Sunday, October 21, 2012

Nerd-hobby time again!!!

So, I've been busy with my nerd-hobbies again!!

My kids (especially Leo) and some of their friends from school love playing Minecraft together, so I thought it would be fun if they could play together online across the Internet. Plus, I thought it would be fun for them to play online with their cousins across the ocean. So I set up a Minecraft server for them on the Internet!!

I figured that I might as well make a second server (for my blog friends, see here) since setting up two minecraft servers is as easy as one...

The funny thing is that setting up the server was almost as much fun as playing!! (I wrote about it on my professional blog.) I signed up with linode, and (I'm not being paid to say this) I totally recommend them -- their service is great!

For my work, I have to maintain some server applications running on some Linux machines, and it's fun to have my own little (virtual) Linux machine out there in the cloud that I can run hobby stuff on! Soon I will figure out how to migrate the Main Street Plaza blog to it.

And -- in case that isn't nerdy enough -- here's another episode of my Star Trek parody series!! This is one of my very favorite episodes, even though I'm hardly in it. It's the one where my little sister plays a child-genius who invents a new life form, which, naturally, escapes and wreaks havoc...

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Yeah, this is about where I'm at with Obama...

This article (which I found through Kuri's very cool good reads series) expresses where I'm at with this year's US election:

I am not a purist. There is no such thing as a perfect political party, or a president who governs in accordance with one's every ethical judgment. But some actions are so ruinous to human rights, so destructive of the Constitution, and so contrary to basic morals that they are disqualifying. Most of you will go that far with me. If two candidates favored a return to slavery, or wanted to stone adulterers, you wouldn't cast your ballot for the one with the better position on health care.

I used to say that at least Americans' belief in the Constitution ensures that they will fight for the rights outlined in the Bill of Rights. The Constitution should protect us from tyrannical government actions such as capturing people and holding them without charging them with a crime (and giving them a fair trial), such as unwarranted surveillance, and such as extra-judicial executions through a secret committee that selects supposed enemy combatants for assassination. But the Constitution can only protect us against these things if we insist that it do so.

I want to like Obama. I read his book and endorsed him because he seemed like a smart guy who could get the job done. And he supposedly was going to put a stop to the unconstitutional actions and human rights abuses of the previous administration. But by being the bi-partisan compromise guy on issues like torture, he creates strong unconstitutional precedents that will now be very difficult to ever roll back.

On the other hand, the main thing I learned from my foray into Naderism (and its GWB consequence) is that -- no matter how bad things are -- they can actually get unimaginably worse. There isn't really a rock bottom to hit where we can reasonably say "we can't go any lower than this" until our species is actually extinct.

So I'm not sure I want to encourage protest votes or abstaining from voting because God only knows what might happen next...