How to take it apart:
and how to put it back together:
How to take it apart:
and how to put it back together:
I have to admit that my first understanding of anarchy was in line with the definition that most people use these days – chaos!
But if we look at the definition and root of this word, we find that chaos is not really part of it. It comes from the Greek an- + archos meaning no ruler. It is certainly true that the removal of an established ruler can easily lead to chaos.
Take, for example, a kid that is strictly controlled. Take this control away suddenly and you will most likely had a child that goes wild. But does that mean that the child will remain wild? With most sane kids – and most of them are sane – they will soon find a balance and become accustomed to the lack of control and will be as productive or unproductive as their inherent make-up is. This has been demonstrated in an experiment of un-schooling, where a group of kids were not forced to do anything. Certainly they first slacked off, but after a rather short time of turbulence they started to better themselves voluntarily. If you have ever experienced the difference between forced and voluntary learning you know how much more efficient learning is that you actually want.
But this is an experiment that needs to be run to its end result. A system that would want control could easily subvert the experiment by first taking away control, let the kids go wild and then, when chaos is at it’s best, step in, proclaim that freedom does not work, and put the control back on.
This is the same principle used to convince us that anarchy is not working. Governments want to keep their control because this is what they live on. Any instance where control slips for a while, for example after a revolution or war, is them used to rationalize that chaos ensued and that government has to be established again as soon as possible.
Let me give you another picture that demonstrated that perfectly and which you will have in mind from now on whenever you hear about anarchy. Think of cooking pea soup in a pressure cooker. All the ingredients go in the pot, the lid is closed (control) and heat is turned up. Soon boiling starts, steam develops, and pressure builds in the pot. Nothing dramatic happens. The valve in the lid of the pot will let off some of the steam occasionally in order to keep the pot from exploding.
Now, suddenly open the pressure relief valve and see what happens.
You will have pea soup all over the kitchen. Yes, I tried that and this is the reason I used pea soup for my example. All the pressure trapped within the peas suddenly has no opposition any more and goes everywhere and takes pieces of the peas with it. The conclusion could now be to never relief the pressure – which would be equivalent to the politician telling us that we need police and military and prisons and laws regulating everything from commerce to farting.
But there is also another solution, because, after all, we want to get to the delicious pea soup. That solution is to release the pressure gradually, or – in the more dirty alternative – don’t care about the mess in the kitchen. Either way, we can enjoy the pea soup.
The sweet taste of liberty and lack of legalized violence where personal interactions occur on a voluntary basis.
Back to the idea of anarchy, a society of ‘no ruler.’ To get there will require a total revamping of the up-bringing of the next generations. Right now, kids, that have a disagreement or fight, are taught to go to an authority who will decide for them who is wrong and who is right. That will have to change to teach them to solve their problems and disagreements amongst themselves. Certainly this will not happen in schools that are sponsored by those who want the status quo.
I see this state of mind appreciating a society based on voluntary interactions spreading and getting more and more into the main stream, Ron Paul being one of the examples for that. He had to fail because the bigger part of the people is still too afraid of pea soup all over the kitchen, but it appears to me that we are at this time in state two of the three stages of truth as described by Arthur Schopenhauer:
I just wonder when we finally get to stage three.
Sometime in the dark ages – more than 15 years ago – I invested in a Nikon SLR 6006 with a nice 35-135mm zoom lens and it served me well until the dawn of the (reasonable) digital age. Early DSLRs were way too expensive and not worth the money, so I went with a few consumer digital cameras, one of them also a Nikon, albeit not with exchangeable lens.
For many years my old 6006 sat in the closet losing value but I always had in mind that at one point I would invest in a DSLR and then I could use the nice lens which was about five hundred bucks then.
The time of the DSLR finally came in for of a Canon T4i. I had strongly considered waiting for the perfect mirror-less camera, but the deal I got on the Canon – I just could not pass up. I did not go with a Nikon DSLR because I also wanted to use the camera for video and Canon seemed to be superior in that department. This, I still had that good Nikon lens sitting there without any use. The idea of selling it on eBay shattered quickly when I saw for how little these cameras were traded – it really appears the time of the 35mm film is over.
Finally I found a reasonable offer for an adapter for Nikkor AF lenses to EOS bodies and it arrived today.
First test with that ‘good’ Nikkor lens were rather disappointing. It appears that lens technology has made long strides over the last decade and a half. The lack of transfer of data to and from the lens through the adapter (none) was no big deal, as I grew up, focusing manually and with the camera set to aperture priority the exposure was still pretty automatic – if I wanted. One feature of the Nikkor lens I was looking for was the macro range – at 35mm I could push one little button and extend the barrel quite a bit further, thus getting much closer to the subject.
Here the closes with the Nikkor
and the closest I could get with the Canon 18-55
That was pretty good, but then I wanted to see how it fared when I looked closer, and this is where the disappointment took hold.
Big bad color fringes on the Nikkor lens
at least in the out-of-focus areas of the image while the Canon lens showed no such faults
I will have to make some more test to see how the aperture will affect this behavior as, I believe, the Nikkor was wide open, while the Canon was exposing with the lens closed to 11. Now I start to imagine how the quality will be for a modern lens for the price of the old Nikkor, and even more so for a modern lens that I can not justify to buy.
What this little experiment really drove home to me is that the experts are right when they say that glass is more important than body.
When I went to school in Germany, there was no real choice where to go. If you were Catholic you went to the Catholic school, and to the Protestant school when you were anything else – like Protestant.
That was the first four years. Then you could either stay and prepare for a life in trade or craft, go to middle school and plan to become a middle manager, or go to high school and aim for an academic career.
We heard it through the grapevines that there was something like private schools but that was for the very rich and weird and I never knew anybody who went that route.
Homeschooling was not even a consideration.
Apparently there are some parents now in Germany who don’t want to get their kids to be state-indoctrinated.Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are such parents and they tried to homeschool their kids but the government said ‘No!’ and the battle ensued. They, eventually, fled from Germany to the United States after their family was vigorously prosecuted (fines, forcible removal of their children, threats of jail and more) for homeschooling. Initially, the Romeikes were granted political asylum, but the U.S. government appealed that decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals. That Board sided with the government. The HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association, a group defending homeschoolers in the US) took their case and appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
First of all I wonder why the US government would try to deny this family to stay in the US. I can only imagine that they want to stay friends with the Germany government which tries everything to avoid creating a precedence. Imagine the PR flop if a German family is granted political asylum in the US!
In addition, those domestic homeschoolers are already a thorn in the government’s flesh, daring to doubt their benevolence. The arguments brought by the government why this German family should be sent back to Germany to be torn apart and fined into oblivion are very revealing and indicate what might be in store for American homeschoolers.
Read the full story at the HSLDA web site…
Serious programming in the olden days mean to deal with Unix – the father of today’s ubiquitous Linux running bigger part of the internet.
The first bigger project I was involved in was still the good old DOS with Turbo Pascal – anybody remember that?
As soon as I could, and we had to build something less of a hack but more of a software-engineered application, I steered my client into Unix, first the X86 version of Xenix, which turned out to be too flaky, and then a nice hundred thousand dollar HP Workstation. As it was an application involving graphics, an important order of business was to get familiar with the principles and techniques of the X11 windowing system.
This was not a very long-lived project and with the advent of more powerful x86 hardware and a finally decent piece of software from Microsoft – Windows NT – the develoment was moved to that new platform. The fact that the port from X to NT was not terribly difficult was a nice testimonial for proper application of software engineering principles. Hacking mentality as promoted by something like Turbo Pascal would have required a complete rewrite.
System administration, I had become familiar with during that time, was helpful when I started to maintain a few linux web servers years later. I always considered X11 far superior to all the other graphical windows software but I really had never anything to do with it any more – until a point in time a few days ago.
First of all, I finally succeeded in getting Ubuntu running on an old laptop. A flaky DVD had never gotten me through an installation properly and the machine was so old that it could not boot from a memory stick. I ultimately succeeded when I found a utility I could burn on a CD and boot from that made my USB bootable. Now I could load Ubuntu from the USB stick.
So, there I finally was again with a computer with a proper graphical user interface. But that computer was tucked away somewhere with little physical access. It serve as a local testing machine for web development – did not really need that X Windows for that!
But it was sitting there, teasing me, so I finally got XMing – an X Server running on MS Windows – installed on my main computer where I sit all day and I could finally connect to that old laptop remotely with a graphical user interface. In my early days of X11 there was not too much concern about security – it was all on the local network – yes, a coax ethernet cable – and to have an application display on an xterminal you just had to set the DISPLAY environment variable to the IP address of any X-Server, like a xterminal, and authorize its use.
That is all different now. I learned that from a remote machine you start an ssh connection on my workstation (windows 7) to the remote host (old linux laptop) using putty. If the putty session had X Forwarding enabled then a secure tunnel for all the X traffic was created. This tunnel could even go through a router with NAT without a problem. Initially I had wondered why I saw the value of the DISPLAY variable set to strange things like localhost:10.0 – but I finally understood that this was how the ssh tunnel worked: the ssh server on the old laptop pretended to be a local X server on display number 10; then it transported all the X traffic it received securely to the machine I was sitting on and fed it into XMing. It all worked perfectly.
Two weeks later I received my first Raspberry Pi and that little wonder did behave the same way as the old laptop, a bit slower I have to admit, so the old laptop is still a bit more powerful than the miniature linux box sitting over there on my speaker. Both are full LAMP systems and are even accessible from the rest of the world through the magic of DynDNS and port forwarding.
But then my trouble began.
As I had all this so nicely and easily set up, it was suddenly not enough any more that I logged into my real web servers only with putty, SCP, and DirectAdmin. Nostalgia had me in its grip and I just had to get X running on them as well.
First of all there was no X-stuff installed on those servers as they were web servers in some remote data center. But a “yum install xterm” got this handled. Still no go – starting xterm from the ssh login gave me the error message that the display was either not there or could not be opened.
The next step, I found out, was to enable X11Forwarding for the sshd on the remote server – but still no go – the DISPLAY variable was still not set. Lots of Googling around but no solution – everything I tried made no difference.
But I learned about the -vvv parameter to ssh. It would give me insight into what was happening during the establishing of the ssh connection. Unfortunately, putty does not have it! But I found that it has a logging function and after turning this on and comparing the logs from connections to my local old laptop and the remote web server I finally saw the light:
After I had it yum-installed and run to generate a new .Xauthority file for a local X server my quest for the xterm running on that web server and displaying on my local machine behind a NAT router in my office had come to a successful conclusion.
Not that I will use that much – putty and SCP have done the job for me for years – but I now could, potentially, install firefox on that server and start browsing through that server located at a very different place on the planet.
Hmmm – why don’t I just try that: yum install firefox……………………….
finally, after installing a gazillion dependent packages, the installation is – complete!
Now: firefox& – wait – wait – wait…
But it is clear that I have to file this away under ‘education’ as it is so slow to make it more or less unusable.
I saw talk of Hans Rosling on TED a while back, but it seems his presentation of statistical data has gotten even better…
For a while I myself subscribed to the idea that school is a good place for kids to practice their social skills.
Even if that might be true to some extend and we try to weigh the good against the bad, I believe that it is about time to abolish the traditional, government-run schools.
I nice picture I ran into today drives that home a bit more…
I ran into this image of a hand depicting the reflexology points connecting to all the different part of the body.
I knew reflexology of the feet and actually had some first-hand experience with it but had never considered that the same principle could be used on hands as well.
The body and it's structure seems to be fractal, so if we find the whole body represented in points on the feet and on the ear, why not on the hand.
I decided to keep this chart here so that I can refer to it easily and alleviate any symptoms I encounter in my body. The first test I made was with the point for the left hip – and yes – it does work – that point is painful.
So, here the image so that it might help somebody else as well…
Ran into a video at the YT Academy (YouTube) of autonomous little robots ganging together to play the James Bond theme. Sure, they did not build all the instruments themselves but I am sure this is just a matter of time.
But all these little guys jamming it out makes them really look alive and having fun…
I had to look a little bit further on what that actually is all about, and found this TED talk…
If you are a gamer you know Donkey Kong. It was actually the first game my son ever had. I just learned that when I asked him how it’s spelled.
Spelling! This brings us close to the crux of this little article. The name is a translation error, a spelling error between languages, so to speak. Have you ever wondered why a game about a monkey is called DONKEY Kong? Rumor has it that it’s simply a translation error – the Japanese translator just mistook the D for an M and now we are stuck with a Monkey called Donkey. Other data suggests that the Japanese character creator used Donkey as a representation for stubbornness and Kong to indicate the monkey-ness (King Kong is a apparently a term for the generic big ape.)
Whatever is right – I like the first explanation better and stick with it, especially as it allows for a much better transition to the following video that shows that Gmail has been spelled incorrectly from the very beginning.
Here is the correct version – G-Male – and what it really means…