News of the Stars ...

Two items from fellow bloggers caught my interest today: and both concern actors that I personally admire very much.

Secular Blasphemy has a tale of Hugo Weaving - Elrond in LOTR and Agent Smith in The Matrix. The running gag around here (after the Fellowship of the Ring came out): "Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Baggins!".

And over at rougeclassicism is a bit on Omar Sharif - like the author, Dr. Zhivago (with Mr. Sharif in the lead role) is one of my earliest movie memories. Turns out Omar is learning ancient Greek he says,

"One of two things will happen: I will have died learning something useless but beautiful, or I shall die having read Homer in the original. It may seem stupid but you have to have a beautiful mission in life."

I'll drink to that!

00:00 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

Digital 'Ghosts' To Guide Students On Campus

Fascinating stuff, but, well, good luck! I'm not sure that the technology is here for this, yet. But I'm also reasonably sure that the technology needed isn't awaiting "invention" - it's awaiting "discovery". In other words, it's our thinking, abstractions and concepts that need to be rearranged and adjusted to make this sort of project come to fruitition.

The students at Copenhagen's new IT University will soon be guided by invisible, but talkative digital agents, known as ghosts or Disembodied Location-specific Conversational Agents. The ghosts are to compete amongst themselves for privileges such as better vocabulary or the ability to clone themselves. Ignored ghosts can die out completely. This project is a lot more serious than it sounds at face value - several papers have been published already.

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Judge Orders SCO, IBM To Produce Disputed Code

I think this judge is getting a bit fed up with the bullshit ...

The judge said SCO is to provide and identify all specific lines of code IBM is alleged to have contributed to Linux from either AIX or Dynix, provide and identify all specific lines of code from Unix System V from which IBM's contributions from AIX or Dynix are alleged to be derived, and provide and identify all lines of code in Linux that it claims rights to.

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Copywrongs | 0 comments | permanent link

I Don't Think It's SPAM ...

I had earlier mentioned a spate of rather surrealistic SPAM that's been showing up in my in box. Well, I'm not so sure it's SPAM anymore. I think that I may have landed on a Dadaist Illumnati group mailing list, passing some sort of bizarre secrets back and forth in code. Here's what showed up this afternoon:

Subject: KVD, good soviet young
From: "Alfaro Emory"
Date: Fri, 05 Mar 2004 01:24:24 +0200
To: Dave

libel conjure scream de randolph
podge dogtooth elliot parsifal
gambia coagulate nocturnal expanse wardrobe mercuric

00:00 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

MSN Search Blocking Results For XFree86?

Apparently MSN doesn't get the credibility thing any better than Yahoo ... (for those who may not be aware, XFree86 is a free software windowing system)

if you go to and search for 'XFree86', it tells you that you've 'entered a search term that is likely to return adult content', and directs you to the porn search engine, which lists a bunch of porn sites that ostensibly match the term 'XFree86'. If you search for 'XFree86' on Google, however, it's clear that the top matching terms returned by a normal search, are XFree86 sites, are not a bunch of porn sites. MSN is apparently blocking the specific term 'XFree86'

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Technology | 2 comments | permanent link

The Third Question

What happens to us when we die?

As discussed earlier, we are our ancestors, biologically. I believe that souls have an actual existence, for I define the soul as the essence of what makes an individual, and individuals obviously exist. The existence of the soul, therefore, must be rooted in biology as well. Taking this to another level of abstraction, one could say that each human being is a unique collection of information. We carry the biological information of all of our ancestors, combined into a one-of-a-kind stew: you. We add to this biological information store over the course of our lives by our education: not in the formal sense of the term (schooling), but in the most literal sense - learning, experience and communication. The essence of what we are is information. Therefore, it's logical to assume that if the soul is to be considered another name for the essence of who we are, then the soul should be a purely informational construct.

Biologically, we are literally eternal creatures: we have eternal life, and we're living it right now. Think about it: your great-great grandfathers genes have been copied into you - they still live, the essence of your great-great grandfather is still "alive" within you today. Again building on a biological base, the more you know about your great-great-grandfather, the more "alive" [real] he becomes, today.

It's not quite the classic "reincarnation", but it's close. Do I believe that I'll "come back" and be "reborn" as my great grandchild? No - not literally. Do I believe that my soul can manifest itself once more in this plane of existence through my great-grandchild? Yes.

My Indo-Eurpoean ancestors agreed that the "soul" was indeed "immortal" - and that each person would be re-manifested (some heathen cultures took it different way - Hinduism is an offshoot of Indo-European religion, after all) probably in the family line. The strength of this manifestation would be determined by the reputation (collective memory) of the ancestor, and added to by each person in turn. This is why every Indo-European culture is concerned with the memory of the dead, and why most heathen faiths practice a sort of ancestor worship.

In the Northern mythos, the "soul" is pictured residing, after death, either in Hel (not the fiery tormet of the Christians, but a simple place of rest) or in the halls of the gods, if one is fortunate enough to be "chosen". But in either case, rebirth into our line is our fate - Midgard (Earth) is where we belong, and Midgard is where we'll ultimately always be.

Life is not a shooting star - streaking across the heavens to burn out in a twinkling. Life is a process over the generations, across the seas of time and space. Death is not an end, but a passage - a passage back to ourselves, a homecoming. I do not seek death, for Midgard is our home, but neither do I fear death, for it is but a passage back through our ancestors to our eternal future on Earth.

(original post)

00:00 /Asatru | 0 comments | permanent link

Some Like It Hot

A great history lesson!

OK, P2P is 'piracy.' But Hollywood, radio, cable TV and, yes, even the music industry all sprang from different forms of thievery. By Lawrence Lessig from Wired magazine.

(link) [Wired News]

00:00 /Copywrongs | 0 comments | permanent link