Explorers vs Asshats

There are two kinds of people in the world: explorers and asshats. History is a long story of asshats trying to take over what explorers have found and created.

Here’s how it goes.

First we have a society where explorers and asshats live side-by-side. The asshats impose more and more stupid rules on the society, until the explorers get fed up, and leave.

The explorers… explore. Find a new place to live. Build a new society free of asshats. And they’re happy for a little while.

But, sooner or later, the asshats notice there’s a thriving new society out there. And they start to move in. One or two at first, then more and more as the news spreads.

And then the asshattery begins. More and more rules that wreck the society the explorers build, until it’s the same mess they left.

So they leave again, and the cycle repeats.

But that only continues until we run out of new spaces to explore. Which is exactly where we are today. The explorers are surrounded by asshats, with no way to escape.

We should have been living on the Moon and Mars by now, but instead the asshats demanded an ever-growing welfare state that has sucked up trillions of dollars and achieved little but to create an ever-growing welfare underclass. So the cycle is stuck, until we get a global war or we do manage to get a significant number of people off the planet.

3D Printing

A couple of months ago I bought a Prusa Mk 3 3D printer kit, as it generally seems to be considered the best for under $1000. Took quite a while to put it together, as I was doing it in short spurts when I had some free time, and on two or three occasions I had to take parts of it apart when I realized I hadn’t assembled them correctly.

But I got it working over Christmas and it’s printing without many issues; the biggest one is that the filament sometimes gets caught on the spool where one layer has somehow become caught under another, and that’s screwed up a couple of prints so far.

My main advice for assembly would be to read the comments on the online instruction manual, because there’s a lot of information in there that’s useful to prevent you from doing things you shouldn’t.

I also managed to slightly crack one 3D-printed part by tightening a bolt just a little too much, but so far it’s not affected operation. It’s just the duct that directs cooling air from the fan onto the material near the print head, so a slight misalignment probably won’d do much.

Eliminating Defective Mitochondria

Here’s an interesting one:

https://actu.epfl.ch/news/targeting-an-rna-binding-protein-to-fight-aging/

It seems that an excess of PUM2 protein in cells causes a reduction of mitophagy, which eliminates defective mitochondria from cells. This then causes a lack of energy in old age which contributes to many of the problems of ageing. Removing that protein in old animals helps rejuvenate and extend lifespan.

Moving in

I’m in the process of moving my blog over to this site because the old one was becoming too much of a pain to maintain when I no longer post that much.

Thought for the day: Geolocation and Targeted Advertising

When I was in Italy some years ago, everything Google was showing up in Dutch. Not that it really mattered as I couldn’t read either language, but I doubt many of the Italians could read Dutch either.

Frankly, the only ‘targeted advertising’ site that’s ever shown me an ad I was interested in is Facebook. And, even then, I went and bought it from a friend instead of the poeple who were advertising, so the advertiser paid to send business to someone else.

So their targeting is garbage, but it’s less garbage than the competition. And cost the advertiser money for no benefit.

Everyone else sends me ads for things I already own (‘you made a post saying you bought a car. Therefore we’re going to send you car ads, because obviously you want to buy another one!’). And even Facebook keep sending me ads for their VR headsets when they know for sure that I already own two.

No-one knows who has this data and what they’re doing with it. Even something as simple as knowing what you set your ‘smart’ thermostat to could tell crooks you’re away on vacation and it’s a good time to burgle your house.

And there’s a staggering amount that can be done with location data alone. Happen to be close to where a crime was committed? Don’t be surprised if the cops turn up on your doorstep, even though you weren’t involved.

I suspect we’ve just about reached peak ‘Cloud’ and are going to start heading back towards more secure localized systems.