The GUI, the twerk and the most valuable resource

Friday, 21 November, Year 6 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

SBi I never really grasped the appeal of the elaborate GUI crud for Linux. Must be something like the 'give opiate addicts substitute methadone' school of thought.
MP Do you understand how dog memory works ?

SB Go on.
MP Dog memory is basically a 3-5 second remanence volatile array. This was discovered in that experiment with flashing a light above food door, waiting for a little before opening doors. If delay > 6 seconds, most dogs do no better than a coinflip. Some however always do better, which puzzled scientists for a while, because no good explanation readily apparent, until an intern figured it out. Care to guess ?

SB Many beasts have 'cache only'. I'd guess some flaw in experiment (dog was able to smell) ?
MP Nope. Some dogs had enough life experienceii to point their truffle towards the light and then go where the truffle was pointed when door opened. Ie, using their physical positioning as a very cheap, yet very effective ROM. Now, this is precisely the benefit a GUI provides to the mentally subpar human. They can not think of things they do not see, which is why the icons have to be there or else you get the classical "I did not think of it" response.

SB 'Muscle memory' is a thing, though, and a useful adjunct to actual brain. But mousetardation is abuse.
MP In short, a GUI is not unlike the accessibility ramps. Those also can be badly made by people who don't understand wtf they're doing. At any rate, this is my best effort understanding of wtf it's all for. Generally, the two trends present in society are, the USG and its agents, preoccupied with squeezing the absolute last drop of social utility and function out of the dregs, like in or etc, and the, whatever, terrorists, preoccupied in empowering the select.

SB There were folks like Jef Raskin ('the humane interface') who tried to apply rationality to UI design. Personally I was not especially taken with the results.
MP The only way to treat design rationally is as management of historical data. There's no grand deductive enlightment to be had really.

SB How does the dance (linked) enter into it? I may be thick.
MP Think about it. What is that video for ? What is its purpose ? Why did someone take the time to make it ?

SB Well, Paul Erdos in his (mistaken) reply to 'why war', answered 'because some people have no theorems to prove'.
MP Somewhere on a couch in america there is this chick, almost drooling. What shall be her future ? Maybe, just maybe, if she learns this skill she then goes on to appear as an extra in rap videos and earn money productively.

SB The one who was drooling, I'd expect will lose to the porn chick who has been dancing since she was 3 yo.
MP She will lose the good job. Most jobs. But maybe there's still a place on the ledger for her, out of the rain. It's just a desperate yet unrelenting attempt to squeeze the last drop out of a long discarded olive skin. I read this bit by a nurse specialised in suicide survivor care once, she put it perfectly well : "and if you try, after you're done, we'll work with whatever you've got left". That's pretty much the epitome of that whole thing.iii

SB 'We use everything but the squeal' of the Chicago pigyards ?
MP Yup. Quite exactly. It is after all the point and the measure of "society" as understood by that line of "thought". "Nothing rejected". It's a philosophy, sui generis. What is "representative democracy" if not this ? "You lot are stupid, how can we get the most out of a stupid lot ?"

SB This does not answer the conundrum of how Linux aficionados began to see the appeal of turning into swine in swineyard.
MP Afficionados ? The guys not smart enough to sling dope ? What's not to see ?

SB So, we still have the '90s folks around, but 10,000x as many sows who are also nominally 'Linux users.'
MP Quite. "I still have the corn nibblet I ate. It's in the toilet, inside a turd."

SB lol!
MP Clearly. Look here : for any social good, whatever it be, the majority of wanters will not be able to have. Somehow the gap between the 10mn that want college degrees, cars and "to use Linux" and the 10k that actually CAN have these will be bridged. It's not a question of if. The people who do not gain by the distinction have no incentive to enforce it. So, to the guy who can't afford a car, his bike is just as good. Not conventionally. Not epidicticallyiv. Actually.

SB Paul Graham (pre-zombie phase of life cycle) had a piece concerning 'blub', term he created to express how the fool views an artifact beyond his mental grasp. 'As long as our hypothetical Blub programmer is looking down the power continuum, he knows he's looking down. Languages less powerful than Blub are obviously less powerful, because they're missing some feature he's used to. But when our hypothetical Blub programmer looks in the other direction, up the power continuum, he doesn't realize he's looking up. What he sees are merely weird languages. He probably considers them about equivalent in power to Blub, but with all this other hairy stuff thrown in as well. Blub is good enough for him, because he thinks in Blub.'
MP Yep.

Is it better to improve the life of untold legions of imbeciles an immeasurably tiny amount, or is it better to do things the few worthy respect ? The ancients neatly favoured the latter, the contemporaries generally favour the former. It is perhaps wise to remember both exist.

  1. Stands for SomeBody. Guess who ? []
  2. For what it's worth, intelligence isn't usually worth all that much. Knowing what to do with it however... []
  3. By Renee T Lucero, at the time a nurse with Yavapai Regional Medical Center, Prescott, Arizona. Published in Reader's Digest, June 1985.

    You've decided to do it. Life is impossible. Suicide is your way out.

    Fine --but before you kill yourself, there are some things you should know. I am a psychiatric nurse, and I see the results of suicide-- when it works and, more often, when it doesn't. Consider, before you act, these facts:

    Suicide is usually not successful. You think you know a way to guarantee it? Ask the 25-year-old who tried to electrocute himself. He lived. But both his arms are gone.

    What about jumping? Ask John. He used to be intelligent, with an engaging sense of humor. That was before he leaped from a building. Now he's brain damaged and will always need care. He staggers and has seizures. He lives in a fog. But worst of all, he KNOWS he used to be normal.

    Even less violent methods can leave you crippled. What about pills? Ask the 12-year-old with extensive liver damage from an overdose. Have you ever seen anyone die of liver damage: It takes awhile. You turn yellow. It's a hard way to go.

    No method is foolproof. What about a gun: Ask the 24-year-old who shot himself in the head. Now he drags one leg, has a useless arm, and no vision or hearing on one side. He lived through his "fool-proof" suicide. You might too.

    Suicide is not glamorous. You may picture a movie star in a slinky negligee drifting off to eternal sleep from an overdose of pills. But your picture omits a likely sickening reality: as she dies, her sphincter muscles relax, and that beautiful gown is soiled with her excrement.

    Who will clean your blood off the carpet, or scrape your brains from the ceiling? Commercial cleaning crews may refuse that job -- but SOMEONE has to do it. Who will have to cut you down from where you hanged yourself, or identify your bloated body after you've drowned? Your mother? Your wife? Your son?

    The carefully worded "loving" suicide note is no help. Those who loved you will NEVER completely recover. They'll feel regret, and an unending pain. And rage, because at that moment, you cared only about yourself.

    SUICIDE IS CONTAGIOUS. Look around at your family: sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husband, wife. Look closely at the four-year-old playing with his cars on the rug. Kill yourself tonight, and he may do it ten years from now. It's a fact that suicide often follows suicide in families, and kids are especially vulnerable.

    YOU DO HAVE OTHER CHOICES. There are people who can help you through this crisis. Call a hot line. Call a friend. Call your minister or priest. Call a doctor or hospital. Call the police.

    They will tell you that there's hope. Maybe you'll find it in the mail tomorrow. Or in a phone call this weekend. Or when you meet someone shopping. You don't know -- no one does. But what you're seeking could be just a minute, a day or a month away.

    You say you don't want to be stopped? Still want to do it? Well, then, I may see you in the psychiatric ward later. And we'll work with whatever you have left.

    That's, essentially, the socialist argument. "You are not your own thing", the woman goes, "nothing you ever attempt can succeed", she says, "and you'll never be rid of us". Then she wonders why people -- actual people -- want the fuck out, and why her notion of hope seems quite hopeless. Yet this is how the herd goes. []

  4. Since we're doing big words : suppose I told you La Serenissima was all about apocatastasis. What then ? []
Category: Trilterviuri
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7 Responses

  1. [...] all hell - most it discourages, some it'll encourage" you will get a world populated by Danika and the twerking dweebs instead of the world populated by me and the sort of girls I'd fuck. Which I suppose is no great [...]

  2. [...] reasons - suicide is always the more expensive avenue from the group point of view. See "the most valuable resource" for more on this topic. [↩]Also a correct proposition, and more substantial than the [...]

  3. [...] - what, economic trends will reverse by election ?) asciilifeform Take mircea_popescu's proverbial 'twerk chick'. Her grandmother - was idle [...]

  4. [...] constitute resources in a more complex world. This is exactly the point of social organisation : maximizing resource utilization. [↩]What exactly do adults mean by "starting one's sex life" ? And perhaps more importantly : [...]

  5. [...] just yet). You see ? Ballas is exactly right : force him to live with his shame for long enough, the female in him will find a way to survive. It's what they do, and, evolutionarily, what they're even for, because [...]

  6. [...] lend someone some money, the one thing you do not wish to hear's that he's died. While there's life there's hope, right, and while you get packed ever denser, while you somehow, unexpectedly and inexplicably yet [...]

  7. [...] do with jam, which is to say spread it on toast. In no case is it anything like what you do with [mental health] nurses, where you lean on them, god help us all. The Little Differences, you know ? Because back [...]

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