English. Learn Some.

Building an AR-15 Under 5 Pounds

Nice article, and reads like a nice build. I do lack a bit of confidence in their math, though, given that the build they were comparing to was 5lb5oz and ~$3,500 while the 4lb13oz build was “slightly more than $1,800, nearly half the price of the carbine in the article that spawned this exercise.”

“[N]early half the price”? No, slightly MORE than half the price. “Nearly” implies “almost” or “not quite,” and $1,800 is more than half of $3,500.

Numbers. Language. Not strong suits for this writer.


I saw an article today in passing that reminded me once again how the Internet has helped spread faux-literacy. Its title contained, “all the cool offices aren’t in San Francisco” even though the content of first paragraph of the article indicated that the writer’s view was something very different, that NOT ALL of the cool offices are in SF.

For anyone who’s confused as to the difference, thank the Internet, the Mass MEdia Podpeople Hivemind and your incompetent English teachers for the spread of faux-literacy. (A couple of Venn diagrams would clarify the differences, but there one would have to fall back on skills math teachers may or may not have imparted. *sigh*)

Oh, well, here’s one set of diagrams that can illustrate the difference, although there are other ways to do it. This is just the simplest, perhaps (Click on graphics for optimal size):



Of course, the gripe I give a bare outline of above is just the tip of the faux-literate iceberg. I had live almost six decades before I began hearing/reading subliterate morons saying/writing, “I wish I would have” instead of “I wish I had.” Did this sort of misuse of the conditional perfect just start being widely used as illiteracy (even among college graduates) has grown over the last few decades until it reached some sort of critical mass and spill over into public fora, or has it been there all along and just hidden from me because I had an exposure to people who were primarily a more literate bunch of folks?

*shrugs* Who knows. I certainly see much, much more of these things since the Internet has democratized publishing of all sorts of writing.

faux-literacy Well, what do you think it means, anyway? Lots of folks think they’re literate because other people have told them they are, accept them as literate and even pay them to write their subliterate crap. They think they are literate and others around them do, but what they write (or say) proves that they are not. The more they fake literacy and spread their subliterate, moronic screeds, the dumber public discourse becomes.

And they’re everywhere. Most prominent Mass MEdia Podpeople: condemned as faux-literates by the words they utter. Politicians, Academia Nut Fruitcakes, “Edumacators” and more: all spreading subliteracy via their public pretense of literacy.

The lowest common denominator is the measure of the best in our society.

Well, I Had Been Enjoying the Book

Not sayin’ the title, but really?

. . . there’s enough (plural noun)s on the. . .

Linguistically innumerate. *gagamaggot* And,

“Ah.” He smiled, and even drunk as he was it was the kind of knowing, sarcastic smile that set my teeth on edge. “Jealousy.”

OK, I’ve not necessarily given enough context for the second, but people who use “jealousy” when they mean “envy” really set my teeth on edge. There’s a clear and useful distinction between the two that poorly-read folks seem all to have missed, and now subliterates are forcing their destruction of a useful distinction out of English. I just hate that.

So, as much as I’ve enjoyed the rest of the book to this point, if this sort of thing continues, I may end up putting this one down just because of the annoyance factor.

Apart From Innumeracy and Grammar Failures, Moderately Interesting. . .

What? Oh, this article about the feds making those who unlock their dumb phones criminals. Sure, the info is pretty much useless to Olde Phartes like me who just use a cell phone to make calls (don’t try calling my cell phone, cos I won’t answer), but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Still, how many times can one read something like,

“There’s more than a few ways around this. . . “

. . . without gagging and searching for a way to dopeslap, then tar, feather and hang the author from the highest tree?

There ARE. . . ways, idiot. Count it out. Plural. Got it? (No. He can’t count and can’t parse a simple sentence in English. Typical Hiveminder.)

Continue reading “Apart From Innumeracy and Grammar Failures, Moderately Interesting. . .”

Can I Get Disability Payments for This?

I have a disability that is a constant burden. In my daily walk of life, it causes me many, many difficulties that weigh me down, reduce my ability to work or even have enjoyment of life. It’s severe and debilitating.

I simply caNOT understand–or many times even remember–that most people LIKE being stupid, ignorant and blind to the world around them.

Most people cannot (solely because they don’t want to take the vanishingly small effort to do so) understand that

x+y=z, therefore z-y=x

. . .or that a basic grasp of such things are, in the very a natural, ordinary and proper human existence, useful in so very many ways that if one were to stop to list them there would likely not be enough (electronic) ink to do so.

And that’s just scratching the surface of things most people do not even take for granted, because they remain obstinately blind to them.

But it’s not just that basic, almost first grade level, algebra’s usefulness in kitchen management, carpentry, shopping and much, much more eludes them (because they are too intellectually lazy to be able to win a game of checkers against a head of cabbage), no, it’s not just that. It’s also that such folks view any use of very simple math extending beyond extremely basic addition and subtraction as magic, only invoke via calculators of some sort. (But then, such folks also do not usually even understand the formulae they must use to input data into a calculator beyond simple multiplication, division, addition and subtraction.)

My disability is that I just do not get that.

Algebra, statistics (and the calculus necessary to understand how statistical formulae work; without that, one is far too easily manipulated by phony statistics. . . just sayin’), gemoetry, etc., are all extremely useful tools–as ways of thinking about our world around us–for anyone wishing to

save money
save time
save effort

. . . that it boggles my mind that so very, very many not only are utterly incapable of even seeing the daily multitudes of applications of simple maths like algebra and geometry but are actually dismissive of such simple maths as non-utilitarian (though few such folks would even understand what I just wrote).

I have tried and tried, but my disability seems to prevent getting my head around that mindset.

So, when a salesman (of construction materials in the case that came to mind) clicks away on a calculator and comes up with something that simply cannot be, given the physical constraints of a job, the materials involved, etc., because he unthinkingly applied the wrong sets of criteria AND improperly applied a wrong formula, pencil and paper proofs might not be enough to demonstrate the flaws. . . and searches at that business for someone who DOES understand what the problems are might go all the way to the top of the food chain (as it did; the owner of the business understood the simple maths involved *sigh*). One out of four persons (two out of five, including me), 25% (or, if I were included in the population count there, 40%) could do the simple math.

That’s pretty typical. When I’m in the room, the number of folks getting simple math goes up. When I leave, the general IQ drops. No, seriously, and I’m not really all that smart or math-or-letters-literate*. Really. About half my extended family, for just one population sample, can better me there. And while the IQ scores I was once a bit ambivalent about (I turned down an invite to a local chapter of MENSA while in college–issued by a psych prof who had a legitimate access to my records–because I just didn’t, and still don’t, feel that smart”) say I should be bright enough to grasp why people choose to be dumb, I just still don’t see it.

Shouldn’t I be getting some sort of disability payment from the nanny state for this painful, disabling disability?

Continue reading “Can I Get Disability Payments for This?”

The Zero Fears His Superpower

Or, at least The Zero would if he could count to five without taking his shoes off.





Check out The Zero’s face in this video. “WTF?!? What’s he talkin’ ’bout, Willis? Is that MATH?!?” If you’ve ever wondered what Odumbo’s face looks like when confronted with numbers, well, here ya go:

Oh, and during all the demonizing of Ryan and his budgetary proposals, do remember that they guy who was THE ZERO’S PICK to head up his “deficit committee” and represent the administration’s policies, Erskine Bowles (Clinton SBA head, later WH chief of staff), über-Democrat, had a different view:

Just sayin’. Serious policy wonks don’t share the views of Mass MEdia Podpeople like Rachel Maddow and Michael Moore. *sigh* The only real negative I can see in having Ryan as a vice presidential candidate is that he’ll be wasted “debating” Cwazy Unka Joe (if The Zero’s campaign even lets that massacre happen). At the top of the ticket, he’d have a chance to obliterate The Zero, metaphorically nuking him from orbit.

Oh, fun. Jerry Pournelle suggests (in my words, not his) that with the Romney/Ryan strengths on  economic policy against The Zero’s (and zero-cubed, Cwazy Unka Joe) profound weaknesses, some Dhimmicraps might be tempted to play the “no foreign policy experience” card… and that that would be a real tarbaby for the Dhims, as


“…anyone including Elmer Fudd has more experience in foreign affairs than the current President had on taking office.”


Tar Him, Feather Him and Give Him a Box of Matches to Play With


When an adult took standardized tests forced on kids


Revealed: School board member who took standardized test

And get back with me. I’ll be playing the Jeopardy Theme…

Back now?

I got hold of a pdf of the “test” this moron with 2 masters degrees (in education, of course) took. His carping (from a summation by his interviewer), “The math section, he said, tests information that most people don’t need when they get out of school,” is typical. Of COURSE most people will never NEED to have at their fingertips the information that there are 360 degrees in a circle and that the hours of a clock face (obviously–duh: 360/12) divide those degrees up into 30-degree chunks. (see pic below) That’s just ONE way to get the correct answer, without guessing, to one of the easy-peasy questions on the maths test. But, as Lovely Daughter pointed out to me in email, such problems as that particular question posed ARE easily answered with very simple reasoning, no math needed.


And so it proved for the entire math test. Indeed, most of those questions that weren’t simple addition, subtraction, multiplication or division (4th grade stuff, at best) HAD THE FORMULAS PROVIDED TO SOLVE THEM! The rest? Any formulas or processes were blatantly obvious to anyone competent in sixth to eighth grade math.

All the unthinking test taker needed to do with such fare would be to plug the data into their (provided) calculator.

Simple, basic reasoning ability and the ability to read simple text and follow directions: that’s ALL the test measured.

His gripe about the math test is that no one he knows needs to know any of that information, so kids shouldn’t be tested on it? Well, they’re not. The test is a math test like a “driver’s test” at a kiddie bumper-car ride is Le Mans. The test is simply a test of whether those taking it can think their way out of a wet paper bag.

And the guy’s gripe about the reading test?

“On the FCAT, they are reading material they didn’t choose. They are given four possible answers and three out of the four are pretty good. One is the best answer but kids don’t get points for only a pretty good answer. They get zero points, the same for the absolute wrong answer…”

Well, duh. It’s a TEST, dumbass! Do employees choose all their reading material at work, or do they have to follow directions? Do people really WANT to read the directions for taking a prescription medication? Is “reading” but not comprehending such material really a Good Thing? OF COURSE reading COMPREHENSION is a survival and success attribute, but this guy thinks kids should only be quizzed on whatever they WANT to read, and that getting wrong answers is just as good as actually understanding the printed word and being able to use information thus transmitted to get correct answers.

This guy’s a perfect example of those things that are wrong with education in America. We’d all be better of if he and his ilk were placed on chain gangs making little rocks out of big ones. For life.

Note: while I am absolutely convinced that there is ample evidence to assert that “education departments” of colleges and universities are intellectual wastelands largely populated by the least intellectually gifted attending college or university, I also know a number of standout exceptions to that rule. There are good teachers who are bright, capable and hard-working. Unfortunately, I think the evidence is strong that those who combine those characteristics are not the norm in education.

My hat’s off to good teachers everywhere. Sadly, I don’t feel I need tip it all that often.

Continue reading “Tar Him, Feather Him and Give Him a Box of Matches to Play With”

Was Pollyanna Stupid or Evil?

It’s a tough question. If you’re unfamiliar with the reference, take some time out. I’ll wait. Meanwhile, I’ll leave this here for interim consderation:

Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.–Napoleon Bonaparte (ascribed)

There is such a thing as human evil. I’ll allow no argument on that point, because any argument otherwise is simply either stupid* or evil. Period. So, accept as axiomatic that human evil exists. Is it then stupid or evil to look human evil in the face and see good? (I’ll allow a third option: insanity.)

Examples abound:

Idiots who defend Islam as a “religion of peace”. Stupidity or witting enabling of the evil hate cult of Islam?

People who assert that America is an unjust society, because we have people they class as poor? Evil or stupid? Consider this:

Ahhh, I’m tired of this already, and my BP is starting to climb… *sigh*

So, are those who are enablers of the hate cult of the Butcher of Medina evil or stupid (or both–likely, IMO)?

Are those who seem to be actively attempting to destroy our society via such activities as encouraging the kleptocratic “gimme” culture evil or stupid (or both–likely, IMO)?

And when do we stop ascribing destructive behaviors to stupidity alone and start calling it malice?

Yes, I aborted a bunch of stupid/evil material ranging from “pro-choice” (which is really, “Deny ANY choice to the unborn”), “Edumacation”, the Thugs Standing Around program of full employment for goons and petty tyrants, and “feddle gummint” tyrannical meddling in citizens’ lives while actively enabling outlaws to The Cult of Anthropogenic Climate Scare-ism and numerous points in between. One can select any issue dominated by the lies of the Mass MEdia Podpeople Hivemind, politicians *gag-spew* and Academia Nut Fruitcakes and plug it right into the “Stupid or Evil” matrix for consideration.

*I include in my use of “stupid” acts of witting, deliberate avoidance of facts. Witting, deliberate distortion of facts is evil–slander against truth.

New Math or Just Innumerate?

(Note the date of recording.)

I think I’ll go with innumerate twit:

See? I told y’all not to trust that so-called “birth certificate”. Even The Zero (inadvertently) admits it’s hinky. (A guy who has created such a big fuss about the issue but doesn’t even know when he was born–or worse, when he IS NOW–is incompetent to manage his own affairs, let alone be president of a garden club. Just sayin’… )

One Small Example…

…of the stupidity of usual and customary modern (mis)”education” practices:

“Drill and kill.”

That’s a phrase used to deprecate dilling facts such as multiplication tables until they become second nature. Combine that with stupidly practiced positive reinforcement of “tender widdle egos” and we have such idiocies as congratulating ignorant little brats for “5×6=33” or ignorant and nearly illiterate college students who are super-confident of their intellectual prowess.

No, the proper view of drilling facts is:

“Drill to skill.”

Indeed, facts must be drilled, practiced, exercised regularly for quite some time before they can be useful and contribute to useful skills–or even by themselves be skills. Intellectual pursuits are non different in this regard than physical pursuits. Most pubschools have some sort of athletic teams. Are the kids just set out on the field and told to “just have fun” or do they have a coach who drills them in fundamentals and has them practices skill sets and play patterns?

The latter, of course. Apparently, pubschools view athletic endeavors as more important than intellectual ones, because in athletic endeavors, pubschools actually coach kids to attempt to be successful, having them practice and drill the skills they need until they are skills.

Or take an even simpler task. Has anyone ever seen any person just pick up a hammer for the very first time and drive a 10-penny nail in two (or maybe three) blows, perfectly straight with no problems? No, because it takes (usually) some minimal instruction (I can’t count the number of inexperienced adults I’ve seen simply holding a hammer incorrectly!) and lots and lots of practice.

Ditto for calculus or stats calculations or grammatically-written sentences or playing piano: (proper) practice yields skills that mere knowledge cannot. Of course, that’s one reason many “educators” deride such things: actually supervising such practice to assure what’s being learned is useful is often hard work (and I use the term derisively; teachers teach while “educators” are more often puffed-up, toxic drones who need an extra two syllables to assure themselves of their importance).