Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What would John Rawls say about... the GPL?


I sometimes wondered about how Rawl's philosophy would apply to certain contemporary issues and how the general approach can be reconcile with the specificity of the concern.

I say sometimes, because I didn't think about Rawls at all when reading about permissive licensing versus copyleft. But then, I found a most cogent argument in favor of copyleft, and it used the exact argument that Rawls made: "what is the better option for EVERYONE?":
"People who really care about freedom care about it for EVERYONE, and licensing that maximizes freedom for everyone trumps the "strings attached" in that regard, that is such a simple thing to see that it challenges credulity to think that someone who cares about freedom could say otherwise."

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Reflections on the writings in a quest


Her mirthless laughter sounds like water breaking on rocks:

"What is a god that his voice should carry so far? And what are you that you should so eagerly obey?

The gods only have dominion over what we cede. And you would cede matters of life and death to them."
I'm quite taken by this memorable moment in "A Servant of Death", especially in the way that it questions agency and choice.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Council of Stars




Live every note of life's song

Friday, June 26, 2015

Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software

"The term “open source” quickly became associated with ideas and arguments based only on practical values, such as making or having powerful, reliable software."
Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Heuristic for feelings

On Disliking Poetry

Reading through the article, a question came to me: how important was poetry in my development? Did it modify my mental model at all? My first instinctive answers were: 1) not important, and 2) very little.

Let me expand on that a bit more. I actually took a poetry class in college, but in terms of shaping my thoughts it was overshadowed completely by other things. To name just a few of what those other things were: comparative lit, critical theory, analysis, modern and contemporary Chinese film and literature.

In the normal course of life encounters with poetry, I once purchased a book of poetry back in college. The book was unrelated to any class. I remember flipping through a few pages then promptly went back to reading the LRB; it was long form essays that modified my beliefs more than anything else, then or now.


Searching through my blog archives, I can count a relatively few, but not unimportant instances, in which I noted down poetry. Reading through the list of poems [1] again, I tried to pin down what significance poetry might been of to me: poetry functioned as a heuristic for feelings/sentiments. Longing, love, loneliness, sorrow: feelings in all their permutations mapped to a singular expression, if only for a few moments and within a few words.

In exploring and expressing more complicated ideas, it is not clear whether poetry is the proper function. Unless it is relaying an idea so permeated that poetry loses its evocativeness.

[1]:

Let go your earthly tether

On and on the Great River rolls, racing east. Of proud and gallant heroes its white-tops leave no trace, As right and wrong, pride and fall turn all at once unreal.

And you are as God made you, beautiful; And you are as God made you, unexpected"

In dreadful deeds fearless


Recital is the unsophisticated assassination of poetry


Inviting Writers to Drink

Drunk in Autumn Woods

Erinnerung an die Marie A.

Sorrowing, as water streams without interruption

I offer something more with these thoughts, which only you will notice.

Sorrow is hushed into peace in my heart like the evening among the silent trees

"Then Amnon... said to her, 'Get up and get out!'"