Brett Rants

Three Way

Eh, the title has nothing to do with the page. I was on 'vacation' for three weeks. These are the thoughts I bothered to write down, during that time.

F the Future!

Or, er, maybe that should be F is for Future and that's all they are going to get from me.

OK. Say it with me.
What do we owe to the future?
When are we going to give it to them?
Here's the thing about the National Debt that no one seems to get. The National Debt is what was spent in the past. It's the cost that the past has forwarded to the present for not... well, nuking the world and reducing this beautiful planet we live on to a pile of smouldering dust and ash. Got that? WWI wasn't free, my friends. WWII cost money. And all those superhighways, digital infrastructures, libraries, hospitals, and government institutions didn't build themselves. In fact, we're still paying off the mortgage on all that: rumour is, to the tune of ~$50k per person in the good ole US of A.


Now, I ask you. Does +/-$50k sound like a lot of money to you, you know, to still be alive, not be reduced to radioactive rubble, and have some semblance of law and order... not to mention several hundred channels of HD Digital Content available On Demand? No. I didn't think so. In fact, when you (or at least, I) stop to think about it, $50k seems like a bargain, so much so, that by the time I get to be your age, their age, whoever's age, those mythical old men running the world, some Illuminanti Conspiracy, well, you can bet your last tinfoil hat that by the time we're done, we'll get that number up to $250k! And seriously, that still seems pretty cheap. I mean, you can't put a price tag on Truth, Justice, and the American Way... or can you? Hmm.

Point is: I, we, us all, we all descend from a long line of selfish money-grubbers. And if you think we're going to pay off that debt on my watch, well, you've got another thing coming.

Heck, we've got fools graduating college with student loan debts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, these days. Sort of makes you proud, doesn't it? Well, sort of. But mostly, it just makes me wonder what else we can stack on top of that. A man who could figure that out stands to get rich, I tell you.

Um, so maybe I should have just called this section On the Shoulders of Giants and the Meat Grinder of History.
Me:        50 - - X (don't care, no more, I'll be dead)
You:       25 - - - - - X (you think you'll care, but you won't)
Your Kid:   0 - - - - - - - - - X (end of the line)
Grandkid: -25 . . 0 - (see, not even on my radar) 
Besides, we all know if the slate ever was washed clean (just like what happens whenever civilization collapses), it doesn't take long for the Jubilee (as the Bible, I think calls that sort of thing) to be over. Fools be fools, money grubbers be money grubbers, and it's pretty much the way the world has worked ever since the dawn of... what? Revolving consumer credit, I'm thinking.

Leaders & Followers

So, here's an idea. In different skill domains, there are folks who can do the entire job given enough time and those who can't. Those who can do it, should naturally become the leaders. And those who can't, should help as much as they can... and therefore, learn as much as they can.

I, suppose, in there, right at the top, is the core reason I dislike politics (and by extension, politicians). If the only skill one has is leadership, they are by definition unfit for leadership; just good at bossing others around, but to no good aim. Networking with networkers for the purpose of networking is much akin to advertising advertising to advertisers. I'm sure there's money in it. But it doesn't drive mankind forward.

While I'm still on the topic, I like the metaphor of Nodes & Leafs, as well. Not sure how the metaphor/blurb would have turned out if I'd started with that instead. But I'm sure someone will be writing a book about it before long.

Doing Time vs. Getting it Done

This is fairly close to the idea of Being in the right place at the time vs. Doing the right thing. Perhaps, impossible to tease apart. But sometimes not. Buying stock options is all about timing. Actually increasing the value of a company, on the other hand, is about doing something.

I suppose the original motivation for the note was thinking about a pair of executives, perhaps fictional case studies for that business strategy book I'm never going to write. And the first one, Mr. Lucky, just shows up, does his time, and twenty years later, retires nice and rich. The second, Mr. Can Do, is always rolling up his shirt sleeves and getting the job done, and twenty years later, well, he's rich, but who wants to retire?

Clearly, one is better than the other: both in an employee and an employer.

The Elephant in the Room

That would be the Internet of Things. And just like an elephant, it will never forget. This is, obviously, the basis for a light-hearted horror story. In which a couple buys one of those old turn of the century houses (this turn of the century). And every time they try to change the thermostat, light dimmers, or even what the refrigerator orders for the upcoming week, it (the AI) reverts to the settings of its previous owner. I'm pretty sure he had some weird habits: liked it cold, stayed up late, and what's with all those steaks, at $87.94/lb (future prices), he must have been rich.

Or maybe the settings spread like a virus, until all the houses in the cul-de-sac have the same bizarre options:

Come Saturday night at 8pm and all the residents gather outside in front of their homes for the weekly cook-out, explaining it to the new guy, 'Yeah, I found it annoying at first, but in time, you find that eighty-decibel surround-sound is just what you need to enjoy Led Zeppelin.'

To which another neighbour chimes in, 'After the sun sets, it'll get even better: all the lights will flicker in unison; the garage doors do the wave and stuff. Never seen anything like it.'

Culture Fit

I'm an old man. Rumour is, programming is a young man's game. So, I've got to start developing the proper 'traits', so I don't get nixed during the interview on the 'culture fit' criteria. As in, 'We didn't hire him on account of we didn't think he'd be a good fit for our culture.'

Now, we'll just ignore the fact that I probably won't be a good 'culture fit' more because I can't see staring at a computer screen for much more than 20-30 hours a week (much less the 60-80, some companies seem to want). And instead, focus on the things I can control: ADHD being what I originally had in mind for this post. As I exercise more, I find my body fidgeting more. So, hey, got your ADHD culture fit, right here, Mack... or should that be Bro? Brah? Broham? I not really sure how that's spelled. Is spelling a culture thing. Whatever, dude.

Sarcasm? Check.
Belligerent disrespect for authority? Yep, I like to think I'm all over that.

Seriously, how could I not be what you are looking for?

A Million to One

Non-organic matter (dead stuff) vastly outnumbers organic matter (life). Just like stupid people vastly outnumber smart folks (please see my above comments concerning 'Corporate Culture'). Bottom line, anything that benefits the later is to be supported (life, not corporate culture, gads, some folks are dumb).

And really, that's it. Almost everything out there is lifeless. We've got to hold on to what we have.

Together we stand. Divided we're just another lifeless hunk of rumble drifting alone through the endless void.


I, suppose, the preceding begs the question, how does one tell if one is smart (omitting any references to 'Corporate Culture'). Well, the answer to that is amazingly simple. The happier one is (and thus, presumably, the less time they spend complaining about 'Corporate Culture' and/or the lack thereof), the smarter they are. Unless, of course, one wants to go with ignorance is bliss in which case, your guess is as good as mine.


As in, 'I don't get it?'

Well, let's just say, I was just awarded (alas, a fictional) award for literary excellence (and not a book contract). So, not getting it is almost entirely the point.

Travel Light

It has come to my attention that James Bond never packed a lot of luggage: a watch, a pen, and/or a cigarette lighter. Just the basics.

Meow means Meow

Just ask my cat...

Rogue Computation

The answer is a short story, book, or whatever else you can come up with (override royalty fees, of course, still apply). While the question is 'If a child is raised by wolves and is unable to talk, what is the Computer Equivalent of this?'

Eh, maybe it was a better idea while I was still, um, enjoying that second glass of wine.

Movers & Shakers

Gads, how I hate folks who pad their accomplishments. You know, as a writer, poet, critic, commentator, and aspiring artist... did I just say aspiring? Sorry, as a leading innovator in the world of digital self-expression... no, still sounds too wishy washy. Look, people. The fact is, I'm on the Internet. The Internet is changing the world. Ergo-ipso facto-sum, I am changing reality, making the future manifest today. There are those who will urge me to only use my power for good, but as I am The Good, I don't see how that can fail. In other news, although the cats think it's way too early to awaken, it seems it is not too early to eat. So, yeah, maybe next, I'll start in on The Mathematics of Cognitive Dissonance and the power to be had in the denial of Truth (big T, universal, Truth) and the embracing of truth (little t, all about the me, truth). So, yeah, like I was saying, philosopher, bull-shitter, and all around swell guy. Oh, and whenever he gets the chance, he likes to write.


I like being in odd locales, not getting there, which probably means I'm doing this travel thing wrong.

Media Mogul

Your guide to Internet success: Split the Dictionary. Some dictionary entries get more hits than others. Dial into the popular ones and split them up into ever more refined articles. This is basically what they do for news stories.
  1. Post some stuff to the web.
  2. Drill down into the more popular categories: expand, elaborate.
  3. Rinse and repeat until you're talking about what some celebrity is eating for breakfast.
  4. Rake in the millions.
  5. Think about expanding your offerings: maybe you should write some critique about the nature of the game.
  6. Hey! That got some hits...

Fried Bacon & Peanut Butter Banana Sandwiches

Elvis would be proud. Alas, there are no pictures. It was an appetizer I had recently that was worthy of mention, you know, writing down, lest I forget, which is what this page was all about.

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