Waffle, MLP and stuff, from the Laugh-its-funny dept.

[[ WARNING: before you read this note I can’t seem to concentrate on typing for sleepiness tonight and some sentences of mine seem to lack words in the middle, be warned! ]]

(Before I begin roleplayers in the audience might well appreciate Freebase, which I dug up links to textual versions recently. Freebase@squid.org Freebase@saturos.net).

Anyway now thats over I thought I’d stick a little something up to keep you all updated on whats going down in groove town.

Well first up busyness. Yes I know, its shocking I agree, but sometimes you just have a series of really busy weeks back to back. Still at least this stuffs interesting, writing up introductory material for teaching the Masters stoodents about Unix (with emphasis on Linux).

This included digging information out of a fine introductory nature, so see: From Powerup to Bash Prompt a guide for how a Linux box bootstraps itself enough to run real programs, an interesting read although from memory it gets a little heavy at times.

Unix and Internet Fundamentals a guide to er… exactly what it says on the tin, most fine and from memory reasonably high level.

See also three good works on the Unix Philosophy, good solid design has grown from those kinds of thoughts.

However in case all those documents go to your head I advise reading the following to bring you back down:
The Unix Haters Handbook: An amusing look at why Unix sucks (or at least used to back in ’92, some of the points are fixed now).
The Rise of “Worse is Better” By Richard Gabriel A fine rant by an old hand LISP coder about why Unix sucks donkey balls big time.

Anyway, in addition to that I thought I’d take some part of that random set of questions thats floating about, but since I ‘m feeling lazy I’m doing something different: I intend to answer Weasel‘s questions instead. If someone wants to ask me questions about (all of) Friends, Sex, Music, Drugs, Love and Livejournal I’ll answer them with a mixture of truth and finely told lies.

Can’t say fairer than that (bets on if people can resist commented with the words “Fairer than that”)…

So here we go…

1: What does it take to truly call someone a friend? What are sufficient requirements to grant someone that status?
Its an interesting question this, I find the boundary of friendship thats different with each person, it seems that time spent with a person, experiences, conversations all work towards building a better picture of that person. From that trust can develop, a true friend is someone you can rely on in any number of difficult or embarressing situations (perhaps to lampoon you a little more if you need it) its something I find builds best with time. To truely get to know someone as a friend takes several years in my opinion. Before that they’re well more than a casual acquaintence but not a true friend… a something thats good but not as close as a friend yet. I’m lacking a good word.

2: How should human sexuality be defined? Should it be in terms of preference, activity, a combination of the two, or something different? Answers mentioning that it’s wrong to label such things will be met with a raised eyebrow.
Human sexuality is a tricky thing I can’t quite grok to be fair. I think activity takes a major part in it in my opinion (harking back to other peoples answers about the difference between sex and relationships) you can do a number of things and if you do them and enjoy them (which you probably do if you keep doing them, doing stuff repeatedly you don’t enjoy without a good reason is a weird behaviour that I can’t be bothered to try and dissect at this time of night) then you should be labelled (or may label yourself) as a “person who does X”.

Labels have their uses, they enable you to have a conversation and quickly bring someone up to speed by saying “I like FOO, BAR and BAZ and thus label myself as a QUUX, however I don’t like GZORK, even though the label of QUUX may suggest I do”. They aren’t the be all and end all but they aren’t wrong. Their just a concept and you need to be as careful with them as any other concept.

3: What, entirely in your own opinion, makes good music?
This question hurts my brain, music for me is a forbiddenly fantastical pleasure, something I love but have no talent for producing, something I can only appreciate from afar, never really getting the internals of how it works, just knowing if it does it for me or not. Which by the way is rather vexing.

For me music needs an undefinably quality, it needs to fulfil its role almost… I can like simple bouncy music sometimes, something that just blasts forth without a care in the world, othertimes I like odd music, soundscapes constructed with care by such people as Mike Oldfield, Captain Beefheart, Serj Tankian and othertimes I like stirring music (John Williams Duel of the Fates, Orff’s – O Fortuna, Holst’s planets (especially Jupitar)), theres groovy funky blues music, theres rock (queen, still legendary), metal (Metallica’s S&M is truely a masterpiece, Perfect Circle aren’t bad) sometimes its the odd isolated-humanness of goth-type-music (early Cure is wonderful) or its relation industrial (Ahh Nine inch nails), sometimes even cheesey 90s dance music (not just the Prodigy, although they do rock).

But in all the types of music listed its people with skill at arranging music somehow effectively, the effect is I think the key, pick a style and go for it. You can have as much of this mysterious quality in an opera as a cheesey ballad as a rock song, its about throwing yourself into it, even if it is just being silly (see: Tenacious D).

Thats a rambling way to say I don’t really know.

4: To what degree should people be free to use drugs? What restrictions should be placed on their sale and use?
In a perfect world people should be as free as they want to use whatever drugs they want. However people are not free and not perfect (nor is the world), hence some control is handy.

I’d really rather things were however a little more legal than they are now, people should be able to obtain mind-warping chemicals of their choice from a range of legal outlets (paying a generous tax to counter negative impacts of said drugs on the community and help spread the cost of treating overboard patients across the drug users, although that again isn’t fair but its fairer than just lumping it into everyones costs, who knows I’m not a politician). However they should I think take some responsibility for the effects there of and stop before they do their brains permanent damage (who am I kidding, if its legal to purchase drugs they’ll blame someone else, anyone else! When driven to do arsish things).

Again I’m copping out I feel, perhaps we should let provenly responsible people obtain drug licenses… or something but from who? Do we trust the government to do so? Is it even their area?

5: Obviously you believe in True Love. Is it possible to have more than one True Love – not necessarily at the same time, but perhaps consecutively?
Here I’m tempted to write: “The number of serial monogamists in the world would suggest so.” however thats actually rather an incorrect and crap view. I believe what most people term “true love” is really rather unuseful, for me love is a large catagory, it roughly goes: random->acquaintence->whatever-term-I-don’t-know (see Q1)->friend->good friend->love

I find that when I truely love people its a feeling that can creep up on you, so you don’t realise it for a while then it suddenly hits you one day how much you truely well love someone (its rather a weak statement, I know, its ramble, let it slide), so for me I can love more than one person at once, I think also its hard to stop loving someone once they reach that catagory in my brain, only with great time can it fade and even so I’m not sure it would ever truely go away.

So in my opinion I do believe in true love, and I think its possible to have more than one, even at the same time. But people should be careful with the term, its not one I like to band about lightly, its a serious declaration to say those words to someone and should only be done when its true and so obvious its like a giant spot-light in your brain.

6: When push comes to shove, what is LJ in and of itself actually for?
The same goals that Burners-Lee had for the web in the first place, a method of publishing content across a network.

LiveJournal (and its ilk) are simply resurrecting the “homepage” concept that swept the world early in the days of the web. Except this time their doing it right, its free or cheap, thus lowering that barrier to entry.

It requires little or no technical knowledge to make it work, thus meaning that you don’t need to be a specilist to use it (however it also means you can be a network newbie with little to no knowledge of netiquette as well, but then I think the Eternal September will never, ever end now, which is perhaps a good thing in someways and a bad thing in others).

It is essentially a content-management system for building websites that anyone can use, thus anyone can write a homepage in the style of a weblog, with the commenting system, communities and searching capabilities it also turns the whole idea into what I think it is in totality.

Its a method of human interaction.

And as such its a tool, a useful one, it means you don’t have to spam 50 email accounts to tell people: how your day was, how your dogs doing, if you got that job in brazil, if you like jam. That lightens the network load (which is a good thing) and helps the information flow on request to your friends and others, this enables people to keep in touch easier, which can only be a good thing for humans (well it also allows for streams of angst and drama, but frankly those things have been going on since humans came down from the trees, perhaps longer, they aren’t going away).

Anyway, longer than expected, if you got this far award yourself a cookie and if you really want leave questions of your own below, as promised you will get at least one good quality lie in your response.

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