flail doyou ?

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Friday, November 28, 2003

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Sunday, November 23, 2003

I know I have Festival built and running on some machine or other, but it doesn't look like it's any of the machines that are actually running, right now. Maybe it's on my computer at work? Oh well, not like I was getting anything done this evening, anyway. Am I the only person who cries when they find out that the only way to get functionality they need is to compile something?

UPDATE: I was right to cry. No luck on the laptop. I'm pretty sure the computer at work is the one that I got it working on - I think every time I've tried on Win?? at home, I've failed. I have a boot partition of FreeBSD with it somewhere, but that's a pain. I got it built on my webhost shell account, and then remembered why I didn't have it built there already - If I try to do more than two paragraphs, the process gets killed off.

UPDATE2: Well, fuck. I can't build it under Knoppix, either. Here, I thought I was being all clever. It looks like the answer is to build under gcc 2.95, or figure out why Festival won't build under 3.3.x.

UPDATE3: Ugh. Well, that just totally sucks. I couldn't get it to build under 3.2, either. I give. Guess I'll see what I have at work, tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Ok, I tried and I tried to refrain, but this latest entry is just too much.
It's....an experience I suppose most have had in some form. You ease onto the interstate going about 55. You feel a little shaky at first because all the other drivers are speeding by, changing lanes. It's enough to make anyone nervous, then you find your favorite Elton John song on the radio and instantly you feel human, subdued, mellow, and even the world zooming by can’t bring you back to reality. With the passage of some.....time....you find yourself changing stations and eventually you come upon the intro of your favorite Guns n' Roses song. Volume increases with speed 65 the intro keeps building 75 its about to break and you want it volume is higher and higher you feel like a tall tree brave the lust of invincible youth faster swerve and cars standing still volume explodes dodge and the song develops into vocals screaming primal pain pinned up emotions begin to spill into the air volume maxed 85 and you keep going further further red lights chasing and no cop yes cop but you don’t care screams of fear screams of frustration higher 95 how much further can you go they are going to try to stop you bring you down they have you trapped you see it ahead piercing and..... for..... the briefest of moments shaking adrenaline you wander what its going to feel like the end crash gyrating mind spinning and its here they are trying to break you agghhhaggghhhgghahhhh its ahead the end the trap the corner the....finals.

Something I came across with Livejournal's
random page feature? No. It's one of my fellow students. I can't deny that I succumb to the allure of the ellipsis myself, from time to time, but please - if I ever begin to use them like that (without..... irony, that.... is.), please just put me out of my misery.

Oh. For the sake of reference, whatever package is interposing itself between his fingers and the web substituted the unicode ellipsis character for his ellipses, and I switched it back. Other than that, it's cut and pasted; apply [sic] as necessary.

Sunday, November 16, 2003


Once again, flail has been nominated as one of the
worst comic strips on the web by the readers of PvP. I can't really figure out what it is about what I did that attracts such disdain. I guess I'll go ask.

UPDATE: Well. That's magnificent. It's 12 hours before my new account can post to the thread. I wonder if I'll even remember this tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Monday, November 10, 2003

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Bryant offers an explanation of why he reads bloggers who disagree with him.

Shouldn't it be absurd to be asked "Why do you read the writings of people who don't share your opinions?"

There are a class of people about whom I think, "Those people do not have anyone's best interests at heart but their own." I honestly can't think of an example of a person like that who regularly publishes political commentary.

There is another class of people about whom I think, "Those people have a fundamentally flawed understanding of the topics they discuss." A topical example would be the people who are attempting to proselytize through the medium of Texas biology textbooks. I think they honestly believe that they are trying to make the world a better place. I often avoid writings from this class of person because, in my opinion, they do not understand logic and consistently ignore reasoned criticism. Without naming names, the list of popular bloggers I avoid for this reason is very, very short. (And his initials are...) I find a lot more of these people (of all political persuasions) on teevee and radio, though.

The class of people about whom I think, "They are the problem," or more specifically, "Those people are capable of presenting rational arguments, but they are honestly incapable of distinguishing between a good rational argument and an ad hominem attack as long as the end result matches their ideology," are the reason I tend to read more liberal writers than conservative. (The careful reader will note that I have just admitted belonging to this class.) I think most political bloggers fit here.

The final class are people who consistently focus on rational argument. They may examine a person's claims, find them wanting, and conclude that that person is an idiot, but they never examine an idiot and conclude that their claims are wanting. (See the stopped clock, above.) Why are these people vanishingly rare? I think the most monstrous symptom of the lack of this level of debate is arguments like, "Democrats defended Clinton, therefore they have no right to criticize Republicans" and "If Republicans are so interested in ending terror, why aren't we invading Saudi Arabia?" There are well-formed arguments that arrive at the same conclusions as these, but the difference is informative.

It is a peculiarity of representative systems of government that we must critically examine the ideological framework of our representatives. This is necessary, good, and just. But it's important to remember that we do this because we want to find people who are capable of consistently exercising good judgment, and not because the only good decisions are those made by people who consistently make good decisions.

It should be obvious on its face that no broad ideological group is ever going to be so shamed by an ad hominem attack that they change their way of thinking. The culture of insult is stupid. It is unproductive to believe that everyone who disagrees with you is either immoral or insane. I understand the allure, but it seems clear to me that it is a tendency which must be resisted.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Monday, November 03, 2003

So, as an exercise in stupidity, I wrote a program to help me do a quicksort on my album list. I don't think I'm up to sharing the results, even if I manage to finish. (I made it about a quarter of the way through before realizing that I had written it with a serious memory leak, and that it would probably tank before I finished.) Fortunately, the first pivot point in my list turns out to be "On How Life Is" by Macy Gray, which is fairly close to the middle. It's a little surreal, though, going through your whole music collection comparing every album to an album that you kind of like, but don't really feel strongly about.

It's even more surreal later on, when you get to questions like, "Which do I like better? Straight Outta Compton or Music for Airports?"

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Well. 616 albums, all but two of them legitimate. Now I have to figure out a scheme for dropping them all to CD. This will be complicated somewhat by the fact that I don't have a hard drive which can store all of them at once. Alphabetically is patently useless, but making "mix CDs" that consist of 10+ whole albums gets complicated.
copyright 2003

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