Runcible Blog

a few thoughts

Insecurities are stupid. It doesn't mean that you are stupid, but recognizing there's a problem is the first step. Addictions are stupid too, but you don't hear people saying "don't criticize my addiction! it's MY addiction!" This is directed at someone in particular, but it makes sense for everyone. Don't justify insecurity by saying that everyone has them, and don't look for people to tell you those things. It can seem very comfortable to have a circle of friends with the same problems -- that way you can all tell each other that having those problems is normal and OK. But it isn't OK. What it amounts to is digging your own hole. Or, at the very best it is providing furniture in your hole to make living under the dirt easier. And hey, if you've got a bunch of friends living in that hole with you, all the better, right? No! Climb out while you still can! Yes, humans are social beings, but we are also very much lonely beings. We try at all costs to distract ourselves from that deep loneliness, but it is always there. Embracing loneliness seems like a crazy thing to do, but it's really not crazy and not abnormal or pessimistic. Every moment of our lives, we are alone with our thoughts. No one else can hear them. We are trapped inside our own heads. But that's not bad at all. It's just the way we are. We aren't telepathic. Just realize it. It may be that we strive to have a connection with others, but first we have to connect with ourselves. If you are trying to connect with others in order to distract yourself or postpone connecting with yourself, then stop right there. But a real connection is not yielding to someone else. Casting aside your own personality for the sake of approval does not create a connection. And why do we want to "connect" with others? Is it to feel safe? It could be. It shouldn't be selfish in any way, visible or not. It should be an act of complete selflessness, but that's hard. The way to connect with others is to know yourself and to open yourself completely. And if the other person is completely open also, then you've got quite a connection. But if you keep even a crumb of yourself from the other person, the connection will be tenuous at best. Of course, opening yourself completely to others entails being vulnerable. And not many people want to be that vulnerable. But we must. There's no hiding from pain, but human beings have a certain propensity for distracting themselves in so many ways from the ongoing suffering. Those who feel they must keep busy at all times are firmly ensconced in this cycle of suffering. They are so immersed that they can't ever stop being busy or else all that suffering would catch up to them, and they wouldn't know what to do with it. You could say this is all human nature, so why bother fighting? Well, it is human nature, but then again it isn't. We don't really know what human nature is, so we sort of stumble along with our suffering-nature. "What is human nature?" is an essential question. True human nature is something different than how we act, but then again it isn't different at all. It's different and the same at once. Do you see? It's right there in front of us. Let's open our eyes and see. Now it's time for me to close my eyes and sleep. Remember, it isn't true teaching unless it sounds like it's forcing something on you...The truth isn't easy. I'm far from understanding who I am and what human nature is and the way out of samsara, but for the sake of the world, let's give it a shot.

a tale

This story is hard to believe, but trust me, it's true. I was in the Park Street T station today waiting for the redline train to arrive. As usual, there was a guy playing a guitar down there. He was playing "Knocking on Heaven's Door", to be precise. And apparently (I didn't see this part but heard other people talk about it) a guy from across the tracks really liked this guitarist's rendition of the song and wanted to give him a tip. So he made a dollar bill into a paper airplane and threw it across the tracks, but of course the plane didn't reach the other side. Then, in an act of amazing stupidity, the guy jumped down onto the tracks and fell across the third rail and the track. (this I witnessed with my own eyes, literally right in front of me on the track. I had my camera but didn't take a picture, nor did I help. What could I do? My mind was blank) I'm not sure what happened to him, but I think he must've had a bit of a shock. He stumbled and had trouble getting up off of the third rail. People were screaming at him to get away from it and for others to help him out of the tracks. All the while, he picked himself up, stumbled around, and retrieved the dollar to give it to the guitarist. Then, he stumbled back to the other side and tried to climb back up BY STEPPING ON THE THIRD RAIL! He made it up with the help of a few other people and then walked away in a state of confusion, limping. Never before have I seen such a crazy, idiotic stunt. Apparently the man was pretty scratched and bruised, and he is very lucky that he didn't jump down there before a train arrived because he would've been a goner. The image of him writhing on the third and second rails is still in my head. It was unbelievable, and all I could do was stare....that's how unbelievable it was. It caused a 15 minute delay as the MBTA inspected the area and went to look for the man. I'm sure there is some penalty (besides potential death) for doing something stupid like he did. Well, that's the story, told in my dull, verbose way.

the squeeze

I've added the mod_gzip module to my Apache webserver. It compresses my webpages on the fly and sends it to your browser if it supports that feature. I'm not sure which browsers support it, but I know that it works with Mozilla but doesn't seem to work with Safari. Either way, it should be completely transparent to the reader. It SHOULD work to decrease download times for the HTML, especially on dial-up links. I haven't tested, so I don't know if it makes any difference yet. I'm not sure if the added overhead of gzipping all the files on the fly and writing an extra log will counteract any expected speed increases (considering it's a slow 166Mhz processor...). Anyway, I'll work on other ways to optimize the site. Enough geek talk for now.


I had a good laugh while reading these "Bushisms", but then I was upset that someone with such literacy problems could be elected president. Here are some gems:
"I was proud the other day when both Republicans and Democrats stood with me in the Rose Garden to announce their support for a clear statement of purpose: you disarm, or we will." —Speaking about Saddam Hussein, Manchester, N.H., Oct. 5, 2002

I'm sure Saddam is scared of the threat of us disarming.

"People say, how can I help on this war against terror? How can I fight evil? You can do so by mentoring a child; by going into a shut-in's house and say I love you." —Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2002

That warms my heart.

"See, we love—we love freedom. That's what they didn't understand. They hate things; we love things. They act out of hatred; we don't seek revenge, we seek justice out of love." —Oklahoma City, Aug. 29, 2002

It's that simple, people. They hate things; we love things. I couldn't have said it any more insightfuller.

"My administration has been calling upon all the leaders in the—in the Middle East to do everything they can to stop the violence, to tell the different parties involved that peace will never happen." —Crawford, Texas, Aug, 13, 2001

Always optimistic.

"There's no question that the minute I got elected, the storm clouds on the horizon were getting nearly directly overhead." —Washington, D.C., May 11, 2001


"The California crunch really is the result of not enough power-generating plants and then not enough power to power the power of generating plants." —Interview with the New York Times , Jan. 14, 2001

That is a problem. Where are they going to get the power to power the plants??

"I want it to be said that the Bush administration was a results-oriented administration, because I believe the results of focusing our attention and energy on teaching children to read and having an education system that's responsive to the child and to the parents, as opposed to mired in a system that refuses to change, will make America what we want it to be—a literate country and a hopefuller country." —Washington, D.C., Jan. 11, 2001

no comment...

"Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream." —LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000

I want a T shirt with that quote.

"I don't know whether I'm going to win or not. I think I am. I do know I'm ready for the job. And, if not, that's just the way it goes." —Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 21, 2000

"I think we agree, the past is over." —On his meeting with John McCain, Dallas Morning News , May 10, 2000

I disagree! The past is never over!

"It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it." --Reuters, May 5, 2000

either a budget or a phone book...