The "right" to respect

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:39 am
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
"I am entitled to respect!" That's the cliche line of every power-hungry official. But what happens when you try to universalize that entitlement?

Erika Mantz, speaking for the University of New Hampshire, decreed, "We believe strongly in the right to free speech as recognized by the First Amendment, and we believe equally in the right of every member of our community to feel safe and respected." By putting those claims side by side and saying they're equally valid, she appears to say that "feeling respected" is a legally enforceable right.

It's logically impossible to enforce a right to feel respected for everyone. Enforcing a right requires preventing or penalizing actions which violate it. If A expresses disrespect for B, then defending B's "right" requires taking some kind of action against A. But this can reasonably make A feel disrespected. There's no way to uphold the "right" of both people to feel respected.

The right of free speech and the right to feel respected can't co-exist. If people can't speak against people who do things they don't respect, they don't have free speech. If UNH officials have a "right to feel respected," the university can and should prohibit and punish any demonstration against its policies or actions. When there's a "right to respect," it's always the people in charge who get first claim on it.

As a government institution, the University of New Hampshire is required to abide by the First Amendment. There is no Constitutional guarantee of a right to feel anything.

It's common for people to talk sloppily about rights to feelings, but UNH has gone further than most, claiming them as having equal status to Constitutional rights.

The right to "feel" safe follows the same analysis, strictly speaking. However, it's a more complicated mix, since it's easy to confuse with the legitimate right not to be endangered by people's actions, so I've left it aside.

no place like home

Sep. 21st, 2017 01:31 am
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
[personal profile] callibr8
Having spent half of the days this month, hundreds of miles south of where I've lived for the past decade, I am celebrating the fact that tomorrow's perambulations will be taking place only in the 980xx group of zip codes.

Simple pleasures, for the win!

Shanah Tovah

Sep. 20th, 2017 04:29 pm
sdelmonte: (Default)
[personal profile] sdelmonte
 May the old years and its curses end.  May the new year and its blessings commence.

Best wishes for a joyous new year to everyone!

Curate's Egg...

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:58 pm
hrrunka: A small radio transceiver (radio)
[personal profile] hrrunka
The radio club meeting on Monday evening was a busy informal fix-it evening. A number of strange bits of kit were being worked on. I just went for the chat, and was feeling tired enough that I didn't stay all that long.

On Tuesday the weather was slightly lees grey and damp. I finally got round to doing a bit of work in the garden. I gave about ten feet of hedge a bit of a trim, and that left the garden waste ben almost completely full. In the evening there was another radio club meeting, but this involved a couple of short talks. They seemed to generate a fair bit of interest. I got home a bit later than usual, and discovered that my home *DSL was not performing. A bit of research using the mobile's data eventually revealed a notice about "Planned Maintenance" affecting about 150 exchanges including the one I'm on. As the maintenance was scheduled to run from 10pm to 6am I decided I'd have an early night. I think the network actually came back sometime around 2am...

This morning I decided I needed to get out of the house, so I packed some radio and geocache kit into the car and headed off. First stop was a geocache I hid back in 2002 which was in need of a fresh logbook. I took the opportunity to clean it out a little, removing the rubbish and adding a few new swaps. The weather was a bit grey and the path a little muddy, but the walk wasn't a bad one.

After that I headed back to a view point car park which is a good starting point for the nearby SOTA summit. I'd taken a packed lunch, so I ate that while looking at the (rather grey) view, then grabbed my radio kit and walked to the summit. Now, this particular summit is one I'd normally not have considered bothering to re-visit, but it is the one nearest my home. There's a large water tank and a couple of communication towers at the summit. Today there were four work vans at the summit, and work going on. If I'd taken a hand-held and a suitable antenna I could have considered activating the summit on VHF or UHF, but there was nowhere accessible I could set up my HF antenna sensibly, so I decided to abandon the SOTA idea and come home. Frustrating...

A locked-room cat mystery

Sep. 20th, 2017 01:31 pm
madfilkentist: The Catmobile at Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society (Catmobile)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
The Spice Kittens are now up to a quartet: Ginger, Posh, Scary, and Baby. Checking Wikipedia, I see these are all Spice Girls names, but should a shelter really name a cat "Scary"?

Tanglewood Placido was adopted but Domingo wasn't, so now Domingo has to work twice as hard to make a mess of his cage. Vin Diesel was adopted, with exclamation marks after his name on the adoption board. Apparently he finally managed to be nice for a full fifteen minutes. Tanglewood (in the picture) is new and very friendly. He's officially a kitten but nearly full grown.

The excitement came afterward. When we'd finished our work, Virginia and I went to Tom's a mile away to get some stuff for the shelter. I brought it back while she continued home. When I got to the shelter, there was an animal control officer at the bathroom door.

Tiny, a very large gray cat, has been staying in the bathroom for weeks, and we've kept the door closed so she can stay away from the other cats. According to the description, she's declawed, morbidly obese, and very scared. Somehow she locked herself in the bathroom. It has a twist button lock, which isn't easy for a cat to work. You can't open the door from the inside without unlocking it, which makes it unlikely anyone locked it by accident. The officer was trying to pick the lock. I didn't stay for very long, so I don't know what they ended up doing.

Update: Virginia and I just got an email with a sharp rebuke from the director for working there so long and doing such a thorough job. I guess we'll have to remember to do a hastier job next time.

a resounding success

Sep. 19th, 2017 12:34 pm
callibr8: icon courtesy of Wyld_Dandelyon (Default)
[personal profile] callibr8
Got in late last night (4am) from spending the weekend in southern Oregon, rehearsing with my new duo partner and coming up with a set list for our first concert, which we're aiming to have in mid-November. Anybody out there know of free or inexpensive small venues in the Portland area which might be receptive to hosting a live music concert on the evening of Thursday, Nov 16th Sunday, November 19th? A library meeting room, school cafeteria, church fellowship hall, or such would be about the right size for the small audience I envision.

ETA: changed target date from Thurs to Sun.

Getting ready for the show

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:57 am
reedrover: (Default)
[personal profile] reedrover
This past weekend, I did more toe stuff and a general health check on all of the goats that are going to the show. I'm down to the last don-wannas. Richie still needs a toe-trimming, and I keep avoiding it because, well, he's gross. I also need to wash off Emma's butt because it's black and stinky now. I know it's just a lot of hair and her being lazy about squatting all the way to pee, but really, it's gross.

I gave up getting any more fleeces skirted for the show and sale. Five will have to be enough. I haven't done my for sale notices yet. I did apply for registration papers, but I was a smidge late getting those filed, so I'm not confident that they will arrive before Saturday.

But hey, I'm scheduled and going. We will see what happens when I arrive.

Dear Love Your Sister...

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:52 pm
thnidu: Box, labeled: "Contents: One infinite universe. Open other end (arrow)." Caption: It figures... From lj:lapislaz (it figures)
[personal profile] thnidu
Apparently today is the birthday of the great lexicographer Samuel Johnson. When I clicked on the Google Doodle, one of the hits that came up was about another Samuel Johnson, apparently one well known in Australia: Grieving Samuel Johnson says he might as well ‘sell some f***ing socks’. It begins:

SAMUEL JOHNSON has continued his sister Connie’s crusade to find a cure for cancer by launching brightly hued fundraising socks.

Connie Johnson died after a long battle with breast cancer earlier this month.

Samuel sees the socks (which reference their nicknames Connie Cottonsocks and Sammy Seal) as an extension of The Project host Carrie Bickmore’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer initiative.

“Seeing as Carrie has the whole Beanie thing covered, we thought we’d bung out some ‘Connie Cottonsocks’ and try and cover this cancer conundrum from head to toe,” Samuel wrote on the Love Your Sister Facebook page.

“Connie doesn’t have any use for your sentiment now. If she wanted anyone to take anything from her life, it was to highlight the importance of medical research. And we all need socks right?

“In the name of my dear gone sister, I’m asking. Please buy some socks and then maybe we can share the absolute bejesus out of this post and turbocharge our push for a cure, so families need not continue to endure the baseless trauma that cancer so cruelly provides.

“I want my sister back but seeing as that’s not going to happen, I might as well sell some f***ing socks so that other families don’t have to go through this pain.

I remain, more than ever, very truly yours. Samuel Johnson Head of Cancer Vanquishment.”
 
Well now! That looked worth following up.

But... Here's the text I just sent them:
 
I've about given up on most of my charitable giving, since I'm retired and on a small income, but I want to buy some socks, especially in memory of my wife. HOWEVER... You say in small print "We only ship within Australia", and your page says "City and state are mandatory" (though the form accepts only Australian states). So if I give you as much of my address as you'll take, your page will refuse the rest. And even if I somehow succeed in ordering socks, how the heck are you going to get them to me?
😕
You know, if you're going to ask the whole world, you really ought to allow the whole world to answer.
 


Library irony

Sep. 18th, 2017 06:17 pm
madfilkentist: Scribe, from Wikimedia Commons (writing)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
The Nashua, New Hampshire library has a prominent "No place for hate" sign on its door and a "Banned Books Week" display inside.

There's a certain incompatibility here. It's not a library's role to decide which ideas are emotionally correct. If it isn't a place for "hate," it has to exclude materials which express that feeling. The term is intentionally slippery; people can claim anything they want about the emotional content of views they oppose, and how do you prove them wrong?

Perhaps they mean that patrons whose research goals are "hateful" have no place there. It's not the library's job to decide which kinds of study to help patrons with. Can librarians even draw conclusions from the materials people ask for? I did some web research on the AfD (a German political party whose leader has said Germans should be proud of its soldiers in WWII) earlier today. Would a Nashua librarian decide I must have a "hateful" purpose in researching the AfD and refuse to help me? Even if people really come in seeking to support bad ideas, research could be the best cure for their errors. Turning them away would only reinforce their sense of being persecuted.

Banned Books Week has long been Bland Books Week, with lists mentioning only books that no one could object to. The Nashua Library was unusually daring, with Gone with the Wind among a collection of otherwise innocuous books. There was no sign of The Anarchist's Cookbook or The Satanic Verses. If you look carefully at lists of "banned" books, what they usually mean is that someone unsuccessfully tried to get the book removed from a school library as age-inappropriate. Books that make their holder a criminal or a target of violence never are included.

Maybe that's what they mean by "No place for hate"; if possession of a book inspires hatred, the Bland Books list has no place for it.

Addendum: I was curious where and how Gone with the Wind was "banned." Several sites say that a school district in Anaheim banned it because of "the behaviors of the main character, Scarlet O’Hara, and the depiction of slaves." I don't know whether all use of the book in the schools was in fact prohibited.

However, I did find that in 2000 the Anaheim school district "removed" a biography of John Maynard Keynes partly because "it could cause harassment against students seen with it." The hooligan's veto.

Muddling...

Sep. 18th, 2017 02:34 pm
hrrunka: Frowning face from a character sheet by Keihound (kei frown)
[personal profile] hrrunka
I did, eventually, sweep up the conkers late on Wednesday afternoon, and went to a radio club committee meeting in the evening.

Thursday morning's Morse practice was a bit more of a struggle than usual, partly because I wasn't particularly awake, and partly because of the odd HF propagation. The rest of the day mostly followed a similar pattern. I managed to get a little preparation done, but not much else.

Friday followed the same sort of muddled path, mostly, and I got less done than I'd have liked. On Friday evening I went over to Gravesend for gaming, and we spent the evening chatting.

There was the first day of a Foundation radio licence course on Sunday, so I had some preparation to do on Saturday. I managed to get it done, well enough, but other things I might have done fell by the wayside.

The course day on Sunday seemed to go well enough. The clubhouse we use is no longer being used by a pre-school, which meant we didn't have to work around piles of stuff. Just as well, as the course was full. Also just as well we didn't need my laptop, as I managed to take it but leave its mains adapter behind, so it would only have run for about half the day. I was thoroughly exhausted by the end of the day.

This morning's been another slow one. I've spent some of it trying to get FC preparation done. It's yet another day of sunshine and random heavy showers.

I still havn't managed to get out to that geocache or the nearby SOTA summit. I have, somehow, managed to keep Duolingo and Ingress streaks alive, but yesterday was a close call...

Done last week (20170911Mo - 16Sa)

Sep. 17th, 2017 07:56 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Rough week. Especially yesterday, when N and I took a very sick Bronx to the emergency vet in Seattle. He had a fever of 106; apparently I can't tell at all from his nose and ears. He was also throwing up and not eating, and wasn't anywhere near his usual rambunctious self.

Note: apparently a virus. He's recovering well, and we'll be taking him home tomorrow.

The house seems very quiet and lonely without our Bronx boy. Brooklyn and even Ticia are rambuncting as best they can, but it isn't the same. Meanwhile, apparently cats really are liquids. Or should I say that cat is a liquid?

Thursday, one of our neighbor's cows got loose in our yard. One of those things that's very funny in retrospect. We've also been having a hard time finding a caregiver for Colleen.

As I said, rough week.

Two public service announcements:

  1. Breach at Equifax May Impact 143M Americans; How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Security Freeze
  2. If you happen to be on Whidbey Island next Sunday (the 24th, a week from today), drop by our house for music and food. "The usual potluck bash", as we used to say of the Starport.

I'm trying to establish a schedule, so that I actually get things done, have some time for Colleen, and don't spend all my spare time online. 9-11 on Tuesdays and Thursdays are earmarked for "Unpleasant Chores" - unpacking, cleaning litter boxes, finishing up the taxes, taking out the garbage, and so on. Tag "UC:"

Notes & links, as usual )

Dear Houghton Mifflin...

Sep. 16th, 2017 03:27 pm
thnidu: Mirrorverse bearded Mr. Spock, I FIND YOUR LACK OF LOGIC DISTURBING. lj:stevemb's variant of icon by lj:madfilkentist (logic)
[personal profile] thnidu
(Ị am addressing this message to Technical Support because there is no more appropriate contact listed on your "contact us" page. Please forward it to the appropriate editorial department.)

In your American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition (open in front of me) and still in the 5th edition (https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=Paraboloid), the marginal illustration for "paraboloid" shows a diagram of a circular paraboloid with the caption

>>>>>

paraboloid
The equation for a circular paraboloid is:
x²/a² + y²/b² = z

<<<<<

(The caption has the fractions in vertical format with horizontal lines, which I can't reproduce here, but the equation is mathematically unchanged.)

That is the general equation of an elliptical paraboloid, of which the circular paraboloid is a special case. To quote from Stack Exchange
(https://math.stackexchange.com/q/1249308):

>>>>>

[T]he equation of an elliptical paraboloid is given by

z/c = (x/a)² + (y/b)²

If a=b, then this elliptical paraboloid is also a circular paraboloid.

<<<<<

The divisor c is irrelevant here, so we can write

z = (x/a)² + (y/b)²

In other words, the equation of a circular paraboloid is

z = (x/a)² + (y/a)²

or in your arrangement

x²/a² + y²/a² = z

or more simply

(x²+y²)/a² = z

Sincerely,
$THNIDU

Dear Power Thesaurus...

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:33 am
thnidu: Tom Baker's Dr. Who, as an anthropomorphic hamster, in front of the Tardis. ©C.T.D'Alessio http://tinyurl.com/9q2gkko (Dr. Whomster)
[personal profile] thnidu
I wanted synonyms for "hemorrhoids". One of them was "piles", which is the one I was looking for, the one my grandmother used and I didn't understand.   The first 20 also included 
Dozens
Gobs
Heaps
Lots
Oodles
Rafts
Scads
Scores
Slews
Stacks
Tons
Wads 
– none of which have anything to do with hemorrhoids but which are all clearly synonyms for the common colloquial meaning of "piles".  

Synonymy is not transitive.  

Sincerely,

How to create monsters

Sep. 15th, 2017 06:31 am
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
Yesterday I was reading a rather skillfully done propaganda piece. It got me to thinking about basic techniques for creating monsters — not in the Frankenstein sense, but in the Maple Street sense.

First, you need a group or category of people doing something bad. It helps if they've actually done something bad on a measurable scale, but it's not strictly required. It's enough if they could do something bad. What's important is that you can get your target audience to think of them as "the other."

Next, you need a larger group to equate with the actually bad group. The method can vary. It can be people who look like them, people who share some of their ideas, or people who are defending their rights. If all else fails, outright smears will work. This lets you inflate the threat so people see enemies everywhere.

To insure best results, you need to invoke causes and symbols that people will rally around. Patriotic causes invoked with false analogies will often serve the purpose.

Do all this, and you can accuse lots of people of being members of the seriously bad group. Best of all, anyone who questions your reasoning is automatically part of the baddies.


Keep this pattern in mind. You'll see it in lots of places, promoting lots of different campaigns.

(Argh! When did "disable auto-formatting" become the default on Dreamwidth?)

Just another manic Caturday

Sep. 13th, 2017 12:20 pm
madfilkentist: The Catmobile at Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society (Catmobile)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
The population of the kitten room was down a bit this week, with some cats adopted and not a lot of new ones. Bongo is coming down more than he used to, instead of always finding the highest places to sit. He was very hungry, and I had to bring out seconds of canned food for the free-roaming cats.

Hawkgirl, Sagittarius, Sansa, and Baratheon have been adopted. Salinger was still there, hissing at us. Placido and Domingo continue to make chaos of their cage and are very shy of people. Orchard and Belladonna are eating very little.

A sample copy of the 2018 MRFRS calendar was out for viewing, and Carl is on the January page! The caption says "World's hungriest cat."

Veni, Vidi, Filki

Sep. 13th, 2017 07:03 am
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
I've made a start on my book project on song transformations. Yesterday I borrowed a book on Parody in the Middle Ages from the UNH library. At the same time, I got a UNH library card, which cost me only $48 for a year's borrowing privileges. Nice deal. The book is mostly about prose parodies in Latin, but it should provide a few clues.

Yesterday evening I found the Holy Grail — with my GPS! It's a restaurant in Epping, New Hampshire, where the Seacoast Libertarian Party held the first of what hopefully will be a tradition of monthly dinners. It's a church converted into an Irish restaurant. We sat in what might have been the organ loft.

Dropped...

Sep. 13th, 2017 11:35 am
hrrunka: Frowning face from a character sheet by Keihound (good idea)
[personal profile] hrrunka
There are days and days...

I've not slept that well the last few nights, for a variety of reasons including lack of sufficient exercise during the day, and the weather. Last night's sleep suffered from both of those. It was another blustery night, sufficiently so that I felt the need (around 03:30) to get up and go around the house making sure all the windows were firmly closed, and then making sure there were no gaps in the bedroom curtains through which the neighbours' wretched motion-triggered lights could shine. In windy weather they turn themselves on and off frequently and erratically. (I have spoken to the neighbours concerned, but they've not done anything useful as a result.)

I had planned a local outing for this morning, primarily to attend to a geocache of mine, but also, possibly, to activate my nearest SOTA summit. However, the late slow start to my day and a deterioration of the day's weather forecast have put paid to that. I should get to walk as far as the shops, and I have to go out this evening on radio club business, but that's about all I have energy for. If I can, I'll find the energy to sweep up all the conkers the wind has brought down, but I'll do that after the afternoon schools exodus, as there's a fair chance I'll end up with quite a bit less to sweep up...
Page generated Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:20 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios