|log (2005/01/21 to 2005/01/27)|
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
That was one of the bits of "Zen Flesh, Zen Bones" that I especially liked in my youth. Other kids want to be spacemen or firemen or CEOs of international corporations; I wanted to be one with the law of causation.
Pictures from really really far away. I remember years ago seeing some of the first "live" pictures from Mars projected up on the big screen in the front of the auditorium at the Lab, and thinking it was the most amazing thing. And now we're getting feeds from the moons of Saturn.
See that rock there? That rock is like eight hundred million miles from here. Pretty neat, eh?
Spam subject line o' the day:
Subject: Defegreez available from N0NAccruedited Univerusities
Pretty obvious why they're not Accruedited, nyuk nyuk nyuk.
Phrase o' the day: "OSI Layer 8 problem".
Long, long ago we challenged our readers to reply to "Eye of Newt". And and always you have come through in rare style.
Eye of Newt...
Wing of bat Leg of Gingrich
Eye of Newt like my log?
When I was seventeen (or maybe a few years after) I actually knew one or two D&D babes (good times, good times).
The thing about God in USAian politics is puzzling to me also. Maybe the problem is that a significant number of us USAians are so thoroughly indoctrinated with the God idea that it doesn't even occur to us that when politicians refer to God they're talking religion. After all, everybody but a few perverted atheists and pagans believes in God, so referring in a sort of generic non-sectarian way to God isn't favoring anybody in particular or anything.
As a perverted atheist and/or pagan myself, this idea rather depresses me, of course.
"leia organa nude", on the other hand, is a very cheery little snippet of text.
And I have no idea what was going on with that Farragut thing...
The weather forecasters exaggerated again; we only got seven or eight inches, not the fifteen to twenty-five we were promised. Impressive wind, though; down at the lake there's no snow at all in the child beach area, because the wind ripping down the lake has swept all the snow and the top layer of sand up away from the lakeside, and there's a line of two-foot drifts, snow sprinkled with sand, extending about twenty feet inland.
M went out and bought us a snow-thrower last week; a mammoth eight horsepower thing that was on sale that day. It definitely cut down on our shoveling time today.
I do rather miss the virtuously sweaty and tired feeling that comes after a hard afternoon's shoveling. And the machine is loud and uses fossil fuels. But it's compellingly convenient. Thus we lose all sorts of things.
A spammer writes:
That's a relief, eh? I so hate those mandatory 419 scams that compel me against my will.
On the organization that we joined the other day, readers write:
The initiation ritual is barbaric.
which, while it may be true, we must remember isn't a defining property of the organization.
Your organisation sounds a little like Danny Wallace's 'Join Me' project. But, I like the idea - Can I declare myself a member of this David Chess organisation right now ? "I, Justin Fletcher, declare that I am part of..." um... what is it ? "The Organisation For Want Of Any Better Name" ? Hm. I definately like the idea that the members of the organisation can, by definition not know that there are other members - two completely non-intersecting groups of members of the same organisation. Although, thinking about it, the organisation of 'people called...' oh dear, I'm about to become self-referential... 'David Gorman' is similarly separated in members and yet they are part of the same organisation. Whether they know it or not. Sometimes I wonder if I should think about my sentences before I start them...
Yes, you can declare yourself a member of it just that simply, and you'll be one! You can call it whatever you want; its name (or lack thereof) isn't one of its defining characteristics, after all. There is definitely no membership roster anywhere (or actually there might be; who knows how close to omniscience the various entities around here might be). (Speaking of changing one's mind in mid-sentence!)
There's nothing to keep two members from knowing that each other are members. But you're quite right that it's likely (pretty much certain, in fact) that there are groups of members that are entirely unaware of each other's membership (or even existence).
I finished another book. I also bought some more; there's a growing stack next to the bed now (one place where I usually don't have a stack of books). I was going to list them as today's log entry, but then I thought of this other stuff to say.
- 7 for "mia"
So I've been looking at various "Zen debunking" sorts of articles:
Stuart Lachs in particular seems to have a real bone to pick. He says some very correct stuff, about how people abuse positions of power and all, but also some stuff that's on the order of suggesting that physics must be a scam because there's a power asymmetry between physics professors and physics students. See also "Tending the Bodhi Tree: A Critique of Stuart Lachs' Means of Authorization: Establishing Hierarchy in Cha'n/Zen Buddhism in America" for someone with a similar impression.
(I haven't actually read any of these things with any care, but I've sort of skimmed over them in brief disconnected intervals of time. Very XXIst Century of me.)
One bit of politics, because it seems like it might be important: from the Times, via some weblog:
The President last week surrounded himself with citizens ranging from children to an 80-year-old and warned that the Social Security system will be "flat bust, bankrupt" by the time workers in their 20s retire. As early as 2018, Bush said, "you're either going to have to raise the taxes of people or reduce the benefits." At another appearance intended to promote federal standards for testing high school students, Bush went off script to warn a group of teenagers, "The system will be bankrupt by the year 2040."
So keep that in mind.