motto lotto

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

weighty problems


image courtesy of wordle.net
Not to be confused. - Moralists who treat the grandiose, mighty, self-sacrificing disposition such as is evidenced by Plutarch's heroes, or the pure, enlightened, heat conducing state of soul of truly good men and women, as weighty problems and seek to discover their origin by exhibiting the complexity in the apparent simplicity and directing the eye to the interlacing of motives, to the delicate conceptual illusions woven into it, and to the individual groups of sensations inherited from of old and slowly intensified - these moralists are most different from precisely those moralists with whom they are most confused: from the trivial spirits who have no belief at all in these dispositions and states of soul and suppose that greatness and purity are only an outward show concealing behind them a paltriness similar to their own. The moralists say: 'here there are problems', and these wretches say: 'here there are deceivers and deceptions'; they thus deny the existence of that which the former are intent upon explaining.

Nietzsche - The Wanderer and His Shadow § 20

great big triangle UFOs in Ireland

I don't want anyone to think I'm getting behind on my UFO news. I like the stories about these mile wide triangular shaped UFOs better than the typical saucers.

*cue spooky music*
The triangular shaped image, with lights at each point, which appeared to send a red laser-type light towards earth, drew gasps of amazement from the 70 or so delegates who attended the world premiere of the footage.

Unusual

A senior garda officer who was driving when he noticed the unusual light formation in the sky stopped to film it.

"There is no footage like this in the world. It is the most amazing and spectacular I have ever seen," said Carl Nally, co-founder of UFO and Paranormal Research Ireland and joint author of 'Conspiracy of Silence'.

Five days earlier, on July 29, an off-duty pilot who photographed lightning from Howth pier just after midnight later noticed what appeared to be a triangular-shaped object to the right of the lightning fork in the developed image.

And Fianna Fail Town Councillor in Trim, Jimmy Peppard, ran indoors for a camera on August 8 when he spotted a triangular-shaped object measuring "about a mile in diameter" in the sky, where it remained static for about half an hour.

We're not alone . . . politician and pilot spot UFO (independent.ie)
I'm still waiting out the ufologist's October 14th prediction.

Monday, September 29, 2008

wordle

I just learned about Wordle, it pulls any feed or text you give it in and creates a tag cloud type image based on whichever words appear the most. You can change the color scheme, orientation of words, etc. Here's an image using this blog's RSS feed.



Here's what Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Beyond Vietnam" speech looks like.



Wordle lets you print out any images you create to use for anything you want but if you use them on the web they want a reference to their site (wordle.net). They don't make an easy way for you to get an image version of the wordle so you're left to do a screen capture (if you're in OS X, Command-Shift-4 allows you to capture the portion of the screen you select) or print to pdf.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pierre Hadot on Socrates' task

Socrates' task--entrusted to him, says the Apology, by the Delphic oracle (in other words, the god Apollo)--was therefore to make other people recognize their lack of knowledge and of wisdom. In order to accomplish this mission, Socrates himself adopted the attitude of someone who knew nothing--an attitude of naiveté . This is the well known Socratic irony: the feigned ignorance and candid air with which, for instance, he asked questions in order to find out whether someone was wiser than he. In the words of a character from the Republic: "That's certainly Socrates' old familiar irony! I knew it. I predicted to everyone present, Socrates, that you'd refuse to reply, that you'd feign ignorance, and that you'd do anything but reply if someone asked you a question."

This is why Socrates is always the questioner in his discussions. As Aristotle remarked, "He admits that he knows nothing." According to Cicero, "Socrates used to denigrate himself, and conceded more than was necessary to the interlocutors he wanted to refute. Thus, thinking one thing and saying another, he took pleasure in that dissimulation which the Greeks call 'irony.'" In fact, however, such an attitude is not a form of artifice or intentional dissimulation. Rather, it is a kind of humor which refuses to take oneself or other people seriously; for everything human, and even everything philosophical, is highly uncertain, and we have no right to be proud of it. Socrates' mission, then, was to make people aware of their lack of knowledge.
...
The real problem is therefore not the problem of knowing this or that, but of being in this or that way: "I have no concern at all for what most people are concerned about: financial affairs, administration of property, appointments to generalships, oratorical triumphs in public, magistracies, coalitions, political factions. I did not take this path... but rather the one where I could do the most good to each one of you in particular, by persuading you to be less concerned with what you have than what you are; so that you may make yourselves as excellent and as rational as possible." Socrates practiced this call to being not only by means of his interrogations and his irony, but above all by means of his way of being, by his way of life, and by his very being.

Pierre Hadot What is Ancient Philosophy p. 26,29*

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Richard Stallman on the big bro capabilities of cell phones

Another major concern is mobile devices. "This is an interesting example of how new problems can arise with new technology," Stallman says. "Ten years ago, I looked at cell phones, and there was no issue of free or proprietary software, because no one could install software in cell phones. But I looked at it, and said that this was Big Brother's dream: Wherever you go, they know where you are.

"Then I found out that, once they became programmable, that it was possible to turn them on remotely to listen to people. But, in the last few years, cell phones have become more powerful and turned into computers on which people can install software, so, as a result, the free software issue is relevant to them, also. And, as it happens, addressing that issue helps us address surveillance and tracking as well. If you have free software, then the phone is controlled by users, and it is possible to tell it not to send any remote signals. Also, there's at least a good chance that it will have security and won't let someone turn it on remotely."

Richard Stallman looks back at 25 years of the GNU project (linux.com)

I'm sure Schneier has covered these problems in the past but its a good reminder. It sounds like a good idea to know what software is running on your phone.

Friday, September 26, 2008

who was the master debater?

I imagine factcheck.org's debate coverage is relevant though I doubt the link will work until tomorrow.

Here's Andrew Sullivan's live blogging of the debate.

And the perpetual reminder--

The presidential election debates haven't been sponsored by a non-partisan group since 1987.

--
on the financial "crisis"

It's probably a good idea to be wary when your government keeps pushing though legislation as fast as they can whenever we supposedly face a crisis. How's that been working out for us so far? Patriot Act, Iraq, Katrina, and now the financial bailout? I don't think "the decider" should be given the opportunity to decide things any more, especially not in a time of crisis.

I also don't think it hurts to take a look at Naomi Klein's take on using crisis to push through political agendas (wikipedia).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

i should also include this blast from the past

from 6/25/2007

It seems like a lot of people think the world is a place where you’ve got a ton of different packaged worldviews and your mission is to choose between them and pick one, put it on like a helmet with goggles and your world will forever be transformed by it. You “understand” the people with different worldviews because you understand their helmet.

Truly understanding people is quite different because each person’s view of the world is really their own. A person’s view of the world is mostly guided by things that are outside of his/her control (environment, culture, indoctrination, etc.). So understanding myself and my view of the world is a discovery process not a construction process. It’s similar when I change my view of the world. I read something or understand some new concept and can’t help but be changed by the concept.

I think some story like this is the human process and I think arguments about this camp vs that camp don’t really get anything done. So… I wouldn’t pair Spinoza and Einstein in that way and I view all people as having distinct worldviews. If I were to pair people by worldviews I’d probably be more likely to use culture as a metric. Culture seems to have a large impact on human behavior and therefore seems like something we could (should?) work on directly to make a better world. Looking around… “American” is what defines the people I see in regard to behavior much more than Christian or Athiest or Buddhist.

choosing camps… choosing faiths… maybe those aren’t really choices we have? OR how is it that we gain that level of control over “reality”?

--

This is part of the background from which that previous post may make more sense.

In a lot of ways all this is just an argument to get me out of what I consider to be nearly worthless arguments. You'd think that would mean I would think this kind of meta-argument was even more worthless but I'm a strange duck.

full context

91. If Moore says he knows the earth existed etc., most of us will grant him that it has existed all the time, and also believe him when he says he is convinced of it. But has he also got the right ground for his conviction? For if not, then after all he doesn't know (Russell).

92. However, we can ask: May someone have telling grounds for believing that the earth has existed for a short time, say since his own birth?--Suppose he had always been told that,--would he have any good reason to doubt it? Men have believed that they could make rain; why should not a king be brought up in the belief that the world began with him? And if Moore and this king were to meet and discuss, could Moore really prove his belief to be the right one? I do not say that Moore could not convert the king to his view, but it would be a conversion of a special kind; the king would be brought to look at the world in a different way.

Remember that one is sometimes convinced of the correctness of a view by its simplicity or symmetry, i.e., these are what induce one to go over to this point of view. One then simply says something like: "That's how it must be."

93. The propositions presenting what Moore 'knows' are all of such a kind that it is difficult to imagine why anyone should believe the contrary. E.g. the proposition that Moore has spent his whole life in close proximity to the earth.--Once more I can speak of myself here instead of speaking of Moore. What could induce me to believe the opposite? Either a memory, or having been told.--Everything that I have seen or heard give me the conviction that no man has ever been far from the earth. Nothing in my picture of the world speaks in favor of the opposite.

94. But I did not get my picture of the world by satisfying myself of its correctness; nor do I have it because I am satisfied of its correctness. No: it is the inherited background against which I distinguish between true and false.

95. The propositions describing this world-picture might be part of a kind of mythology. And their role is like that of rules of a game; and the game can be learned purely practically, without learning any explicit rules.

96. It might be imagined that some propositions, of the form of empirical propositions, were hardened and functioned as channels for such empirical propositions as were not hardened but fluid; and that this relation altered with time, in that fluid propositions hardened, and hard ones became fluid.

97. The mythology may change back to a state of flux, the river-bed of thoughts may shift. But I distinguish between the movement of the waters on the river-bed and the shift of the bed itself; though there is not a sharp division of the one from the other.

98. But if someone were to say "So logic too is an empirical science" he would be wrong. Yet this is right: the same proposition may get treated at one time as something to test by experience, at another as a rule of testing.

99. And the bank of that river consists partly of hard rock, subject to no alteration or only to an imperceptible one, partly of sand, which now in one place now in another gets washed away, or deposited.

100. The truths which Moore says he knows, are such as, roughly speaking, all of us know, if he knows them.

Ludwig Wittgenstein On Certainty

Monday, September 22, 2008

"Emptying Hell"

A samurai in the employ of the provincial barony came to call on the Zen master Hakuin.

The master asked the samurai, "What have you done?"

The samurai said, "I have always liked to listen to Buddhist teaching. I have become infected with an illness because of this."

Hakuin asked, "What is your illness like?"

The samurai said, "I first met a Zen teacher and searched into the principle of the essence of mind. Then I met a Shingon Discipline teacher and studied the esoteric canon. Developing doubt and confusion about these two schools, while in the midst of visualization of the letter A, there suddenly arose in my mind images of hells. When I tried to stop them by means of the principle of the essence of mind, the two visions clashed, so my mind has become disturbed. In sleep I have nightmares, and when awake, I only toil at conceptual thinking."

Hakuin clucked his tongue and said, "Do you know what it is that fears hell?"

The samurai said, "The view of emptiness! I have caught this illness."

Hakuin shouted at the samurai again and again, shouting him away saying, "You little knave! A samurai is someone who is so loyal to his lord that he does not flee floods or fires, and he exposes his body to spears and swords without quivering or blinking an eye. How can you fear the view of emptiness? Right now, fall into each of those hells, and let's check them out!"

The samurai complained, "How can a teacher have people fall into an evil state?"

Hakuin laughed and said, "The hells I fall into are eightyfour thousand in number! Look--there's nowhere I don't fall!"

Finally seeing the master's point, the samurai was overjoyed.

Zen Antics translated by Thomas Cleary p. 22
My favorite part is that all this happened, "while in the midst of visualization of the letter A".

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

for Charlie



This photo also reveals how much I suck at using my camera.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

how Wittgenstein (and Nietzsche) may want to be read

Perhaps everyone who achieves an important piece of work has an imaginative idea - a dream - of how it might be further developed; but it would all the same be remarkable if things were really to turn out according to his dream. Nowadays of course it's easy not to believe in your own dreams.

Nietzsche writes somewhere that even the best poets and thinkers have written stuff that is mediocre and bad, but have separated off the good material. But it is not quite like that. It's true that a gardener, along with his roses, keeps manure and rubbish and straw in his garden, but what distinguishes them is not just their value, but mainly their function in the garden.
      Something that looks like a bad sentence can be the germ of a good one.

Ludwig Wittgenstein Culture and Value p. 59e
This quote may have some bearing on how we read Wittgenstein and Nietzsche, and what sort of license we take with their work. Of course we can always do whatever we want with them. They're dead after all but some of us don't enjoy stomping around on their graves. The "somewhere" Wittgenstein is referring to there is the quote I posted a couple days ago:
Belief in inspiration. - Artists have an interest in the existence of a belief in the sudden occurrence of ideas, in so-called inspirations; as though the idea of a work of art, a poem, the basic proposition of a philosophy flashed down from heaven like a ray of divine grace. In reality, the imagination of a good artist or thinker is productive continually, of old, mediocre and bad things, but his power of judgment, sharpened and practiced to the highest degree, rejects, selects, knots together; as we can now see from Beethoven’s notebooks how the most glorious melodies were put together gradually and as it were culled out of many beginnings. He who selects less rigorously and likes to give himself up to his imitative memory can, under the right circumstances, become a great improviser; but artistic improvisation is something very inferior in relation to the serious and carefully fashioned artistic idea. All the great artists have been great workers, inexhaustible not only in invention but also in rejecting, sifting, transforming, ordering. (HAH, I, 155)
Both quotes have some bearing on how to read the Nachlass (unpublished works). Wittgenstein thinks a germ can be found and explored and it looks as if he wouldn't be averse to someone else doing just that with his work (especially if they adopt his "function in the garden"). Nietzsche, on the other hand, saw the artistic genius in the "rejecting, sifting, transforming, ordering".

So, from these quotes alone (this is no kind of exhaustive study):

With Nietzsche, don't use the Nachlass.*
With Wittgenstein, use them.**


*It may also be important to take Nietzsche's illness (likely NOT syphilis) into account, sympathetically.
**Yes, the quote I'm using here is, itself from Wittgenstein's Nachlass.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nietzsche on inspiration

Belief in inspiration. - Artists have an interest in the existence of a belief in the sudden occurrence of ideas, in so-called inspirations; as though the idea of a work of art, a poem, the basic proposition of a philosophy flashed down from heaven like a ray of divine grace. In reality, the imagination of a good artist or thinker is productive continually, of old, mediocre and bad things, but his power of judgment, sharpened and practiced to the highest degree, rejects, selects, knots together; as we can now see from Beethoven’s notebooks how the most glorious melodies were put together gradually and as it were culled out of many beginnings. He who selects less rigorously and likes to give himself up to his imitative memory can, under the right circumstances, become a great improviser; but artistic improvisation is something very inferior in relation to the serious and carefully fashioned artistic idea. All the great artists have been great workers, inexhaustible not only in invention but also in rejecting, sifting, transforming, ordering.

Inspiration again. - If productive power has been blocked for a time and prevented from flowing out by an obstruction, there occurs in the end an effusion so sudden it appears that an immediate inspiration without any preliminary labour, that is to say a miracle, has taken place. This constitutes the familiar deception with whose continuance the interest of all artists is, as aforesaid, a little too much involved. The capital has only been accumulated, it did not fall from the sky all at once. Similar apparent inspiration is also to be found in other domains, for example in that of goodness, virtue, vice.

HAH, I, 155-156
Reminds me of this article in the New Yorker from last month. Austin Kleon's take on "The Neuroscience of Not Knowing".

I used to call these sorts of insights "boom" experiences, at least the experiences of clarity that were particularly astonishing. As time went on though it became more obviously a function of how my mind works. I guess I don't have any reason to consider it less astonishing simply because it became more familiar.

nominalism

We are not analyzing a phenomenon (e.g. thought) but a concept (e.g. that of thinking), and therefore the use of a word. So it may look as if what we were doing were Nominalism. Nominalists make the mistake of interpreting all words as names, and so of not really describing their use, but only, so to speak, giving a paper draft on such a description.

Ludwig Wittgenstein Philosophical Investigations § 383

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

a poem that "shows" rather than "says"

source: wikimediaI came across this interesting blog post titled "how to be a metaphysical hitchhiker". The blog's tagline--

An ongoing blog about what a non-theistic conception of divinity (a la Spinoza, Epicurus and Lucretius) might mean for liberal religious communities and individuals who wish to maintain a fruitful and meaningful connection with the liberal Christian tradition.

I'm not doing the post justice but here's a sub-section, better to read the whole thing. Stevens is the poet.
This obsession with the ideal over the given - of seeing the pear as the observer wills - is precisely what has led to the current ecological, economic, political and religious crises we are currently facing. It is a view of the world that must, therefore, be challenged.

However, anyone wishing effectively to challenge this view needs to adopt an unusual approach - an approach offered up in part by Wittgenstein and Stevens. For the current modern human view of Nature can only truly be challenged by the first place by accepting that it, too, is a given. To seek, in one grand revolutionary gesture, to replace wholesale the old world-view with a new would simply perpetuate the already deeply problematic human tendency to privilege the ideal over the given. Instead, what is required is to find an effective way of always working collaboratively with what is actually in front of us. Of working with pears and human-beings as we actually encounter them in the world.

Wittgenstein as philosopher-therapist

For Kuusela, the key to the transition from the early to the later philosophy lies in Wittgenstein's recognition of the role of prototypes, examples and analogies in philosophy: they provide a way of looking at things that can be used to throw a new light on our use of concepts. There is no claim that these objects of comparison provide correct descriptions of a system of grammatical rules that is held to govern our employment of expressions; rather they are used to relieve the mental cramps caused by an entrenched way of looking at things; it is a matter of using one representation of the use of language to combat the pathological effects of another. That's why Wittgenstein can give up a particular representation of the use of a word, with which someone disagrees, and employ some other object of comparison: there never was a claim that a rule that Wittgenstein articulates is one by which speakers of the language proceed, or that it defines the absolute limits of sense.
...
He tries to show that it is precisely by not taking sides in any philosophical dispute that Wittgenstein's method offers the hope of doing justice to the immensely complex phenomenon that is our linguistic practice, and of achieving clarity about various aspects of our everyday life with language that are the focus for philosophical problems and paradoxes.

The Struggle Against Dogmatism: Wittgenstein and the Concept of Philosophy
Oskari Kuusela (Review by Marie McGinn)
Thanks to a pointer from Methods of Projection.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Scott Adams' (Dilbert) Survey of Economists

The creator of Dilbert paid for his own poll of economists to ask whether a McCain or Obama presidency would be better for the economy.
This summer I found myself wishing someone would give voters useful and unbiased information about which candidate has the best plans for the economy.

Then I realized that I am someone, which is both inconvenient and expensive. So for once I asked not what my country could do for me.

At considerable personal expense, I commissioned a survey of over 500 economists, drawn from a subset of the members of the American Economic Association, a nonpolitical group, some of whose members had agreed in advance to be surveyed on economic questions.

From Adams' article on cnn.com

The results and Adams' opinion at the Dilbert Blog.

--
Vince's take on Bush economics-

Socialism for the Wealthy

Monday, September 15, 2008

Vonnegut's "essence of human wonder"

The Temptation of Saint Anthony ((CC) wikimedia)"The whole magical thing about our painting, Mrs. Berman, and this was old stuff in music, but it was brand new in painting: it was pure essence of human wonder, and wholly apart from food, from sex, from clothes, from houses, from drugs, from cars, from news, from money, from crime, from punishment, from games, from war, from peace--and surely apart from the universal human impulse among painters and plumbers alike toward inexplicable despair and self-destruction!"

Rabo Karabekian (Abstract Expressionist Painter)*
from Vonnegut's Bluebeard

Sunday, September 14, 2008

presidential election debates


Before you get caught up in some less important debate about the presidential debates, remember:

The presidential election debates haven't been sponsored by a non-partisan group since 1987.

Here's what the League of Women Voters had to say about it on October 3, 1988:
The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates... because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates' organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.
Source: wikipedia - US Presidential Election Debates

Friday, September 12, 2008

Vonnegut on the Soul/Meat distinction

If I watch two people talking on a street corner, I see not only their flesh and clothes, but narrow, vertical bands of color inside them—not so much like tape, actually, but more like low-intensity neon tubes.

* * *
"I can't help it," I said. "My soul knows my meat is doing bad things, and is embarrassed. But my meat just keeps right on doing bad, dumb things."

"Your what and your what?" he said.

"My soul and my meat," I said.

"They're separate?" he said.

"I sure hope they are," I said. I laughed. "I would hate to be responsible for what my meat does."

I told him, only half joking, about how I imagined the soul of each person, myself included, as being a sort of flexible neon tube inside. All the tube could do was receive news about what was happening with the meat, over which it had no control.

‘”So when people I like do something terrible,” I said, “I just flense them and forgive them.”

“Flense?” he said. “What’s flense?”

“It’s what whalers used to do to whale carcasses when they got them on board,” I said. “They would strip off their skin and blubber and meat right down to the skeleton. I do that in my head to people—get rid of all the meat so I can see nothing but their souls. Then I forgive them.”

* * *
….”your meat made the picture in the potato barn,” she said.

“Sounds right, “ I said. “My soul didn’t know what kind of picture to paint, but my meat sure did.”

“Well then,” she said, “isn’t it time for your soul, which has been ashamed of your meat for so long, to thank your meat for finally doing something wonderful?”

I thought that over. “That sounds right too,” I said.

“You have to actually do it,” she said.

“How?” I said.

“Hold your hand in front of your eye,” she said, “ and look at those strange and clever animals with love and gratitude, and tell them out loud: ‘Thank you, Meat.’”

So I did.

I held my hands in front of my eyes, and I said out loud and with all my heart: ‘Thank you, Meat.’”

Oh happy Meat. Oh happy Soul. Oh happy Rabo Karabekian.

Kurt Vonnegut - Bluebeard
--
meatspace n. The physical world, where the meat lives - as opposed to cyberspace. Hackers are actually more willing to use this term than `cyberspace', because it's not speculative - we already have a running meatspace implementation (the universe). Compare RL.

from Dict.org | wikipedia

--
Neal Stephenson's new book sounds like it might be good. Salon's Review of "Anathem"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

understanding American moral psychology

Jonathan Haidt thinks he knows why Democrats often fail to persuade the average American. His article is a good exploration of moral psychology, which Haidt sums up with these two rules--
  1. "feelings come first and tilt the mental playing field on which reasons and arguments compete"
  2. "morality is not just about how we treat each other (as most liberals think); it is also about binding groups together, supporting essential institutions, and living in a sanctified and noble way"
I'm not sure all his recommendations are on target but I thought this one was especially insightful--
The purity/sanctity foundation is used heavily by the Christian right to condemn hedonism and sexual "deviance," but it can also be harnessed for progressive causes. Sanctity does not have to come from God; the psychology of this system is about overcoming our lower, grasping, carnal selves in order to live in a way that is higher, nobler, and more spiritual. Many liberals criticize the crassness and ugliness that our unrestrained free-market society has created. There is a long tradition of liberal anti-materialism often linked to a reverence for nature. Environmental and animal welfare issues are easily promoted using the language of harm/care, but such appeals might be more effective when supplemented with hints of purity/sanctity.

What Makes People Vote Republican? by Jonathan Haidt
While "liberals" might not know these things, Nietzsche provides some clues.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

will UFOs be hovering above Alabama on Oct 14th?

I say no, "ufologists" say yes.
Blossom Goodchild, an Aussie actress and author, has the international Ufology community on its ear with channeled information concerning the eminent appearance of a massive extraterrestrial spacecraft for October 14th, 2008. Calling themselves ‘The Federation of Light’, these Beings from another world have stated to Goodchild that they intend not only to make themselves known, but also to remain more or less in place for a full 72 hour period, thereby providing the media with ample opportunity to once and for all capture on film evidence that will silence the skeptics and debunkers forever. The predicted rendezvous point? Alabama.

from UFOdigest
It certainly would break up the monotony.

Monday, September 8, 2008

installing windows 2000 on Ubuntu (8.04 Hardy) -- virtualbox 2

In this day and age, no one in their right mind should be running winderz. Unfortunately, many of us have to deal with people who aren't in their right mind (and must thereby run winderz as well). I've been using Parallels as my virtualization for the mac but Sun released version 2 of VirtualBox on September 4th so I decided to give it a shot on my Ubuntu box. Here's the process I went through (in case it's helpful to anyone else).

$ sudo emacs -nw /etc/apt/sources.list

any other editor would be fine too, even vi

add the line below to the file (found on the VirtualBox linux download page)

deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian hardy non-free

$ wget -q http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian/sun_vbox.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add

This downloads and then adds sun's key to your apt keys so that aptitude won't give you errors related to the new repository.

$ sudo aptitude update

$ sudo aptitude install virtualbox-2.0

$ VirtualBox &

Agree to Sun's license agreement, register, if you don't it keeps bugging you
.

Click "New" in virtualbox.
Prompted for Name: winderz
and
OS type: Windows 2000
Click "Next".

Choose the amount of memory you want to allocate to the virtual machine.

This machine has 3 GB of memory, choosing "500" MB for the virtual machine, should be ok, it's only win2k after all.

Create a new fixed-size hard disk (I chose 8GB, this machine has 130GB or so). It takes a while to allocate the space for the virtual hd image. I took the moment to jot down my win2k license number in tomboy.

Select the previously created disk image as the "Boot Hard Disk (primary master)"

Click "Finish".
Click "Start" from VirtualBox.
Insert win2k install cd.
Select "CD/DVD Rom device".
Click "Next"->"Finish".

Install win2k.
Once windows 2000 is installed, eject the cdrom.

From the "Devices" menu in VirtualBox, click "Install Guest Additions".

This process mounts the guest additions ISO to the virtual machine so you can have access to the drivers you'll need for the install

From inside win2k, double click on the cd drive in "My Computer" to start the driver install process going.

The virtual machine will probably need a reboot once the install is completed. After reboot, change the screen resolution to something acceptable (probably 16 bit color at 1024x768).

Make sure you have a connection to the internet, on my machine I had to manually specify the DNS servers.

Apply winderz updates (requires a number of reboots to the virtual machine, a service pack update, IE 6 install and 68 other updates IIRC).

At this point you should be done, time to drink a cold one. I now have my winderz safe in its own container where I can get other work done while it incessantly reboots. Thanks VirtualBox!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

can Bush legally admit that McCain was tortured?

source: wikimediaWhen Fred Thompson was speaking at the GOP convention yesterday I couldn't help but think about McCain's record on torture. He was against it before he was for it. That is, before he became the Capitulator (tm).

Andrew Sullivan has been noting some of these same things, I've been enjoying his take on the election the past couple of weeks.
The techniques described in detail by Fred Thompson - another person who avoided the word "torture" - are exactly the torture techniques authorized by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. I'm not sure whether avoiding the t-word is deliberate. I'm just as unsure whether either Bush or Thompson got the irony.*
When Bush spoke to the convention, he referred to McCain's torture as "beatings and isolation". Sullivan speculates, "The reason he put it this way is that if he describes what was done to McCain as torture, he has incriminated himself for war crimes."

Andrew Sullivan's post - Bush: "McCain Wasn't 'Tortured'"

I sorta doubt that Bush saying the word "torture" in regard to what happened to McCain would incriminate him but it's still more important than all the nonsense involving Palin (though some of that has some infotainment value, I mostly just feel sorry for her family like Dr. Laura does).

Monday, September 1, 2008

concluding unscientific poll

With 43 votes cast, we now know, unscientifically, that Jack Handey is a greater philosopher than Martin Heidegger.



also, Kierkegaard '08!