[Ed note: this section is under spotty construction, as always]
So, what follows are a bunch of pieces on things I've distilled from my experiences. I appreciate feedback on these topics so feel free to Email me with commentary as desired. On the first one below I'm particularly interested in soliciting feedback/commentary/additions.
A better practice would be a requirement for all intellectual property to be available in some form, or it would have no legal protection. For example, requiring RAND (Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory) licensing terms being available. And reasonable requirements on searching Prior Art, plus reasonable expiration limits and possibly no automatic assumption of validity.
A wonderful piece about this is the
Peruvian Response to MS FUD about a Bill Requiring Open Source Software
for Government Operations. Simply Excellent.
This is me playing with my digital camera:
My current day job is working with Mike Haertel and Jules Blake-Kongslie at Ducky Technical Services. Previously, I have worked for NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel. I used to be a software engineer, though I'm not sure my current job is so easily compartmentalized, other than being used for lots of random tasks using my background in software at multiple levels (BIOS, bootloader/kernel through user level, incl. GUI), and x86/ARM/MIPS (level of knowledge in order from most to least) processor, system, and simulator architecture. Yes, I do actually like working with computers. Tragic. The irony is that people then tend to assume it's all I'm interested in, even though outside of work I spend plenty of time with friends/family/etc.
The Microsoft spell-checker has in the past said my name must be "Reich Boolean"... the thousand year rule of computers. Scary, huh?
I am apparently a classic ENTP according to the Meyers-Briggs system of personality classification. A test and other references available on the web, The Keirsey Temperament and Character Web Site, is interesting, to say the least. It says that I'm very social, enthusiastic, and interested in most everything about both things and people... which is what my friends tell me are both my best and most irritating traits.
I like close community a lot, and used to live in a Cohousing community in Portland, OR called Trillium Hollow. For more information about this kind of thing, you can go to the Cohousing Network web site. It's been an interesting way to live... kind of like a "kinder and gentler dorm".
I'm a partly vegetarian. I sometimes eat meat, but not by preference. This is not for any kind of grand social purpose so much as it's just healthier to eat that way and I physically feel good if I stick to it. I don't smoke, do drugs, caffeine, heavy sugar, etc. I do, however, have a weakness for good food of different kinds, particularly in good company. I once had a friend tell me she'd "love to corrupt me". I know several people who'd practically kill to be told a line like that, heh heh.
Here are some links to references about the actual story. They are: Gilgamesh, The Assyro-Babylonian Mythology FAQ and The Sumerian Mythology FAQ, Exploring Ancient World Cultures: The Near East, and ABZU.
The text that I liked was Gardner, John & Maier, John _Gilgamesh_:Translated from the Sin-Leqi-Unninni Version_, Vintage Books, Random House, New York, 1984. A tablet by tablet parallel text translation with notes and commentary by the late author of _Grendel_.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is more-or-less the earliest known written story of a man searching for immortality. The interesting part of the story is that he never achieves it, but speaks with the last man who was granted it by the gods.
My motto: "I'll live forever or die trying" is meant only paritally tongue-in-cheek. To some extent, I really do want to find a way to physically extend my life-span. The Life Extension Foundation is interesting, though I can't say how much of their agenda I agree with.
Basically, most people I know aren't fundamentally bothered by the idea of what will happen to them after they die. The issue to me is not pain, nor any other kind of "suffering" per se, but simply... I don't want my conciousness to go away. It gives me an insane case of the willies even thinking about it.
I've always been very good at realizing the implications of even abstract things and connecting them to reality. Thinking about things in the long term is very normal for me.
If nothing else, it is a very effective psychological game that has allowed me to get on with my life and enjoy it without being in a panic over the fact that I would die someday. Will I really be able to accomplish physical life extension? I really don't know... in any case I don't feel it's been time wasted, as I have a better understanding of how important life (and living it to it's fullest) really means to me... plus it has driven me to learn a whole lot of really nifty things.