Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Gaps in the Hand

I just finished making (well, really attaching RJ45 plugs to and testing) ethernet cables for the first time in many years. It's more difficult than I imagine, probably because of the particular RJ45 plugs I have. The last time I made them, which I *think* was 5 years ago, I had nice RJ45 plugs that would open up so the individual strands could be slid right into their proper grooves. Afterwards, the plug would be closed, and after a snap of the tool, the cable would be done. This time, I have standard plugs, where one gets to slide the strands, as a set, in (hoping they keep the right order and slide correctly into their grooves) possibly pulling them back out to reorder them if they slide around a bit. This is much more difficult and irritating. Conclusion: I need to order new RJ45 plugs like the ones i used to use.

All this is made slightly more difficult by the fact that I injured the fingertips on my left hand while cleaning a printer a few days ago (no pinching, I just wore the skin down (and off) while rotating some hard-to-reach gears to move a surface that had to be cleaned. The skin is (reluctantly) back, but they still hurt a bit and are rough. Ahh, the joys of work.

I have not yet sold my car. It's getting harder to schedule time to let people see it too. I might be willing to entertain $3800 if someone buys it without a hassle. I am irritated that a lot of people want to commit tax fraud by paying me "under the counter" and declaring it as a gift. Maybe that's common practice, but it's not cool, and when things arn't wrapped up correctly, they have a tendency to come back to haunt me. I want someone who'll inspect it, say yes, we'll drive to a notary, they'll give me cash, I'll transfer the title, call to cancel my insurance, and everything's over. Sigh. Hopefully next time.

Being involved in the administrative side of Wikipedia continues to teach interesting lessons in governance, personal conflict, and democracy. A few impressions:

  • Democracy may work decently well when the people are few and/or virtuous and enlightened
  • Democracy does not work well when people are unwilling to discuss, when there are irreconcilable differences on a topic (whether that topic be trivial or deep), or when there are sufficiently many people
  • Human nature, in particular, vanity (of one kind or another), enjoyment of vendettas, and unreasoned hate of authority follow humanity everywhere
  • People who attempt to manage the effects of human nature in that area are unpopular. People, whether they understand the effects of these things or not, enjoy the self-aggrandising things they do that can wreck a community.
  • Enthusiasm and cluelessness are often linked
  • People assume other people are not listening to them if they are not agreeing with them
  • Being of good character is difficult -- seeking virtue does not guarantee finding virtue. It is easy to stop partway there
  • There is a difference between people who are seeking virtue, those who sought a certain amount of it and have stopped, those who do not seek it, and those who have no concept of it
  • Catchphrases are a stumbling block for people who don't think things through enough
  • It is possible for people to reform and improve. One should be (carefully) open to this possibility from surprising places
The last part brings to mind the story of the Prodigal son from Christianity, but the christian attitude and tone of that story is stupid -- in it, the father acts in a way that is unjust and negligent toward the elder son. Of course, religion rarely makes sense, and I'm reminded in chain of the bizarrely horrible story of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, where Joseph recieves rich rewards for having really horrible character while his brothers, emotionally neglected in his favour, are reduced to kneeling at his feet at the end of the movie, celebrating how wonderful he is. I can imagine, growing up as they did in the story, selling him to slavery too. I won't say it was just in the larger sense, but it is possible to create intolerable situations where most people would go outside the bounds of civilised and proper behaviour. Is this an issue for moral philosophy? It's .. an interesting thing to dwell on. Appreciating the passion that ties to certain emotional needs and the catharsis of their resolution, even when viewed negatively when thinking from one's entire value system, is something that anyone can do. Does such enjoyment threaten their current configuration of values? In some people or in some cases, perhaps. I can imagine doing what Joseph's brothers did, or killing out of jealousy in certain extreme cases, and both of them might feel quite good. I can't, however, imagine universalising such things, nor do I think they deeply make sense given my values. It is something to think about though.

I am pleased to see that the spamming attempts have stopped. This is probably becaue none of them have succeeded for awhile. In another few days, I'll be pleased to stop needing to check the logfiles.

A final note: If you're in SqHill and eating at Pinati's, do not under any circumstances sit at any of the small set of tables to the right of the door, because you will be invisible to waiters and will get poor service.

Tags: wikipedia

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