Saturday, November 20, 2010

Opinions, Opinions...

Obvious fact: we don't all agree.
Not so obvious fact: this is a far larger problem than it needs to be.
Our egos tend to complicate the situation by convincing us that we ought to defend our position no matter what; this most often serves to amplify the disagreement and generate avoidable animosity. Consider the following exchange:

Person1: I like the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Person2: Me too. I like their real stuff though before they sold out with BSSM.
Person1: Before BSSM they were just a bunch of immature dorks. BSSM and after shows them actually growing up.
Person2: BSSM and after is just a bunch of cheesy radio pop.
Person1: If you bother to take a look at some of the pop on the radio you'll realize the difference. I bet you listen to all sorts of prog just to convince yourself that you rebel against mainstream music.
Person2: You're just a sheep that swallows whatever the record companies shove down your throat.

As you can see the dialogue has evolved from a musical discussion to a pseudo-musical-political shouting match. There are three easy steps that will allow you to reduce the probability that a difference of opinion will mushroom into something worse:

  • Realize that the discussion is completely subjective. You're talking about opinions here so it makes no difference how many times you repeat yourself, the discussion is not guaranteed to come to an end.

  • When stating your opinion frame it as a subjective opinion rather than fact in order to reduce the likelyhood that the person you are speaking to will feel even slightly challenged. You optimally want to make them feel that their opinion has merrit or at least is as good as any other.

  • Explore the subject. Get the other person to talk about why they like what they like. Talk about your own reasons for liking what you like. Who knows- one of you might get the other to reconsider.

All three of these steps can be summed up in one sentence: suppress thine ego.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I don't know you. You don't know me. Let's keep it that way.

Why does every random person that I've ever been in the same room with add me as a friend on Facebook despite the fact that we probably never spoke? Moreover why are they surprised when I send them a message asking exactly who they are, because I really don't know. If you didn't talk to me because you were awkwarded out by a blind person in your midst, consider this your forceably-being-removed-from-the-shell moment. You'll feel some pain but it's for your own good. To the rest of you: go away.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Gosh Darnit, Brandon Lozza Needs To Feel Special!

Freetard extraordinaire Brandon Lozza, in what looks like an attempt to feel incredibly smart and distinguished, has decreed from on high that computers are too easy to use. Let's examine the great one's claims for a moment:

Computers are too easy to use. I think Bill Gates caused great harm to the computer industry.

I think you cause more harm to the computer industry with your nonsensical babbling, not to mention pointless harassment of people far smarter than you that eventually got you fired. If Gates harmed the computer industry by working to make computers easy to use then what about the people who removed the need to flip switches on a massive computer filled with zillions of vacuum tubes? While we're at it, we should just stop using computers because manual math is more difficult.
Face it dude. Computers are not some holy grail thing that must only be accessible to the enlightened ones. They are a tool, just like you. The only difference is a computer serves a purpose and doesn't usually spew garbage.
Anyway, back to the inane babbling:

Now, thanks to Microsoft anybody can use a computer and this means all sorts of idiots will be browsing the web.

Don't forget Apple too. They're real big on that whole usability thing.

The same thing is happening to Linux too. Soon everything will be just like it is on a Mac.

Oh, so apple is in fact a target of your nonsensical rant. For a minute there I thought it was all about microsoft. You know, "Bill Gates" and all.

I’m thinking of designing a keyboard that has all sorts of friendly looking shortcuts for users. However, if they press any of those keys it will set their arms on fire.

I'm sure when you say "design" you really mean "phantasize about while I should be working."

Widdwe Bwandon goes on to name a bunch of people who in his opinion have "some form of mental illness" for reasons only he can fathem, except for this one:

3. People who own a Mac, and hate PC’s.

These people really are mentally ill. Is this a form of self recrimination here? Is Brandon really a reverse troll?

In conclusion: let me tell you something, you demented freetard. I work with a group of biologists who's stool is smarter than you. None of them can tell me what C is or why it might royally suck. (I'm sure you disagree about it sucking because it makes you 1337er) You know what? I'm fine with that. They do things like examine HIV proteins and RNA, stuff that goes right over my head (and to think that I know more C than you). So stop evangelizing and do something productive for once.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Conversation I Would Love To Have

Sometimes I really wish computers could sort of converse with us so that when they spit out nonsensical errors you can yell at them and not feel like an idiot e.g.
weka.classifiers.functions.PaseRegression: No support for missing values.
Me: Why do I care about missing values?
weka.classifiers.functions.PaseRegression: No support for missing values.
Me: There are no missing values.
weka.classifiers.functions.PaseRegression: No support for missing values.
Me: There are no missing values. I checked. Why are you complaining that you couldn't handle values that might be missing?
weka.classifiers.functions.PaseRegression: No support for missing values.
Me: (destroys computer)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Just Sayin

I can create my own secure passwords, thank you very much. No need to tell me that it needs to have upper case characters as well as lower case characters as well as numbers OHHH MYYY GOOOOD!!!!!1111!!! That is all.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fun Fact: you can save the google captcha

Those of us who don't have the privilage of being able to discern the blurry text of a captcha can listen to one instead; the theory being if you can figure out the numbers in that jumble of noise you surely can't be a computer. Given the mass amount of "CHEEP SHOOZ LOLOLOL" spam that's been flooding linux haters lately and detracting from the hilarity of the place, I'm going to gamble that either it's not working so well or some people have too little to do. But I digress.
Sometimes when you click the link to listen to the captcha it doesn't work. It so happens that you can right click the link, save target, and you get a nice wave file of the captcha that you can listen to as many times as you like. I still have no clue what accent the guy reading the numbers is supposed to have.


Welcome to my home on the web until I find a better one. I'll post summer updates, rants, and fun/funny things.