May 27th, 2004

Semiformalishmaybe

Reluctance to Sing

Our distant ancestors, before the coming of anything even remotely likemodern times, I imagine probably had gatherings in their circle, thetrip sharing songs and ideas for amusement. This early playground of ideaswas likely very creative, people making up melodies, improvising on them,and as people moved from tribe to tribe, the music would slowly spreadthrough the populance. No doubt many aspects of life were uncomfortable, butthe idea of this seems very appealing to me.. to hear something, to adapt it,and to pass the ideas/songs along. This is part of the creative spirit that ispart of our species, more so than the modern creations of compensation (althoughthat too probably is partly derived from reciprocity). So, with this as theideal, played against the desire to be a walking billboard, how are we to thinkof people who sing popular music casually? Of course, they can't pass it aroundand modify it as we believe once was common -- the desire for profit, and thehigh population's push to make everything efficient (and incidentally bad) hasled this sharing to be stifled. The ideal, I think, is when people still feelthe creative urges that are in all of us, and create. Our creation is, mostimportantly, for ourself, not the good of society.

A thought on refactoring.. chunks of code have a texture.. when you cut afunction apart, if you cut along the grain, you leave few strands between,few parameters that need be passed across the new borders we draw. If you cutagainst the grain, you leave many strands.. only in software, though, can we goback and re-grain things sometimes.

Again, thanks to Google News, we can see how consistant news storiescan be. Look at this and this.

Semiformalishmaybe

In Search of Decayed Light

The candles, the torch, the tongues reaching up the dark surface of thesky.. Lost information, things we cannot see, do not care enough to look,a closed door we just don't bother to open.. the harsh light, the busyday, it taunts our eye, like medication skipped, a passportic invitationto misunderstand. The oval sees less than the crescent. My hand crawls,scrambling through the chalky roots, free of the burden of the group, inseeking the end of shadows too deep, examined with a long pen, to stick tomy eyes.

I finally became irritated enough with MySQL to track down a gotcha thatstarted shortly after I installed it. I don't like MySQL, but I likeMediaWiki, the software that Wikipedia uses, and I wanted tosee what it'd be like to use a Wiki on my laptop for everyday documentmanagement. After getting it installed, and configuring it, I rebooted, andnoticed that, according to the boot scripts, it failed to start and stopcleanly during each startup/shutdown, failing with some kind of a timeout.Oddly, the wiki still worked. I thought the database might've been slightlycorrupt, and so I was getting ready to dump it, remove the software, andrestore it, when I decided to check the sysVinit scripts. Apparently afterthe actual start of the database, it does a ping, which fails. I tried theping myself, and it told me there was a permissions problem. Hmm... After abit more prodding, I found the reasoning -- I followed the MySQL instructions,and set a root user password. The command the init scripts use to shutdownand check to see if the database is up happens to use the root account, whichfails to run if there's a password set. Good system! Thanks for the directions!

Henry Kissinger is not likely to be having a good week. Despite his bestefforts, more tapes of presidential conversations with Nixon were recentlyreleased. They range from reports of him drinking (which doesn't seemlike such a big deal -- a lot of people occasionally get sloshed) to theengineering of the 1973 coup in Chile, a much more sinister act, albeitone that was essentially public knowledge. I really don't know what differencethis makes though -- the common American seems uninterested in history,and the history textbooks are probably worried about appearing anti-American,so will continue to print the 'common standard knowledge' rather than thethings that actually happened. It's probably always easier to understandthe history of a nation by studying it from the vantage of another nation.

Ahh, the joy of reducing everything to economics..

Anyhow, I was going to do another post in Isa's blog, but the inspiration wentaway while I was messing with MySQL. Come to think of it, I think I'm goingto skip philosophy tonight -- I am in serious need of mindless chill time.Life has been way too bumpy as of late. Maybe I'll go running or biking againtonight. It still takes me awhile to get unsore after I exercise the fnord outof myself (climbing tires me, but not in the same way), but I seem to be ableto go for longer distances every time I go. In any case, there's been somefree and unhealthy food at work that I need to burn off. Ahh.. chill...

Semiformalishmaybe

Joys of an Unfinished Song

Am at Coffee Tree -- someone was playing guitar, and the song he's playingwas really just a line, inviting mental improvization... kind of niceto just listen and add, quietly, in one's mind.. singing one's tunes a bitas they come to mind...