Today was a good day, acknowledging the sometimes painful sense of time that'soften present in my way of looking at the world, and yet having enough stuffto distract me from it. And, as is often the case, there's some new thought onthings that have happened yesterday too. I've come to two realizations --first, that I don't mind being single, and secondly, that I'm really driftingpretty far towards socialism. I'll talk more about those two things aftermy account of the day, which I want to share.
I got the wake-up call I wanted around 09:30, and by 10:3, they were thereto pick me up. By they, there was R2 (who is a very private person, like R,so I'll avoid mentioning their name), and two people I haven't met before,who I will call V (female) and S (male). It was most of the way to Ligonier,and the first time for awhile that I'd been out that way. Conversation was goodthe entire way there -- apparently there's a lot of commonality in our sensesof humor, and we all have a good sense of history and politics. I broughtmy digital camera, and got some good pictures. Among the highlights were alady whose singing was both incredibly bad and really funny, some jousting,a staff store (I almost got one, but they didn't have any that were not reallycarved -- why not just find one? They were made of nice, polished, really hardwood), a honey store (got some stuff), and a simplfied archery range. Thelatter was really fun -- after the first two arrows, where I was pretty clueless,it actually went pretty well. I won't call myself a natural, but I could seemyself taking it up as a hobby, if I had the time and means... like horsebackriding. One of the booths traced the clan possessions in Scotland, and mycompanions were amused to find my clan on the map (Yes, Mrs G, my clan is indeedin the northeast of scotland, even if the spoke it's on is in the northwest).We also went to several shows, one of which was a very amusing show with threeladies singing dirty songs (they opened with The Scotsman) and dancing.Near the end, we also played with 'Crystal Sticks', a revival of that old fadof using two rods to do tricks with a third, throwing it into the air andjuggling it between. One of the kids was pretty amazing with it -- all of ussucked. On the way back, we stopped by Monroeville, stopping by a place near aHindu temple to eat indian food (south indian). Their Saag Paneer wasn't allthat good, although admittedly it's a north indian dish, so my judgement thereis ill-placed. There was also an indian mart next door with really goodselection, so I got another Daler Mehndi CD. It was a good trip, and Ienjoyed both the company and the activities.
Gunn Clan, northeast of Sutherland in ScotlandThe Black Knight always triumphs!Singing ladies
So, back to the things mentioned above... I think I'm currently in (but nearthe end of) a 'batteries recharging' mode, WRT relationships. I'm not quite atthe point where I'll be able to give my all to a new relationship, but I'mworking on it, and if I do find someone who looks really ideal, I'll probablytake a shot.. but I won't go out of my way. Maybe in a month or so, I'll feelready to give it my all again. Hell, this next time, in hopes of another chosen,maybe I'll be able to take a somewhat less shy stance. I'm already making goodsteps towards this, and think that I won't let myself get into such a weirdsituation again once (if) I get another person who starts to look like a chosen.
Anyhow, yes, I think I'm slowly drifting towards a socialist point of view, atleast that's what my libertarian friends who I argue with online tell me..Largely, I have new worries -- I think private research is often a terriblething -- it's true that universities have biases (pronounced bias-eez, heh),but they are significantly more open than corporations, and need to be openfurther. Intellectual Integrety demands that research be as uninfluenced bynonscience interests as possible -- not the topic, but the results. Researchinfluences public policy, and is important to keep corporations and politicianshonest. It must be independant, which is why universities and schools must bepublically funded. That needs to be bumped up, and they must have some legalguarantees/requirements for their research keeping it open, and freely reusable,with ties to industry kept to a simple but strict set of regulations.They're an essential part of modern government, and must, like the legislativeand elected parts of the executive branch, be kept safe from corporate influence.And, so, perhaps this lands me finally in the small(ish)-government liberalposition. I strongly disagree that corporations and capitalism will solvesociety's ills, and so my small(ish)-government ideal has some liberalprovisions. It's not small solely for the purpose of making room forcorporate interests.. When there's not economies of scale and a few otherconditions, I think that companies still should thrive in markets..And now, the thorny issue of free trade. I realize that my ideal, implemented,encourages companies to use tax havens, so as to avoid the high(er) taxes amore active government needs to survive. I don't know how best to solve theproblem, although, like the divergence between capitalistic aims andenvironmental aims, it's not a problem I haven't thought about. Hmm.So, Libertarian friends, let me ask you, look at the characteristics of yourideal system, if implemented. Imagine the end results of all the mergers, andthe greed, and what happens when education and research go private. Your systemdepends on an educated populance to avoid becoming a monstrosity, but you'refeeding a mold that will simply worm its way into everything, efficiently andruthlessly destroying all other values. People will listen to the studies thatare cleared for release by Pepsi, will grow up in Ford Schools, and will knowmostly what the plutarchs want them to know. What remains of government won'tbe of any help, because the laws will be (and to a degree, already are) writtenby the same interests. Reasonability won't help you, because these ideals changewith the times, and will be slowly rewritten by persistant effort.The most obvious opposite isn't ideal either... another path must be developedand chosen.
Ahh, yes, at the renfest, I got some incense sticks because they reminded meof good times past. I wasn't able to get the exact right scent -- I'll probablyneed to ask Martha what kind she used.. but I smelled it there.. it's justthat they had huge variety..
Discovered: ricemakers make a good alternate way to cook spaghetti.. it actuallyturns out better that way than boiling in a pan. Yum.
And now, for some interesting URLs..Worries about Saudi Arabia going nuclear - The administration has put a greatdeal of effort into portraying Saudi Arabia as being an ally over the years.I think it's strange to get worked up about this -- perhaps it should be viewedas simply more of the same "nobody can have guns but us" attitude. Imaginethat literally -- the U.S. doing its best to establish as much of the world asa "gun-free zone", while keeping its own massive stocks. Mhh.
Low calorie diets keep fruit flies healthy. Does this generalize tohumans? Interestingly, the effects happen almost immediately, and are lostjust as quickly, when they switch on/off the diet. Fascinating.
Latvia joins the European Union. From what I understand, this is justjoining the Union, it's not about unified currency (yet). I'd love to know forsure.. Still, the E.U. is a good thing, as it provides a way to avoidcompetition on tax policy (that is, fewer tax havens), so environmental concernscan be addressed properly.
General Clark enters democratic politics. I think he'll maybe make a goodrunning mate to Dean, if Dean wins the primary, but I don't want to see himas the main candidate. Partly, it's that Dean's an intellectual (a doctor), andClark isn't (a military guy). I'll come right out and say it -- I don't likemilitary people, and although I may have some friends in there, I'll just saythat everyone has plusses and minuses. I like intellectuals -- lawyers areslightly suspect, but doctors, professors, and the like are the kind of peopleI'd like to see in office. Doctors have a good chance at appealing to thecommoners too. Apart from his doing things politically that make me shudder,this is part of why I hate BushJr so much as president -- the man is an idiot.
Putin gives a nod to a political party. The russian political system,by virtue of being in its infancy, is incredibly fascinating.
Yum is a good tool to keep your redhat systems up to date, without requiringa subscription to Red Hat Network.
Intel tries to do some creative management of information release,to maximize profits and position products. It didn't work. Huzzah.
Plasma Life?. Cool. It's self-replicating, like the game of life, but hasno mechanism for genetics.
Groklaw sends SCO a letter.They don't speak for me, but it's interesting anyhow.
I admire the way some laws are set up, independantly of the content
And, that's all, folks. I've emptied a queue of links that's been gatheringfor quite some time, so don't worry -- my blog won't devolve into just being aset of news links. :)