Musings from Southern New Mexico

Author: marc (Page 1 of 58)

I am a scientist interested in laser safety, modeling and simulation, and statistics.

I speak some Spanish, German, and Chinese.


Why do we accept the repurposing of the word “conservative” to mean “espousing highly dubious conspiracy theories in support of white nationalist/Christian identity patriarchal fantasies?”

The Future of all Media is the Yellowest of Yellow Journalism

As soon as I began to use the Apple News app on my iPhone, I discovered something unexpected. Every Apple “News” feed is curated to serve the same function as the periodicals found near the cash register at Piggly Wiggly in the 1970s. Such publications as the Weekly World News or the National Enquirer each served up an eye-catching pile of flaming garbage that was guaranteed to draw the attention of any passerby. The “genius” of serial sex offender Roger Ailes was simply to have each of his entertainers perform in the manner of a legitimate journalist while shoveling anti-democracy stories – a clever mix of fact, fiction, and selective omission – into the gaping maws of the [willing] marks.

The simple act of having presenters show fewer “Batboy” pictures while wearing expensive suits (rather than the more appropriate circus-themed attire) allowed the target audience – misogynist white supremacists Christian nationalists – to claim that the neo-Nazi media they consume is legitimate news.

Heavily subsidized by myriad anti-democracy individuals and organizations – from the aforementioned brain-blighted proto-fascist Americans to despotic oil dictatorships and oligarchies, to the modern robber barons – this model is the model for the future. The former fourth estate is in a profoundly terrible state, incapable of positively contributing to the healthy function of a democratic system. As miserable and incompetent as the industry of news media is at conveying true and pertinent information, it is today the best that it will ever be for the rest of the life of any person alive today.

The same will be true tomorrow.

And the next day.

Ad infinitum

The World is Slightly Less Evil Today

A wicked fraud – preying primarily upon the gullible and the stupid – and a perpetrator of great evil upon outgroups ranging from the poor to women to LGBT people to the “lesser” races has finally died. The length of his life is an argument against the existence of a just and loving god.

I hope there is an afterlife, though. There, he can spend an eternity reaping the fruits of an unnaturally long lifetime of aggressively harming all those who are not straight, white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant males.

Hopefully, he will be sharing a pit with his fellow sack of rancid ungulate leavings Jerry Falwell.

Neighborhood Standards

John Oliver recently ran a story on homeowner associations (HOAs). The story was centered on the worst aspects of that particular – and almost universally despised – facet of suburban life.

I generally agree, and a selling point of the house in which I currently live was that it is not associated with an HOA.

But …

I just wanted to present a bit of a counterpoint. On the one hand, a house with a staid, conservative façade will hardly be noticed in an outlandish Miami neighborhood. But on the other, a garish and colorful house among a sea of bland and stately houses.

There is a reason for aesthetic standards.

But …

When I lived on a rural backroad (and prior to the advent of civilian-use GPS), my home was very hard to find. We eventually figured out an easy-to-follow set of instructions. These directions were basically as follows:

  1. [blah]
  2. [blah]
  3. [blah]
  4. Then, when you get to this *god-awful* green house, take a right.
  5. [blah]

No one ever failed to find my house.

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