Time Heals All Wounds.. And Then Kills the Patient
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Sun Sep 21 20:27:17 2003
Horse-Mounted Pillow Fights

Today was a good day, acknowledging the sometimes painful sense of time that's often present in my way of looking at the world, and yet having enough stuff to distract me from it. And, as is often the case, there's some new thought on things that have happened yesterday too. I've come to two realizations -- first, that I don't mind being single, and secondly, that I'm really drifting pretty far towards socialism. I'll talk more about those two things after my account of the day, which I want to share.

I got the wake-up call I wanted around 09:30, and by 10:3, they were there to pick me up. By they, there was R2 (who is a very private person, like R, so I'll avoid mentioning their name), and two people I haven't met before, who I will call V (female) and S (male). It was most of the way to Ligonier, and the first time for awhile that I'd been out that way. Conversation was good the entire way there -- apparently there's a lot of commonality in our senses of humor, and we all have a good sense of history and politics. I brought my digital camera, and got some good pictures. Among the highlights were a lady whose singing was both incredibly bad and really funny, some jousting, a staff store (I almost got one, but they didn't have any that were not really carved -- why not just find one? They were made of nice, polished, really hard wood), a honey store (got some stuff), and a simplfied archery range. The latter was really fun -- after the first two arrows, where I was pretty clueless, it actually went pretty well. I won't call myself a natural, but I could see myself taking it up as a hobby, if I had the time and means... like horseback riding. One of the booths traced the clan possessions in Scotland, and my companions were amused to find my clan on the map (Yes, Mrs G, my clan is indeed in the northeast of scotland, even if the spoke it's on is in the northwest). We also went to several shows, one of which was a very amusing show with three ladies singing dirty songs (they opened with The Scotsman) and dancing. Near the end, we also played with 'Crystal Sticks', a revival of that old fad of using two rods to do tricks with a third, throwing it into the air and juggling it between. One of the kids was pretty amazing with it -- all of us sucked. On the way back, we stopped by Monroeville, stopping by a place near a Hindu temple to eat indian food (south indian). Their Saag Paneer wasn't all that good, although admittedly it's a north indian dish, so my judgement there is ill-placed. There was also an indian mart next door with really good selection, so I got another Daler Mehndi CD. It was a good trip, and I enjoyed both the company and the activities.

Gunn Clan, northeast of Sutherland in Scotland The Black Knight always triumphs! Singing ladies

So, back to the things mentioned above... I think I'm currently in (but near the end of) a 'batteries recharging' mode, WRT relationships. I'm not quite at the point where I'll be able to give my all to a new relationship, but I'm working on it, and if I do find someone who looks really ideal, I'll probably take a shot.. but I won't go out of my way. Maybe in a month or so, I'll feel ready to give it my all again. Hell, this next time, in hopes of another chosen, maybe I'll be able to take a somewhat less shy stance. I'm already making good steps towards this, and think that I won't let myself get into such a weird situation again once (if) I get another person who starts to look like a chosen.

Anyhow, yes, I think I'm slowly drifting towards a socialist point of view, at least that's what my libertarian friends who I argue with online tell me.. Largely, I have new worries -- I think private research is often a terrible thing -- it's true that universities have biases (pronounced bias-eez, heh), but they are significantly more open than corporations, and need to be open further. Intellectual Integrety demands that research be as uninfluenced by nonscience interests as possible -- not the topic, but the results. Research influences public policy, and is important to keep corporations and politicians honest. It must be independant, which is why universities and schools must be publically funded. That needs to be bumped up, and they must have some legal guarantees/requirements for their research keeping it open, and freely reusable, with ties to industry kept to a simple but strict set of regulations. They're an essential part of modern government, and must, like the legislative and elected parts of the executive branch, be kept safe from corporate influence. And, so, perhaps this lands me finally in the small(ish)-government liberal position. I strongly disagree that corporations and capitalism will solve society's ills, and so my small(ish)-government ideal has some liberal provisions. It's not small solely for the purpose of making room for corporate interests.. When there's not economies of scale and a few other conditions, I think that companies still should thrive in markets.. And now, the thorny issue of free trade. I realize that my ideal, implemented, encourages companies to use tax havens, so as to avoid the high(er) taxes a more active government needs to survive. I don't know how best to solve the problem, although, like the divergence between capitalistic aims and environmental aims, it's not a problem I haven't thought about. Hmm. So, Libertarian friends, let me ask you, look at the characteristics of your ideal system, if implemented. Imagine the end results of all the mergers, and the greed, and what happens when education and research go private. Your system depends on an educated populance to avoid becoming a monstrosity, but you're feeding a mold that will simply worm its way into everything, efficiently and ruthlessly destroying all other values. People will listen to the studies that are cleared for release by Pepsi, will grow up in Ford Schools, and will know mostly what the plutarchs want them to know. What remains of government won't be of any help, because the laws will be (and to a degree, already are) written by the same interests. Reasonability won't help you, because these ideals change with the times, and will be slowly rewritten by persistant effort. The most obvious opposite isn't ideal either... another path must be developed and chosen.

Ahh, yes, at the renfest, I got some incense sticks because they reminded me of good times past. I wasn't able to get the exact right scent -- I'll probably need to ask Martha what kind she used.. but I smelled it there.. it's just that they had huge variety..

Discovered: ricemakers make a good alternate way to cook spaghetti.. it actually turns out better that way than boiling in a pan. Yum.

And now, for some interesting URLs.. Worries about Saudi Arabia going nuclear - The administration has put a great deal of effort into portraying Saudi Arabia as being an ally over the years. I think it's strange to get worked up about this -- perhaps it should be viewed as simply more of the same "nobody can have guns but us" attitude. Imagine that literally -- the U.S. doing its best to establish as much of the world as a "gun-free zone", while keeping its own massive stocks. Mhh.

Low calorie diets keep fruit flies healthy. Does this generalize to humans? Interestingly, the effects happen almost immediately, and are lost just as quickly, when they switch on/off the diet. Fascinating.

Latvia joins the European Union. From what I understand, this is just joining the Union, it's not about unified currency (yet). I'd love to know for sure.. Still, the E.U. is a good thing, as it provides a way to avoid competition on tax policy (that is, fewer tax havens), so environmental concerns can be addressed properly.

General Clark enters democratic politics. I think he'll maybe make a good running mate to Dean, if Dean wins the primary, but I don't want to see him as the main candidate. Partly, it's that Dean's an intellectual (a doctor), and Clark isn't (a military guy). I'll come right out and say it -- I don't like military people, and although I may have some friends in there, I'll just say that everyone has plusses and minuses. I like intellectuals -- lawyers are slightly suspect, but doctors, professors, and the like are the kind of people I'd like to see in office. Doctors have a good chance at appealing to the commoners too. Apart from his doing things politically that make me shudder, this is part of why I hate BushJr so much as president -- the man is an idiot.

Putin gives a nod to a political party. The russian political system, by virtue of being in its infancy, is incredibly fascinating.

Yum is a good tool to keep your redhat systems up to date, without requiring a subscription to Red Hat Network.

Intel tries to do some creative management of information release, to maximize profits and position products. It didn't work. Huzzah.

Plasma Life?. Cool. It's self-replicating, like the game of life, but has no mechanism for genetics.

Groklaw sends SCO a letter. They don't speak for me, but it's interesting anyhow.

I admire the way some laws are set up, independantly of the content

And, that's all, folks. I've emptied a queue of links that's been gathering for quite some time, so don't worry -- my blog won't devolve into just being a set of news links. :)