Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Lingua Russia

One thing to be careful about when talking to people who like playingwith languages -- in Russian, there's a conversation terminator, Baka,which is a homonym to the Japanese Baka, which is a gentle form of theenglish 'Stupid', as in, "Baka, doshite anata-wa koko-ni deskuka?"(Idiot! What are you doing here?) .. it's almost a playful insult..Anyhow, getting them confused is bad.

This coming Thursday, the philosophy group I'm in will be discussingDemocracy, the tension between representating the masses and leadingthem, and scaling issues as democracy moves from the small to the large.The interesting essense captured in the announcement is that the processof government involves compromise, but it's not the masses that compromise,it's their representatives. A metric is proposed, that the process shouldaim for what the masses would compromise on, were they involved in thedebate. I personally have doubts as to if this is possible -- It seems tome that there's likely an unclosable gap, and even a disinterest in compromise,among the masses. Further, should we expect the masses to accept the decisionsof decisions they haven't taken part of, even if their will (as opposed totheir best interests, which may be very different) was represented in some way?On another branch, should the opinions of the masses even have seriousweight in the running of a nation? Is Democracy a lollipop to keep the massesfrom revolting? Perhaps Democracy is the opiate of the masses? If you don't haverepresentativeness, if it's really possible to have that in the full sense,who rules? I dunno.. it's complex.. and .. it's going to be a lot of funtossing the ideas around.

Now that things have changed, it's possible to reopen a friendship that wasonce (but likely won't be again) something more. It's good to have friends.Yesterday as I was running, I was thinking that it'd be good to have someoneto help me live a more active lifestyle, so I won't be seduced by lazinessso much. I don't seem to be getting sore anymore -- I am again bound by mylungs rather than my legs.

I realize that I haven't copied nearly enough of my old music collection tomy laptop -- I should boot those old suckers back up and copy the rest..It's funny how, perhaps stronger than a craving for a particular kind offood (or cold water), one can suddenly get a craving for a particular song..Right now, I crave TMBG's "Doctor Worm", and while I can easily find a livecopy online, and probably could find the version I want online if I put sometime into it, it's all on one of my desktops where I ripped it from the CD,so that'd be a waste..

Now, onto more trivial things (?)..

As if it wern't already hard enough to pick your database, nowIngres will be open source...Well, maybe it's not that confusing -- unless Ingres has some features I don'tknow about, or is a damned good product, it likely won't be able to competewith the existing databases.. seems everyone already has their niche already..Oracle for the really big databases with conservative DBAs, DB/2 for people whoare a bit less conservative, and want a (somewhat) easier to administer databasethat might not scale as high, and don't want to pay Oracle's overpriced fees,Postgres for the clued open-source folk, or for people who want a fairlysimple, standards-compliant, database, and MySQL, for people who like opensourceand haven't yet recieved a visit from the clue fairy.

A thousand goths are breathing a sigh of relief.I find this story really funny, and sad. Yes, the government is spending moneytrying to fight goth culture. Money far better spent to fight religion, if it'sreally going to start getting involved with such things :)

Here is a real schmuck. He cheated on exams at University, andthey decided not to give him his degree a day before they were going to, andhe's suing them. Apparently, he thinks that they never made it clear thatcheating is something people can get expelled for and that they let himstay at University for so long were both improper. Neither seem to be a goodreason, and I hope that he loses all his friends over this stupid lawsuit.

Here's a bit of beautifully written satire.On a somewhat more serious note, here is a speech Al Gore gave recently.It's not bad.. however, as with many politicians, I wonder if he actually wroteit. I think I'd respect politicians a lot more if they routinely write their ownspeeches, partly because then we get to really know the politician, and partlybecause then we at least are sure we have a literate, coherent person at thehelm. I guess that's a way I'm snobbish -- I do respect people who can puttogether a paragraph or a paper in a coherent, clean way more than people whocan't. People, perhaps, who choose their medical provider by how many pleasantlies they're told.

Of course, everyone loves pleasant lies when they confirm prejudices they have..Here is some guy who claim that all the viruses in the world are Microsoft'sfault. Nope. While Microsoft does do some very stupid things, like having apowerful HTML interpreter at the disposal of their mail software, and they'recertainly responsible for those problems, most virii are either the result ofuser error or are otherwise more of an 'oops' thing than a case of misdesign.It certainly would be nice of us Unix folk to pat ourselves on the back andsay that it's Microsoft's fault that users have to deal with that kind of thing,but it would be wrong, and sickening to our community, to swallow such a thing.

Somehow, I don't think people will be lining up to try something with this name..

By the strangest turn of fate imaginable, I find myself in posession of a ..erm... destructor, for those programming geeks out there, for something relatingto something I really dislike. This could be fun. It's all a matter of timing.

Tags: friends, music, philosophy, tech

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