THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 206 May 20 - 26, 2002
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May 20, 2002
E3 this week. It starts with an XBOX press conference that is open only to those who pre-registered. I am not sure I did. And the conference is 5:30 PM, and at 6:30 is a Lakers NBA playoff game: downtown is going to be a madhouse and I don't intend to fight that traffic. Doubtless many who are concerned with XBOX will go, and I'll find out what happened.
They have in theory incorporated all my galley changes into a final for The Prince, and I will get the finals shortly. Meanwhile I need to crank out at least a thousand words a day on Burning Tower. And I will have to go to E3 later this week.
It's a great life if you don't weaken...
Two programs are driving me mad: Norton anti-virus, and WS_FTP. In both cases they insist on popping up to tell me what they are doing. Norton is worst because when it sees a virus attachment, it wants to tell me about it, and it wants to stop getting more email until it deals with it. Since the way it deals with it is invariably the same, to quarantine it or eliminate the mail attachment or both, why can't I find a way to tell it to DO that and not ask for my personal intervention?
And Ws_FTP! If I queue up a bunch of files for it to send, it pops up in my work area every time is sends on, although there is no reason whatever for me to know, and no action is expected. And I can't find any setting to tell it to shut up and soldier and not bother me with reports until it is DONE...
But in case you are not sufficiently suspicious, here is this from Chaos Manor Associate Dan Spisak:
Okay, this is it.
Microsoft has officially gone too far in my eyes.
In this article on eWeek:
Allchin basically states that certain parts of Windows are so insecure that if the source code was released to public it would threaten our countries national security and as such certain APIs and code will be carved out under a national security protection clause.
This just makes me sick.
If anything happens now I think the DOD needs to seriously reconsider its use of Microsoft products in any kind of wartime environment.
And you might want to think about that one...
And I am just weary of the Internet and the satellite and Page Cannot Be Displayed without 5 retries thank you and the rest of it. The Internet remains a conspiracy to see how many grown people can be made to watch a screen on which there is no information and nothing is happening.
I first learned of this from Roland, who sent the link to the Obituary. As Roland observed, he was a man with whom one could disagree and still have respect for.
We had our quarrels, a few of them open debates, one at a AAAS Press Conference years ago. I did not always think him fair. He had a flair for words, and he used that to wicked effect; but he was capable of arguing from authority which, if you traced the authority's sources, turned out to be himself. He was capable of dismissing disagreements with a wave and sometimes with distortion of the opposing view.
His Mismeasure of Man was a work of propaganda posing as science, and that was not the only such he ever published. One of my correspondents says:
"I find it very interesting that they didn't mention Gould's masterpiece of deception, "The Mismeasure of Man". This is the only reference I could find in the essay to Gould's war on IQ/race/sociobiology.
Maybe the author feels that putting the Mismeasure of Man in Gould's obit would be similar to putting the Population Bomb in Ehrlich's (eventual) obit. Both are publications that made their respective authors famous, but both are (or will be) rightly scorned as drivel masquerading as sober science.
Perhaps it is evil of me to say it, but I for one will not miss a man responsible for the character assassination of so many."
Perhaps a bit more harsh a judgment than I would render; certainly I was the recipient of some of Gould's venom, although I would not call it "character assassination" to say in a dry voice "Are you not Dr. Pournelle the science fiction writer?" in a press conference. He could certainly sound contemptuous of his questioners.
And for all that he was a fascinating man, who believed that ideas have consequences, and that some matters are more important than others; and more important than individuals.
The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones. I think that will not be the case here. I think his legacy left the House of Intellect stronger, particularly where he was wrong but made his opponents rethink their positions and sharpen their concepts. He did that for me, and for that I will always be grateful.
Requiem aeterna dona eum, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eum.
Another correspondent says:
Many years ago, when just beginning graduate school, I happened to discuss the 1970s attacks of Gould and his other friends on the sociobiology theories of EO Wilson with a few friends at dinner. A fellow graduate student in evolutionary biology mentioned that his own professor had been shocked by the strange and dishonest nature of those attacks, and asked one member of that circle with whom he was friendly (someone other than Gould) whether he actually believed such nonsense. The answer: "Of course not, but I did it in the interests of Marxism, which was more important."
Now this is the most extreme sort of third-hand hearsay evidence, but I think it's probably correct nonetheless, and applies to Gould as well.
At the time, I wrote a letter to Gould, dispassionately raising quite a number of detailed technical issues about some of his evolutionary theories to achieve some credibility, then recounted that the, challenging him to deny it, and condemning him in extremely harsh terms if it were true. I closed the letter by pointing out that I was quite young and he was not, and that scientists of my generation would be shaping the historical perception of scientists of his when the latter were merely dust and names in the textbooks. To my considerable surprise, he sent a personal reply, never denied the charges, but seemed quite hurt and pained at what I had written.
And although I myself have left the scientific field, I still very much doubt whether history will be kind to Stephen Jay Gould.
And see below
And in mail we have an explanation of how the Dark Lords of the Sith operate...
And Stephen Hart says regarding WS_FTP:
options - session - turn off "show transfer progress dialog"
This is with ws_ftp_LE (the freeware version), I hope its the same or similar to your version.
and indeed that does it. Thanks! And
Outgoing Server: smtpauth.earthlink.net
Set your client to use authenticate ... "My server requires authentication" Enter your email address for the Account Name and your password.
-Justin LaVelle -Earthlink, Pasadena T.R.O.N. (Vender Relations)
So now I know. I looked and never found that magic formula.. that is the smtpauth was not before revealed to me...
While Bob Thompson tells me how to find the option to just delete the darned virus if Norton finds one. I found it; it takes a certain amount of faith that it's there, but if you know it must be there, you will eventually find it...
Norton remains the right program for this. It's just sometimes a bit confusing.
|This week:||Tuesday, May
I have fixed my problems with Ws_FTP and Norton, both of which worked but annoyed me with needless messages; thanks to all who sent messages. And today The Prince comes back, all 1200 pages, and I can go through that again...
If anyone is in contact with Spamcop, tell them that I can't report spam and I can't communicate with them. Everything I send bounces. I don't know if they were hacked or what, but nothing happens any longer.
And I find that you can find out anything on the web, but some of it ain't true.
The Scientist Who Wrote Rings Around The Earth http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn
The Scientist Who Wrote Rings Around The Earth By Joel Achenbach Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, May 21, 2002; Page C01
A brilliant scientist who can write beautifully is an unusual creature, almost an evolutionary impossibility. It's like a flying horse, or a talking shark. Nature usually is sparing when it hands out talent and specializations. Stephen Jay Gould -- who died of lung cancer yesterday at the age of 60 -- was a prize example of a very rare breed. <snip>
I am in a discussion group of people who had to work with but in opposition to Gould, and the stories aren't pretty. The Post obituary is pretty good. There is also a good review of Gould's book by Arthur Jensen:
And every now and then I just can't connect to my web site. If I can I can't change directories. If I can do that I can't upload anything. This lasts perhaps three minutes, long enough to be frustrating, then clears itself up. I suppose it's a defect in me: I used to spend more time saving my work on a single user CP/M system and was glad of the opportunity. Now if it takes a couple of minutes to update and publish I get unhappy. This seems unreasonable, and I guess I had better work on myself.
And China seems determined to start a new space race. Is this cause to rejoice or despair? Mr. Heinlein said we are going to space but there was no requirement that English be the language used there.
I think we need to organize a conspiracy. There has to be a way to get some of these spammers. The ones that want me to buy inkjet cartridges. Surely they have ways to be found since they sell a product? And the ones that send links to enormous html downloads so that you can't even forward the spam to anyone. Surely there are ways to physically locate them?
I am weary of this. There has to be a way. And if the spammers can't be located then their conspirator leaders, the advertising lobby, certainly have public names and addresses and offices. These gentry are the fronts for people who waste millions of man-hours of time, and lower the US productivity. Not that the Congress cares since they get their cut. The spammers are organized.
We are not. And the Congress will never do anything about this. Will we? Or do we just go on letting the Direct Mail people pay the Congress to not do anything about this waste of our time?
Everywhere I go I see web log sites that have banner ads. How much are those people making from those things? I think they are ugly, and they increase the download times, and I certainly don't want them, but how much is this whim of mine costing me? If I can believe the web statistics I get, a lot of people read what goes on here.
Of course I don't need ads, I remind myself. I have subscribers.
At the Xfiles Party last week:
My wife wants it recorded that this party was at the home of musicians (the house used to belong to Robert Mitchum) and at the party I was known as Mr. Roberta...
If you missed Last Week's View, there was some pretty good stuff. I have indexed it a bit.
SPent the day at E3. May have some pictures later.
May 23, 2002
Working on Burning Tower. I'll have something to say tonight. I hope. Meanwhile there's considerable mail.
Roland finds that part of my comments about Gould made their way into National Review http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-sailer052202.asp
and also this worm warning:
Which with the mail ought to be enough to keep you busy for a while.
If you didn't know, Microsoft XP HOME does not allow you to hook up to domains. Only Workgroups. This is not a bug it is a feature.
If you use XP, and you have a domain, you must use "professional".
Except for ClearType I haven't seen all that many reasons to use XP over 2000. But XP Home was born with a thorn in its foot, deliberately crippled so that they could justify charging more for XP Professional. So it goes. IBM did that with the wonderfully successful PC Junior and look where that got them...
May 24, 2002
I have appointments at E3.
The idiot virus that asks you to delete system files is going around. The same person is sending real viruses as well. Beware!
May 25, 2002
Well I told telus.net about HealthandIncome@telus.net sending both the virus hoax and real viruses, and they said:
"This is not real virus. but a hoax please visit symatec's website for more details."
When I informed them I knew this, and had said so in my mail to them (apparently email@example.com doesn't read anything but the subject line of a report if they bother with that) they said
"We will contact our customer and warn them not to send hoaxes out. It looks like this person was simply taken in by the hoax and has corresponded with you in the past that is why your received the email as it was sent to everyone in the address book."
I had already pointed out that this was a SPAMMER and had no reason to have me on the address list in the first place.
Telus.net clearly is a source of both spam and viruses and doesn't care.
Meanwhile I seem to have made a complete mess of things, and Roberta's program has mysteriously developed problems it shouldn't have through a complete mismanagement.
Outlook is doing things I don't want it to do including sending attachments of mail messages: that is they are copies of the plaintext message but attached to the mail. I don't know why. I have turned off everything I can think of but it happens.
This is not my morning.
I am beginning to think I should retire.
I wasn't really trying to solicit letters and subscriptions with that. Thanks to all who did reply. Astonishing how many.
We went to the world premiere of the new Turandot (17 minutes new music and scenes, giving it an ending, which Puccini never had a chance to do.) Great. Our seats are 7th row center Orchestra, which is what I prefer for both sight lines and best acoustics. The seats just in front of us are held by Board members. It happens that Mrs. Nagano and their 4 year old daughter were there. We didn't know them, but we were astonished at how quiet the little girl was all through the performance; there was no sign that she was there at all. Then at curtain call her father (the conductor of the LA Opera orchestra) came on stage for his bows, and finally she couldn't stand it any longer and waved like crazy. Charming sight.
The new Turandot has an ending. The music is said to be Puccini-like from his later period after he knew Schonberg, and there is certainly some of the 12-tone in it, but not enough to whack it. Ping and Pong were played by our LA residents Greg Federly and Bruce Sledge, and done extremely well. The directing by del Monaco was wonderful; as well staged an opera as I have ever seen. I'll leave the rest to the reviewers, but this was darned good.
May 26, 2002
Long day. Roberta had to sing at two masses, then we took the cantor to brunch. Back for the Lakers game.
Now that was some game!
Outlook will sometimes begin to attach copies of the plaintext message as plaintext files to the message: that is, it has an attachment that is itself the message. This is not a virus. It's just Outlook. The cure is to make sure all your settings are as you want them, then exit Outlook. When you come back on it will be all right. Darned near drove me crazy yesterday, though. I was sure I had a virus. I didn't. It's just Outlook. So it goes.