Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:March:31 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2008/3/31-4/6 [Politics/Domestic/Election, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:49615 Activity:moderate
3/31    Mark Steyn analyzes 'Dreams From My Father'
        This transcript covers on feature of Obama's first book that I found
        so odd.  I surprised more people who plan on voting haven't read it.
        \_ Gee townhall.  Surprise surprise.
        \_ Ahhh, the Hugh Hewitt show! Let me guess, you're a Romney voter.
           \_ Actually, I'd never heard of Hugh Hewitt until today.  I got this
              off a blog.  I take it neither of you have read "Dreams From
              My Father?"  It's not that it's an amazing book or anything,
              but it was the first thing I read when I first heard of
              Obama and was thinking about voting for him.  It's also the
              reason I decided I didn't want to vote for him.  I continue
              to be surprised that more people haven't read it, especially
              among those who love and those who hate him. -op
              \_ Which aspect(s) of the book made you not want to vote for
                 him, and does that mean you chose Clinton instead?
                 \_ Well, I actually voted for Obama in the primaries because
                    I still like him a lot more than Clinton.  Looks like I'll
                    end up voting for McCain in the general election unless
                    something big changes.
                    The book bugged me in a couple of ways.  He seems to
                    realize early on that he can choose who he wants to become.
                    This is an unusual and admirable quality.  So he decides
                    to join the black radical culture.  This I find less
                    admirable.  He then spends a lot of his youth trying to
                    prove how 'black' he is.  Even going so far as to pressue
                    other african-american students if he doesn't think they're
                    acting black enough.  He even calls one guy an Uncle Tom
                    for studing too hard, although he apologizes for that.
                    There seems to be a sort of 'hate whitey' undercurrent
                    throughout the text, although he never actually says
                    something so quoteable.  There is one line where he
                    writes (as I recall) 'I came to the conclusion that
                    perhaps not all whites are worthy of our scorn.'  Umm,
                    thanks?  And perhaps not all blacks are criminals?
                    I would be okay with this if he ever seemed to get past it,
                    but near then end of the book he suggests that some
                    random white family in a restraunt in Kenya is there
                    because they "want black people to serve them."
                    This is all difficult to draw strong conclusions about
                    because, as the article mentions, he never overtly
                    states his positions, or if his ideas have changed.
                    He also comes across as ignorant of economics. -op
                    \_ Did you try the second book?
                       \_ No, I read the first book partially because I figured
                          the second book was likely to be written purely for
                          political reasons, and would therefore not show his
                          true beliefs.  He stated in an interview that Dreams
                          From My Father contained things that were
                          'politically inconvinent' but that he stood by them.
                          I was impressed by that bravery.  However, since he
                          never really makes any solid statements in the
                          first book, I guess I may as well read the 2nd. -op
                    \_ Okay, you piqued my curiosity enough that I am going
                       to read this book. I wonder what kind of book Dubya
                       would have written at that age. Probably nothing
                       as impressive.
                       \_ This constant bringing up of Dubya sounds kind of
                          pathetic, along the lines of 'Ok, but the Republicans
                          are still worse... right?  right?  Just checking'.
                                -- ilyas
                          \_ Why is it pathetic? Wasn't Dubya the best possible
                             candidate the Republican Party could nominate?
                             We have heard for years what a great President
                             he was, from many Conservative pundits. Would
                             McCain be any better?
                             \_ What's pathetic is your fixation on Dubya.
                                This thread isn't even about Dubya but you keep
                                somehow trying to bring him in.  -- ilyas
                                \_ Dubya == McCain. I am not the one who
                                   brought up McCain.
                                   \_ No, Dubya is not McCain.  McCain is
                                      McCain.  I think you should let Dubya go.
                                      \_ I think it is pathetic that the Bush
                                         voters want us to forget history so
                                         quickly. You should have the loyalty
                                         to stand by your man or at least be
                                         willing to learn from your mistakes.
                                         In what significant way do McCain's
                                         In what significant way does McCain's
                                         policy positions differ from Dubya's?
                                         \_ I am not a Bush voter, and I grow
                                            tired of this conversation.
                                            \_ Facts are such tiresome things.
                                               You are going to vote for McCain
                                               even though you have no idea
                                               what his policies are, just
                                               because you don't like a book
                                               the other guy wrote 20 years
                                               ago? That is a reason to vote
                                               for someone I guess. Kind of a
                                               lame reason, imho, but it is
                                               your right.
                                               \_ This has got to be a troll.
                                                  We have no idea what McCain's
                                                  policies are?  No one here
                                                  could make such a stupid
                                                  statement seriously, could
                                                  they? -!pp
                                                  \_ So tell me then where
                                                     McCain would be different
                                                     than Bush. Their important
                                                     policies are the same.
                                      \_ And Obama = Clinton = LBJ!
                                         \_ Also LBJ == JFK == FDR
                                         \_ No Obama's policies are quite
                                            different than LBJ's. Depending on
                                            which Clinton you mean, you are
                                            actually pretty close to the mark
                    \_ The quotes I've seen clearly seem written
                       from the perspective of exploring the mindset of
                       various individuals and groups, not really statements
                       of personal philosophy.  Obama clearly has "racial
                       baggage" and identity confusion as part of his life
                       experience.  The book seems more of an explanation of
                       why/how he would be involved in black radicalism rather
                       than an espousal of it.  Can you honestly say you have
                       never had racist thoughts?  Obama's book is open about
                       it, but I can't see any evidence he "hates whitey" at
                       this point in time, or understands less about econ.
                       than his rivals.
                       \_ Well, I find that theory even more disturbing. Does
                          he have no principles at all?  What does it mean
                          when someone goes to so much trouble to avoid making
                          any sort of personal statement of principles?
                          \_ Most of us have a personal and moral philosophy
                             that evolves as we mature. I think that this is
                             a good thing and a sign of a smart and agile mind,
                             but I know that some (mostly extremists, on all
                             ends of the political spectrum) find that to be
                             a sign of moral weakness.
                          \_ That's not the focus of that book. The second
                             book is. Honestly though, I'm not sure what you
                             expect. How do you write a book on the subject
                             he did? Did he need a "for dummies" chapter
                             to reassure white people that he doesn't hate
                             them? What is "the solution" to the problems he
                             deals with? Should blacks ignore racism, pretend
                             it doesn't exist? On balance it seems better for
                             him to have written the book than not. It shows
                             that he has allowed himself to process and
                             consider ideas that we don't find appealing.
                             But I think in the end he rejects them, if only
                             because he decides the ideas not effective. Have
                             you ever seriously considered the merits of
                             communism, segregation, etc.? The reality is that
                             most smart people don't pretend to have a simple
                             rulebook for every situation in life. The best
                             he can do is point to his past actions and show
                             that he considers all angles of a problem and its
                             solution. There doesn't seem to be any way for
                             him to prove himself to you -- after all, if he
                             simply says something you can suspect him of
                             hidden resentment and hatred.
              \_ The most common objection I've seen to the book is that
                 Obama's description of himself as a young man doesn't match
                 up with the experience that others had of him - that he was
                 much more outgoing and cheerful than he seems to have thought
                 himself.  I'd say this is really common - I'm willing to bet
                 most of you would have a description of your younger self that
                 contradicted what others saw.  Self-awareness takes a LONG
                 time to really develop, and some people never develop it.
        \_ I love how Barack just confuses the hell out of conservatives.
           \_ I love how Barack demonstrates so clearly how shallow the
              majority of Dems are.
              \_ What defines a non-shallow Dem for you?
                 \_ The silence just speaks volumes, doesn't it?
2008/3/31-4/6 [Uncategorized] UID:49616 Activity:nil
3/31    Building stonehenge with no modern tools, just one guy
        \_ Asperger's Syndrome.
2008/3/31-4/6 [Computer/Companies/Ebay] UID:49617 Activity:low
3/31    I just saw the world's largest diamond auction on TV, featuring a
        relatively symmetrical well proportioned but otherwise really flat
        & plain looking Asian woman holding the diamond up for photographers.
        You know, if I were to auction the world's largest diamond,
        I'd feature nice busty Irish+German woman instead. Why? Because
                \_ Dude, no one would notice the freakin' diamond, with
                   a woman like that.  You WANT a plain background so
                   as not to distract people from the main event.
        their big round blue eyes & long eye lashes complement the sparkle
        of the world's biggest diamond 1000% better than Asian girls who look
        like little boys and in fact do have little boy figures. It's way
        beyond me why the seller featured an Asian women.
                                        -Irish+German women #1 fan
        \_ JACKIE JOHNSON!!! Big robust white women rule!
        \_ Consider who the market for this diamond might be.
           \_ White software engineers?
           \_ Arab princesses?
              \_ Arab princes.
                 \_ They like blonde chicks, not Asians.
2008/3/31-4/6 [Finance/Banking] UID:49618 Activity:nil
3/31    Looking for a high-rate CD, recommendation please?
        \_ In the US? You won't find one, you can thank the Fed for that.
           \_ Ok fine. What's the highest CD in the US right now?
              \_ Check You can also go to for
                 CD comparisons. WSJ also lists highest CD yields at times.
2008/3/31-4/6 [Politics/Foreign/Asia/China, Computer/HW/Memory] UID:49619 Activity:nil
3/31    Dear Chinese people who are into feng-shui and szhuan4-ming4.
        There are a few main ways to szhuan4-ming4. If memory serves
        right, one of them is called zji3-wai1 and the other one is
        called zji3-ping2. Is that right? Where can I get more informatino
        on this? Thanks for any pointer.
           It lists four major methods and some other methods.
           The first one is called Zi3 Wei1 but I don't know other methods.
2008/3/31-4/6 [Uncategorized] UID:49620 Activity:nil
3/31    japanese girls have boobs too
        \_ ^s^ jobs
        \_ Of course.  See
        \_ Not safe for work.
        \_ Amazing what surgeons can do these days.
        \_ Ourei Harada         DOB:2/25/86     T158 B97(J) W60 H88
           Miri Hanai           DOB:10/15/84    T147 B93(H) W58 H85
        \_ Yukimi Tohno would be in the same genre, but she has natural ones.
2008/3/31 [Health/Dental, Health] UID:49621 Activity:nil 97%like:49623
3/31    Yay!  School takes crutches away from injured girl
        \_ We have a zero tolerance policy on reason in schools.
           \_ And yet home schooling should be illegal!
2008/3/31-4/6 [Computer/SW/Unix] UID:49622 Activity:nil
3/31    There's this website that I'd like to perform an asshole
        wget operation on it (wget -r --level=3 -k
        However, it's got rate throttling and denies me if I fetch
        too quickly. Is there like a "--wait 10" command or something
        I can use with wget? ok thx.
        \_ man wget, look for "--random-wait".
        \_ man wget, look for "--wait".
           \_ Oh man, I can't believe I missed it. Thanks motd!   -op
              \_ Different versions have different features.  Don't do this
                 from soda.
                 \_ I just did a bunch of wgets on soda. Now what?  -op
                    \_ This could be considered a DOS attack.  It's not nice to
                       do that from a shared machine, because you could be
        \_ Look up DOS attack.
2008/3/31-4/6 [Health/Dental, Health/Men] UID:49623 Activity:nil 97%like:49621
3/31    Yay!  School takes crutches away from injured girl []
        \_ We have a zero tolerance policy on reason in schools.
           \_ And yet home schooling should be illegal!
              \_ Yup.  It should be illegal for parents to lock up their
                 precious innocent daughters at home.   -- NAMGLA member
                 precious innocent daughters at home.  The girls need to get
                 out and meet men out there to learn the wonders of life.
                 -- NAMGLA member
           \_ We have uniform instances of idiocy throughout all public
              schools. We are Legion.
2008/3/31-4/6 [Politics/Domestic] UID:49624 Activity:nil
        Fed overhaul. So much for FREE MARKET!!! "Republicans have generally
        favored a hands off approach and support the idea that, no matter
        how painful the consequences, people who took on more risk than they
        could handle whether home buyers or investors should have to accept
        the resulting losses." hello? What is going on today?
        \_ This *is* generally true, and you can see it in the respective
           plans being offered by Paulson vs. the House Democrats. They
           both favor regulation, but the Democrats favor 1) more regulation
           and 2) a home owner bailout. Republicans only want to bail out
           the banks.
2008/3/31-4/6 [Recreation/Activities] UID:49625 Activity:kinda low
3/31    From slashdot: "Neal Stephenson, author of greats like Snow Crash and
        Cryptonomicon..."  So, I hated Cryptonomicon.  I thought it was boring
        and generally kinda stupid.  I only read it all the way through because
        I got it as a gift.  The same guy who gave me Cryptonomicon also
        highly recommends Snow Crash.  Is Snow Crash also crap?  Everything
        people say is 'cool' about it sounds like it was made up by a 9th
        grader.  'Hiro Protagonist', 'Guy who rides a motorcycle with a nuke'
        Sounds like crap.
        \_ Stephenson used to be juvenile and boring, now he's just boring.
                -- ilyas
        \_ When I was 18 it was awesome.  I bet it isn't so awesome anymore.
           It does, however, have a pretty amusing opening chapter.
           \_ I bought snowcrash again last week with the intent of reading
              it as cheap geek pr0n on the plane but ended up reading
              "Light" by M. John Harrison instead.
              \_ Is it any good?
           \- like much Science Fiction, Snow Crash is more of an
              "ideas" book than a prose book ... not that it is Plato
              or anything. I thought Cryptonomicon was ok ... what are
              you comparing it to.  With lightweight stuff I think the
              question is more "was it amusing" [which might be more a
              statement about you than the book], as opposed to "is it
              good/deep/profound/a classic" [which is a statement
              about the object, not subject].
              \_ Yeah, and the ideas didn't age very well.  I'm not sure if
                 that is because I got older and realized how trite they were
                 or if it just because they were ideas that got dated quickly.
                 I suspect it is a bit of both.
                 \_ I actually think it is because Snow Crash so influenced
                    what people thought was possible with technology, that
                    many of his ideas became realized. So now it seems obvious.
                    But in truth, it was seminal.
                    \_ What?  If anything age has made it look laughably bad.
                       What ideas are realized?
                       \_ MMORPGs along with Half Life are both pretty much
                          entirely based riff on his idea of what cyberspace
                          entirely based on his idea of what cyberspace
                          would look like.
                          \_ No.  No they aren't.  Not to mention that
                             avatars existed long before Snow Crash.
                             \_ Where, other than in Hindu mythology?
                                \_ Video games, in the 70's.
                                   Even pac-man is basically an avatar.
                                   \_ Or, say, faces.
                                   \_ Not even close to what was envisioned
                                      in Snow Crash and then realized finally
                                      in Half Life. Have you even used Half
                                      \_ Uh, do you mean Second Life? Half-Life
                                         is a first person shooter.  Anyway,
                                         you asked about avatars, I answered.
                                         That habitat game has some aspects of
                                         Second Life also. The tech was too
                                         primitive to have 3D first person back
                                         then, but MazeWar sort of had it.
                                         Second Life may be based on Snow
                                         Crash but the basic idea is still
                                         just controlling a character in a
                                         virtual world, which has been around
                                         for a long time in video games. Maybe
                                         the virtual economy idea was new, I
                                         have no idea, but it's a basic
                                         extension of a multiplayer RPG
                                         system. Remember, TRON was developed
                                         in 1982.
              \_ Did anyone make it through the Baroque Cycle?  I keep
                 trying to finish Quicksilver every year or so.
                 \_ I read the entire thing and loved it, but I happen to
                    enjoy his gonzo journalism style of economic/science
                    historical fiction. Quicksilver is hard to get through
                    unless the history of 17th century mercantile banks
                    turns you on. Yes, I'm weird, I get it. --erikred
           \_ Snow Crash seems to have entered the cultural landscape enough
              that I felt obligated to read it. I haven't gotten any must-read
              vibes about any of his other stuff. Overall I did enjoy Snow
              Crash but I was younger. It's a great book for a young male.
              I didn't think it was the best sci-fi ever. But honestly there
              just aren't many great books of that particular genre. It's
              a tough audience and at this point the whole hacker culture
              thing is kind of ruined by the Matrix etc. At least SC did not
              take itself seriously.
        \_ I have been told that Snow Crash is great by people who loved
           Cryptonomicon. I did not particularly like Cryptonomicon and
           could not finish it b/c I found it dry, boring and poorly
           edited. I have tried to read Snow Crash more than once, and
           I have never been able to finish it b/c I found it boring and
           poorly edited as well. Note: By poor editing, I mean that no
           one seems to have told the author to streamline the narrative
           and exclude unnecessary exposition. Or if the author was told,
           he wasn't smart enough to follow the editor's advice.
           \- i think NS became a better writer between SC and C ... SC
              kind of unreaveled in terms of technical execution,and while
              i wouldnt say C was "polished", i think you could tell
              NS had learned to managed a large book better.
              \_ According to coworkers of mine who knew him, the original
                 C ran to 1600 pages... and that's when his editor told him
                 to stop and publish. Those of you who didn't like C might
                 instead enjoy The Big U or Zodiac, his much, much earlier
2022/05/27 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:March:31 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>