Archive for January, 2005

Consentual reality?

Sunday, January 30th, 2005

What does it mean when people’s memories diverge?

Is anything but this current moment trustworthy? I don’t feel like I misremember things, but it seems like my memory and the memories of other people diverge.

Quantum mechanics, according to a movie I just saw, suggests that we could very well live in divergant universes. This is consistant with my experience. As Drachen once put it, ‘reality is just a formality..’ – well, maybe. In general, I’ve found that certain systems follow certain rules, although they may do so because I’ve grown to expect that they will. I find it comforting that the laws of physics work.. except occasionally I wish I could bypass them.

spams, antichrists, and other thoughts..

Sunday, January 23rd, 2005

(n.b. I owe a few of the ideas in this post to Alex, and another few to various other individuals I’ve talked to about religion and other matters)

Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of spam about how we’re In The End Days ™ and The Antichrist Is Living In Europe (hmm.. wonder if Bush sponsored those)

It occurs to me, after a observation that Alex made, that perhaps the antichrist is exactly what we need. No, wait, I’m not turning satanist.. I’m just playing with words here.

As I understand it, Jesus didn’t name himself Christ.. that’s something that other people did, something that one might even conclude (at least if taking the Andrew Lloyd Weber/ Jesus Christ Superstar tack on matters) that he really didn’t want to have happen. (After getting a sense of Jesus’s ‘flavor’, I have to conclude that he wasn’t the sort of person to want to be king of anything.. Jesus sounds to me like a no-good-peacenik-hippie-rebel-can’t-we-all-get-along sort of person)

So, the antichrist would be someone who could successfully convince the Christians that they were wrong to have crowned Jesus king.. and maybe remove some of their tendancy to take everything textual literally. (a friend of mine thinks that in fact the Romans crowned Jesus king, in a act of irony, and I suspect that she’s right as she seems a little more versed about these matters than I do, but certainly the Christians seem to have carried that belief forward 2000 years)

Anyway, speaking from what little I know.. and I freely admit that I need to reread a number of religious texts before I can have a informed opinion on the matter.. it would seem that the antichrist might not neccesarily be someone who’s out to destroy the world. Maybe more wake it up…

I apologize for my lack of postings lately. I’ve been too busy living life to write about it, a phenomenon I’m sure all of you are familiar with. Finally got the %&(#% ICM to work correctly, which I suppose I’m happy about if for no other reason than at least I can start getting paid for my work again.. which, as Bruce would observe, allows me to continue two of my favorite habits, eating and sleeping indoors.

Anyway, I’m happy, reasonably healthy (although my knee hurts), and glad to be alive. Life is doing lots of interesting li’l bits of things.. K. will be moving to Seattle in May, the band is starting another album, Alex has a really cool apartment that is closer to downtown, making it more likely the band can get togeather more often (one hopes), I’m again aquiring frequent flyer miles in scary gobs that I will never spend (but at least I can still get free first class upgrades, I think maybe), and I have lots of interesting problems to work on.

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

Perhaps one of the problems humanity is having is that too many people are thinking locally and acting globally.

Sunday, January 16th, 2005

There’s 280 million people out there, and I’m beginning to doubt that I could ever have a original idea. Grr.. the Christian on the plane infected me with his virii. Or something.

I miss P. I’m really happy K. is here, and I really like her a lot of the time, but sometimes there’s this ghost that just eats at me, and I don’t even know how to tell K. about it and I’m afraid she’ll be angry with me or hurt..

I have a theory for what we could collectively do about the war. It would require participation of a large number of people, though, and we’re not good at large-scale partcipatory events that are risky. But, if each of us refused to pay the portion of our taxes that is used by the department of defense, the results should be memorable..

My typing has gotten definately scrambled from all these hits on the head. It hasn’t slowed down any though, and it seems to be improving as I practice it back into shape. It could just be that I’m a bit rusty, also, from having not typed for so long..

Friday, January 14th, 2005

I don’t want to rule the world, I just want the world to rule.


Wednesday, January 12th, 2005

Well, I’ve just had a harrowing experience, involving many rough spots.. wanted to bring Kayti to see Seattle and decide if she likes the city and choose a new house if so.. she decided to come with me as sort of a last minute thing, so we decided to drive. Somewhere in the middle of Wyoming, a rabbit ran out in the middle of the road, and I tried to duck him, not realizing that I was on ice.. so, car fishtailed, I overcorrected, fishtailed the other way and went into a flat spin, slid sideways for about a tenth of a mile and then hit the guardrail.

Well, on the good side, neither of us is hurt.. I hit my head, but apparently not a critical part of it this time since I can still think 😉 Kayti got a couple of minor bruises, but nothing to write home about. Bad side, car is toast.. frame bent, rear wheels unaligned, fuel pump module crushed, and lots of minor/ancillary damage.

Good side to that: wasn’t very good car and Kayti wasn’t very attached to it, can replace it with good car for Kayti.

Other good sides: got to meet a very nice cop with a very nice dog. (No, really, this isn’t sarcasm, he was a nice guy) Wasn’t charged with anything – I don’t know whether the incident appears on my driving record but certainly not as a at-fault incident..

So, we stripped the car of personal items, stereo, etc, and took Greyhound to Seattle. It was actually a pretty fun trip, mostly because of the company.


Saturday, January 8th, 2005

I actually had a rather humerous incident at the airport (well, sadly, it probably wasn’t humerous for the airport employees, and sorry about scaring you guys.. really, it’s just a parking meter, I’m not a terrorist, and you should probably consider that if our country stopped hurting other countries, other countries wouldn’t be inclined to hurt us…)

Anyway, so, this might just be my rampant paranoia.. after all, we all know I have a little bit of that.. but..

First of all, I should reveal that I have been continuously in a obnoxiously.. Kayti might even say cloyingly.. good mood. So I walk into the airport radiantly happy. Now why this would make security nervious, I don’t know.. I’m kind and polite to everyone, I sign in for my flight at the workstation, walk through the airport security line – taking the parking meter out of the bag since I know it looks horrid on Xray.. and strangely, they don’t run a chemical scan on it which would seem like what I’d do.. they ask me about it, and I tell them it’s a parking meter.

Now, I’m wearing a DefCon shirt.. complete with a list of hotels that were blown up after DefCon, and then the Alexis Park, where they have been invited back. Mental note to go to DefCon this year and see what they’re up to.. I bet it’s some wicked cool stuff. I think 2005 may be one of the years where lots of cool robot things happen.. I mean, imagine hacking a PC interface to those robosapians! There’s a cool science project for ya, kids!

Oh dear, I’ve caught Skitch’s exclamation points. Oh well, I can live with that. As long as it’s not a permanent thing. Anyway, returning to my story.. I walk through the airport, sit down, start reading a book which showed up in the mail, ‘hackers and painters’. Talk to a guy who’s transferring numbers from one cell phone to another via manual data entry. (Poor guy. Someone should fix that. Someone should open source fix that. Maybe someone already has.)

Anyway, so, shortly thereafter I hear on the PA, ‘Alaska employees, please read page one, items eight through eleven’. (numbers may be incorrect, but it’s pretty obviously a idiot code. And then when I get on the plane, mysteriously I have one person wearing a wire (or just a handsfree phone adapter, one can take this paranoia thing way too far) and another really beefy security kind of guy. Naturally, security guy gets the outermost side. Now, lest you all should think I’m paranoid, a third passenger asks me if I should turn off the beeping thing in my bag. Now, obviously there’s nothing beeping in my bag, I know this, having packed my bag.. so I tell her I highly doubt this, then she says ‘no, sorry, blinking’. Okay, so passenger 3 either has X-ray vision, or also works for the federales. And I’m thinking, oh, good grief. They’re scared of a PARKING METER? The thing has slightly more CPU than your average pocket calculator. It generates less RFI than a old chopper-style tape walkman, I bet.

Or were they convinced it was a bomb? Anyway, I’m sure I left a interesting taste in their mouths with a long discussion about peace, love, respect, hackers, spirituality, christianity, virii.. well, basically, I was just myself. I enjoyed the conversation, too, and have been trading emails with the person. He frustrates me in that he’s stuck in a purely legalistic view of spirituality, and yet is using outdated laws/code.. (I have to look at laws and religious texts as both just the source code which holds society togeather.. or held it togeather.. or something)

In the meantime, imagination is power. And that was kind of fun, and if the government hasn’t yet figured out that I am not willing to hurt anyone in the name of any of my causes – at least in this stage of my development, and probably ever – they just aren’t paying enough attention. Might be willing to cause some mischief, eventually. But hurting people – even through just scaring them a whole bunch – is right out.

Although, as I should talk about sometime, I have to respect terrorists, for a number of reasons. First of all, Osama Bin Laden, from scanning his commentary, seemed to have reasonable reasons for what he did. I still can’t endorse blowing up buildings and killing people, but I also understand that we hurt him a lot. Of course, if you just keep hurting each other, back and forth, it just oscillates and gets worse and worse. As the man said, a eye for a eye leaves everybody blind.

On the other hand, colombine may have stopped some real and serious abuses that were hurting a lot of people. At least, I hope that it did.

Speaking of which, so far I’m only about 30 pages into Hackers and Painters, but it’s pretty good. And it promises to get better. That’s Hackers and Painters, by Paul Graham. And thanks to whoever sent it to me! (it just showed up in my mailbox. Perhaps the envalope said who sent it, but I’m still not clear on the details)

I think for me, to accept dogmatically someone else’s religion would be fundamentally flawed. It’s easy to see why the religions were what they were, but they’re out of date and they need improved. That’s my super-arrogant take on it. I’m happy for those of you who derive your comfort from religion.. like the other man said, “I believe in whatever gets you through the night, whether it’s Jack Danials or Jesus Christ” – but personally, while I intend to explore the spiritual plane further now that I realize there is one to explore, I’m not taking anyone else’s source as gospel. (har har). I’ll read through it, yes. But none of it is likely to strike me as the One True Truth. And I’ve decided I don’t really *want* to learn much more history.. because I flat out don’t believe that those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it. I think that’s a lie you just have to rise above. Learn good history. Learn when people got along, and how they did it. But learn about all the horrible things we’ve done to each other? Not at this stage in my development. Learn all the things that went wrong? Thanks, I’m already saddled with enough ‘I cannot do it’ of my own. And I think that there’s nothing that limits humanity, and maybe sentients in general, more than the belief that humanity and sentients are limited.

Anyway, I will continue to be Sheer just as hard as I can be. I apologize to any of you who feel I’m condecending. Perhaps I am. But I don’t want to be. I genuinely want to be friends..

(And, since this *is* my journal, I can say whatever I want. Which is a really nice feeling. Everyone needs one place where they can say whatever they want, eh?)

I realize that none of what I’m saying is probably that new.. I’m capable of doing new thinking in my own fields, but outside them I’m still far behind.. but that’s okay. They’re new thoughts to me. And it’s my bloody journal. Yeesh.

The puzzle continues. ;-)

Thursday, January 6th, 2005’s DNS doesn’t seem to want to resolve from comcast’s network, but evtech’s does. I’m not sure if this means I’ve done something wrong (likely) or comcast is censoring me for one of the many unpopular things I’ve said (unlikely but possible). Hopefully I can have my new sysadmin look into things. So far he hasn’t broken anything badly. Mental note to pay him.

Ah, the fun of having help! It’s really kind of nice, actually, to have a sysadmin. I still keep a hand in, looking at his work, understanding how things are going.

I think I need to upgrade the system disk on Gateway and put in a new OS. I’m somewhat leery of this because it sounds like a lot of work, but.. *smiles* what worth doing isn’t?

Hope you all are well. I’m taking a few hours a week to take a stab at looking at the spiritual plane, hacker-style. I spent a long time on the plane ride to Denver (which is where I currently am, need to tell P. so her and Lara can fetch anything out of my place they might feel is appropriate) talking to a christian who was trying to sell me on christianity and failing.

He was a bit of a pessimist.. claiming there was nothing new under the sun, glaring at me for glorifying technology.. yes, they’re just tools, but they’re good tools, and they’re getting better all the time. I have no use for people who think that the classics are all that matters and even less use for people who would infect their children with religion. Yes, we must teach them morality.. but as far as religion, they need to decide for themselves when they’re old enough to understand what they’re deciding. Of course, perhaps other people are instantly willing to think that voices inside their heads are god rather than just another attribute of themselves, and maybe.. I don’t know. Been thinking all kinds of crazy thoughts lately. But, must work. More later. Grr.. stupid laptop keyboard. want new, more powerful and more typing friendly laptop for development work.

Wednesday, January 5th, 2005

Life is the opposite of entropy?

Comments appriciated.

Every moment we’re alive..

Tuesday, January 4th, 2005

We make a decision. Think or don’t think. Do or don’t do.

The more we think, the more we do, the stronger we get, the better we get, the better off the races of Terra are.

*hugs* Sorry I haven’t been reading journals lately.. I’ve been busy with other things.

Off to bank now. Thank you, Tony, for paying your debt in full!