August 4th, 2003


Strange Winds of Night

It's almost 3AM. I'm about to head out to my landlord's dental officeto drop off a check to avoid a late fee. I can't believe I'm doing this.Why didn't I go out earlier? I've been talking with people. Today's beena good day for talking. I met up with someone who I almost ended up dating,quite a long time ago, and we talked philosophy for 3 1/2 hours. It waslively discussion. Then I got back home, and ran into someone online fromBrecksville who has been out of touch for ages, and chatted with her forawhile. Then I ran into Lundy on AIM, a roomate from my Ohio State days(the good roomate). I chatted with him, Melissa, and Jeff for several hours,then played on the pooter for awhile, and now it's now.

And that was then. I paused in the entrymaking to go run the errand :)It took very little time, as the traffic was absent. I noticed that thegiant hill I drive down on the way back (I take a different route therethan back) is both steeper and longer than Negley Hill. It might be funto try biking sometime. I've biked Negley a few times in the last fewmonths.. having a bike where the gears work helps a lot :) It's probablygoing up Forbes Hill almost daily that makes Negley possible for me.Anyhow, on the way back, I noticed that it's both really windy and reallyfoggy. That's a bizarre combination, creating odd visual effects. Heh. Funnythat I chose the title of the entry before I actually saw it. I had forgotten.

I'm not sure if I've jotted this observation in the journal yet... I thoughtof it some time ago.. I'm thinking that one way to judge music is to compare,side by side, the Weird Al parody or medley to the real thing. The relativegoodness can be really telling. Two musicians I've done this for..Avril Lavigne and Mathers, both of whom I happen to like. My conclusion, afterplaying Weird Al's parody of "Complicated" next to her version, is that she'sconsiderably better. When I compared the portion of his medley that includedMathers' "Real Slim Shady" to the real thing though, I was surprised to findthat I liked Weird Al's better. I thus conclude that, while I like bothof them, Avril is a better musician than Mathers. Of course, there's room forvariation -- maybe Weird Al was just weak on his Complicated parody. *shrug*

I'm really looking forward to classes starting soon. I need to get the paperworkin for the tuition soon.. tomorrow, if I remember.

I recently was called an anti-semite by someone. This is, however, by someonewho hopes to join the Israeli army in order to "kill some arabs", and hopesthat the current period of relative peace and progress towards it will endsoon. It's stretching the limits of my tolerance for racism to maintaingood relations with them, but I think that they're a good person, and thatthere's a lot of good stuff in there to salvage, if I can just get thetime to work through their (very complicated) personality.

I wish I knew the russian language. Like German, it's a language in which alot of great literature is written, there's a good selection of neat music,and people who speak it natively have really really cool accents in English.British accents, at least some of them, can be cool, but a good German orRussian accent beats them anyday :)

On that topic, .. nevermind :)

And finally, for tonight, Gandi isn't doing my secondary DNS right. It'smissing most of the entries. I'm not happy, so I wrote them a mail. I hopethey'll get it fixed soon. Grr. Until they do, depending on how your ISPdoes DNS cacheing, or what round-robin nameserver you hit, this blog,my gallery, and similar might not be available to you. *sigh*



I'm working on some Bayes Net-related stuff at work, and although it'snot what I'm looking for, I found a good tutorial on Bayes Nets in general.I wish I hadn't lost so much of this stuff over the years.

I think today's going to be an early lunch day -- I'm hungry.

With any luck, today I'll get the inspiration to write back to my friendswho have written or emailed me.

A thought for the day.. perhaps recycled..If you could intervene in someone's life, and be guaranteed to either makea mess of things and disgrace yourself, or make their life considerablybetter in the long run, or possibly both, and you had little enough informationon your odds of each outcome that you had no good idea, what would you do?In various forms, this problem comes up a lot.

Heh. Timewise, we've passed 1060000000, Unix time, recently. Time waits fornoone.

Oh, finally, I found out that the DNS problems were my fault, so I'll probablywrite back to them and tell them 'nevermind'. Turns out I was forgetting toincrease the version number of my zone files when I updated them sometimeback to add the new A records, and so their slave DNS thought it had thecorrect version. Thank goodness for nagging doubts.


Corporate winds

A few other interesting things..This Java program is totally cool!CivCTP2's sources are likely to be released.Novell bought Ximian

A thought, perhaps leading to some of the stranger lines of thought I've hadin philosophy... All the theoretical you's there might be, those thatinhabit the might've beens, their thought processes.. in order to give lifeto our explorations of what might be/might've been (a useful thing to be ableto do in everyday life), we attempt to approximate those other selves, withsomewhat different experiences and such. Is there anything special aboutexistence that sentience could tell about itself? Would we really know ifwe don't exist? I think, but that tells me nothing about whether I am, at leastfor some meaning of the word am. Practically, this isn't a problem -- Pascal'swager, broken on the argument it attempts to solve, is quite useful here.Still, I can see no nonheuristic/probabilistic argument that can oppose thepossibility, so I admit that I might be a daydream.


Cancellations and Reversals

Two meetings got cancelled this week! Today,
(section not shown)
, and there was also an Email committee meeting thatwas scheduled for later this week that also was dropped. *sigh*

Mars will be coming very near to Terra on 27 Aug 2003. The closest point willbe around 05:00 (AM, for you 12-hour folk) I might get myself atelescope for the event -- it's really a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It's supposedto be nearly as big as the moon in the sky on that night. NASA's launching someprobes. So, cancel your plans for that morning.

So, I just told some of my friends on AIM about this (maybe 6 or 7). 4 of themtalked about telescopes, and 4 of them (not entirely overlapping the first set)talked about the cost of NASA. In a pretty stunning reversal, Dubin suggestedthat private corporations manage space exploration. I suggested that spacecolonization would be a good thing for the government to be involved in, and hesuggested that that too be initially private. I couldn't disagree more, and thistouches down on ground that I recently have broken while talking about politicswith Woody last week. Firstly, I think that corporations make pretty horribleguardians of human rights, just about as bad as religious leaders. Secondly,if the corporations begin to colonize other parts of the solar system, suddenlythere's an actual corporate-run, in the most literal sense of the word,settlement, with its own governmental forms. Woody might think this to be agood thing. As for me, I find it deeply disturbing and scary, perhaps as scaryas a theocracy. Theocracies suck, in my eyes -- drop me in Iran and I'm eithervery quiet or very dead. However, they're also not as ruthlessly efficient ascorporations, and so they probably pose less of a danger of spreading.I fear corporations, and although communism holds little appeal for me,the invisible, superefficient hand scares me as well. Privatized police,property rights being asserted over suddenly scarce air, *shudder*.In sum, I fully endorse space research, and so I disagree with my moreLassiez-Faire friends.

Ahh, here's a quote from me with someone I'm talking with IRC right nowon that topic..

(22:49:04) Improv: Capitalism is like fire -- you need to keep an eye on it, although without it you're kinda screwed.

Oh, a note.. I guess there's been a bit of a feature regression with myBLOG -- google won't archive my blog because it's URLs look too much likeCGIs (which they are). So, I really should move to mod_perl so I can dodirectory mappings so google will log again. mod_perl is cool anyhow.