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+[[!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
+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.mdwn
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+[[!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.mdwn
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+[[!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
+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](
diff --git a/blog/entry/12hoursofemail.mdwn b/blog/entry/12hoursofemail.mdwn
new file mode 100644
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@@ -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.mdwn
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+++ b/blog/entry/2012hope.mdwn
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+[[!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
+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]( "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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
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@@ -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.
diff --git a/blog/entry/27thletter.mdwn b/blog/entry/27thletter.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/2ndweektt12.mdwn b/blog/entry/2ndweektt12.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+> 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 \* 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+[Things to Tell a Therapist at the First
+[Lee Braver interviewed by Richard
+[Jonardon Ganeri interviewed by Richard
+> 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
+> 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
+[Scott Berman interviewed by Richard
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+[[!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
+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,
+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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/4thweektt12.mdwn b/blog/entry/4thweektt12.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/50ideas.mdwn b/blog/entry/50ideas.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+> 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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? |
diff --git a/blog/entry/abletonlivetute.mdwn b/blog/entry/abletonlivetute.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 |
+Also this neat song from final part:
+[Boys Noize - Oh! (A-Trak Remix) |
diff --git a/blog/entry/accidentalrester.mdwn b/blog/entry/accidentalrester.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 |
diff --git a/blog/entry/adjunct.mdwn b/blog/entry/adjunct.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/admintoolsmindmap.mdwn b/blog/entry/admintoolsmindmap.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 |
+Wish I knew about half of these.
diff --git a/blog/entry/afuse.mdwn b/blog/entry/afuse.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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](, 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 mount<sub>template</sub>="sshfs %r: %m" -o
+> unmount<sub>template</sub>="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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+I sympathise, especially with how I now behave when riding my bike.
diff --git a/blog/entry/alexop.mdwn b/blog/entry/alexop.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/amazon10kcores.mdwn b/blog/entry/amazon10kcores.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+Cloud computing finally did something really cool `:D`
diff --git a/blog/entry/americadumbingdown.mdwn b/blog/entry/americadumbingdown.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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
diff --git a/blog/entry/angel.mdwn b/blog/entry/angel.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+[[!img blog/img/weepingangels.jpg size=431x337]]
diff --git a/blog/entry/appledhcp.mdwn b/blog/entry/appledhcp.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/apr14.mdwn b/blog/entry/apr14.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+[How Colleges Flunk Mental Health |
+[Are ugly people oppressed? | Johnny
+[Why Study Philosophy? 'To Challenge Your Own Point of
+[You are a Marxist - but don't
+[Inside The Barista
+[The Face Behind
+[The Leader Obama Wanted to Become and What Became of
diff --git a/blog/entry/aprilwoodsjoke.mdwn b/blog/entry/aprilwoodsjoke.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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) |
+Really detailed post on switching to Arch; looks like a great complement
+to their [Beginners'
diff --git a/blog/entry/ario.mdwn b/blog/entry/ario.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]( to play
+music but I'm finding the [`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](, 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/arizona.mdwn b/blog/entry/arizona.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+Depressing stuff.
diff --git a/blog/entry/arizonaarrival.mdwn b/blog/entry/arizonaarrival.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+[[!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.
+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
+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](
+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
diff --git a/blog/entry/arkhamhorror.mdwn b/blog/entry/arkhamhorror.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]( invited his brother
+[James]( 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]( actually me...
+*Edit 2/ix/2011:* Ben found the [complete works of
+to dip into, win.
diff --git a/blog/entry/artuncut.mdwn b/blog/entry/artuncut.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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](
+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](
diff --git a/blog/entry/asiansanswesternexpats.mdwn b/blog/entry/asiansanswesternexpats.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 |
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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) |
+[Riot of a Time | Bad
+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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+[[!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
+> 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.)
+> 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
+[The Varieties of
+[The Inflation of Bullying: From Fagging to Cyber-effervescent
+[In the Sorting
+[Reading from paper versus screens: a critical review of the empirical
+> 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
+> 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
+> 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](
+> **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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]]
diff --git a/blog/entry/autodisper.mdwn b/blog/entry/autodisper.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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`](
+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-git
diff --git a/blog/entry/autodisper/comment_0855TQ8193GPDZT9._comment b/blog/entry/autodisper/comment_0855TQ8193GPDZT9._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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",
+ (There's more than enough mediocre udev documentation on the web, of
diff --git a/blog/entry/awesomebyproxy.mdwn b/blog/entry/awesomebyproxy.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/awsdownapr11.mdwn b/blog/entry/awsdownapr11.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/ayearinkorea.mdwn b/blog/entry/ayearinkorea.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]]
diff --git a/blog/entry/backlash.mdwn b/blog/entry/backlash.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 |
+[The Dark Knight of the Soul | The
+[Be mindful of mindfulness | The
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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](, 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
+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]( 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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]( 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/backtosheffield.mdwn b/blog/entry/backtosheffield.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]]
+Looks nice.
diff --git a/blog/entry/balliolcoldanddark.mdwn b/blog/entry/balliolcoldanddark.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 23<sup>rd</sup> 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,
+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
diff --git a/blog/entry/ballthrowing.mdwn b/blog/entry/ballthrowing.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.
diff --git a/blog/entry/bangwithfriends.mdwn b/blog/entry/bangwithfriends.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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? |
diff --git a/blog/entry/bbcchina.mdwn b/blog/entry/bbcchina.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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:
diff --git a/blog/entry/beatles.mdwn b/blog/entry/beatles.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.
+([source](, [where I found
diff --git a/blog/entry/blogfixedoct11.mdwn b/blog/entry/blogfixedoct11.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]( 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]( 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
+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 notes
diff --git a/blog/entry/bobhargrave2012.mdwn b/blog/entry/bobhargrave2012.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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&ndash;17th August 2012"]]
+[[!tag imported_PyBlosxom philosophy philosophers]]
+<p style="text-align: center; font-size: 120%;">Bob Hargrave, philosopher, long time of
+Balliol College, Oxford<br /><br /><img
+/><br /><br />d. 17th August 2012</p>
+He taught me many things about how to think and how to feel.
diff --git a/blog/entry/bodleianlending.mdwn b/blog/entry/bodleianlending.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/bookmarkletcombiner.mdwn b/blog/entry/bookmarkletcombiner.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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](
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+> 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 0000000..4c1d043
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+++ 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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
+[Day9's 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 |
+> 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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 |
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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) |
+Impressively well put together.
diff --git a/blog/entry/bsdtalk.mdwn b/blog/entry/bsdtalk.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+([original source; broken link to
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.
diff --git a/blog/entry/bubblingping.mdwn b/blog/entry/bubblingping.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+[Escape your search engine Filter Bubble! An illustrated guide by](
+[When the Internet Thinks It Knows You |
+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
diff --git a/blog/entry/burn-cd.mdwn b/blog/entry/burn-cd.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]( 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]( 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.
diff --git a/blog/entry/burningtree.mdwn b/blog/entry/burningtree.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 Center
diff --git a/blog/entry/busdrivers.mdwn b/blog/entry/busdrivers.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/busyness.mdwn b/blog/entry/busyness.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/cagechildren.mdwn b/blog/entry/cagechildren.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+> "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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/camussummer.mdwn b/blog/entry/camussummer.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 Camus
diff --git a/blog/entry/careerbegun.mdwn b/blog/entry/careerbegun.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]('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
+Been watching some MLG today and asking Ben a continual stream of
+questions about utterly basic stuff; really do seem to be getting into
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/cbroom.mdwn b/blog/entry/cbroom.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]]
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/changedattitudetowardswork.mdwn b/blog/entry/changedattitudetowardswork.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]( 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+> 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+Limited time offer.
diff --git a/blog/entry/chillitilt.mdwn b/blog/entry/chillitilt.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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](
+"But the TERRORISTS!"
diff --git a/blog/entry/chomskycorporatepower.mdwn b/blog/entry/chomskycorporatepower.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 |
+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
diff --git a/blog/entry/chomskysports.mdwn b/blog/entry/chomskysports.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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
+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
+Relevant song: John Mayer -- Waiting on the World to Change
diff --git a/blog/entry/choosinghappiness.mdwn b/blog/entry/choosinghappiness.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.
+"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.
+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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+*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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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? |
diff --git a/blog/entry/classicslang.mdwn b/blog/entry/classicslang.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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
+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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/codesearch.mdwn b/blog/entry/codesearch.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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](
+> 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+[[!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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 0<sup>th</sup> 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
+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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/colonialenglish.mdwn b/blog/entry/colonialenglish.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]]
diff --git a/blog/entry/comlabcs.mdwn b/blog/entry/comlabcs.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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,
+> and email addresses will take the format rather
+> than 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.
diff --git a/blog/entry/comlabftp.mdwn b/blog/entry/comlabftp.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 <DIR>.tar
+ will transfer a `tar' image of the contents of the directory `<DIR>' and:
+ ftp> get <DIR>.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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 |
diff --git a/blog/entry/compalright.mdwn b/blog/entry/compalright.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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
+The [discussion on Hacker
+is really interesting, showing all sides.
diff --git a/blog/entry/compcentral.mdwn b/blog/entry/compcentral.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
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+[[!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.
diff --git a/blog/entry/conciseness.mdwn b/blog/entry/conciseness.mdwn
new file mode 100644
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+++ 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
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+++ b/blog/entry/consumingvidya.mdwn
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+[[!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]( and
+[trying new
+ones](, 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
+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 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
+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.mdwn
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+[[!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.
diff --git a/blog/entry/contextualism.mdwn b/blog/entry/contextualism.mdwn
new file mode 100644
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+++ b/blog/entry/contextualism.mdwn
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+[[!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*,; 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.
+\[1\] 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.mdwn
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+[[!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
+> 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
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+++ 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 |](
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
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+++ 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
+> 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/crushes.mdwn b/blog/entry/crushes.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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'
diff --git a/blog/entry/cruxandfb.mdwn b/blog/entry/cruxandfb.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]( installation with [CRUX](,
+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]( 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
+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
+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
diff --git a/blog/entry/cruxportsdb.mdwn b/blog/entry/cruxportsdb.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]( :D
diff --git a/blog/entry/csslayoutsfuture.mdwn b/blog/entry/csslayoutsfuture.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/cult.mdwn b/blog/entry/cult.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+[Is Graduate School a Cult? | The
+[Selling Out | The Unemployed Philosopher's
+(my entry point into the above: [What is to be done? | The Philosophers'
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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](
diff --git a/blog/entry/cultorfos.mdwn b/blog/entry/cultorfos.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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` to
+replace `wget`.
+output to a file, not stdout
+follow 301/302 redirects
diff --git a/blog/entry/dalailama.mdwn b/blog/entry/dalailama.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]]
diff --git a/blog/entry/dalailamaunfriend.mdwn b/blog/entry/dalailamaunfriend.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/dancing.mdwn b/blog/entry/dancing.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+> 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+[[!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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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
+[[!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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]( And
+also, the finality of [finishing Mass
+Effect]( 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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<br />
+And the nights are not full enough<br />
+And life slips by like a field mouse<br />
+&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Not shaking the grass.
+Ezra Pound
diff --git a/blog/entry/daysoftheweek.mdwn b/blog/entry/daysoftheweek.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+[[!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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]( 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
+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
+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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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](
diff --git a/blog/entry/debianjessie.mdwn b/blog/entry/debianjessie.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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](
+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
+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 \
+ file=%h/.ssh/authorized_keys
+ auto required
+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.
diff --git a/blog/entry/debianxfce.mdwn b/blog/entry/debianxfce.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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,
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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-&gt;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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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]( and [Hacker
+News]( 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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](
diff --git a/blog/entry/deft.mdwn b/blog/entry/deft.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+towards [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 ``.
diff --git a/blog/entry/dennett.mdwn b/blog/entry/dennett.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+[[!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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]]
+[[!more linktext="continue reading this entry" pages="!blog/entry/*" text="""
diff --git a/blog/entry/designedlifestyle.mdwn b/blog/entry/designedlifestyle.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/desiresfluctuating.mdwn b/blog/entry/desiresfluctuating.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+> 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
+[1] Whether this is the Platonic Socrates or the real one I have no idea
diff --git a/blog/entry/devshm.mdwn b/blog/entry/devshm.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+Interesting to compare this with tmpfs other examples of filesystems
+kept in RAM.
diff --git a/blog/entry/diredfastfilterextension.mdwn b/blog/entry/diredfastfilterextension.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/disableannoyances.mdwn b/blog/entry/disableannoyances.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]]
+[Remove favourites from
+[Remove libraries from
+from "Tweaking with Vishal".
diff --git a/blog/entry/dispatchproxy.mdwn b/blog/entry/dispatchproxy.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]]
diff --git a/blog/entry/divided-by-infinity.mdwn b/blog/entry/divided-by-infinity.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+this afternoon with [Jonathan]( 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](
diff --git a/blog/entry/doctorwhophilos.mdwn b/blog/entry/doctorwhophilos.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/doctorwhophilos/comment_N8LU6K8DP7R3SWFJ._comment b/blog/entry/doctorwhophilos/comment_N8LU6K8DP7R3SWFJ._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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" |
diff --git a/blog/entry/dontalwaysbebusy.mdwn b/blog/entry/dontalwaysbebusy.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+> ... 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+"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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]( caught me by surprise
+yesterday then a [DotA 2
+tournament]( 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/drwhos5.mdwn b/blog/entry/drwhos5.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.
+(picture from the BBC via [the
diff --git a/blog/entry/dudmankorean.mdwn b/blog/entry/dudmankorean.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]]
+philosophy tutor Bob Hargrave ran a sect of supporters of the radical
+philosophical views of the grammarian [V.H.
+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
+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.
+It will be delicious. / It's going to be delicious.
+It looks delicious. / I guess that it is delicious. / Based on what
+you've said, I think it's delicious. / **Maybe it's delicious.**
+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?
+[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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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)](
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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](
+[[!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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]]
diff --git a/blog/entry/edinburghcoursera.mdwn b/blog/entry/edinburghcoursera.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 |
+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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
diff --git a/blog/entry/elevatorbuttons.mdwn b/blog/entry/elevatorbuttons.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]]
diff --git a/blog/entry/elitecolleges.mdwn b/blog/entry/elitecolleges.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+> 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 stable/
+ deb-src stable/
+ ,# wget -q -O - | 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 |
+[What's New In Emacs 24 (part 1) | Mastering
diff --git a/blog/entry/emacsevil.mdwn b/blog/entry/emacsevil.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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
+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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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
+ 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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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 &lt;escape&gt;&lt;space&gt; to my leader map in
+Emacs buffers. That's not too dissimilar to hitting &lt;escape&gt; 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
+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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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!](
+[What the .emcas.d!?](
+Some nice videos and tips.
diff --git a/blog/entry/emacsshorthand.mdwn b/blog/entry/emacsshorthand.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]]
+ <JamesR_> your awesome [post] about emacs
+ <seanw> You thought it was awesome?
+ <JamesR_> I use emacs as a shorthand for "shit got together"
diff --git a/blog/entry/emptinessfaith.mdwn b/blog/entry/emptinessfaith.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]]
+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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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*)
diff --git a/blog/entry/endc25k.mdwn b/blog/entry/endc25k.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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]( 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](, 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]( 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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._comment
new file mode 100644
index 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.mdwn
new file mode 100644
index 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</