It’s gotten really, really easy. Just one shell script with root privileges. Details here.
So, now, both of my main computers are running 64-bit Ubuntu 10.04 with all the bells and whistles–custom kernel with the latest realtime patchset, kernel modesetting, nouveau, jackd and ardour from svn, and my favorite part, llvmpipe. My idle CPU usage has dropped by half.
Another victory: I try to keep two servers around all the time in case one decides to biff it, but my “hot spare” started acting weird a few months ago when I dusted it off to update its packages. I was about ready to write it off but decided I should give it another go. Replacing the suspicious video card and running memtest86, I discovered that one of the RAM chips was bad. I replaced it, and the system is like new again. (Well, as new as a 1600mhz single-core 32-bit-only Athlon can be.)
Since Todd’s death last week, I have been very… inhibited about writing. And there is still much to write about. Some teasers:
– The Location of Meaning / Why Integrity is necessary / When Integrity is not necessary / a universe without language (that’s going to be a very heady post)
– Responsibility, or, what you can do to help
– Measuring the things that matter
– Joy and Fulfillment versus Fun and Diversions
– Addiction (which I might never get around to writing)
– Building Zion (which, as an Atheist, is a really interesting topic)
– The rest of what The Matrix is (I don’t know how many posts that will take.)
As all of these topics bounce around in my head, one question still haunts me: is there hope? Part of what it means for a human being to be a human being right now is that we tend to get sucked into what I called earlier a “black hole of the mind”–where we get programmed to think a certain way, and to protect that certain way of thinking, no matter what. Probably most of these certain ways of thinking actually operate counter to our personal desires–love, happiness, fulfillment, fun, satisfaction, meeting our basic needs for survival, comfort–but the certain ways of thinking are entrenched and guarded with the most advanced systems of defense, so they stay in place even when we would be best served by disassembling them. (These certain ways of thinking are central to what The Matrix really is.)
Is it possible for humans to transform this part of our existence? If so, how? And when? And how can I help? And if not, what does that mean about the existence of humanity? Are we doomed to defeat ourselves for eternity? Will we, at some point in the future, exterminate ourselves? And what about me?
One thing that might be really helpful is if someone would be willing to have some of these conversations with me, in person, and record and transcribe the conversation. It’s an unreasonable request (and I’m an unreasonable person) but if you’d like to sacrifice some of your time for something that will make a difference to me and maybe a handful of others, let’s talk about it.