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Journal: Dell's Hidden Barriers to Ubuntu

Journal by ArmorFiend

So I found out that Linux is a serious competitior in the emerging "netbook" laptop market. Cool, I need one of those. So I do my homework and decide on the Dell model, in no small part because it comes with my favorite distro of Linux already pre-configured. Rather than spend three days tearing out my hair trying (and likely failing) to get suspend/resume to work, it should work out of the box, as should all the peripherals. That's worth a little money to save a lot of time.

I truck on over to buy the laptop at their website.

First check: the windows version is ready to ship today, but according to the website the linux version won't ship for 2-3 weeks. Why is that? Are they not DONE with the OS yet? No, the time doesn't tick down 1:1 with wall-clock time, as I notice after three. weeks. of waiting. I think it's just so they can steer you to that other OS.

Second check: "Instant Savings" actually make the Windows machine cheaper by about $40. Fortunately, I happen to log in a day where they also offer that discount for Linux-configured systems. I'm not sure if this accident or desperation on their part.

Third check: that particular day the webcam is gone from the configurator. The only web cam option is "No Web Cam". Ooooohkay. I call their sales support and they goof around for a while taking my personal information, then tell me they can put the web cam in ... but only if I order The Other OS. They won't sell me the laptop with Linux and the webcam, even though they'd been giving it out to reviewers and such for months.

So, Dell, are you going to give us Linux, or are you going to give us artificial barriers? And why are the artificial barriers there? The Cluetrain wants to know.

The Matrix

Journal: What is the Not-Matrix?

Journal by ArmorFiend

The Matrix is control ... a computer simulation of noir twen-cen life. But once humans escape from the matrix, they're in another, even more hellish world. I'll call this the not-matrix.

In Reloaded we start to see a blurring between the matrix and the not-matrix. Here are the incidents I remember:

  1. Smith posesses human who then logs out to not-matrix. This copy seems mad, but still has Smith's best interests at heart.
  2. Smith's transendence causes Neo to suddenly start out of sleep in not-matrix.
  3. Neo can sense the oncoming squiddies,
  4. Neo stops the squiddies using his matrix gift (or perhaps he's just delusional and its cinematic coincidence that the rescue ships triggers its EMP right when he reaches out his hand.)

Is the not-matrix also a simulation, built for similar purposes to the matrix? I don't see enough evidence to judge either way right now, that's why I want your comments.

_____________________________________________

The biggest plot twist of this movie was the revelation that The One has already lived through the Matrix revolution five other times, like the dali-lama of ass-kicking. That would seem to suggest that it is at least 2600 A.D.

Here I don't understand the machine logic. Apperantly The Ones are born every now and again, and they can't be stopped in the Matrix. But why not? In the first film a lot of Neo's survival was due to the agents repeatedly underestimating him. I thought at first the REMFs in Matrix-HQ were misleading their agents, but by Reloaded Smith for-sure knows the Matrix is repeating. ("Everything is happening exactly as before." "Well not everything"). So the truth is out there, if programs have a head on their shoulders.

If The Architect(tm) is to be believed, the human slaves of the matrix must have the possibility of choice. Otherwise they will reject the programming and "crops will be lost". Given the choice to rebel, they counter-intuitively do not. At least "99%" do not. Choice is a safety valve to keep too much pressure out of the system, but periodically this leads to eruptions (The One/Zion).

However these eruptions are easily managed. Just stand The One up, and give him a choice. On the one hand genocide humans and kick the machines in the nuts. On the other, surrender, let Zion get slaughtered, and rise again like a phoenix from the ashes.

Its not clear which choice Neo takes. At the last second, The Architect (tm) changes the options to "salvation for Zion" versus "reenter the Matrix and accept that Trinity is going to die". How these map onto the previous two choices is unclear. Perhaps Trinity will be among the "seed" new rebels who are supposed to start the new Zion? I'm confused.

The lack of chaos in the The One cycle is astounding. It seems like in the shitty environment of Zion, one time in three he'd end up contracting some fatal disease, or step on a land mine, or something. And there are little variations, even within the matrix. His attachment to Trinity versus humanity. His faster response times to The Architect. Smith. Haven't these guys heard of the butterfly effect?

Just as a simple example, the "third ship" is destroyed by a robot bomb. The real reason it was destroyed was the guy going to press the EMP button had the misfortune to be walking on a loose catwalk that collapsed. If we're to believe that the not-matrix is not a simulation, then I believe there's no way for anyone to know in advance that that ship is going to explode. Thus there's no reason to know that their matrix mission will fail. Thus there's no reason for Trinity to enter the matrix. Thus there's no reason for Neo to choose the door on his left. Hm.

So I guess not-matrix has to be a simulation. Thoughts?

It is surely a great calamity for a human being to have no obsessions. - Robert Bly

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