As you can see, there’s no new post for today. I think you’ll forgive me if you know the reason. Basically, back in March, there were a number of storms, and we lost power for several days, followed by its going on and off a couple of times before finally being restored for good. Even though I have a surge protector, my trusty iMac was never the same after that. It booted incredibly slowly and ran so slowly as to be virtually unusable. It crashed a lot. Over the next few months, I tried all sorts of things. You might ask why I didn’t simply try reformatting the hard drive and doing a clean install of the system software. The reason is that my 1.6 TB media library was on the hard drive, and my backup was incomplete. (It’s a long story; don’t ask.) Well, a while ago, I managed finally to get one complete usable backup done. i was going to finally reformat the hard drive when the machine started having multiple kernel panics. Finally, it wouldn’t boot at all. Given that the computer was five years old, I decided to simply replace it with a new iMac, which arrived over the weekend. Last night, for some reason, I was particularly interested in restoring the media library from backup. So I started doing it. Then I started reorganizing my media library and culling stuff that I didn’t need any more because I have access to it streaming or for whatever reason. Before I knew it, hours had passed, and I still had to do my nightly studying for my impending general surgery board recertification in December. So no post. At least, no 2,000+ word magnum opus of Insolence, at least not today.
I do, however, have this for your amusement:
It’s the audio of a phone message left at my office phone. The numbskull making it was too dumb even to block his Caller-ID, and reverse phone lookup means I know whose phone this clown called from. (It was a landline, and I even know the address.) Obviously, I won’t identify him (maybe his son or friend used his phone), other than to say that he called from an Iowa area code. Enjoy. (Warning: There is profanity, and I particularly like his “have a nice day” at the end.) I thought about calling my admirer back for the heck of it, but why bother? Here’s a hint to my haters: If you leave me an abusive voice mail message, next time I might actually post it with your name if I can figure it out.
And, yes, my iMac is sweet. It has a 27″ 5K screen and is screaming fast compared to my late, lamented five year old axe. It will be great for putting together presentations, and maybe I’ll even try doing some audio and video with it. Orac needs to branch out, after all. I’m still not fun tweaking it to exactly my specifications and liking, but setting up a brand new computer from scratch is one of my favorite things to do in life other than surgery, research, and blogging.
81 replies on “A little fan feedback”
“…literally the most mind-numbing…” Literally? Has he tried ether. He should try ether…
He probably has.
Sounds like his mind was pretty numb to begin with, which is not Orac’s fault.
I’m just envisioning the high fives he gave himself in the mirror after leaving that message. “Yessiree! I shore told him!”
Here’s a clue for the clueless dude who left the message: the way you refute someone’s argument is to actually make an argument, not to leave harassing voicemails.
What a punk.
Dude woke up in the morning, fixed up his hair to look just the right amount of d-bag, put on his pants one leg at a time and tied his shoelaces just like he’s been tying them since first grade. Then he thought about his day and what he was going to do with it.There were several options. One option was to go to the old folks’ home and volunteer a couple of hours. Another option was to clean up the trash around his neighborhood. A third option was to mentor a child.
But, no, not this day. This day he would look up “Orac” on Google and then go down a rabbit hole to try and figure out who Orac is in real life. He’d go to blogs like Science Based Medicine or even some of Orac’s old posts from back in the day. After several hours of research, he’d pat himself on the back as he was sure of who Orac was. He confirmed it with several people online, probably through some emails back and forth.
Then he would find the phone number and think of what to say. Or maybe he didn’t think? Who knows? After a while, he built up the courage to call. Would Orac answer? If so, he’d hang up the phone and try later. If not, he would leave a message.
But it had to be a good message. It had to be a message that would stop Orac from every writing all those mean things about stupid people online. It would be a message that would chill Orac all the way to his core.
Then he left the message.
“Yessiree! I shore told him!” he said to himself, gleefully. “The internet is a better place because of me, and so is the world.” Then he lit one up and sucked in that first delicious hit of sweet, sweet Canadian reefer. As he held it inside him to get the most punch, he thought to himself that maybe he shouldn’t have wished Orac a nice day. “Maybe he’ll think I wasn’t serious?”
But when the Mary Jane took over, nothing really mattered anymore. The world, especially the internet, was safer because of him, and he was safe to continue to do good… Once the high subsided, but not just yet.
One of the drawbacks of having a not-so-secret identity is that you may have to put up with this kind of idiot critic.
I agree with your policy of not actually posting the phone owner’s name for a first offense. As you say, a friend or relative may have borrowed the phone, especially if it’s a landline phone. But if the same guy calls again, especially if he is dumb enough to do it from the same phone without blocking Caller ID, I’d be fine with you publishing some of those details. Freedom of speech does not and should not mean freedom of consequences from that speech.
Oh, it was a landline. I even know the address.
Wow. That takes a special kind of stupid. 😮
Eric Lund writes,
Freedom of speech does not and should not mean freedom of consequences from that speech.
So that’s why Orac keeps me in auto-moderation. 🙁
Please post your guidelines for auto-moderation or banning at the Scienceblogs Respectful-Insolence.
In the absence of such information, after 5 business days, I will be giving you a friendly phone call to discuss this matter further.
Michael J. Dochniak (~ 427 days in auto-moderation)
LaTeX, which is pronounced «Lah-tech» or «Lay-tech» (to rhyme with «blech» or «Bertolt Brecht»), is a document preparation system for high-quality typesetting. It is most often used for medium-to-large technical or scientific documents but it can be used for almost any form of publishing.
Enjoy your new mac. I also hate my Linux setup
$> pulseaudio &
crank all the volumes in the stratosphere….
startx –> firefox –> hop here –> start audio…no sound!
Man are from mars, woman from Venus and computers are from hell.
Especially enjoyed his phrase “don’t touch the internet”. Unless you use hand sanitizer afterwards?
You never know own what germs it has.
Perhaps you wounded the feelings of the president of the local Gyweth Paltrow fan club?
” That takes a special kind of stupid”
Unfortunately, it seems to be quite common around the places I follow
Not just the woo-meisters but the FOILLOWERS
I am fully aware of the open source desktop publishing software MJD mentions above. I use it myself–I find it preferable to M$ Office for a number of reasons, one of which is that I find it easier (once I have climbed the learning curve, which I did as a grad student) to exercise fine control over the appearance of my work. This is especially true when mathematical typesetting is involved (a frequent occurrence in the physics business), but I find that even text works better (YMMV). Nobody has come up with a better hyphenation algorithm than Donald Knuth did in the early 1980s, and there are easy ways to fix the instances where it does fail. The X is supposed to represent the Greek letter chi, which corresponds to a phoneme that does not exist in English (it is similar to the German ‘ch’, the Cyrillic character normally transliterated as ‘kh’, or the J of Castilian Spanish).
However, I suspect that when MJD uses the name of that desktop publishing package, he normally isn’t talking about desktop publishing. And that is why, as Orac has explained on multiple occasions, MJD remains in auto-moderation.
@Denice: I suspect the “special kind of stupid” involved here is to place such a call from a landline phone, which allows Orac to determine the caller’s physical address. There would be at least one additional step required to get the physical address of a mobile phone user, and depending on jurisdiction the additional step may involve getting a warrant.
Not that there are a lot of stupid people out there, but I would think most people realize a landline is associated with a physical address in meatspace. Of course there are kids today who don’t know why the icon for initiating a phone call looks like it does, because they have never seen a phone that looks like that.
Yes, that is what I meant. But Denice isn’t wrong either 😉
It’s interesting for a while, but very much in the set-and-setting category.
@Denise Walters #11:
When I read “foillowers”, I immediately envisioned legions of people wearing aluminum foil hats. Good one.
But today’s post is sobering. I nearly called ORAC last week to leave a message telling him how much I appreciate his posts. I decided against it when I gazed at the work in front of me and I realized he might pick up. Not that he HAS hours to talk, but we certainly could have.
Eric Lund, #13:
According to the good doctor Knuth, the χ is the lowercase letter, supposed to be lowered, with the intersection at or near the baseline.
Sounds like the caller isn’t afraid of having his identity revealed, unlike our humble blogger, who not only blogs under a fake name, also changes the name to “Orac” in the comments section should a commenter reveal the author’s real name. Not sure what Orac is afraid of, but he is definitely afraid enough to only ever post under a fake name. Could it be because most of his posts are fake too, and he doesn’t want to sully his real name with them? Or is it because the Phrma checks he receives are written to “Orac”?
Regardless, only a complete coward would make blog posts under a fake name. PJ Myers used his real name, so why doesn’t Orac? It truly indicates a real lack of confidence in his own blog posts that he doesn’t want his real name associated with them.
Silly person. The answer’s easy. I change mentions of my real name in the comments to “Orac” just to irritate you and people like you. My real name is on this blog if you weren’t too stupid to find it. You’ll kick yourself when you find it.
If you ever find it.
Yikes! I remember having to deal with Knuth’s stuff over thirty years ago when I did a newsletter. Way before computer monitors had “What You See Is What You Get”! Not everyone here would understand if I used the initials that we pronounced wizzy-wig!
I had to go to the basement of a medical school to use the minicomputer system our local professional group had a contract with (I also picked up the mailing labels for the newsletters there that were created by another member).
Orac: “You’ll kick yourself when you find it”
Ah, the super secret intelligence test! Well, not so secret, which is why it is an intelligence test.
MM: “PJ Myers used his real name, so why doesn’t Orac?”
Because this is much more amusing. Especially when you get the middle initial wrong. It is not “PJ”, and even on a smartphone keyboard the actual letter is not very close to the real one. You are hilarious.
So his complaint is that he doesn’t understand your blogs? Maybe, in that case, he should limit himself to something simpler?
@#19: not only, as was already addressed, it’s pretty easy to find Orac’s identity, I am not sure why you assume the harasser was okay with having his identity revealed rather than not competent at hiding it. After all, there’s no name in the message.
Office isn’t even in the category? Mind you, Leslie Lamport has probably done more damage to professional typesetting than can ever be recovered from, Knuth’s font monstrosities notwithstanding.
Never heard of PJ.
There was a famous PJ who was the operator of the late, lamented Groklaw blog. However, there was no Myers involved (at least not in public).
PZ uses his initials only–what IS he hiding?
Many famous writers use and have used pseudonyms, maybe you should read more and rant less.
Mustapha Mond: ” PJ Myers used his real name, so why doesn’t Orac?”
Says the guy who posts on RI using the name of a fictional character.
Orac says, “My real name is on this blog if you weren’t too stupid to find it.”
Whoa! Wait! You two are the same person!? I was about to write and tell you that there’s some bozo on SBM who occasionally plagiarizes some of your better posts.
With a name like Mond I assumed he was or imagining himself to be a maverick physicist.
“Mond. James Mond.”
Mustapha Mond is the name of a character in Brave New World. He is one of the world Controllers who flirted with the idea of doing forbidden research.
I’m sure this poster enjoys the maverick comparison while ignoring the real implications of the character whose name he has appropriated.
Although my name isn’t that common posting under the real name has had me called an rock musician impostor, an idiot photographer and a coward for using famous peoples names… It is much simpler under a pseudonym – at least until someone cheats and post under ‘my’ nick.
There’s something utterly contemptible about criticizing someone for using a pseudonym while USING A PSEUDONYM HIMSELF.
LOL. Dude thinks Orac hides his real name. I needed a good laugh today. This did it. Thanks!
It appears Ren is very easily amused. Orac does indeed keep his real name hidden, so I really have no idea what you are on about. Perhaps the definition of “hidden” is what is puzzling you. For your edification:
Definition of hidden
: being out of sight or not readily apparent :
Do a search on the page for Orac’s real name. You won’t find it…because its hidden (read: being out of sight or not readily apparent). I hope that’s now clear.
I hope you get as much laughter out of this post as the last.
Orac’s real name is hidden in the same sense that my cat is “hidden” when she hides her face under the bed but the rest of her body is out on the floor.
For several years of reading this blog I had to put real effort into *not* learning Orac’s real name.
Because at the end of the day what matters is the quality of one’s content and conduct, not one’s name.
You have failed our intelligence test. You obviously do not know how to use a search engine. There is no reason to make it blatant on this page, because then there would be no way to gauge your internet skills.
Here is a hint: the words that have blue text are a link to another page. Find a certain blue word on this page, and then click on the page.
By the way, who is “PJ Myers”?
“Not sure what Orac is afraid of, but he is definitely afraid enough to only ever post under a fake name”
Now that this statement has been proven to be false, why should anyone listen to you further?
You were so sure in your assumption, you wrote a whole screed of nonsense afterwards, big fail on your part.
My opinion is that you should:
A) Apologize to Orac for baseless slander.
B) Rethink your whole life
C) Stop commenting on topics you know nothing about, till you have finished doing B
– a fake name like Mustapha Mond, right?
Hahahahahahaha – my god, are you dumb.
As Jay said, rethink your life. If, in fact, you are able to think.
Let’s just say I’m all atwitter about it.
LOL. You seriously can’t see it?
Copying and pasting from a dictionary in any Internet discussion immediately marks one as a cretin.
^ Oh, right:
If you insist.
Whoops. Whose money is on Fυcklesworth here?
I would bet money on it being Travis/Feckleworth who called Orac’s work phone. His youtube channel and other online rantings are quite clear that he knows who Orac is. He is just trying his trolling best with the fact folks have to actually do some work to discover the worst kept secret on the internet.
Plus Iowa is not that terribly far from where he lived in Wisconsin.
Maybe. But let’s not speculate. It’s much more likely that it was some other numbskull.
I think I figured out Mond’s problem. If you go to the front page for Orac’s blog https://www.respectfulinsolence.com/author/oracknows/ you need to read _two_ sentences to find out his real name. How much more secretive could Orac be? He’s hidden his name with such malign deviousness, that it must be a sign of something to hide.
Meanwhile the phrase that applies to Mond’s ability to find information can be found in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4Nov7vSkmU (note for Mond – you need to click the link for the video to play (extended note for Mond – clicking involves using the mouse buttons (especially extended note for Mond – using a computer may require that you get a 6-year old for assistance)))).
P.S. Orac – keep up the good work.
Jeezums, the 20-inch ones at the science library are a bit much for me, as well as providing strong evidence that Apple hates the left-handed.
Then again, the tri-wing battery screws in the A1342 MacBook* were another case of “why, Apple, why?”
* Pretty damn nice little machine; I just found and rehabbed one as a gift for a friend – it’ll take up to 16 GB of RAM and can be upgraded to Sierra, if one were a masochist.
I wasn’t speculating about the caller, FWIW.
” He is just trying his trolling best with the fact folks have to actually do some work to discover the worst kept secret on the internet.”
Why is it a secret at all, worst kept or otherwise? I proudly put my real name on my blog posts, because I am not ashamed to have my real identity associated with them. Orac…not so much. Trying to sit on the fence with this “worst kept secret” BS is just weak.
That’s nice. I don’t care. Don’t like it? Leave. Don’t read. Stop whining. Again, I don’t care, as long as you stop bothering my regular, longtime commenters, whom, unlike the case with you, I value and respect.
Because, for the third time, it is a test of your intelligence. You seem to have failed it multiple times. If you can’t figure out the worst secret of the internet, then your IQ is too short to be taken seriously on this blog.
And your name is not Mustapha Mond, unless your parents had a particularly warped sense of humor.
So, little Mustapha, what do you do other than whine like a three year old?
Oh shut up
I also use my real name. My last name is only slightly less common than Jones. Also, even knowing where I live does not help. I often run across houses for sell by a realtor who shares my name. There are at least a dozen of us with that name in our state.
It is kind of a pointless whine. You are judged on the content of what you write, especially since no one knows if you are a mongoose on the internet.
“That’s nice. I don’t care. Don’t like it? Leave. Don’t read. Stop whining. Again, I don’t care, as long as you stop bothering my regular, longtime commenters, whom, unlike the case with you, I value and respect.”
In other words, you can dish it out, but can’t take it. Gotcha….good luck with that.
Oh, please. I’ve taken far worse over at least 15 years. You basically bore me. You’re not even an amusing or clever troll, and that’s just sad.
Rankly hypocritical trolling doesn’t seem to be working out all that well for you, but so it goes.
If your performance here is any indication, you might want to seek someone to help you reevaluate that.
He reminds me of someone I saw at an LRT station a few weeks ago, playing a guitar and singing. As I walked past him, I thought “he’s not very good”. As I stood waiting for the train, I thought “actually, he’d need a lot of improvement to rise to the level of not very good.”
“Oh, please. I’ve taken far worse over at least 15 years. You basically bore me. You’re not even an amusing or clever troll, and that’s just sad.”
Well I use your blog posts to treat my insomnia, so there. Maybe you can patent that and make a killing selling it to GlaxoSmithKline.
If you are going to dish out insolence all day long, then you’d better be prepared to take some. Be a man for crying out loud.
As I said, you’re not a clever or amusing troll. You’re just continuing to prove my assessment for me.
“Be a man for crying out loud.”
Funny coming from someone who was whining like a three year old that it was too hard to find what is the internet’s worst kept secret… even after someone posted the direct link. You are just one of the amusing reason the intelligence test exist. The one you are still failing.
Intelligence test? I’m talking about a balls test…you know, as in actually having the balls to put your name to your blog posts and stand behind what you write, say like Myers, Crislip or Lipson. That’s what real scientists do.
Show me a scientist that publishes using a pseudonym, and I’ll show you someone who is full of sh!t.
You are still not getting it, the full name is on this blog. You are just not bright enough to find it, even after it has been handed to on a tray. Go find a grown up to teach you how to use your mouse to click on a link. They might be more willing to help you if you tone down the whining.
Says the guy who posts here under a pseudonym. Mustapha Mond is not your real name, or did you miss where I pointed that out earlier?
There’s nothing wrong with blogging under a pen name.
There is something wrong with whining about someone blogging under a pen name when you whine about it under a pen name.
What part of that confuses you?
I wonder if Mustie’s blog gets so few hits that he is afraid if he were to use his real name here that this page, revealing him to be an extraordinary dolt, would be the first to appear in a web search for his name.
cf. Jason L. Van Dyke (well worth it for the amusement value)
Mond, you are not only a hypocrite but you’re obnoxious and dumb.
Is your real name Trump?
Do everyone a favor and switch to chloral hydrate.
Show me a scientist that publishes using a pseudonym
Cecco di Ronchitti? Nicolas Bourbaki? Ursula N. Owens? How many would you like?
In other words, you can dish it out, but can’t take it. Gotcha….good luck with that.
Since when not caring about your dumb*ss ego mean unable to take it?
Inquiring mind want to know.
That’s just laziness. If you’re going to look at something or someone and weigh its or their credibility on their pseudonym, that’s your problem. The rest of us can weigh the evidence being presented, cross-check with other known scientific facts, and come to a conclusion on whether or not what is being presented is credible or not. If you need someone to post under their real name — and how do you know it is their real name, anyway? — then you’re just being intellectually lazy at the least. That, and you’re acting like a petulant child.
Look at how many times you’ve taken to the comment section to argue about something that is not a problem (to a reasonable person). First it was that he didn’t tell us his name. Then it was pointed out to you that the author’s name is everywhere on the blog. Then you said it was because he didn’t sign his posts with his real name… And so on. Moving goalposts gets boring after a while, and it’s particularly laughable that you and your pseudonym are angry over pseudonyms. Comment under your real name, or you’re full of sh*t.
doug: Yeah, I’ve been reading it. I’m amazed some other lawyer . . . like Ken . . . hasn’t taken him up on his offer to rumble . . . and given him (Jason) a nice big old slap down before the Bar Association, or the local DA.
Of course, maybe they’re just giving him enough rope to hang himself with.
Looks like all the sycophants have got their panties in a collective bunch. I recommend 3M Panty Bunch Extractor. I haven’t tried it but the CDC highly recommends it. They’ve been extensively testing it on themselves during the whole Zika imbroglio and claim its highly effective.
I trust you’ve remembered to register your IRL name with 3M, so you can collect your fee for this recommendation.
Trivializing a virus, mocking a scientist and not offering any insight to the world is disgraceful. Go back to your room.
Landline maybe – but it sounds more like a payphone in a Grand Central station.
A very astute observation at #75.
I dunno who Mond is, but he’s a vaccuum-head. Now, my real name, that’s hard to find. You might have to take an hour. Okay, a person who hasn’t got vacuum for brains might take an hour, including time to verify his information. You, on the other hand, would search for a week and find nothing. I’ll give you a hint — I’m not The Democratic Leadership Committee.