2008-11-08 HoH Deathmatch is Back!
After a long period of inactivity, I am back in the business of running a deathmatch server. In particular, this is a nexuiz server - IMO, nexuiz is the best deathmatch out there right now. You can connect to the server at nexuiz.mindhog.net. Happy fragging!
2008-04-06 Enter the Thought Police
The US is becoming more of a police state every day. In the face of massive public disapproval, Congress has legislated the creation of a national ID card. Police routinely search bags and large containers of people entering the subway (at least in NYC). TSA agents, now officers of the federal government, routinely search the persons and property of air passengers. These are just the day-to-day intrusions - at a deeper level, federal agents can now obtain all manner of financial and personal information (including, of course, a physical search of residence) without even informing the target of the investigation.
Most of this has been introduced recently in the name of fighting terrorism. It is interesting to note that the public outcry one might have expected has been decidedly muted: to a great extent, Americans seem to accept that these measures are necessary to protect them from the much more frightening threat of terrorism.
It would be uncharacteristic of me to discuss this sentiment without bringing up the question of whether these measures are effective at preventing terrorism or apprehending terrorists (they're not) or the fact that these kinds of arguments have always been used to manipulate the populace into submitting to greater and greater intrusions of those in power. I ask the forgiveness of the reader as I will not attempt to substantiate these claims: these are subjects that have been dealt with extensively by others.
There is, however, a more interesting (and less discussed) subject here: what is the long term impact of these trends when coupled with the growth of technology?
2008-02-03 President of the United States
I've been half-heartedly following the major party primaries with a mixture of fear and amusement. I find it interesting that there seems to be so much popular consciousness focused on the primaries, at least in the circles that I move in. My wife and a friend of ours were discussing this before dinner last night and we decided it might be because everyone is so eager for the Bush presidency to end.
But leaving aside general disdain for the current commander-n-chief, I have to question why the office of the presidency generally attracts so much popular interest. The consitutionally defined role of the president is as the head of the executive branch - responsible for the execution of laws enacted by the legislative branch and for protecting the constitution through his power of veto. This is not a particularly powerful or glamorous role.
At a few points in my life, I have felt a desire to publicly enumerate my current beliefs. I'm not sure exactly why. It's probably in large part due to the importance "belief" played in my early Christian religious upbringing. There was always the notion that your belief in God and in Christ as the Son of God having an important role in your salvation. Of even greater importance was the equally vague concept of "accepting Jesus as your personal savior." Such acceptance, the cosmic "opt-in" of salvation, is presumably contingent upon one's belief in Jesus as the Son of God so it's no wonder that belief was so heavily emphasized.
But later, after I had denounced Christianity, I began to feel that our beliefs have no importance whatsoever in the cosmic scheme of things: whether you believe in electricity or not, the lights come on when you flip the switch. Why should this be any less true for the spiritual universe than the physical universe?
In the past, this site was largely dedicated to my Quake 1 mod (Nightbreed) and the server that I ran it on (House of the Hog). Recently, a motherboard crash took down my 10-year-old firewall computer, (had a lot of things breaking down at that time) and I've decided to resurrect this as a blog. Because what the world needs right now is another blog.
The package I'm using to generate these pages doesn't have any facilities to process comments, and I'm not sure that I care to have them. If you want to comment, post in your own blog and send me a url - I'll add links to comments below the page.