The random rantings of a concerned programmer.

Archive for March, 2008


March 30th, 2008 | Category: Random

Nothing new in the works, etc. Snagged a copy of Diamond Age, should be a fun read. Just here to post the response I got from Theo (old news, etc). Here’s the message that I wrote –

Good Day!

It has come to my attention that a certain antagonist to forward thinking, RMS, will be giving a lecture on “Free Software” at my school this Friday. Presumably he is to give a speech advocating his communist philosophies in a viral manner not unlike the pig disgusting GPL that taints our world.

Myself and a small number of like-minded students have recognized this as a threat to the fragile accepting minds of our younger colleagues, but are at a loss in determining an acceptable defense. Our goal is to be discrete, but memorable — to somehow subvert the purpose of the event and righteously expose RHS and the principles he stands behind as the conceited misdirected fantasies that they are.

Do you have any ideas regarding RMS’s weak points?

A somewhat less-than anonymous concerned apprentice.

Theo just responded today with the following, short message –

I was gone.

But I don’t troll.

I cbf’d to tarry further, he’s a busy man and there’s no point in further conversation.

I however, am not a busy person so I can dally all day long doing nothing but wanking to random shit on the internet and posting bullshit whenever and wherever I please. La la la la.



March 28th, 2008 | Category: Random



Finished reading Snow Crash just now, fucking epic. My roommate has a copy of Zodiac which I’m considering reading, though there’s a lot of other shit I need to take care of.

I missed Stallman’s lecture this morning — I was too hungover from getting piss drunk last night to function normally and ended up sleeping through it. I’m sure I didn’t miss much (save opportunity), fat old guy sings shitty “Free Software Song”.

One of the porn trackers I frequent, PureTNA is looking for a PHP developer. The job description is kind of weak, but since it has both “upgrading existing systems” and “Linux administration skills” (and the fact that the site is slow as shit) I imagine they’re hitting the performance limits of a single physical server and want to parallelize shit.

I’m almost tempted to put together a resume and send it off to them, except that would mean being employed by a porn site and having to code in PHP. But it’s employment nonetheless.

And I still need to put that Google Summer of Code proposal together. Bleh.



March 26th, 2008 | Category: Random


Also, I discovered the universe was not deterministic, and my entire belief system collapsed.

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March 25th, 2008 | Category: Random

I swear, every time I actually go to philosophy lecture the more I become convinced that the entire field has been reduced to a bunch of retards. It’s probably that it’s a first-year’s lecture, and everything’s been watered down, but some of the readings that we’re assigned are fairly facepalm as well.

Right now, we’re discussing free will (well, more accurately, free will is being discussed by the professor), and the following contradiction is posted –

  1. Everything is deterministic — any event is the direct cause of previous events.
  2. A person decides what to do solely by means of their free will.
  3. Only one of these can be true.

I actually haven’t done the readings yet, so I’ll spare making a fool of myself for mis-representing an argument, save for one.

An important problem posed by the professor (in lieu of one of the modern philosophers whose work we’re reading) was this — assuming that the universe is deterministic, there can be no such thing as moral responsibility. Since everything is pre-determined, it isn’t your fault that you did it.

Essentially, the argument invoked a construct similar to Laplace’s Demon which knows the entire state of the universe, and thus could determine any previous or future state. The problem is that actual computation and extrapolation of a complex system (at the same level of granularity as the actual system) takes at least as much computation power as the entire system can provide.

That is to say, you can’t simulate the state of the universe at the actual granularity it runs at faster than time runs in the universe. So Laplace’s Demon, unless it possessed a computational apparatus disparate from the universe, would be unable to accurately predict the future.

Because you can’t predict an event with perfect accuracy before it happens, whether or not the event occurs is an unknown outcome which is determined only when it actually occurs. The actual outcome is determined by the actions of individuals who are thus morally responsible.

Isolate closed systems, etc.

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March 24th, 2008 | Category: Random

I started playing Dwarf Fortress last night instead of completing my assignment. And by “started” I really mean “marathoned for 8 hours”.

I swear, that game is crack. It was my first time playing. Admittedly, it has a really steep learning curve — the interface to do stuff is pretty tricky. But there’s a shitload of depth to it, and everything is surprisingly dynamic.

After four hours or so into my currently successful fortress it got kind of boring — build more beds, make more bedrooms, assign more people to farm, continue searching for some fucking ore (goddammit), etc. The boredom can probably be attributed to fatigue, but I dunno. I really need to finish that assignment.

And, oh god, look who’s coming to give a lecture here:


SPEAKER: Richard Stallman
TOPIC: Free Software in Ethics and in Practice
DATE: March 28, 2008
TIME: 2:30 p.m. (Refreshments will be served.)
PLACE: Gilmer Hall 130
HOST: Mary Lou Soffa

Abstract: Richard Stallman will speak about the Free Software Movement, which campaigns for freedom so that computer users can cooperate to control their own computing activities. The Free Software Movement developed the GNU operating system, often erroneously referred to as Linux, specifically to establish these freedoms.

I’m at a loss. Whoever forwarded that email linked to XKCD. I’m not sure who I should assassinate first.


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