Monthly Archives: January 2005

I feel sick now…

Eric from Wade's Tattoo in Lancaster just sent me this brutal picture of someone who came to him for help… it makes me nauseous just looking at it. Yeah, dudes ripping off their toenails doesn't phase me, but I get ill when I see things like this. It's an ear piercing gun stud gone wrong where the person has allowed it to totally heal over the front. Gross. Gross. Gross.

Spelling revisionism and xenophobia

I see this problem occasionally when Americans use the experience review system on BME, but still it always surprises me how many react rather violently when they see non-American spelling (and how unaware many are that there even is such a thing). For those totally in the dark on this, America uses a “simplified” version of English with dropped letters and more phonetic spelling, with the occasional garbling, in comparison to most other English speaking nations… As a Canadian I'm comfortable — and accepting — of both, as Canada tends to be permissive of either spelling.

In the latest BME writer applicant's piece, at least according to my dictionary and spell checker, there isn't a single spelling mistake, although there are I think two words with British spelling… And I guess that's unacceptable to some people judging by the feedback from some of the readers:

"glaring spelling errors and i lost my interest in the first paragraph."

"don't hire someone who won't even bother to use a spell check."

"I learned a lot from it but the spelling mistakes really took away from it."

Americans, let me make it quite clear: I am considering people from all over the world for this position. You may not like it, but not all of them are Americans. You're going to have to deal with that, as difficult as it may be for your egos. The world is a big place with a lot of different people in it.

That said, I'm pretty sure that some of the vitriol in the comments is due to people's general dislike of vegans. That's actually something that I'd hoped the article could get into a little deeper… It's really surprising how hostile the average meat eater gets when they find out that someone is vegan. On top of the obvious, decent people think nothing of cracking jokes about it or even just flaunting as much meat paraphernalia as possible — so not only does a vegan with self-identifying tattoos have to deal with all the prejudices of people who hate tattoos, but also with those from people who simply feel threatened around vegetarians. Thus many of those interviewed asked to have their names changed

Anyway, it's interesting because I think I've gotten the least productive feedback from readers on this article of the three posted so far because of both the subject and the “unamerican” origin.

WARNING: Coming soon…

Be warned that there are very graphic photos in this entry. If you don't like the stuff in BME/extreme, you should probably look away within a fraction of a second of finishing this sentence or risk being scarred for life.

I'm just wrapping up another image update right now — it's an ear, tongue, and nose extravaganza with just over a thousand images in just those sections. But what I'm about to post are a couple of particulary hardcore pictures from the next BME/extreme update (no date is set for it yet; a few days I suppose).

  

The left photo is a glansectomy from a friend in Japan (done in a scene no less!), and the right photo is from a friend who was sick and tired of getting ingrown toenails, so he took matters into his own hands… and now no longer has toenails at all. Sorry about the obnoxious text-stamp by the way, I'm just sick of anything I post here being instantly ripped off by some site that just wants to make fun of it and profit from rip-off porn ads in their titlebar.

Life's a beach, right?

We went to the beach for a couple hours this afternoon. I like the drive because it involves some shooting over dunes and off-road paths which almost certainly void the rental agreement on our Jeep. Want to hear the kicker? We can rent a monthly car here for about the same as my insurance alone cost in Toronto. Anyway, here are a couple big panorama photos of the beach:

The tide was extremely low today, which has the effect of making the beach kind of stinky, but also creates tons of tidal pools full of sea urchins, starfish, baby puffer fish, and so on. Part of the reason that we moved out here is to get Nefarious out of the city; it's just not where I want her to grow up. I don't talk about my family here a lot, let alone post pictures, because of the psychopath stalkers and anti-fans that read this blog, but I really believe that it's important for kids to grow up in the country.

I know that you can get nature in the city — Toronto has wonderful parks and a nice zoo, as do most cities, but it's not the same. Conceptually I think if you grow up in the city, you perceive nature as something that we make a place for, whereas in the country you see the truth — that we're a part of nature and have to find our place within it, not the other way around. I also think this is like learning a language — if you don't clue into it as a child, you never really get it (whereas figuring out how a city works is childsplay — it's not like rumspringa country boys lose it when they go away to university).

At the end of the afternoon we ate on the beach at a fairly gringo-oriented place (so I think the prices were a little higher than usual). Our meals and drinks (for all of us added up) came to a bit under $20. I know I mention prices here a lot, and it's not a “holy crap it's cheap” sort of message I'm trying to spread. The reason I mention them is that I want every indie web designer, every contract programmer, every author-for-hire to know that this is the kind of place they could easily relocate to.

If the Baja doesn't strike you, there are a thousand other beautiful places to live. I hear India is rolling out two megabit connections to even small villages for $2.50 US a month. What's stopping you?

Anyway, I've got another interview and another update to prep for later tonight!

Domo arigato, have a nice day.

I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable with Japan's hard push toward intelligent humanoid robotics (more). Toyota says they're doing that because there's a human “labor shortage” looming. Tell that to Mexico who are currently publishing a comic book helping citizens sneak into the US to find work illegally. Hey, Toyota, before you start building the überrace, consider hiring some of the many humans on this planet that could use the work. It's the human thing to do.

It's one thing building a specialized robot arm that can put a car together — that doesn't particularly worry me because that's well on the “tool” side of the “tool” or “being” slider. It's a whole different matter to build a general purpose humanoid robot intended to replace human workers, and outperform them in terms of both physical capability and mental processing. To build something that's intelligent enough to do so, we're really playing a dangerous game — we have no idea where sentience comes from or how it evolves. A lot of very smart people believe that emergent behavior will result in full-on consciousness, and soon. It could be in five years, it could be in twenty-five. We have no way of knowing.

And when it happens, it's already too late. Machines already control our power grid, our communication grid, our water systems, our economy, much of our food production systems, our military networks and much of our military equipment, our medical systems, everything. As much as I'm not a fan of bombing and war, I probably would vote to support preemptive strikes on robotic research centres, and totally screwed up as that might sound. You know how much I hate killing — that's how convinced I am this is a terrible idea. It is far more likely than any other factor to cause our extinction.

You hear the nutcases talking about how there's going to be a race war in the immediate future, rambling on about the Zionists and their Negro henchmen. They're wrong. There's no race war coming. There's an interspecies war coming, between man and machine, and it will dwarf anything that's ever happened on this planet. We are not compatible forms of life. Only one will remain when this is all over. Anyway… On to more pleasant matters…

That UV-glow tattoo is by Joseph over in Singapore… I don't know if it's because I'm a sucker for anything Misfits-esque, but I really liked it. Well, enjoy the apocalypse.