Archive for the ‘General’ Category
Read a disturbing article over on Teachdirt. Apparently people have got this prideful notion that they can control the weather. This only proves that people will do anything to make a quick buck. Anything to advance the purported technological expertise of the human race. Indeed mankind has advanced in many things that are simply amazing: fire, electricity, the telephone, computers, surgical procedures, to name a few. I am all for learning to do new things but the line has to be drawn somewhere.
Controlling the weather is not a task to be taken lightly. Back in high school I did a study on strange attractors and their applications in science. From this I learned why the weather is never predicted beyond a certain point. There are simply to many variables to take into account, many we don’t even know about, that make that kind of prediction very difficult. Chaotic systems do exhibit certain behaviors within a short time-span, but beyond that the unknown factors render such predictions useless.
In reality you can’t predict beyond a 5 day span what the weather will be like with a better than 50% chance of accuracy. Anything beyond that is fancy guess work, fuzzy math. So if we can’t predict beyond five days what an uncontrolled, un-human-influenced, weather system will do, what makes scientists think they can do better by adding their own influences to a system they don’t fully understand. Pride, pure and simple. My belief: God put chaos in this world to keep us baffled and from becoming all powerful.
It is an interesting phenomenon which poses a catch-22 situation. Lemme ‘splain.
We are told that “Knowledge is Power.” If you know something about anything, it shows a level of education, even more so if that particular bit of knowledge is not common. In a world with ~6.5 billion people in it, events take place every second. Someone dies. Someone lives. He was arrested. They discovered that. It’s shinny. You name it, it’s happening right now. I mean now! So with all these little things happening on this sphere in space, how are we to keep up with it all?
Enter the media. Instead of me going to ‘X’ country to learn about ‘Y’ event, I watch someone else tell me about it. And it’s not just me watching, it’s thousands, even millions of my fellow sphere inhabitants watching that same event. Now we all know about it, except of course those who did not watch it. But what if I missed said news report? I am behind my fellow neighbor who does know. What does it matter to me if this event didn’t affect me in the slightest? Only that John & Jane Doe know something I don’t.
Enter the pride machine. Not wanting to be one-upped, I seek to discover this new information. And not only that but I seek out other events so that I may have the upper hand. Take that John & Jane. Naturally I will have a tendency towards information that is of interest to me. In so doing I make definitions in my social circle. I talk to her cause she knows the same things I know. Don’t talk to him. Before I know it, I have a set of friends and acquaintances with their own events in their lives that I must keep up with. Email is a quick and easy way to do this, so I do. Social network, set.
How do I contribute to my social network? By letting them in on information that I discover, and they likewise do the same for me. I get my information for a variety of sources: TV, newspapers, online news sites, RSS feeds, word of mouth, scrawling on napkins, etc. I got information coming at me from every direction. Have I got a prayer of keeping track of all this? No. Glorious.
So hundreds-of-emails-a-day and ad-infinitum-news-sources later I am confronted with Information Overload. The pandemic sweeping this sphere for which there is no nice cure. I say “no nice cure” because the only solution is for everyone to stop, just stop, driving their fellow sphere dwellers to the brink of madness in attempts to learn everything there is to learn. Don’t look to the information outlets to change, they aren’t going anywhere.
So what is my point? For you to make your own decision on who you view information. How do you view those less influxed with information? Here’s a novel idea, accept them. Accept them for where they are at, not how much they know. I say “Acceptance is Power.” We are compelled to learn and become knowledgeable, as such knowledge becomes a crutch, a weakness. But we shall always have the power to accept someone regardless of their privileges in life. Think on that one for a bit.
Finally it seems someone has put the music industry execs in their place and at the same time provided some ideas for still allowing those same execs to continue making money. I am speaking of the keynote that Andrew Orlowski gave to the In The City convention held in the UK last month. As I read through his speech, it was important to remember that Andrew was talking to a hostile crowd, essentially telling them that their current business strategies and enforcements (i.e. DRM) were rubbish. Told them that instead of enacting rigorous controls on the listening masses (you & me), they should instead look at ways of allowing us more freedoms pertaining to the music we listen to. I can only imagine the looks he got from his audience.
I for one am sick and tired of the music industry being driven by greed. I live in a country purported to be based on freedoms, yet in this country I am hindered from enjoying the music that I love so much in whatever form I find convenient at the time. I respect the artists and I purchase their music legally. But when it becomes a burden to extract that same music into a form that allows me to enjoy it in a more free manner, I do believe my rights as a music appreciator have been impeded upon.
I’ll reiterate what every other anti-DRM person has said. We are at a delicate place in time where technology is evolving faster than copyright law can be ammended to keep up. In a knee jerk reaction the music industry is choosing to arrest 12-year-olds rather than evolve with the times. And that reaction is driven by greed, they are afraid of losing money plain and simple. If anyone in the music industry has half a brain, they will see that the ideas put forth by Andrew are viable and music listener friendly.
According to the scientific writeup by Koppel and Argamon, the engine uses the assumption that males use more noun specifiers than females, and that females use more pronouns than males. I’ve only skimmed the artical so far but it seems like a very interesting read.
Unattended XP Install. I plan on doing a WinXP installation sometime down the road. This unattended install bit will come in handy.
To the geeks, to my friends, to the people I have yet to know, Merry Christams.
Mr. Picassohead has got to be the coolest time wasters I have ever seen. By just taking a little time, and not needing a whole lot of creative jucies, you can create your own Piccaso-like rendering of yourself or anyone else. It is truly great fun. And once your done you can save it to show off to your friends. Via Simian Design.