Sunday, March 18, 2012

I don't want to contribute to your weird blog

In case anyone is actually still reading this blog, here's a new post.

Someone recently said to me, "I don't want to contribute to your weird blog." Though I'm pretty sure she missed her period, and I just added it in for her.

To me, this has two implications about what data we're not getting online.

1. We're not collecting data on people who choose not to opt in to online research, and

2. We're not getting info on people who choose not to click online ads.

Otherwise normal people who might be interested in participating in a voluntary data collection exercise might be willing to if the provider weren't so "weird."

Similarly, if online ads weren't so "weird," otherwise normal people might be willing to click on stuff.

Back in the early days of the internet, we had pop-ups that you had to answer "yes" or "no" to in order to continue on with what you were doing. We essentially had that "I don't want to contribute to your x (in my case, "weird blog")" data. And the fact of the matter is that most users don't want to do that.

Most users want as little to do with giving me their data as most people want to do with this weird blog. They are happy to go along with it as long as they aren't told about it, but we miss those who aren't happy with it.

It's got to be one of the most irritating things I see on the web when something pops an ad up in my face and tells me that I have to either accept the ad or not accept the ad. (I'm leaving out media stuff like the Daily show that forces the same stupid shit ad every however many minutes down your throat like a giant retarded cock of doom).

My point here is that while forcing ads like that might be the best way to generate revenue for now, it would be far better to gather some data before you show any ads. Give the people the content they want up front, then force an ad (if you must force, that is).

We all know that pay-per-click-by-the-gagilion is a stupid model. It's only a matter of time before google's clients realize that nothing is really working for them. But at some point, maybe, perhaps, somehow, someone is going to realize that people don't want to contribute to this weird blog and adapt that into something that is useful both for and from the consumer.

Kind of like this.

Thanks for not contributing, N!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Fake Michele Bachmann

How to Solve the Economic, Social, and Criminal Problems Troubling the U.S. in Two Easy Steps

1. Find everyone over the age of 21 who has a reported income under $25,000 per year.

2. Execute them.

This may sound a little harsh at first because there are currently a lot of these people around. But after the initial purge, it wouldn't seem so drastic because there would only be a few every year after that.

There are several items that would immediately be solved.

This would essentially allow government agencies to balance their budgets over night. Almost all social programs could be eliminated from the budget because there would no longer be anyone who needed them.

As a side benefit, all the people employed by the government to administrate these programs would suddenly be out of a job, so selling this plan to the public would be much easier if we focused on the fact that a bunch of government workers were all going to be executed too.

Already, two major issues have been addressed: the U.S. budget, and general discontent that Americans have with their government goes away.

It is well-known that almost all violent crimes are perpetrated by people who fit these criteria. By eliminating them from society, virtually all violent crimes will be eliminated. Interestingly, it would eliminate drug issues as well. The people who make boat-loads of money from organized crime, drugs, and every other revenue source do not report their earnings, so they would, by default, also be taken care of.

Think about it. Violent Crime. Gone.

Medicare/Medicaid would suddenly be a non-issue because the elderly who need it wouldn't be around complaining about it. More budget improvements.

Education in the U.S. has been awful for a couple of decades. This plan affects education in a few key ways.

A substantial number of people who have been so poorly served by decades of permissiveness and substandard education are relieved of the burden of being so badly intellectually outmatched by pretty much the entire rest of the world. Except for some places where they have no education. And even those places have common sense, which we have educated out of people since about 1960.

This plan removes highly uneducated people from being in positions where they can pass on their lack of education to other people or their children. Speaking of the children, someone is bound to ask, What about them? Well, studies have shown that children who grow up as wards of their respective states tend themselves to become people who rely on social programs for subsistence. We would have to include them in the plan as well.

It is interesting to note that this plan includes a large number of teachers in the selection criteria. These teachers are known to be the root cause of our education problems. Having been poorly educated to begin with, they are incapable of educating the students they teach. We basically need to start over from scratch, and this is the most efficient way to do it.

The final impact on education is that our children will be motivated to learn. In our current system, we say to our kids, "You better learn those maths there, Timmy. Or you might have to do nothing and live for free on the government teet." How much motivation is that? Under the Romney-Pelosi Bi-partisan General Population Readjustment Plan Act, we can go to our children in the schools and say, "Timmy, I know you're only 8, but if you don't get your scores up in those mathy-type questions, you're not going be able to get hired by a good company and make at least 25 grand by the time you're 21.

And we're going to kill you."

That, my fiends, is motivation. We won't be second in the the world in our math ability for long.

So there you go. Education. Done.

Most of these people a so completely uneducated that they can't even fathom where their deep sense of existential futility comes from. Removing them from society reduces 79% of all persistently depressed human beings in our country. In general, we will be a happier people, and a happier place to be. This also good because more psychiatrists will be out of work. We don't need "ologies" in the world. We need more God in the world.

Finally, the parts of this bill that affect me personally. This bill's affects on the world of politics.

The world of politics is an ugly place. Mostly because of all the fringe groups and undecided groups and groups of extremists on the liberal side and extremists like that guy who keeps on showing up at my debates that no one knows who he is. Most of these kind of people don't make very much money, so they won't be a part of the political formula any more. So our campaigns can be about real issues instead of issues that only non-contributing members of society care about. This is a huge win for America. Our debates can be about things that matter to every American. Things like God. And what's the best way for all of us to make more money.

In closing, I just want to say that the Romney-Pelosi Bi-partisan General Population Readjustment Plan Act has my full, undivided, qualified support!

~fake Michele Bachmann

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Parsing the Rhetoric of Hot-Button Issues

Do you think there's a middle ground in the gay rights debate? It seems to me much like the issue of abortion in that there are only really extreme positions. The rhetoric goes like this: if you support gay marriage, you support a sinful act against God, and a perversion of nature. Or conversely, if you don't support gay marriage, you are against gay rights and prejudiced to the level of hating a group of people simply for existing.

I'm not in the habit of buying into rhetoric, but it's an interesting thought. I can't really take a person seriously who says equal rights for everyone . . . but gay people can't get married. Equally though, it's difficult for me to look at a person who says, "I don't hate them. I don't dislike them. It's just a sin." and buy that this is tantamount to hatred.

Not that the majority makes it right, but asking people to give up an important tenet of their religion for what amounts to a legal issue doesn't quite suit me either. For example, if someone is interviewing for a job, would you (regardless of the fact that it's illegal, just pretend it is legal) not hire someone because it became known that it was a religious person who believed that being gay is a sin?

I'm not saying you would. But I do know people who would. So at what point does an insistence on tolerance get to the level of being intolerant? Or is that really what just needs to be done to get society to evolve to the next level? Is there room in this debate for both sides to get along, or does one or the other group have to acquiesce?

My solution goes like this: let's really and honestly separate Church from State, and remove marriage from the legal domain. No one gets legally married. Marriages only happen in churches or temples or synagogues, or in whatever spiritual context is meaningful to the couple involved. If people want, they can go get a civil union that provides all the benefits of legal marriage, the tax penalties, access to documents and health care, etc.

In this way, any religious entity can marry whomever it wants to. Or whatever spiritual ceremony fits someone less-than-religious. People of other religions and denominations are free to think whatever they want about it, pretend it's not a marriage or whatever . . . doesn't matter. And everyone is equal under the eyes of the law. Religious people can have their convictions and keep them largely to themselves because now it's a moot point. And gay couples get exactly the same set of legal rights, responsibilities, privileges, and headaches as everyone else.

Perhaps it's not a moot point, but it moves from the realm of what's legal to what's Biblically acceptable. Since no one is ever going to agree on that, it's fine with me to just get it out of the public and into the private workings of churches where it doesn't bother me.

Here's what's interesting. When I float this idea past the right-wing ├╝berchist people I know, they hate it. They say that would completely invalidate their marriage, and they won't stand for having the gays take that away from them. Marriage is about a man and a woman, that's the only thing that's morally right, and the law should reflect that.

My response is, well, what about that holy union blessed by God that no man can alter? Does it really matter what the government calls it, so long as you have your religious union sanctified in the eyes of God? The reply: if gays get exactly the same thing we have then marriage is a worthless institution. (I'm paraphrasing a bit, but you get the idea)

So it's not really about a holy union blessed by God. It's really an issue of you want the government to protect your special religious status. Fine. If you want your religion that tied up in our legal system, don't be surprised when the government starts telling you what to believe. Quit your bitching.

But when I run this by gay people and couples I know, they also hate it. They say that it's not really fair. They want to get married just like the straight Christian people. My response: so even though this would make gay and straight couples equal under the law and essentially make the legal system "sexuality-blind," you would not support it? No. they would not. And I say fine. If you want to get into a fight with a bunch of people about how to interpret morality, especially as presented in the Bible, good luck. People have been fighting about that for a long time, and you're probably not going to win with most of them. So stop bitching.

Oddly enough, the popular rhetoric seems to be spot on here.

Monday, February 01, 2010

The Laramie Project

I just saw this performed last weekend.

I'm not sure what to think about it. Of course, it pulls your heart-strings. And it's a powerful story of a guy who got beaten to death. Bringing that play to Big Fork, MN must have been a huge undertaking. Actually, getting the cast and crew together to put on a performance that good must also have been an incredible challenge.

Enormous kudos to the Edge Center for The Arts, the performers who were able to, well, act. Really well.

The script and the performance ask a few things of me. They ask what I can do to stop this. The first thing that went through my tactless (see posts below) mind was that I really wanted to go out and beat up some haters.

Another thing, though well addressed both in the show and the after-discussion, is this: people die every day. And not just people starving who can't afford to eat well enough to live half a world away. But people for many reasons that are shocking to anyone who hasn't spent time with them . . . die horrible, brutal, deaths every single day. In fact, many people so.

So why this intense focus on one community where one murder happened? Why the focus on one kid?

Why is Laramie such a big deal? More people are murdered in a brutal way in Dallas, TX every day than Laramie sees brutally murdered every 10 years.

Well, I have two answers.

1. Either we accept a society of violence and brutality

or

2. We accept a society of violence and brutality.

We have accepted and agreed to participate in a society in which X number of people will die for x, y, and z, reasons.

It doesn't matter what those reasons are. In fact, we have, agreed that certain losses are both acceptable and necessary for our society to function. Those losses are measured in cadavers sent to medical schools.

I disagree.

I emphatically do NOT accept those losses as normal in a civilized society.

One of the biggest and most painful things to attack human rights is post-9/11 legislation. And it's not even the legislation that is the worst.

The fundamental idea behind the Patriot Act is that it's okay to hunt and kill anyone who you don't like. Cause? Screw it. Evidence? Screw it. Habeas? Screw it.

We don't need that kind of legal BS to justify what we are going to do: kill a bunch of innocent people to obtain an end.

Hating and hurting and beating gay people is where an unconstitutional war against other countries starts. Not where it ends.

We justified war against a nation that had nothing to do with us. Is it any surprise that we can't get any motion in favor of gay marriage?

We are both legally and religiously incompetent to deal with our issues. Our religion hates just as much as their's does. Our governments convene just like it's a girlscout meeting.

I hate to sound nuts . . . and I probably do sound nuts, but we have have a bit of tidying up of our own we need to deal with before we go around telling the rest of the world what to do.

Especially since we've created a mess out of everything we've ever been involved with. Possible examples include Japan, South Korea, South Africa (oh, I dare someone to be proud of that), and Western Europe.

What is the guideline that defines success?

So so far no one knows. This is the problem the Supreme Court faced in the 60s, and it's the same problem we all have deal with now.

When we look at the problems in the world, there's no real process or goal, or anything meaningful.

It's just a mess of posturing.

But the Laramie project is a start. In my opinion it's more important than anything the UN or the US or anyone is doing. I don't think I made my point entirely clear when
I pointed out how hard it is for people to change a habit of hate.

How can we change an entire country's habit of hate?

For the first time in my life, I was able to say something in the company of homosexuals that I hope benefited homosexuals, and I didn't really feel like I needed to point out that I was straight.

When I said, "We need to talk about something besides tolerance. We need a new word. You tolerate an itch or a leaky faucet. You tolerate someone who irritates you. We need a new word for this. Or rather, we need to simply stop being irritated by people who are different from us." I wasn't saying that as a gay man or a straight man. I was saying that ALL PEOPLE need to make careful use of their words.

Tolerance is the wrong word.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Guys and Girls

I recently bought an iGod. It's awesome. It does everything I could imagine a gadget could ever do.

It has a 3 billion mGhz processor, a terabyte of flash memory for storage, it has 2 gigs of V-ram. It has absolutely everything anyone could want, and it fits your hand like an i-Pod touch. It even sucks your cock when you ask it to.

Oddly enough, the first thing I did when I got it home and charged it up was take the whole thing apart.

I'm just one of those gadgety-guys, iGuess. I have to say, I loved every component of it. So I sat there, curiously satisfied, with this thing in front of me. And I loved it.

For a few months.

Then I had to question my love for this gadget. I needed to take it apart again. See if I could take it all apart and put it back together without losing any parts.

Sure enough. But I also had to see what else I could do. I'm getting good at this after all.

What happens if I touch this? Ouch! That smarts!! Maybe I should use a pencil eraser or some kind of insulator . . . .

So I pushed a bigger HDD into it. Yeah, I have to admit that my iGod runs a little hotter than it should. But it's working!!

Two more months pass. I love my iGod. It does exactly what I want it to do. I have no complaints. It's a wonderful piece of technology. As far as gadgets go, this is MyGod.

But I can't help but wonder . . . can my iGod do X?

Does it, can it, can I make it find me a cheap place to stay in Grand Forks?


Holy Shit! If I push things around, sure enough. It can. I love my iGod!!!!

Uhh-ohh. I was tinkering around with upgrading my iGod and messing with stuff. Now it doesn't work any more.

Guess I need a new one.

Sometimes I think this is how women deal with relationships: the same way guys deal with gadgets.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Circular Patterns Make Me Dizzy

I want to know who is in charge of naming operating systems these days.

Let's say you are a brilliant, young, (hopefully young--because if you think you can write an operating system, you are painfully naive) and naive computer programmer, and you decide you want to write your very own operating system from the ground up. Or maybe just the kernel up. Actually, you are going to use a kernel that's already out there and just build up from that.

Let's also say that you aren't just a hacker who thrives on weird-sounding names like Ubuntu, Debian, RedHat, or Fedora. Let's say that you are a multi-billion dollar corporation who has the resources to actually make a project like this work. What do you call the product?

Before we answer that, let's ask a couple of other questions that might be more important. For example, we might want to know:

1. What this new OS is going to do that others don't.
2. What won't it do that others already do?
3. How is it going to compete with Microsoft Windows and the Mac OS X?
4. How will it stack up in terms of security?
5. How are human interface design questions answered?
6. What kind of file systems will it support?
7. What are the technologies involved?

Neglecting to answer these questions before launching a project would be really stupid. And I'm sure that Google thinks it's answered those questions, at least internally. But it hasn't said anything to me recently, which kind of pisses me off.

But some of the questions have been answered. Namely 1, 2, and 7.

Answer Key:

1. Nothing
2. A hell of a lot
3. It uses a Linux kernel.

Another, perhaps more relevant, question that might be popping into the minds of normal people is this: will it do what I want it to do? Well, we don't know that yet, and that's a big part of the problem with announcing a product that appears to be just getting started.

But the concept is clear. Google's new OS is said to be a "web-OS." In other words, it takes a perfectly functional computer and turns it into a dumb-terminal or thin-client, depending on how much it lets you (yes, lets you!) store on the local machine.

According to what I've read, there is no desktop--only the web browser. And because the web browser being used is Google's Chrome browser, it decided--apparently in an attempt to create as much confusion as Microsoft's pricing structure (is that how you're going to compete with MS? Confusion?)--to call the OS, "Chrome."

What would I call it? I don't know. Maybe something along the lines of Lazy POS, Crack OSmoker, Intarwebz 1.0, or MDOS (short for Marketing Disaster Operating System).

In real terms, it sounds like a huge step backwards in technology. We tried this dumb-terminal computing before in the 60s and 70s. We didn't like it.

So companies like Apple and IBM pioneered more powerful personal computers. Today, my MacBook can run circles around the mainframes of the 60s with both legs behind its ears . . . at a tiny fraction of the cost. Compared to netbooks of various flavors, the MacBook is expensive. But my MacBook can run circles around those too.

While Google says that Chrome (the OS, not the browser) is aimed initially at netbooks, it also claims there will be a desktop version at some point. That's even better. Why in the name of horny dragonflies would I want to cripple my desktop with a net OS? Because it's cheaper?! I can buy a cheap piece of junk from Dell for a few hundred bucks, and it actually has a real operating system on it.

You know--the kind of operating system that lets me store files, open files, change files, upload pics, movies, and pr0n, and get work done when I don't have access to the internet.

I can even have them cripple it with Windows if I want.

Why, Google? Why?

Also,

How, Google, How?

The circularity of it astounds me. It's like someone at Google suddenly woke up and said, "Hey guys! You know how bell bottoms and wide ties are back in style again? Let's make computers do nothing but what they used to do in the 70s!!!! OMG! AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

But the problem is that computers (outside of the feature-phone market . . . curse you, LG) aren't just fashion. They are the things that help people like you and me get work done. Also, bell bottoms were only really back in style for a year or so before people realized how stupid they look. Again.

No one I know of wants a computer with limited capabilities. People want computers with the most functionality they can get for the lowest price. There's some room for people like Apple, but that doesn't change the formula--it simply expands the definition of function.

Why Google is writing its own Linux distro that provides extremely limited functionality is directly to how they are planning to make money from it.

That's also a mystery because Google intends to sell it for the whopping low price of nothing. That's right, it's free. Just like the Android operating system for cell phones that been amazingly, astoundingly, unprecedentedly, brain-punchingly (thanks, Mal!) unsuccessful.

Why? Because--as people have shown over and over again--no one wants stuff just because it's free. People want stuff because it does what they want. Free stuff that doesn't cut it is very quickly discarded and very easy to justify discarding. The fact that people pay money for something makes it more difficult to get rid of. If you didn't pay for it, there's nothing wrong with painting a George W. Bush face on it and punting it into the dumpster down the street.

If you can't make money off something, why bother to spend the enormous amounts of money on the R&D to create it? Just because you have money to burn? Just because you want the Linux distro notch on your bedpost? How in the name of sea urchins do you justify this?

Quick recap: Make a shitty product that no one wants and give it to people while costing the company millions of dollars every year.

I really want to meet the person who pitched this to the executive team. And I really, really, really want to know why that person has a job and I don't.

And I really, super-especially want to know why the executive who approved the project still has a job.

This is pure idiocy from a borderline-monopoly who thinks it can do no wrong.

Unless . . .

Google thinks it can make money because the OS is contained in a web browser window. Every time you want to open a file, you get an ad for OpenOffice; every time you want to save a file, you get an ad for a backup solution; every time you want to copy a text-string, you get an ad for Xerox; etc., etc.

If that's the way things work, I can see it being a cash-cow. But I don't really see that as happening. If you're at all like me, you draw a line when it comes to ads. I can ignore them when I'm checking my gmail. I can ignore them when I'm looking for something online.

But I refuse to allow them onto my personal space. Not because I can't ignore them; I can. Because I want my space, dammit.

The clear problem with a Google Chrome-powered laptop is that it isn't yours. Your data isn't yours, your music and pics and pr0n aren't yours. Everything you want on your computer belongs to Google.

My generation won't accept that, except on one condition: it's free or very close to it.

I've ranted about the software problems, let's talk about the hardware involved. Google is going to have to convince hardware companies to make some serious changes in the way they build computers. For example, a Google Chrome-powered netbook doesn't need a hard drive. Just a small flash drive that's only big enough to hold the OS. Again, we've been there before. We called it ROM in the 70s.

But while sacrificing the HDD, you have to upgrade the network card to 802.11N, so I don't really think that's a cost savings. Yeah, you don't have to pay the Windows tax, but that's not really a significant factor in a 300-dollar netbook.

The only way I see this working is if Google sinks an enormous amount of money into subsidizing the cost of the netbook, forcing ads down your throat, and making money off said ads.

That could work. If Google can arrange the OS so that it constantly pumps ads but in a way that remains useable, and then also brings the cost of a netbook down to around 25 bucks, I would keep one in every room of my house. Probably in my underwear too, just in case.

If that's not the business model, I don't know what is. Google isn't creating an iPhone here, or even an iPod or iTunes. Those financial ecosystems work because Apple makes products that--admittedly--have fewer features than other phones, music players, and MP3 apps, but it does those features really well, and (this is the most important point) CHARGES A LOT OF MONEY FOR THEM. Except for iTunes, which is essentially a pipe that allows Apple to make money off other people's content. But still. It's a model that makes sense.

For this to work, Google has to have substantial market share very quickly to appeal to potential advertisers. Without that, this goes nowhere, and no one is going to buy a Chrome-based netbook when they can get Windows for the same or close to the same price.

Also, I just saw two dragonflies getting it on. It was very strange looking. A third tried to join in, but the two were so busy that the other one left. I almost stepped on them because that's how I always thought I'd want to go out: in the middle of getting my freak on. But then I realized that I actually want to go out just after I get done getting my freak on. Then I got bored and smoked a smoke.

Sex is weird. It always looks so bizarre when you see it on the Discovery channel. I think this is why the pr0n industry makes so much money. I have no doubt that I look like an absolute fool when I have sex. The pr0n people make it look less weird.

Monday, July 06, 2009

It's Official:

There is something out there on the intarwebz that is more disgusting than two girls, one cup.

I saw it about an hour ago, and it makes me want to hit puppies, go clubbing with baby seals, waterboard starving kids in Africa, and nuke Alaska.

That's right. I'm talking about Sarah Palin's resignation speech.

She has the unfathomable ability to make me kind of-sort of not think George W. Bush is the biggest fucktard in the history of retarded fucktards.

Aside from her total butchery of the English language (which is a point I'll get to momentarily), she has the audacity to have yet another totally pointless press conference.

Note to Sarah: the election is over. You are not running for anything anymore. Except maybe the 2012 presidential spot. But I don't believe that the GOP (btw, random tangent here: GOP stands for Grand Old Party. I know that no one under 30 gets that, but seriously, how the fuck are you going to appeal to the masses with that as your moniker? Or are you just not going to try?) will let you do that because you are the most incapable human being to ever be elected to any office.

Given the attention she's already gotten, I don't think I can say much that's new here.

But let's look for a second at the content of the speech.

I once spent a warm morning in Houston at Rice University for my older brother's commencement. The elder of the two Bush disasters that someone elected spoke at the ceremony. It was pretty fun from my vantage. I got to see all kinds of professors roll their eyes and nod off to sleep as much as possible because––oh! did I mention this? Rice U insists on having the ceremony outside.

Outdoors, Houston, Texas. It all amounts to miserable heat and mosquitos. Bad mosquitos. I haven't yet gotten a chance to quantitatively compare the hugeness and irritatingness of the mosquitos in Houston v. the mosquitos in Bemidji. But a very anecdotal assessment tells me that they are about the same. Not impressed, MN.

Getting back to everything that's wrong with Sarah Palin, let's start here:

Bush 41. He stood there and recapped the SNL/Dana Carvey skit that had already been aired. Thousand points of Light, Stay the Course, No new Taxes, Read my Lips (no, that's not Lisa Lipps. She's much more interesting.)

But in his own (what I am going to call disgusting) oeuvre, it made a certain sense. He wasn't just saying things that had no meaning, or had no underlying substrate that couldn't be isomorphically mapped onto a meaningful analogue. What he was saying made a certain amount of sense if given a high enough level of meaning.

I don't really want to dwell too much on where exactly that level of meaning engages us because I suspect that it's at too low a level to have any pertinence.

He was, on some level, able to get some people to envision themselves as something other than themselves. Something positive. That's the power of imagery that, for example, 43 doesn't have. That's the power of imagery that Sarah Palin doesn't have.

But her lack is much worse than either of the Bushes. (We're going to pretend that there's no pun there because I said so.)

There are multiple levels of processing information, and let's face it: understanding language is the processing of data. Let's call the lower level the syntactic level. And since we're assigning levels, let's call the higher level the semantic level.

Obviously, Bush 43 has no clue about the syntactic understanding of language. 41 at least had that. But 41 also had something else: he at least had a slightly higher level of semantic understanding than his son.

He was able to say things that were evocative of higher levels of meaning even if he was rather pedantic about them. 43, on the other hand, missed out on every possible instance of that higher meaning.

Sarah Palin takes a bit from both: She misses out on any syntactic meaning, and simultaneously parrots 41 with repetitions of things that sound like semantic statements, but ultimately have no meaning of either kind because she has no ability to frame anything in a meaningful context.

In other words, she's a linguistic idiot. She's a dolt.

And she's an incoherent dolt: the first person in recent history to make Dan Quale look smrt.

So. Why am I writing about this? The media is all over it. We've all been painfully exposed to what an complete fool she is. Why write about it now?

Maybe it's because I can't resist beating up the retarded girl who lives down the street. Maybe it's because someone needs to tell people how completely retarded she is. Maybe it's because I'm just mean-spirited.

But mostly, I think it's because I take Sarah Palin seriously and as an insult. Maybe it's because I'm a member of a cooperative society and that some other members have decided that she can govern. And they elected her. And they are a part of the country I live in.

I don't know about you (oh you sweet 4 readers that I have), but when I think of Sarah Palin, I feel like someone I don't know, that I don't normally care about, that I wouldn't in a million years allow to represent me . . . has forced a representative down my unpatriotic throat. That really pisses me off.

I don't want anyone in this world or that world or the third world or the next world thinking that I would ever participate in a social contract that allowed a total fucking idiot like Sarah Palin to get elected to do anything.

Maybe I'm not so pissed at Alaska after all. Maybe I just want to eat a bullet for being a U.S. Citizen.

I'm embarrassed. Even more so than I was over 8 years of 43.

Here's an addendum that I hope to keep brief:

Law is written in language. There are both syntactic and semantic meanings that we have to deal with. But law deals with both. This is the whole idea behind a strict constructionist v. a more intuition-driven idea of the constitution.

What did the individual words mean at the time? What was the intent of the framers? What was the higher-level of meaning?

This issue of language and context is at the heart of how we form our political opinions and how we ultimately elect our representatives. Part of that is that we trust that our representatives at least understand what the linguistic issues are, and at least attempt to deal with them in a reasonable way.

This promise of trust is what is so disturbing about 43 and Palin. There's a total disregard for any semblance of decent understanding of the language of the law. We need fewer politicians and more linguists.