On the Privilege of Being Offended
Lately, I have been seeing more than a few news articles about people who are upset because they find something offensive and want it stopped. I think they are being silly at best, and an extreme danger to society as a whole, at worst. Please consider the following items.
Number one: The ability to be offended is a privilege available only in a free society. In a totalitarian state such as those that exist in much of the world, if you say or do something that offends someone in power, you may lose your possessions, your freedom, and even your life.
Number two: We must learn from accurate history. If we erase the visible traces of history we deem offensive, then we have blinded those that follow to the very reason we find them offensive in the first place.
As an author, I constantly run into news articles or historical events where if I were to write them into the plot of a story, no one would believe it. It seems Shannon A. Thompson has the same issue and gives some excellent examples in this recent post on her Hate / Love Relationship with Historical Fiction.
Shannon A. Thompson has a blog that I follow regularly. Sign up for her newsletter.
Back in the early 60s, I found a poem in a SciFi pulp magazine that I loved. I’ve never been able to find it again. But I still recall it to this day.
Now I am Faust and Faust is you
And we, the witches who hailed Macbeth
We have the lightnings of a God
But not his eons, we know death
And we who stand, high above the Earth
On poised, foolhardy feet
That go towards ending
Came from Birth
We wonder sometimes what we do
Besides achieving balance
Faust, I, and the witches
For the last 40 years, that has echoed in the back of my mind. It still has a powerful message for me. I wish I knew what magazine it came from and the poet’s name.
What brought this to mind, you may ask?
This article that just might be life following fiction… the arming of SkyNet.
Every once in a while, I trip over a new tool that I just cannot do without. Such is the case for the Pigma Brush series from Sakura Color Products of Japan.
I was sorting through some felt-tip markers in the fine art section of a local A.C. Moore store when I found a small display of these pens.
What caught my attention was the fact that although the tip is similar to an ultra-fine point indelible marker, it is very flexible. The darn thing really does handle like a very fine brush!
So far, my usage has been to fill in extremely thin cracks and seams on folded cardstock. It is very easy to handle and got in places my previous markers didn’t. I’m sure that with a bit of experimentation, I’ll find more uses for this handy tool. Hhmm… Industrial age graphiti anyone?
Both the store display and Sakura’s website show these features:
• Archival quality ink – chemically stable, waterproof, and fade resistant
• No smears, feathers, or bleed-through on most papers
• Thorough ink delivery to the sides and tip of the flexible brush
• Individual pens available, and in a 6 – color set, and 8 – color set
You can read more at: http://www.sakuraofamerica.com/pen-brush
Be sure to check out the short video clip on their entire line.
I’ve been following Dutchsinse for over a year now and I’ve checked some of his earlier work. He has an 80% success rate in predicting earthquakes. That’s better than NOAA predicts hurricanes. You might want to take a look at this video clip.
Like most of us, I’ve lost things stored on my computer from time to time. This has made me more than a bit obsessive about backing up stuff I consider critical.
I also know that the average life of most electronics is about five years. Few hard disk drives give a three year warranty while most only give a year.
With that in mind, I’ve developed a strategy that works in conjunction with cloud storage to minimize the chance of a catastrophic loss of data.
Every couple of years or so, I purchase a new hard disk drive (HDD) for about a hundred dollars. I will unplug both of the HHDs in my tower, connect the new HDD, and install the latest version of my favorite Operating System (OS), Kubuntu.
Which brings us to this… I was very happy to get my new 3Tb HDD in the mail and immediately installed and format the drive with the latest Long-Term-Support version of Kubuntu, 16.04.
Worked with 16.04 for three days and must say, I’m terribly disappointed.
It appears as if the primary focus of the Plasma development team was to make an OS for a tablet, not a desktop. The overall look and feel is crude to say the least. Icons looks like they were created for a 1980s game system and several features have been removed.
I’m afraid Kubuntu 16.04 may well turn out to be Canonical’s answer to Windows8.
In the meantime, Kubuntu 14.04 will be supported until 2019. I’m hoping they get it right for the 18.04 LTS release. If not, I’ll probably recommend some of flavors, such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint.
As always, this is only my opinion and your mileage may vary. I’d love to hear of your experiences with other Operating Systems.
Here in South Florida, the hurricane season is upon us. With that in mind, I’d like to remind all my friends that even if you live up north or out west, there are lots of things that can happen that might put you in danger. Plan ahead and keep yourself and your family safe. One way is with a bug out kit just in case your home or neighborhood becomes uninhabitable.
This is not designed as a long-term camping solution. Rather, it is intended for a three-day survival pack. The idea is to look innocuous and yet be able to walk to safety without outside support.
Do NOT forget spare glasses and prescription medicines.