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The Sport of Life and Death Threats
leashed un 2021-02-21 Power Washing AM
``Don't hate the player; hate the game.,,
  -- Полиграф Полиграфович Шариков

This ain't quite an obituary, for I disqualify myself from writing those about people of whom I only first learned by reading those written by others; for, however often professional journalists may discover that, contrary to chasing dreams of shattering records in composition of the primary sources, the formal funereals are their responsibility, and I am neither paid nor well, and not much of a reporter, either. If only I could write one for that pastime!

Baseball has done a lot for me,
given me an education in meeting
other kinds of people...
It has taught me that regardless
 of who you are and how much money
  you make, you are still a Negro.
 - Henry Aaron [quoted in the link]

Individual pinnacles of athleticism frequently speak louder than arbitrary rulesets, especially when doing so in the face of adversity, yet I am puzzled as to why a man no stranger to the limelight, would credit so strong a lesson to the whims of a nation; it's just a pastime, after all, and far too measured and quantified for consideration as a game like football (either kind, really!). So you may rightly ask, who did teach that lesson, if not the grassy diamond? Definitely not the upper management, and probably not the wastes of oxygen, nitrogen, and other assorted fuels of capitalism that kept Aaron's spam chute balanced; perhaps it is merely evidence of the man's humility, likely strengthened adversely by societal biases against a man who had the balls to spare the four seasons that'd let him walk to commencement, instead actually spending his every hour of youth honing the skills that payed his bills. Let's hope that future teachers, regardless of their pedigree, academic and otherwise, are less hesitant to claim a lesson as simply found, written in their own life story, that merely happened to be buried beneath the behaviors of fans and fanatics.

A Perfect Day for, uh... Narcissist
leashed un 2020-09-17

Occasionally, folks making idle conversation use one of the least certain fillers when the talk runs thin. It's easy enough to keep things nice and happy, although that's rarely necessary, since it'd often conflict with that mere politeness of prioritizing honesty over nearly all other aspects interpersonal. One such exchange, most likely in certain cultures although quite certain not to occur to me during the next few days, is as follows:

  YOU:  What'd you do over the weekend?

[CRICKETS chirp]

  YOU:  Hah, I bet you spent Valentine's
        Day all alone, probably getting
             higher than a kite.

Lest the redefinitions of modern usage accelerate their revolutions so fast as to spin all semblance of meaning out of this cosmic centrifuge we call our world, let's make a brief detour through arguments so ancient as to have been recorded as fact by none other than the editors of an encyclopedia renowned for its editors' inability to agree upon facts: of those responsible for the traditions leading to the day of romance being named after a man canonized in honor of torture and convulsions, at least three are named identically, although imprecisions in the numeration are likely due to another person named Valentinus, and the only consoling fact in this pile of reasons to stop reading history is that the latter did not get beatified! I'll leave further spelunks through the bunk to those both bold and foolhardy, and proceed to continue the answer that I'd begun composing while Crickets chirped above.

As Your Unsolicitor, I Advise You, Too
leashed un 2020-01-03

The following article is dedicated to that one teacher of mathematics, who never once saw me in a classroom.


DC: btw, how's the 2nd read of the
    odyssey compared to the 1st?

 W: it has been much more enjoyable
    on the second read

DC: heh, quite as it goes indeed;
    good to hear it, too.

 W: i can focus on other details cuz I know
    what damn island the man is on

DC: it can take a while to get familiar with
    that whole other world indeed.

 W: yes, i still couldn't tell you the names
    of the islands, i just have a better
    understanding of the chronology of events

DC: maybe get/print a map, you know? I'm sure
    you can even find one online or something.

 W: not a bad idea, i have no printer though

DC: don't you need one at all otherwise?

 W: the only need i've  thought of for it is printing
    out  some scores  for the  guitar, which  i'm not
    really playing  much anymore  anyways. but  yes i
    think  it may  be  a good  investment.  In  other
    things I should mention, I've been getting slight
    pains in my pinky and ring finger. Interestingly,
    this  has  happened on  both  hands  at the  same
    time. The  pain is  not too bad  at all  and only
    lasts for a short time.  But I am concerned about
    emacs  eventually destroying  my hands.  I bought
    which in theory  is more ergonomic. But  I type /
    navigate so slowly with that keyboard that I want
    to wait  until I am using  it with my new  pc. (I
    also  want  to  wait because  I  currently  can't
    install the software to update the keybinds on my
    mac; the  pain does not  occur at the  exact same
    time on both hands,  it just has recently started
    to occur occasionally on either hand)

DC: there  are some  exercises against  carpal tunnel
    syndrome, you might want to look those up; but at
    any rate, if it  hurts...stop doing it, you know?
    find what works for you there, keyboard and setup

 W: i know, i do not  muscle through the pain. i take
    my  hands off  the keyboard  and wait  for it  to
    subside  or at  least start  typing slowly.  i'll
    take a look into  exercises against carpal tunnel

If you have complaints about both the textual anchor of the context link and the compression of the quoted conversation, please, complain to the author, editor, and postal monkey in the IRC server linked therein; otherwise, glad that we may proceed, read on!

adlai: unsolicited advice, for whaack: copying guitar
       tabulature is not  sufficient cause for owning
       a    dedicated    printer;   moreover,    your
       musicianship  will  likely benefit  from  time
       spent reading and writing the scores yourself,
       and your finer  musculature might benefit from
       a wider variety of cramps.

adlai wonders whether the truly manic superhackers can typeset tabulature so that the inkjet's servomotors provide appropriate percussive accompaniment while the human practices from an earlier copy

whaack: what  do you mean my  finer musculature would
        benefit from a wider variety of cramps?

trinque: he's doing his  idiot adlai schtick where he
         breaks the  fourth wall and talks  to the tv
         audience for laughs.

whaack: ah

diana_coman: adlai: unsolicited advice is for writing
        on your own blog, not in here; do write in
        here when you have some unsolicited but
        useful work you want to showcase.

adlai: thank you for the admonition


Since this is not an anatomy lesson, nor have you reached this article for my recommendation regarding a specific one of the exercises intended to selectively induce pain tolerance, I will only advise hereforth about the crampomancy of the finer musculature, in the hope that your hands will not get eaten by the editor macros too quickly.

Let's say you're a recovering gold medallist, from the 2036 games, who's grown sick of rowing the same lonely little vespoli across the placid lake, and the price differences between BC Bud and Brooklyn's Dankest Drank just ain't what they used to be, so you've decided to hang up your oars above the roadside doors and the first thing that happens once you go for a nice slow ride on the recumbant quadricycle is that you get mud in the face from a commuter. Once you've wiped, returned to the gym, showered, and started your way to wherever you go next, begins your recovery from the games: who was that rude dude on the motor vehicle? Doesn't he know who's face he just blackened? Doesn't he care about your impeccable dexterity: that tightness of grip from the lesser fingers, as the thumb loosens just enough for the slightest kinking of the hypocarpal to flick that glinty froth away from your club's sygaldry? Doesn't he know how rude it is to not even slow down, see who's at the roadside, and give a honk if they're selling souls in exchange for musicianship?

The short, sweet, simple answer is that -- unless you were good enough to die before the sequel -- you'll have grown so old that the medal's weight in monodisperse nuclei will matter more than what all the slick sales agents paid for your ketones, calories, and hotel rooms; you'll even, one day, begin to have greater fear of drowning in the shallow waters than of the polysyllabilics spoken by the fellow in the white suit, young enough to have been conceived, untimely ripped, and well underpaid during the decade when you left the waters. You'll be old enough to wonder whether it's one of the newer strains, resistent to penicillin, mycotoxin, mesophage, and worst of all, deadly toxic to the squishy pink bile; you'll be old enough to dispense with politeness to the smiling staff and demand the lethal dose, although you might just be sufficiently farsighted to wait with that request, as you remember that the middle-aged club member -- the one with the megaphone who actually hates to drive the motorized katamaran, because it doesn't wake the lesser boats -- is still waiting for your advice.

You'll catch him one day, as he returns to the dock while the next hopefuls are hosing down their shells, and you'll ask him what exactly it was that he wanted to discuss with you:

"Ah yes, that. I've grown tired of coaching this sport, and worse yet, there are too few students here for this to remain a profitable primary job. What's your favorite game?"

The Virgin Scammer's Cookbook
leashed un 2019-12-31T08:37:99

Imagine a dive where you can sit for hours, nursing several standard drinks all in a single glass, safe and secure in the knowledge that once you're a thumb's width from the empty you can ask the gorgeous barmaid for the refill. Unlikely as this sounds, it does exist, and they don't want my money anymore because, allegedly, I socked a shmuck in the face and called the barmaid a whore's brat when she asked me to do that outside the premises; the only reason I ever even spent enough money there to realize that it was the cheapest place in town is that I'd meet my weiqi instructor there, and this is an imaginary story about how he kept his edge. He arrived near the sunset, as the place was starting to fill due to the widely-advertised discount during the twilight hours, and took a seat at the bar.

"Listen, I need y'all to play along with me."

The barmaid and waitress gave him that inquisitive response, of not understanding exactly what he meant; moreover, it has been said that he speaks the language with the Lebanese accent, although I'm quite certain that he merely studied diction thoroughly enough to fake any dialect he chooses, and this is also what he told them, and I know for a fact that his family is Persian.

"I'm going to arrive late quite soon, after my student gets here. You'll know who he is because he will probably sit at that table, unless it's already occupied when he arrives, in which case he will probably walk around, measuring the size of the tables against a large block of wood, and sit at the table with the fewest chairs that is still large enough that there is room on the table for both the wooden block and a few drinks."

At this point they started losing their patience, and asked him if he was gonna drink anything, since he was already consuming space, time, and attention.

"That's exactly why I'm here right now. I'm going to go, and return after he gets here. You should serve him whatever he orders, alcoholic of course, but I want you to serve me only virgins."

They didn't exactly catch his drift, since the idiom of a virgin drink is not always understood by amateurs, so they thought that he was placing orders in advance for both of us: "Just tell us what he's gonna drink, and what you wanna drink. We can probably prepare anything you order. Have you seen our menu?"

"No, I don't think I can predict what he'll drink. He usually does read the menu, and sometimes asks about the taps and bottles, so he could conceivably order anything that's here. Just serve him whatever he orders, as though he's a regular. My order is much trickier: I'm probably gonna drink the same beer as he will, although if he orders a drink I'll also order one; what I request is that you serve me a drink without any alcohol, that only looks like an alcoholic drink, and I'd also like him to think that you poured me an alcoholic drink, which is why I'm telling you this in advance."

They both laughed, and he got a little angry because he was not kidding at all!

"Look, I need to keep my edge. I'm trying to teach him a game that is complicated, and I hardly play it anymore myself. I'm much better than he is, so I'll probably beat him every time by a large margin, but that doesn't mean that I can be drunk. I need to be able to explain cogently every move I make, and ask him questions about his moves, so you have to serve me drinks without a single drop of ethanol inside them!"

They glanced at each other, and they each said... OK!

He ran his eyes over the display of bottles, taps, and serving crew, all of which were admirably easy on the eye.

"What virgin drinks do you know how to prepare?", he asked the barmaid.

Smiling coyly, and eyeing the row of taps, she took a half-step backwards towards the sink, answering: "Mmm, maybe 'Virgin Mary'? It's like 'Bloody Mary', except with filler instead of the vodka. It's also the best drink for faking alcoholism, since both the tomato juice's consistency and color mask the refractive tell-tale of the vodka's absence from the unaided eye."

He gave her quite the quizzical look, and checked the time, since I was scheduled to arrive within the hour and he hadn't planned to listen through a crash course in mixology just to order a fucking virgin, so he began asking questions slightly more pointedly: "What is this? Can you make cocktails with that one?"

She looked where he pointed -- a bottle near the easily reachable edge of the display -- and answered: "That's a bourbon from... ahhh I can't remember exactly which state, although it's certainly a bourbon. You don't want to use that for cocktails, and it's quite expensive, too, compared to most distilled liquors."

"Why don't you make cocktails with a bourbon?", he inquired immediately, and smiled as he realized that he'd outed himself as knowing more than he'd let on initially.

"You can make a mixed drink with almost any liquor, although not all mixed drinks are cocktails; however, bourbons originate from the 'Land of Cotton', where it was considered disrespectful to the distillery to mask the taste of their product. Fancy drinks are often a marketing gimmick, and quite profitable for the establishments that sell them, so I can make you a whiskey-coke if you'd like, virgin of course."

He ran his eyes further down the same shelf of malt liquor, finally pointing at the one bottle and asking: "You have a virgin bottle of that one?"

"Of course. Can't you see that the bottle is unopened?"

He laughed, and glanced at the time again, while the waitress hustled behind his back, rolling her eyes at his bullshit and wondering how much of the barmaid's precious time he was gonna waste.

"I need to go in about ten minutes. This guy sometimes arrives early, but usually very late, so it'll be suspicious to him if I'm also here early. If he sits where I think he will, he's not going to watch you preparing the drinks anyway, so you don't have to use a specific bottle."

At this point, the waitress shifted the chair next to him to get his attention away from the admirably distracting barmaid, and scolded: "You do know that you're not going to get a kickback for this stunt? We don't want people playing stupid here, especially if they think they'll get paid to do so."

He moved his chair aside, took half a step towards the street, looked for a moment at the mural above the stairway to the toilet, and finally replied: "The only kickback that I request is as follows: You do not have a bouncer here, and my friend is going to be drunk, while I will be sober. All that I ask is that if he gets so drunk that he becomes violent after losing, do not call the police, and let me eject him; don't worry: although neither of us gets particularly dangerous when drunk, we are both quite effective when sober."

Friends, at an intersection
leashed un 2019-12-26

We'd run past the same stadia enough times to know each other both by name and face, although I doubt that my current recollection of this encounter survived the decade intact, and in fact, its very existence is quite likely creditable to an unbroken chain of mutual recommendations leading to an unexpected observation, appointment, and interview, necessarily not in that order. At an hour less common for such nearly missed collisions, than those more frequently attributed to chance alone, we exchanged a handful of words at the Atlantic side of a crosswalk on the street bounding the northern half of campus from the west. I do not know why and how she reached that encounter as she did, and it was obvious from the infinitesimally unchanged velocities of both arrivals and departures both that not much remained to be spoken, although here's what I'd have loquacised instead of my actual words, an the nighttime traffic prevented her from crossing to the FBMC atop those cut stone steps:

    "I am  on my way  to the chapel,  and for
  reasons better left  unspecified, I hope to
  reduce my use of  words therein; although I
  am  likely to  recite,  speak, sing,  pick,
  strum and  quite possibly even  respond to,
  my dear critics, I do  hope that I may hear
  complaints    without   being    asked   to
  preach. Should  you find that the  doors of
  the  conservatory have  been locked  by the
  time you  reach them,  know that  you'll be
  welcome  to take  shelter in  the service's
  audience, listening and speaking as you see
  fit,  until such  time  as  your return  is
  expected at the dormitory."
Advice From An Instructor
leashed un 2019-05-15 01:45

Barely over a decade ago, I had my conversation last (at the time of this writing) with an inspiration - words don't do him justice, so I'll use as few as possible, though fallibility and fatalism compel the use of a few extra. I don't remember our full exchange - for it took place over minutes scattered down the hours and years, blown across forest trails, grassy diamonds, and endlessly flowing pitch, level for a fleeting lifetime - so I'll avoid quoting the exact words leading to the following misinterpretations, although if reinterpret them you must, I recommend that you do so with the assistance of one or more of the locutors present at the time of that speaking...

  1. If you must shoot, shoot to kill.
  2. If your first shot isn't likely to kill, make sure you're sufficiently familiar with the firearm that you can send off a handful.
  3. Kill with at least one bullet.
  4. Don't be the guy who gets shot in his sleep on the beach.
  5. Don't write that book.
  6. If you must enlist, think once; think twice; and enlist.

He is quite likely to have meant at least one of those interpretations, and someday I hope to ask him which of those unintended were not incorrect.

O'Reilly Bubbles Via Sehr Viel Angwandtestoffmatrixen, Naturlich
leashed un 2019-03-15T1234

Check out this 8bit-clean compactification of notes, written by mine own hand, during a recent seminar delivered for the organic chemistry department, on the subject of academic publication, by a doctor named Neville Compton, who spoke as representative of a publication conglomerate; out of respect for the academic process, and the prudence necessary for correctness, I will give credit where credit is due, although the full names of audience members are not disclosed out of respect for their privacy:

notes during SOC Seminar, 2019-02-14T15:00
Dr Neville Compton von Ang.Che, EIC
'forest vs trees' cf numbers: Erdos, Bacon...
         worandie Bell curve for the Nobel graph?
unidimensional academic noise: launch/land density of journals/societies

didimensional  research   mappings:  lat/long   are  only   relevant  at
lowest&highest resolutions, languages  (of publications&conferences) are
more relevant

'What Would Hipassus Publish?'

re:  publication (cf  lateral  vs longitudinal  communication, ie,  3+1-
metric): "language  all over the place",  in abstracts (and the  rest of
the paper),  he means that  authors conflate vernaculars  with 'standard
english' [noshit.gif]

"none of  our editors are active  in research"
cf tenure - academic vs editorial

"publication  ethics"  academic ethics  from  the
editor's  perspective: plagiarism,  misdirection,
interest conflicts, exclusivity violations (in no
particular order)

journals use antifraud software!? drywear!? what idiocy is this.
'who will fuzz the fuzzers?'
                             Editor's Note:
                             Please do not shout from the gallery!

datafraud  detection: are  graphics considered
wrt  viewing on  screens, printed,  or as  raw
data? this I asked at  the end, and he claims:
they've  only launched  systems for  raw data,
and are still mulling over presentation forms.

citation DAG: prune early, prune often!

reviewers are not necessarily a blindable factor,
so  journals  (at  least,   those  owned  by  his
conglomerate) consider author recommendations and
interest-conflict disclosures

"new  vs  innovative"  -  what's  the  difference
between  'novation'  and   innovation?   this  is
'patent   nonsense',  mais   c'est  pumpernickle!
everything becomes FeNi when it's all fini.

journals respond in a  variety of manners, rejection
does  not necessarily  mean the  research itself  is
invalid, and could just  be an opportunity to revise
its  draft for  publication; often  the editor  will
offer comments  (their own,  and/or based  on peers'
reviews)  elaborating  why  exactly  the  draft  was
rejected   rather  than   accepted  with   suggested

speaker presents a  "pyramid" graphic, reminiscent of
food pyramid,  but I, sitting aside  Umberto's ashes,
think of that trivial Manutius<->Garamond pingpong...

editors accept responsibility for  the whole review ensemble's
opinions, thus  suffering appeals,  blames, etc: they  are the
diplomats of academia!   the manager-psychologists, calm-skinn
ed thick-headed lizards, soaking up environmental energy.

            What would Malaclypse do?

social  media leads  to rapid  dispersal yet  also to  rapid
fragility  of   shifts  (cf  orders  of   phase  transition,
fragility in the literal, engineering sense)

... at which point, RA  comments in tangential response to
NC's question "if you hadda earna million pounds in twenty
seconds,  what  would  jesus  do?" that  he'd  ask  for  a

initially  I misinterpret,  since RA  and I  communicate as
silently as  practical, knowing  that the  entire classroom
hears our every  word, as I do not  whisper, and superfluid
tetranucleomers do not sign.

my interpretation entails social media's brittlifaction of
the infosphere as arising from electrodynamics in a manner
similar to friction.

final  thought,  before  stage is  opened  for  audience
questions:  the challenge  of  'social engineering'  the
publication process  hinges upon an editor's  (thus also
their peers')  susceptib ility  to influence  by 'screen
numbers', i.e., number of followers. not all numbers are
created equal, although some numbers are more equal than

            The documentation processor aimed at
            conventions  wherein  a  doublequote
            indicates  speech by  the presenter,
            and    a    singlequote    indicates
            stenographer neologism.
Not Dis Quiet
leashed un 2018-12-08 09:19:99

ACHTUNG: While this post is not about noise suppression, I'm gonna skip the bets placed by the bot identifying itself as "Opera" until further notice. (at the very least, because it placed most of 'em twice, and the rest looked like fake pentest flash dispersors!)

One night about a year ago, outside the Tel Aviv Bitcoin emBassy, some fellow was being a loudmouth; in fact, a bunch were, and I, apart of that crowd yet picking it apart as I went, got sick of the noise. Eventually the loudest one of all seemed to bellow asking for a timeout.

"Listen, son," said I, while tapping that guy on the knee. "You oughtta shut up for a while, and listen to what those guys are saying. You might not remember this story exactly thus, but you know the drill."

That sorry shmuck bellowed even louder, and crescendo to boot: "No, no, no, no, no!"

He didn't yell in English either, but you can guess what it sounded like if you've ever heard people talk... much more like an unemployed singer delivering his stage orgasm, than an actor waiting for a job. After he was done yelling, I kept listening:

"Sorry for reacting thus to your grip. I was a school soccer star and I'm not used to having my legs fouled quite so rudely. If you can listen to so many conversations in parallel yet still follow the ball, why don't you go be a sportscaster for something better than a two-bit bucket shop?"

My response arrived, and that actor even delivered a convincing impression of having understood my words: "Son, you're getting carded before you can yell like that again. Can you tell what color card this is?"

He blinked, threw his glasses aside (without stomping them underfoot, as that would have been an excessive hyperbole), and gave the correct answer: "Do you want that information in primary, secondary, or frequency-balanced nuclear spectral densities?"

Believe it or not, I still owe that guy money. I doubt he remembers how much, and the exact sum ain't worth the paper it wasn't inked into, yet the story is true; he claims the debt is owed to a man long dead, so there is much remaining to debate.

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