Month: October 2002

  • I’m in Herndon, Virginia most of this week (like I’ve been the past coupla weeks.) No one’s talking about anything but the local sniper attacks on the radio, but I’ve heard very few actual people talking about it. Anyhow, [My employer] has actually been very nice about it: our head of Technology for the company actually came down and passed out handouts that he had printed out about how to deal with it. Just the fact that they had taken the time to make sure we were okay was pretty touching, actually. So that, plus the really, really great gym by my hotel, is nice. But I miss being home! A lot!!!

  • I’m gonna let this man look at my log files. Possibly, he will go blind.

    I was driving back from DC last night, scanning the radio stations, when I came across a slow-voiced Christian preacher (Chuck Swindoll, pictured at left) speaking about the deadly… dangers… of… online… pornography. Hot damn! Unfortunately, he didn’t get into interesting specifics (“Sinners, stay away from the perils of the Mexican Donkey Show!”), but he started giving an online product the hard sell: Net Accountability, which is kind of a distributed NetNanny program that is powered by the Christian Third Rail: Shame.

    The idea is that you sign up for Net Accountability, download a spy applet to your computer, and use the Internet like normal:

    …Oops! Sinned, again, Lord!

    The Net Accountability spy applet watches the pages that you visit, then UPLOADS THE DETAILS of your hot, freaky, aberrant browsing to the Christian mother ship, where the people you choose (your “accountibility partners”) are invited to view the sordid details of your online experience. And that’s the idea: your access to lots of online porn isn’t blocked, but you won’t visit the porn because your pastor or your librarian or whatever will find out about it. (And, possibly, learn a number of hot new URLs.)

    Michel Foucault would have a field day with this! The power of the collective warm, sweaty gaze, penetrating the CRT, illuminating the phosphors of the screen with the power of righteous shame: long story short, I couldn’t pass it up. So I signed up for Net Accountability (at a cost of $12.00 for the next three months), and I’m sharing the Accountability password with you all, so you can see what kind of trouble I get into*:


    Click on “Current members log in”

    Username: tikaro_guest

    Password: guest

    So far, I have zero questionable sites in my log, which doesn’t make for interesting reading. So I sent them a bug report asking which sites I should visit to get a more interesting report, and have something to talk about when I stand up at the tent revivals. Let’s see what they say.

    * PS. Don’t worry, you’re not going to learn anything about me you don’t want to know: I’m guessing that the sites I already do visit will ring all kinds of Christian alarm bells.

  • I am become Shiva, Destroyer of Worlds.

    (or, at least, Alex P. Keaton)

    I heard from Tony Robbins personal assistant: Tony loves the gun, even though he couldn’t use the helmet: apparently, Tony’s head is larger than the motorcycle helmet’s outside diameter. And he’s not using the silver firefighter’s close approach jacket, either. To my mind, this represents a sad failure of Tony’s to unleash his Personal Power, but I’d be happy to coach him through it for the right price.

    Tony’s going to use the Ultimate Water Gun to super-charge a Super Soaker on his tour through Australia and Singapore.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been continuing through the 12-CD Personal Power II series. On Disc 2, Tony reveals the Ultimate Goal of All Human Behavior: to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Which, of course, is hardly a revolutionary concept: this is well-traveled territory for the Greeks, and even our most used latin phrase (from Cicero, De Finibus Bonorem est Malorum):

    ‘Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit…’ [emphasis mine]

    ‘There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain, but only in service of a greater pleasure…’

    Anyhow, it may be a cliche, but it’s a cliche that’s universally applicable, and Tony’s applying it to combat PROCRASTINATION: THE SILENT KILLER. I’m a world-class procrastinator (viz. this site), so I’m still nodding in the choir, and doing the homework assignments: “Write down something you’ve been putting off, the pain that you’ve been avoiding by putting it off, and the pleasure you’ve gained in avoiding it. Now reverse that: write down all the pain you’re suffering as a result of putting it off, and all the great things that’ll happen if you just take care of it, already!”

    No argument there.

    On the negative side, Tony tends to use the word “technology” to apply to practices designed to form good habits, which sets off my bullshit detector: The Church of Scientology likes to use the word “technology” to apply to their copyrighted religious teachings, and there’s no end of near-cult for-profit groups that like to package and sell feel-gooditude. Which, of course, isn’t new; philosophy-for-hire has been around since long before the Stoa of Athens.

    Still, the worst that can happen at this point is that I turn into some kind of ninteen-eighties briefcase-carrying, suspender-wearing type A personality!