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johnsu01

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Scalene [24 May 2006|10:58am]

Last time I said that I have trouble letting go of things. That's not really true of beef that I accrue with people. That gets let go pretty easily, for almost everyone. But there are some exceptions. My 9th grade geometry teacher, Mr. Taylor, is one of those exceptions. Fifteen or sixteen years later and I'm still having trouble.

Mr. Taylor taught Honors Geometry to 9th graders. I was still in the Honors math program at that point. I went to school in Michigan, and I had Mr. Taylor for first hour. He would open the windows in the winter and force everyone to "huddle up" their desks at the front of the class. He was the football coach at the junior high next door. Did I mention that this was 7:30 am in Michigan in the winter?

Woah, this isn't meant to be my entry about Mr. Taylor. There's too much to say. The only thing I want to say now is that he used to read letters from his ex-students about what a great teacher he was and about how much they use geometry in their jobs now.

I made a promise to myself a long time ago that I would write one of those letters at some point in life; only it would say how I don't use geometry at all in my job, and about how he shouldn't open the windows in Michigan in the winter, or do any of the other ridiculous things he did that I will detail later.

This isn't that letter. But it might be part of it. See, Mr. Taylor failed me two quarters in a row. One of those times, my grade was a 59.4%. Passing was a 60%. He rounded down. The second time was a 56%. I passed the semester overall because I got a high enough grade on the final. But the whole experience got me off the honors math track, and made me hate math. Probably changed the direction of my life somewhat severely.

Anyway, I was at the bar last night playing trivia. This trivia is not the typical bar computer trivia. You play on teams and there's a person who actually reads the questions. So, there aren't that many questions and it's good to not get any of them wrong.

Guess who knew the answer to the geometry question? That's right, Mr. Taylor. Scalene. I knew it. Eat it.

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Moglen quote on DRM [24 May 2006|06:36pm]

I periodically add quotes to my quote file and don't say anything about it. The quotes from that file are what pop up in the right column of any non-blog page on my site. I added this one about DRM today, but it's too eloquent to not put here too.

No, we are not primarily fighting with you about movies. We are primarily fighting to protect our way of making software. Our efforts are designed to protect our right to modify and reinstall, improve, and share software. Don't tell us that we're off on some quixotic, romantic engagement with reshaping the movie business. We're hackers, we make software. Our concern is protecting the integrity of the process that makes software. And all the legal devices that we recommend, and all the trouble that we are making, is to protect our homeland against somebody else, who wants to come in and prevent us from doing science and technology the way science and technology should be done according to us, the scientists and technologists.

— Eben Moglen, at the 2006 Free Software Foundation Associate Member Meeting

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