‘What Philosophy do you follow?’ meme, and a rant at QuizFarm

31 03 2005

A brief commentary before this quiz…
I like online quizzes. I think with a little judicious filtering (“What form of dirty plastic spork are you?!?”) you can find ones that have interesting results.

Some sites let you generate your own online quizzes. This one comes from QuizFarm, the latest darling of the LiveJournal crowd.

Most quizzes allow you to ‘cut n paste’ a little block of HTML into your journal or blog, and QuizFarm is no different. However, the HTML they are generating is BUTT UGLY. It uses the worst of the worst in HTML practices and design, resulting in a dense block of nested and obfuscated HTML rendering tags that would make any FrontPage developer squirm with envy.

I took the output from QuizFarm and totally reformatted it, removing 80% of the font, page break, tables, and other noise that is completely unnecessary to present results. I did this in about 5 minutes, and the design can be tweaked much further (using styles to set fonts and not rely on an external graphic for the image) but I was in a hurry.

I’ve poked QuizFarm and offered to help them clean up their results. We’ll see.

And with that, on with the quiz results…

What philosophy do you follow?
You scored as Existentialism. Your life is guided by the concept of Existentialism: You choose the meaning and purpose of yourlife.

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”
–Jean-Paul Sartre

It is man’s natural sickness to believe that he possesses the Truth.
–Blaise Pascal

More info at Arocoun’s Wikipedia User Page…

Existentialism 70%
Hedonism 65%
Utilitarianism 60%
Justice (Fairness) 55%
Kantianism 50%
Strong Egoism 35%
Nihilism 35%
Apathy 35%
Divine Command 0%

What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with QuizFarm.com





The end. Or is it?

31 03 2005

Terry Schiavo dies in hospice

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) — Terri Schiavo, the severely brain-damaged woman who spent 15 years connected to a feeding tube in an epic legal and medical battle that went all the way to the White House and Congress, died Thursday, 13 days after the tube was removed. She was 41.

My initial reaction was “Okay, I’m so glad THAT’s over with.” But, given all the idiocy and ranting going on around this case, I’ll lay odds that sometime in the next 4-6 weeks, either another single PVS case will come to the fore, or legislation or some other ‘big visibility’ process will start, keeping this issue burbling.





Bob Parsons goes off the deep end

30 03 2005

Recently I was pointed to a series of postings on Bob Parsons blog regarding some decisions made by the company that administers the .US domain (that being Neustar).
Mr. Parsons, who is the founder of GoDaddy, a very successful domain registrar, goes on to comment that the recent decision by the NTIA made it ‘illegal to have a private registration’ of a domain.
While the decision by the NTIA may be poorly founded, and Neustars interpretation of the decision flawed (nowhere in Mr. Parsons postings, nor on Neustars site, nor on the NTIA’s site did I find a link to the rule change that is being talked about), I feel Mr. Parsons reaction to be overly dramatic and in fact harmful to the clear and informed process that should be followed when things like this arise.
From Mr. Parsons posting on March 29th :
But Mr. Parsons doesn’t stop there. This is not a poor decision by a government beaurocracy. This is an ASSAULT on our RIGHTS to PRIVACY! I will quote here:

It’s ironic that we lost our right to privacy on the one domain name that says we are Americans!
I find it ironic that our rights to .US privacy were stripped away (without due process) by a federal government agency that should be looking out for our individual rights. For them to choose the .US domain name is the ultimate slap in the face. .US is the one domain name that is specifically intended for Americans. Think about this for a moment: These bureaucrats stripped away the privacy, guaranteed by the first amendment and that you’re entitled to as an American, on the only domain name (.US) that says that you are an American. I am outraged by this — you should be also.

Let me be clear here. I think the NTIA’s decision was a poor one, and should be addressed, but I feel that Mr. Parsons has gone off the deep end equating a poor decision by a government agency with an all out assault on our rights as US citizens.
Domain registrations are a process of creating a space in the public forum where you wish to voice or present information that is uniquely associated with yourself. It is not an anonymous forum. “Private Registrations” are a false workaround to publishing Whois information, by registering the domain through a secondary proxy (in GoDaddy’s case, they are using DomainsByProxy, an affiliate website. The legality of this form of registration is already questioned, since the ownership of a domain could already be perceived as being misrepresented.
I wholly support the process of calling the NTIA and/or Neustar to task for this decision, but it should be pursued in a sane, intelligent way, not via rants and handwaving in the style Mr. Parsons seems to prefer.





Sing it, bruthuh!

30 03 2005

My friend Michael got a wonderful editorial published in the Boston Globe railing at evangelical christians…

THE PORTRAIT of the Wilkersons (”For family, religion shapes politics,” Page A1, March 29) is an appalling study in the hypocrisy that has subsumed modern Evangelical Christianity. Michael Wilkerson is quite happy to wave First Corinthians 6:9-11 around to justify his bias against gays. For the Wilkersons, who rake in $120,000 a year and own a BMW, I have the words of Jesus, as written in Mark, 10:25. ”It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

Definately take a few moments to entire commentary.





Sometimes…

30 03 2005

… the urge to just pack up all this weird technical junk and run off to a mountain top, find some old hermit willing to teach the deep dark secrets of fiddle playing, and disappear for 20 years… is mighty hard to resist.
(this “wanna run away” moment brought to you by the wonderful wailing fiddle of Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek. She’s 23, (was probably 21 when this particular track – ‘Smoothie Song’ – was recorded), and is an absolute master of the instrument.





Scientific American gives in.

29 03 2005

Scientific American will be publishing their new policy of “Fair and Balanced Science” in the April edition. They do detail some of the reasoning for this change…

In retrospect, this magazine’s coverage of so-called evolution has been hideously one-sided. For decades, we published articles in every issue that endorsed the ideas of Charles Darwin and his cronies. True, the theory of common descent through natural selection has been called the unifying concept for all of biology and one of the greatest scientific ideas of all time, but that was no excuse to be fanatics about it.

I have to give great marks to Scientific American for their outstanding use of the written form to set things right.





What a let down.

28 03 2005

David Byrne’s taste in music stinks.
I tried it. I really did. But a bad cover and 2 hip hop songs later with some lady screeching in the background over a finger jabbing dork goin “Youuuuu!” over and over again. Sorry, David, I’m outta here. I’ll stick with Radio Paradise.
On the flipside, he does have a journal, and the interview he did with BoingBoing’s Xeni Jardin is interesting at least.