Monday, August 29, 2011

On Sports

Modern sports are a disappointment. You rarely see any real violence during a game. Let me know when they bring back Gladiatorial matches. Real ones, where the match ends with a death, none of these bad actors in homoerotic dances they call "professional wrestling". Hockey has too much body armor and rugby doesn't get anywhere near enough coverage to have a decent fan base. I'd wager if it DID start getting more coverage some hand wringing idiots would form an organization to ban it so they can prove that they "think of the children" more than the rest of us.

You want me to give a damn about sports? Then show some that are worth watching, not a bunch of millionaires running around and whining whenever someone breaks one of their manicured nails. I want a version of soccer where it's not considered a fowl unless you have a broken bone. Allow steroids, as long as they're laced with an anticoagulant, so if you do get cut you risk bleeding out. Get rid of the armor in Football. And Baseball? I'm not sure how to save baseball, but you can make a start by letting the batter keep the bat and use it to fend off anyone trying to tag him "out" with the ball. That MIGHT liven things up a bit.

The irony is that some men consider me less "manly" because I have no interest in the sissified dance numbers they call "sports." If I want a dance number I'll watch something with better music. At least "Glee" has the decency to be up front about the homoerotic plot themes. Sweeny Todd has it all. Death (at least in the fake Hollywood sense), violence, revenge and a soundtrack.

The real reason they don't bring back public executions is that everyone knows they would get better ratings than professional sporting events. Even death by lethal injection would draw higher numbers than the playoffs. If they bring back the electric chair the Superbowl would be permanently relegated to the #2 slot, unless of course another channel was airing a hanging. Against that double header the Superbowl would be #3.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Google and oppressive regimes

I've been thinking about the Google+ "Real Name" controversy and the selective enforcement, like allowing all the "Lady GaGa" profiles. I'm also reminded of Google's "Great Firewall of China" and their desire to do business with often oppressive regimes. It occurs to me that having political dissidents using pseudonyms on Google+ would be a problem in negotiations with these regimes. From a business standpoint it would be easier if political dissidents simply avoided Google+ completely. There's no need for embarrassing negotiations with China or Iran about dissidents using Google+ if there are none. Requiring people to use their real names will do a spectacular job of keeping away people whose lives would be endangered by using their real name.

What, did you honestly think the "No Pseudonyms" policy was about piracy or civil discourse?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dennis Markuze aka David Mabus in the news again

Everyone's favorite death threat dealing, stalking, psychotic nutjob has been in the news again.

It all started when long time target of Markuze aka David Mabus threats posted the blog entry Time to institutionalize Dennis Markuze. In it he noted:

Every morning when I get up and get on the computer, the first thing I do is delete the pile of spam from Dennis Markuze, each of which is usually cross-posted to 50 to 100 other people. Every time I fire up Twitter, the first thing I do is clear the garbage Dennis Markuze has left there; yesterday I blocked and reported spam from over 25 Markuze accounts, amounting to several hundred messages.

You know what? This is wrong. I shouldn't have to do this. Over the years — I've been getting these threats from Markuze since 1993 — it's gradually grown from an occasional deranged message on usenet to part of my daily routine, where I'm dealing with hundreds of ranty messages every day from one disturbed individual in Montreal, Canada. And I'm not even his sole target: he has a hate-on for Shermer, Randi, and Dawkins, and this is all he does with his life: he sits in his bedroom in his parent's house and sends out shrill, incoherent messages to the world, all day long.

In the body of the post, PZ linked to a petition demanding that the Montreal city police take the "Mabus" death threats seriously. What the survey didn't disclose was that every signature generated an e-mail to the Montreal police. After a few thousand signatures were added to the petition they plaintively tweeted:

@SPVM Police Montréal
@rebeccawatson Please stop sendind e-mails to our media adresse by signinig the petition.We are investigating the case. Thank you.

The next day the Montreal Gazette ran the article Montreal police start probe of Twitter threats. Predictably the Montreal Police come off looking like idiots. Some people are claiming to have never heard of Mabus, others are claiming there's an ongoing investigation. It all comes across as a lazy, incompetent force trying to circle the wagons and pretend to be doing something.

Then there's the conspiracy theory that Markuze / Mabus is a Deep Cover Liberal and the Montreal Police are in on it.

During all of this Twitter users have been asked to retweet screen captures of any threats that Mabus makes to @SPVM so the Montreal Police get a copy of the tweets before Twitter deletes the latest account used by this nutjob.

Markuze / Mabus is crazy, no bones about it. He's been stalking people and making death threats for a while, and it's only a matter of time before he hurts someone. Even psychics think Dennis Markuze aka David Mabus is a threat to the life of PZ.

I wonder if the Montreal police ever use psychics.