ranting


I just upgraded from Ubuntu Feisty to Ubuntu Gutsy (which is still in beta). about 6 hours later, a couple of hiccups, and one or two fixes required for problems that I caused myself (and due to running out of hard drive space part way through), I’m running the new version. With all the same software still installed, and all my preferences and options exactly the same as before. Damn that’s nice.

The really beautiful thing? Barely any thing’s changed. A nice modification of the login dialogue for KDE (something that I’ve been wanting for a while, a user list), one or two new packages (GDebi for KDE is nice), and a couple of hundreds of minor upgrades that I don’t really need to know about, or that I get pleasantly surprised by when I open up old programs. I can go about my business, exactly as before (how’s that for productivity (wanker)), knowing that everything’s just that little bit more useful, safer, quicker.

Thanks to the debian devs, ubuntu devs, and everyone who made all the packages that make using linux such a joy!

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This is something I started that was going to be the first post on this blog, about 6 months ago. As you’ll see though, I got lost, and I have never really made it back to it, having gotten lost in many other things in the intervening period. I thought I’d post it anyway. It might inspire me to come back and add stuff to it (doubtful), or, with a few comments, it might set off that train of thought, and inspire me to write some kind of conclusion. So go ahead, criticise, wonder, ramble, insult. See what happens.

– work in progress, 14th December, 2006 –
“In trying to find a low common denominator that would “mobilize” virtually everyone, the new “anti-nuke establishment” really educated no-one. It was Three-Mile Island that did much of the education, and often public understanding of the issue goes no further than problems of technology, rather than problems of society” - Murray Bookchin, “the Power to Create, the Power to Destroy”, 1979, p. 50, (in “Toward an Ecological Society”)

Bloody hell. Not much has changed has it? seems like, 27 years later, the environment movement is still struggling in two directions – firstly to get people active, often through short, punchy catch phrases and shocking images, and secondly to educate, which obviously require a longer attention span, and more in-depth analysis of the issues. It’s a pity that these two objectives sometimes seem almost mutually exclusive. (more…)

We didn’t hear much about it on the east coast, but the Greens just became the New Labour. No, they haven’t sold out on Uranium yet, but they’re on their way! One of WA Senator Rachel Siewert’s staffer’s went to a protest at Julie Bishop (Lib/Nat Minister for Science), and the protest got violent. That is, the cops whacked people with battons, and pepper sprayed them, and a protester threw a rock. And the Greens dutifully stood up for the oppressed and apologised to the cops, and sacked the staffer who went to the protest. News.com.au’s WA branch has a piece on the article, but I don’t want to promote that shit. The West Australian had a reasonable front page piece on it on Saturday that I’ve just seen, unfortunately it’s not on their website.

Not only did Siewert sack her staffer, but Bob Brown stepped in, and fucking agreed with her. COME ON you fools! Protesters, being the front line of a diverse movement, pushing the boundaries of issues that you agree with, and get beaten up by a bunch of thugs that have been completely bought out by the establishment and are intent on defending, with violence, the worst parts of the capitalist system – the bits you want to change (I know you’ve always been too soft to actually tackle capitalism head on). These thugs are actually allowed to be violent – they carry deadly weapons at all times, for fuck’s sake. And you take it out on the protesters. Way to support the movement. I think I just lost all respect for Bob Brown, it’s unfortunate that such a misguided fool is the face of the Greens.

I had a very interesting lecture today, on thermodynamics, ecosystems, and human values relating to technology (lecture 4, Technology and Human Values, PHIL3910 at the University of Newcastle. I recommend it). It didn’t give me a lot of information that I hadn’t heard before, but Yin Gao’s presentation definitely cemented a lot of that information in place for me.

One thing that did strike me, was Yin’s case study: the Aswan Dam. I’ve heard of it before of course, but never paid a lot of attention. Almost as soon as she mentioned it, I saw the link with climate change. As she went on, the similarities blew me away. let me explain: (more…)

I think I’ve finally realised a complete ethical foundation on which I can base all my economic decisions. It’s been a while in the making, and although I like it in its current state, it’s possible it will change in the future. we’ll see.

basically, it consists of two rules (guideline), in order of importance:

1. Do not Waste.

2. Do not Steal.

considering that they are in order of importance, what the second rule really means is “do not Steal unless not to do so would cause Waste”.

I think that covers everything. the rational is below. (more…)

This blog is going to be slightly random, eco-anarchist centered rants, musings, and other bits and pieces. don’t expect it to be learnéd, cause I’m not yet. Expect it to be over-the-top, and slightly undereducated.  Infact, educate me.

“the best way to learn is to teach, the best way to teach is to keep learning, and that what counts in the end is having had a shared, reflected experience.”- Goéry Delacôte

Look forward to arguing with you.

ned

lets see. here are the relevant entries from Wiktionary (if you don’t agree with them, you can change them!):

skeptic – Noun – http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/skeptic

  1. Someone undecided as to what is true.
  2. Someone who habitually doubts accepted beliefs and claims presented by others, requiring strong evidence before accepting any belief or claim.

denier – Noun – http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/denial

  1. Someone who denies something.

see, the obvious difference here is that a skeptic needs evidence before changing their mind. a denier simply doesn’t change their mind.

If you are an alcoholic, and I say “you’re addicted” your responses might be “I don’t think so, what makes you think that?” or “I don’t believe you, prove it to me”. that would be skepticism. It implies that you are open to debate, open to new information, and, importantly, open to changing your views, thoughts, and beliefs.

if, on the other hand, you simply said “no I’m not” without listening to the reasoning behind my statement, you would be in denial.

and that’s where the current “debate on climate change” lies, as it relates to whether it is happening or not (oh dear, I just thought of one of the most horrible puns ever: “climate change, weather it’s happening or not”). there are those who believe that it’s happening fast, those that believe it is happening slowly, and those that are in complete denial. there are no more climate change skeptics. if there are, it’s only because they haven’t had a chance to read all the evidence that’s available out there.

so if you’re still a little skeptical, have a bit more of a read. climate science sites such as http://www.realclimate.org, and http://www.ipcc.ch are a great place to start. If you come across someone claiming to be a climate skeptic, check their references. make sure they are up to date too, because as far as I know there has been no new evidence to contradict the climate change hypothesis (evidence, not proof) since Roy Spencer and John Christy re-adjusted their satellite datareading in late 2005 (exact date?) ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_temperature_measurements#The_satellite_temperature_record )

happy climate denier hunting!

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