I’m bored

               That I am. Bored. I could be picking up the slack but I’m not. I could be hammering away at my dream home, but I ain’t. Boredom is nothing to sneeze at, for me. I got my wish, though. Life in a strange country is boredom with the occasional moment of pure terror. I could be making fun of myself better – that one particular thought that crossed my mind is gold, a dirty mind makes common life much more interesting. But I’m not. The reason for this small piece of text is a simple principle that’s been guiding me these past few years – action is always preferable. If in doubt, attack. In my case, write. Something’s gotta give.

               I’m having little bits of information bouncing around those two functional neurons that keep my skull still active, there’s an awful lot of unused space between my ears that could be put to better use. One of them links my lack of enthusiams to my lack of sleep – that one’s too close to the truth for my liking so I’m keeping it locked up until further notice. Another one’s describing the need for better books, apparently the latest books I’ve seen released lately somehow fail to get me up and running. I mean, either I’m pushing another brain twister or this week’s about very interesting – how many books have you seen lately to make one’s brain light up on scanners? Oy vey, no, I’m not talking about crappy books, I’m talking about books to make my brain hurt in a good way – like Tom Holt’s Expecting someone taller. Unfortunately Jim Butcher managed to fall from (my) grace with his latest releases and Scalzi just makes me want to reread Old man’s war again. The first book. That one’s got me good, even if I’ve read it about five times.

               Where are the epic adventures? Hell, I’m on the brink of reopening that Vorkosigan Saga again and that means a few weeks of nothing else. Just like the previous twenty times. Or Sienkiewicz’s The Trilogy, oldies but goldies. Everybody else just seems keen to make their characters “real” and “gritty” and to me, that’s no fun. To hell with it.

               What next? I’m so bored I’m considering sleep to be a viable alternative. Has a few downsides, I think. Mondays..

Wrong targets for enthusiasm

.. It’s all bullshit, folks, and it’s bad for you.. Capitalism coupled with strong laws to prevent abuse is the best way for people to rise above poverty, because it is designed to do one task and do it well – make money for those willing to work hard. Socialism, however, does the opposite on that part – it’s keeping people from rising above poverty because it’s not targeted, it’s not rewarding hard work but in a world of finite resources it tries to define a bottom line only that bottom line is ever rising. Society needs balance between the two, if none of them goes away soon. We’ve seen the result of socialism in Greece and we’ve seen the result of capitalism with weak laws in the recent economic bubbles. What I haven’t seen yet is a system combining the two – socialism in providing public services combined with a type of capitalism where abuse is prevented (proactive) instead of just punished (reactive), and public, transparent policies on cost and quality of service metrics. Hell, feedback vote the politicians for all I care, bar them from office based on their performance. That’s an utopia, I know, but for now, we’re pretty much screwed.

               I don’t think on-demand, part-time economy is the future. I do believe it has at least some good benefits for the consumer, both short-term (improved services, cheaper rates, feedback and better access to services) and long-term (indirect feedback for competitors, they’ll have to improve and adapt themselves or the music stops) but not for the workers. Read that article. There’s only one party in this drama that’s really making money and it’s not the actor – it’s the theatre selling the tickets. And now, there’s talk about doing the same thing everywhere – including health care. Well now, me boy, that’s truly a disaster in the making… Continue reading

Insight or just bad logic?

               I’ve been meaning to refresh my memory on a couple of things because apparently I’m neither dark enough nor drunk enough. I’ve had my share of close encounters with the common human social practices, they’re oozing from my every orifi… pore and I’ve always wanted another reason to drown my sorrows. So here goes, the only practical cheat sheet for the newly employed adult, as if I needed one. It’s hard enough for me to take myself seriously, therefore I gotta make it impossible for you to do it. After all, I’m not a drunk and also not a scientist, though I am willing to take a bribe in either a good whiskey or an old, dehydrated wine to stop using logic, common sense or science. Temporarily. Like, about 48 hours worth of pause. Wait a second, that came out wrong. Still, the wine has to be demanding water or it’s not worth my full attention. Ahem, let’s continue.. Continue reading

Food for random thought(s)

               Somehow, I agree with John’s analysis even if it seems stupid at first glance. Profiling is important and sticking your fingers in your ears going “bah-bah-bah-bah” isn’t going to make the profiling go away. You can identify those looking to break the laws by their behavior or choice of words. I’ll make it easy for you, thinking that a particular scenario is wrong because you can’t believe it won’t actually break reality and make it wrong.

               As I’ve said before, over and over again, the truth about internet security is that we don’t have any. Stop following the herd. Don’t trust red herrings like debates arguing in favor of stronger encryption apps for your files and messages, cloud storage and the like, nothing is safe and stronger encryption is like using Photoshop to “improve” your photos for an online dating profile – it only works if you don’t actually meet the person you’re dating. Don’t take pictures of your dirty undies unless you’re willing to see them public domain. Don’t trust anybody but your own brain with anything you want private – and even that’s debatable. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Every single step your information takes from you to someplace else (cloud storage, email, the like) opens up a geometrical progression of possible attack vectors one could exploit. Every breath you take, any step you make, I’ll be watching you… Well, not me but you get the point – just like that song only without all the love, everything that leaves the confines of your mind actually helps only to make you vulnerable.

               Ever notice that the only voices pro-Uber are the customers? They want more cars, they want them now and to hell with the rest. Anyhow, what’s wrong with that company imposing low prices (which benefit only the consumer, not the driver)? What’s wrong with that company getting at least 20% of the amount of money the customer pays? Nooothing, right? Hell, anybody notice there’s no protection for the drivers from Uber? Who protects the drivers from Uber abuse? Oh. Nobody thought that competing by forced lowering of prices and removing any kind of employee protection is a bad thing for those workers that are actually vulnerable (and can’t complain because not working actually means not eating, not only for them but for their families)? Oh. That’s right. The customer is always right, even if he isn’t.

Reinventing the wheel

… no, not progress, the opposite… What’s that called? Oh.

               I don’t know what I want, but I want it right now and for free! Well, if it’s not free, at least those selling it to me have to make no profits, because money is the root of all evil and all that. It’d be funny if it weren’t true, you know. History is a powerful tool to predict the future, it works really well only when nobody’s using it. You read that right, think about it.. I see many people falling heads over for new and futuristic concepts that aren’t new, at all. Futuristic? That may be stretching it. This is the glamorous “on-demand economy” that either enrages or mindgasms people, marketed as a “time-saving” novelty for consumers and flexible work experience for freelancers – and yet, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Why? Because progress ain’t fueled by altruism or happiness but by laziness and greed and you can bet your dirty nickers history’s about to repeat itself. Continue reading