- To think carefully in realm of political philosophy is necessarily to come to conclusions that are ugly. To fail to enter the realm or publicly discuss ideas in it out of fear of this is disgraceful. The realm of value judgements is a field where one necessarily cannot please everyone, and the more developed one's ideas become, the more distant they grow from most of each other and the mainstream.
- Care in terms and frameworks also distances oneself from most people. The more care one takes, for example, to detach emotional and direct meaning of words from each other, the more of a conversational gap one creates. Consider words/concepts like "discrimination" and "elitism" - discrimination considered flatly: the process of distinguishing people on some basis. Use of it as a "danger word" designed to evoke an immediate emotional reaction is dangerous in this light - is "skill discrimination" or "suitability discrimination" deserving of the term? Similarly, elitism - notion of an elite (and especially achievement) being presumably valuable with positive connotations..
The next few weeks are going to be really weird - everyone is gone. Work, students, etc. Pittsburgh is empty. Timing is very poor.
Archive.org is still awesome for being willing to host, gratis, videos and audio people make - although it takes a bit more of a creative mind to figure out how to use (being more the equivalent of a free toolbox) than sites like LiveJournal or Wikipedia, it may still eventually be an understated but essential part of the cultural shifts we're seeing. Unfortunately, it needs a simpler interface and also needs more investment in infrastructure to deal with the outages and slowness end-users often see. It's pretty cool how they use that leverage to push public licenses onto everything...
I am pretty horrified at the dark magic that "gnome-settings-daemon" does, and disappointed that it lacks a manpage. A lot of the GNOME stuff seems to have problems of this sort - while traditional unix is a mix of fragile kludges and well-designed stuff, at least it's well documented and fits together in visible, tweakable ways.
It's sometimes interesting to think about fading industries and what one would theoretically do if given the helm of one of them, say a newspaper, record label,tv station, etc. Also wondering if and hoping that the car market undergoes massive shifts soon as Zipcar and tiny European cars make it big here.
"Battle Royale 2" is amusingly bad. It begs to be subjected to MST3k-style riffing.