2016 — 19 May: Thursday

Here we go again, but1 no further 'medical' stuff this week. The renewed filling seems fine, the ache from a jaw held too wide open for too long yesterday has faded, and (I think) I have just proved that the more recent of my two relatively recent Epson scanners does not, in fact, wish to play nice with Linux. I have swapped back in the good ol' reliable (but rather clunkier) 1660 Photo Perfection.


... once again — and a lunch date to look forward to. It's not beyond the bounds of possibility that there may be a tad of supplies shopping before that, too. Peter and his g/f (safely returned from their week of trekking in Turkey) may yet squeeze in the visit this weekend that was tentatively lined up last time. On that occasion, having decimated much of the jungle and sorted out AWS web page uploading, they managed to leave behind both a pile of food in the fridge, and a large container of gardening tools that has only just (it seems) been missed.

This is why...

... I steered well clear of the Humanities! Source and snippet:

...English departments became the place to go to for those interested in thinkers like Gramsci, Baudrillard and Derrida. The work of these theorists was seen as emancipatory, revolutionary, sophisticated, and much better suited to the study of more political modernist and postmodern texts — New Criticism looked simplistic by comparison. This was the advent of Theory.
From the Seventies to the present, English departments have been fascinated by theory after theory, including varieties of structuralism (Lacanian, Althusserian, Foucauldian, post-) and identity-political criticism (beginning with feminist critiques, then critical race theories, queer theories, and culminating, for now, in disability studies).

Justin Evans in Point

As I said a while back, I gurgled like a drain the first time I read the "deconstruction" of the Silk Cut cigarette adverts by fictional academic Dr Robyn Penrose in David Lodge's wonderful 1988 novel Nice Work. I'm not alone in my opinion:

The humanities ... are the same people who write sentences like this:
"Total presence breaks on the univocal predication of the exterior absolute the absolute existent (of that of which it is not possible to univocally predicate an outside, while the equivocal predication of the outside of the absolute exterior is possible of that of which the reality so predicated is not the reality .... of the self)."
And we're supposed to believe that they can think?

Heather Mac Donald (sic) in City Journal

Linux for Lettuce

Very well worth a read. Source and snippet:

One fateful morning in Minneapolis, Michaels awoke with a Linux-inspired epiphany: What if we did the same thing with our seeds? Just like hackers, he and his colleagues would make their germplasm "free" by attaching a license that kept it in the public domain. No one could patent or otherwise restrict it or its offspring. Over time, Jack Kloppenburg and others heard about the idea, and together they honed it into the shrewdly elegant concept of open-source seed.

Lisa M Hamilton in VQR

Gotta love a phrase like "the University of Wisconsin vegetable breeder in patent limbo with his red carrots".

I don't understand...

... how pedestrians can so blithely set off across roads, not at crossings, without even a backwards glance round to check on my approach. I know the Mazda is quiet, but it's also bright white (at least, where the mud isn't).

Looking for evidence...

... of my dalliance with Red Hat Linux2 I found an email to Carol that I wrote shortly after Christa's second major round of surgery, and just 120 hours (of work) before I began my nine weeks of "pre-retirement" vacation:

... there's a small cloud on the horizon in the shape of an 80GB drive with another Linux partition on it that has an annoying habit of starting to boot, and failing, but that's a tale for another day. (The problem was, the Linux on it was put on it when it lived in my little Shuttle machine and, now that each time it wakes up it finds itself in an entirely different home, it not unreasonably throws a wobbly.)

Of course, the only news that really matters is that Christa has lost enough weight to delight her, and is looking and feeling marvellous. I'm pretty grim, by contrast, as I'm finding this last bit of countdown rather a strain. But I in no way regret my decision, and am eagerly looking forward to whatever time remains to us ... Ironically, of course, the threatened migration of my work to the Indian sub-continent is running about six months late on an elapsed time of eight so far. But the time has come to move on.

Date: 12 October 2006

I didn't know then quite how short our time together would be, of course. But you play the hand you're dealt. It is, after all, the only game in town.



1  With luck...
2  Kicked off by a reminder that, in earlier days, there was a File Manager (ROX) for Linux that tried to emulate the look'n'feel of the RISC OS system of the days of yore.