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 diff --git a/blog/entry/0thweektt12.mdwn b/blog/entry/0thweektt12.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..304f63e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/0thweektt12.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,40 @@+[[!meta date="2012-04-17 19:21:00"]]+[[!meta title="0th week Trinity 2012"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++Things are already getting pretty depressing around here, and it's only+0th week. We're in a situation where third years are all hitting eight+hours a day, each day now, for some people up to ten, which is good+because it convinces me that I can do it too. I had a pretty worked up+time yesterday and this morning where I struggled severely with a topic+in philosophy and got very worried about my chances in these exams.+Basically, if I stick to doing a lot of work every single day, I can do+it. I'm pretty sure this is true. The work I've done in advance of now,+over Easter, is good stuff but it's nowhere near as useful as what's+going to happen in the next four weeks because that stuff just floats on+out of my head.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+Despite the fact that I had an excellent term last term, I still wasn't+doing that many hours per day, and so now that's what I was managing+before today: about five hours each day. And so I remain dogged by the+fact that I haven't built up a good work ethic; more than five is very+hard for me. It's important not to blame yourself too much for bad+habits. Aristotle had all the right ideas on this stuff: 'we are what we+repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.' But+to become virtuous we must first be continent: we must make ourselves+act as the virtuous person does, until it comes naturally and without+thought.++This evening though I'm feeling more confident that I can go for it now+and make the time count. I've taken on three hours a week working at the+philosophy library, which is fine, because it's in hours of the day that+aren't especially productive ones for me, and it's good to do something+other than academic work and relaxation, which this represents. So+basically I shouldn't blame myself, just get on with it and see. If I+get a 2:1 in philosophy, then I'll have to just get a first next year+and take a gap year so that I can apply for graduate study along with+the better fourth year grade.++Despite writing this, still scared. Going to do it anyway, though.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/10mertonstreet.mdwn b/blog/entry/10mertonstreet.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..5568215--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/10mertonstreet.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,148 @@+[[!meta date="2011-12-05 12:42:00"]]+[[!meta title="10 Merton Street"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing about]]++Time to write about some things that happened in the second half of the+term just completed that might be of interest to friends from home who+read this blog. Firstly my new job at the Philosophy Faculty Library+here in Oxford. This library has been my favourite library in Oxford and+in fact probably my favourite building in Oxford for a long time. The+atmosphere is very relaxed and friendly, whilst remaining stricter than+other libraries on behaviour, very successfully merging both these+attitude: there are signs saying things like "welcome, relax and+read"---though relaxing with a philosophy text is seldom possible---but also+laptops are restricted to small areas, and the library very successfully+stops people from writing in the books, unlike my college's library. The+staff are also very friendly and helpful and while this is common with+librarians, these are also very personable: they tend to know the users+of the library, despite there being very many such users indeed for a+department with so many students. There is a section of wall with+condescending quotations from philosophers about their own subject, and+a bunch of philosophy comics, many sourced from SMBC.++The building itself is a very strange department. There are some+administrative offices, a computer room for graduate students and a+'hotdesking' area which I don't fully understand, a medium-sized lecture+room, a small lecture room (the Ryle Room, whose walls are lined with+photos of the great twentieth century Oxford philosophers), a common+room for everyone, the library and its stacks, and then about three+offices for academics, this being one of the largest and best philosophy+departments in the world, and that's it. Almost all philosophy teaching+happens elsewhere: lectures in Exam Schools, tutorials in colleges, for+there isn't the space to do very much at all in the faculty, and aside+from the library the building feels strangely out of proportion with+what the department might need. This has enormous charm.++Sadly the university have realised the absurdity of the department and+they are closing the building down; it's been sold off to something else+university-related I believe. The philosophy and the theology libraries+are in the charge of the same head librarian and deputy librarian, so+they are to merge, and in fact I believe another department is merging+in too but I forget which one this is. Everything is to be moved to a+new temporary building in July, while the massive university building+project that will house maths and a huge combined humanities library and+probably other departments too is complete, which should be done in just+under two years.++There are lots of sad things about this move; I am far, far from being+the only person who doesn't want it to happen. It's far more than just+sentimentality though: combined, the philosophy and theology libraries+are required to lose 40% of their stock, since there will not be as much+space. A lot of this will be print journals that are almost never+used---there are I am told three or four complete sets of the Journal for+Symbolic Logic hidden around 10 Merton Street---but they are also selling+off (and giving away) a lot of other stuff. This is very sad. Much care+is being taken to identify those texts that the library has become a+keeper of because there are very few around. Both libraries use+homegrown systems for shelfmarks, and so in order to merge they need to+move to a standard system, and they're using Library of Congress. It+takes me about three times as long to reshelve books labelled this way+(see below); the homegrown system down at philosophy at least is much,+much easier to use from the librarians' and the students' points of+view, because it's designed for the subject matter, rather than being+generic. I mean I'm sure that LoC is great for multi-subject libraries,+that's what it's designed for, but it's sad that we have to lose a+system that works better for us philosophers.++Sentimentally, we all love the building. There will be a common room in+the new one because the head librarian has insisted that something that+is as appreciated as the current one is must be carried over, but+something tells me it won't quite be the same. The furniture, the+shelves, in the library, is also going to go. It's all hardwood, in a+20th century kind of way though not an overly fancy one like you find in+colleges, and modern replacements don't compare.++For me it's the same with maths; I really like that building too, even+if most don't. And I like how the departments are separate and spread+out across the city in different buildings and locales, which is going+to disappear when things get amalgamated just like any other university.++Having liked the library for so long I was thrilled to find that they+were taking applications for part-time librarians again; I have a friend+who does this job and was always very jealous. I got the job near the+start of this term and have been doing Friday afternoons. It's really+quite a easy role; it's just an hour and a half at the end of the day,+so it involves nothing more than serving people on the desk and+reshelving all the books returned in the last two hours of the day,+which takes me about twenty-five minutes at the moment.++The thing I really like, aside from something which is a nice thing to+do in the evening, is seeing the library and the librarians from the+other side, and talking to them. Because they are among the small group+of people who are always in the building, they are the centre of+departmental gossip, so we can share stories about tutors and lecturers+and graduate students and the like. In a department like philosophy+there are plenty of characters. For example one of the few people with+an office in the building is Daniel Isaacson, a philosophy of maths guy,+who taught me this term for the Philosophy of Maths paper. He's been in+the building for about twenty-five years and has the librarians are+aware of his hidden stacks of stuff in various places. He possesses what+looks like most of the philosophy of maths canon and more besides in his+room, and so there isn't space for all the spare complete sets of+journals he has, things only about three or four academics in the+university have any interest in, if that, so they are squirreled away+around the building. The other night Dan came upstairs to the library,+trying to print off an ebook, which unfortunately the university has a+load of, and so the librarian and I struggled with the DRM for a while+to try and print it out (we failed). From time to time you'll see famous+philosophers or my own Balliol tutors in the building, and there's+always something to say about them all.++A recent change in the department has been the introduction of an online+lecture questionnaire, instead of having one handed out on paper by the+lecturer sometime around 6th week each term. It was amusing to see how+different lecturers reacted to this. Ralph Walker, Oxford's Kant expert,+who is perhaps the tutor/lecturer I most respect in my university+experience so far, spent a good few minutes attempting to copy the URL+onto the whiteboard for us, figuring out where the slashes and colons+are meant to go. His lectures this term have been the highlight of my+week. No distracting overheads or overly detailed notes, just the+occasional German word on the board that we might want to see the+spelling of, and a summary handout to guide you through the lecture, and+then the rest is just an expert talking, which is by far the best way to+do it. And what lectures they have been. I won't go into the+philosophical details here.++A contrast is the philosophy of maths lectures from Alex Paseau. He+stated that "the philosophy faculty has finally moved into the 21st+century and the lecture questionnaire is now online". With academics in+their posts for so long (in fact Ralph is technically retired) you get+massive age differences like this.++I learned from the head librarian some history of the library on my+first shift. Philosophy was for a very long time just a small part of+classics; eventually it became a sub-faculty, and very recently it+became a faculty in its own right. So there was no philosophy library+for a very long time. Now, in the mid-twentieth century, Gilbert Ryle+was at some point simultaneously the editor of *Mind* and one of the+university proctors, the latter of which gave him the right to any book+published by OUP during his year. These two things combined meant that+he amassed rather a lot of philosophy books, and they ended up in a room+in the Bodleian. The Bodleian didn't want this so eventually a library+got established at 12 Merton Street, which later moved to the current 10+Merton Street.++So there's some thoughts on the philosophy faculty and its library. At+some point before the maths and philosophy buildings close down, I plan+to go round and photograph them, so if I do that I'll post the pictures+on here.diff --git a/blog/entry/11.10noclassic.mdwn b/blog/entry/11.10noclassic.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..8b2b019--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/11.10noclassic.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,17 @@+[[!meta date="2011-04-03 11:44:00"]]+[[!meta title="No Gnome Classic with Ubuntu 11.10"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech gnu+linux ubuntu]]++[Ubuntu 11.10 Will Not Ship With A Classic Gnome Desktop | Web+Upd8](http://www.webupd8.org/2011/04/ubuntu-1110-will-not-ship-with-classic.html)++Personally I like the look of Gnome Shell and if we ignore technical+evilness associated with Ubuntu's Unity, it looks like a more sensible+way of controlling one's desktop than the Gnome default. But the only+justification for not shipping the tried-and-tested alternative is when+almost no-one uses the classic desktop; this is a blatantly a ploy to+force people to switch which goes against the spirit of the GNU/Linux+system. And from a purely utilitarian "let's spread Ubuntu" PoV, it's+not going to do them any good. Mac fanboys are not the target market!++(via [@davidgerard](http://twitter.com/davidgerard))diff --git a/blog/entry/12hoursofemail.mdwn b/blog/entry/12hoursofemail.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..a7ef351--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/12hoursofemail.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,19 @@+[[!meta date="2012-04-29 12:34:00"]]+[[!meta title="Twelve hours of e-mail"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++I've just lost 12--16 hours of e-mail, including e-mail sent to my+university e-mail account, which is upsetting. If you've e-mailed me in+the past day and I haven't replied, please resend your message+(preferably exactly how it was).++I've asked my mail sysadmin for a filtered copy of the mail logs for the+past day so that I can e-mail people to ask for copies of their e-mails,+but still, I've definitely lost the output of some cronjobs and other+automated messages.++It's important not to let this bother me too much. E-mail is a useful+tool and it doesn't matter that my archive isn't 100% complete, so long+as things continue to get done. If I can't get the logs then there's+nothing to be done, and I should accept that, but it's hard since I've+kept every e-mail now for such a long time.diff --git a/blog/entry/2012hope.mdwn b/blog/entry/2012hope.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..21adc0b--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/2012hope.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,114 @@+[[!meta date="2012-01-04 00:39:00"]]+[[!meta title="Hopeful in 2012"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++When I write these blog posts or think of the idea to write them, I find+myself gushing with ideas of clever and/or apparently true things I+might say. I don't know how many of these are good, and certainly there+are times in posts entirely about, rather than merely inspired by, my+own life, when I run away with myself and thus end up saying lots of+things about the future that will never end up actually coming true. So+I'm apprehensive about this post. I do not wish to speak prematurely,+and I do not wish to damage progress by writing about it, which can+happen as psychologists think that we use up some of our determination+in telling others about our determination. Nor do I wish to suggest that+I am not aware that there is far further to go than this post might+suggest I think there is. My proposed antidote to this is to suppress my+gushing flow of sentences and just note down a few things. The whole+point of having a blog like this is to write what I'm thinking *right+now* so that's what I'll do.++I am filled with hope for my future that I have not felt for a long time+because I have had two successful days of work that I have not had for+so long, and it seems to me that all I need to do to achieve the+serenity I desire is to just keep doing this, more groundedly, if I can+do this for the next six months, my degree is certainly sorted out.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+There are two components to this hope. One is that I have been+successfully implementing something I have been toying with for the past+three weeks or so, that is, the [Pomodoro+Technique](https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique),+or at least, my version of it. The point is to work for twenty-five+minutes at a time with no distractions or interruptions (a 'pomodoro');+if unavoidable ones arise, just write them down and deal with them+later. Then compress all your time-wasting activities into a five minute+break. Then do another pomodoro, and another five minute break. Every+four pomodoros, I take a break of between half an hour and an hour+depending on the time of the day and what I wish to do with the time.++Twenty-five minutes doesn't seem like a very long time. But twenty-five+minutes with a high level of concentration is equivalent, I would say,+to rather more minutes of 'ordinary' student study, if you average your+productivity out across the longer ordinary study period. It is+certainly the case that two pomodoros is worth much more than an hour's+ordinary work. At the moment I am aiming to do sixteen pomodoros a day;+during term, twelve might be more realistic.++The technique actually works in terms of getting this focus, or it has+for me these past few days with reading Plato, and in the last few+weeks, with revising maths. This is focus which I have not had for+*months*, so it is very sweet to me. I have described before how+struggling to concentrate leads to procrastination because I say to+myself, 'what's the point in working when you achieve so little?' but+the Pomodoro Technique seems to break this cycle, because it hits at+both components of it: it gives focus back, and deals with+procrastination by saying, truthfully, 'do a Pomodoro right now and you+will definitely make some progress'.++Or so it has been for the past few days, and to a lesser extent the past+few weeks. The author of P.T. talks about a lot of other stuff, about+time management and breaking tasks down so that they fit within+pomodoros, but all that isn't really interesting to me right now. I've+got the core I need. I've found some Emacs code so that "just do a+pomodoro" is easy to get myself to do, and I've hacked the code a little+to improve it. I just hit F11 and the timer starts, then at the end I+get a "Five minute break yes/no?" dialog; saying no gives me an extra+two minutes working if I really have to (though this isn't to be+encouraged). At the end of the break I get a similar question about+going back to work. And then every four I get asked about taking a+longer break, though I'm not doing this properly yet, spreading out my+pomodoros throughout the day into blocks more and less than four (more+frequently less).++Great, then: to the second aspect of this hope. The idea of *working*+solidly like this has me thinking of traditional notions of honest work+and work before play and work makes the man and whatever. The point is+that I actually see my work, studying philosophy and a little maths, as+work in this sense: enriching but not necessarily pleasant, the+pleasantness or not not really being important, because it's work.+Should I be doing something so hard, then, if I no longer love it? I+still love it, very much so, but this love flies all over the place with+my ever-ruminating mind, and I'm learning to trust such thoughts less,+for the mind isn't very good at dealing with things so close to its own+core of self. I am not sure how to word it but I think I understand how+one can separately but jointly consider a subject to be important, and+to love it, while still encountering great resistance to *doing* it,+because it's hard and involves effort. This feeling is more complex than+my usual "you have to do the hard parts before doing the fun parts"; I+think I'm onto something new here. A kind of commitment, perhaps, to+something both valuable and thrilling, that I may, all the same, fall in+and out of love with. This thought is deeply settling.++I was thinking about New Year about new years' resolutions last week, a+friend pointing out that it can just be seen as "a nice excuse" to be+better. I have learnt in life that it's important not to say "tomorrow+I'll be great and do this" without [also+saying](http://memegenerator.net/instance/10240161) "can I start it now,+though?" (of course sometimes one won't be able to start it now). So I'm+not generally fond of things like new years' resolutions where one says,+okay, arbitrary date, as soon as it arrives in a few days time I'll+change all this stuff, until them, time to keep smoking and eating and+whatever. However something rather less arbitrary that I have written+about before is the way in which we can find ourselves kicked into+action by changes or events, such as moving back to university and+living my life independently again as I have just done. I moved back on+new years' day. Since then I have tried to be what I want to be, and I+have succeeded,$1$ and I am building hope and momentum. The challenge+now is to keep that going through the term. And I am tentatively hopeful+that I can.++$1$ Even if it's only with reading Plato (and no note-taking too) which+I love anyway, but even then it requires effort and I have encountered+resistance to sitting down and doing it.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/25thanniversary.mdwn b/blog/entry/25thanniversary.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..1c549b4--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/25thanniversary.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,10 @@+[[!meta date="2012-06-17 14:16:00"]]+[[!meta title="SDF 25 years old"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech sdf]]++The SDF Public Access UNIX System, which hosts this website and my+e-mail and my backups, has turned twenty-five years old this weekend.+I've only been a member for two months but I really love the community+and appreciate so much the effort put in by those behind it.++[[blog/tech/sdf/25thanniversary.jpg]]diff --git a/blog/entry/27thletter.mdwn b/blog/entry/27thletter.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..dd29044--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/27thletter.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-16 16:02:00"]]+[[!meta title="The 27th letter of the alphabet"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom language]]++[Now I Know: And, The 27th Letter of the+Alphabet](http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u%3D2889002ad89d45ca21f50ba46&id%3Dce58a7cee0)diff --git a/blog/entry/2ndweektt12.mdwn b/blog/entry/2ndweektt12.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..6918725--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/2ndweektt12.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,86 @@+[[!meta date="2012-05-04 12:58:00"]]+[[!meta title="2nd week TT12"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++Things not going so well around here. I don't feel as though I've been+working hard enough. First in philosophy within reach; scraping a 2:1+with a 60% in Maths is my goal now, as I just haven't done enough. At+the same time, the week before the exam is always the most valuable part+of revision.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+Interesting to find that I'm struggling with the part of philosophy I+didn't think I'd struggle with: the writing of exam essays. This is+because I had been led to believe by tutors that I was really really+good at writing philosophy, and I think in my head I'd decided that I+was better than most of the other people in my year at Balliol. Instead+I know loads of stuff, but am not so great at putting it together in+exam answers, and other people who have done far less work over the+three years are doing way better than me.++This can be dealt with. After this week I will have finished primary+philosophy revision, and then I will spend the two weeks remaining+before exams getting up and writing two practice exam essays each+morning, then I'll spend the rest of the day on maths.++Essentially I am all over the place with marks. I get firsts, but I also+get low 2:1s (with the comment 'this is first class material'), and I'm+not yet clear quite why. The philosophy department are quite proud of+their marking consistency: each paper is double-marked and out of+philosophy, politics and economics, the average difference between the+two marks increases down that scale (yes, economics is worst somehow).+It's therefore pretty frustrating that they don't seem to be able to+pass this on to us, if they are so sure what they want.++Ethics is my star paper right now, despite only getting 67/67/69 in my+collection. This is because I have a lot of strong views on the subject+that differ from one of my tutors, the committed Humean Bob, who I've+referred to in posts before. So I view the paper as sort of a fight: go+in and win the argument for moral realism and virtue ethics (yes. I+think that ethics is objective (though not perhaps in the way you+think), and that good character is ethically primary (not right action),+and that the virtuous person's perception of what is right cannot be+understood without yourself being virtuous---and remember I was brought up+to worship science and decry religion too, so what does that tell you,+unphilosophical-yet-intellectual masses?). Here is a nice ethics+question, and a nice philosophy of maths question that I've answered+recently:++> If a life of virtue is a flourishing life, must a virtuous person be+> either ignorant about the nature of morality, or an egoist? (FHS+> Ethics 2011)++> 'The light dove, cleaving the air in her free flight, and feeling its+> resistance, might imagine that its flight would be still easier in+> empty space. It was thus that Plato left the world of the sense, as+> setting too narrow limits to the understanding, and ventured out+> beyond it on the wings of the ideas, in the empty space of the pure+> understanding.' (KANT) Does this suggestive image apply to Plato's+> philosophy of mathematics? (FHS Phil. of Maths 2011)++It is very, very exciting when one realises that one is in a position to+genuinely engage with thoughts like these.++While my habits of slacking off in the afternoon are still really bad+and still upset me, I'm fine with getting up early now. I get up at 6:30+but I often find myself waking up naturally at 6 (don't have the+willpower to actually get then, though).++I got an e-mail from a Facebook engineering recruiter today, which I am+pretty sure is genuine, saying that he 'came across $my$ open source+blog'. I wasn't sure I had one of those. I suppose there have been quite+a few computing posts on this blog lately. I've written back to see what+he means.++I've now completed the removal of all my data and services from servers+I control. Everything goes via SDF, and my domain registrar is hosting+my domains. I've stopped tunnelling all my traffic out of Balliol via my+VPN. This means tunnelling to SDF, on port 110, due to a blanket SSH+block except to \*.ox.ac.uk addresses (afaict). There are only four+people still doing their e-mail via my old server, and the two people in+charge of these four accounts have been very unresponsive, so I've+essentially left them to it---the server will go offline in August, I've+got my data off and tried to help them, and I'm not willing to+continually pester them. I find it hard to understand how people can+care so little about their e-mail data.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/33gbjstor.mdwn b/blog/entry/33gbjstor.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..405934f--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/33gbjstor.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,12 @@+[[!meta date="2011-08-31 14:34:00"]]+[[!meta title="Massive dump of pirated JSTOR articles"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy]]++[33GB of JSTOR Articles and a Manifesto | reddit+technology](http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/iwe8v/33gb_of_jstor_articles_and_a_manifesto/)++I'm rather late to the party in posting this---like most of today's posts+it's been stuck in my Org files for ages---but it's worth a look for+people who haven't seen it. JSTOR is an amazing resource, but I don't+get why they are so protective of old stuff; universities are their only+customers, and they could still incentivise them into subscribing.diff --git a/blog/entry/3am.mdwn b/blog/entry/3am.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..7de8698--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/3am.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,59 @@+[[!meta date="2012-08-26 21:29:00"]]+[[!meta title="Philosophy articles online"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy]]++For the past four or five months I have been subscribed to a few RSS+feeds serving me academic philosophy content. I wasn't really aware that+this sort of thing existed before so I am pleased to be learning a great+deal. Here are some good things I've read recently.++[Corigliano d'Otranto thinks it is Italy's most philosophical town,+therefore it+is](http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/17/corigliano-dotranto-italy-philosophical-town)++[Things to Tell a Therapist at the First+Appointment](http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/things-to-tell-a-therapist-at-the-first-appointment/)++[Lee Braver interviewed by Richard+Marshall](http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/on-heidegger-wittgenstein-derrida/)++[Jonardon Ganeri interviewed by Richard+Marshall](http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/artha-india-and-the-global-preoccupation-of-philosophy/)++> This is the general pattern I think we can find in both Europe and+> India. The way that history of philosophy gets taught even today still+> seems to me to be a hangover from the nineteenth century, when there+> was a strong political imperative to tell a story about the+> seventeenth century that displayed it as exhibiting European+> exceptionalism, and the self-depictions of Descartes and Bacon were+> useful ammunition in that, now outdated, enterprise. Unfortunately+> university curricula have been slow to catch up and what I regard as+> basically nineteenth century mythology still works to shape the way+> that history of philosophy is taught in Europe.++[Richard Brown interviewed by Richard+Marshall](http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/shombies-vs-zombies/)++> I think philosophers should think of our job as canvassing the+> theoretical landscape. We want to know every possible permutation and+> every possible interrelation between every possible theory. We can+> think of philosophers as a kind of explorers of logical space. We have+> been working on this grand unified map of possibilities for some time+> now and this constitutes progress in philosophy, at least of a sort.+> If so then it doesn't really matter who is right about how things+> actually are, what matters is exploring logical space.++*Don't Confuse Technology With College Teaching*++[Sarah Sawyer interviewed by Richard+Marshall](http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/a-natural-kind-externalist/)++[Scott Berman interviewed by Richard+Marshall](http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/the-platonist/)++In particular look at the interviewee's response to this question:++> 3:AM: Some contemporary physicists have recently been grumpy about+> philosophy and said they can answer the philosophical questions+> without them. So why should we take notice of philosophers like+> yourself?diff --git a/blog/entry/3rdfreshers.mdwn b/blog/entry/3rdfreshers.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..8c33918--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/3rdfreshers.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,119 @@+[[!meta date="2011-10-08 19:50:00"]]+[[!meta title="My third freshers' week"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++Despite the fact that the freshers' bop will be ongoing, freshers' week+finishes at midnight tonight and it'll have been my third. I'm living+back in college, two years worth of older friends have now left, and+aside from a few fourth years I'm one of the eldest and supposedly+wisest here. It's been a really fun week. I was pretty involved in+running stuff as a JCR committee member, but compared to last year it+felt like there was less to do and the freshers seemed to take care of+themselves. This could be seen on the first afternoon where they were+all over the grass in the hot sun, and also how non-clubbing events got+cancelled because there was no-one there. Now this means that either all+the freshers go clubbing a lot, which is perhaps a little sad due to a+lack of variety, or the non-clubbers were hiding away in their rooms,+which would be really bad but not really our responsibility, or+alternatively they were doing their own thing which would be cool.+Regardless this felt hands-off in the same way.++I've been gripped with a particular worry this week, though, which has+led to an interesting situation: I've been using social activities to+distract myself from thinking because when alone and thinking I'm ending+up sad, and it's a relief to meet new people and chatter away to those I+already know. This is not something I have ever done before, and there's+a lot of things to say about it in itself. Firstly it reflects how when+in Oxford I always want to be doing: either doing social activities,+working or reading or something but I never want to just be floating.+This is the most amazing thing and I love it. Secondly I've observed a+new relationship to people in my own year group: we're just a tiny bit+closer, all of us collectively, since we're up here at the top. This is+nice. We're all back in college and maybe we're all just desperate to+get as much out of the final year as possible, so we're being more+friendly, or realising that actually our own year is cool now we've+built up lots of little bits of knowledge about them. I mean I will+never have the super-tight, moderately cliquey friendships most people+have *some* of their own year. I'm not talking about that: the weaker+friendships have strengthened between all of us I think.++The worry then has been what I can best describe as worrying about my+popularity. Not something I have ever ever worried about before and+something that I initially thought it doesn't make sense to worry about+because it's not necessarily a good thing, and regardless it can't be+aimed for: if you set out to "be popular" you probably won't achieve+your goal and will probably realise you were going in the wrong+direction anyway. But after talking to someone about this I've realised+it's basically to do with having two years' worth of friends leave and+being concerned about being lonely this year. And this is fine. When I+actually did try to do some work earlier this week (a goal long since+abandoned until term starts tomorrow), this worrying was really getting+in my way. 'Intrusive thoughts', I think it's called: one feels like+this needs worrying about now because something needs to be done but of+course there is nothing to be done.++This reminded me of a book that that counsellor I was seeing last year+recommended to me on mindfulness, *The Mindful Way Through Depression*.+It's not really about depression, and the title is just a selling point+as unfortunately it's categorised as a self-help book rather than a+psychology textbook and they want to make it sell. While some parts read+like a self-help book, it's massively more academic in its outlook and+approach. I searched it up and the university finally has a copy so I+took it out and I've started reading, and it's feeling too good to be+true in all honesty: the diagnosis is basically exactly what I go+through (albeit my experience is much, *much* milder, as the book uses+people who are depressed as its examples). Paragraph after paragraph I'm+either agreeing, or hearing echoes of both the counsellor and my+philosophy tutor on his bench, and agreeing with them now that what+they've said has been made more concrete for me. And then I start+linking other problems in my life into all this. The book is convincing+me that its (secular) meditative techniques will sort out my life for+me. So my well-worn scepticism kicks in, as it should, and I'm trying to+remain critical. But it does fill me with a great deal of hope. When I+understand more about what's going on in the book I'll try and put it+down in my own terms on here. Tutor says "welcome to humanity Sean",+saying that the reason it fits to closely is that everyone does this+stuff.++One example of this, though, is my changed attitude (already) to the+above worry: if I've written that paragraph four days ago, it'd be very+different. I'm accepting of the worry, rather than merely infuriated.+This is important.++The other night when I'd finished reading a section and had these sorts+of thoughts, I got some serenity, and everything was fine, indeed,+everything was great (so I e-mailed the friend I always e-mail when I'm+like that). Then I thought: is this my life now, bouncing between being+okay (for example last few weeks at home doing philosophy, playing+StarCraft and avoiding Maths), being massively existentially critical,+and occasionally getting at the serenity that's all I really want? This+is probably good enough for now. But I'm not sure it's something I want+to spend the rest of my life doing. Maybe it's just required as a+philosophy-type.++One thing that made me think that my own year group and I were getting+closer was one of them successfully attempting to drag me out to a club+on Wednesday; they wouldn't have tried and I wouldn't have gone in the+past, I suspect. This was in fact the first time I've been to a club in+Oxford, having been once to one in Sheffield. I had a good time, and+also observed something interesting about the people in my year for whom+this is the part of their lives they enjoy the most. There were a number+of people in my year I've never had a non-functional conversation with+who came alive with friendliness and warmth out there, not because I was+there for once but just because that is their place; when not there,+when walking around college where I'm cheery and happy and whatever,+they're really not. Obviously this is an over-exaggeration of the+difference. But I felt really sorry for them, and how limited in their+enjoyments they seemed to be. Fun requires alcohol, apparently, or at+least loud music. Those things can be fun but there are so many things+in day to day life in an Oxford college that are a lot of fun too, and+it's a great shame they outwardly seem to be missing out on those.++Shortly time for the freshers' bop which I am looking forward to because+I'll be seeing a few fourth year friends who haven't really been around+much this week. Unfortunately DJ Quorum (me) won't be doing a set,+despite several requests, but hopefully I'll be able to do one later in+term and enjoy Ali's 80s dance music instead. The theme is 'under the+sea' but while I like seeing everyone in fancy dress I hate making a+costume so I've managed to come up with the minimal-effort 'seaweed',+which will consist of strips of crepe paper stapled all over my clothes.diff --git a/blog/entry/3rdweektt12.mdwn b/blog/entry/3rdweektt12.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..d1c1cd1--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/3rdweektt12.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,71 @@+[[!meta date="2012-05-12 08:19:00"]]+[[!meta title="Getting cynical"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++Re-shelving books at my job at the Oxford Philosophy Library always+makes me sad because I look at the amount of text that philosophers have+churned out in the past century---mostly I'm reshelving 20th century+books rather than classic texts---and wonder how much of it could+possibly matter. My patience with academics and fellow students doing+their subject just because they like it is quite low at the moment; I+want capital-t Truth, it seems---how naïve---and I want them to want it+too.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+As far as revision is concerned, a quite reasonable divide has arisen+between my papers. Those that I did last term, when I was finally back+on my game after a year and a half of misery, I am set to get a first+in; I have things to say and I think it's reasonably worth saying them.+I have a line on the paper as a whole, and what's important, which is+great.++This is definitely not the case with the other two. One is quite a+strange paper, Philosophy of Maths, in that it feels quite shallow: it+never really gets into the various issues it touches upon. That one will+depend on what sort of questions come up basically, whether the topics+where I do have something interesting to say come up (Plato, Kant,+Structuralism basically).++Then there is my old friend, the History of Philosophy from Descartes to+Kant. I do not know this paper well. I have things to say on a few+topics, but instead of just picking three questions from about 25 as you+do on most philosophy papers, you have to answer on at least one+rationalist author and one empiricist (for these purposes essentially+just a chronological division). The topics I am sorted out on, though,+do not line up so well with this. I could actually end up with not+having three questions I can answer; more likely, I could only have two+that I can answer well. This is really depressing. It means that my+chances of getting a first in this paper are quite small. My tutor took+weight off my shoulders this week though by pointing out that it's too+late to deal with this so I should just accept it.++Of course, this was the paper that I studied during my most difficult+period in second year. So it's fair enough that I suck at it. Now as+then, this is sad because I think the paper matters; there is a lot of+very important stuff going on. But that's in the past, and there's not+so much I can do.++Maths actually rather positive in that I've realised that I actually+know quite a lot about Galois Theory, relatively speaking. There are+still loads of proofs to learn, but we all plan to rely on short-term+memory for that, trying to get as many into our heads the day before the+exam. There's not much else you can do; there is just too much,+otherwise.++Logic is proving to be harder than expected. Still no-one in Balliol,+and no tutor in Oxford we've asked, can prove ¬¬p -> p in the+axiomatic deductive system---rather, no-one can prove the equivalent+formulation that you can get it from easily: that if you can prove+something from p and you can prove it from ¬p, then it's a tautology.++Have barely touched Set Theory and Topology...++So I'll get some decent marks this year but nothing special. But I have+next year. Next year which will be like last term was, so I can work+hard and do really well and then apply for graduate study. This means+taking a year out, but that's okay.++Off to the philosophy library now to open up the building for Saturday;+not done this before, never had a set of keys before, so a nice thing to+be doing on my day off from revision this week.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/3rdweektt12/comment_25B7OYY5JG9PLV3U._comment b/blog/entry/3rdweektt12/comment_25B7OYY5JG9PLV3U._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..b6200bd--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/3rdweektt12/comment_25B7OYY5JG9PLV3U._comment@@ -0,0 +1,9 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="James Robson"+ nickname="James Robson"+ date="2012-05-12T21:46:05Z"+ content="""+Is the not-not-p => p thing something rather like the law of the+excluded middle (which iirc is not something you prove but rather+something you take as true)?+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/3rdweektt12/comment_X4HMGYV26L9R8GMG._comment b/blog/entry/3rdweektt12/comment_X4HMGYV26L9R8GMG._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..4b21964--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/3rdweektt12/comment_X4HMGYV26L9R8GMG._comment@@ -0,0 +1,13 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="spw"+ nickname="Sean Whitton"+ date="2012-05-13T12:11:29Z"+ content="""+The equivalent formulation I gave in my post is indeed PoEM.  But all+proof is relative.  In the axiomatic deductive system I refer to, one+only assumes a couple of axioms concerning implication and one which is+precisely contraposition.  So one still needs to prove PoEM to use it,+but no-one I know can.  The situation is made worse by the fact that+PoEM is used in the proof of completeness so you can't just get it from+that.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/4thweektt12.mdwn b/blog/entry/4thweektt12.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..b6fc2a4--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/4thweektt12.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,14 @@+[[!meta date="2012-05-17 12:50:00"]]+[[!meta title="4th week"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++A week left until exams start now. Calming down because I've realised+how badly I can do while still getting the grades I actually need: I am+on track for a first or a high 2:1 in philos, and because of how+math/phil only requires you to be good at one of the subjects to do+well, I can get away with getting an average of 50% or something in my+four maths papers while still getting a 2:1 overall. Pretty sweet. Still+not quite hitting philos questions as precisely as I need to but I can+improve on that; I have plenty of knowledge now, aside from a couple of+areas which still need some work but I can sort that. So it's mostly+okay and soon to be over. Looking forward to a fresh start next year.diff --git a/blog/entry/50000username.mdwn b/blog/entry/50000username.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..220f388--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/50000username.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2014-02-01 04:53:00"]]+[[!meta title="Single-letter Twitter username social-engineered away"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech security]]++[How I lost my $50,000 Twitter username | The Next+Web](http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2014/01/29/lost-50000-twitter-username/#!tOkzX)diff --git a/blog/entry/50ideas.mdwn b/blog/entry/50ideas.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..a4dda51--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/50ideas.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,12 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-17 22:05:00"]]+[[!meta title="Dupré: 50 Philosophy Ideas"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy]]++Some years ago I received a copy of *50 Philosophy Ideas you really need+to know* by Ben Dupré and then I received another copy, and I read+neither---well, finally I read one of them, and thought it was pretty+decent for a book with such a strange title. Most of the fifty ideas I+already knew about, so I felt like I was reading it to review+essentially, and I regret not reading it earlier when I might have+learnt something. I recommend it though; even if it looks like it's+going to, it doesn't skimp on rigour yet remains very accessible.diff --git a/blog/entry/50kpokemon.mdwn b/blog/entry/50kpokemon.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..e315de3--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/50kpokemon.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,16 @@+[[!meta date="2014-02-18 12:54:00"]]+[[!meta title="50 000 people simultaneously play Pokemon Red online"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom fiction gaming]]++[There Are Thousands of People Trying To Play The Same Game of+Pokemon](http://www.dorkly.com/article/59332/there-are-thousands-of-people-trying-to-play-the-same-game-of-pokemon)++> UPDATE \#3: After struggling over 16 hours, players have finally made+> it past the nightmare of Route 9. Praise be to the Helix Fossil. Only+> problem now is navigating a pitch black labyrinthian cave! Should be+> done with this in a breezy 96 hours!+>+> UPDATE \#4: Defying all the odds, the OVER 40 THOUSAND chatters+> controlling this game made it through the Rock Tunnel in a mere 9+> hours! Reminder: a complex pitch black cave with monsters attacking+> constantly was easier than a ledge.diff --git a/blog/entry/6thmay2012.mdwn b/blog/entry/6thmay2012.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..71169e7--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/6thmay2012.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,10 @@+[[!meta date="2012-05-06 10:13:00"]]+[[!meta title="Another day off spent doing organisation"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++Had a "lie-in" this morning til 7am and then managed to persuade myself+to have the day off since it's Sunday. And of course I'm spending it+organising stuff; getting rid of e-mails, filing paperwork, tidying my+room. I don't have leisure activities outside of reading and chatting to+friends anymore, until after exams, so there isn't much else to do. Is+this adult life?diff --git a/blog/entry/6thmay2012/comment_7OGPLFKTQ7G4HKMR._comment b/blog/entry/6thmay2012/comment_7OGPLFKTQ7G4HKMR._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..ffcdf9c--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/6thmay2012/comment_7OGPLFKTQ7G4HKMR._comment@@ -0,0 +1,7 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="James Robson"+ nickname="James Robson"+ date="2012-05-06T16:47:38Z"+ content="""+The answer is no. Adult life does not mean boring minutiae.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/6thmay2012/comment_NDFWKY6KQP5Q0CD9._comment b/blog/entry/6thmay2012/comment_NDFWKY6KQP5Q0CD9._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..0fc24e3--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/6thmay2012/comment_NDFWKY6KQP5Q0CD9._comment@@ -0,0 +1,8 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="spw"+ nickname="Sean Whitton"+ date="2012-05-06T16:52:28Z"+ content="""+Not quite what I was getting at. It was more the different attitude+towards leisure activities.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/98yojapanese.mdwn b/blog/entry/98yojapanese.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..cb6f808--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/98yojapanese.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2012-10-03 19:31:00"]]+[[!meta title="Inspiring video about a 98-year-old"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom video]]++[Anti-Aging - Fit at 98? |+YouTube](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3DsmZ-GEvOSZA)diff --git a/blog/entry/abletonlivetute.mdwn b/blog/entry/abletonlivetute.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..f32c88e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/abletonlivetute.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,11 @@+[[!meta date="2011-12-04 17:52:00"]]+[[!meta title="Nice Ableton Live tutorial"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom music]]++[How To DJ In Ableton Live |+YouTube](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3DJ_rE_J-92As&feature%3Drelated)++Also this neat song from final part:++[Boys Noize - Oh! (A-Trak Remix) |+YouTube](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3Dtvgx1ae7lQM)diff --git a/blog/entry/accidentalrester.mdwn b/blog/entry/accidentalrester.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..b5f74da--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/accidentalrester.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,11 @@+[[!meta date="2015-06-14 22:59:00"]]+[[!meta title="Accidental resting"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom scraps]]++[The Accidental+Rester](http://www.cominginthroughtheclouds.olliefrancis.co.uk/post/121518029183/the-accidental-rester)++These days I'm suspicious of anyone using 'productivity' but I think+there's something in this. Skillful resting to avoid minimally restive+activity like scrolling down social networking websites need not be in+the service of productivity to be a good thing.diff --git a/blog/entry/adamphillips.mdwn b/blog/entry/adamphillips.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..2c1398d--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/adamphillips.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2013-03-03 13:29:00"]]+[[!meta title="Adulthood has got a really bad press?"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy life]]++[Adam Phillips: Pleasure and Frustration, NYT |+YouTube](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3DlHpBa0OzBz0)diff --git a/blog/entry/adjunct.mdwn b/blog/entry/adjunct.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..6a9ea8d--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/adjunct.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2014-01-11 14:07:00"]]+[[!meta title="Lived the dream?"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy academia]]++[On The End of My Adjunct Teaching+Career](http://www.patheos.com/blogs/camelswithhammers/2014/01/on-the-end-of-my-adjunct-teaching-career/)diff --git a/blog/entry/admintoolsmindmap.mdwn b/blog/entry/admintoolsmindmap.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..5a66d66--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/admintoolsmindmap.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,8 @@+[[!meta date="2011-07-20 18:07:00"]]+[[!meta title="GNU/Linux sysadmin tools mindmap"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech gnu+linux]]++[linux administration tools |+MindMeister](http://www.mindmeister.com/1909245/linux-tools)++Wish I knew about half of these.diff --git a/blog/entry/afuse.mdwn b/blog/entry/afuse.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..57274cd--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/afuse.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,16 @@+[[!meta date="2012-04-30 09:07:00"]]+[[!meta title="afuse"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech net]]++Just learnt about [afuse](http://afuse.sf.net/), a userspace+automounter. It's possible to have sshfs mounts automatic with autofs,+but this is executed as root, autofs can't pop up SSH key passphrase+dialogs for you, whereas afuse certainly can. I now run this++>$ afuse -o mounttemplate="sshfs %r: %m" -o+> unmounttemplate="fusermount -u -z %m" ~/mnt/++on login and then to put something on any box set-up in my SSH config I+can just do cp file ~/mnt/hostname/ and it'll connect up for me. Of+course you can use scp for this direction; clearly lots of other uses.+Very pleased to have discovered this useful little tool.diff --git a/blog/entry/ahdiedice.mdwn b/blog/entry/ahdiedice.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..8f0c3e9--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/ahdiedice.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,21 @@+[[!meta date="2011-12-22 23:53:00"]]+[[!meta title="'Die' and 'dice' and pronunciation"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom scraps]]++I do not consider it wrong to say 'dice' when one means a singular+object; some think it's wrong to not say 'die'. This is because dice+means both in the English language I speak, maybe it doesn't for some+others but somehow we manage to communicate... Playing a board game at a+friend's house today and I was the only one of five to hold this view on+die/dice. This is fine.++However later on I complained about a pronunciation of a word; Ben got+the word wrong to my ears. So he said, what a hypocrite Sean, you+claiming that is wrong is just like us saying that singular 'dice' is+wrong. My reply was that I didn't think he was aiming to alter/evolve+the language when pronouncing this word (can't remember what) whereas+mine was with dice, so I was just helping out. Not sure this works.++Is there a distinction between these two cases? I've always felt the die+thing is ultra-hard to argue for but this case is causing me to revise+*this* view a little.diff --git a/blog/entry/ajumma.mdwn b/blog/entry/ajumma.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..1b2916e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/ajumma.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,8 @@+[[!meta date="2015-04-08 11:07:00"]]+[[!meta title="Becoming more aggressive thanks to living in Korea"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom korea]]++[How I Became an+Ajumma](http://www.koreaexpose.com/voices/how-i-became-an-ajumma/)++I sympathise, especially with how I now behave when riding my bike.diff --git a/blog/entry/alexop.mdwn b/blog/entry/alexop.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..c33dbda--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/alexop.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,97 @@+[[!meta date="2014-08-26 09:06:00"]]+[[!meta title="What's really sad about cancer"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing thoughts]]++My step-brother Alex had a shaking hand he couldn't hold still, and he+couldn't walk in a straight line, so he was referred for an MRI scan+which he had last Friday. About ninety minutes ago, on today the+following Tuesday, hospital staff started prepping him for a six hour+piece of surgery to remove the brain tumour. If he wasn't to have it,+he'd be dead before the end of 2014. I want to write about what+specifically I find sad about this situation.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+I have a huge emotional buffer by being all the way over here in Korea.+All my news on the situation comes by text message; I'm not party to the+discussions held at each stage of the process. That means that I've been+feeling a bit down but there's no anxiety or anything like that. It was+the same six months ago when my dad discovered he had prostrate cancer,+though that was discovered so early that there were no symptoms, and it+didn't involve any brain surgery so I barely felt anything at all. I+just assumed that it would all come out fine and it was just some severe+inconvenience to deal with for a few months for the people back home,+that I was grateful not to have anything to do with.++My selfishness is made clear by the way I've responded to both of these+events. Today I spent my working day anxious about the fact that I+hadn't had a bowel movement before going to work, I knew there was+plenty of stuff inside me, and I was teaching for five uninterruptible+hours. Things like this dominate my emotional life and other people's+life-threatening diseases barely figure. I don't feel the least bit+guilty about this though. Selfish actions matter, and I try hard not to+hold myself responsible for how I merely feel. I think that this is one+thing that I've been able to do by living away from my family, who+sometimes try to guilt-trip me about my not seeming to care about things+like this.++Now onto the title of this post. I haven't been feeling anxious, nor+have I been feeling bad for Alex's potential to lose his life or to be+seriously disabled. I've been feeling bad about the medical and+emotional process that Alex, my sister, my mother and my step-father are+having to go through.++First the medical process. Thousands of pounds and the manhours of+rather a few medical professionals are being poured into saving Alex's+life. Not very many people in the world have access to that, and in a+world as screwed up as ours, those resources could do a lot of other+powerful things. I don't know anyone personally who has work to do so+important that it's completely obvious that we should pour the resources+in to save his or her life; I'm thinking the likes of Nelson Mandela.++The problem is that there's no question that Alex or my mother or+step-father should for a moment refuse or suggest refusing the+treatment. I wouldn't for a moment suggest that they should. Being in+the situation where one must accept such vast resources being poured+into oneself or one's loved one is very sad because one is brought+face-to-face with our powerlessness in the face of the world's+inequalities, inequalities fuelled by greed. All we seem to be able to+do as individuals is maintain those inequalities, or opt-out of society+completely.++Secondly the emotional process. My sister, mother and my step-father are+intelligent, well-educated men and women of the world. Yet right now+they are in the grip of their utterly overbearing emotional attachments+to Alex continuing to live in the way that he did a week ago. They can+recognise perhaps that whether Alex dies this week or in about seventy+years time is really very insignificant to humanity as a whole+(nevermind the universe), and they can know from their own experience+that they will recover from whatever happens and life will go on. But+thanks to the strong emotions they must face right now, they cannot live+with mental lives cognisant of these truths. They can barely think about+not doing all they can and not mustering all the resources available to+them to this one small cause. My mother texted me as the scheduled time+for the operation came around to say that '$love$ is the most powerful+force in the world and I'll believe in anything if it gets our boy+through today.' I've never felt like this so I don't know what's really+going on inside her, but to me this just seems like clinging to a bunch+of Christian ideas that she got from her childhood. She's normally+capable of recognising these just so much fluffy cotton wool we wrap+around ourselves to insulate ourselves from the truth, even though we+know that doing so ultimately does us harm. I feel so sad and+sympathetic that for the moment she cannot stop such ideas from ruling+her.++I don't blame them all for any of this for a moment. It's utterly+forgiveable and understandable and I would be in the very same state if+this was happening to someone I had a similar strength of attachment to,+for example if it was happening to my mother or sister. In such a case I+don't think I'd be able to write this post as I have. I am very keen not+to come across as preaching from a position of emotional or moral+superiority, though I know that my writing style makes that hard to+avoid. I just wanted to write down what I think is deeply sad about this+situation, even though that's different to what one might expect me to+be preoccupied with. I find it much easier to accept and be at peace+with the truth that he might well die, than I find it possible to accept+and be at peace with the inequality of the world that the situation puts+in stark relief, and the emotional inadequacy of all of us.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/alternativejobsenglishmla.mdwn b/blog/entry/alternativejobsenglishmla.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..f930053--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/alternativejobsenglishmla.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2013-02-22 12:39:00"]]+[[!meta title="Interesting piece on alternative post-PhD humanities jobs"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy jobs]]++[Strategic Job-Hunting | Inside Higher+Ed](http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/01/04/mla-meeting-new-phds-talk-about-landing-jobs-they-never-expected)diff --git a/blog/entry/amazon10kcores.mdwn b/blog/entry/amazon10kcores.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..ef8058d--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/amazon10kcores.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,8 @@+[[!meta date="2011-04-06 21:43:00"]]+[[!meta title="10k cores supercomputer on Amazon EC3"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech cloud]]++[10,000-core Linux supercomputer built in Amazon cloud | Network+World](http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/040611-linux-supercomputer.html)++Cloud computing finally did something really cool :Ddiff --git a/blog/entry/americadumbingdown.mdwn b/blog/entry/americadumbingdown.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..9845037--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/americadumbingdown.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,10 @@+[[!meta date="2014-06-03 05:58:00"]]+[[!meta title="American anti-intellectualism"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics antintellectualism]]++[America dumbs down: a rising tide of anti-intellectual+thinking](http://www.macleans.ca/politics/america-dumbs-down/)++I really want to know how much this is also true in Britain. It's hard+to judge when I'm rarely around people who haven't been educated at good+universiites.diff --git a/blog/entry/angel.mdwn b/blog/entry/angel.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..feaa273--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/angel.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,10 @@+[[!meta date="2011-12-27 17:49:00"]]+[[!meta title="Sean the angel"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom photos]]++I actually put effort into a bop costume for once but I'm not sure quite+how Ghost of Christmas Past turned into Generic Angel.++[[!img blog/img/angel2.jpg size=500x375]]++[[!img blog/img/angel3.jpg size=500x667]]diff --git a/blog/entry/angelsorsilent.mdwn b/blog/entry/angelsorsilent.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..36bd0fa--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/angelsorsilent.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,15 @@+[[!meta date="2011-05-01 12:57:00"]]+[[!meta title="Weeping angels or The Silent?"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom fiction tv]]++Which is cooler/scarier (these are related)? Just caught up on last+night's Doctor Who; can't wait to see where this all goes. They+definitely removed part of the angel's cool when they showed them+moving.++[[!img blog/img/weepingangels.jpg size=431x337]]+[[fiction/tv/thesilent.jpg]]++(source+$1$(http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl%3Dhttp://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100506182347/tardis/images/4/4f/Blink_doctorwho.jpg&imgrefurl%3Dhttp://www.britishblogs.co.uk/search/angels/&usg%3D__-6QWugUE7sTaGqfWfU9MlzDlQHI%3D&h%3D931&w%3D1189&sz%3D196&hl%3Den&start%3D18&zoom%3D1&itbs%3D1&tbnid%3DwjcAYNevnFOIqM:&tbnh%3D117&tbnw%3D150&prev%3D/search%3Fq%3Dweeping%2Bangels%26hl%3Den%26gbv%3D2%26tbm%3Disch&ei%3DuFe9TfjOOYKDhQf9xsivBg)+$2$(http://www.virginmedia.com/tvradio/top-tv-shows/doctor-who/series-6-spoilers.php?ssid%3D3))diff --git a/blog/entry/appledhcp.mdwn b/blog/entry/appledhcp.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..1b4fabb--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/appledhcp.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2011-08-07 14:06:00"]]+[[!meta title="OS DHCP clients"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech net]]++[Rapid DHCP: Or, how do Macs get on the network so+fast?](http://cafbit.com/entry/rapid_dhcp_or_how_do)diff --git a/blog/entry/apr14.mdwn b/blog/entry/apr14.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..e51173c--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/apr14.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,27 @@+[[!meta date="2014-04-13 03:53:00"]]+[[!meta title="April 2014 link dump"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom linkdump]]++[How many grains make a heap? | Richard+Rorty](http://www.lrb.co.uk/v27/n02/richard-rorty/how-many-grains-make-a-heap)++[How Colleges Flunk Mental Health |+Newsweek](http://mag.newsweek.com/2014/02/07/colleges-flunk-mental-health.html)++[Are ugly people oppressed? | Johnny+Thakkar](http://aeon.co/magazine/being-human/are-ugly-people-oppressed/)++[Why Study Philosophy? 'To Challenge Your Own Point of+View'](http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/02/why-study-philosophy-to-challenge-your-own-point-of-view/283954/)++[You are a Marxist - but don't+worry](http://www.philosophersmail.com/110314-capitalism-marxism.php)++[Inside The Barista+Class](http://www.theawl.com/2014/03/the-service-economy-trap-inside-brooklyns-barista-class)++[The Face Behind+Bitcoin](http://mag.newsweek.com/2014/03/14/bitcoin-satoshi-nakamoto.html)++[The Leader Obama Wanted to Become and What Became of+Him](http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/22491-the-leader-obama-wanted-to-become-and-what-became-of-him)diff --git a/blog/entry/aprilwoodsjoke.mdwn b/blog/entry/aprilwoodsjoke.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..1439248--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/aprilwoodsjoke.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,12 @@+[[!meta date="2012-10-09 19:38:00"]]+[[!meta title="Jailed for an offensive joke"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics liberty]]++[April Jones: Matthew Woods jailed for Facebook posts | BBC+News](http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-19869710)++I am stunned; I had no idea we had laws that could jail someone for+this. Time to move to the States? I mean if he'd been got under inciting+violence due to the number of people that came to his house maybe that'd+be something, but the verdict of the judge sounds like the kind of thing+you'd get in a blasphemy hearing to me.diff --git a/blog/entry/archonlifehacker.mdwn b/blog/entry/archonlifehacker.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..ffa7b1f--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/archonlifehacker.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,11 @@+[[!meta date="2011-07-11 10:33:00"]]+[[!meta title="Arch Linux on Lifehacker"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech gnu+linux]]++[Build a Killer Customized Arch Linux Installation (and Learn All About+Linux in the Process) |+Lifehacker](http://lifehacker.com/5680453/build-a-killer-customized-arch-linux-installation-and-learn-all-about-linux-in-the-process)++Really detailed post on switching to Arch; looks like a great complement+to their [Beginners'+Guide](https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Beginners_Guide).diff --git a/blog/entry/ario.mdwn b/blog/entry/ario.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..65eb936--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/ario.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,13 @@+[[!meta date="2011-07-14 14:21:00"]]+[[!meta title="In the market for a new MPD client"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech gnu+linux]]++I use [MPD](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_Player_Daemon) to play+music but I'm finding the [ncmpcpp](http://unkart.ovh.org/ncmpcpp/)+client a bit limiting. The problem is that it isn't very fast for+searching; you have to press far too many buttons to do a search. The+best alternative I've found is+[Ario](http://ario-player.sourceforge.net/), but you can't search and+then add the whole album with that easily. I want to be able to do a+generic search, then add individual tracks and/or the entire album. Any+suggestions?diff --git a/blog/entry/arizona.mdwn b/blog/entry/arizona.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..dcb984a--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/arizona.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,8 @@+[[!meta date="2015-05-23 03:35:00"]]+[[!meta title="Effects of slashed state funding at the university I'm about to join"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom us highered]]++[This Is What Happens When You Slash Funding for Public+Universities](http://www.thenation.com/article/207697/gentrification-higher-ed)++Depressing stuff.diff --git a/blog/entry/arizonaarrival.mdwn b/blog/entry/arizonaarrival.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..cfe2ef3--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/arizonaarrival.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,47 @@+[[!meta date="2015-07-31 17:07:00"]]+[[!meta title="Arrival in Tucson, AZ"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++I arrived in Tucson to start the Philosophy PhD at the University of+Arizona on Monday, and I now find myself in indecision about whether I+should do it or not, and I'm stalling on signing the employment papers+with the university. I've never been in a situation like this before:+having travelled all the way here, I would have expected my heart to be+committed to giving it a go. But it isn't, in fact, I'm afraid and I+want to go home. For my own benefit, in this blog post, I'll try to give+the best arguments I have for attending and for not attending.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+### Why I should attend++It's hard to guess how one will feel and think about experiences after+the fact when one hasn't yet had the experience. One way to try to do it+is to think about what regrets one might have. If I decide to leave now+and not go through with even one academic year of this, it's possible+that I'll later come to regret it if I realise that I did want to study+philosophy again after all and I've given up my only chance to do it. On+the other hand, if I decide to go through with the first academic year+of the programme---leaving earlier than that would mean paying back+thousands of dollars of the tuition waiver I'm receiving---I might+regret having been unhappy for another year after a lot of unhappiness+in Korea, but I would have got a better idea of what I want out of life+and I would be better able to make decisions to do or not to do+challenging things.++### Why I shouldn't attend++My heart is only very barely in this and I don't seem to have the energy+to commit to working hard and getting the most out of the programme. In+a low-energy state like this I'll suffer from all the downsides of+living so far away from home without really reaping the rewards of+working hard at my studies and learning new things. If I then spend the+10 months of the first year of the programme waiting to leave, my mind+will get contorted into terrible knots of self-hatred and negativity. I+ought to make a choice in favour of my happiness now, and just let go of+graduate-level philosophy because it doesn't seem to be for me.++#### Response++The only reason your heart is not in it is due to fear of what might+happen. And fear is not a good thing to base life decisions on.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/arizonaoffer.mdwn b/blog/entry/arizonaoffer.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..fba637a--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/arizonaoffer.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,108 @@+[[!meta date="2015-04-20 09:24:00"]]+[[!meta title="An offer from Arizona"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++I spent the first two weeks of this month trying to decide between+offers to study a one-year master's at the University of St. Andrew's in+Scotland, and to study a two-year master's at University College London.+Both are research-oriented, both would cost a big chunk of my savings. I+managed to factor out almost everything that differs about the two+prospects, and I decided in the end to choose to go to London. This came+down to my emotional reaction to spending a year in a small Scottish+village versus spending two years in vibrant London, despite not having+any money while there. And then the University of Arizona, a+significantly higher ranked philosophy department than either UCL or St.+Andrew's, made me a last-minute offer to go study there, fully funded+with a salary on a teaching fellowship, giving me just 48 hours to+respond.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+I accepted the offer from Arizona and spent a week or so with my heart+still in London. However, my desire to go there has now faded away, and+I'm looking forward, admittedly with great apprehension, to moving to+the U.S.A. Here's my view of what I'm about to embark upon.++Having lived in Korea, doing the job that I do and meeting the people+that I meet, I now know more clearly what my priorities are when it+comes to the career I'll pursue in the longterm. Dignity in the way I am+treated by my employer, the freedom to work in the part of the+world/country where I want to, and stability of the employment period+and day-to-day schedules have become important to me: more important, I+think, than the sense that the work I'm doing is cutting-edge academic+research. So I don't want to be a professional philosopher anymore. Not+very many people who embark upon careers as academics get stability and+dignity, and even those who do don't get it until after many of the best+years of their lives have already passed them by. I care more about+myself than I used to, and I'm just not sufficiently interested in most+of philosophy---that is, I'm not fanatically obsessed---to give up my+desire for all these good things that come much sooner/at all on other+career paths.++I owe it to myself, though, to give graduate-level philosophy a try. I+want to know what it is like to do it and be around other people doing+it. I want to develop skills to allow me to read and write philosophy+from time-to-time in the future, and I really need to go to a university+and get those skills now rather than later, when I've embarked on some+other career. Another reason why now is a good time is that I've got to+leave Korea because I'm so bored with my job. I'm not putting my heart+into it anymore, and I dread going into work on a Monday; this wasn't+true at all a year ago.++Arizona is offering me a chance to do philosophy, talk philosophy and+teach philosophy, and also a once-in-a-lifetime chance to go and live in+the United States. I could get a degree (an MA or a PhD depending on how+long I stay) out of it. But since I don't think I want an academic+career, this really is just a piece of paper that might hold personal+significance while not being relevant for getting other jobs. It's also+true that less than half of American Philosophy PhD students complete+the PhD and graduate with a PhD degree. So I can leave when I feel I've+learnt most of what Arizona is going to teach me. The department has a+reputation for being friendly and inclusive: I know this from my old+American philosophy tutor from Oxford, and from talking to current+Arizona students, not from their website.++I'll also be keeping my options open if I change my mind about wanting+to be a professional philosopher. The ranking of the institution you got+your PhD from matters a lot in getting philosophy jobs, and as I said,+Arizona is significantly higher in the rankings than UCL or St.+Andrew's.++After accepting the offer from Arizona I spent a while unconvincing+myself of my choice to go to UCL in London. I realised that my ongoing+fantasy about living some cosmopolitan intellectual life in London is at+this point a fantasy about giving up on academic study and getting a job+in London, probably doing some kind of computer programming. It's not a+fantasy about actually studying philosophy. So I'm not really giving up+on being able to go to London and try to live that fantasy life if I+decide that academic study isn't for me anymore. London isn't going+anywhere.++When I got the offer in the morning last week, and realised that I was+definitely leaving Korea within the next few months, I almost cried+while riding my bike to school and was holding back my tears for the+first ten minutes of my first lesson. This was because I was sad that my+time in Korea with my girlfriend is coming to an end. We're going to try+it long-distance, since our futures are very much open: she is tied to+practising engineering in Korea for between two and four years, and I'm+going to Arizona for a similar length of time. Receiving the offer+clarified my feelings about her as I wasn't sure whether I wanted to go+ahead with a long-distance relationship or not until that morning when I+rode my bike to school that way.++One very visible difference between U.K. and U.S. philosophy graduate+students is that almost all U.S. graduate students have to do some+teaching in exchange for a stipend and no tuition fees. I think this+suits me because there is some more concrete work to be done in addition+to the open-ended "get on with your research." Initially I suspect+they'll just have me marking papers, but anyway, [this is how I imagine+my classes](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3Dzh_Rof-B0To).++A few months ago I started having swimming lessons and had a bad first+few weeks. I wanted to conclude on the topic of whether swimming was+right for me and make a judgement. However, unexpectedly I found that I+loved it and now expect to continue for a fair while. I should accept+the uncertainty of whether Arizona will be good or bad, and resist my+desire to make a story as to whether or not I like it before I've been.+To help me do this, I will remind myself of my recent experiences with+swimming.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/arkhamhorror.mdwn b/blog/entry/arkhamhorror.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..11afc65--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/arkhamhorror.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,26 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-01 18:22:00"]]+[[!meta title="Arkham Horror"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom fiction boardgames]]++[Ben](http://mooseguy.com/) invited his brother+[James](http://superarty.wordpress.com/),+[James](http://nevermore-burning.net/) and I over today to play board+games, and we had a really really great time. I was looking forward to+Settlers of Catan, probably the most famous non-mainstream board game+out there, which is cool but I don't actually seem to end up enjoying+playing it that much, because (in the approx. three games I have played)+I always seem to lose and never stop losing so it's not great for me.++In the afternoon we played Arkham Horror which is brilliant. It's+co-operative, so you strategise with each other, and while the rules+seem intimidating (had twenty-four pages PDF to read before the day)+they're not actually that hard so long as you are careful about what+order certain things happen in. We only just one, and only with a lot of+luck, and had a great time getting to that point; heartily recommended.++Also it seems I have [rejoined+Twitter](http://twitter.com/spwhitton)---not actually me...++*Edit 2/ix/2011:* Ben found the [complete works of+Lovecraft](http://cthulhuchick.com/free-complete-lovecraft-ebook-nook-kindle/)+to dip into, win.diff --git a/blog/entry/artuncut.mdwn b/blog/entry/artuncut.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..ce5c1e5--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/artuncut.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,16 @@+[[!meta date="2011-04-19 21:15:00"]]+[[!meta title="Couple of tweets from @artuncut"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics education]]++> London Met Philosophy Dept. to close down. Greenwich philosophy dept.+> to close down. Cuts destroying humanities.++--- distressing. Visited [their Twitter feed](http://twitter.com/artuncut)+and found++> Einstein on common sense: 'A deposit of prejudices laid down in the+> mind before you reach 18'. Nothing to do with politics but quite cool.++which has everything to do with politics if you ask me.++(via [@Seanoftheshire](http://twitter.com/Seanoftheshire))diff --git a/blog/entry/asiansanswesternexpats.mdwn b/blog/entry/asiansanswesternexpats.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..e9ee204--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/asiansanswesternexpats.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,26 @@+[[!meta date="2014-07-13 12:00:00"]]+[[!meta title="Asian and Western expats compared"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom korea expat]]++[/u/koreathrwaway27 explains why Koreans and White expats don't always+mingle in Korea |+reddit](http://www.reddit.com/r/DepthHub/comments/2a6qi4/ukoreathrwaway27_explains_why_koreans_and_white/)++Interesting stuff in this this thread and the linked one.++> So when a new expat or immigrant arrives in a foreign country, his or+> her first assumption is to "judge" that culture, and set themselves+> apart from it. Food, even though it is common there, is "weird" and+> suspicious. Never mind that millions of people like it! If it tastes+> weird to me, it's weird, period. This attitude extends to everything+> else. Expats and immigrants might try local things, but most likely+> they will do it as an experiment, a foray into a foreign culture.+>+> Why? Because they have two choices: either they embrace the new+> culture and go through something like a second "adolescence" where+> they'll be outside their comfort zone all the time... Or they retreat+> within their own culture and look at the host culture as something of+> an aberration, to be enjoyed in small doses, but nowhere near as good+> as their own.++It is of course vital not to fall into moral relativism.diff --git a/blog/entry/assortedarchives.mdwn b/blog/entry/assortedarchives.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..cafe5a2--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/assortedarchives.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,8 @@+[[!meta date="2011-03-19 23:13:00"]]+[[!meta title="Assorted Emacs links from the archives"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech emacs]]++Cleaning out TechNotes.org today. Here are some links to interesting+pages about Emacs and LISP (and some vi) that got me excited about the+adventure I'm on with these technologies. Thought I'd post these here+before I archive them.diff --git a/blog/entry/atasteofdisability.mdwn b/blog/entry/atasteofdisability.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..95fefad--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/atasteofdisability.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,37 @@+[[!meta date="2012-01-04 00:09:00"]]+[[!meta title="A taste of disability"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++Last night I went to bed at around midnight and woke up at around 1:30+only to spend the next hour and a half trying to get back to sleep all+the while tormented by a strange phenomenon that I have experienced, to+my memory, only once before. I woke up with some kind of illogical+problem, if you like, that is, a logic problem or puzzle perverted by+the unconscious mind, as in dreams, into something that was not actually+a problem to be solved, being entirely nonsensical. But my mind would+not give it up. I was thinking of two slice-of-a-pie shapes, one+labelled with a zero and the other with a one, and I was trying to fit+one inside the other, and there was some problem with this because in+the shape these slices were taken from (not a circle), the two pieces+weren't adjacent. I think that there was another 'problem' enmeshed with+this too that came up later, replacing this first one.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+For the next hour, then, I found myself feeling completely awake but+still somehow in the grip of my sleeping mind, for every few seconds the+problem would resurface and my mind would try to grapple with it: I+could feel each wave coming with a kind of mental nausea, in the sense+that on the approach I was filled with dread for what was coming, but as+with actual nausea, it was gone as soon as it came.++I got up and went to the toilet and as I sat there and struggled with+these thoughts, I found myself gripping my hair, and rubbing my leg+furiously, and it just occurred to me how much this would have looked+like$1$ the popular portrayals of the mentally ill in films and on TV.+Hence, a taste of disability. Anyone reading know anything about this?++The thoughts died away but it still took me a very long time to get to+sleep; this is very unusual for me.++$1$ Not 'must have looked like' due to my fondness for Bishop Berkeley...+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/atomised.mdwn b/blog/entry/atomised.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..312dd58--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/atomised.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,23 @@+[[!meta date="2012-05-12 08:01:00"]]+[[!meta title="*Atomised* by Michel Houellebecq"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom fiction books]]++Last night I finished reading *Atomised* by Michel Houellebecq. BREAK+This is a book about two brothers who represent, as far as I can tell,+different aspects of the wreck that is, in the author's eyes, modern+society. The stories of the two brothers at the beginning and middle of+the book are well told, and one can appreciate how they are a product of+their society.++At the end of the book the two stories are concluded one after the+other; the brother who has dominated most of the book is out of it, and+then there is about 30 pages for the other brother who we know less+about. And this part is very strange, very different from the rest of+the book, and I have no idea what to make of it.++Throughout there are allusions to theoretical biology and physics and+continental philosophy. When Houellebecq talks about Kant and about the+Vienna Circle, I know enough to judge that he's not talking nonsense,+but for the rest of it I can't say whether it's actually any good, so on+this point I would be interested in opinions from anyone who has read it+and does understand Hilbert Spaces and/or Derrida.diff --git a/blog/entry/aug11riots.mdwn b/blog/entry/aug11riots.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..ab24b25--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/aug11riots.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,35 @@+[[!meta date="2011-08-10 19:53:00"]]+[[!meta title="Riotingly good links"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics]]++[London Riots. (The BBC will never replay this. Send it out) |+YouTube](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3DbiJgILxGK0o)++[Riot of a Time | Bad+Conscience](http://badconscience.com/2011/08/10/riot-of-a-time/)++I've been observing my family's reactions to the rioting and my own. I'm+very reluctant to form any opinions at all at the moment---aside from the+view that people shouldn't be rioting and I feel for those who have had+their homes and *small* businesses destroyed, ofc---because after the+media's (esp. the BBC's) coverage of protests over the past year I don't+trust them to be anything like impartial.++There are so many points where one can interpret the media as being one+massive propaganda machine. I have been fleshing out such possibilities+in my head as I watch, but I'm almost certainly overdoing it in my+naïvety.++I have been pleased to see the reluctance on the part of the police to+deploy their various weapons, water cannons *etc.*, as middle England+call for them. I was impressed to hear the head of the ACPO explaining+how such 'tools' only work in narrow situations that don't match with+what's going on. They seem to be sticking to ideas of using minimal+force and force to protect people not things: I get the impression that+if employing a weapon would save some shops but would hurt people and+wouldn't save any lives/injuries, they're not willing to employ it. This+is good.++It says a lot about the hold of consumerist capitalism when the attacks+on the state following their brutal slashing of public spending has come+down to little more than stealing flat-screen TVs.diff --git a/blog/entry/aug15.mdwn b/blog/entry/aug15.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..d2722cf--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/aug15.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,164 @@+[[!meta date="2015-08-11 01:29:00"]]+[[!meta title="August 2015 linkdump"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom linkdump]]++[Why Prison is Unfit for Civilised+Society](http://www.philosophersbeard.org/2014/12/why-prison-is-unfit-for-civilised.html)++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+> Where prison is the only severe punishment available, and length of+> time the only measure of severity, one will naturally find that very+> long sentences will be handed out. On an impartial view of the matter,+> the severity of the punishment often seems quite disproportionate. Yet+> even so the victims and those who sympathize with them remain+> dissatisfied. $...$ This dissatisfaction lies behind the dismaying+> popularity of inhumane prison conditions, seen most clearly in the+> pervasiveness of sly jokes and official winking about prison violence+> and rape.+>+> $...$+>+> Punishment takes place within a moral relationship: punishers should+> be alive to their moral responsibility for deliberately inflicting+> pain and suffering on another human being. That is why true punishment+> has a tragic element - it is always carried out with some regret, even+> when it is just. $...$ The risk posed by 'humane' punishments like+> prison is that they can be imposed with little regret. And when the+> act of punishment becomes so easy, the decision to punish is no longer+> treated with the moral seriousness it requires.++------------------------------------------------------------------------++[In Facebook's+Courtroom](http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/facebooks-courtroom)++> Not all of Facebook is devoted to overt judgment and punishment, of+> course; there are plenty of cute family photos and fun listicles+> floating around. But even superficially innocuous posts can have a+> hearing-like, evidentiary aspect. (Paranoia, unfortunately, is+> inevitable in a Kafkaesque world.) The omnipresent "challenge"---one+> recent version, the "gratitude challenge," asks you to post three+> things you're grateful for every day for five days---is typically+> Kafkaesque: it's punishment beneath a veneer of positivity, an+> accusation of ingratitude against which you must prove your innocence.+> (It's also the kind of thing Bart Simpson might be made to do at his+> blackboard.)++------------------------------------------------------------------------++[Home+Fires](http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/04/07/home-fires-2?currentPage%3Dall)++> The essence of modern understanding is irony, Fussell argued, and it+> was born on the Western Front.++> When a glib reporter asks what combat feels like, a character compares+> it to the moment just before a car accident, when you know it's going+> to happen and are helpless to stop it. "Death, or whatever, it's+> either coming or it's not," he says, "like that split second in a car+> wreck, except for here it can last for goddamn days."++> Back home, Bartle finds that "everyone wants to slap you on the back+> and you start to want to burn the whole goddamn country down, you want+> to burn every goddamn yellow ribbon in sight, and you can't explain it+> but it's just, like, Fuck you, but then you signed up to go so it's+> all your fault, really, because you went on purpose, so you are in the+> end doubly fucked."++------------------------------------------------------------------------++[This Soviet spy created the US-led global economic+system](http://www.vox.com/2014/8/24/6057119/harry-dexter-white-ben-steil)++[The Varieties of+Denialism](https://scientiasalon.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/the-varieties-of-denialism/)++[The Inflation of Bullying: From Fagging to Cyber-effervescent+Scapegoating+](http://sociological-eye.blogspot.kr/2011/07/inflation-of-bullying-from-fagging-to.html)++[In the Sorting+Office](http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n09/james-meek/in-the-sorting-office)++------------------------------------------------------------------------++[Reading from paper versus screens: a critical review of the empirical+literature](https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/~adillon/Journals/Reading.htm)++> It seems therefore that scrolling is a popular form of text+> manipulation with more experienced users probably due to its speed+> even if there are theoretical grounds for doubting its superiority+> over paging. There is no firm evidence that either facility+> significantly affects reading performance compared to paper.++Maybe this is why I prefer scrolling by screenful and I always turn off+smooth scrolling.++This is pretty funny:++> Richardson et al (1988) reported that several subjects in their+> experiment displayed a tendency to respond to unsuccessful searches by+> increasing the specificity of the search string rather than lessening+> it. logic appeared to be that the computer required precision rather+> than approximation to search effectively.++------------------------------------------------------------------------++[Advice from Robert+Frost](https://web.archive.org/web/20150405184604/http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2015/03/24/nick-richardson/advice-from-robert-frost/)++> Read your author once or twice over having an eye out for anything+> that occurs to you whether appreciative, contradictory, corroborative+> or parallel Much that you will think of in connection will come to+> nothing and be wasted. But some of it ought to go together under one+> idea. That idea is the thing to write on.++> Once you've got that idea, it will serve for other lesser ideas to+> centre around. Diligent but cautious students, Frost says, will put a+> name at the heads of their papers, Hawthorne, Poe, Emerson or+> Longfellow, and they will simply tell again what these men said did+> and wrote. They are afraid of the simplicity of many things they+> think, but instead of puffing them up, as overflorid writers do, they+> keep them private. But the simple things add up, Frost says, to one+> side in a conversation in which the reader takes part addressing+> himself to anything at all in the author in his subject matter or+> form.++----++[The Death of the Artist---and the Birth of the Creative+Entrepreneur](http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/01/the-death-of-the-artist-and-the-birth-of-the-creative-entrepreneur/383497/?single_page%3Dtrue)++> The democratization of taste, abetted by the Web, coincides with the+> democratization of creativity. The makers have the means to sell, but+> everybody has the means to make. And everybodys using them. Everybody+> seems to fancy himself a writer, a musician, a visual artist. Apple+> figured this out a long time ago: that the best way to sell us its+> expensive tools is to convince us that we all have something unique+> and urgent to express.+>+> What were now persuaded to consume, most conspicuously, are the means+> to create. And the democratization of taste ensures that no one has+> the right (or inclination) to tell us when our work is bad. A+> universal grade inflation now obtains: were all swapping A-minuses all+> the time, or, in the language of Facebook, likes.+>+> It is often said today that the most-successful businesses are those+> that create experiences rather than products, or create experiences+> (environments, relationships) around their products. So we might also+> say that under producerism, in the age of creative entrepreneurship,+> producing becomes an experience, even the experience. It becomes a+> lifestyle, something that is packaged as an experienceand an+> experience, whats more, after the contemporary fashion: networked,+> curated, publicized, fetishized, tweeted, catered, and anything but+> solitary, anything but private.++------------------------------------------------------------------------++[Hacking Passion](http://www.kytrinyx.com/blog/hacking-passion)++> **I thought I wanted to be extraordinary, but what I really craved+> was** **passion, and that deep sense of satisfaction that comes with+> focus and accomplishment.** ... Passion is curated. ... Don't do what+> you love. Do something well enough to love what you do.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/authprogs.mdwn b/blog/entry/authprogs.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..4a0374b--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/authprogs.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2013-03-15 17:34:00"]]+[[!meta title="Useful script for multiple specific-command SSH keys"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech security]]++[RESTRICTING SSH COMMANDS |+cmdln.org](http://www.cmdln.org/2008/02/11/restricting-ssh-commands/)diff --git a/blog/entry/autodisper.mdwn b/blog/entry/autodisper.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..164cf00--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/autodisper.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,44 @@+[[!meta date="2011-05-08 14:01:00"]]+[[!meta title="Auto-disper incorporated into keyboard fixups"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech gnu+linux]]++Something I worked on over Easter was fixing up a script to set my key+bindings dependent on whether or not my Apple keyboard is plugged in:+the idea is that, on my laptop, this can be called on startup rather+than me having to call it manually. I've now extended the script to+detect whether or not my external monitor is plugged in using the+excellent [autorandr](https://github.com/wertarbyte/autorandr/)+utility; I would have done this long ago but the non-free nvidia drivers+screw up xrandr. So now I can just hit a key to fix things. The idea+is that I will no longer have to reboot/restart X when leaving my desk+etc. and this is made especially quick now that I have suspend on lip+shut/open without a screen lock.++ #!/bin/sh++ # first fix keyboards++ if lsusb | grep -q "Aluminum Keyboard"; then+ dwm-applebindings &+ else+ setxkbmap -option ctrl:swapcaps+ setxkbmap -option "compose:ralt"+ fi++ # now sort out monitors+ auto-disper --change++ # finally fix stump mode-line+ stumpish eval "(enable-mode-line (current-screen) (current-head) nil)"+ stumpish fnext+ stumpish eval "(enable-mode-line (current-screen) (current-head) t)"+ stumpish fnext++And the xbindkeys config:++ "/home/swhitton/bin/dwm-autobind"+ XF86Display++The Arch packages:++ sudo clyde -S disper autorandr-gitdiff --git a/blog/entry/autodisper/comment_0855TQ8193GPDZT9._comment b/blog/entry/autodisper/comment_0855TQ8193GPDZT9._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..0655748--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/autodisper/comment_0855TQ8193GPDZT9._comment@@ -0,0 +1,17 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="t"+ nickname="Tom Jollans"+ date="2011-05-24T16:00:30Z"+ content="""+You could have udev run the script automatically when the keyboard is+plugged in; saves you a keystroke. I have udev set up to run a backup+script when I plug in my backup disk. + + % cat /etc/udev/rules.d/zz\_backupdisk.rules + ACTION=="add",+ENV{ID\_FS\_UUID}=="2bfb8cf5-062c-4fda-b056-ed7d27a6f003",+RUN+="/usr/local/sbin/auto\_run\_backup" + + (There's more than enough mediocre udev documentation on the web, of+course)+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/awesomebyproxy.mdwn b/blog/entry/awesomebyproxy.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..35decd9--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/awesomebyproxy.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2012-03-25 12:00:00"]]+[[!meta title="Achieving things in video games"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom fiction vidya]]++[Pixel Poppers: Awesome By Proxy: Addicted to Fake+Achievement](http://www.pixelpoppers.com/2009/11/awesome-by-proxy-addicted-to-fake.html)diff --git a/blog/entry/awsdownapr11.mdwn b/blog/entry/awsdownapr11.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..3dd33c3--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/awsdownapr11.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,24 @@+[[!meta date="2011-04-22 09:26:00"]]+[[!meta title="Info on why Amazon's AWS being down is so catastrophic"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech cloud]]++[AWS is down: Why the sky is falling | justinsb's+posterous](http://justinsb.posterous.com/aws-down-why-the-sky-is-falling)++This is a really interesting read. There are two sides to the cloud+computing lark as I see it, though I've not seen the distinction drawn+by anyone else myself: firstly there is the really dangerous idea that+users should store their data online with various providers who are+probably using the second part of cloud computing but who don't have to+be, which is really bad because it takes away control over something+that is increasingly important in our lives. But secondly there is the+idea of using elastic virtual instances over traditional always-on+servers that sit idle half the time; it's more efficient and+environmentally friendly.++The problem is that AWS doesn't really have much competition in the+latter atm which is why it going down brings the web with it which is+bad. I think that this also shows that traditional websites offering+information should definitely keep running their own webservers; such+sites at ten times more important than Web 2.0 and its friends and need+to remain up.diff --git a/blog/entry/awwasright.mdwn b/blog/entry/awwasright.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..116b40a--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/awwasright.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2014-02-18 13:34:00"]]+[[!meta title="A concise statement of the current awful situation in academic publishing"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy academia]]++[Aaron Swartz Was Right by Peter+Ludlow](https://chronicle.com/article/Aaron-Swartz-Was-Right/137425/)diff --git a/blog/entry/ayearinkorea.mdwn b/blog/entry/ayearinkorea.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..93d4e1b--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/ayearinkorea.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,94 @@+[[!meta date="2015-01-27 09:10:00"]]+[[!meta title="After a year in Korea"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++I recently wrote a [series of blog+posts](http://spw.sdf.org/blog/writing/thoughts/koreaafter1yr-intro.html)+commenting on contemporary Korean society after a year living here, and+I was disappointed by the way about half of them came out. Further, I+didn't write down my current assessment of my year in Korea for my own+self and life. I intend to do that briefly here.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+I originally signed up to come to Korea for a year for two reasons. I+had a great deal of curiosity about Korean contemporary culture and+society, piqued by spending a month teaching English in a nursing+college here in the summer of 2012. And I wanted to study philosophy at+a post-graduate level, but I couldn't apply to start a graduate course+immediately after my undergraduate because that would mean I would have+to apply with my third year grades before I'd got my fourth year ones,+which I knew would be much better as I dropped maths and did only+philosophy in my fourth year. I'll frame my assessment of my time in+Korea so far in terms of these two reasons, and then say a little about+the remainder of my time here from now until some time between August+and November.++Firstly, studying graduate philosophy. It's easy to build past+happenings that seemed undesirable at the time into a grand narrative of+one's life in which they turn out to be beneficial, and our culture very+much wants us to see them this way. I'm aware of this, so I don't take+the following too seriously. That being said: I think that going into+graduate study straight after undergraduate would have been dangerous+emotionally and intellectually, because I had a bunch of dogmatic ideas+about academic philosophy and its place in the intellectual and cultural+landscapes that I might not have shaken off to the extent that I think I+have. In contemporary self-help parlance, I've diversified my identity.++Secondly, my attempts to understand and learn from the powerfully+non-western elements of Korean culture. This has been much less+successful than the above. When I arrived I really threw myself into it.+I forced myself to eat spicy food, basically suffering through most of+my mealtimes, I met a lot of different Koreans to see if I could forge+some friendships, I used Korean products and Korean methods, even making+up my bed in the style of my Korean friend from university. And of+course I put quite a lot of hours into learning the language, though+this was fairly inefficient because I haven't learnt a language so+didn't know a lot that I know now about how to (and I'm very aware of+how far I didn't really get).++Now, I have a fascinating relationship with my Korean girlfriend which+wouldn't have been come about had I not made the efforts just described.+But really she is all I have come out with, aside from a bunch of useful+perspectives and insights that result from contrasting English-speaking+and Korean culture that I have floating around in my head. I've very+much wound down my efforts with regard to language study and fitting in,+not bothering with a lot of Korean food and not bothering with cultural+activities and tourism, because I've found that I've come out with one+close Korean friend aside from my girlfriend, one or two other Koreans+who I might see once every few months, and a feeling that there's not+actually that much to contemporary Korean culture after all.++There's a lot of weird ways that people behave that I'd like to gain a+better understanding of than was displayed in the series of blog posts I+mentioned above, but you can't really talk to Koreans about these---and+thus try to begin some kind of systematic engagement with the+culture---because they quickly take offense. Koreans are strikingly+similar in how they handle foreigners. It sounds crude and as though it+couldn't possibly be anything other than a surface impression, but it+really does seem that most Koreans would rather like you to just enjoy+some food and complain that the rest is too spicy and then they can feel+good for being in a cultural club that's capable of eating it, say that+you think various places in Korea are pretty, and then let them know the+start and end dates of your temporary sojourn.++I haven't managed to break past these barriers to serious and rewarding+engagement with contemporary Korea. I hope that there are answers, that+I just didn't try hard enough or engaged in the wrong way, but those+answers don't help me who did try as hard as he could and found himself+getting very little out of the country. A huge part of this is language,+and maybe it's just my lack of intellectual stimulation here. It's easy+to blame that lack on the country but really, the heart of it is that+what culture there might be is just straight-up inaccessible compared to+what's available to me in an English-speaking country.++With all this I need to say why I'm still here and plan to see out as+much of the second contracted year of employment as I can before I might+have to go back to the UK or even the US to go to university again. The+reasons are that I have a good life here and I have my girlfriend. Our+relationship is very interesting due to the cultural exchange and+differences, and it's very loving. I don't know what else I might want+to do and I don't want to think too hard about it until after this+likely final round of university applications, so continuing my life+here works very well for me. That doesn't mean I'm not disappointed that+I don't have more than I do.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/aynrandlotr.mdwn b/blog/entry/aynrandlotr.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..bff27a6--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/aynrandlotr.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,7 @@+[[!meta date="2012-08-17 10:51:00"]]+[[!meta title="Ayn Rand & The Lord of the Rings"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy humour]]++[[!img blog/img/aynrandlotr.png size=400x433]]++([source](http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2012/08/rand-and-tolkein.html))diff --git a/blog/entry/backlash.mdwn b/blog/entry/backlash.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..a79e121--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/backlash.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,27 @@+[[!meta date="2015-05-23 02:17:00"]]+[[!meta title="Some backlash to mindfulness in popular culture"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom mindfulness]]++Here's three articles I read on Thursday:++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+[Meditation Nation |+Tricycle](http://www.tricycle.com/blog/meditation-nation)++[The Dark Knight of the Soul | The+Atlantic](http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/06/the-dark-knight-of-the-souls/372766/)++[Be mindful of mindfulness | The+Guardian](http://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2015/may/21/mindfulness-drug-free-side-effects)++The Tricycle article is fair, and the Atlantic and Guardian articles are+fairly unfair. Meditation in the longterm is supposed to be+transformative and so unless you're superhuman, you're going to have to+work through some unpleasant stuff. And you might not be equipped to+deal with that if mental illness means you're more tangled up in your+own psyche than the average person already is.++Meditation practice has never been advertised to me as easy street. It+seems it is being advertised as trouble-free, by some modern+practitioners. This sounds like a serious problem.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/backtoemacs.mdwn b/blog/entry/backtoemacs.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..3a7dfe2--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/backtoemacs.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,101 @@+[[!meta date="2014-12-31 03:04:00"]]+[[!meta title="Switching back to Emacs text editing keybindings"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing thoughts]]++I've been using Emacs with vim-style editing bindings [for two+months](http://spw.sdf.org/blog/writing/geek/emacsevildone.html), and+this morning I've decided to turn them off (which'll take some time).+The tipping point was last night, when I tried to connect to IRC briefly+in order to respond to a MemoServ memo. I tried to fire up the Emacs IRC+client rcirc, and immediately found myself in keybinding hell where I+couldn't even type my password for NickServ. This is because any Emacs+mode which isn't editing a text file needs special configuration to work+with my vim keybindings; when I was a pure Emacs user, firing up such+special modes immediately put me into an intuitive environment, even if+some things always need to be tweaked. (The reason is vim's modality.)+This experience had me reconsider my priorities. Here's why I think in+my case, hacking vim into Emacs isn't something I should keep in place.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+There are a great many small advantages that come from using the vim+editing bindings. But I was driven to use Evil (the best vim emulation+layer for Emacs) by two key personal priorities. These priorities had me+wanting to switch, waiting until I could come up with solutions to+compatibility problems with elements of the Emacs environment that I+wasn't willing to give up, as described in the blog post I've already+linked.++Firstly, I was starting to experience pain in my left little finger due+to one-handed key-chording. That's pressing things like C-w and C-xC-f+with my left hand, which I was doing hundreds of times per hour of Emacs+use. Since the only chording vim requires is with the shift-key, and+I've already trained myself to press the shift-key with one hand and the+key to be modified with the other, using vim bindings immediately slices+down my abuse of my little finger.++What I've since realised is that I have bad computer usage habits which+abuse my whole body, and having to chord regularly is insignificant. I+care far too much about my UNIX environment: basically my Emacs+configuration, my shell configuration and the contents of ~/bin. When+one of these doesn't do something exactly as I want and I know that I'm+capable of making it as I want, I get totally obsessed with making it+work. I will readily spend three or four hours trying things and+googling all to eventually end up writing three or lines of elisp. This+can be a form of procrastination, but often it's just the result of+having an interesting hobby. But it need not involve the physical abuse.+I tense up, lock my eyes to my monitor and don't look away and just+manically type and click away. I should sit properly and take regular+breaks from keyboarding. Failing to do this means that I barely gain+anything from the vim keybindings since I'm abusing my hands and the+rest of my body regardless.++Secondly, there is the elegance and efficiency of vim compared to the+ugliness of Emacs text editing keybindings. Using expressive, clean and+*quick* text editing keybindings is a way of taking pride in my work, by+using an elegant tool. And this taking pride in one's work is a virtue.+Vim has a quiet zen I missed in my two years of pure Emacs.++Unfortunately, it doesn't have this quiet zen quite so much within+Emacs, as I described in my first paragraph. Using vim as part of a+computer workflow driven by the unix philosophy---making heavy use of+piping into and out of external commands, which vim is good at---perhaps+retains the quiet zen, but that is not how I use it and not how I ever+will use it. I'm stuck on Windows all day at school.++So perhaps then I should be fighting to restore the elegance by hacking+away on Emacs to make it all work together, if this elegance is to be+prized. What I now think, though, is that elegance is something that we+humans tend to only be able to get at in snatches. The sculptor makes an+elegant statue using inelegant tools and his inelegant body. Our tools+in particular (which is all Emacs is) should be thought about in their+historical context. We are, of course, editing text written in deeply+imperfect human languages which [fail to meet a lot of our aesthetic+standards](http://spw.sdf.org/blog/writing/thoughts/pronouns.html). What+we make with our tools can to some extent escape: our programs and+essays can have a self-contained elegance and perfection that the tools+and humans who wrote them don't have.++So I'm switching back. Here are some guiding principals for making+changes to my configuration in the future:++- Be careful about when trying to be like vim. Sometimes new bindings+ to edit text faster and move around are worthwhile when you find+ yourself doing something repetitive over and over with a long list+ of key presses, but mostly they're not. Writing complex elisp to+ automate stuff is more useful and avoids future incompatibilities.+- Small incremental changes are more time-efficient than overhauls.+- Don't add big complex new packages you don't have a use case for. If+ a package addresses something you've found annoying, add it.+ Otherwise, resist the temptation to try it out.+- Emacs is not always the best tool for the job. Don't try to put e.g.+ e-mail inside Emacs just because it's Emacs.+- Try to keep the environment as portable as is practical but don't+ get anxious about vim enthusiasts having their favourite editor+ absolutely everywhere. It's a minor discomfort compared with the+ discomfort everyone gets for not having all one's config files.+- Accept that the grass is always greener: vim will always do some+ things better than Emacs but it's not worth trying to totally break+ out of Emacs' historical context.+- Try to recognise when your reconfiguration is just procrastination.+ Take a moment to think about it.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/backtomutt.mdwn b/blog/entry/backtomutt.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..08ff413--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/backtomutt.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,45 @@+[[!meta date="2013-08-23 19:23:00"]]+[[!meta title="I honestly thought I'd sorted e-mail"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++I am steadily getting angrier this evening as I realise I have not+sorted e-mail. By this I mean minimising the time e-mail takes in my+life while having it still be useful. This is for two reasons. Firstly,+it's still taking ages despite me *not even having a job or a degree+course to do at the moment*. And secondly, I think I'm going to have to+change mail clients *again*.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+My beloved alpine is failing me. Currently it is connecting to my e-mail+provider's IMAP server and it is sending by connecting to localhost port+25, which causes xinetd to fire up an SSH connection to a remote machine+which in turn uses netcat across its LAN to the my e-mail provider's+SMTP server. This is a bit of a hack but it's been working fine for+months.++Until I realise that I really need certificate verification on my+provider's IMAP server... which is using a self-signed certificate.+Alpine doesn't like this and I've tried a variety of things to make it+work with no success. So I thought, let's try offlineimap (always nice+to have that speed boost) which can deal with the certificate problem+better, and then have alpine connect to a local IMAP server that feeds+off offlineimap's data store. Can't persuade alpine to connect to this+local IMAP server.++I could keep trying here to save alpine, or I could just switch to+mutt+offlineimap. It would take less time to set-up and would result in+a cleaner setup. The only reason I adopted alpine over mutt was because+I thought it was cool when I switched to [SDF](http://sdf.org/) as my+e-mail provider.++I really thought I was over hopping between mail clients. Seems not.+Can't see myself having any reason to leave mutt, though. And it will be+nice to have OpenPGP back.++But the real problem is that I'm still taking ages on e-mail. I have a+method of reading e-mail designed to be really efficient... but it still+takes ages. Am I getting too much junk? Do I need to check on every+Facebook posting I get alerted to? I thought I had it cut down but it+seems not. [Angrier and+angrier](http://mph.puddingbowl.org/2010/02/org-mode-in-your-pocket-is-a-gnu-shaped-devil/).+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/backtosheffield.mdwn b/blog/entry/backtosheffield.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..aa278c1--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/backtosheffield.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,48 @@+[[!meta date="2011-03-13 23:48:00"]]+[[!meta title="Quick thoughts after getting back to Sheffield"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++I'm due a post on events for the rest of term and plans for the vac in+detail but now I've got back home and I'm at my desk I thought I'd write+a few thoughts down. Right now I'm waiting for my e-mail to sync up to+my desktop, after syncing all my files and configs and doing a system+upgrade. It'll be interesting to see if I have X after a reboot, or+indeed a window manager, since I found this one on a different one on+arrival which is disconcerting when I had my laptop and desktop on at+the same time; the new one's installation process is a pain so I don't+know if much will be working after a reboot. I've had the odd experience+of looking over at my shelf of stuff and not really caring about most of+it. All the reading backlogs and bits and pieces don't seem very+important because the philosophical works I have with me are more+important (more on this later too --- the real world (*i.e.* current+affairs and popular intellectualism) just doesn't seem important to me+at all anymore, which is probably a bit worrying). This is one thing I+will try and bring out soon: my enthusiasm for and commitment to+Philosophy has gone through the roof in the past three weeks or so+(though my ability to do it is still greatly hampered by the ongoing+adversary I have described at length before). All I care about+(materially!) is the stuff I've brought with me: the data on my laptop,+the paper in my folders and the piles of books. This is a nice feeling+and an encouraging one.++Tomorrow I'm taking the day off to finish unpacking and to clear my+organisational backlogs so that everything is clear and ready to go+before me for the next five and a half weeks (time in France and time in+Oxford after that before full term starts a whopping eight weeks away)+and the nice thing is that I know that I will get it done. I'll make a+quick list when I get up of the various backlogs that I am to clear, get+them cleared and then I will feel legitimately free for the rest of the+day. Perhaps I'll write on here. I'll try to get my diary filled in (got+four days-worth of rough notes that lose meaning every hour I delay+writing them up). And on Tuesday one of the hardest tasks I have ever+faced will be before me, as I will write about properly. But this+evening I am contented. I am concerned about how much I have to motivate+myself to do, and I am guilty that during my insane 8th week of many+conflicting academic and social pressures I have neglected my contact+with people I care about; I've got to try to fix this, but it's okay for+now. Because I've got Blame's Essential Mix on and Nu:Tone's Balaclava+is incoming, and I feel the challenges I face are solidifying into+things I can hack at, and I'm starting to really believe my frequently+proferred views of what's important in how I am to spend my life.++Come on offlineimap...diff --git a/blog/entry/backtosheffield/comment_HBVAPO7KK7PRY8VY._comment b/blog/entry/backtosheffield/comment_HBVAPO7KK7PRY8VY._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..802a8a8--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/backtosheffield/comment_HBVAPO7KK7PRY8VY._comment@@ -0,0 +1,9 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="edward.jacobs"+ nickname="Eddie"+ date="2011-03-21T16:46:00Z"+ content="""+I like reading your blog at 200% zoom. + That is all. + *This imported comment should say posted 16:46 on 21st March 2011.*+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/backtotoss.mdwn b/blog/entry/backtotoss.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..5ee36fd--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/backtotoss.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,7 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-15 18:09:00"]]+[[!meta title="Switching back to Protoss"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom fiction vidya starcraft]]++At Ben's (personal) and Day$9$'s (impersonal) persuasion. Improvement+is fun, and I shouldn't have conflated that with playing to+win---definitely different things. Deathball time.diff --git a/blog/entry/baikal.mdwn b/blog/entry/baikal.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..3b37cb7--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/baikal.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,7 @@+[[!meta date="2015-02-16 01:03:00"]]+[[!meta title="CardDAV and CalDAV server"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech cloud]]++[Baïkal](http://baikal-server.com/)++Looks nice.diff --git a/blog/entry/balliolcoldanddark.mdwn b/blog/entry/balliolcoldanddark.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..b26bbee--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/balliolcoldanddark.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,20 @@+[[!meta date="2012-01-01 21:36:00"]]+[[!meta title="Back in College"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++Arrived back in Balliol this afternoon, and College is cold and dark.+The only people here are the porter and I, or so it feels, my room on+top of the lodge, together guarding the frontier between the dark and+empty quadrangles and the rest of the world outside. It's very often+cold here of course but it is strange to see Balliol so dark. I have+seen the lights on in one tutor's room and in one room which could+belong to a tutor or a student, but other than that all the lights that+are usually on all the time, aren't on, which is striking. The various+lantern-like things that ring the quad are shining out haphazardly, but+every staircase is black, the SCR is dark, and all is very quiet. In the+front quad it's striking to see the library so dark, it's usually a+constant reminder that Studying Could Be Taking Place.++It's as if the garden quadrangle is taking a deep breath along with me+ready for the term ahead. I'm the only one here, let's use that to get a+head start on myself.diff --git a/blog/entry/balliolhousing.mdwn b/blog/entry/balliolhousing.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..b7cccc9--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/balliolhousing.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,109 @@+[[!meta date="2011-12-05 15:27:00"]]+[[!meta title="Balliol's housing crisis this term"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++Time to write about some things that happened in the second half of the+term just completed that might be of interest to friends from home who+read this blog. Secondly, the housing crisis a few weeks ago. Here's an+e-mail I sent round all undergraduates on 23rd November:++> Okay so people seem to be pretty confused about what it was that went+> wrong with the main site housing ballot this week and the reason why+> we're having a EGM, and to what level this is my fault (and,+> accordingly, to what extent I'm a twat). Here's an explanation so that+> people are better informed at the GM, so PLEASE READ IT.+>+> In Hilary 2010 the then Dr WHOs brought a motion to change how the+> ballot worked, and Seb Fassam (who has now graduated) brought an+> amendment to change some more things. Seb's amendment on the night+> included the principles behind the ballot change, and he promised to+> write up a detailed procedure explaining how to do the ballot, and+> e-mail this round the JCR. He did this the morning following the GM,+> and no-one disagreed with what he had written. I've attached Seb's+> document.+>+> When Alex and Alice ran the ballot this week, they essentially+> followed Seb's procedure. The thing that they got wrong was that they+> interpreted the word 'college' to mean 'main site or Jowett Walk' when+> it should have only meant 'main site'---this meant that some people who+> should have received an advantage in the ballot didn't get this+> advantage because of this misinterpretation of 'college'. So the+> ballot was illegal.+>+> The reason that Alex and Alice made this mistake was that the standing+> orders on the JCR website were either ambiguous, or hadn't been+> updated to include the result of Seb's motion, or both: it's not quite+> clear what was wrong. And secondly, Seb's document detailing the+> procedure was in a folder in the JCR office but it wasn't on the+> website, so Alex and Alice didn't have it. This is the part that is my+> fault. When Seb's procedure was passed it was my responsibility to+> update the website, and clearly I didn't do this properly.+>+> At the EGM on Thursday the motion being brought basically just+> re-instates Seb's procedure into Standing Orders, getting rid of the+> old, confusing text. Then we redo the ballot with the correct rules.+> That's all.+>+> A further complication is that it seems that the JCR Committee at the+> time of Seb's amendment didn't pass the new procedure through+> College's exec committee, a fact which has only just been realised by+> both College and the JCR. This has to happen for the ballot to go+> ahead, so we need to run the policy we are re-instating on Thursday+> through them.+>+> There is only one more exec meeting this term and it is on Wednesday,+> which means that the GM on Thursday isn't really an appropriate place+> to change our balloting policy through amendments. If we did this, the+> new policy would have to go for approval again, but this couldn't+> happen until the beginning of next term.+>+> But then the main site ballot and the Jowett ballot both get pushed+> back until next term, which would mean that if Jowett is+> oversubscribed, those who don't get in will have even less time to+> find houses. So if you want to change the ballot procedure away from+> Seb's scheme, please please please bring a motion to do that next term+> rather than this week.+>+> Hope that's clear, feel free to reply with any questions.+>+> S++I think that explains what went on and how we resolved it, but I should+explain my use of 'twat': following on from when a legendary former+committee member locked the DVD player and TV remote in a cupboard and+then forgot the combination to the padlock and was thus put in Standing+Policy as a twat, the JCR President & Secretary said they were going to+do the same to me; my first reaction was amusement. My view of it was+always just amusement. But a lot of people in Balliol were unhappy and+saw it as bullying. Over the course of a couple of days, the President+and Secretary received e-mail after e-mail from students and tutors+alike, including people on their years abroad who were only seeing it+all by e-mail, complaining that I was being victimised.++The next day someone who lost to me in the recent JCR elections for a+semi-serious position started gathering signatures for a vote of no+confidence. I signed it. The point of the twat thing and the no con was+to bring any anger at me into the open, rather than seething+underground. There was no expectation I would actually get no con'd.++Several of my friends got very upset over the two motions, saying that I+was just saying I was okay with it, just playing along, that I shouldn't+be okay with it and that my reputation among non-JCR people would be+seriously damaged. While I appreciated the concern, as I told them, I+felt like I was being seriously patronised. I genuinely didn't mind+about the motions, but people still weren't happy. It was seen as a JCR+in-joke that shouldn't have been going on because 'twat''s special+meaning (the TV remote guy) isn't well known outside of those involved+in the JCR.++In the end an amendment was brought to remove most of the bad stuff+about me (an amendment I voted in opposition to) and it passed+overwhelmingly, lots and lots of people complaining at the GM about how+I was being blamed when it wasn't actually my fault at all (it wasn't,+really).++It is difficult to say whether this was okay. The JCR is only as+successful as it is, the very last one with any bite left really,+because it toes close to the line, so I suppose there will always be+divisive things like this from time to time. Glad housing got sorted out+though.diff --git a/blog/entry/ballthrowing.mdwn b/blog/entry/ballthrowing.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..c0d4fe8--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/ballthrowing.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,12 @@+[[!meta date="2013-05-29 21:19:00"]]+[[!meta title="Ball-throwing"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy metaphysics]]++Today I had an exam called "knowledge & reality", arguably on topics at+the heart of philosophy, where I answered this question:++> Suppose there is only ever one ball-throwing. Can throwing the ball+> cause the window to break?++Six years of studying philosophy and it all comes down to this.+Brilliant.diff --git a/blog/entry/bangwithfriends.mdwn b/blog/entry/bangwithfriends.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..d5a7e1c--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/bangwithfriends.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,8 @@+[[!meta date="2013-03-15 17:44:00"]]+[[!meta title="Bang with Friends"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech web]]++This is old news now but in case you haven't come across it:++[Bang With Friends: The Beginning Of A Sexual Revolution On Facebook? |+Co.Design](http://www.fastcodesign.com/1671768/bang-with-friends-the-beginning-of-a-sexual-revolution-on-facebook)diff --git a/blog/entry/bbcchina.mdwn b/blog/entry/bbcchina.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..f476e6a--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/bbcchina.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2012-10-03 19:27:00"]]+[[!meta title="BBC images of China"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom video]]++[BBC Motion Gallery:+China](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3DndGXMJNfAYI)diff --git a/blog/entry/beatles.mdwn b/blog/entry/beatles.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..282bcea--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/beatles.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,17 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-16 15:56:00"]]+[[!meta title="EU adds twenty years to music copyright"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics copyright]]++[No Beatles for you! EU adds 20 years to music+copyrights](http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/09/no-beatles-for-you-eu-adds-20-years-to-music-copyrights.ars)++A+[comment](http://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/kha4t/it_took_three_years_but_the_music_industry_has/c2k9nbs)+on reddit:++> $T$here's not a chance in hell that any rock and roll will be in the+> public domain in 20 years. The music industry now has 20 years to+> lobby for an even longer copyright. I suspect we'll find that+> copyright length is actually likely to extend indefinitely. This 20+> year extension is nothing, copyright lost its original purpose many+> years ago.diff --git a/blog/entry/beets.mdwn b/blog/entry/beets.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..fbcff33--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/beets.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,9 @@+[[!meta date="2011-08-31 12:02:00"]]+[[!meta title="Beets"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech gnu+linux]]++[beets: the music geek's media+organizer](http://code.google.com/p/beets/)++I'm not a "music geek" and don't have enough new stuff coming in to make+easytag ineffective so I won't be bothering with this personally.diff --git a/blog/entry/benacerrafquot.mdwn b/blog/entry/benacerrafquot.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..216cbdf--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/benacerrafquot.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,25 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-22 15:27:00"]]+[[!meta title="P. Benacerraf, *What numbers could not be*"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy maths]]++> But there seem to be little to choose among the $possible+> set-theoretic models for the natural numbers$. Relative to our+> purposes in giving an account of these matters, one will do as well as+> another, stylistic preferences aside. There is no way connected with+> the reference of number words that will allow us to choose among them,+> /for the accounts differ at places where there is no connection+> whatever between features of the accounts and our uses of the words in+> question/. If all the above is cogent, then there is little to+> conclude except that any feature of an account that identified 3 with+> a set is a superflous one -- and that therefore 3, and its fellow+> numbers, could not be sets at all.+>+> $...$+>+> There is another reason to deny that it would be legitimate to use the+> reducibility of arithmetic to set theory as a reason to assert that+> numbers are really sets after all. Gaisi Takeuti has shown that the+> Gödel--von Neumann--Bernays set theory is in a strong sense *reducible+> to* the theory of ordinal numbers less than the least inaccessible+> number (1954). No wonder numbers are sets; sets are really (ordinal)+> numbers, after all. *But now, which is really which?*diff --git a/blog/entry/bewell.mdwn b/blog/entry/bewell.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..9e88b6c--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/bewell.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,15 @@+[[!meta date="2014-06-30 22:11:00"]]+[[!meta title="An imperative to be well"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom scraps]]++An imperative to be well, written "Be Well.", can be read in two ways.++1. Treat 'well' as an adverb, and then the imperative is one to exist+ well, that is, in a good way.+2. Treat 'well' as an adjective and the 'be'-verb as the way we ascribe+ adjectives to objects as predicates, rather than the verb+ of existence. So it's an imperative to have the adjective 'well'+ apply to oneself.++It's interesting to think about the extent to which these two are+commanding the same thing.diff --git a/blog/entry/biphasicsleep.mdwn b/blog/entry/biphasicsleep.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..88a4061--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/biphasicsleep.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,34 @@+[[!meta date="2012-01-08 17:11:00"]]+[[!meta title="Biphasic sleep"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom science sleep]]++Lots of people have heard of 'polyphasic sleep' even if not by that+name---it's when you sleep for a total of three or four hours a day by+spreading it out into naps, the aim being nothing more than spending+less time sleeping. Apparently commandos are trained to switch to+schemes like this if they are stuck in the worst of situations, and need+more time to make progress.++Clearly polyphasic sleep isn't at all practical for the rest of us+though for the simple reason that other people don't do it. In order for+it to work you *have* to stick to the schedule, or you will be severely+sleep deprived, so that means you suddenly have immovable chunks of your+schedule: you absolutely cannot meet someone or visit somewhere between+3 and 4:30pm, for example. And all that extra time you're awake in the+night is only useful for working on your own; it's going to be very+dependent on your profession as to whether that's suitable.++This afternoon I came across 'biphasic sleep' where you nap at a regular+time in the evening, and then go to bed later and get up earlier, so for+example you sleep 7:30pm-9pm and then 1:30am-6am. [People+say](http://www.stevepavlina.com/forums/health-fitness/1638-switching-biphasic-sleeping-start-here.html)+that it improves sleep quality and, again, it cuts down the amount of+time you have to spend sleeping for the same effect, but it's a+compromise with the rest of the world: there's only one part of the day+that you are unavailable for, and it's not part of the standard 'working+day,' so the worst that could happen is that you miss early evening+social activities---but these tend to be followed by late evening social+activities, so it's cool.++I like this idea a lot, and perhaps come the long vac this summer I will+try it out; not practical until then.diff --git a/blog/entry/bitlbee3.mdwn b/blog/entry/bitlbee3.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..215273e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/bitlbee3.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,10 @@+[[!meta date="2011-07-11 10:04:00"]]+[[!meta title="xkcd for Bitlbee 3.0 release"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom comics]]++Found this recently; what a gem. Not in the main xkcd archives.++[[blog/comics/bitlbee3.png]]++([source](http://twitter.com/Wilmer/status/28360794943), [where I found+it](http://www.kungfoocode.org/how-to/my-perfect-irssi-setup/))diff --git a/blog/entry/blogfixedoct11.mdwn b/blog/entry/blogfixedoct11.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..404748a--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/blogfixedoct11.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,21 @@+[[!meta date="2011-10-10 15:28:00"]]+[[!meta title="Blog fixed"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom meta]]++Many new posts dated back into the past fortnight or so have just+appeared because my blog has been broken for that time. Rather, the+method I use to publish it through Emacs was broken, because TRAMP+doesn't like one or more of the following .inputrc settings:++ set completion-ignore-case on+ set completion-prefix-display-length 2+ Control-j: menu-complete+ Control-k: menu-complete-backward+ set show-all-if-ambiguous on+ set show-all-if-unmodified on+ set completion-map-case on++which I first discussed+[here](http://spw.sdf.org/blog/tech/gnu%2Blinux/redditreadline.html).+Many thanks to Michael Albinus on the TRAMP mailing list for help+diagnosing this.diff --git a/blog/entry/blogsmerged.mdwn b/blog/entry/blogsmerged.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..59125e2--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/blogsmerged.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,25 @@+[[!meta date="2011-04-13 14:11:00"]]+[[!meta title="Blogs merged"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom meta]]++After [Jonathan](http://jgh.me.uk/) pointed out that a list of recent+blog-style posts at the top of my blog will allow those who aren't+interested in the tumblelog content to filter out my writing, I've+merged my two blogs [as+planned](http://spw.sdf.org/blog/meta/mergeblogs.html). Jonathan has+also suggested some visual improvements to my blog's CSS.++Going to have to spend a little time recategorising things; under+/writing/ I don't need many categories at all as I consider that stuff+not to be a resource in the way that some of my tumblelog posts can be+(somebody e-mailed me recently to say they'd made use of some ERC code+of mine found on my tumblelog!). So I'll go through all my current posts+soonish and then continue with the migration of content from the old+blogs.++Merging the git repositories of the two blogs was pretty painless:++ git remote add notes ../notes+ git fetch notes+ git merge notes/master+ git remote rm notesdiff --git a/blog/entry/bobhargrave2012.mdwn b/blog/entry/bobhargrave2012.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..cacad93--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/bobhargrave2012.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,10 @@+[[!meta date="2012-08-18 10:05:00"]]+[[!meta title="Bob Hargrave, philosopher, 9th February 1949–17th August 2012"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy philosophers]]++

Bob Hargrave, philosopher, long time of+Balliol College, Oxford

d. 17th August 2012

++He taught me many things about how to think and how to feel.diff --git a/blog/entry/bodleianlending.mdwn b/blog/entry/bodleianlending.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..2551277--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/bodleianlending.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,21 @@+[[!meta date="2011-10-06 11:31:00"]]+[[!meta title="First every Bodleian library loan"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom oxford]]++The Bodleian Library is Oxford's copyright library and it recently+opened up a new underground area connecting the Rad Cam and the Old Bod.+Down there there is a "personal development collection" someone has+donated and the books are loanable, unlike all the other books in the+library which must remain within the building.++I wanted one of these books, *The Mindful Way Through Depression*, which+is a book about mindfulness and which I am told by the person who told+me about it that it's not at all about depression and the title is just+a selling point, and that it's a book everyone can get something out of.++So I headed down and the librarian who helped me was very excited,+saying that this is the first ever loan since the new room only opened+last night, and he said that this book (which he had read) was a great+one to be starting with. And with that I became the first ever person to+have a book loaned to them by the Bodleian Library in all the hundreds+of years it has existed. Much congratulations from the librarians.diff --git a/blog/entry/bookforumzsmith.mdwn b/blog/entry/bookforumzsmith.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..7b78438--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/bookforumzsmith.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2012-09-26 20:12:00"]]+[[!meta title="A nice interview with Zadie Smith"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom fiction books authors]]++[Bookforum talks with Zadie Smith | Morten Høi+Jensen](http://www.bookforum.com/interview/9966)diff --git a/blog/entry/bookmarkletcombiner.mdwn b/blog/entry/bookmarkletcombiner.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..baa678e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/bookmarkletcombiner.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,8 @@+[[!meta date="2011-08-31 14:46:00"]]+[[!meta title="Bookmarklet combiner"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech tools]]++[Bookmarklet Combiner](http://w-shadow.com/bookmarklet-combiner/)++Could well be useful for those who have many of these; not much use for+me in Conkeror where I just bind bookmarklets to keys.diff --git a/blog/entry/boredom.mdwn b/blog/entry/boredom.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..9296e29--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/boredom.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,27 @@+[[!meta date="2015-05-26 23:02:00"]]+[[!meta title="Handling boredom skillfully"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy eastern]]++[Beyond Boredom and+Depression](http://www.katinkahesselink.net/tibet/boring.html)++> Have you ever considered that perhaps we need not be bored with any+> situation? If we have some understanding and control over the mind,+> maybe we don't have to be bored. Without changing the conditions, we+> can overcome boredom. Could it be just a matter of changing our+> attitude? Could it be simply seeing the way things are now and being+> able to accept them as they are, without being overwhelmed by an+> excessive thirst for something new? Then, in that moment of accepting+> the ways things are now, we can experience fulfillment and peace.+>+> Everything is interesting if you look closely and open your mind to+> it. There is fascination in the smallest thing: a grain of sand, a+> flower, the light of the sun through the trees, the stars at night, in+> the silence or in the noise. It can all be interesting once the mind+> arouses that interest. Notice that the mind arouses interest rather+> than arousing craving for something else. The mind can generate+> interest with equal ease. If you generate the interest, you have the+> gratification of being interested. In other words you feel alive, you+> feel animated, you may even feel excited.++Really? I can't yet convince myself of this.diff --git a/blog/entry/bottonessays.mdwn b/blog/entry/bottonessays.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..4c1d043--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/bottonessays.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,54 @@+[[!meta date="2015-03-23 11:19:00"]]+[[!meta title="*Essays in Love* by Alain de Botton"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom relationships]]++I finished reading *Essays in Love* by Alain de Botton this morning. I+looked the guy up, and found that he wrote the book at the age of 23.+While reading the book I felt an oscillation between maturity and+immaturity, and I also felt that the author's awareness of his own+immaturity was also something that went up and down. The de Botton who+wrote the book must have had a pretty low view of himself, because being+in his relationship with a girl named Chloe becomes to himself his only+redeeming quality. This happens very quickly, and he finds it extremely+difficult to recover from when she falls out of love with him after a+year or so of being together.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+Now, it's well known that this kind of intense romantic love is+something that never lasts. One hopes that while it's on the decline, a+more genuine, selfless love born out of familiarity develops, so that+the romantic coupling can continue when the romantic love has burnt out.+de Botton doesn't talk about this at all. We are left with quite a+negative view of romance: there's this intense romantic love that seems+to amount to a kind of worship, and then there's nothing. Further, de+Botton doesn't even consider the possibility that romantic love might be+possible without the worship and the total dependence that he shows in+the earlier chapters of the book.++Despite these weaknesses there are some interesting and maybe useful+ideas in various chapters of the book, which I'll now discuss. These are+nothing developed, just my personal notes.++The chapter *Marxism*+=====================++The nascent relationship reverberates with the shock of a breakfast-time+argument that is de Botton's reaction to his slowly dawning recognition+that Chloe loves him back. de Botton calls this a "Marxist moment" in+the relationship, and I must admit that I don't get the reference.++de Botton says at the end of the chapter that every relationship has its+Marxist moment and what then occurs depends on whether self-hatred or+self-love win out. If self-hatred wins out, the lover will think that+their partner is no longer good enough for them by virtue of liking them+back because they are unloveable. This seems smart and I think I might+have done it in the past few months, and it might be my why my+relationship is currently very unstable.++The chapter *The Fear of Happiness*+===================================++I don't know about the psysiology here, but it seems to be something+certain people in a certain part of France believe. It makes me want to+try life out of the city.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/boughtsc2.mdwn b/blog/entry/boughtsc2.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..52c7591--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/boughtsc2.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,52 @@+[[!meta date="2011-08-10 20:10:00"]]+[[!meta title="Waiting for StarCraft II"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++Some unexpected work came my way this week, and with £50 that I really+didn't expect to have I decided to spend £31 of it on a copy of+StarCraft II. I've been playing the Starter Edition and finding it very+intimidating: there's a great deal to learn before I can even begin, it+seems, to do some strategic thinking. So I searched up a video on how to+get started:++[Day{9} Daily \#269 -- Newbie Tuesday: How to get into+SC2!](http://blip.tv/file/4890848)++I was quite surprised by the attitude taken by this video because it+felt like the host, Day9, was turning the whole into a chore while+repeating that it's all about having fun. He talked about making oneself+play a certain number of times per week, and I said hang on a minute,+surely if this if you are having fun with this fun game, you won't have+any reason to *make* yourself play---I mean, maybe a certain amount of+discipline will be required to improve in certain areas where one tends+to be lazy, sure, but surely the game as a whole doesn't need to be made+into a chore like this.++Despite my uneasiness with this attitude I was fired up a fair bit by+the video. Assuming I actually like a game I haven't really played yet,+it seems that it's something that can become really fun and in a very+positive way that doesn't have to be dropped because it's termtime+etc.etc. so I'm looking forward to receiving the full game, finishing+the campaign and challenges and seeing if I can macro and micro it up.++Been thinking about race choice. Traditionally in RTS games I like to+turtle, but I'm not sure what this actually means because I've never+played an RTS as an RTS. By turtle I mean "build up a pretty base+because I am a megalomaniac", so I'm not sure that the obvious+recommendation of playing Terran is so great. I think I'm being drawn+into Protoss by cool things like not having to leave workers building+things, by the way they lay down buildings---building within a certain+distance from your existing buildings takes me back to my C&C days---and+by things like forcefields which looks like a really interesting tool to+use for winning battles. I mean, winning battles in an RTS through+something other than having an overwhelming number of units? I'm such a+newb.++[Day9's manifesto](http://day9.tv/manifesto/) is an interesting read:+look how much he feels he must defend himself. My immediate thought is,+"surely Chess is harder than SC2 can ever be" but you know, maybe this+is entirely prejudice. The other issue here, which only someone like me+is going to notice, is that SC2 is dependent on Blizzard. Something like+Warcraft III isn't because it has LAN support that can easily be hacked+upon, but SC2 is dependent on this massive corporation. One can only+hope that it could be hacked round if necessary, but I'm not so sure.diff --git a/blog/entry/boydidntassume.mdwn b/blog/entry/boydidntassume.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..9ba47d8--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/boydidntassume.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,8 @@+[[!meta date="2015-05-11 01:36:00"]]+[[!meta title="The boy who didn't assume"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom scraps]]++Recently a child at my school asked me "Who are you?" and then when I+told him I'm a teacher, he said "Are you Korean?" as a quite genuine+question. This warmed my heart immensely: he didn't assume anything at+all about me thanks to the colour of my skin.diff --git a/blog/entry/brainstudydrugs.mdwn b/blog/entry/brainstudydrugs.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..5519a1c--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/brainstudydrugs.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,20 @@+[[!meta date="2012-09-25 19:32:00"]]+[[!meta title="Drugs harm reduction"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics society]]++[A proposed shift in drug policy: From prevention to harm reduction |+Brain+Study](http://brainstudy.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/a-proposed-shift-in-drug-policy-from-prevention-to-harm-reduction/)++> However, the real strength of Professor Nutt's argument is in his+> rationale for sensible drug policy based on scientific results rather+> than political scare-mongering and media sensationalism.++This comment isn't fair. Drug policy ought to be based on scientific+results concerning harm only after a decision has been taken to make+drugs policy a matter of harm reduction, harm reduction in the terms+that science can measure i.e. a matter of physiological health. Society+might decide that it doesn't want drugs to be part of people's lives as+a matter of principle, in which case, scientific results are completely+irrelevant. I agree with Ms Smith and Prof Nutt, but don't think the+opposition should be disposed of so condescendingly.diff --git a/blog/entry/brainstudydrugs/comment_0WO1JW8PMVZUNOOH._comment b/blog/entry/brainstudydrugs/comment_0WO1JW8PMVZUNOOH._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..dd1e7d3--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/brainstudydrugs/comment_0WO1JW8PMVZUNOOH._comment@@ -0,0 +1,13 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="jgh"+ nickname="Jonathan"+ date="2012-09-26T12:24:39Z"+ content="""+Drugs *are* going to be part of some peoples' lives, whether society+likes it or not. + + And since when does society get to decide that on grounds other than+harm to others? Minimising harm from drug use is a legitimate goal.+Minimising drug use is no more a legitimate goal than minimising+non-procreative sex is.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/brainstudydrugs/comment_UTJG53B32218NL3A._comment b/blog/entry/brainstudydrugs/comment_UTJG53B32218NL3A._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..aaac3ad--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/brainstudydrugs/comment_UTJG53B32218NL3A._comment@@ -0,0 +1,14 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="spw"+ nickname="Sean Whitton"+ date="2012-09-26T16:27:58Z"+ content="""+I'm not sure I understand the relevance of the second part of your+comment.  I'd probably go further than you, saying that minimising harm+from drug use is only legitimate for the state if (a) that harm is to+people other than the drug-user or (b) said minimisation efforts consist+in actually stopping people from exercising their freedom to use drugs. +My issue with the article above is that it reads to me as assuming that+the non-liberal position doesn't exist, not that it is just something it+disagrees with.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/bravenewgirl.mdwn b/blog/entry/bravenewgirl.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..0cbd873--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/bravenewgirl.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,11 @@+[[!meta date="2015-03-12 23:38:00"]]+[[!meta title="Brave New Girl"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom music]]++[Britney Spears - Brave New Girl |+YouTube](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3DBEK87G6eEJI)++We do warm-up exercises to this before each swimming lesson. For the+month of March I'm attending swimming lessons at the local swimming+pool. I suspect the language barrier will make it useless to continue+past the first month.diff --git a/blog/entry/britainjan15.mdwn b/blog/entry/britainjan15.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..0edc25e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/britainjan15.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,41 @@+[[!meta date="2015-01-27 08:48:00"]]+[[!meta title="Visiting the UK in January 2015"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++I had a very stereotypical post-gap year experience on visiting home for+two and a half weeks this month: I felt like nothing there had changed+in the slightest and they couldn't possibly understand all the changes+I'd been through!!!11 Well not quite. I felt as though nothing at home+had changed, and any respects in which I might have changed vanished,+and I was back to being a half-child again, living with my mother and+step-father in between university terms, occasionally visiting my+father's house out of guilt and then just abusing him. Living in Korea+has of course made me much more adult, but all my adulthood vanished on+returning home.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+When I visited friends in London before catching my flight back to+Korea, insecurities came flooding back from my undergraduate days. These+were insecurities about (a) my academic abilities and (b) about my+ability to get on with and enjoy interesting things in my life rather+than getting hung up on worries. Has one always to be on guard against+such insecurities rising up in old contexts? Can one surpass them to the+extent that they feebly croak to the surface in such contexts, no real+threat? I do hope so.++I also found Britain quite lonely; indeed, lonelier than Korea. My old+habits of not spending money in Britain meant that I wasn't really+willing to fork out on expensive British intercity travel and the truth+is that most of my friends have left my hometown. Admittedly a bunch of+them are university students and it was termtime so they were out of+Sheffield, but there's still a sense in which they've moved on from that+home town. As for London, where most of the people I know from+university are, it's just a bit too big and expensive for me to have+been comfortable roaming around seeing people. I realised that I only+had a very short list of people who I felt comfortable asking to put me+up, and all the other people who I would have wanted to meet in the day+or the evening turned out to be much harder to pin down than I expected.+I was quite disappointed by some people's reluctance to commit to+appointments; I thought I was more valued than that by a lot of people I+knew at Oxford.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/brooksfriday.mdwn b/blog/entry/brooksfriday.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..25bbd3b--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/brooksfriday.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,8 @@+[[!meta date="2011-07-21 11:06:00"]]+[[!meta title="Rebakah Brooks *Friday* parody"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics media]]++[Rebekah Brooks "Friday" (Rebecca Black Parody) |+YouTube](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3Dp5z4CJRFBKY)++Impressively well put together.diff --git a/blog/entry/bsdtalk.mdwn b/blog/entry/bsdtalk.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..109eca1--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/bsdtalk.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,14 @@+[[!meta date="2015-06-04 01:01:00"]]+[[!meta title="SDF founder & current sysadmin interviewed"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech sdf]]++[bsdtalk021: Interview with Stephen Jones of+SDF](https://archive.org/details/bsdtalk021)++([original source; broken link to+audio](http://bsdtalk.blogspot.kr/2006/03/bsdtalk021-interview-with-stephen.html))++When migrating the system away from System V UNIX, he felt he had a+choice between BSD and the GNU HURD. He was apparently "just not+interested" in using the Linux kernel. Some interesting stuff in this+interview. SDF is still going stroke nine years later.diff --git a/blog/entry/bskybownership.mdwn b/blog/entry/bskybownership.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..6a47e86--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/bskybownership.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,14 @@+[[!meta date="2015-01-23 00:12:00"]]+[[!meta title="On those who refuse to subscribe to Sky because of Murdoch"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics business]]++> I know that lots of people refuse to subscribe to Sky because of its+> connection to Rupert Murdoch, but News Corp owns only 39 per cent of+> BSkyB and the Murdoch family owns only 12 per cent of News Corp. That+> means that more than 95 per cent of Sky is owned by not-Murdoch, which+> as far as I'm concerned puts it in the clear. Murdoch's 4.68 per cent+> of Sky is only a fraction more than Libya's 3.27 per cent share of+> Pearson: I've never heard of anyone refusing to buy a Penguin book+> because of Colonel Gaddafi.++([source](http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n13/john-lanchester/are-we-having-fun-yet))diff --git a/blog/entry/bubblingping.mdwn b/blog/entry/bubblingping.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..544e578--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/bubblingping.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,28 @@+[[!meta date="2011-07-13 16:34:00"]]+[[!meta title="Search engine bubbling and the incessant ping"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom science psychology]]++Two related topics of search engine bubbling and our addiction to+Facebook and friend's mantra of 'staying connected', where 'connected'+is used fairly indiscriminately.++[Does the {I}nternet control our minds? | Brain+Study](http://brainstudy.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/internet-control-our-minds/)++[Escape your search engine Filter Bubble! An illustrated guide by+DuckDuckGo.com](http://dontbubble.us/)++[When the Internet Thinks It Knows You |+NYT](http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/23/opinion/23pariser.html)++Even though I have no e-mail notifications, my phone doesn't make any+sound when I receive a text (unless I'm expecting something important so+I enable it) and I don't use social networking sites like Twitter and+Facebook (well not properly), I still feel this effect with new e-mails+etc. or when a notification slips through.++And on bubbling---well, this is only going to get worse as people write+search engines to think for us, which is fine for preferences over food+and films, but I worry that people at Google and Facebook aren't+necessarily capable of making the distinction between preference and+opinion.diff --git a/blog/entry/burn-cd.mdwn b/blog/entry/burn-cd.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..edad9fa--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/burn-cd.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,17 @@+[[!meta date="2011-07-21 09:07:00"]]+[[!meta title="burn-cd for easy disc burning"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech gnu+linux]]++Since switching to CRUX and finding that the version of+[xfburn](http://www.xfce.org/projects/xfburn) in the repositories, my CD+burner of choice, doesn't work and also pulls in huge amounts of xfce in+order to install, I've been pondering over a replacement. Memorising+commands to do it by hand from the command line is a pain because it's+fiddly, so I'm pleased to have come across a neat frontend,+[burn-cd](http://burn-cd.sourceforge.net/). It'll do ISOs, data, music+and video to CD and DVD, though DVD video decoding/encoding is a pain+under GNU/Linux that I don't know how to do; since discovering recently+that my parents' TV has USB ports and seems to be able to decode+anything, I'm not too concerned anymore.++[[blog/tech/gnu+linux/burn-cd.png]]diff --git a/blog/entry/burningtree.mdwn b/blog/entry/burningtree.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..3bbbe40--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/burningtree.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,9 @@+[[!meta date="2011-04-03 10:30:00"]]+[[!meta title="Burning tree"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom photos]]++Tree caught fire outside up the road; we thought it was intentional+until the fire brigade showed up.++[[!img blog/img/burningtree1.jpg size=500x375]]+[[!img blog/img/burningtree2.jpg size=500x375]]diff --git a/blog/entry/burnout.mdwn b/blog/entry/burnout.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..f7fbe20--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/burnout.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,14 @@+[[!meta date="2015-10-14 20:41:00"]]+[[!meta title="On burnout"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom science psychology]]++> Burnout is a process that happens gradually over time. It creeps up on+> a person through an accumulation of random minor negative thoughts,+> sporadic lost hopes, and a series of small disappointments in oneself.+> Burnout is a painful process that includes emotional exhaustion, a+> loss of pleasure in interpersonal relationships, and a diminished+> sense of self-worth. Burnout is the result of trying too hard for too+> long in a situation where the odds are against meeting one's+> expectations. People who burn out are intelligent, dedicated people+> who have high expectations for themselves. ---Linda Curci, Caltech+> Counseling Centerdiff --git a/blog/entry/busdrivers.mdwn b/blog/entry/busdrivers.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..2400cbd--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/busdrivers.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,55 @@+[[!meta date="2015-02-05 00:52:00"]]+[[!meta title="Driving a Korean bus"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom korea]]++There's a lot of good things about being a Korean bus driver that make+me want to be one.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+When the roads aren't so clogged that driving is a matter of stopping+and starting in three second intervals, the Korean bus driver's work is+a simple cycle that allows for a mindful immersion in the activities.+Set off from the bus stop; drive to the next intersection;wait; continue+driving; stop at the bus stop; open both sets of doors; listen to the+ticket machine and if it beeps twice check that the person who just+scanned their transit payment card is a teenager, otherwise just make+sure that the number of single beeps matches the number of passengers+who get on; flick one switch to close front doors; raise eyes to use the+mirror to see passengers getting off, and when they are all off flick+the switch for the back doors and continue driving.++Mindfulness should be possible with any task, but there are factors+about a job that make it easier. The smooth repetition of the above+cycle is certainly more conducive to mindfulness than that of a British+bus driver. In Korea a computer calculates and deducts almost everyone's+fares, but in the UK outside of London, you've got to tell the bus+driver where you want to go, she's to think about what you said and+figure out which fare category that bus stop falls into, and then you+pay in cash and the driver counts out the change. Then there's opening+and closing the doors. Korean bus drivers customise their cabs. They+attach plastic trays to hold bits and pieces, fasten a paper coffee cup+to the dashboard to hold pens etc. Almost every bus has long pens+attached to the door switches, so that drivers can sit back in their+normal driving position and flick these switches with one hand. There's+no such customisation permitted on a British bus, so I believe that most+bus drivers have to change their position in their seat in order to+handle the doors and take money and give out change. Finally, Korean+buses are kings of the road. Unofficially they take priority over cars.+That makes for smoother driving because Korean bus drivers can just+assume that others will make way for them.++Some other things. I've already mentioned that Korean bus drivers+customise their cab. They can also play their own music or radio as loud+as they like, which is forbidden in the UK. As well as customising it,+they clean their own bus---every Korean bus has a mop tied to a railing+and shoved between a couple of the seats somewhere---and so there's a+sense of ownership over the work that they do. You don't need legal+ownership of your workspace to do this. And Korean bus services are+no-frills affairs. Buses are usually quite old and not at all shiny, but+as I've said before they form part of an extremely effective public+transport system. As a Korean bus driver I think I'd be very proud of+the work I was doing. I don't know about working conditions such as+hours and union representation, but salaries are certainly reasonable,+with the base, starting salary being about 20% higher than my salary as+an English teacher (that's factoring in my free accommodation).+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/busybusy.mdwn b/blog/entry/busybusy.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..c790822--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/busybusy.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,66 @@+[[!meta date="2014-07-08 12:55:00"]]+[[!meta title="Smart commentary on Korea's culture of being busy"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom korea culture]]++> Anyone here who feels bad for how hard their co-teachers work have+> just drank the kool-aid just a little too eagerly. Koreans are very,+> very, very good at giving the perception that they are working hard+> and terribly busy. But when you dig deeper you see the truth.+>+> I currently teach 10 more classes a week than my co-teacher. I do+> almost all the prep, and have an insane amount of paperwork for+> afterschool classes. But you know, it's not so bad. Yet my CT will+> tell me everyday how busy she is, on the verge of tears sometimes.+> She'll come and interrupt my classes (while she's on a 4 hour break)+> and complain that she's so busy. When I go find her at 330 to talk+> about class she's usually either fast asleep at her desk or off+> gossiping with the other teachers. But if we can't discuss these+> pressing issues then it's my fault because I don't work hard enough,+> and she's SO BUSY!+>+> I've had many co-teachers over the years, and the story is always the+> same. They'll tell me how busy Koreans are and that teachers in my+> home country have it so good. They've never let the fact that they+> actually have no idea what they're talking about stop them. I don't+> carry on like teachers do here, but I am without a doubt more busy+> than them (I have 8 more classes/week than the next 'busy' teacher).+> But when I did student teaching in my home country I was way more+> busy. I was at the school from 8am to 5pm, sometimes later for+> coaching or whatever. And I was actually doing things that entire+> time. Then if you're a new teacher, like I was, and thus don't have+> things prepared you have to spend the evenings and weekends prepping.+> Sure, my experienced partner teacher didn't have to do that, but he+> was expected to always be updating his skills. Recess? Yard duty.+> Before and after school? Remedial and/or sports/clubs. Oh, and school+> was 2-4 hours longer than it is here. Elementary teachers taught+> everything in my area (besides French). You didn't drop them off with+> the music teacher or gym teacher or science teacher. You were the+> music, gym and science teacher.+>+> Don't be fooled by the production they put on here. They learn the+> game early. If you're not forever on the verge of a breakdown due to+> being SO BUSY, you will be thought of as less and get more work. Kids+> are overworked, yet they never have homework done either in PS or+> hogwans. And the various PC bangs around my place always have tons of+> bikes parked outside of them fit for 12 year olds. Yet they're tired+> the next day because they work so hard. I mean it still sucks, because+> Koreans can't just do their work and then have fun because it's a 24+> hour a day job trying to prove to everyone within earshot how busy you+> are. So you sit at a desk doing nothing for 14 hours straight instead+> of doing your work for 8 hours and then going to the beach the rest of+> the day. Eventually they start to believe they really are busy and+> it's a miserable life. But even so, they are in no way 'busier' than+> anyone else. Productivity and efficiency stats prove it.+>+> But nothing you say will ever change their minds. Busyness is part of+> the Korean identity. It's why on my walk to work in the morning there+> are Koreans 'running' down the sidewalk next to me, flailing their+> arms, yet barely keeping pace with me. It's why your co-teachers carry+> around overflowing baskets they sigh over, yet upon further inspection+> it's mostly scrap paper and superfluous pencils. It's why their desks+> are messy with assignments that amount to outdated books and empty+> folders. It's just the way it is. And us foreigners will always be the+> lazy ones, because Koreans can't be busy if we're not lazy.+> ---orangeman on Waygook.org++([source](http://www.waygook.org/index.php/topic,76361.msg473059.html#msg473059))diff --git a/blog/entry/busyness.mdwn b/blog/entry/busyness.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..3086769--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/busyness.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,49 @@+[[!meta date="2014-12-11 08:53:00"]]+[[!meta title="Against being overly busy"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom scraps]]++This morning when I got up I procrastinated doing something boring by+reading some [blog+post](http://musicfordeckchairs.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/wider-lessons/)s+written by disgruntled academics.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+In *Animal Farm*, one of the promises broken by the farm's slide into+capitalism is that the work day might be reduced to only a few hours.+Marx envisioned a culture in which people do their necessary work in a+few hours, and then get on with all sorts of different occupations, not+feeling the drive to specialise that we feel: one might try out painting+one day, growing plants the next, not feeling that one has to construct+some identity to cling to that hopefully makes money too.++Instead two powerful things, the great bureaucracies of our world and+the requirements of sustaining consumerism, mean that there's an awful+lot of work to do that's often not obviously to anyone's real---dare I+say *spiritual*---benefit; indeed, to our spiritual detriment. Success+generally requires remaining very busy. Lots of people are totally+resigned to this. On the other extreme we get politicians who make grand+promises to cut red tape and free things up. A complex world requires+complex laws and documentation, but it's probably also true that a lot+of them are only necessary in a world fuelled by greed.++I often think to myself that I don't mind getting a really crazy-busy+job if it's in the service of some positive social end. For example I+don't mind being overworked if I'm working at Amnesty International or+something. However I think this might be wrong. For one, the blog post I+linked to above gives examples of how a belief in serving a positive end+is used to abuse and exploit people. In a socialist utopia where we are+threatened only by the constants of the human condition rather than the+misery we have created for ourselves, will some people still have to be+really really busy in order to get everything that needs to be done+done---for example, academics?++We certainly shouldn't assume this. Individuals are not that important+when it comes to serious progress in, for example, academic subjects.+There are geniuses but they're the product of the systems they're in:+standing on the shoulders not of particular giants, but of the overall+academic effort for several hundred years. That great paper someone just+wrote is a product of the whole system and the important chunks of+content---say, the arguments---would probably have come out---admittedly+probably spread across a bunch of different papers from different+individuals---if that particular person hadn't continued in the Academy.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/bwrap.mdwn b/blog/entry/bwrap.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..f6219e4--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/bwrap.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,9 @@+[[!meta date="2011-05-25 16:15:00"]]+[[!meta title="Bolzano--Weierstrass rap"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom maths]]++Not sure if this is the proof I am familiar with, but the Viewing Points+proof is my fave. part of first year Pure Maths.++[Bolzano Weierstrass rap (Down with+that)](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3DdfO18klwKHg%20|%20YouTube)diff --git a/blog/entry/cagechildren.mdwn b/blog/entry/cagechildren.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..f7c82e1--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/cagechildren.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,17 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-27 10:59:00"]]+[[!meta title="Tories"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics society]]++[Cage-fight children: club licence to be reviewed after alarm at+'barbarity' | Society | The+Guardian](http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/sep/22/cage-fight-children-club-licence)++> "Getting more young people doing sport is great but I do ask myself+> whether it really does have to be in a cage," Hunt told the BBC. "It+> feels very barbaric and I know there are concerns about children that+> young doing a sport like that. I think if adults choose to do it,+> that's one thing ... I suppose I do share some of the shock that I think+> many of your viewers will feel."++When I first read this paragraph I couldn't help but think: how+perfectly posh Tory those words are, it fits the stereotype perfectly.diff --git a/blog/entry/cagechildren/comment_LBERGY10T9QV65QQ._comment b/blog/entry/cagechildren/comment_LBERGY10T9QV65QQ._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..1c3d10a--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/cagechildren/comment_LBERGY10T9QV65QQ._comment@@ -0,0 +1,7 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="jr512"+ nickname="James Robson"+ date="2011-10-10T21:22:14Z"+ content="""+What precisely about this says "posh Tory"?+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/cagechildren/comment_S1NP5Z5G4HVRE5NY._comment b/blog/entry/cagechildren/comment_S1NP5Z5G4HVRE5NY._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..8c5a08c--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/cagechildren/comment_S1NP5Z5G4HVRE5NY._comment@@ -0,0 +1,7 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="sean"+ nickname="Sean Whitton"+ date="2011-10-10T22:04:17Z"+ content="""+It just struck me like that.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/campage.mdwn b/blog/entry/campage.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..a5b6d88--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/campage.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2015-02-16 06:16:00"]]+[[!meta title="Cambridge Chemistry department ergonomics"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom science ergonomics]]++[Computing best+practice](http://www.ch.cam.ac.uk/safety/computing-best-practice)diff --git a/blog/entry/camussummer.mdwn b/blog/entry/camussummer.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..f5cef02--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/camussummer.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,27 @@+[[!meta date="2012-03-20 17:11:00"]]+[[!meta title="An invincible summer"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom mindfulness]]++> My dear,+>+> In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible+> love.+>+> In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible+> smile.+>+> In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible+> calm.+>+> I realized, through it all, that...+>+> In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible+> summer.+>+> And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world+> pushes against me, within me, there's something stronger -- something+> better, pushing right back.+>+> Falsely yours,+>+> Albert Camusdiff --git a/blog/entry/careerbegun.mdwn b/blog/entry/careerbegun.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..4af11f0--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/careerbegun.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,31 @@+[[!meta date="2011-08-27 22:09:00"]]+[[!meta title="StarCraft 2 ladder 'career' begun"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom fiction vidya starcraft]]++It looks like I'm going to end up writing a lot of SC2 posts but I don't+want to spam up my /writing/ category, so I've created a fresh one for+this purpose. I went round to [Ben](http://mooseguy.com/)'s yesterday+afternoon to get coached in SC2; he persuaded me to skip the remaining+twenty-five matches of the practice league (iirc I won 13 or more of the+ones I did) then he helped me through my placement matches by refining+my four gate, touching up minor things all over the place and helping me+win my first macro game, since I really don't have a clue about anything+beyond an easy beginner opening like the four gate.++Somehow I got placed straight into gold league, but I fully expect to+drop down. Somehow, too, I've been winning matches---once it stopped+matching me with platinum league players---and I'm actually rising in my+division to within the top 25, despite not even having won ten matches+to get the first Protoss avatar. I've got lucky to find myself+continually matched against Protoss, so I'm four gating and so long as+they don't destroy my proxy pylon (which keeps happening) I seem to be+winning. I imagine I'll face some proper builds soon enough that'll stop+this, and so I'll drop down to silver or at least lower gold where I+belong.++Been watching some MLG today and asking Ben a continual stream of+questions about utterly basic stuff; really do seem to be getting into+this.++Am going to try to care as little as possible about my ladder ranking+because I don't want to stop using real matches to test things.diff --git a/blog/entry/careers.mdwn b/blog/entry/careers.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..e568e39--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/careers.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,156 @@+[[!meta date="2013-01-27 19:58:00"]]+[[!meta title="What to do with one's life"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++[Here's a blog+post](http://philosopherscocoon.typepad.com/blog/2013/01/should-we-discourage-undergraduates-from-going-into-philosophy.html)+I just read, plus the things linked from it, about undergraduates+wanting to go into academic philosophy, such as me. I'm currently+working on the assumption that this is what I am going to do: hopefully+go away to Korea to teach English for a year, and emerge from that ready+to face graduate study. What this also does is give me a year outside of+the academic world to become more sure, or otherwise, that this is what+I want to do. So I don't have to make any decisions now, since only the+next year is relevant for the moment. Even so, having read the things+I've just read, I want to review my reasons for wanting to pursue+academic philosophy and the alternatives to this I have in mind. This is+all in the context of careers-pressure from friends applying for and+obtaining jobs, and what a young Oxford graduate is expected to do etc.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+Firstly, here are the alternatives I am currently considering, for+context. The first and most obvious is teaching. Aside from the+potential difficulties of getting more experience than the paltry amount+that I have now (though of course gap year plans will help with that, if+they come to fruition), I think that it would be relatively+straight-forward for me to get onto a PGCE course and then start+teaching. Since I like Getting Things Done, I could end up doing jobs+like head of department, head of year etc. after some years of+experience. I enjoy teaching, and I feel that it's something worthwhile+to spent one's life on. Further, the holidays are long, which means that+you don't have to sign twenty years over to the job, if you like: you+can pursue other things too. On the other hand, there is the grim state+of our education system, and the fact that so few teachers are really+*into* their jobs (in the state sector, where I would be). Even at a+school like mine which was high-performing and had a lot of really+engaged students that were great to teach, I met only a few teachers who+were as engaged as I would want to be engaged with a career.++The second alternative is to go into some graduate computer programming+job, and start right away on £30k or something similar. This is very+standard for graduates of Oxford maths. I know that this is something+that I enjoy doing, and I think that it would be perhaps even easier to+get into than teaching. I'd actually have to learn how to code and so I+could get into contributing to Free Software projects online, and make+my casual interest in computing into something much more solid. On the+other hand, am I actually that interested? It is hard to tell because I+have never written any software of sufficient complexity. There are of+course all the other career options for maths graduates, that all my+friends are applying for, but I've yet to hear of something that I am+interested in outside of computing stuff, so I don't think it's worth+spending a lot of my time investigating such things.++The above two options are both pretty cushy compared to the third, that+is, pursuing philosophy. I'd be joining the Oxbridge gravy train,+essentially, using the name of the institution where I did my degree to+get a comfortable existence rather quickly. Let's assume that I get onto+a high-ranking, fully-funded graduate programme for philosophy: if not,+I will switch to one of the above. There's no point in pursuing an+academic career without a really strong start, since it's hard enough+even given that. Then I'll have a decade or so of trying to get myself+established. Either I end up with an actual job, or I give up on+(academic) philosophy and then consider one of the above options, or+perhaps by that point something completely different, having "lost"+quite a lot of time (will come back to this notion of losing time). And+really, the chances of the former are rather low, as will be grasped+from the blog posts I referred to at the beginning of this entry.++So why would I possibly want to go for this? Two reasons, speaking very+generally. Firstly, I feel that I would be killing off a large chunk of+myself of by not pursuing philosophy. In my tutors I see an+understanding and outlook that I feel I must acquire. I am stuck in the+Cave. I feel that to at least some degree they are out in the sunlight.+When I think about growing and changing in my life, I have a list of+ideas of what I might become, and developing my philosophical+understanding is right there at the top. This is quite unlike my+attitude to the above options. Learning how to educate people, and+learning how to write software, are routes along which to develop your+character. But there is a very strong sense that I get from my+undergraduate studies that *I am very far from being finished*: I+appreciate that it's cliched to say, but, the more I learn the more I+realise I have to learn---but I don't think this is neverending.+Secondly, I think that the above discussions of teaching and software+development sound good only because they mean having money, and having+it relatively easily. I don't think this is worth the cost of the+bitterness of having given up my passion---my *one* passion---for,+because I am happy with having not very much, materially. A clean and+modestly tooled-up kitchen and bedroom and bathroom, a computer and+Internet connection, maintenance of my Internet "infrastructure"+(~$50/year), a small collection of inexpensive bits and pieces. The only+other thing is money to travel around the country to see various+friends, which is something I don't have now and would really love, and+that *is* a significant cost.++Here are reasons to doubt the above two reasons. Firstly, I know that my+sense of self is much more malleable than it can often appear. I am good+at getting stuck into things and making them my own, once I grasp onto+something valuable about it. I could definitely envisage this happening+with teaching; it's harder to do so when thinking about computer+programming. It's this matter of getting a greater perspective on my+situation and on how important philosophy is to me that is a big part of+my reasons for wanting to go abroad for a year. Secondly, maybe I care+more about comfort more than I think. My standards are perhaps quite+high, based on how I've been brought up---they're certainly high+relative to the poverty I can expect while pursuing academic philosophy.+And of course there is mental comfort, that is, peace of mind. I won't+have this in philosophy for a very long time, if ever. Can I live with+that? I feel as though I ought to be able to, that is, it is important+to me that I can learn how to. Because if I don't, if I get stuck with+worrying about getting a job etc. for long enough, then I reckon I'd+throw away twenty years just as surely as I would if I followed my+friends into the City.++My feelings and predictions on the above options fluctuate a great deal.+Certain people I know who are a few years older than me give me+impressions of their lives and I get strong desire/aversion for+something like that. It makes sense to be wary of your thoughts about+careers you haven't pursued, especially when making comparisons with+others whose lives you don't live, but I feel like I'm in even deeper+uncertainty than this general warning should have me in, since my+opinions on the above three options change so much.++One thing that I *can* know about is about my study of philosophy now.+Let's take my recent work on my extended essay as a starting example.+This is hardly research, but it's closer to that than my normal tutorial+work is, to be sure. Reading philosophy is hard. You are never quite+sure if you've understood. It's difficult to compare things against each+other when you find that you are totally convinced by each of a set of+mutually inconsistent authors (this is very common feeling). The task is+to sort it all out. Sometimes you come across a quite brilliant thought,+and that's great, but you know from previous experience that it could+well be something that turns out to be wrong, and showing this can be+done in three sentences. So nothing is clear. Until you start to write.+You write out a paragraph, trying to say something, read it a few times,+realise that you've made a foolish assumption or neglected something, so+you delete it, and you try again, and again. The structure of your essay+starts to come together in your mind. Gradually you become convinced+that you might have something half-convincing here. The Truth dances+just out of reach, but you're on the right path. Then finally you get+some clarity (perhaps after a bunch of revisions and discussions with+others), and the accompanying humility. Your argument flies straight as+an arrow and you feel as though you can see straight through the world,+and the people in it. People really like this and we've got a bunch of+ways of getting this feeling e.g. religion, new age superstition. But+philosophy is all about doing it *right*; it's slow and careful.++One could very easily think that I'm attached to a false ideal here. But+there does come a point when you have to trust your experience; I'm+almost at the end of a four year degree and I'm writing this, so, I+think it's reasonable to go along with it.++*Edit 27/i/2013:* Didn't come back to something I said I would come back+to, that is, the thought that many people have that you've lost a chunk+of your career-building life if you don't get anywhere. My thought here+is that philosophy is the only career-career, if you like, that I want+to do, so nothing is lost. Indeed I think I'd get a lot out of it.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/careers/comment_VW16YDU5I5B039CU._comment b/blog/entry/careers/comment_VW16YDU5I5B039CU._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..ccb60af--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/careers/comment_VW16YDU5I5B039CU._comment@@ -0,0 +1,8 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="salavant"+ nickname="James"+ date="2013-01-29T12:49:12Z"+ content="""+We really should talk about this some time: I'm having similar sorts of+thoughts myself.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/causationqualification.mdwn b/blog/entry/causationqualification.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..808becd--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/causationqualification.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2012-12-21 15:17:00"]]+[[!meta title="When philosophers are and are not qualified to diagnose causes"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy mind]]++[Minds on Monday: Are Philosophers Qualified to Diagnose Causes? | New+APPS](http://www.newappsblog.com/2012/11/are-philosophers-qualified-to-diagnose-causes.html)diff --git a/blog/entry/cbroom.mdwn b/blog/entry/cbroom.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..07018fd--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/cbroom.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,10 @@+[[!meta date="2012-08-03 20:58:00"]]+[[!meta title="Cherry Blossom in my room"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom photos]]++Korean flag signed by my students and the poster we made for our+classroom on the first day, on display in my room.++[[!img blog/img/taegukki.jpg size=500x375]]++[[!img blog/img/cherryblossom.jpg size=500x375]]diff --git a/blog/entry/ccs.mdwn b/blog/entry/ccs.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..25a3570--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/ccs.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,61 @@+[[!meta date="2013-02-24 15:25:00"]]+[[!meta title="Cardcaptor Sakura"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom fiction tv anime]]++[[blog/fiction/tv/anime/ccs.jpg]]++Three and a half years ago a friend and I started watching our way+through the original Japanese version (with subtitles) of *Cardcaptor+Sakura*, comparing it along the way with our memories of *CardCaptors*,+which was a heavily edited version, in English, which we'd both watched+at school. We didn't get very far and recently I picked up the series+again, and I've now reached the end.++The Japanese version combines all the cute elementary school crushes+stuff with the adventure of saving the world (or at least, the local+area) which is the only thing you get in the American version. I think+part of this is that American children's TV audiences probably couldn't+have coped with the various homosexual relationships/infatuations and+one of the supporting character's infatuation with her teacher. Also,+the American version cuts out a lot of references to Japanese culture;+it might as well be set somewhere in the West. I don't really know why+they did this.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+I found old memories returning very strongly during certain scenes. When+the main character wants to use her magic she has first to convert her+pendant into a full-sized wand, and whenever she does this (most+episodes) I felt myself being taken back. Back then I think I almost+believed that all this sort of thing really was true---that there really+were people hiding out in the vicinity with various powers. Or I wanted+to believe it so much that I let myself. I suppose around that time+(1999--2003) we were in the middle of a wave of Japanese fantasy:+*Pokémon*, *Final Fantasy*, *Digimon*, *Tenchi Muyo*, *Dragonball Z* and+all that---so many times certain bits of music or certain ways of+illustrating some magic during *Cardcaptor Sakura* reminded me of other+things from the past.++I spent most of my time from maybe 1996--2007 putting together every+fantasy world I came across into one big imaginary world with myself and+a few friends at the time at the centre of it all. It got incredibly+complicated by the end and people used to be quite impressed, but I felt+guilty that the vast majority of the ideas were from elsewhere, and I'd+just lumped them together. The theme was always fighting off various+threats to all life, so rather like *CardCaptors* in skipping out any+stuff about interpersonal relationships.++I think that I see my study of philosophy now as some kind of fantasy+adventure, which actually matters, rather as I used to be absorbed in+those other worlds. This is because, when you start doing it, you start+restructuring your entire worldview *in opposition* to those around you+who aren't doing the subject: kind of like having your own magical+powers. Can I think of philosophy differently and more sustainably than+this? Hopefully! Though there's still a lot of+philosophers-vs.-the-world left in my thinking.++After finishing the series I felt very sad that our world is not as+happy as Sakura and her friend's seems to be. I suppose that it can+be---if one chooses to adopt a certain amount of childish happiness.+Hopefully I can learn to do that in upcoming years. It doesn't have to+mean not taking serious things seriously.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/celebrations.mdwn b/blog/entry/celebrations.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..0a7e277--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/celebrations.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,58 @@+[[!meta date="2011-08-24 15:52:00"]]+[[!meta title="Celebrate and sing"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing thoughts]]++I've been thinking recently on how little I like, indeed how much I+dislike, celebrating achievements, completions, the ends of projects and+companies and trips with anything other than an exchange of smiles and+verbal congratulations. The big exception is celebrating birthdays etc.,+but these are just excuses to get together really; no-one is seriously+considering the person's success in surviving another year or+celebrating their presence anymore than they usually would. The prime+example of things to celebrate in my life are exam results, but there+are also things like finishing exams and terms and years. I'm not old+enough yet to finish "team projects" at "places of work" though I+imagine that will come.++As regards to celebrating the success of someone else, a success in+which I had no part (i.e. not team efforts between me and others), I'm+perfectly ordinary about it, but if it's me or a team I'm on or even my+team, I dislike it.++A particular example of this is the day I got my (final) A-level+results, brought back to me by last week's A-level results day. I dashed+inside school (I think maybe it was raining?) from my mother's car,+grabbed the envelope, checked that I'd got my offer and then headed+back. The only thing I said to my mother was a gleeful expression of+selfish success in that I'd beaten someone at either Maths or Philosophy+who I did not expect to beat, and she was then cross with me for the+rest of the day. Putting aside the pathetic intellectual competitiveness+shown there that I think I'm well on the road to dropping from my+personality, this day well illustrates my attitude. I haven't not got+what I needed, so let's put the stupid thing behind us.++Now, the above description is something to do with exam results, and I'm+always very anti-results in general and see all exams as a stepping+stone and little more: I'm sufficiently disenchanted with whatever it is+that exams are supposed to test that they're little more than a+necessary (oh so very necessary) evil for me.++So in the case of exams I have a reasoned out objection to the practice+and therefore do not wish to indulge in it any more than it necessary:+slightly rattled or not, the experience each time is over and I can go+on to more interesting things. For other celebrations, such as finishing+exams, finishing a term or a project---if I played a sport, another+example might be winning a tournament or whatever---there's no actual+objection, just a strong distaste. When someone says "let's celebrate" I+find the idea petty and out-of-proportion. The best explanation I can+come up with is that I seem to suddenly rattle up through the layers of+perspective when there is a cause for celebration to see the achievement+as utterly insignificant in the grand scheme of things; at least,+choosing to go and celebrate seems pompous and arrogant and+out-of-place.++It could be a bad reflection of my psychology at work here, that I am+always living in the future rather than the present or something or+maybe the reverse. I just want to move on and do, continue trying to be+better, rather than "letting myself go" to celebrate already having been+great---well, no need for that, I'm uncomfortable with that.diff --git a/blog/entry/celta.mdwn b/blog/entry/celta.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..2830dec--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/celta.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,130 @@+[[!meta date="2013-07-28 14:01:00"]]+[[!meta title="CELTA"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++On Friday I finished my month-long English Language teaching course, the+CELTA. It's an entry-level course that lets you get a job in lots of+places around the world. CELTA plus two years of experience lets you get+a job teaching General English (as opposed to e.g. English for Academic+Purposes) in almost any country you would like to go to, as I understand+it. Doing CELTA was overkill for my job in Korea, but I wanted to do a+proper training course involving lots of feedback on actual teaching so+that I can do a really good job when I go.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+The course has three main components, the first being "input sessions"+which are classes where all twenty-four of us got taught about teaching,+including both theoretical and more practical material. Since we were+being taught by English teachers, these sessions involved a lot of group+work and many very very "student-centered" i.e. the tutor didn't tell us+very much. There were some exceptional sessions which I found+interesting and engaging, but as the course went on these got fewer and+things got very repetitive. And a few sessions were so hands-off that+they weren't worth going to (unfortunately we had to attend all of them+to get the certificate).++The second component of the course is teaching practice. We spent hours+constructing very formal and detailed lesson plans, and then tried them+out on adults from a huge variety of backgrounds coming in for free+lessons. These lessons were assessed and our final grade on the course+was based primarily on our performance in these sessions. 95% of people+internationally (and 100% of our group) pass, and then there are Pass-B+and Pass-A grades available. The idea of the higher grades is to+indicate to employers that you're suitable for being thrown in at the+deep end whereas someone with a pass is expected to need support in+choosing what to teach etc. No-one on my course got a Pass-A. Maybe+eight of us got a Pass-B.++The third component of the course, and the least important, is four+written assignments that are academic in tone. They are just pass/fail+with one chance to resubmit. I found them very strange because they were+so unlike anything I wrote during my degree. I found it hard to write+well without trying to push a case: in a philosophy essay you're trying+to fulfill your own criteria: have I made this convincing? How can I do+so? With these assignments it was very much a case of ticking a bunch of+boxes, and none of these involve arguing for anything. Then there were+the citations. I was very uncomfortable citing someone as an+*authority*. I made a claim based on my own experience and then instead+of arguing for it I had to find someone published who said the same+thing, and appeal straight to that. This makes sense in a scientific+subject like EFL, but I was citing textbooks/general reading rather than+research papers so I didn't feel as though I was achieving much.++There were six tutors on the course. Two were particularly inspiring+since for different reasons for each, they seemed to be exceptionally+good teachers. I would like to be something like that. I feel that if I+work hard to continue to put effort into preparing lessons so that I am+enthusiastic about delivering them, I could develop my own teaching+persona to be as effective as theirs. The other tutors had their+strengths, but some were just bad teachers and the others just didn't+care about it.++The other trainees on the course were a really solid bunch. The range of+ages was huge. There were a handful of people like me just graduating+university, some older ones already teaching looking to enhance their+job prospects and some between thirty and sixty looking for a career+change. Many were good to learn from, and they were all good fun to be+around. Most importantly the vast majority were very driven and+motivated to do well and then go around the world teaching, which made+for a good environment to work hard in. It's a shame that I'm not likely+to see very many of these people again. Hopefully some meet-ups can be+arranged.++I had an easy ride compared to many people with regard to the workload+of the course. I was very, very far from being the best teacher of the+twenty-four of us. However, quite a lot of the course (at least in terms+of the percentage of input sessions) is on grammar and other aspects of+language awareness and this is something that I find pretty trivial, but+other people found incredibly difficult. I am also quite efficient at+writing lesson plans compared to a lot of others and so for most of the+course I was at least a day ahead of most people which quickly gained me+a reputation for being cleverer than I am. I found this very+uncomfortable. There were people with linguistics degrees who were in a+better position than me but somehow they managed to avoid getting a+similar reputation. As people got to know me as the four weeks went on+the effect weakened. I feel dishonest coming across as more confident+than I actually am.++Something else that was frustrating about the course was the cult of+positivity. It was all about strengths and "areas to improve" rather+than weaknesses. There was also a lot self-evaluation. It's perhaps+useful to note down what you think you're good and bad at and see if+your tutor agrees, but we were frequently asked to compare ourselves to+the assessment criteria and, indirectly to each other. This was because+at least once we had to judge whether we were below, at or above the+standard expected for the stage of the course we were at for each+assessment criteria. It's the tutors' job to know what the standards+are. All we had to go on was comparing ourselves to each other. This+isn't a healthy thing to be doing. There was also a lot of peer+observation and feedback. The observation was useful, but I did not+enjoy spending a long time giving positive and negative comments to+people about their lessons. We were steered very definitely to not+saying anything negative at all. This sort of stuff makes people end up+with no confidence, dependent as they are on praise. I could definitely+see that happening to me.++The course reinforced my belief that teaching English to those willing+to learn it is really really fun. Even if the preparation is a drag,+it's something that gets faster and faster over time. We also got+introduced to the various things that one can progress on to do various+jobs other than teaching General English, which was encouraging as one+thing I worry about with a job like teaching is getting bored. It seems+like there is a lot you can do so I can imagine myself making something+of a career out of it.++The course also reinforced my belief that I want to do more philosophy+more than anything else, though. It really did feel as though, as fun as+English teaching is, it's never going to be as significant for me as+reading and writing philosophy. This too was reassuring, since finals+killed off a lot of my enthusiasm. So I will continue with my plans to+go to grad school in the US after a year teaching in Korea.++After that I was thinking of coming back to teach in secondary schools+in the UK, but I was worried in that about being hamstrung by+[ridiculous attempts at+"modernisation"](http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2013/jul/28/ipad-tablet-computer-school-parents)+and also getting bored. But now I could consider going back into EFL at+the other end, assuming I could find a job where I didn't feel I was+just making rich people richer. In any case far too far away to be+thinking about in detail.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/centralisewindow.mdwn b/blog/entry/centralisewindow.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..81dfb1e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/centralisewindow.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,39 @@+[[!meta date="2011-04-13 09:25:00"]]+[[!meta title="Centralise Emacs editing window"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech emacs]]++Wrote a quick Emacs Lisp function in the past half hour that centralises+the current buffer on display and adds large left and right margins in+the form of empty buffers; I find it easier to write and read when the+content is in the middle of the screen (indeed I'm using it right now to+write this post). I have it bound to C-c c.++ ;; centralise window for easier viewing++ (defun swhitton/centralise-current-window ()+ "Make editing window 95 cols wide and centre it in the frame+ for easier reading and writing"+ (interactive)+ (delete-other-windows)+ (split-window-horizontally)+ (split-window-horizontally)+ (shrink-window-horizontally (- (window-width) (/ (- (frame-width) 97) 2)))+ (switch-to-buffer "*blank*")+ (toggle-read-only 1)+ (setq mode-line-format nil)+ (other-window 1)+ (shrink-window-horizontally (- (window-width) 95))+ (other-window 1)+ (switch-to-buffer "*blank*")+ (other-window -1))++ (global-set-key (kbd "C-c c") 'swhitton/centralise-current-window)++Here's a live action shot:++[[!img tech/emacs/centralisewindow.png size=500x281]]++Back to work.++*Edit 31/v/2011:* Updated to [improved+version](http://git.sean.whitton.me/?p%3Demacs.d.git%3Ba%3Dcommitdiff%3Bh%3Db3b17e123aff7a554c05e0f2a93d93d99095614a).diff --git a/blog/entry/changedattitudetowardswork.mdwn b/blog/entry/changedattitudetowardswork.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..d9de06c--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/changedattitudetowardswork.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,25 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-26 10:20:00"]]+[[!meta title="A new attitude towards my work"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++Now that I've come to terms with my results from the end of last year+I'm developing a new attitude towards my work that I'll try to briefly+record here. What has not worked is expecting lots of myself. Saying+that I am just being lazy and should just do it. Telling myself I can do+more, believing tutors and parents who tell me to just do it, clearly+hasn't worked. Realistically, what I do do is all I am capable of doing,+it seems, and I should accept that.++My attitude is made different by the fact that I now can't do the very+best thing I wanted to do, which is to stay at Oxford to do a masters,+and that means that I don't need a first anymore: going somewhere else,+I think a decent 2:1 will be fine. I might get a first if I worked+amazingly well but realistically I can't do that, it's outside of my+ability range, and I should accept that. The result is the same and I+end up happier for the lack of self-pressure. Oxford graduate study has+plenty of disadvantages (orthodoxy being the biggest), so it's not all+that bad.++Is this giving up? No, it's accepting the truth about my abilities. I'm+going forward far more relaxed about things. Cheered, maybe I'll do+better after all. Hope I have expressed myself well here.diff --git a/blog/entry/changingreading.mdwn b/blog/entry/changingreading.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..d11d88a--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/changingreading.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,26 @@+[[!meta date="2014-07-29 06:47:00"]]+[[!meta title="Changing reading habits"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech ebooks]]++[Being a Better Online Reader | The New+Yorker](http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/being-a-better-online-reader)++I find this section implausible:++> She, along with her frequent collaborator Jean-Luc Velay, Pascal+> Robinet, and Gerard Olivier, had students read a short+> story---Elizabeth George's "Lusting for Jenny, Inverted" (their+> version, a French translation, was called "Jenny, Mon Amour")---in one+> of two formats: a pocket paperback or a Kindle e-book. When Mangen+> tested the readers' comprehension, she found that the medium mattered+> a lot. When readers were asked to place a series of events from the+> story in chronological order---a simple plot-reconstruction task, not+> requiring any deep analysis or critical thinking---those who had read+> the story in print fared significantly better, making fewer mistakes+> and recreating an over-all more accurate version of the story. The+> words looked identical---Kindle e-ink is designed to mimic the printed+> page---but their physical materiality mattered for basic+> comprehension.++Stuff about having to develop new habits to read effectively online+seems right.diff --git a/blog/entry/changingviewintdis.mdwn b/blog/entry/changingviewintdis.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..8ee1062--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/changingviewintdis.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,62 @@+[[!meta date="2011-12-07 11:46:00"]]+[[!meta title="Changing view of intellectual discussion"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++I have realised that over the past six months or so my view of+intellectual discussion and what kinds I want to participate in has+changed. My interest in pre-theoretical discussion is much lower than it+was, especially as concerns politics, and by pre-theoretical I do not+just mean 'current affairs', but discussion of political principles and+ideals as well: I'll discuss political philosophy, but am less+interested in classic left vs. right than I am in current affairs.++One possible reason for this is becoming more dogmatic about my+political views. I'm economically (very) left-wing and socially liberal,+and lots of other people aren't, and I don't really care all that much+about trying to convince them of my point of view anymore---but also I'm+not bothered about entering discussion because I sort of know I won't+change my mind. Such dogmatism is really really bad but this way of+looking at it may not be the right one. An alternative is that I'm just+being very sceptical about politics and non-commital, and I'm undecided+as to whether that is appropriate on something as real and as important+as politics.++I had a friend to visit me at university recently and we went to a+friend's house for dinner, with a number of philosophy and politics+students, and since both of us were a little bored of the+pre-theoretical political discussion, we were discussing this lack of+interest that we were both feeling to some extent though perhaps for+entirely different reasons. My friend levelled at me a criticism of his+that he has brought up before, which is that I am too cautious about+arguing for things now, and I often defer making points to writing them+out more carefully on this blog, or something, too cautious to engage in+discussion right then and there.++I think this is something that I have absorbed as a university+humanities student, and I think it's defensible (my friend here is a+maths student so he won't have seen the same thing). Academics around+here are always very cautious about having points of view, in general,+preferring to discuss the precise view at hand and if there's anything+obviously right or wrong with it, leaving it to the papers and books to+stand their ground on things. It's sometimes then a bit jarring to+recall that these papers and books are written by academics just like+one's tutor or lecturer. I think there's something similar going on+here. When they are in a position to set something down very carefully+and clearly, they do so, and then they can be rather forceful about it,+but these things are hard and you can't just do this verbally a lot of+the time. My unwillingness then comes from a certain amount of passive+absorption of the attitudes of tutors, a realisation that writing things+down clearly is already very hard, so saying it on the spot is going to+be even harder, and also my experience of noticing how much rubbish+people say in such debates: how many things they say that aren't+precise, how much ambiguity there is in what they actually mean, and how+this is actually important and significant and gets people confused. As+I learn more I notice such speech more and more.++Something positive is that I'm certainly detaching my ego from this sort+of activity, which is good, as defining oneself as *verbally*+opinionated is [not such a good thing to+do](http://spw.sdf.org/blog/writing/diary/stageiscleared.html). I'm+confident that I can think these things out and remain sceptical if+that's the way it goes, rather than having to talk about them out loud+to boost my self-esteem.diff --git a/blog/entry/chanhistory.mdwn b/blog/entry/chanhistory.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..7a3035f--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/chanhistory.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,14 @@+[[!meta date="2011-08-31 08:56:00"]]+[[!meta title="History of the chans"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech web]]++[JulianHyde goes through chan history on+reddit](http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/8fq46/the_worlds_most_influential_person_is/c0951bi)++> It's ... a well-known fact that the legendary meme-forging /b/ is now+> butf a buffer to keep idiots off the better boards (an+> oversimplification, perhaps; /b/ is still an entry point and a place+> for infusion of culture). So, where did all the old /b/tards actually+> go? Well, some say a few still camp out at 7chan, others say the only+> trace left is in WTFux, but I'll let you in on a little secret: they+> came to reddit.diff --git a/blog/entry/cheapdomains.mdwn b/blog/entry/cheapdomains.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..de4505d--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/cheapdomains.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,8 @@+[[!meta date="2012-03-09 16:08:00"]]+[[!meta title="V. cheap domains"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech net]]++[Get your domain name for+£1.84](http://www.networksolutions.com/RV19.jsp?siteid%3D8&channelid%3DP13C8S570N0B9A1D761E0000V110&promo%3DNCDISC0011)++Limited time offer.diff --git a/blog/entry/chillitilt.mdwn b/blog/entry/chillitilt.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..594f461--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/chillitilt.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,20 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-15 15:39:00"]]+[[!meta title="Chilli tilt"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom photos]]++All dogs cock their heads to the side when listening intently but my+mother's dog Chilli does it a lot more than most: she tilts when you use+words that she knows, such as 'cheese', 'where's Annie?', 'biscuit'+*etc.* When she was younger she also tilted at high sounds but that's+worn off now, but the other day we were at a wedding anniversary and+someone had got their clarinet out, as you do, and before launching into+his piece he was playing some scales---that had her tilting away.++For the first time ever we manged to capture Chilli tilting on camera:++[[!img blog/img/chillitilt.jpg size=301x400]]++Here's another of her that I like; she's a lot younger here, as you can+see by the way her nose hasn't turned pink yet:++[[!img blog/img/chillicar.jpg size=300x400]]diff --git a/blog/entry/chmess.mdwn b/blog/entry/chmess.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..5596ed1--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/chmess.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,9 @@+[[!meta date="2011-04-22 15:27:00"]]+[[!meta title="Chmess"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy]]++[Higher Order Truths about Chmess | Daniel+Dennett](http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/papers/chmess.htm)++I reckon this is right but we must not be too eager to use this+criticism as a stick to beat the establishment with as so many do.diff --git a/blog/entry/chokepointintercept.mdwn b/blog/entry/chokepointintercept.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..ca11317--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/chokepointintercept.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,7 @@+[[!meta date="2014-09-17 07:27:00"]]+[[!meta title="NSA/GCHQ targetting ISP's key staff members for surveillance"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics liberty]]++[Chokepoint | The Intercept](http://vimeo.com/106026217)++"But the TERRORISTS!"diff --git a/blog/entry/chomskycorporatepower.mdwn b/blog/entry/chomskycorporatepower.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..a83e9e3--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/chomskycorporatepower.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,19 @@+[[!meta date="2014-07-21 02:45:00"]]+[[!meta title="What drives foreign policy?"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics democracy]]++[Noam Chomsky: America's corporate doctrine of power a grave threat to+humanity |+Salon](http://www.salon.com/2014/07/01/noam_chomsky_americas_corporate_doctrine_of_power_a_grave_threat_to_humanity/)+([original](http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175863/tomgram%253A_noam_chomsky%252C_america%2527s_real_foreign_policy))++Chomsky argues that corporate interests dictate US foreign policy in a+very strong sense. It is not that corporate and humanitarian interests+unite behind international action, but that any humanitarian story is+purely to keep the citizenry quiet. Presumably this is true of other+great powers, and it's only because the US is the world's only+superpower that historically significant interventions in the name of+corporations are almost always down to the US.++He tries to link this to Snowden's revelations. That part is less+convincing.diff --git a/blog/entry/chomskysports.mdwn b/blog/entry/chomskysports.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..6b641c0--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/chomskysports.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,27 @@+[[!meta date="2014-09-18 06:55:00"]]+[[!meta title="Chomsky on popular knowledge of sports"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics usa]]++[Noam Chomsky: Why Americans Know So Much About Sports But So Little+About World+Affairs](http://www.alternet.org/noam-chomsky-why-americans-know-so-much-about-sports-so-little-about-world-affairs?paging%3Doff¤t_page%3D1#bookmark)++Lately I've been spending time on reddit reading ideas in the comments+about how we should think about and respond to the Snowden revealations,+and similar leaks relating to the behaviour of well-financed branches of+government.++We've no good reason to believe in conspiracy theories so I'm not sure+how we ought to think claims that the system is actively working against+citizens to maintain its power. In particular, it's often claimed that+the media is used to distract people from real issues. No one individual+is behind that, so should we think of the government as constituting an+agent, that manipulates the population through the media, as the+macro-level effect of the various actions its employees make? Do we then+need to think of the government as pre-meditating these things, or might+something akin to evolutionary theory better explain what happens? Or is+the lack of demand for real news throughly the fault of the+non-government? I'd like to read some political scientists writing about+ths.++Relevant song: John Mayer -- Waiting on the World to Changediff --git a/blog/entry/choosinghappiness.mdwn b/blog/entry/choosinghappiness.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..4dac98f--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/choosinghappiness.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,47 @@+[[!meta date="2013-01-21 22:34:00"]]+[[!meta title="Evolutionary fitness & happiness"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom scraps]]++Two separate thoughts and a synthesis that I got from a mindfulness+class this evening. [[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""One:++It's really easy to come up with evolutionary explanations for facts+about people and often there aren't really obvious counter-examples, so+one can easily feel like one has understood a lot of stuff by positing+such explanations. Now many things about human society outrun evolution+so far that coming up with these explanations doesn't work so well. The+point is not that the evolutionary explanation is just too complicated,+but that evolution has nothing to say beyond writing the whole lot off+as one massive side-effect of the evolution of rationality, or something+like that. I don't know enough about the theory of evolution to make+this thought any more precise; I believe that there are different+schools of thought on what the theory actually says and I am glossing+right over these differences.++Two:++"You have to choose to be happy. It's time to start living rather than+just existing." This is probably correct. When you're stuck in a habit+of worrying and being miserable, you need a concrete intention to change+things before you will. As for the second sentence, I think it's+essentially a rallying call to make your life more aesthetically+pleasing to yourself, or something.++Synthesis:++Happiness really is the harder option: it's not evolutionarily+beneficial. Well, out there in the jungle it might be good if you're+happy sometimes, but in our modern society it's not so clear. We set up+our own version of survival---get a good grade, get a better job, get in+a secure relationship---and end up striving for it above all else.+Sometimes it works but often it doesn't and in both cases we end up+unhappy, but evolutionarily it makes sense. Happiness doesn't. The+distinction between existing and living becomes the distinction between+following some broken evolutionary paradigm with your own version of+survival, and taking control, setting and following your intentions, and+concentrating on the here and now.++*Edit 22/i/2013:* Some clarification: the point is about choosing to+appreciate something rather than noting the success and moving on to the+next goal. This is the thing that isn't so great evolutionarily.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/choosinghappiness/comment_IVJAVP4FWTL28VUO._comment b/blog/entry/choosinghappiness/comment_IVJAVP4FWTL28VUO._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..e6d9019--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/choosinghappiness/comment_IVJAVP4FWTL28VUO._comment@@ -0,0 +1,11 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="salavant"+ nickname="James Robson"+ date="2013-01-29T12:52:00Z"+ content="""+What you seem to be alluding to in the first part of this post is what's+often called "evoloutionary psychology". AIUI it is at /best/ a+fledgling field. Generally any sort of explanation for human behaviour+which goes "this would have been advantageous for cavemen ergo X" is+some fine bullshit indeed, as far as I can tell.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/christianitybad.mdwn b/blog/entry/christianitybad.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..412d9c2--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/christianitybad.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,33 @@+[[!meta date="2013-04-22 09:03:00"]]+[[!meta title="Religion is deeply unhealthy"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing thoughts]]++Since starting to study philosophy, for a period of maybe four years, I+thought that religion was pretty unimportant intellectually; of course+its sociological effects are huge and far-reaching, but among my friends+I didn't worry too much about their atheism or otherwise, since I+thought it was just a matter of some metaphysics which I didn't buy, but+didn't think mattered too much. I dismissed hardcore atheism as just a+replacement for religion that, again, wasn't too interesting.++Having now met several hardcore Christians I find myself falling back+into something like militant atheism because it upsets me just how much+Christianity damages people. It encourages the belief that they are+never good enough, and piles on the guilt. It involves grasping at some+permanent and unchanging deity rather than accepting that their+imperfect and everchanging (and incredibly short) selves and lives are+already enough. People can't flourish under these conditions.++I still think that the metaphysical issues are at the root of responding+to the religious person. Realising that the world doesn't care about you+frees you up to get on with creating your own meaning. And realising+this is the only intellectually responsible option. It still seems to me+that any appeals to the moral status of the world and to personal+noumenal experiences is rendered irrelevant once one accepts that we all+get tempted by strange ideas, and the only responsible thing to do is to+be brave enough to throw it all out. Intuitions can't be trusted.+Induction's basically all we've got for fundamental questions like+these.++*Edit 25/iv/2013:* By "moral state of the world" I mean the way people+are with each other; I'm not talking about moral realism.diff --git a/blog/entry/chromebookprogress.mdwn b/blog/entry/chromebookprogress.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..bfd145e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/chromebookprogress.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,8 @@+[[!meta date="2013-08-23 16:17:00"]]+[[!meta title="Progress on a true ARM laptop"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech arm]]++[Samsumg ARM chromebook, where are we? |+/r/linux](http://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/1kvdhc/samsumg_arm_chromebook_where_are_we/)++Encouraging.diff --git a/blog/entry/classicslang.mdwn b/blog/entry/classicslang.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..b933911--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/classicslang.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,10 @@+[[!meta date="2015-09-04 20:09:00"]]+[[!meta title="Language aptitude test"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics class]]++[tashu duset sekar | LRB+blog](http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2015/09/03/helen-dewitt/tashu-duset-sekar/)++I think I might have ended up doing classics or something had I had some+of these opportunities at my state school (though in the long run that+probably wouldn't have been so good for me).diff --git a/blog/entry/classof2009.mdwn b/blog/entry/classof2009.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..c4ea698--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/classof2009.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,5 @@+[[!meta date="2013-06-14 16:37:00"]]+[[!meta title="Balliol maths and joint schools class of 2009"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom photos]]++[[!img blog/img/classof2009.jpg size=500x208]]diff --git a/blog/entry/classyballiol.mdwn b/blog/entry/classyballiol.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..1cbd8a0--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/classyballiol.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,23 @@+[[!meta date="2011-10-09 12:50:00"]]+[[!meta title="Reawakening an interest"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom music]]++Freshers' bop last night ended up very badly organised. First DJ was+relying on Spotify (I mean come on) which went down, so she moved to+using YouTube to play songs. Stay classy, Balliol. At this point I went+and got my laptop from the library and played out some tunes for half an+hour or so, which was v amusing as I have no mixing software on my+laptop atm. So it involved mpd, mplayer and at one point while everyone+was drunkenly dancing around I was standing there reading the mplayer+man page to find out how to change the volume to try and 'mix' two+tracks together. Unfortunately my ALSA is set up badly so both mpd and+mplayer were on the same volume meter, making this impossible. So pro.++Anyway while I was playing these random tracks I realised that I wanted+to be able to change the speed, fiddle with the treble/mid/bass and+generally mess around with the sound to fit what was going on. I+realised then just how hard it is to DJ in the sense of choosing tracks+and modifying them, rather than technical skills like beat-matching. So+I can learn a bit and have fun doing so without committing myself to+massive skills I'll probably have no use for once I leave Balliol (and+don't really have much interest in).diff --git a/blog/entry/clusterdefn.mdwn b/blog/entry/clusterdefn.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..dd0a711--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/clusterdefn.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,5 @@+[[!meta date="2013-06-14 00:01:00"]]+[[!meta title="Handy definition of a cluster I read somewhere"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy logic]]++A disjunction of all conjunctions of most of them.diff --git a/blog/entry/clutter.mdwn b/blog/entry/clutter.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..f77e675--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/clutter.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,37 @@+[[!meta date="2011-07-01 20:25:00"]]+[[!meta title="Clutter"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom scraps]]++Back and pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to sync up my+computers. It took a while because of being ultra-careful to avoid a+repeat of my recent [e-mail+disaster](http://spw.sdf.org/blog/tech/emacs/gnus/gnusdecimation.html)+but everything seems to be just working and identical to my laptop+despite being untouched for so long. The power of config files. Syncing+up music also proving to be pretty painless. This all shows how settled+my environment now is, without incessant changes needing to be synced.+I'll introduce a temporary layer of pain when I switch from Arch to CRUX+because customisations to make things work that I haven't documented+won't be there until I do them but again it's going to become a one-time+thing.++Updating my website a bit flaky for some reason; Org-mode caches that+keep track of which files need re-publishing don't seem to like moving+between hosts, which surprises me. Maybe it's just git messing up mtimes+though.++Have got most of my unpacking done now but am finding myself seized with+a strange desire to get rid of stuff. I have so many things floating+around, decorations in my room, keepsakes, things that have a use but I+rarely/never use, and I just want to get rid of them. I want clear+surfaces; I feel it crowding in on me. I hope this is not the effect of+reading blog posts on Internet hipster minimalism, a philosophy I+despise. But less stuff would make life easier when I have to move back+and forth. Not sure how best to get rid; charity shops probably best+place to start.++Also good that I keep wanting to write about things like this on here;+nice flow, which is what I wanted: it just shows that you can achieve+what you think is good even if your habits don't presently match up.+Speaking of this I think I'm off to a good start with an efficient+afternoon of unpacking and sorting stuff out.diff --git a/blog/entry/cmdrtaco.mdwn b/blog/entry/cmdrtaco.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..bdcd190--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/cmdrtaco.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,10 @@+[[!meta date="2011-08-30 20:21:00"]]+[[!meta title="Slashdot founder resigns"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech web]]++[Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From+Slashdot](http://meta.slashdot.org/story/11/08/25/1245200/Rob-CmdrTaco-Malda-Resigns-From-Slashdot)++I was a bit late for /.; I remember being shown it and thinking it was+too old for me when I was eleven or something. Reddit seems to rule the+roost now.diff --git a/blog/entry/codepadoreilly.mdwn b/blog/entry/codepadoreilly.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..303cf24--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/codepadoreilly.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,12 @@+[[!meta date="2011-07-11 11:13:00"]]+[[!meta title="Two tech links"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech code]]++[codepad](http://codepad.org/)++> codepad is an online compiler/interpreter, and a simple collaboration+> tool. Paste your code below, and codepad will run it and give you a+> short URL you can use to share it in chat or email.++[O'Reilly Maker---Create a funny book+cover!](http://www.oreillymaker.com/)diff --git a/blog/entry/codesearch.mdwn b/blog/entry/codesearch.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..499065c--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/codesearch.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,11 @@+[[!meta date="2013-01-15 12:10:00"]]+[[!meta title="Debian Code Search"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech debian]]++[Debian Code Search](http://codesearch.debian.net/)++> Debian Code Search (DCS) is a search engine for source code --- it+> searches all the open source projects which are included in the Debian+> archive (the "main" distribution only, not non-free or contrib).+> Currently, that includes about 18000 packages with 140 GiB of source+> code.diff --git a/blog/entry/codrington.mdwn b/blog/entry/codrington.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..9a0889e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/codrington.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,29 @@+[[!meta date="2011-05-23 16:00:00"]]+[[!meta title="The Codrington Library"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom photos]]++A well-kept secret in Oxford is that undergrads can apply for access to+the All Souls library, that is, the library of the college that has no+students and is just a bunch of humanities researchers and a few lawyers+living off their massive endowment. I got a library card today; you just+need a tutor's signature.++It's a great place because it's so quiet, but also cool because it feels+like a secret society. The door is hidden away in a little alcove, an+alcove usually filled with tourists taking pictures of the All Souls+quad, and then there is this mysterious library door that's locked. You+need a code to get in, which to me is far cooler than having someone+there stopping tourists but searching reader's bags like you have at the+Old Bod and Rad Cam. It's an unmanned portal. And it doesn't lead+straight to the library, which is reached by passing through a corridor+and then a room, all in absolute silence, which is fun. Toilets are+located underground in uneven tunnels.++Here are some photos, courtesy of [Beth+Hoffman](http://www.flickr.com/people/adventuresinlibrarianship/)+(BY-NC-SA).++[[!img blog/img/codrington1.jpg size=375x500]]+[[!img blog/img/codrington2.jpg size=375x500]]++*The time on this post is inaccurate.*diff --git a/blog/entry/codrington/comment_DTQDB24CKG5A7185._comment b/blog/entry/codrington/comment_DTQDB24CKG5A7185._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..81b55ef--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/codrington/comment_DTQDB24CKG5A7185._comment@@ -0,0 +1,9 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="Mum"+ nickname="Mum"+ date="2011-05-25T08:27:31Z"+ content="""+Will I be allowed to go through the secret door on Friday? + + M x+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/codrington/comment_FAYUPY45HB9BI3IV._comment b/blog/entry/codrington/comment_FAYUPY45HB9BI3IV._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..edf08bd--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/codrington/comment_FAYUPY45HB9BI3IV._comment@@ -0,0 +1,10 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="llk"+ nickname="Laura L"+ date="2011-05-30T19:13:41Z"+ content="""+I found your blog while looking for pictures of the Codrington for a+friend. Enjoy your time studying there! I used to get into trouble+with Norma (the proper librarian) for talking too loudly in her lair+with the staircase, but she got used to it in the end.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/collectionsandwedding.mdwn b/blog/entry/collectionsandwedding.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..6a706d2--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/collectionsandwedding.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,106 @@+[[!meta date="2011-05-04 10:00:00"]]+[[!meta title="Balliol mood juxtaposition & royal wedding anger"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing thoughts]]++Now that this blog has been rejuvenated I keep coming up with things to+write about, and I start sketching posts but I forget to write them down+and even if I do, I don't seem to have time to write because it actually+takes quite a while; I always forget how much time it takes to write+these things out even if they're not that great. It's not that long but+the point is that it's a sufficient amount of time that I sort of have+to plan for it, and can't just sit down and do it during lunch.++Some Oxford thoughts then. Last week was 0th week so everyone+has exams and vac work and they haven't done enough for either. I was in+a similar position, but with two differences: I've worked very hard, so+it's through prioritising other aspects of work that I was behind, not+through negligence; secondly, my attitude of not caring about+collections has basically reached completeness. I actually don't care+about the outcome *at all*. This has been something that I have been+developing ever since I came here, starting out from the fact that I+don't think exams are important unless they're a stepping stone to+something important (which these aren't) and then more recently with my+tutors admission that they don't matter. A lot of tutors put a lot of+emphasis on collections, but Maths tutors don't, probably because we all+routinely screw them up. I have only ever had one philosophy+collection---I do not count logic in this---so all that I say applies only+to Maths. I feel the need to emphasise just now perfect my dismissal now+is, and how weird this is considering how much I care about my studies.+Balliol welfare tells me to take advantage of this even though I wasn't+to quote whomever said that to me.++Now, here is the juxtaposition: the excitement of being back in Balliol+is for most overruled by the concern for exams and work, but this isn't+the case for me, and I positively relish it. It is *fantastic* to see+hordes of people streaming towards Hall at either 9:30 or 2 for their+collections, to see the whole College coming together, to see people you+haven't seen for ages who you know and also who you don't know but are+familiar and welcoming aspects of the library scenery. So I'm standing+there grinning and this annoys my friends, who tell me to be quiet and+more sombre at their approaching doom, though not quite in those words.+One actually told me to 'shush'. This can be a little difficult to deal+with as I am happy and can't find anyone to share it with.++The most people had their collections on was of course the day of the+royal wedding, and while Balliol didn't make any arrangements (terms are+short so Oxford ignores *all* bank holidays for students and academic+staff, though of course others have them off) I am told that some+colleges actually moved collections so that their students could watch+the royal wedding live. Balliol might have had a Union Jack up, but that+was about it and my hope was that there would have been a massive uproar+if there'd been attempts at anything else; as one politics grad said to+me, "if it's reached Balliol JCR then there's no hope". However I was+shocked to find this was far from true. The TV room was packed but+that's okay because so many were watching it for the spectacle and just+disagree with my disinterest as well as my opposition to there being any+genuine interest. However the conversations in the adjacent JCR proper+for a half hour slot we had between our exam and a meeting with tutors+to arrange the term (just two days before it began, as usual) I was+shocked to find so little opposition to what was going on. People were+waving flags and one Math/Phil living in a house this year was looking+forward to a street party on his road. A certain amount of this is+people not caring and waving flags to annoy me, which is all well and+good but it doesn't stop my surprise at there being so few against the+whole thing.++To give a few thoughts on why I stand so firmly against this stuff:+while I may be against a hereditary head of state I'm not a massive fan+of parliamentary democracy either, so it's not so much a political+question. The issue is that loyalty to your country of birth in the form+of nationalism, patriotism or jingoism and this is something that really+should be dead by now; you have no reason to be loyal to something you+had no choice about, that you do not seriously contribute to and that+really isn't that great in so many ways. It is wrong to suggest that you+can always find another country and the fact that you haven't shows+loyalty: the vast majority of us cannot realistically uproot our lives+for our friends and family and careers are here. I can forgive the+middle aged and middle minded from drawing something out of an old+tradition but why the heck are we allowing schools to have their pupils+make wedding cards, and why do intellectual teenagers care one jot?++This is not very clearly set out, because I didn't think anyone cared+about the royal family so I haven't considered this issue very+carefully; I saw them as just being on the way out. How naïve it seems I+was.++Something else for this mixed bag of a post. I am doing the Ethics paper+this term which is great, but since I haven't done degree-level ethics+since I am on a course that doesn't generally choose to do Ethics, I'm+attending the first year moral philosophy classes that the PPE students+have. These are a lot of fun because I know plenty of the first years+and unlike my own year across all philosophy courses they are very+enthusiastic and interested. The class was admittedly a bit of a waste+of time up until the end because it was just messing about with an+ethical thought experiment; fun, but not with much philosophical+interest that I could identify. The thought experiment was [Nozick's+Experience+Machine](https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/The_Experience_Machine),+and one girl got very upset about how many of us put our hands up as+choosing to enter it for life or even for a few hours per day; she made+a list of those of us who did. Genuine engagement with the issues! So+much more worthwhile than my cold first year logic classes. Here I+identify a phenomenon of the "Balliol first year philosophy class". Of+course given my usual temperament this leaves me jealous, but there's no+need for that; I am looking forward to this opportunity to share their+classes. A few of them are *extremely* well-read and I should treat this+as an inspiration.diff --git a/blog/entry/collini.mdwn b/blog/entry/collini.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..0fe32f2--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/collini.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,18 @@+[[!meta date="2014-07-20 07:42:00"]]+[[!meta title="Sold out"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics education]]++> Future historians, pondering changes in British society from the 1980s+> onwards, will struggle to account for the following curious fact.+> Although British business enterprises have an extremely mixed record+> (frequently posting gigantic losses, mostly failing to match overseas+> competitors, scarcely benefiting the weaker groups in society), and+> although such arm's length public institutions as museums and+> galleries, the BBC and the universities have by and large a very good+> record (universally acknowledged creativity, streets ahead of most of+> their international peers, positive forces for human development and+> social cohesion), nonetheless over the past three decades politicians+> have repeatedly attempted to force the second set of institutions to+> change so that they more closely resemble the first. ---Stefan Collini++([source](http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n20/stefan-collini/sold-out))diff --git a/blog/entry/colonialenglish.mdwn b/blog/entry/colonialenglish.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..bd4cbb6--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/colonialenglish.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,7 @@+[[!meta date="2014-02-01 04:02:00"]]+[[!meta title="English lesson in Suncheon, Korea under Japanese rule"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom korea english]]++[[korea/english/colonialenglish.png]]++([source](http://briandeutsch.blogspot.kr/2011/12/old-photos-of-jeollanam-do-and-gwangju.html))diff --git a/blog/entry/comlabcs.mdwn b/blog/entry/comlabcs.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..9f5a684--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/comlabcs.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,34 @@+[[!meta date="2011-05-31 13:40:00"]]+[[!meta title="Bye bye comlab"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics oxford]]++> Computing Laboratory becomes Department of Computer Science+>+> From the 1 June 2011, the Oxford University Computing Laboratory will+> be changing its name to the Department of Computer Science, University+> of Oxford.+>+> Bill Roscoe, Head of the Department explained "This name change is+> simply to help the world at large understand our role as the+> University's department of computer science. I am excited that it+> gives us the opportunity to reach out more easily and tell everyone+> what we are doing in both teaching and research. When the Computing+> Laboratory was founded in 1957 it literally was somewhere where the+> University's scientists came to try things out on this new sort of+> machine. However we have long since become a large academic department+> doing world-leading research in many areas related to computing."+>+> Please note the departmental website will change to www.cs.ox.ac.uk,+> and email addresses will take the format joe.bloggs@cs.ox.ac.uk rather+> than joe.bloggs@comlab.ox.ac.uk as currently.++This is really sad :( The ComLab is the coolest place ever, and it will+be far less cool when its name changes. You go inside and there are+levels of security (as a petty philosophy student I don't have much+access), and it's all hidden behind a facade of buildings: one minute+you are standing in a large atrium with glass walkways, and then you go+through a door and you're standing next to an old terraced house in a+street; it's really cool how they've connected all these old buildings+together into a warren. Also there are 0.00001% girls.++[source](http://www.ox.ac.uk/students/latestnews/#d.en.48846)diff --git a/blog/entry/comlabftp.mdwn b/blog/entry/comlabftp.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..b276062--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/comlabftp.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,57 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-26 09:36:00"]]+[[!meta title="Oxford comlab FTP server"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom oxford]]++ This is the Anonymous FTP service of Oxford University Computing Laboratory.+ ============================================================================++ Contents of the archives:++ Category Contents+ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ Cards 3 page microprocessor instruction set cards+ Cnews Front-end scripts for news posting (for Oxford use)+ CSP CSP related files and CSP/TeX materials+ Documents miscellaneous documents+ Mirrors automatic copies of ftp archives originating elsewhere+ Music-Research back issues of the Music Research Digest, etc. *+ OBJforum OBJ related files and mailing list back issues *+ Occam occam mailing list back issues, etc. *+ Packages software packages+ Programs Unix programs for Suns/Vaxen particularly+ SEP Software Engineering Programme materials+ Systems other things (e.g. the archive system software)+ TeXhax TeXhax mailing list back issues, etc.+ Transputer transputer mailing list back issues, etc. *+ WWW local WorldWideWeb tree (experimental - please ignore)+ Zforum Z related files and mailing list back issues *+ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------++ If you need human help, please contact .+ For particular help on the starred categories above, please contact+ where "CATEGORY" is the category+ of interest. (Upper/lower case is not important.) You can also contact+ these addresses to join the related mailing lists. Please supply your+ name, e-mail address and postal address.++ ============================================================================++ We have special access features. You may retrieve directories as tar'+ format files or compressed tar' images. You must use binary' mode for+ this to work and then:++ ftp> get .tar++ will transfer a tar' image of the contents of the directory ' and:++ ftp> get .tar.Z++ will transfer a compressed tar' image of the requested directory.++ Note that you may not request any of the top level directories in this+ manner (ie., you cannot request the entire archive in one go).++ ============================================================================+ Oxford University Computing Laboratory, 11 Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3QD, UK++diff --git a/blog/entry/commonhanja.mdwn b/blog/entry/commonhanja.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..d1500c6--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/commonhanja.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2012-08-28 12:50:00"]]+[[!meta title="Common 한자 used in Korea"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom korea korean]]++[Super Simple but Must Know Chinese Characters for Coming to Korea |+Seoulistic](http://seoulistic.com/learn-korean/super-simple-but-must-know-chinese-characters-for-coming-to-korea/)diff --git a/blog/entry/compalright.mdwn b/blog/entry/compalright.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..3c3f81d--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/compalright.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,60 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-01 17:07:00"]]+[[!meta title="Actually computers are alright"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing thoughts]]++For a few years now a lot of people have been spending exorbitant+amounts of money on notebooks: think brands like Red 'n' Black,+Moleskine and, more recently, the TV adverts for Oxford Notebooks. I've+fallen for this consumerism twice, buying a Moleskine notebook, and for+two Christmases in a row I've received another Moleskine notebook, and+more generally there's a charm here of the romanticism of classic+stationary. This isn't hyper-expensive pens or letter-writing paper but+simple (yet overpriced) notebooks and niceish pens that a lot of people+have been getting into.++At various points in my degree I've been tempted back into writing notes+on paper for what are essentially romantic reasons. The idea of having+all one's notes in a notebook is appealing, because it reminds you of+great authors from the past such as Wittgenstein writing his Tractatus+in the trenches or a young man or woman exploring a European city and+making notes and sketches, and who can forget Indiana Jones' father's+epic notebook. The thought is that "if they managed their academic work+this way, I can too" but you know, I know I have a bad memory, why not+get more information down and be in a better position to make use of it?++Oxford strengthens this effect with various draconian rules on laptops:+several libraries won't let you use a laptop aside from special areas,+or if they are a bit less strict they just have laptop-free zones. In+Balliol's library there are sockets but they are hidden away; the+library is a mezzanine so there are railings around the edge because the+windows are the height of the original room, and the plug sockets and+ethernet ports are hidden over the edge. Or they were, until the library+realised that almost everyone uses a laptop so they needed more sockets+and replaced these with massive socket enclosures in the middle of the+(really nice) tables.++All this dropped away from me at some point last year and I realised+that actually, modernity is the way to go on this one. In almost all+situations electronic paper, if you like, is ten times better than real+paper, and we should realise this. Most students can type faster than+they can write, and the two big advantages are that electronic copies+can be *re-organised* and *better stored*: you can move text around, you+can backup your stuff, and barely take up any space.++There are some exceptions. When taking notes with other people around in+a class or talk, using a computer can be off-putting: it can suggest+that you're not fully concentrating and it can make you write down too+much because you can, and you probably don't need to because that is not+what classes are for. And obviously Maths and Science will need paper+for their calculations, which is different.++Here's an extreme of this: [Going Paper-Free for$220 / Steve+Losh](http://stevelosh.com/blog/2011/05/paper-free/)++Here's another link I catagorised with this post; not sure why. I think+it's got the wrong end of the stick: [Bufr Overflow: Please, make+yourself+uncomfortable.](http://bufr.tumblr.com/post/6768971854/please-make-yourself-uncomfortable)+The [discussion on Hacker+News](http://bufr.tumblr.com/post/6768971854/please-make-yourself-uncomfortable)+is really interesting, showing all sides.diff --git a/blog/entry/compcentral.mdwn b/blog/entry/compcentral.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..eae4b62--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/compcentral.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,132 @@+[[!meta date="2011-05-27 17:29:00"]]+[[!meta title="Life centered around the computer degrades both the life and the computer"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing thoughts]]++The first thing I do in the morning is turn on the computer and the last+thing I do before bed is back up my files and turn it off. I suspect+that this is the case for most people of my generation, because there's+Facebook and e-mail to check, though fellow students around here often+take e-mail hiatuses because we get so much and fall behind by a day or+whatever, which I work hard to avoid. This general approach is something+that I've been moving away from in several respects but I haven't really+consolidated it before into the thought that it's a bad thing to be+always returning to the computer. The reason for this is that a computer+is a great tool but letting it outside the boundaries of being a tool+makes it use up a lot more time than you ever expect it to, and it+introduces an unhealthy dependence, which for so many involves a loss of+social skills (so I am told---supposedly Facebook does that to people. I+am yet to be convinced directly of this), and worse, a lowered attention+span and ability to concentrate.++Let me list some of the things that I think I've done in this general+direction. Firstly, I've stopped using things in the web browser, so+that I only have reason to open it when I want to look at a specific+page or search up information on a specific topic---it's not a place of+distraction. Instead all the things I want to read online flow in via+RSS (I'll explain this a little more later), and I can read them+sequentially and purposefully. Secondly of course I haven't been using+Facebook for a long time but this is old news, and I've only been+reading and not posting to Twitter, again via RSS, for quite a while+too.++However my life is still centred around the computer in a way that I+don't think it should be. Suppose I've been the library with my laptop+to do some work; this has been the computer as a tool. On arriving back+the very first thing I'll do is plug back into my monitor and keyboard+so that I can check feeds, Twitter and e-mail, before I actually switch+to the next thing that I need to do, be that laundry, a piece of work,+organising some paper or actually sending an e-mail. In the evening, I+won't relax with a TV show, something interesting to read or whatever+but instead I'll let my time be frittered away by things I don't really+care about online because it's easier to let time disappear like that. I+know that I am actually a lot better than most people at this. I have+friends who spend their entire evenings doing this sort of thing,+whereas for me it doesn't tend to start until about nine or something.++I do not wish to suggest that the fact that I run my life electronically+and the fact I do my degree electronically (not the Maths half) are any+kind of problem, nor is it an issue that most of my reading and+information concerning the wider world comes in electronically. And it's+one of the best things ever that I have access to vast swathes of+information via the web. But the drifting---that's the word, and I wish+it'd come back to me earlier in writing this piece---that you get with a+computer loses time and destroys your ability to concentrate properly,+and it demeans the computer as a powerful tool. We can see this problem+by comparing the way I read the news and the various blogs I am+subscribed to compared to reading the paper: just look at the+possibility for distraction. If I've got a newspaper or magazine and no+computer, I'll just read, and I won't be reading distractedly but I'll+be thinking (fairly) hard about what I'm reading, too. But on a computer+I'll be reading and instead of thinking things I'll be banging them into+a search engine, opening twenty tabs and then ending up skimming them+all, not really getting much of value from the experience but passing+the time so that's okay then thank you brain. And instead of sitting+down to do this, it'll intrude all over my day. Mildly challenging+thing? I'll just check my feeds first, it's right there. This is bad.+I'm not sure it's straight-up procrastination, just a weird kind of+habit.++This has been a lot of words to describe a phenomenon that most people+are familiar with and I am disappointed that I didn't manage to put it+more succinctly than I have. Computers being central to our lives mean+that we use them indiscriminately to the great detriment of our ability+to do interesting things in a thoughtful manner, and that's bad.++I'm in a good position because of my RSS setup. I have a piece of+software called Gnus, which may be controlled by the space bar. I open+it up, hit space and my first e-mail opens. After I've read it and+replied if necessary space will take me to the next message (if the+message is too long to fit on the screen, space scrolls until the end+from where it moves on to the next message). At the end of the last+e-mail, space takes me onto the next 'group', which is Twitter, and then+at the end of that I get taken onto blogs, and then at some point there+are the feeds off the Guardian website. Outside of this, it's hard to be+distracted because I have no reason to go onto the Twitter website or+whatever. All I need to do now, then, is to limit my usage of Gnus. By+keeping it closed all day, and only opening it up after lunch and in the+early evening, I can sit down to read interesting things, catch up with+friends who are far away and who tweet (if I wasn't against some of+Facebook's terrible policies I could do this with a service that+provides a digest of your Facebook timeline, or whatever it is they call+it), rattle through the deluge of e-mails,$1$ and then the rest of the+day I am free to meet with friends and actually talk to them, do my+degree, and pursue my various other projects. One of these projects is+to find interesting things on the Internet; that's fine, but this is+definitely different to the drifting, filling up slots all over the+place with messing about.++So this is my plan: to work hard on restricting my intake of Internet to+a couple of set times in the day, so that I can enjoy it properly and+not merely have it as a distraction which it doesn't deserve to be. I'm+still figuring out if there's a problem with getting up to the computer+and turning it off last thing at night, and this is probably indicative+of something else, so I'll leave it aside for now.++The response is that the immediacy of the Internet is lost with this+schema. I won't know about the news until I read it, and Twitter won't+be a way of seeing what's hitting the (first) world right now, and I'll+always be behind---some would say that I'm defeating the whole purpose of+Twitter. I do not think that this is actually a problem at all.+Twenty-four hour news and keeping track of a friend's activities as the+day progresses are not valuable; knowing about what's going on in the+world at the moment and reading analysis of it, and having a general+idea of what's going on your friend's lives, are. It is important to+recognise that neither of these things affect our own lives directly in+a day-to-day sense, and more important still to realise that this+doesn't diminish the value of knowing about them in good time, but not+*now*, the point being that the cost---one's concentration---is too high. I+have serious issues with focusing at the moment; hopefully I can help+myself by choosing to take more time over things that matter, rather+than infusing them into things that matter just as much (rest of my+life) that has the effect of degrading the importance of both.++Interesting post; I should have thought it out more and aimed a little+more carefully but I've said some stuff I wanted to say and have set up+where I am to go with it so that'll do for now.++$1$ To give you an idea of the quantities, I get maybe 30 e-mails per+day into my main inbox, about 20 more into a couple of secondary+inboxes, maybe 10 posts to mailing lists, maybe 30 blog posts, and+perhaps a hundred tweets. There are perhaps 10 out of all this that I+don't actually read, and everything else requires my full attention.+Outside of term time the total probably drops by more than 50%.diff --git a/blog/entry/conceptualengineering.mdwn b/blog/entry/conceptualengineering.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..b0b8211--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/conceptualengineering.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,20 @@+[[!meta date="2011-08-31 12:56:00"]]+[[!meta title="Blackburn on Philosophy"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy meta]]++> The word 'philosophy' carries unfortunate connotations: impractical,+> unworldly, weird. I suspect that all philosophers and philosophy+> students share that moment of silent embarrassment when someone+> innocently asks us what we do. I would prefer to introduce myself as+> doing conceptual engineering. For just as the engineer studies the+> structure of material things, so the philosopher studies the structure+> of thought. Understanding the structure involves seeing how parts+> function and how they interconnect. It means knowing what would happen+> for better or worse if changes were made. This is what we aim at when+> we investigate the structures that shape our view of the world. Our+> concepts or ideas form the mental housing in which we live. We may end+> up proud of the structures we have built. Or, we may believe that they+> need dismantling and starting afresh. But first, we have to know what+> they are. ---Simon Blackburn, *Think*, intro.++([source](http://www.phil.cam.ac.uk/~swb24/books/thinkint.html))diff --git a/blog/entry/conciseness.mdwn b/blog/entry/conciseness.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..4b4e483--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/conciseness.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,14 @@+[[!meta date="2011-04-22 12:29:00"]]+[[!meta title="Increased conciseness (concision?)"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom meta]]++I've realised that some of my writing habits have changed up since the+major improvements I've made to my web site (inc. blog) have gone+through which has made me finally happy with my site once more. I'm+being a lot more concise and writing less without then feeling like I've+missed much of importance out, which is good, because an ability to+judge what is important leads to better writing. I'm also trying less+hard to write pretty sentences because it doesn't work very well for me+anyway and I'm increasingly losing interest in such things. Overall I'm+being less perfectionist which is good; this blog will give me a better+picture of myself which I can reflect on.diff --git a/blog/entry/consumingvidya.mdwn b/blog/entry/consumingvidya.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..00e30cc--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/consumingvidya.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,134 @@+[[!meta date="2011-08-07 20:15:00"]]+[[!meta title="Video games & consumption"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing thoughts]]++Over the summer I've been [revisiting old+games](http://spw.sdf.org/blog/writing/diary/zeldatyping.html) and+[trying new+ones](http://spw.sdf.org/blog/fiction/vidya/earlysummergaming.html), so+I've been thinking about video games and how they fit into my life and+the lives of others around me. Let me begin by cutting a broad+distinction between games that one plays to get lost in, and games one+plays to be good at. The latter category includes electronic sports, and+the former action-adventure games like Zelda as well as the obvious+candidates such as hard-core RPGs like Morrowind. Now, plenty of games+can be one of these two for one person and the other for another---for+example, speed runs convert any game to get lost in into a challenge of+skill---but I think my distinction is sound on the grounds that for me,+games are one or the other. They play very different roles in my life.++Immersion games first. Possibly the best reason to have grown up when I+did rather than at some other point in the 20th century? I had *Tiberian+Sun*, *Morrowind*, *Wind Waker*, *Diablo II*, *Final Fantasy VI*,+*Oracle of Ages*, *Pokémon Crystal*. Indelibly marked in my memory are+phrases like "not even death can save you from me", "you have quite a+treasure there in that Horadric Cube", "move it move it get back to the+base!" and moments like Celes' opera sequence and attempting to beat+Veran atop the Black Tower for the fifty-fifth time, and failing once+more. The immense challenge (at the time) of fighting your way out of+Hyrule Castle when it comes out of the time-freeze! "Stay a while and+listen." Hearing Tina's Theme---IMO the best piece of game music of all+time---upon entering the overworld for the first time! You'll have to have+about the same age and taste as me to get particularly riled up by this,+I imagine. But hopefully you can share in my nostalgic remembrance of+the joy of working your way through a series of challenges to advance a+plot to save the world.++My favourite game of all time deserves its own paragraph but there isn't+much to say because most people just haven't heard of it: *Skies of+Arcadia*. A proper turn-based RPG, and the best I have ever played.++The thing is, that was then and this is now and it's just not the same+anymore. It's been a long, long time since I got lost in a game, and+even pasted over with nostalgia old ones aren't the same because the+challenge has all but disappeared: I am presently blasting my way+through *Wind Waker* and *Ocarina of Time* (even with *Master Quest*+turned on) with no difficulty at all. I imagine if I sat down with+*Tiberian Sun* or *Diablo II* it would be the same. I never actually+finished *Final Fantasy VI*, come to think of it, and maybe that would+be harder.++The other difference is that I have A Lot Of Other Things To Do now, and+it's not so great to lose a week of vac (heaven forbid term) to a game.+This leads me to question what place this kind of game can have in my+life. The next thing upcoming is *Skyrim* in November, which we are all+desperately hoping will be the best of both Morrowind and Oblivion---for+even just that, with nothing 'new', would make for an earth-shattering+RPG---and I am looking forward to hopefully playing it at Christmas. Aside+from must-play titles like this, should I continue to buy games? This+sounds like a stupid question if I enjoy them as much as I have been+making out in this post. The point, though, is that this often isn't the+case and what I really don't want to be is merely a *consumer* of games.+I'm not talking of the usual form of material consumerism that grips our+society but am just considering books, films, television, *etc.*: with+these, there is still a danger of falling into consumerism, though it's+different. When I am waiting for some water to boil and have flicked on+the TV to find something to watch, that's consumption; there is a vast,+vast swathe of things that I only watch because they use up time, even+if I don't sit down with that intent, and the same applies to books and+films too (I hardly ever go to the cinema, sadly (too expensive), but+for an example look to the stream of superhero movies we've had over the+past few years).++All well and good, but how does one tell the difference? When you hear+of a new game coming out, how can you decide whether or not to try it+out? Reviews are rarely much use and on particular games friends and I+have wildly diverging opinions, so, how can you decide where to put your+time?$1$ The bottom line is that I don't want to play bad games, and I+don't want to play mediocre games because game-playing is what I do---it+isn't anymore---and there aren't enough great games around: I want to play+great games and leave it there, but finding out whether a game is great+is pretty challenging without playing it *yourself*.++The other category of gaming as described above is only something I've+done very recently, because it's only for about seven years or so that+I've had enough people around me who also play games for this to be an+option. I imagine this is the same for most. Games I play/have played to+beat other people at (with minimal success) are *Left4Dead*, *Supreme+Commander*, and *DotA All-Stars*, and there are probably others but not+in anything like the numbers of immersion games. Right now there's a+powerful opportunity to get involved in this kind of gaming with the+advent of *StarCraft II* and its world-wide community of+[obsessive](http://blip.tv/day9tv/day-9-daily-100-my-life-of-starcraft-3505715)+RTS players,$2$ and at some point we're going to get a Valve version of+DotA with exactly the same mechanics, oh those joyous mechanics, deny+deny last hit! deny deny deny, but presumably with well-organised+multiplayer match-making, the present lack of which means that, even for+someone like me with a reasonable amount of DotA experience, DotA is+extremely hard to get into and improve at.++Now, I have two friends who play StarCraft seriously and know various+people at university who play, but I don't know how seriously: unlike+DotA, it's something I could get into as a game to play as something to+get better at rather than a world to get immersed in, and I'd have+people around me to do this with, which makes it a lot more fun than+struggling through DotA "pubs" on Battle.net. I've downloaded the new+Starter Edition, which is essentially a demo, and have played it to its+limits really; the AI level available is not at all challenging.+Choosing whether or not to buy the game is a significant decision+because £33 is basically the sum total of my disposable money. It would+take me some time to get into the game, and I don't even know if I'd+like it that much: I only assume I would because I like strategy, but+I've not found the first four campaign missions and Terran skirmish+against Easy AI particularly thrilling. I'd be buying it for an+interesting diversion that doesn't use up very much time as games are+short, and can be played casually due to the ladder system. Do I want+that?++The final thing to talk about is how these two categories of games+affect my mood. The latter is generally always positive, because it's+usually multiplayer, and because you're not leaving the real world and+are trying to use a skill, it's always a positive experience as using+any skill is. You are left a little like one is left after exercise;+it's great. However it's not quite the same with the former category. I+tend to find that ordinary games put me in a bad mood after I've played+them, and I'm left angry and short with people around me---perhaps for+them dragging me away or the game shoving me away by getting stuck? My+short spell of playing Minecraft reminds me most of this. I found myself+always left in a terrible mood by playing Minecraft because I wanted+more I guess? Not sure.++$1$ I'm ignoring the question of where to put your money.++$2$ So it's a year old, so I'm late to being aware of just how big this+community is, I admit it.diff --git a/blog/entry/contemporaryhistory.mdwn b/blog/entry/contemporaryhistory.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..1fd62d4--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/contemporaryhistory.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,21 @@+[[!meta date="2015-02-09 04:37:00"]]+[[!meta title="No contemporary history in Korea?"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom korea society]]++> In South Korea, contemporary history is omitted from the national+> school curriculum. The modern era ("geundae") begins in 1876 with the+> "opening" of Joseon Korea to international trade and international+> market forces, and the contemporary era ("hyeondae") begins in 1945+> with liberation from Japanese colonial rule. Arguably the most+> diligent students in the world study everything except the entire+> history of their own republic, founded in 1948, and the entire history+> of the division, which was applied in 1945. Not one but every+> generation of South Koreans lacks the formal education to understand+> the historical context of the republic or the division beyond personal+> experiences and emotional expressions. Ignoring the past and reveling+> in economic success has been the national agenda set by dictators+> resistant to critical reflection.++I'd like to know if this is true.++([source](http://www.koreaexpose.com/voices/history-guides-the-future-in-south-koreas-latest-blockbuster/))diff --git a/blog/entry/contextualism.mdwn b/blog/entry/contextualism.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..cd85a20--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/contextualism.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,70 @@+[[!meta date="2013-05-10 22:38:00"]]+[[!meta title="Epistemic contextualism"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing thoughts]]++Epistemic contextualism, which I've been revising yesterday and today,+is the thesis that the word 'know' is context-dependent. Perhaps one+initial motivation for this sort of view is the common response to+classic sceptical thought experiments, that the philosophy lecturer is+working with some high, overly-demanding sense of 'know', and the rest+of us can do quite alright with our ordinary sense (thank you very+much), in which case the possibility that we're in the Matrix doesn't+mean that we don't know we have hands.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+David Lewis's contextualism$1$ is much more sophisticated than this but+is also, I think, better motivated. I'm not going to try to explain how+so in full here (that's what my revision is for) but I want to note what+I find most attractive about it. Lewis takes knowledge of P to be a+matter of the agent having eliminated the relevant possibilities that+not-P; for example, I know that the cat isn't in the room because I've+eliminated the possibilities that it's in the drawer, that it's in the+wardrobe etc. We properly ignore some not-P possibilities: I don't fail+to know that the cat isn't in the room because I haven't checked inside+the photocopier. Classic sceptical possibilities are ones that we almost+always ignore: indeed, everywhere but the epistemology class.++Consider what happens if someone asks, "wait, did you check the+photocopier?" While we might not go and check the photocopier and+continue to believe that the cat is not in the room, it is now very+uncomfortable to maintain that we *know* that the cat isn't in the room,+and this discomfort remains until we do actually go and check the+photocopier. So: raising a possibility that we were previously ignoring,+that we can't/haven't eliminated, destroys knowledge. This is exactly+what the sceptic does when he suggests that we're really in the Matrix:+he raises a possibility to salience, and thus we cease to know that we+have hands.$2$ So knowing that we have hands requires us to be not+thinking about brains in vats.++I think that this is exactly what Hume is getting at in the famous+conclusion to book 4:++> Most fortunately it happens, that since reason is incapable of+> dispelling these clouds, **nature herself suffices to that purpose**,+> and cures me of this philosophical melancholy and delirium, either by+> relaxing this bent of mind, or by some avocation, and lively+> impression of my senses, which obliterate all these chimeras. (Hume,+> *Treatise*, 1.4.7.9; my emphasis)++This inevitable tension in our concept of knowledge---that we are happy+to ascribe it to people yet epistemic vertigo is very easy to+induce---is an aspect of the human condition that contextualism does a+very good job of capturing.++It's good to have something I actually want to defend (from technical+objections) on my own terms as part of my metaphysics & epistemology+paper, since much of the rest of this paper has bored me. I'd just+managed to convince myself that I wouldn't hate myself forever if I+don't get into grad school, but engaging with ideas like these makes it+hard not to see philosophy as the only thing for me.++Notes+=====++$1$ Lewis, David. 1996. Elusive Knowledge. Australasian Journal of+Philosophy 74 (4):549--67.++$2$ This is not quite right, of course---it's that 'know' now refers to+a different relation as we've made a context-switch. As I say I'm+glossing over how the account actually works.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/convictory.mdwn b/blog/entry/convictory.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..91c9818--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/convictory.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,37 @@+[[!meta date="2015-05-08 12:32:00"]]+[[!meta title="Tory victory"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++All my lessons were cancelled today and so I ended up spending about 18+hours refreshing the Guardian live blog and election results page,+occasionally going off to get some lesson planning done. And now at last+they have the 326 sits for a totally unquestionable Commons majority.+The country is going to burn. There is no-one to stop the vast majority+of what they intend to do.++I have felt today an actual interest in something outside of myself and+the people immediately around me: I really care about this. I didn't+expect to: I haven't followed the election campaign at all and actually+failed to vote because my postal vote arrived on polling day (next time+I'll be sure to vote by proxy). My cousin told me that there's more to+Britain than the welfare state. For me, there really isn't that much+more to Britain outside of whats left of the welfare state, qua country,+that I have a positive emotional reaction to.++I don't know how I can turn this interest into action just yet. But I do+feel a change of perspective today. My own personal career and future+just became a lot less important to me. This is a step forward. Now it's+time to disconnect from the 24-hour news once more, and try to get on+with doing something worthwhile.++*Edit 2029Z:* Polly Toynbee [sums it+up](http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/08/labour-failure-low-paid-will-suffer):++> Every time Labour fails, the key issue is not their ejected MPs nor+> the great Westminster game, but the hardship imposed on the low-paid+> and hard-pressed. Every Tory government makes the rich richer and the+> poor poorer, draining public services dry.+>+> Ignore Cameron's urbane manner, he is driven by a deep anti-state+> ideology that will leave the welfare state and the public realm+> unrecognisable in five years. That is what Labour's failure means.diff --git a/blog/entry/crackedharshtruths.mdwn b/blog/entry/crackedharshtruths.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..7c4bcd6--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/crackedharshtruths.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,14 @@+[[!meta date="2012-12-19 12:17:00"]]+[[!meta title="Harsh truths?"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy life]]++[6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person |+Cracked.com](http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-harsh-truths-that-will-make-you-better-person/)++There's some good thoughts in here, but I don't think it can be taken+too seriously because he doesn't substantiate his thesis that 'The World+Only Cares About What It Can Get from You' to make it plausible. If he+means the non-human world, then it doesn't care about anything. If he+means the human world we construct by living in a community, then his+thesis seems *prima facie* false, though perhaps if explained better it+*might* come out true.diff --git a/blog/entry/criticaltheorygroup.mdwn b/blog/entry/criticaltheorygroup.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..8d1bad1--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/criticaltheorygroup.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,26 @@+[[!meta date="2013-03-15 19:22:00"]]+[[!meta title="Oxford critical theory reading group"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy critical]]++This came round earlier this term, (though of course I'm not an English+undergrad):++> Dear English undergrads,+>+> The **Critical Theory Reading Group** will continue this term, and is+> always open to new members. The aim of the group is to generate+> discussion and learning about really important topics in 'critical+> theory', which spans literary, cultural, philosophical and historical+> studies. This means that we're conceiving 'critical theory' as an+> absolutely massive topic, but the aim is to get ourselves+> intellectually involved with some of the most important and recent+> areas in 'theoretical' scholarship, which is an exciting project and a+> very important one too. The next session is on Wednesday Week 3 at+> 3-5pm at Trinity College, and will be about Posthumanism. You don't+> have to know anything about it before to come along: just read the+> essay from 2011 that's attached to this email and see what you think.++I would like to develop an an interest and knowledge in such things but+unfortunately I couldn't attend the meetings this term. It'd have be+quite a fight through the obscurantism of the English students, too, I+suspect.diff --git a/blog/entry/crushes.mdwn b/blog/entry/crushes.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..0f25a0b--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/crushes.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2014-05-26 16:06:00"]]+[[!meta title="Solid essay on contemporary notions of romance"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom relationships]]++[On the madness and charm of crushes | The Philosophers'+Mail](http://www.philosophersmail.com/relationships/on-the-madness-and-charm-of-crushes/)diff --git a/blog/entry/cruxandfb.mdwn b/blog/entry/cruxandfb.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..3d3749e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/cruxandfb.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,171 @@+[[!meta date="2011-07-09 17:20:00"]]+[[!meta title="A lot of CRUX and a little Facebook"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++On Sunday afternoon I started transferring files off my laptop (artemis)+and onto my desktop (zephyr) ready to replace the former's [Arch+Linux](http://archlinux.com/) installation with [CRUX](http://crux.nu/),+a source-based GNU/Linux distribution that inspired the creation of+Arch. Five and a half days later yesterday afternoon, and the+installation and setup are complete, with only a few things not quite+working, which are set up as tasks to do later once I've settled into+the new OS a little more. I think I've probably put in about fifty+hours, throwing all else aside, and the result can be summarised as+[[this document|tech/crux]], where I wrote+everything down, and my repository of CRUX ports for all the software I+had to package up for CRUX, which I'll put up online and have added to+the [CRUX ports database](http://crux.nu/portdb/) soon.++A few thoughts on why it has taken so long. First of all I spent a great+deal of time figuring out how I was going to encrypt the drive, which is+important on a laptop. In order to speed things up CRUX doesn't use an+initrd which means that it's impossible to encrypt absolutely+everything, so either you slow things down by working in an initrd, or+don't encrypt quite everything; I took the latter approach, but it took+me a while to figure out how I could make this feasible. The resulting+solution is elegant and simple and essentially as secure as my setup+before; they suffered from the same weakness of having unencrypted code+on the drive that could be tampered with by an attacker. Once I got this+sorted out the rest of the time was spent, aside from waiting for files+to copy and for software to compile, packaging up all my software, for a+surprising amount of it isn't available for CRUX. Oh and there were+plenty of existent packages to fix as well. It's quite poor just how+many CRUX ports are broken. But this was a one-time thing, essentially,+aside from software updates from time to time which aren't too hard.++Yesterday evening I wiped the family 256MB Celeron and installed Linux+Mint LXDE to try and get some use out of it, because once I have Emacs+installed with a few utilities, I can get on with things, and this of+course is a lot easier than installing software on CRUX. Apt rumbles+into action, does layer after layer of auto-configuration and everything+Just Works; I sat there wondering just a little why I don't just use+this. Except the version of Emacs that comes with Mint is too old, so+then you have to figure out how to upgrade the package, but there are+actually about three packages and a metapackage that interact and the+Emacs addons like BBDB keep in sync with these in (too) clever ways so+paradoxically, until you realise what's going on, you can't remove one+version of Emacs without it trying to install an older version in its+place and vice-versa and urgh, it's so complicated once you try and do+something even remotely different. But CRUX's package management and in+fact everything about it is so simple, that you don't have to spend long+understanding it before you can just apply your general Unix knowledge+to make it do what you want it to. It requires a lot more knowledge, but+not that much more effort.++I wasn't feeling so positive a few days ago about all this, when I'd got+almost everything in place except classic GNU/Linux unexplainables like+X11 font rendering, and (still unfixed) ACPI nonsense and laptop-mode. I+was wondering if I'd ever get these things fixed at all, if I'd ever get+my setup back to what I am used to, and starting to question the amount+of time I'd poured into this project. Was I really going to get+something worthwhile out of it? What if I couldn't get it right, gave up+and went back to my old setup---think of how much time I would have+wasted! This is all wrong though. Firstly I have learnt so very much+over the past week about how a GNU/Linux system is constructed. As you+move from distributions that do more for you, such as Debian, to+distributions that do less, such as Arch, and then down to the bare+minimum like CRUX, more and more of the system makes sense and stops+being a mysterious black box. Right now I don't know much about init,+and of course the clever things the kernel does on the inside are always+going to beyond this lowly math/phil with no knowledge of computer+science, but I get how little you actually need in order to boot the+rest of the OS. It's all just a bunch of bash scripts. I definitely+couldn't have completed this installation without my prior experience of+Arch.++Secondly, I've now switched distros while carrying my entire environment+with me enough times to know that I am capable of fixing pretty much+everything eventually, and what I can't fix I'll get used to. Switching+from Debian to Arch was dramatic in the sense that I suddenly had to get+little things in place all over, and Arch to CRUX was the same. X11 font+rendering is a good example: Arch has patches in place to make things+look non-rubbish, and I was anxious to achieve the same thing, but CRUX+gives you nothing with the standard packages and I was left with forum+thread after forum thread (Arch forums that is; there is almost no+information out there on CRUX). I'm not quite there and things are still+weird: for example I have noticed that my browser's interface now uses a+sans-serif font whereas I was very used to it using a serif before, but+I got over the major hurdle in that things are not rubbish, and after+that I realised that anything else doesn't actually matter and I was+getting worked up for the sake of it. During my Arch install I was far+less comfortable without my knowledge gained through experience that I+will get there in the end. The other thing I've learnt is that once this+stuff is set up, I forget about it. So even if my setup is slightly+messy in that some of the packages I have written don't install as+neatly as I would like, I won't care once I go back to my normal+computing of working away in Emacs and reading away in Conkeror (web+browser). And even if it's messier than Arch or Debian because it's less+automated, it's just that I'm aware of the mess because I made it; I+don't doubt there is plenty of mess to be blamed on Arch and Debian devs+too.++If this is the case the natural question to ask is whether I've gained+any benefits at all from this aside from what I learnt from building the+system up. In a non-minimalist hipster way, the elegance of CRUX's+simplicity is worth having for itself, and for the ease with which you+can extend it sensibly. What I mean by this is that if I want to install+something new and not just slap it in but have it as a package so that I+can repeat that install automatically in the future, I can do that far+more easily than I could with Debian or even Arch. When it's time to+upgrade the system, I can do that without too many headaches over things+no longer working together, because the tools for upgrading and merging+configuration files are simple and elegant. CRUX has no dependency+resolution by default and not much of a central software repository;+these seem like they will give you more work, but once you get into it,+the effort required to maintain an elegant system you can recreate when+needed is far smaller than it would be with other distros, which is+important. A lack of features but once you get the package together it's+brilliantly slick. Aside from waiting around for things to compile but I+can live with that.++I haven't expressed that very well nor have I expressed how cool CRUX's+simplicity is in this post in general, but that is perhaps because it+pales in comparison to the main non-educational thing I've gained from+this project, and that is blazing speed. When artemis and zephyr had+near-identical installs of Arch, zephyr out-paced the laptop by a good+way because it's faster, has a better video card, and is a desktop (I+maintain that laptops are Just Slower), so I was rather surprised to+find that with CRUX installed, artemis is actually *beating*, rather+than just coming closer to, zephyr, on basic things that matter such as+booting, firing up X, opening and closing Emacs, opening and closing my+mail client *etc.*. Sure, zephyr will still encode MP3s faster, but the+snappiness I've gained makes computing a lot pleasanter. My laptop no+longer feels like a slowish machine, which it shouldn't considering its+very reasonable hardware. Now of course I shudder to think just how fast+zephyr is going to be when I switch it from Arch to CRUX too. As a more+standard machine, since laptops are always a bit special, I can probably+pare the kernel down even more.++And of course this is not just about gaining speed---you might say, just+buy a faster machine. Given the general trend of operating systems+towards being more bloated, buying faster and faster machines doesn't+make your basic computing any faster any more, nor is it really a very+good idea for environmental reasons. But setting up a CRUX system or+something similar really does speed things up in a very meaningful way.+I suspect the biggest factor is stripping so much out of the kernel,+rather than the distribution being source-based, but I don't really know+what's doing it.++That's a lot of poor prose about what I've been doing for the past week+or so; mildly annoyed I haven't managed to explain it better. The other+thing I wanted to note down was a few thoughts on my new Facebook+account. I've only logged on once since I created it on Monday, and that+was the following morning to approve a few friend requests, and I+suppose I shall have to do the same at some point for the others that+have come in. TheFriendMail is working well for giving me a daily copy+of my newsfeed but the HTML doesn't render well in Gnus and I end up+struggling to tell when something is a comment on a status or whatever,+since everything seems to be commentable on nowadays. However I can scan+for important things so it's serving its purpose.++In the time that I did spend on Facebook I've been impressed with the+slick new interface, which has changed a lot (I suspect multiple times)+since I last actively used Facebook. It really is impressive what people+can construct inside browsers nowadays, even if it's going to always be+to a certain degree inelegant for being within a browser without really+being a webpage. It feels like a distressingly cohesive and well+thought-out interface for converting social lives into the Facebook+Ideal of a social life. Glad to be staying away from actually getting+involved in very much, but wanted to note that it looks like they've got+things sorted, even if I don't like their attitude towards some of the+features.diff --git a/blog/entry/cruxportsdb.mdwn b/blog/entry/cruxportsdb.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..daa51cd--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/cruxportsdb.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,5 @@+[[!meta date="2011-08-31 12:19:00"]]+[[!meta title="I'm in the CRUX portdb"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom meta]]++[Take a look](http://crux.nu/portdb/?a%3Drepo&q%3Dswhitton) :Ddiff --git a/blog/entry/csslayoutsfuture.mdwn b/blog/entry/csslayoutsfuture.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..3d443ec--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/csslayoutsfuture.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2011-08-31 14:41:00"]]+[[!meta title="Exciting semantic stuff upcoming for CSS"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech design]]++[The future of CSS layouts | .net+magazine](http://www.netmagazine.com/features/future-css-layouts)diff --git a/blog/entry/cult.mdwn b/blog/entry/cult.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..a6a4d95--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/cult.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,32 @@+[[!meta date="2013-04-25 10:35:00"]]+[[!meta title="The cult of academia?"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy academia]]++[Deprogramming From the Academic Cult | The+Chronicle](https://chronicle.com/article/Deprogramming-From-the-Acad/45598/)++[Is Graduate School a Cult? | The+Chronicle](https://chronicle.com/article/Is-Graduate-School-a-Cult-/44676/)++[Selling Out | The Unemployed Philosopher's+Blog](https://theunemployedphilosophersblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/selling-out/)++(my entry point into the above: [What is to be done? | The Philosophers'+Cocoon](http://philosopherscocoon.typepad.com/blog/2013/04/what-is-to-be-done.html))++I am someone who wants to do graduate philosophy but envisages not+wanting to try to get work in higher education after finishing a+doctorate since there is so little, and I'm not sure it's worth the+struggle. The articles linked to above argue that this plan can't work+because one risks getting indoctrinated into the academic cult to the+extent that it's impossible to leave at the end of a PhD without going+through enormous suffering. The doctrines of the academic cult mean that+wanting to leave is "giving up" and "selling out".++The Academy has very many flaws and while studying within it is a good+way to come to an understanding of the human condition, I am no longer+convinced that it is the only way. So the feeling that if/when you leave+you're giving up on something special and magical that ordinary people+can't have is unjustified, because it's just false that the modern+Academy has any claim to any of this. I think that graduate school will+be "safe" for me if I keep this in mind.diff --git a/blog/entry/cultofpositivity.mdwn b/blog/entry/cultofpositivity.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..ce7b6f1--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/cultofpositivity.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2012-05-09 17:41:00"]]+[[!meta title="The Cult of Positivity"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics society]]++[The Cult of Positivity: If You Dream It, You Can't Necessarily Become+It | The University Times](http://www.universitytimes.ie/?p%3D9487)diff --git a/blog/entry/cultorfos.mdwn b/blog/entry/cultorfos.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..3c16ec9--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/cultorfos.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,9 @@+[[!meta date="2015-04-22 13:50:00"]]+[[!meta title="A fine line between a cult and a fear"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++In thinking about studying philosophy again at Arizona, I feel like I'm+to walk a fine line between succombing to the academic cult in my own+head that my entire self-worth depends on my academic success there, and+the fear of success that will have me not engage properly because I'm+afraid I might like it.diff --git a/blog/entry/curlopts.mdwn b/blog/entry/curlopts.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..c692a2e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/curlopts.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,13 @@+[[!meta date="2015-10-08 21:27:00"]]+[[!meta title="Standard curl usage"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech unix]]++When wget is not installed, you want curl -OL http://example.com/ to+replace wget http://example.com/.++-O +output to a file, not stdout++-L +follow 301/302 redirects+diff --git a/blog/entry/dalailama.mdwn b/blog/entry/dalailama.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..ab55618--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dalailama.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,5 @@+[[!meta date="2012-04-10 19:23:00"]]+[[!meta title="Dalai Lama on modern life"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics society]]++[[blog/politics/society/dalailama.jpg]]diff --git a/blog/entry/dalailamaunfriend.mdwn b/blog/entry/dalailamaunfriend.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..5e2c22e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dalailamaunfriend.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,7 @@+[[!meta date="2014-09-18 06:32:00"]]+[[!meta title="Now governments want to be friends with China, not the D.L."]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics china]]++[No one likes the Dalai Lama anymore: Here's why governments around the+world are unfriending the Tibetan+leader](http://www.reddit.com/r/TrueReddit/comments/2g2if7/no_one_likes_the_dalai_lama_anymore_heres_why/)diff --git a/blog/entry/dancing.mdwn b/blog/entry/dancing.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..755a02e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dancing.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,93 @@+[[!meta date="2012-02-16 00:27:00"]]+[[!meta title="Dancing"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++Going dancing is something that I have come to enjoy enormously. There+are two reasons why this is perhaps unusual. Firstly I don't drink, and+for a lot of people this seems to be a prerequisite to having fun in+this way. And secondly both kinds of nerds I associate with a lot, the+philosophy nerds in Balliol that don't seem to be in many other places,+and the more standard kind of nerds who like things like maths and+StarCraft, tend to really dislike these sorts of environments.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+The cliche to dance like no-one is watching definitely applies to me.+This leads to the amusement of others in two ways. Firstly I imagine I+look out of place, since they are used to just seeing me being+enthusiastic about going to a lecture or something, so it's fun to+surprise people from time to time (this of course wears off with time).+Secondly I tend to go a bit crazy when actual dance music comes on. It+feels like the entire universe likes rubbishy rnb and hiphop, which are+just *too slow*, so when some fast dance comes on, however trashy dance+it may be, I go mad for the duration of the track and start smiling a+lot and taking up far too much room. People tend to find this pretty+funny, myself included.++Here's something else amusing: I am completely useless at responding to+people attempting to dance *with* me in whatever way. From someone with+no apparent self-conciousness at all I suddenly become awkward because I+just don't know the etiquette I suppose. People try to teach me the+response---when we do this hand motion, you are supposed to do this---which+is fun, but my knowledge remains minimal.++Of course this is only something I have been doing for the past eight+months or so. This is very atypical for a student. Basically I didn't+know that it was fun and I never found out because for so long I was+afraid of alcohol. This is the reason I originally decided not to drink.+Over time I realised that it's not so frightening, but kept my not+drinking partly out of habit but also because I realised that I didn't+need it to have fun, so, not really any reason to start. Now a problem+here is that I lack the social connections to go dancing$1$ regularly so+I recently asked a friend, "take me out dancing when you go!", and she+said she would, so that's nice.++To environments. Bops, which are fancy-dress student discos that many+Oxford colleges run, are a lot of fun because you know basically+everyone in the room (though this year now that there are loads of+unfriendly freshers this isn't so much the case). The main problem with+bops is that both the sound tech and the playlists are generally really+bad (except when I'm doing a set of course...). So of course clubs are the+alternative. If you go to a club with a group of Balliol friends you can+sort of isolate yourselves from the less pleasant aspects of the place,+these unpleasant aspects being firstly the fact that you're in a place+trying to make lots of money before anything else; secondly the weird+authoritarianism of bouncers (though you can understand why they do it)+and thirdly, and worst of all, the masses of guys trying to pull,+leering from the sidelines. You can sort of see why people might want to+drink to push these things out.++The place of clubbing in Balliol's culture is strange. Firstly 'going+out' means exclusively this: there is very little interest in bars etc.+Also people who don't particularly like it find it very hard to admit+this straight up because if you do there is a level at which you can't+connect to everyone else; we're not talking "you're uncool", since we're+a little more grown up than that here, it's more a sense of "you're+different from me, that's cool, but it's going to remain a barrier+between us". Instead of saying that they're not keen you hear people+saying things like "I'm sure no-one likes clubbing, I'm sure it's just a+shared experience of it being horrible". In my case, it's definitely the+case that the lack of alcohol still disconnects me from some others,+which is a bit sad.++Here's something else that is nice. Despite the fact that girls are+wearing less, I find any sexual desire I might normally have for+individuals disappears completely on the dance floor. I suppose this is+because the only activity of that nature going on is repulsive attempts+to take advantage of drunkenness, as I have noted above, so the thought+are switched off as irrelevant, or something like this. Also my mind is+very occupied with music and friends---attractive girls in the library is+the worst thing because they do not have to be very attractive at all to+be distracting: any opportunity to be distracted one's brain tends to+take up. Basically I manage to see attractive people---by looking at the+expressions on their faces---rather than just attractive bodies, and it's+great to be free from a certain amount of objectification that I know I+am guilty of.++So it's great to be able to spread the super upbeat enthusiasm I+frequently bring to academic stuff and to nerd stuff to something else,+and to be able to get so much out of it without alcohol. I hope to do+much more of this.++$1$ I like this 'go dancing' phrase because it indicates the thing I'm+interested in. But I appreciate it's a really pretentious phrase.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/dashesdilemma.mdwn b/blog/entry/dashesdilemma.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..7f1d993--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dashesdilemma.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,24 @@+[[!meta date="2011-04-29 18:42:00"]]+[[!meta title="Dashes dilemma"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech latex]]++So. Spaced emdashes, spaced endashes or unspaced emdashes to separate+thoughts in sentences -- like this -- is my evening's dilemma. Not the+question of whether Mill made a substantial contribution to ethics; no,+tonight we have TYPOGRAPHY.++The three variants:++1. This is --- a spaced emdash+2. Here is a---unspaced emdash+3. Here is -- a spaced endash++And the issues:++- The first option is non-standard.+- The second option is the standard American English.+- The third option is the standard for British English.++My dilemma is: I like emdashes and want to use them, but I speak and+write British English. Further, if I adopt option 3 (as seems likely),+shall I still allow myself spaced emdashes in such as titles?diff --git a/blog/entry/dashesdilemma/comment_GNOH8ULAHQQQCXCU._comment b/blog/entry/dashesdilemma/comment_GNOH8ULAHQQQCXCU._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..e06f97d--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dashesdilemma/comment_GNOH8ULAHQQQCXCU._comment@@ -0,0 +1,7 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="james"+ nickname="James"+ date="2011-05-05T18:38:31Z"+ content="""+This isn't even a \#firstworldproblem. This is a \#zerothworldproblem.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/datingdummies.mdwn b/blog/entry/datingdummies.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..e21b3fe--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/datingdummies.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,12 @@+[[!meta date="2014-10-21 23:30:00"]]+[[!meta title="Korea Exposé: Dating for Dummies"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom korea society]]++[Dating for+Dummies](http://www.koreaexpose.com/impressions/dating-for-dummies/)++> A couple, obviously bored out of their minds, stare intently at their+> smartphones in a Seoul coffee shop. The small talk, if there is any,+> is painful to eavesdrop on. Despite their matching clothes, ubiquitous+> couple rings, and obligatory selfies together, they seem to have+> little in common.diff --git a/blog/entry/dawkinskennyrowan.mdwn b/blog/entry/dawkinskennyrowan.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..f4f5d70--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dawkinskennyrowan.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,77 @@+[[!meta date="2012-02-23 18:10:00"]]+[[!meta title="Dawkins, Kenny, Williams debate this afternoon"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom scraps]]++Just got back from a Physics lecture theatre to watch the live stream of+a debate between Richard Dawkins$1$ and Rowan Williams, chaired by+Anthony Kenny,$2$ and introduced by the Chancellor.$3$ The topic of the+debate was the ultimate origins of mankind and, eventually, the+universe.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+I went along with Balliol's temporary Chaplain who is from the US and a+Romanian Orthodox Christian who is an academic at the department of+psychiatry here in Oxford. They saw an incoherency in Dawkins that I+didn't, but pointed out that Williams did very well in presenting a+modern Christianity---I agree, for the legions of Dawkinites watching, it+was great to have this perspective put out there, to break various+prejudices about what religion involves.++It seemed to me that things actually got interesting at only two or+three points. And most of these were instigated by Kenny making a+distinction in terminology, clarifying meaning, in order to allow both+participants in the debate to properly state their positions in order+that said positions could interact. It was, therefore, very frustrating+to watch Dawkins particularly (maybe Williams should have been more+vigorous in pursuing these lines) dismiss these thoughts. At one point+Kenny distinguished epistemic and metaphysical possibility, and Dawkins+said that he didn't know what those terms meant; at another Dawkins told+Kenny that he perhaps should have invited a philosopher instead, because+he wasn't one.++At these points we saw the Dawkins who has attracted so much criticism+for being, basically, rude, come out; similarly towards the end of the+discussion when his frustration with religion was coming through. But+this is not what I'm concerned with. It is also the case that I am a+philosophy student who thinks that philosophical problems are always+worth discussing; not everyone agrees, so it may be thought that I'm+just interested in the wrong things; again this isn't my point.++My criticism is that I do not understand why Dawkins refuses to engage+with the dialectical tools that philosophy has spent the past few+thousand years developing, tools designed precisely to allow progress to+be made in these sorts of discussions. It does not take much to learn a+few pieces of terminology; you do not have to acquaint yourself with+super-technical analytic philosophy to do this. And it might have+allowed both parties to make a lot more progress.++One other thing to say briefly: Dawkins has this picture which he+expresses very nicely in the last chapter of *The Greatest Show on+Earth* (and probably elsewhere too) about how the idea of two things+competing in order to survive, adapting to allow this to happen, is in+fact a very simple physical principle: if two things are trying to+occupy the same place or do the same thing, the one that does is best+will survive. Gradually through the addition of a great deal of+complexity we end up with animals and humans suffering in their+conflicts with each other for survival.++This picture is very compelling. The problem---and I appreciate that this+criticism is simple-minded---is that there is a massive amount of faith in+the power of present science to fill in the many, many gaps. This is why+I remain a sceptic about questions about the origin of life and the+universe. What we *can* do is work on the science that affects our lives+*now* and about the dialectic that informs us as to how we should live+them *now*.++One final thing to add. I keep seeing parallels in the development of+thoughts like this and the foundations of western philosophy found in+Plato that I am studying this term. There is so much that we assume that+goes all the way back there. At some point maybe I will be able to write+such connections down and see if they are any good.++$1$ Balliol undergrad++$2$ Sometime master of Balliol++$3$ Again, Balliol+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/dawkinsondeath.mdwn b/blog/entry/dawkinsondeath.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..2440025--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dawkinsondeath.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,8 @@+[[!meta date="2012-03-25 11:50:00"]]+[[!meta title="Dawkins on death"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom science evolution]]++[[!img blog/img/dawkinsondeath.jpg size=500x327]]++I'm no Dawkins fan but I quite liked this which I came across the other+day, even if I think there are better reasons not to be afraid of death.diff --git a/blog/entry/day9diabloiii.mdwn b/blog/entry/day9diabloiii.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..0f94aa8--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/day9diabloiii.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,24 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-21 15:07:00"]]+[[!meta title="Day[9] streaming the Diablo III beta"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom fiction vidya]]++Unproductive day so far as I went for a hair cut this morning---the hair+dressers is the better part of an hour's walk away---and then I've been+watching Day$9$'s Diablo III beta gameplay that replaced the usual+StarCraft II Newbie Tuesday yesterday. It looks like a reasonably fun+game, and it's cool to see they've kept the basic gameplay model from+Diablo II because it was and is so good. Fun to have some of the same+sound effects too. Now, Diablo III isn't a spectator game so it's hard+to judge from here, but it does appear more than a little mindless. Sure+you'll be able to turn up the difficulty, presumably, but it didn't+really feel like Day$9$ was *adventuring*: he was killing monsters but+with instant sell from anywhere, infinite town portals and a button+called 'auto-equip' and things like a ghost telling you to collect three+orbs and place them somewhere, it really didn't feel like action-RPG+adventuring, more WoW style adventuring---i.e. rather shallow. Hopefully+they'll improve on that for the game's release.++*Edit 22/ix/2011:* Also love the way Day$9$ clears out everything+before heading on to the next area, making sure he walks over every bit+of ground etc.etc., just like I do. HalfLife 2 is a continual stream of+breaking open boxes.diff --git a/blog/entry/day9newyearsresolutions.mdwn b/blog/entry/day9newyearsresolutions.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..18021be--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/day9newyearsresolutions.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,54 @@+[[!meta date="2012-01-05 14:25:00"]]+[[!meta title="SC2-years' resolutions"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom fiction vidya starcraft]]++In a [recent+daily](http://blip.tv/day9tv/day-9-daily-393-p1-sc2-year-s-resolutions-5860731)+Day9 made some suggestions for SC2-years' resolutions, and I've decided+to take one or two on, not as New Years' resolutions but just as+interesting things to try. Already after just five games they are making+things a *lot* more fun. Here's my personal combination of the+suggestions:++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""++- Pick four units per match-up and only build these units.+ - PvP: Zealot, Sentry, Stalker, Immortal+ - PvT: Zealot, Sentry, Stalker, Archon+ - PvZ: Zealot, Sentry, Stalker, Colossi.+- Attack at 10 minutes, and at 15, and at 20---at every 5 minute+ interval except at 5m, no matter what---pull back, though, if it's+ clear you're not going to win!+- Really focus on "The Tap", that is, continually checking through all+ production buildings AND structures that are building, by+ hotkeying e.g. assimilators at a new expansion.++Basically I want to work on my mechanics, because it is starting to+happen that I'm hitting games when I just get out-macro'd, and I want a+basic strategy that is sufficient in most cases for these low leagues+that I don't have to think about too much.++My builds are++- PvP: 2 gate robo into pumping units for all these attacks plus+ upgrades+- PvT: 3 gate expand into chargelot--archon with lots of upgrades+- PvZ: FFE if poss. or 3 gate expand,$1$ and then from both transition+ into a 5 gate push, and just keep pushing as required by above+ point, and either upgrades or colossi.++Last night I lost three games doing this and then today I've lost+another three and won three. The three won were PvPs; basically I start+gearing up for my attack and then just target fire any immortal he has+with all my stalkers while making sure that the immortals are all+attacking different stalkers or sentries. Assuming that I have more+stuff, this tends to work.++I am gg'ing pretty much straight away on the approach of roach rushes to+my forge and cannons, or any form of cheese, because I'm not scouting+very much so I'm not in a very good position to try and deal with it as+I'm focussing on the above. Taken together this is all a lot of fun!++$1$ Would prefer three gate sentry expand but not a priority to learn+this right now.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/dayofftidying.mdwn b/blog/entry/dayofftidying.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..d1ea60d--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dayofftidying.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,37 @@+[[!meta date="2012-03-25 14:55:00"]]+[[!meta title="Tidying; reading; the US"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++Day off from revision today and I found myself actively looking forward+to having an opportunity to tidy up my room, folding etc. the pile of+clean laundry on my bedroom floor, emptying inbox etc. Suddenly I+realised that I was looking forward to these things and I was like, oh+dear, did I just hit 35? Felt just like my mother.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+Two other things to report from this week. Mostly getting over fear+described in [recent+post](http://spw.sdf.org/blog/writing/diary/revisionfear.html). And+also, the finality of [finishing Mass+Effect](http://spw.sdf.org/blog/fiction/vidya/masseffect.html) has+finally made me successful at spending less time sitting in front of the+computer: I have been reading for hours and hours and it's great. Also,+not reading trashy fiction but what you might call 'literature'. Over+the past year I have found that I have got to an age where classic books+are not just better intellectually than other stuff, where one thinks+"that was hard work but worth it", but actually better all over---more+enjoyable to read as well as more worthwhile for my mind. This is really+nice.++Secondly one of my tutors this week spend some time myth-busting me on+Oxford graduate philosophy versus US graduate philosophy. She is+American, and thinks that the Oxford course is definitely not better+than the American ones and of course if you go to the US you always get+fully funded. Of course other tutors tell me the Oxford course is by far+the best---usually ones who have never left Oxford. So it looks like I+shall be applying to the US and to Oxford. Tutor also said, given the+bad situation with humanities right now, that I should aim for the top+but if I don't get a place anywhere it's probably best to just go for my+alternative career path rather than trying for longer to get into the+embattled humanities.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/daysarenotfullenough.mdwn b/blog/entry/daysarenotfullenough.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..b56b67c--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/daysarenotfullenough.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,10 @@+[[!meta date="2012-08-31 10:12:00"]]+[[!meta title="'And the days are not full enough'"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom poetry]]++And the days are not full enough
+And the nights are not full enough
+And life slips by like a field mouse
+                Not shaking the grass.++Ezra Pounddiff --git a/blog/entry/daysoftheweek.mdwn b/blog/entry/daysoftheweek.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..c88afd6--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/daysoftheweek.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,25 @@+[[!meta date="2013-02-24 15:39:00"]]+[[!meta title="Korean days of the week"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom korea korean]]++This week my Korean language exchange partner wanted to introduce me to+the Chinese characters associated with the days of the week (the Korean+words for which I already knew); here is an excerpt from the notes she+wrote:++[[blog/korea/korean/daysoftheweek.png]]++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+She got taught in quite a traditional way at school and thinks that+learning these characters is an important part of a Korean's education,+and she really likes characters like this for being really simple as+compared with many others. I think I agree with her that they are+attractive.++When learning about them (even in this incredibly elementary way) I find+myself with a sense of awe similar to that which one gets from reading+really old philosophy (e.g. Plato), that is, you're connecting with an+extremely old tradition which has meant a lot of different things to+different people. Makes me want to learn Chinese/Japanese in order to+learn the characters! Maybe some day I will look into that.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/dcimmortality.mdwn b/blog/entry/dcimmortality.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..3633b72--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dcimmortality.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,27 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-01 17:14:00"]]+[[!meta title="Dinosaur Comics on immortality"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom scraps]]++[Yesterday's Dinosaur Comics+comic](http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic%3D2033) claims that if you+live forever yet have an infinite natural life span but can still die+from, say, falling down the stairs, you are guaranteed to die because in+an infinite lifespan you have an infinity of opportunities to fall down+the stairs so at some point you will eventually do so. Suppose this+occurs at time *t*. Then there is a finite amount of time between your+birth and time *t*, so only a finite number of events can happen in your+life because events take up time and there is only so much of that+available.++Now take any event, *e*, that does not result in your death. We can+safely say that there are infinitely many such events so we can't run+out of them: if not, then if you happened to fall down the stairs at+time *t* + 1 you would potentially have nothing to do for that extra+slot of time because you'd used up all the events. Keep re-choosing *e*+until *e* does not occur before time $t$---but then the event can never+happen because you're dead. Contradiction, so this whole method of+reasoning doesn't work, so there is no guarantee that you fall down the+stairs.++This is why I hate infinity, so why I hate analysis. How the heck am I+going to survive set theory where you have "bigger" infinities?diff --git a/blog/entry/dcimmortality/comment_QQKE43EXLCQ2ED0P._comment b/blog/entry/dcimmortality/comment_QQKE43EXLCQ2ED0P._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..a79442d--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dcimmortality/comment_QQKE43EXLCQ2ED0P._comment@@ -0,0 +1,9 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="jr512"+ nickname="James Robson"+ date="2011-09-05T23:42:21Z"+ content="""+I think it means more the sense "if you roll a dice and keep rolling+forever, the chance that you will roll a 6 is 1"- it's "almost surely".+(See also: )+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/dearkorea.mdwn b/blog/entry/dearkorea.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..9939774--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dearkorea.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,5 @@+[[!meta date="2013-04-18 10:31:00"]]+[[!meta title="Dear Korea comic"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom korea]]++[Dear Korea comic](http://dearkoreacomic.com)diff --git a/blog/entry/debianjessie.mdwn b/blog/entry/debianjessie.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..274c29d--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/debianjessie.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,5 @@+[[!meta date="2015-04-24 03:50:00"]]+[[!meta title="Debian Jessie tomorrow"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech debian]]++[[!img blog/img/debianjessie1.png size=1488x500]]diff --git a/blog/entry/debianpamsshagentauth.mdwn b/blog/entry/debianpamsshagentauth.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..4881db5--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/debianpamsshagentauth.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,46 @@+[[!meta date="2012-02-01 00:22:00"]]+[[!meta title="Use SSH agent to authorise sudo on Debian Lenny"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech gnu+linux]]++Typing passwords is bad. Typing passwords on anything other than your+local machine is really bad. Here's how to use a nice little library to+authorise your use of sudo via your already-running SSH agent.++Quick overview: If you are using SSH properly you are using ssh-agent+([or gpg-agent](http://spw.sdf.org/blog/tech/security/gpgagentssh.html))+to login to remote servers. Presumably you trust machines you have sudo+access on enough to use SSH agent forwarding, so, when SSHing, the+remote machine can pull authentication info from your local agent+(perhaps popping up a password dialog locally if needed) to use+elsewhere. Well, why not require that same information to sudo? If it+can pull the authentication, it's definitely you on your local machine+who's typing the sudo command.++ ,# apt-get install libpam0g-dev libssl-dev++Download+[pamsshagentauth](http://sourceforge.net/projects/pamsshagentauth/).+Extract to wherever you put things you are make && make install'ing on+your server, then++ $./configure+$ make+ ,# make libexecdir=/lib/security install++Now edit the file /etc/pam.d/sudo to replace the line @include+common-auth with++ auth sufficient pam_ssh_agent_auth.so \+ file=%h/.ssh/authorized_keys+ auto required pam_deny.so++Finally visudo and add before the Defaults env_reset line++ Defaults env_keep += SSH_AUTH_SOCK,timestamp_timeout=0++This makes things work and also removes sudo remembering your+authentication---it's your SSH agent's job to do that.++sources:+[1](http://and1equals1.blogspot.com/2010/03/using-ssh-agent-for-sudo-authentication.html),+[2](http://blather.michaelwlucas.com/archives/1106)diff --git a/blog/entry/debianxfce.mdwn b/blog/entry/debianxfce.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..67a47c9--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/debianxfce.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,132 @@+[[!meta date="2012-01-23 15:00:00"]]+[[!meta title="Considering a switch back to Debian Stable with Xfce"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++The *core* of my Emacs setup revolving around Org-mode, plus my+Emacs-styled web browser Conkeror, do not change their configuration+very often at all, so time is not wasted on that, and yet they make the+stuff I actually do go very smoothly as they are setup carefully to make+that happen. The problem is that the rest of my computing setup isn't+quite so slick. There is stuff lumped into Emacs that makes it throw+random errors and refuse to do things and to load slowly; it now takes+upwards of thirty seconds to open my diary on my laptop, for example,+and another 30 seconds to switch to view a day other than today. Solving+these issues tends to be mini-projects: I'll sit down for three or four+hours and get things fixed.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+I think that spending this time would be appropriate if computing were+my main occupation. If I was a programmer or sysadmin, having my setup+tweaked for maximal efficiency in all these operations would make sense.+But I'm not. I have maximal efficiency for web browsing which everybody+does and for flinging text around, which is what I do in studying+philosophy, and because I do this so often, the argument that it is+worth spending the time setting these things up because of the time+savings later on applies. But for computing stuff this isn't really+true. Using a graphical file manager would be stupid if I was always+moving things around servers and whatever, but I don't do very much file+management outside of saving and loading files in Emacs, so my+semi-broken Emacs file manager and the command line aren't worth+tweaking. Spending a lot of time making sure Org-mode does exactly what+I want, though, makes sense, since I depend on it for the things I do+pretty much every single day of my life.++Now, to CRUX, the distribution I use underlying all this, and a+representation of the big issue here. CRUX is really, really cool. The+super-fast boot time brought about by a slick kernel is great to watch:+why use things like initrd and GRUB when you can get by with the likes+of LILO and a simpler kernel? The package management system is also very+elegant. I love the way prt-get works. The two main things attaching me+to my current setup are this sense of coolness, and secondly, the fact+that I've put a lot of time into all this stuff and it feels like a+waste to throw it all away.++The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of what I perceive as+cool here and securely fasten my ego to is really not worth having+because of the downsides above which are only worth overcoming if+computing were a major part of my life. Computing is a part of my life+but it is bigger than it should be, because I occupy myself with the+essentially easy task of fixing these problems which aren't really worth+fixing; I'm fooling myself with them.++Of course all this could be interpreted as another restless move to a+new window manager. Debian Stable with Xfce would be the way to go+because it is something that I will definitely not ever be forced into+messing around with: old, safe versions of software one can rely on, and+no need to compile it all as I presently have to do with CRUX. Indeed,+my experience this morning has been like my experiences in the past when+I get a new computing setup idea. I can't stop thinking about it. The+idea occurred to me about an hour into my work this morning and I could+see my concentration and focus drop off a cliff, and stay like that+until I'd done a little research and started writing this post. The+fever returns, and grips as hard as ever.++However, I think that this is in fact a sensible conclusion to the whole+affair of perfecting my computing setup. I took my enthusiasm too far in+the following ways: I let it escape outside what was actually useful in+my life, that is, it extended to the window manager and operating system+level, and that added on a massive maintenance burden which I'd rather+hand off to Debian; secondly my obsession with putting everything inside+Emacs made Emacs rather worse at what I actually want it for. Also my+minimalist let's-make-everything-fast stuff isn't really true. My setup+uses masses of ram once running and boot time is mostly irrelevant+because I always use suspend rather than turning off nowadays (except+when library scout unplugs suspended battery-free laptop overnight,+grr).++So I now face the heart-rending task of removing these things I see as+really cool. I'll go through my Emacs config and be like, argh, I never+use the features offered by this minor mode, but I feel like I'm not+*adequate* if I remove it from my modeline and stop it from slowing+things down. This will be very hard. Then I'll have to get used to some+new window manager keybindings. This will be easier, as I tend to adapt+to such things quickly. Then I'll have to get used to the feeling that+something I was addicted to for my comfort that I always had this+construction of mine to come back to won't be there anymore, I'll just+have a cold and clinical Emacs staring back at me, waiting for me to do+something useful. I think this is probably a good idea. To make it+easier I'm not going to delete Emacs config lines, just comment them+out; it doesn't make any actual difference of course.++Hopefully I have got across the sense in which I am addicted to my setup+in this post and how I think that's bad outside of core Emacs and+Conkeror, which really are worth the time. I am taking the best aspects+of my software setup project through with me and attempting to throw off+all the unnecessary emotional connection with the rest of it.++I should note that I also want to switch back to mutt from Gnus. I like+Gnus for some fancy features I have setup for quoting and forwarding+messages, and how I can read my webcomics inline, and I like the+integration with Org-mode. However for each one of these advantages I+can quote to you a problem of how it doesn't *quite* work right and it's+not worth fixing. E-mail is less important to me now that I don't do+things like Wikipedia. I just want to get through it basically. So I+will need to spend some time configuring mutt to do a good job of+that---keybindings and integration with my running Emacs session.++So, here's a list of things I need to accomplish to make this happen. I+am currently ahead on work so I think I might spend this evening on+this, leaving computers on overnight to copy files between each other;+git-annex is presently very slow.++- Do and carefully document a Debian Squeeze setup to get the software+ I use in place. This includes OpenVPN and network mounts and+ e-mail routing. Do this on desktop computer. May need to backport+ some things e.g. a decent version of wine for StarCraft.+- Do and document and/or check into git (not sure how well this+ will work) a customised Xfce, carrying over bindings for the window+ manager shortcuts I actually use regularly (there are maybe six+ of these). This will include setting up a terminal emulator for+ quick access.+- Get alternative software going for e.g. my music player.+- Sync files etc.etc. so that computer is usable.+- Set up mutt for e-mail with Emacs and offlineimap. This will take+ a while.+- Hack Emacs config to pieces as described. This will take+ even longer. This will end up dropping e.g. my IRC client so replace+ this with something like xchat, since I almost never use it anyway.+ Maybe drop bitlbee after all these years too, not sure.+- Once sure this all works, re-install laptop to match desktop+ once more. This step can wait because of course all my files will+ still be kept in sync with my epic backup and sync setup.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/debianxfce2.mdwn b/blog/entry/debianxfce2.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..4cd14f2--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/debianxfce2.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,19 @@+[[!meta date="2012-01-26 00:20:00"]]+[[!meta title="Debian and Xfce operational"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++My new environment is setup and it's so horrible. I've got everything I+need working so far as I can tell but there are places where colours are+not what I am used to and the Gnus->mutt transition is a HUGE step+down. Urgh. Bitstream Vera within Emacs is being hinted all wrong, and+it almost hurts my eyes.++What's worse are the three tasks that remain: sort out my Mutt address+book (have no idea how to do that right now), massively strip down+Emacs, and then duplicate this setup on my laptop.++But this is the point. I'm using this as an opportunity to reshape my+habits. I'm robbing myself of a certain degree of efficiency which will+make me uncomfortable here and remind me that I probably shouldn't be at+the computer as much as I am. For the next week or so my laptop will+remain on CRUX so I won't have to suffer this discomfort all the time.diff --git a/blog/entry/declineofhn.mdwn b/blog/entry/declineofhn.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..208b60f--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/declineofhn.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,13 @@+[[!meta date="2011-04-13 08:12:00"]]+[[!meta title="Decline of HN"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech web]]++[Another Way to View the "Decline" of HN | Data+Addict](http://www.georgesaines.com/?p%3D447)++Try to ignore the lashings of words like "startups" and "data" and this+is an interesting post on online communities. I don't spend time on news+sites like [Reddit](http://reddit.com/) and [Hacker+News](http://news.ycombinator.com/) but come across them in searches+from time to time (and I do follow HN on Twitter) and read the comments,+and HN's atmosphere generally impresses me.diff --git a/blog/entry/deductivereducedtoinductive.mdwn b/blog/entry/deductivereducedtoinductive.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..c51cf86--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/deductivereducedtoinductive.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,21 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-20 15:11:00"]]+[[!meta title="Can we reduce deduction to induction?"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom scraps]]++Hume shows us that induction can't be justified by reason---i.e. by+deduction or induction---so us undergraduates like to put induction and+deduction side by side as the two fundamental ways of reasoning. Fine.+It seems clear that we can't reduce induction to deduction; people have+tried but it doesn't tend to work. But I think it might be possible to+reduce *our reliance upon* deduction to induction: we have this magical+faculty that makes mistakes but generally only feels certain when it's+actually got things right, and we learn to judge this throughout our+school Maths lessons, and inductively conclude that it's going to work+again in the future.++Since induction is this automatic thing that we do so habitually, it's+legitimate to claim that deduction is this separate faculty like this, I+think, rather like how Descartes sees the imagination as sort of+separate from the 'core' mind, to be studied like a crystal ball.++Then again we don't treat deductive truths like this at all.diff --git a/blog/entry/deepnagel.mdwn b/blog/entry/deepnagel.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..b7423be--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/deepnagel.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,33 @@+[[!meta date="2012-01-29 13:13:00"]]+[[!meta title="Nagel's depth vs. pyrrhonism"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom scraps]]++Just quoted Nagel in a post on here as I have done before. When I read+Nagel I always get the sense that something very deep is being+investigated: this is both the *feeling* of depth and importance and+also the intellectual realisation that what is being discussed here, if+taken seriously, is going to have implications across philosophy.++The thoughts in the preface to *Mortal Questions* that I just quoted are+driving me away from my pyrrhonism. There is the suggestion there that+it is a foolish hunger for belief that backfires into the claim that+there aren't any answers to be had: more patience is called for.++Wikipedia's characterisation of pyrrhonism is very nice:++> According to them, even the statement that nothing can be known is+> dogmatic. They thus attempted to make their skepticism universal, and+> to escape the reproach of basing it upon a fresh dogmatism. Mental+> imperturbability (ataraxia) was the result to be attained by+> cultivating such a frame of mind. As in Stoicism and Epicureanism, the+> happiness or satisfaction of the individual was the goal of life, and+> all three philosophies placed it in tranquility or indifference.+> According to the Pyrrhonists, it is our opinions or unwarranted+> judgments about things which turn them into desires, painful effort,+> and disappointment. From all this a person is delivered who abstains+> from judging one state to be preferable to another. But, as complete+> inactivity would have been synonymous with death, the skeptic, while+> retaining his consciousness of the complete uncertainty enveloping+> every step, might follow custom (or nature) in the ordinary affairs of+> life.+> [source](https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Pyrrhonism)diff --git a/blog/entry/deft.mdwn b/blog/entry/deft.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..cba2bd7--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/deft.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,19 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-17 11:48:00"]]+[[!meta title="Deft"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech emacs]]++emacs-fu [pointed+me](http://emacs-fu.blogspot.com/2011/09/quick-note-taking-with-deft-and-org.html)+towards [Deft](http://jblevins.org/projects/deft/), an attempt to clone+the Notational Velocity program for Macintosh computers into Emacs, and+therefore (the author's intention) into GNU/Linux.++I can see how this would be better suited than my current Org setup for+quick notes, which is usually set up as something temporary, for future+blogging and then my blog is my reference, but this doesn't always work.+Since it's so trivial to setup, I've installed Deft to see if it's of to+use to be as something smoother, but I doubt it will be tbh.++*Edit:* Forget this---the whole point of deft is that it uses file+modification times, which are very hard to maintain properly with git,+so not much use to me. I'll just keep creating nodes in refile.org.diff --git a/blog/entry/dennett.mdwn b/blog/entry/dennett.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..50af4fd--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dennett.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,26 @@+[[!meta date="2012-11-23 00:13:00"]]+[[!meta title="Daniel Dennett"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom scraps]]++This week I'm writing an essay on the explanatory gap problem of+consciousness. My essay will stick to examining Dennett's views on+consciousness. So I'm reading a lot of Dennett. [[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""Two things strike+me: firstly, how clever he seems to be in that I keep coming up with+objections, and he always answers them on the very next page---over and+over this has occurred. Either he's leading me on spectacularly well or+he's writing for the kind of philosophy student I am. Secondly, I am+sick of Dennett's arrogant style of writing. All these little opinions+of things as 'silly' or 'boring' or 'not worth anything but laughter'.+Stick to the prescribed style!++I am hoping that I can nail Dennett by showing that he doesn't actually+deal with the problem he sets out to deal with. I don't know if I'll be+successful, because he's very persuasive, and he's writing is ideally+suited to work on someone brought up like me, it seems. I can't help but+compare Dennett's attitude towards his subject with other philosophers+and feel like I want to put Dennett and co. in their place, but don't+quite know how to write down exactly what it is they are doing wrong.++This is all part of my 'how important is Science, really?' issue that+I've been swinging all over the place on during the course of my degree.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/depressiondescription.mdwn b/blog/entry/depressiondescription.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..ee116e5--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/depressiondescription.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,56 @@+[[!meta date="2015-05-25 21:32:00"]]+[[!meta title="A modern description of clinical depression"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom science psychiatry]]++I was interested to read through this self-help piece which claims to+offer a modern and up-to-date understanding of clinical depression. I+came across the article while reading commentary on the end of a TV+series I just finished watching; someone on a message board linked to+this to help people finishing the series cope with its end.++[Understanding Depression: Causes, Symptoms and+Treatment](http://counsellingresource.com/lib/therapy/self-help/understanding-depression/)++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+I hadn't read an explanation of what the "chemical imbalance" that is+often talked about actually amounts to, so I enjoyed learning about+that. The article is unambiguous in its view of antidepressive+medication and how depression ought to be tackled, and for that I should+think that it would offer a lot of hope to someone suffering from+depression. Also to its credit, it doesn't make it easy to diagnose+yourself as depressed by giving a long list of vague symptoms that+everyone suffers from from time to time.++The editorial view of the article is that prolonged periods of stress+deplete seratonin, and that the only thing to be done is to get these+seratonin levels back up, which is what antidepressants are for.++> In selecting a therapist/counselor, each one is different. All have+> different personalities, styles, and attitudes. Select one that has+> your style and most important -- somebody that makes sense. If you+> meet one that says "I don't believe in medications" -- get out of+> there! That therapist is about thirty years behind modern treatment.+>+> $...$+>+> As a word of caution, many inexperienced therapists or those with+> limited training may miss the fact that you are depressed. You may+> arrive at the therapist office preoccupied about something in your+> childhood that actually happened 20 years ago. $...$ The+> inexperienced therapist might focus on the "garbage truck" thoughts+> and miss the big picture, the presence of depression. If you are+> clinically depressed, weekly discussions of your past as told by the+> garbage truck will only prolong your depression and possibly intensify+> it.++A response to this is that a therapist who focussed on seratonin levels+might be missing the bigger picture. If you've been under a prolonged+period of stress that have caused your seratonin levels to drop, then+your life choices might not be in order, and it might be things from+twenty years ago that had you making those choices. I am suspicious of+the idea that the stream of negative thinking and doubt that piles in+continually into the mind of someone who is depressed should just be+dismissed, when psychoanalysis has been able to harness it as a rich+source of information leading to the development of treatment for+people's deepest and more reoccurrent neuroses.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/descartesgettingeasier.mdwn b/blog/entry/descartesgettingeasier.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..f4c4f99--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/descartesgettingeasier.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,51 @@+[[!meta date="2012-03-30 16:05:00"]]+[[!meta title="Making some progress"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++Revision going pretty well, wow, don't think I've ever said that in my+life before. [[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""I'm getting more into a routine with it which helps,+of course, but also I'm finding the work more successful than expected.+The History of Philosophy from Descartes to Kant paper I am doing was my+biggest worry w.r.t. philosophy, because it was something that I did+well over a year ago and it was a time when I wasn't putting anywhere+near as much time into philosophy as I should have been. So I've been+putting a lot of time into that, and it seems to be paying off: today I+successfully put together a pretty decent exam-style essay on one of the+topics with a Clever Point; that's what it's all about, for each paper I+basically need five or six Clever Points (amounting to twenty in all)+that I can write out in the exam.++This point was pretty incomprehensible in the text it comes from,+typical Bernard Williams prose, and it was my tute notes that saved me:+tute notes my tutor at the time was always trying to stop me from+making. Well, this time they made things perfectly clear. 'The worry is+that the semantic content of the willing is talking about the fingers+yet the thought is only capable of moving the brain; on Descartes' story+the semantic content of the thought is doing the causing, but+psychokinesis seems only able to affect a part of the brain, which isn't+something we can will the movement of.' YEAH!++This gives me hope for my two maths papers which are total enigmas right+now. I opened up my Galois Theory notes the other day and very little+was recognisable; 'counting homomorphisms from simple extensions' was+pretty much the only thing I recognised but there's no way I can prove+the theorem atm. And this is a course I did quite a lot of work on over+the vacation at Christmas and New Year, so only a few months ago.+Topology & Groups, my hardest course, is even more baffling. Part of+this is that I just spent a term not doing maths, and having an amazing+time, and I strongly suspect that my subconscious convinced itself I was+never doing maths again.++The only problem is just how long this is taking. I've been revising for+almost three weeks now and have made it through two or three of those+twenty philosophy topics. For maths my goal before term begins is to+have my notes ready for each course so I can spend term doing past paper+questions and filling in gaps in my notes and mind as I go. So far I am+at something like 65--70% completion of my notes.++So, I guess I should have pushed myself to do more hours per day in the+first few weeks of the vacation. However I'm now in a position to do+loads, and to ramp it up even more once term begins, so it's important+not to try and judge where I am so much and rather to just keep pushing+myself to stick with it.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/desertfox.mdwn b/blog/entry/desertfox.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..8ca9b0b--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/desertfox.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,13 @@+[[!meta date="2015-06-12 09:39:00"]]+[[!meta title="Desert fox"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom cute]]++[[blog/cute/desertfox1.gif]]++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+[[blog/cute/desertfox2.gif]]++[[blog/cute/desertfox3.gif]]++([source](http://headlikeanorange.tumblr.com/))+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/designedlifestyle.mdwn b/blog/entry/designedlifestyle.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..7e9735e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/designedlifestyle.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,7 @@+[[!meta date="2014-07-13 23:55:00"]]+[[!meta title="Consumerism and the working day to tire you out"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics work]]++[Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The+Forty-Hour Workweek) | Films for+Action](http://www.filmsforaction.org/news/your_lifestyle_has_already_been_designed/)diff --git a/blog/entry/desiresfluctuating.mdwn b/blog/entry/desiresfluctuating.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..7803fd4--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/desiresfluctuating.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,32 @@+[[!meta date="2011-11-15 16:59:00"]]+[[!meta title="Desires are fluctuating"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom scraps]]++> There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's+> desire. The other is to get it.---George Bernard Shaw, *Man and+> Superman*++Desires fluctuate. So should we actually trust and act upon desires? I+am distinctly aware that things that I on occasion desire above all else+are things I desire to get as far away from as possible once I've got+hold of them, whatever they are.++Central tenet of Buddhism is that desire is bad. [Socrates supposedly+though the+same](http://www.philosophyparadise.com/quotes/socrates.html):++> The fewer our wants the more we resemble the gods.[1]++HOWEVER being motivated to always get better is also important. Is this+different from desire? If we can make a Kantian story work in which it's+rational to desire, as he would put it, 'one's own perfection and the+happiness of others', then this is okay, but if such a story doesn't+work---and few nowadays would such an account convincing I suspect---then my+initial gloss is that the idea that desire is generally not so great+leads to a conclusion of not doing very much at all.++Humean thoughts about reason being the slave of the passions etc.etc.+might work here but I disagree with Hume on that one so not much use to+me.++[1] Whether this is the Platonic Socrates or the real one I have no ideadiff --git a/blog/entry/devshm.mdwn b/blog/entry/devshm.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..69e6d38--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/devshm.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,9 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-14 09:30:00"]]+[[!meta title="/dev/shm"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech gnu+linux]]++[What is /dev/shm and its practical+usage](http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/what-is-devshm-and-its-practical-usage.html)++Interesting to compare this with tmpfs other examples of filesystems+kept in RAM.diff --git a/blog/entry/diredfastfilterextension.mdwn b/blog/entry/diredfastfilterextension.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..3a42ba3--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/diredfastfilterextension.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2014-05-20 08:32:00"]]+[[!meta title="Use shell globbing to filter your dired view"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech emacs]]++[Dired: Filter file names | Got+Emacs?](http://emacsworld.blogspot.kr/2008/09/dired-filter-file-names.html)diff --git a/blog/entry/disableannoyances.mdwn b/blog/entry/disableannoyances.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..92b2a2c--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/disableannoyances.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,14 @@+[[!meta date="2013-06-21 11:26:00"]]+[[!meta title="For future reference: disable Windows 7 annoyances"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech windows]]++[Disable+libraries](http://www.askvg.com/how-to-disable-libraries-feature-in-windows-7/)+[Remove favourites from+explorer](http://www.askvg.com/how-to-remove-favorites-from-windows-7-explorers-navigation-pane/)+[Remove libraries from+explorer](http://www.askvg.com/how-to-remove-libraries-from-windows-7-explorers-navigation-pane/)+[Disable+"homegroup"](http://www.askvg.com/how-to-disable-homegroup-feature-in-windows-7/)++from "Tweaking with Vishal".diff --git a/blog/entry/dispatchproxy.mdwn b/blog/entry/dispatchproxy.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..ae0cf9d--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dispatchproxy.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,5 @@+[[!meta date="2014-01-09 06:34:00"]]+[[!meta title="Use wired, wireless and mobile data on your computer simultaneously"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech net]]++[dispatch-proxy](https://github.com/Morhaus/dispatch-proxy)diff --git a/blog/entry/divided-by-infinity.mdwn b/blog/entry/divided-by-infinity.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..188424a--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/divided-by-infinity.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,9 @@+[[!meta date="2012-08-26 21:38:00"]]+[[!meta title="Divided by Infinity"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom fiction short]]++[Divided by Infinity by Robert Charles+Wilson](http://www.tor.com/stories/2010/08/divided-by-infinity)++A nice piece of science-fiction a friend sent me a year or so ago that I+finally got round to reading a month or so ago.diff --git a/blog/entry/divineandordered.mdwn b/blog/entry/divineandordered.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..436bb00--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/divineandordered.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,8 @@+[[!meta date="2012-04-12 18:36:00"]]+[[!meta title="Divine and ordered"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy meta]]++> Then the philosopher, by consorting with what is ordered and divine+> and despite all the slanders around that say otherwise, himself+> becomes as divine and ordered as a human being can. (Plato, *Rep.*,+> 500c--d)diff --git a/blog/entry/dndblackboards.mdwn b/blog/entry/dndblackboards.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..b234a49--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dndblackboards.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,14 @@+[[!meta date="2011-04-03 17:11:00"]]+[[!meta title="DnD blackboards"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom photos]]++Good session of old fashioned DnD (strictly speaking+[Pathfinder](https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Pathfinder_Roleplaying_Game))+this afternoon with [Jonathan](http://jgh.me.uk/) in the DM's chair. He+decided to add a sense of atmosphere by adding the inn's blackboards to+his dining room.++[[!img blog/img/dndblackboard1.jpg size=214x300]]+[[!img blog/img/dndblackboard2.jpg size=214x300]]++(photo via [Ben](http://mooseguy.com/))diff --git a/blog/entry/doctorwhophilos.mdwn b/blog/entry/doctorwhophilos.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..f58eb0c--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/doctorwhophilos.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,13 @@+[[!meta date="2011-06-13 13:55:00"]]+[[!meta title="Why isn't there more philosophy in Doctor Who?"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom scraps]]++Why isn't there more philosophy in Doctor Who? There is a lot of+science---obviously not actual science since by definition it's not+science we're capable of doing---so, there's the consequences of having+that kind of science and how it means we are to interact. But there is+no philosophy going on. The Doctor's ethics are very ordinary, but he's+lived for 900 years; he must surely have something more interesting to+say. Something controversial to get people thinking. And he knows more+than any human has ever known; surely he must have some thoughts on+epistemology too.diff --git a/blog/entry/doctorwhophilos/comment_44933M3PHTYZ4LVQ._comment b/blog/entry/doctorwhophilos/comment_44933M3PHTYZ4LVQ._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..2d66f1b--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/doctorwhophilos/comment_44933M3PHTYZ4LVQ._comment@@ -0,0 +1,7 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="jgh"+ nickname="Jonathan"+ date="2011-06-13T15:20:22Z"+ content="""+'Cos the Doctor wants to actually help humanity? :P+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/doctorwhophilos/comment_MRE29UB9VYYJZJGY._comment b/blog/entry/doctorwhophilos/comment_MRE29UB9VYYJZJGY._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..7d35d0d--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/doctorwhophilos/comment_MRE29UB9VYYJZJGY._comment@@ -0,0 +1,14 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="jr512"+ nickname="James Robson"+ date="2011-06-16T02:00:21Z"+ content="""+Because that would make for a terrible, terrible TV show :P. Also: he is+a practical fellow. + + Thomas: your assumption is that a young body is the same thing as a+young mind. But Time Lords have the power of regeneration: ageing is an+optional thing for them. What with all the running down corridors the+Doctor's hijinks involve, a body with flexible knees is probably a+must-have.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/doctorwhophilos/comment_N8LU6K8DP7R3SWFJ._comment b/blog/entry/doctorwhophilos/comment_N8LU6K8DP7R3SWFJ._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..fca34e9--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/doctorwhophilos/comment_N8LU6K8DP7R3SWFJ._comment@@ -0,0 +1,14 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="t"+ nickname="Thomas Jollans"+ date="2011-06-13T17:53:02Z"+ content="""+This leads to another puzzle: Why is a 900-year-old timelord played by a+twenty-something on TV? + + As much as I enjoy Matt Smith's acting, The Doctor is not, should not+be, a young character. + + The BBC's principle is probably that action creates good ratings, and+an old man thinking a lot probably doesn't.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/docviewauctex.mdwn b/blog/entry/docviewauctex.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..dac9b84--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/docviewauctex.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,12 @@+[[!meta date="2011-03-25 09:15:00"]]+[[!meta title="docview + AUCTeX"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech emacs]]++On the left we have Emacs PDF viewer, which doesn't produce as good+quality images as a proper viewer but it's good enough for these+purposes, and on the right we have my highly tuned LaTeX editing+environment based around AUCTeX and CD-LaTeX mode. C-c C-c y RET saves+and compiles the LaTeX and the display on the left automatically+updates. A very efficient way to write my revision notes.++[[!img blog/img/docviewauctex.png size=300x168]]diff --git a/blog/entry/doinggoodbetter.mdwn b/blog/entry/doinggoodbetter.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..46e5b8a--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/doinggoodbetter.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2015-10-11 02:42:00"]]+[[!meta title="Pretty solid review of effective altruism"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy ethics]]++[Amia Srinivasan reviews "Doing Good Better" |+LRB](http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n18/amia-srinivasan/stop-the-robot-apocalypse)diff --git a/blog/entry/dontalwaysbebusy.mdwn b/blog/entry/dontalwaysbebusy.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..d16186d--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dontalwaysbebusy.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,9 @@+[[!meta date="2013-03-13 09:51:00"]]+[[!meta title="Don't always be busy"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy academia]]++[Stuck in Neutral? A+Suggestion](http://philosopherscocoon.typepad.com/blog/2013/02/stuck-in-neutral-a-suggestion.html)++> ... I've noticed a very strong historical relationship with the "alone+> time" I've given myself and my philosophical productivity.diff --git a/blog/entry/dontseem.mdwn b/blog/entry/dontseem.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..98f5573--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dontseem.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,14 @@+[[!meta date="2012-05-30 07:02:00"]]+[[!meta title="Yes you can"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom scraps]]++"Sean STOP IT you have got to stop this catastrophic thinking. Here's a+theorem of psychodynamics on this. By thinking of this fantasy future+self where everything is going wrong, the gap between the present moment+and this future is filled with anxiety, leading to depression and+gloom."++"I know, Bob, I just don't seem to be able to stop."++"The fact that you say 'don't seem to be able' rather than 'can't' tells+me that you know you can."diff --git a/blog/entry/dostoevskyworship.mdwn b/blog/entry/dostoevskyworship.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..854598f--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dostoevskyworship.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,12 @@+[[!meta date="2012-09-28 20:53:00"]]+[[!meta title="Worship"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy life]]++> So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and+> so painfully as to find someone to worship. ---Dostoevsky++I don't know the context for this so I might be misinterpreting it, and+I would replace 'someone' with 'something', then it is spot on. I find+my thoughts running, "well, at least there is truth here" when+considering some institution, (often historical) individual or piece of+writing, over and over and over again.diff --git a/blog/entry/dota2international.mdwn b/blog/entry/dota2international.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..fcef453--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dota2international.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,12 @@+[[!meta date="2011-08-17 16:44:00"]]+[[!meta title="DotA 2"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom fiction vidya]]++[Teaser video](http://dota2.com/trailer/) caught me by surprise+yesterday then a [DotA 2+tournament](http://dota2.com/tournaments/international/) to watch today.+Such annoying commentators! So much lag! Looks like a worthy successor+to DotA but not sure I am going to buy it outside of Steam sales: I+already have one competitive online game I am getting into, and DotA+games are a lot longer than SC2 games and I've never really been very+good at it. Dunno though, will see how development pans out.diff --git a/blog/entry/douglasadamsinternet.mdwn b/blog/entry/douglasadamsinternet.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..439cd3f--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/douglasadamsinternet.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,11 @@+[[!meta date="2011-05-15 12:03:00"]]+[[!meta title="Douglas Adams predicts Web 2.0"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech web]]++[How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet | Douglas+Adams](http://www.douglasadams.com/dna/19990901-00-a.html)++This is really insightful. Do we want to be tribal again though? I can+see that it might be good to have lots of trivial relationships with+those around us in a way that Facebook seems to bring back, but if this+is at the cost of better relationships, then I disagree.diff --git a/blog/entry/dowhatyoulove.mdwn b/blog/entry/dowhatyoulove.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..bd3c8bd--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dowhatyoulove.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2014-02-18 13:33:00"]]+[[!meta title=""Do What You Love" serves the status quo"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics class]]++[In the Name of Love by Miya+Tokumitsu](https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/01/in-the-name-of-love/)diff --git a/blog/entry/drwhos5.mdwn b/blog/entry/drwhos5.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..2dee1ec--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/drwhos5.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,19 @@+[[!meta date="2011-04-22 00:11:00"]]+[[!meta title="Emergency temporal shift"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom fiction tv]]++Just finished a marathon of the final four episodes of Dr Who series 5,+the most recent, and so now I have only the 2010 Christmas Special to+watch before being fully prepared for the return of the show this+weekend. There are a large number of David Tennant episodes I've missed,+such as all those specials a few years ago, though.++How does this show capture so? The *power* of the stories and characters+within them? Their *force*? It's quite different from so much else in+that it gets pretty much everyone in. The stories are simple, and yet so+not simple. I don't get it.++[[blog/fiction/tv/drwhos5.jpg]]++(picture from the BBC via [the+Telegraph](http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/4124591/Doctor-Who-Introducing-Matt-Smith-the-26-year-old-Time-Lord.html))diff --git a/blog/entry/dudmankorean.mdwn b/blog/entry/dudmankorean.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..ab3a24b--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dudmankorean.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,151 @@+[[!meta date="2014-09-29 09:54:00"]]+[[!meta title="Evidence from Korean in support of the views of V.H. Dudman"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing philos]]++My+[late](http://spw.sdf.org/blog/philosophy/philosophers/bobhargrave2012.html)+philosophy tutor Bob Hargrave ran a sect of supporters of the radical+philosophical views of the grammarian [V.H.+Dudman](http://www.smh.com.au/comment/obituaries/logician-with-a-flair-for-grammar-20100110-m0ow.html).+One of the surviving members has indicated it might well prove useful+for me to present some evidence from Korean in favour of one of Dudman's+key theses. That thesis is that natural languages have no future tense.+He claims that purported future tense sentences are statements of the+conclusions of inductive inferences.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+Three caveats, all of which I might in the future try to rectify, should+the information I present here prove to be academically useful. Firstly,+I'm not going to discuss Dudman's views themselves in this quick blog+post, mainly because I have not looked at them for more than a year. A+reading list prepared by Bob may be found on this [archived+copy](https://web.archive.org/web/20120214090616/http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ball0888/manifesto/dudman.htm)+of his website. Secondly, I am not in the least bit conversant with the+academic study of Korean linguistics, so I shan't be saying anything+about or citing any material from that field. Thirdly, my Korean level+is uncertified and relatively low. I've been studying inconsistently for+two years. This being said, I am confident in my understanding of the+meaning and usage of the two simple grammatical forms which I discuss in+this blog post.++Some elementary facts about Korean. Since the early twentieth century,+almost all Korean has been written in the *hangeul* alphabet.[1] This+alphabet is not quite perfectly phonetic, as the Korean language has+evolved over time. However it is close enough that in order to explain+what I want to explain to readers totally unfamiliar with Korean, I can+work with the writing system directly with almost no transcriptions into+the Latin alphabet. The reader is invited to consider the evidence I+present in terms of the syntax of *hangeul*, and imagine an isomorphism+between *hangeul* and the spoken language.++Korean is highly contextual. What does not need to be said is not said,+including, for example, the subject of a sentence, which is compulsory+in English declarative sentences. This explains the wide variety of+possible meanings in English for a single one of my examples below.++Some consonants of *hangeul* are ㅎ, ㄹ, ㅇ, ㅁ, ㄱ, ㅅ and some vowels+are ㅓ, ㅣ, ㅕ, ㅜ, ㅗ, ㅠ. These are put together into uniformly sized+blocks where each block represents a spoken syllable. These syllables+have a starting consonant and at least one vowel, and then optionally an+final consonant: 하 *ha* has no such consonant; 한 *han* has one.++Korean verbs and adjectives start in their dictionary form, ending in+다. Korean sentences list the subject, object, indirect object etc.,+suffixed with particles to indicate which of these they are, and then+conclude with a verb or adjective conjugated as a predicate. Different+conjugation patterns give various shades of meaning. A verb or adjective+may be conjugated as a modifier rather than a predicate. It is then+placed before the noun it is to modify, which is suffixed as usual with+a particle indicating its grammatical position. Here is a case of the+adjective 맛있다, to be delicious, in both of those roles, in the+present tense. '것' means something like 'thing'.++이 것은 **맛있어**. +This thing is delicious.++이 것은 **맛있는** 것이야. +This thing is a delicious thing.++Verbs and adjectives are given past meaning by adding the suffixes 았 or+었; the choice depends on the final vowel of the verb stem. This is the+only non-idiomatic way to have a sentence-concluding predicate say+something about the past. By contrast, there are a variety of ways to+say something about the future, and crucially for Dudman, all these+forms may be used to express conclusions of uncertain, non-deductive+inferences about the past, present or future.++I will give examples of these various usages of the two most common ways+to say something about the future. Pay close attention to the variety of+meanings, that isn't possible with 았/었 alone. 어요 and 다 are+conjugations from the dictionary form into the present or past tense+whose differences are irrelevant.++맛있겠어요. +It will be delicious. / It's going to be delicious.++맛있겠다! +It looks delicious. / I guess that it is delicious. / Based on what+you've said, I think it's delicious. / **Maybe it's delicious.**++맛있었겠어요. +It must have been delicious. / It sounds like it was delicious. / It+seems to me that it was delicious. / **It was probably delicious.**+(here 었 and 겠 are used together)++잘 모르겠어요. +I don't know well. (모르다: to not know; 잘 well (adverb). Here 겠 just+makes the sentence a bit less direct; this is a very common fixed+expression one might use to one's superior in the strictly hierarchical+Korean culture. I hear it almost every day.)++#### --ㄹ/을++This ending converts a verb into a modifier with future or unactualised+meaning. 을 or ㄹ is selected based on the presence or absence of a+final consonant in the preceding syllable. Here are some of its uses as+a modifier, not as part of a sentence, to show how it works:++내릴 문 +the doors you will leave the train from (내리다: to get off e.g. a+train; 문: door(s)).++요리할 수 +a way or method of cooking (요리하다: to cook; 수 way or method)++This latter is used with the verb 있다, the verb of existence, to+express possibility:++요리할 수 있어요. +He can cook.++Now for the sentences:++내일엔 요리할 것이야. +Tomorrow I will cook. (lit. concerning the point in time tomorrow, it is+a cooking thing)++맛있을 것이야. +It will be delicious. / It's probably delicious. / It sounds delicious.+/ It looks delicious. / I guess that it's delicious etc.++맛있었을 것이야. It was probably delicious. / It sounds like it was+delicious. / Based on what you've said it seems to me that it was+delicious. (here the past tense marker 었 is combined with this+grammatical form)++맛있었을 것니? +Do you think it was delicious?++Notes+=====++[1] /Hangeul/ was invented in the 1400s but it took several centuries to+fully displace a convuluted application of classical Chinese characters.+The first syllable, *han*, is the Korean pronunciation of the classical+Chinese character 韓 which means Korea. The second syllable, *geul*, is+the native Korean word for markings, script or writing.++Developed before any of the scientific apparatus of modern linguistics+had been developed, let alone transferred west to east, *hangeul* could+easily be thought Korea's greatest academic achievement.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/duply.mdwn b/blog/entry/duply.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..f909992--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/duply.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,9 @@+[[!meta date="2011-08-28 21:10:00"]]+[[!meta title="Duply: simple duplicity"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech cloud]]++[Duply (simple duplicity)](http://duply.net/)++This looks like a great way of using duplicity. I have my own simple+scripts that work, but if I were to start backing up something else I'd+probably check this out.diff --git a/blog/entry/dynamicunityofreality.mdwn b/blog/entry/dynamicunityofreality.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..fdf9b6b--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/dynamicunityofreality.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,30 @@+[[!meta date="2012-05-06 09:31:00"]]+[[!meta title="The Dynamic Unity of Reality"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy metaphysics]]++What, as a student of the modern analytic Academy, am I supposed to make+of something like this:++[The Dynamic Unity of Reality](http://www.spaceandmotion.com/)++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+> Despite several thousand years of failure to correctly understand+> physical reality (hence the current postmodern view that this is+> impossible) there is an obvious solution. Simply unite Science+> (Occam's Razor / Simplicity) with Metaphysics (Dynamic Unity of+> Reality) and describe reality from only one substance existing, as+> Leibniz wrote; 'Reality cannot be found except in One single source,+> because of the interconnection of all things with one another'. Given+> we all experience many minds and many material things, but always in+> one common Space, we are thus required to describe physical reality in+> terms of Space. We then find there is only one solution, a Wave+> Structure of Matter (WSM) where the electron is a spherical standing+> wave. See Wave Diagrams. In hindsight the error was obvious, to try+> and describe an interconnected reality with discrete 'particles',+> which then required forces / fields to connect them in space and time.+> This was always just a mathematical solution which never explained how+> matter was connected across the universe.++This is presumably just madness. I am driven, though, to try and+understand what would motivate someone to write it.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/earlysummergaming.mdwn b/blog/entry/earlysummergaming.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..49612d7--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/earlysummergaming.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,20 @@+[[!meta date="2011-07-19 15:20:00"]]+[[!meta title="Early summer gaming"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom fiction vidya]]++Been playing a few games recently. First off I've actually got into+Left4Dead 2 after being [given it as a gift a while+back](http://old.notes.sean.whitton.me/2010/11/two-new-games-for-the-vac.html)+but only playing it a couple of times with friends; now I've actually+played some single player. It's deeply engaging and has me on the edge+of my seat in a way that I haven't been for a very long time with+gaming, which is fun if exhausting.++Also started playing Trine from the Humble Frozenbyte Bundle. Enjoying+it, gorgeous artsy graphics, but nothing super-special in the way that+*Braid* was.++After getting it going under Wine again, I played a game of DotA this+morning. Didn't do very well but enjoyed it and might play some more+this summer. Wine's support has improved in numerous ways which make the+whole experience a lot pleasanter.diff --git a/blog/entry/easternsun.mdwn b/blog/entry/easternsun.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..421a2c9--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/easternsun.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,9 @@+[[!meta date="2011-09-22 12:38:00"]]+[[!meta title="Eastern Sun"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom fiction vidya]]++[Eastern Sun 3.00+Database](http://homepage3.nifty.com/miyoshino/es/es3top.htm)++A Diablo II mod, apparently, anyone tried it? Balancing and UI+improvements I think.diff --git a/blog/entry/eclipse.mdwn b/blog/entry/eclipse.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..2a17b99--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/eclipse.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,11 @@+[[!meta date="2013-08-22 23:45:00"]]+[[!meta title="Eclipse + expansion"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom photos]]++[[!img blog/img/eclipse1.jpg size=500x375]]++[[!img blog/img/eclipse2.jpg size=500x375]]++(source+[1](https://twitter.com/mooseguy/status/370625990978187264/photo/1),+[2](https://twitter.com/mooseguy/status/370626243596922881/photo/1))diff --git a/blog/entry/edinburghcoursera.mdwn b/blog/entry/edinburghcoursera.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..4c38b31--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/edinburghcoursera.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,9 @@+[[!meta date="2012-11-15 11:16:00"]]+[[!meta title="Free online introductory philosophy course"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy outreach]]++[Introduction to Philosophy |+Coursera](https://www.coursera.org/course/introphil)++A new lecture each week, from philosophers at the University of+Edinburgh. Looks really interesting.diff --git a/blog/entry/edinburghcoursera/comment_NTSXBEHMJ2G183F8._comment b/blog/entry/edinburghcoursera/comment_NTSXBEHMJ2G183F8._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..d3ab7c1--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/edinburghcoursera/comment_NTSXBEHMJ2G183F8._comment@@ -0,0 +1,12 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="notevenhere"+ nickname="Conor Hunter"+ date="2012-11-17T02:18:24Z"+ content="""+Conor Hunter from school wants to say hi, but if there's no reply I'm+gonna be there with a gang a N.I.G.G.A.S (not racist we used an A) to+tear down you punk-ass mo-fos. LOOK OUT EDINBURGH!!!!!!! + + + He'll know what it means+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/eem.mdwn b/blog/entry/eem.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..cae8f41--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/eem.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,6 @@+[[!meta date="2012-11-01 17:17:00"]]+[[!meta title="Oxford has a remote wake-on-LAN service"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech environment]]++[Oxford Energy Efficiency and Monitoring+Services](https://eem.ox.ac.uk/)diff --git a/blog/entry/elevatorbuttons.mdwn b/blog/entry/elevatorbuttons.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..7d4582c--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/elevatorbuttons.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,7 @@+[[!meta date="2012-01-11 18:15:00"]]+[[!meta title="Elevator buttons"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom comics]]++[[blog/comics/elevatorbuttons.png]]++[source](http://thedoghousediaries.com/3354)diff --git a/blog/entry/elitecolleges.mdwn b/blog/entry/elitecolleges.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..393af1e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/elitecolleges.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,43 @@+[[!meta date="2014-10-08 01:07:00"]]+[[!meta title="Oxbridge & Harvard"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom politics class]]++[Are Élite Colleges Bad for the Soul? | New+Yorker](http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/01/poison-ivy)++> Learning is supposed to be about falling down and getting up again+> until you do it right. But, in an academic culture that demands+> constant achievement, failures seem so perilous that the best and the+> brightest often spend their young years in terrariums of excellence.+> The result is what Deresiewicz calls "a violent aversion to risk."+> Even after graduation, élite students show a taste for track-based,+> well-paid industries like finance and consulting (which in 2010+> together claimed more than a third of the jobs taken by the graduating+> classes of Harvard, Cornell, and Princeton). And no wonder. A striver+> can "get into" Goldman Sachs the way that she got into Harvard. There+> is no résumé submission or recruiting booth if you want to make a+> career as a novelist.++> Reading for self-recognition is the default factory setting in most+> people's minds. It is precisely the approach to literature that you+> *don't* need to attend college to learn.++> People had a tendency to want too much from a college degree, Nisbet+> warned:+>+> Far more deadly to the character of the university than its+> exploitation in economic terms is its exploitation in psychological+> terms. That is, cultivation of the pernicious idea that by sending+> young people to universities one is teaching them to be human beings,+> to become citizens, to become leaders, or to find peace of mind,+> individuality, liberal arts, "soul," or whatever may be in the public+> mind at the moment.+>+> In other words: we're here to tell you everything you should know+> about Chaucer, not to fix your life.++> A chief terror of higher education for a lot of students isn't the+> exams, or the term papers, or even the terribly narrow but weirdly+> long bunk beds. It is the choice involved in working through an+> uncharted terrain whose potential is reported to be limitless. That+> task is a microcosm of life.diff --git a/blog/entry/emacs24debian.mdwn b/blog/entry/emacs24debian.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..ad4f692--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/emacs24debian.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,17 @@+[[!meta date="2012-06-15 13:12:00"]]+[[!meta title="Emacs 24 on Debian Stable"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech emacs]]++Add to /etc/apt/sources.list:++ deb http://emacs.naquadah.org/ stable/+ deb-src http://emacs.naquadah.org/ stable/++Execute:++ ,# wget -q -O - http://emacs.naquadah.org/key.gpg | sudo apt-key add -+ ,# apt-get update+ ,# apt-get install emacs-snapshot+ ,# update-alternatives --set emacs /usr/bin/emacs-snapshot++This post the first thing I've done in Emacs 24!diff --git a/blog/entry/emacs24elpa.mdwn b/blog/entry/emacs24elpa.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..5925eda--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/emacs24elpa.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,24 @@+[[!meta date="2011-11-23 10:56:00"]]+[[!meta title="ELPA coming with Emacs 24"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech emacs]]++When I was configuring Emacs over the summer and into last academic+year, a process that I completed long ago and haven't gone back to aside+from the occasional snippet documented on this blog, I always did it+manually, downloading elisp into my ~/.emacs.d/ folder. There is an+Emacs package management system, yup an elisp version of apt-get, that+is actually going to [come with Emacs 24 with an official GNU+repository](http://emacs-fu.blogspot.com/2011/11/package-management-revisited.html)+which sounds great because it's no longer as transitory as the+independently-run system seemed. The main advantage is that it would+actually keep my packages up to date rather than being miles behind as+my code currently is.++When Emacs 24 finally comes out it might be worth switching to this (as+well as el-get which generalises the approach, according to comments+on the blog post I just linked to) but I don't know if it will be worth+the effort. My Emacs setup works perfectly for what I use it for, and I+don't use most of the packages I have installed very often anyway and+should probably have a clear out, but again, this would require a lot of+time and I'm not sure it's worth it at all. It works fine and so I+probably shouldn't mess with anything.diff --git a/blog/entry/emacs24released.mdwn b/blog/entry/emacs24released.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..0feb1a9--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/emacs24released.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,18 @@+[[!meta date="2012-06-15 12:55:00"]]+[[!meta title="Emacs 24 released"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech emacs]]++It's been three years but finally Emacs 24 is out! There are a lot of+new features and some interesting defaults changes which bring Emacs+into the 21st century (obviously these will annoy me so much I'll be+making sure my Emacs still behaves as it used to).++Not sure what the best way to install this is on Debian atm.++Here are some blog posts about the changes:++[A Peek at Emacs 24 |+(think)](http://batsov.com/articles/2011/08/19/a-peek-at-emacs24/)++[What's New In Emacs 24 (part 1) | Mastering+Emacs](http://www.masteringemacs.org/articles/2011/12/06/what-is-new-in-emacs-24-part-1/)diff --git a/blog/entry/emacsevil.mdwn b/blog/entry/emacsevil.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..e9355a8--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/emacsevil.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,52 @@+[[!meta date="2014-10-15 22:41:00"]]+[[!meta title="Almost three years with Emacs"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing geek]]++I used vim for I think some of 2009, and most of 2009 and 2010. Then+there was a brief period of Emacs with poor vim emulation, which ended+in January 2011 when I begin using Emacs bindings full time. I've been+doing that ever since, for almost three years. Nowadays a lot of vim+users are switching to Emacs because of the rise of Evil, a really solid+vim emulation layer in Emacs that is much more satisfying than its+predecessors.++I'm considering following in the footsteps of those vim users, by+returning to vim keybindings in Emacs. [[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""This is because I have+started using Emacs at work to write my lesson plans, and I am starting+to feel the strain on my fingers of constantly chording with the control+and alt keys. My little finger sometimes hurts during and after typin.+This is known as *Emacs pinky*.++The worst culprits for me are the keys C-w, C-h and C-m, bound to delete+a word, backspace and return respectively. C-w is a pure speed upgrade+and C-h and C-m I use in order to avoid stretching my right hand all the+way over to the backspace and return keys, which is a matter of speed+and comfort. However, this comfort factor is dwindling. I type too fast+(though I do use 'real' touch-typing) and so I make a huge number of+errors, and I busily correct these with C-w and C-h. When I call up+Emacs menus to run commands or switch buffers or open files, I'm+constantly hitting C-m to make my choices.++This has all made me very fast but I'm not sure that that speed is worth+the increasing physical pain, especially on the keyboard on my computer+at school which seems to be worse than my laptop at home. And though+when writing this post, when I make some quick edit with my Emacs+knowledge and it's fast and natural and without conscious thought, I+still know that with my old vim knowledge I'd probably be faster. Also,+I should slow down my typing, relax my hands, sit properly and be more+accurate. Changing to another set of bindings could help make this+happen.++Of course, there are some disadvantages. I am addicted to using C-a,+C-e, C-m, C-h, C-u in other text boxes on my unix system and, more+importantly, at the command line. But since vim emulation in Emacs would+still require me to use these to edit e.g. minibuffer input, I think+that the core bindings I'd need to keep knowing will still be in place.++I don't really want to put the work into taming Emacs with vim+emulation. It'll require a bunch of rebindings and fiddling and also+hours of frustration when I can't do something quickly that I'm used to+doing without thinking about it. So I'm going to make an effort to sit+well and relax my hands when not actually typing and all the rest in+order to see whether the pain resides first, before going the whole hog.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/emacsevil/comment_3L2X6AEGC97QFUQS._comment b/blog/entry/emacsevil/comment_3L2X6AEGC97QFUQS._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..2a44030--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/emacsevil/comment_3L2X6AEGC97QFUQS._comment@@ -0,0 +1,12 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="spw"+ nickname="Sean Whitton"+ date="2014-10-17T13:26:37Z"+ content="""+Most of my typing is on my computer at school with its full-sized+keyboard. + + Hitting control with the side of one's hand is a really nice idea, but+it won't work on my laptop, and it's important for speed that I'm doing+the same movements on all the computers I regularly use.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/emacsevil/comment_XUPK9HTV3TXVT81J._comment b/blog/entry/emacsevil/comment_XUPK9HTV3TXVT81J._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..a0dc97d--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/emacsevil/comment_XUPK9HTV3TXVT81J._comment@@ -0,0 +1,12 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="jgh"+ nickname="jgh"+ date="2014-10-16T01:24:15Z"+ content="""+Are you doing all your typing on your laptop's keyboard? That's not+going to help with RSI. + + Also, a quick google suggests hitting ctrl with the side of your hand+rather than contorting your finger, which would seem to be a lot easier+on a properly-sloped full-height keyboard.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/emacsevildone.mdwn b/blog/entry/emacsevildone.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..15c2911--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/emacsevildone.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,102 @@+[[!meta date="2014-10-19 13:08:00"]]+[[!meta title="Follow-up to three years with Emacs post"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing geek]]++On Friday we had no lessons and I had some free time. I decided to go+ahead and wrestle the Emacs vim emulation layer Evil into my Emacs+configuration due to having two ideas.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+Firstly, I found the xcape utility and an equivalent AutoHotkey+script. This allowed me to make my caps lock key have dual+functionality: when I hit it it's escape, and when I hold it it's+control. When previously contemplating returning to vim keybindings in+Emacs, I thought that I would need to keep caps lock as control and use+something like key-chord.el to have the simultaneous pressing of the j+and k keys take me out of insert mode. Since key-chord.el has some+quirks, the elegance of the xcape solution made me much more positive+about switching.++Secondly, I figured out a sane way to integrate evil-leader.el with+buffers in the Emacs state. These are buffers that Evil doesn't touch,+leaving all Emacs bindings intact, generally because the buffers are+read-only interfaces rather than text to be edited. Emacs bindings a+bunch of keys which would conflict with the useless Vim bindings. For+example in my Org agenda buffers there's nothing to edit, but the t key+can be used to mark a todo item as done.++The idea of evil-leader.el is that you can bind all your most used+Emacs commands to ordinary letter and number keys, that you activate by+first hitting your leader key. So from evil's normal state (its analogue+of vim's normal mode) I can hit my space bar and then f to open a file+using my Emacs interface for doing that. This is much better than Evil's+emulation of vim's way of opening files (after all, vim is inferior to+Emacs for pretty much everything besides editing text).++Now in my Org agenda, space is bound to something useful, so I can't+just bind space as my leader key everywhere. That means I can't do basic+things like switch buffers and open files with the same binding in all+buffers: in a normal buffer where vim-emulation is running I use my+leader key, and in my Org agenda which is in Evil's Emacs state, I'd+have to use the old Emacs binding. This is totally unacceptable. My+solution is to bind <escape><space> to my leader map in+Emacs buffers. That's not too dissimilar to hitting <escape> to+get out of insert mode in a vim-emulation buffer, and then using the+leader map.++So I went ahead and threw aside almost everything else in my life to+hack on Emacs for the past few days to get everything working together+well. Three years ago [I+wrote](http://spw.sdf.org/oldblog/2011/01/new-years-resolution-one-of-two-emacs-emacs-emacs.html)+that switching to Emacs would be really hard and frustrating, and indeed+it was. But switching back to vim emulation has turned out to be easy.+This is because I'd already built up good habits from Emacs of not+scrolling around the buffer by holding down C-n/C-p (or j and k in the+vim case), but scrolling screen by screen and then using+ace-jump-mode.el to jump to where I need to edit with a few+keystrokes, and because my vim knowledge actually seems to have only+barely faded away. I'm actually quite decent at both editors.++Even though there are some rough edges to my new setup, I'm already+really appreciating how much better the vim modal paradigm is for+editing text. I cleaned out my Emacs config and made it much shorter,+because I discovered that a great deal of my customisations were just+attempts to make Emacs more like vim: better at editing text. Now I just+don't need those. Lots of complexities and anxieties about doing things+in the most efficient way, uncomfortable key chords which made me tense+up a little each time I used them: all replaced with the quiet zen of+the vim editing vocabulary. I'd buried my experience with vim and had+forgotten just how good it is. I've been subconciously trying to return+to it for the past three years. I really didn't realise that that was+what I was doing.++It remains true that I love Emacs and especially Org-mode and there's no+way I'd ever go back to vanilla vim. I'm happy to have the best of both+worlds. Now that I don't have to worry about making Emacs good at+editing text, I've found myself finding it easier to configure it for+the things it is good at. This is because I can be totally confident+that Evil will take care of editing, so I can work on my Emacs+customisations without thinking about integrating them with Emacs'+editing bindings. Another reason why customisation is easier is that I'm+running fewer big chunks of elisp with which I must integrate any+customisations I make.++I've also made some changes to my desktop keybindings. For a few months+I've had run-or-raise bindings for Emacs, tmux (Emacs terminals suck,+and it's not worth bashing at it just to make it such a little less,+though I do use eshell) and my web browser. That is, I have a key that I+can press to either start the program, or switch to its window if it's+already running. Following [Xah Lee's+advice](http://xahlee.info/linux/why_tiling_window_manager_sucks.html),+I moved these to the function keys F9--F12 which Emacs is supposed to+leave unbound for users to use. I've got these working at school. It's+more ergonomic than my previous use of the Super/Windows key, even+though it's a litle slower.++I've also banned my usage of C-h and C-m for backspace and return+respectively. I'm trying to type more slowly, correct errors just with+C-w to delete a word (the Evil version of which is better than vanilla+Emacs) and I'm hitting the real return key instead of C-m. I've banned+them by binding them to no-ops at the level of X11. It's working well so+far and my hands are feeling significantly better.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/emacsforwriting.mdwn b/blog/entry/emacsforwriting.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..e9c1c8d--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/emacsforwriting.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,10 @@+[[!meta date="2011-05-28 11:44:00"]]+[[!meta title="Emacs always catches up"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech emacs]]++[Let's just use Emacs | Avarthrel+Blog](http://beastwithin.org/users/wwwwolf/fantasy/avarthrel/blog/2011/05/lets-just-use-emacs.html)++This is the point, basically. Anything Emacs can't quite get right right+now it will do soon enough, and what it can already do outweighs any+temporary advantages. Also some nice Org-mode comments.diff --git a/blog/entry/emacsrocks.mdwn b/blog/entry/emacsrocks.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..6d24e5c--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/emacsrocks.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,9 @@+[[!meta date="2013-05-31 09:36:00"]]+[[!meta title="Emacs Rocks!"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom tech emacs]]++[Emacs Rocks!](http://emacsrocks.com/)++[What the .emcas.d!?](http://whattheemacsd.com/)++Some nice videos and tips.diff --git a/blog/entry/emacsshorthand.mdwn b/blog/entry/emacsshorthand.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..e901dfe--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/emacsshorthand.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,7 @@+[[!meta date="2011-05-25 16:04:00"]]+[[!meta title="James' shorthand"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom meta]]++ your awesome [post] about emacs+ You thought it was awesome?+ I use emacs as a shorthand for "shit got together"diff --git a/blog/entry/emptinessfaith.mdwn b/blog/entry/emptinessfaith.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..347ad6e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/emptinessfaith.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,67 @@+[[!meta date="2014-06-26 11:45:00"]]+[[!meta title="Emptiness and faith"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing thoughts]]++Buddhism teaches that everything is empty in that it is deeply+unsatisfactory. Any satisfaction we derive from something is temporary+and we suffer because we delude ourselves into thinking this+satisfaction will last when it won't, experiencing pain when the truth+inevitably reveals itself. Our tendency is to again and again think+things both good and permanent, despite all our past experience+suggesting otherwise.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+Lately I have been feeling this emptiness keenly, and very much soaked+in a sadness. When I feel happy my heart doesn't truly sing as it used+to, because I don't trust the happiness. Buddhism would have me+similarly distrust the sadness, but I don't, and see it as very real and+to be grappled with directly. I've still got a certain amount of+philosophical idealism.++My late philosophy tutor Bob Hargrave told me that I have a powerful+sadness within me that was, at the time, flaring up in the form of+procrastination whenever I tried to get on with some work. He didn't+know what I was sad about, if anything, and it was just a case of the+emotion being stuck and unable to flow through me as emotions should do.+I still keep this possibility in mind. A more natural diagnosis is that+I'm sad because I don't have the purpose I once had. A sense of purpose+from a religious cause, that orders the universe and assigns one work+within it, is an incredibly powerful thing. It's a trope from the+movies. Someone is seen as incredibly dangerous because of his powerful+belief in what he is trying to do. Quasi-religion will do too, as I had+with my weird faith for academic philosophy. My holy texts were+*Phaedo*, *Apology* and *On Liberty*.++I no longer have this faith and my feeling is that anything I might+adopt in its place is a bunch of lies to be told to oneself. There a+bunch of these on offer. The world religions, but I need not say+anything about them. Self-improvement in our capitalist, consumerist+world; make yourself financially free, have a gorgeous body, get good at+entertaining people conversationally, and that's supposed to be enough.+There are other such faiths one can adopt. I can feel a temptation to+formal, religious Buddhism but I know that it'd just be a case of+running to another institution to cling to.++Buddhists would say that I should stop worrying about all this stuff,+accept the lack of purpose and emptiness, and just have faith in the+present moment, and my body and mind as is here right now. But the+present moment is not only boring but greyed by the lack of purpose and+I feel sad once more. Detach myself from my sadness, they would say,+stop seeing it as noble and philosophically important. Since it's+temporary, it can't possibly be those things.++So I try to build my own purpose by investing in myself. I'm actually+reading a novel, *Norwegian Wood* by Haruki Murakami, which started+really well but at around 35% through---reading an ebook---it's taking a+bit of a nose-dive as I can't square the gravity of the situations the+main characters find themselves in with their really lame dirty jokes.+Maybe a cultural clash going on there. As well as this I sit down and I+get on with reading some philosophy. But the energy isn't there. I read+the paper once and wonder what to do; try to break down the pieces and+fit it together again, so I can feel like I've really understood what+the author wanted most to say? Then my energy fails and I even feel the+creeping old fears and insecurities about not being good enough at my+subject, though I think it's fair to say that those are just very old+habits rather than anything more substantial (the Buddhists would+relegate all my thoughts to this status).+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/emptyinkbottles.mdwn b/blog/entry/emptyinkbottles.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..ecf7115--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/emptyinkbottles.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,45 @@+[[!meta date="2011-06-26 12:01:00"]]+[[!meta title="Empty ink bottles"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom photos]]++[[blog/photos/emptyinkbottles.jpg]]++Conveniently, for I shall be using cartridges in exams and don't want to+transport nearly-empty bottles of ink home with me, I've come to the end+of two of my bottles of ink this week. I've been writing with ink from a+bottle for about a year and a half now, something that isn't that+unusual in Oxford. The primary reason for this is that it's much cheaper+and much more environmentally friendly: a bottle of ink is a fiver or+less, and by my calculations the equivalent amount in cartridge-form is+about £12 at the price I used to buy cartridges in Sheffield, and £20 at+the nearest shop here in Oxford. Substantial for anyone, not just+students like me. And think of all the plastic you're saving.++The secondary reason is that it's nice to try out different colours.+With these bottles I had a nice deep purple and a pleasantly different+blue-black, though Waterman Blue--Black is very different depending on+the pen, and I still have half a bottle of Diamine Evergreen which is+beautifully rich dark green.++However I think that I'm at a point where I'm happy just to have one+colour and be consistent, and that colour is Waterman Blue--Black. I've+never stopped liking it and it doesn't draw attention away from what+you're writing to the fact you're writing in an unusual colour. I'll+keep my Evergreen around of course, but I don't think I'll fill up with+it very often anymore.++Waterman bottles are substantially more practical than Diamine, as+they're shaped to be filled from with a nib whereas the Diamine bottle+is just a bottle. The Internet thinks, I recall, that Lamy bottles are+even better at getting the last bits out of so I would love to come+across an empty one. Fountain pen ink is very simple and you can use ink+from any manufacturer in any pen, no matter what the pen manufacturers+might like to tell you.++Another bottle of purple I bought, Diamine Imperial Purple, I gave away+as I wasn't too keen.++I really have no interest in fountain pens themselves; I like the way+mine writes, but don't understand why anyone would have more than two+and spend loads of money on them. I write a lot and like writing with+one, simple as that.diff --git a/blog/entry/enchiridion42.mdwn b/blog/entry/enchiridion42.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..ef931c4--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/enchiridion42.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,17 @@+[[!meta date="2012-05-06 09:40:00"]]+[[!meta title="Stoic logic on the opinions of others"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy stoicism]]++> 1. When any person harms you, or speaks badly of you, remember that+>+> he acts or speaks from a supposition of its being his duty. Now, it is+> not possible that he should follow what appears right to you, but what+> appears so to himself. Therefore, if he judges from a wrong+> appearance, he is the person hurt, since he too is the person+> deceived. For if anyone should suppose a true proposition to be false,+> the proposition is not hurt, but he who is deceived about it. Setting+> out, then, from these principles, you will meekly bear a person who+> reviles you, for you will say upon every occasion, "It seemed so to+> him." (Epictetus, *Enchiridion*)++([source](http://www.reddit.com/r/Stoicism/comments/r7uv0/enchiridion_42_how_logic_proves_no_fucks_should/))diff --git a/blog/entry/endc25k.mdwn b/blog/entry/endc25k.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..2a64667--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/endc25k.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,48 @@+[[!meta date="2012-05-21 15:47:00"]]+[[!meta title="Finally finished C25k"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++Exactly 13 months ago, as it happens, I+[posted](http://spw.sdf.org/blog/writing/diary/running.html) about+starting a programme to go from zero exercise up to running 5k three+times a week. I got pretty close to the target but then I had exams and+the summer holiday and then the winter and I never finished. Well as of+this morning I finally completed the programme, after restarting it at+the halfway point or so about a month ago.++[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""+I still run pretty slowly and I still find it mentally challenging to+get to the end. It's occasionally a physical thing, but most of the time+it is because I really can't be bothered. I'll stick with 5k three times+per week for now, that's really quite sufficient; at some point I would+like to work up to 10k, using a [follow-up+programme](http://blog.bluefinapps.com/about-bridge-to-10k/), but that+can definitely wait.++Instead I am thinking that I might work on some other aspects of+physical fitness, while maintaining the three runs a week. Aerobic+exercise is good but other things worth working on are: flexibility,+mobility, strength---and I've certainly acted against the first two of+these by running with non-existent stretching habits.++A few friends of mine tell me how great yoga is for the flexibility+(obviously) but also for other positive physical feelings of being+relaxed, stretched out etc. So I might try this with the new academic+year in October; a university is a great place to do things like this,+of course. Slightly pettily I would like to be sufficiently flexible to+adopt a [lotus pose](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_position) for+meditation; more seriously, being able to sit properly without support+would be genuinely useful for this.++No idea about mobility---I am pretty clumsy, I can't really walk in a+straight line (though I have friends who are much worse), and I don't+know how I could improve on this.++For strength there is of course weight-lifting but I don't like the idea+of using all the fancy equipment this involves. At a more basic level+there are bodyweight exercises like (advanced forms of) push-ups,+pull-ups etc. Something to consider.++Just a few thoughts; I won't be in a position to do anything about any+of this until August/September/October.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/endtt12.mdwn b/blog/entry/endtt12.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..6497907--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/endtt12.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,62 @@+[[!meta date="2012-06-21 15:16:00"]]+[[!meta title="End of term & death"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++Still very sad about everyone leaving. Have huge amounts of direction,+since getting ready for trip to Korea, but have never felt so+directionless as I do now. [[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""I'm thinking about the old and the new:+went to greet some second years finishing their exams today, was the+only third year there; these will be the people I am around next year.+Called to several third years across the quad to get them to come and+hug goodbye, since they won't be.++One of our philosophy tutors, Bob Hargrave, who I've mentioned on this+blog before, is dying. He has been very, very ill all term, tortuously+making his way to college each day, taking over an hour for a journey+that I can do in about seven minutes. Convinced he was riddled with+cancer, Bob refused to go to the hospital to see what was going on for+weeks. Someone close to him in Balliol's admin staff, after I pointed+this out to her, managed to get him to go, though it took a great deal+of effort, and now some weeks later we know that it is indeed incurable+cancer, though we don't yet know how long left he has---but he could+well be gone before the end of 2012, even perhaps before the end of the+summer. He certainly seems to think so. This afternoon I saw him and,+just in case, thanked him for all his teaching and other things, and he+told me to "have a nice life in case I don't see you again" though I+think he is probably being overly pessimistic there.++This is very sad. We are all taking it in different ways. Putting aside+the possibility I am unconsciously suppressing masses of grief to come+out later, I think it is okay. Bob has lived a complex and powerful+life. He's probably been very unhappy for most of it. But mortality+allows us to draw a line around the life and say, this was Bob, *and+what a life it was* because it represents a worldview, and way of living+that out, tangled up with his relationships with friends, relatives and+all of his students. And it seems to me that by living powerfully like+that, really, that is enough, and far more than any of the rest of us+are likely to get out of our lives.++I'm not sure I have a point at all here and I'm certainly not convinced+that I've made it in the previous paragraph. So let me try to apply it+to differences between my attitude and those of my friends. The reason+Bob is in this state is because, as one friend put it, "he's always got+at least two of a glass of wine, strong coffee and a cigarette in his+hands at any one time". So some people say, "if only he hadn't smoked so+much, he wouldn't be dying so young at ~65". But these things are+essentially integral to who Bob is. Take them away, and sure you might+get ten or fifteen more years of life (perhaps even another+quarter-century), but would that be worth losing the man we know? I+don't think so.++None of this means it isn't deeply, deeply upsetting for me to have him+dying, and then to have him dead. Nor does it mean that his life is+appropriate for anyone else. I'm not going to smoke and drink my way+into an early grave, nor would I recommend it to any of my friends. But+if it was the case, as I don't believe it to be, that such things were+necessary conditions of living meaningfully, I'd choose it over 90 years+of "happiness" in a heartbeat.++In a few months I might try to write a mini-obituary about who Bob+actually was, which I haven't at all done here, but it's not the time+for that yet.+"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/endtt12/comment_IY6OOXJA34OOSY52._comment b/blog/entry/endtt12/comment_IY6OOXJA34OOSY52._commentnew file mode 100644index 0000000..cdd3b3e--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/endtt12/comment_IY6OOXJA34OOSY52._comment@@ -0,0 +1,11 @@+[[!comment format=mdwn+ username="f.macaulay"+ nickname="Fiona Macaulay"+ date="2012-08-23T09:20:48Z"+ content="""+Beautifully put. I think those of us privileged to have Bob as a friend+felt that way. His pull was magnetic. You have probably heard the sad+news of his death already. I think it would be lovely to link this piece+to the blog that Balliol have set up to commemorate him. + +"""]]diff --git a/blog/entry/enduringdiagnosis.mdwn b/blog/entry/enduringdiagnosis.mdwnnew file mode 100644index 0000000..307e2be--- /dev/null+++ b/blog/entry/enduringdiagnosis.mdwn@@ -0,0 +1,358 @@+[[!meta date="2011-05-14 22:04:00"]]+[[!meta title="How I have been damaged by an enduring, but ultimately erroneous, diagnosis"]]+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom writing diary]]++I'm quite willing to admit and indeed happy of the fact that I am deeply+peculiar. An arrogant proclamation, but one that I think most who know+me would agree to, and indeed probably most who read this blog and don't+know me in person (all of two people I imagine) would agree to this as+well. This is a story of how one person very closely involved in my+life, namely my father, took this peculiarity and tried desperately to+label it; the result is not quite a self-fulfilling prophecy, but a+series of damaging effects that I am pleased to be finally working my+way out of as a side-consequence of the psychotherapy I've been having+in relation to my present academic issues. Those who know me in person+in Sheffield (as opposed to Oxford) will know that I have an extremely+poor relationship with my father, and I suspect that this stuff is a+large part of that---or, if not in the first place, it's kept the+animosity from my end going. He has never retracted his claims nor+apologised, or if he has, I haven't seen it, and so I find myself unable+to forgive which is sad.++Another thing I shall admit at the outset is that I do not deny that I+*do* have some acute psychological issues. The most obvious that all who+have met me will know is that I get various ticks, habits, repetitive+movements *etc.* that come and go; at the moment I like to shake my head+and gratuitously equalise the pressure in my ears by holding my nose and+blowing, in the way one does during an aeroplane's descent. I thought I+was probably pretty far up the scale with this stuff but apparently I'm+not, the key thing being that I'm quite capable of stopping these things+if I want. At various points in my life I've committed to stopping some+habit and I have. Another appeared, and essentially I got bored. But I+am told that, chances are, if I wanted to I could cut it entirely and at+some point, when I care enough, I probably will. I am slowly+understanding that I might have a lot more anxiety in my head that I am+aware of, clued in a little by the knowledge that such ticks tend to be+a response to anxiety to soothe it away.++I do not view my present academic issues as the same kind of malady.+They are not something that I would give up if some wish-granting being+said that s/he could take them away for me in an instant, as I probably+would with that detailed in the previous paragraph. The aspects of my+psychology that are unusual come in both good and bad. It is a very+positive thing that I have an *extremely* high resilience to peer+pressure (with the negative upshot of occasional stubbornness when it's+not a good thing and, indeed, against my better judgement), but my+attitudes to my work at present, and to things such as sexuality and to+human talents and skills are all screwed up. But none of these things+exist without the others and they are all tied up into *myself* and,+naturally, that's not something I wish to do away with. Consider: I tie+my pursuit of philosophical understanding very tightly to almost all the+other aspects of my life, and I suspect that this being a little too+tight has led to some of my present issues---though I do not feel+qualified to speculate beyond that---whereas shaking my head or whatever+isn't an important aspect of my character, even if the reasons for it+explain some other such aspects. In short: the mental life I have once+my present issues have been understood and resolved is too much a+function of what has gone before for it to be useful to label, classify+and single out disorders or illnesses.++So we come to the beginning of the tale, back at school. I am unclear+about what went on at primary school, but one thing I do remember was a+great deal of concern over my handwriting. I had decided that I wasn't+going to conform to a standard on something that didn't matter; in the+same way that from the age of four I *decided* that colouring in neatly+wasn't interesting, finishing such activities as quickly as I was able+in order to return to Maths or English (so, reading), so did I decide+that neat handwriting wasn't important. There were foolish extremes of+thought here. In response to the opposition of teachers and parents, I+dug in and worked myself into a corner where I tried to defend the+thesis that finishing an activity and moving on to the next was all that+mattered, going to great lengths to see how little I could do and still+say that a task was "done" based on how it had been set, even when I+really hadn't completed very much. Another fun story is when we were+story-writing in year four---an activity that I usually loved, but I+suspect that the topic seemed foolish to me or something---where I wrote+an extremely short story and then, when the teacher told me I should+extend it, I argued that then it wouldn't be *my* story anymore, because+my story was short. I am proud that I had the strength of mind to hold+to all this, even if I disagree with the opinions themselves now---my+handwriting is very neat for a Maths student assuming I'm not rushing,+and indeed neater than my sister's is now, whose writing was always the+standard to which my parents used to hold me, back then. Their response+to this was to get the school to give me a few meetings with people from+Sheffield's Special Educational Needs department, who assessed my motor+skills to see if that might be why my handwriting was so bad. I think I+had a diary at some point to fill things in in, and I am pretty sure+this wasn't a handwriting diary, so I suspect I was accused (this+confrontational language is expressive of my school days as I will+explain below) of other things as well, but I am having trouble+recalling them specifically, which troubles me a little.++Aside from this sort of stuff there was some extremely weird behaviour+from me in Y2/Y3 when my parents split up. As I say I've always had a+bad relationship with my father and I think I might have tried to+replace him with my male class teacher somehow? I am not sure, and the+memories are faded and limited only to this: I developed the thought+that I just *had* to be the furthest forward on the carpet when the+class would sit on it together, to the point where I would sit on the+teacher's shoe (grasping his leg for support when needed) so that I was+definitely at the very front. This stuff is limited to a fairly narrow+time frame and I have no explanation or insight into it, and I've never+done anything like it before or since. So perhaps in the malady+category. I certainly don't consign any of the handwriting or story+writing stuff to the maladies bin.++When it came to apply to secondary schools, my father placed a lot of+stress on finding one that had a good record on special needs, because+to him, this is what I had. I have introduced this terminology here and+above in the primary school stuff, but my memories aren't clear enough+for me to plot out when I started to hear it, and perhaps it was used+before I was old enough to actually understand and recognise its usage.+With my parents split up and living in two different parts of the city,+and my primary school having a strong feeder school relation with a+secondary school not in either of their catchment areas, I actually had+five schools to choose from, and while I can't remember my own reasons+for choosing Silverdale, my father's were clear. My mother was probably+pretty neutral between the schools. The specific things that Silverdale+'did for me' were mainly limited to giving me an hour a week with the+so-called Learning Mentor, a pleasant woman who would try to convince me+that I should conform less to a Kantian ideal on honesty, and had me+fill in a lot of worksheets on social skills and empathy. The reason I+went to these at the expense of lessons, you ask? These lessons were PE+and the filth of boys secondary school PE lessons appalled me. I still+had to go once per fortnight for Y7--9, and oh how I dreaded it. To grab+someone and rugby tackle them? To run around the field where there was+so much mud to be slipped in? To use those changing rooms? I am not+succeeding at describing the *fear* I felt at that time once per+fortnight. I think that it would have only taken maybe three or four+years before my self-confidence was at the point where I would have+outright refused to be involved in such lessons, and would have argued+my way through the school's management structure---what I mean here is+that if I had been four or five years older on entering secondary+school, I would have had none of it. It would have been brutal, and I+would have probable come out the worst because of course the teachers+have nothing to lose and in my much smaller world, I had so much that+could have gone in such a confrontation. So perhaps it was for the best.+I think that appeal of liberalism to me is at part based on my hatred+for what I saw as imprisonment. Over-exaggerated, because it's just a PE+lesson? Yes, it's just a PE lesson to you and me now, because our worlds+are larger. It wasn't to me back then, and it's important that we both+respect that.++The other thing at secondary school was my father's campaign for an+official label, and the label he wanted to apply was that of Asperger's+Syndrome, the far end (that is, the end closest to normality) of the+autistic spectrum. So he had me assessed a few times, and the learning+mentor tried to get me to read books on the topic---I refused, not sure+why---and I was told what I found difficult, and what I could never be+good at, and this was all very important. To me none of this mattered; I+had fantasy stories to read, Maths to do, essays to write, computer+programming to learn and science to learn about, all of which I held in+the esteem I hold (my pursuit of) philosophy in now. I did, though, have+an opinion on it, and it was extremely defensive. It distresses me a+great deal how little I remember of the specifics of these various+checks and talks. I remember visiting somewhere where I played some kind+of racing game on a N64 or something in the waiting room, but why was I+there? To me, I was fighting a war against my parents and against the+education authorities who I saw as unreasonably in cahoots with them.+They wanted to change me from who I was, they thought something was+wrong with me, that my oddness, which I cherished as much then as I do+now, was something they wanted to force out of me and I was scared and I+did what I could to oppose them. I do not now believe that this was+anyone's aim, because I am sufficiently optimistic about the goals of my+parents and of the education profession, but I think it says a lot about+the situation that I felt the need to be so confrontational. I trusted+no-one. In my small world, I was at war to defend what mattered to me.++The parental dynamic; I'm sure you've noticed that my mother has been+barely mentioned here. In general she disliked my father's labelling and+used to say to me "you don't have Asperger's Syndrome, you have some+aspects of it, if that" and I clung to this. In her view, as she+explained to me later when I was in a position to understand her, one+should look upon people holistically and avoid stereotyping and+labelling. And in general I think she disliked what went on at school+and these various assessments, though going along with them at times+when she found me difficult to live with (most definitely a function of+*both* our personalities). I should say that I *never* had an actual+diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome, unless it was being hidden from me+which I doubt, and my mother's line that I paraphrased above was+basically the line of the authorities. It's this clash that I think+leads to my substantially higher regard for one parent than the other+and the consequent deterioration of one relationship.++To the late secondary school, sixth form and university dynamic, then.+By this point there are no more authorities, because not only did I have+the self-confidence and bravery to defy any attempts to take my anywhere+(and of course once at university it's irrelevant), the advent of sixth+form meant the end of compulsory PE, at which point I knew that I could+throw it all off. For five years I felt that I had played along, in+order to get out of PE. "Getting out of PE" was my mantra, what I saw as+the immovable wall protecting my individuality, and now I had no need of+it. I think I can probably safely stop using this confrontational+language at this point, and revert to the tone one uses when discussing+adult relationships, because now we're into a Sean pretty close to the+Sean writing this; I hope it's clear that I don't see this as a war now,+because that is absurd, but I use the language because that is the+language appropriate to my memories.++In the sixth form the combination of my willingness to be different if I+thought it was right together with a new self-confidence now that I was+free from shackles imposed on me by others led to a great flourishing of+mental personality. Let me make it clear: I feel extremely arrogant and+self-righteous writing these next few sentences, because my cynicism+leads me to think that I was probably just another stereotype, nothing+special. The thing is, I genuinely *don't* think that at secondary+school I was just another odd student who was quite bright---conforming to+one stereotype or another---but instead, based on talking to teachers I+knew well and other pupils there with me and then afterwards, I really+did stand out and in some sense leave a mark on the school. The head of+philosophy/only philosophy teacher there says there would have been no+A-level philosophy course without me spurring it on. I founded and ran+for over three years---with fierce independence---the school's debating+society, which I shaped into a philosophy club, essentially, quite+different to your traditional independent school debating society (to be</