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User Journal

Journal: Scientific American on time travel

Journal by Lendrick

I don't have a whole lot of time to write today, but I saw this and thought it was pretty cool. The really strange thing is the idea that time is basically one unchangeable unit... Even if you're able to build a time machine, you can't change the past because you already did. I suppose that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but read the article. Cool stuff.

Music

Journal: On sharing and stealing 4

Journal by Lendrick

In a recent interview (Slashdot story here) with RIAA president Cary Sherman, Mr. Sherman inadvertantly made a very good point. In response to a question about the impact of file sharing on CD sales, he explains:

I wish you were right that CD sales haven't been impacted by filesharing. (I hate that term, by the way. To me, "sharing" means we each get a little less. If I share my pie, I only get to eat half. If I share my car, I can't use it when the other person has it. "Filesharing" however means we each get the whole thing, and noboby gives up anything! That's not sharing, it's publishing!)

On the same vein, I'd like to point out that I hate the terms 'stealing' and 'piracy'. Much like sharing, it's generally assumed that if you steal something from someone, they don't have it anymore.

I heard a funny little analogy at one point. Using the term 'piracy' as it's used today, pirates would have boarded merchant ships, made exact copies of all their cargo, left everything intact, and been on their way. Of course, the merchant's cargo loses a tiny bit of its value because now they can no longer sell it to the pirates, but the cargo is still there and totally saleable elsewhere.

So I submit to you this:

Should it be illegal to share copies of music with people who haven't purchased it? Of course.

Should downloading music you don't own be considered 'stealing'? Absolutely not. It's a lesser crime, simple as that.

User Journal

Journal: So, what's up with this journal thing?

Journal by Lendrick

I was poking around the Slashdot FAQ today (mostly just to kill time) and I came across this section about friends, foes, and journals. Out of curiosity, I clicked on my fans and freaks lists and was surprised to find them both populated.

So, what this all means is that apparently some people are actually watching my journal. To those of you who have me marked as a friend, I hope you find my upcoming journal entries at least marginally entertaining. And to my freaks, well, I guess I said something that pissed you off, so I can only assume that I will continue to do so. Suits me fine, I guess. :)

So anyway, here's a discussion starter:

I'm kind of a casual follower of the whole UFO phenomenon... based on odd little snippits of information I see and hear, I'm inclined to think that there's more to it than just top secret aircraft testing and misidentification of known objects.

At this point, I should point out that I've never believed myself to have been abducted by aliens, or seen anything up in the sky that I couldn't readily identify. I know what Venus and Mars look like, and I've even seen some satellites moving across the sky a little after sunset.

Anyway, what I want to know is this: Since it seems that a lot of people who write articles about UFOs are very bad at naming their sources (they tend to claim that such-and-such happened, but leave no way to track down the source of the original report), I was wondering if there were any sites out there with reasonably verifiable sources, along the lines of the Disclosure Project (I'm very annoyed and a bit suspicious about the fact that they've begun charging money for access to their content--I hate to say it, but it reeks of scam).

Are there any good, intelligent websites that keep track of this sort of thing? Also, would it be possible to dig up a newspaper clipping from 1947 actually verifying that the Air Force reported a craft of extraterrestrial origin crashed out by Roswell?

This is something I'm interested in, but I really can't go on blindly believing it unless there's material that's at least traceable back to an original source.

Comments are welcome. I'm even willing to entertain conversations about why I shouldn't believe that UFOs aren't of extraterrestrial origin. Post away. :)

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.

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