I’ve run into an old nemesis on Facebook. He was a bully and an alpha male, cave man style, then when I last saw him over 40 years ago. He still shows signs of being a bully, and certainly that of an alpha. I’m not sure he really remembers me.

Be that as it may, I survived him 40 years ago, and I am surviving him now. If anything, I’m grabbing the brass ring in his nose and finding that I can move him to unexpected places, not necessarily exactly where I’d like to place him, but I’ve shown him that his bravado isn’t everything, and that I showed some bravado that he wasn’t expecting. Yep, I’ve changed in my 61+ years of life. A little at least. 😊

On one of the INTP groups that I belong to on Facebook, somebody brought up the sigma male.

13 Characteristics of Sigma Males

What Actually Is A Sigma Male?
Simply put, you wouldn’t be able to pinpoint one straightaway.

They’re not the type to peacock around, nor are they likely to be pressed into a corner pretending not to exist.

They tend to just be happy being themselves and getting on with their own thing, which means they don’t really stand out.

Imagine a scale of personalities – alphas are one end of the spectrum and are easy to identify; betas are at the other end and, much as they try to hide, they’re pretty easy to spot.

Sigmas? Lurking somewhat mysteriously in the middle…

1. Rebel without a cause – sigma males aren’t really into conforming

2. You do you – this type of guy isn’t generally bothered about being in a team or group.

3. Mysterious men – sigma males are normally quite mysterious. Because they don’t want to conform or stand out, they’re a total mystery.

4. Going against the grain – going against the rules isn’t an attempt to stand out or be a rebel for sigma males. It’s just a way of exercising their freedom and their lack of care when it comes to fitting in.

5. Living dangerously – this type of man tends to do what they want. This links to their mindset of being their own person and not conforming.</[>

I’m not sure that I’ve ever lived dangerously, but then, there were my poor years, so maybe!

6. Accidentally abstract – sigma males are characterized by the fact that they try to blend in (this is not the same as “fitting in”). Instead, they stand out even more because they seem so mysterious.

Certainly fits me!

7. Independent man – this type of man isn’t reliant on other people. This doesn’t mean that they don’t care about close friends, family, or partners. It just means that people are more of a complementary part of their lives rather than the ultimate focus.

Certainly me.

8. Deep thinkers – sigma males tend to have very analytic minds, read: overthinkers! They are highly intelligent, so think things through and really get down to the nitty gritty.

9. Brooding figure – men of this type enjoy their quiet time. Silence is indeed golden for these gentlemen, and they enjoy alone time.

10. Smart cookie – this touches upon their analytic nature, and is pretty self-explanatory. This type of lone wolf is always hungry for information, be it factual or behavior about his peers.

11. Strong, silent type – sigma males have the intelligence, as discussed, but many of them lack the social skills of alpha males. A lot of their energy is spent analyzing situations and absorbing information, so there’s not always much room for social skills.

12. Intriguing and intrigued – sigmas are always on the lookout for new experiences and information. Their mind is always hungry for new things, so they have their own ways to find out more about other people.

13. Lone wolves – again, sigma males don’t want to be in any kind of pack. They don’t need to follow anyone and they definitely don’t want people following them.

While betas are happiest following in someone’s shadows and alphas are happy leading the way, sigmas resolutely ignore these mentalities and just get on with it.

Another site I found

Sigma Male: 17 traits that separate you from Alphas and Betas

#1 You don’t want to be top dog, you don’t really even want to be part of the pack.

#2 You rebel against what you are supposed to do and be, just ‘cause you can.

#3 Just as powerful as the alpha, you don’t feel the need to prove it to anyone but yourself.

#4 Sigmas live their life in silence, but it is golden.

#5 You are the James Dean without a cause, literally.

#6 You are highly attractive to women but don’t really care or notice.

#7 People consider you intellectual and intelligent.

#8 You loathe social norms and expectations.

#9 You are usually on the dark side of the morally gray areas.

#10 You have a disdain for rules because they are meant to keep you down and powerless.

#11 You like to blend in, not stand out.

#12 No slave to fashion, you abhor it.

#13 You have out-of-the-norm interests and sometimes exhibit eccentric behaviors.

#14 You don’t belong to a social group but drift in and out of them, but never belong to any.

#15 You are an instigator.

#16 Your refusal to conform subjects you to criticism and ridicule.

#17 You adapt only to get what you want and then are done with it.

#6? Maybe, maybe not for me. 😜

#8? I wouldn’t use the word loathe, but…

#9? I don’t think so, but, I can be a sarcastic ass at times, or just a plain ass.

#10? I see the need. Some, more than others, and I’m talking about people.

#14? Wrong. I am a geek!

I also found this articles.

The Awesome Omega Male

An interesting read, and while I’m gentle, I have my mother’s touch, I have trouble sometimes being empathetic. Which makes me think I’m more of a sigma male, not an omega male.

Something to ponder.

Stolen from YouTube:

Alpha male = Master morality
Beta male = Slave morality
Sigma male = Ubermensch
Omega male = The Last Man


As somebody who uses the product on a regular basis, heavily modified (still, after losing a bunch of modifications from “upgrades” to the thing), I have to say I’m getting a bit tired of Mozilla fucking over the users.

I’ve written comments on slashdot.org about some of the issues that I see with Mozilla.

This won’t end well (the link has the link to the original Slashdot article…)

I’m already seeing erosion of extensions just because of the changes that are being made in Firefox, and developers’ are getting tired of fixing the breakage. Forecast Fox, a nice weather bar suffered from losing the default status bar. OK, there are ways to get it back, but now you have an extension that requires other extensions to work. Then…

Yep, they’re pissing off the authors who write extensions.  Now, they are going to have to be signed by Mozilla to be installed.  Evidently if you use Nightly, or perhaps even Beta, that won’t be enforced, so you’ll be able to “test” your extensions on those browsers.  But if you’re creating your own, now you will have to have a different browser just to get it installed and working.  I guess, but I don’t think it’s the way to go. :/

In another article about Mozilla’s falling user share, I wrote this one. One of it’s problems (sorry about the incorrect it’s…, and the link to the article is in the link, I’m not about to go linking to links that are easily found. :P)

The destruction of it’s ecosystem.

Too many choices have been made to simplify Firefox when maybe they should have done a bit more spelunking to see what the users were actually using.

Taking away the status bar. Yeah, there are multiple extensions to get that back, the trouble being that they aren’t the original status bar and some of the extensions that I use expect the old status bar, not the extension status bar. Update that extension? Well, the person writing that extension has thrown in the towel. When other issues cropped up, somebody else did come along and fix the issues, but the original programmer can come around and kill it because it’s still technically his copyright. Yeah, he didn’t GPL or put any other kind of license on it. So, it might exist today, but tomorrow it won’t.

Making Firefox look like Chrome is just stupid in my book. There was zero reason to change it. Talk about getting the desktop to look like the mobile is pure crap. They are different environments. What works on a phone or tablet doesn’t necessarily mean that it works on the desktop, even Microsoft has figured that part out with Windows 10 coming out now. Extremely obvious to me, so I must be a genius. Or not.

They have changed things such that old themes no longer work. The old personas, which I guess are now considered to be theme extensions, seem to be the only new themes actually getting developed. And they’re ugly.

Their mobile push (for Firefox OS) was interesting, but again, desktop seemed to suffer again because of it. They started actually pushing a 64-bit version of Firefox on their Nightly page. Then decided that tracking those bugs specific to it might be too much, so they decided to stop it, then after an outcry, decided to keep doing the 64-bit builds, but if you had a problem, don’t bother filling a bug for it unless it also happened on the 32-bit version. And then they decided to back track on that as well. You just can’t find the 64-bit version on the Nightly page anymore. But it can be found, at least.

I run the 64 and 32 bit Nightlies, release and beta versions. And they work for me. At least for now.

I don’t like IE. Chrome works. I’m just not sure I want Google tracking me that much.

And now, updates to the Nightlies aren’t working.  Why?  Oh, somebody saw a problem, and thought, “Oh, we’ll just send all these people to download from the CDN instead of our FTP server.”  OK, it sounds like a valid reason to change things, but somebody submitted a patch the same day that was accepted without actually understanding what those changes might mean, and now, Nightly updates are completely Fubar.  We have to download the patches (maybe, I don’t even know how to apply the .mar patches) or download the installer (50MB everyday, baby!).  This doesn’t sound sane.  The bug is here. Bug 1146185

The bug causing that bug? Bug 1144985

Seriously, I’m just about ready to go off and tell the idiots (they aren’t really, but I think that the organization is losing sight of just what the hell is going on) that they need to revert the patch, now, and then actually do what the hell they should have done to begin with, and actually understood what the hell they were going to be changing, because it’s pretty clear, they had no idea.  Maybe I should be a little more patient. But I don’t think they understand just how pissed off some of their users are getting. I’m certainly getting there, and I usually consider myself to be quite patient.

They have made some bad bets, as far as I’m concerned. They have gone running after the mobile area a bit too fast. I understand that they thought that they could get a browser on a phone that would also work as its operating system. I’m not sure what that gets them, let alone anybody else. Especially when they didn’t, and still don’t, have a good hardware partner that can actually help show their stuff off. The started to push 64-bit software on Windows, and then decided that it wasn’t worth it, and have been awkardly walking that back a bit, but not entirely. I am extremely disappointed in Mozilla.

Maybe Windows 10 and Spartan will be the way to go. We’ll see. I wonder when we’ll see Spartan out on the Preview. :/

Possible band name.  Not.

We have Bruce Schneier weighing in on this.

Heartbleed is a catastrophic bug in OpenSSL:

“The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.

Basically, an attacker can grab 64K of memory from a server. The attack leaves no trace, and can be done multiple times to grab a different random 64K of memory. This means that anything in memory — SSL private keys, user keys, anything — is vulnerable. And you have to assume that it is all compromised. All of it.

“Catastrophic” is the right word. On the scale of 1 to 10, this is an 11.

Half a million sites are vulnerable, including my own. Test your vulnerability here.

The bug has been patched. After you patch your systems, you have to get a new public/private key pair, update your SSL certificate, and then change every password that could potentially be affected.

At this point, the probability is close to one that every target has had its private keys extracted by multiple intelligence agencies. The real question is whether or not someone deliberately inserted this bug into OpenSSL, and has had two years of unfettered access to everything. My guess is accident, but I have no proof.

This article is worth reading. Hacker News thread is filled with commentary. XKCD cartoon.

I’m sure that Bruce knows more about security than I do.

Here are the knowns, unknowns and my ruminations. This vulnerability has been around for two years.  The attacker can get 64K of information, a RANDOM 64K of information.  Nowadays, that isn’t a whole lot.  It’s certainly not the millions of cards in the Target hack.  It’s untraceable, so we really don’t how many times an attempt has been successful.  We don’t even know if any of the attempts have been successful.  But I have questions about the data that is retrieved. OK, SSL keys, both private and user.  User IDs I guess as well.  Anything?  I’m not sure anything is a valid concern.  User IDs are easy, for at least you know that they are in ASCII or Unicode/UTF-8.  They’ll be easy to pick out of the mess that gets retrieved.  The SSL keys, on the other hand, I think are problematic.  Unless there is some ASCII string that declares “Private key->” followed by the key, I’m not sure that the key can actually be located.

Looking at some recovery files, I see the Microsoft User Account recovery file starts off with RSA2.  The other recovery file has “Microsoft Enhanced Cryptographic Provider v1.0 and something that looks like UID, only in hex.  So, maybe.

As to getting anything?  I’m not sure anything is a valid concern. Again, unless it’s in ASCII, I can’t see how a random 64K block is going to give anything away.  Possibly.  Password hashes?  How are you going to tell if something is a hash, let alone a password hash.  I would hope that any passwords given to a program are hashed, and the original values destroyed.  Still vulnerable, but then it’s a matter of timing and how lucky the attacker is.  Getting the correct 64K block at the time that the password is still visible in memory.

I am NOT going to change my passwords on all of my sites again.  Only when forced to (domaintools.com, I’m looking at you, there’s nothing anybody would want to do with my login there!).  My financial site does not have the flaw.  Google’s stuff does not have the flaw.  That’s good enough for me right now, unless I hear about real damage from this bug.

Second edit:  I really have no clue as to what happened to the first edit.  And I could have sworn it was published, and it wasn’t.  And that’s kind of pissing me off.

Also, I will probably update this as I think more about it.

OK, the facts, as they currently are.

Mozilla hires Brendan Eich as CEO.  Because of a $1,000 donation supporting California’s Proposition 8, certain individuals, homosexuals in this case, get upset with Mozilla, which I will point out, they are free to do, with.some people outside of Mozilla, and some people inside Mozilla.  Mr. Eich makes a decision to resign the position, for whatever reason, and again, it must be noted that this was his decision, there was not a board vote to fire him, although there may well have been board pressure for him to do so.  Still, ultimately, it was his decision.

It can be argued that the amount donated, $1,000 isn’t really all that much.  It can be argued that people need to be a little more thick skinned.

But I’m not arguing those here.

Dave writes about it here, and comments are closed.

Dave is correct in that politics are by their very nature divisive.  Although I could argue that, in the US, once you go just under the skin, the differences are gone, and what is divisive is pretty fucking trivial, only minor details are different between Democrats and Republicans, but politics being politics, molehills can be made to appear as Mount Everest. And that really only has to do with Republicans and Democrats.  Libertarians, big or small l, and other parties certainly would not fit that, but, for whatever reason, the political reality is that >95% of the elected officials are going to be a D or an R.  But exactly where they become divisive, that is the issue.

I think Dave is wrong.

My argument is about differences of opinions that lead to inclusivity, and those that lead to exclusivity.  Those are differences that matter.

As an example of inclusivity, say a CEO is an atheist, but that CEO has no problems with others being theists, Catholics, Muslims, Pagans, and encourages them to practice their religion by make sure that the Catholics are able to worship on Sunday, giving time for Ash Wednesday, the Muslims praying on their time schedule, and the pagans doing whatever it is the pagans do.  Dance naked at the solstices for all I know or care.  Or the reverse can be true, a Catholic CEO can be tolerant of other different theists and atheists.

Exclusivity would be where an atheist CEO has people working on Sundays in a regular matter for Christians or Friday night and Saturday for the Jews, having award luncheons during Ramadan.  I think you see the picture at this point.

Those are two different approaches.  I would hope that people see the inclusivity as the better option.  And it certainly is an option.

Back to the Mozilla and Eich issue.  Proposition 8 is an exclusive type of choice that was forced upon the entire state of California.  Yes, it was passed by a sufficient number of voters in California to be made into a state amendment, but it has been found to be in violation of both California and US constitutions.  I guess it can be argued that by making it an amendment, it would supercede what is written in the state constitution, but considering what I’ve seen just here in Florida and the overturning of amendments for not following the Florida constitution, that is not a viable argument.  It also shows that just because a majority of people vote for something, doesn’t necessarily make it the correct thing to do, even in a democracy/republic/representative what-the-hell…

My question to Dave would be, if there was a company that had a considerable number of Jews as workers had a board that decided to hire a CEO that wasn’t just a Holocaust denier, but had actively given money, amount not being a detail, to a Holocaust denier organization, what does Dave think the outrage would be, both internally and externally?  Does Dave think that the Jews should just shut up about the issue?  Yes, this is treading very close to Goodwin’s Law.

Dave also talks about another political point, specifically Republican and Democrat, and starts his post with a Democrat switching parties to Republican.  The difference here is that neither the Republicans or the Democrats can put language into a law or amendment to blatantly outlaw the other party from doing such things as raising money, spending money on advertising, vote for a particular party, or preventing the other party from actually registering to be put on the ballot.

The last two are problematic, because Republicans certainly are trying to affect Democrat votes with their Voter ID laws.  And sorry, it’s up to the Republicans to show that there is real voter fraud going on, preferably that fraud that isn’t being committed by those in the Republican Party to try and show that it is going on.  Also, since the two major parties control who does get on the ballot, third parties will never be a major force in US elections anyway.  Despite what the libertarians think.  And maybe that’s why people think that something like Proposition 8 was valid because it only affected such a minor number of people.  But the fact still remains that even those laws do not name the people that they are trying to harm/disenfranchise/whatever.  Proposition 8 did name names.

In the end, Mr. Eich bet wrong on putting his money on that proposition, despite thinking that it was a real win at first.  And when you consider that the states are falling down like dominoes in their efforts to keep such laws and amendments on the books, it makes his bet look even worse.

But then, if Mr. Eich had bet on inclusivity and lost, would anybody really care at that point?

Slashdot picks up the conversation.

Some of the comments are good reading as well.

Especially the one about race, and how today, if a CEO was racist and was all about treating blacks as second class citizens, would they even be in any kind of management position, regardless of how brilliant they might be otherwise?  Not in today’s supposedly post-racial society.


I see that the pope has decided to weigh in on economic issues:

“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” Francis wrote in the papal statement. “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacra­lized workings of the prevailing economic system.”

A few reactions:

First, throughout history, free-market capitalism has been a great driver of economic growth, and as my colleague Ben Friedman has written, economic growth has been a great driver of a more moral society.

Second, “trickle-down” is not a theory but a pejorative used by those on the left to describe a viewpoint they oppose. It is equivalent to those on the right referring to the “soak-the-rich” theories of the left. It is sad to see the pope using a pejorative, rather than encouraging an open-minded discussion of opposing perspectives.

Third, as far as I know, the pope did not address the tax-exempt status of the church. I would be eager to hear his views on that issue. Maybe he thinks the tax benefits the church receives do some good when they trickle down.

From Mr. Mankiw’s blog.

Mr. Mankiw is horribly wrong.

First, Mr. Mankiw is wrong on his first assumption. There is no free-market capitalism, never has been. And by going off such a tangent doesn’t really get to the point that the Pope was trying to make. Equal economic growth, however has been a great driver of a moral society. What he considers to be free-market capitalism, certainly what the hell is going on today if he thinks the US has it today, certainly is not equal economic growth.

Second, “trickle down” may be a pejorative for Mr. Mankiw, so call it by its original name as “supply side” economics, but the fact remains, whatever the label, it’s been shown not to work as advertized. As designed, it may very well be a different thing, especially if that design was to make the rich even richer. There is news for Mr. Mankiw. The rich are always going to pay more in taxes (or at least they should) because they have more money. Flatten the rate, reduce deductions to nothing, and the rich are still going to overwhelmingly pay more taxes. Especially if there are no way to manipulate the rate with deductions.

Third, the talk about tax-exempt is again, a point that Mr. Mankiw I think does not want to go where the big issues are. Should we address the tax exempt status of Crossroads GPS as well? The tax exempt status of Goodwill, Red Cross, the Salvation Army? All of the churches? Other foundations?


If Obama Wins

My wish if Obama wins tomorrow is that he start building a cross-party coalition with his new buds Chris Christie and Bill Clinton. Go to a Jets game maybe. Ask Christie which Repubs are fun to party with. Bring them along too. Start a new informal Cabinet of advisers, people the President hangs with to talk sports or drink a beer or (privately) smoke some reefer. Then they plot out new ways to get the whole country working, not just the tri-state area. We have something much bigger than Sandy to recover from, that is if Obama wins.

Ain’t going to happen.

Chris Christie still has endorsed Romney over Obama.

The TEA Party will make sure that it never happens.

Obama tried to be bipartisan early in his term.  I suggest the gloves come off and that he should be partisan as possible.