Things not going so well around here. I don’t feel as though I’ve been working hard enough. First in philosophy within reach; scraping a 2:1 with a 60% in Maths is my goal now, as I just haven’t done enough. At the same time, the week before the exam is always the most valuable part of revision.

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Posted Fri 04 May 2012 12:58:00 UTC Tags:
vcsh priv ls-files -z | xargs -0 rm -f && rm -rf $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/vcsh/repo.d/priv.git
Posted Fri 04 May 2012 16:24:00 UTC Tags:


Give Windows applications C-a, C-e etc.

Posted Sun 06 May 2012 08:53:00 UTC Tags:

GOOGLE: We Take Back All That ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Stuff — Now It’s All About Us | Business Insider

Had no idea that ‘don’t be evil’ actually used to be genuine.

Posted Sun 06 May 2012 09:15:00 UTC Tags:

A month or so ago I was intrigued to read the following:

The Shadow Internet | Wired

About the scene / topsite system

I was aware that there were groups of people with stupid ascii art insignias who perhaps competed to write keygens and stuff, but I had no idea at all it was this organised: I assumed they just uploaded onto private torrent trackers, and the content eventually filtered through to public peer-to-peer. Surprised at my ignorance of something so massive online.

Posted Sun 06 May 2012 09:19:00 UTC Tags:

Similar to the Python serve-a-single-directory trick, v. pleased to be able to make use of this the other day:

{ echo -ne "HTTP/1.0 200 OK\r\nContent-Length: $(wc -c <some.file)\r\n\r\n"; cat some.file; } | nc -l -p 8080


Posted Sun 06 May 2012 09:23:00 UTC Tags:

What, as a student of the modern analytic Academy, am I supposed to make of something like this:

The Dynamic Unity of Reality

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Posted Sun 06 May 2012 09:31:00 UTC Tags:
  1. When any person harms you, or speaks badly of you, remember that

he acts or speaks from a supposition of its being his duty. Now, it is not possible that he should follow what appears right to you, but what appears so to himself. Therefore, if he judges from a wrong appearance, he is the person hurt, since he too is the person deceived. For if anyone should suppose a true proposition to be false, the proposition is not hurt, but he who is deceived about it. Setting out, then, from these principles, you will meekly bear a person who reviles you, for you will say upon every occasion, “It seemed so to him.” (Epictetus, Enchiridion)


Posted Sun 06 May 2012 09:40:00 UTC Tags:

The Monkeysphere Project

The Monkeysphere project’s goal is to extend OpenPGP’s web of trust to new areas of the Internet to help us securely identify servers we connect to, as well as each other while we work online. The suite of Monkeysphere utilities provides a framework to transparently leverage the web of trust for authentication of TLS/SSL communications through the normal use of tools you are familiar with, such as your web browser or secure shell.

Posted Sun 06 May 2012 09:44:00 UTC Tags:

s3ql – a full-featured file system for online data storage

S3QL is a file system that stores all its data online using storage services like Google Storage, Amazon S3 or OpenStack. S3QL effectively provides a hard disk of dynamic, infinite capacity that can be accessed from any computer with internet access running Linux, FreeBSD or OS-X.

Posted Sun 06 May 2012 09:47:00 UTC Tags:

Had a “lie-in” this morning til 7am and then managed to persuade myself to have the day off since it’s Sunday. And of course I’m spending it organising stuff; getting rid of e-mails, filing paperwork, tidying my room. I don’t have leisure activities outside of reading and chatting to friends anymore, until after exams, so there isn’t much else to do. Is this adult life?

Posted Sun 06 May 2012 10:13:00 UTC Tags:

I’ve been daydreaming more and more about returning to normal studying, i.e. not revision, next term. One thing I have been thinking about is computing. I have learnt through revision that I write too many notes in studying, because I only refer back to some of them. Yet I need to write when reading or I won’t remember as much with which to write an essay. To make myself produce less text, therefore, I think it might be best to go back to handwritten notes. This means that I don’t need to carry a laptop around anymore, which is great.

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Posted Tue 08 May 2012 20:13:00 UTC Tags:

looks philosophical

This is an interesting idea, but I can see stereotypes in there—the feminists look like feminists, the young yoga and meditation practitioners look like that particular stereotype who might do philosophy.

Posted Wed 09 May 2012 13:04:00 UTC Tags:

It turns out that Windows X11 servers are actually pretty sane: they can work with a separate SSH client. I thought that Exceed, the X server installed in Balliol, would require use of its own SSH client, which is broken here, but in fact it works straight away with PuTTY.

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Posted Thu 10 May 2012 17:49:00 UTC Tags:

Last night I finished reading Atomised by Michel Houellebecq. BREAK This is a book about two brothers who represent, as far as I can tell, different aspects of the wreck that is, in the author’s eyes, modern society. The stories of the two brothers at the beginning and middle of the book are well told, and one can appreciate how they are a product of their society.

At the end of the book the two stories are concluded one after the other; the brother who has dominated most of the book is out of it, and then there is about 30 pages for the other brother who we know less about. And this part is very strange, very different from the rest of the book, and I have no idea what to make of it.

Throughout there are allusions to theoretical biology and physics and continental philosophy. When Houellebecq talks about Kant and about the Vienna Circle, I know enough to judge that he’s not talking nonsense, but for the rest of it I can’t say whether it’s actually any good, so on this point I would be interested in opinions from anyone who has read it and does understand Hilbert Spaces and/or Derrida.

Posted Sat 12 May 2012 08:01:00 UTC Tags:

Re-shelving books at my job at the Oxford Philosophy Library always makes me sad because I look at the amount of text that philosophers have churned out in the past century—mostly I’m reshelving 20th century books rather than classic texts—and wonder how much of it could possibly matter. My patience with academics and fellow students doing their subject just because they like it is quite low at the moment; I want capital-t Truth, it seems—how na├»ve—and I want them to want it too.

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Posted Sat 12 May 2012 08:19:00 UTC Tags:

Received this when logging into to check my e-mail just now as motd:

Please consider using the MetaArray ‘’ as one of your login host

The MetaArray has …

  • 7 processing cores more than this host does
  • 6 gigabytes more RAM than this host does
  • 4.5 TB of storage of which 100 GB is available to you.
  • screen, tmux, cron, mysql/sql, web and email are currently available.
Posted Mon 14 May 2012 18:04:00 UTC Tags:

A week left until exams start now. Calming down because I’ve realised how badly I can do while still getting the grades I actually need: I am on track for a first or a high 2:1 in philos, and because of how math/phil only requires you to be good at one of the subjects to do well, I can get away with getting an average of 50% or something in my four maths papers while still getting a 2:1 overall. Pretty sweet. Still not quite hitting philos questions as precisely as I need to but I can improve on that; I have plenty of knowledge now, aside from a couple of areas which still need some work but I can sort that. So it’s mostly okay and soon to be over. Looking forward to a fresh start next year.

Posted Thu 17 May 2012 12:50:00 UTC Tags:

Many websites are telling me that my Firefox 3.5.16 is too old. PayPal was doing so until Debian security pushed a patch which seems to have removed that error but Gmail, for example, still complains about my browser version.

What’s wrong with Firefox 3 all of a sudden? Some massive feature it’s missing? The Any Browser Campaign, admittedly intended for the 1990s browser wars, finds new relevance in the world of HTML5.

Posted Sat 19 May 2012 20:58:00 UTC Tags:

Time for some table-slapping to rally my courage for upcoming exams. In particular, the two I care about the most, the two I studied for last term, when I actually worked hard. These two are FHS Ethics and FHS Plato’s Republic (in translation).

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Posted Sun 20 May 2012 20:05:00 UTC Tags:

Alexandra Burke - Let It Go

The video is as annoying as these things always are but I think this is a pretty decent track.

Posted Mon 21 May 2012 15:28:00 UTC Tags:

Exactly 13 months ago, as it happens, I posted about starting a programme to go from zero exercise up to running 5k three times a week. I got pretty close to the target but then I had exams and the summer holiday and then the winter and I never finished. Well as of this morning I finally completed the programme, after restarting it at the halfway point or so about a month ago.

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Posted Mon 21 May 2012 15:47:00 UTC Tags:

One exam down, and a frustrating one. Very weird paper which threw everyone else off, but I was mostly unaffected, lucky for me, but I managed to screw up one of my three answers due to not thinking the answer through carefully enough and losing my structure and running out of time. This was the question where I wanted to roll out my Actual View, to stick it to the various Balliolites who disagree with me, and I messed up my execution of that.

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Posted Thu 24 May 2012 19:52:00 UTC Tags:

I’ve had a difficult day today doing Galois Theory, finding myself unable to do things that I could do a few weeks ago—the exam is on Wednesday so this is really difficult to deal with. So to console myself I worked out what marks in Maths I actually have to get. continue reading this entry

Posted Sat 26 May 2012 16:43:00 UTC Tags:

Suppose we accept everything that has been said so far. Now let us ask ourselves this question: What sort of city would I most like to have been brought up in? Surely the answer would be something like this: I would like to be brought up in a city that would so educate me that I would come as close as possible to being ruled by the rational part of my soul, by my rational desires, for that way I’d have the best chance of achieving true happiness.


[So] we have a reason to want to have been brought up in the city Plato describes in the Republic, for it now looks as if he designed that city to be one in which every one of us would receive the kind of education that would bring us as close to being ruled by reason as our nature … allows. As we read the Republic, we are likely to be disturbed by this conclusion. Anyone’s initial reaction to Plato’s ideal city is likely to be one of repugnance. Almost anyone nowadays will think that it is a repressive, even totalitarian place and that the freedoms we prize would be restricted there. This is a natural reaction, but it is one we ought to submit to the most careful scrutiny, for, if Plato is right, we may value these freedoms simply because of our enslavement to desires that distort our perception of the good and cause us to chase after things that will never make us really happy. (C.D.C. Reeve’s introduction to his revision of G.M.A. Grube’s translation of the <em>Republic</em>)

Posted Sat 26 May 2012 19:12:00 UTC Tags:

Perhaps being willing to switch out and give up on an ‘intellectual’ conversation, when the interest of the person you are talking to wanes, is an important way in which we may express humility concerning our own thoughts on the matter.

Posted Sat 26 May 2012 20:45:00 UTC Tags:

More information is coming through about my trip to Korea to teach English as a foreign language for a month. continue reading this entry

Posted Sun 27 May 2012 16:39:00 UTC Tags:

“Sean STOP IT you have got to stop this catastrophic thinking. Here’s a theorem of psychodynamics on this. By thinking of this fantasy future self where everything is going wrong, the gap between the present moment and this future is filled with anxiety, leading to depression and gloom.”

“I know, Bob, I just don’t seem to be able to stop.”

“The fact that you say ‘don’t seem to be able’ rather than ‘can’t’ tells me that you know you can.”

Posted Wed 30 May 2012 07:02:00 UTC Tags: