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Mac vs. pc

The argument goes on.

I read this and had a bit of an epiphany: My preference for PCs is summed up by the philosophy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

…The book details two types of personalities: those who are interested mostly in gestalts (romantic viewpoints, such as Zen, focused on being “In the moment”, and not on rational analysis), and those who seek to know the details, understand the inner workings, and master the mechanics (classic viewpoints with application of rational analysis, vis-a-vis motorcycle maintenance) and so on.

While I fall into the first category for my inner life, I lean very heavily toward the second for my “stuff”. I like to know how things work, I like to master the art of maintenance, I just want to know. And I like the sense of self-sufficiency that comes from knowing I can fix most PC problems, or that I know people who can help. If I didn’t like fixing my PC, I wouldn’t have one. I like to tinker with things!

Owning a car with computer chips also bothers me, by the way. I don’t like the veil of mystery. I’m someone who started out with a ’63 Bug, learned to change my own oil, do tune-ups and even managed a clutch replacement. Boy, that was a long time ago!

My Mac friends tend to like the feeling of owning an Apple machine. “I just turn it on, it works, that’s all I care about, I don’t want to know all that stuff.” They like being the kind of person who owns a Mac.

The part I don’t get it, why does this always have to turn into a war? Why are people so defensive about their computers — which are nothing more than tools, after all?

It’s as silly as fighting over guitars. It’s a matter of taste, style and budget, period. I’m a lot more interested in what you produce with your computer than I am in what model you own.

Carl Jung, genius

Remember the New Yorker story I linked last week about Iran and Sy Hersh? Glenn really lets the media court jesters have it for buying the official line:

Dutifully writing down what government officials say and then publishing it under cover of anonymity is what media figures in D.C. refer to as “real reporting.”  But the most hilarious part of this orgy of cowardly anonymity comes at the end, when Politico explains what is supposedly the prime defect in Hersh’ journalism:

Hersh has faced criticism for his heavy reliance on anonymous sources, but New Yorker editor David Remnick has repeatedly said he stands by his reporter’s work.

That’s the criticism that ends an article that relies exclusively on anonymous government sources, appearing in a D.C. gossip ragnotorious for granting anonymity to any powerful figure who requests it for any or no reason.  The difference, of course, is that the Pulitzer Prize-winning, five-time-Polk-Award-recipient investigative journalist who uncovered the My Lai massacre and the Abu Ghraib scandal grants anonymity to those who are challenging the official claims of those in power (that’s called “journalism”), while Politico uses it (as it did here) to serve those in power and shield them from all accountability as they spew their propaganda (which is called being a “lowly, rank Royal Court propagandist”).

Politico, criticizing Sy Hersh for using anonymous sources. Beautiful!

A cautionary tale

For outsourcing CEOs!

Thousands of American companies that have moved production to China to take advantage of cheap labor might want to consider a case study that is unfolding for a U.S. manufacturing company. Fellowes Inc., one of the world’s largest makers of office and personal paper shredders, is witnessing the destruction of its business, as its large Chinese manufacturing plant has been shut down by its joint venture manufacturing partner.

The company’s Chinese joint venture firm has barred 1,600 employees from entering the plant, stolen all of its proprietary manufacturing production equipment and forced the venture into bankruptcy. The contracts Fellowes signed with its Chinese production company meant nothing. For Fellowes, there is no such thing as rule of law in China.

The Itasca, Ill.-based company has lost $168 million worth of business and is no longer able to produce personal shredders for the world market. It has taken its case to Chinese courts, to no avail. It has pleaded with members of Congress and federal agencies, with no results.

Can you say “karma,” boys and girls? I knew you could!

Embed a video…

Go to jail!

A few weeks ago, Slashdot had a post about the new bill in Congress to make streaming infringing videos a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail if just 10 people watch the video. As more details come out, the bill keeps looking worse and worse, as it appears that the definitions used in the bill would mean that merely embedding or linking to an infringing YouTube video could put you on the hook for jail time. Obviously, supporters of the bill insist that’s not who will be targeted with this bill, but just the fact that they could be should be worrisome enough. We’ve seen other laws “misused” in the past.

Again, there’s that idea that all works and ideas are to be commodified and hoarded. The Founders allowed for a 14-year copyright, and another 14-year extension if the author or inventor was still alive. They had this crazy idea that creative works should eventually become part of the public domain, to enrich society.

What a bunch of losers.

Elizabeth Warren

Where the attacks are coming from, and why.

Lying weasel

Closet queen Eric Cantor. No, Eric, it is NOT just like when a family puts money away to buy a car. It’s the United States government, we’re the richest in the world:

Stop making sense

Go read the whole thing. Dave Johnson:

But DC is not only not talking about jobs, they are talking about austerity — cutting the very things that create jobs. History and the experience of other countries as they struggle to crawl out of the economic collapse has shown again and again that government investment in infrastructure and education and scientific research and manufacturing are the path to recovery. England, Greece and others trying austerity are falling back into recession. Meanwhile China is investing hundreds of billion in high-speed rail and other infrastructure. Germany is investing in manufacturing. Others are investing billions more in infrastructure. All are pursuing green energy sources.

Mired in austerity ideology, we are doing none of these. For example, on a PBS NewsHour discussion of the House vote rejecting a “clean” debt-ceiling bill Tuesday, Rep. Peter Roskam said,

…any raising of the debt ceiling has to be preconditioned upon cuts that drive towards a real economic recovery and long-term growth and prosperity and job creation.

Rep. Roskam actually claimed that cutting the things that have proven to drive growth and job creation will drive growth and job creation.

New e coli strain

I’m always torn about posting this stuff, because while it’s certainly newsworthy, you probably already know that our food system is at high risk and you don’t need to get hit over the head to understand that:

The World Health Organisation has said that the E coli bacterium responsible for an outbreak that has left 17 dead and infected hundreds in Europe is a new strain that has never been seen before.

Preliminary genetic sequencing suggests the strain is a mutant form of two different E coli bacteria, with lethal genes that could explain why the Europe-wide outbreak appeared to be so big and dangerous, the agency said.

Hilde Kruse, a food safety expert at the WHO, told the Associated Press that “this is a unique strain that has never been isolated from patients before”.

She added that the new strain has “various characteristics that make it more virulent and toxin-producing”.

So far the mutant E coli strain has infected more than 1,500, including 470 who have developed a rare kidney failure complication. Researchers have been unable to pinpoint the cause of the outbreak, which has hit at least nine European countries.

Come on, now. Are you shocked?

Go, Bernie, go

Bernie Sanders on deficit reduction and “shared” sacrifice.

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