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quote of the day

We’re all fascists now.

Now we get to what is maybe an actually half-interesting point. There are two reasons why ad hitlerem arguments tend to be rude and crude. (Everyone knows Godwin’s Law is law. Here’s why, more or less.) First, the Holocaust. It’s pretty obvious how always dragging that in is not necessarily clarifying of every little dispute. Second, a little less obviously, ad hitlerem arguments are invariably arguments by moral analogy. Person A espouses value B. But the Nazis approved B. Not that person A is necessarily a Nazi but there must be something morally perilous about B, if espousing it is consistent with turning all Nazi. The trouble is: with few exceptions, the Nazis had all our values – at least nominally. They approved of life, liberty, justice, happiness, property, motherhood, society, culture, art, science, church, duty, devotion, loyalty, courage, fidelity, prudence, boldness, vision, veneration for tradition, respect for reason. They didn’t reject all that; they perverted it; preached but didn’t practice, or practiced horribly. Which goes to show there is pretty much no value immune from being paid mere lip-service; nominally maintained but substantively subverted. Which, come to think of it, isn’t surprising. How could a list of ‘success’ words guarantee success, after all? [bold face added]

[From Crooked Timber » » “Heil Myself!” (and other rude Goldberg devices)]


links for 2007-11-10

observations WordPress

what I wish the HP series had done [spoilers]

Don’t click through if you a. thought the book/series was flawless or b. haven’t finished Book VII yet.


automating mass copies of CDs

I had a need to reproduce a stack of CDs for someone, and while it was easy enough to do, I found I was getting behind. I didn’t always know when a CD was done so I could replace the burned disk with blank media.

Making the image can be done with Disk Utility, dd, hdiutil, etc.

Now to make some copies. I figured out that if I sent a text message to my phone, I would be reminded to go flip the media.

while [ 1 != 0 ]
      # this is always true, so it will always run
   do time hdiutil burn ~/image.iso
      # man hdiutil for more details, if needed
   echo "toast is ready" | mail
      # I use Verizon: your carrier may do it differently.

It worked: I finished up the job today, getting as much done in one day as I did in the previous three.

If I knew how many I needed to make, other than “until the box is empty” I could have used while [ $i =< some number ] and added a counter ( $i++ ) to the loop.