Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for May 2020

Sucks to be Amy Cooper

The genuine hysterical fear of the woman in the video is obvious to me, but there are thousands of comments at the NY Times article, and just about every single one of them is against the woman. They say the hysteria is just a cold calculated act in order to get the police to arrest the innocent black guy.

But as reported by a newspaper in the U.K., the woman has a proven track record of being a liberal. She donated money to Barrack Obama, Pete Buttigieg, and John Kerry. So it’s very unlikely that this was an intentional act of hatred against black people. Had this happened to someone else, she may very well have been part of the mob condemning that other person.

Unfortunately for her, because her genuine hysterical fear of a black man (whom she politically correctly calls an “African American”) was caught on video, she has lost her job and may never be able to get another one because the crowd on media, both social as well as traditional, have “canceled” her.

So if you need yet another reason not to live in New York City, as if massively high prices for everything and susceptibility to dying from viral disease weren’t enough, you can add in the possibility of having what happened to Amy Cooper happen to you. It’s hard to imagine something like this happening in Phoenix, Arizona.


Read this:

So maybe the hysteria was an act after all.

However, it can still be intimidating to be in a part of Central Park than can feel very desolate and deserted (if it’s early in the morning) and then encounter a big muscular black man who’s inappropriately telling you what you should be doing like he’s a cop or something except he’s not a cop. I’d be extremely on edge too, and Amy looks like a small skinny woman who would easily be physically overpowered.

I see people every day (before the pandemic that is) violating the rules in Manhattan, and I never butted in and acted like a cop.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 27, 2020 at 10:49 AM

Posted in New York City

Do I need to buy Microsoft Office for my new Mac?

Apple chose to make all 32-bit software fail with the Catalina operating system upgrade. And Microsoft Office for Mac 2011, which I have, is 32-bit. Fail.

In the past I needed Microsoft Office, but now I think I can do without it. LibreOffice seems to open my Word and Excel files, and I never use PowerPoint for personal use. Office is rarely used for work these days, most stuff has moved to web-based tools like Confluence. I even stopped using Visio in favor of

I’d buy Office anyway if I was going to use the new Mac for work, but I’m only allowed to use the crappy company-issued Dell for work. Which I now have at home if I need to use it during off hours.

I do use Microsoft OneNote, but they now make that a free product separate from Office. Thank you Bill Gates!

My last blog post was written on LibreOffice. (This blog post is written directly into WordPress’s website.)

So for now, I will not buy a new copy of Office for Mac until I actually run into a situation where I need it or at least would find it helpful.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 26, 2020 at 2:29 PM

Posted in Technology

Moving to Mac

I ordered a MacBook Pro yesterday; I can’t wait until it gets here. It’s fair if people say that the only reason I did that is because I was bored and there’s nothing else to do with my money with everything being closed down because of the coronavirus, and that I don’t really need a new computer.

In fact, my old Windows desktop computer, with an i7-860 microprocessor, seems to work just fine speedwise, for the most part. That’s a testament to the fact that Moore’s Law has significantly slowed down. In 2010, a computer with a chip that’s was more than 10 years old would have been dog slow and practically useless. Actually, the desktop computer was indeed pretty dog slow before I replaced the main HDD with an SSD and relegated the original HDD to being extra storage for media files and documents. SSD drives are game-changers. Also, the original graphics card would have been pretty useless today, but I replaced it at least twice. With an Nvidia GTX 1050 TI graphics card, I can play Overwatch with a 60 fps frame rate.

Running the Jetstream 2 benchmark test on Chrome, the Windows desktop computer scores approximately 60, while a new Chromebook that I purchased for my 81-year-old father (who is too computer illiterate for me to allow him to use Windows, he always manages to install all sorts of malicious browser extensions despite the computer having Bitdefender antivirus software) scores approximately 50 on the same benchmark. Thus we see that a brand-new cheap computer today is less powerful (although only slightly so) than a power-user’s computer from 10 years earlier.

The Asus Windows laptop that I bought a year and a half ago, in retrospect, really sucks.

  • The HDMI output is only capable of a maximum resolution of 1080p, doesn’t work with my 1440p monitor, and of course won’t work with a 2160p (4K) monitor if I ever upgrade to that. That makes the Asus only suitable for use strictly as a laptop computer and not suitable as a desktop replacement you can use with a high-resolution monitor.
  • It has a fake USB-C port and not a real USB-C port so it won’t support the peripherals of the future. Or in the case of wanting high-resolution video output, which would be possible with a real USB-C port, it doesn’t support the monitors of today.
  • The webcam sucks. The webcam on the MacBook Pro is criticized for being only 720p, but I assume it has to be as least as good as the webcam on my seldom-used 2012 MacBook Air and that webcam is superior to the crappy webcam on the Asus. This is a fault I never noticed until recently, because before March of this year I never used the webcams on any of my laptops, but now I routinely use them for Zoom meetings.
  • The built-in display doesn’t work at 60hz because of crappy hardware design, and running at 48hz results in occasionally unsmooth framerate display with 30fps and 60fps video.
  • Every so often I get this weird “Audio renderer error. Please restart your computer.” error and I have to reboot the computer to keep watching YouTube videos. I have no idea if this is Asus-caused crappiness or Windows-caused crappiness. I’m looking forward to the Mac’s reputation for “just working” the way it’s supposed to.

My plan for the new MacBook pro is to use it as a complete replacement for my Windows desktop, but one that I can unplug when I want to take it to a different room of the house. I want to force myself to become a Mac person and wean myself off of toxic Windows. (I am not alone, Mac has steadily increasing marketshare over the previous seven years.) I intend to only use the old desktop to play Overwatch. (The achilles heel of Mac is that it doesn’t play games. Another achilles heel is that any older software that’s 32-bit won’t run on the latest 64-bit Catalina operating system. That includes Microsoft Office 2011. On the other hand, one of the reasons why Windows is so buggy is because it tries to maintain so much backwards compatibility.)

Some other cool things about the Mac which I recently discovered is how it can seamlessly integrate with other Apple devices. For example, you can receive and send text message to your phone number right on your Mac. The Mac has better built-in support for Apple Airpods. The Airpods do work with windows computers, but only as generic Bluetooth headhpones. So if you stay within the Apple ecosystem, the Mac does some pretty cool and useful stuff.

MacBook 2020 product lineup.

The model of the 13” MacBook that costs $1799 is the best one to buy right now. The less expensive MacBook Pros only have 8th generation Intel microprocessors, one cooling fan and two Thunderbolt 3 ports. The more expensive MacBook Pros have 10th generation Intel microprocessors, two cooling fans and four Thunderbolt 3 ports. The second cooling fan, according to reviews on the internet, results in a quieter computer (because neither fan needs to spin as fast), and higher sustained performance because two fans working together allow the microprocessor to run at a high load for a longer time without overheating. The more expensive MacBook Pros also have Iris Plus G7 graphics which are reported to be significantly faster than any other version of Intel integrated graphics. About 40% as fast as an Nvidia GTX 1050 TI videocard, so it should be fast enough to play some of the few computer games that are Mac compatible.

I bought the $1999 model which has a 1TB SSD drive instead of the 512 GB drive on the $1799 model, because I know that I store a lot of files, and if I’m going to use this as my main computer, I’m definitely going to want all of that space. But if you have no idea why you need a 1TB drive then you don’t need one and you can save yourself some money by buying the lower-specced computer.

It’s dubious whether the lower-priced 13” MacBook Pros really offer an advantage over MacBook Airs, because the latter all have 10th generation Intel microprocessors so they are more advanced than the so-called “Pro” computers, and the Airs now have hiqh quality “Retina” displays (whereas the older MacBook Airs from a few years ago had lower resolution screens with a pretty crappy color gamut making them bad for watching movies because the colors were always all off).

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 25, 2020 at 1:29 PM

Posted in Technology

Hana Kimura apparently commits suicide

She was so cute and bubbly, I feel so bad.


Now having watched the episode of Terrace House that caused her to to receive so much online hate, I see that she’s not so cute and bubbly as I had previously thought, or rather that behind the cuteness and bubbliness was immaturity and self-centeredness.

But still, very sad that she’s dead and couldn’t find a better way to deal with her past mistakes.

The latest word is that Terrace House is suspended and there won’t be any more episodes released.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 23, 2020 at 7:50 AM

Posted in Obituary

Covid-19 IFR by age group

Assuming that the overall infected fatality rate (IFR) in NYC is 1% (which in turn is based on the assumption that 25% of NYC has been infected), and that each age group has the same percentage of infected, then I have used the data located here to create the following estimates:

0-17 0.003%
18-44 0.1%
45-64 0.9%
65-74 3.0%
75+ 7.5%

Here’s a prediction of total deaths in the United States, by age group, if we let the virus run unfettered until we have heard immunity (70% infected)

0-19 1722
20-44 76,209
45-64 528,570
65-74 711,690
75+ 1,151,850

So “only old people will die” is false. If we don’t do anything to stop the virus, there will be more than 600,000 dead who are under the age of 65. Plus another million people 65-74 who might have had another good 10 years ahead of them if not for the virus.

Also, only looking at this as a binary dead vs not dead doesn’t take into account how many of those who were hospitalized but survived will suffer permanent disabilities because of the virus, which we don’t know yet.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 19, 2020 at 2:13 PM

Warm weather doesn’t stop the virus

NY Times article about big virus outbreak in Nigeria. Nigeria is a very tropical country, so this totally shatters the theory that warm weather will make the virus go away, as morons who know nothing about viruses were insisting during the winter.

And yet, I still keep hearing about a “second wave” that will come in the fall. No, I predict that the second wave will come during the summer, because the United States is relaxing social distancing restrictions too quickly, before the first wave has even ended.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 18, 2020 at 10:47 AM

Will work-from-home kill New York City?

Article in the NY Times.

Some optimists say that 9/11 didn’t kill New York City, why should the virus pandemic?

But the pandemic feels different to me in two major ways.

(1) As bad as 9/11 was, the pandemic has had a much bigger impact, and the impact is not just on New York City but the entire world. I lived in Arlington, Virginia at the time, which is where one of the planes crashed, and 9/11 had no impact on my life at all, except that I got hired for a job that was a direct result of 9/11 (increased money for hiring contractors to work at federal agencies involved I homeland security). But the pandemic has changed everyone’s lives. Nearly all white-collar workers in the entire world are now working from home.

(2) Never before in the history of mankind has the technology been as good as it is today for doing so many jobs from home. Nearly all of the remote collaboration tools I use daily didn’t exist back in 2001. Today there wasn’t a good reason for people to go to the office except for inertia. Meaning that’s the way it was always done, and certain managers saw no reason to change it because they liked managing people in person. But now it has been changed.

I think that, for health reasons, no one is going to be required to go into the office for at least another year, and by the time it’s safe (because the virus is totally gone, probably because of vaccines), everyone will be used to working from home, and renting expensive office space will seem like a waste of money to corporate CEOs.

So my bet is on New York City going into a vicious-circle type of downward spiral.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 13, 2020 at 9:59 AM

Posted in New York City

Why Covid-19 is disproportionately infecting and killing the poor

When the pandemic first began, I observed the irony that it was the rich who were getting the virus, because they were the ones flying around the world to vacations and dumb conferences where the virus initially spread.

But that’s no longer the case (with the exception of doctors). Once the rich people seeded the virus, it began to disproportionately affect the poor. These are the reasons (some mentioned in mainstream media, and some only here):

  • Except in New York City, poor people take public transportation to work while rich people drive.
  • Rich people are able to work from home, while blue collar jobs require workers to be physically present.
  • Rich people are more likely to say “screw work I’m staying home and staying safe” while poor people don’t have that luxury.
  • Poor people have lower IQs, so they are not as good at understanding social distancing rules.
  • Poor people in Chicago have been having big parties and ignoring the social distancing mandates. This is probably happening in other places as well.
  • In general, rich people have higher future-time-orientation with respect to their health than poors, so rich people are just trying harder not to catch the virus.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 6, 2020 at 1:41 PM

Work-from-home vs. libertarianism

The pandemic has shown us that the vast majority of white-collar workers are perfectly able to work from home.

A wide variety of groups ought to strongly support this. For conservatives, work-from-home means an end to the dominance of liberal “blue” cities like New York. For liberals, work-from-home means less carbon emissions from people commuting to the office. For people who actually can work-from home, it means no more time and money wasted in commuting, the freedom to live anywhere they want to.

Who is actually opposed to working from home? I guess big businesses which think that they make more money if they force everyone to go to an office, and libertarian types who say that we must let business decide what’s best. The same libertarian types predicted disaster for bars and restaurants if government banned cigarette smoking at those places. Well governments didn’t listen, smoking was banned, and bars and restaurants made even MORE money as a result because people no longer stayed away because they were repulsed by the disgusting cigarette smoke.

Just as with cigarette smoking, it’s time for government to step in and address this free-market failure, and ban companies from forcing white-collar workers to work in the office. For good, and not just until the threat of the virus is past us. The end result may even be more profit for business because they won’t have to rent expensive office space. The only real losers will be the people who own commercial real estate. And I say, screw them.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 6, 2020 at 11:10 AM

Posted in Libertarianism

%d bloggers like this: