Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

A Time of Sharp Contrasts

Today is so far a good day for visual experimentation. When I was getting ready for work, I packed my laptop bag with my eyes closed, just as an experiment. It was interesting using touch to navigate what I normally do so much by sight, but in doing so I realised that a lot of it was habit too, and didn't depend very much on visual cues. On the way to work, suffering the cold air, I did what I've sometimes done over the years, sometimes to deal with bad weather, sometimes for amusement -- I closed my eyes while moving, and opened them every few seconds to catch a new glimpse of where I am and how to guide myself so I don't walk where I don't want to (e.g. into signs or the street). This time, I kept my glimpses shorter than I ever have before, and I noticed a really cool visual effect -- with a half-second blink, after closing the eyes for another half second I got a sepia-coloured afterimage of the landscape in my visual field, which hung and faded like a ghost (quickly to go away when I opened my eye again). I repeated it many times to dismiss it possibly being a strange mental effect. I wonder if this afterimage was kept in the rod/cone cells or if it was data hanging around in the visual cortex.. It was not completely reliable -- it seemed to work best when the contrast was high between the things I was looking at, and occasionally didn't work. Still, very neat.

I am very very irritated at CMU's Dell Sales rep -- he has never returned my phone calls or emailed me back, and half the people I talk to at Dell tell me I must place all CMU orders through him. Fortunately, there's that Texan guy I might've mentioned that handled it before handled this order too. I think in the future I'll have to ignore our sales rep and just deal with the Texan. I expect that at some point I'll maybe actually speak with our sales rep -- perhaps eventually he'll call me back, in a few weeks, about the order I wanted to place.

Insights from discussions between Communists (namely me) and Anarchists (some friends) --

  • Anarchists believe that government and corporations are the problem, and that eliminating government will sweep corporations aside as well
  • Communists believe that government organised along capitalist values is the problem, and that new forms of government, social organisation, and new values will sweep corporations aside
    • Note that I deviate from Orthodox communism in this sense, because I do not believe Communism will or should lead to a stateless society, just a very different one. I further worry about religion in the same way that I worry about capitalist values
  • Anarchists suspect the state that Communists would set up would be as oppressive as states run through Capitalist values
  • Communists suspect that the stateless society Anarchists propose would be dominated by corporations and other conglomerations of power
  • Anarchists (especially anarcho-primitivists in a different form) feel that less developed and organised societies are a good goal, and are suspicious of technology
  • Communists feel that highly-developed societies are a good goal and better than past societies, and push technology
I am getting rid of the playstation2 I a month or two ago. It was a poor choice to purchase it. If anyone I know who's in town wants it, they can have it if they contact me really quickly. Otherwise I'm taking it to the used videogame store or posting on soon (which I just did for the Behemoth).

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