Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Strange Births

Simon walked by the passage for the twelvth time in his life, peering inwhile his wife and kids did their shopping down the street. Monks cladin yellow sat, eyes closed, facing the wall on blue plastic gym mats.A monk in a red robe sat in the center, eyes also closed. Unlike the othertimes, Simon walked in, removing his shoes and coat at the side of themat, and sat, eyes closed, facing the wall. Peace. A moment, an hour, a day?A tap on his shoulder -- his wife looked questioningly at him. He stood,took his things, and left with her. Meditation is a pond in the park, hethinks. A tap on his shoulder -- the monk in red looks at him.. time toretire. He and the other monks go to their quarters, and prepare to rest foranother day. Meditation is the water which encircles the island, he thinks.Twenty years later, Simon was a grandfather, Simon was the monk in red.

Apparently, Mass' courts gave a big thumbs-up to gay marrage.In the opinion, it's noted that the civil unions are anything butseperate and equal, and notes that, like with other minorities, seperatebut equal never results in any kind equal. Quite true, although people whodon't belong to the liberal tradition in which I operate have no interestin equality, and the 'seperate but equal' idea is, at best, held by aminority that's trying to make peace with both sides, like people who think"don't ask, don't tell" is a good system for the military. Let us never, asa society, be afraid to evolve, to incorporate good features from everywherewe wish, so long as we're aiming for a consistant, good, new whole. Thefinal conclusion of Liberalism is a flexible concept -- and as Fish notes,Liberalism is itself a society, with its own values. However, within anysociety is some room for variance, and part of the spirit of tolerance andsubsocieties that Liberalism desires is actually possible, within limits topreserve the greater whole. So, to the Christians who abhor homosexuality,no, you no longer can ban it, as a subsociety in Liberalism, nor can youmarshall the government to push against it. You may, however, aim to createa subculture that uses words and teachings to condemn it. Is that enough?Not for everyone, but it's one way for things to work.

Here's an article on 10 pieces of tech that refuse to die.Thoughts?

  1. Analogue watches - Yup, as the article notes, they're easier to read, but more than that, it's not about the functionality -- it's a class thing. As fancy as they can get, digital watches are toys, and unlike other technology, like Cell Phones, they're always visible (on one's wrist!), so, like with nice pens or a good wooden desk, people tend to graduate to them as they start to care about appearance. Next time you're out, look for a class-watchtype correlation.
  2. Dot-matrix printers - Ho hum.
  3. Typewriters - I think these will die soon among all but the collectors. 20 years, tops.
  4. Radio - What else are you going to listen to while driving your car to/from work? I have a CD adapter for my car, but it's a pain to operate, and sometimes I want to hear something I haven't heard a hundred times before.. And no, that XM pay-radio thing is a bad idea -- information shall be free.
  5. Pagers - There's a difference in contactability that's important. It's probably a social-psych thing.
  6. Tape - *yawn*
  7. Vacuum Tubes - Sure, some people claim they sound better. Some people are stupid. I'm sorry, nostalgia and snobbery are not good reasons to make shit up about what sounds better. There are very good experiments showing limits to human hearing, and the audiophiles who claim to be able to tell the difference would, no doubt, fail to be able to distinguish in a blind test. It's all data, and claiming otherwise is like being like a kooky art professor I once had in University who claimed that paintings have souls that people can touch.
  8. Faxes - Faxes are big because computers are too complex, and don't offer the kind of tracability that phone lines and standard hardware offers. It's easy to lie about email's arrival, or talk about blacklists
  9. Mainframes - Some businesses are very conservative, and not without reason
  10. Fortran - It's not a terrible language. Old-fashioned? Yes, but it's compatible, and a lot of people learned it.

I saw this poster up at CMU suggesting peoplelearn German. I'm not sure why people would want to learn German, for abusiness point of view, which is what they were pushing (learn german, get ajob!), but it is a cool-sounding language, I think. It's irritating that ithas 3-genders.. I think gendered conjugation and nouns are a terrible language'feature'.. but it is a funny poster, at least.

It's disappointing to see the Chinese government obsess over buying power.Private car ownership is not a good trend, and it's a sad thing to see itand other aspects of consumerism being pushed... Far better to use thoseresources for good, 24/7 public transit.

Oh, I forgot to comment on this -- apparently, AmericanIdol beat out BushJr's state of the Union address on TV. I'm not sure if thatsays more about BushJr or about the American public...

Speaking of religious nuts (gotta love my segues), here's a group aimingto defend Christians from an increasingly hostile group of american secularistsand intellectual elites. Of course, their group is the victim here... theirAMERICAN FLAG WITH A CROSS REPLACING THE STARS AND STRIPES isn't meant tosuggest any agression or plan on their part...

I never even heard of this conflict before...

Tags: poetry, politics, tech

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