Thursday, December 18, 2008
There's something of a frontier town feel about Linux. It asks you to do things in ways you had almost forgotten. Apart from being blindingly fast - the whole deal fits snugly into RAM like the bound foot of a 19th century Chinese courtesan, leaving vast acreages left over - what does Vista do with it all; it must have hectares of redundant code, like DNA.
I rather feel like the puppy in the photograph - thanks to Barry K for a system even I can use - not very knowledgeable but mighty curious.
I haven't figured out how to crop this image yet, but at least I managed to find it..
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Apart from Eleanor Roosevelt's dreadful hairstyle, the sight of her reading the Declaration of Human Rights sixty years ago today, on Human Rights Day was inspiring. I found myself thinking how far we really do have to go as a species which seems incapable of rising above barbarism, when the spirit might be willing but the flesh is undoubtedly either recalcitrant or simply weak. Pope John Paul II was right when he called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “one of the highest expressions of the human conscience of our time,” but conscience alone is no restrainer of terror.
Monday, December 08, 2008
I'm reminded today of being awoken early some years ago in a pleasant suburb of Karachi by the sound of pain. Screaming, as if by tortured children, penetrated my consciousness. Looking out of my window into neighbouring courtyards, lambs were suspended, heads down and bleating pitifully, awaiting the merciful flash of the knife, honed according to the Prophet's instructions and concealed from the victim before the single strike. No such awakenings this morning - here the business is transacted in the privacy of the slaughterhouse.
At the risk of doing irremediable violence to the greatest of all modern Arab poets, I came across this today, the first day of Eid ul Adha, or Greater Eid, the Festival of Sacrifice.
I was in the beginning, and in the beginning was Poverty.
I died that bread may be eaten in my name; that they plant me in season.
How many lives will I live! For in every furrow of earth
I have become a future, I have become a seed.
I have become a race of men, in every human heart
A drop of my blood, or a little drop.
After they nailed me and I cast my eyes towards the city
I hardly recognised the plain, the wall, the cemetery;
As far as the eye could see, it was something
Like a forest in bloom. Wherever the vision could reach,
there was a cross, a grieving mother
The Lord be sanctified! This is the city about to give birth.