Tag Archives: solution

Why racism exists in America and how to fix it

Today, I am going to endeavor to explain both why racism exists in American and how to fix it. Before we begin, I’d like start off by saying that I am racist. I am not an ignorant racist, I am an intelligent one. I understand why I am racist, and I wish I was not. Unfortunately, feelings are a fickle thing that we don’t seem to have much control over ourselves that are much more heavily influenced by the environment in which we are in regardless of our thoughts on the matters. That’s not a popular thing to say in this day and age, is it? I’d say the opposite is rather true indeed. But, I digress. Let us begin.

Though as people may want to believe it, racism against the black man and woman does not exist because the color of their skin, nor their racial features. It is not about appearance except in so that it is human nature to form an opinion of a person upon seeing them based on their appearance alone. Everyone does this and it is not inherently racist. For instance, seeing a morbidly obese person it is human nature to assume that person is lazy and gluttonous. It only becomes racist when the opinions formed are indeed racist ones.

First, we must ask ourselves what are the racist stereotypes of the black man?: Less intelligent, violent, and more prone to mob mentality. Let us start in that order. One does not believe the black man is less intelligent because it is so. Popular figures like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Barack Obama are proof of that much – though admittedly I’m not a big fan of Mr. Tyson’s as I was rather fond of Pluto. The reason the black people are seen as less intelligent is because of ebonics. I don’t know who decided that it was “cool” to speak like a fool, but they are to blame for this perceived notion. If you speak like a fool then you will, undoubtedly, be seen as a fool. It is not cool, and it is a result of your own making – that is to say those that perpetuate the culture of ebonics, are quite responsible for this. Rap culture is quite possibly responsible for this in part, I suspect, along with very poor clothing choices.

Violence. Racists believe the black man to be more violent than his other colored brethren, but I offer that this is not true. It is certainly the sentiment, but there is little truth behind it. The truth of it is what people are racist against is the ghetto culture. If you are walking in a ghetto and a group of young black men wearing bandannas and hoodies walk up to you then you are not likely to expect that they are just good young men going about their day. No, most people will fear being mugged or beaten for some ill conceived slight. This is the ghetto culture and it is not an imaginary one. In the ghettos of America this is the reality, and it is not true simply for the young black man. A group of young latino men dressed the same in the same sort of area are just as intimidating. Or asian men or white men. The men approaching you, regardless of race, may very well be there to mug you, pick a fight with you, or even kill you. I suspect even those that live in the ghettos themselves have fears of such occurrences, perhaps them especially as they have seen its harsh reality. Then again, they could just be good young men going about their days. But this is the stereotype created by ghetto culture. It is not a culture of choice. The solution to the ghetto culture is to come together as Americans and affect change that will provide better standards of living, safer neighborhoods, and better education for America’s ghettos. What I refer to are not angry protests which soon divulge into race riots and looting. I am talking about real political change. Get involved in the political system, at every level, and change the country for the better from within. Don’t depend on anyone else to do it for you. In my experience, they will not. You must.

The truth about mob mentality is not an easy one and though it is perceived to be greater for the black people I am unsure of the truth in that. Perhaps the black man and woman are more perceptible to mob mentality, perhaps they are not. What I do know is that the interpretation of such is caused by circumstances of happenstance. Things that I have previously discussed. The people that most feel that they are oppressed are most often those that rise up and demand change and the more oppressed and less educated they are the more prone they are to violence. Yes, it is not a stereotype derived from race but by circumstance. It just so happens that there is much injustice in this country for the black peoples, and they see that perhaps more so than the rest of us as they live it. Police are affected by such racisms and do indeed target young black men far more than young white men. It is a perpetuation triggered by environment and culture. But do not misunderstand me: it is very real, and it must change. To eliminate this image of proneness to violent mob mentality we must do away with the mobs. Yes indeed, as I said before: We must affect real political change in this country. Protests will not do this for us. We must do this ourselves. Nobody is going to do it for us. It is the mindset that someone else will do what is right in our place that has gotten our country into more trouble than you can shake a stick at.

I will however now dispel one perceived slight against the black people and that is white washing of the media and entertainment industries. The truth is that the black people represent no more than 12% of the US population. Since the year 2000 10% of Oscar nominations have gone to black actors. Those numbers are close enough to be within a margin of error. It is a population reality. The black people cannot expect to receive a greater percentage of accolades in any respective field than their own population in this country. To expect such only encourages a culture of entitlement. The reason that the media industry targets white consumers is because they are the vast majority of the population and from a business stand point it makes sense to target the largest block of consumers. There is no vast conspiracy, it’s just good business. Changing this should not occur nor be striven for, as it should naturally scale with the nation’s population. Don’t get too excited and look for problems where they do not truly exist.

Of course racism in America is not just against the black peoples. There exists also a racism against the Mexican people (and by association, the greater latino people). This is largely created by two features: a poor economy, and language/cultural barriers. People are most upset because “the Mexicans are stealing our jobs!” What people are really upset about is that the country’s economy is in such a sad state. Unfortunately, the Mexican people are being scapegoated (especially by particular Republican politicians) to take the blame for it, rather than their own political party of which is to blame. Language barriers are of course also a thing and I’ll talk about them in greater detail below but the language barrier is less of an issue for much of the US’s latino population than some of its other populations. Nobody likes people talking in other languages around them that they can’t understand though. It makes them nervous and paranoid. It’s just the idea that they’re saying something that we don’t understand and the fear of the unknown. We become paranoid, immediately starting to think that perhaps it’s about us. This is just human nature. The only real solution for the language barrier is better integration and more fluent English. It’s largely perpetuated by the population of US immigrants that do not speak English, the large Spanish speaking population that immigrated north – some of which illegally. I certainly do not believe that they should be allowed to immigrate illegally, though the process should be a bit less ridiculous. A decade shouldn’t pass before someone’s legal paperwork is even looked at to be considered.

The language barrier is indeed the biggest reason why people are racist against the Indian people – and I do mean Indians from India and not our Native American brethren. This racism has been perpetuated because of the strong Indian accent that native Indian people seem to have when speaking English and the frustration it causes native speakers in trying to understand what they’re saying and having great difficulty in doing so. Paying for a college class and having an Indian professor in which you cannot understand is an excellent example of this. People don’t want to sound racist and say they do not want an Indian professor but at the same time it’s not really fair to pay for a class where you can’t understand your professor. But this has largely been caused by the outsourcing of American jobs to India – tech support and various other telemarketing in particular. When you’re having technical trouble with something chances are you’re already frustrated and the last thing you want to hear on the other end of the line is an Indian that you can barely understand, that can barely understand you, and that probably has no clue what they’re even talking about. Because let’s be honest, most tech support people don’t. They just have written out instructions for procedures to follow in case of various problems, and they’re forced to go through trouble shooting steps in order. This is why your internet service provider infuriatingly makes you turn your router off for 30 seconds to a minute before plugging it in again even though you swear upon your mother’s grave that you already did this before you even called them – who doesn’t?

But if we’re going to talk about racism in America we have to talk about Islamophobia. This is a racism perpetuated by culture. It has been created because the islamic people have become associated with terrorists as a result of our politican’s rhetoric and their response to 9/11 and subsequent terrorist attacks, and the wars that followed. There are Muslim extremist terrorists, and most of the terrorism the world faces today is their doing. Yes, even the terrorism that the muslim people themselves face. Unfortunately, it is a racism by association. People need to understand that all muslims are not evil people. The extremist terrorists are a very small segment of their population. Unfortunately, their cultural changes since around the 1970’s which have made them puritanical in nature – that is to say extreme religious fundamentalism, has not helped. Forcing women to wear burkas? If you look at Iraq in the 70’s the women there dressed like Western women. And now? Their culture has gone back to before even the medieval ages, not only in fashion but also in mindset and education. If you want to eliminate the terrorists the solution isn’t to “bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.” The solution isn’t to overthrow dictators – especially without a plan for what to do afterwords once we do overthrow them. The solution is to help them improve their education, their economy, and the safety in their neighborhoods. Things that decent human beings need to thrive and to develop in a way that provides the necessary tools for survival and success in modern society. Don’t attack them. Help them.

The truth is, I’m not really racist against people. I’m racist against cultures. If you were to put a young black man or woman with a good education that can speak intelligently and dresses appropriately in any position anywhere across America I could find no cause for racism nor complaint. I could not because it is not the color of one’s skin nor one’s racial features that define racism. It is culture. Some is perpetuated by ourselves, and some by circumstance. But these are all things that we can change, if we want to, if we care to. And we should.

Am I really a racist? I don’t know. I do judge people, but not based on the color of their skin. I judge people by what they wear, how they talk, and by their actions.

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Firefox 10 & Woes

I just upgraded from Firefox 9.0.1, because apparently Firefox 10 came out Feburary 1st (where was I when this happened..?). Anyways, it never told me there was an update, but I found out that it had coinsidentally while googling a problem I’ve been having since Firefox 7.

But before I tell you about the problem I’ve been having, I should probably talk about Firefox 10.

It’s Firefox 9 with a new number. Excited? I wasn’t either. Yeah okay there was some small crap hardly anyone will care about, like a forward button that will only appear if you’ve gone back, and only appears using the regular size icons. I don’t even know about any of that crap since mine doesn’t use it. I guess I’m using a custom theme or something. And I guess Firefox Sync is easier now, and Firefox 10 has support for a year now, multi-touch gesture support for the mobile version, and anti-aliasing in webGL. I’m pretty sure I keep webGL disabled because of that horrendous security concern that could melt your computer if someone exploited it – which, by the way, was never fixed.

Oh. There were two things I liked. “Firefox 10 assumes that extensions are compatible, even if they haven’t been specifically updated for it. The browser will only reject extensions that have been specficially marked as incompatible.” and “Add-ons can now hotfix update themselves to address minor issues.” These two things seem useful. Extension incompatibility with all of these rapid releases was a major pain in the ass. I actually had to manually edit the versions on some of them to make them keep working.

Anywho… onto my problem.

Bug 702748. Such a cute little name, isn’t it? No? Not really? Well lemme tell ya, it’s a major pain in my ass. Here’s a little explanation of the problem. But lemme break it down for ya…

“Save Image As” keeps changing directories on a per site/server basis, rather than staying consistent until I change it.

Let’s say I’m just browsing some image boards, blogs or forums with images, and I’m saving images – something I’ve done since the dawn of time, and I’m sure a lot of others have done too. Well, it seems that starting in Firefox 7, a new “feature” was introduced that changes the download directory per server. So when you have one link like “i32.site.com” then another on “m22.site.com” that these pictures are being fetched from, guess what? The next time you get a picture from either of those servers, it’s going to remember the last directory you saved to for that server. Stay with me here. Let’s say we’re browsing something about kittens, we save a bunch of pictures. Then later, maybe we’re looking at pictures of rabbits. We have our folders very organized like “Pictures/Animals/Cats/Kittens”, “Pictures/Animals/Rabbits”, and what have you. So we start saving the rabbit pictures and then suddenly we realize that some of them (not even all of them, just some) are going to the Kittens folder. No, what’s worse is that some are going to maybe Giraffes, or Whales, Sharks, Lions, or who the fuck knows what! This is really fucking stupid, man. Whoever made this “feature” deserves a nice good ass chewing, I can tell you that much.

No… Since we’ve had it now for what, 5 months now? And we’re going to have it for another… 1? At least? This guy deserves to get his ass kicked. No permanent damage or anything, just a nice good old fashioned playground ass kicking. Fucking idiots, I swear to the flying spaghetti monster

Anyways…

  • Intentional change: Bug 536503 – Last downloaded-to directory should be remembered on a site-by-site basis
    • and note also Bug 693153 – “arbitrary” selection of download directory in multiple tabs (tabs with different server name)

Firefox 11 will fix this issue by adding a pref browser.download.lastdir.savePerSite

  • Bug 702748 – Use a pref for disabling per-site remembering of download directory

Unfortunately, if you check their release schedule… it isn’t planned to be released until March-something. What’s 6 weeks from Feb 1? March 7th? So March 7th I guess.

Anyways, when Firefox 11 rolls around you’re going to have to go to about:config then create a new bool entry: browser.download.lastDir.savePerSite, and set that to false. Till then, I hope some asshole makes an extension that hotfixes this, cause it’s really fucking shit up. I don’t even know where my pictures are anymore…

Someone suggested just downgrading to Firefox 6.0.2 until we get the fix, and I dunno if I’m gonna do that. I’m considering using another browser for a month possibly though. Eh, if I can find add-ons for it.

If you wanna downgrade, here it is from the official Mozilla FTP: ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/6.0.2/

Here’s some English specific links:
Win-32 Eng-US
Mac En-US
Linux i686 En-US
Linux x86-64 En-US

But from what I hear, there are security problems to worry about. So it’s better to go for the 3.6.x branch which is kept updated instead, since it’s still supported. The 6.x.x branch isn’t.

Here’s 3.6.9, I don’t know if it fixes this or not or if it’s the latest on the 3.6.x branch, but here’s a link: ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/3.6.9/; Now, someone did report that 3.6.3 didn’t have the issue and that was 3 weeks ago, so if 3.6.9 doesn’t work, then here’s a link to 3.6.3: ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/3.6.3/

Update#1
It seems there’s a temporary fix for this. Here’s the procedure:

  1. Select Tools | Option and choose Privacy tab
  2. Click on “clear your recent history”
  3. Time range to clear : choose Everything (last option in the listbox)
  4. Click on Details if necessary
  5. **Uncheck** all options **except** Site Preferences (thus only Site Preferences is checked at the end).
  6. And apply with Clear Now !

The folder proposed by Save Image As should now be the session’s last downloaded-to folder (no longer the site’s).

Now where does the magic come from ? Starting indeed with FF 7, someone has decided that “Last downloaded-to directory should be remembered on a site-by-site basis” (as noted here by John99. It’s in bug#536503).

And… it was added. Ugh…

And documented in Using_content_preferences (look for the table entitled “Build-in site-specific preferences”, the preference browser.download.lastDir is stamped “New in Firefox 7”). As a techie can see there, the information is stored in a file named content-prefs.sqlite (a database file stored in your profile — a brutal workaround would be to delete or rename this file, but I discourage such manipulation while FF is running)(BTW if you delete it when FF is not running, the file is recreated when FF is launched).

The workaround I propose simply resets the content preferences, meaning that you will get rid of current site-download folder mappings (good news !) but also of upload site-folder mappings and site-zoom preferences. Which may be a problem depending on your needs…

If someone could find a javascript snippet that could remove only site-download folder mappings from the content preference database, that would really fix all these problems.

What I’ve been doing in the meantime is just copying the full path to the folder I want to be saving to and pasting it up in the top part before I save. It’s inconvenient at best, but it works and it’s better than manually browsing to the right folder again.

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Piracy

Big business companies like the MPAA and RIAA are hell bent to sue the living shit out of people engaging in acts of digital piracy – Soccer moms and little Timmy included. The reasons they give for this is that they lose substantial amounts of income and stealing is wrong.

Well, you know what? You’re greedy little fucks. That’s what.

These organizations already make massive amounts of profits. They just want even more.

But, alright. Stealing is wrong. Let me explain what the problem with all of this is though… You see, these big corporations and organizations… their problem is that they’re stuck in the past. They’re pushing the same old business models they have for decades now and are expecting to keep doing well. Well, Newsflash: The world changes. You can either adapt to your consumer base or die.

Piracy exists for 2 reasons: 1) Money. 2) It’s in the format the consumers want. Now, I’m gonna go into this a little bit.

First of all, the money aspect. Yes, money. When you get right down to it, these companies are greedy as fuck. We’re in a Recession – is that what they’re calling it? Seems more to me like a Depression to be honest. We’re so far in debt right now that we may never climb out. The amount of money we owe doesn’t even exist it’s so much! Right, right… sorry, getting a little sidetracked here. What was I saying..? Ah, right, money…

Yes well, you see… When you charge $1 per song, and assuming minimum wage is somewhere around $8 (which, let’s be honest… it’s a bit less than that), then that’s about 8 songs you could get per 1 hour worked. Now, these 8 songs… let’s be very generous and say they’re 4 minutes long each (realistically, they may be 2-3 minutes long even). So, these 8 songs… They provide a total of 32 minutes of listening. But let’s go ahead and round down to 30, since we know most won’t be 4 minutes anyways so we have a nice clean figure. Okay, so 30 minutes. For 1 hour of work you get 30 minutes of music. You see the problem here?

Why the hell do songs cost so fucking much?!

I can listen to the radio all day every day – for fucking free! That’s right, absolutely free. And these bastards want to charge $1 per song?! What the hell is wrong with these greedy fucks… No, I digress. That’s rhetorical, and answered in and of itself. They’re greedy fucks, obviously.

The disparity between work and enjoyment should not be so strewn. But okay, that’s just music. I’ll get a little into more of why this is ridiculous a little later.

Movies are up next. Yes, movies. A movie provides about 1-2 hours of enjoyment, probably averaging somewhere around 1hr 30m, correct? I think that’s a fairly safe statement to make. For that, you’re looking at about $10-15 or so. For physical media, that’s fairly understandable. We’re getting closer now.

Games. You pay ~$50-70 for a computer game. Whether you buy the physical media (getting the box, game burned to dvd(s), instruction manual, and what have you), or if you purchase a digital edition and just download it online, that price does not change. Herein lies the problem.

Do you really think they need to charge that much money for a piece of digital media? They have no manufacturing costs, no shipping costs, no packaging costs. Nothing. Maybe bandwidth, but not enough to justify the same price.

This first aspect, the money aspect, is the reason people pirate things. They’re getting fucking ripped off, and we’re in a recession. We don’t have that kind of money to throw around on entertainment. That’s not the consumer’s problem, that’s the entertainment industry’s problem. If you don’t address the problem, then obviously something like piracy will crop up.

Anime. Anime is a big one. The Japanese just can’t understand why their products don’t sell here. They charge about $30-90 per series, and then they wonder what went wrong. Okay, I can watch an anime series in about a day or 2. Say I watch 1,000 series – not that unrealistic, if I did 1 a day it could happen in a couple years. That’s $90,000 – just on a little bit of entertainment!

The worst part is, and this is really getting into our second issue: Format. The companies aren’t even offering what the people want. Anime is a great example. When they go to sell Anime here in the US, they do it with plain yellow subs. When you look at what the people are watching, it’s white subs, sometimes with a stroked border in a color of perhaps the hair of the character that is speaking. Then there’s fancy karaoke/song subs and the text/signs are actually given an effort to blend into the animation itself so it actually looks like it’s a part of it and not just a translation on the screen. That’s what people want.

But not just that, but most people don’t want physical media. They want digital media. They have to charge a large premium for the physical media because it takes so many damn DVD’s or Bluray discs and packaging to be able to distribute it, and there are costs associated with all of that. In the end though, it’s put on the consumer.

Let’s look at it this way… You have Cable, you watch Cartoon Network or Adult Swim. How much do you pay for that channel per month? Like what, $10 a month (but you get not just those channels but a shitload of others too)? Yeah okay, and you can watch that 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 31 days a month.

So why is it that we can pay less than $10 a month to watch all of this animated entertainment, 744 hours a month worth, and then we have to pay $90 for about 480 minutes? Do you not see a problem with this? Because I do. That’s about 8 hours by the way. 744 vs 8. $10 vs $90. I mean damn, wouldn’t you expect the prices to be reversed? I sure as hell would, but they aren’t. Cause nobody in their right fucking mind is going to pay $90 a month for 1 TV channel. It gets worse. If we want to match those 744 hours of entertainment by purchasing the series, then we have to purchase a staggering 93 of them. Do you want to know how much that would cost? $8,370. I didn’t miss a decimal place there. 8 thousand and 3 hundred dollars.

Do you even make $8,370 a month? I sure as hell don’t. I make $10 a month though – I could pay that.

And I mean, this is what the problem is… These companies are fucking retarded, and they’re ripping us all off, and I mean bad. I guess we’re still talking about money though, aren’t we?

But I guess these things go fairly hand-in-hand.

The reason they can’t sell, the reason that so many people pirate is because they aren’t selling what people want for the prices people want. Now, don’t try to twists this around like “well everyone wants a Ferrari, should you just be allowed to go and steal one because they’re too expensive?” It’s not like that. This is digital media. There are costs for productions, but bandwidth is incredibly cheap, especially when you look at technologies like Bittorrent.

People want digital media, and they want to pay a price relative to what they’re getting.

You know what? Back in the day, you could watch something on TV or listen to something on the radio, pop in a tape if you like it and record it. Watch it again any time you want, as much as you want. It was quite popular. You know, those things called VCR’s that existed back in ancient times. But now, you do that and oh no, it’s not okay anymore. Now that’s stealing! That’s piracy! Something is morally wrong with you, you horrible despicable person!

I mean, really? Are these people serious?

I tell you what though, things like Netflix where you pay a subscription fee to watch as many movies a month as you want, that’s a step in the right direction.

The problem is, they think that if you do that… you watch the movie once, maybe a few times, then send it back. It’s renting, y’know, or streaming. The problem is, they don’t realize people can use the same methods they did back in the VCR era. We can rip those DVD’s and Blurays right onto our computers into a nice fancy little mkv format and watch it any time we want.

Don’t think people do it? Well lemme tell you, they do. How do you think piracy even spreads? Someone has to be getting this physical media and ripping it in the first place to even spread the digital media. It’s the same thing we as consumers have been used to for decades now. It’s how society has evolved.

The problem is that these corporations and organizations aren’t evolving with the rest of us. They want more money, they don’t want to change.

If there was a subscription service that allowed you to listen to as much music as you wanted every month (and your choice of music too), watch whatever movies you want, watch whatever TV or Anime series you want, do you have any idea how substantially piracy would drop?

Hell, you could even drop it into categories. Movies – $10 a month. Music – $10 a month. Anime – $10 a month. You pay $30 a month. A decent amount, but reasonable enough. People would do this, and it would be fair.

Not only that, but all of these hundreds of millions of things pirated for absolutely no profit to the company at all, they would suddenly be making profits off of all of these people that decided to subscribe to this, because it’s legal and because it’s convenient.

People don’t mind paying for a product when the price is reasonable, it’s the product they want, and it’s convenient for them.

Sure, some people may still pirate things. But a substantial chunk of people wouldn’t feel a need to anymore. And once a system like that is in place, then they could crack down on piracy.

Why? Because it wouldn’t be needed anymore.

The reason why any crackdown on piracy will. not. work. right now is because it is necessary. If they try to stomp it out, it will just pop back up even harder and stronger.

It’s like trying to kill fleas. You can kill them one at a time, you can even vacuum and bomb your house. It may kill them out for awhile, but your pet that walks outside and comes back in with a ton of fleas on it, it’s going to bring the same problem right back.

You have to get rid of the root of the problem to eliminate the problem or it’s just going to keep cropping up. The problem isn’t that people are stealing things. Why do people steal things? They don’t do it for no reason. I just mentioned the reasons it happened earlier above. They fix that, then they fix piracy.

It’s like The Prohibition. You try to outlaw booze, it only makes it even more popular. The harder you crack down, the harder the people fight back. What you have to do is legalize it and regulate it, and that’s what needs to happen with the entertainment industries.

The practice is downloading whatever people want, as much as they want. This needs to be sanctioned and it needs to be at an affordable price. If people could do this with a reasonable price tag then there would be no reason for piracy, just like there would be no reason to smuggle moonshine if you could just stroll down to the corner store and get a pack of Bud.

We’re in a Recession. Just because you have it available doesn’t mean people are going to buy it. You have to take that into account. The price needs to be reasonable, and the format needs to be what the consumers want.

When you offer a product the consumers want with a price tag they can afford, you’ll get your profits. You’ll get your business.

Learn to adapt, evolve. Figure out how the world works.

On another tangent, it would probably be a better idea to take a cue from the Television and Radio industries and instead of having to charge people so much, you can have sponsored advertisements that cover the costs and make you a profit and allow people to get the products and entertainment they want for either much cheaper than it would be, or for free. This could be an alternative to the 10-10-10 a month deal. Either 10-10-10 and no adverts, or you can have a ton of adverts and get it for free, or at least much cheaper. Free sounds nice though, dunnit? Anyways, some food for thought.

-Tiff out.~

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