Madras is in eastern Oregon, in the desert, and the sunset on Sunday night was incredible. ( Click here for 2 images of Madras sunset, and 7 of the eclipse )
I've honestly been more annoyed about the eclipse than anything other emotion. The only part of it I like is the fact it's gonna cost the capitalists something like seven million or seven billion dollars in lost productivity, it amuses me.
Also I'll probably be asleep by then, though I don't know because I didn't bother looking up the time. Also I don't have any eclipse glasses anyway so I couldn't see it even if I gave a single shit about the eclipse.
I had to Google myself to see how long I had LastPass. I can't recall but it feels like forever. I think it was since I still had a LiveJournal, and I deleted the last one of those (this blog) back in 2008. Google tells me I first wrote about it on Anti-AOL in 2009 and my Dreamwidth tags tell me I did so here in 2010, so I'd guess I've used it for at least 7 but possibly as long as 9 years.
But realizing there is no fix for the blank site list dropdown and blank search results in the Firefox add-on really does kind of enrage me:
- Basic functionality - lists that populate on demand, search results that display as you type - have been missing for weeks, no one knows why and devs don't respond or fix issues
- There's no workaround; the only workaround others advise (using the latest beta version) doesn't work for me
- My own workaround doesn't work for me
- We shouldn't have to scratch around for our own fixes or workarounds - LastPass has a paid and premium version, so the add-on owner makes money while bugs that wreck basic functionality go unfixed and people like me go nuts for all the fiddling with and wasted time trying to make it work or working around what's broken
Also unfixed (that I've dealt with personally; there's probably more)
- LastPass keeps telling you your Master Password is wrong though you watch yourself type it correctly; keeps giving you a big black X next to the password field (workaround: quit Firefox; restart and try again)
- If you get your Master Password wrong the password form field goes blank the second time and the search box goes blank on all successive tries (workaround: quit Firefox; restart and try again)
- LastPass will go weeks throwing an error on my Dreamwidth password for this blog, then will go just as long without throwing it, alternating with throwing the error only on my first log-in per session, but not on any successive log-in, alternated with throwing errors on every log-in within every session
Not a bug, but weird (1) or flat-out inexcusable (2):
- LastPass has different login dropdown styles on Dreamwidth; one is a long, stylish list in greyish-beige with a unique font that I see maybe once every 10 logins for no discernible reason on this site but no other; the other is the standard white background
- And I now think LastPass is what's hammering Firefox's memory usage and slowing it to a crawl, not Wordpress and not Firefox itself, like I previously thought.
I am just *gaaaah* so fucking done with LastPass.
Update, 8-21-17: the fix below (switching back to 32-bit Firefox) works great until you restart Firefox, then tada, it never works again. So I guess there is no answer short of trying every version of the LastPass add-on - really not a good idea when latest versions are patched for security vulnerabilities and so on and oh, LastPass, how completely unusable you are, let me count the ways.
Since discovering my fix only works until restart I've disabled LastPass and installed KeePass/KeeFox because I had online work to do and wasn't about to keep playing games with a broken password manager. KeePass has its own issues (mainly, when it stores more than one login for a site it tends to autofill the wrong one, leading to a lot of "copy username/copy password" clicking and pasting) but though it's not for the faint of heart (it's sort of an old-school program with about a gajillion options I haven't even glanced at yet) it does seem less batshit fucking insane to deal with, overall.
So, the LastPass blank dropdown menu and blank search results panel is very annoying. The dev hasn't updated the add-on since June and is responding to exactly zero complaints about this and other issues on his Firefox review page, though there might easily be dozens.
Which came to bite me, too, when Firefox finally let me have their latest multiprocess (e10s), 64-bit compatible version earlier this week (e10s is still automatically disabled if you install any add-on that isn't yet e10s capable); ever since I've had both LastPass problems, and saw others are having them, too [Example 1, Example 2, Example 3].
To fix these issues, just switch back to Firefox 32-bit. It's not even necessary to remove Fx 64-bit. It's actually better if you don't, so Firefox can just poke around in your profile folder and recreate the Firefox you've got in the 32-bit version you're about to get (just be sure to create a shortcut or a target that you can easily tell apart from the 64-bit icon).
32-bit Firefox runs LastPass perfectly, fixes the blank dropdown list of log-ins for each site and fixes search result panels showing up blank.
For everyone leaving bitter reviews [Example 1, Example 2, Example 3] and sharing the version number that allegedly works better [Version 4.1.62a]: I tried it in 64-bit Firefox, but it gave me all the same blank dropdowns as before.
My guess is the problems are not confined to any particular version. After I installed the May 31st version and saw the same issues it became clear the latest version is not at fault - it's 64-bit Firefox - and I'll gander that's no matter which version of LastPass going back to the earliest 56*-capable version you pick.
So if you've got 64-bit Firefox, try going back to 32-bit (here are the 32-bit installers. If you have automatic updates turned off, keep checking the directory for the latest). Run Firefox 32-bit with whatever version of LastPass you have and see if that fixes the problems.
Darkness Is Good is gone, though no one seems able to figure how that came to be: 1,040,000 Google results pronounce HE'S FIRED while 1,360,000 Google results suggest he resigned - twice (the first time effective Aug. 14th, but in the uproar over Charlottesville I guess he forgot to take himself out the door, though it sounds like once things calmed down Kelly reminded him to pack his bags).
Though my title invites him to switch sides and come swing from the branches with us, we're more likely to collectively win Powerball tomorrow night - without buying tickets - than for him to switch sides, so yeah, surely I jest. Anyhow, he claims he's not racist and Orangado likes to echo him on that for whatever reason (they'd poll better as avowed and even belligerent "racists" with their be-all, end-all base, don'tcha think?) but with the mouth on him he's got, he can go pound sand.
He who indirectly brought an entire right-wing, white nationalist so-called "news" agency into the Oval Office - along with the first program to ever essentially automate a president's tweets, speeches, news conferences and rally notes - surely won't be too sorely missed, and while I'll let bygones be bygones, I won't forget his every-weekend mayhem-wrecking of earlier this year, and neither will the liquor store where I get the vodka I started drinking because of it.
On "the first program to ever automate a president's tweets, speeches, news conferences and rally notes", thank Bannon for working with - and for Trump being funded by - billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah. Cambridge Analytica does more damage to the Republican electorate - as low-information, conspiracy-embracing, false-danger-sensing and Faux Noize-prone as it is - than they could do to themselves.
And Bannon used it - this is my personal belief - to shape and script Trump's every public engagement, no matter how big or small. The general gist of his words was given to him daily by Bannon, after he distilled CA's results down into bullet points which he fed to Trump along with his well-done steaks and McDonald's.
That's my theory. But I have a strong hunch - beyond a hunch, I'd say I'm almost certain - that it's so, after Bannon's last words on that (and trust me, they were on that): "The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over". Does he say why? No. Does he drop hints? Sure. Try this (emphasis mine): "[...] that presidency is over. It'll be something else. And there'll be all kinds of fights, and there'll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over" and: ""There's about to be a jailbreak of these moderate guys on the Hill" — a stream of Republican dissent, which could become a flood."
When "asked what the turning point was" he blamed moderate Republicans, but the truth is without the messaging Cambridge Analytica gave him to advise Trump with, to keep the dude "on point" with his base, Trump will be like a little boy who can't find his way back home for the lost puppy he keeps chasing after in the woods.
To see why, you need only know how Cambridge Analytica works*: it uses deep data mining and polls social media for "likes" (the ubiquitous "thumbs-up"), then matches those data points against a "predictive personality model" to find its preferred targets. Right now it prefers right-leaning targets, but it could just as easily be programmed to prefer leftists or florists or Jehovah's Witnesses. As it finds new targets, it learns what each of them wants to see, watch, read and think about, then carefully spoons them more of the same, after tailoring it to their specific interests down to the most granular level. Think a bespoke Facebook or bespoke Twitter.
Which is how just one right-winger browsing Facebook might see video of a man arrested for flying a kite over, say, his state's (Democratic) governor's mansion last week that none of his Facebook friends will ever see because he in particular has shown a strong passion for kites, a strong dislike of Democrats, and happens to live in the same state where the criminal kite-flying occurred.
What CA does is reinforce each target's existing beliefs with more of the same until their thought processes are impossible to budge...almost like learning by rote. The end result is you take the base you want, shape it into the one you find the easiest to handle with the least amount of massaging, then use what you receive from the echo chamber you've created to target it even more repeatedly from within the Oval Office, on Twitter and Facebook, at rallies and pressers, or wherever. It's a brilliant, though insidiously awful, product.
And I'm making it sort of easy to grasp (I've read between 5-10 hours worth of articles over the last year in order to distill it down this much) but the sausage-making that goes into Cambridge Analytica is actually crazy-complicated, though suffice it to say, it works. It works almost too well. It's a form of AI which Mercer money - basically endless - has built into one of the best content and message-tailoring platforms on Earth.
Without it - assuming Bannon used it to influence Trump as much as I suspect he did, and that he pulled it for use in the Oval Office shortly before he was canned or resigned - Orangado will indeed soon be up the proverbial creek without his most precise, content-targeting paddle. But just as he said of Bannon: "We'll see what happens!"
*: Updated this paragraph shortly after posting to describe a bit better how Cambridge Analytica works.
"The Essential Chomsky" is a collection of 25 pieces of writing from Noam Chomsky which covers a critical review of "Verbal Behaviour" by B. F. Skinner published in 1959 in the journal "Language" to Chomsky's afterword from "Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy" from 2006. Chomsky is best known in two areas, one being his career as a linguist, and the other for his outspoken liberal views in which he holds the United States and the West to the same standard which others hold the rest of the world, and there are examples of both contained in this collection.
Chomsky's skillful dissecting of Skinner's work clearly demonstrates the way Chomsky's mind works as well as the thoroughness with which he examines every subject. It also is a good choice because one avoids any political bias when reading it. With his political pieces, of course such emotional attachments to one's position exist, and so it would be much more difficult to set a baseline with one of those pieces.
When looking at the political pieces, Chomsky uses the same logic and thorough examination tactics that he used in his review, and that he also brings to the other writings on linguistics, with varying levels of effectiveness. For example, his brief look at the war crimes committed by the Allies in World War II fails to work for me in some of key areas: he seems to ignore the fact that there are issues with almost all tactics used in war, and the inherent immorality of war; he fails to deal with the reality that
Germany and Japan were both trying to develop nuclear weapons and so there was a need to end the war before they were successful; he fails to deal with the reality that Japan was teaching their "civilians" to fight against the invaders, which then calls into question whether or not they would be considered "civilians" or "enemy combatants".
That being said, I believe he is right to discuss these issues, because tactics like firebombing, and using nuclear weapons should never go unquestioned, and while one may be able to justify some events, other events may be questionable. Dresden in particular is one event which has caused great debate over the years, and undoubtedly still will for some time to come.
Chomsky's more thorough look at Vietnam and events since then is far more devastating to the perception of the U.S. and the West than the discussion of World War II. Chomsky meticulously looks at the statements made by our leaders as to why we were involved in these conflicts, and systematically eliminates those which can be shown to be false, leaving behind a rather unappealing reality of what has motivated the U.S. government over the years. Of course, one has to read these sections carefully as well, but here Chomsky offers alternative behaviors which may have had a significant impact on the situation in the world today.
The linguistic sections are also quite good, but many of them are fairly advanced and in some cases require re-reading to fully comprehend the discussion. "Language and the Brain", for example, is a wonderful look at what is perhaps the most amazing function of the brain, i.e. the capacity to take a grammar and to utilize it unlimited ways to communicate with others. Even if you don't like Chomsky's very liberal views on politics, it is articles like this that make reading this book worthwhile.
Whether you are interested in his works on Linguistics, or those of a political nature, Chomsky is fairly consistent in providing a dispassionate discussion of the subject. Of course, his political views might irritate or even infuriate the reader at times, but he never relies on personal attacks or other cheap tactics and instead he stays focused on the subject under discussion. I have always enjoyed reading Chomsky, because he often challenges my views, and forces me to rethink my positions to make sure they have a solid rational foundation and are not built on emotion or personal biases.
This is a very good book, but of course as it provides a little bit on a large variety of subjects, it doesn't have the depth on any particular subject. Still, it does give the reader an indication of where to go for more with regards to the pieces provided, and then also includes a good bibliography of Chomsky's works.
I arrived home to discover that she had made this wonder in the living room:
And I am looking forward to being allowed to open any of the things underneath it!
(Jim is being left with strict instructions that he is not allowed to eat any of the boxes. Or the tree. Or be sick on any of them. Or peek inside.)
Regarding the video of fascist Christopher Cantwell melting down:
1) This is pretty great viewing, particularly after seeing the Vice video which featured this gutless bully.
2) His expressions of surprise are very striking. He's actually shocked that people are mad at him! He really thought he could play weekend nazi and not be the bad guy. Behold the danger of living in an echo chamber!
3) He also can't believe how persistent his enemies are. He believed his own propaganda that the left is a bunch of pushovers. Surprise, fuckface! I find it particularly telling that he seems 100% terrified of Chelsea Manning. He forgot that she had the courage to go to prison and be branded a traitor for life to do what she thought was right -- and then to come out as a trans woman. Goosestepper McGee here will never even come close to matching that kind of moral fortitude and physical bravery, and I think maybe he's starting to realize that.
4) This is a terrible cancer that will destroy society, but there is still a window in which it can be stopped. Fascist jerkoffs like him will fold if they face real opposition. We just need to provide it.
Poor conservatives, they've got it so tough: they just want to finish ruining life for Poors and the already-gutted middle class but the chief citrus fruit juggler just keeps getting in the way.
Hell they care about some neo-Nazi/KKK fluff, they've got healthcare to eviscerate, taxes to delete for the rich, a minimum wage to abolish, and an environment to finish fucking up, and you wanna talk to them about white nationalism when the hell they care. They are white nationalism. Enough said.
Stepping back into my usual form (I'm about to lose it again, so no worries) you all know how I've hammered on and on and on and on and and on in post after post how Trump voters are just one big, closeted pile of slithering, slimy, silent majority racists? And how at least a few of you, how many times now, inwardly clucked to yourselves that I'm wrong and this could not possibly be the case because like, white people want low taxes, too, so how exactly does that make somebody a fucking racist again?
Fine. Like the head orange peeler, I'm feeling a bit on edge tonight myself, so let's go:
A HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted after the Charlottesville unrest (but before Mr Trump's Tuesday press conference) could also give clues as to why conservatives are taking pause. Fully 77% of Trump voters think the president "did enough" to condemn white nationalist violence in Charlottesville. Two-thirds of them had no problem with the president's delay in mentioning neo-Nazis and white supremacists by name.
Perhaps most remarkably, 48% of Trump voters think the Charlottesville white nationalists either "have a point" (37%) or were "mostly right" (11%). And 68% of Trump voters see "a lot of discrimination" against white people in the US.
Let's look at this again: "Fully 77% of Trump voters think the president "did enough"" to condemn white nationalist violence. So almost 80% of the citrus-eating electorate thinks saying both sides are to blame was like him getting on his knees in contrition for what haters of all stripes think they should do in his name. In other words, they just don't care.
And two-thirds (66%) thought it was fine he waited two days to get tired of Ivanka berating him over the nasty thing he said over the weekend, so to appease her, since they can't (but he definitely wishes they could) do the nasty, he read from a dry and meaningless statement that he didn't write, didn't think over beforehand, and didn't give one flying leap about - not to judge by his brain-dead delivery of it on Monday that - while condemning neo-Nazis and KKK because Ivanka and Jared are probably about ready to flee the country, still failed to condemn the very hate rally ringleaders responsible for what happened.
There was just enough to make Ivanka smile again. No more, no less. Just enough.
But that's cool: 66% of those low-information and truth-aversive enough to vote for him thought waiting two days to make an appease-the-left fake offering was great, because why should he have to pander to fuckin' libruls anyhow? How's Murca gonna be great again if we gotta kiss the asses of every fucking ___ and ___ and _____ and ___ in this country every time we just wanna exercise our free rights to speech? See, Bessy, that's why we gotta keep our guns at hand, you know Bummer almost took 'em away before those FEMA camps he was runnin' got shut down...yeah, woman, that's right - coulda been us, that's what I'm sayin'... *swigs beer*
He also quite glaringly failed to condemn himself for making such a brooding atmosphere of hate possible, an atmosphere that would've receded back into the shadows where it fucking belongs had he simply not had a victory which the entire intelligence community blames on Russian interference - not sufficient votes necessary to win - Russian interference, making him the first and only illegitimate orange drink this country's ever had.
And 48% of our Google manifesto-supporting friends think "white nationalists" - rabid non-white haters, to use the normal English term here - "have a point" or "are mostly right". About what? A monument? Violence against non-white/non-Nazi/non-KKK/non-male demonstrators? Shouting Jewish, racial, homophobic and misogynistic slurs? Did shouting slurs at people who don't look like, or have the same parts or tendencies as them prove their "point"? If so, what was it? "We hate anyone who isn't a white man", was that it? Whatever it might be, 48% of people think they agree with it. Presumably they're not all white or men, so go orange eaters, upholding the palest of patriarchies nor for any good reason, but simply because they can.
"And 68% of Trump voters see "a lot of discrimination" against white people in the US." And I'll bet about 70% of them voted for Trump! So tell me again why these motherfuckers aren't racists, and didn't vote for him simply because they are, while I stop my ears up with my fingers and sing "La la la la I'm not listening" like a two year old, because fuck you, that's why.
You'll need to create a Dreamwidth account to PM (private message) me (you can find the private message link on my profile page after you join Dreamwidth - it will turn from grey to red once your account is active).
I can't unscreen your comment without it becoming public, and I doubt you'd want that. I can't reply on the page, as you commented anonymously, so you can't see my replies unless I unscreen them, which would also make this a public affair. Also, you asked me to contact you, but you left me no contact information.
Also-also, doesn't surprise me there's (at least) two of us! Would love to hear more on this. :)
Anyways things that have happened: Japan!
We went to Japan an it was amazing and awesome and I was entirely overwhelmed with how pretty everything was. We ate a tonne of food, all our tours had lunch packages and most of them were traditional style Japanese lunches, which were mostly delicious, although some of the textures weren't my favorites.
We had excellent luck with weather, despite it being rainy season and generally grey. As seen in the photos below the weather was perfect for our Mt Fuji day.
On the whole, I was really glad we did the tour, we got to see more than we ever would have on our own, and it was nice to not have to worry about getting around or missing something, or being inadvertently rude.
Next time we go back (and we want to go back) we'll do our own thing though.
( A small selection of pretty photos behind the cut! )
Not a great fan of historical novels but this is a good book and an easy fast read. Good historical fiction in general should be of fictional people doing real things in real places, with a few real people thrown into the mix in my pinion. This novel nails it in that sense.
Robert Goodenough is brought up, at least to age 9, in the Black Swamp area of Ohio. His family, from Connecticut, is trying to make a go of homesteading there in the 1830s. The need for 50 fruit trees to prove the claim is his father's biggest concern, as he loves the Golden Pippins his family originally brought from England.
At age 9 Robert unexpectedly strikes out on his own. He moves around, regularly changing jobs, and he finally ends up in California. There he meets William Lobb, and becomes a tree collector, shipping trees and seeds to England. William Lobb was real, tree and seed collecting was really a thing, the sequoia dance floor and bowling alley trees are now part of Calaveras Big Trees State Park, and the Black Swamp really was not a great place to homestead.
Not as good as "The Girl with The Pearl Earring" but one that will satisfy.
Dom Um Romão - Dom Um Romão
"Dom Um Romão" (1990), compiles two previous albums by Muse - "Dom Um Romão" (1974) and "Spirit of the Times" (1975). This record was latter re-issued by Vogue (Samba de Rua, 1990), 32 Jazz ("The Complete Muse Recordings", 1999) and Savoy ("Complete Muse Sessions", 2010).
Dom Um Romão (1974)
00:00:00 Dom's Tune
00:08:43 Cinnamon Flower (Cravo e Canela)
00:13:45 Family Talk
00:30:23 Adeus Maria Fulô
Spirit of The Times (1975)
00:38:30 Shake (Ginga Gingou)
00:41:27 Wait on The Corner
00:47:38 Lamento Negro
00:55:53 The Angels
00:59:53 The Salvation Army
01:03:52 Kitchen (Cosinha)
My CD copy is a European edition.
On the French Vogue label it is called "Samba de Rua" Same tracks but different cover.
Between 1971 to 1974, he was a member of Weather Report.
Great find though!