Thursday, 5 October 2017

09:21 – It was 48.3F (9C) when I took Colin out at 0645, partly cloudy. Barbara’s driving down to Winston today to have lunch with a friend and run errands. She’ll be back mid- to late-afternoon.

Someone posted a link to John Ringo’s take on the LV shooting. An adverse reaction to a psychotropic drug makes as much sense to me as any other proposed explanation, and more than most. A very high percentage of the US population are on such drugs, from the very old all the way down to children.

Teenage boys in particular are very likely to be prescribed these drugs for behavior modification of so-called conditions like ADHD or aggressiveness that are in reality just a normal part of being a teenage boy. But it’s by no means just teenage boys. Men and women of all ages, teenage girls, and children are all routinely prescribed these drugs, despite the fact that severe side effects up to and including mass murder are known risks.

Things were better back before such drugs were common. Sure, there were mentally ill people, but a much larger range of behaviors was tolerated. If Aunt Edna suffered bouts of manic depression or Uncle Bert was a bit odd, well people just kept a close eye on them. If they became a danger to themselves or others, they committed them to a loony bin. But we didn’t have tens of millions of people under the influence of psychoactive drugs, any of whom could blow up at any time.

I’m sure the pharma industry has spent a lot of money to hide the role that such drugs have played in suicides and murders both retail and wholesale. Drug companies make billions of dollars on these drugs, so it’s in their interest to have as many people as possible taking them routinely.

It’s the FDA’s job to ensure that drugs are “safe and effective” before they’re approved for use. By and large, they’ve done a decent job at ensuring they’re effective, although not necessarily any more effective or even as effective as out-of-patent drugs that don’t make any money for pharma companies. But I think the FDA has fallen down badly on ensuring that they’re safe.

When most of us hear about the latest outrage, we rightly suspect muslim or antifa or BLM terrorism. But often, particularly with school shootings and similar events, it eventually becomes apparent that neither politics nor religion were motivating factors. Someone just flipped out.

But the question that’s almost never asked, let alone answered, is: “why did this person flip out?” The normal tacit assumption is that a certain number of the population are nut cases, so a school shooting or whatever is an Act of God, kind of like a tornado, unpredictable and unpreventable. Sure, sometimes people try to attribute the event to bullying or other social interactions, but most just shake their heads and figure these things happen.

Although it almost never makes it into the news stories and follow-up analyses, my guess is that most or all of the mass killings that occur and weren’t due to religious/political motivations are in fact caused by adverse reactions to psychoactive drugs. Presumably the pathologists run drug screens on the bodies of the killers, but I don’t remember ever hearing the results of those.

Oh, the news may mention in passing that the killer was on such a drug, but they minimize its contribution to the event. Here, for example, is an article from the Denver Post mentioning that fluvoxamine, an SSRI, was found in the body of one of the Columbine shooters. But the article emphasizes that there’s no reason to think the presence of that SSRI had anything to do with the shooting.

Then there’s Adam Lanza and the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. The pathologist in that case reported that no drugs were found in Lanza’s body. But what they don’t mention is there’s no such thing as a Star Trek tricorder. The only way you’ll find a drug is if you look specifically for that drug. And pathology screening protocols don’t include looking for specific psychoactive prescription drugs. If you don’t look for it, you’re not going to find it.

100 thoughts on “Thursday, 5 October 2017”

  1. Someone posted a link to John Ringo’s take on the LV shooting.

    Just read it. Good essay, and recommended for everyone interested in the Las Vegas shootings (which should be every American). Does a good job of expanding on the “wonder if he was on meds” hypothesis that was floated a couple days ago.

    My only objection to the link to the Ringo essay is that it took us to Facebook. Ewww…

  2. One pill makes you larger
    And one pill makes you small,
    And the ones that mother gives you
    Don’t do anything at all.

    Maybe back then. No more…

  3. Subbing again today. Art teacher, easy class.

    I noticed that all of the freshmen in HS have been issued low end Chromebooks. They connect through the WIFI in the school. There are two networks, one for the teachers that I am currently using, and one for the students. What they can access on the student network is severely restricted. Generally a Google drive for each student and Google drives that each teacher maintains.

    The students were also issues small cases to hold the laptops. The cases were personalized with the name of the school district and a log. There are bar codes on the back of the devices, inventory control stickers, and a warning sticker that the device is school property and the possession of the device by someone that is not a student and by a student to which the device is not assigned is a felony.

    The students have to pay $50 insurance on the devices. That covers loss or damage at no additional cost to the student. Second Chromebook the insurance moves up to $100. Third incident and the student must pay $250.00 up front for the device and it still belongs to the school. The devices must be turned in at the end of the school year and will be reissued each year through their senior year.

    It is a lot of work for the school staff to distribute and pick up the devices at the end of the school. Fortunately it is only twice during the year. Currently I don’t see the students doing anything on the laptops but as a sub that is probably expected. Teachers leave instructions on their desk for the class.

    I suspect for many of the teachers what to do with the laptops and how to integrate them into their lessons plans is still quite new. Basically submitting paper assignments etc. for now. Not much you can do with a laptop for an art class or gym class. Art may use them for some research and that is about it.

  4. “My only objection to the link to the Ringo essay is that it took us to Facebook. Ewww…”

    Sorry about that, chief.

    I don’t normally link to FB. I don’t even have an account there. But this article was available to those without FB accounts, and I thought it important enough to link to. (Of course, I’m as subject to confirmation bias as anyone else. I’ve been going on about overuse of psychoactive drugs for decades.)

  5. Which hypothesis is more comforting, that there is a high level .gov involvement (high enough to get the FAA database scrubbed) or that he had a medicated psychotic break?

    He still looks like more than meets the eye. Whether it’s secret squirrel tradecraft or he’s some sort of crook (which look the same from outside), this guy’s public life and private life don’t match up.

    n

  6. and I thought it important enough to link to.

    Agreed.

    I have a FaceBook account. Several of them, in fact. Because I’m a moron. Seven or eight years ago I needed to set up a website to do automatic login if the user was logged in to FB. To do that I needed several FB accounts for dev and testing. So I created several dummy gmail accounts for that sole purpose. And then I created the FB accounts using my real email accounts. Because I’m a moron.

    Of course, I’m as subject to confirmation bias as anyone else. I’ve been going on about overuse of psychoactive drugs for decades.

    Ditto, though not for as long.

  7. NOTE: “At different stages of his childhood, Lanza was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Asperger syndrome. The report says that Lanza resisted taking medication for his anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – a decision that was apparently supported by his mother. ”

    I saw this at the time and immediatlt felt that his “treatment” may have led to the killings. Just because he “resisted” did not mean he was not medicated.

  8. “Ditto, though not for as long.”

    I think the first time I posted about this was in 1989 or 1990, about dosing teenage boys with ritalin. That was back when I was running a six- or eight-line Major BBS with a nailed-up dial-up Internet connection. That post was occasioned by a phone conversation with, who else?, Jerry Pournelle.

  9. Safety to the FDA is more about product adulteration, toxicity, immune response, etc.

    With side effects or adverse events it’s a different story. I work for small pharmaceutical company and we just had our annual required “pharmacovigilance” training. We are required to report and investigate any adverse event to a patient even if it doesn’t seem to be related to our product. The example given was a person getting hit by a bus leaving the hospital after receiving our product. It has to be reported and investigated because maybe our drug caused them to be confused and to walk into the path of the bus.

    In my opinion the connection between mass shootings (and other antisocial / self destructive behavior) and SSRIs seems to be more than an casual. Possibly causal.

  10. One of my required “core” courses is in psychopharmacology and I’m looking forward to it, as a former drug abuser and junkie. Perhaps a much different POV than the other students and the teacher/prof.

    I also think, like Mr. Nick, that drugs or not, that guy’s life is very strange and worth further investigation. Just the previous Fed jobs, if nothing else. They sound like the typical “cover” jobs an ongoing “asset” would have.

    But what we can’t do is question his rabid Dem and anti-tRump ideology or his possible use of psychotropic drugs, or we’ll be labeled “conspiracy” nuts and wacko rightwing Nazis who should give up all our guns immediately. So they’ll start again with the bump fire stocks and keep moving as far as they can with it and peeps will nod and say, gee, that’s certainly reasonable….

  11. A very high percentage of the US population are on such drugs, from the very old all the way down to children.

    One of my wife’s biggest complaints about practicing in Texas is the high percentage of the population of all ages seeking ADHD medication. She receives enormous pressure from her management to sign the prescriptions and keep the patient numbers moving.

    Florida and Washington State were not nearly as bad with regard to ADHD, but those states had their own respective drug issues. As the late George Carlin said, “Everybody’s got their fix.”

  12. But what we can’t do is question his rabid Dem and anti-tRump ideology or his possible use of psychotropic drugs, or we’ll be labeled “conspiracy” nuts and wacko rightwing Nazis who should give up all our guns immediately.

    Whoa whoa whoa — there is no sign that he had any political leanings at all. The Narrative has spoken, and that’s that.

  13. My vague understanding is that some of the ADD drugs can be used to increase focus in ‘normal’ kids, and that high achievers are buying them from the ADD kids as study aids.

    Might be a factor in why people want them.

    A diagnosis in the school system also gets your kid special treatment, like more time on tests, etc.

    n

  14. “Which hypothesis is more comforting, that there is a high level .gov involvement (high enough to get the FAA database scrubbed) or that he had a medicated psychotic break?”

    Are those supposed to be mutually exclusive hypotheses?

    I just read the eulogy for Dr. Pournelle on https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/
    It is definitely dusty in here… and I “knew” the gentleman only through his writings.

  15. ADHD meds are heavily abused by college students for studying purposes and even by parents who use them as energy boosters. Adderall (aka amphetamines) are the drug of choice and ridiculously easy to get a prescription for. Walk into any doctors office and say you have trouble focusing and you’ll walk out with an Adderall prescription.

    1-in-5 Ivy League Students Have Used ADHD Drugs to Study
    http://time.com/84554/many-ivy-league-kids-dont-think-taking-adhd-drugs-is-cheating/

  16. ADHD meds are heavily abused by college students for studying purposes and even by parents who use them as energy boosters. Adderall (aka amphetamines) are the drug of choice and ridiculously easy to get a prescription for. Walk into any doctors office and say you have trouble focusing and you’ll walk out with an Adderall prescription.

    Not with my wife. She stopped seeing new “mental health” (ADHD drug seekers) for a while, but the clinic management lowered the boom a few weeks ago.

    Yes, she’s looking for a new job, but the work environment probably won’t be too different. Texas.

  17. @greg, there seems to be some discrepancy involving the tail number of one of his planes. Used to be registered to him, now registered to a company that brags about connections to defense and intelligence agencies. Shows up in the FAA database one way, and in the FlightAware DB another (FA pulls directly from the FAA.)

    LOOKS like someone scrubbed the FAA db but forgot or didn’t know that FA duplicates the data.

    Or so it has been reported elsewhere. I didn’t go look myself.

    Anyway those two conditions are not mutually exclusive, but are pretty far apart. Unless you like my first reaction– rogue agent.

    All Ringo’s story tells me is that it is in fact possible to plan while having a dramatic personality change induced chemically.

    And he was a planner. If he was looking at Chicago for lolapoluzza then his timeline is even longer. That would eliminate the “failed sting/setup” theory too. And move the beginning of any psychotic episode further back…

    n

  18. LOOKS like someone scrubbed the FAA db but forgot or didn’t know that FA duplicates the data.

    Could have been a typo or an error in the import script at FA, but, yeah, the odds are against mere coincidence.

    I played with the FAA files for an abandoned thesis project involving ADS-B Out. Comma delimited ASCII dumped from their mainframe every night. Not high tech but reliable.

  19. Now I know why the 8 TB and 10 TB drives are in short supply. Between Backblaze and the NSA, not many are left for us common folks.

    I wasn’t aware of the power consumption difference for the helium-filled drives.

    I’ll have to look into that the next time I upgrade the home server’s hard drive. I just replaced the motherboard/CPU, and my toy budget is spent for a while.

  20. My little brother was diagnosed with ADD in the 70s. My folks took him off the drugs after a couple of months because they changed his personality. Better to deal with a hellion than drug him into a stupor any day.

    My nephew was on drugs most of his life. I don’t know how he turned out.

    If my children are ever so diagnosed, they will NOT be getting prescriptions filled. They’re kids. They’ll be treated like kids. They’ll learn to deal with life as it comes.

    I am not a fan of drugs for every occasion.

  21. My daughter was diagnosed as ADHD and Asperger’s and something else. When she was 2 1/3 years old. I refused to allow anyone, ie my wife, to drug her. At age 10, she shows no signs of ADHD (and never did) and only marginally any Asperger’s. (About the same as me, and I’m no more than the minimum expected of any engineer. My main symptom of being “on the spectrum” is that I don’t like to be touched. Wow. That’s a slam-dunk if I ever heard of one.)

  22. I have one friend, with a son who was genuinely helped by the drugs. For most people, not worth the side effects.

    British study concluded that by adulthood there was no real difference in outcome between the medicated and unmedicated.

    Another british study showed a strong correlation between the amount of artificial coloring agents ingested and ADHD symptoms. Because it relied on diaries and self reporting by parents, it was dismissed by the .med community.

    Worth looking at FIRST if you are considering medicating a child.

    n

  23. Now I know why the 8 TB and 10 TB drives are in short supply. Between Backblaze and the NSA, not many are left for us common folks.

    I wasn’t aware of the power consumption difference for the helium-filled drives.

    I’ll have to look into that the next time I upgrade the home server’s hard drive. I just replaced the motherboard/CPU, and my toy budget is spent for a while.

    You can get a 8 TiB helium bare drive for $199 by buying a WD 8 TiB external USB drive and removing the case. It is an HGST white drive. I am using one in my main LAN server now for our main backup drive which is approaching 4 TiB.
    https://www.amazon.com/Book-Desktop-External-Drive-WDBBGB0080HBK-NESN/dp/B01LQQHLGC/

  24. Helium-filled drives should have a refill nozzle. After any party with balloons, hook the balloon to the drive to refresh the low-friction atmosphere.

  25. Which hypothesis is more comforting, that there is a high level .gov involvement (high enough to get the FAA database scrubbed) or that he had a medicated psychotic break?

    He still looks like more than meets the eye. Whether it’s secret squirrel tradecraft or he’s some sort of crook (which look the same from outside), this guy’s public life and private life don’t match up.

    My money is on a long retired secret agent man who had a psychotic break. The wife agrees with me.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iaR3WO71j4

  26. After any party with balloons, hook the balloon to the drive to refresh the low-friction atmosphere

    Not enough helium. The containers for party balloons still contain a lot of nitrogen and oxygen. Keeps the stupid from inhaling too much and passing out. The consumer helium tanks of today is just not the same caliber of 10 years ago. Too much liability.

    My son’s friend killed himself by breathing helium. It was intentional. Created a device that would allow him to inhale helium and just basically pass out and then suffocate. Also used an app on Facebook to delay his post by 24 hours. He made the post, then did the deed. When the post was finally made it was too late. Emergency personnel were summoned to his residence where he had been deceased for several hours. Bothered my son quite a bit.

  27. My money is on a long retired secret agent man who had a psychotic break.

    If that is the case do you really think the public would ever told of such? Our government will do whatever is necessary to cover up their mistakes. All the way from withholding information through lying to killing someone with too much knowledge.

  28. I thought Hard Drives were still SI sized, 8TB meaning 8×10^12 bytes and not TiB, meaning 8×2^40 bytes.

  29. You can get a 8 TiB helium bare drive for $199 by buying a WD 8 TiB external USB drive and removing the case. It is an HGST white drive. I am using one in my main LAN server now for our main backup drive which is approaching 4 TiB.

    We may actually have one of those at the house right now connected to the kids’ WiiU.

    The video game system only recognizes half of the 8 TiB capacity, but the WD model we bought was one of the certified drives for the WiiU listed on the Nintendo web site.

  30. British study concluded that by adulthood there was no real difference in outcome between the medicated and unmedicated.

    Just like Head Start! But, let’s keep shoveling $$ millions at it.

  31. My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD, but didn’t like the drugs. We took her to an ADHD specialist after a while who did a bunch of tests and interviews. Said she actually had an anxiety disorder, a common misdiagnosis. They taught her biofeedback techniques and some talk therapy to cope with panic attacks. Helped her quite a bit, she can zone out for a bit and cancel the effects of the panic attack. They also use biofeedback therapy on ADHD patients and are able to get them off drugs after a short time.

  32. I used to think the most annoying creatures on earth were the mosquitoes.

    I have been proven wrong.

    The most annoying creatures on earth are high school freshmen. Especially the female variety.

  33. The most annoying creatures on earth are high school freshmen. Especially the female variety.

    Foreign CS grad students who can’t tell you the difference between Word and a text editor, much less actually write code.

  34. The NRA, which wants the feds to regulate bump stocks as automatic weapons. Bastards.

  35. Helium-filled drives should have a refill nozzle. After any party with balloons, hook the balloon to the drive to refresh the low-friction atmosphere.

    I am surprised that they do not try to run the drives in a vacuum. That would have minimal windage losses and heating.

  36. “I am surprised that they do not try to run the drives in a vacuum. That would have minimal windage losses and heating.”

    Uh, Lynn…

    The heads fly above the platters on a cushion of air. Running it in a vacuum would mean the heads would be in contact with the platters as they spin, which would probably cut down a bit on drive life.

  37. You can get a 8 TiB helium bare drive for $199 by buying a WD 8 TiB external USB drive and removing the case. It is an HGST white drive. I am using one in my main LAN server now for our main backup drive which is approaching 4 TiB.

    We may actually have one of those at the house right now connected to the kids’ WiiU.

    The video game system only recognizes half of the 8 TiB capacity, but the WD model we bought was one of the certified drives for the WiiU listed on the Nintendo web site.

    Huh. I thought the last hardware limit was 2 TB. Looks like the next limit is 16 TB.
    http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/hard-disk-drives-capacity-limits/6/
    and
    https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/askcore/2010/02/18/understanding-the-2-tb-limit-in-windows-storage/

  38. I am surprised that they do not try to run the drives in a vacuum.

    Need an air cushion of some kind to float the heads above the drive platters. I also suspect that the air helps with cooling.

  39. “I am surprised that they do not try to run the drives in a vacuum. That would have minimal windage losses and heating.”

    Uh, Lynn…

    The heads fly above the platters on a cushion of air. Running it in a vacuum would mean the heads would be in contact with the platters as they spin, which would probably cut down a bit on drive life.

    Yup, I forgot that. And I have had many head crashes over the years from 12 inch platters to 3.5 inch platters.

    It just means that somebody would need to create a new technology of floating the head above the drive.

    Oh well, holographic drives are just around the corner. “snicker”

  40. “The video game system only recognizes half of the 8 TiB capacity, but the WD model we bought was one of the certified drives for the WiiU listed on the Nintendo web site.”

    Huh. I thought the last hardware limit was 2 TB. Looks like the next limit is 16 TB.

    Maybe the Nintendo only recognizes 2 TB like the Sony PS4 internal drives. OTOH, unlike Sony and Microsoft, who went with AMD x86-based architectures for that round of console upgrades, the WiiU used a semi-custom 32 bit Power CPU designed by IBM.

    Either way, 2 TB or 4 TB, I was still surprised at the waste of 4-6 TB. I’ll check the drive tonight. The WiiU sits idle most of the time so replacing the hard drive shouldn’t be an issue … in theory.

  41. Beautiful afternoon, shade and cool breeze watching the 6yo play soccer.

    N

  42. This week has made me weary. Between the unexpected death of Tom Petty and the Vegas insanity, I need to unplug. So – current reading is “East of Eden” and “Elmer Gantry”. Although, I also read a WW2 book this week: “Where the birds never sing”. Great book that everyone should read, for both the Patton interactions and the rest of the really gritty war memoirs. Well done!

    But, “East of Eden” – what a great tale and escape when you need it. And “Elmer Gantry continues to be worth reading. Drove by the author’s childhood home in central Minnesota last week.

    It is a good idea to read 2 “old” books to every new book. Although my “old” definition is not quite up to Dave’s yet – I am working on it!

  43. Lynn, That looks like a fun story – but (cheap engineer that I am) I will wait for a lower price point…

  44. The most annoying creatures on earth are high school freshmen. Especially the female variety.

    Well, hell, I could have told you that.

    I’ve said for more than ten years that the most annoying thing on the planet is teenage girls. I came to that realization when Son#1 was a young teen; in the course of shuttling around him and various classmates for various activities, I realized that strangling the teenage girls would make me happy. The teenage boys could just get the shit beat out of them a few times and maybe they’d eventually be worth something, but the girls had very little prospect of adding value to the species and should have been eliminated before they consumed more resources.

    The NRA, which wants the feds to regulate bump stocks as automatic weapons. Bastards.

    The NRA has been shaky on the purpose of the Second Amendment for decades, if not since their origin. I’d been a member for years but got fed up and quit sometime during Clinton’s notmyPresidency when they backed some egregious pro-cop, anti-law-abiding-citizen law.

  45. The most annoying creatures on earth are high school freshmen. Especially the female variety.

    Five daughters.

  46. With regard to ADHD, Autism, Aspergers and similar:

    70 years ago when I was in grammar school, there was no such thing. None of my classmates, all through grammar and high school, had been identified as having such. So what is the difference today? Drinking bottled water.

    Back then, we all drank city water from the drinking fountains in schools, other public places or our sinks at home. Nowadays, all children drink bottled water purchased from stores.

    YUUUP, cause and effect. The Grand Method of Science! OCCAM’s Rasor: Choose the most simple scenario that describes the cause and effect: One source of water (municipal), or multiple brands in the stores?

  47. Five daughters.

    One wonders if you have five daughters or if you want five daughters. The former is “bless your heart”. The latter is “bless your heart”.

    Wait, aren’t one or more of your daughters engineers ? Those don’t count.

  48. WRT to backups: I have the WD My Cloud unit here and I use Acronis to upload files as scheduled. I have had no problems with it.

    Manually uploading some music files now unscheduled as these MP3 files will not me modified.

    @Ray: Really love my new SanDisk Clip Sport Plus Player as it can feed with Bluetooth to my new Deep Blue 5 Waterproof Bluetooth® Speaker (IPx4),
    https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=14445

  49. That’s interesting reasoning, Cowboy Slim, but you’re all wrong. Back when you were but a lad, there was no Anthropogenic Global Warming and no ADHD etc. Now there’s Anthropogenic Global Warming (and we’re all gonna dieeeeee!!!!!) and lots of ADHD etc (and they’re gonna dieeeeee!!!!! if they don’t gobble down lots of patented and expensive drugs.

    Wait, aren’t one or more of your daughters engineers ? Those don’t count.

    What, if they’re engineers they’re no longer girls? I guess that would explain why there are so few women in engineering: we define them away.

    Or do you mean that MrAtoz disowns any of his daughters who go into engineering? Wow, harsh. Or maybe it’s the other way around, that once they become engineers (a superior form of life) they disown him. Also harsh, but understandable.

  50. “Wait, aren’t one or more of your daughters engineers ? Those don’t count.”y

    YUUUP! my daughter with a liberal arts Masters Degree, teaches; my son has a MSEE degree. I have BSChemEng while my wife earned a BSNursing degree, so my family is totally politically incorrect.

  51. so my family is totally politically incorrect

    Are at least one in your family black? Are one of them transgender? Gay? Bisexual?

    If not, you ain’t even close.

    new Deep Blue 5 Waterproof Bluetooth® Speaker

    Ever tried to listen to music underwater with the speaker? Can you hold your breath underwater while listening to C/W music?

    Maybe you should have gotten two of them as they are cheap enough. Does it sound OK to your ears?

  52. News you can use: If you love dogs, you’re probably a racist

    Look, I know dog lovers are generally good people, and usually better people than cat people. But if I check your Facebook or Twitter profile and your avatar is a dog, I’m, like, 60 percent certain you’ve trained that dog to bite darkies.

    His racist little essay is probably tongue-in-cheek, but fuck him anyway.

    (via)

  53. so my family is totally politically incorrect

    Are at least one in your family black? Are one of them transgender? Gay? Bisexual?

    Yes (legally, at least), yes (but I think it’s more for the attention than any deep commitment), I think so (but in the closet), and not that I know of but wouldn’t surprise me.

    And on top of that, my dad’s wife is younger than I am, and he wears a MAGA hat any time he’s out of the house. One of my brothers, age 54, has a teenage wife and a baby. Of of my sister’s husbands had children older than she is, and after he died she married an illegal alien (since deported). As for me, most of my political views have most people thinking I’m a far-right nutjob, but my first wife was black (more or less) and my current wife is Chinese by ethnicity and nationality, so I’m castigated as a race traitor by some big-mouthed, small-brained, no-dicked losers. And I was going to trade my wife in on four girls whose total age was the same as hers but then I remembered that I don’t want to be within a quarter mile of any non-mute teenage girl so I cancelled that plan and stepped up my long-standing plan to be working at the South Pole by the time my daughter hits 13.

  54. Worse yet, my wife’s ethnicity is similar to mine, British and Swedish, so our children are politically incorrect. However, my SIL is 50% Mexican; consequently, our grandchildren are fairskinned;
    however, have politically correct last names. OTOH, their main problem is that they excel scholastically.

  55. “The Curious Case of the Longevity of C”
    https://www.ahl.com/ahl-tech-the-curious-case-of-the-longevity-of-c

    “It is the early 1980s and you have been programming in BASIC, FORTRAN, a bit of Pascal and you read in BYTE magazine of a hot new language: C. Want to take a bet on it? There are only two bookshops in London that stock computer books and just one book on C: K&R. The book is expensive, about a week’s rent for a couple of hundred pages but it is the only way to learn in these pre-Google 1 pre-StackOverflow/GitHub 2 days.”

    Yup, that is when I started looking at C. I bought TurboC in 1987 ??? and I was in love.

  56. However, my SIL is 50% Mexican; consequently, our grandchildren are fairskinned;
    however, have politically correct last names.

    I am presuming that in this case, SIL = son-in-law. But the first case I thought of was sister-in-law.

    OTOH, their main problem is that they excel scholastically.

    If they are in a public school in California, God forbid !, uh oh.

  57. When the wife and I got married in 1982, she was a strawberry blond. That 1/4 Cherokee did not come out until she was 35 or so and her hair started turning white. She has been coloring it herself ever since.

    Of course when she had chemo in 2005, she lost all of hair on her body. Except her eyelashes and arm hair. When her hair came back (a year later), it did not take any hair coloring for over a year in a streak in the top off-center.

  58. Wait, aren’t one or more of your daughters engineers ? Those don’t count.

    The Twins switched to Bio majors early last year. They said engineering is boring. At least looking at a MS in Bio/Eng/Micro/XXX at UT San Antone when they get the BS. Core courses this semester are Org Chem, BioXXX, and Physics.

  59. Seems to me that being diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger or whatever is counterproductive. It gives the person an excuse for not trying to improve. I’m not hugely fond of people, but I’ve worked at being able to fake it when necessary. If someone had slapped a label on me, would I have bothered? Not sure that would have improved the situation…

  60. How anyone can love C is beyond me – like Hebrew, it looks like a fly with inky feet walked all over the code.

    All hail Pascal, Fortran and assembler!

  61. It gives the person an excuse for not trying to improve.

    ding-ding-ding!

    And it gives parents an excuse to let their young children run wild, destroy things, and irritate others. “Oh, I can’t control him. He’s ADHD.” Yah, you fat cow, and you can get your lard ass out of that chair, walk over to him, and pull him away from the wallpaper he’s pulling off the wall. But that would require you moving your fat ass, wouldn’t it? Not sure how many times I’ve heard that excuse, but I didn’t buy it even the first time.

  62. “Teenage daughters cause divorce”

    Indeed. There was, alas, at least one clear case of this in my extended entourage.

  63. it gives parents an excuse to let their young children run wild

    +1000

    Subbing in school there have been some troublesome kids. Can’t discipline them because they are special, ADHD, DMRP (or some other made up term I have never heard) or some other trumped up excuse so the lazy ass single mom to get more money from the government. Sits on her ass all day consuming oxygen while living on the public dole. Has a new car and a new iPhone every year but is too poor to make it on her own.

    System allows her cretin of a child to do nothing in school yet get a diploma. Why they need a diploma is beyond me. The child will follow the career path of their parent and be on the public dole. If they are female they get pregnant before their 18th birthday so they can suck more money from taxpayers. That child is worth it’s weight in gold for getting “benefits” that they never earned. They don’t know who the father is because they only knew them by their first name and forgot that. Just a horizontal whore.

    They are breeding an entire generation of leaches who think the world owes them the same standard of living as those that work. A generation whose only exercise is moving their thumbs on the latest gaming console or texting on their always new cell phone. A generation that when asked how much is 10% of a $10.00 have no clue.

  64. CNN Headline: “Bump stocks can make deadly guns more lethal”.

    I did not know there was a category of guns that were not deadly. I also thought that all guns could be lethal. How do you make something more lethal? Dead is dead. Do you just blow a bigger hole in the person. A bathtub full of water can be deadly. Do you make it more lethal by adding more water?

  65. [snip] I bought TurboC in 1987 ??? and I was in love. [snip]
    When I took C, our textbook was the first edition of K&R, and the complier we used was Microsoft QuickC. Even today, thinking of that bletcherous POS makes me want to go to Seattle and burn down a building or two on the MS campus. I bought a copy of TurboC; lo and behold the thing actually worked. At least 1/2 my class ran out and bought copies of TurboC when they saw how easy it was to use and how well it worked. It certainly helped to have used TurboPascal previously. They wanted us to learn Pascal via the compiler on a CDC machine , which of course didn’t even recognize { and } ; that idea was just too silly for me to accept.

    My older sister used to tell my younger sister that the younger one was either a saint or a madwoman, for having three teen-aged daughters at the same time. The youngest just turned 21, and all of them survived.

    [snip] CNN Headline: “Bump stocks can make deadly guns more lethal”. [snip]
    I’ve always told people that when I snap and start killing a bunch of people who really need it, I’m going to use a low powered rifle, just to fuck with the media. 😉

  66. I’m going to use a low powered rifle, just to fuck with the media

    The media would report it as a high powered assault weapon regardless of what you used. Can’t let facts get in the way of news ratings.

  67. Hell, you could kill someone with an Airsoft rifle (probably by attaching it to a crowbar and beating them with the crowbar; I can’t think of any other way to do it) and it would be reported as a scary, black assault weapon fitted with a bump stock.

    having three teen-aged daughters at the same time

    Congrats to her? Condolences? Something.

    makes me want to go to Seattle and burn down a building or two on the MS campus

    Get me the plutonium and I’ll take care of it.

  68. “I’ve always told people that when I snap and start killing a bunch of people who really need it, I’m going to use a low powered rifle, just to fuck with the media. ”

    Why is killing people who need it not more of a cultural imperative? I seem to recall reading a SF story about it being something worthy for people with terminal diagnoses to do. I don’t remember what the story was called or the author.

  69. I haven’t read that in a story, Denis, but it was discussed on the Cypherpunks mailing list more than twenty years ago. Look up “zombie patriot”.

  70. “I’ve always told people that when I snap and start killing a bunch of people who really need it, I’m going to use a low powered rifle, just to fuck with the media. ”

    Flintlock pistols, for the win!

  71. Yup, that is when I started looking at C. I bought TurboC in 1987 ??? and I was in love.

    I worked for Egghead Software in the late 80s. I got a discount on all of the Borland products, including Turbo C, so I picked up how to write C with Assembler code in performance-critical areas.

    I still have my copy of Abrash’s “Zen of Assembly Language”. In the old Powell’s tech bookstore in Portland, that book was one of their store’s museum exhibits!

  72. Wait, aren’t one or more of your daughters engineers ? Those don’t count.

    The Twins switched to Bio majors early last year. They said engineering is boring. At least looking at a MS in Bio/Eng/Micro/XXX at UT San Antone when they get the BS. Core courses this semester are Org Chem, BioXXX, and Physics.

    They are still STEM. Nerd girls rule ! Too bad they did not understand that Engineers make more money.

    Just think, you could be funding a Social Work or Psychology degree like I did for my wife.

  73. How anyone can love C is beyond me – like Hebrew, it looks like a fly with inky feet walked all over the code.

    All hail Pascal, Fortran and assembler!

    Coding in C is like flying at 50 ft above the turf at 500 knots. The thrill is awesome and one little mistake, you become one with the turf.

  74. I bought a copy of TurboC; lo and behold the thing actually worked. At least 1/2 my class ran out and bought copies of TurboC when they saw how easy it was to use and how well it worked. It certainly helped to have used TurboPascal previously. They wanted us to learn Pascal via the compiler on a CDC machine , which of course didn’t even recognize { and } ; that idea was just too silly for me to accept.

    Version 1.01 of Turbo C worked awesomely, version 1.00 had a nasty bug that flipped the numerator and denominator of constants.

    I started using Turbo Pascal in 1983. Was freaking awesome. The IDE was sheer genius. The programming world owes much to Philippe Kahn. Too bad he flamed out building desktop software such as Quattro Pro.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippe_Kahn

  75. My older sister used to tell my younger sister that the younger one was either a saint or a madwoman, for having three teen-aged daughters at the same time. The youngest just turned 21, and all of them survived.

    What about the husband ? Lots of drama in that household. I have seen close sisters fight before, it is grim. No holds barred and the hair is the first thing to get pulled.

  76. I started using Turbo Pascal in 1983. Was freaking awesome.

    I also started with Turbo Pascal and worked my way up through the versions. Eventually migrated to Delphi which was Pascal for Windows to write a couple of Windows applications. Then another company bought and the price went through the roof and I could no longer afford the compiler. Never did like Delphi as much as TP and I think a lot had to do with the IDE.

  77. I greatly appreciate reading John Ringo’s essay. I am glad he decided to publish it, but don’t know that I would have had the courage to do so in his place. I’m guessing that anyone who reads it will think twice about inviting him or his wife to a party or convention. Not to mention that a drug manufacturer might sue him for what he said.

    So I think it would be a good idea to thank him for doing this by buying one of his books. Does anyone here have a recommendation for a good book by John Ringo?

  78. John Ringo’s “Empire of Man” series (March Upcountry, March to the Sea, March to the Stars, and We Few) is good.

    The Last Centurion is well-thought-of by many, and I’ve had it in hardcover since it was brand-new almost ten years ago, but I haven’t read it.

  79. The Last Centurion is a romp. Fast read, and really fun for a PA novel. Really it’s more like an extended something than a novel, but a fun read.

    Kula bars. Ha!

    I think his zombie books are some of his most accessible- https://www.goodreads.com/series/110176-black-tide-rising

    I like his Troy Rising series as a blueprint to bootstrap the planet after first contact. Some fun stuff, and a bit of Space Opera. https://www.goodreads.com/series/51166-troy-rising

    The Council Wars- fun if you like or know any re-enactors (and roman infantry tactics). I mentioned this series earlier. https://www.goodreads.com/series/42763-the-council-wars

    Special Circumstances has some interesting bits, but feels like it needs another book to wrap things up. http://www.baen.com/categories/books-by-series-list/special-circumstances-by-john-ringo.html

    The Posleen War series and its related other series (Legend of the Aldenata) is MASSIVE but most of it is rewarding. There are a couple by other authors that are a bit less interesting.

    finally the Looking Glass novels are interesting too, as they blend alien invasion, navy, and space opera https://www.goodreads.com/series/42762-looking-glass

    Other than Ghost/Kildar which engendered the internet meme “No John Ringo, No!” I’d recommend any of his work.

    Or cross the streams and read the spin off novels he wrote in Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International universe….

    BTW, all the Ringo books are available from Baen books, drm free, and downloaded in as many formats as you want. You have to jump thru a small hoop, and select “Send to my Kindle” from your account page, but that’s not hard at all.

    n

  80. Lynn wrote:

    “Coding in C is like flying at 50 ft above the turf at 500 knots. The thrill is awesome and one little mistake, you become one with the turf.”

    Codimg in Peripheral Processor COMPASS was even more awesome. One mistake and you had to Deadstart the Cyber mainframe. After dumping the memory to tape so you could analyse it offline.

    All hail CDC! All hail Seymour Cray! All hail NOS/BE!

  81. Codimg in Peripheral Processor COMPASS was even more awesome. One mistake and you had to Deadstart the Cyber mainframe. After dumping the memory to tape so you could analyse it offline.

    Sounds no different than writing code under Windows 3.1 or Windows 95.

    I was an alpha tester for Windows 92 XX 93 XX 95. Never again. I would get a new CD in via UPS each week. They were ALL buggy …

  82. “Other than Ghost/Kildar which engendered the internet meme “No John Ringo, No!” I’d recommend any of his work. ”

    Not saying it’s wrong, just completely different from everything else, and really skeeves some people out. It’s “men’s action fiction” more reminiscent of a bygone day, and magazines with plain paper wrappers.

    n

  83. ” They were ALL buggy ”

    I worked the developers launch of “Chicago” or win95 in San Diego, and they were moving from machine to machine with a floppy, removing a virus that was on the machines from Seattle…..

    Hundreds of machines……

    n

  84. “…“men’s action fiction” more reminiscent of a bygone day, and magazines with plain paper wrappers.”

    I remember that genre being on sale at our local supermarkets and drug stores back in the 1960s but no plain paper wrappers; I can recall Saga and Argosy among others. Ann Margret, Raquel Welch, et. al. were big in them daze. Me and buddies use to shoplift them by stuffing them down our shirts/jackets. We also shoplifted LP and 45 records that way. Later, I worked as a store detective, lol, and knew all the tricks.

  85. “… they were moving from machine to machine with a floppy…”

    Been there and done that. Also worked for a while at a plant that manufactured floppies, right here in FUSA, Maffachufetts. And Windows NT came with half a dozen 3.44 floppies, IIRC. I had RBT’s books on NT back in the day, too.

Comments are closed.