 a day on a $10 per diem. And because that has been the case, the lives of ease and luxury which should have been the birthright of even the poorest American citizen has instead gone to make politicians feel powerful. And by "ease and luxury" I don't mean people below the poverty line having iPhone Xs and 55" TVs. I mean, "20-hour work week" and "four months of vacation per year" and-and-and. The people who want to implement the universal basic income right now could have had it twenty years ago if our government had ever shown so much as an atom's worth of fiscal self-control; but amending the Constitution to allow a personal income tax put that beyond our reach for a very long time to come from now.

* * *

Well--that bit about wind power turned into an explanation I've wanted to noodle through for quite a while. I had this inchoate thought about how government overspending ruins the ability of capitalism to free people from life-long toil, and it came out there.


* * *

Of course she's full of shit. They're all full of shit. These virtue-signaling asshats are ten pounds of manure in five-pound bags.

Okay: teenaged girl is sailing across the Atlantic--in a sailboat--to attend some climate thingy. The boat costs $4 million. There are people who have to fly across the Atlantic, six of them, to handle some of the particulars related to this trip, so that's at least six transatlantic flights. Why aren't they sailing back?

The message being, I suppose, that you're only allowed to cross the oceans if you can afford a $4 million sailing yacht?

"German drivers have begun displaying 'f*ck you Greta' bumper stickers...." I don't blame them. Holy shit.

* * *

Democrats are trying to convince everyone they're not the party of anti-semitism. I don't know how well that's working. I mean, I'm pretty certain the inner-city Jews will believe them, because that demographic has always elected Democrats and shows absolutely no sign whatsoever of having any sentience on the point. But who else will buy that horseshit?

* * *

I will say that Larry Correia seems to be having a ton of fun with this nonsense. He--and his fans--are laughing at Faceboob and their attempts at censorship. "Basically we did what the fascist SciFi intellectual circle hates the most: having 'wrongfun,'" says Miguel at the link.
It seems you can be Antifa and doxx your enemies or even be ISIS and have shitload of pages trying to attract followers, but using the term goat fucker is beyond the pale for Facebook.
I know why: "goat fucker" is used, in some circles, to mean "muslim". Since muslims are the left's new favorite protected class, you may not be critical of them at all.

Of course the algorithms are flawed. To put it charitably.

Michael Flynn, in his Firestar series, refers to "artificial stupids." This is a much more apt description of AI programs.

At the base of it, these are all programs. They're tricks, ways to get unliving transistor circuits to behave a certain way that mimics intelligence. But it's not; it's not even close. Put it outside of the narrowly-defined regime it's designed to handle and it becomes useless. It can't adapt to new conditions. Within that regime it will do what it's been programmed to do, but outside it's going to flop.

Example: that stupid response I got from ComEd about getting the tree away from the power pole. Like a ball rattling around in a pachinko machine, my question bounced around until the algorithm decided I was asking about moving--not because of anything I'd said in my question, but probably because there was an absence of keywords with enough emphasis that the "artificial stupid" could correctly categorize it.

The censorship software probably is not even that sophisticated. It's trained to scan text and look for words or phrases. I'm betting that the reason black people are censored more often than whites stems entirely from their tendency to use the [n-word]* and its variants when referring to people.
Some words that are considered slurs in most settings, such as the N-word, may not be in others. As of now, most machine learning systems can't parse this type of nuance.
Or here's an idea: just make the damned word off-limits for everyone. Or make it okay for everyone to use. The nation was founded on the notion of equality and rule of law; the idea that some people are not allowed to use some words is incandescently racist.

* Censored in fear, and under protest.

* * *

If ever you doubt that the media in America has a leftist bias, I present you with this:

NYT editor demoted for "serious lapses in judgment." What was the serious lapse in judgement, you ask? Did he print a story where a white man use the "N-word" incessantly? Did he buy a bunch of Linotype machines for the newsroom? Was he caught in the supply room in flagrante delicto with a young intern? Used his corporate expense account to buy booze, hookers, and blow? Ate too much Thai food and had to take an extra day off? Bought an Edsel? Oh, no. None of those. What did he do?

He wrote this headline: "Trump Urges Unity Vs Racism"

...and the left lost its shit. (Again.) The NYT posted a headline which was not critical of President Donald Trump. It was actually neutral, reporting the facts--Donald Trump actually did make remarks to that effect--but that was the problem. They're trying to paint Trump as a racist and this kind of headline doesn't help that cause.

Of course the headline got changed, to something that was more critical of Trump, but the damage was done.

* * *

Feminism has been, largely, a disaster for American women. It's not smartphones and social media. The problems created by feminism existed long before we had cellular phones; they just weren't as obvious.

* * *

Banning guns never works for anyone but the would-be tyrants in government. The people of New Zealand are wise not to hand over their guns.

* * *

I am going to go out on a limb, here, and suggest that maybe if you enforced the laws, you might have better luck. Chicago is one of those places that has extremely restrictive controls on gun ownership, yet it's one of the top five cities in the US for gun violence.

I'm guessing it's because they don't prosecute and jail the people who commit those crimes. In one example given a guy is arrested on two felony counts, but is allowed a plea bargain that puts him down for a misdemeanor.

And then people are shocked that there's so much gun violence in Chicago, and "We need to ban guns for everyone's safety!" Well, if you shitheads would just enforce the existing laws you wouldn't have the violence.

But that's the thing: they actually don't give a shit about the violence. What they want is to ban guns, and they know that if they enforce the existing laws they won't have any excuse for a ban--so they let the violence continue, let it get as bad as possible without the public rising up against them. As long as it's contained in the ghettos, no one sees any need to stop it, because the violence helps their cause--banning guns--and the people who are dying are unimportant.

If the former part of that doesn't anger you, then the latter ought to. It's one of the things that I hate most about the way Democrats--and the left in general--do things. Democrats never solve problems--ever--because to solve the problem is to lose power over the people who have the problem. It's much more desirable to them to have an issue that gets them votes than it is to have a record of problem-solving on which to stand. It's a lot more reliable to hold reparations for slavery over the heads of the black population than it is to say, "We got you the Civil Rights Act and the Great Society," and then allow time to lay the spectre of slavery to rest.

The Republicans tried doing this, too--telling the right-wing that they wanted to overturn ObamaCare and to fix the spending problems and-and-and, only to get elected in ever-greater numbers and say, "Well, we still don't have the votes...." The difference is, the right wingers saw through that shit and elected Trump over the GOP leadership's objections. Not solving the issues, but running on them and never fixing them.

The Democrats claim to be the party of compassion, but they are anything but. ObamaCare wasn't meant to be a fix for health care costs; it was meant to do exactly what it has done: drive up the prices of insurance policies while driving down quality of care. And it doesn't matter to them how the little people suffer, as long as they get their way. They'll stand up there and deplore the situation and "tut tut" until the cows come home, but in private they'll rub their hands together with glee at how close they are to getting what they want.

Every time.

In fact, a quote which this piece is itself quoting seems the most apt:

"Why am I a conservative? Because I know liberals. There is no grace there. No love there. Only hatred and judgment and pettiness."

I am not a "conservativee" any longer. I identify as "right wing" precisely because conservatism has failed me. Conservatism has become the ideology of George W. Bush and John McCain and Mitt Romney and all the NeverTrump asshats. But even so, that's why I'm right wing; leftism is the ideology of "hatred and judgement and pettiness."

* * *

Predictably, the son of Chicago's new lesbian-of-color mayor is a shithead.
Kyle Preckwinkle, 38, since has been charged with misdemeanor assault for a May 3 incident involving another confrontation with the same neighbor. According to court records, while the neighbor was walking up the stairs to his third-floor unit, Kyle Preckwinkle stopped him to complain about "banging noises" and asked "who was in his apartment."

The neighbor said, "That is none of your business," and continued to his condo, according to the records, which say Kyle Preckwinkle soon began banging on his door and yelling, "Open the door mother-----," and approaching the neighbor "in an aggressive manner" when he did.

The neighbor was "in fear of receiving a battery," so Kyle Preckwinkle was charged, records show.
Oh, did poor Kyle feel "disrespected"? I have to wonder what time the "banging noises" occurred. Perhaps during Kyle's afternoon nap?


* * *

This is very, very curious. From the text of the post it seems odd that people involved in that recent Russian nuclear incident would have a great deal cof cesium 137 present.

This keeps getting weirder.

* * *

You know, he's not wrong about this.

In general, sequels do not ruin movies for me. Terminator 3 was bad and I only saw it once, so it has had no effect for me on Terminator 2. Same goes for Alien 3.

The Star Wars movies that came out after the initial three ("New Hope" et al) are basically the same for me. Looking at "Force Awakens" and "Last Jedi" don't ruin them, either; I just shrugged them off. Some people refer to "mind canon" and in my mind canon, the first three movies, in their original unfucked-with forms, are it. Han shot first. Darth Vader said nothing when he threw the Emperor over the railing. Etcetera.

But that being said, I understand what Cataline means when he says that they're ruined. Certainly there can be no other stories told now that will reverse what has been done; we can only enjoy the initial core of the saga, eps 4, 5, and 6 and appreciate them for what they are.

Similarly, Game of Thrones--in actuality I would not watch it again, not because the ending was so badly bungled (although it most certainly was) but because the series itself is so very unpleasant. Westeros is not a nice place to visit. It's full of grisly death, and betrayal, and horror, and torture, and ruin. There is no beauty there. There is no love. The story is a chronicle of unmitigated suffering. There is never any triumph that is not tainted by woe and all victories are pyrrhic.


I felt the same way about Battlestar Galactica, too, by the way.

* * *

All right, Mr. Sun. I see you jockin' me. Trying to play like you know me?

Go to 0:39 for the reference:

Bonus points for use of the dragons from the Atari "Adventure" game. Heh.

* * *

The last time I went to the store I bought a gallon of peanut oil; Thursday night I made sloppy joes for dinner and then put some french fries in the deep fryer. They were great.

Today's dinner will be what is frequently on Chinese restaurant menus as a "pupu platter", which is basically a bunch of appetizers. Spring rolls, gyoza, and whatever else I can figure out. Fried shrimp. But I need to go to the store for a couple things in order to make that happen, and you know what that means.

Off I go.

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