Friday, November 25, 2011

May the greed be with you

And also with you.

Being that today is black Friday, and I've been reading AdBusters for the last decade, and there's an occupy movement happening, I decided to think on greed a bit today.  I am a fucking concern troll.  That said, let's see the definition
excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.
Shit.  That's not very helpful.  How about excessive
going beyond the usual, necessary, or proper limit or degree; characterized by excess: excessive charges; excessive criticism.
 Well piss.  It seems that we're going to end up on a loop of looking up subjective labels.  And... I'll be damned: that's the problem.  There's nothing inherently wrong/bad with/about greed.  There's not.  The real problem is with propaganda.  If I say:
I want to squeeze every ounce of money out of my employees, working them to death.  To do this I will lobby against the minimum wage under the banner of worker freedom.  I will work to convince people that the 40 hour work week is oppressive -- they could work more if only I didn't have to pay them more -- and should be abolished.  I will forgo basic safety precautions, as they are expensive.. and everyone knows they shouldn't put a stroller on an escalator, why do I need to spend the $50 to put a sign there anyhow?
 and call it anything other than greed, I am lying.  It is true that the definition is subjective - that excessive is "in the eye of the beholder".    But this subjectivity is being used against all of us.  The "Reasonable Person" has been killed (by Mammon himself, no doubt), and we've let everyone get away with it.  I think it is specifically because "greed is not inherently bad" that we forget that it is also not inherently good.  Because of this, we find ourselves allowing our conservative friends/enemies/whatevers to escape us when we don't say:
...perhaps Laffer was originally right, but how is cutting taxes on the rich while maintaining tax levels, or increasing them on the middle class and poor not an example of wealthy greed?
Right.  That's fucking right.  It's the same answer I give to "well, if you don't believe in God, what reason do you have to live"?  I say "any reason to live has no bearing on the existence of God".

But anyhow, we've got to stop allowing people to say that "big corporations are not greedy, they're just doing what they do", and the like.  While greed is not inherently bad/evil, neither is infanticide (it sounds pretty fucking lame that I would say that, but ontology is pretty brutal).  I think we can all agree that infanticide is unacceptable, can't we agree that at least SOME greed is also unacceptable?


Monday, November 14, 2011

OCI8 with Phusion Passenger/Rails 3.1 on Freebsd 8 ** UPDATED

This has been one of the most trying things I've done..  My employer uses a backend database of Oracle 9i, or the like.  I have to connect to it with Rails to simplify some queries, using oci8. 

Ruby 1.9.2 also.

Install the freebsd linux-oracle-instantclient-* ports
follow directions here:
(You will have to install both oracle ports)

Punch something that won't break your hand, but will be hard enough to relieve some anger

Use gems, NOT the ports collection for the gems..

gem install ruby-oci8 (Using the freebsd port fucks everything up)
gem install activerecord-oracle_enhanced-adapter

You will have to modify  /usr/local/lib/ruby/site_ruby/oci8.rb to make line 38 know where your .so file is.  replace site_ruby with your ruby install path.  I use site_ruby because of rvm (Another goddamn hassle to set up)

This got me up and running, but I am not sure if these steps are in order, or if I did anything else.  This was a fucking hassle and I  wouldn't recommend doing it.. but if you have to, and you get stuck, post a comment and I'll see if I can't help you figure out your problem



A ruby wrapper to set this bullshit is necessary as well:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/oracle8-client/lib
export TNS_ADMIN=/usr/local/oracle8-client/network/admin
export ORACLE_HOME=/usr/local/oracle8-client
exec "/usr/local/bin/ruby" "$@"


This only works on fucking i386.  If you have to use OCI8 on FreeBSD, it's only going to work on i386.  I tried and tried, and no x64.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

God hates cigarettes?

"I don't really care what people do in their private lives," said 62-year-old communications consultant George Werl of Minneapolis. But he said marriage should be limited to heterosexual couples because it was designed to protect the children of those unions. (via)

What he means to say is:
"I don't really care what people do in their private lives.  I really care what people do in their private lives".  It's a Rick James moment.

This amendment vote is a year away.  We must all fight it.  Fuck the spin, it's homophobic, bigoted and simple minded.  Marriage is a dying arbitrary patriarchal institution anyhow, not to mention the SIBS study has all but proven that biological relationship between parents and children has no impact positive or negative on the child's "success" in life (but it's OK to use a child to force a mother or father into "calming down"/"growing up")

These are bogus issues designed to pit us against each other and ignore the reality that we're all being screwed ... by the 1%  (Thanks adbusters for making that so succinct).  If you REALLY FUCKING DON'T CARE what people do in their private lives, [then] SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Amen brother.


**edit: than? Idiot.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Let there be plight

I am severely troubled by how the fox spin machine is portraying the occupy movement (but not surprised).  It's something I am afraid has been picking up steam for a while: "college education is unnecessary" (I know, this isn't news).  Of course, these people don't believe that's true for anyone in their families..

I remember something that I heard on public radio years ago that solidified my stance of pro-education for everyone (regardless of costs).. some jacknut Eichten had on his program said "Now Gary, what do I care if my car mechanic knows where Iraq is".  I got a great insight into the bourgeoisie/proletariat divide in that moment, and I drew an instant parallel to the dark ages.  This seems to me to be the definition of serfdom (After enlightenment, but before access).

I want my car mechanic to know whatever in the fuck he/she wants to know, and to be able to critically think as to properly question their government, make wise decisions on health care, child raising, etc.  They're trying to put out our sacred flame of the enlightenment.  Every bit of money taken out of education, every extra pupil in a classroom, every closed Adult Basic Education program -- they're all one more depressant on that flame.

Also, too: fuck Locke.


**Edit I said fuck Kant: I was thinking Locke but wrote Kant.  I've got no beef with Kant's a priori (although I used to hate the concept), my beef is with Locke's private property nonsense.