Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Solitary Joys

The caravan of controllers rolled from town to town, their rule, as with much rule, based on tricking the people into accepting an invented concept, legitamacy. For the last several hundred years, they had cultivated a legal system whereby their troupe could vote in otherwise local elections all throughout the nation, controlling sufferage and voting eligibility carefully to ensure their continued dominance. They timed voting in local councils so they could vote in every election that was important, and thus maintained, with a population of about 2 percent of the nation, control over the entire thing. The governed learned to live with their new masters, as they reasoned that to rebel would be to break with the law and thus devolve into anarchy. So long as democratic means are present, they consoled themselves, it is immoral to go against them, no matter their failings.

If promoting diversity were that important to Universities, they would compensate for and remove in-state/out-of-state tuition differences. Overcoming regional insularism with heavy mixing would do far more to bring about diversity than collecting people of various ethnicities.

Recently, for work, I was asked to convert a (noncommercial, for those who care about copyright stuff) DVD into a format that iMovie can edit. Easy, I thought... some time later, I find that that's not the case. Apple wants people to pay money to do anything useful with their software, making it essentially shareware. I initially ripped to avi (later trying mpeg and several other formats), only to find that iMovie can't handle that format. Talking with a friend who has a lot of friends high up in Apple, my suspicion that their software is intentionally dense in order to make their pay software sell well is confirmed. I am intent on not paying for this though, so I hopefully will be able to find free software that can convert a DVD into DV (iMovie format) or at least into one of the very very few formats iMovie can import. To my regret, MPlayer, or more precisely MEncoder, can't write quicktime files -- even grabbing the quicktime authoring components from a file sharing network doesn't make a usable file. Sigh.

A hurricane has hit New Orleans, destroying some small dams and flooding the city. A few hundred people were killed, and a lot of property damage was done. Of course, to keep perspective, last year's earthquake in the Indian Ocean killed hundreds of thousands of people and did much more damage, and more recently, about a thousand people died in Iraq due to a stampede as people fled Sunni attacks on a traditional crossing of a bridge. Iraq is the next Yugoslavia, and the damage caused by deposing Iraq's Tito is just beginning.

A few interesting articles that I read recently that I don't have specific comment on:

Well, actually, that last one I have some comment on -- it compares racism and the actions it inspired under the Nazis and under the colonial system. A relevant and fascinating quote from said article:

When the natives of the Algerian city of Constantine rose up against
the French just one week after Hitler's suicide, the French reaction
was swift and brutal. The Algerians counted 40,000 victims of the
repression, but the French admitted to only 1,500.33 As Verges later
recalled, he was horrified by the repression of the Constantine revolt.
"I was still in the Resistance and I was terribly shocked. I didn't
understand how they (the Resistance) could fight Hitler then turn
around and do that."

I haven't finished it yet, but from reading select parts, it looks like a very good article.

I'd better get home. The system maintenance is done, and I'm about to pass out (finishing this article at 03:53)

Tags: politics, tech

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