I realised, in a conversation with a friend last night, that my goals for life have changed over the last few years. I'm not really sure if getting a PhD matters so much to me, short or long term. I'm interested in living an academic lifestyle, or possibly some other lifestyle that's centric on promoting the good of society. I'm interested in living life and seeing what philosophy comes out of me, of seeing the world, meeting someone, maybe starting a family, keeping peace of mind, and having a good, non-societally-harmful job. A doctorate might fit into there, but I don't consider it essential.
There are growing rumblings that BushJr may be impeached over recent things that have come out. BushJr's unapologetic secret wiretaps are stirring furor even among his party, while he hints at wanting to take out Iran.
On a similar note, the President of Persia has banned western media again.
Meanwhile, Sharon is back from the hospital after his stroke. His peace plan and new political party may be stillborn if he doesn't last at least a few more years.
The christian agenda suffers a setback as anti-evolution folk fail to make advances in the classroom. They'll be back, unfortunately, especially if America keeps electing born-again fundamentalists. Some of my friends have expressed the "religion belongs in sphere X, science in sphere Y, and they should never intersect", but that doesn't really make sense - religions have been backpedaling constantly as science advances on mysteries, and it is naive to think that this does not change the substance and nature of belief. Of course, it's more acceptable in modern sensibilities to call all factual statements in holy books analogies, safe in feeling that Allah/Jehovah/Yahweh won't look lonely and silly in a belief structure surrounded by scientific explanations of everything, Jesus being just a heretical political dissident, Mohammed being an astute and poetic tribal leader, and Moses being possibly fictional. I can't say that some flavour of religion and science can't exist, but science will not be changed by those efforts and the type of religion that will survive won't be at all the same.
In Britain, the first gay marrages are making waves.
Spammers have discovered my blog. I'm experimenting with ways of blocking them that won't require distorted word recognition. Eventually I may have to go that way, but I suspect that I could use my AI experience to write a tool to get around such restrictions using a Hopfield network. Unlike with the linked article, I don't care so much about the handicapped that I'm willing to give up a useful technique for their benefit. Pfft.
Larry Sanger's wikipedia alternative is starting, but from the FAQ, it already looks like something I would never support, in particular phrases like "Premium services may be offered in the future to access content with protected intellectual property". Without openness, it is a weed.
I recently discovered the Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Day page. It's very cool!