I came across an advertisement for this on the way back from lunch today -- it's a group that aims to compare the results of people learning about and having a structured conversation on a topic, followed by a poll, against simply having the poll from the start. The topics are those of interest to the Carnegie Mellon community. In some ways, this reminds me of aspects of Wikipedia society, although this is closer to an ideal. It also ties into one of my principles of Communism -- that people, when they're ready, should be exposed to as much detail and responsibility for society as possible, and that when they feel the effects of that not working for the first few times, they'll come to more sensible behaviour, hopefully resulting in an open, deliberative society. I hope to start attending these meetings.
I've had a number of scents pulling me down memory lane recently, from my deodorant (Old Spice, that actually reminds me of someone I used to know who also always wore it) to some trees, flowers, and other things. For something that affects me so much when I'm smelling it, the memories fade incredibly quickly.
One of the two things I always liked about the Dr Who TV Programme were its acknowledgement of the extremes that human nature can take one and the moral independence of the main character. It was not uncommon for the Doctor to make moral decisions that were not grounded in the moment and similarly unpopular, and for there to be different perspectives on events without name-callling (e.g. use of the term "evil") for many of them. These were explored most strongly with the 6th and 7th (last fully canonical) doctors. I had a conversation some years ago with a friend on how frustrating it is for me to watch TV that either has that moralistic name-calling or otherwise simplifies events into two factions. She said that it makes for poor drama to portray things more three-dimensionally. If so, then in storytelling most people, IMO, have poor taste.
I wonder if Douglas Adams, who had a hand in writing for Dr Who, was partly responsible for this -- authority is a major theme in his Hitchiker's series. I am thinking of using him and his books as a suitable candidate to rebuff those who claim that Ayn Rand's Fountainhead or the Christian Bible are the best book ever written.
On a more personal note, my hat will not be ready until Sunday (I am both incredibly excited about it and a bit sad that it's not available today). I promise photos once I have it. Also, my sinuses have reawoken, which is quite unpleasant. More unpleasant but amusing is that my officemate starts to laugh whenever my blowing my nose makes an elephantine sound, making me laugh and thus making it impossible for me to blow my nose. It's still kind of fun though.
I'm interested in seeing the improvements to tabbed browsing in the 2.0-beta line of Firefox. I'm not quite interested enough to upgrade yet though, especially given that not all the plugins I use may be ported yet.