Google recently added to its usenet archives articles dating back to near the birth of usenet. I've been having a fun time looking over the articles posted under both my name and the various other names I've used over the years. It's amusing to think that all those topics and all that discussion is not lost. It reminds me of some mailing lists I was on at various times that discussed various hot topics. Atheism, BSD versus SysV, and all that fun. Many of those may be dead, but I have, tarred up, at least significant bits of some of them. I can see how my opinions have changed a bit here and there on some issues. I no longer am an emacs person -- I converted to vi (well, vim actually) some time back, etc.
Politics. All sorts of interesting stuff has been going on in the last two or three days. My thoughts:
- Israel cuts ties with Arafat, looks like its keen on destroying palestine
- This is really a complex issue. I hate Sharon, and like BushJr, wouldn't shed a tear if he had a heart attack and died. But peaceful coexistence is impossible in Israel. No peace or stability will, in my judgement, come until one side or the other is all dead/disposessed. I would lightly prefer the victors to be the Palestinians, as it's been less than a lifetime (my cutoff for these kind of things) since they were cut off from their land by ultranationalist extremist Jews. Somehow, they just need to fight thise one out, and whoever wins hopefully will end up with a nice, stable country. If only the Palestinians and the Israelis would both give up their stupid superstitions/religions, and stop being nationalistic, ... *sigh*.
- Bin Laden video
- Providing that it's not fabricated (and I have no idea how we could know with much certainty), supposedly the video shows strong data supporting the presumption that he did it. Well, if it's real, I'm glad they're going to release it -- for awhile the news indicated they wern't sure, and I would've been mad if they had gone the other way. So, let me reiterate my previous position on this. If Bin Laden planned/ordered this done, he should be killed. I do disapprove of using an invasion to kill him -- something more stealthy, less expensive, and less disruptive would've been better, like some assassins. Many innocents were killed, and the U.S. has stained its hands with the blood of the innocents. Al Queda is fair game, the Taliban should not have been.
- Secret Military trials and other ashcroftisms
- completely unacceptable. I wouldn't be too upset if Ashcroft had a heart attack. I'm also angry about the closing of certain aspects of presidential libraries, and some other similar stuff.
- ABM stuff
- I have mixed feelings on this. Largely, I don't know how bound a government should feel by treaties, especially a democratic one. Is it acceptable for the current legislature to bind later ones? If yes, we have ugly possible abuses of the current elect against the later. If no, then treaties mean nothing. Is there a consistant other position? If so, I haven't thought of it yet. I imagine that if Russia started breaking treaties with the U.S., the U.S. would be thinking about declaring war. As broken as Kant's philosophy is, I feel compelled to suggest his categorical imperative here - act only if you can approve were your act become a general practice.
- Microsoft and DRM
- Argh. Stupid IP system.