Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
First things first: I found some malicious PHP code at this humble blog, (all together now) which nobody reads anyway…that was evidently responsible for some odd behavior Phil and I had been noticing a few weeks ago. You click on a link that is supposed to take you here, and instead, it takes you to a male-performance-enhancement drug website. Back then, if you clicked on the same link from this blog itself, it wouldn’t happen. You click on it from Phil’s site or some other site, it did. Phil and I looked through his code and couldn’t see anything…I was suspecting a template issue with Blogger itself. A lot of people, meaning myself and the support team at GoDaddy, were thrown off because we made the innocent mistake of taking HTML code literally, which you can’t do with a PHP exploit. It wasn’t until Buck ran into the same problem that I realized I could eliminate everything as a suspect except for this blog itself, right here, which had to remain under suspicion as the common factor. And thus, a fairly intrusive time-sinkhole crisis began.
Even then, this looked screwy because the desktops were not all acting the same way. My Unix box acted sporadically, navigating to the correct link up to maybe 80% of the time. The HP Mini never went to the bad site, not once. I sunk money into it, I sunk time into it, and finally while I was messing around over a FTP session prowling through the hosted WordPress files themselves, I came across the problem. Easy fix, so far it’s worked, steps have been taken to make sure it can’t happen again (upgrades, patches, passwords changed, etc.).
Do let me know if you see something though. And let me know what your security solution is for catching viruses and malware. I’m concerned that the one device that I’ve really taken the most trouble to keep sparkling-clean and battleship-strong, never experienced the problem; that would indicate to me that the countermeasures are working properly, there, which means wherever the problem was occurring, the malicious code was doing something only because local variables were allowing it to. So who’s been sent to that site? Are they/you cruising the Internet without any anti-malware solutions installed? From what I can tell, the site itself doesn’t download anything. But, you should run a scan just to make absolutely sure. It’s a good practice to get into, run a full scan any time a possibility arises. You see a window open and you didn’t specifically ask for it, you run a scan. This would qualify as one of those times. But I suppose I should add that, as of this point, there is no cause for alarm. Knock on wood.
GoDaddy’s Website Protection SiteScanner gave us a clean bill of health. But, this seems to be a HTML tool, not a PHP-level tool; we earned our clean-bill before I fixed anything (see fancy badge over in the sidebar). Which is not to say the tool is entirely lacking in value, it probably just wasn’t money well spent in this particular case.
Now, to business. The elephant in the room that has aroused great volumes of indirection discussion this week, while the thing itself remains uncommented-upon, is…the elephants. Republicans. Conservatives. People who understand that the good future fortune of the country is far better secured if Romney takes this thing Tuesday, than if he doesn’t. They are split between optimists and pessimists. It is that split that arouses my interest this morning.
One of my more casual acquaintances over at the Hello Kitty of Blogging had this to say…
Dear Eeyores, Man the fuck up. No one said this election was going to be easy.
And I hit the “like” button on that puppy, as fast and as hard as the “dismiss” button on a floating popup ad hovering in front of a picture of Kate Upton in a swimsuit. Pow. Mind you, this isn’t like “start sawing down trees when it’s pouring freezing rain because you’re out of firewood” man-the-fuck-up or anything like that…the issue is, purpose. Pessimism definitely has a purpose. But, as a general rule, only when the pessimism leads to the sensible revision of a state of something, such that the outcome of some meaningful upcoming event can be changed. Spare inner tubes, spare flashlight batteries, car insurance, spare this spare that. Pessimism leads to vigilance and vigilance leads to preparedness. None of that applies here, not a shred. If Mitt Romney loses and you were one of the smarty-pants who figured that out beforehand, what exactly does that buy you? Not a damn thing, from what I can see.
The common theme I have noticed, is a conviction that anybody who dares to question Nate Silver’s findings or express any optimism at all with regard to a Romney victory, has become irrationally and emotionally attached to a prediction that is anything but certain and thus unmoored themselves from reality.
Experience has taught me, however, that it is the “Eeyores” who are doing that. The waves of inspiration washing over them every day to spread the gospel from the mountaintops of how fucked we are, I wish we could bottle that energy.
I should mention by way of disclosure that I have a bit of a reputation as a gloomy pessimistic “Eeyore” myself. In fact I have a coffee mug in the kitchen cabinet to this very day, that a work colleague presented to me fifteen years ago following a trip to Disneyland. As noted above…pessimism does have its place. It’s just not doing anything for us here.
I’m not sure what the point is. And it should be noted that some people are getting a bit unhinged with it. “…to tell yourself when convincing yourself Romney has a chance”? Eh, excuse me? I’m all in favor of keeping it real, but the Governor certainly has a chance. Whether it’s 50/50, something lesser or something greater, can yield some fruitful thoughts worth pondering about the history of polls, how the nature of polling has changed, what it might all mean.
But the point to it all is, emotions can become passionate and pickled, with the passage of just a little bit of time, and then they can take on an oxidizing affect against the wrought-iron tethering to reality. But I don’t think it’s the optimists who are doing that. It is the Eeyores doing that, and they are projecting. There are elections going on throughout our history in which the incumbent has had it locked up, and the whole thing is just a silly waste of time.
All in all, this is not one of those. Let’s all tune in Tuesday night, and whatever happens, happens.
By the way, I don’t see any Eeyores taking that attitude of “whatever happens happens.” To the last man, they’re all behaving as if the near-future unfolding events, will be determined entirely by the argument immediately taking place…in which they have to have the last word, all the time. If I were inclined to see things their way in the first place, I’d be reconsidering that because of this one observation, because if you really want to predict with some accuracy what’s going to happen the first step is this: You have to reckon with the idea that what-will-happen, is not necessarily superglued to the other question of who’s-going-to-win-this-argument-we’re-having. Those are two different things.
Now speaking for myself, the money I would put on a Romney victory — were I allowed to do so, since gambling is actually illegal here in the Golden State so of course that is out of the question — wouldn’t be much. A few coins picked up out of the couch cushions, maybe, something I could afford to lose. But I damn sure wouldn’t put it on Obama! And here is why. It is said that Americans have a consistent track record, since the first televised debates, of voting for the more charismatic fella. That theory has holes in it, since the pattern is only demonstrable for some 52 years or so, which means the gap left by Richard Nixon’s victories over Humphrey and McGovern is comparatively very large. Large enough that I must call into question the idea that charisma is the litmus test. The other thing to consider is that the charismatic candidate tends to be the one with the more positive vision — which, this year, granting the concession that the incumbent president is the more charismatic, doesn’t apply. Romney is bringing a more inspiring vision, Obama’s not even trying. This much has been made abundantly clear.
I think the resentment factor has an incandescent appeal for unimaginative, unhelpful and unhappy people; I think this election is all about testing that appeal. It really isn’t about anything else, when you get down to it, is it? This isn’t even anything worth pointing out. It’s all around us and it’s completely obvious. Do we satisfy our wants and needs by engaging in a system of trade, providing products and services of value to other people we want to do these good things for us? Or do we just want to bitch and moan and bellyache about the high price of birth control and what-not, until some elected or appointed pencil-pusher with a dark and empty soul comes along, and “makes the rich pay their fair share,” and borrows from China, and rolls the printing presses at the Treasury to make up the difference, so we can be provided with what we have reached a group-think consensus to be “a right, dammit”?
I think Obama is going to lose because this “Occupy” appeal is deep but not broad; it burns brightly, and like Dr. Eldon Tyrell said, the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. We’ve been trying this for four years. It has failed to yield positive results, entirely, while people have been hungry for those positive results, desperate for them.
Electoral victory is about vision. There’s no vision here, on Obama’s side. Not much, anyway; the vision is something like “No, I’m not ready to come out of Rose‘s dungeon of resentment yet.” But people get tired of living in dungeons. It’s hard-wired into us, eventually we’re going to want our liberty. The question that confronts us Tuesday, is whether four years is enough. Whether we have enough people in this country who want to keep sitting in the dungeon, to send 270 electors into the college. That is the question, and it is the only question that matters.
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