New Gentoo Developer

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That's right folks, you're reading the blog of a brand new gentoo developer. You can now email me at hadfield at gentoo . org, if you feel so inclined. My dev website is here so I'll probably add any gentoo related stuff I have up there shortly. I'm pumped about this :-).

EDIT: Here's a link to the email sent to gentoo-dev mailling list welcoming me and two other new dev's.

Voter turn-outs?

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It seems like all the news and media is all like: "vote! vote! you have to vote, or else!" Or else what? Or else I won't get a say? Or else I won't be supporting democracy?

Let's say I live in the interior of BC. I know conservatives are going to win my riding. But say I want to vote liberal... I vote liberal, and then what, they lose in that riding anyway, and they'll lose by a lot. So what say did I have? My say is so completely miniscule that it hardly warrants spending the time to go to the local highschool's voting booths.

If on the other hand the riding is close, maybe then the say I get by voting is a little more prominent.

The countries with the largest voter turn outs are also generally the countries who have the most going wrong for them. The parties actually differ on the issues and those issues actually touch home, things like human rights and freedom of speech. Often the election process in those countries is even corrupt to some extent. The difference between your party winning and losing can mean a very different lifestyle for you.

Our parties in Canada differ in so few aspects that even if the party you completely despise and hate everything they stand for gets elected, your life will likely change only by the few dollars you have to spend on various taxes. So the shear fact that we have a low voter turn out can probably be attributed to the fact that the people of Canada are relatively happy with the way things are going.

They're also all like, "it's imortant that young people vote". Well you know what? If it's so damn important, then let young people vote! People in highschool know more about politics then probably any other demographic group in Canada. Take me for example, the last federal election was in 1997, I was just finishing grade 11. When I was in grade 11 I knew far more about canadian politics then I do now and probably more than I'll know for the rest of my life. Yet I wasn't allowed to vote. Why? Because I didn't pay taxes? That's rediculous, because the next 6 years of my life were probably largely effected by the party who won that election as I was just about to move out on my own and go to University. Note that university students don't really pay taxes, nor do the homeless or jobless, but they still get to vote. Or maybe it's because I wasn't responsible enough to know who to vote for. This is also rediculous, the average highschool student is probably more responsible when it comes to voting then the average Canadian in any other age demographic.

[EDIT: Note I wasn't really thinking straight in the above paragraph.. the last federal election was in 2000, of course, but my sentiment is still the same. Someone who's 17 right now may not get a chance to vote until they're 22 (2009)]

Instead, millions of Canadians who have no idea about the political parties or standpoints were allowed to vote and decide my future, and the future of all the other students my age who actually cared about things like funding for education and who would actually be attending an educational institution for the next few years of their lives.

If by "young", you mean 18 - 25 year olds, then give us some issues we care about to vote for. Seriously, 9 billion on health care, 25 billion on health care? I don't care about health care. Maybe I will when I get older and need more, but for now, I honestly don't care. And pumping billions into a system without a proper formula to recover the system is equivelant to pumping billions of dollars into /dev/null.

Give me issues like "value added" products, issues regarding the technology (such as tech jobs and re-designed patent and copyright law to deal with the internet and software), and issues about the environment. Get serious with the health thing and encourage me to be healthy now, don't give me a way to deal with my unheathfull lifestyle when it comes back to haunt me. Subsidize gym passes and don't charge me to go hiking in provincial parks (yes I know that's a provincial, not federal thing) and increase taxes on "fast food" while decreasing taxes on "healthful food" (whatever that is). Give me solutions for starting my own company such as more grants and loans to new and potential entrepreneurs.

Give me issues that I care about and then I'll excersize my right to vote. But until you do that, the only right I'm going to be excersizing is the right to say "fuck you, I'll vote when you give me an issue to vote on".

Copy and Paste

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People who copy and paste entire functions deserve to be shot. Why the fuck do you think functions were invented in the first place!?!?

I've already removed 600 lines of code from a 2600 line source file and I've got probably another 1000 lines more that can be removed because the dumbass was copy and paste happy.

Haircuts

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So I got my haircut today. I don't think I had had it cut since January or February, so it was roughly three inches long. Anyway, I go to magicuts today (ya ya, it was my own fault, I know) and I ask for a number 2 razer on the sides and back and to cut the rest to about half the length.

15 minutes later...

The razer job was ok, but the rest... well, my hair is now about 1/2 an inch long on top (note that 3 inches divided by 2 equals 1.5, not .5), however, I guess she thought she'd make up for the shortness on top by leaving the front of my hair 2.5 inches. Got any good images yet? Ahhh magicuts.

Well don't worry, Ariane fixed it.

Movable Type BS

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Movable Type is the blog software I'm using right now to run my blog and other blogs on this site. Movable Type 3.0 was launched yesterday, along with a new pricing scheme. Up until now MovableType has been free for non-commercial use. To some respect that is still the case. They have posted an article where they attempt to explain why they've suddenly decided to begin charging here.

The fact is, is that it's their code, it costs time and money to host, so why shouldn't they be allowed to charge however the hell they want? The problem in my eyes, is that numerous people contributed to the project in the form of donations and prividing free support to the MT community. Those people are more or less being cut off from MT and being asked to pay money to use a product which they had a hand in making what it is today.

If you notice, they do still allow you to have a free version, it just won't be supported by them. Which is perfectly fine. Where the real issue comes in, is this:
"No more than one author and three weblogs"

If it wasn't for this one clause, I would have no problems with the new pricing scheme and perhaps even support it. This means I cannot legally upgrade movable type without paying a minimum of $150 USD. This is very unfortunate. MT is an excellent program and is getting a lot better. I will not be upgrading movable type and will be looking for a GPL'd (or another OSI license) blogging app to replace movable type with. I imagine that several others will too. But hey, if sixapart wants to cut off the users and community who make up the MT userbase right now, then that's their choice. It's just also our choice to move on to something that's a little more friendly to the community.

It's always a little sad when a great app goes this way, and the owners abandon the community who helped to get them where they are.