WiFi in “airplane mode”

On my old iPhone 1G (which I’ve replaced with a 3GS) it turns out you can enable “airplane mode” (so the phone isn’t constantly searching for a cellular signal it’ll never find) but still turn on WiFi.  Cool.

Facebook polls: same sex marriage and evolution

Well, I tried to take a couple of polls at FB, and they hung up on me (perhaps because of my paranoid cookie settings), and I tried to post this on my wall, but it was too long, so I’ll just say it here:

  • I support same-sex marriage, or if it can be shown that this unduly infringes the rights of churches (though I think this would be difficult), I support making civil unions and marriage legally indistinguishable from the point of view of government, hospitals, insurance companies, etc.
  • I believe that the theory of evolution is probably true, in the same way that I believe that the theory of gravity and the germ theory of disease are probably true. By which I mean that, like every other body of scientific thought, while it’s open to reinterpretation in ways that fit all the same facts but explain them better and predict new findings better (like what relativity and quantum mechanics did to what came before), our current idea fits the facts the best.

My favorite Internet tools

In no particular order (and for no particular reason …) :

Search engine: Google

Browser: Opera

Mail: GMail

Task lists: Remember The Milk (rmilk.com)

News (sort of): Reddit.com

Goofing off (definitely): Reddit.com (though lately Facebook (shudder) comes in a close second)

Personal axioms

I’ve thought a lot about axioms (things believed to be true without proof) in the context of personal philosophy. The only one I’ve come up with so far, for myself, personally, is “I can derive accurate information about reality via my senses.” Not necessarily perfect, and not necessarily complete, but, on the whole, over time, accurate. Call this Axiom 1.

(Actually, I also include, for completeness, “I exist”. Some philosophers get touchy about this one. Call this Axiom 0.)

What axioms do you have, if any, that do not follow from this one?

As an example, I’ve considered adding to the list “Both inductive and deductive reasoning can yield valid statements about reality”, but I haven’t, because I believe you can show empirically (by observing reality with your senses) that this is true.

Any thoughts?

Update: Wikipedia points out that “observations themselves do not establish the validity of inductive reasoning, except inductively. In other words, observations that inductive reasoning has worked in the past do not ensure that it will always work.”  In more other words, induction cannot empirically prove itself.  So maybe I do have to include induction, and possibly deduction, in an axiom.

Moving to GMail

After many years of using mutt in a terminal (which followed several years of using elm in a terminal), I’m switching to GMail.  I like it already.

As an aside, since I’ve installed Movable Type and made blogging so much more easier than earlier, I’ve already blogged more in the last week than I’d blogged in the last year.

Unfortunately for you Lispers, none of it has been Lisp-related.  Be patient.  I’ll get back to that eventually.

Quick review of MindRaider

I like it, in concept.  I’ve liked the “mind map” idea since I ran into it.

Mind Raider is slow to move from note to note on my machine.  Maybe it’s because my X server is running unaccelerated.  (Which sucks for various reasons and is currently unavoidable.)

The deal killer for me was the note entry mode.  If I want an item bolded I have to type <b></b>.  To do other rich-text stuff you have to enter similar HTML.  Ick.  Won’t do it.  Sorry, I’m picky.

Before I dismiss it completely I should probably check to see if there’s an actual rich-text editor plugin, though.

In the mean time, I’ll stick with TreePad.

My next task …

So my next task, before I write too many entries, is to decide whether I want to use Movable Type to manage just my blog, or my entire site.  I so dislike writing HTML.  (Although I guess that’s a false dichotomy — there are lots of ways to avoid writing HTML.)