Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Off to Florida for a memorial service for Dad at his church down here. It will be good to talk about him to more people who knew him, and to hear from people who knew him in this part of his life.

I decided to bring only the iPad, because it’s just a few days and it let me travel very very light, just my Christmas present messenger bag. Bringing the big laptop (and therefore the cooling pad) would have at least doubled the space and weight, and bringing the work laptop would probably have meant doing work, and I’m still on vacation, dagnabbit!

(I did do work email on Monday; fortunately it looks like basically nothing significant happened after I wrote the triumphant “we’re all done for the year!” email and teleported away.)

So I miss SL, and to an extent I miss WoW (although with WoW the longer I don’t play it the less I tend to miss it), and I even miss Portal (stayed up late Monday night installing it on the big laptop via Steam, and getting I think about halfway through the post-chamber-19 section; having played through it before on the playroom computer definitely helps).

But I’m catching up with Twitter and the news (How about them wacky Iowa Republican caucuses, eh?), and here I am writing in the weblog even. So that’s all good.

Fascinating to see the Twitterverse getting Verizon to back off of a new nickel-and-diming fee, just like the Bank of America one last month, and the whole splitting-up-Netflix thing (“Qwikster” lol) before that.

Keep an eye on the “Paypal forces destruction of antique violin” story; maybe the next crowd-driven policy change.

(How is that even legal? If Paypal doesn’t make the payment, presumably the object is still owned by the almost-seller, so how can they make the almost-buyer, who doesn’t own it, destroy it? Very odd…)

I need to write more sometime about my disillusion with the big-L, and to some extent the small-l, libertarians, and with Ron Paul in particular. Pains me a bit now that I once voted for him for President, although I’m not entirely unhappy with the message that I intended that to send.

Government truly is pretty bad at various things. Some of those are things that therefore the government shouldn’t do. But significant ones are ones that we need the government to do, and that therefore our only option is to have them do it, and keep a really close watch over them (over ourselves) at the same time.

Even if we take the libertarian line that the only proper role of government is to prevent force, theft, and fraud (and I’m no longer sure that I do), it turns out you still need a significantly large government, because force, theft, and fraud can be big, subtle, powerful, and very well organized. However much we might want to believe it, Sheriff Taylor isn’t going to keep either Organized Crime from terrorizing the countryside, or Big Business from polluting the water, or Wall Street from stealing billions of dollars from its customers, with just his smile and a comical deputy or two.

It’s bright and sunny and unusually cold in Florida this morning; frost on the car windows! Pretty though. I’m sitting looking out the big windows, typing with my thumbs and wondering how differently I write with this tool than with other ones. Another interesting question…

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