random title

Entries made in February 2005

This page contains all of my entries posted during the month of February 2005.

Des hears things

Posted by Dave on February 25, 2005 at 08:45 PM | Comments (4)

The questions were interesting. One of his replies was Sir I will hereby bet 500 dollars that a blind person will be able to “read” and access all the material used here today by me, and in all my courses. Until you can make that claim, I will tell you to stick your “so what” comment up your ass.

He got a round of applause for that.

Des recalls a talk given by Brian Rosmaita at this years ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium, in St. Louis. Brian was speaking on the use of web standards to improve accessibility.

The head cold

Posted by Dave on February 22, 2005 at 09:15 AM | Comments (2)

Hurrah! I have a head cold.

It's difficult to think past the fuzzy headache; I am frustrated at needing extra effort just to think. I look over the day to come and see it as one of self-maintenance, as I clean up whatever decides to spill from my eyes or nose. I worry that my dashing good looks may be marred by a tissue or two jammed up each nostril - though I could probably try for the albino walrus look.

It's not bad like a bad illness. It's bad like the neighbour bought a new over-powered sound system, failed to set it up properly (damaging the speakers in the process) and is now pumping out tracks from Steps' Greatest Hits. In an offence against Euclidean geometry, I want to climb inside my own head and beat seven shades of snot out of the virus. Judging from what my nose is pouring out, I may be doing just that. Hurrah! I am awesome.

In other, less narcissistic news, good friend Kevin Hargaden will be presenting a talk tonight on The Da Vinci Code. It's on in NUI Maynooth at 6:30pm, and is apparently attracting a lot of interest on campus. I know I'm looking forward to it. If you can, attend. I'll put up a more accurate location when I find out myself.

Update: Kevin's talk is in Room 3 above the Speakeasy Cafe

Happy Valentines day

Posted by Dave on February 14, 2005 at 05:14 PM | Comments (5)

It's Valentines day today. I'm sure we'll all soon hear from people complaining about their lack of cards this year. It's really hard to listen to people boast about such “misfortune” when I've never received a single Valentine's day card in my life. In your face, misfortune boasters!

But I don't want your pity. I'm not looking for sympathy. Don't feel sorry for me. Feel sorry for Steve.

Steve, the poor potato

Steve has no legs. Steve has stumpy tentacles instead of arms. Steve cries green tears of sadness. Steve is a potato. Steve has an unsharpened pencil jammed right through his head. Steve never gets picked for games. Steve has no digestive system. Steve is covered in blotches. Steve lives in a plastic bag under the sink.

Poor Steve. Poor, poor Steve.

Further design articles

Posted by Dave on February 13, 2005 at 02:13 AM | Comments (0)

You may be wondering what happened to the design series. Truth is, I have the scraps of four articles waiting to be completed:

  1. Personas for this site
  2. The structure of an article
  3. Effective bookmarks
  4. Design experimentation and out-of-order work

I need to tie them together into clear and distinct pieces. In the mean time, here's some out-of-order work I've been working on: a design experiment.

John Gray versus the religion of scientific enlightenment

Posted by Dave on February 12, 2005 at 03:34 AM | Comments (2)

Today, I finished reading “Al Qaeda and what it means to be Modern” by John Gray. Although he makes strange comments about Christianity, and in his recounting of the greatest genocides of the twentiety century completely ignores Pol “psycho” Pot - my favourite genocider - I found it on the whole illuminating and clarifying.

There is a certain belief that, when I find that I am arguing with one who holds it, annoys the crap out of me. I was never able to solidly define it, but Gray has it nailed.

There is a belief among many that, as scientific knowledge progresses, so to do our morals and our politics. It is believed that (to quote Gray) scientific advance engenders social progress. Yet surely this can be seen as nonsense? As Gray points out, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union did not have to discard scientific knowledge to commit their atrocities. In fact, the Nazi killing machine relied upon it.

I've found that many such believers also believe, as a corollary, that those in the past were fools compared to those that live today.

My main man Cian Synnott once told me of a play from the ancient world (Greek or Roman, I do not know which), the characters of which seemed just like people you'd meet every day of the week. How can we say we have advanced when we are just like people from thousands of years ago?

Ultimately, increased scientific knowledge doesn't make us better people; the play in particular proves that though we have greatly increased our scientific knowledge we haven't really changed. All it means is that we know more about science. This is certainly an achievement, but there is a great difference between such knowledge and true wisdom.

The book is thought-provoking, and I would recommend it.

Ugh, gammy eye!

Posted by Dave on February 04, 2005 at 12:19 PM | Comments (7)
My eye is infected, possibly with ebola


Aidan Delaney == big nerd

Posted by Dave on February 03, 2005 at 11:51 AM | Comments (5)
Aidan Delaney:
I think the consensus is that the best thing for a child is a stable login home, no matter if the parents are gay or not.
Aidan Delaney:
The only problem is the legal one.
Login home?
Aidan Delaney:
Home even.
You're such a fucking nerd.
Aidan Delaney:
Don't know where login came from.
Copyright © 2003-2006 David Barrett. Valid XHTML & CSS.