October 24th, 2014

#4429: Are you dickheads TRYING to spread ebola all over the place?

So there's the story about Dr. Dumbass, who comes back from New Guinea where he was treating ebola patients, who then decides--hey, I'm back in New York, time to go bowling! And ride the subway to get there!

*facepalm*

An f-ing doctor ought to be smart enough to think this through: "Hey, I feel fine right now, but I was just treating ebola patients the other day, so maybe I ought to stay in for a week first, and see if I develop any symptoms. Maybe see what I can watch on cable until I know I'm not infected. After all, I am a doctor, and I understand how disease works, and even though I feel perfectly fine right now there's just no good way to tell if I might have been infected, and the smart and responsible thing for me to do is to stay in."

No. Instead he thought, "Hey, I feel great! I'm going bowling!"

Related, the guy who wrote Hot Zone has an interesting piece up at New Yorker about all this.

* * *

From pestilence to famine: "Sears is closing another 100 stores" just in time for the holiday season! This is on top of another hundred stores they've closed this year.

The economy is in the shitter and has been since 2008. A lot of the traditional department stores are struggling with the crappy economy, and things are not getting better, particularly because our government is actively doing things to hurt businesses. (Obamacare, for one.)

Borepatch has an example of epic customer service fail, which he cites as the reason he stopped shopping at Sears. I don't blame him.

Me, I stopped shopping at Sears in 1990. I wanted to buy a pair of speakers, and had picked out a nice set--exactly the ones I wanted, which was why I went there in the first place--that would go well with the new stereo receiver I'd gotten for Christmas...but Sears didn't accept Visa. No, they only accepted the Sears charge card or the Discover card; I applied for the latter and was declined, so I ended up going to Montgomery Wards, who did take Visa, where I bought a nice pair of speakers for less money. (I note that MW is out of business now where Sears is merely failing, but I don't think it's because MW didn't try to force customers into using their new credit card. MW was seriously mismanaged. That's okay, though, because the rich guys got their money out of it. Right?)

That pretty much soured me on Sears. I didn't (and don't) have any serious animus against them, but that episode left me with a general disinclination to shop at Sears, so I just don't. They don't have anything that other retailers don't have, and other stores are usually cheaper to boot. Sears' heavy-handed attempt to get people to use Discover cards might have gotten them lots of in-house financing dollars, but it has to have cost them customer traffic; I hardly think my case is unique.

Making matters worse, then, is the economy. No one has any fucking money except for the upper 10%, and they do not shop at Sears.

* * *

Last night Mrs. Fungus and I had a double feature. Then we watched a couple of movies. *rimshot*

...Automata and the first Captain America movie.

Automata is about a post-apocalyptic society where humans have built robots to help them survive environmental catastrophe (which, for once, came from the sun rather than anything humans did, score one for this movie). The robots are programmed from the very start not to harm any life, nor to self-modify. These rules are hard-coded into their programming and (supposedly) impossible to remove...until someone catches a robot repairing itself, after which all hell breaks loose.

The two things I didn't like about the movie: first is the whole "humanity is doomed" part. There is absolutely no reason for humanity to die out when there are 21 million people left and there's a significant industrial base capable of supporting the manufacture of robots with AI good enough to let them care for people in a hospital, largely unsupervised.

Second, the always-overused "big evil corporation" thing. The corporation's motivation is reasonable (stop the rise of self-modifying machines which are beyond human control) but the way the writers handled the story leaned too heavily on typical Hollywood tropes.

Of course like nearly every movie with an SF theme I can pick this one to pieces on the inconsistencies. Okay, the sun is malfunctioning and the entire Earth is a desert now? (And it took only 30 years?) But there's an ocean perhaps two days' travel from the city where almost everyone lives now? And multipurpose androids manufactured by the gross that can do all kinds of heavy labor?

But that's the kind of thing I can do with almost any SF movie; I've learned to ignore it when it happens (which is every time). This is, therefore, a good movie that worked very well as hard SF, not just Hollywood SF. I do recommend it heartily.

CA was...well, it's a superhero movie; what do you want? I found it entertaining. I'm glad I finally got to see it, and it was free, so it's all good.

* * *

Mrs. Fungus was craving Munchkins and the water bill needed paying, so I got on the bike and had a little ride around the Fungal Vale. It's probably the last time this year I'll get to ride the thing, because if this winter is half as bad as last winter was--and if I am half as busy this year as I was last year--I'm not going to be riding the bike before April of next year. *sigh*

* * *

Speaking of which, yesterday I got some interesting news: I have apparently gotten some kind of raise. Go me. I don't know how much it is, nor do I know when it's supposed to go into effect, and it's not going to be a huge one, but it's a step in the right direction. I must be doing something correctly.

I bought a 32 GB flash drive for the princely sum of $13 with tax. I say this unabashedly--and without fear of violating corporate information policy--because I got zero employee discount on it; I paid what everyone else pays and the price is already stupid low.

I bought this drive because I wanted to make a recovery drive for Floristica, and Win 8 requires a 32 GB partition for that. Whee! I took care of that while playing some WoW last night, and now have the added security of knowing that I have recovery media for my computer, something I didn't have with Cephiro.

Cheap insurance.

...I could have bought a USB 3.0 drive with the same capacity for $6 more, but figured I didn't really need the speed. If I'm having to use recovery media, my computer is fucked up enough that I won't be doing anything quickly on it anyway.

* * *

Today was a rare Friday off from work. I've got a hell day tomorrow (where I must be at work at 7:30 AM) but then an easy day on Sunday. At least, I hope it'll be easy.

*sigh*