This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit my employer
Novell which is an amazing company, and also
Dell who in days of yore provided me with a
free laptop for Gnome development / conferences.
Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten
yourself by going to Unraveling Wittgenstein's net or if
you are feeling objectionable perhaps here.
Stuff Michael Meeks is doing
Prodded mail, fixed a couple of bootchart2 sillies kindly
reported by MajQ and eikesauer; did a 0.11.2 release. Got mail from
people amused by a flood of acceptances of long-dead appointments
Amused by P. Van-hoof's charm
offensive - with a helpful transcript of the hammed up polemic.
The advocacy of the quest for scientific truth is great, who
cannot sign up for an enthusiastic war on ignorance ? The amusing irony
of the mumbo-jumbo packed spiel, specialising 'dumb', and blaming all the
world's troubles (even environmental destruction) on believers is amazing.
I know no-one who believes without question, or has faith without
facts. My experience of meeting those who advocate killing those of a
different belief is (sadly) limited to a few Muslims; eg. the head of the
ISOC at Cambridge during my time would kill even his own son, or so he said.
That I suspect is a sentiment shared by only a small proportion of Muslims,
many of whom are peace-loving.
Then we have the extraordinarily tendentious "Only Morons can
destroy life and claim a higher purpose" - (this is not a definition of
'Moron' by the way, 'Morons' are believers). Is that really so ? The existence
of mercenaries would suggest that life destruction can be justified, in the
non-religious, by such banalities as personal enrichment. Just War - in essence
elevates the duty to protect a neighbour in need, over the duty to preserve
the life of an aggressor; while Augustine may have had a lot to say about
the limits on war (that it must be 'just') - it is unclear that all Atheists
have substantial ethical disagreement over its necessity in extremis. Then of
course today's post-Christian society destroys life of both the un-born and
elderly at a staggering rate; the higher purpose there: personal convenience.
The assertion is manifestly and self-servingly false after only a minute of
As for following in the footsteps of some really smart people, it
looks like Kneller's Isaac
Newton features in the graphics. Interestingly "Newton wrote more on
religion than he did on natural science." ... "Thus, the clarity and
simplicity of science was seen as a way to combat the emotional and metaphysical
superlatives of both superstitious enthusiasm and the threat of atheism,...".
Albert "I am not an Atheist" Einstein, provides some great name
recognition to support whatever view you like. His understanding of God was not
one I share, and at least slightly congruent with the Atheist as viewing faith
as a childish suspicion. Nevertheless, he says:
"In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind,
am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But
what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of
such views." - go Astronomers ! aggravate the dead man.
Also, in case it is not obvious, while being a convinced Christian
(or 'Moron' in the parlance) - I am not a "base, merciless, killer" (lol) -
nor do I want to destroy the planet. Quite the opposite, I have rather an affection
for P.V.Hoof, and I like debating with him in person. It is much, much better to
talk about things than to censor and hide them, I tend to be an advocate for free
expression. Furthermore, in my not-humble-enough opinion there are some
points of view that speak far, far more about their holder, than perhaps they
intended: "Shakespeare can't write for toffee", "The Bible is rubbish (though
I never read it)" etc.
Finally, in my view the antagonism from which this comes, is
an almost total rejection of the liberal arts, in favour of the apparent certainty
of hard science. I used to share a distain for the waffling classes, until I
saw the UK's Chief Science Advisor to the Government, make a complete fool of
himself with an arrogantly un-substantiable, dismissive attitude, in a lecture
from a Philosopher (from the History and Philosophy of Science Dep't). For
those of a more inquiring frame - I wish I had more time to read eg. Trigg.
Science needs a metaphysical justification. We have to
have some warrant for thinking that its apparent successes are real and not
illusory. We may be lucky to live in an island of apparent order in a
fundamentally disordered universe. If we do not believe this, why not?
A useful question ? more so to those astronomers that believe that
80%+ of the universe is invisible:
utterly transparent, nonbaryonic etc. Quite probably it is so, but
acknowledging a philosophical basis of belief there is helpful.
Parenthetically, I appreciate that some more thoughtful and humble
Atheists find this sort of thing -as- embarassing, as I find some creationist
christians. That is, no doubt, all for the best - stimulating thought.
Installed the latest technicolor MeeGo image, looking good. Poked at
Evolution translations a little, apparently translating things breaks the help
build (bother). Added a minor feature or two to bootchart2 for Lennart.
Bug-fixed, and enabled command-line dumping;
Looks busy and cluttered (good thing its off by default), yet perhaps useful:
"which modprobe is taking all that time ?". Presumably by turning off
the elision of tiny scripts, we could get a better view of what really
happens (crazy-sed-spawning-wise) at boot.
Merged some translations for Evolution manually, still havn't got
the hang of msggrep - how do I lookup the single (exact) string 'Calendar'
in an Evolution .po file ? add some code mangling to remove mnemonics from
a string to get at a translated version of "Password:"; fun. Pondered also
the plague of 'no' files that scp likes to poo across my file-system: who
thought I wanted it to do that ?
In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my
own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Novell, The
Lithuanian Gov't or Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's also important to
realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy.
Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences,
Michael Meeks (firstname.lastname@example.org)