Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Vector Magic

Mental structuring: bringing perspectives from software into legislature:

  • One - Accepting for the sake of argument a democratic structure vaguely like ours, consider moneyed interests as including attackers of ideal of government, and bring concepts of computer security into analysis of government. Notion of penetration surfaces/attack vendors is in common, design government in ways that limit this. Missing: notion of virtue, uncertainty of actual goals, difficulty in actually performing such a design; we're in a situation where an already heavily comprimised system needs to be cleaned, which is theoretically possible as a sysadmin task if you can make certain assumptions, but is never easy.
  • Two - Difficulty of activism around bills, given how few people can read legislation and actually understand what it does (we modify subsection 4a of $otherbill to read as follows...). Difficulties in that most people both lack legal training/discipline to read that stuff, and the original stuff being modified is hard to find in any reasonable form. We can easily be excited about a piece of legislation by reading what the framer says it does, but not actually understand it as a patch on existing legal code. This makes us vulnerable to being used to promote things not actually in our interest (or only partly so). Solution? Some kind of project that would rapidly and deeply analyse each proposed bill, present all the original code in varying forms, and detail exactly what each patch does. Difficult, but doable.

Recently was pleased to find that I have more flexibility than I thought in leaving my current apartment; I do need to give 30 days notice, but the person at the front desk indicated that it doesn't need to line up with month boundaries. Still will strive to make the move to NYC happen as soon as humanly possible. I just need some temporary income-stream. On the upside, I can start to pack. Also, once I am jobbed again, I have plans to visit Cleveland (family), Columbus (friends), DC (cousin, hopefully), and Pittsburgh (variety of things). Looking forward to this.

Tonight's migraine was kinda rough; ran out for dinner and didn't quite make it back before things got really bad and I lost vision and balance. I need to use better judgement on leaving the apartment when migraine'd (or get a better sense of time). Le sigh.

This recently came up in an online conversation - a worthwhile data point on why it's best to be wary of placing too much emotional stock in the whole being of people who are decent on a few points (and a reason why I've generally liked Dawkins more than Hitchens):

  • Hitchens versus Maher - Actually in this case, it's both Maher and Hitchens being putzes, and their putziness aimed at each other. You'll want to poke around to find the bigger context. In general, Hitchens' politics is not very likable (but perhaps my reader finds my politics unlikable too; if so, we're differently unlikable on the topic); Hitchens is also rather rude (as he often was)
  • Hitchens saying some bloody stupid things on feminism. I would've liked to see the host dig into this a bit more, both because I want to understand exactly where Hitchens is coming from and because it'd help show his viewpoints in a deeper light that'd allow us a deeper criticism. A good follow-up question would be "why?", or "how do you justify this different role or obligation in society that you think women and men should have?". There is no way I imagine he could give an answer to that that could convince me (I find his position very, very unlikable), but I want to challenge such positions in ways that give traction for further debate. The only way she pushed him was accidental; he revealed that he views all women as having the option of being specially pampered rather than just seeing that as a personal relationship dynamic he prefers. (I don't find absolutely everything he says here to be wrong; the speculation on EvPsych leading men to be less inclined to care for children *may* be true; it's a scientific question. What I find reprehensible is the job/work thing)

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