Words of Wisdom; Things I Need(ed) to Know, Maybe You Too …

1. “Going to a nude beach sounds like a good idea … until you get there. ” — Tucker Max, from Hilarity Ensues.

I’ve always wanted to go to a nude beach … until I read that. (The opportunities in Prude Nation, USA are few and far between. Travel may be require.)

2. Capitalization is important. — Me, 2018.

I’ve always sought a way, an example, to convince the recalcitrant capitalization-less that they ought to reconsider. This may be it: ” … what is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse?” — Tucker Max, from Hilarity Ensues.

3. “Never have sex with anyone crazier than you are. ” — Gary Nichols, R.I.P. ≈1988.

(Corollary: If you are bat-crazy insane, then your number of potential “safe” sex partners is tremendous — the world being your oyster (no pun intended). — Me, 2018)

The Nichols “commandment” is a very good rule, but there can be some snags.

a. The “candidate” may seem, to all appearances, less crazy than yourself, but is actually thoroughly damaged goods.

b. How does one accurately assess one’s relative sanity? Denial or no self-awareness can be fatal.

c. Some people never have a clue; you may be one of these unfortunates. I was clueless until my mid-20s. Ye, getting a clue did not help much, leading to 4.

4. For some, there is no such thing as “safe sex.” — Me, 2018

This does not refer to the inability to employ a condom or any other “proper protection.” It means that — again, for some — all the caution in the world taken in choice of partner won’t change an eventual nasty outcome. This entry tells us that the parnter may be less crazy than yourself but this fact does not prevent big trouble, possibly mayhem. You know who you are!! … unless you don’t. If not, then you just might be headed for a lifetime of misery, provided, of course, that you can anyone to “give you the time of day” AT ALL, but that’s another subject; and it isn’t only a function of good looks or lack of them. I hope you know who you are!

Confession: I have never made a single, not one, good choice. I’m 57, but have only 2/3s of a lifetime of misery, having stayed out of the game for the past 20 years — except for one very, very bad choice, which brings us to 5.

5. Never have sex with your employment boss or superior. — Me, 2007.

Yes, that’s what I did. Here is my cautionary tale, if you have nothing better to do. Otherwise, go to item #6, if there is one!!

In 2007, I was 45 and hired by my sister’s best friend, “Bee,” on the recommendation of my sister — uh, oh. Bee was 47, recently divorced — uh, oh — with 3 grown kids, youngest entering college. Bee needed a person to take-on some of her workload and her boss approved a new-hire to be her apprentice. I was hired.

Everything went well and, being overqualified for the job, I got a 16.6% raise after 4 weeks on the job. One day she said to me, “I can’t look at you when we work near each other. It’s your lips.” I said, “Oh?”

Bee: “They’re too sexy to look at when you talk.” I don’t recall whether I moved my lips to form a response. A few weeks later, she said she wanted to get a motel room and go there together during lunch break.

Uh, oh.

If you get the meaning of, “staying out of the game for 20 years,” you would infer correctly that I was abstinent for 10 years when I got this proposition. Was it ACTUALLY a requirement of the job, that I would regret refusal? Well, Nichols’ commandment did not enter my brain, but “10 long years” did. I did not say no and we went.

Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumbest thing.

Six months later, I got a call from headquarters and was fired, my first time in my life. But that, also, was the first time I fooled around with anyone at work, much less my superior, who was my boss essentially. Coincidence? That didn’t end well.

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A Discussion of word “random,” it’s use & abuse & meaning: Twain unmet.

1.The validity and accuracy of statistical methods. — Normal Distribution, for example — are entirely dependent upon choosing a random sample from the population of interest. (Not always people.)

If I wanted to determine the most common type of tree within a large, bounded area — US’s New York State, for example — it is not feasible to make a visual inspection of every square foot of the state, record every tree per type, but only within forests and not on residential or business properties (to avoid being shot or arrested for trespassing), tally the data, and declare a winner. This is where a random sample from the state theoretically becomes the only feasible way to conduct the survey. Or is it?

Conceiving a method of achieving a random sample for this project would be a most difficult task and my head hurts just thinking about it. Can anyone here devise a method and be confident that ALL types of tree were counted? If the goal is to determine the most common tree, then an ACTUAL random sampling of the entire state might overlook a tree-type or two, but we would be confident that their numbers are small, that they are uncommon. BUT, any missing types would be a problem if the goal was to take INVENTORY, a total accounting, of all tree-researchers are trying to find which species of tree is carrying a known tree disease? The entire project may fail for the reason described above.

Mercifully, this entry is NOT about this narrow subject. I’ve merely used this context to introduce the concept “random,” as used in statistics (and probability). It’s not an exaggeration that ACTUAL random samples are being achieved when cranking out statistics. I wouldn’t bet the farm. Governmental policies.

2. But probability and statistics weren’t my initial, academic exposure to “random,” which first came in my introductory programming language courses. It was in these that I learned of the concept of random as a problem. Professors tended to give the homework assignment of writing, “random number generator,” programs. The task, as I remember it, was to accept a positive number (N) as input and generate a string of 10 numbers between and N. The program was deemed correct IF the output for run R1 a) showed no pattern; and, b) IF invocations R1 , R2 , … RX showed no repetition when compared to each other. I would test my program by running it 5 times with N=500 and compare the 5 strings of 10 numbers. While coding was easy, it was the algorithm that was not trivial. (I think something called a “seed” is crucial? It was over 30 years ago.)

Since run R can NOT know which seed was used in R-1, then, of course, the process used to select the seed must be random — otherwise, there would be a repetition of the first number in each successive run, which was a a common first error for students.

Relevant to the random number generator, what is one difference between the 32-bit operating system (OS) and the 64-bit OS? Hint: “A man’s got to know his limitations.” — Dirty Harry

3. Choosing an item by sight from a list at random. My proposition: Humans will always fail.

Some here will agree entirely and don’t require persuasive evidence. (No, not “proof.”) For the reflexively intractable and rebellion-addicts, I’ll give my argument, the evidence — adjective, “persuasive,” omitted for you antipodeans, who, apparently, may be constitutionally incapable of agreeing with anyone, except possibly, your mommies.

The scenario, given: (I do not have a random number generator; this is about unaided human attempts to achieve “random.”) I’m in the lobby of a medical building, where there is a single-column listing (vertical list) hanging on the wall. It contains names of primary care doctors, what we used to call “general practitioners.” I need to choose one to become my new doctor.

I want to make a random choice.

Having had many doctors, I know that I have a bias for one of the opposite sex (don’t ask). I want to avoid this bias and choose from the entire list, not a subset by preferred sex. I know that I shouldn’t get close-enough to read any names. The list is length L. If I actually could, then I would choose a random number between 1 and L. I don’t know how to do that — does anyone? People claim to do it at every turn. I decide to write the word “doctor” L times, vertically, on a piece of paper.

Before I attempt to make a “random” choice from this list, I now leave this fictional scenario to tell of personal experience. I’ve attempted to make random choices many dozens of times throughout my life. Here is what I consider evidence that humans can’t do it: A few years ago, I realized that I never once chose the FIRST item in any “random” attempt. Obviously, any random choice from a list MIGHT result in item 1, the first.

My next realization is that I’ve never chosen the LAST item either. I had a bias against the top (first) and bottom (last) items in all those many dozens of lists. I don’t consider myself UNIQUELY biased or part of some small group “3 standard deviations” out from the mean of the bell curve. Therefore, my conclusion: There is a natural affinity to avoid choosing the first and last items in such lists.

I can hear it now: My account is anecdotal and, hence, not evidence of anything! Nice try. The charge of inconclusive solely for the reason of being a personal story is valid if and only when the anecdote is NOT representative of a pervasive human tendency. I’d prefer to take it further, that all humans will fail due to myriad biases, but there’s not need for me to do that. I won’t for this reason: My story is illegitimate if any human can achieve a random choice.

Those of you who think it possible, convince us all by ANY means of your choosing. I bet you can’t. You will win the keys to the kingdom if you do.

(Full disclosure: The story about the list of doctors in the medical building is based on an actual, famous personal account from 1935, telling us that “random” has been misunderstood for at least that long. The list was located in a hotel lobby and contained local churches; the claim in the story is that the man chose one “at random.” I doubt very much that he chose either the first or last church in the list. That list may have been saved for historical reasons, as well as the name of the church chosen. I should find out to add another “anecdote” as evidence.)

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Do Dreams Come True? Ever?


… demonstrates the kind of President of which I once dreamed, had lost any foolish thoughts of every being real and, now, get to experience as a dream-come-true, more often that I ever dreamed!
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I hate to judge things by feelings.

I don’t have a good feeling about this coming 9/11.

No, I do not. [There you go. Nothing? I won’t be convinced until I hear of what was thwarted. Eh?]

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Dark Matter, Still

They are STILL looking for that “Dark Matter!”
Researchers have a good idea of where to find most of the ordinary matter in the universe – not to be confused with dark matter, which scientists have yet to locate:


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Political Spectrum, The Concept

What is meant by the phrase, “political spectrum?” We, in U.S. of A., use the term freely and without hesitation. There is, I’m convinced, a problem with using the straight line as a representation (analogy?) for what’s “known” as the “political spectrum.”
There is a conflation out on the periphery on the ends of the linear, so-called “political spectrum.” (The astute reader will have noted that I implied that there may be a problem similar on the other side of the so-called spectrum.)
Recently, I had a MeWe-group comments-exchange on the subject of Europe’s all-too-readiness to place “far” as prefix to “right” with respect to whomever occupies that “end of the spectrum.” I place those last four words within quotes as the subject turned to–by my intent–the questionable employment of the line (straight) to represent one’s political identification: That one’s political identity is, by way of metaphor, placed and located on a line extending out, straight, left and right from the center. Also, note I’ve left generalized those occupying that end, The Right, by using, “whomever occupies,” also, with intent for the following.
My belief, currently, is that there are many problems generated by using the straight line to designate the range of political types. Let’s look at the word, “spectrum.” Here are the distinct types where a word appears before “spectrum:”
Absorption, Chemical, Chromatic, Continuous, Diffraction, Gaseous, Normal, Ocular, Prismatic, Solar, Thermal. (There is one entry in the list where a word appears after “spectrum:” “Spectrum analysis,” which is a type of chemical analysis.)
The source doesn’t include what we, in America, use without hesitation or forethought: “political spectrum.” Where do you fall on the political specrtrum?
What the bleep does that look like?
Probably, like the Uterus.
That’s my guess.
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Whither The Sub-conscious? (The Freudian One)


Now, being 1/3 of the way into my second reading of Sigmund Freud’s “Civilization and its Discontents,” the second being inspired by this PJMedia: “The Freud Fraud Underlies Political Correctness”, the first reading preceding the current PJMedia by a couple years, that is, before I read the negative critical comments of the author (Goldman); And to him, I’ve yet to find anything being peddled or “sold,” as one would expect a “salesman.”

My only knowledge of negative sentiment about Freud is that it was, they were Liberals (Leftists) who decided to discredit anything Freudian, due to things like “hysteria” being blamed on the possession of a uterus and whatever else could be attributed, by whiff or concrete block, as anti-women and incompatible with any principle of Feminism.

Yet, some of us can remember walking around worrying about what our sub-consciouses were up to; and, without the Freudian “sub-conscious” to kick around or fret over, I ask, whither the subconscious? Are we in denial that it doesn’t matter or, even, that it doesn’t exist—it, the baby, being thrown out with the Freudian bathwater? (When I use “Freudian,” I refer to ONLY the scholarship, NOT any defects of character the man may, did or did not have.)

What we can agree is relevant is whether his version of the human’s stages of development are accurate; if partly, then how so? And so on. The same with respect to what’s called the Defense Mechanisms, though I don’t believe Freud coined that term for them as they are now known. Let’s not forget the rampant concept “denial,” is one of the so-called mechanisms in that list. The other, that Rush Limbaugh seems to have made more widely used, being “projection.” The concept I remember from College is more difficult to understand than the one being used a great deal in U.S. of A over the past decade. I first heard the term here within and among a well-known group about a decade before Rush had a radio show. How long it being used in that group prior to my entry?, is unknown to me.

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