September 5th, 2003

Semiformalishmaybe

Bending the air

As I write, the letters are traveling across CMU's wireless network.Yup, I got my laptop's wireless ethernet working.. and also foundthat the kernel update redhat did just renamed the module I neededfor my wired ethernet card to keep working (bcm4400 -> b44), andwhatever crazy scripts they use to manage that stuff was out of sync,so it didn't automagically load it. So, right now I do have two invocationsI can use, one to load my wireless card, the other to load my ethernet.More trouble than I'd like, but it's not too bad.

And in its hand was the orb that had captured all the oddity of theworld, keeping things more simple. The experiment at its next stage, it tiltedthe hand, the delicate instruments whirring as they approached theground. A flash, and a quiet ripple. Time for observation, a social study.

Semiformalishmaybe

Random Cannons

I wasn't going to write again today, probably, but I sawthis headline, and couldn't resist.

Powell Says U.S. Foreign Policy is WorkingAllow me a parodic continuation.Powell says U.S. foreign policy is working. We're not certain what it's doingyet, and it's not doing what we expected, but it's certainly doing something!President Bush has "a vision" for creating the conditions needed to bringcountries into the civilized world. We have no idea if we can afford thisvision, but we're doing our best, and, oh, by the way, Europe, although weinsulted and snubbed you for not obeying our commands before, here's yourchance to join up with us, help us pay for the ruinously expensive messwe've made, and get none of the control and very little of the credit. Wemight even forgive you, a bit. So, yeah, form a line, not everybody at once!

One thing that I'm not really sure about is what I'd do in BushJr's shoes onthe topic of Iraq right now. I feel very strongly that getting involved wasincredibly stupid, was done dishonestly, and that it's going to be a verycostly mistake. However, now that the government has been disemboweled, there'svery little local power base, and the rival powermongers are on the upswing,it would seem kind of wrong to walk away. The worst nightmare from before thewar, and the reason my Dad thinks Saddam was left in power after the first gulfwar, was that the question of "What the hell do we do now?" is a real stumper.It's apparently very expensive to stay there, the soldiers and their familiesnow want things to be wrapped up, and it's uncertain if/how a stable, acceptablegovernment can be put into place. Apparently the Taliban is now a force againin Afghenistan too. I'm not sure if giving the whole mess to the U.N. would bea way to dodge the blame (and the check, to some degree) or whether it mightactually be a way to cool the tensions and stabilize things. One interestingthing might be to try to get a relatively friendly Arab nation, say Qatar,to install a puppet government for awhile to stabilize things, although I don'tknow if/how that could work, and what might be in it for Qatar. Would it beacceptable to BushJr (pretzels be unto him) for Iraq to end up being another,less agressive semitheocratic oil state, or does he really want to attempt thetask of creating a real democracy there? And, of course, what about the Kurds?

Meanwhile, China is having an interesting time with HongKingPersonally, I think they're doomed, in the long run, to eventually blend intothe main legal system in China, and they're not going to like it. It'll beinteresting to watch the balancing acts the appointed HongKong governmentwill do, trying to keep both the people and the bosses happy. Also,WRT taiwan, China's being rude.My friend who passed the info along suggested that this might speed the standardizationin Taiwan on Linux. I joked that it probably won't be Red Flag Linux(Chinese govt-developed redhat variant). The big difference between Taiwan andChina and other world conflicts is that while there's high tension, there's verylittle action, because both sides know that if things got started, they'd beresolved to the bloody end.