THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 429 August 28 - September 3, 2006
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August 28, 2006
I am home, and Roberta made me do some stretches, and take our morning walk. Both helped, but the headaches continue. I have an appointment at 1:50 this afternoon -- thanks to Roberta again -- and I intend to spend as much time as it takes to get this fixed.
Between the World SF Convention, and these headaches, the Monday installment of the Chaos Manor Reviews column is delayed a day or so. The Mailbag is up, with a few annoying typos I didn't see before I sent in the final, and my kitchen cabinet didn't have time to go over before the final went in: they're all my fault (and indeed in my text). But they don't change meanings, and the mail is interesting, so that will have to do.
It's very hard to be creative when it feels like the side of your head is coming off. It was briefly better after our walk, but that blissful moment didn't last. And that is quite enough of my complaints: I'll get this taken care of. But I do apologize for missing a publication deadline. I think this may be the first in the 30 year history of the column. I may have missed an editorial deadline a few times, but the BYTE staff were able to get the column up anyway. This time I have missed an actual posting deadline and no one could have saved me from that.
I won't miss it by much. I'll get the column done today or tomorrow, and again, apologies.
Thanks to all who have recently subscribed but have not yet heard from me. You will, shortly, as I get those all recorded.
And please don't let this lapse stop you from subscribing. We'll still have new content every week, it's just that this week it's going to be Wednesday. The Mailbag for today is on time...
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Xrays of spine and neck. Scheduled CT Scan. And a ton of arthritis pills, but if there's nothing structural here I'll just have to learn stretches and get past the neck problems that way. The sinus component I'll have to wait for the CT scan to be sure of things. At least it looks less and less like some kind of tumor but you never can be sure, can you? After losing Bob Forward and Charlie Sheffield, it's not something I can forget. But my physician seems unconcerned, except that since I can't work it's going to be a bit hard paying bills...
Paying the bills is a problem. The elderly AMD system that ran Windows 98 no longer turns on. I suppose I can figure it out, but it just doesn't start.
I cannot manage to get any Wind0ws 2000 or Windows XP machine to print to the HP LaserJet 4000 from my old Compiled Basic finances program I wrote in 1983. The Program works fine in XP but it will not print: when I tell it to print, it freezes, and the print file is never sent to the print queue. I have these choices: run Virtual PC and set up a Windows 98 machine; which ought to print to the LaserJet because it did when running Windows 98; (2) fix the old Windows 98 machine, which possibly needs a new power supply; (3) install Windows 98 on another machine and use that.
Tonight I will try to get out the column material I should have done for Monday.
It's not a fun time. The headache makes it very hard to do much of anything. We are supposed to go to the Hollywood Bowl tonight, but I would rather not. It's going to be painful sitting there. I'd rather just hide.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I didn't go to the Bowl last night, but I did spend an hour doing stretching exercises including just lying flat on the living room floor. I still had to pay the bills, and that didn't seem to help, but with the aid of a ton of pain killers I went to bed. Got up feeling much better. I think I will be able to stretch my way out of this mess, just as a couple of decades ago I was able to stretch my way out of a crippling back problem and get off the muscle relaxants and pain pills and junk.
I will still get the CT scan because I am convinced there is a sinus component to this: I have two problems, both on the same side of my head, on fore (sinus) and one aft (pinched nerve? muscle twinge?) that has been with me most of my life, but which got acute after the sinus mess; probably the sinus ache caused muscle tightening, etc. etc.
I will be doing the Chaos Manor Reviews column after our morning walk. Part of it will be how to make sure your old DOS programs will print properly. More when we get back. It's time, Sable says.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Things improve, slowly. Keep doing the stretches, take the pain killers to get a good night sleep, get up and stretch every hour or so.
The column is up at www.chaosmanorreviews.com and I will have next Monday's up on time. And it's time to work on Inferno.
Subscriptions are coming in, not quite as fast as I would like, but they are coming in, so this experiment will continue. I will start the daily observations and essays again shortly. Thanks to all of you for patience. I do have things to say other than observations about my problems.
The California State Legislature has lost its mind. Bills to finish off what businesses remain in the state seem to flow out like effluvia from an abscess.
Apparently the IDF military commanders wanted to finish the job in Lebanon, and did not want the cease fire. Good on them. Unfortunately, their political masters were not up to it. The IDF won all its tactical battles, but Israel lost the war. If that sounds familiar, recall Viet Nam. Hizbollah is already flowing back into the areas from which they were driven, the missiles are flowing back in, and Hizbollah now has seasoned combat veterans to become NCO's in their new expanded army. The cost to Israel for not finishing the job will be a lot higher than anyone (except the IDF officer corps) understands. As Joel Rosenberg says, quite often it sucks to be right. I wish I weren't right about this.
And all this is small potatoes in the global war, which is a three-way war for humanity: Islam, Christianity, and Atheist Humanism. One, and only one, of those will prevail. Of the three, Christianity seems to have the most tolerance for those not of its faith. It is only tolerance: the command is to preach the Word to all peoples. But Islam is commanded to convert all those not put under tribute; while Atheist Humanism appears to be the most intolerant of the lot, insisting that in areas where it is in control there shall not even be tolerance of unbelievers.
Liberalism is not really a contender here. The John Stuart Mill variety of Liberalism is pretty close to what we today call Libertarianism, and its triumph would be no bad thing at all; but it appears to be unstable. Modern Liberalism is closer to Atheist Humanism and seems increasingly less tolerant of deviation from its tenets. There will always be advocates of "liberal democracy" (the political faith that Frances Fukuyama thought already triumphant so that we could see the end of history) but liberal democracy doesn't have passionate defenders. Few will give their lives for it; and as it becomes increasingly intolerant (take that Cross off that hillside! Its existence offends us!) it alienates those with real passions.
Yes. I know. There are intolerant Christians. Many of those, though, are actually seeking to be left alone, and while they would welcome converts, they mostly want to be able to raise their children without interference from outsiders who seek to impose Atheist Humanism or one of its namby pamby Liberal variants. As for the others, Niven's Law prevails: no cause is so just that it will not attract fuggheads, and the fuggheads generally get all the publicity and seem to be the spokespeople for the cause.
The US was founded on the notion of consent of the governed as the only real legitimacy of government. That requires Federalism, and requires that we respect each others' rights to be different. Really different. My example is the Blue Belly Baptists who feel that you must paint your belly button blue on Wednesday afternoons and seek laws requiring that those who appear in public on Wednesday afternoons have a blue belly button. So long as they have a restricted jurisdiction (and I don't think their doctrine will appeal to many townships) I see no reason why they should not have their silly laws. I won't live in their town, or if I do remain there, I will get some Woad for Wednesdays. I may or may not mix in aconite. Alas, the modern tendency will be to send in the National Guard to protect someone's right to live in Blue Belly Village with an unadorned belly button.
In a contest for existence, those without passion usually lose to those with passionate fervor for their cause. The Muslims are able to generate such passions. Christians have been able to do so. One wonders what passions the Atheist Humanists will be able to generate, and if those will be enough to defend what used to be called Western Civilization.
Subject: Your partition of humanity
"And all this is small potatoes in the global war, which is a three-way war for humanity: Islam, Christianity, and Atheist Humanism. One, and only one, of those will prevail."
Where do China and India fall in this division? I don't believe that either Christianity or Islam have much of a hold in those countries. Their religious traditions are Hinduism and Buddhism, neither of which seem to be as aggressive as Christianity or Islam when it comes to converting the nonbeliever. Perhaps you consider China and India to be mostly under the sway of Atheist Humanism? Any possibility that Athiest Humanism with Eastern religious underpinnings is significantly different (and more effective) than Atheist Humanism with Judeo-Christian underpinnings?
And your point is well made. I do appear to be overly Western-centric. And yet.
It may be that Buddhism will prevail. We know that the Muslims had great success in India, but something did stop the spread of Islam to all of India. China is, officially, Atheist Humanist (Marxist) but that doesn't entirely prevail throughout the country. I am not sufficiently acquainted with the situation there to have an opinion. I do note that the government seems afraid of missionaries.
Sikhs have an aggressive and passionate attachment to their religious views, and have even won some converts in the west, but not very many. How long the Sikh regions could hold out against a world aflame with chiliastic zeal I don't know.
But I think the main theater of events will be in the West. If Islam takes Europe, which no longer seems impossible, and remains immune to the Western weapons of cultural mass destruction, who will prevail against them? Hindu adherents are ardent, and we know they can fight: the Gurkha regiments are Hindu in religion; but it does seem to me that Atheist Humanism is making great strides among the educated and powerful in India. Perhaps someone with more knowledge than I have will comment.
But I do believe the main theater of events is in the West, and in the West we have Christian, Muslim, and Atheist Humanist as the real protagonists; and the Atheist Humanists do not seem willing to die for their faith although they will kill to impose it if the costs are not too high.
September 1, 2006
I note that La Affaire Plame ends in a whimper. I told you so. I doubt that all those who built an enormous structure of anti-Administration accusations on it will apologize or even learn anything. So it goes. But with sanity returning, I ask again: wasn't it a logical question to ask, after Wilson went public with his story of his trip to Niger, why in the world the Company would send a liberal retired ambassador over there to drink mint tea at public expense? Who recommended him? Ah. Well.
Aleta sends this gem:
Subject: - today's guffaw
Whenever you think about Anarcho tyranny, remember Debra Kanof. Never forget
September 2, 2006
I have taken the day off.
September 3, 2006
I pretty well took today off, too. I am nursing a sick headache, as the saying goes. Tuesday I camp out at the CT Scan office until the look at my sinuses. If all this is just muscle tension and maybe pinched nerves I can do something about it, but I need to know that's what the problem is. The darned thing moves from being a sort of migraine at the back of my neck to something just behind my eyes, and if the one stops hurting the other starts. None of which is any excuse for not getting my work done, but it's sure hard to work with this happening.
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, 8,000 - 12,000 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. This site is run on the "public radio" model; see below.
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