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Some truth, mostly rant

I think a combination of having my lunch interrupted and some other unfortunate events led to my channeling of Hunter S. Thompson, which I occasionally do.  Anyway, I wrote this yesterday under such influence, and while I’m in a marginally better mood today, I figured it would be good to post this for the sake of posterity.  I think the Zen Buddhists may be onto something: voluntary self-denial – say, a lack of food – does seem to lead to the discovery of truth.

1. If you have in your possession an electronic device that does not work when plugged into five different network ports, at least consider the possibility that your device doesn’t work, rather than calling me the guy who enabled those ports.

2. Particularly if it’s lunchtime, you dumb schmuck.

3. There are no intellectual requirements for public office. This does not mean that there shouldn’t be. Voters should act as if there are…or at the very least, have the decency to shut up when you elect a moron as a consequence of ignoring this.

4. Speaking of which, a great many Democrats are currently off the Greens-are-spoilers argument because, for the most part, they’re slinging this epithet at their own candidates. There are, nominally, a couple of reasons for this: they are too stupid to realize that there’s no difference between the two, they are too stupid to just ignore the MSM and let the votes decide the matter, they are too stupid to realize that the whole “spoiler” argument is a logical fallacy, and they are too stupid in the area of mathematics to realize that their method of voting is fundamentally flawed and that they should choose a different one. The first four words of each of these reasons are sufficient to describe the problem.

5. And while we’re on it, those opposed to alternative voting methods who bring up Stalin by the third graf should be given a nice, juicy hamburger, tied up out back behind the woodshed far away from real people, and never paid any attention to ever again for any reason.

5.5. Allow me to break from this narrative for a short while and say a little something about the foregoing. Alvin Toffler is a jackass who got very few things correct, but he was more or less right about one thing: we are moving towards a time when information and its dissemination is – again, more or less – equivalent to wealth. Now, knowledge wants to be free (one of the things he didn’t get), so really, the pre-eminent component of wealth in the coming post-industrial society will be one’s ability to absorb information. Inudderwoids, yer brains, right? Yes and no. You do need some rudimentary brainpan function to be a player, but as I said, the knowledge is out there for the taking. What must change, principally, is one’s desire to learn. Up until this point, the Great Unwashed could sit there in class like idiot stenos for their entire school careers and reject everything they heard as too refined for them to be expected to handle – and carry that attitude right on into adulthood…and get away with it. Past this point, it’s too late. You do that in today’s world, and those with the knowledge won’t really oppose you – they’ll just simply route around you and leave you to rot. If you can, and there’s no real reason you can’t, learn. If you can’t, the ditch by the side of the road awaits.

6. The Philadelphia Flyers should, if they are composed of men, quietly forfeit their series and exit these playoffs immediately. They should be entirely ashamed of the way that they “won”: in Game 3, a dive leading to a penalty shot late in the 3rd period of a tied game; in Game 7, hooking checking a defenseman into the goalie and kicking out to a teammate to score on the emptied net, leading to a one-goal win. They were at least gentlemanly at the conclusion of the series, probably from shame, which prevents me from calling on the city of Philly to recreate the MOVE bombing on the Wachovia Center. This week, anyway.

7. Posting on BoingBoing, even on their frequently posted-on subject of civil liberties, regardless of which side you take on the matter, does not make you less of a douchebag.

8. That goes double for moderating on BoingBoing.

9. People in this country can get rich. There is, or should be, a test to see if you are too rich, and it may be generally described as “X your own damn Y”. Carry your own damn bags. Call your own damn cab. Yeah, you can hire people to do things, but the instant you stand in the middle of other people doing things and whine and bitch because you aren’t getting any special treatment, you should be immediately accosted with a blunt object and have your excess money distributed to people who are trying to, say, buy houses or food or something.

More later, I think.


2 Responses

  1. Re: Point 5: Please don’t tell me that once you reached the word “Stalin” you decreed “Stalin in 3. Auto fail.” (Godwin’s law corollary?) I agree there are better systems than the one you have now. (I think they’re *all* better, including autocratic dictatorship, but what do I know, I’m not an American.) I agree that IRV is a good system (and better than your current one). The blog you linked to seems to agree with me. He criticizes both the proponents and the detractors of IRV with more or less equal parity (which always gets my respect, one of my favourite things to play is “devil’s advocate”). He also mentions his personal experiences with IRV (do you have any?) and openly states that even his experiences don’t qualify as strict IRV, so he’s not even in a position to take a stand on it. The thing that bothers me most is his penultimate sentence (“In the meantime, spare me the “IRV me ASAP” rhetoric.”) given that he said, numerous times, he hasn’t even had any experience with true IRV (and didn’t find what he did have experience with the thing to fault on several points). Have *you* worked with IRV? Have you worked with RCV? Have you voted for a fox? Who put your ballot in a box? (Some channel Hunter S. Thompson, others Dr. Seuss.)

  2. Well, the guy who wrote that was a thinks-he-knows-it-all creep, regardless of position, so yeah, autofail in 3. And yes, we vote IRV within the party, and we’ve had our problems with it, certainly; like anything else, you need good people to manage it, and sometimes a few ideologues who weren’t savvy about math tried. His “solution” is, however, is as long as there’s a nit to pick, you shouldn’t do anything – the hallmark of a Neanderthal conservative – and he slams Rob Richie, whom I know personally and think he’s a very smart cookie.

    Frankly, while I agree with RCV, I don’t think that IRV is necessarily the best way to count the votes, if you go strictly by mathematics and science. But it works, it works much better than what we are doing now, and it has political credence that the more esoteric methods do not.

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