Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Armed Voyage From Crash to Crash

Yay. Now I'm even more worried about what I was worried about before, but I also have an avenue to help.. a bit. As i woke up, my random music (which I must've forgotten to turn off last night) switched from VNV Nation's "Beloved" to Alan Jackson's "Pickup Man". I don't think I've ever heard transitions from Darkwave to Country before (or vice-versa) -- it's kind of mentally jarring.

This morning on the bus, I saw yet another in what seems to be a long sequence of physically messed-up people. This is possibly one of the least cool things about me -- I am deeply revulsed by people who mentally or physically seem to be messed up. Yesterday, there was a baby that was cute that I was making faces at, and then I spotted a huge swelling under its chin with a red rash and sticking-out veins that made it look like aliens were about to burst out, and today there was a middle-aged lady that was missing *all* of her teeth, with just her gumline visible. Then there are a wide variety of people who are morbidly obese, and more irritating, their children who pick up their poor lifestyle and are always eating ice cream or a burger, wherever they are. These things get to me..

Still, the trip to work was generally pleasant - I paid rent on the way, saw Squirrel Hill waking up, and after the bus, helped someone with a pile of boxes that kept falling over. On campus, I walked by large numbers of people in various places indoor and out, many asleep cuddled with study materials.

For the release of OpenBSD 4.0, we get two new songs, one of them a novel interpretation of Havah Nagilah, the other hip-hop with some Romani themes. Both are enjoyable. I regret that the Plaid Tongued Devils, the lead singer of which does these songs, is located in western Canada -- I'd like to go to one of their shows.

Three amusements, all on youtube:

  • Musharraf, of Pakistan, went on the Daily Show. I like the style of interview used, and the two uncomfortable questions asked, initially the joke "Where is Osama", and then the serious one, "Between BushJr and Osama, which would be elected in Pakistan?", were mischievious but fascinating. I find myself wondering though at what Stewart said on Crossfire, that normal standards for journalistic integrity don't apply to him as a comedy show -- the Daily Show is sometimes pointed political satire and sometimes serious - is it fair to say that it has no standards to uphold because it can turn any mess-up into a joke? This is at least partly moot because it feels more real than some of the shows that tried to be serious (part of the point of how Stewart slew Crossfire). I believe there's an emerging new breed of political liberalism growing around Stewart (as Rush Limbaugh had for libertine-conservatives, to a lesser extent, and South Park has to an even more limited extent), and I'm wondering how we can analyse its substance - is it based more on emotion and laughter or does it have substantial stands?
  • One of the things that talk radio and talk show people tend to do is control the flow of conversation to their advantage. When doing an interview/debate that's heated, doing so can help them appear to be right, as much in damaging the ability of their opponent to make points as makes as much as having a coherent view themself. Two masters of the art, Phil Donahue and Bill O'Reilly, go at it. It would probably be fair to say that Donahue showed himself better at the art (having invented it). This isn't a new interview though -- apparently it happened about a year ago, although it's very popular on youtube as one of the few examples of someone effectively pushing O'Reilly around in conversation.
  • This last one is just light amusement. I've occasionally met fundamentalists who fall back on the bible/quran in their arguments with people. This can be effective when they argue with wishy-washy or garden-variety Christians, but they often use it when arguing with atheists or people of different faiths. This again can be effective when the argument is for a stage and isn't meant to sway the other participant (instead, the listeners are a target), but it's worthless to people (like myself) that don't attach one shred of special concern to these religious works.
Sometimes I think it would be interesting to do philosophical/political talk radio. It would be an interesting career switch.. (although I don't honestly think that people with my personal and political views would be allowed to talk on radio for very long).

This coming weekend promises to be eventful. I won't be able to visit Brecksville to visit my mom (as I forgot about these events when I called her)...

  • Friday 17:30: Going to the Sharp Edge with some coworkers after work. I'm not so into beer, but it might be interesting.
  • Saturday 19:00: Bill Cosby at Heinz Hall. Awesome!
  • Sunday 16:00: CMU is showing "Day Without A Mexican", a concept film wherein all Mexicans in California disappear overnight, exploring immigration issues. This will likely be preachy, but it's an interesting idea

In chainmail class, we're starting to actually work with chains. This is fun.

I'm finding that on Wikipedia, my involvement is increasing rapidly, but the amount of time I spend on articles is staying constant or shrinking a bit. There's an incredible amount of dull, behind-the-scenes work that needs to happen to keep the project going. This should ideally be invisible, and when it works well, it largely is. It worries me when I see people biting more off than they can pursue in non-sprint mode, especially when I see them falling apart, still trying to sprint well beyond their capacity. Tired people can't be civil and often think they don't have time for ethics, and even with highly motivated people, both of those can lead to disaster (or at least, to much pain).

I was again dumb and ate too much chocolate and have a migraine. Gah.


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