Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Painful music

I just found one of the most horrible songs I've ever heard. In linewith the idea of spreading evil to the world, hehe, I've decided to share.Try to sit through the whole thing... It's the musical equivilent to that old(movie) stinker Find the Lady.. Oh, on the same web trip, I also heard a really horriblepop remix of the russian national anthem... Imagine it reset to explicit beatswith some electric guitar and all the horrible embellishments possible. I'msure that Lenin shudders in his grave every time this song is played.. andpeople like me, with a fine appreciation of kitsch and self-parodying works,are the people sending most of those shudders.

Some impatient scientists are unwilling to wait for the scientific reviewprocess, and are pushing alternative, 'fast track' journals. Admittedly, thejournal is doing two things here, and one of them is probably good if it worksout -- easy access to the public for scientific journals is certainly a goodthing. However, there's still that emphasis on less scientific review, andthat's really a big point. I'm sure the public can wait awhile longer to havestudies that are more scientifically valid.

On The Linux Kernel Mailing List, the makers of Bitkeeper and people whooppose what happened are at loggerheads again. The issue is version control.For those of you who don't program or who don't follow Linux kernel politics,here's the deal..Programs are written by programmers in a programming language. Writing in thatkind of language involves sets of instructions telling the computer whereto put data, how to manipulate it, and what to do next. These commands livein sets of functionally organized files, each file typically being asoftware component corrisponding to a logical concept (plato would smile onthis, although mistakenly). As large numbers of people begin to work on thesame project, and as people develop, systems have evolved to manage versioningand simultaneous development. Common software to do this includes: CVS - The most popular open source tool, provides the basics but has several weaknesses SVN - A recently-completed sequel to CVS, hopes to remedy most of its weaknesses. Does a lot, but has some seriously odd things in its design that will hamper adoption. Open Source. MS Sourcesafe - Microsoft's product. Only used by microsoft shops, and is so broken that microsoft doesn't use it internally. Oops. Closed source Bitkeeper - Another closed source tool, has a lot of neat features, and is kind of complex.

Anyhow, the bitkeeper developers, some time ago, convinced Linus Torvalds, theinitial/lead developer of Linux, to go from CVS to Bitkeeper, and there's a LOTof controversy within the open source community caused by this, as Bitkeeperis closed-source, and one of the flagship products of the opensource movementis being developed with heavy reliance on a closed tool. It's clear that CVSwas incapable of what was needed, or at least was a pain to use for that, butI'll argue that it was a wrong thing to move to BitKeeper, and that even ifCVS was unsuitable, it's better for the community to stay within, so thepressure to develop improvements to CVS was still present, and no inertia willkeep people with a closed solution. Because of some fine details of the license,some kernel developers are not permitted to use it, and others are not using itout of principle, and so although Linus's decision was very pragmatic, in theend it leaves me disappointed. In my view, it's completely wrong that Linuseffectively needs to make life tough or impossible for some kernel developers,and effectively needs to force the rest to abide by a license that restrictsthe kind of software they can write, for a product that's a flagship openproduct. Even if subversion isn't yet up-to-snuff, I think the sooner thecommunity moves from bitkeeper, the better.

Oh, I'm at Coffee Tree, and just met another person online -- a senior atChatham. We had some interesting conversation on culture and philosophy..Two interesting bits:(19:39:09) person: being unique is too much work(19:39:16) person: I'm too lazy to be an individual...(19:42:26) Improv: It's amusing -- the americas have inherited the taste for british comedy, but not the capability to produce it :)

There was also a cute girl who walked by, who noticed the bizarre way I hangmy power cord for my laptop, and got rather flustered, mentioned that she wason her way to Kiva Han, and suggested that I hang out there with her sometime.Cool.

Finally, an ex-Lubovich atheist Hebrew guy showed up, who I mentioned before,and we had an interesting discussion that eventually spanned into thelinguistics and traditions of the different Hebrew 'subraces'. He made alinguistic argument that the Yemenite Hebrews maintained a more pure strandof the Hebrew language than either the Ashkenazi or the Sephardi, and howmuch of the more fundamentalist factions within Judaism were cultish. Heseemed to be wishing he knew more people like himself .. I wish there wassomething like the SFF community, with its fair share of atheistic Hebrews,here for him. Anyhow, it was one of the best conversations I've had forawhile, and I got two more book reccommendations from him.

Tags: music, tech

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