Things I've learned Hello friends and lovers!


Is Growl malware?

I think growl is malware. I don't even remember explicitly installing it and now they want money.

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“In Context” IDE

Talking to a friend of mine today. He brought up the concept of in-context interactions where the user isn't given an option to fail. Where I recognized the pattern. I realized he was applying to a programming IDE concept. This is definitely something to look at.

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Recently I've found WordPress a very useful tool for prototyping content for websites and developing the relationships between website projects. I recently created a new blog, CWA Labs and upgrade the Cortex Games website to WordPress.

The good:

  • Administration interface is simple. I love how simple it is. Very powerful. A couple minor things I'd change but again I'm just prototyping here.
  • Widgets. Loving the widgets. Custom HTML, built-in RSS. Social Media.
  • Well organized code and structure.

The Bad:

  • Theme and design integration is frustrating and not as simple as it could be. Maybe this is a problem I can help solve in the future. I've ended up using the same design for Cortex as this site because I can't find anything desirable nor do I want to build a new one for a prototype.
Recently I've set up a copy of WordPress to utilize ObjectForm's database wrapper to much success. Already can see gains. Maybe there's more WordPress stuff in my future.
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Data partitioning

So I had yet another Windows server die on me. While I was rebuilding a new machine to take it places, I realized how important it is to separate the data from the operating system. So I can easily put the data drive into another machine and bring the services back online. Or I can just nuke the OS drive and rebuild it.


Foundations for human interaction

I've started blog, trying to think of something to write about. "What am I going to write my first post on?" I realized I might as well start at the beginning: the foundation of my perspective on the world. Here it goes:

The golden rule: "Do to others what you would like to be done to you." It's pretty much the basis for all societies, religion, and ethics. Why should I treat you with respect? Well because I want respect back. It's the basis for the social contract, how we can all live together on this blue marble and make the most of the situation?

Why should we get along? Well I think we all need to strive for everyone's maximum happiness. People are a double-edged sword, some are great to be around, some are not. Sometimes you could to not want to be around someone that's great. We should work together and at the same time have our own space. We need laws and conventions to allow and create peaceful co-habitation. If we don't get along, if we don't follow the rules, if we let chaos rule us, if we run free like the animals without any regard, then existence is truly solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

Please note I choose happiness instead of freedom. Freedom can make you happy but with Freedom comes a loss of security and a responsible for that difference. Lack or freedom or Limitations give us a framework in which we can expect certain outcomes. Let take the example of a highway speed limit. We'd all like to be able to drive as fast as we can, however we know the faster the car goes, the more damage it can do to others and itself. So we set a reasonable limit to create a level of safety for everyone. This just shows if you are not responsible with your freedom, you're likely to tread on someone else's freedom.

Happiness represents all of the best emotions. It's not clearly defined but I think it's one of the most used word to describe emotions and states of being. Everyone wants to be happy all the time. Happy represents many different emotions and can come from many different interactions that's is a broad sweeping goal. What's the down side to happiness? Maybe ignorance (some would say). But as we learn in our life, we can't be happy all the time. It's a hard emotion to maintain for long periods. And when we're unhappy, if we examine ourselves and truly reflect on how we went from a happy state of being to an unhappy one, then I think we learn something and fight that ignorance. It's so inherent and instinctual to who we are as the (normal) human race (there's always exceptions). It's a self regulating principle that we can all strive for and never fully achieve and I think that's why I think that it's a great goal. It's an enormous almost insurmountable challenge but challenges weren't made to be boring.

Each hurdle in life is an opportunity to succeed or fail, and there's no fun if we always succeed or always fail. Reflection on our failures is so important to progressing because if we do not reflect, we're more likely to repeat the same mistakes. And it might take a few tries to really figure out why we really failed. And the longer the road traveled the more rewarding the destination. A trophy given to you for doing nothing means nothing but if you win that trophy after competing and besting others, then that trophy has meaning that you accomplished something that others couldn't in that instance.

So if we all set our goal to be happy and we realize that we have to co-exist with each other. This golden rule is so important for our happiness. One could say it's all about respect; I believe respect is earned by watching others either met or exceed the golden rule. I'm not going to respect you if you don't respect me. If I see someone respect someone that is disrespecting them then I have more respect for them because they had no reason. The person disrespecting them was not fulfilling the social contract.

So how do we actually follow the golden rule? The newer platinum rule; "do unto others, wherever reasonable, as they want to be done by.". is probably a bit more correct, but also highlights an issue. We need to really understand the person we're dealing with before we can choose an action. If we know and understand that person, then there is no problem. If we don't know or unsure, what do we do? We could guess but the wrong outcome could result in the opposite result of which we desire. This is why someone's intent should always be taken into account, though true intent is always hard to prove, especially if we don't know and/or trust the other party. Besides guessing, there is a default to a set of standards for situations that have been developed over the last several millennium. I'd call these manners. And this is why manners are important to civilization and the human race.

There are so many possible interactions that the expectations one culture has about a certain situation can be completely different than another. Each culture has developed their own mannerisms that seem to work well with each other. (Examples to come?).  I think this is why a lot of different religions almost have the same core beliefs with different titles, labels and stories. Learning about different cultures is important to exercising our understanding of the range of human interaction. Some cultures give more freedoms than others but that means those cultures need to be more responsible.

We need to do more than know our own cultures rules and guidelines, we need to understand why each rule and interaction is in place. Only after we understand the issue the rule was trying to solve, then we can respect it, or try to improve it while keeping the original problems solved. If we change a rule without really understanding why it was there in the first place then we're destined to repeat past failures. And these were failures big enough for someone to care enough to not only create a rule but also to enforce the rule.

So now that you understand the golden (and platinum) rule, respect it. Hell, even try to improve on it, I dare you, your attempt in trying will be worth the time invested. And if you reflect on that experience, then you might be happier.

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