Archive for August, 2005

Political Correctness is wrong – yer feelings do NOT matter!

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005

As I write a post on Code Project Here, I think about how being PC has turned many of us into a bunch of wimps.

These days, you cannot even finish telling a joke without someone interrupting saying that they are offended by what you are saying, and after acknowledging them and then trying to finish the joke, they continue to interrupt you: “I don’t think I am comfortable with the content of this joke.

Well then… If the problem is that you are not comfortable with the content, then the problem is that you are not comfortable with the content, and you (not everybody else) should maybe do something about it… Like… Oh, I dunno, maybe

LEAVE!

-And leave the grown-ups alone so that the joke can be finished and someone can get a laugh from it? It is completely OK if you cannot take the joke. And for the most part, other people will be comfortable with your limitation(s), as well. However, it is inappropriate to steal the enjoyment of the joke just because you cannot take it.

Here is a little fact: it is OK to be offended! Really! If you are walking down the street and see a billboard for a movie that shows a little too much skin for your taste and you get offended, all you have to do is BE OFFENDED, stop looking at the billboard, and just keep walking down the street minding your own business. No need to call a press conference to bitch about it. Something on the radio or TV that you do not like? Fine, STOP LISTENING, WATCHING, or just get off your butt and change the channel/station. You will be OK… The world will go on. Really. Trust me. It is OK if you cannot handle anything, but try not to involve others in your limitations.


IMHO, Political Correctness is based on a flawed assumption: everyone’s feelings matter. Why is this a flawed assumption? Because it fails to take into account one very simple and all-too-true concept: some people are just too sensitive. Sometimes, you just have to learn to deal with it, and not expect the rest of the world to change for you.

Parents of small children understand this. Just because your son took a toy from his big sister is not a reason for her to start screaming and crying. It is not that big of a deal, and it does not require all that drama. So while we correct the son so that he learns not to steal things, we also teach the daughter that some things are just not worth crying about. The old saying about not crying over spilled milk comes to mind. As the daughter grows up, we hope she learns which things are worth crying over and which are not.

If your child got upset and started crying each time someone spilled something on the table, would you go out to a restaurant and instruct all patrons sitting next to your family not to spill anything while your daughter is around? Of course not! You would teach her that spilling (or having something spilled) it is not a big deal, and not worth crying over. Political Correctness does the opposite – it not only requests, but REQUIRES that no one spill anything while your daughter is around! Does that not sound a little stupid to you?

Here is a little-known fact – I am generally offended by organized religion. Actually, I find most forms of religion greatly offensive. But I do not go around work demanding that people stop wearing crosses and/or remove pictures of Jesus from their workspaces. Trust me – if I can handle seeing crucifixes and the Jesus Fish everywhere, YOU can handle the crude joke!

The worst thing about the concept of PC is that far too many people are naive enough to believe that bring PC is the same as being professional. This is just plain stupid. Here is a small example – assume you have someone suffers from mental retardation. You can refer to them them in a few different ways:

  • As ‘Tard
  • As special
  • As Mentally Retarded

Calling someone that suffers from this condition “‘Tard” is not professional, nor PC, nor even close to correct. In fact, it is idiotic. That much we can agree on. Moving on.

“Special” is the PC or nice way to put it. But as far trying to provide proper assistance to this person, it does nothing! Why? Because it fails to correctly identify the condition that the person has. And if you do not know exactly what is wrong, you cannot render proper assistance.

“Mentally Retarded” is the professional way to put it. It does not sugar-coat the truth, nor does it obfuscate the underlying problem. As such, it puts the problem right out in the open, where it can then be addressed correctly.

You do nothing for this person by calling them special. If anything, you only do something for yourself by making yourself feel better about how you address that person’s problem. That is a bit selfish, if you ask me. Additionally, you actually might end up hurting them by doing so, because they may not get the assistance they require. Imagine having a school called Foster’s Institute for the Special. If you had one child that suffered from Asperger Syndrome and another that suffered from mental retardation, can you tell if that school is able to help either or both of your children?

Now, some people with limited facilities actually consider it derogatory to identify someone that is mentally retarded as “Mentally Retarded”, or someone that has autism “Autistic”. Where does it end? Does short become “vertically challenged“? Do those that are bullies become “nice challenged“? If you cannot type, are you then “keyboard impaired“?

This is not the fault of the words themselves, it is the fault of those that would use them in a derogatory fashion, and those that are too sensitive to handle it. But as is the case with many things, the solution is education, so that these people better fit into the world. Not trying to change the world to accommodate those people. After all, it is a great big world out there.

Short People and Big Cars

Monday, August 22nd, 2005

Having driven a decent amount of miles for my age, in a variety of vehicles ranging from motorcycles to my mom’s double-cab dually with a six-horse gooseneck trailer, I can truthfully say that one of the most scary things out there are people driving vehicles that are way to big for them.

In general, I have always believed that you should never drive a vehicle that is taller than you are unless you have a real reason for doing so. For example, if you have to haul a fully loaded four-horse trailer, you are likely not going to be pulling it with a Neon! Likewise, if you have to (read: it is your job to) drive a bunch of kids to and from school, a school bus fits the bill. If hauling large amounts of cattle, a semi/tractor-trailer is appropriate. Got three kids? The Dodge Grand Caravan makes for a safer bet than a Navigator, and is easier to park, especially when all you are doing is bringing the kids to and from Chuck-E-Cheese’s.

However, if simply taking your little 5’2″ ass on an all-blacktop 20 minute drive to and from work, you do not need to be driving an Escalade, H2, or Land Rover. If you are driving an SUV that is taller than you, and the most off-roading you have ever done was pull it into the backyard to drop off bags of mulch, or the most camping you do is when you are taking a nap in the backyard, you are likely in the wrong vehicle.

Nothing is scarier than driving at 75+ MPH on the highway and seeing someone closing in on you who can barely see over the steering wheel let alone over the side of their car when doing a lane change. That is real fear. At nighttime, when it is already hard enough to correctly gauge distance, the last thing you need is some dumbass on your tail illuminating your interior due to the height of their headlights.

Have we gotten so stupid that everyone needs to be driving a surrogate penis now? Even when their travel is so limited that nobody of any significance will see it? Oh, and how is that fuel bill treating you these days?

Geeze…

You know you are fat when…

Monday, August 22nd, 2005

If you are one of those people that deep-down really knows that they are fat, but still kinda hope that you are not as fat as you think, or worse yet, you are one of those people that really is fat, but you do not think that you are, here is a real simple acid test to try:

Casually mention to someone that you know that you are starting a diet. They are likely to respond in one of two ways:

  1. “Hey, that’s great!”
  2. “Diet? What do you need a diet for?”

If you get the first response… Well, you already know what that means.

Nothing like the shattering of denial to brighten yer day!

NULL != NUL

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

I continue to find it rather amusing that even (so-called) experienced developers will use fundamentally different concepts interchangeably, even after doing this for so long.

For example, I have seen documentation by developers that mention nul values in a database table, or worse yet, NULL-terminated strings, and NUL pointers.

Now, some that simply miss the point will be saying something like: “In C++, NULL is zero, and the NUL ASCII code has a value of zero, so they are the same thing!”

Wrong.
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Resources

Monday, August 8th, 2005

Arcade Repair-Related Resources

PAC-MAN Information (similar hardware) http://www.csh.rit.edu/~jerry/arcade/pacman/
Arcade Game Over http://www.arcadegameover.com/board_repair.html
Coin Operated Video Game Conversions http://www.marvin3m.com/video/
Pac Man Info (very detailed and very technical) http://users.erols.com/mowerman/pacfile.htm
Pac-Man Hacks http://www.purecope.com/pacman/index.htm
Romident http://www.system16.com/romident.html

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Unknown Atari Kangaroo Board

Friday, August 5th, 2005

I bought two or three sets of unknown/untested/bad boards sometime last year. I have recently started going through them to determine the severity of their problem(s). (This is taking a surprisingly long amount of time due to the time it takes to create a JAMMA adapters for each unique interface! :/ )

Anyhoo, I came across a complete, intact Kangaroo board last weekend! After creating a minimal adapter (Power and Video), the board came right up! I tried its self-test and it passed. After watching the attract mode for a little bit (~30 seconds), the game started to show some visual artifacts on the RHS of the screen. They were horizontal blurbs that looked like multicolor static. However, each of the blurbs, while in a random vertical location, were identical.

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