Time Heals All Wounds.. And Then Kills the Patient
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Thu Oct 16 22:05:30 2003
Taste test

So, the results of the taste test -- the ice tea turned out with a better flavour than the sun tea, using the same teabags and approximately equivilent amounts of sugar. They're both too sugary for me though, and if I can get a tea that's less naturally bitter, next time I try with considerably less sugar. Over the years, my taste for sugar has gone way down...

So, I'm sure, dear audience, that you're wondering what kind of philosophical thoughts I've been chewing on recently. Well, classwork and actually taking a philosophy class at CMU have been keeping me busier than I've ever been in my life before, but I still do have thoughts unrelated to that stuff. A few days ago, I had another conversation with someone I occasionally talk to, with rather different views than me, and it gave me a bit more churning on a topic I've already been thinking about a lot recently.. it's kind of two topics, actually. Some years ago, I gave a speech called "The Limits of Tolerance", exploring the concept of personal and societal tolerance. The speech was basically there to illustrate there are actually serious issues with the notion of tolerance -- it's not just a yes/no thing, nor something we should jump behind universally. However, due to the audience I gave it to, and also due to my lack of a form position on how it should be worked out, I refrained from drawing any conclusions on the topic. I've been continuing to think among those lines, and based on some things I was compelled to flesh out in the discussion, I realize that maybe I am ready to say something publically on it. As a related, and perhaps essentially the same, task, I'd like to try to lay out the basics of what a liberal society of the type I would like looks like. This is basically in response to some discussion at the last PUSH meeting that there exists at least an illusion of a common goal for the U.S. among evangelicals here, and with their strong ability to extract wealth from their followers, and their strong representation at the polls because they care more, they have disproportionate political power to their numbers. Is their consensus built on illusion? It was suggested that the liberals might have a thornier problem -- there are multiple, seperate, strong visions, and it's pretty clear that there's a lot of disagreement.

I've really been enjoying making spaghetti in my ricemaker. Some good cheese mixed in, some spaghetti sauce, and it makes for a very inexpensive and tasty way to eat that requires very little attention to make (very important for me).

My new Hedwig CD, "Wig in a Box", came in, almost a week before its release date. The interpretations are indeed interesting, and I like the new songs too. Some of them are markedly worse than the originals (gnosis version of wicked little town), and some are markedly better (the long grift)..

Verisign's bringing sitefinder back, after some very carefully done and funded studies designed to make it look like a good thing. Fortunately, there are now a lot of us prepared to strike back. Firstly, there are now stable, working patches to BIND that people in the know will be able to install in their workplaces and elsewhere, that will disable sitefinder. Secondly, the stage is set for a massive denial-of-service attack on their site. Finally, there are signs that owners of certain powerful networks (and some standards bodies) might simply pull the plug on Verisign. Verisign won't get away with this, and it doesn't fricking matter that they've managed to gain control over 'legitimate' means for control over the net (which, considering their feud with ICANN over this issue, is actually questionable in itself) -- techies all know what they're doing is wrong, and we won't stand for it. They'll lose. Like SCO. Yeah, we don't care if you think you should be safe because you're doing bad things but are playing by 'the rules'. Do bad things, and good people will fight you, and collectively, we can play much dirtier tricks than you can. On the same topic, the spammers are trying to rally against the recent legislation to strike at spam. Sorry, you lose too. Piss off millions of people, and it doesn't matter who you can buy in congress, you're going to have an unpleasant life. Oh no, I hear you cry! Vigilantism, you cry! Society shall fall into chaos! That's bullshit. What we see, ladies and gentlemen, is a society, a legal system, that has been bought by donations by big business. Corporations as people, protected commercial speech, intellectual property, anti-environmental stuff in NAFTA, media consolidation, all crap that has been paid for by business. Do you just sit back and allow that to continue? Do you sit there, the fool, simply obeying the rules they write? Do you think you can do squat against million-dollar contributions by writing a letter to your congressperson? By all means, write the letter, but don't stop there. Entities that are made of wealth, that seek little but more wealth, are the borg of modern society, and they need to be kept away from things they might infect. Like a campfire, you can't let it expand out of its circle. I'm not trying to put out the fire -- I don't think that's necessary, but simply defining as good everything that's on fire, and living out a pyromaniac's dream, chanting "market! fire! market! fire!" is not something we can permit.

The bernstein crypto case is dismissed. Woot!

Someone wrote a long, interesting paper on maintaining freedom in the face of capitalistic forces. Reminds me of RMS's thoughts on the same issue.

I'll no doubt write more about this later, but there was a symbolic accord signed between left-wing palestinians and left-wing israelis recently.

This has some amazing aplications. The guy at the end scares me though... Like some people froth at the mouth at the idea of exploiting people to get more money, the military always seems to have its eyes on new ways to kill people. I guess it's their job, but it does disturb me..

How about something a bit lighter.. something funny? :)

I am happy that, for now, the immediate pressures of life are off a bit.. within the next few weeks I do have two papers to write, but I can work on that at a less hectic pace than this week has been..

My wireless router has been acting up.. I moved it to its own UPS that it shares with just a clock.. hopefully that'll help make it happy. It's irritating to need to reset it all the time.

Well, that's all, for now. I'm hankerin' for some spaghetti.. hehe.