During those horrible late-teen years of not knowing what I wanted to do with my life but knowing I needed money to do it, I managed to grind my way through three weeks as a door-to-door salesthing.
My one good memory from those endless years of days was (tellingly, I suppose) a hand-made No Soliciting sign. It said:
If you’re selling something
I don’t want your magazines, your cookies, or your religion.
I was tempted to knock on the door just to tell the people how cool I thought it was. I figured I have my own someday.
Most of my life since then I’ve lived in places where few commercial peddlers and only the most determined religionists dare venture, so I’ve had no need for a No Soliciting sign on my various hermitages.
Now, however, I live where we have mobs of door-to-doorists. It’s time to take defensive measures.
I guess this has been around a while, but I just saw it: David Codrea’s Physician Liability Form. Print this out and hand it to any boundary-violating doctor who tries to poke into your gun ownership!
I found that via Kurt Hofmann who delivers a hearty smackdown to Mike the anti-gun “Gun Guy.” Anti-gun Mike’s latest BS is that the doesn’t think disabled people should be “allowed” to defend themselves.
Larry Page of the increasingly Don’t Be Evil Google thinks he could save “100,000 lives” a year if we’d all just trust him more. This is the same Google that’s basically an arm of the NSA. The same Google that just announced plans to ban all “dangerous” advertising. Which (she sighs with weary resignation) of course includes ads for you-know-what.
Oh yes, and it’s the same Google whose already-creepy surveillance products can be hacked so pathetically easily that real hackers wouldn’t even consider it a challenge.
But that ain’t nothin’, folks. Ain’t nothin’. You want to see real fanboy worship of Total Control Through Technology (TM)? Read this Economist article on birth-to-death e-ID. Wow. Such glowing. Much foolish. (Doge meme for anyone who thinks I’ve just lost all sense of grammar.)
The federal no-fly list is unconstitutional. So says a judge. Not (apparently) because the fedgov is arbitrarily and secretly denying people their right to travel, but because it’s not offering a good enough appeals process for arguing our way off. Don’t expect much to change.
Church knowingly hires registered sex offender (pedophile) as pastor. The predictable happens. But I suppose you could say this dude was a step above their previous pastor. Or … um, maybe not.
The security state as a bumbling giant. Gads, I love you, Borepatch. Love that bit of coding you blogged about, too.
Happiness is being a loser. Well, maybe not exactly. But this 2012 article nails how I perceive matters. I know positive thinking works for natural-born positive thinkers. But those of us who were born to see the glass as half empty have reasons — and a certain wisdom. Trying to force optimism has never done anything but make me grumpy from disappointment.
If you’re wondering when part II of my “observations on being obsolete” piece might be coming along — fear not. I’m working on it. it’s just that I’m also deadlining on three articles, too. So a little more patience.
That fascinating musical group Ok Go (they of the mind-bendingly geeky videos and the slightly forgettable music) have done it again. They’ve released their first new video in several years. Despite its sad dearth of dogs, this maze of optical illusions done in their standard one-shot (or so they make it appear) technique is still pretty awesome.
Been saving these to write some larger think-piece about e-privacy. But not happening, so here you go — the good and bad news about what “they” are doing to you online and on cell. And how some smart people are resisting.
And speaking of Snowden, he’s joined up with the Reset the Net effort.
In case you missed it, NPR’s Steve Henn did an interesting series this week (more here and here) with some jaw-dropping creepiness (with special relevance to smartphone users). Hm. Seems those added privacy protections aren’t doing much for users yet.
And why are those big Internet companies pretending to care about our privacy? Because it’s good marketing, these days. They position themselves as protectors while they gather and plan to share our fitness data and use more of our browsing data to advertise at us.
The newest air-gap hack. And yes, this involves cellphones, too.
Meanwhile, “the most transparent administration in history” intervenes down to the local police level to ensure that we don’t find out how they’re monitoring us. (H/T O.)
What’s lost as cursive handwriting goes away? Intelligence … memory … turns out handwriting isn’t just some bugaboo in stuffy, old-fashioned teachers’ minds.
In Thailand, protestors salute with the touching gesture borrowed from The Hunger Games. The junta doesn’t like it.
Hm. I dunno. I guess if you’re too busy, have the bux, and don’t mind your dog pigging out on treats, this could assuage your guilt. Frankly, though, if I had the money and no time, I’d go with an automated fetch machine, instead. Keep ‘em lean and well-exercised. (H/T ML)
The stated goal of the Afghan effort is no less than the collection of biometric data for every living person in Afghanistan. At a conference with Afghan officials in 2010, the commander of the U.S. Army’s Task Force Biometrics Col. Craig Osborne told the attendees that the collection of biometric data is not simply about “identifying terrorists and criminals,” but that “it can be used to enable progress in society and has countless applications for the provision of services to the citizens of Afghanistan.” According to Osborne, biometrics provide the Afghan government with “identity dominance” enabling them to know who their citizens are and link actions with actors.
Yep. It’s always tried out first on prisoners, “enemies,” the mentally defective, children, and others who aren’t in a position to resist effectively. Then it comes to our neighborhoods.
But no problem! Hey, it’s to help “provision of services”! I’m sure they’ll drop the creepy “identity dominance” discription when it comes time to apply all this to us. It’ll go away. Just like “Total Information Awareness” did.
(Article is from April. I just found it this morning — and I don’t think much will have changed (at least not changed for the better) since it was published.)
Now I’ve exchanged maybe five sentences with this kid in the past, all completely casual. But with virtually no preamble, he informs me that he’s had a bad month because on his birthday he came home to discover his girlfriend and his roommate doing guess what on the living room sofa. He commences to go into detail.
I make a few politely sympathetic noises while trying to indicate that I’m doing something really, really — I mean really, vitally! — important on my computer. I eventually have to say outright that I’m deadlining.
I’m embarrassed that any young man would think that a stranger either would want to hear the intimate details of his relationships or should hear them.
Where are the boundaries? Are there boundaries any more?