Remember being 4-years-old being taught by your parents how to read? Just a vague memory for most of us, but an ongoing process for my own kids today…
LibreCAD as a whole is not polished enough for the project maintainer to feel comfortable making a major release just yet (but we’re pretty close). Within the project “major release” means a supported release that packagers from different distros can reference and at the moment the pace of development, feature implementation, menu swap-a-roo and bug squashing just doesn’t justify freezing a version number.
So its in “very high beta”. Regardless whether an “rc2” or “rc3” suffixes the release, its already very usable and the more folks who can easily get access to it the better our bug checking (and possibly manual) will be. To that end I have rolled v1.0.0rc2 x86 and AMD64 RPMs for Fedora 14, 15 and 16 as well as for EPEL 6 environments (I think it should work on EPEL 5-type systems, but I could be wrong) and am hosting them here. This is a temporary situation that will change once we do have a major release and LibreCAD gets incorporated into the mainstream Fedora and EPEL repositories.
Until then feedback, recommendations, etc. are of course welcome. If you’re interested in getting involved this bounce page will help you find anything you might be looking for.
So after an extra week delay, I have finally created the LibreCAD Wiki. The purpose of this wiki is to provide a space for collaborative creation and editing of LibreCAD user and developer documentation, as well as a place to post tutorials.
Unfortunately I’ve been kept overwhelmingly busy with work lately and wasn’t able to get things set up the first week I expected (sorry ries, sorry dxli!). Anyway, standing up the space itself is the easy part. Now I’ve got to get down to writing at least a skeleton text for others to build on. If past projects are any indication, nobody is likely to do anything until I at least provide a detailed outline to work from.
The Japanese version of this site will probably wind up on my company site at 釣り合い, but there is no telling which part of the site will wind up actually hosting it (or if it will become a namespace within the larger wiki being constructed there already).
I am back (again) and can continue where I left off with other projects. On the list of zxq9 additions on the way are:
- Completion of the Fast Food Fighter blog entries
- Mirroring and expansion of an older (now defunct) site I once wrote for called BarfDader
- Possible mirroring and expansion of a few WoTMUD related sites or pages
- The completion of the special series I was writing on President Obama’s geopolitical challenges
- The beginnings of the Fast Food Fighter video section layout and script
All of these things are on their way and will probably appear roughly in this order. The Fast Food Fighter section and Obama series are obvious and needed items that have been on my list for a while, but the WoTMUD and BarfDader parts might seem pretty out of place. I am interested for personal reasons in these two projects so I will simply create new sections of the site for them and leave them in relative isolation. Yahoo’s service changes are sending ripples across the internet and a lot of smaller sites which remain of significant interest to a somewhat small segment of the internet population are likely to suddenly disappear soon because of this.
I will probably be occupied for another week or two getting my personal and professional situation realigned once again before I can start any real work here again, but once I do these are the things I plan to get done first.
I have received a few “why” emails this week. They fall in two categories: “why have I not finished the Fast Food Fighter blog though 30 days is up?”, and “why am I not commenting on the current commotion in Iran?”
The answer to the Fast Food Fighter question is pretty straightforward. The filming and actual conduct of the McDonald’s experiment were complete on June 9, 2009 (with the final blood test) and I have all the imagery necessary for the last week of blog entries, but I have been busy with transitions in my personal life which have taken a huge amount of time and left Fast Food Fighter as a lower prioriy for now. The blog will be completed fairly soon. There is not that much left to write, really. The blog was never really a priority of its own; it was just interesting to get some public feedback on what I was doing. The documentary will be released when I have time to edit it all appropriately — a mammoth task by itself.
As far as Iran is concerned…
The media is naturally self-righteously indignant about the Iranian gag on information exchange but in the end the media plays little role in a place like Iran, or perhaps more accurately the Western press plays a far different role in a place like Iran than we (and the media itself) thinks it does. The reason I have not been commenting on the election or what is going on there is that there is simply very little geopolitical importance to what is happening right now. Outside of a complete takeover of the government and an actual annihilation of the Ayatollahs — two outcomes which are extremely unlikely — nothing significant is going to change. Iran has no qualms about strong-arming its own people and an unarmed population against a military apparatus which is designed specifically to act as a domestic guard force stands little chance of altering the balance of power. Simply put, too many people with too much power in Iran have a stake in seeing the general status quo maintained, despite Western popular views and mores. In fact, this is all in deliberate spite of Western views and mores. Iran is not the West nor does it desire to be. Iran has certain geopolitical imperatives to follow which will put it on a path to direct confrontation with the West at times, no matter who is in charge. There may be something interesting to say about these events later on, as a referential footnote, perhaps “Ah, and we all remember the time those politically charged people tried to raid the Iranian Ministry of Interior…” but nothing earth-shattering will likely come of this. It is important to remember that an Islamic state’s repression of its own people and suppression of the Western media and other social influences are hard-wired in and cannot be considered “news” in any case.
Iran is a deeply divided country when it comes to politics and it has historically always been a socially difficult to control region. These protests were fairly predictable as is the government’s attempt to keep a lid on information about them. Iran does not want to appear as divided as it actually is because that perception could undermine its position at a negotiating table with the Turks, Americans, Russians, Taliban, Saudis, etc. (the list is very long). The interesting thing to note is how much of a lid the government has been able to keep on things, not that there are things upon which a lid should be kept. This is naturally missed by the media because for some reason media workers and reporters tend to think that what they do and say matters and shapes events in some way. That is tantamaount to believing that news is news itself. Human history is defined specifically by conflict and those conflicts are predicted by specific conditions, conditions which are usually not very dramatic on their own and therefore usually never reported in the popular press (when there is even a press to report on things, that is). The typical self-appraisal of worth so common among the media often leads to gross misinterpretations of events and ironically acts to keep the public (and media actors themselves) blinded to or at least extremely confused as to the true nature of events. Conflicts are real whether the media is there to tell anyone about them or not and telling someone about an event is not the same thing as influencing that event.
All that being said, the unorganized and unarmed media thinks it is their right to know everything that is happening inside Iran right now. Coincidentally, the well organized and heavily-armed Iranian state security apparatus thinks it is not. Being denied access is putting the media world in a real fit right now and is inspiring all sorts of amazing stories, none of which can be confirmed. This amounts to publishing dramatic outcome headlines which support our greatest hopes and fears (both sell well) and support the media’s self-important “mission” (makes it sound like a religion… I’ll just leave this here…) based on hearsay at best. The funniest effect of this all is the “news is news itself” phenomenon turned on its head: the lack of news is the news right now, which reflects the senior correspondents’ and chief editors’ self-appraisal of importance.
If there is anything significant to come of the protests we will really know when Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei makes his next public statement about anything. Outside of that, everything is merely conjecture to such a degree that I do not want to play around there just yet. Conjecture is a large part of what I do, but supported conjecture can amount to hypothetical prediction whereas the current media frenzy is promoting highly mislead revolutionary daydream dialogue which is simply unhinged from geopolitical reality. People do eat that stuff up though, and as a mentally corruptive form of entertainment I suppose it has a value all its own.
In the end Iran is general non-news at the moment. No concrete positions can be derived from information available. The current social turmoil was predictable and when the dust settles we will most likely see Iran maintaining the stances it took before the election — but we knew that before the elections began. Here are a few reasons why:
- Iran cannot give up its nuclear program without significant concessions from someone significant enough to give such concessions (such as the US)
- Iran cannot give up its support for Hezbollah in light of its deep fiscal and political investments in that direction, and also because Hezbollah is Iran’s most effective (and currently only) foreign lever against a wide array of allies and enemies
- Iran cannot suddenly grant Europe an energy alternative to Russia for many fundamental reasons
- Iran cannot give up its stake in controlling political developments in Iraq
- Iran is not about to allow a liberalization of the government through revolution — after all it was a revolution which brought the hardliners in power who are still there today
- Iran will still maintain an interest in seeing the Taliban undermined in Afghanistan and Pakistan
In the end none of Iran’s imperatives are going to change no matter who is in charge or how many protesters toss away their lives in an emotional frenzy whether there are cameras to see them or not or whether I speculate on dreamed up outcomes or not. Iran’s course is largely set.
A much more interesting — and far less reported — story is going on right now in the German banking industry and European economy, however. The European recession is fascinating and actually is of geopolitical importance over the mid-term. It is also entirely European-made and was going on for almost a year before the US subprime crisis locked up liquidity in the US market and exposed the mess that the European economy had become over years of mislead Continent-wide populist programming. There is a lot to write about but not many are doing it. Perhaps it is not violent enough to garner public attention… yet. This summer or next could get interesting as social unrest rises with the unemployment rate.
I received more than a few emails asking why I haven’t updated anything lately. What with the Cold War II predictions I made in August, July, May, and April coming true, Hezbollah becoming more dynamic and reshaping itself in new ways and Israel playing an odd role at odd times here and there, it would seem that I am really falling down on my game. I have taken a little time to privately respond to a few people but haven’t had the time and chance to do enough study to write anything of consequence and post.
I finally have found myself in a somewhat more reliable internet situation and am sifting through thousands of bits and pieces of information to try and get a good grip on what is going on before I start putting my feet squarely in my mouth. Writing takes a lot more time than reading, however, and I should be on my feet soon. Of course, I’ll probably be getting busy again soon and that might put a halt on all zxq9 all over again… unless I magically pick up a sponsor or get a desk job. Speaking of sponsorships, I am still looking to do a debunking of Super-Size Me, and who knows where that will lead.
As far as planned geopolitics stuff goes I plan to give a run-down on why the Monroe Doctrine is so strategically important for America, blather on (briefly) about the world economy and how Saudi can have Iran (and Venezuela) by the balls by producing more than their quota of oil and how this can play into an American deflection of Russian ploys, the way Cold War II is shaping up, and seems to be renewed evidence that the EU is already a completely meaningless organization.
Give me another week or so…
This is most shocking. I wrote a story a while back about how “To Catch a Predator” was losing itself to the overzealous, fever-fueled media sensationalization drive that promotes and sells the witch-hunt that counter-pedophilia initiatives have become. The article was a response to a YouTube video titled “Sex Crimes Sell: To Catch a Predator” in which Daniel Guiditta had made some well-grounded points against the show and the way the vigilante group, Perverted Justice, does business and seeks to silence detractors
I wrote about it, posted what I thought was a pretty funny image with it — a cover image of a facetious magazine called “The Gentleman Pedophile”, sort of a Playboy parody — and now that story has become my number one hit-producer. As a test I installed a hit-counter for people who view full pages on my own site (not all the ones who see my writing either plagiarized by the rampant army of feeders or previewed by legitimate feeders) and in a few days its nearing 200. Not a stellar amount, but the fact that I’m on the top of the Google results for strings like “pedo” has to count for something!
The number one search word to find my site is “pedophile”, “pedo”, or something similar. At first this was a little alarming to me, because it certainly seemed that there must be heaps of pedophiles out there searching the internet. But when I looked over the search data by search string (the whole search phrase) an interesting thing was uncovered, and this is perhaps even more alarming. By phrase about 80% of the search strings are things like “string up the pedophiles” or “evil pedophiles burn in hell” and things like that, about 10% of them are “to catch a predator” by itself, and the remaining 10% are either people looking for kiddy porn (its easy to tell when a string is something like “kiddy pr0n picz!!1!”) or perhaps people who are legitimately curious about the story itself (strings like “is to catch a predator justified?”).
So of all the creepy search hits I get, about 80% of them are people who are out for blood. I can understand this to a degree because this is a very emotionally charged issue, but what I don’t get is that I get 3 to 4 times the hits from this group as I do from people who are genuinely curious about the way things are going between Saudi Arabia and Iran or want to know what Cold War II might look like. The world is wrapped in an ever shifting mass of overwhelmingly important issues which impose massive change across entire societies — changes which result even in genocidal extremes — but the folks who are searching the Web seem to be focused more on the evils of a deviant segment of the population than massive existential threats to the society itself.
It is small wonder that with this sort of thinking being so prevalent the Americans and Europeans still think that the U.S. invaded Iraq because of oil, despite the absolute lack of massive Iraqi oil production over the last five years and the rising oil cost which is hurting the U.S. as much if not more than anyone else. Such shallow thinking. It reminds me of a video my brother recommended to me a while back called Idiocracy. A badly produced movie by any account but at once insightful and appropriately shallow.
I had been using Japanese text on and off for quite a while but I realized after I upgraded that my old posts had the old Japanese text changed from 日本語 to ??????. It was a permanent change, too, and all my previous Japanese text was lost to the mystery of entropy. I wasn’t happy with it, but what can I do other than rub my hands and quietly plot revenge? I did find the problem and have fixed it though, and I’m posting the fix so nobody has to go through what I did (the changes recommended through searches were generally outdated, dead-ends or involved and complicated, so I’m posting the simple one).
Somewhere in there a change in the standard WordExpress configuration file defaults set things to UTF-8, which somehow kills whatever used to be in the database. The offending bit of code can be found in the ~/foo/public_html/wp-config.php file. Here is where to find it if you have WebExpress at the front of your file tree:
Once you locate it, open it for editing and comment out the two lines that read:
I recommend commenting things out instead of deleting because its a habit formed out of long experience with screwing up configuration files and not saving an original to refer to later… (In php and other C-based languages this means putting the “//” in front of them so they get ignored.) Once you comment out (or (>.<) delete!) the two lines you see above, everything should work fine.
So, happy blogging!
Unfortunately zxq9 suffered a period of complete silence, no updates and ridiculous spam proliferation. That is all over now and zxq9 is back. I’ll be cooking up trouble as soon as I can get a grip on the newer trends that are forming and continue to disregard or lampoon whatever the media decides to lose its mind over.
As far as geopolitics… Nothing is as cool as a monkey swordfight.
Blogging, as this is called, is a frustrating hobby. This is due to the unreliability of the free hosting providers out there. Hopefully this one will work out better, since I’m paying for it. Paying for stuff has its distinct advantages: there are now no ads on my site unless I am getting paid for them to be there, nobody is pushing any agenda to drive traffic this way or that accept for me, and I can do anything and host anything I want in this space now. Much better. Not bad for $5/mo, considering how much hosting used to cost.
So this is iteration 4 of my site. I let the other versions sink into that weird state of cyber-decay that dead sites tend toward on their way to eventual oblivion. I have saved a few articles that folks requested I keep alive from their days over at 360… I was surprised about that, since was certain nobody had ever read anything I wrote in the first place.
Anyway, here you have it, the new site. I’ve titled it “The Intellectual Wilderness” after the suggestion of one well-spoken detractor (read as “whiny ultra-liberal emo/goth-tard).