This diary is a wreckage. Nothing much there to salvage.
Things are humming along nicely elsewhere. But again, I don't have any idea where to start and it would be an astonishingly long story. I even have this entry on .txt I was going to make about 2-3 weeks ago after I got my new bike and saw the Stossil special, but it seems quaint at this point. Too bad too, as I took apart the show and summarized all the left-wing bullshit that Stossil reported on.
I've made a bevy of life decisions. A bevy. Both courses of action and new revelations. I've taken my online experience in some totally new and quite enjoyable directions.
Check out this PC my brother will be receiving any day now (researched and chosen by me):
Athlon 1.4 GHz Thunderbird with 3DNow Pro and 266 MHz bus (arguably the fastest chip on the market right now, should be able to hit 1.6 at least)
Good humble little machine, should be fine for email. And maybe a game or two. Solitaire, anyone?
The government is sending back $106 of my money that they took by accident. Funny thing is, they're only sending back $600 to my father even though they took many thousands too much. Oh, btw, here's my father's advice to all you potential physicians out there: don't become a physician.
Oh it's hopeless. There is too much. Paradigm shifts have occured. Things have rotated. I'm not the same guy I was three months ago.
It's funny, I'm in this lab and it's 2 am and you might think all these people are here working on projects, but as I look around I see email, AIM, ICQ, Starcraft, message boards, cartoons, chat rooms, random personal pages, and my own quite unimportant multiple pursuits. One guy across the way is having a nice sex chat and his buddy has a rather large font in use which means I don't even have to squint to read 'cock', 'pussy', 'fuck me', 'stick it in', etc. Hey, I'm happy to have a nice 24 hour place I can use for free. Drawbacks include a need to keep silent (though much music is listened to via headphones here), sometimes crappy monitors, mice that need cleaning, and the fact that any games or progs have to run off of Zip disc. That means I pretty much couldn't play UT here. I could maybe fit the textures and sounds from one or two maps but since I can't really predict what maps will come up, my playing time would be limited. On the other hand, I could just play Face the whole time, as there are still 100+ Face-only servers. The wierd thing is, I'm in here QUITE a lot. I'm not even sure I've accomplished anything by getting rid of DSL (other than saving some cash to put toward things like fixing the motorcycle). Another funny thing is there's this guy who is ALWAYS in here. I mean every single time I'm here, afternoon, evening, middle of the night, he's there doing something.
I miss ole UT, I really do. My computer at home gets very little use. Games just aren't any fun without human opponents, without large supporting communities. I'm no longer a console gamer. Gaming to me is so much more than sittin there playing against the AI with no human interaction or potential for change. On the other hand, I lied, it can still be fun to play a simpler, less all-consuming game where you challenge yourself.
Oh, there's a gecko in my apartment. I saw him the other night for the first time. About 4-5 inches long, orangish. My first thought was to try to catch him and let him outside, but that soon proved futile so I just said "ya know what? you can stay." I mean, I have no problem with reptiles (if he was a large spider or roach, we'd have a problem). As a rule, I don't smash anything with an internal skeletal structure. He eats bugs. He's silent and inconspicuous. He won't harm anything, he'll just eat the bugs. He's harmless to me. So this afternoon I'm on the phone and I look over and he's there climbing the wall and I just said "oh hi". It's cool. Fuck it, you're welcome to stay.
Oh did I mention Shadowmarch? Well you know I should have. Because this is the most extraordinary new type of media I've seen lately. An episodic/serial novel written week by week, supported day by day by the author, as much a product of the website's and novel's hundreds of fans as by the imagination of the author, with daily textual and multimedia contributions made by everyone, with revolving discussions and conversations that grow like a vine climbing a wall, sprouting all kinds of tertiary limbs...
Oh did I mention Otherland? Best. Novel. Ever.
So, what do you want to talk about? An immoral communist country with a list of human rights abuses as long as the Great Wall 'getting' the Olympics? Parkland now refusing medical treatment for freeloading illegal immigrants? The media's stout refusal to admit that Gary Condit is a Democrat (and the quite astonishing fact that Dan Rather and CBS refuse to cover the story--hmm, political motives, maybe? Oh yes)? The evil entity known as Gray Davis? The assault on Freedom of Speech being debated in the Senate this very minute and spearheaded by John McCain? A proposed Amendment to the Constitution of the United States making it illegal to make a profit selling a utility such as electric power (!!)? The lady who called me the other day trying to explain why I shouldn't accept my tax refund who didn't seem to 'get' the fact that it's OUR MONEY that the government took too much of? The girl in the UNT student organizations department who, when asked if there was a North Texas Libertarians club to go along with the North Texas Democrats and North Texas Republicans, stated that she didn't know what a Libertarian was (apparently the fact that a great many of the FOUNDING FATHERS of this country, framers of the Constitution, and writers of the Federalist Papers were essentially Libertarian in their beliefs has been omitted from her education)? The United Nations resolution stating that the world court holds primacy over the Arizona Supreme Court? The new trend in American business to not hire smokers? (In addition, some companies are giving their current smokers 6 or 9 months to quit (and helping them quit with treatment and counseling). I like this. Smokers are drug addicts. Before somebody screams discrimination, try and get a grip. Companies are ALLOWED to discriminate. They discriminate against those who are unqualified. They discriminate if you smell like a pig farm. They discriminate if you insult the interviewer or pull a knife. They discriminate if you have a felony conviction. They discriminate if you show up drunk. They discriminate if you're physically too small or too unattractive for the specified job. They discriminate if you are a speed addict. They even discriminate if they don't like you. And now they are discriminating against smoking addicts.)? The cellphone ban which still allows you to use a hands-free cellphone, thereby implying that the problem is not with the conversation or lack of attention to driving, but on the hand being off the wheel--guess the next logical step is legally requiring two hands on the wheel at all times... The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research document which states "Such weapons distort societies Ethey make it harder for the State to regain the legitimate monopoly of force ... compromising the effectiveness of police forces and encouraging law-abiding civilians to arm themselves for protection..."--excuse me? Monopoly of force? Did I miss something? Does government no longer derive its powers from the consent of the governed?? Since when was government supreme over its people? Not in my country you NAZIs. See this is a great example of why the US needs to stay far far away from the UN. And believe me I say this as someone who may never own a gun (and then again I might). On a side note, did anyone notice the huge BBC report that just became public saying that violent crime committed in the UK using guns has risen a WHOPPING FORTY-FIVE PERCENT since the country banned guns? Brilliant, just brilliant. Pluck guns right out of the hands of the law-abiding citizenry--leaving them fodder for criminals who have greater infringements on their minds than mere gun possession. Stunning foresight there guys. The attempted destruction of our Constitution and the sapping of our freedoms into the oblivion of titanic, all-powerful all-seeing all-knowing government is accelerating at a feverish pace and I for one am scared shitless. A whole bushel basket of the things I love this life and this country for will be threatened very soon and many of you are just sitting back content to watch these goons from the UN and the Republican judges and the simpering, power-mad, money-grubbing liberal Democrat politicians go about the business of making us all wards of the State. I can't understand it. People focus on something like George Bush's gait or dyslexia and pull right out of their asses the most imbecilic stereotypes and generalizations (George Bush is polluting the world so he can make millions for his rich friends--get a clue you fucking morons, THINK about things you conformist idiots). People somehow get the odd notion that receiving a tax cut and a tax relief check, which by the way is YOUR MONEY that the government plucked out of YOUR WALLET despite the fact there was a major budget surplus, is a bad thing, that it will ruin the country somehow. Explain to me why it's bad that the government has LESS coerced revenue to blow developing the kind of overbearing government that people like George Orwell and Terry Gilliam have warned us about. Explain to me why I don't deserve my money, the money I and millions of Americans earned. Explain to me again how earning money, achieving, being productive, investing, not leeching off the government for services or support, and being a fan of the Bill of Rights is evil, immoral, unethical, and out of line with what a good little subject does. Ah hell I'm on a roll here on my soapbox and I have the Stossil entry here on my trusty 93.7 MB disc, so I may as well post the darn thing. Here it is:
It was absolutely disgusting to hear what the kids are being taught. "George Bush is destroying the Earth", "the air is poison the more you breathe in the more you get sick", and "it's getting hotter and hotter and soon it will be too hot to go outside". These kids aren't being taught, they're being indoctrinated. With lies. They had 2nd graders signing petitions "protesting the Bush White House". Oh, please! Kids sitting there saying George Bush is polluting the earth so he can make millions of dollars for his friends.
Anyone remember that old cartoon "Captain Planet"? Even as a kid I knew that was a bunch of bullshit and used to watch it in morbid fascination.
They had a nice collection of ACTUAL whackos. A woman who visits schools and gives her "green power" lecture. Fossil fuels are making the poor earth sick because George Bush is "an oilman". Stossil ripped her apart. Blew pretty much her whole argument with FACTS.
One great section was an interview with the former director of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore: "the environmental movement has been hijacked by political activists who are using environmental rhetoric to cloak agendas like class warfare and anti-corporatism that in fact have nothing to do with ecology."
He destroyed a bevy of misconceptions (lies) himself. He railed against the use of scare tactics and the fact that the movement has become a huge industry.
Then John talked to a BUNCH of scientists about global warming and its potential effects. Ripped into that, exposed the financial and political reasons for the global warming scare. One nice part was Stossil using a Peter Jennings special (they're both ABCNews people) to show the incredible media bias. Then there were scientists explaining why the almost infinitesimal global warming we've experienced thus far is actually a good thing. And finally a dose of reality: we could spend tens of trillions, raising gas prices 400%, raising electric costs 500%, and systematically cripple the US (and world) economy (thereby lowering the standard of living of virtually every human being on earth to varying extent), and most likely find we can't have any effect on the global climate.
After that it was on to other topics like what it's REALLY like to live "naturally". He talked to a couple who live "off the earth". They wish Europeans had never settled in America. Then John said "but you've got running water in your home", the guy said "not by choice", John said "why don't you have a choice?", and he said "...because, I mean, you know, um, uh society just doesn't allow that these days". He then went on to proclaim blue jeans the ONLY good to come out of modern society. The point of this segment was to show that yes, most of us COULD come out and live like that, but we don't, because we LIKE what tampering with nature has brought us.
The next section was about genetic engineering of crops and livestock. For instance, BT is a chemical now engineered into corn--it gives the corn natural defense against worms. Harmful to humans? Nope. It's either that or spraying the crops. The genetically engineered corn is actually SAFER than spraying the crops. Then they talked about RGBH-treated cows. These activists claimed this was the only country that uses RGBH. It was sweet when John was talking to this whiny woman and told her that she was flat wrong, that most countries in Europe and many other countries support the use of RGBH, and there's never been one iota of evidence that it does harm to the cows or to humans.
Then they mentioned the fact that genetic engineering may make it possible to feed the hundreds of millions of people in third world countries who often go hungry. Scientists in Africa are angry that these well-fed activists want genetic research stopped. Then Patrick Moore (who was GREAT throughout the show) came back and said "they are so full of it, it is so hard to believe they would say the things they say" and that they'll end up killing people with their misguided and ignorant movement.
Moore: "How many scary Hollywood movie metaphors can we employ to get people scared about genetic modification? Would they PLEASE give me an example of something that has actually happened in the real world?" and "I'm afraid too, not of genetically modified foods, but of this movement, that is anti-science, and anti-reason, and is scaring people about the very basics of their life which is their food when there isn't ONE SHRED of evidence that genetically modified foods have had a single negative health effect beyond anything that happens with normal food".
Then they explained why genetic engineering is actually less risky than old-fashioned, haphazard cross-breeding, since the old-fashioned way mixes thousands of plant genes in unpredictable ways.
You know, these people just make me want to vomit. The whole movement is based on rhetoric, lying to small children, frightening people, hearsay, style over substance, conformity, ignoring facts and research in favor of feelings and fevered doomsday speculation, hypocrisy, close-mindedness, superstition, and almost neo-mysticism. Just makes me want to slap them.
Anyway... the next section was more about genetic engineering; they mentioned the fact that all domestic animals including livestock, the family pet, and even corn, was all the result of primitive genetic engineering by humans. They talked about the fact that routine vaccinations aren't "natural". And then on to cloning. One group has over 1000 couples who can't have children lined up to experience cloning. The estimation is that the first human clone will be born by this time in 2002. This part of the show was very good. They brought in the token religious zealot, but the scientists made good points: yes, there will be mistakes, but mistakes exist even now; 4% of children in this country are born with birth defects, and we take care of them, we treat them with humanity. Medical science would NEVER advance if we waited until the risk was zero.
Then they explained about "designer kids": "what's so wonderful about the natural lottery? What's so great about randomness? Randomness gives us heart disease and predisposition to cancer, and sickle-cell anemia, and cystic fibrosis, that's what nature gives us." "Why don't we take hold of that and go against all those terrible things that nature gives us" and "we give our kids polio vaccines and medicines, what is the difference if the goal is to give our kids advantages?"
Parents now improve their kids' eyes, they give them cosmetic surgery, they straighten their teeth. Now, what's the difference between giving your kid straight teeth through genetic manipulation and through braces? Braces are alot more painful, intrusive, unpleasant, possibly psychologically damaging. Giving your kid straight teeth through genetic manipulation seems much better. When the smallpox vaccine was new, people thought it was absolutely an offense against nature... people had surgery without any anesthesia, not because it didn't exist, but because people thought it was morally wrong... when heart transplants were invented, people thought they were totally unnatural--and they WERE unnatural, but, and this is the point of the whole show, just because something's UNNATURAL does NOT mean it's immoral or wrong.
I've enjoyed all of John Stossil's specials. His report on the ridiculous Drug War and individual rights was outstanding.