rogaine

Old school blogger Roy Edroso (Alicublog) hasn't been very good post-2016 -- he seems not to understand the populist rejection of the Dem slate -- but I enjoyed this ridiculing of the New York Times trying to come to grips with Joe Rogan. The Times says "Imagine if I had told you, a dozen years ago, that the former host of 'The Fear Factor,' a [mixed martial arts] color commentator who loves cool cars and shooting guns and working out, a guy with a raw interview show featuring comedians, athletes and intellectuals, was more influential than the entire slate of hosts on CNN. You’d think I was nuts. But it’s true. His fans are everywhere — I’ve met them working behind the register and wearing loafers at hedge funds." Edroso quips: "Wow, lazy signifiers for the high and the low -- he sounds even cooler than Cool Kids' Philosopher Ben Shapiro! I've only seen about 10 minutes of Rogan rappin' with Elon Musk, and he seemed to me not to have advanced much from his days watching people eat bugs. But maybe I'm just prejudiced. Who am I to judge?"

patch

patch

Modular synth patch used in recent track. All this is doing is quantizing random, sample-and-hold voltages ("s/h wave" in the diagram) and using them to control pitches in the synth but it looks complicated. This image will probably be the next LP cover. I have 10 songs finished but some of them are reworked older tunes and some are classical remixes -- am mulling over whether to use them all or just press on with more new material. I kind of like the eclectic state it's in right now.

cat food watch

“Social Security is the piggy bank that Republicans seem to go to whenever it dawns on them that we’ve gotta do something about the debt, notwithstanding the fact that they passed a huge tax cut that added trillions to the debt and benefited mostly wealthy individuals and corporations,” says Max Richtman, president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

Clearly we don't "gotta do something" about "the debt," since both Republicans and Democrats supported deficit spending for bailouts of the rich under the guise of coronavirus relief. But that's the story, anyway. And why limit the criticism to Republicans? Recall that his high holiness Saint Obama, in his first term, tried to cut social security and medicare by appointing a commission to "study" the "problem," which bloggers jokingly called the cat food commission, because the goal was to force your grandparents to live on cat food (or rely on your support). The commission recommended, of course, raising the eligibility age (a cut to benefits earned by workers) and cutting cost-of-living increases (another benefit cut). Like Trump, Obama also supported a benefits-weakening payroll tax cut.

Now endtimer nut Mitt Romney is following his former opponent's footsteps with a bill for another study commission, that is, another stealth attempt to cut Americans' benefits. Since reptilians have no irony, it's called the TRUST Act.

Note: added blog category cat food watch, to cover past and future coverage of trust outbreaks by our leaders.

patreon update: yes, it's still using the porn site model of e-commerce

Post I wrote four years ago:

Left commentator David Sirota is launching a new webcast ("Podcast" is an Apple-centric term that people still use, long after "pods" became "phones" -- appcast, maybe? no, please).
Unfortunately he's using Patreon to pay for it. That's a new-ish e-commerce platform that several indie content providers, such as James Howard Kunstler and Radio War Nerd, have embraced.
The Patreon model isn't based on subscription -- they call it "fundraising." That is, fundraising in perpetuity.
You can't make a one-time payment for x months of listening, in the manner of say, a magazine subscription. You "pledge" one of several tiers of support and Patreon bleeds this chosen increment out of your credit card or Paypal account each month. You don't have a credit card? Someone call law enforcement.
This puts the onus on you to cancel. If you die or become disabled the charges accrue to infinity. Also you can't buy single webcasts.
Would love to "support" certain authors but not if they're going to use Patreon's "shady porn website" model of commerce (repackaged as a "hip startup" model of commerce). It's rent-seeking, it's Silicon Valley, it's bad.

Naked Capitalism today republished a good essay on the media's callous under-reporting of deaths in Yemen, from the Radio War Nerd newsletter. I used to like reading The Nerd, until he jumped on the Patreon bandwagon. I checked Patreon again today to see if they had adopted a less sleazy way of billing "patrons," but no. They have the same smarmy FAQ entry below:

Can I make a one-time payment?
[Avatar] Marie

While one-time payments are a great feature idea [actually it's how magazine subscriptions worked for years and years -- you made a one-time payment and got x number of issues --tm], it's important we stay true to what Patreon is all about: Building a membership platform for creators. [that is, bleeding subscribers' credit cards]

At the moment [that is, for the last four years], Patreon only offer [sic] recurring memberships, and one time donations are not available. All patreon memberships are currently on recurring monthly, or annual (if your creator has this available) billing cadence. [ooh, cadence] You can learn more about how creators can bill their patrons, here. [link removed]

For now [meaning, forever, or until Patreon goes belly-up], the best way for a patron to subscribe to a creator with a one-time payment is to become a patron then simply cancel their membership after they have been successfully billed. [how convenient!] You'll know when you have been billed because you'll receive an email confirmation stating your payment has successfully processed.

Additionally, you can check your billing history to see when you were billed and if it has successfully processed.

ceo in the middle

marx2

We've made fun in the past of Cloudflare's useless man-in-the-middle pages.
The website "CloudFlare Watch" AKA Crimeflare sees something more sinister in Cloudflare's activities, such as protecting people from denial-of-service attacks by offering its services to shady actors who launch denial-of-service attacks. Crimeflare notes that Cloudflare's attorney-turned-CEO got his start in the "honeypot" business, which should make anyone's Spider sense tingle, post-Snowden.
At best, Cloudflare seems like one of those Silicon Valley bandwagons people jump on. In recent years Mozilla Firefox and Dreamhost both partnered with it (Firefox actually opts you into some dubious Cloudflare DNS-checker service, at least on Windows, which you have to go into settings to opt out of).

The graphic above is from the Crimeflare site -- someone sure doesn't like our brave new world of barely-examined major platforms.

Update: It's not just Crimeflare: the "controversy" section of Cloudflare's Wikipeedia, or rather, Wikipedia page is, let's just say, unusually long. Cloudflare's CEO supports freedom of speech, he says, but defines that elastically depending on who is screaming the loudest for a takedown.

(hat tip JR)