Posts Tagged ‘what’

Snow: not threatening enough

February 11th, 2011 No comments

We’ve had a more interesting winter than usual here in New England this year. Average snowfall in Boston is around 40 inches per year, and we’ve had nearly 70 this year (as of January) spread across 10 or so snowfalls. So I’ve had some time to watch how people react to snow (whether I like it or not). I’ve noticed something this winter about the driving habits of the unwashed public. I’m sure its always been this way but for whatever reason I haven’t really noticed till now. It’s going to sound obvious, but it’s a newish perspective for me.

I’ve noticed a trend that drivers could care less about how much snow there is on the roads. Don’t get me wrong… the smallest amount of snow in the air turns most people into either terrified retards barely capable of breathing, or into trailblazing juggernauts of fury who drive where they want when they want (ATTN: Every SUV driver – this is not you: clicky). What I mean is that the decision of whether or not to stay home from work due to snowy conditions seems to have nothing to do with how much snow there is outside. It has only to do with how much hype the storm received before it hit. You’d think the sequence would go something like “get up, look outside, become terrified of conditions (or not), call into work (or not)”. But no. If a storm was heralded as a Ragnarok-like event scheduled to end all life, everyone stays home regardless of actual conditions. “The news said it was gonna suck, so it’s ok if I call in”. If the storm was predicted to fizzle out but ends up dumping 6-10 inches on us by morning, people look outside and say “Ha ha holy fuck, that is a TON of snow… fuck me, this commute is gonna suck”. Every time the news predicted the second coming of Snow Christ, my commute was great. Terrible road conditions, but no drivers around to cause trouble. Any time we got a crap-ton of snow we didn’t expect, nobody seemed to pay attention to the tundra outside. Refer to the following scientific analytic analysis chart:

As you can see, so long as a huge deal has been made about the storm during the week prior, an inch or so is all it takes to keep mere mortals cowering indoors. But without this hype, the number only gradually goes up, mostly due to people actually being physically incapable of getting their cars out of their driveways. This “Fusion of Conditioning and Timing Arising in Responsibility Degradation” (or the “FUCTARD effect”) makes even lesser storms complete hell to drive in if nobody makes a buzz about it. I blame the internet. No, really. Everyone’s so used to information being shoved in their faces that they really can’t recognize a poor condition outside their own doors unless their iPhone or Weatherbug or Weatherbug on their iPhone tells them “hey bro, you better watch out lol!”

Floating around on the internet is a rant about the naming of hurricanes:

“Who the fuck is the one naming hurricanes? They somehow manage to give them the least threatening names ever. If I turned on the news and heard that Hurricane Erin was coming I’d think to myself, “Erin? I could take that slut.” If I turned on the news and heard that Hurricane Dicksmasher was approaching, I’d grab all the money in the house, shove it in my pockets, and get the fuck out of there.”

Every time I’ve seen it it’s looked like copypasta, so I can’t credit the original author. But I’d like to see snowstorms get this treatment. I know if it was Snowstorm “Assured Fatality”, Blizzard “Blood Orgy”, or “Icefest the Great Deductible Nightmare”, I would really assess the situation before getting on the road.

Who do voodoo

November 15th, 2009 4 comments

The voodoo section of the supermarket creeps me the fuck out. I’m nit even talking about Agatha’s Creepy Corner Market, I’m talking Stop and Shop. This is the part of the meat section with all the crazy random animal parts that one would have an easier time finding an application for in black magic than in food preparation. A sampling of what was there today next to my beloved bacon: pig tails, split pig feet, beef marrow chunks, chicken feet, cow tongue (yes, really), pig spinal cord (nerves, not bones), etc. I guess one could argue that stuff like this is perfectly fine if you’re brewing up a stock or something… but I think my stock can do without chicken feet and pig tails, I’ll add a dash more chipotle powder to mask the delicate missing flavors. Besides, I don’t want to go snapping up all the ingredients for someone’s love potion or effigy dolls and have them use yucky chicken breast or filet mignon instead. No pics for this post, you’re welcome.

Originally published at The IggBlog. You can comment here or there.

Kill all hu-mans

July 30th, 2009 7 comments

“By 2047 the Air Force says unmanned aircraft with blazing artificial intelligence systems could fly over a target and determine whether or not to unleash lethal weapons –without human intervention.”

Full article: Clicky
Source document: Clicky (warning, it’s a PDF)

Are you fucking with me? Really? In what distorted reality is this a good idea? Machines break. Usually when machines break, they do it in such a way that halts their operation. But sometimes it “degrades” their operation in such a way that it operates outside of its normal parameters. Machines can also be tampered with… I mean, there’s no way they’d let these things loose without a way to communicate with them. If you can talk to it, chances are you can tamper with it remotely with malicious intent. There’s no way to completely 100% safeguard against that.

The argument could be made that humans break too… But humans CAN’T FLY OR MOUNT DOZENS OF MISSILES. We’re slow, soft, landbound, and can be stopped pretty easily with a pistol. Autonamous flying killer drones sophisticated enough to make kill/dont kill decisions on its own, and “the [ability] to swarm multiple drones on a single target” aren’t something that should be left up to machine logic. Thought engines are notorious for false positives. And once you refine them sufficiently in a lab environment, they get tons more in the wild. I can’t think of a way that developing a machine like this behind close doors, then bringing it to production wouldn’t be grossly irresponsible. I’m not saying “look at how many movies are about AI type machines going rogue!!!”. I’m saying that there’s pretty much no machine that’s been released into the wild that hasn’t been cracked and remotely exploited by someone with malicious intent given a reasonable period of time. And if there’s anything that internet badguys have proven it’s that they’re better at getting into the military’s electronic systems than the military has been at keeping them out.

Originally published at The IggBlog. You can comment here or there.

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Thank god for innovation

July 17th, 2009 4 comments

Simply Orange: Because orange juice has become so goddamn complicated. I find that when I wake up in the morning I almost want to skip breakfast entirely because of “the juice issue”. Things used to be so easy… cereal, coffee, orange juice, perhaps some toast if I’m feeling naughty. But then orange juice got ugly. It started making things way more of a chore than they had to be. And so confusing too… I mean, who could even figure that crazy stuff out? I never thought something as straight forward as orange juice would turn into such a shitstorm of micromanagement.

Then BAM, out of fucking nowhere comes Simply Orange. All the sudden breakfast is easy again. No more of those orange juice related morning issues that we blindly started accepting as a part of life. I’m ready to start living again.

Originally published at The IggBlog. You can comment here or there.

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