Older blog entries for ignatz (starting at number 20)

14 Sep 2001 (updated 14 Sep 2001 at 19:13 UTC) »
We live in a nation of illusions. A sausage of a country; we love it, but we don't want to know how it is made.

My wife is very down because she says that she always felt secure until now. Her family always made sure that she knew that they would protect her. And now all that is gone. "It was an illusion," I told her.

"I like my illusions," she replied. Now a few of them are gone. How many more will remain is another matter.

Will we hide ourselves in our electronic boxes and wrap ourselves in the comfort of the flag and let the powers that be do what they feel has to be done to protect the recipe of our "way of life"? No nation is more lied to and no nation loves the lie more.

What disgusts me the most is that legislators will ride the waves of bodies to promote their pet projects: CIA, NSA, military, missle defense, electronic espionage, etc etc etc. What is privacy when we are at war? We must FIGHT to protect our freedoms YADAYADAYADA even if that means eliminating them. None of there actions will have any effect on the type of groups that will want to duplicate the events in NYC and at the Pentagon.

If they really cared about all this they would investigate the agencies that that trained Bin Laden. Has it been worth it? Can you really say that now? What other Bin Laden wannabees are currently on the CIA dole?

I read the writings that others have linked to here (Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, John Pilger) and think they're right. I think that these people are heros for speaking up about this stuff. Does it make you unamerican to ask why, why these people want to do this? If it does than the times ahead will very troubled indeed.

Talked to Manly's wife Wennie. She had several stories of friends of her's that had close calls. Her brother works at the Pentagon in the area of the crash. Was running late becuase he wife called him to tell him about the crash at the WTC, walked into the building just with the plane crashed. Very close. Niel, who along with me was a member of their wedding party, got out of the subway just in time to see building 2 collapse.

Suddenly San Francisco earthquakes seem like a walk in the park.

On the software front, I've been meditating about a new type of database datatype besides text and multimedia for the project: Event. I've been trying to define events and create structures that interlink them. The main features that are different that a simple text object is that they have a time of happening, a duration, a location and they relate to other events.

The main purpose of this datatype is for reference works, like the lives of the great composers, etc, also useful for annotating standard text files. The complexity is going to be the dimensions of the events, i.e. people and documents that relate to them. Need to flesh this out, maybe read up on advanced database design a bit to see how others are doing it. The latest search engines are doing some awesome stit in this area.

Steves all gung-ho about python and I can't blame him. I'm trying to stick to this Java cold-turkey shit right now even tho Python looks like a language that I will very much fall in love with once I get into it. As much as I love Perl, I think that my personality will mesh very well with the more facist side of the language.

The main reason I guess that I'm doing this giant session of a brain dump right now is that I'm bummin pretty hard about not getting this gig that I was real close to landing. It really sucks right now doing what I do. Next week I'll probably be delivering pizzas and calling people up asking them if they want to switch long distance providers. I must confess that many days during the dot-com insanity I missed my days as a messanger. Healthy work, fun, get to flirt a lot, wacky people. Now, I'm back to square one.

I figured that I was pretty safe being one of the few people in the company that actually built something. The goto guy. The guy that stayed up all night so that this turd could fly and they could get another fix of funding. Wrong. Suddely my resume has all the value of single-ply toilet paper. I worked for shit, I made shit, it ended up as shit. I knew it yet I liked the green. PAYBACK TIME BOY

All this shit of the last few days puts it into prespective. I ain't got shit for problems. Still, suffering is relative. I keep trying to cast myself as something of value, but I'm tired of this shit. Doing drywall or driving a truck might just be a nice contrast. Nothing stopping me from coding my own shit and then it's sans bullshit.

Started looking for a quote in the Bible to put up on the carol site. Didn't end up putting it there even though it's pretty powerful stuff. Reminded me about debates I used to get into in Pastor Anderson's bible study class back when I was a choir director. I consider myself a radical, yet one whose culture is Christian, yet I am very drawn to Zen and Buddism. We were talking about the quote of Jesus about rich people having a less of a chance of getting into heaven the a camel going through the eye of a needle. Everyone was hemming and hawing about the quote trying to explain it away.

I spoke up asking them why doesn't it mean just what it means. Why do we need to explain away what is a very clear message. They got very mad and after some shouting we gave up for the day. Later on Pastor Anderson laughing told me how much he enjoyed the diuscussion. "You know, " he wispered laughingly to me as we shook hands of fellow members of the congregation, "most of the people in that room were millionares."

Anyway, here's the quote that seemed to speak to me most, even though I doubt many people in this country could swallow it given the current climate.

"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' lend to `sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Luke 6-27

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.

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