Three topics and a sound
Not a literal sound. One of the topics is about sound. Does t...
So. One reason I haven't been around much is because I'm in the process of moving back to San Francisco tomorrow. I was planning on starting work Monday, but the looming strike by the train narrators and station agents of the Bloody Awful Rapid Transit is threatening to put a kink in these plans.

One thing that's interesting about the BART strike is how I cannot imagine it not backfiring. It appears that the union leaders were not negotiating in good faith, or at least knew there was a good chance the membership would vote down the agreement they came to. The Contra Costa Times published a list of BART salaries, revealing that many of the train narrators--whose job duties consist largely of mumbling "no bikes on the first car" and "next stop: [the next stop, when they get it right]"--make in excess of 100k a year. One of the station agents somehow managed to pull down $40,000 in overtime.

Although I bitch about it, BART is a halfway decent system. The trains are mostly on time, cleaner than many systems, and relatively fast. A strike by the highest-paid classes of BART employees crippling the Bay's transportation network (340,000 people ride BART a day, including 160,000 who use it to cross the Bay) does not, however, endear them to me particularly. Judging from rumblings in the blogosphere and letters to the editors, I am not alone.

Topic two: for those in my audience who are furries, here is a PowerPoint document outlining my tentative analysis of the state of furry writing and the possible ways to correct it. It includes an outline of what I see as a successor to furry writing websites and even includes an overly-optimistic timetable!

Topic three: speaking of furries. I am one, and a trekkie, a flight simulator geek, a snob about my keyboard and an ex-member of both marching band and the debate club. I can say in all and complete seriousness, then: audiophiles are fucking insane. Not, like, people who love music. I love music. Not even people who spend money on music. I have some decently expensive speakers that I consider a good investment; I know people who have bought noise-cancelling headphones, set up expensive home theatres with impenetrably complex blinkenlight boxes, and upgraded the radios on their cars. Fine.

I'm talking about the audience that Monster Cable caters to, the ones who snap up the $10000 audio cable when we've known for a decade now that it doesn't make any real difference. Actually, I've garnered a bit more respect for Monster, who appears now to be aware that there is no scientific, audible difference in their equipment (according to the son of the founder: "Scientifically, we know audible differences in cables are difficult if not impossible to measure") and the difference is all up to perception on the part of the listener. This is why the double-blind test determined nobody could tell the difference between Monster Cable and uncurled coat hangers.

Anyway, there's something about the technobabble that appeals to the audiophile fringe--buying the "quadruple-twisted 112% oxygen-free polygold alloy unobtanium-tipped silicon hyperwire" sets and so on. So it is today that I was riding in a car with a stereo system that proudly proclaimed it was "MOSFET-controlled". Indeed.

14.08.2009 - 6h07
Comrade Alex
14.08.2009 - 6h18
14.08.2009 - 7h44
14.08.2009 - 9h10
Comrade Alex
14.08.2009 - 9h11
15.08.2009 - 6h40
15.08.2009 - 11h21

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