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Motorised Skateboards

An old impression (this paragraph is rambly and probably lacks a point): 「To Life」 in 「Fiddler on the Roof」, namely the second part where the Russians of Anatevka join in the well-wishing. Added: contrast between that and outsider Russians entering to demonstrate. Synthesis is from the contrast. Outsiders: pushed into anti-semitism through primitive astroturfing? From areas that were naturally so? How much of this came from theologans and philosophers whispering into the ears of nobles and boyars? There is a natural tension between the Abrahamic faiths - admiration for those trying to live inside a notion of virtue similar to one's own, shared theology, contrasting with the nervousness of the question "why do I hold my particular identity?", seeing something like oneself without the softer eye most people use to forgive themselves, and of course the particular theological claims. This theoretical tension then has centuries of history of moments sweet and brutal - history that can be drawn from to support any interpretation: jews for jesus, crusades, inquisitions driving Jews and Muslims from Christian lands, Yugoslavia, Nakba, Shoah, etc. Sometimes it's strange how much ignorance there is attached to this - have encountered people who hate Islam and would take Israel's side in every conflict, providing the reason that Muslims deny Jesus, for starters. Looking back at the countless purges that people have done over fairly abstract things, often more because of terrible leadership than terrible long-term instincts of large groups of people, I'm sometimes amazed we've managed to survive as a species. I guess it's because there's usually enough concentration of power and nasty cunning in the powerful that we more end up culling diversity than killing everyone (people like Idi Amin or Stalin notwithstanding). Interesting how both nations and faiths do this - opportunities for increased power in a religious or political regime, occasionally applications of swords, purges (secular/ideological or otherwise)..

Spent a bit of the morning recovering a Unix system from an oops that nuked its /etc/group file - hooray for backups and hooray for having experience with this kind of thing.

I guess I feel odd mentioning it publicly (but given that I expressed an opinion publicly on it the other way before...), but had time to rethink a few pending philosophical issues and as of a few months ago I decided I'll call people by whichever of the two common gender pronouns they prefer, decoupling it from both my notions of gender and gender role. As is generally the case in philosophy, I didn't shift my positions to make people comfortable, but rather because of an argument I was exposed to (based on parsimony) regarding people with unusual genetics - the short version is that there is already a terminological asymmetry there and precedent for my accepting a self-chosen (within bounds of two) pronoun set in that case - if I am already willing to handle that, I already have a third kind of gender categorisation (pronoun gender), and it makes more sense to allow it to be a full concept rather than an exception.

I've had occasion to rethink positions on a handful of other issues that are probably not so interesting to mention here, either because they'll come up on their own or they're on matters where I've not yet expressed an opinion.

Better finger on why notes to self are sometimes odd to see - like Cthonian entities, they're the hands of inner mental life establishing a handhold in real life.