September 9th, 2014

#4371: The theme of the story

Karl Denninger talks today about the decline of civilization.

That's a theme of #RELEASE_CANDIDATE_ONE, one I was careful not to pound on while writing because I wanted the story to be entertaining rather than a polemic: that civilization is not just this big thing that sort of exists, but something that's made up of all the little things everyone does all the time...and it fails when people decide they can get away with not doing those little things.

Denninger's list is hardly exhaustive, and he lists bigger things than the ones of which I am thinking, but it's all part of a spectrum.

* * *

People hate it when you do something that foils their plans for you. Democrats wanted to campaign on Republican opposition to their modification of the first amendment, but the GOP went ahead and agreed to consider the amendment. This does two things: it takes away the Democrats' ability to demagogue the issue, and it also takes up time they wanted to use to demagogue other issues in the runup to the elections in November.

So here we have a case of the Democrat majority in the Senate being pissed off because something passed which their own leadership introduced and for which they all voted. Because the GOP didn't do what they were supposed to do and vote against it.

So now the GOP can say, "Well, if you didn't want the damned thing to pass, why did you even bring it up?"

* * *

Ace on the "Apple watch".
1. The company places a very high value on aesthetics, and there's no avoiding the fact that watches are generally understood to not merely be functional, but a form of jewelry. So maybe Apple can design a fake digital watch that you wouldn't be embarrassed to wear.

2. Apple's customers are slavish idiots and will buy dog feces if Apple puts them in a unibody aluminum casing.
Hey, this dog feces will work seamlessly with iTunes!!

...hate to break it to you guys, but iTunes doesn't work seamlessly with anything.

The Apple Watch cannot, of course, have just any old watch band attached to it: "Apple will not just allow you to slap any watchband on their device. You must pledge your loyalty to the Apple Ecosystem." Because corporate fascism.

* * *

I hate to break it to you but we live in a country that's run by idiots.

* * *

I'm told that we're supposed to have epic rain tomorrow:
Showers and thunderstorms in the morning...then showers likely and scattered thunderstorms early in the afternoon. Chance of showers late in the afternoon. Some thunderstorms may produce heavy rainfall in the morning. Some thunderstorms may produce heavy rainfall early in the afternoon. Breezy. Highs in the upper 70s. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Chance of precipitation 100 percent.
And there's a flash flood warning for tomorrow.

I know this means I have to get the grass cut today. All my neighbors have cut their grass and it must be done. I will be doing it a little later in the afternoon.

*sigh*

#5372: The knee of the asymptote

According to WHO figures, which only count reported cases (obviously), the ebola outbreak has reached the tipping point. If it's a true exponential expansion, then the number of cases should double in 1.5 weeks since it took about 3 weeks for the last doubling.

Hope that it's not, because a true exponential progression will mean very, very bad things.

* * *

Adult incontinence products are also going asymptotic.

* * *

Social scientists have determined that conservatives are stupid because they asked drunk and/or distracted people poltical questions and got mostly conservative answers.

...except that they did not take any control data (such as asking the same questions of the same people when they were sober/paying attention) which naturally relegates this study to the approximate status of horseshit.

* * *

"...[I]s there a franchise in which the movie adaption got the story right?" The answer to that question is NO.

Lord of the Rings was probably the best screen adaptation of a novel (or series thereof) because it stayed very, very true to the source material...but it still played games with the canon, because a truly faithful adaptation would have taken sixteen or eighteen hours to tell (rather than twelve) and that's simply too long.
Authors, screenwriters, and Hollywood powers that be, they don’t understand stories anymore. They’ve forgotten how to write them. They often start with a good premise, but then bend the story to be relevant to what they suppose a modern audience wants or to tell a modern morality tale as they believe morality to be.
Hollywood has taken to writing movies to a specific formula, and it revolves around pacing and emotional tension.

Quoth that last link: "If you look close enough, you will find [the formula]’s beats in the exact order, and almost by the minute, in virtually every major movie release in theaters today."

"It can make writing easier," the article concludes, "but conversely, it can also stifle creativity."

Do tell.

* * *

An aide to Attorney General Eric Holder accidentally calls the wrong Congresscritter for help in spinning the IRS political attack scandal.

Holder's aide wanted some documents leaked to the press so they could "answer" them, but instead of calling the correct Congresscritter, this idiot called the office of the Congressman who is conducting the investigation.

But it won't end up making a difference in all this. No one's going to go to jail, or lose his job, over any of this.

* * *

Dinner tonight was originally supposed to be goulash, but Mrs. Fungus and I fell asleep after having the Hot Dogs of DOOM again. I don't know what it is about the hot dogs from that place that does it, but it puts us both into comas.

"Excuse me, but what kind of barbiturates do you put in these things?"

*sigh*

Anyway, despite that, I got the grass cut, so it can rain like the Deluge tomorrow for all I care.