Functional Entropy

Chaos breeds order, sort of.

Category: Words That Hurt

Possum Act, My Best Act

I’m kind of back. The following things happened in the recent past that have left me spinning my wheels on doing any sort of writing that isn’t the cliched and tortured journal writing:

  1.  My wife and I split up. We’re still friends and we still share 50% custody of the boy (who is 9 now for those playing along at home) but it’s permanent due to the unforgivably weird stuff that happened over the course of this past summer. I’m in an apartment now and I’m relatively happy.  After nearly 20 years of being a couple I’m figuring out how the world works again. Some of this is incredibly tedious but for the most part it’s like I discovered what I genuinely like and enjoy again and have a bit of space and time to explore those things.
  2. Living as a renter has been an adjustment after 10+ years of owning homes. I’m making it sound much worse than it actually is because I’m a big baby and also because I generally dislike people and now I live with bunch of them in a building. I’m aware of how terrifically lame that sounds and is. My crucifixion is at dawn. I’ve already started on the nails.
  3.  After a incredibly long period of being generally unhappy and without real direction (see number one in this list), I finally went to see a therapist about my depression. I’m not dealing with it pharmaceutically but I feel like I have things more under control than I have in a long time. I had to work through a lot of stuff from my childhood and although this work is unfinished and will remain so until my finances are in drastically better shape than they are now, I feel like I can see a path forward out of the murk. That said, my depression was relatively mild but long term and persistent so I’m relieved and kind of a wuss in one greyish snowball. Go figure.
  4. The state of the US is the worst that it has ever been. We need to figure this out for the sake of the world around us and to salvage what remains of the United States’ reputation of being an oasis of freedom and opportunity. It’s a snake oil salesman’s show right now.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at. What the hell are you up to?

If Only They Could Beat You Over The Head With Knowledge Until It Infiltrated Your Head Via The Bloody Wounds They Inflicted

I think I can be safely included in the remove laptops from the classroom bunch. I’m not one hundred percent on whether this should be laptops/tablets/etc in general or just ones that are connected to the internet. I think there is some room between those two for compromise. This is especially true for the likes of me since I type a helluva lot faster without fatigue than I could ever hope to scrawl on paper and, unlike the lose this notebook and all of your notes are gone single point of failure of paper notes, I can keep the product of that note taking in a dozen handier places than a disposable notepad and readily use those notes in other works without hinging that usage around transcription from one format to another. After college, I hardly ever write by hand any more mainly because I have little need to and the likelihood that I’m going to lose whatever scrap of paper I’ve written that important thing on. That’s an aside.

I do think that encouraging full desk occupancy of a device that is used by a large majority as a tool for socializing is problematic at very best. I like the idea of removing wireless access from classroom settings outright because that removes convenience of distraction from a tool that could, you know, just be a tool. Given the amount of real, actual data and mental work that has been expended thinking about this situation, you’d think people would calmly accept that perhaps perpetually internet connected devices should be left out of the classroom. Sigh, my expectations are clearly too high on the interwebs. The comments, oh god, the comments.

I may be speaking here as someone impacted by age (I’m 43 which is dinosaur to most of the pesky, meddling kids I’m speaking of) and by parenthood (I have a nearly seven year old), but I’m guessing that with some applied effort even people as unpracticed at writing inken words on paper (from dead trees!) as I am could take notes and read back over them later under the threat of failing a test otherwise. Although I am not an educator by profession, I would venture that the process of participating in higher education (even as a paying customer! with real money!one) you should expect to put your mind into spaces that aren’t already intimately familiar and work through those challenges. I’m sure you’re really awesome at that flight simulator, but I don’t think we’re going to give you a pilot’s license right now.

This Is Probably Overdue

Reddit has always been at least a bit of a shitshow. Even when it was the saner alternative to Digg, it always had a it’s okay, we’re all libertarians in here posturing in written policy that, to be honest, kept me from being active in the community at all. I cannot say that I predicted the most recent meltdown and exodus of people who were actually contributing useful things but it seemed inevitable given that the motto-worthy freedom of speech of Reddit seemed to cater exclusively to the most loathesome variants possible. I’m guessing that the commercialization of Reddit made matters worse. The strategy post-acquisition seems to be pretty stupid as well.

It’s difficult to even venture a guess about whether this will actually spell the end for Reddit or not. Folks with excess amounts of money not wanting their money associated with Reddit is a bit more simple of speculate on, though. I wish that all of the career trolls even those who are more offensive than actually harmful would just keep hanging out and trying to offend one another, but we all know that will never be the case. For most of the sociopaths that have nothing to do but grief other people endlessly, without someone to react to the horrible crap they post, it’s kind of pointless. I guess that’s the idea behind correctional facilities in a sense. Maybe there’ll be a weight room?

Tired Guy Dumps Links

I spent most of the last week solo parenting and decided that most of what I'd written during the course of the week (and didn't post) was primarily garbage. Sleep deprivation isn't the inspirational force of nature that it used to be for me so most of what came out was gibberish. The kid likes to delay bedtime as late as possible and wake up the moment that sunlight pierces the horizon. I think he runs on some alternative power source that I don't understand. I'm going to dump some links instead:

I'm unsure of my confidence in Ubuntu's new package management scheme. If they're truly going to break with the Debian repos, then I'm a little less concerned. I have a feeling that this is part of a Canonical marketing push to make Ubuntu a little more appealing for virtualization. Since I don't have to touch Ubuntu anything on a regular basis I'll probably have to fire up a VM of my own in order to check it out once it's post-dog food. A lot of the promises made are insanely difficult to actually deliver, but smaller updates and atomic installations/removals do sound pretty good.

Even though I've been off the iOS crackpipe for a 4+ years now, I agree that Safari as the only browser choice for iOS devices is myopic as all get out and needs to change. Safari is a perfectly fine default for simple web tasks as it's still pretty snappy performance-wise, but is a little long in the tooth for sites dependent on more modern features. I used Safari the first day it was released and I wasn't a huge fan then, but at least it was a viable option to the dreaded IE5 on the Apple platform and was under active development. Marooning users on a platform that is coasting along seems like a bad idea.

Unsurprisingly, there was a shitstorm on Reddit which is reaching 4chan levels of obnoxious. Ah, well, it was (bad) fun while it lasted. The clue here is that while making the elimination of harassment a priority is a good goal, firing one of the people who make the site attractive to those outside the neckbeard majority is a bad thing. I imagine the trolls will soldier on until Reddit becomes completely worthless. Godspeed or something.

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