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The wind is really roaring outside tonight. I can hear the cherry tree whipping around and metal-on-metal sounds from elsewhere on the block.

who-cares shitpost about the bird site 

I'm so glad mastodon's version of "trending topics" is not as obnoxious as the bird site's.

(yes, I am old and grumpy and tire quickly of "memes", get off my lawn)

last thing I'm going to say about fsf/rms (much shorter than last time) 

You can't be a leader if people refuse to follow you.


FSF/RMS/WTF (long, should’ve been a blog post) 

I think it is possible to acknowledge and admire the good deeds of a leader while acknowledging that they hold/held beliefs and/or do/did actions that make it impossible to be an effective leader.

RMS’ idea for GNU was brilliant. The software he produced, and the software that others produced because they were inspired by him, created not just a movement but an entire class of operating systems and applications. His position in computing history should not be in dispute, or subject to erasure due to factors that have nothing to do with computing.

I once was an FSF associate member. In that capacity, I went to one of the Libreplanet conferences. In an open Q&A session, I rose to express concern that the FSF’s tendency to refer to unfree hardware by names like “the Kindle Swindle” and “iBad” constituted name-calling and thus bullying, and that (a) the Free Software idea was strong enough to stand alone as FSF’s objective without belittling the unfree world, and (b) as a parent I wanted Free Software to be the predominant idea of my kid’s generation, and being associated with name-calling and bullying didn’t advance that and in fact hurt the FSF’s position. tl;dr “We’re better than this” (or we should be.)

The FSF staff moderator (I don’t recall now who it was) replied that RMS was behind this and the question should really be addressed to him. In a later session, RMS basically dismissed the question, calling these bullying terms “their true names” or something to that effect.

FSF started to lose me at that point. I was extensively bullied as a kid, and I recognize bullying when I see it. To see bullying dismissed as no big deal by the FSF’s founder and leader, and his staff decline to go against that position, poisoned the well for me. I let my membership lapse some years ago.

Seeing the current FSF board reseat RMS didn’t surprise me. It didn’t surprise me because, to paraphrase Louis XIV, “le FSF, c’est lui.” There are good people in the FSF, but ultimately, if they’re not willing to go against RMS, then RMS *is* the FSF. That he is returning to the FSF after leaving due to his repugnant opinions reinforces that he always was the heart and soul of the FSF. And now, even though that heart and soul is infected with this controversy, the FSF has apparently realized they can’t survive divorced from him. Who can survive without a heart and soul, really?

I didn’t sign the “open letter”, and won’t, because as a lapsed FSF member, non-GPL developer, and all-around nobody in the greater scheme, I don’t think I’m in a similar position to the other signatories. I also think this open letter is ultimately doomed to be ignored by the FSF, although I will happily eat these words if they act upon it. But I agree with the gist of it: that RMS’ divisive opinions and actions on matters unrelated to the FSF, repeatedly acted out and publicly stated by the man himself, make him unsuitable as a leader of an organization that seeks to unite people behind a cause. He should resign (again), and the FSF should figure out whether it can continue to exist independent of his leadership. I hope that it can - in spite of my disagreements with it and its founder, I feel like it has a useful purpose and, with some new blood and appreciative inquiry, could do great things. But having RMS and his opinions and actions on board is like a pair of cement overshoes at this point. As someone said on the bird site, yes, he accomplished a lot, but think of all the accomplishments we missed by people who were otherwise sympathetic but whom he drove away.

A leader can’t drive people away. That defeats the entire purpose of leadership. It’s to inspire, not to repel. If you believe that people who were repelled by RMS had and have no place in Free Software, well, that’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. But I, clearly, disagree.


TIL there are people on youtube who make fake "emergency alert" videos using valid Emergency Alert System tones. Aside from being almost certainly illegal, this is a supremely dickheaded thing to do. I know it was drummed into my head as a radio DJ in the 90s that the EBS (as we had back then) was only to be activated in event of a genuine emergency, authenticated with codewords sent over the AP wire and cross-referenced with a regularly rotated list of valid words we had on hand. The potential for mass hysteria and panic if an invalid alert was sounded was just too great.

Anyway, I'm not surprised. People are jerks.

Mass murder in Boulder, CO 

I am asking you once again to take your thoughts and prayers and shove them up your ass.

Wishing peace and comfort for my friends in Boulder.

Episode 11: "Domo arigatou, Mr. Roboto":

* Guillemots - Trains to Brazil
* Guided by Voices - Motor Away
* TV on the Radio - Caffeinated Consciousness
* Neko Case - This Tornado Loves You
* LCD Soundsystem - Dance Yrself Clean
* New Order - Shellshock
* New Fast Automatic Daffodils - Big
* Loop - Got to Get It Over
* Arcade Fire - Intervention
* Fort Knox Five - The Brazilian Hipster
* Thievery Corporation feat. Sleepy Wonder & Gunjan - Warning Shots


Just heard an ad on the radio for an online cigar shop boasting of their "climate controlled humidor."

I am not a smoker of cigars or anything else. If you are, enlighten me: what other kind of humidor is there? Isn't controlling the climate in which one stores one's cigars the entire point of a humidor?

Episode 10: "What's Your Meaning, Larry?":

* The Monks - Monk Time
* Blue Öyster Cult - The Red and the Black
* The Flaming Lips - God Walks Among Us Now - Jesus Song No. 6
* Pink Floyd - See Emily Play
* Tricky - Christiansands
* Medicine - The Pink
* Jawbox - FF=66
* Jawbox - Savory
* The Byrds - Eight Miles High
* John Coltrane - India
* The Pop Group - She Is Beyond Good and Evil
* Joy Division - Dead Souls
* The Evolution Control Committee - Rebel Without A Pause (Whipped Cream mix)

I do not like referring to people who write code as 'engineers', but I did like this page I found in someone's profile earlier today.

"You might have already heard of a 10x engineer. Probably too often, actually. If there's such a thing as a 10x engineer, surely there must be a 1x engineer, too?
Of course there is! Let's dig into a non-exhaustive list of what qualities make up a 1x engineer."

This reminder is as much for me as it is for my listeners: for those in areas of the US and Canada that observe Daylight Saving Time (and the few parts of Mexico that use the US/CA DST schedule) it begins this Sunday, which means The Mentos The Freshmaker Show will still air at 0000 UTC on Tuesday, but that will be an hour later in local prevailing time; thus, 8:00 PM Eastern instead of 7:00, and so on.

As always, tune in early for @Rigby_Koyaanisqatsi and stay after my show for @snowdusk and @alrs if you can!

A year ago today, you know what happened. This morning, I'm getting vaccinated. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

1) Is your activity criminal?
2) Is your activity violent?
3) Is your activity maritime in nature?

If you can’t answer all three questions in the affirmative, I submit that your activity is not piracy.

And now the backup site has developed a mysterious problem that is preventing my web server from booting. Meanwhile the primary site is back up. Have switched back over, but now need to wait for DNS caches to catch up AGAIN. Double yay!

(Yes, I do this stuff for fun. Why do you ask?)

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The VPS provider hosting my web site is having a sad. Have switched over to my backup site, but now need to wait for DNS caches to catch up. Yay!

Episode 9: "Daydream Sparks":

* Sleater‐Kinney - Entertain
* Lush - Ladykillers
* Tsunami - Water's Edge
* Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Some Velvet Morning
* Donny Hathaway - A Song for You
* Nina Simone - Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
* Godspeed You! Black Emperor - East Hastings (excerpt)
* Steroid Maximus - ¡Quilombo!
* Sonic Youth - Rain King
* Crescent - Sun
* The Church - The Unguarded Moment
* The United States of America - Coming Down

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masto instance for the tildeverse