Meta-reflections on these web pages.

"When we did the 360, we had to assume that a significant fraction of the programming was going to be in assembly language. Today you might begin by dispensing with a rational human-engineered interface at the assembly-language instruction level." (David Gifford and Alfred Spector, "CASE STUDY: IBM'S SYSTEM/360-370 ARCHITECTURE, Communications of the ACM, April 1987 Volume 30 Number 4)[1]

First "computer" I (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) programmed: Olivetti Programma programmable calculator. I used one of these in my very first job as a [failing] actuarial traimee, Moumental Life Insurance Co. (Baltimore, MD), 1968.


"Dead skunk in the middle of the road, stinkin' to High Heaven." (Loudon Wainwright III)

I was always an undercover agent in Cyberia. Even at the height of my ultimately futile interest in computational mathematics and IBM System 370 computer architecture, I always felt technical things were tacky, and techy people were low life. I respect help desk personnel, because they are trying to help human beings ("users"), not because of what they are helping the people with, i.e.: computer applications.

APL computer program to find prime numbers. Click for details.

See special APL keyboard layoutNext2a.gif

APL (Example program: here) had class, and so too did SGML. HTML 4.01 Loose is useful for producing content webpages. Assembler Language is honorable because it is transparent: what you code is what you get. Over the years I have come very much to agree that GOTOs are bad, but there was Political Correctness in Cyberia long before "Black lives matter": the totalitarian Just say no to GOTOs fanatics failed to understand something basic about human beings: When you tell a competent craftsman they can't do something they will likely try to do it and when you tell them they must do something they will likely try to do anything but it because they don't like being jerked around.

Every day I was soiling myself to deal with Idiots who had Become Managers (IBM's in a psychosocial not public stock offering sense). It's one thing to not be able to talk about how asymmetrical social relations reduce persons to objects with a plumber, another thing to not be able to talk about it with the person who is one and supposedly went to college. But the plumber might get it if I said to him that my manager was jerking me around. The manager might just take offense that somebody rang up his number ("Hello! Is anybody home?") to work and get me fired. I'd probably have a better chance of Meow!ing to the plumber, too. I did have a manager who wore to work socks with machine stitched Mickey Mouse images on them who refused to talk with me about mice (the little furry kind with ears and whiskers): James van Fleet [enema?].

Like picking somebody's used Kleenex up off the floor after they've blown their nose in it and its full of their snot are sci-fi perma-teenage boys and video gamers (are they asexual or are they pricks or both?) who have no detectable emotional dimensionality other than enthusiasm ("The house is on fire! We have to get out, now!" "Wait, I gotta shoot one more klingon to win my gold star!"). Back around 1979 I came up with my diagnosis for the limits of their imaginative horizons: neo-feudalism in flying fortresses which are not real B-17 heavy bombers. (No wonder computing has floated away to "the cloud" – Off we go, into the Big Blue yonder?) They never suit up to go take out Schweinfurt's ball bearing factories without fighter escort. They would be knights who take an oath of vassalage to provide military (computer programming) service (play video games and/or be sci fi fans) to their lords (first line managers? or just hallucinatory avatars?), which, obviously, is not a model forpeer social relations constitutive of modern civli society. "I dub thee: Sir Srumalot, knight of the 7-bit ascii character table!" "Thy will be done, Sire, in all the characters in UTF-8. We will be Unix 2038 Millenium bug ready, my Liege!" "Go forth with my blessing, son!" But they never see a real rugby field, either.

Rust never sleeps

"It is what it is." ((POTUS №45) Donald J. Trump) / "Es gibt." (Matrin Heidegger)

How do I (BMcC) approach putting together each webpage [here]? A parable: I do not drink coffee. I drink coffee from my coffee cup. I have one coffee cup. If I lose it, I, a bit like the astronauts who stirred the no. 2 oxygen tank on Apollo 13, have a problem, because I do not drink coffee from just any coffee cup without good reason (standard issue white porcelain Italian expresso cups are good for expresso). I drink my coffee from this one particular cup.

Among other things, I eschew styrofoam cups and their fellow traveller plastic spoons. If I lose my coffee cup, or in any other way cannot drink my coffee from that particular cup, then I ask: "Who cares? Why bother?" → although I can be consoled by other objects of value (presuming there are any) in my environing world which say to me: "There is still something that deserves to exist in the world." If I would find another coffee cup that I could constellate into a new "I drink coffee from my coffee cup", then my coffee situation would be OK again. Obviously, if the new coffee cup was even higher quality than the old one, that would be an improvement. But, if not, then I am disappointed with life. That's how I approach putting together a web page. Do all webpage developers do even better than myself so that I could improve myself by learning from them, not technically, but in regards to esthetic sensibility (which, admittedly can be facilitated by enhanced technical facility)? Or, in what measure do they just klunk together stuff and not care about whether it pleases anybody to iive with it?

Of course what I have written in the above paragraph is somewhat "strong", and that is tragedy of my childrearing and early schooling, from which, at age 74, I am working on recovery. I will not be fully recovered until what is in that paragraph is no exaggeration at all, or, to adduce an image from Homer's Odyssey, until I would be able safely to listen to the Song of the Sirens (kitsch) without needing to bind myself to my ship's mast, and just log their latest machinations in my day book or whatever: "Look what the Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori con artists have come up with today! Verily, rust never sleeps!"[2].

The computer is bigger than I am

Often I come up with things that I simply connot figure out or get to work as I want on the computer. Most recently I run WINDIFF to compare new and old versions of a Julia script and some gibberish characters show up in the comparison that I cannot find in the files being compared. The gibberish is in a regular expression the purpose of which is to convert some gibberish to "↑", but I do not see the gibberish in my source code. Where the hell is it coming from in WINDIFF? I do not know. I give up. The computer is bigger than I am.

It is discouraging to have to submit to tyranny of banal computer code. But that's the way it is. Sometimes, after days of trying, trying, trying, failing, failing, failing and trying and failing yet again, I do find that the problem is my fault, but why should I have to grovel for days to get something that is trivial fixed? The difficulty solving a problem with a computer does not vary directly with the value of either the problem or its solution. I do not play time-wasters like Rubik's cube. I do not care about them (at least I assiduously avoid the deadly temptation of the Sirens' song). Ditto these goddamned computer problems. The computer should be my not just obedient but, proactively helpful, servant, and it should not give me – the human with more important and/or interesting things to do – any crap.

Windows 10 thinks it's cute

Somehow, maybe by my pet cat walking on the keyboard, my Windows 10 got into an enraging, infuriating mode that whenever I moved a window near the edge of the screen, Windows 10 in its Arrogance maximized it in the middle of the screen, like a yoyo. This may please clueless users but it annoyed and offended of me, who just want the computer to be obedient, not for it to try to outsmart me. I found 4 registry commands in a Google search which I entered and hopefully they have stopped the infuriating arrogant misbehavior of the software.

I didn't ask for that crap which I presume some technidiot in Microsoft thought is cute, but I do not like things that are not transparently under my control. It's like the asshole eye doctor who tells me I an't see as well as I think I can, to satisfy his probably mindless prejudice that all people with incipient cataracts need [elective] cataract surgery, but he did not understand that (1) I could see well enough to see that he had defective doctor-patient communication skills, that (2) I can see the things I want to see well enough to please my self at this time, and that (3) most things in my social surround are not worth seeing and would better disappear by ceasing to be anywhere near me anyway. I do not want the software on my computer jerking my windows around. I don't want unwanted features. I don't want "improvements" that just waste my time trying to get rid of them. Ditto people.

Leisure, the basis of culture

"Luxe, calme et volupté" (Henri Matisse)

"Leisure, the basis of culture" is the title of an essay by the 20th Century Roman Catholic philosopher Josef Pieper. He wrote:

"Leisure has been, and always will be, the first foundation of any culture.... in our bourgeois Western world total labor has vanquished leisure. Unless we regain the art of silence and insight, the ability for nonactivity, unless we substitute true leisure for our hectic amusements, we will destroy our culture – and ourselves."

If I may say: Goddammit! This is where most webpages should start, including documentation for EMS procedures, which I do not believe are normatively produced under conditions of siren blaring to get traffic out of the way to get somebody who is otherwise going to die due to a heart attack or gunshot wound to the nearest hospital, "stat". Or is it?

Well, what does that have to do with anything? Because I am looking for humanistic computer work, and many of the job postings I see crave applicants who are eager to work in a fast-paced environment, but we know that haste makes waste. Hurry up and screw up should not be the primary design criterion of designing webpages, in my opinion. Leisure should be where good web page design starts. So web designers need Winnie the Pooh working conditions. And when I look at his picture (above right), I think he even looks vaguely naturally "stoned". Get with the program, techies and techie managers! Are we so backward that we have to interpret the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as strict originalists, who would argue that because the word "wage-slave" does not appear in the document, any form of compelled labor is OK provided the employer does not have a deed to the property?

I [Heart character should go here but HTML validator pukes on it] New York

"I like white walls. Don't you?" (Sophia Gruzdys)[3]

"We were excited by the very idea that we could use anything in the visual history of humankind as influence," Mr. Glaser, who designed more than 400 posters over the course of his career (including "I 💗 New York") , said in an interview... (2004). (The New York Times, Milton Glaser obituary)

To create web pages, use your imagination. Don't be a slug. My wife has a dog who likes to eat slugs (are they doggie oysters?). Web pages, I think, should be works of art, not necessarily Rembrandts, but esthetically pleasing. So design your web pages like you were trying to make something persons would like to look at even if they didn't know the language. Do Gutenberg Bible pages look like Wikipedia pages? Of course, there's another angle here: I don't know about you, my reader, but when I look at anything, I try to see some sort of pattern in it. Anselm Kiefer is a great painter; he paints stuff sometimes uglier than Newark garbage, so why not put some Wikipedia pages in frames and have a gallery exhibit? I do not think that kind of generosity on the part of the user should be expected by web designers.

I want to put techie persons themselves under the semiotic electron microscope as much as their technical objects, if not moreso, because if they did not use the objects, the objects would be voided ("What's that I see on your cubicle's gray plastic desktop, techie? A 7-Eleven Big Gulp plastic cup? Have you signed it 'R. Mutt' so that maybe some zillionaire art collector will buy it for 7 figures? Or are you actually drinking cola water out of it other than as a piece of performance art?" I once knew a painter (David Peirick) who made a print of Superman with his pants fly unzipped, revealing empty space underneath. Clean off your gray plastic desktop of all crap before you start working on a web page. Of course you are permitted pictures of your wife and kids, and bricks (ref.: Louis I. Kahn. This great architect you may never have heard of famously had a conversation with a brick). Have you talked with your computer programming language today? Maybe if it was APL and not a constricting snake (Python), it might have something really nice to say back to you. But you probably don't choose your poison tools, just like we here in A Place to Study don't have any choice other than to use MediaWikitext. I will get beck to that later, too.

So we start with Winnie the Pooh and "Goddammit!" and every other symbol in the whole history of humanity in designing our webpages

"Always ask [of everything] 'What is this an instance of?'" (Louis Forsdale)[4]

First, do we all agree that Winnie the Pooh, and goddamned and Ali Khamenei and G-d and Dulce et Decorum est pro Patria Mori and everything else are all instances of symbols, i.e., constructions of human imagination? Kantian synthetic unities of apperception?

That's my first principle. As psychoanalysts say: "Everything is grist for the mill", i.e., in the present case, potential web page content. Of course that is not true if you are creating a web page for a .com or .org employer, like General Mills, maybe. Ali Khamenei's personal life is understandably off limits in such cases. But, do you ever make a web page for personal non-profit reasons? I.e., for fun? Well, there you can exercise your First Amendment Rights, at least if you are willing to risk being beheaded like a certain school history teacher recently (October 2020) in the City of Light (Paris, France). But we've got to take chances in this life, especially is a time of pandemic, so choose wisely, right?[5]

My second web page design principle

"If you only have lemons, make lemonade." (Source lost)

If your web project consists of even one page, give it a skeleton, don't make it be a semiotic slug (slugs are almost formless). The more pages in the web project, the more having a skeleton for every page to hang its flesh on (the "content") is important. If you are stuck with a lower order structural foundation, then you just have to make do and build on top of it. Here in A Place to Study, the bedrock stratum is MediaWikitext. (Can we add a sump pump?) Virtue begins at home (Mohandas Gandhi knew that, when he volunteered his immediate family for a life of voluntary poverty they did not want to have.) Look at the present page (HERE).

I start with Robbie's standard web page format, which includes the little link-to-user-base-page box at its upper left corner with the impotent less-than character ('<') on its left edge, which is supposed to mean "go back to" but is not clickable. Apparently Robbie is stuck with that, and so too, in consequence, am I. I add, on the next line, at right, my own return-to-my-table-of-contents box, which harmonizes with the box on the left, except that it's left edge arrow is a colorful little .gif file that is clickable: It's not a lumpensymbol like Karl Marx's lumpenproletariat, which is not useful to progress.

Now go to the bottom of the page. I am more flexible here. at the very bottom there can be my "knotted letter" signature icon, with the words "Invenit et fecit", which means: I myself both thought it up (imagination) and implemented it (elbow grease). As an aside, "Invenit et fecit" comes trom F.P. Journe independent watchmaker's website; Journe's wriswatches sell for 5 or 6 digits US dollars, but I doubt many techies know about him or the kind of things he does. Am I wrong here? Oh the other hand, maybe Mssr. Journe does not know about 7-Eleven Big Gulp plastic cups? If that is true, whose life is more spiritually impoverished? Journe or the Wiki page writer? Again, get with the program! Note also that I am doing something intentional here: I (BMcC) do not care for or about the character string aka "name" label that was stuck on me as an infant. I'm just legally stuck with it. But I was able to use an IBM S/370 168 mainframe computer to make my little knotted letter symbol which I do consider to be an avatar (Hi, video game players who may think I do not know they deploy "avatars", too!) – an avatar of my freely imagined and imstantiated identity ("Land of the free", right?).

Above my optional signature is the optional block or Wiki footnotes. No footnotes, and this section of my page framework is missing, too.

Above that is another little link-back-to-my-base-page box like at the top of the page. Why this? I do not want any "Dead head trains" in my website. If a web page goes nowhere, why shouldn't the user just go to the toilet or whatever after he or she or other either gets to the bottom of the page or for whatever reason goes back the top (but not "over the top", of course). I feel free unobstructed linking flow over pages helps obviate concern that the usr may need some Ex-Lax.

There are some exceptions here: Some of my pages I consider to be subordinate pages, not first-level. Subordinate pages link back to their higher order parent, not to my universal Table of Contents. Further, some pages have double back links,e.g. in the case where two different pages link to the same subordinate page. Do you, my reader, see that, whether of not I have succeeded, I have at least tried to do something not just "lumpen" here?

Now we are finished with the basic template. There are other elaborations. I call attention to the Table of Contents on my base page, which links everything together. On each particular page, immediately under most Wiki section titles, before beginning my main content for the section, I can include one or more quotes, in smaller font-size, which comment on what the section is about. Also the little image blocks at the right edge of the browser window, which which I hope provide some relief from the tedium of endless verbiage, as well as some pictures that are worth a few (a thousand?) words.

I do not always live up to my ideals. Life is short and I am undercapitalized, etc. Occasionally, but not for light and transient reasons I consciously choose to deviate from my fixed pattern. In general, however, I hope my fixed page skeleton provides a holding environment (ref.: Donald W. Winnicott; who's he?) for the unfettered elaboration of my content within. Freedom to do a space walk begins with donning your space suit. And, as you, my reader, may have already noticed, I am deploying items from various stations on the great smorgasbord of all mankind's symbols here, as indicated above. I offer the present page as self-reflective, and self-instantiating. As U.S.A. President Richard Nixon might have said: "I am not a hypocrite."[6]

God is still in the details

"Notice everything." (Salvatore Ferragamo, Italian fashion house)

I think I have written elsewhere here about how, when I ran a Museum Gift Shop (1971) and one of the ceramics craftspersons whose work I sold told me that in the 20th Century there was not time to finish the bottoms of ceramics (which, of course, few persons ever look at) the way I felt they should be finished, that person was immediately of no further interest to me. Actually, I had not liked the way her pieces were finshed, even before she spoke that great truth of History, so she just admitted what I had previously felt: I had felt her stuff was not right, and now she said so. I may add that this person asserted she had something of an esteemed reputation, so apparently she was not alone in her delinquency. The work she was doing did make getting the details right relatively difficult (but if you can't do something very well, and it's not a matter of anyone's material survival, why do it?)

Anyway, here, I am trying to get details right. For one: whenever I refer to the International Business Machines Corporation's acronym, I color the text string blue and bold-weight it, like so: IBM. I am not perfect, and MediaWikitext does not say to me: "We're doing everything 100%, so you should, too, idiot!"

I do make some assumptions

"You can't jump over your own shadow." (Ref. lost)

I assume that the coding I am using for the little boxes to show images on the side (mostly right side, although now, also one on the left side) of the web browser window will continue to work. Also the code I have to generate footnotes. (You, my reader, can find examples for both of these in the source for the present page.) I assume some basic HTML tagging and CSS will also continue to work.

Not required, but nice to have: I assume <div class="read600"> will continue to produce a 600 pixel wide page content column, horizontally centered in the web browser window; this looks to me like a standard for A Place to Study. I assume some other things. But nothing lasts forever in cyberspace, where every software release gets replaced by a new release (cf.: The Tale of Genji). Being cynical, I want to say: I guess I assume the law of gravity will continue to apply, also, although web pages and even other computer programs and scripts have been, at least since Hollerith cards were superseded, relatively immaterial so that they are not really subject to the law of gravity anyway, although as far as computer project managerment and other such things are concerned, what goes up (products that ship) sometimes does come down (what in IBM were called: "Severity 1" bugs, and hardware failures). Do I assume too much?

I made a big mistake about HTML 5

I made a big mistake: I assumed that HTML tables are not supported in HTML 5. But it turns out that it's only the formatting attributes, including "cellpadding" and "cellspacing", that are not supported. Nobody told me, and, since I always used those parameters, I just assumed tables themselves were not supported. My big mistake, due to my oft confirmed expectation of bad things in HTML 5 and CSS; my mistake could have been avoided by gentle guidance from the HTML people. I'm still not sure if everything I used to do is supported in HTML 5 / CSS, but clearly I did make a big mistake based on negative expectations.

Of course there 's an old cheap trick to align columns without tables: tab (\0x09) characters. Tab characters are disgusting, and produce pages that look cutsie but are harder to repurpose by algorithmic transformation scripting than if the people do the right thing and only use regular space (\0x20) characters.

CSS is a teratoma

"If you cannot do something very well, and the world can do without it, don't do it." (BMcC[18-11-46-503])

I will never figure out how CSS works, and it's not very appealing to try. I keep trying one thing after another until either something works or I give up and adapt myself to its Superior Being. Heil CSS! Please see example of the kind of things I was doing with HTML 4.01 Loose: here. All I was trying to do is to say something meaningful in an esthetically elegant way. Technology should be my servant, not my master. Mea techno-culpa.

I never found a KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) book telling me to how to use CSS like there is for HTML 3.2. If CSS has any design logic, that logic is hidden and I have not been able to reverse engineer it. CSS doesn't work the same in all web browsers, so why doesn't it just go to hell? CSS also has logorrhea (I didn't think comp sci nerds liked verbose computer languages, albeit they don't seem to love APL, either).

Was CSS designed by video game junkies for themselves to jerk off on? CSS is the computer equivalent of the Boeing 737 Max cost-effectiveness engineering hack and subsequent computer hack to hide the problem from pilots that caused two 737 Max's to crash and took the whole fleet of them out of service for over a year. CSS is a classic example of what computers should not be (arrogant without having earned it).

Given how insulting I find CSS to be, I am even willing to entertain the hypothesis that CSS is syntactically not so bad but that it has [failed to have] been documented, by know-it-alls.

Technidiots who push CSS are code bigots, Proud Boys of Cyberia. They for some reason hate HTML formatting markup. It's apparently beneath their assholes. But there are lots of things that I could do fairly easily and even more importantly, in a way I could understand, with HTML formatting markup that I cannot figure out how to do with CSS: down to bit-level precision, even. ("Who needs bit precision? We techies have amorphous asses from couch potatoing ourselves with our game boys, Oh boy! And HTML formatting markup don't down-scale obsequiously to fit on cell phone screens, and who would want to think any thought that doesn't fit on a cell phone screen except for VR video games that have to be the highest possible resolution on the biggest possible screeen (or VR Googgles) because all there is to them is ever higher resolution glitzware images of virtual people but we'll always know our manager from an avatar, of course? Duh!") Don't these technodolts know one of the first desiderata of computer progress is upward compatibility, i.e., making the new shit process the old shit? They have not yet enhanced(sic) web browsers to not process HTML formatting markup, but clearly that's their summum bonum. HTML 4.01 extended HTML 3.2. Why couldn't HTML 5 extend HTML 4.01? What are you afraid of, kids? What's in it for you to prevent me from coding HTML formatting markup? Why are you trying to freeze me out? What's your angle? Cui bono? Anybody home?

The techies who get their kicks outlawing HTML formatting markup are Cyberian AYATOLLAHS who value the purity of their ideology not human good.The arrogant people who deprecated cellspacing, cellpadding and border and align and valign from HTML tables should have left well enough alone: First do no harm! The Internet should be made by techies, but made for scientists, scholars, artists, grandmothers and other human beings. These people are Cyberian Autocrats like Vladimir Putin and his disgusting ilk in the politial realm. Or maybe they are just zombies? I hate you all but I have no power to take you out.

Trying to convert a table from HTML 4 to HTML 5 + CSS, for each cell in my table I have to make changes I do not want to waste my time doing, and I mutter a blessing on it: "You fucking piece of shit." That's how "good" HTML 5 and CSS are in my experience. Thank you techies!

Another Wiki/CSS disgust

I went to change a long string of CSS format modividation [←Why make the effort to spell a word correctly in MediaWikiCSSworld?] attributes (e.g.: "background-color:yellow;") into a CSS class like a good little boy. Then I remember that MediaWiki protects the world from me and me from myself, so in creating a CSS class I only accomplished creating a class for my transformed-into-ordinary-HTML pages, but no way for me as a user of APtS to do it in the Wiki pages themselves. I look up a MediaWiki how-to article to see if maybe I have missed something. The Help page is not very helpful: don't run your techie mouth off, people. Kindly give me a simple hold-my-hand example and instructions good enough for your computer illiterate grandmother to use. End of that bright idea. Thanks again, MediaWikitechyshitheads.

Oh, yes, also: Using the word "skin" for a set of CSS formatting properties is obscene: CSS attributes have nothing to do with any bodily organ of possible erotic pleasure, or even with Gragor Samsa's exoskeleton – your fantasy life is pretty pathetic, isn't it? There may be more than one way to skin a cat, but less than one way to be encouraged to be creative in MediaWiki+CSS, puke.

MediaWiki is banausic

I to try to do esthetic things with MediaWiki. This is folly. MediaWiki is a tool in the most degraded sense of that word: nothing higher than banal utility. Good tools can be beautiful. Wiki is not. MediaWiki is only utilitarian, and it's not very good at that, even.

A hack coding slob should find MediaWiki entirely congenial to his, her, other or neuter, because such a person does not have any esthetic plugin installed in their intra-cranial algorithmic processing engine. If I read this paragraph in their face they might not respond at all unless I also gave them a Dunkin donut. Then they would ingest the donut. Pearls before swine would probably be an unmerited compliment for at least some of them. You get what you pay for, maybe?

All MediaWiki does is to infuriate me and set off my computer programing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) rage rage rage. But sometimes I can get what I want by committing a Wiki-felonious crime: using HTML < 5 formatting markup (almost exclusively in tables), which techies despise because they are not their purely segregated CSS formatting crap. Data Processing already had its form of Political Correctness back in the late 1970's, long before "Black lives matter": egoless programming.

I have written a simple julia script to back up Wiki web pages. It's ugly and it's not automated, but it will do the job that the MediaWiki-a**holes seem not to have not thought worth doing (what do they dream about? Dunkin donuts? I had one fop manager who kept bringing in Dunkin Donuts for everybody to eat while he ran his mouth off endlessly in the team meetings he loves to bless us all with along with the donuts). Whoopee!

Goddamned stupid thing about Macintosh monitor

The goddamned Macintosh monitor has a hinge to adjust the tilt angle of the goddamned screen. But the hinge does not lock and consequently the screen angle keeps sagging. This is goddamned stupid and could be very easily remediated by having a screw in the back of the goddamned screen near the hinge where you would just turn the screw to the desired screen angle and the friction of the screw would be sufficient to keep the goddamned screw in its position and consequently the screen tilt anngle would stay put. How simple can this be and I keep wasting my precious time because the screen keeps sagging. All the goddamned new gee-whiz features and they didn't address this very basic thing. Why? Because it's too badsic, not some new gee-whiz techie gizmo? Techies are idiots. The one kind which is an exception is the field engineers who fix all the shit the other techies cook up. And my experience in IBM develop was that the techies who created the problems either looked down their noses or were not even aware of the existence of the fixeruppers. The self-importance of fools.

To summarize: Honor the Starkist tuna principle

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works...." (Matt 5:16)
"We learn from others" (Packard Motor Co. Service Bulletin header)

What is the Starkist tuna principle? I modify it slightly: I aim to make every webpage I make both have good taste and also taste good (have some nourishing content). There you have it. O reader! Criticize me! But not, I respectfully request, like my prig prep (perp) school "masters" who in their holier-than-me self-rectitude, had the arrogance to grade me like a slab of beef – because I was a child (veal, not yet fully matured to beef) and they could get away with it because my parents were benighted and paid them. I do not know if their non-profit company had a Customer Service desk where either I myself or my parents could have registed a complaint about defective merchandise had any of us realized what their come-on marketing strategy really was. Please grade me as if you were grading Ken Iverson or Charles Goldfarb, if there is anything in this page which you did not already know better than I myself know it or something I have missed here, but if you were Ken Iverson or Charles Goldfarb I think you would know how to be respectful to persons who know less than you but who are trying to learn → persons who are not know-it-alls.

More succinctly:

I (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) do not code web pages; I reflectively THINK web pages.

+2024.02.16 v084
 PreviousReturn to Table of contents


  1. This ties in with what my IBM 3rd line manager told me one day, ca. 1978: "We know you can do it your way, but what do we do with all the people who can't tell an 'L' from an 'LA'?"
  2. The mean-spirited bipedal hominids that-not-who have as their mission to corrode our souls and our bodies, whether they wear wing tips of jack boots or Nikes or whatever, are always busy with not keeping their mitts to themselves. Insofar as they will not mend their evil ways, May Vlad the Impaler turn every last one of them into a living shish kebab!
  3. Most people know of Ludwig Wittgenstein as a philosopher. During his life, he also designed a single house, for some of his relatives. It is a paean to "white walls". It is IMO (BMcC) magnificent; many persons would probably not be comfortable living in it. He deployed such a rigorous spirit of precision that it took months to get he radiators for the heating system the way he wanted them. Philip Johnson's "Glass House" (New Canaan, CT USA) is more like the Ironclad USS Monitor, for one comparison unfair to the latter.
  4. Professor Forsdale was an atheist.
  5. Given the forced choice, I would rather be quickly beheaded for showing Charlie Hebdo cartoons in a classroom, than dying after months on a ventilator in an ICU because I joined a mass protest in a street for a Good Cause. One beheaded school history teacher has more impact on social goals than one of thousands of unknown ICU casualties of Covid-19, even. Where's Waldo?
  6. Some persons seem concerned about my "loose associations". I call them referential allusions, and I thank God I have the educational background to have them. Psychoanalysts also prize: "free association." 16 inch battleship guns, Donatello's David, William F. Buckley, Jr., Princess Diana (of officially licensed margarine tub fame), Pepsi, G-d, New York City garbage, Uncle Remus, Dulce et decorum... and so forth, are all semiotic raw material.

This page has been validated as HTML 5.
This page has been validated as HTML 5.