Seriously, ESR nails it:
Seriously, ESR nails it:
Earlier I posted about the frustration of Living on the Edge (of broadcast coverage area). Since then I picked up a smaller TV set that fits the ‘window’ for a TV in the bedroom closet upstairs. Alas, the gain in altitude doesn’t seem to help and the antenna little that almost could, can’t.
But this set has all those lovely connectors. RF (75 Ohm cable, not 300 Ohm twin lead – the less lossy, but you need to Know What You’re Doing… so no longer fit for this Modern Age, it seems. Heavens help anyone even considering truly low-loss ladder line!). So, HDMI port? So.. streaming gadget perhaps? Chromecast was rejected as being too Google and Google has lurched to the left in a nasty way as revealed by Youtube (yes, that’s Google’s toy now) policies regarding free speech (“The lefter it is, the freer it is.” sums it up. Useful Idiots. And the Great User is gone! Or so we thought.)
Looked around, saw Roku. No particular ties. And on sale – even at a local store. *SHOCK* So got that. Set it up. Fiddly getting a right, proper, secure WiFi password entered but it could be and was done. And.. the gadget worked. Much wanted some sort of signup (didn’t bother – figured maybe later if at all) or outright paid subscription (really didn’t bother). Tried a couple of the freebies. Commercials, but… well, TV, so that’s expected. So far so good.
And then it pushed the Android (and likely iPhone) app for remote control, better experience, yada-yada. And the app came up, looked at the network, and whinged about the address range. I’m not going to tell you the WiFi address range, but it is NOT publicly routable. $HOUSEMATE deals with it. ESR calls $HOUSEMATE about network issues from time to time. Ponder that. I trust $HOUSEMATE (yes, with root, even) far more than some arseclods at Roku. There is NO workaround. Their answer is “Do it our way or G(et)TFO.”
The amusing thing? The Roku gadget itself doesn’t care. Only the phone app does. Now, I’ve been sans TV signal since circa 2009 and the antenna was a Grand Experiment. The Roku? It was returned. To Hell with the arseclods. I G(ot)TFO. They can go “pleasure” themselves with a rusty-bladed chainsaw – sideways. And twice on Sundays, aye.
I am still pondering some sort of streaming setup, but this rate it might have be a roll-my-own solution. Chromecast is Google is Youtube and they have doing a real bang-up job of convincing me the less I deal with them the better. Amazon/Fire is Bezos… and the Washington Post.. “Democracy Dies in Darkness (and We’re Here to Turn Off the Lights).” Plex looks good – aside from the recent “We know better than you about what to do with your data” debacle. They did backtrack on that, but it leaves me wondering if they will be like Facebook: Backtrack today, “accidentally” do it anyway tomorrow – until and unless caught at it.
So, what have I learned?
1. $HOOTERVILLE is still in a hole, even upstairs.
2. Streaming media might not need that ‘r’ to be properly described.
3. TV shows are still a powerful sedative. (Yes, fell asleep watching something.)
4. Groucho Marx’s quip about television being educational still applies.
5. I am really glad I did NOT going into Broadcasting. BS from one end is quite enough!
Perhaps the best thing would be to see if can repair that now-ancient VCR. I think I might have a couple episodes of Laugh-In on tape somewhere.
Well, Jay stirred up a hornet’s nest of buzz with his Closing Ceremonies comments and Medium post and such, didn’t he? Alas, the reaction was utterly predictable. It was NOT “What? It can be taken that way?” or “Hang on, do we have a problem here?” but more of “You are evil and are a $VULGARITY for daring to dissent with the $RIGHTFUL_WAY_OF_HISTORY!!!11eleventy!1!” I was there when HedgeMage and the con chair for next year had their encounter. I respect HedgeMage and will readily admit she is smarter than I am. Not just a little smarter, but “could win an argument with me with one lobe tied behind her back” smarter. And yet… I fear she is wrong that Penguicon can be saved. Oh, Penguicon as an event will continue for some time. But as a truly thought-diverse, welcoming, thing that doesn’t demand (if only implicitly) adherence to a certain groupthink? “It’s dead, Jim.” I hope I am wrong. Really. I wish HedgeMage and ESR and others sharing such optimism all the best of luck. But I will not be surprised if “straight and level flight” is mistook as a good thing, when the flight path is directly into a mountain: Controlled Flight Into Terrain: *CRASH* My suspicion is this is like how a marriage after the first (which ended in divorce) is described: A triumph of hope over experience.
Even before that meeting, I had all but given up on the convention. It had been less and less fun for the last several years. That’s a trend. One year being off is no big deal. Nor are two, really. Flukes happen. Coincidences happen. But trends? Trends are telling. This is/was a trend. That encounter revealed that there really is a bubble. The utter surprise or shock of discovering that the supposedly well-intentioned policies could be, and were being, interpreted as silencing and rejecting some peoples views was telling. I fear the bubble is not a thin-shelled, easily pierced thing, but a much harder barrier than it might seem. Jay did tell this year’s chair that he’d give it one more chance. I did not, and had it been just me, I’d have stayed home. It wasn’t, so I didn’t. I might as well have.
It’s also telling that I laughed more the first time I returned to work, than I did at Penguicon this year. Yeah, the thing I figured I was escaping was more more entertaining. Considering my work (I shall spare you the details. You’re welcome.), this simply should not happen. Then a while later, the 1940’s tunes on XM were more smile-inducing. Alright, I like 1940’s swing/big band music… but really? A drive with construction signs and background music out-happied a convention? Ouch!
And then the backlash. Oh my. Predictable, yet still shocking. It all boiled down to “We’re right. We’re good. You’re evil. There is NO problem.” Riiiiight. If I had any doubts before, that utterly erased them. These are precisely the sort of toxic people with which I prefer not to associate. Such closed-minded negativity. It wasn’t “Hey, you might have tripped over a symptom, but the diagnosis is wrong.” or “Really? We might have some odd problem?” It wasn’t even “Are you nuts? This is what this means, and.. how can you see THAT in it?!” Nope. It wasn’t even that. It was name-calling and claims of positions I know damned well are untrue. I figure I have a pretty good idea of the beliefs and state, etc. of the person I’ve lived with for a good many years. Hearing strangers – and even some alleged friends – claim things I know full well, from direct experience, to be untrue, well it convinces me alright, it does. It convinces me I’ve made a terrible mistake and had been getting close to people who, to be charitable, lack even a minimal amount of clue.
Yep, I read the recent Statement. It says all the right things. But somehow I am reminded of the buzzard’s promise in the tune Straighten Up and Fly Right. I fully expect everyone involved in writing the Statement really, truly believes it. It is not a calculated lie, I’ll give them that. That does not mean it is actually true, however.(“This time for sure!”) I have my doubts as to the genuine reality of the claims.
I hope Penguicon does flourish and continue – it’s fun for at least some, and I will not deny them that. I also wish HedgeMage and ESR the best of luck, but I shan’t be holding my breath. I fully expect that in a few years I’ll look on Pengiucon about the same way the Sad Puppies now look at WorldCon: something that might have mattered a little bit once upon a time, but no longer. A something that determinedly bludgeoned its way to irrelevance.
It will take a miracle (and I do not mean that wonderful horse in the Mel Brooks’ film) to get me to go back now. I see the flight path. I see the mountain range. I do NOT see a reason to stay aboard for the crash when I can safely bail out. I will not say that I will never go back, but I can’t see as current circumstance are going. Jay might be convinced. He is more outspoken than I am; He is also more forgiving. There is a non-trivial hysteresis about my fecal roster: It takes a lot to get on it, but it takes a hell of a lot more to get back off of it. Not that anyone but me cares. The convention started without me, it can go on (or end – no, I am not predicting that as such. Becoming irrelevant is not the same as ending.) without me.
The question for me is not how to “Make Penguicon Great Again.” It seems determined to ever closer circle the drain as far as I can see. I doubt one can “Restore the Glory that was Rome.” as it were. The question is, what do I do with me vacation time I used to use for Penguicon? Were it still a possibility, I’d go to Rocket City FurMeet (damn, I miss RCFM) but that folded a while ago due to hotel issues, mainly. Now? Nothing is certain. Well, other than I won’t be wasting time looking for a good time near Detroit. Should some folks decide upon an alternate event, with genuine inclusiveness, rather than the mockery of it falsely claiming the name, appear I’ll do what I can to support it.
Am I dreaming? Perhaps. But as said in one version of Twain’s Mysterious Stranger, “Dream other dreams. Better ones.” I hope to do just that. It is past time for better.
This has sadly come close to home, as it where, of late.
It’s worth a read.
The point being missed: an Hegelian or Marxist will very easily “pledge allegiance to the mimicry of tolerance.” They have already done it. They’ve been doing it for a century. They are doing it now, most notably at Berkeley. War is Peace. Speech is Aggression. Beatings and Intimidation are Freedom. Gramsci and Alinsky would nod approvingly.
(Title by Margaret Ball)
*** A few days ago a fellow (I presume) responded on AccordingToHoyt saying that the U.S.A. is past the point of being able to repair the mess being made by those who push for an ever more socialist state. The claim was that things are to the point that nothing can really be done and any attempt would be met with the final destruction of the Individualists. This was not met with agreement. My response is reproduced below. I had no title for this, as it was a simple comment, but thanks go to Margaret Ball for coming up with a great title. ***
In each case, more energy can be applied and nothing happens…. until the key level is exceeded. Then – and only then – will a reaction a occur, a spark arc over, the boiler blow. So far “nothing happened” is being misinterpreted as “we can keep doing this.” No. The level hasn’t reached some unknown criticality… yet. Many of us can “see it coming” but even we don’t know what the “last straw” will be. When it comes, it might seem very, very minor…. except it was the last straw of many, many straws and criticality was achieved.
As much as we might be trying, we have yet to actually reverse the polarity of the moron flow.
*** ADDENDUM: I am not advocating violence or revolution. Such things tend not to end well. The U.S.A. already got very very lucky in that regard twice: George Washington pointedly rejecting the idea of any form of royalty, and post-Civil War, as bad Reconstruction was, the general situation was still better than such things usually go. I would far prefer we somehow manage to reverse the polarity of the moron flow and get people to take responsibility and control of their own lives rather than demand the redistributive theft of the hard work of others. Alas, it seems the Worst Idea in History (that wretched thing by Karl Marx) is sadly attractive.
I do hope that the proposed anthology of ‘Last Straw’ type stories suggested in further comments comes to fruition and the authors enjoy readership and recompense. If it also serves as warning, that would be great, but I doubt that such warning will be taken. ***