August 30th, 2003

Semiformalishmaybe

We've really got to stop meeting like this..

What an amusing phrase. Perhaps most amusing is to try to thinkof novel circumstances where it might be used. It is again toolate for me to really be very sensible. I'm mentally exhausted --this week I've both started classes (and done requisite studying),and, as the programming at work has been interesting, I've workedmore than the normal ~40 hours. Still, it's a good kind of tiredness.This has been a week lived well. First, some news:

PostgreSQL replication stuff released under BSD license. This is very very cool.This is interestingActually, let's talk about that. In summary, the U.S. is providing web proxiesto Iran/China allowing them to get around government mandated, ISP-implementedblocklists. Hmm. Well, on the content-neutral ground, it'd certainly ratherrude -- imagine if China were to set up boards that would be used for drugdealers to deal drugs here (temporarily ignoring that China's tougher ondrugs than the U.S.). It is directly, and blatantly acting against a majoraspect of the involved nations' domestic policy. I suspect, but am notabsolutely certain, that the U.S. would have something more than harsh wordsfor a country which so openly meddled. Now, let's let content back in.I think it's a good thing that such proxies exist, and I'd be happy tohost one, provided that I could keep the traffic sane. However, if I werean Irani, I wouldn't use it. It'd be really easy for Iran to keep logsof everywhere people went, and later on, analyze them to see if they wereusing the American proxy. Anyone who did would be put under surveillanceor similar. All they'd do is configure the ISPs to do transparent proxying,unify requests down to domainname, and it'd probably be possible to do withoutexcessive hardware purchases. There are ways around that, but they involvestrange client-side modifications, or tunneling. One thing about theinternet, and computers in general, is that, unless you are very clever,you need to give up any notion of privacy, especially with data thattravels over public networks. Well, not all notions. What you have left is'private enough' -- 'good enough' privacy that most people won't be able topierce it. However, the geeks and the spooks will always know more than youwant them to.

Question for philosophers -- what problems in philosophy do you think areessentially based on misguided foundations? Are there entire subfields thatyou discount?

I really can't stay awake much longer -- my eyes are closing on theirown. To cap up, this amuses me a lot,I had lunch with a friend -- good conversation at an Indian place I haven'tbeen to before. While waiting, I ran into my Cog Psych prof. Neat.I realize that I want to visit some of my old professors at OSU.I ate too much for lunch, and didn't need a dinner.I spent the evening at home, reading and playing around. I was thinking aboutheading out to Coffee Tree, but thunder discouraged me.Now I'm completely beat and ready to collapse.

Heh heh... o/~ Till I collapse, I'm gonna rap ... o/~

Oh, yeh, tomorrow I'm probably going to see a movie, visit a park, andget some reading done. Maybe I'll take care of my homework for tuesday,and I might go get a new swimsuit so I can swim in the morning again.It should be a nice, relaxing day. I'm not sure, I'll need to check mycalendar on my laptop, but there might be something else I need to dotomorrow. *shrug*

Semiformalishmaybe

Old alliances

Ralph and Joan grew up together, and were best friends for much oftheir lives. They went to the same high school, and eventually thesame university. It was in the second year of their economicsprogram that they both had a life-altering experience. Ralph'recovered', but Joan dropped out of the program, her partingwords to Ralph being 'Come to me someday, and I'll take somethingfrom you, and in doing so give you happiness'. Years passed.. Ralphgraduated, entered business, and several years later, was a partnerin a large investment firm. One day, when waking up to go to work,he thought of Joan, and a curiosity filled his mind. That evening,he contacted Joan's family, and found that she was living in thewilderness not far from where he grew up. Two weekends later, hedrove out there, and after some time, found a tent, some hangingclothes, and a small fire. It was empty, so he waited. In time,the owner returned, and it was her. They caught up on old stories,laughed, and all the time he marveled at how they both had changedso much. She was one of those who had given up on modernsociety, and literally lived her life out in commune with nature.She believed herself, lightheartedly, to be its guardian. He wasn'tquite sure of her sanity, or at least found her different enoughto be quite surprised. The evening drew to a close, as the sunbegan to set, and as he began to get ready to go, she placed herarm on his, and said "Before you go, ask me your question". Hefelt confused, staring into her eyes, suddenly frightened atsomething indescribable he saw there. A question? He didn'thave one.. but couldn't tell her that in the face of such rawdetermination. "Umm.. Well, I don't really know what to ask..if you could name the thing that most seperates the rest of us fromnature, that if we gave it up, we'd take the biggest step towardsunion, I'll ... I'll give it up". .. He sat back, embarassed at hisoutburst, and wondered what she would say. She sat back in thoughtfor a moment, the word "investment firm" being chewed in her mouthlike a salty taffy. She leaned forward, and said "pockets". Hewas nonplussed... "Pockets?" She smiled, and waved him out ofthe tent.

So, today I did most of what I wanted so far. I went to the waterfront(first time in quite a long time), and saw "Freddy vs Jason". No, don'troll your eyes at me! Heh. Anyhow, I think I basically saw it becauseI started the (Nightmare) series when I was younger, and I wanted to seewhat'll probably be the conclusion. Was it a good film? I really foundit hard to judge -- I was always into the Nightmare series in the sameway I was into the Leprechaun series -- it's one of those fairlyrare Horror/Comedy genre films. It wasn't really good like the lastNightmare series, but wasn't really bad like the second one. It hadsome irritating narration at the beginning (irritating but necessary,I guess), some pretty neat special effects, but felt like it was movinga bit too fast. And, surprisingly, I found myself really rootingfor Freddy, as opposed to Jason, or the people. I think that's one ofthe things about Horror/Comedy -- the villains tend to be prettyappealing and long-lasting, while the people tend not to be. I kepthoping that we would see the daughter or the father from Nightmare 1..oh well. That rootingness though.. I guess it's a strange cousin tochildhood heroes... I sometimes find myself absentmindedly unfurlingone of my hands in a Nightmare kind of way... Odd, but I know thatother people do that vague kind of thing -- If you know someonewell enough, and know what they grew up with, you can often spotlittle bits of the characters that most captured their imaginationin their mannerisms. Intitively, I feel that the selection of thosecharacters tells us deep things about peoples' character, but I'mnot really certain about that. When people have big life changes,do their old icons change too? If not, and they lie forgotten, couldenough reference to them offer a crack into which a crowbar couldundo some changes made since? Am I carrying a metaphor a bit toofar?

Oh, yes, I've been getting some pressure from certain people inmy family to settle down with someone and have kids. It's been directlyput to me that I'm getting older, and all that other stuff I'm sure youcan imagine and fill in yourself. I really don't know what to thinkabout that.

The Red Army Choir singing "Hey, Uhnem", played through some goodspeakers, very loud, is really .. well, not uplifting, because I've foundthat very little good russian music (that I've heard, anyhow) is, butit grabs you. There's a certain grand, stoicism in the face of a knownsticky end. I really wish I spoke russian so I could sing along to thesongs I like that are in it. But.. that goes the same with a lot ofother music (and books) in other languages.

It's weird to think about it, but wally's not as young as he once was.He's definitely shown signs of aging....