Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Dear Microsoft Consumer...
Got me a virus email today. The letter got on my wrong side from the opening phrase, and went downhill from there. It started off:
I am not a consumer
I practice safe hex
. I'm too scared to install and use a mail-reader program on Microsoft products. I use old non-user-friendly standbys - ssh - and pine. I yearn for some of the organizational features of modern mail clients - but on the other hand, I've got an email collection that goes back five years, and I've never had it destroyed due to an email virus/worm.
In the good old days, before we drowned in spam, there was an easy way, a standard way, to notify the manager of the system that it was being abused. You simply sent mail to postmaster@whereever. It was part of the internet social contract. I still read my postmaster mail. Paul Vixie
still reads his. As for everyone else... well "abuse" and "security" are two good aliases to try... some providers just have web forms... some have no policies at all.
Here's what the mail looked like - I've noted in red the indications that this message contained a virus:
From email@example.com Fri Apr 25 20:26:40 2003
Received: from rwcrmhc52.attbi.com (rwcrmhc52.attbi.com [184.108.40.206])
by llama.ackley.net with ESMTP id h3Q3QboS032481
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2003 03:26:18 +0000 (GMT)
X-Comment: Sending client does not conform to RFC822 minimum requirements
X-Comment: Date has been added by Maillennium.
Received: from sqkyqpy (12-226-245-7.client.attbi.com[220.127.116.11])
From: Microsoft Corporation Internet Technical Services
To: "Microsoft Consumer" <>
Subject: Internet Security Patch
1.1 OK ~52 lines Text
1.2 Shown ~73 lines Text
2 159 KB Application
this is the latest version of security update, the "April 2003, Cumulative Patch" update which eliminates all known security vulnerabilities affecting Internet Explorer, Outlook and Outlook Express as well as five newly discovered vulnerabilities. Install now to protect your computer from these vulnerabilities, the most serious of which could allow an attacker to run executable on your system. This update includes the functionality of all previously released patches.
System requirements | Win 9x/Me/2000/NT/XP This update applies to |
Microsoft Internet Explorer, version 4.01 and
later Microsoft Outlook, version 8.00 and later
Microsoft Outlook Express, version 4.01 and later
Recommendation | Customers should install the patch at the earliest opportunity.
How to install | Run attached file. Click Yes on displayed dialog box.
How to use | You don't need to do anything after installing this item.
Microsoft Product Support Services and Knowledge Base articles
can be found on the Microsoft Technical Support web site.
For security-related information about Microsoft products, please
visit the Microsoft Security Advisor web site, or Contact us.
Please do not reply to this message. It was sent from an unmonitored
e-mail address and we are unable to respond to any replies.
Thank you for using Microsoft products.
With friendly greetings,
Microsoft Corporation Internet Technical Services
©2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. The names of the actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
[ Part 2, Application/X-MSDOWNLOAD 212KB. ]
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This message came via AT&T broadband. They're probably drowning in virus reports, and have policies and procedures for handing it... published somewhere ... aha (10 minutes of searching later) - oh, yea... firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's forward that little evil message along to the right people. f,[paste],enter, Y, enter....
Ahh... Being a responsible netizen has obligations. Sometimes they are both easy and satisfying to fulfill. If more netizens took a few minutes out of their day to trace back and report abuse it would be a kinder, gentler metaverse.
Went to sleep (got 5 hours!) with Pink Floyd's "Animals" playing. I woke up with the riff from "Pigs - Three little ones" replaying in my head. I started the day reading an interview with SCO's CEO about the 1 billion dollar SCO vs IBM lawsuit
The sound of "Pigs" got louder and louder and louder. "Big man, Pig man - hah hah, charade you are...
I then read the Open Source Initiative
's rebuttal to SCO's charges
"Pigs" swelled to overwhelm my head. "You well heeled big wheel - hah-hah, charade you are
The chords vibrated between ear and ear inside my cerebellum, over and over again. Now, four hours later, the song fades - those chords are fading anyway - I'm replaying the whole album again, at maximum volume, fully concious, while writing and thinking.
And when your hand is on your heart
You're nearly a good laugh - almost a joker,
with your head down in the pig bin
saying - "keepin on digging"
Pig stain on your fat chin.
What do you hope to find?
When you're down in the pig mine.
You're nearly a laugh,
You're nearly a laugh
But you're really a cry."
I've got a story of my own to tell about SCO's history. It's a long, convoluted, tragic, stupid, crazy, funny, profound story. In a macro/micro-cosm it explains all that is wrong with the old software model, and much that is wrong with the corporate world itself. It's been too painful to write about, to think much about, for going on ten years. In 1993 I was still consulting for them, the last project I worked on was for "Olympus", their 3-5 year plan for developing the product.... After analyzing the rates of change and growth in the Linux source base and in the SCO source base... I predicted that Linux was going to eat their lunch in 5 years, unless they did something drastic to establish grassroots developer support. I predicted they were going to shrink, drastically, as the money dried up from their lucrative support contracts business because the up-front cost of the product was just too much... I predicted a lot of other things...
"Bus stop rat bag, ha ha charade you are.
You fucked up old hag, ha ha charade you are.
You radiate cold shafts of broken glass.
You're nearly a good laugh,
Almost worth a quick grin.
You like the feel of steel,
You're hot stuff with a hatpin,
And good fun with a hand gun"
The people ostensibly doing that planning within the company never understood what was killing them in the first place. They didn't listen, and I never got paid for that gig. What happened in the months afterward is what hurts so much... let's just say that SCO has relied on lawyers rather than engineers for a long time.
Time has proven me right on most of what I was saying back then, and I'm having the last laugh today. Well, I would be laughing if I had any faith left in the legal system.
"You're nearly a laugh... you're nearly a laugh... but you're really a cry..."
I was wrong on one thing
though. They didn't die in 5 years. SCO shrank a lot - from 1200+ people in the early 90s to something like 80 now. It took 7 years before Caldera bought them out, and 10 before they made this last ditch move, this final reliance on lawyers rather than engineers to keep their company running.
"Hey you, Whitehouse,
Ha ha charade you are.
You house proud town mouse,
Ha ha charade you are
You're trying to keep our feelings off the street.
You're nearly a real treat,
All tight lips and cold feet
And do you feel abused?"
The one positive thing I can say about SCO:
Every year, for spring solstice, SCO put on a great party, called the SCO Follies
. There was always great food and drink, and the night was capped by a hysterically funny musical, written and performed by the staff, that satirized a literary work, and the computer industry. To say that SCO wrote the play would be... part of the problem that the old software/corporate model has. Creative people wrote it. SCO let it be performed. The copyrights to the performances have a vague status, so few people outside of the company have ever had the chance to enjoy them, but the videotapes I have are among my most prized possessions.
There hasn't been a Follies in two years. The last decent engineer has been laid off. SCO will die, soon. I hope to write some more of the obituary.
"Hah hah, charade you are..."
I remember life before spam. It wasn't that long ago, really. It was a good life. I could post to newsgroups, freely, and get back replies from strangers that I wanted to read. Now, sorting through my email is like machine gunning down a swarm of armed maniacs all trying to sell me something. Here's today's mail:
N1216 rachel.gray91@rcn Wed Apr 23 00:05 34/1069 D0ctors create peni|e enlargement pi||s gloejn29
N1217 email@example.com Wed Apr 23 00:22 74/3345 Stop Snoring Today!
N1218 firstname.lastname@example.org. Wed Apr 23 03:25 42/3434 -Get married to a sexy Russian girl 616199
N1219 Mullican.Kerstin@ Wed Apr 23 09:44 43/1769 H0t Women on the 'net
N1220 email@example.com Wed Apr 23 10:19 90/3875 [PBS-USERS] MOM rejected
N1221 firstname.lastname@example.org Wed Apr 23 10:26 64/2124 =?iso-8859-2?Q?Resend?=
N1222 email@example.com Wed Apr 23 11:05 108/4547 Re: [PBS-USERS] MOM rejected
N1223 everett445@hotmai Wed Apr 23 11:30 134/7243 Mtaht, sick of spam?
N1224 firstname.lastname@example.org Wed Apr 23 11:43 123/5028 RHN Errata Alert: Updated tcpdump packages fix various vulnerab
N1225 bjbkjbgskj@estuda Wed Apr 23 12:02 59/2587 Eagle RE:14 Great` Program Software Packagemtaht
N1226 fbetressa@singapo Wed Apr 23 12:23 150/3810 How to Make your penis bigger and harder mtaht e
N1227 skds43seelkds43se Wed Apr 23 12:24 46/1360 mtaht~Post_WAR~Are~your~investments~safe???_tip_#43
N1228 readinessxygf@lyc Wed Apr 23 13:23 967/57534 w feel better ocwcuboxt
N1229 B3EHeZ@store.yaho Wed Apr 23 13:27 58/2302 order headsetzone-10412 from Plantronics Headset Zone Low Pric
N1230 email@example.com Wed Apr 23 14:08 115/4558 RHN Errata Alert: Updated ethereal packages fix security vulner
N1231 B3EHeZ@store.yaho Wed Apr 23 14:10 40/1867 order headsetzone-10412 from Plantronics Headset Zone Low Pric
N1232 constance@produce Wed Apr 23 15:02 85/2794 Is your job secure
N1233 firstname.lastname@example.org Wed Apr 23 15:16 65/3063 Re: [PBS-USERS] expired licenses
N1234 email@example.com Wed Apr 23 16:14 36/1464 ** You're Approved! **
N1235 firstname.lastname@example.org Wed Apr 23 17:10 42/2478 =?ISO-8859-3?B?bXRhaHQsVHVybiBiYWNrIHlvdXIgYm9keSdzIGJpb2xvZ2lj
N1236 rebecca@produceyo Wed Apr 23 17:52 57/1937 If not now when
N1237 REPORT_SUBMIT@WOR Wed Apr 23 18:18 84/4158 REPORT REGARDING: mtaht
N1238 sales@americasink Wed Apr 23 18:36 87/4774 Save Upto 50-75% Off Retail Prices on Inkjet Cartridges and Las
N1239 payments-messages Wed Apr 23 19:42 88/3020 Your Amazon Marketplace Purchase
N1240 payments-messages Wed Apr 23 19:42 88/3010 Your Amazon Marketplace Purchase
N1241 auto-confirm@amaz Wed Apr 23 19:43 1103/22245 Your Purchase with Amazon.com
N1242 email@example.com Wed Apr 23 20:03 74/3345 Stop Snoring Today!
N1243 payments-messages Wed Apr 23 20:06 88/3056 Your Amazon Marketplace Purchase
N1244 auto-confirm@amaz Wed Apr 23 20:08 1371/26699 Your Purchase with Amazon.com
N1245 digcam1469572@hot Wed Apr 23 20:53 55/1616 Worlds Smallest Webcam
N1246 danathomas@plaste Wed Apr 23 21:30 213/13685 It was huge!! and I LOVED it..
N1247 yojigtjwdt@yahoo. Wed Apr 23 22:15 36/1465 ** APPROVED. **
N1248 firstname.lastname@example.org Wed Apr 23 22:18 26/1288 mtaht i like this kh
N1249 email@example.com Wed Apr 23 23:49 83/5639 Reg.Net Softnews for Michael
Someday spammers do time in jail, sharing cells with thieves and other people that invade your home, violate your privacy and eat time you'd rather spend reading something pleasant and non-invasive, like a book.
While there's all kinds of passive filters out there to reduce the spam problem, I daydream of:
First, connect every spammer's site to every other spammers site. Then send a billion, trillion packets down their lines, and watch their systems explode...then the paddy wagons pull up to each and every spammer and hauls their asses to jail where every one gets held without bail and gets a new girlfriend named Bubba...
Yaa... there's network effects for you - n^22, doing jail time, from just one day's email collection alone.
Then I can, we all can, open our email boxes again with something other than fear and loathing. A new day will dawn.
The worst thing about today's email? There wasn't a single message from an actual human being.
1) Do a piece of onerous paperwork every day.
2) Spend a half hour organizing the day, try to plan the next...
3) knock out some of the backlogged tasks...
5) Feel better
OK, here's one piece of onerous paperwork. UnumProvident
wants me to fill out a form of my education and employment history to find out what I can do whenever I get well. It was due a week ago. I was too ill to handle it a week ago. Without it I don't qualify for my benefits. Without it I can't pay the mortgage. They want a summary of every job I've held since High School. That's going to take some time. There's also a skills sheet I need to fill out - in the case that I can qualify for other sorts of work whenever I'm partially recovered. Some of the questions are insulting in their triviality. The form itself is badly designed, without enough room to write anything. It would be trivial - maybe a couple days of my effort, in my prime, to transport it to the web with a format that was useful...
6) Harness rage so tasks 1-5 become easier. Blog
Last week I saw the movie "Catch-22". A certain conversation keeps replaying in my head.
|Yossarian||Ground me doc, I don't want to fly anymore.|
|Doc||I can't ground you unless you're crazy.|
|Yossarian||I'm crazy, doc.|
|Doc||I agree. But I still can't ground you.|
|Yossarian||Why, for god's sake?|
|Doc||Catch-22 says that you can't fly if you are crazy, but you have to ask to be grounded. If you ask to be grounded, you're not crazy and you have to keep flying.|
|Yossarian||What about all the other pilots, aren't they crazy?|
|Doc||Absolutely. They should all be grounded. But they have to come to me and ask to be grounded, and if they come and ask to be grounded I can't ground them, because of...|
|Yossarian||That's some catch, Doc.|
|Doc||It's the best there is.|
On to this filling out this !@#@! form: The joy of writing this is that I'm submitting the dry, dull, stupid, useless thing on paper, done correctly, in my lousy handwriting because that's how the drones that control my destiny want it and I have just got to get a stamp and mail it off before I'm tempted to scribble all over the thing with red and yellow and green crayon.
|Keyboarding/Typing WPM: 80||X|
|Word Processing: List Below|
|Openoffice, emacs, Wordstar||X|
|Word, Wordperfect, Applix,vi||X|
|Spreadsheets: List Below|
|Databases: List Below|
|Oracle, Postgres, Interbase||X|
|Mysql, Dbase, others||X|
|Other software applications: List Below|
|!ls /usr/bin /usr/sbin /usr/local/bin||X|
|C, Perl, Shell||X|
|C++, Basic, Lisp||X|
|Java, Python, Logo, 6502, 8080, 386, arm assembly...||X|
|Home Repair Electrical||X|
|Home Repair Structural|
|10 Key Calculator||X - as obsolete as supercalc|
|Planning Recreational outings||X|
|Foreign Languages: List Below|
|Creative crafts/arts: List Below|
|I write an internet column||X|
|more unfinished projects than I care to think about||X|
I keep flashing on Yossarian fleeing the hospital, inflating a dingy, jumping in the water, and paddling madly for sweden, 3000 miles away.
I rooted for his escape in the movie - and at the same time deeply felt the hopelessness and insanity in what he was trying to do. What I'm trying to do.
Orr made it out. Don Quixote made it out. Maybe Yossarian made it, too. There wasn't, after all, a sequel to that book.....
The gunk in my head
For the past two years I've slept in three bursts - maybe a 20 minute nap at lunch, a longer one around 6pm, and then sleep, when I could, from 3am to about 4:30, 6:30 on a good day. I got on the cpap machine on march 18th, and sometimes I would get a llttle sleep at night, 3 hours or so. I'd feel good enough to knock out some subproject. I'm bottlenecked now on trivial crap that I find insanely hard - dealing with the mound of paperwork for disability, dealing with the government, dealing with a myriad of bullshit I'm not good at even at the best of times.
There are so many todos piled up that starting any one of them requires that I finish a dozen others. I give up, sometimes, in despair.
Basic details - feeding myself, taking care of the house, I'm finally managing to do fairly well, but digging out from years of personal neglect of the most basic requirements of living life in this society - AND starting to thinking about work at actual paying work again, oh, man - for somebody that feels about 3 inches tall the speedbumps I face seem like mountains. Every time I do get a decent amount of sleep it seems like the gunk in my head clears out a little, and I get enough energy to try tackling some of the major outstanding tasks.
It doesn't take much to stop me in my tracks, though.
After thinking about it for a long time, and discussing it with my shrink, I figured that if I can solve the sleep problem, even temporarily, the other problems will start getting easier. Friday I got a prescription for Ambien. 10mg of the stuff's supposed to last 7-8 hours. I get 4 1/2. This is still more sleep in a row than I've got in years, and while I wake up feeling logy, it passes after an hour. The gunk in my head, the great big black ball of 90% non-functioning neurons has seemed to shrink a bit and turn grey. For two days I took one at night for 4 1/2 hours sleep and another in the afternoon for about 3, and felt enormously better - more energy - better ability to surmount trivial obsticles. I blasted through a bunch of paperwork, thought hard about memes, blogged heavily, even read slashdot.org and installed redhat 9...
I don't like
being dependent on a drug, any drug, in order to function. That seems hypocritical, now that I think about it, as the best way to get focus right now seems to be to sit in one place and smoke pipeful after pipeful of tobacco. Cigarettes contribute to the ADD I'm feeling. Going outside to have one breaks my concentration. Nicotine is part of the downward spiral I'm in - I smoke, I can focus better, briefly, then need to smoke again. If I don't smoke my concentration goes to hell completely, and the last time I quit (only three months ago) I spent 3 weeks in an utterly confused haze...
I like the smell of pipe tobacco, and with that crutch nearby, and a ton of sleep, I was able to sit and focus all day monday on something important to me. I broke a song down to its essentials, I got the timing right (75 bpm), I got the chord changes right, I laid down a drum track, I got the melody almost correct... I managed to spend 6 hours in a row, sitting in front of the computer, smoking incessantly. I wrote a few days ago about the process of subtraction, and here I was really managing to isolate a set of problems to essentials and work on each one, and move forward. I slept pretty good that night.
I woke up yesterday morning only to find that particular program had crashed, hard, and I couldn't hear the results of the previous days work. That blew my entire day. I bounced from frustration to rage and landed in a spate of depression. I got nothing else done except a blog entry that tried to capture what a day like that felt like. A couple other things went wrong yesterday, too. Yesterday sucked.
I really wanted to go to the ETech conference thursday but I'm too broke to pay for a day at that. I have to deal with what seems to be an infinitely high and growing stack of trivial parking tickets in places I can't remember being, and don't remember receiving - especially since I never bothered to update my address with the DMV 7 months ago. This particular bit of personal stupidity has led to a suspended license - that just now got my insurance canceled. I can't fix the tickets without getting my car out of the shop - which I can't afford to do if I pay the tickets. I have the DMV address fix paperwork right here, I've been meaning to mail it for weeks, but am out of stamps. It was cold and raining so I couldn't get stamps.
I also got a letter from my employer yesterday, telling me they could fire me any time now and giving me until may to explain to them if I qualified for special treatment under the americans with disabilities act, or had a clue as to when I would be able to return. The letter was just so... formal... so devoid of human concern and quality - I've only had three "good" days in three months and I am supposed to figure out if/when I can go back to work? I want to work. Work is my life. I've never, in 20 years, ever collected unemployment or disability before.
Screw work. I gotta make myself work properly, first, then I'll work. MS-Project doesn't has an option for that. Tough. If it costs me my job, I don't care. I want to live, I want to Live with a capital "L", I want to have the same things normal people have and to stop sleepwalking through life and the corporate world.
I skipped my "normal" nap and by 8:30 I was really beat - and deeply depressed. So I managed to sleep until about 11, without the drug, and, now, after lying in bed and staring at the ceiling for the past two hours I'm ready to take a pill, just so I can, maybe, tackle some of these problems tomorrow. Um, well, today.
The "book" says I should stop napping, that I should try and get all my sleep in a row, go to bed at 11, get up at 7, work 9-5... but I don't know how. I've always harnessed my insomnia, when I couldn't sleep I'd turn it into productive worktime. Most of my best work has been done between the hours of 10 PM and 4 AM for over two decades. I've gravitated towards jobs and employers that reward sleepless behavior. At the ISP I founded I made insomnia part of the corporate culture. I keep thinking "why be normal? - it doesn't matter so much when I sleep so long as I get enough sleep...
" - but 8 hours in a row from 11-7 is what the book says, and I'm trying to fit in, I'm trying to be normal... I'm trying to be healthy... I don't know how.
Not sleeping enough is unhealthy. OK, I'm shooting for 6-7 hrs a day by every means at my disposal.
Being overweight is unhealthy. I'm down to 187 and shooting for 170.
Smoking is unhealthy. I don't know how to function during the detoxing period, I think that I should set a list of goals that I must achieve first - and then drop everything else to lock myself up on a boat or some island or esalen or jail or something and STOP for however long it takes to detox myself and eliminate the behaviors that lead to it.
I keep thinking:
Being an engineer leads to sleeplessness, being overweight, and smoking. The kind of work I do is unhealthy.
God, there's so much gunk in my head that I need to clear.
Murphy (and a few other notables) piss me off
This morning Sonar
crashed on me, so hard that I can't even open any song I've ever worked on. I will probably have to reinstall the product, and pray all the linked files relink into themselves. The cd and activation key are somewhere buried, deep in the basement.
Temporarily, I said "screw this", rebooted into Linux... I checked out the cornucopia of open source music applications
. Three years ago, there was nothing.. today... hmm. a little tweaking, a little hacking, I think, and then:
"Forgive me, Richard
for I have ONE windows box
It keepeth the bits that make the taxman cometh not.
It maketh me lie down and scream for freedom
freedom I cannot gain without GNU"
I actually have an honest to Bill! genuine one hundred ninety-five dollah Microsoft Windows Professional license for "squeezebox". It comes with one of these non-rippy holographic CDs... It's not a shrinkwrap license but the license code is!!!
The license code is on this little teeny enie piece of shrinkwrap plastic... wrap
!!! the width of your thumbnail. What's next? Licensing that dissolves on air-contact - you open the shrinkwrap, the license evaporates!!? I haven't a clue where it is - that little bit of scrap, of debris, that tiny piece of shrinkwrap - !@#! the pathetic weak dying grasp of a software company on the physical world. I have no stinking idea where that piece of @!# !@# !@# is!!!
Doesn't matter so much about the license. The Windows Professional CD? Scratched.
This box, this is the last windows box - - there's Sonar/Soundforge/Reason/Acid/Dragon Dictate on it. I need
these. But I swear this is the last physically licensed software I ever buy.
Judging from the curve of improvement, just over the past year, audio software under Linux should be "good enough" to do what I need all that I need it to do, soon, if not already. I was already doing sound editing in Audacity
, with a decent sequencer I could chuck windows entirely... Speech recognition, well, I'm sure it would get better if the researchers opened up their products... Hmm... A couple of the kde midi sequencers look competent, but everything's requiring kernel patches for ALSA these days... I'm not up to patching my kernel today... well, let's see what the UI looks like.
I type ./configure --prefix=/usr; make
raging ADD kicks in
. I realized that I had to clean the kitchen, left the kitchen to get a dirty cup, hit each room, forgot what I was doing.
I have a 8 songs totally screwed up right now and I don't have any valium, or a punching bag, or any stinking clue where that !@#!@ cd activation code for Sonar is. I don't want to reinstall the damn product. I just want to fscking fix it and go back into being creative... Hey Bill! Hey Murphy! Hey Cakewalk people - can you hear me cursing your names!? My voice, and others doing open source - That's the sound of your doom, oh makers of pathetically unreliable software that lets read-only binaries corrupt and require that I retain stupid pieces of paper or plastic just so I can load it... just you wait... It's almost good enough... better run you fuckers!!!
make me search my whole house from top to bottom to find a little sticker of a string of numbers that lets me use my @!#!@ computer
, I grumble subvocally. I'm punching the keyboard like each key was a little green marketing alien.
I've got a todo list with dependencies on other todos at least 7 layers deep. And ADD.
Found this attempt at a blog entry from a few weeks back.
Oh, first thing to do. Find that ipaq that has the todo list.
That's under one pile, right... first, clear the pile, shit, what was the first thing?
But first thing to do, find the device that has the todo list.
OK, that's fine, and I needed to do this, why? Oh, yea, find the licenses for cakewalk
and. Well, actually, I need 2 liicenses and a 3 cds
lets go in the kitchen. Hmm, maybe I should clean up, hmm, wow, it's raining
It's too wet to bike down to the beach to surf.
I wonder if I have any other dishes to do
man, fire needs tending
let's install redhat9 on kmr
oh yea the !@#!@ !@#!#!@ machine is too loud
lets remain calm, let's do music on the quiet box... that's crashed @!#!
hey, there's another linux box in the house, 129 day uptime...
maybe I should blog that, yea
this coffee mug should go in the kitchen and I really should make a todo list
(repeat until 2:00PM)
The Jazzman of the Hedge
There I was, tending my garden, talking to computers. It's a process of subtraction, to see things as they are - and how they will change - and how they can
change - for most of the past year my view of the world has been frozen solid. When a sparrow fell, it lay there for months. I was only capable of adding to my efforts, not subtracting from them - I was building systems that had warts on warts on warts.
I've been unfreezing my worldview.
I'm thinking hard about how to get going again - when - weep, wail!... when even my computer misunderstands me.
I wandered my garden two weeks ago, noting things I had to do in it, and came back, sat down, and started dictating into Dragon Dictate while some music was playing in the background. I wasn't very focused on speaking clearly, and I had a lot on my mind.
"The garden is full of things that you recognize."
What I actually said was
"my garden is full of things that I do not recognise."
Well, that's what I thought I actually said. hmm. I tried again. And edited a little.
"My garden is full of things that I did not recognize. There's bluebells spreading, roses' leaves bursting and while attending the dead leaves of september... looking for needles, the walkways the only place where I felt safe - I recognize when we was - when I want to"
Then I was off on verbal roll and stopped looking at the screen as the mic slipped below the optimum range... I got gripped by a new idea and started talking faster:
"Finally the shape of things gradually begins to crack into shape and my core - The core of my paranoia is that the computer is hearing what I'm actually saying... not what I'm trying to say, or what I think I said, or remember saying" -
I wrote, "the jasmine of the hedge", I remember saying that - but the rest came out
What dragon dictate thought I said...
The avocado tree as many leaves the black students and it looks to be due to.
It turns out he can cut back concerns were involved anyone's may come back strong and never
sometimes talk about the processes traction to take him without having a name of the thing
I can say what it was large in the anterior and the down payments means fewer cut them back the UK on a
tiny means and probably perfect were placed in.
33 pushes pushing plants next to the order for.
Together they just too early spring blackberries need to cut back
was still left around because they were succulent owner will.
This jazzman of the hedge with minimal red flowers just beginning of.
The cut back the powers someone who was a little sloppy and to kill our men
actually put down from the trial of the site components of the West.
And in finishing at the the effect that it not adding if you mumble this day of awful
it if you get ideas into flying lying flat on my back really relaxed this focusing on it
never truly well portray it relaxes focused landing like
the jazzman of the hedge when I said jazzman uses the psychotic the jazzman of the hedge is minimal red flowers
I have no idea what I actually said. But, crash!
, like a hit on a high hat, I understood how important misunderstanding was to the creation of new thought. You strain at some idea with the tools to comprehension you're already packing - and there's a...
. meme drift
. memetic decay. It's a ROGE-POGE... It's not "I say potato you say pota'to - It's "I say potato you say tomato." - and what the heck is a meme
, you ask?
Communication's a combination of the telephone game
and the prisoners game
. Meme propagation has a speed, like the speed of light, but hasn't been measured in a vacuum. There's radioactive (memoactive?) decay, there's advanced and retarded waves, memetic quanta
get scattered by particles in the way...
and if you have to ask, you don't know
said the jazzman of the hedge.
The principle of "good enough" -POGE
Sometimes a submeme resonates until it reaches a supersaturated point... then - wham, it crystalizes in a short phrase that contains all the meaning you need to hang a discussion on.
wrote yesterday about POGE - the principle of "good enough".
Heh. I wrote about that, about a year ago. I called it the rule of good enough
. It's been a guide for my technical choices as both a programmer and as a manager for nearly two decades. It's worked more often than not (and got me in trouble with managers that preferred powerpoint presentations, press releases and marketing materials over actually looking at the code or running the software).
One advantage of POGE is gradual improvement. From their beginnings, all members of the LAMP suite (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Python, Perl, PostgreSQL) have been triumphantly adequate efforts. Their adequacy keeps growing, of course, because so many who apply them contribute back to their steady improvement. But their appeal remains a matter of uncomplicated utility, not does-it-all polypurposefulness. And that seems to be the main difference between XMPP and SIMPLE.
I like the acronym "POGE" over "ROGE", (although I often felt like a rogue
when I dragged OSS
into an organization, or had to defend it from PHBs) - so whenever I get the dozen pages I've written on the topic over the past year blogable, I'll do that. I've got some examples that doc didn't use - 802.11b vs bluetooth is one - and I have some data showing the growth and change of open source projects over the past 5 years that ties into it. OK, some text, some graphs, a workable acronym, hot dang I've got a theme! Maybe there will be some net-wide discussion on this rule, because it explains so much about the growth of open technologies vs proprietary ones.
but, hey, it's sunday, first - I'm going surfing!
There's a big swell due in by noon. Symbolic?