THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 264 June 30 - Jul7 6, 2003
Highlights this week:
This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the monthly COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 4,000 - 7,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so. If you got here through a link that didn't take you to the front page of this site, click here for a better explanation of what we're trying to do here.
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June 30, 2003
I am on the final stretch of Burning Tower, and it's column week. There was considerable mail over the weekend, some of it quite interesting. See the topics at the top of the page or just go to Saturday and read on...
Norton AntiVirus found a virus in an attachment you (jerryp <firstname.lastname@example.org>) sent to [deleted by JEP]
To ensure the recipient(s) are able to use the files you sent, perform a virus scan on your computer, clean any infected files, then resend this attachment.
Virus name: W32.Klez.H@mm
Action taken: Clean failed : Quarantine succeeded :
File status: Infected
It was sent from the person whose name I have deleted. I sent the following reply:
I did not send that. Someone who has you in his address book has a virus that sent that, and since I am also in his address book it was able to fake my return address. This is common practice of Klez.
Please disable whatever software that is sending these scare messages. Some people will actually panic on getting this.
And there is a lot of mail today, reopening the subject of Republic and Empire; quite enough to take up your time for the day.
I am finishing this from San Diego. I get here by train, with driving from the Solana Beach station courtesy of former Chaos Manor Associate and long time friend Peter Flynn. Roberta had a minor accident and I came down to be sure all is well and to drive her home tomorrow. She's fine barring a heck of a headache, but I don't have any of the mail that came today: I left Outlook running back at Chaos Manor. Alex has since turned off that computer, so I'll get mail from now until I shut down in the morning to drive back up.
It's still column time, and time to finish Burning Tower, but I fear I have lost a day. I tried working on the column on the train, but the smooth ride I recall from previous trips was replaced by a very jerky and bumpy ride this time. Not sure why. Different track? Different train? In any event I got a few hundred words done, but it wasn't as easy as it was before.
I am once again working through a dialup connection. I have to say that it's not as bad as I thought, and this page seems to refresh fairly quickly.
This would be a good time for an essay, but in fact I'm a bit tired, and I suspect anything I said now would be silly.
July 1, 2003
Still at the beach house. Of 116 messages since midnight, 39 were real that I know of, and 66 were Spam caught by Spam Assassin at the server. Alas, those get sent on to me anyway, eating my pipelines. I need a way to temporarily leave any message the Assassin thinks is Spam back on the server. I do look once in a while because press releases look a lot like Spam and I often want to see those. Sigh.
On the Earthlink account 12 got to me; every one of them is Spam. Lisabetta doesn't have a local spam filter program, although my Outlook rules catch the more obvious ones.
Something physical and painful has to happen, publicly, to about a dozen spammers, and then this sort of thing will stop. Or we can hope. Perhaps they can be made to fight to the death on Reality TV. The winner in a 12-spammer free for all gets to join the Army in Graves Registration.
We're trying to get out of here, but Roberta doesn't feel much like traveling. I'm working on my laptop through a 56K dialup -- Earthlink is quite reliable that way -- so I won't be checking out every recommended web page sent to me. With Adelphia cable modem, when it works, it is possible to look at a lot of web pages quickly. Can't do that here.
OK 1500 And we are trying to get out of her to get home. I'm off until we do.
We are home, and all is well.
Home and recovering. I've lost a couple of days but that's not so hard to catch up with.
It is still both column time and time to finish off BURNING TOWER. The mail remains both good and plentiful and interesting, so you won't get bored if I take some time to catch up.
And we continue to feed the Iraqi meat grinder, and pretend that we are going to build law and order and democracy and freedom in a land that has never known and of the latter, and where law and order has generally been imposed by conquerors.
To protect the weak and make humble the proud.
July 3, 2003
There is a brief resumption of the discussion on the future of infantry. The whole series is still relevant.
Then we have:
I have seen enough of these breathless announcements to get out the salt shaker, but then I don't care about the "weapons of mass destruction." Saddam had the ability to use them, the desire to have them, and the means to build them; whether he was at the moment in possession of such at any given moment is irrelevant. It is clear to me that he was effectively deterred from using them, and was playing bluster games to enhance his local notoriety. He played them all too well.
Still, it would help in American domestic politics if we found a big hidden laboratory, and particularly if we found a big nuclear research facility.
Of more concern to readers is
Subject: Zone-H statement on defacement contest ( priority one)
-- Roland Dobbins
You Have Been Warned.
And I have:
Subject: Heads up for 6Jul03 ( priority one)
Please disseminate far and wide, taking appropriate preparatory actions, thanks!
- Roland Dobbins
Which should have gone up yesterday.
Friday, July Four, 2003 AD
and of the Independence of these United States the Two Hundred and Twenty-Seventh
It is column time. I am tempted to do a Fourth of July essay, but it will have to wait.
But we do open a debate on a matter of some importance to the republic. See mail.
And be careful what you wish for:
July 5, 2003
July 6, 2003
Column time. The following graph comes from the US Department of Education web site, and is mentioned in the column I am writing now. I post it here because it may vanish before the column is up at www.byte.com. Indeed, were I a DOE official I would try to bury this graph rather than put it on the front page...
The following is the "rollover" from the US DOE web site for that picture:
"Chart shows that since 1965, when Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), through 2003, the federal government has spent more than $242 billion to help educate disadvantaged children. Yet, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the average reading score for 9-year-olds across the nation in 1975 is not significantly different from the 1999 score. During those years, the annual appropriation for ESEA increased six-fold -- from $2.3 billion in 1975 to $13.8 billion in 1999 -- while the average reading score for 9-year-olds was 210 in 1975 and 212 in 1999. ESEA appropriations for 1966-1974 and for 2000-03 are provided in the chart, but average reading scores for 9-year-olds are not shown because they are not available for all of those years. The president's 2004 budget request of $22.5 billion for ESEA is shown."
Note that as spending increases, the reading scores remain unchanged. Note also that the computer revolution has had little or no effect on reading scores.
Certainly the chart is itself a bit odd, and perhaps there need to be adjustments, such as for inflation, but the point, I would think, is obvious: there is no relationship between federal funds spent on education and any measurable result. Meanwhile, according to other sources, literacy is lower now than it was in the 1950's.
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