The Big Think

August 30, 2015

Ant-Man

Filed under: Movies,The R2 Project — jasony @ 5:40 pm

Great time seeing the movie and catching up with good friend Giles. I was impressed with the way the screenwriters handled the potential for the movie to descend into silliness and farce. There were only a few times that I felt sorry for the actors having to deliver such goofy lines. But the sense of humor and obviously over-the-top story worked. The screenwriters, director, and actors pulled it off. Way to go!

We saw it at the Alamo, a place that, sadly, Erin and I haven’t gone to enough. To sit and watch a movie where you’re guaranteed to not have talkers or small screens in your face was nice. And sipping a Guinness in a comfortable chair really added to the experience.

BTW, Giles geeked out on R2 so for convenience I am posting a short-link to my R2 posts. Enjoy!

August 29, 2015

Universe Sandbox

Filed under: Games — jasony @ 9:48 am

Universe Sandbox: “”

Okay, this looks like a severe (and severely cool) time-waster.

August 26, 2015

Business Decisions

Filed under: Business — jasony @ 7:56 am

(reposted from a FB comment I made):

Checkout speed is pretty much my only complaint with my local Hobby Lobby store. Up until recently they read the numbered price off the tag and input it manually into the register. This always made my efficiency-minded business brain twitchy.

Lo and behold, our local HL got computerized registers a few months ago. So I figured they’d joined the modern world and were going to be scanning SKU/barcodes and the lines would be faster. No luck. Even with the fancy new equipment they _still_ input the tags by hand. The registers even have scanner gun ports! Why?

When I asked the manager about this seeming oversight, his answer made me reconsider my frustration. He told me that Hobby Lobby had made a decision to forgo the SKU scanners because the use of them (and subsequent speeding up of the lines) would end up getting rid of the need for the extra employee or two per store. The new equipment DOES speed things up (I’ve noticed), but not so much that they’d have to take somebody’s job away.

Hobby Lobby was essentially trading a tiny bit of customer convenience so as not to have to put someone out of work.

Whenever I go to Home Depot and see those self-checkout stations I always think of the lazy employees that got the boot. I’m kind of glad actually since nothing is guaranteed and their work ethic eventually got the reward it deserved. However, at my local Hobby Lobby the employees are helpful and fast— at least as fast as the equipment will let them be. Maybe they just fear the Sword of Damocles that the scanners represent, but given their attitudes, I think it might have something to do with their employer making decisions that demonstrates the fact that the employees are valued, and they are returning the sentiment by working hard.

It’s not a perfect system, and I still wish the lines were faster, but I appreciate a company making decisions like that. And the only way I even knew about it was that unexpected conversation.

August 25, 2015

Quoth

Filed under: Current Reading — jasony @ 8:07 am

Thoughts on Pratchett – [Part 1]:

“Without a shadow of a doubt, the first fiction ever recounted was fantasy. Guys sitting around the campfire— Was it you who wrote the review? I thought I recognized it— Guys sitting around the campfire telling each other stories about the gods who made lightning, and stuff like that. They did not tell one another literary stories. They did not complain about difficulties of male menopause while being a junior lecturer on some midwestern college campus. Fantasy is without a shadow of a doubt the ur-literature, the spring from which all other literature has flown. Up to a few hundred years ago no one would have disagreed with this, because most stories were, in some sense, fantasy. Back in the middle ages, people wouldn’t have thought twice about bringing in Death as a character who would have a role to play in the story. Echoes of this can be seen in Pilgrim’s Progress, for example, which hark back to a much earlier type of storytelling. The epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest works of literature, and by the standard we would apply now— a big muscular guys with swords and certain godlike connections— That’s fantasy. The national literature of Finland, the Kalevala. Beowulf in England. I cannot pronounce Bahaghvad-Gita but the Indian one, you know what I mean. The national literature, the one that underpins everything else, is by the standards that we apply now, a work of fantasy.

Now I don’t know what you’d consider the national literature of America, but if the words Moby Dick are inching their way towards this conversation, whatever else it was, it was also a work of fantasy. Fantasy is kind of a plasma in which other things can be carried. I don’t think this is a ghetto. This is, fantasy is, almost a sea in which other genres swim. Now it may be that there has developed in the last couple of hundred years a subset of fantasy which merely uses a different icongraphy, and that is, if you like, the serious literature, the Booker Prize contender. Fantasy can be serious literature. Fantasy has often been serious literature. You have to fairly dense to think that Gulliver’s Travels is only a story about a guy having a real fun time among big people and little people and horses and stuff like that. What the book was about was something else. Fantasy can carry quite a serious burden, and so can humor. So what you’re saying is, strip away the trolls and the dwarves and things and put everyone into modern dress, get them to agonize a bit, mention Virginia Woolf a few times, and there! Hey! I’ve got a serious novel. But you don’t actually have to do that.”

Perfection.

August 24, 2015

There Is No Rational Argument

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 1:00 pm

Via:

“Here’s a Tweet from Chris Hayes, an MSNBC host and pro-choice radical:

Better term for ‘anchor babies’ is ‘babies.’ Or, alternately, ‘tiny humans to be cherished and valued.’

— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) August 19, 2015

Tiny humans to be cherished and valued, Chris? I agree. But I think our significant disagreement comes with the application of this concept. You believe the tiny, valuable, cherished humans should be legally eligible for summary execution; I, on the other hand, tend to think ‘cherished’ and ‘valued’ people should be afforded basic protections against torture and murder.

But Chris isn’t the only liberal suddenly discovering an affection for ‘tiny humans’:

They’re called babies. https://t.co/VyJJA26OVl

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 19, 2015

Yes. They’re called babies. Unless they’re in a Planned Parenthood clinic, in which case they are, alternatively, ‘tissue,’ ‘product,’ or ‘profit.’”

The cognitive dissonance on this has been astounding, however, there is hope. As one of my more liberal-leaning friends on FB put it: “I can be progressive politically and still think that Planned Parenthood is killing babies”. So it’s not all progressives that are willing to sweep this very obvious (if you are brave enough to challenge your conclusions and actually watch the videos) tragedy under the rug. The secret is getting out, thankfully. It is becoming more clear that the people who say that PP is doing nothing wrong are self-identifying as the people who have also not watched all the videos. And yes, the unedited versions are available complete online, so the whole “but they’re edited!” meme only works if you don’t want to face the truth. We are allowing the dismemberment of babies as a culture. Not one-or-two-celled blastocysts: fully formed and viable human beings. And we have become inured to it.

God forgive us. No more.

Massive Voter Fraud Discovered in North Carolina’s 2012 Election

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 12:11 am

Massive Voter Fraud Discovered in North Carolina’s 2012 Election | PJ Tatler:

“The North Carolina State Board of Elections has found thousands of instances of voter fraud in the state, thanks to a 28-state crosscheck of voter rolls. Initial findings suggest widespread election fraud.

765 voters with an exact match of first and last name, DOB and last four digits of SSN were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in N.C. and the other state in the 2012 general election.
35,750 voters with the same first and last name and DOB were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in both states in the 2012 general election.
155,692 voters with the same first and last name, DOB and last four digits of SSN were registered in N.C. and another state – and the latest date of registration or voter activity did not take place within N.C.
The second point is key, as double voting is election fraud under state and federal statutes. Punishment for double voting in federal elections can include jail time.

In October 2012, Project Veritas produced video showing a Barack Obama campaign worker helping a voter register to vote in both Texas and Florida.”

One person. One vote. Regardless of outcome. Anything else is not democracy. Anything else should be opposed by all Americans, regardless of party.

August 14, 2015

Abortion Is The New Slavery

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 6:30 pm

Abortion Is The New Slavery – The Federalist:

“The Planned Parenthood videos—and the surrounding debate over the use of fetal tissue—have revealed just how closely abortion parallels the last great moral evil enshrined in American law: slavery. And like that immoral institution, very few of us have clean hands. It’s easy to demonize those directly involved in the practice, but if we refuse to acknowledge the reality of what these videos show us about ourselves, we have no right to condemn our 19th century forebears…

That’s why the undercover Planned Parenthood videos have been so jarring. In no uncertain terms, these doctors and technicians speak of harvesting hearts and livers, lungs and lower extremities. Recognizable human organs are being carefully extracted and their monetary value discussed. There is no plausibility in the argument that this is a donation of the woman’s tissue; it’s patently obvious that the mother isn’t donating her own liver, heart, lungs, or lower extremities. Clearly, like our ancestors before us, we’ve created a class of sub-humanity. These unborn children are human enough to be ‘donors’ of recognizable human organs—but not human enough to enjoy legal personhood. We can kill them at will and use their bodies how we wish. We own them.”

It takes massive amounts of self-deception to come to any other conclusion.

The Great Unlearning

Filed under: Education — jasony @ 10:07 am

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