THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 258 May 19 - 25, 2003
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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May 19, 2003
We continue the Jessica Lynch story in mail. And there is yet another virus purportedly sent from Microsoft. DO NOT OPEN UNEXPECTED MAIL ATTACHMENTS no matter who they are supposedly from. There is also a remedy for the top 11 nuisances there.
I have sent out another mailing to subscribers. It wasn't important. A few were returned. If you subscribe and did not get a mailing today, see BADMAIL which may tell you. There were also "mailbox full" reports but I simply ignore those rather than put them on badmail.
Subject: Microsoft's next step in taking over the world...
I suspect that is not the motive, but we will see...
And let me strongly recommend:
Derbyshire is amazingly coherent in this interview.
|This week:||Tuesday, May
LAST BUFFY TONIGHT!!!
The Jessica Lynch story continues in Mail. It certainly wasn't the pure hoax that the BBC seems to believe. Why the BBC is trying to promote such misinformation I don't know.
And I have moved some of my thoughts concerning Governing Iraq over to the "What to do" page in the War folder. That page contains thoughts from just after the September 11 attack, has a long gap, and picks up again after the Iraqi War. I'll try to keep it current as time allows.
I see no reason to change my views on how to govern Iraq. We must build working governments and rule of law at local levels: a winner take all national election would result in a slaughter.
I will make this short:
In this modern world, Empire is rule not based on the principle that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.
In the past, non-Imperial rule might be based on other principles. As James Burnham once observed, there is no more rational basis for one form of government than for another.
Political action takes this form: A tells B to something, and B does it. He may do it through sheer coercion, in which case this is not entirely a political action. A purely political action happens when B obeys because he thinks he ought to obey, even when he does not agree with the action to be taken.
Why might A have the authority to give orders to B?
Historically there have been several forms of authority.
Monarchy: "You obey me because you swore allegiance to me, and your fathers swore allegiance to my father. You obey me because I am the legitimate king, and I have sworn to look after this land to the best of my ability. Obey."
Aristocracy: "You obey me because I am the agent of the best among you. You obey us because we are the best in the land, we are those who are enlightened and we know what is good for you and for the Earth, for the nation and for you, the people. You know this is the rule of the best. If you believe you belong among us, prove it. Marry your sons to our daughters or your daughters to our sons, let your children grow up understanding the duties of our class. We are the best, and you know it. Obey."
Democracy: "We held an election, and I won fairly. Fifty percent plus one among you voted for me. Obey."
None of those is a compellingly rational way to run a country, but all have been seen as conferring legitimacy on governments.
The United States was founded on the single principle that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. It was stated flatly in the Declaration, and Lincoln in his Second Inaugural and in the Gettysburg Address pretty well made that the governing principle of the United States.
Imperial rule is rule without the consent of the governed.
It should be clear, then, that governments govern best when everyone consents. It is also clear that this is unlikely. The remedy is to devolve as much government as possible to the lowest level possible: let townships choose their laws where possible.
My example is censorship of books: I would grant the right of my neighbors to determine that my books should not be allowed to be sold in local book stores. I would argue that they should not have such a law, but I do not question their right. If enough of my neighbors consent to that law, then I can consent as well, or leave.
I would argue that the United States of America does NOT have the right to ban my books.
I would argue the right of my neighbors to adopt Sunday closing laws. I would not grant that right to the United States of America.
In the US, the political unit is the State, and most of these questions belong at the state level: but I would then argue strongly that the states ought to devolve such matters to counties, and counties to cities and villages. Clearly this can be carried to absurd lengths, but the more consent the better; and that argues sometimes for patchworks of laws.
Examples of nationalized questions that never should have been so: Separation of Church and State; Abortion; Marijuana and other drug laws; regulations concerning alcohol; health and welfare and self-endangerment.
None of those ought to be national questions. Every one of them should be at state levels, where legislatures will try to obtain the widest possible consent.
Now back to Empire: Empire results when we tell people to obey laws to which they did not consent, and over which they have little control. That is what we now exercise in Iraq.
We don't have a lot of choice over there. But I have had my say on how to govern Iraq elsewhere, and I see no point in repeating it.
Well, Buffy ended with a bang. We won't have to worry about Sunnydale High and Hellmouth any more. Spike definitely has soul, and Annya the revenge djinn is definitely transformed...
Perhaps it went on just a bit too long, but it was great even so.
Thanks to Bob Delaney for the next one.
You have got to see this:
although you may prefer to start at
for the story. Either way, I suggest you don't watch as it downloads but wait until it finishes. But even with hesitations as it downloads it's fascinating.
Take water and
potash, add electricity and get - a mystery
British researchers believe that they have made a groundbreaking scientific discovery after apparently managing to "create" energy from hydrogen atoms.
In results independently verified at Bristol University, a team from Gardner Watts - an environmental technology company based in Dedham, Essex - show a "thermal energy cell" which appears to produce hundreds of times more energy than that put into it.
and tell me what you make of it. Thanks to Charlie Worton for this one.
AOL seems to be stripping content out of messages: at least three subscribers received the letter I sent without any content although I never send attachments, the content was in the body of the message. Very odd. Sending it again to those people got through.
I don't send blank messages and I don't send messages with attachments.
AOL seems to be rather capricious in its mail delivery.
Thirty Years of Fudge
I think I have put this link up before, but if we are to do anything about NASA, it must be done while the Columbia disaster is fresh on our minds; and here is one bit of information
Understand, this ship won't ever go to orbit; but it will go to space. And it is very likely to win the X-Prize for Scaled Composites. There's serious work going on out in the Mojave Desert...
It was only a flight test, but it went splendidly. they two ships took off and landed attached; there was no separation test.
May 22, 2003
One busy day. See mail for anything I have to say...
I thought you might like these: http://www.oldcitypark.org/decoratingday.htm
Indeed, as will nearly everyone. Thank you.
And I was reminded of this today. It's worth listening to once in a while. Julia Ecklar is wonderful.
And for an excellent summary of The IQ Debates see
Are whites cleverer than blacks?
Which is written in reasonable tones and presents facts. I presume that merely pointing to this will generate a fair amount of hate mail, but I have good filters. One thing: Chris Brand never wrote any "apologia for pedophiles." He did point out that young girls determined to have children could find better candidates as fathers than other dropouts.
Chris Brand comments:
"The new Spectator article, though a well-above-average summary of the race
and IQ wars, is still a typically uninformed piece of journalism...."
V. best, -- Chris.
He also says
In Autumn 1996, I ridiculed the
prosecution in Maryland of a 73-year-old paedophile Nobel Prize winner,
that's all. I never even advocated any change in the law.
For more of Brand's views on the Spectator article, see mail.
May 23, 2003
I have received many messages that look like this:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
All information is in the
Naturally, every one of them had a virus attachment that would strike if I opened the attachment. This is clearly criminal activity.
There is a new discussion of the space program over in mail.
will show how safe we are getting.
A reader drilled down into this place and found a link for the www.pournelle.com site and firstname.lastname@example.org and discovered that he got a bunch of popup ads. It took me a while to figure out where this was; I have not looked at some of those older pages in a long time, and one day I really ought to go clean up a lot of that mess.
But the story is this. Richard registered www.pournelle.com but he didn't renew it. Some honorable company of honorable people snapped it up, and will sell it back to me for a thousand dollars. I told them I was not interested. They eventually got down to two hundred dollars, and I ceased to speak with these honorable creatures.
So I haven't been following what they have done with the page made from my name. I would like to have www.pournelle.com back but not so much so that I am willing to pay the honorable creatures anything at all above expenses and a nominal fee.
Chaosmanor.com was grabbed off by some group or another in Iowa, and their offer to give it back was contingent on my using their web ISP services, which I declined. Thus we have this site, which is the only official one for Jerry Pournelle...
May 24, 2003
I put up a lot of mail last night, on all kinds of subjects.
I have put in the day cleaning things up and throwing things away, and I am exhausted. But at least much of that was done.
WinProxy has done it to me again. This execrable program every now and then decides that www.jerrypournelle.com is not real, and refuses to have anything to do with it, web site, mail server, or anything else. It is just no longer there to it. I can go to any other web sites, I can send and receive mail through Earthlink, but anything having to do with Chaos Manor or jerrypournelle.com is just no good at all.
And of course a while ago I was going to do some paper work, so I connected up the satellite and got off iDSL, and of course that didn't work because of the egregious WinProxy program. Bah.
So the paper work wasn't done, and neither was much else while I fussed around with WinProxy and the satellite. I do NOT recommend WinProxy.
And attempts to get hold of WinProxy meet with total failure. Of course.
May 26, 2003
A good day with the family.
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