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Derailing for Dummies

Ah, this internet thing. It keeps showing up with thing people have already researched and written so I don't have to.
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Two former Global Warming skeptics have reversed their position.  Since they're both meteorologists, I am going to spend some time reading up on them later, and what convinced them, and why they previously felt that way.

I only started to get interested in whether this was real science (as in actually happening, not theoretically how it would work) when I heard a story on NPR about how David Koch had funded dozens of slanted studies to deny global warming--a sufficient number of different studies, panels, committees, and organizations that any reasonable person might conclude that uninterested, unconnected groups were coming to unbiased conclusions.

But I expect that if I have any conservative friends left, they will be happy to tell me about the lefty conspiracy to send us back to the Stone Age.

No, really, guys.  I'm going to go talk to the scientists. 
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 I was in college when I found out about the Internet.  It was right after ARPAnet.  Bulletin boards were the hot chat item.  Unix was the operating system and C was its language.  The internet didn't have a capital "I" yet and the World Wide Web wasn't even a twinkle in Al Gore's eye.

I was amazed at how open the system was.  If I knew someone's address, I could "talk" or "msg" them, and it would show up.  They didn't have to know me.  I didn't have to fill in a captcha to get my message there.  I met and made my best internet friends through a random trolling of one Voodoo Monkey who showed me the ways of MU*.

There, I encountered my first spam.  Now, we all know spam as "junk" email with possible viruses or other malware for spice, but back then spam was anything that decreased the signal-to-noise ratio.  So scripts and macros that automatically dumped a screenload of text or an ASCII picture could be conversation-stoppers.

There's a whole science experiment here about how, with the limited sensory input of the web (largely visual), it's hard to keep our mind on what's going on when the scenery changes in the blink of an eye.  At least, that's what happened in those proto-chatrooms:  The macro would scroll all the current conversation off the screen, and we'd all have to figure out where we were, or start over.

Since then, the attacks on STN have been ever increasing in variety, including every kind of subject changing, verbal bullying, and logical fallacy, but they have been mostly confined to the internet.  When Anonymous (I suspect the /b/-tards, but I'm not a 4chan-er) rolled on the Oregon Tea Party, they did a basic STN attack.  Whatever they could throw, they threw, and the OTP server was worthless for the purpose it was set up for.  Did they break it?  Shut it down?  Or just cover up on topic posting with their napalm and light a match?  I don't know.  I know it worked.

And I know that Tea Party members went to Town Hall meetings during the presidential campaign and stopped the Signal with their Noise.

I don't need to be attacking Anonymous, 4chan, Republicans, Democrats, or Tea Party-ers to know that we're not moving forward and we're not solving problems as long as we are distracted by the Noise.  I bet you can all think of some much more attractive nuisances that are keeping you from getting something done RIGHT NOW.
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The Oregon Tea Party:  "Anonymous: We appreciate your resources and admire your tactics. You have taught us more than you know. As requested, we are no longer using the 'anonymous' quote."


Soon, I'm going to tell you what they learned.

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levenson-sam1Since I didn't give him his props earlier, here's a more direct tribute:

Remember Sam Levenson?

Not enough people do. He was such a clever man but time has diminished the memory of his wit. I thought I’d resurrect him, as his words today are as pithy as they were when he wrote them.

“Many wise words are spoken in jest, but they don’t compare with the number of stupid words spoken in earnest.”

“The first screw to get loose in your head is the one that holds your tongue in place.”

“A goat also has a beard, but that doesn’t make him a rabbi.”

“You’re only young once. After that it takes some other excuse for behaving like an idiot.”

“Even if the majority agrees on an idiotic idea, it is still an idiotic idea.”

“The greatness of this or any country may still be measured by the number of people trying to get IN vs. the number trying to get OUT.”

“The best defense of our country is to keep it at all times WORTH defending.”

“War doesn’t prove who is right; only who is left.”

“War is better at abolishing nations than nations are at abolishing wars.”

“You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.”

“The U.N. has been as effective against war as foghorns have been against Fog.”

“Behind every successful Jew stands a bigot who could not stop him.”

“There are more important things in life than money. The trouble is they all cost money.”

Re: sex education in schools: “Let them teach it! If the schools teach sex the way they teach everything else, the kids will lose interest anyway.”

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Famously quoted by Audrey Hepburn, this list was penned by Sam Levenson.
  • For attractive lips, Speak words of kindness.
  • For lovely eyes, Seek out the good in people.
  • For a slim figure, Share your food with the hungry.
  • For beautiful hair, Let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
  • For poise, Walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.
  • People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; Never throw out anybody.
  • Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.
  • As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
  • The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.
  • The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a Woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows.
  • And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows!
Current Location:
Sandy Springs, GA
Current Mood:
determined resolved
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We don't have a house, we don't have a yard, so we don't need:

Refrigerator, full size
Camping gear
4 patio chairs and table
recycling bins
Lawn mower-needs work
Push/reel mower
Brewing supplies
Leaf blower
Yard Sprayer
Power painter
Ladder stabilizer
Roof shingles
Hardwood charcoal (7 bags)

If we don't move it or sell it, it's going to Freecycle.  If you want to buy it, Saturday or Sunday is your day.

If you want it for Free, Monday is your day.

Make us an offer--we take cash, trade, and moving help.

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Further test posting, this time with a different interface/applet.

I like it better in some ways, easier to see friends list, so as a miniportal, much better, but I would like a pay version without the ads.

Posted via Journaler.

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I am going to get out those journals one day and find out if I was actually writing anything all those years.

Read more...Collapse )

Current Location:
US, Georgia, DeKalb
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