Wednesday, August 29, 2018

2018 Mindset List

The 2018 Mindset list For the Class of 2022

* Human beings have always been living -- not just traveling -- in space.  The United States has always been in Afghanistan.  Same-sex marriage has always been legal somewhere and the once revolutionary "You've got mail" is almost forgotten.

* They have always been able to refer to Wikipedia.

* People loudly conversing with themselves in public are no longer thought to be talking to imaginary friends.

* They’ve grown up with stories about where their grandparents were on 11/22/63 and where their parents were on 9/11.

* There have always been space tourists willing to pay the price.

* There have always been more than a billion people in India.

* Films have always been distributed on the Internet.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

My Takeaway

My takeaway on this is there are a lot of idiots on the internet who come to conclusions over no factual evidence.

-- Reddit user Ravenchamps, after his account was incorrectly identified by far-right websites, including Infowars and Gateway Pundit, as belonging to the Jacksonville, FL video game tournament shooter who sometimes used the handle Ravens2012champs, NBC News, 28 August 2018

Monday, August 27, 2018

RIP John McCain

On the banks of the Ho Truc Bach Lake in downtown Hanoi.  Monument A stone sculpture of a person with arms raised and head lowered.  To the right of the person is USA and a star.  To the left of the person is the text in Vietnamese.

Approximate translation: "On 26 October 1967 near Truc Bach Lake in the capital, Hanoi, the citizens and military caught Pilot John Sidney McCain.  The US Navy Air Force Aviator was flying aircraft A4, which crashed near Yen Phu power station.  This was one of ten aircraft shot down that same day."

-- Description of the Vietnamese memorial to Senator John Sidney McCain III (29 August 1936 - 25 August 2018) at his Vietnam War crash site, courtesy of

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Murdered Your Best Friend

One reason why we Christians argue so much about which hymn to sing, which liturgy to follow, which way to worship is that the commandments teach us to believe that bad liturgy eventually leads to bad ethics.  You begin by singing some sappy, sentimental hymn, then you pray some pointless prayer, and the next thing you know you have murdered your best friend.

-- Stanley Hauerwas (24 July 1940-), Christian theologian and ethicist, currently the Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School with a joint appointment at the Duke University School of Law, from The Truth About God: The Ten Commandments in Christian Life (1999, with William H. Willimon). Page: 89

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Life Is

Life is a long lesson in humility.

-- Sir James Matthew Barrie (1860 - 1937), Scottish novelist and dramatist, more commonly known as J. M. Barrie; author of the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up;  in The Little Minister (1891), Ch. 3 : The Night-Watchers

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


$126 on opening day

Kevin Spacey’s latest film, "Billionaire Boys Club," earned $126 at the box office on its opening day this past weekend.  And no, there are no digits or words missing from that sentence.  Spacey has been mired in accusations of sexual assault since the fall.  The film opened in eight theaters, for an average of $15.75 per theater, or less than the price of a single small popcorn (give or take).

-- The Hollywood Reporter, via FiveThirtyEight's Significant Digits newsletter, 20 August 2018

Monday, August 20, 2018

Because I Had To Use It

Truth isn't truth.

-- Presidential attorney Rudy Giuliani, in a from-the-hip effort to explain the risks of a perjury charge in a he-said / he-said dispute, NBC's Meet The Press with Chuck Todd, 19 August 2018

Thursday, August 16, 2018

RIP Aretha Franklin

Find out what it means to me

-- Aretha Louise Franklin (25 March 1942 - 16 August 2018), American singer, songwriter, and pianist, known as The Queen of Soul

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Unleashing Demons

Programming is like magic.  You write very specific instructions in arcane languages to invoke commands, and if you get it even a little bit wrong you risk unleashing demons and destroying everything.

-- Diana Carrier, writing on Twitter as @artemis_134, 23 June 2018

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Deny Myself

I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves.

-- Christopher Hitchens, (1949-2011), Anglo-American author, essayist, and social critic, Hitch-22: A Memoir (1976)

Monday, August 13, 2018

Every 10 Seconds

Pay-television subscriptions are down to 93.7 million from just shy of 101 million in 2011.  About 6 Americans cancel their paid television every single minute.

-- Gerry Smith, Bloomberg, via Walt Hickey's NumLock News, 10 August 2018

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Tendency To Miss Lunch

Anyone who has lost track of time when using a computer knows the propensity to dream, the urge to make dreams come true and the tendency to miss lunch.

-- Tim Berners-Lee (born 8 June 1955), inventor of the World Wide Web and director of the World Wide Web Consortium, which oversees its continued development, in an interview by Kris Herbst for Internet World (June 1994)

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Not For Itself

The truth is, that most men want knowledge, not for itself, but for the superiority which knowledge confers; and the means they employ to secure this superiority, are as wrong as the ultimate object, for no man can ever end with being superior, who will not begin with being inferior.   

-- Sydney Smith (1771 - 1845), English clergyman, critic, philosopher, and wit, Elementary Sketches of Moral Philosophy (1849)

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Wisdom And Efficiency

A country is considered the more civilised the more the wisdom and efficiency of its laws hinder a weak man from becoming too weak and a powerful one too powerful.

-- Primo Levi (1919 - 1987), Italian chemist and author of memoirs, short stories, poems, and novels; he joined an anti-Fascist group at the start of The Second World War but was captured and taken to the German concentration camp at Auschwitz.  Levi survived the Holocaust and returned to Italy, If This Is a Man (1947)

Monday, August 06, 2018

This Shit Is Expensive

My health is good.  And I've just reached a milestone or two. 

As many of you know, in late 2015 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and since I drew the short straw, I received multiple modalities of treatment.  First there was surgery, then radiation, and finally hormone therapy, which is slated to end after 6 more months.  The first milestone is 2 years of zeroes on tests where I hope to score zero (knock wood).

But this isn't really a post about my health, it's more about the cost of treatment.  I maintain a spreadsheet breaking down the costs for my treatment as submitted to insurance (not necessarily as paid).  This shit is expensive.  Here are some totals, by category:

Diagnosis   :  $16,000
Surgery     :  $79,000
Radiation   : $236,000
Hormone Tx  : $174,000

The final category, hormone treatment, will continue to accrue at ~$5500 per month for another 6 months.  With my most recent treatment, I hit my second milestone, the half million dollar mark.

Grand Total : $504,930.64

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Apple Hits $1,000,000,000,000

How do you like them apples?

Apple just became the first American public company to cross $1 trillion in value.

The iPhone maker achieved that big number on Thursday when the stock passed $207.04 a share.  Its new all-time high is $208.38.  Apple is now up more than 20% this year.

-- CNN Money, 2 August 2018

Wednesday, August 01, 2018


Origin of improbity (wickedness or dishonesty)

The English noun improbity comes from Latin improbitās (stem improbitāt-) "dishonesty, unscrupulousness," a derivative of improbus "inferior, improper."  The parts of improbus break down fairly easily: the prefix im- is a variant of the Latin negative prefix in- used before labial consonants (e.g., b, p) from the same Proto-Indo-European source as Germanic (English) un-, Greek a-, an-, and Sanskrit a-, an-.  The element pro- is from the very common (and complicated) Proto-Indo-European prefix and preposition per "forward, through, in front of, early, first."  The -bus is the same ending as in the Latin adjective superbus "proud, haughty" (the ultimate source of English superb) from the Proto-Indo-European root bheu- "to be, exist, grow," source of Germanic (English) be, Latin fuï "I was, have been" (the perfect of esse "to be"), and Slavic (Polish) być "to be."  The original sense of probus would be "going well, growing well," and improbus "not going well."  Improbity entered English in the late 16th century.

-- From