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TeeJay (2309)

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Working in Truro
Graduate with BSc (Hons) in Computer Systems and Networks
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Journal of TeeJay (2309)

Sunday March 23, 2003
05:38 PM

If compassion were perl code..

[ #11186 ]
I have been reflecting today on some of my past arguments, here and elsewhere and I thought - If only I gave compassion and empathy as freely as I give my free software. Anybody can and does take the spftware I upload to my site and to CPAN : Israeli's, Africans, Americans, Chinese, Pakistanis. My webserver and the cpan mirrors give it freely and without consideration.

When I look at how I find it easier to empathise with 'the underdogs' be it unlucky Iraqi civilians, the poverty stricken in Africa and China, the oppressed in Burma and Palestine, than the 'luckier' Americans and Israelis who have, on the whole, freedom and wealth, I am suprised at how partisan I can be. Ziggy is right that I pay more attention to Israel than other regimes - this for a combination of reasons : the 'air of conspiracy' between the US and Isreal, the right-wing government, and a lack of empathy for a people that like americans I am familar enough with to not see as romanticised or exotic (or poor) and familiarity breeds contempt. Not in a sense of malice, more in the selective viewing, which can mean paying more attention to news that reinforces this selective view.

This doesn't mean I take back anything about Israel being a regime that commits atrocities, and that needs to kept in check by the United Nations (both for its own safety and that of its neighbours) but that angery words only bring more angry words - much as angry actions only bring more angry actions - something Israelis and Palestinians should be familiar with.

Hopefully I can be as even and unbiased with my empathy and sympathy as I can with my code.

I have been hacking 'my own perfect CMS that does things the way I want', ( one of the list of programs that every perl monger will write at least once, along with form to mail, shopping carts and whois scripts ) - it is hard to keep motivated on it at the moment for some reason - probably because it is still at a relatively early stage where I know I must invest time and effort in the foundations and so see little results for the ammount of Time I put in

This is the opposite of Autodia, which after over 2 years of development and help from 3 main people and patches / fixes from another dozen or so people, has reached a point where I can hack for under an hour and get very gratifying results. Last week I added an SQL handler and a DBI handler that allows you to generate diagrams from databases, this weekend I wrote a dia2graphviz perl script and based on that now have a rudimentary dia handler for Autodia so that you can now use autodia to convert from Dia, as well as from Source Code, or databases to GraphViz, VCG, Dia and XML/HTML.

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