On Wisdom

I have a strong opinion on people who pronounce their wisdom.

If anyone is currently telling you they are wise or telling you that they have some wisdom on a subject for you (of their own), they are currently not being wise. I am certainly guilty of this myself as well, perhaps even now. That doesn’t mean the self-proclaimed “wisdom” people have to say isn’t valuable to you necessarily. It does mean that their definition of the world isn’t the same as mine, and I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on it:

My definition is different from any dictionary’s definition. I will specify my definition: Wisdom is more about knowing what you don’t know than it is about knowing about what you do know.

I will cite a source to back up my opinion on this matter from a perhaps fictional character (a well-known fact is that he may have never lived and been a character Plato invented) that said what I assert are many wise things: “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” Socrates: (Plato’s Apology)

Best WoW Jokes EVAR – by Panser (NSFW)

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It has come to my attention that the blog has lacked nerdery of late. I am relying on Panser to help me out (Danielle from King of the Nerds).  I am biased because she is a WoW fanatic; but I do think she should have been crowned King!  I mean, come on, she beat a NASA scientist at a physics problem and gave props to the people who are really in the know.

I’d also like to give a shout out to my good friend Dr. K for showing me this wonderful woman’s work a while back.

An explanation of CISPA and some links to petitions against it

Stop CISPA

Stop CISPA

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is a bill going through the US Congress right now.  The goal of CISPA is to allow the US government to more effectively police the internet. Legislators have been trying to get a bill of this nature signed into law for many years, and in fact did try to pass a previous version of this same bill in 2011.  It has been reintroduced by Representative Mike Rogers of Michigan’s 8th district.  North Korean hackers, Wikileaks, and even the Boston bombing have already been used to justify the reintroduction of this draconian bill.

The problem with this bill is that it would allow the U.S. government to collect personal information about online users from companies without having to issue a warrant.  In other words, they don’t need to have any proof or a valid reason to investigate you to get information about your browsing habits, what websites you visit, how often, what you say, and who you interact with.  There is even a provision in the bill would allow US companies to require employees to give them the passwords for their social networking accounts (for websites like Facebook) according to the Huffington Post. That is my understanding of the proposed law.

President Obama has vowed to veto the bill unless better privacy rights are not incorporated into the bill. I wonder what President Obama considers acceptable protection of privacy and if his requirements would actually be adequate. This sounds to me like posturing to satisfy his political base. I would wager that if congress makes some largely superficial changes to the bill to make it sound better our dear leader will sign it into law.

In my experience, a good indicator that something is wrong with a bill is that the ACLU opposes it. They have extensive information about the bill.  Wired has also written a good article about the issue.

Anonymous has asked the internet community to blackout their websites.  Almost 400 websites have joined in their protests; but sadly none of the big movers and shakers like Google, Wikipedia, Twitter, or Facebook have taken part (clearly WordPress.com hasn’t).

If you would like to protest this bill here is a petition to the whitehouse and a petition from the ACLU to strike down the bill.

Aaron Swartz tribute song

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WE ARE ALL AARON SWARTZ by Dan Bull

Aaron Swartz was a fellow nerd, a political activist, and a patriot.  He campaigned against SOPA, which was thankfully stuck down in large part due to his efforts.  He committed suicide after being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts on 13 felony counts for uploading JSTOR data to the internet.  Don’t take my word for it.  Read this article.