Archive for the ‘Thought’ Category

Thought: The Sociology Book I Would Write

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Feminism and Fidel: the beard’s role in rebellion, and the forbidden allure of machismo

Che GuevaraIt would trace the long history of hirsuteness in rebellious youth-cults, be it anarchy, communism, or al qaeda, and combine it with an evolutionary-anthropologic exploration of the nature of competition for reproductive rights in the 18-24 year-old demographic.

Alternately I would call it “Gals and Guevara“…

Thought: Behind the times

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

So my friend gives me crap for running an older (but still supported) version of Ubuntu. “Upgrade” he says. “Your packages are behind the times” he says. “Nerds will laugh at you” he says.

Who’s laughing now, bitches.

My favorite is the long thread of hatement about this. Having done similarly (but not as spectacularly) stupid things, I’m going to say the onus is upon the Debian contributor. There was a line of code inside an #ifndef PURIFY block, which set off valgrind. So the guy probably greps the source for that code, sees it in two places, and doesn’t think “Hmm… Only one’s diked out if you’re running -DPURIFY, maybe I should only dike that one out and test”. He just dikes them both out because they’re not well documented and they look like they do the same thing. As a result, the problematic one (marked as problematic by the distributor) is fixed, but the non-problematic one gets broken. All because no-one spent time deliberating.

Which comes to my point about running an older “stable” version: When you don’t know how something works, you should proceed with the maximum amount of caution.

(note: This advice doesn’t apply to children. That’s how parents who keep their precious babies wrapped up and hidden from the deadly daystar end up having kids with rickets. Raise ‘em feral, I say. You can go all Lord Greystoke on them later)

Thought: drugs and the game

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

I can’t help but wonder: do they test World Poker Tour players for xanax?

Thought: Lost Things

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Like a lot of people, I’ve always been fascinated by forgotten places and abandoned things. Reading the National Geographic article, I’m reminded of the abandoned houses near where I used to live. There were a couple between my house and Springfield, back from the road, behind the fields. There was another near my friend’s house in Donnellsville, on Route 40 (there it is again). Out by Yellow Springs there were several abandoned farmhouses, and an abandoned covered bridge, cut off from the world when the farms consolidated, and the highway left it behind.

Stories sprang up about the houses–that they were haunted; left doomed by foulplay; cursed. And I think these fantastic stories grew out of our fascination, our need to create a narrative to explain things. Our fear of death. I think that this interest comes from exactly that place, from the question “What happens when things die?” Because we’re so tied to stories, our homes and towns and ships and cars end up having their own story (how many of us bargain with our cars? Think of them as Agents with a history and animus?)  But they’re different from people: when people die, they go away, and live on only in memory. Houses and shipwrecks linger. Their story doesn’t end, and whatever glory it may have had is overpowered by their new melancholy. And so we’re drawn to them, and their ghost stories.

Thought: Why Derrida Sucks. Guattari, too.

Friday, July 13th, 2007

Today’s one-liner: “The existence of French Philosophers forms a buttress of proof in the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis”