Time Heals All Wounds.. And Then Kills the Patient
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Mon Feb 9 09:06:28 2004
A Taste For Music

Recently, Debb and I have bumped into two people in the supermarket by chance -- someone from work, and Debb's sister/Jeff/kid. Chance occurances.. Beefalo (our cat) took a liking to my earphones and chewed the cord off. Oops! Debb also measured my resting heart rate.. it's now under 100 (last year, it was well over). Huzzah. There's still a ways to go, but it's progress. We saw the movie 'Monster', which was pretty creepy -- it tells a (trueish) story about a lesbian couple, one of which is a prostitute who initially starts out killing clients who mistreat her, but eventually starts killing random people because she can get a lot of wealth from looting the wallets and selling the cars. It's set in the south, and portrays some southern-style religion as the (an?) alternative way of life. Finally, yesterday I got some new clothes, and retired some old ones. So, all-in-all, it was a good weekend.

Broken items in my life: Shoes (my current ones are probably a year old, and are wearing through) Earphones (as of yesterday)

The pastor was listening to one of the church members, seeking advice on the impact of a nose ring on her relationship with her girlfriend. He felt nearly ill, and wished for the old days, when this kind of thing didn't happen, when God's flock were not seeking his advice when they were straying further and further from the way of righteousness. How could he even hope to offer advice to her? .. A thought -- indeed society is moving, perhaps dividing, the impact of tradition a polarizing effect. Old values are indeed being washed away, and society may face new challenges as it tries to deal with drawing new lines on sexual and other areas of openness that are becoming visible and acceptable. What're the most important changes? Who can tell... The important values to focus on are honesty/integrity, responsiveness to other peoples needs, and being open to learning new things about oneself (lack of a certain kind of ego). I believe that these can get those who are exploring these frontiers a decent way of life, and without them, as usual, people are doomed. :)

So, apparently, another Christian evangelist decided to make his voice heard. An American Airlines pilot called non-christians crazy, had Xians raise their hands, and suggested other people on his flight(!!) learn from them. I wish I had been on that flight -- I like standing up to such folk.

I recently found a utility called radontool that lets me turn off the LCD on my Inspiron 8500. This is very much a good thing -- I don't want it to suspend when I close the lid, but it's very nice to generate less heat and use less power when the lid is shut (I typically listen to music as I bike to/from work).

NYT has a story on black hats -- people who write virii (sorry, grammar folk, I don't care). It takes things from a very low level.. It's interesting how it captures the intellectual stimulation of writing such things.. and apparently, in the 10+ years since I left the scene, if it's correct, Visual Basic has actually become cool among that crowd. How sad.

Dell has apparently set up a Linux-specific website, including a blog. That's neat. I like Dell's hardware, and their site will probably help people find ways to mak Linux run better on their boxen.

It's really cool -- the Mars 'cars' are making important discoveries. It's interesting to know that we're heading very rapidly towards being able to tell if Mars at one point had water, its geology, and other very basic questions about one of our planetary neighbors. I understand, and once shared the point of view that space funding is a waste of money, better spent on social spending. I certainly feel that a lot of other funding is less important than social concerns (although of course the more-less dichotomy isn't really applicable, it's instead a matter of proportions and specific goals), but space is one of those areas where I think we can and should be thinking to the future, and for science. The future of the species as a whole may depend on eventually being ready to leave Terra, and science should be, I believe, one of the priorities of society.

A friend who I go climbing with occasionally has a neat photo collection online. I keep on forgetting to put my comparitively humble recent additions up on my site, or even to take them off the camera.

Microsoft managed to get one of their lawyers as the head of the Bar Association's Antitrust division. What chutzpah!

SCO has finally produced the goods -- a specific listing of files they think were incorporated into Linux illegally. I notice that, unlike SCO's previous complaints, there hasn't been a huge outcry with proof they're full of it. So, either this claim is more substantial, the community decided that another outburst wouldn't be interesting, or it's still being digested.

Last week, Debb and I hung out at a bookstore, and I saw a book called "This Book Will Change Your Life". It's quite funny, and it also has a website to match.

Here's an article touching on a fairly quiet field -- nanoethics/nanosafety. Nanotechnology has a lot of potential for transforming the way we build/maintain things, including the human body. However, because of the massive number of such systems that will be built, especially if self-assembly becomes in vogue, and because of the existence of the black hat people mentioned above, the systems may be very dangerous, especially in private hands. The question on how to manage these things, and how to trade off individual liberty versus safety in this case hasn't been well-addressed yet.. perhaps won't be until the systems are near completion.

On another topic, this is very cool.

Here's an interesting, biased, take on the state of South Africa. The author is indeed biased (takes joy in his predicament, calls ppl Nazis for fun).. I do find myself wondering what things are like there though -- perhaps for all the author's perspective, he is portraying things fairly. South Africa is another controversial area of the world, as the remnants of one racist government shift to another that some also call racist. Like many areas of the world, it was messed up by colonialism, creating nearly intractable problems.

I keep on putting some time into writing the first entry for my other blog, but the language changes I want to do just make it too difficult to actually write anything. I might have to tone down the changes, even though it would've been fun to have the ideas built right in.

According to PoliticalCompass, I'm part of the Libertarian Left (-5.12, -3.59). Interesting.