Drop Down Menu

Sunday, April 28, 2013

More Dumb Ideas Advocated By Smart People


What is Bitcoin? Well, it is like Monopoly money only without the tangible benefit of possibly being able to burn it for warmth after you realize you've just dumped your money into a scam. Which means that Bitcoin is not only useless it is actually worse than useless.

You see, someone, somewhere decided that current money carried with it certain deficiencies; like utility and being real. They made up for this by creating virtual money that is neither real or useful even in abstraction. Then they started selling it. Because they figured somewhere in this world there existed people who would be either stupid enough or gullible enough to pay actual real money for their vaporware money.

And they were right because you generally can count on humans to always do stupid things. In this case it was really a matter of finding a ripe market. And they found one. To understand this market I will post here an actual sales pitch for Bitcoins:

Recently I wrote an article entitled The Most Dangerous Creation In The History Of Man. The article covered the emergence of Bitcoin; an electronic peer-to-peer currency that has no central banking server, is untraceable, and essentially can not be taxed through coercive measures. The article makes the point that if a currency can not be taxed and controlled, eventually it will topple the coercively funded fascist control grid you call the modern State. Read more about it in this Bitcoin forum post that explains it in more detail. 

Get that? This is being sold as an alternative to money on the basis that it can't be taxed and is therefore superior. Thus Bitcoin is perfect for that special kind of person who hates modern civilization. Of course those same selling points are also what makes it entirely useless.

After all, what is the point of currency? It exists so that it can be traded for goods and services. What can you do with Bitcoins......you can sell them to other people for real money. That's it. If this sounds like a pyramid scheme you would be entirely right. It is a pyramid scheme. Bitcoins exist only for a sucker to buy them then realize their only use for them is to try and find someone else to buy them. And because the people most often suckered into buying them are ideological fanatics they have to resell them or else potentially admit that their present, warped, worldview might be a tad bit wrong. Which it is.

In a way you have to hand it to whatever Bond villain thought this up. They apparently visited a them park as a child, got duped into buying the special park money that then turns out to not be accepted any of the theme park's vendors and instead of simply learning a lesson on gullibility decided it was a business model they wanted to emulate one day. And they did.

Good show terrible people. Good show.

Congestion Pricing and HOV Lanes

I'm going to admit something to you all right now. I'm a transportation geek. And being a person that loves to study transportation over the years I've learned a few things: high speed rail and light rail are awesome while carpool lanes and congestion pricing are stupid.

Both carpool lanes and congestion pricing have good intentions behind them: to try and compel people through incentives to not clog roads at peak hours. And both fail miserably at their job. HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes, commonly referred to as "carpool" lanes, are supposed to give you an incentive to not drive alone. Congestion pricing uses tolls that dramatically increases during peak traffic times to give you a money incentive to not drive at that time.

The problem with both of these ideas is that it assumes people live their lives in a way where these incentives could actually get them to comply. In reality those time periods of peak vehicle travel on the roads exist because people actually have fewer choices than these measures take into account.

For example; you live in Anywhere Town because it is the only place you can afford a home but work in Corporateville. There is exactly one road you can use in the morning to get to work due to a total lack of mass transit (because this is America and using anything that doesn't have rubber tires for transport makes you a Communist somehow) and your work requires you to show up at a certain time. And no one who works with you lives anywhere close to you. Thus you are completely out of luck. You now have to drive to work every morning with carpool lanes devoid of traffic just sitting there next to you and pay a high toll because you are driving on the road at the time your company wants you to drive on the road. And don't think complaining to your employer about this. The number of companies in America that will give a damn that it costs you more money to get to work at their set hours is approximately zero.


What is Timecube? Well it has do with inverted exponential dilation of the outer matrices quantum zone sphere. Combined with ample phlebotinum and you get your desired result.

Actually what I wrote there was a bit too cogent. Timecube may not really belong here as it is hard to determine whether the originator of the idea is crazy or stupid. Judge for yourself with this actual quote from the idea's creator:

"Ignorant of Nature's Harmonic 4 Day Time Cube Creation, the Americans are Dumb, Educated Singularity Stupid and Evil. It's not immoral to kill Americans who IGNORE their OPPOSITE sex parents who Created them, but instead worship a queer jew who claims to make people out of dirt - when the body is 90 percent water. A God so stupid that he claims only a single day rotation of Earth - while my Cubic Wisdom has allowed me to create 4 simultaneous days within a single Earth rotation. Americans do not deserve life. They live only for today, the evil singularity word bastards."

In essence Timecube is an idea created by a man named Gene Ray that proposes the existence of parallel timelines. But only four of them. And why he decided that this universal four parallel timeline constant should be called Timecube when a cube has six sides is not all evident anywhere in his rantings.

If you are ever so unlucky as to come across his webpage in whatever form it exists in now (I last visited a long time ago) you will see that his rantings are not only incomprehensible but that he actively hates all those that fail to understand his genius idea of four simultaneous timelines.

Personally I think he should have called it Timetrapezoid and then just have the page contain links to other pages that eventually link back to the starting page.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What Loons Say About The Boston Bombing

Sometimes terrible things just happen. It only takes one little mistake, malfunction or crazy person to cause them. Most of us have evolved ways of dealing with this: we process what is happening and move on because we remember that there will be a tomorrow. Then there are conspiracy theorists who refuse to believe that anything that ever happens is random. For them terrible things are made to happen by people who.....I don't know do evil things.

The following are all actual quotes from conspiracy theory web forums (here & here (enter at your own risk)) about the Boston Marathon bombing with my own comments interspersed throughout.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Things I think Only I Think About (pt 1)

Is there such a thing as a vegetable?

At some point in all of our lives we encounter that one person who simply must point out that a tomato is a fruit and not a vegetable. I'd like to think that somewhere there is a very deranged nephew of  Hans Gruber who is taking random families hostage in exchange for the dissemination of this rather insipid factoid.

Yes a tomato is a fruit of the tomato plant vine (which otherwise is a family of plants that seems to only exist to kill humans) but if you are classifying your produce at that level things start to get weird. You see I am a believer that language is not prescriptive. The point of language is to communicate. So long as that is accomplished then language has done its job. Sure it rankles purists when words take on new meanings but somehow we survive. We survived when "bad" changed to be complementary and then went back again. We survived when we stopped calling the concave pottery we eat soup out of "mortars" and adopted the word "bowl" instead. Surely we will also survive when "navel" starts being a complementary term for a person of high virtue (now you know my project for 2014).

So where am I going with this? Well words often have uses and the word "vegetable" was useful in describing produce that wasn't sweet or a grain. So, indeed, a vegetable can be the fruit of plant (as tomatoes, peppers and squash are) but that is a level of description not needed for anyone that doesn't actually study plants academically. Because at that level of description there are no vegetables, just a bunch of edible non-sweet fruits, tubers and leaves. Which is a pretty ungainly thing to have to say. Which is probably why a word to encompass them was eventually produced.

So, next time you come across someone that insists a tomato isn't a vegetable ask them what is a vegetable then. Because at least one person on this planet would like to know.

Why do people think atheists must put their non-beliefs at the center of their lives?

I occasionally have to tell people I am an atheist. I don't hide it from anyone really. It's just not something I normally feel compelled to talk about as I don't find it too important. I mean, I don't believe that there is a God out there. So what? I also don't believe in ghosts. And I don't go around making sure everyone knows I don't believe in ghosts.

But every now and then someone wants to know things about my atheism that seems to indicate they don't quite understand how it works. I've had people ask me who the "priests" of atheism are. Uh, there are none. There may be some that are notable but that doesn't mean I give a rat's ass about them or what they say.

Still other people ask me where we atheists meet to discuss our agenda and make plans. Well, I hate to break it to you all but that generally doesn't happen. It'd be like asking someone that doesn't like basketball where all the anti-basketball people meet. That isn't how it works. I mean first off just not liking basketball doesn't mean you are actually actively opposed to its existence. Similarly it is possible to not believe in a God and not be actively opposed to all religious or divine belief.

And to be honest, so long as you don't try and make religious activities compulsory, you will probably never know who is and is not an atheist around you. So, like, stop doing that religious people.

And a short one...

Does worrying a lot that you are a narcissist make you a narcissist? Somehow that question popped into my head the other day and I loved the meta properties of it.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Questions that don't exist on Yahoo Answers...but should

I'm in a ska band and need to know where a large community of deaf people reside that have lots of disposable income.

I just hung fake testicles from my truck but I can't find a bumper sticker with the word "douche"in quiet big enough block letters. Can you help me?

I just played all of the Skyrim. I need someone to tell me what year it is, who is president and if super intelligent squid have risen from the oceans yet.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Next TV Networks We Will Need

First World Problems

Sure, the problems of third world people are more compelling in that so much more is on the line. Worrying about obtaining basic food or if the rat poison factory where your three children work is really up to snuff on safety is definitely drama with more at stake. But who can relate to that? We don't worry about not getting enough calories in a day. We count calories to eliminate them. And that is why this network exists: to showcase spoiled westerners losing their cool over problems people in most of the world wished they had.

See restaurant customers send back their french fries first for being too cold, then too hot, then for being too salty only to refuse to pay because it took so long for them to get french fries they deemed eatable. See gamers wig out and go on obscenity laced rants about their outrageous internet lag over the phone with starving workers in a phone bank who have never seen a video game console in real life. Watch as upper middle management sociopaths go apoplectic about a mistake with their credit card rewards program and take it out on an outsourced customer service employee who currently works in a dingy warehouse that might get hit by a mortar round if the rebels take the capitol. Entertain yourself with a indignant smart phone connoisseur who is outraged over the lack of a certain app on their new Ultrascreen MegaGadget Quasar 6.5 and how their lengthy thesis on the matter is read by child who lives in an abandoned chemical weapons factory and counts any day they not subject to gang rape by corrupt local police as a good one.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Next Great Infomercial Products

Rake Erector

Let's face it, rakes are hard. They are enigmas wrapped in riddles hidden away in the vacuous space that should contain Michele Bachman's brain. Rakes are complicated. They require you to have at least one functioning hand, a tiny bit of coordination and at least a reptilian level nervous system . Hardly anyone has all that anymore. So that's where this wonderful invention comes in: it will raise and lower a rake to your hands from its holding position thus eliminating one of the most problematic actions in rake wrangling. You are still going to count on yourself to not spontaneously gouge your eyes out with the metal tines but that is why you wear goggles everywhere you go. That and preventing new yogurt related injuries.

Safety Sprinkler

If rakes are hard to use then anything to do with watering your yard is essentially like building the Large Hadron Collider. I mean who can even handle the complex nonsense that is a garden hose? After all you can trip over a hose, you can accidentally knock things over with them, you can't ever wind them back up into loops and who hasn't inadvertently strangled a pet with one? And hoses are just rubber tubes while most sprinklers are plastic! That makes them at least four times as dangerous. To counter this water spewing danger there is a plasticine face guard, proximity sensor, foam padding and a camera....because why not?