The Morning of My Forgotten Loves

For some reason I got up really early this morning, like when my alarm clock first went off — crazy crazy crazy crazy — and I had a bit of time before I went to work. On an unrelated note, I’m very thirsty.

“The Morning of My Forgoten Loves”

This is the morning
of my forgotten loves,
blown like
bright soap bubbles
out, out and away
to pop
and dissipate.

They have left me
like rain from
a cloud,
scattered
in muddy puddles
and runoff.

This is the morning
of my old forgotten loves,
none quite half-beautiful
or fit to
wear the throne,
but all rainbow bubble,
hot breath and
dishsoap.

But you rest like
a brick in my pocket,
and I think,
better a brick than a
bubble.

You can’t start
building a house with
soap suds.

Douglas Wilson and I tangle. But just a bit, because his pinch is to my punch as an elephant to a squirrel.

In this article on pop culture, Douglas Wilson takes on the heathens and pagans, claiming pop culture as anti-culture. Disposable culture. You don’t pass on your Frasier episodes to your children. Besides, they won’t know what a DVD is.

But his logic is flawed, at least a bit. In the article, he claims (using his example) that purple hair means rebellion. Okay, I’ll grant that, sort of. Purple hair means rebellion in a certain context: in the realm of people who don’t wear purple hair. Which is society in general. Mostly. Of course, we can’t lump society into one big blob and say “this is how it is,” because it varies so much from place to place, especially in a multiculture like Canada. Or, as DW might argue, a no-culture like Canada. Makes it difficult.

Perhaps it would be best to judge these things from a standpoint of locality. Purple hair in a crowd of purple-haired people is not rebellion in the temporal sense. In that sense, even if they’re all wearing it out of rebellion, you’re conforming, not rebelling. In the final sense, of course, you’re conforming to rebellion. But that hardly matters, especially when you have a whole bunch of people wearing purple hair so that the point of it all is being lost.

A potent example of this might be spikey hair. Once upon a time it was considered abnormal to do ones hair like that. It still might be, if you’re a fifty-year-old man. Or an earing. It was once considered a sign of rebellion to wear an earing, if you were a man. Or, if you were a woman, to wear more than one. However, all the little rebels have now grown up to their rebellion becoming the status quo (no matter what you think of the history of it all), and no longer see that as abnormal. And because — and again, Douglas Wilson and I will disagree on this — there is nothing inherently wrong with piercing, at least in moderation, like most things, the infamous rebellion symbol carries no infamy or rebellion. At best, it’s a nostalgic throwback to an era in which it was. Yearning for rebellion. Stupid, yes. But that’s the way it is.

Of course, if we didn’t have a culture of rebellion, these changes might take a number of decades and centuries happen, where in 20th century culture they only two decades, and no centuries. But that’s a moot point that you can argue when Christians have once again taken over the world (come to our rescue, China!). We can’t look at what something was thirty years ago, and judge from there. Especially, as DW will admit, in things that are only sinful based on meaning. Well, do they really mean that anymore? No, not really. You need to find a nice gangsta rap cd for that. And we won’t talk about those little retards.

Childhood.

“Childhood”

All revisit the
sandboxes of their youth,
be it in
poptarts or
handsurfing out car windows,

but there is
still the problem of
knowledge
and how to forget
what ripped
childhood from our
fingers.

The mind is a mysterious,
acerbic place,
and could we
unremember, we might,
to fly kites
without the whisper
of Franklin,

or build dams with
dirty hands
and no Pastuer
preaching cleanliness,

or think that girls
are icky
and boys all muddy creatures,
no hormones
eroding those illusions
like sandstone and
breakers,

to view the world as
a great mystery
without the textbook
of
quantum mechanics
to twist the conundrum
in further knots
(and a dead cat’s a
dead cat, stupid).

We all revisit the
skinned knees
of childhood
with the placebos
and bright bandages
of an adult life,

where no balm comes
for the wars of wisdom
and experience,
except to say
the night was winking
full of stars,
where clouds now pass
across the
sky.

Some things to remember.

Be careful with dynamic memory.

Watch for stack overflows.

Always restrict access as much as possible.

Use the strongest encryption available depending on the sensitivity of your data.

Turn off all services that you don’t use.

Don’t set your root password to root.

Assume every user has bad motives.

Plan for the worst.

Also, The Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics.

1. Thou shalt not use a computer to harm other people.
2. Thou shalt not interfere with other people’s computer work.
3. Thou shalt not snoop around in other people’s computer files.
4. Thou shalt not use a computer to steal.
5. Thou shalt not use a computer to bear false witness.
6. Thou shalt not copy or use proprietary software for which you have not paid.
7. Thou shalt not use other people’s computer resources without authorization or proper compensation.
8. Thou shalt not appropriate other people’s intellectual output.
9. Thou shalt think about the social consequences of the program you are writing or the system you are designing.
10. Thou shalt always use a computer in ways that ensure consideration and respect for your fellow humans.

The US court system. A pile of crap, usually.

I hate to be dogmatic about things, but the US court system is usually pretty dysfunctional, mostly I think, for lack of legislative oversight. And that would be the fault of legislators, whose job is to provide a balance of power by being able to revoke a court’s decision in the legislature if they feel so called. Of course the status quo seems to be that the judicial activism is in, and legislative activism is out. The court system has been trampled over by liberal activists who do what like because they can, and the legislative assemblies have their hands in Big Business’s pie, so they won’t do anything even if they could.

That said, it seems even the US courts are a little nervous with the Patriot and Homeland Security Acts, and the way they chip at the foundations of US civil liberties little by little. In a recent decision they seem to be toeing the line of saying “we don’t like this, Mr Bush. Not in a tree, not with a bee, not in a box, not with a fox.”

In other news, if you want to read something about Quantum Mechanics, try this site. In the venerable tradition of science, it is quite ugly, but informative. Which is about as much as I can say about Eintein too, by the way. Ugly, and really bad hair, but informative as you’ll get.

Want to know the rules of soccer? Well I did, and I found out how complicated they really are. The second link is for a PDF document put out by Fifa (the Federation International de Football Association). By the wayl, who made up that name? Is that like four different languages? I see French in there, and English, so what is this? Goodness, make up your minds people. You might as well have called it the Vereinigung Internazionale de Football Asociación.

Which for those of you who don’t know, is German, Itallian, French, English, and Spanish.

This would be a test.

Just to see if I can email in a blog entry. You know, sort of that
exciting feeling when technology is doing what you want it to. And
you don’t have to pay for it. Nice.

Family. Trees. Um, family tree?

I was asked today how many kids, grandkids, and great grandkids my grandmother has. And I had to do some figuring, but the end result goes something like this: 10 kids, 48 grandkids, 50ish great-grandkids. For crying out loud, that’s over one hundred people! And that’s not counting her brothers and sisters kids, who are my second cousins once removed.

So Steve was thinking that I should start up a site (like Steenhof.info) to keep all the relevant relative information on. And then we could gradually expand and it could become a veritable encyclopdia of the Steenhof family. Although Oma’s pretty much comatose right now, so we won’t exactly get to hear her little bit of the story.

Last night, coffeehouse was at the Zandstras. As in Pete and Laurie’s. My drum was tuned up too high. Nick’s sense of rhythm needs help. I taught them how to play the alt tune to “Take My Life and Let it Be”, which is a cool song, except that Nick’s guitar was tuned down two steps and it made it sound like we were a choir of bullfrogs. Pete Westerveld was there. So were all the younger YP children, who look like they’re about five. But that’s neither here nor there.

Microsoft, again.

Okay, so I don’t love Microsoft. But there’re some pretty interesting articles that come out of there every once in a while (not to mention leaked memos, even more interesting). Try Twenty-One Rules Of Thumb which attemts to describe how MS gets software to market on time. In the article it says “great” software, but I think we’ll forgive them that bit of hyperbole, unless of course you’re refering to MS-DOS, which really wasn’t that bad.

I copped a few snippets from the article. These are somewhat classic, and use words that no one uses.

  • Pseudo-order is a maladapted defense against uncertainty.
  • A developer articulating the status of his/her component is an exercise that does produce information, but if it happens to communicate the component’s status, it is only coincidental. This is someone else’s job.
  • It is a simple enough matter to mentally run through the sides of the triangle, or force others to do so, when discussing any part of it.
  • This means that the granularity of development tasks must be such that deliverables are achieved at intervals sufficiently small that slips can be compensated for.
  • At a milestone, the team and its leadership also have the opportunity to perceive the whole project status simultaneously, to draw conclusions about erroneous practices, to remedy bad design decisions and to reorganize for peak performance.
  • There are many pathologies at play here as well as certain healthy patterns of creative behavior.
  • Often, when appropriate design value is awarded to timeliness, implementation time can be substantially compressed.

    Yes. The man who wrote this is a very verbose person.