Guns, smoke, global warming and Microsoft

by John Q on June 20, 2004

If you’ve spent any time around the blogosphere, or looking at thinktank websites, you’ll be aware that the following opinions tend to go together:

* widespread ownership of guns saves lives

* tobacco smoke is harmless (if not to smokers then to anyone who breathes it second-hand)

* global warming is a myth

There’s not too much mystery about this. The kinds of characteristics that would encourage the adoption of any one of these beliefs (make your own list) obviously encourage the others. What’s surprising to me is how frequently, at least among thinktanks, these opinions are correlated with support for Microsoft, and, more particularly, denunciation of open-source software.

[click to continue…]

In Search Of Lost Type

by John Holbo on June 20, 2004

Kieran is blaming himself for the fact that somehow it is still last week around here. Some MT import/export thing. SQL data dump. Makes my head hurt. I just want to point out that there are alternative explanations for the mysterious linkrot, it’s sudden disappearance, and the disappearance of a couple days. And it could have been worse.

“Everyone know that in the run of normal uneventful years that great eccentric, Time, begets sometimes other years, different, prodigal years which – like a sixth smallest toe – grow a thirteenth freak month.

We use the word freak deliberately, because the thirteenth month only rarely reaches maturity, and like a child conceived late in its mother’s life, it lags behind in growth; it is a hunchback month, a half-witted shoot. More tentative than real.

What is at fault is the senile intemperance of the summer, its lustful and belated spurt of vitality. It sometimes happens that August has passed, and yet the old thick trunk of summer continues by force of habit to produce and from its moldered wood grows those crab-days, weed-days, sterile and stupid, added as an afterthought; stunted, empty, useless days – white days, permanently astonished and quite unnecessary. They sprout, irregular and uneven, formless and joined like the fingers of a monster’s hand, stumps folded into a fist.”

– Bruno Schulz, The Street of Crocodiles

I’m not saying it was senile, intemperate summer itself that did for a few days of posts. In which case Kieran has just been wasting his time, futzing with computers. I’m not saying that the disappeared days were actually extra days that weren’t on the calendar to begin with, that now the calendar has reasserted itself, that the superfluous temporal … I do not hestitate to say ‘efflorescence’ “lies forgotten somewhere in the archives of Time, and its content continues to increase between the boards, swelling incessantly from the garrulity of months, from the quick self-perpetuation of lies, of drivel, and of dreams which multiply in it.”

I am not saying that comments and track-backs are still being left to these posts we no longer ‘see’ in ‘our’ world. I’m just saying.

Litany of Database Recovery

by Kieran Healy on June 20, 2004

Queen of SQL statements. _Pray for us_.
Empress of Emacs. _Pray for us_.
Sacred Heart of Search and Replace. _Pray for us_.
Defender of Write Permissions. _Pray for us_.
Patron of Manually Edited Dump Files. _Pray for us_.
Savior of unexpectedly small Disk Quotas. _Pray for us_.
Shepherd of Lost Posts. _Pray for us_.
Protector of Hapless Administrators. _Pray for us_.
Scourge of “Wholly Inadequate Import/Export Formats”: _Pray for us_.
Mother of all the Bloggers. _Pray for us_.

I think we’re back. Fresh — or at least unrotted — permalinks and all. Thank you, thank you to everyone who commented in the now-destroyed post where I wailed about the problem. The solution was to get an SQL dump of the database from the old server and read it in to the new database. Not as easy as it might have been, because the old server had old blogs, with old hard-linked archive sources and all the rest of it. But I think it worked.

My sincere apologies to fellow-posters and commenters whose recent contributions got deleted in the course of the database restoration. I guess I revealed myself to be a utilitarian at root: five or six posts and their comments were sacrificed on behalf of about two thousand posts and their permalinks. Moral: Do not put me in charge of interrogating suspected terrorists.[1]

So, as predicted in my “Don’t Upgrade”: post, I’ve just spent an unconscionable amount of time (I am about to start paying off large debts to my wife and daughter) getting us back to where we were last week. But now we are where we were last week, but on new servers. To switch religions momentarily, Oy.

fn1. Alternative moral for high-ranking Pentagon officials: By all means put me in charge of interrogating suspected terrorists, because I will lose them.