Holy Crap!

So I decided it would be prudent to update my front page… after all, it’s been awhile. I created a nifty randomizing engine that takes quotes and images from a database and assigns them to regions of the screen so that on mouse over, the text and images change. Useless? Yes.

Garrett and I were thinking about how plausible it would be to implement some more useless eye candy into my site. How about a perspective engine written in Java so we could lob objects at the television set? Sounds like a project…

Until next time,
teejay

A few thoughts…

I was leafing through my book of Buddhist scriptures and found a quote I really admired:

“As rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, passion will break through an unreflecting mind.”

This inspired me to write a few observations I’ve been formulating in my head lately:

  1. We fear what we do not understand
  2. Our longevity is arbitrary due to death’s innate inevitability.
  3. Purpose is synthetic; however, this does not invalidate our need to pursue it.
  4. Truth is general belief.
  5. Deceit is the sin from which all sins stem.

Welcome to the Fourth Reich - Part 2

Your freedom is being undermined. We live in a time when terrorists run rampant, hoping to take away the freedoms you love dearly. They do not come in turbans preaching the Quaran; rather, these terrorists played a fun riddle. They warned you of themselves.

Today, President Bush pondered the possibility of reworking the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the law that effecitvely banned the use of military (specifically the Army at that time, but other branches were added) in policing our own country. Using the recent bird flu epidemic sweeping Asia combined with his administration’s lackluster performance in quelling the damage from Hurricane Katrina as his two main arguments for what could easily be deemed a request for martial law, he thinks it is an important discussion for Congress to have.

So let me get this straight. You want military personnel with weaponry roaming the streets to save us from… bird flu and hurricanes? Somehow I don’t know how their weapons are going to impact either of these problems. What about this? How about we invest in vaccinations? What about homeless shelters for the unfortunate people that lost their entire lives in New Orleans?

Well actually, Mr. Bush, from a realist, hardlined stance I guess you’re right. If we just kill all of the people with bird flu, we can end it just like terrorism! Fight death with more death, that’s what I would say too. In fact, drop a few nuclear weapons on America. That will solve all of our problems… no more fighting because no one will be here to fight. What do you think of that, terrorists?

Psst… America… it’s time to wake up.

Forever since an update…

I’ve been neglecting to make any posts lately due to my very busy schedule. This semester is proving to be one of great intellectual growth and I’m already realizing it won’t be like past semesters. I have been hard at work on numerous projects, both for academics and not, and I’d like to fill you in on some of them:

  • Buzzsaw Haircut
    I’ve been hard at work on redesigning the website for Ithaca’s underground magazine, Buzzsaw Haircut. You can check out my progress here.
  • The Wall
    Yesterday, Felix and I were discussing the possibility of a new kind of Wiki that would be more free-formed and artistic. We dubbed it The Wall. Check out our plans for world domination here.

That’s all for now. Hopefully I will make more frequent updates…

Here comes the Fall

Summer is coming to an end, and it is time to usher in another semester of living and learning. I feel more attuned to the way of the world and ready to accept the obstacles that may lay in my path in the coming months. I’ve learned that the problems that arise in life are of our own creation.

An interesting thought dawned on me the other day: Life is spent entirely attempting to balance out imbalances. Everything we do is done to fix a particular problem. Even my writing this is a result of my lack of self-expression as of late, regardless of whether or not I may think it. If we realize and accept this truth, mundane tasks become more meaningful and we realize that everything we do contributes equally to our well-being.

I recently viewed the film What the #$*! Do We (K)now!? and found it to be a very interesting way of thinking despite its obvious flaws. Its main thesis is that our emotions are of our own doing. We are addicted to our own emotions and by accepting that, we are able to control them.

I wanted to test this theory. I happened to stub my toe the other day and felt the familiar throbbing pain. Then I remembered what I had learned and simply cleared my mind; the pain subsided.

Don’t ever let your emotions tell you right from wrong. They are an addiction like any other.

Open Source Incorporated

Today is a sad day in web browser land. The Mozilla Foundation, specifically the developers of the Firefox web browser and Thunderbird e-mail client that have been garnering wide respect due to their innovative security and customization features, has decided it will go corporate.

I am in much dismay (or perhaps as much dismay as I can be in over such a situation). Firefox has revolutionized the way we browse the web, and although the Mozilla Foundation claims commercializing will do the product good, it will only lead to corruption and might lend itself to the fate of Netscape.

However, one quote struck me: “The browser wars are back.” It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

Emperor Bush and the Landslide of Tyranny

Although the slippery slope argument is filled with fallacy, it is impossible to deny its merit in the last two days of news in Washington. With the recess appointment of John Bolton to the U.N. ambassadorship and the signing of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), Bush is flexing his self-granted political muscles in frightening ways. Despite striking opposition from both sides, our government continues to neglect moral observation in favor of legal loopholes.

Recess appointments should be used responsibly. It is doubtful that our founding fathers intended the President of the United States to appoint a man to a high office whose credibility and attitude do not satisfy the will of the people. Bolton has spoken out against the United Nations on several occasions. He has claimed that the United States is the only true world power and that it should rule as the sole international governing body. As a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the Washington think tank that follows this ideology, is this the man we would like to represent our country in a world-governing body?

The signing of CAFTA is another step toward globalization and American unipolarity. By removing tariffs with Central American nations, the United States may falter to further globalization due to a decrease in demand for domestic goods.

It is scary to think that we live in a country where fewer and fewer goods that contribute to our subsistence are being produced every day. We are a nation fueled and propelled by information. We produce very few goods ourselves and for all intents and purposes, we are the CEO’s of the metaphorical corporation that is the rest of the world. This might be neat or innovative, but I don’t think you can eat information. Let’s ensure we’ll be able to eat before it’s too late.

Wake up, America.

Adventures into Python

The office has been much more forgiving as of late and has given me more opportunities to learn different programming techniques. I have recently started learning wxPython, a Python GUI library based off wxWidgets. So far it has been an interesting experience and I’m really enjoying developing actual applications rather than mundane VBScript/SQL database web applications.

I’d like to start developing in Python more now that I’m more familiar with the syntax. It’s an excellent language once you get past the obscure syntax and can be quite efficient.

We’ll see what I come up with…

Compassion from an old friend

A friend from high school e-mailed me today and offered me some of the most genuinely compassionate blessings I have ever received. I don’t think anything has ever touched me quite like this did. It is this compassion and love among humans that will be what saves us. It is gestures like these that give me hope and show me that despite all of our differences, we are all still one.

I encourage anyone who reads this to say hello to someone you haven’t seen in awhile. Even the smallest gesture can go a long way.

Spread love and eliminate fear.

Part 4: Pentium III laptop for $35? Why, I'll take it.

Tonight I compiled the 2.6.7 kernel for my new baby. This way I have better ALSA support and the like. It’s amazing how much more you know about your computer when you actually configure everything yourself. Although, now my other machine is having issues of its own…

For some reason I came home tonight to find my PC with both its drive lights on and no display. I restarted the machine and it resumed this state. I have no idea what it could be — perhaps some sort of power supply problem. Nonetheless, it’s really irritating.

In other news, at work I’ve started developing an application in Python that keeps track of employees’ metrics. I’m developing it using the wxPython library and the Python ODBC library to access an MS Access database. So far it’s just a suite of database functions and some crude UI, but hopefully development will speed up.

Anyway, until next time… peace.