Archive for the ‘liberty’ Category

Microsoft turns off the past

Saturday, February 3rd, 2024

For a very long time I have been using a very old windows tool, abandonware, but there is no replacement for it.

I use it to keep a very large pile of structured data and metadata about sensitive information. And this tool suddenly stopped working. After playing around a bit, I came to suspect that the latest windows update had turned it off, probably with a very large amount of other old software. I still had read only access to the data, and I still had a windows machine on which updates had been stopped a short time earlier, and everything still worked fine on the machine running slightly older windows software, only three days older.

I then set to work creating a windows machine which I intended to always run an outdated version of windows, and never to be connected to the internet or the rest of my home network, except through sneakernet. Only to discover that a short time before turning off old software, Microsoft had also scoured the internet of older versions of windows install isos, which starts to look mighty conspiratorial, intentional, and malicious. Also the update happened silently in the background, not with the normal process that involves user interaction, which looks very conspiratorial, intentional and malicious indeed. Software got turned off in a silent hidden background update.

Could everyone please check their hard drives and cd pile for versions of windows install iso predating the current release. They are about to become valuable, also highly illegal, and highly in demand. Also, of course, highly vulnerable to network worms – they will not be useful on the internet, only for running in isolation.

I dumped all the data into non proprietary format – which format did could not contain my precious metadata that structured my very private data. I then zipped it up and encrypted it, and added it to my backup system. I have a plan to manage my data in a new format, but it is going to be a bit more cumbersome and less convenient.

All the new software coming out these days helpfully backs up your precious data in the clear to the cloud. Everyone is installing these wonderfully handy tools that listen to every word you say, send it to the cloud, where an Ai does speech to text conversion, which gives you the convenient ability to say “Siri, play the wheels on the bus song” when the children want entertainment. Today, the television watches you. People are doing this voluntarily, but turning off old software makes it less convenient to avoid, and that this is happening indicates it is going to be systematically and intentionally made less and less convenient.

Does linux fix this? Snap is the first step along the path that Windows has walked – well actually the second or third step. One could argue that systemd and Gnome3 were earlier steps in this direction. Don’t run anything in snap, run it in flatpak. But if you run Ubuntu, strangely difficult and inconvenient to avoid running things in snap.

Just as it has become ever more difficult to access old books, it is going to become ever more difficult to avoid having a television set that watches you. And Microsoft turning off old software looks mighty funny.

American Law Institute Sexual Assault Draft

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

You have probably heard that congress makes law. It does not, it has not for a long time, and were it to start doing so it would be a revolutionary act. First there would be tanks in the streets. 2201 C Street would be on fire and full of bullet holes and dead bodies. Blood would be running out the doors into the gutter.

Harvard makes law, and when Harvard, having decided in general form what the law is going to be, gets to working out the details of that law, a committee of the Ivies meets to draw up the fine print, and that committee of the Ivies is the American Law Institute.

And right now they are drafting a law that says that an explicit verbal no outweighs any amount of non verbal yes, and that any sexual act without an explicit verbal yes is sexual assault.

Since this is the internet, I assume that some substantial portion of my readers are unfamiliar with the normal way that sex goes down between a man and a women.

You never get an explicit verbal yes from a normal decent women, only from whores and hard core burned out sluts.

The human mating dance is innate, instinctive, pre verbal, and pre rational. You get a woman into a sex place, (such your bedroom) using lots of touching and gentle caresses but also all the human arts of words and persuasion. (Where are your etchings? I thought you were going to show me your etchings?) But once she is in there, words soon stop.

If you try to get explicit verbal consent, at best you are breaking the mood and interrupting the playing out of your and her sexual instincts, and at worst you are very likely just not going to get it. And it continues to be that way with your wife and girlfriends, except that the full mating dance gets abbreviated.

Normal decent people just don’t do sex in accordance with Harvard rules and they are not going to start. They are going to go right on doing it the way it always has been done.

We are all criminals now.

Freedom in Russia and the US

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Let us compare the career of journalist and writer Yulia Latynina, with the career of Dinesh D’Souza.

Yulia Latynina is a Russian megaphone for the Harvard microphone.  Supposedly Bush was a moron, Putin is a tyrant, Putin is a homophobe, Putin murders his political opponents, or jails them on vague laws, selectively enforced.  Putin is a sexist, Putin is a criminal, and friend of criminals, and so on and so forth.

Yet she has not been murdered, nor, unlike Dinesh D’Souza, charged under vague and selectively enforced laws.  Has not even had to face a SLAPP suite, unlike Mark Steyn.

Seems to me that Russia could do with a whole lot more repression.  The reason that Yulia Latynina needs a bullet in the head, while Dinesh D’Souza should not have been charged is that Putin’s repression is arguably protecting Russia, or at least is not obviously stupid, whereas Obama’s repression is destroying America (more…)

The cause of social decay

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Prosperity is not the problem.

Many great nations have declined before we did, showing much the same symptoms as we are showing, and none of them were as prosperous as eighteenth century America.

I suggest the root of civilization is patriarchy.

Firstly, patriarchy with monogamy gives men posterity, and civilization is what men build for posterity. In a society where most men do not have children or do not know who their children are, do not raise their sons, they have no reason to work, to save, to invest, to build, nor to fight, to defend, to conquer, so their society leaves behind nothing for future historians to remember them by.

Secondly, patriarchy where marriages are arranged between families rather than lovers links families, creates tight knit extended families, links families through marriage, marriage in patriarchy being between families rather than purely between a man and a woman. The resulting society is able to create public goods, good government being one such public good. Instead of government creating the public good of the road serving your homestead, you contribute to getting the road built, because otherwise your father, your father in law, your brothers, and your brothers in law would disapprove of you.

Women get liberated, marriage and the family break down, society becomes atomized, a sea of isolated individuals. Becoming incapable of creating public goods, society looks to good government to create them – but who will create the public good of good government? (more…)

The real charge against Zimmerman

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Supposedly, the state’s theory is that Zimmerman followed Trayvon, jumped him, beat him up, then shot him.

Of course no one believes this. When the prosecution questions prosecution witnesses, they make no attempt to support their supposed theory. Every prosecution witness bar one, while being questioned by the prosecution, has shot down that purported theory one way or another. It is clear from the prosecution witnesses while being questioned by the prosecution, even Trayvon’s girlfriend, that Trayvon jumped Zimmerman from the shadows and beat him up, motivated in part or whole by racial hatred. Rather, what the prosecution does attempt to argue, by the questions that it puts to its witnesses, is that Zimmerman was not hurt all that much, that he should have just put up with being beaten and mugged, that he should have just sucked it up.

Obviously, were the situation reversed, no one would suggest that a black man should just suck it up. Were the situation reversed, that a dead white assailant was in part or whole motivated by racial hostility would have been reported in headlines the size of tombstones.

The basic issue here, the real, though unspoken, prosecution claim, is that blacks are entitled to attack white people without being resisted by lethal force, even though no one would propose the converse. It is that simple.

All your skypes belong to Microsoft

Friday, May 17th, 2013

All Your Skype Are Belong To Us

Microsoft is reading everything you write

Skype used to be the most secure instant messaging system and I have frequently recommended it on this basis. Microsoft, under Bill Gates, used to be the big company most willing to protect user’s privacy. Skype was recently purchased by Microsoft.

Heise Security then reproduced the events by sending two test HTTPS URLs, one containing login information and one pointing to a private cloud-based file-sharing service. A few hours after their Skype messages, they observed the following in the server log: – – [30/Apr/2013:19:28:32 +0200]
“HEAD /…/login.html?user=tbtest&password=geheim HTTP/1.1”

… In visiting these pages, Microsoft made use of both the login information and the specially created URL for a private cloud-based file-sharing service.


The cause of the decline

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Lately there as been a lot of concern about the increasingly visible decline of the west, notably Peter Thiel on “The  End of the Future”: (more…)

No democratic solution

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Doctor Zero has a carefully thought out proposal on how to save America through mass democracy, through getting 50% of the voters plus one behind the measures necessary to save America, behind measures that are carefully pruned to be the minimum  possible measures that could save the country, measures that are as “moderate” as possible, which is not very moderate at all.

No way Jose.  Democracy is doomed, or the country is doomed, or, quite likely, both. (more…)

The past is always changing

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Only the future is certain.  The past is always changing.

The Congo was the poster child for the dreadful evils of colonialism.  We were supposed to look at how cruelly the Belgians treat the poor natives, look at how many natives colonialism has murdered to maintain its savage rule.  In 1961, it got independence.  The whites fled rape and murder.  Two or three weeks after independence, the Congo became a savage hell hole, and has remained that way ever since, Zimbabwe in fast forward.  The whites fled the Congo faster than they have fled Zimbabwe, so the descent into savagery was faster.  Yet now, the outcome of decolonization has been forgotten, and the Congo is back to being the poster child of the evils of colonialism, and we repeat the same disaster over and over again:  Haiti foreshadowed the Congo, the Congo foreshadowed Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Until the Soviets collapsed, 99% of Academia enthusiastically agreed that the Soviet Union’s command economy was growing much faster than the US’s old fashioned semi market economy, and the remaining 1% agreed that it was growing at least as fast – or at least that is what they said when anyone was listening. Since the general consensus outside of Academia was that the Soviet Union was a festering economic basket case whose central plan existed only on paper, collapsing into disorderly pillage in actual practice, one wonders what happened to any academic inclined to say that the Soviet Union was a festering economic basket case, whose plans and statistics were utterly disconnected from the chaotic and destructive reality.

Before 1972, every historian of science agreed that Darwin’s big idea was natural selection, and those of them that addressed the issue of Lamarck and common descent agreed that Lamarck proposed common descent.

Natural selection, however tends to lead to disturbing thoughts and disturbing words, for example “Once the superiority of races with a prevailing aversion to incest had been established by their survival …” Superior races! Oh the horror, the horror. Natural selection suggests endangered species have it coming to them, that women are not naturally equal to men, that genocide is, if regrettable, nonetheless natural and in the long run frequently inevitable, and lots of similarly horrifying stuff like that, and I have left out the really shocking stuff to avoid offending the readers too much. So it was progressively de-emphasized to students in the textbooks. But if you de-emphasize natural selection, this leaves a mysterious gap. What was Darwin famous for?

So in 1972, history was corrected, Winston Smith style. Darwin got common descent to fill the gap left by the de-emphasis of natural selection, just as Winston Smith invented comrade Ogilvy to replace the vaporized unperson Comrade Withers, and common descent was taken away from Lamarck. The textbook “Biology today” page 638

… in the Origin of Species. The central claim of that book can be fairly simply stated. According to the Darwinian theory, any natural group of similar species-all the mammal species, for instance-owe their common mammalian characteristics to a common descent from a single ancestral mammalian species.

And as for Lamarck, he got the shaft. Page 641

Lamarck’s theory is not a hypothesis of common descent, which ascribes the common characteristics of a particular species to their common descent from a single species. … He claims that … although all mammals are descended from reptiles, they are not descended from the same reptiles

Somehow, after 1972, no one in Academia was able to mention that before 1972 everyone thought that Lamarckism is the doctrine “that all plants and animals are descended from a common primitive form of life.” (Century Cyclopedia)

Before 1972
After 1972

Just as one wonders what happened to academics before 1980 who were inclined to doubt the great success of central planning, one wonders what happens to academics after 1972 who remember that before 1972, the history of science was different.

We have always been at war with Eastasia

Someone in Academia received an order like that given to Comrade Winston Smith, and all of Academia fell into line, and remains in line to this day, a thousand megaphones attached to one microphone.

The reporting of Big Brother’s Order for the Day in The Times of December 3rd 1983 is extremely unsatisfactory and makes references to non-existent persons. Rewrite it in full and submit your draft to higher authority before filing.

… Withers, however, was already an unperson. He did not exist: he had never existed. …

… To-day he should commemorate Comrade Ogilvy. It was true that there was no such person as Comrade Ogilvy, but a few lines of print and a couple of faked photographs would soon bring him into existence.

Mission accomplished

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year

At the same time, government-provided benefits — from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs — rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.

But has everything goes to hell in a handbasket, it will all be blamed on free markets, despite what Brutally Honest calls “change some continue to believe in”.

The fundamental political strategy is that the more moochers, the more votes there will be for mooching.