QuickReaction, Thursday-4

So much for the myth that “Indians” are conservationists: Usually Canada doesn’t end up on the wrong side of agreements, esp. one where the U.S. and Russia agree, but Canada led a coalition to prevent a ban on hunting of the endangered polar bears. This is done so that a few Canadian tribes can make a few more bucks (can’t some global zillionaire step up and offer to pay them off, I doubt their revenue from killing polar bears is all that large). It hasn’t been so true lately but during one of the “romantic” periods of environmentalism western hemisphere aboriginal peoples, AKA, “Indians”, were put forward as icons of wise stewards of the environment unlike their rapacious “white man” counterparts. It was never true but it played out nicely for bashing capitalism and western thought. Of course if you’re going to destroy the environment it helps to have technology, esp. guns, so the Indians were conservationists only in the sense they didn’t have the tools to destroy more. Now I doubt survival of any of those people depends on killing polar bears and since they mostly use the hunting permits to sell to rich outsiders I doubt also this can be labeled as protecting a culture. It’s just greed of a special interest group and a small one at that and it stands in the way of the rest of world wanting to preserve a species. How little we humans can be at times .

Facebook changes its feed so it can throw more ads at you. Wake up, people – every change Facebook makes is to suck more money out of you and feed you more and more spam. Soon the only updates you’ll see will be from consumer product companies. Can porn and gambling be far behind? Is there no depth Facebook won’t go? Well, users, you get what you pay for. And here’s one person who believes the changes will take Facebook back to the good old days before your feed was all ads – fat chance. And what a true statement! “The social network is no longer a place to catch up with friends; instead friends are now merely the wrappers Facebook can put around its ads.” Here’s the claim that the ads will be gone “One feed will be an “All Friends” stream that shows everything posted by a user’s friends — and friends only — in chronological order, free from interruption by sponsors or companies.” How long do you want to bet that will last? Or how hard will Facebook make it to get just this feed? Suckers!

Murdoch allows mention of global warming: Amazing, Wall Street Journal lets a global warming article in. Of course they don’t mention AGW (Anthropogenic = human-caused). And they let the denialists attack it in the comments. Now Murdoch can claim fair and balanced but I bet this won’t show up on FauxNews, except to denounce it.

This is alarmism from an organization dedicated to raising awareness, which, of course, risks also meaning hyping it. But the cost figures are bogus since they’re counting all the cardiovascular events which are far more related to other factors (smoking, stress, high cholesterol, etc). I think the ADA is doing a disservice to their cause by exaggerating this “disease” (really just a number on a blood test since the underlying “diseases” are more complex than a simplistic measure of one bit of blood chemistry). The high sugar readings, for the majority of this $245B in cost, is purely a coincidental factor among many factors and once again people, and I believe deliberately, confuse “association” with causation. The actual costs to medical costs purely associated with high blood glucose (a far more limited) set has to be a tiny fraction of this. Lobbyists are attempting to drive sugar to the evil than tobacco is and I think this is a bad strategy since the link is way more tenuous and often non-existent. Obesity is a problem, but its causes and consequences are too many and diverse to tag it with a single named condition.

Yet more AGW proof but it won’t stop the denialists. One of their favorite lies is that warming has been happening steadily, long before human output of greenhouse gases. As usual, WRONG! Or they love to point to other natural cycles. As usual, WRONG! I guess the denialists hate humanity and only love greed. The Kochs probably figure they’ll be dead, with all their fortune much expanded, by the time the consequences have serious impact. What a bunch of evil folks! And more data – Florida doesn’t need to worry about sinkholes because they’ll be under water, but I suspect the Repug elites can somehow find the high ground.

Oh no, dogs are Russian spies! It appears, that contrary to previous ideas, dogs were being domesticated long ago in Siberia (rather than the middle east as previously assumed). So those nasty Russia primitives domesticated the dog knowing they could infiltrate them into the future U.S. for spying. It’s not mentioned in this article but I’ve seen other sources that indicates dogs are just non-adult (though sexually mature) wolves and hopefully someday analysis of the genome will show how that could be. Humans selected the most submissive and least aggressive of the wolves which is actually the puppyish behavior. So when your dogs goos all over you, blame our ancestors.

Android is the malware platform: The conclusions, that a staggering 96% of malware targets Android is not surprising. But the spin the article takes, not mentioned the elephant in the room, is. Basically they say malware goes to what is popular, listing how other mobile platforms, before Android, got most of the malware. Nowhere in all this spin do they mention Apple even though I’d dare say that iOS is certainly larger marketshare than Symbian, Microsoft or RIM. Huh, I wonder why they are silent on this point? Could it be when a vendor carefully controls its OS and its ecosystem malware is substantially reduced? Nah, that couldn’t be it, everyone knows Open Source is miraculous at preventing malware and proprietary is malware waiting to happen (Oh yeah, that’s true when it’s Windows). So somebody knows how to reduce malware. Why isn’t that the model?

Yet another junk study: People who eat sausage or processed meats are more likely to smoke and therefore more likely to die. Or, just perhaps, is it the other way around, people who smoke (the real risk factor) are more likely to eat sausage. And then “Men who ate a lot of meat also tended to have a high alcohol consumption.” Now how about the other way around on that, men who drink a lot are more likely to eat more xxx and yyy? And did they just say meat, or was it processed meat, or was it sausage – really, folks, you think self-reported food consumption over years is that accurate. Of course, vegetarians never have any of these problems because they’re saints and would never think of smoking or drinking and naturally don’t eat sausage. People tend to do a group of things – how many smokers and drinkers do you know that don’t eat meat. So why blame meat? Now what I want to see is the results for vegetarian smokers and heavy drinkers – oh gosh, there probably aren’t any/many of those. So causation, causation, causation – come on, folks, get real. People who die watch TV. People who die breathe. People who die have sex. People who die often have kids. People who die have jobs. People who die go on vacations. I can find an association probably between almost anything and death. I bet people who wear a particular color on a particular day are more likely to death of something. Causation, folks. Until you have proof of that, shut the F up with these stupid studies.

Yes, it’s true: Raghubir said Starbucks makes customers welcome on a number of common-sense levels. “They’ve gone out of their way to get their customers to live there,” in the way of oversized couches and free wifi, the latter of which some eateries and cafes have rebelled against. Versus This quality is in stark contrast to the reputation for snobbishness earned by some independent coffee shops, where dedication to quality coffee can give way to much-parodied holier-than-thou service. Yep, I go to Starbucks every week and I never used to. I go to spend a few hours in a pleasant place and use the WiFi and the bathrooms and buy some products to pay for my time spent there. Lots of other people I see go there to meet other people and enjoy leisure company.  Every now and then I like snobby stuff, but coffee is mostly coffee and if the snobby, but unpleasant places, are 10% better, who cares.


About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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