Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Virtual Lines

The USB sticks I ordered for my research group are kind of weird - in times past, I learned that when configuring a computer, it's usually best to completely remove the operating system and reformat, to remove programs bundled by the vendor. This is the first time I've had to do it for a USB stick - I initially was surprised to find that what I put on the stick in Windows wasn't visible under Linux, as well as that the device registered as a CDROM as well as storage under both Linux and Windows(!). Under Windows, it also automatically installed some software to manage the device. Removing the partition table (and making a new one with new filesystems) under Linux confused Windows a bit, but didn't remove the "CD" contents. Eventually, I prodded under windows at the contents, seeing some linux bootloader components, mention of "compatible software" running "on the device", and eventually an option in the menus to convert it to a regular storage device, after which it registered simply as a storage device and behaved as expected. I'm bothered by this in the sense that it means the stick's management of its content type (and how it registers with the computer) is configurable - I wonder if at some point the sticks and hard drives will take virtuality to the next level, understanding their filesystems, fetching remote things on I/O, perhaps implementing IP controls.. but then I think I remember reading about drives that are moving rapidly towards that very thing. Sufficient abstraction breeds mistrust of many kinds..

I find it frustrating when people make an argument on philosophy or politics in a movie or book that I want to respond to. Right now I'm watching "The Quarrel", and there's a speech on moral absolutism that I would *love* to respond to - but this is something I tend to love to jump on - this boils down to the notion that having a value system isn't satisfying unless it is absolute (or, in a more confused form, that morality is meaningless unless it is absolute). The other character in the film (it being a Quarrel, after all) regrettably takes a different tack. On the other hand, with this viewing, I'm starting to see some metaphors that I missed in the first few watchings (namely allusions to multiple paths to truth being followed by literal wandering down various paths in a park).

I'm beginning to really feel embarassed when rereading blog entries that I wrote while only half paying attention and finding grammar/style/spelling problems.


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