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Traummenschen in die Stadt

A dream element:

Was on OSU's campus, visiting a dorm for some reason. This was a new one that wasn't there when I was a student, and after thinking for a bit, I declared that it was previously a hotel, one that I had stayed in once. I dimly recalled its former structure before all the remodelling into a dorm, and had a fuzzy memory of bringing my stuff up to a room.

Waking up, I believe it was always a dorm in the north campus area and that I have never been inside the building.

I am curious about memory synthesis in dreams - when we remember things that never happened, is it a fabrication of content of the sort that happens in the dream itself, or are we generally remembering content from prior dreams? Through some mechanism our memories of dreams usually fade when we wake up, but is it that the content is actually gone or that some kind of situational memory facilitates memory between dreams that's unavailable in waking times? I imagine the fading (or hiding) of dream memories fills the important role of helping us differentiate dream events from real ones, but it would be interesting to modify that mechanism.

Perhaps the Internet Archive's wayback machine is a good metaphor in opening memories of ephemeral content.

It turns out that the ssh "ControlMaster" stuff to allow for automatic sharing of connections to the same place is, while a neat idea, very badly implemented. In an ideal world, the first connection somewhere would fork, create that master channel in a background process (that ignores the death of its parent), and everything else would connect through that. In practice, the first process seems to act as the master channel, so if one finishes with that session, one doesn't get one's xterm back. Do this enough, and there are a bunch of irritating mystery blank terminals. Whoever designed and is happy with the feature as-implemented has very different ssh usage habits from me (much of the time I ssh somewhere, it's from dedicated window manager menu items that do something like "term -e ssh HOSTNAME").

Elvin Lim has an interesting analysis of torture by the United States. In a more ideal world, I think Cheney and Rumsfeld would be executed for mandating torture - it is on the far end of a boundary that modern societies should not cross under any circumstances, and is unforgivable. In rare circumstances a good state or person may kill (at least in theory, execution may be warranted for some crimes, although in practice our justice system may not be up to the task of letting us reliably enough use such a dangerous tool), in rarer circumstances a good state or person may kill for political reasons (when it is clear enough that a person's effect on society is grossly harmful to the public good and exile is unavailable - Stalin, the Romanovs, Yeshua, etc, although there may be no legal framework by which we could judge these things and so this may just be a philosophical approval), but torture, regardless of the person it would be used on, is never acceptable even in theory and is more damning of character than murder for the purpose of fun. Beyond Cheney, all those who participated in the (few) acts of torture, whether under the direction of the US government or of their own volition (Lynn England, Graner, plus all those we probably have not heard of) merit a similar fate.

I have not seen evidence that BushJr was aware of or approved of torture. As far as I can tell, his presidency's faults were mainly caused by poor judgement and a villainous set of people he relied on for the more "objectively terrible" features, and caused by general conservative philosophy for the things I think were terrible that people might reasonably disagree with me on depending on their political philosophy. The doors have opened a bit on the BushJr presidency, and the inside stories are beginning to help us understand the power dynamic in his administration - I find it harder to blame him directly for his failings now. During his presidency I bought in a bit to him not being a particularly intelligent guy, but I did not believe that he was effectively subservient to Cheney (and others) to the extent that he apparently was. On some level, he was responsible for his crowd, and he certainly is responsible for his political philosophy (limited in depth that it was in him), but there is some mitigation.

It's like somebody flipped a switch, and all the warmth has left Pittsburgh. I am surprised that I am still here.