Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Spiritual Life of Closures

Canine teeth, grown as vines towards the sun as flesh, clamp down joyously on snow, the cold a herald of cold water. "We outsourced our Chaos to Jackson Pollock", a curt nod of approval. "Good choice". A brief bridge - overlap notions of memories of relatives and friends past as the strange bridge of closures - nested closures, each grows weaker as the chain to the living passes further. Figures such as Idi Amin, Cholera, plague act as a collector, trimming the hedge closer to the material scope.

Nonconformist science - "If the idea is not at first absurd, there is no hope in it" - radical individualism offer candy versions of the task of science. Another program delivered - the haggling at the end over requirements and possibility strangely familiar.

Woke up this morning - ground is bathed and shiny with snow. It is highly unpleasant - brightness hurts my eyes, cold winds steal life prematurely, threats of slips abound.


  • I tried installing various pieces of software that claim to handle language matters on Windows as well as SCIM and Compose Keys collectively do it on Unix/ - no dice. I appreciate them both much more now...
  • More details over the evolving role of political Islam in Egypt - a prominent leader of the movement aims to cut ties with Al Qaeda and push for different methods to establish Islamic theocracy
  • Annapolis is considered dead in the water by most observers, but Hamas and Ahmadinejad are hedging their bets by stepping up hostile actions and words in its wake
  • The duty of a statesman is to put the interests of the state foremost - Chavez's words with Columbia suggest that he's failing in that regard
  • More political favours traded over one-China issues.. I am concerned that it sounds like China may be preparing for a more active role in annexing Taiwan in the near future
  • Donald Trump's plans to build a golf course/resort in Aberdeen, Scotland look like they've been thwarted. I am pleased.
  • A bit on the cultural struggle against fascists in Poland
  • I am pleased that Nawaz Sharif has been barred from running for office in Pakistan. Unfortunately, it looks like he and Bhutto are still working to disrupt the mechanisms of the state, presently through an election boycott (but tomorrow, who knows?)
  • An editorial on imperfection in politicians that I found interesting - I disagree with it on the large scale, but it's worth a look.
  • The biggest news - the Department of National Intelligence has released a report (see here for downloadable PDF from their site) suggesting that Iran has likely cancelled their nuclear weapons programme in 2003 (two years before Ahmadinejad took office, during the Presidency of Khatami) and has not resumed it. This stands in contrast to BushJr's assessment of Iran's state on the matter, and may act as a serious thorn in his side for his plans to invade Iran. Ahmadinejad's widely publicised opposition to nuclear weapons seemed like they were from the heart - this seems to fit well with them. High Pentagon officials are reported to be pleased because it will likely prevent a war the United States is ill-prepared for. BushJr's response is to downplay the report - read: he's still hoping for some excuse for war. Hopefully this has made that impractical.
  • Semi-related, Oliver Stone is hoping to make a film documenting Ahmadinejad's life. When he was previously turned-down for his project, he gave us a delightful quote: "I've been called a lot of things, but never a Great Satan. I wish the Iranian people well and I only hope their experience with an inept, rigid idealogue president goes better than ours."
  • Rubbish from Will Smith
  • Another merger: Beliefnet bought by Fox Entertainment. Beliefnet never has sat very well with me - it has a lot of content on religions, but struck me as having the flavour of "can't we all just get along" and "all religions are secretly the same" type thinking (that is, stuff that's probably good for peace and hugs and fluffy rabbits, but terrible for intellectual integrity). Still, I hate to see stuff like this happening, especially given their plans for it. Poor, intellectually unambitious dialogue is still dialogue, and having that squashed in the name of making it easier for Fox to distribute its content is a loss.
  • This is anti-news: Wikipedia has a secret mailing list where policy is discussed. It always has had dozens of these, probably more. Openness is difficult, and Wikipedia never has entirely been into openness, for better or for worse. It's very difficult to get things done and manage a project of that scale with so much mass involvement while being completely open (and there's really no principled difference between a mailing list and individual emails on policy matters between relevant people). Openness is not necessarily a bad thing, and it might be a plausible goal, but it will be difficult to make it happen and make it work - at least one problem is dealing with people who are partly unhinged - in real life those of us who don't decide to make it a point to be blunt and "take one for the team" don't stand up to them, they instead duck issues, lie, and talk around their back. Difficult people often explode when provoked, so on some level it's common to handle things this way. This is the same problem on some level as what Wikipedia deals with on these private mailing lists, and understandable as such. Openness is not simple, and there may be other priorities that should get attention first if one can't meet them and openness at the same time - things such as keeping the site running smoothly and preventing internal corruption (although corruption and openness have a strange relationship themselves). Although I don't honestly think much of Jimbo, I think he has the right idea here in dismissing it as a non-event. Wikipedia is a project to make an encyclopedia first, and a philosophical/social experiment/society second - priorities must be kept straight. Note also Kelly Martin's hopping in the controversy - something strange happened with KM after one of her times of troubles and her temporarily leaving the community - KM seems to be on a strange crusade that constantly changes course between destroying and aiding the project/community. I don't understand it, and preferred the old KM back when I was involved in the project (hey, coming up on 1 year anniversary of leaving the project...)

My tiredness/sleepiness knows no limits. Insatiable. I also miss some people (and times) rather badly.

Tags: politics

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