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Member since: Sat Nov 29, 2008, 02:55 PM
Number of posts: 17,671

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Two pairs of images.


A short rant about the Kate Upton "vomit comet" photo shoot...

Let me get this straight. A glossy magazine devoted to the documentation of egregiously frivolous entertainment thought it was a good idea to photograph a woman whose sole job it is to look good in a 133 foot long, 85 ton, $22,000,000 dollar aircraft 33,000 feet off the ground. This technology, that has for most of human history been an impossible dream and requires resources beyond the wildest imagination of anyone only a few hundred years ago, was pressed into service so that we would be able to enjoy photographic evidence of the concept of zero G boobies.

I say concept because I saw the video and I couldn't tell any meaningful difference between airborne zero G boobies and boobies appearing in their natural earthbound environment. That's probably because within the pantheon of soul crushing troubles with which a multi millionaire supermodel may have to contend, gravity ain't one of them.

There should be no need to belabor the gargantuan waste of natural resources required for this vacuous bit of pop meringue, but I will add this: The Boeing 727 used for that exercise in libidinous affectation burned approximately 23,000 pounds of jet fuel. That's about 3,382 gallons, or enough to heat a home for about five years. Maybe longer if you wear an insulated gold bikini.

But there is another insulting waste in the performance of this stupid stunt: the waste of human resources. From the ground crew to the flight crew literally tens of thousands of hours of training and experience are required to keep eighty tons of aircraft in the air. I'd hate to think my career as a highly trained professional depended on making sure somebody got a picture of some mostly naked woman floating in zero gravity.

Among the uncounted fucks that I don't give about stupid shit, whether or not men look at naked women will count for at least a few of them. Men have been looking at women for millions of years, and they will continue to do so as long as they have something to look with and something to look at. But the gigantic wast of real stuff like natural resources, technology, and the expertise of people who take their jobs way too seriously to appreciate a stupid stunt like this should be an embarrassment to anyone with a conscience.

You may resume your regularly scheduled programming.

The gender wage gap controversy reminds me of an old joke...

If this is the wrong place to post this, feel free to lock it.

Bob and Ray are digging a hole. It's hot, miserable work. Ray says, "Howzit the boss is up there sitting under a tree drinking beer and we're down here digging this fucking hole?" Bob says, "Beats me, why don't you go ask him?" "Believe I will."

Ray climbs out of the hole and asks the boss about his unfair advantage. The boss just grins, sets down his beer and says, "Here, I'll show you." He holds his hand against the tree and tells Ray to hit it as hard as he can. When Ray swings, the boss pulls his hand away and Ray punches the Oak tree, breaking four knuckles. The boss says, "Do you understand now?" "Yep", says Ray, nursing his damaged hand. "Then get down there and get back to work."

When Ray returns to the hole, Bob asks him what he found out. Ray says, "He explained it real good. Here, I'll show you." With that, Ray holds his hand in front of his face and says, "Hit my hand".


So Joe and Mary both work for Fuck You Inc sucking stink for twelve hours a day. Joe makes four dollars an hour and Mary pulls down three fifty. How does it make sense for Mary to demand to be paid as much as Joe for sucking stink? That's not equality, justice, or progress. It's an endorsement for paying stink suckers a shitty wage.

Robber baron Jay Gould once quipped, "You can always pay one half of the poor to kill the other half."

The chattering classes, the culture war, and Tetris

Remember Tetris? The player’s objective was to shift and rotate puzzle pieces to fill rows of squares. If the rows got filled, they would disappear and leave more time to figure how the next piece would fit. If too many unfilled rows pile up, you lose.

Okay, stop staring at the gif and keep reading.

The key to playing the game was to learn to recognize and configure the falling pieces as quickly as possible. If you had to analyze them you wouldn’t last long. Don’t think about it, just take what the program gives you and deal with it instinctively.

Each mistake causes the unfinished rows to pile up and forces the player work under increasing pressure to beat down the backlog. This idea isn’t new. Henry Ford used to make sure there was at least one maniac that lived for a particular task on each assembly line. That maniac would shove pieces down the line at a tremendous pace, forcing the other workers to keep up thus increasing production. This was known as a “ringer on the line” or, more appropriately, a “Dick Move”.

Of course our manufacturing base for actual products a lot smaller now. But we have a gigantic industry for the manufacture of ideology. We’re turning out memes on three shifts and the ringers are working double overtime. We are living in an ideological consumer’s paradise.

So what if those shapes in Tetris weren’t groups of colored squares, but rather prefab memes that look like this:

Most of you wouldn’t find it too troubling to shove that into what could be an ideological matrix at the bottom of the screen. This piece, on the other hand, might be a bit of a problem even though it’s just another configuration of four blocks:

They’re all just groups of four blocks after all. It will fit somewhere. Remember, you’re under pressure to beat down that backlog…

And what happens if you get a few of these:

You’re don’t have time to decipher those acronyms, just fill the gaps and get on with it. Remember, you have no control over what the software serves up; all you can do is to try to make it fit into the ideology you’ve already built. It won’t matter if they change the colors of the blocks or the letters inside them, as long as you can slam it into place in time to figure out what to do with the next piece. In fact, the more you play, the more invested you become in the game and the less likely you are to give too much consideration to the subtleties of individual block identification. That’s because the game’s objective is to keep you playing the game.

The funny thing about Tetris is that when a row is completed, it disappears. It is forgotten in the rush to install more blocks. Just like on an assembly line you have to take product you didn’t design and make it work before it disappears forever down the line. You’re invested in the process, but your investment stretches no further than completing a process you had no role in developing and what insufficient wage you get from dealing with it. And if management is smart, there will be a ringer right there next to you shoving product your way. That ringer defines the limits of your control over the memes you see.

And the ringers are more invested than you are. They are doing what they were born to do, and it ain’t quality control. They were carefully selected and if they work really hard they will move up the pay scale ladder. They will be movers and shakers just like the big bosses in the corner office. When they talk, people will listen. And they know they will be respected, revered even.

Of course, there are ringers and there are ringers. Some are upstanding citizens, others are buffoons. Most, while possibly well meaning, are in it for the money. That's why the 1% pays them all that cash. Because truth to tell, that ringer standing next to you on the line isn't any smarter than you. He doesn't know anything you don't know. He didn't design the product he shoves your way. He just knows how to work the system better than you.

Generally speaking, the more successful the ringer is, the more the product looks like this:

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