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People who think they can predict the near-future, look at this video, and imagine it was a year ago, looking a year into the future. Explain why the Hudson Yards Mall in NYC is a ghost town. You'd never in a million years guess the true reason. It's so frustrating when smart people quote the pablum they hear on the cable news shows. Those are bedtime stories. The world is far more dangerous and far less predictable. Go back and watch the shows from a year ago to see how well they did.

Succession gave us "fuck off" as a term of endearment.

Update on the Mouse Wars. I've inundated the car with peppermint and Bounce sheets. Parking it outside, not in the carport. I think the mice like the carport even without a car. I also bought a couple of Blink cameras for the house. I figured that I should put one of the cameras at ground level next to the car, and see if any mice show up in the dark of night. So far one rodent, not particularly interested in the car. Here's the video. I love using spying hardware in the War Against Mice.

The best political ad of the season (so far).

I'm into season 2 of Borgen on Netflix. It's really great. It's taken my mind off US politics.

We're heading into a taxation without representation situation if the Repubs try to put another conservative on the court. The country isn't that conservative. The Electoral College gone wild. The Repubs got too good at tuning it up and it will lead to a revolution, with their political heads on spikes.

The Navalny poisoning is a warning to American politicians.

By now we should all know when the Repubs say anything it's meaningless. So... When Susan Collins says oh my this should be done by a new president, then she'll disagree when McC goes ahead, and she'll vote to confirm, saying how disappointed she is. BTW, politically, RBG dying is the best thing that happened to Collins. Now she can talk about the Court instead of Trump, the virus and the economy, and oh yeh her vote to acquit the Trumpolini.

Can you imagine a bunch of rude skanky schmucks with with big guns showing up at the Michigan state capitol, and they're allowed to menace everyone, and no cops show up with tear gas, no vigilantes protect property. Now imagine if they were black instead of white.

The Lincoln Project is in a bind. As Repubs, they want to own the Court for the indefinite future, and here's their chance. Now the work they're doing to elect Biden is against their own interests. It's time for them to decide whether they really think we're going authoritarian, i.e. if the Supreme Court still matters if DJT wins. This may be nothing more than an election issue, only of symbolic value, if Trump has no intention of listening to the Court in the future, assuming he wins stays in power. The Lincolns seemed damned either way.

New header image, the Supreme Court last night, people gathered there to remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died yesterday.

RBG dying is a gut punch almost as bad as election night 2016.

Braintrust query: I am running the OPML Editor, which is a distribution of Frontier, on a Mac running MacOS 10.13.6. Works fine. I'm afraid to update this computer, because I don't know what Apple is going to do to it. I use Frontier to write my JavaScript code, and also to keep around as an archive for about 20 years of work, that's still unmatched elsewhere. I don't want to lose my ability to run Frontier. Anyway I had a thought. Why not run Frontier inside VMWare, using 10.13.6, and then I could run it on any Mac. I think this would work and I could stop worrying about Apple breaking my work environment.

I'm davescript on TikTok.

Questions re the format for the first debate.1. Trump and Biden in same place or different locations? 2. Live audience? 3. Moderator(s)?

With all the bad news, we deserve puppies. ??

I love macadamia nuts.

2020 hard-crossings

It just hit me that a lot of things are piling up on us. Like overdue bills we received the final notices years ago, we didn't pay up and now they've all come due at the same time.

Here's the list.

  • Authoritarianism. When the Senate didn't remove Trump after impeachment that was the end of the American system of checks and balances. Local government is broke.
  • Pandemic. We dismantled the government units we set up to deal with it. We taught the world how to deal with this crisis, but we ourselves lost our way.
  • Climate. Fires in California and Australia, hurricanes worse every year. The crisis will get worse in the future, but it's here now.
  • Economy. Small business and individuals are in deep trouble.
  • Education and health care. How can they survive pandemic?

If Trump is in power after the election, then you can add another.

  • Looting of US complete.

Some of these mainly apply to the US, although the country is so central to the world economy and culture, it's hard to imagine the lines don't get crossed elsewhere, eventually. We're being dragged down the same hole as Russia and China, for example. How can Germany, France, etc avoid it. The UK is in the toilet with us.

If Steve Jobs were alive, our living rooms would be very different.

The wires are the problem, and Jobs fully understood this. I talked about this in yesterday's podcast. They had the Mac office, school, backpack, pocket, the living room should belong to Apple. Not with a dongly thing and "content." It should be the Apple experience at room scale. I want a full scale Apple/Pixar experience in my home.

Gotta wonder if Trump and Barr are planning on disrupting the huge turnout for early voting in Virginia. Actually I don't wonder, I'm sure they will. These are all antifa's, some very fine people, but some very not fine people too. Send in the little green men.

Woodward betrayed us. Every time I hear a new recording of Trump talking, in April, about how horrible the virus is, I want everyone to think how much different it would be if those recordings had come out in April, not September.

I use Frontier to manage my source code, which no longer runs on the newest version of the Mac OS. I desperately want it to run on Linux so I can get out of this situation. In the meantime, I bought a new iPhone, and just updated it and got this awful dialog when I plugged it into my Mac. I clicked on Learn More hoping to find out which version of the OS it wants to install, but it doesn't say. I am running High Sierra, 10.13.8. I'm not going to update the Mac. I guess that means I'll be relying on the new Pixel 4a more and more, because I can't give up my ability to run Frontier on my desktop. Not a good situation, but as they say it is what it is.

Chuck pointed me at Gigster, which I didn't know about, as a place I might hire a contractor to create a Linux version of Frontier. I'd like to see it run on Ubuntu, both in the graphic environment and headless.

My grandparents were alive during the 1918 pandemic. I never thought to ask them about it. I wish I had.


I'm on a podcast roll these days. 17-minutes worth of rambling about how Apple should fix the TV problem, which btw is all those freaking wires. The tech has advanced so much, you could blow people away with elegance, ease of use, and power, and so what if it costs three times as much as the competition. We're accustomed to paying for the best. I should note that I have some $AAPL stock, purchased in 1997 and held since then so when Apple screws me in software at least I make up for it in my brokerage account. I'm so puzzled why I'm not using Clubhouse these days. And I'm totally maxed out on new services. OMG no more please. Also a story about hanging out with Don Pearson who did the sound for the Dead.

An idea for a business. Home entertainment system makeovers. I have so many friends with obsolete entertainment systems. They work fine. You get used to them. It was exciting when you got it 10 years ago and you still feel that. But. Things have gotten so much better and so much cheaper. Now, for very little money, relative to the amount of time you use it, you can have something much nicer. You could make people really happy and make a good living doing it, I think, at least for a little while until word gets out you just have to buy a new screen and then work out from there. ??

I have a series 5 Apple watch, reading this review, can't see a reason to get the series 6. I use it mainly for timing my exercise, and to see what the temperature is outside and of course the time. I charge it every night, but it never gets less than 1/2 battery. I already have a pulse oximeter, and I take a reading once a day, and record it.

I have a new iPhone SE, new Pixel 4a, and a new Subaru, which supports both kinds of phones. I love all three very much. I previously had a super high end iPhone, but I'm a middle class kind of guy, and the SE is much more my speed. And for the first time I've been able to use an Android phone for navigation and listening to podcasts and audio books. I took a drive to Albany on Tuesday, and was able to test it out. It all works, in an unsurprising manner, except Google Maps on the Android has one feature that the iPhone version desperately needs. The map re-orients so that the direction you're heading in is always up and to the right. On the iPhone it's kind of random. Hard to parse. And the layout is much better for a driver, who can't spend any time puzzling out what the computer trying to say. If you have a turn in 2 miles, there's a box that says Right Turn in 2 Miles. And it counts down as you get closer. Next time I'm driving I'll try to take a picture (obviously with the iPhone).


Self-executing functions

I believe self-executing functions in JavaScript are obsolete with ES6. I never liked and rarely used them. I prefer to use features put there by the designers, rather than use a clever hack that makes you wonder why the feature wasn't put there.

Now in ., you can create a simple block and declare your variables with let. No clever hacks needed.

Some real-world example code.

  • { //insert headline for 1st level subs
    • let htmltext = "";
    • let ixButtonsArray = ix + 1;
    • let theButton = theButtons [ixButtonsArray];
    • function div (classname, val) {
      • return ("<div class=\"" + classname + "\">" + val + "</div>");
      • }
    • function add (s) {
      • htmltext += s;
      • }
    • add (div ("divButtonEmoji", theButton.htmlEmojiCode));
    • add (div ("divButtonTitle", theButton.theTitle));
    • add (div ("divButtonVal", ix));
    • opInsertRawHtml (htmltext, right);
    • }

The block, like a bundle in Frontier, allows you to collapse some code, hide its variables from the containing code, without declaring a new routine. It's essential that you put a comment at the opening left curly brace to say what the block does. If that's not easy to do that indicates a refactor is needed, imho.

We're fast evolving into the world of Idiocracy. In addition to Contagion, it's the one movie everyone should see. Also the Matrix.

Here's what being called sir feels like to me. You see someone who you think you could be friends with because inside you're 19, and they call you sir, and you remember what it was like when you were them and you saw someone who looked like you look now.

If we're going to get at-home testing, for real, hook it up to Kinsa, for a national Covid weather report.

It's possible the easiest and quickest way to undo the Electoral College is for a bunch of people from blue states to relocate to low population red states. Elect Democratic legislatures and governors, and then ratify a constitutional amendment that eliminates the Electoral College. Then everyone can move where ever they like, since all votes will matter the same. Now with remote work being more acceptable, and the cost of living generally lower in the low population states, why not relocate? It's a relatively simple hack, and the red state people can't do it to blue states. Heh.

Here's a list of states ranked by population.

Yesterday I was out and about doing errands, and instead of wearing my usual blue Mets cap, I was wearing my red Wisconsin hat. It has a big W on the front, and on the back it says Badgers. I was getting some dirty looks, and at one place a woman commented that I shouldn't wear that hat because people might not understand.

I found a printed listing of the C source code for the first outliner I wrote in 1978. I thought this was long gone, but there it was.

Jon Udell was tweeting about podcasting, and I had a bunch of things I wanted to say, so I talked for 22 minutes in this podcast. I talk about the Daily podcast and Brian Lehrer, two formats that work. Why has the tech for listening to podcasts evolved so slowly? Who has the ability to innovate? Same with blogging. When was the last time there was a serious innovation?

Trump always talks about how other countries don't pay us for the things we do for them, but they do, they really do. Hugely. The US has the world's reserve currency. We're the only country that can print money that can be spent anywhere. People all around the world use our currency to store value. Even with all the lunacy, our dollar is still the safest place to store value. It means we can always have more money. We don't even have to actually print it, they're just numbers in a spreadsheet somewhere. Trump, of course is doing everything he can to make everyone else not trust us. So if the trance breaks, and the dollar is no longer seen as the most trustworthy country, we would end up being one of the "other" countries, and we'll have to pay China to store our money, along with all the other schmucks. And they'll have the power we still have. It's one of those things that if you don't know about it, and most people don't, you can't understand how global economics works. And when they say "The American taxpayer paid for this," well it's not technically true.

To give you an idea how this works, suppose you were playing Monopoly with some friends. You're a special player, you have all the money you want. Whenever and no limit to how much. No one else can. That's pretty cool, yes?

For a strong dose of reality, I recommend this podcast.

I'm working my way slowly through Borgen season 1. It's very good, and immersive. The format is basically The West Wing in Denmark. The prime minister is a woman with a family. Every episode, as in TWW, they tackle a big issue. It's in Europe, and it's a small country, not the mighty USA. It's very well done. It's slow going because they wrote it so that you need to read things in the show and read the sub-titles (the characters get information from reading headlines in newspapers that go by too quickly to read them). Sometimes they drop into English because the characters would speak English then. It's on Netflix now. There are already three seasons and a fourth is on the way. A side-note, the chief of staff of the PM is Pilou Asbęk, who played Euron Greyjoy in Game of Thrones.

We are learning more about Trump even if it's coming at glacial speed from Woodward. Also his comment yesterday about climate change was revealing. The snotty look on his face when he said science is bullshit. You can tell he's never had to deal with a health emergency, or he wasn't paying attention when it happened. If he doesn't die of an instant heart attack or stroke, he's going to learn to respect science, at some point.

The fundamental rule of discourse on the net is that you should treat each person as you would treat an actual human being, face to face. Too often people "speech" at you, that is give a speech, addressed to you. Giving speeches is cool, that's what Twitter is for, but then address your speech to everyone, not to an individual.

I wish Fauci would do a daily podcast, or at least weekly.

Up in the Catskills you can feel autumn blowing in. Low tonight in the low 40s. Brrr.

Poll: Whether or not you approve of what Woodward did, in withholding the audio of Trump confession re Covid harm, suppose other reporters are withholding life-saving information. Do you approve?

When species go extinct, other species they keep in check will grow, possibly explode. If it were bats, for example, that might mean more Covid-19 type viruses. Human-killing viruses come from bats because they have more powerful immune systems. It's all balanced.

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