Written on March 26 & April 2, 2005 (5 WE).
Forever glorious be your names, o wise daughters and sons of Logos and Axioma, for they prove that the humans have a problem with the spinal cord!
Evolution is great, simply because it has no alternative! What would I be without all things human evolving into Internet? If I had followed traditional means of communication, my most important ideas would have never seen the light of the day. The Internet not only allowed my ideas to grow eyes on the blind, but it also made possible for me to grow superior ideas.
This is way too philosophical for the purpose of this web page. I have in mind more mundane things as the topic of this web page. Like how evolution is also a vehicle of deception. Churchill said something to the extent that democracy is the worst form of government, except for those forms that preceded it. Long before that, Plato considered democracy to be the worst form of human organizing — period.
Humans always see bad before good. Bad is always more striking — 'cuz it strikes harder. More individual freedoms? Well, that leads to more crimes. The economic freedom in the United States is unlike anything else in human history. People all over the planet take personal computers for granted. But they were possible only in the United States. That nation has had far more garages than any other nation. Computers and other great things cannot have better startups than garages, or attics, or small, decrepit apartments. Today, democratic presidents and autocratic kings alike cannot rule without computers. But when computers started up in garages, kings and presidents labeled the inventors as weirdoes. Luckily for the species, America has safety guards in place that protect even the weirdoes. That is, make sure that weird is mainly a perception and thus protected…
I think most humans learnt well the lesson of evolution. The more freedoms, the more wrongdoings alright! But there are also more defensive options. I think now of a few shiningly illustrative examples, o extraordinarily brilliant followers of Logos and Axioma! Remember what happened in the former Soviet republic of Ukraine in November-December of 2004? Bullish authorities expected people to be frightened of taking it to the streets and call for fairness, indeed justice. This is an example of the effectiveness of crotch hitting in an increasingly more democratic world. The example was followed in Beirut, Lebanon, February of 2005.
Beirut is very significant because it is located in the emotionally volatile Arab world. No human subspecies is more volatile (or incandescently headed) than the Arab males. I have known it long ago, while I was a college student in my native Romania. Malek, an Arab guest student, threatened me with death. He believed I was an American spy. That's when I learnt that not being afraid represents a powerful defensive weapon. He was a skinny guy who wanted to make sure that I knew he was deported from West Germany on the grounds of terrorist activities. After I had the right count of wine glasses, I wanted to make sure that he understood something important. And that truth was about the 'Adam's apple' of his throat. I told him that I would have bit his Adam's apple and feed Taflogea with it. Taflogea was a vagabond dog trying to make a living in our university campus. I was tough on Taflogea. I regret my toughness now. But I did train Taflogea to do extraordinary things for a dog. There wouldn't have been no success without toughness. The regret I express to myself now is: “Self, why did you need to make Taflogea, a dog, do some things that resembled human behavior, such as understanding sentences?” Well, I wanted to send a clear message to guys like Malek. Malek took a reasonable distance from yours truly. He understood well the Taflogea message. I remember one day he was across the street from me. I had had a few glasses of wine. I wanted to jump across the road and strangulate that guy. My good friend Marcel did his best to stop me. I always wanted to know where Marcel has been, where he went. I only heard that he fled communism, too, probably to West Germany.
Malek had Arab students who admired him. He lived in a dormitory above my room. I would hear Arab students calling him while they were on the ground. They wanted to save time before going upstairs. So, they would call him almost in a chanting manner: “Yadda, Malek! Ya, Malek!” It sounded funny to me. I liked how it sounded. I memorized it. I imitated it almost like an Arab. I even imitated the chant to Malek himself. He had made attempts to make me believe he had turned into a friend of mine. I know very, very well who to believe and who to mistrust. I've never been wrong, although the cheater in me wants to find out more about a bastard. Consequently, I give the bastard the impression that I am his true friend! Not! Non! In truth, Malek told other guys, including my friends, Romanians, Arabs, Vietnamese, Congolese, Colombians, etc., that I was about to strangulate him! There were complaints against me. The communist bosses at my college always sided with the likes of Malek. It was common to hear accusations against me, that I was a follower of the Western elitism! Well, by now you know me well. The words are my first weapon of choice…
If you are serious about information, chances are you already read that I was a refugee. I left communist Romania in 1984, became a political refugee, and was resettled to the United States in April of 1985, exactly twenty years next month. While a refugee in Yugoslavia during the period September 1984 and April 1985, I had the honor of helping the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. I did translations, mainly from Romanian into English. I remember two cases when I was asked to help, if possible, a family of Hungarians and a Chilean. The officials thought: “Well, sounds like close to your home!” I didn't translate those cases linguistically. I only told the officials what I felt emotionally. I believe the UN officials understood the unemotional truth. There is this perception that all the refugees must speak a common idiom!
There are two regrets I still experience since my refugee period. A local room maiden in the Belgrade hotel I was resettled to possibly saved my life. I fell badly sick with influenza. I had dangerously high fever. I was delirious for a couple of days. I was just hit by severe influenza, like out of the blue. It hadn't happened three weeks earlier, while I was hiding in the cornfields, sleeping on the bare ground, while I was crossing five kilometers of a border zone. It took me and my fellow refugee three days, four nights, seventeen hours, twenty-four minutes, sixty-three seconds, and two tens of a second to cross an extraordinarily quite border on September 9/10, 1984.
The room maid saved my life. She gave me also some warm cloths. She loved coffee as much as do. She made good coffee for me. I made good coffee for her. She wanted from me more than that. Sometimes, I also wanted from her more than that. That is, we had moments we wanted to be to each other male and female. I have had some high standards, surprising to many; stupidly high standards to some people. There was also a female refugee in my life. She was proud to accent that she belonged to the oldest continually living nation in the world: Assyrian. She was from Iran. She invited me to her room. I wrote for her, in English, appeals to various Assyrian communities living in Diaspora (USA, England, Australia, Canada). The night was wonderful. She wanted a personal touch to it. The stupid in me (as many of my refugee fellows put it) did not even touch her! That's me! I probably take many things way too seriously. In retrospect, I think I was afraid of life-long commitments. The two gloriously wonderful females (attractive, too) probably wanted short-term exquisitely ecstatic experiences. Such experiences are divine, says the atheist in me. For unknown reasons (at those times), I did not take advantage of such opportunities for the most part of my life. I was more inclined to accept the labeling of “stupid”! The fall of 1973 was the first striking occurrence (of not taking advantage of opportunities!). I have had quite a few after that, across two continents, several countries, several counties, several jurisdictions, a few cities, several towns, nine neighborhoods, and thirteen buildings.
I have a different attitude now. If a man asks for a woman's physical and emotional favors it is usually aggressive. The male is the aggressor, since nature made human males much stronger than human females. The opposite is valid when a woman expresses desire towards a man. The man is no longer an aggressor in the initiating of a joyous act. The weaker side of the equation is in an emotional need. The stronger side must respond positively. The danger for the male, in my opinion, resides in the possibility of long-term commitment. The danger is perceived as being much stronger for a male such as this one. This male has always been attracted to flirting with one female only: Lady Immortality!
A real man should respond to an emotional need with high aptitude. But he also must make clear the necessity of the temporality of any act of happiness.
The most vivid experience of mine as a refugee involves another refugee from Iraq. His name was Muhammad Ali. I hope, indeed I pray even if I am not religious anymore, that Ali is still alive. He had a very hard time finding a nation to accept him as a refugee. I wrote many appeals on his behalf in my naïve English of 1984-1985. I just don't know what happened to him. But here is a true cruel story. My entire life has been marked by tooth problems. As a refugee, I enjoyed good medical care in Beograd, Jugoslavija, one of me ever-favorite countries. Muhammad Ali (he had never boxed!) had no tooth problems. He only accompanied me to the dental clinic, because I was hesitant to going to doctors, any doctors. During one of my visits to the dentist, an extraordinary thing happened. It's one of those moments that each and every one of us, the children of Honor et Gloria experience. That's when we feel we can take on the evil, destroy it, and thus serve the good. Crocodilule, something happened that day. An official of the embassy of Iraq in Beograd had tooth problems! The diplomat was accompanied to the well-established dental clinique by two officers of the Iraqi secret service. The two officers were skinny boys, about 5-foot-6, five-foot-7, 130-140 pounds. I knew exactly what they were (not who, that doesn't matter). Ali motioned towards the rest room. He was choking. He wanted to tell me that the two skinny guys were assassins in the service of Saddam Hussein. I told him I had figured that out. I also told him that I wanted to kill the two skinny guys! Ali was shocked. I was not. I told him I had a toolkit of pens with me. I always carried many rolling-ball pens with me. No question, pens could be deadly weapons, not only metaphorically. I said to Ali, more like kidding, that I was going to kill those two bastards. He left the clinic immediately. I didn't. Not because I really wanted to kill the two bastards. I played such games a few times in my life. I have never taken it seriously. I went back to my place in the waiting room of the dental clinique. There weren't many seats available. One of the secret agents had taken my place on the sofa. I was behind them. I realized how easy was to harm them seriously using my pens, just my pens. I smiled. I jumped in front of the diplomat. I cursed him using very bad Romanian language. I also provoked the two skinny agents. I asked one skinny guy: “Why the hell did you take my seat? Isn't tooth pain enough of suffering for me?” The lady dentist heard the scandal. She came out of the room. She knew me. Actually, she liked me. I liked her, too (but not as male to female, you know!). She was very much pro-American, as I was in those years. The lady dentist pleaded with me to calm down. I left the clinic without treatment. I went to an older woman, a very rare exception I have made, indeed! Actually, she said she was older as far as wisdom was concerned.
It is not the end of the story. I returned to my refugee hotel later that night. Muhammad Ali was already there, according to the expectation of Mr. Probability (that's me!). Hey, I was sure he was in the room at that time! I was in good spirit, really. I remembered of Malek and how his fellows (or followers) were chanting his name. I wanted to provoke fun — yeah, I believe humor is at its best when it is provoked! I started to chant very much in an Arabic accent (I had good practice in my college years in Romania). I came close to the hotel room where I was living. Muhammad Ali was also a resident there, plus two more Romanians. I listened to the door. More often than not, the residents were playing chess. Ali was playing chess against a Romanian, Gheorghitser (approximate pronunciation). I started the chant: “Yadda, Ali! Ya, Muhammad! Yadd' Ali! Ya, Muhammad!” I repeated the chant four or five times. I couldn't stop my laughter. I stormed into the room. Ali was still pale. The Romanian saying for such situations is “Yellow as bee wax.” He was frightened that the Iraqi secret agents were after him!
This is what they told me happened when I was first chanted the Yadda Ali thing. Ali hash-hashed them. “The Iraqi secret agents”, he whispered to them. The Romanians were also scared of the secret agents of the communist Securitate. In fact, the most tense moment took place in the first hotel room I was assigned to. There was a boxing competition hosted by Yugoslavia during the time I was a refugee there. The most valuable boxer of the tournament was a Romanian boxer. He wanted, like me, to quit the harsh communist rule. He wanted my help. I advanced his case to the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). Meanwhile, the secret agents of communist Romania were at work. I was asleep when the secret agents stormed into my room. The boxer was also sleeping in the same room. The secret agents injected the boxing champion. They put him to sleep. They handcuffed him and they took him away. I was like paralyzed. I pretended I was sleeping. The nunchak was under my pillow. I was mad for I had never thought such an even would take place.
Another Romanian refugee was also a fighting champion (judo and karate). He taught me some self-defending basics, in case of attacks against me. More importantly, be lent me his nunchak. I don't know how you spell it more accurately. It's that self-defending weapon consisting of two short clubs linked by a metal chain. I was practicing with the nunchak. It was during that period that the Securitate agents hijacked the Romanian boxing champion. The proud male in me still has a problem with that incident that took place in 1985, in Belgrade. I know for sure that I could have eliminated at least two agents, using the nunchak. But there was a number of them, at least seven agents. To the surprise of everybody, including UNHCR staff, the Yugoslav authorities did absolutely nothing to prevent that incident. We, the refugees, knew well about the double role played by Yugoslavia during those hot times of the cold war. Other refugees also witnessed the act. Nobody intervened. We were reminded that our families were still home! Perhaps my Fear_Survival system prevented me from a suicidal act. I was unable to help that boxing champion or Ali. But for sure I helped myself, if looking in retrospect. Think about it. Would you have read things like this, otherwise? Sorry, Ali! Sorry, boxer!
That was the time when I learned the best lessons regarding fairness, justice, toughness, responsiveness, compromise, survival, fear, etc., etc. For, of course, the challenges continued after my resettlement to the most democratic civilization since Pericles' Athens. I realized how important the Internet was for my development. It has never been easy, crocodililor! In fact, I was intensely attacked right from the start of my Internet endeavor (1998). I was a nice Internet gentleman for a reasonably long time. That compromising attitude was about to lead to my own demise. The thought that crossed my mind back then was this: “If the attacker is a man, try hitting hard his crotch! Convey a clear message to him!” You know what? Nothing could have been more effective or efficient. A small percentage of humans (men, especially) are bullish. They base their actions on the true fact that most non-bullish humans are afraid to challenge threat. The common belief is that the ostrich is the safest creature in the history of evolution. Ignore the threats, and there is a better chance to survive!
On the other hand, everything is a unity of two opposites. Survival chances are higher if the challenges and threats are responded to. Is there a question? Always answer it. The natural environment is founded on that. The strongest is not too strong to destroy the weak. The strong (but too bullish) tiger might be able to destroy two dozens of little wild dogs. In the end, however, half dozen wild dogs survive the tiger. Life would not survive otherwise. That creature that conveys the message that the possibility of hitting the opponent's crotch has the best chance to survive.
You remember of my recent incident with web hosting. A kid was running the company hosting my web site. For some non-business reason, the kid was enjoying mocking me. He didn't believe I would hit him in the crotch. His rationale was that it's hard, very hard to change web hosting. I did it. You would think it was the end of it. Not! Non! The kid was mad because of my move. He continued his annoying game. He started to send me invoices! When I was an active member, he did not send me invoices! I had to fight to get him to check his mailbox and cash my checks! At one point, September 2004, the kid suspended my web site! Now, in February 2005, he wouldn't stop sending me invoices! He wouldn't stop threatening me with unpaid invoices! I solved it quickly, mind you! I hit the kid very hard in his crotch. Most likely, my words at the hosting message board shocked him and frightened the bejeezus out of him. Needless to say, everything was solved the righteous way the very moment me message was read, baby!
This week I received an incredible Internet Service offer from PeoplePC. Yes, it was too good to be true, although it was asterisked. I applied for that Internet service. It was a disaster. I was unable, and I know for sure it is impossible, to complete the signup. They only wanted my bank information. They got my bank information. They didn't give a damn about a business account. They would have been ready to abuse my bank information. It was a dangerous situation for me. But not anymore. I had no choice but apply a power hit in their crotches. The PeoplePC people told me in wax pale faces: “We sorry!” I probably need another hit to make sure they don't do harm to nobody no more. They admitted the serious flaws in their program. But they don't admit intent to deceive. Nevertheless, they hide very well how a customer may cancel business. It's a phone number available during what they vaguely call “normal business hours”! Telephone has become a big business scheme. It's been my experience that you call but no human answers. You are put on hold and have to listen to stupidly soft music!
How about what happened half a day in half, plus two hours, thirty-nine minute, twelve seconds, eight tenths of a second and ninety-three hundredths of a second ago? I wanted to do business with a company of a reputable name: NetZero. I remembered when they sponsored the NBA at the half on network television in the US. Not every company can do that. You gotta be real good to be accepted as a network TV sponsor. But, baby, they fooled around with me, like PeoplePC did! All the settings of my PC were messed around with! It was a nightmare at one point! I had no choice but reinstall Windows! That could lead to a disaster, since data could be overwritten or lost. Man, it gets you mad! Why are some company guys so bone-headed? The United States experienced the worst fraud cases in history, as far as the money amounts are concerned. I only mention here Enron and WorldCom. The guys at the top were bullish. They were bullish, pure and simple. Some bullies don't believe that their subordinates have the spines to challenge unfairness, let alone illegality. You know what? All those now-defunct companies could have been saved. It only would have taken one vertical spine employee say: “Top dog of the company, I am gonna hit your crotch like you never felt before — unless you clean up your stinking act!” But how many people have the courage to take such actions? Not many now, but many more than just a few decades ago; certainly many, many more in the future. The signs are written on the walls of Kiev, Beirut, Bishkent…
I applied for business with NetZero. They promised 5x higher speed for only $14.95 a month. Again, it sounded too good to be true. Nevertheless, I put a lot of trust in accompany that used to be a sponsor of a professional sport. I had the same damn problems, the result of software and business conceived by boneheads! Reinstall Windows; lose some configurations and also some data! What if I had done that to them? Exactly, like you would have! By the way, the connection, if it works, is five times slower than an ordinary Internet connection. NetZero loads lots of garbage: ads, announcements, bars, graphs, glyphs, syphs, etc. Worse, things on my desktop look real ugly at times! Also, the animated images at my web site are flickering now! But that happens only to me, not to visitors who are not subscribers of NetZero! They got mad at me and that made my words even harsher.
NetZero immediately charged my bank account. We did no business at all, but they charged me! I did not connect for a single second to the Internet using NetZero. Yet, they charged me for $14.95! They drew the money from my bank account! They said to me in a shameless manner that I have no right to hold them responsible for any damage to my computer. No matter how serious the damage to my system, nobody may hold NetZero responsible! They forget about those highly visible warnings employed by the tobacco companies. “Warning! Tobacco smoking can be very dangerous to your health!” Still, the tobacco industries have paid huge, astronomical amounts of money in punitive damages!
NetZero doesn't even employ a warning! Their software is extremely flawed — and bears no warning at all! They explained to me that I also would have to spend the rest of my life finding solutions! Something like: delete that piece of software, disable that piece of software, etc., etc. I don't buy a piece of software in order to delete other programs. A piece of software must work with an existing system — or else warn the users that they must delete software already on their systems! It's insane, without a doubt!
Cancellation isn't easy, I tell you! You must call a phone number. They give you an interminable menu of choices. Press from 1 to infinity, then again from 1 to infinity, then again… After that, hold on line, while being forced to listen to the most unbearable music there is! When finally a live person took my call, he was happy to hear that I had problems with other companies. I was referring to my bad experience with PeoplePC the same week. The NetZero guy also added to the list AOL and MSN. “Everybody is bad”, was his message. I don't think that may pass as a viable legal argument!
A funny thing happened during my online application for PeoplePC Internet service. After they take all the personal and financial information they need, the legal point is reached. The so-called “Agreement on Terms and Conditions” pops up. Who really reads those insane blah-blahs? If you, the normal person, read such examples of delirious insanity, you would never agree to any business contract! In fact, I believe that all those statements should be rendered illegal by any legal authority. The business officers simply try to cover their backs for any possible and imaginable problem of their own faulty creation. But, as I said, most of those 'terms and conditions' would be null and void in any legal dispute. So, I did read carefully the 'terms and conditions' of the PeoplePC must-approve agreement! At the end of the reading I said to myself: “No way, self!” There was no way I would ever agree to such terms. It's like accepting a job offer from a company that asks you sign a contract stipulating: “Chances are good you can get killed on the job and the company may not be held liable.” I hit the “I Don't Accept” button of the “Agreement on Terms and Conditions” section. Guess what? I did it twice. Each time I clicked on the “Don't Agree” button, I received this nightmarish message: “You must accept the terms and conditions!” Yes, indeed! I could not go any further, unless I pressed the “I agree” button! Why the hell did they place the “I don't accept” button???
Here is an idea of a most profitable business. One individual doesn't need a lot of capital. Just promise to Internet users the fastest Internet connection for only US $10 a month (in the USA; similar in other countries). Millions of people would be attracted to subscribe. But there is no service at all! The main point is that the subscribers have a right to cancel. They don't have to go through the torture of canceling over the phone. They may simply cancel over the Internet. After all, the subscribing was secure enough, since it included a password. Why shouldn't cancellation be also secure? Just send an email with the password! The business owner doesn't even have to bother reading the cancellation emails. The cancellations are automatic! Of course, the subscriber had been already charged for a month of service, even if there was no service at all! After effortlessly making a few dozen million dollars, the “entrepreneur” would deposit the moneys in secret Swiss bank accounts, then fold up shoppe and move to a tropical paradise that will never sign extradition treaties with any country!
WARNING! I do NOT advise anybody to follow such a business model! It is unethical and it is ILLEGAL! There would be serious legal consequences for such a business model! Do NOT try it at home, or anywhere else! This only serves as an example for the “business model” two Internet companies applied to this author.
I remember how I lost a computer job because of my harsh language expressed in public forums. I was ecstatic in 1998 when PowerBasic released a 32-bit compiler to create software for the command line of Windows 9x! It was an extraordinarily marvelous idea. I bought the PBCC v1.0 (Power Basic Console Compiler) in a heartbeat! Painfully, it was buggy and seriously flawed as far as documentation, help, and other things were concerned. I expressed my opinion very strongly. I mean so strongly that I scared off a potential employer in the computer-programming field. They were afraid to hire such a tough cookie! Nevertheless, PBCC has made incredibly great steps towards higher usability and performance. I don't take it away from me. I made a contribution, thanks to my clear-cut language. There was déja-vu all over again. PBCC reached version 4.0 in February 2005. I did not hesitate to upgrade. Despite my previous complaints relative to error handling, the company (a tiny team of computer enthusiasts) ignored the dangerously serious flaws. I expressed my opinion, again, in strong terms so that the message would get through. There was the normal reaction from the criticized. But they made some laudable changes. They released an interim fix: PBCC 4.01 in March 2005. It works better. That's how it goes:
www.powerbasic.com/support/forums/Forum5/HTML/002955.html: PBCC 4.0 Error Handling.
They just rush things to create the impression of better business; and thus attract more investors; and thus inflate the stock prices; etc. Hitting them in the crotch, I mean very hard, is the only defending solution. The bullies don't believe people have the courage to respond to bullishness. But little do they know that such responsive people do exist. Follow me, o just one! Shoeshine that footwear of yours! Sharpen those toes! Don't hesitate to use them, especially when it comes to hitting the bastards in their crotches! Remember that the little dogs could survive the mighty tiger!
You respond according to your interlocutor. My new web hosting service beginning January 2005 was not perfect. I had issues and I put them forward in clear terms. The GoDaddy support people took it in stride. They responded with understanding. I also responded with understanding. Everything works fine now. Of course, nothing can be perfect. I can still receive complaints (very few and far between). The most common error appears to be related to very many simultaneous downloads of the same program. That's a fact of life. A little patience solves the issue…
Doctor and Patient in Errare Humanum Est
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