Apple are bad people

Reading the summary of the MacWorld keynote today reminded of why I hate Apple. There's no question they have the best designers and they produce some seriously polished, usable products. But the reason I don't like the company and don't want to own any of their products is that they are bad people and they encourage the same of their users. The keynote was blatently elitist, which is what I have come to expect from Mac users recently. I'm all for hyping your product (or the one you enjoy) and touting its superiority over the competition but I think it is quite a different matter to be overly condescending without reason. I don't try to tell anyone that they shouldn't use a Mac or an iPod; I think they are wonderful devices, the best for those who they are especially good for. So why do they need to be rude to anyone using a product that is not made by Apple? Apple, as particularly evidenced by its recent "Mac vs. PC" ads (which I find offensive), has given its users a liscence to denigrate any competing product. They don't accept that different devices have different strengths and weaknesses that make them desirable for different people. Anything that isn't the thing they like is immediately evil, even if the thing they don't like about it is an unfortunate result of being better in some other way that I desire, just as to me the lack of that feature is an unfortunate result of the more streamlined design of the Apple product. Until Apple and its fanboys adopt a better social policy I can't, in good concience, join them.
Keywords:Rants | Computer
Comments:2 comments
Sex Education: A Dream

Last night I had a dream. It seemed so real at the time, as most dreams do. In the dream I promised a friend I'd write up my opinion in my blog, and although it wasn't real, it was an interesting situation I'd like to write about anyway.

The dream was about sex, somewhat of a taboo subject. As kids, when we are taught about sex, we're always taught it is how babies are made. The message is that sex is for married couples. Of course we know the truth is that lot of kids are having sex. Never "your kids", but you know it is out there. According to some statistics I looked up (I don't need to provide links because these things are easy to find), by age 17 over 50% of people have had sex, and by 19 it is roughly 80%. We may want there to be something special about sex, but the amount of recreational sex belies that in most cases. Now, instead of ignoring it, what if we embraced it? If you accept that it is fun and appealing and that kids are going to want to try it then maybe we could curtail many of the emotional and physical problems that result from it. In any case, that is a little of what the dream was about.

I was in High School, and probably 17 years old. Up to that point sex education policy was the same was we all know it. However, in the dream, my parents and teachers started taking a different approach. In this bizarre dream, they started encouraging sex. Rather than the wild orgies you might expect, there was actually no sex in the dream. I imagine that all the kids there still wanted it, but after years of thinking it was a secret, talked about through bird and bee metaphor, they were uncomfortable hearing adults talk about it freely and openly.

Read more... )
Keywords:Dreams | Rants
Comments:0 comments
Airport Dating Service

Ok, it's been a while. Let's recap. My first week of break I was at home, it was good, I got a lot of good Hanukah/Xmas gifts. On my way back this past Monday, USAir lost my luggage. Now let me rant about this for a minute.

I guess USAir is in some pretty serious trouble. They have been screwing people over left and right this holiday season. If I were flying with a connection I might understand but I how do you lose a bag on a short direct flight from Manchester to Pittsburgh? I mean that plane only fits about 60 people, so how do you not notice that half the bags are missing? I really wish they could have at least told me that many bags were misplaced when I got there. Instead I waited an hour and a half at the baggage claim before the flight finally dissappeared from the board. In the middle someone from the airline came over and asked if anyone was from our flight. She said she was checking on it but then she ran off and never came back. Finally I went to the baggage office where they said it would be in on a flight later that night and would be delivered Tuesday morning. Next to the baggage office was a closed down baggage carosel with the whole area filled with bags that must have come in later than their owners. Someone in line suggested it was like a Yankee Swap, we had donated a bag and we could go and take a bag. I had already missed 4 busses.

It did not get delivered Tuesday, or Wednesday. I did finally get it on Thursday. However their customer service sucks.

Read more... )
Keywords:Rants | Ideas
Comments:0 comments
BVW Hell pt. 2

Today was a continuation of the hell that was yesterday. I'm so tire of it that I could cry. The worst part of it is that I have 2 more full days of it and I don't think I can quit, but I can bear to stay. The jury went well, in that we were able to show everything with only minimal failures and delay. But it sucked. For me it was like swimming upstream and I can't take it anymore. At the end of the day I finally snapped, I decided to punch a wall to release stress and when even that wasn't tollerated in the eyes of my hypercritical peers, I totally flipped out and left. I don't know if I'm going to go back tomorrow. I feel like I should, like I'll probably regret it if I don't, but If I do that then they will have won.

It's just that everything everyone has said to me over the past two days just makes me feel like I'm not respected at all. And I know people appreciate the hard work I do, but that's not the same thing. Why do you suppose that if people appreciate what I do, they work so hard at trying to not let me do it? If you really appreciated me, you wouldn't shit on me all day and then appreciate that I stood there and took it, you'd appreciate that I have a way of working that would make everything run even better than it did for both of us and let me do that. I enjoy taking a very tough situation and making it run smoothly, but only when I can do it my way which means using organization to simplify things. I feel that I am worse than a normal person at dealing with with tough situations by brute force because I am used to a better way.

Read more... )
Keywords:BVW | Rants
Comments:2 comments
BVW Disorganization

This Wednesday is the BVW show. Tomorrow (Monday) is the jury to decide which worlds get into the show. Today we spent all night trying to set up for tomorrow. The setup is really complicated due to the myriad of different setups worlds have. One world is so complicated that it single-handedly doubles the complexity of our setup.

As much as I should enjoy this kind of work, I am extremely upset right now. This is one of the standard things that piss me off. I like order and organization. I am known as someone who can do amazing things in a tough situation, but that is because by being organized you can break a hard job down to easy pieces. I'm only good in the way I am when I'm allowed to do what I do. Even though I'm willing to tackle a hard job I hate hard work. I can almost always break something hard down. I'm willing to do hard jobs when I can do them on my own terms, but I get absolutely furious when I'm not allowed to do things my way but I have to do the hard things the way others would. I feel like saying, "If you think this way of working is acceptable then you fucking do it," and then walking away, but I usually don't.

Dave is far too nice, I think. Yes, I am about enabling the class and letting them do interesting things, but I do not appreciate groups just deciding what is going to happen for them without consideration of how it affects others, least of all the TAs who are the ones they are expecting to do what they say. I hate that this is acceptable. If I were running the show there would be strict rules.

Read more... )
Keywords:BVW | Busyness | Rants
Comments:0 comments
Comcast is evil

Words cannot begin to describe how much I hate the Comcast cable provider. They have of course got a monopoly on the cable service in my area and a disturbingly large part of cable service nationwide. Their prices are absolutely outrageous. The lowest plan they have that includes any strictly cable stations (not broadcast) costs $42. I don't watch a lot of TV, not nearly the amount I would get for the $42, but some. $20-$30 seems reasonable to me for what I want, but to get it I must subscribe to their $42 plan. They make no attempt to serve their customers; it is one of the most blatenly self-serving businesses that I can think of. There's no way I can do anything about it. I feel I need to take some action, but the only action I can see is cancelling my subscription outright in protest. Unfortunately that wouldn't even be noticable to such a large company. Rather, it would hurt me by taking away the programs I want to see. I'm really mad because I'm addicted to the stories in the shows I like to watch. I need to see them, so I feel I must subscribe against my will. I don't even think I can afford it. In a way I blame MIT housing for getting me addicted to TV with their free cable (even as sparce as it was).
Keywords:TV | Rants
Comments:24 comments

I've been meaning to write about this for a while. A side interest of mine is finding the perfect transportation. I don't believe in convention and I don't care what other people think which leads me to try out some unusual things.

For a few weeks, a couple years ago I had "shoes with wheels". Street shoes with wheels that fold out of the soles so that they become skates. The problem with those was that the wheels were too small so you tripped everywhere. What finally did them in was that I actually bent one of the locking mechanisms. My diagnosis is that they are just toys and not meant to be used as actual transportation.

I rode a Razor scooter a little while I was an undergrad because Stage3 had one. For the past year I have owned one and rode it all around. A few days ago I replaced my first set of wheels. A week ago, while braking, the rear wheel locked up and the bottom rubbed off.

Which brings me to my point about authentic vs. rip-off scooters. I'll only buy an actual Razor. The rip-offs are cheap and bad. My friend Jared has one. There are a number of things that I think are more poorly designed about it, but I'll only mention one. He bought silly light up wheels, so he let me use one of the original ones as a spare while I ordered my new ones. The first time I rode it I rode to work. My route is quite downhill including one really steep part. I know that after going downhill fast and breaking I have to be careful because the friction break could actually burn me.

Read more... )
Keywords:Quirks | Rants
Comments:0 comments
Anguished English

I feel I have a very strong connection to the English language. I often, especially when writing, consider very carefully the logical and symantic intricacies of turning thoughts into English words and phrases. I think one of the reasons that foreign languages are so hard for me is that the simple sentences I could learn to use do not compare to the very high level concepts and subtle distictions I can express in English. That's why I thought I'd point out a few of the things I've found interesting about English, common mistakes people make, and some helpful websites.

Back when I was in Stage3, we had an argument at one meeting about what the correct plural of octopus is. At the next meeting Dennis had done some research and provided us with the answer. While many people think that octopi is the plural, this is in fact the most incorrect answer. As we all know, the standard plural in Enlish involves adding s at the end. Of course, many words in English are inherited from other languages which lead to all the exceptions to this rule where the plural is also inherited. Latin is the source of many English words and there are some, like fungus, where the -us ending is pluralized as -i. Octopus is not one of them. Latin nouns are seperated into 5 groups, called declensions, which have different endings and different plurals. The rule above that we are most familar with is the rule for 2nd declension, but Octopus, originally from Greek origin, is a 3rd declesion noun in Latin. The correct Latin plural would be Octopodes

Read more... )
Keywords:English | Quirks | Rants | Truth
Comments:0 comments
Today-Tomorrow Reasonableness

For a couple years now, this has been a term in my friends' and my lexicon. It came up first at one of our late night Denny's runs. We never went before 10, and typical was 11-1, which meant getting back even later. On the way home, as we were talking about the next day, someone pointed out that, being after midnight, that it was actually today. This is a prime example of today-tomorrow unreasonable. This is really a precursor to the discussion of when one day ends and the next starts.

The concept of the day and the year, both based on astronomical events, makes perfect sense. Hours, however, I feel are a big more arbitrary. We are diurnal creatures and therefore daylight definately has define the way we live before and after the invent of accessable artificial light. The current method of keeping time is designed to center around noon, the center of the daylight hours. This doesn't seem most appropriate to me, as we are much more tuned to sunrise than sunset. People generally wake up around sunrise, or at least the morning is the time around when the sun rises. Most people stay awake much longer than daylight which means that sunset has very little effect on the human cycle.

I believe there is a natural human daily cycle, also based on the sun as the clock is, but with a different concept of when the beginning of the day is than the clocks notion of midnight. In general most people talk about "the beginning of their day" as when they wake up. No one I know who goes to bed at 1am and wakes up at 9am talkes about the previous midnight when they were still awake from the day before as the beginning of their day.

Read more... )
Keywords:Quirks | Rants
Comments:0 comments
Daylight Saving Time

An add on TV tonight reminded me that this weekend is the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. This prompted to me to some research, which prompted me to write this entry about what I found as well as some other thoughts I've had in the past on the concept of measuring time.

First, it is Daylight Saving Time not Daylight Savings Time as often mistaken. The website I found was quite thorough and did a good job explaining the history of daylight saving time, what its purpose is, and how it works.
Read more... )
Keywords:Rants | Spring
Comments:1 comments

Yes I know the title is far to nerdy. Still, I have not written in a while and much has happened. BTW, the title comes from something that happened much earlier this summer. I my house, in the dining area, there are four tables. The normal configuration is two sets of two tables end to end, side by side. In the summer we don't need as many tables and more open space is desirable. Instead we stack two tables on top of each other and push them out of the way, the remaining two are place at angles in the center of the room. One day I realied it hadn't been done yet this summer so I said that we needed to summerize the tables. This caused a bit of confusing and I had to point out the difference between summerized with an E and summarized with an A. Right now I'm summarizing the summer, so...
Read more... )
Keywords:Summer | Toontown | Rants
Comments:0 comments

My Roomate

I have wanted to say this for a couple days but wasn't writing an entry at the time. This isn't the most important thing, but I didn't want to start off with the title story. I'm getting really sick of my roommate. I didn't really have problems with him during the year. But now, I can't really stand him at all. I'm not sure quite what it is. Part of it is having a roommate over the summer, which is more my fault than his, but I still place my upsetness on him. More than that though is what he does, mainly to the room. I am moving out at the end of the summer. He has all these projects to improve the room. I did some things like that when I moved it. I don't even really have a problem with most of the project. Just the way he does them. It bothers me to have my room rearranged around me, but more importantly without even warning me. I might accept an argument that he needs to do this stuff and I should let him, but I would have at least like to be told.

He has a very stange logic system. He did tell me a while ago that he was planning to do these things. However, that and the fact that he doesn't think I'm paying rent makes him think it is ok to just do them without telling me or without concern for what I feel about it. Even he told me months ago the day he was going to do it, I should still get at least a day warning reminder. Of course I'm going to be charged rent. Why would I get to live here for free? No, I wasn't going to pay for the 3 weeks before my internship if I had got it, but of course when I'm here the whole summer.

Read more... )
Keywords:Rants | Dreams
Comments:0 comments
Thought Repository » Rants