Google Hangouts on Spectrum cable
Friday, April 24 2020
I had a moment of success this morning when I managed to install the latest version of the Nginx web server on an Amazon-based Linux server that provides no such upgrade through a package manager (yum). So instead I had to install it from source, something that I'd failed to do on several occasions. But this morning I got a working install. It was enough of an achievement for me to send an email about it.
I coasted on the good feelings from that the rest of the day. Though I continued to self-enforce a ban on reading news sites, this didn't keep me from running YouTube segments, most of which were about Trump's moronic musings about the the introduction of disinfectants and light inside of human beings to cure the coronavirus. I don't know if it is because it is too obvious to say why it is that one doesn't inject disinfectants into the body to fight pathogens that nobody has. But I will: we humans are made of cells, which are alive. If one tries to fight living things by using disinfectants inside an object made of other living things (our bodies) the risk is that it will kill everything that is alive. Or that it will have a bigger impact on human cells than it will on the pathogen. And any part that isn't impacted by the disinfectants will serve as a reservoir for pathogens once the poisoning is discontinued.
By today, even Donald Trump had realized he'd completely shit the bed on this one. Today his "coronavirus task force" appearance was brief, and he took no questions from the media. He also tried to gaslight us by characterizing his musings yesterday about disinfectants and light as "sarcastic," which, if you watch the video from yesterday, it clearly wasn't. (Compare how he mentioned light and and disinfectants yesterday to the mock concern he expressed about Mitt Romney's possible exposure to the coronavirus back in March.)
Despite the clarity of Trump's failure on this subject, I noticed that on Facebook, all his usual supporters were desperate for anything they could grasp onto to that might bolster their pre-conceived notions of Trumpian inerrancy. Some went whole-hog on the "sarcasm" justification, even though even if what Trump had said had been intended as sarcasm, there's never an excuse for anything but seriousness when doling our medical ideas in the midst of a global pandemic, particularly when you are the leader of the worst-affected nation. Though the people acting on Trump's disinfectant musings can't be thought of us as our country's smartest, they nevertheless flooded poison control lines in Maryland afterwards, and many hours passed before Trump retroactively said what he'd said earlier had actually been sarcasm. Later, after it was clear the "sarcasm" excuse was insufficient, these same Trumpian apologists began pointing out that what Trump had proposed wasn't too different from radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
This evening, Gretchen and I ate a frozen pizza densely covered with sauteed mushrooms and onions. Then we had a Google Hangout session with Jeff and Alana. Our Spectrum internet is much faster than our old Verizon DSL had been, but it's also decidedly less reliable, at least on the fine-grained timescales necessary for real-time streaming audio and video. Every forty seconds or so, Jeff & Alana's feed would hang for two or three seconds, and we'd miss that part of the conversation. We tried turning off the video, and that helped a little. But ultimately the only solution was for us both to have our voices carried by phonelines, broadcast into the room over speakerphone. Combined with the occasionally-halting video from Google Hangouts, this worked well enough for us to socialize successfully. Jeff and Alana told us about their new neighborhood, which is somewhere west of Lake Katrine. A lot of the people are related and some have a fair amount of money, mostly from working on the automobiles of rich people down in Paramus, NJ. One of them has a gun range and likes to shoot, which is never a pleasant thing in a neighborhood for those uninterested in guns.
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