“Doing Nothing” is a Vital Part of Work

Recently, I saw a video of a construction worker hanging from a crane in Toronto. They’re okay, suffering minor injuries to a hand (though, no one talks about mental health, and I can imagine this was a rather terrifying experience). Their hand became stuck in a cable, which is how they ended up in this position, but I have to ask how there wasn’t another person with a radio present to command the crane operator to put this pallet back down immediately after it became apparent there was a problem (or even earlier, before it became dangerous).

No one has an answer to that question at the time of writing, but it brings my attention to an important part of construction work.. doing nothing. There is a trope of seeing construction workers standing around, apparently doing nothing, and this is often used to justify calling them lazy, and construction overpriced.

The beginning of the following video covers what’s actually going on in these situations very well, but the tl;dw of it is: Things don’t always go according to plan, everyone needs breaks, and looking out for problems is very important. Why wasn’t someone standing around to notice a stuck hand before it became dangerous?

While keeping a watch for safety is a specific job that is only employed for certain activities at certain times, everyone who is standing around is another set of eyes that can notice a problem before it becomes dangerous (or even just.. a problem that will hinder the construction effort), or who can respond in the event of an emergency.

Breaks are important, and supervising takes less effort than physical labor. People standing around to take a break are also supervising the work. They may not have the documents or job title to say they should be watching, but everyone with experience watching activity onsite is helpful.


The above was written in July, shortly after the publication of the embedded video. I have much more to say about work, but it has been half a year without publication. I feel it is important to not leave this draft lying around.

Nihilism, The Ubermensch, & Garfield

If you want the short version, skip to watching this video, or: Nihilism is the belief that life is meaningless. But why settle for that? If life is meaningless, then the only true meaning is what you bring to life. Do what you can to the fullest you possibly can. Embrace all of life, its good and bad, because it is all you have. The Ubermensch is an idealized future super-human who does this. While impossible to achieve, it is possibly the only escape from nihilism.

Garfield is horrifying once you realize the majority of the comic is about Jon suffering eternally. But that horror comes from within – or from a cosmic demon cat. It can be taken to represent a mental trap where one sits lost in their own suffering. I am very prone to nihilist feelings, but that video feels inspirational to me. While it wallows in hopelessness and otherworldly horror, to me it speaks only of the demons in my mind that I’ve lived with for as long as I can remember.

Every bit of horror displayed there just looks like a Tuesday to me. It also reminds me of the first video I linked to. I discovered it a few years ago, and keep coming back to it because it feels so significant to my personal issues:

I’ve felt lost and hopeless for a long time because my depression feels everlasting, because it feels like the only time I’ve ever be free of it is when I am dead, and because that feeling leads to wanting that death to come as soon as possible. I also fear death immensely, because I don’t believe in any kind of afterlife – I don’t want to not exist.

This idea gives me some hope and solace that while I may never escape my personal demons, I may be able to enjoy my life regardless.


I started writing this because I want you to know how Garfield is horrifying, and I want to share videos that are personally significant. Somehow these goals aligned with thinking about depression and how to keep living when life has a lot of pain in it. But, really, just.. watch this:

Edit: Oh, and I get the impression that Garfield is actually supposed to be much darker, but Jim Davis keeps being prevented from publishing the darker stuff.

Fuck Windows ..and Ubuntu (Rant)

My OS History

I started with Windows 95, and it was okay. Upgrading to Windows 98 helped a lot and I still love that OS. My next experience was with Windows XP, and it was good. When Windows Vista first came out, I tried it and had several problems with it. (No, I don’t remember what they were.)

Somewhere around this time I was introduced to Linux and tried a few distributions. (My favorites were Ubuntu, slax, & Antergos. Later, my absolute favorite would be CrunchBang. I still miss all of these, including old versions of Ubuntu.)

After Windows 7 came out, my experience with Windows started to go downhill. Nonsensical errors (why does an administrator not have full disk access?), rebooting my computer without consent (no matter how many times I disabled this “feature”), running slowly despite good hardware.. the list is long. This is when I first thought about using Linux for things besides programming.

I again skipped Windows versions until Windows 10, mainly due to free upgrades being offered and hating the UI changes in Windows 8 that were partially walked back. At this point, my hatred started. Default applications I can’t uninstall or even hide, advertisements built-in, a virtual assistant I could not disable or remove always running in the background.. and they even removed the pretense of controlling updates.

Oh, and the default malware included to spy on your usage, again, without consent.

But the problem is that I was running a mildly successful gaming YouTube channel at the time, I needed Windows because no video editor on Linux was good enough, and games only work on Windows.

Then Steam announced Proton, and reviews were good. Over time, Linux seemingly became viable. There was even a hot new video editor called daVinci Resolve, and it runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux!

What Happened to Ubuntu?

I ran various versions of Ubuntu as a secondary OS or on a USB drive from 8 to 18 without problems. Common problems like networking, video card support, and audio issues were never difficult – and often did not even occur. Ubuntu was a good choice because its popularity made it more often supported, and it was usually stable.

Not this time. I spent weeks trying to get it working, and while I was eventually successful, it was only through stubbornness and a lot of reading.

I started with a new SSD, as my old one only had 128 GB of space, and I was going to need a lot more for video editing and running games that require better disk streaming. First, the install failed because a disk I wasn’t even using is corrupted. Then, it failed to install the bootloader. Then it failed because of a partially completed Ubuntu install. I moved on to trying elementary OS (a derivative of Ubuntu) because it has several improvements and is still widely supported, but this also failed.

Turns out, since version 14.04, there’s a bug where Ubuntu won’t install a bootloader if you select any disk besides the first. There is no warning of this anywhere, and I had to find a bug report from half a decade ago to even learn this. So, I removed all disks except my new SSD, and moved it to first SATA port on the motherboard, and Ubuntu .. still didn’t install.

Time to try again, except I accidentally booted into Ubuntu from the SSD.. you know, the OS that failed to install? So, it turns out that not only does it fail to install a bootloader under most possible conditions, but a success crashes the installer. Oh well, at least I now have a working system, time to update!

Ubuntu Prominently Publishes Broken Versions

I run updates, and find out there’s a new OS version. I’d started with version 20.10 because it was what was out when I started this, and version 21.04 had released since then. I run the upgrade.. and now I can’t boot anymore. This has never happened to me before, and this is a brand new system.

Turns out, version 21.04 shipped with a bug that breaks the bootloader on any system, whether it be a fresh install or through an upgrade. Here’s the fucking problem: They only disabled update notifications, instead of pulling the faulty update or OFFERING ANY WARNING WHATSOEVER.

There is no reason I couldn’t have been notified not to update. There is no reason to keep a broken release public. There is no reason for any of this to have happened the way it did.

This is unacceptable, and even since fixing the problem on my system, Ubuntu has just been a completely different system than what it was. They added ads/spyware to the base OS and pushed updates that break configuration & uninstall apps. It’s just not good anymore, and it makes me sad.

A Luke-Warm Political Hot-Take

Back in 2016, I published a blog post1 about the major election results for my state and country (California, USA). While I probably agree with most of my feelings at the time, I know for a fact that I made some bad choices with my votes, and an invalid hot take. I want to revisit this, and respond to it with a little more knowledge and hindsight.

Hilary Clinton vs Donald Trump

The voting system in this country is a joke. The only countries less democratic are those without any voting, and maybe “votes” with only one candidate.. which includes portions of the US. This is a large topic, but one of the easiest problems to attack is the presence of the electoral college. The popular vote doesn’t actually matter, what matters is a select group of 507 representatives. Most of the time, they vote according to what the populace votes for, but not accurately. Fortunately, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact intends to fix this.

The more immediate problem is who got elected that time. Trump is a moron, and caused a lot of harm.. and that’s even before COVID-19 became a problem. He is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans, and partially responsible for millions worldwide. Of course, every American president has a body count2 3, but Trump is a special level of stupid, careless, and evil.

That said, I’m still not sure he was the wrong person out of the two choices available4. Hilary wanted to go to war with Russia, a decision that could easily be civilization-ending when promoted by a competent politician. Of course, Russia interferes with all US elections, and in this case assisted the winner.

Flavors of Bad

I don’t know much about the particular candidates that ran for Senate and House of Representatives’ seats, but the Republican Party won the majority, and have a history of helping the wealthy grow their wealth at the expense of worldwide suffering. That said, I’m not holding the Democratic Party up as some kind of hero. They are responsible for the majority of the harm that Republicans have not caused, and have a history of pretending to be held up by Republicans when nothing of the sort has occurred.

Californian Propositions

I’m going to skip over propositions I can’t have a valid opinion on, as I lack knowledge on the specifics, with the exception of stating that on the surface 51-57, 59-65, 67 seem like progress. Of these, the following passed: 51, 52, 54-57, 59, 63-65. (Full results.)

58 (English-only schooling) and 66 (limiting death penalty appeals) are objectively bad propositions that passed, discriminating against non-English-speakers and increasing support for state-sanctioned murder. 62 (death penalty removal) might’ve been a good step towards prisoners’ rights – but did not pass. Of course, US prisons are somewhere between a death camp and slavery on average5.

I previously agreed with 58. At that time, I did not realize how much of a discriminatory it is to allow English-only schools. On the surface, it sounds fine, the majority is English-speaking, and should not have to be hampered by provisions for non-English-speakers in areas where there aren’t any non-English-speakers, right? The problem is these areas don’t really exist, and this just hides them farther under the rug6.

Many of us believed that 67 (single-use grocery bag ban) was a positive. I was led to believe that the benefits were grossly outweighed by unintended costs and increases in plastic usage to make reusable bags. For example, it would take a “reusable” bag thousands of uses to make up the difference in environmental impact of its creation vs a single-use bag. This is a feat that is not likely to be achieved. In fact, this post was written poo-pooing this proposition until I went to gather sources.

Turns out, it’s a lot more complicated!7 While the negative facts I’d heard are true, the result of California’s ban is the majority of purchases are being made without any bag use. Turns out, they just didn’t need them for the most part. (It is important to specify that these results are not generalizeable to any population, however.)

I am somewhat conflicted about 63 (background checks for purchasing ammo, prohibition of large-capacity magazines). My gut tells me this is a good thing, because gun control is a good thing. However, I have heard evidence that suggests that these kind of half-assed measures are easily worked around and serve no actual prevention of gun-related harm. At the time I went all-in on my gut feeling, instead of doing more research on the topic. At this time, I have not gone back to check sources to find out if this measure is actually helping.


There is much more to be said, but that also requires research. Please comment if you would like to see that done on these or other political topics.


  1. The original will likely go down as part of a site redesign and holds no value as content, so I’ve created an unlisted paste of it.
  2. That list is obviously outdated, as Trump easily makes the top 5. And that’s without even counting foreign deaths.
  3. Another example: Sanctions, which directly lead to somewhere between thousands and millions of deaths, and much more significant suffering.
  4. History shows that Americans rarely have a 3rd option in presidential elections.
  5. This article on modern concentration camps primarily focuses on more recent events, but offers a taste of what I am referring to.
  6. Languages spoken in California.
  7. ABC News’ article on plastic bag bans. I cannot reliably determine the net effect of California’s prop 67, but it seems to be edging into positivity.

world.hello();

Not sure how to introduce this blog or myself, but here goes:

I go by Tangent, or Rose, and I’m a programmer with interests in video game design, web services, motorcycles, the furry fandom, and probably a bunch of other stuff. This blog is where I will be sharing ideas, mostly of the variety that have not been turned into a successful project. I am starting it to declutter my notes and various books of ideas that I cannot continue, but I am sure there will be more to write about.

In addition to my primary goal of sharing ideas related to video game design, web services, and any other area of programming, I sometimes write short stories or attempt to write novels. These will be shared here as well.

That’s it for now, hopefully you find something of note or worth from reading things here in the future.