Name: Mourad De Clerck
Member since: 2002-06-11 10:03:41
Last Login: 2010-07-31 23:22:50
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Too much Matrix hype? I'd say quite the contrary, I've seen way more people being (overly?) critical of the movie, than people extolling its virtues.
In my mind, the movie introduced ideas that weren't exactly new but interesting nonetheless to a much wider audience. And it did so in an appealing package. I think that's a very nice achievement. It's nice to be able to have a meaningful conversation about these topics with non- [ techies | philosophy students | ... ]
Personally, even though I think the dialogue was a bit wooden at times, reloaded wasn't bad, and if they're a bit smart with the third one, the entire trilogy will be really good. (of course there's just as much chance they'll fuck it up completely in the third one, but we'll see that when it happens)
I think you have to ask yourself the question if realism is really that important when you go see a movie. It's like saying that unless a game is completely realistic (like a flight sim) it has no value. As for the fashion sense: it would be just as silly to try to predict what will look cool in the future. Fashion is not timeless. The clothes look cool for the time the story is set in (well, in the matrix at least)
I don't want to sound pedantic, and maybe I'm missing something, but how is one to verify that you are really who you say you are? Anyone can whip up a website with a phonenumber, say they're "Dan York", create a gpg key, and refer people to that website.
Maybe they were just paranoid, but the people who told me how to use GPG/PGP also told me to only sign some person's key if you actually met them in person, with some kind of proof that they are who they say they are (photo-id). Or maybe by checking the key fingerprint over the phone if you know the person, and his or her voice.
If I'd sign people without properly checking, the result would be that when people notice this, they'd simply adjust the trust they assign to my key, so that it wouldn't "weigh" as much in the trust calculations.
Hope everything works out with your little girl. Glad to hear she didn't lack oxygene. As for the eating, well apparently I had a similar problem when I was born: I had an "open" stomach, and couldn't keep any solids down for more than a year. Things worked out perfectly though, and I never had any problems with it afterwards.
As for XFree86: I'm glad to see _something_ happen at the very least.
If nothing else I would hope they do what you say, and they refactor the whole thing in smaller pieces: the hardware abstraction (XAA/DRI/Input/...), the networking layer, Xlib etc etc. Loads of projects have a valid reason to use opengl (DRI) or the 2D drivers without X. There's PVR boxes like MythTV, PicoGUI, Fresco, E17's evas, and many others I'm sure. Instead of duplicating hardware drivers (like KGI WIP or DirectFB do for instance), everyone could use a common base - it would improve the quality of the drivers since they'd be maintained and used by lots of different projects and in different ways. Some of these people looked into using XAA without X, but it quickly became clear that the XFree86 people had zero interest in it. The general impression was that "there's nothing but X". Similar thing with DRI - it doesn't have to be linked to XFree86 (see the DRI FAQ or FBDRI), but is so in practice.
I wasn't there when Linus refused to merge KGI in the kernel, but the impression I got was that he did so because he didn't see where it was going (lack of focus), and he didn't want to commit everyone to this in particular. (lock-in) A lot of people got away with the message that the GGI/KGI approach was inherently wrong - I don't think that was the intention. These days we end up with a whole collection of interfaces in kernel (DRM, FBDev, mplayer mods, nvidia, etc) and userspace (Xfree86, DRI, utah-glx, directfb, GGI, etc), and I'm not so sure we're better off.
Sorry for this rant. If you've had enough of politics feel free to skip this.
It's worrying to see the recent developments. Let's see what people agree on:
- Saddam is really bad.
- If you're in one of the countries sending troops, you probably hope they all come back safe, and support them.
That being said:
- Saddam being really bad is not enough reason to invade the country. A lot of people may (or may not) be better off afterwards, but if you think like that ("the end justifies the means") then you basically say: the US can attack anyone whose governement it doesn't like. It simply needs to show it "harbours terrorists" or something similar - and in these times of media self-censorship that's rather easy to do. There's a reason why there's so many barriers to start a war. It's because it really is a last resort.
- Saddam being in breach of Resolution 1441 doesn't automatically need to result in war. If "serious consequences" really meant war, this resolution wouldn't have been adopted by a lot of the member states as such.
- "Running out of patience" is not enough reason for war either. As Robin Cook mentioned in his resignation speech, Israel has been in breach of resolution 242 for over 35 years, but noone's losing patience there.
- There's legitimate public doubt about whether Iraq is a clear and present threat to the US/UK or others. On the one hand, they're selling the war by saying it would be a "quick and clean war" without much opposition and on the other hand, a justification for the war is that they have the means to hurt us in a significant way. Despite Bush's continual repeating that Iraq is linked to terrorism, this hasn't been proven. The nuclear path was also discounted by the atomic commision, and we didn't have problem with Saddam having biological and chemical weapons, when they were provided to him by - among others - the US and the UK. To top it all off, they're under very close scrutiny by the rest of the world, so they wouldn't have much of a chance to create a real weapons program. So, what's up with the urgency?
- France didn't use its veto. A second resolution wasn't even submitted, so it didn't need to. There was a lot of talk before that they'd submit a second resolution to prove that France was intending to use its veto "unreasonably". Blair mentioned long before the UK would consider going to war in the faced with a lone veto. However, it seems they didn't even get support from 9 out of 15 members of the security council, otherwise they would have submitted it for sure, and proven to the world how alone France is in it's anti-war stance.
Additionaly, the US and UK are looked at with even more suspicion these days:
- Bush's insistence on linking Iraq and terrorism, to sell it to the American public - even though the evidence was disproven, and no new facts were given. Note that a lot of it's allies (Saudi Arabia for instance) are more easily linked to terrorism.
- The falsified nuclear evidence
- The fact that positive reports from the weapon inspectors were seen as "bad news" by the US. It's clear their minds were already made up.
- Despite Blair's pre-empting of the issue in his excellent speech (Blair mentioned that the natural riches of Iraq would be put in a trust for the Iraqi people), there's still a lot of doubts and cynisism about all the interests involved in this war. The Halliburton angle, the matter of control of this trust, the regime change the Americans seem more interested in than the disarmament, etc. Blair's speech, excellent as it was, didn't do enough to alleviate all the lingering questions. And it seems in the US noone wants or dares to question Bush. He hasn't been articulate at all in selling his war.
- The complete media blackout. Accountability in this war will be completely gone. Terrorism and the media self-censorship that goes with it, the fact that none of the media wants to be seen as unpatriottic, the complete control of journalists on site, being fed exactly the bits the military wants them to report. Propaganda is flowing freely once again. Precision bombing, gasing his own people, torture, rape, etc. I'm not saying all this propaganda is always untrue, I'm just saying it's news disproportionally reported as a means to a goal.
- Bush's commitment to the middle-east peace process. Like many people, I'll believe it when I see the results. Now it just looks like a hastily put together press release to sweeten the pill.
- And finally: The Perpetual War on Terrorism. A war against an enemy you can define at will, for an undefined duration, where nobody can ever know when it's actually over. This is the choice political tool for dictators. They can use it to shape the policy in whatever way they want. Policy, Military, Media, even the judicial system, they're all subject to it. It just seems another holy crusade, bringing "democracy" and "our way of life" to the unenlightened.
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