Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Captive Voice of a Thousand Russians

This is actually a replacement for an entry that I started to write lastnight called "Ant Half-Step" when Morpheus claimed me for another night.Oh, and if you think of the matrix when I say that, you're very lame.You know that, right? :)The title is simply another(!) celebration of Russian Red Army Choirmusic. That, Klezmer, Ondo, and IndiaPop are like drinking honey.They all also are styles to which singing along is tough for me,as I don't know Hebrew, Hindi, or Russian, and my Yiddish is based solelyon my German knowledge. Amusing, to want to learn a language just for musicalreasons. I imagine it must happen a lot in Europe with English though --there are bands with really really tough accents over there, speaking English,that we sometimes hear.

I've been working a lot the last few days -- for some reason, I've just beenin a programming mood, my headaches haven't been as strong, and so I've beenworking insanely long hours. On monday, I left work at 23:15 after chattingwith a colleague(!), also still at work. I wasn't at all sleepy in class onTuesday, nor in the lab meeting today. I wish I could stay in this "zone"perpetually, but I know it'll eventually end. Might as well enjoy it whileit lasts. I do wonder if it might have something to do with diet -- if it does,and if I could learn to reproduce it, ...

Last night, I also spoke with someone from work, and we were talking aboutthe lab and our boss. When I step back and think about it, it's hard to believehow lucky I am to have the job where I am, working for who I do.

Was talking with a friend about windows virii. I have an idea for an amusingvirus/worm -- no ideas on the carrier, but the payload might make 5 randomalterations to the registry a day, flipping booleans, corrupting strings,and incrementing/decrementing integers. Perhaps it'd uninstall itself afterX days too. That would be truly nasty...

Tonight PUSH meets again, to talk on the seperation of church and state. I'lltry to dig up some material, hopefully others will too. Pity we haven't beenaround long enough to get someone from the ACLU come visit us.

Amusing task: Find a nationalist/racist you know, and find a list of claimsthat they'll make that their country/race does best (not a hard thing todo, as they generally like to brag). Then see if you can find something that'simportant to them that their country doesn't do well, and which countriesdo that thing well. It's a good sanity check, although preferable to someonewho passes the test is someone who isn't nationalist/racist at all.. hehe.

I wrote a replacement for mp3deep and oggdeep (scripts that find all mp3/oggfiles, respectively, under the current dir and randomly play them with mpg123or ogg123) called smartdeep, which can do commandline viewers configurably,and thus can launch these things for many file. Pretty simple, but it's usuallytrue that the simplest tweaks one can make to one's environment are the mostuseful... a new command, a monitoring app, etc. One tool, called iwlist, isquite useful on Linux, showing the current strength and other characteristicsof all wireless networks in range. Nice, but much nicer with a wrapper scriptthat opens it in its own xterm with a size predeterimined to be good, and thatreruns it every two seconds. It's open on my laptop, along with anothersimilar thing to watch battery strength and status, all the time. Sure, I coulduse some graphical tool, but text is more flexible -- I could easily tweakthe output any way I like as it is now. That's one of the strengths of Unix.You don't get a desktop, you build it.

Dubin might be coming to visit soon, and I might also go to Athens nextmonth for their Halloween festival and to visit a friend. Huzzah.I guess it's a bit depressing that a lot of my friends are going throughrough times right now. Seperations from loved ones, addiction, failingdefinitively in life's ambition, failed romances, all that stuff. I just keephearing about it, and it's sometimes a struggle not to get caught up in it.But, overall, I'm able to do so, because I'm doing pretty well for myself, andthe things that are absent in my life are things that don't need to be ahigh priority.

A thought: Philosophy .. is there really very much that can be said, when onehas chosen the path of strict materialism? Materialism, and its cousinmoral relativism (or amoralism, depending if you go a different route) chopa deep gouge into the tree of philosophy, and what's left is an interestingquestion. We give up on a lot of the content that philosophy typically has,or radically transform its nature. We leave the old realm where we can talkabout justice or morality in the abstract, and enter one where if we're goingto use such concepts, we'd better scoop them out of the quicksand and putthem on new ground before we use them. Their old body must be seperated fromour intuitive notion of what they are, and be allowed to die, and thenwe judge whether they shall be resurrected. Sometimes new concepts that fillparts of the same 'space' arrive, and we have to decide if they keep the samename or not. So, reader, if you're a fellow materialist and moral relativist,what do you see when you look at your concepts of justice, fairness, and thelike? I hope it has your fingerprints on it, and if it's pretty, show it tome.

(inner deist, you complain about the works of man, versus the work of deus,but I tell you, your deities have the handprints of man on them the most ofall. Never more clearly was a concept the creation of raw human passion,faults and virtues. Bravo to you.)

A random fact: Spanish traditionally uses (used?) ! and ?, upside down, tostart sentences when the end has the rightside up version.

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