Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Thumbache

Whenever I forget to put on gloves before biking to work in the morning,I get a sensation in my thumbs that's a lot like a headache.. The thumbachegoes away not long after I get my hands warmed up. I wonder, if the causesof headaches, were they so easily removed, when so removed would cause theheadache to similarly evaporate, or would, even when gone, its echoes continueto ripple in the psychosomatic pond.. From what little I remember on the topic,and I might be completely misremembering, headaches can be caused by impuritiesin the blood managing to pass the blood-brain barrier, or other chemicalimbalances tilting the normal mix of things in the blood out of whack.Of course, with such chemistry, without injections it'd be difficult tochange the mix to within tolerances/wipe out impurities very quickly..At least, with present technology. It may be that eventually we'll be ableto insert an artificial gland into the body, with mixes of medicines andblood additives, and control it with small sensors distributed throughout thebody. Perhaps nanomachines would be mixed in too.

So, there's two days left until the scheduled elections in Iran, and theGuardian Council (the instrument of government responsible for maintainingTheocratic values) hasn't backed down in the disqualification of the majorityof the reformist candicates for offices. Apparently, a major sticking pointbetween the reformists (who are not all of one party, BTW) is thatseveral of them disagree with a particular position -- that the Ayatollah(religious leader) is the chosen representative of Allah. There are twoaspects to this, firstly that those who disagree want the ability tocriticize the Ayatollah, and secondly, the philosophical disagreement.Two days... A pretty severe clash between the President of Iran and theAyatollah... probably more severe than has ever happened in the UnitedStates. Ali Abtahi, one of the vice presidentsof Iran, as usual has some interesting commentary on the state of things over there.Thinking about the governmental structure of Iran, at least from what I cantell from the sources I have, it makes me wonder exactly what makes a governmenta Theocracy. Specifically, what constructs, statements, and people need bepresent for something to well fit the label..Does Iran, with its 'second president' and Guardian Council have a structurethat could be generally adapted for governments that wish to have anadditional commitment, beyond representing the will of the people, to aphilosophy? Does the present crisis really step far beyond the bounds ofthe clashes that happen in western liberal democratic republics? WesternDemocratic Republics don't represent the will of the people directly either, butareas in which they diverge are usually not so easily put in the spotlight.

Oh, not like it couldn't've been predicted, but Iraq's governing council isinstituting Shar'ia, and while the current American administrator isaiming to block the moves, he won't be around forever. Of course, BushJr'sideas of a westernized, liberal Iraq, acting as a 'light to the region',is a bloody stupid pipe dream, and while Saddam certainly wasn't a liberal,western leader, the results of democracy will end up screwing a lot of peoplewhen Islamic law ends up shoving women back into veils and homes. All this isnot a surprise -- it's been plainly visible that BushJr didn't have the faintestclue what the hell he was doing invading Iraq.. No weapons (not that thatwould've been a good reason to invade anyhow), no Al Quaeda links (not that thatwas anything more than a pretense), and not even a good result (as religionenslaves the people more firmly than Saddam did). Of course, the Kurds didn'tget squat either.

This figure is pretty shocking. About 1 in 20 catholic priests.. It's a pretty firm warning tothose who seek purity from isolation.

Recently, I've been shaping data in all sorts of fun ways. I learned to copyDVDs so I can bring them with me without dragging the media around(same way I make oggs out of all my CDs, and the CD/cases become just somethingfor others to see on rare occasion I have guests in my place, something to talkabout). I actually learned to do this for the sake of someone else, who asked..Surprisingly, I've had the software to do this on my computer for ages, I justnever was sufficiently inquisitive about the contents of some RPMs I installedthat I thought would just include tools to play media. I've also, on othernotes, been playing with tools to chop irritating headers out of songs.. I hada live performance of the Monkees where they stuck their theme song (nonlive) asan intro to the live song I wanted. About 30 seconds with mpg123, using the-k (to find and give a frame offset into the mp3) and -w switches (to convertto WAV, later to be encoded to OGG), and I'll never need to hear that introagain. It's a wonderful world we live in nowadays. Movies and music, books andpapers, endless paper and pen, all compressed onto a single device, the laptop.The desktop? That's so yesterday's news, man.

Wandering through strange, mismanaged countries..looking for the few things I need..

At work, I've spent the last few days moving our website fromApache1.x/Tomcat4.1/mod_jk to Apache2.x/Tomcat4.1/mod_jk2 .. Everything waseasy apart from the last part. I initially was unaware of JkUriSet, andso was specifying each path and filetype in workers2.conf instead ofhaving a nice single Location directive. It turned out that the new way isactually cleaner and easier to maintain than all the old JkMount directivesI had to give under mod_jk 1. Also, I've been using the java/tomcat packagesfrom JPackage.org .. it's a pretty decent way to get Java stuff.However, it's important to read the instructions -- some of their RPMs arepretty strange (incomplete-source-rpms, for licensing reasons).

Here's a neat science tidbit.

Tags: philosophy, politics, tech
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