Archive for April, 2007

Ubuntu Upgrade Is Completely Painless

Posted in Technology and Software on April 28, 2007 by Mike Procario

I am writing this on my laptop which is now running Ubuntu 7.04. I did not rush out to upgrade when 7.04 came out, but this morning when I went to install some security upgrades to 6.10, I was presented with the choice of a full distribution upgrade. I accepted the option, and it went very smoothly. The upgrade even downloaded the firmware need for my wireless card. When I rebooted after the upgrade, my wireless connected flawlessly. I have not yet checked on whether I have all of my audio and video codecs, but so far this is the most painless upgrade that I have ever done.


The Alphabet Versus the Goddess

Posted in Books on April 15, 2007 by Mike Procario

I have just finished The Alphabet Versus the Goddess by Leonard Shlain. I read the epilogue and discovered that the author had already written my review.

Perhaps in my zeal to make my points I have overstated the right/left, feminine/masculine, nutrer/killer, and intuiter/analyzer dualities. … Nevertheless, I believe overlaying these templates upon human history has helped clarify many complex currents and have made certain patterns apparent that would have otherwise remained murky.

A more general thesis that changes in the means of communication is disruptive to societies seems to be compelling. The introduction of writing, the printing press, and television have all been accompanied by turmoil. The connection of alphabetical literacy with monotheism, patriarchy, and misogyny seems real, but it is hard to understand if it cause and effect or something more oblique. I am not sure that we know enough about psychology to make the stronger statement yet.

The book is thought provoking and it does give one a new way to think about the the sometimes tumultuous history of western civilization.

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