2015 — 21 October: Wednesday

The timing of today's planned walk depends, literally, on a rain check. At the moment,1 it's still somewhat drizzly.

Reality check

I can do little better than recommend the amusing (or do I mean "ludicrous"?) piece here. I was tickled by the idea of using a thought experiment to demonstrate modern philosophy's cul-de-sac regarding the inherent inability of the human mind to think "properly" about reality. But I'm but a bear of little brain who hates being told how to think properly. Your smileage may vary. Source and snippet:

For Gabriel, to exist means to appear in what he, in reference to Wittgenstein's later notion of language games, calls a "field of sense": a finite domain of meaningful connections. Fields of sense — in German, Seinfelde, a play on words that affords Gabriel, a connoisseur of American popular culture, an opportunity to allude to his favorite sitcom — stand in contrast to metaphysical attempts to understand the world as a finite, graspable totality.

Richard Wolin in Chronicle

Personally, I thought "Seinfeld" was utterly brilliant. But then, I also think it's time for Mr XKCD to find room on his "purity of fields" spectrum for philosophy. I'd suggest at the extreme left-hand edge. Or would that be too unreal?


I was blissfully unaware...

... of the existence of "Fu Man Chews". Just as well, I suspect. Gotta love that opening line: "Sax Rohmer falls into the category — like HP Lovecraft — of truly great bad writers". (Link.)

Back to the Future

People seem to have noticed it's now 30 years since that enjoyable film came out. What was I up to 30 years ago? Same old same old...

If I hadn't become hardened to printer and bureaucratic idiocy during my (lifetime?) with IBM I expect I'd be drooling and gibbering in a dark corner now. We sent off the camera copy, late (but not, you understand, too late) and some worthy soul, with the best of motives, said "we'll send the drop ship later, when we've sorted out who gets what", but, of course, we never did, did we? So, there's the GI brochure sitting in Mechanicsburg in time for the announce, but tagged "freeze until announce" and did you know it takes over eight days to VNET some moron tell somebody and get him to unfreeze?? (you didn't, huh? Well, neither did I, but it does).

Date: 23 October 1985

I can scarcely believe I used VNET as a verb. Oh, the shame.

Somewhat more recently...

... I got hold of this fabulous collection of interviews because I've been a fan of "Zap" for over four decades:

Zap interviews

I merely skimmed it on its arrival — being then deeply embroiled in the aftermatch2 of my switch to Linux from Windows — but had made a mental note to 'return' when I had more time. Instead of the planned perambulation, I have been much enjoying a lengthier look this (still wet) morning.


What would Wilhelm Reich have said? (Link.)

Given the weather...

... we've jointly agreed that today's walk will now metamorphose into a trip to Jamie's where we can both offload some surplus PC-ish technology for refurbishment and potential re-use. In my case, I shall be taking along the Evesham Shuttle PC that helped me take my first tentative XP steps at home when I'd concluded — in late 2002 — that I'd reached the end of the Acorn RISC OS road.


... something worthwhile emerges from the burbling of Laurie Taylor's "Thinking Allowed". Today, for example, he quoted a (male) letter writer and a throwaway line irascibly questioning the "Tiresian credentials" of female experts. I fed the phrase to Wikipedia (just in case) and unearthed a delightful blog entry by Giles Booth referring to a book ("Notes from Overground") I'd bought in February 1984, read, very much enjoyed, and then hadn't thought of in 30 years. And doubt many have encountered.

So I now know that Tiresias was the pen name of Roger Green. If only I could find its current location...

Am I bored...

... by my Linux Mint 17.2 system yet? Elementary OS is waiting in the wings. Built on exactly the same Ubuntu 14.04 LTS base. But do I want to run a Mac look-a-like?

Found it!

Though quite why it was exactly where it should have been...

Tiresias on commuting

... and was thus in the last place I looked, I will never understand.



1  This morning's "moment" is currently 08:25.
2  While I admit "aftermath" was what I intended to go with, "aftermatch" better conveys some of the later software skirmishes.