Older blog entries for ignatz (starting at number 19)

Added links to charity orgs on my XMas Carol Site.

13 Sep 2001 (updated 13 Sep 2001 at 17:15 UTC) »

I have been wondering about was the story in the news from a little over a week ago about some terrorist turning evidence against Ben Ladin talking about this network of terrorists and them arresting people all over Germany and what a great "Intelligence Coup" this was and how valuable the man's information was. Did we get played? Sure sounds like it.

The main thing that I'm anxious about is the "Black Box" for the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania. What a story! From what I can tell from the accounts a group on the plane figured out that they were going to die anyway and rushed the hijakers. Wow! We will probably never know how amazing it was.

New York gets a real bad rap in terms of community, but thinking about the story of firefighters running up the stairs of the WTC trying to help people in a building that is very likely to collapse very soon is just amazing.

Wondering about all this talk of War. War on terrorism. What does that mean. Once upon a war was a very clear thing. Make lots of weapons. Train lots of soldiers. Kill the enemy. Now we have wars on poverty, wars on drugs. If we consider these things wars, than we have been failing pretty miserably when it comes to war of late. When I think of war I think of the old movies where poeple line up enlisting in order to fight the enemy of the day. Nothing like that matters now. I don't think that our language has words for what is happening to us now and the fact that our leaders have no way to express what is happening makes it all sound like platitudes.

The fact is that there is little that you can do against groups that are willing to die to kill you except stop giving them reasons to blame you for there problems. But is that really possible? As long as we cast ourselves as self appointed defenders of Capitalism and World Cop (We did that the moment we began ignoring World Court rullings and began police actions against other nations without UN sanction or leadership) than there are going to be a lot of people who hate us. As long as we continue to be slaves to our desires we will have to do anything and everything to ensure that our desires are met. What are our desires? Cheap oil. Cheap goods. Cheap easy to cook food. High standard of living. How do we maintain this except by insuring NO MATTER THE PRICE TO THE STANDARDS OF LIVING OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD that oil runs, that sweatshops sweat, that the glutton gets his lunch.

I don't think that our economic system can function in a police state. So much of what we do is dependant on the free exchange of things and ideas. Slow those down and you slow down the economy. Not something that we can afford given the courner that we have painted ourselves into.

Raymond's nutty comments just make me think again about the wacky nature of the human brain. Being really really smart at something, people naturally want to hear what you have to say about things other than your expertise. And what do you know, being really good at coding Lisp doesn't mean SHIT when it comes to explaining terrorism. I care as much about his opinions as I do Bobby Fischer's or James Brown's or Cortney Love's.

I'm just thinking about flying in this plane will everyone packing. "Sorry Sir, you can't store that assault rifle in the overhead bins. We'll have to store it for you." "Now son. Make sure that you always set the safety on your gun when you carry it in public and STOP POINTING IT AT YOUR BROTHER." I for one am grateful that we live in a nation that makes it very easy for people to express how nutty they are so that I can know what to expect from them.

  • Falling in love with emacs. Not even XEmacs mind you. Who woulda thunk it, me the Microsoft whore for so many years *SHUDDER*. Just wished that when I accidently type Ctrl-x Ctrl-s in VI that it didn't crash the terminal in some connections.
  • Thinking that airplanes need some type of authentication system for pilots.
Bill of Rights RIP 9/11/2001

Woke up this morning as I always do, clicking on slashdot (Funny how that is my major source of news these days). FUCK. All this shit will become a huge payday for the police state and should be marked as the day that killed the bill of rights.

How many innocent people is the US gov going to kill as payback? There is no respose that can match this. There is no amount of destruction that we can cause that will equal it. How do you effectively punish someone who has nothing to loose when you have everything to loose?

But we will try because we are tough guys. The leader of the free world. What a fucking sand castle. Maybe we need to think about becoming world citizens instead of world bullies.

Here's the wild card: How many of the terrorists that have and will continue to fuck us over were once on the CIA payroll? How many still are?

10 Sep 2001 (updated 10 Sep 2001 at 16:04 UTC) »

The story of Bobby Fischer playing chess online finally gave me a reason to post on ./. Chess was my big obsession before computers and after gaming. I got good enough at it to know that I totally SUCKED.

I'm a big fan of his playing. His is such a psycho in so many ways and being that good at chess only fuels it. It must really burn him that so many of his paranoid rantings about the Soviets were right. I'm glad that he's found a way to express himself and feel safe.

How do you judge people that are so brilliant and yet so flawed? Wagner was one of the early movers and shakers in the Anti-Semetic movement in Germany. Richard Strauss, Orff and Respighi were all were big wigs in the Nazi cultural organizations. Can one love the art and hate the artist?

Listening to Dr. Who online and Andrei Codrescu's Critique of Cyberspace on NPR.

I'm a huge fan of radio dramas. I actually enjoy listening to baseball on the radio more than watching a game. Something about the way that the commentators paint the picture of the game. Reading over the history of the show, I was very impressed with the story of the theme song. So cool that it was done without synthesizers. Just different bizarre gizmos and noise makers recorded and spliced together. When you compare the original to the later versions that they have, the original is so much better.

Andrei Codrescu is right. Cyber reality is in the same league as plastic flowers. Cheap imitations of the real thing for people to lazy to deal with reality.

The fact is that the reason that people try to excape into their computers is the real life on this planet sucks. Community is dead. Human interaction is dying. Soon it will be so unbearable that cyber will be everything not because it is so much better than reality but because reality is so much worse.

This all plays into the goals of consumerism. Create and control desire. The greatest achievement for corporations is the day that consumers are forced to buy reality itself. We already have to buy everything else: water, food, shelter, light. What is left? Air, sight, sound. Soon you will have to upgrade to MS version whatever just to be able to talk to someone in the approved fashion. "No, I don't like talking to people in real life. I'm much thinner online."

7 Sep 2001 (updated 7 Sep 2001 at 05:35 UTC) »

Had a very bad experience today with online testing. Was interviewing for a job using go ol' PHP, which is a language that while I am sick of, still consider it one of my strong suits, not that that says much about me.

So, I'm interviewing for this job with PHP and they ask me to take a test using proveit.com.

My favorite question:

Which expression does not result in $a = 5?

  1. $a = ($b = 5);
  2. $a = $b = 5;
  3. $a = 4; $a = ++$a;
  4. $a = 4; $a = $a++;
  5. $a = 5; $a = $a;
I don't want to know the answer. Anybody writing this sort of code should be taken out, tarred, feathered and put at the head of the St. Stupid's Day Parade. (I'm sure everyone took one look at that and said "D of course" and went back to smoking their bubble pipes.)

No questions about solving problems, or any sort of task that would demonstrate that you can program your way out of a paper bag. Just bizarre hell code language braindead trivia. BLEACH!

I can only imagine what sort of hell code they can come up with for perl. It's perfect for these sort of test companies looking to make sure that only mindless robots pass these tests.

Nice response from O'Reilly about the license of Jason Hunter's Servlet Book re my earlier rant that I attached to an email that I sent :

To: ignatz@sieve.net
Subject: Re: Possible error on Java Servlet Programming
In-reply-to: Your message of "Mon, 03 Sep 2001 16:07:59 
X-KB: n
X-By: chriso
Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2001 10:19:13 -0700
From: "O'Reilly Book Support" <booktech@oreilly.com>

Hi Chris,

Thanks for pointing that out! We appreciate it.

Jason Hunter wrote the com.oreilly.servlet package, and he decided on his licensing terms. We can't insist on our authors to make their code available as open source.

Thanks again for pointing out the error.

Chris Olson O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. O'Reilly Book Support booktech@oreilly.com

> Hi, > > Page 61 of Jason Hunter's Java Servlet Programming, 2nd edition > > in the code block: > > while (e.hasMoreElements()) { > GuestbookEntry entry = (GuestbookEntry) e.nextElement(); > name = entry.name; > if (name == null) name = "Unknown user"; > email = entry.email; > if (name == null) email = "Unknown email"; > > I believe that the final line should be: > if (email == null) email = "Unknown email"; > > > Great book! > > I only wish that the com.oreilly.servlet classes had a > more traditional open-source license so that they didn't > appear tainted to developers who would want to use them > in open-source projects. Since O'Reilly seems to be such > a champion of Open Source I'm surprised that they don't > practice what they preach. This is coming from a > developer that owns at least 30 different O'Reilly > books. For the last company I worked at when asked what > sourt of books we should buy for a company library, I > just said buy all of the O'Reilly books. I even bet that > having open source code in you editions is something that > your marketing department could use as a selling point.

Getting distracted with XML-RPC and Soap. Went to Staceys yesterday and saw O'Reilly's new book on the subject and whereas once upon a time I would just shell out the $$$, times are tight and so I hold off. I could just keep focused on what I'm doing but I have to just load the shit and play with it.

NOTE TO SELF: Oh shut up all ready.

Authors need to really be encouraged to open-source their book examples. Maybe there could be some sort of certified logo on the book that could help sell it, like open-source inside or something.

Going over Jason Hunter's Servlet book and trying to figure out how his license impacts anything that I do with it. I don't want to worry about this shit. I just want to write good stuff instead of worrying about creating this license mixed bag nightmare. His code requires every one on your "commercial" team to own a copy of his book. The source is there but you can't redistribute. Is this open source? Is open-source non-commercial? I like his book and I don't know any Java programmers that don't own it (not that I know that many personally), but SHIT, do I really want to play these games?

Do we really want to require every fucking open-source programmer to have a law degree, because with all the license agreements and 800lb gorilla IBM like players and infighting like MySQL it is only going to get worse as time goes by.

I really wish that authors of books would just stick to the fundamentals of the languages that they write about. Java seems to have a real problem that the authors of the books don't like somethingoranother about the language and so create a whole set of classes right off the bat and instead of talking about the language, they are talking about the language filtered through whatever sort of code that they have created to make thinks work for them. So instead of learning the language, you learn author X's version of the language. (Thinking in Java is another book with this problem.) Then if you like their ideas you can't even use them because their code isn't open-source so your FUCKED.

Save that shit for chapter 17 or something, instead of right away, cause if the reader doesn't or can't buy the premise that your world view is under, (like JSPs suck or arrays in Java are lame) the whole rest of the book is useless.

It's strange that O'Reilly books have all these strange license agreements. They trumpet themselves as champions of open-source but seem to choke when it comes to their own shit. Just becuase the code is visable doesn't meen that it's open.

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