Author Archives: TheDUDE

Untold Horrors from Beyond

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but much scarier
So, my wife is in Florida, moving cow nose rays to MarineLand. This means that I am sleeping alone. There are pros and cons to this scenario. On the plus side, if my arm flops on to the other side of the bed, there are no problems. I can watch TV as late as I want. There is no victim when funky smells are created. The downsides are obvious. I’m lonely, and there’s no one to laugh at when those funky smells make their way to other side of the bed.

Then there’s this; my brain plays tricks on me.

I woke up around 1 am to a foot-long, bright green, and super fast arthropod where Sarah should be. Startled, I jumped out of bed and searched for my would-be assassin who had scampered under the bed. The search was fruitless. So I decide that the best course of action was to move to the guest bedroom. I moved my pillows, sheet, and box fan as well as cranked up the alarm in the master bedroom before I realized that there was probably not a giant praying mantis in my bed. Even if it were there, it could not have appeared as bright-green with the lights out.

But…

I had already moved and the guest bed is pretty comfy.

This is not the first time I have hallucinated when waking up. My question is this:

Ever-upgrading

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So this should serve as more of an introduction than my first post.

I underwent a reformat just over half my life ago. Circumstances arose that forced the shut down of  certain functions. We lost one hemisphere for a couple of weeks. Through the tireless work of my engineering department, and in defiance of some less-than-optimistic experts, partial operations were recovered. Certain actions like writing, eating, and other delicate activities were transferred to other drives. These skills were not learned overnight, but the learning curve was steeper during the 2nd round.

So I was born anew. I retained certain elements of v1.0, but my upgraded circuitry took me to a new building with new models with which to interact. v2.0 observed as many groups as my OS admitted. I new the goths, the art kids, the band geeks, the nerds, the losers, the rockers, and eventually even crossed wires with some jocks and cheerleaders. I tried out many sectors and tried to meld my programming with theirs, but conflicts always arose. The strict rules always caused problems.

v2.5 found an open-source community known (at least among themselves) as The BOB Squad. Their system requirements were merely twisted humor, a hearty appetite, and a tolerance for occasional physical abuse. Intriguingly, they were growing… and also begrudgingly accepting new members. With membership came a name. Joining the ranks of CUDAmon, Penguin BOB, FRU, PITTmite, and the ManChild, I assumed the mantle of the DUDE. With membership came traditions: N64 Goldeneye marathons, pranks, beating in the new year with a sledgehammer, road trips, loitering, heavy caffeination (through anything from Surge to Folger’s Crystals in a spoon), and a sense of community that seems to have remained in my system for years after seeing more than 2 BOBs assembled in one location.

We’ve all made a way in the world. We’ve all improved.  Several upgrades later, I look forward to seeing your new features and abilities. I hope the world is ready for what we have to offer.

Stumbling into Dystopia

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Shake my head, and loosen the cobwebs. Stretch out my fingers, and prepare for paragraphs. During my hiatus from blogging , the majority of my contributions were links to interesting, offensive, or comical links I found while  stumbling around the web. My original posts were limited to twitter-esque snippets on facebook walls. So buckle in, tighten your goggles, and hold on while I fly past 140 characters.

There are too many people on earth. Opinions differ on how many of us can survive on this rock. 9 billion? 1 trillion? It’s like classifying the unclassified insect species. 2 million? 30 million?  In either case, survival or classification, the task is easier with less. While still daunting, I would rather sort 2 million than 30 million species. In the same vein, feeding, housing, and fueling 9 billion humans is preferable to providing for 1 trillion humans.

People have no natural interest in decreasing our growth rate. Reasons for reproduction vary. As organisms, they have a biological imperative to breed. Further, ego or tradition may persuade them to pass on their name. Their beliefs may have them be fruitful and multiply. (At nearly 7 billion people worldwide, you can check it off the list.) They may want someone to care for you in their twilight years. The desire to have children is rooted in genetics, family tradition, and religion. People will have babies.

So fine, reproduce, but understand your undertaking. You create a life, you care for the life. The life probably outlasts you and looks to the future to which you contributed. Consider that as we burn through certain energy resources, they are exhausted, gone forever. More people consume more resources. While your instinct drives you to reproduce, you are allotted through evolution, the decision making skills, and through technology, the means, to decide to stop having children. You can make an investment in a population that uses less resources through a smaller population. If you reproduce, do so sparingly. Replacement level fertility rate, or 2 children per pair of mates is sufficient and responsible.

There is hope in renewable and alternative energy sources (wind, geothermal, hydrogen fuels cells, etc…), but understand they will take time to implement. During that time, conserve what we have, and teach others to do the same. Even utility companies encourage you to conserve. Some of the information on these pages will read like a broken record, but you may find a gem that will save you money while extending our resources into the future.

Live a thoughtful life. Consider the ramifications of your actions.