My Best Teaching Is One-on-One

一対一が僕のベスト

Of course, I team teach and do special lessons, etc.

当然、先生方と共同レッスンも、特別レッスンの指導もします。

But my best work in the classroom is after the lesson is over --
going one-on-one,
helping individual students with their assignments.

しかし、僕の一番意味あると思っている仕事は、講義が終わってから、
一対一と
個人的にその課題の勉強を応援することです。

It's kind of like with computer programs, walking the client through hands-on.
The job isn't really done until the customer is using the program.

まあ、コンピュータプログラムにすると、得意先の方に出来上がった製品を体験させるようなことと思います。
役に立たない製品はまだ製品になっていないと同様です。

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Facebook or Basshook?

My wife was interested in a promotion of some sort recently. The promotion requires either facebook or one other social network login to register for.

(What? I have to share my social login stuff with them to join their promo? NO THANKS!)

But I did click the Facebook link.

Did I type in my address? I don't think so. That means the promo must have shared the address I typed in with facebook, without my permission.

So I got a "Just click here to complete your registration." mail.

I did not click.

This is not an "I don't think so." When me wife understood that the promo required facebook or something equally noxious, she said she'd do without the promo.

So, now I suddenly get hundreds of "so-and-so accepted your friend request" and such. I checked the headers and the raw source. These are not spoofs, these are from the facebook servers.

Not sure what to do about it. Even complaining to Facebook requires giving them more information than I gave LinkedIn when I signed up there.

Facebook is poison.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Love and Hate -- 愛と憎み

(This sort of deserves starting another blog, but if I keep doing that, I'm going to have to become a paying customer at Google. Freeloading has limits, and so does my wallet, so I'll keep it here.)
(こんな話題はまた新しいブログを作ってもいい位なんですが、またそうすると、グーグルの正確な顧客にならないといけません。居候は限界があるし、ボクの財布も限界にきているので、このブログに投稿します。)

When I was a student in the primary grades, sometimes the teachers at school and church would talk about how difficult it is to define love. I thought about it at the time and I came up with the following definition of love:
小中学生や高校生の頃、学校や教会の先生方は愛を解説する難しさを偶に取り上げたりしました。先生の話にのってよく考えたら、以下のように愛を定義できると思いました。

  • Love is constructive activities, relationships, and emotions. 愛は、建設的な活動や関係や感情です。

By extension, hate falls out pretty easily:
延長として、憎みの解説は単純に現れてきます。

  • Hate is destructive activities, relationships, and emotions. 憎みは、破滅的、破壊的活動や関係や感情になるでしょう。

Of course, that's an over-simplification, kind of like Newton's 2nd law of dynamics:
これは、やはり、力学のニュートンの2番目の法則のように、簡単すぎな解説です。

F = mA (Force is equal to the product of mass and acceleration.) (作用する力は質量と加速度の積に等しいです。)

But it's a useful basic definition. At least, it has been useful to me.
しかし利用性のある解説です。とにかく、ボクには便利な定義です。

Incidentally, when one considers that building sometimes requires tearing things down a bit, it becomes clear why love and hate don't seem to exist separately.
ところで、ものを建てるには、ものを潰す必要性が偶に出てくることについて深く考えたら、愛と憎みはどうして、まったく別々の存在にはなれないことが見えます。

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

theory of evolution -- 進化論

A friend asked me about the Church's position on evolution.
友人が教会の進化論に対しての立場について伺っています。

Actually, he asked me about shin-ka ron, 進化論、 which could be "The Theory of Evolution" or just "evolution theory". And I don't think he was any more specific than the Japanese expression.
もうちょっと詳しく言えば、「進化論」と言う言葉だけで聞かれると、科学理論の有名ものの一つである「進化論」のことか、それとも一般的に、進化することについての考え方か、どちらかがわからないのです。本人も特にどちらを考えていたかは多分自分でもはっきりしていなかったと思います。

There is an article in the Deseret News, here, from 2006, that asserts "No definitive LDS stance on evolution". It references a "BYU Evolution Packet", apparently, this. The headline isn't quite correct, but that's normal for headlines.
2006年から「末日聖徒は進化論に対して立場を特定しない」と主張する新聞記事が「デゼレトニュース」という新聞のここに掲載された。この記事は「BYU進化論知恵袋」を参照しています。おそらくこれです。ヘッドラインはちょっとハズレですが、ヘッドラインはそんなものでしょう。ちょっと外れるのは普通です。

As I type this, wikipedia has a good article, here. The trouble with wikipedia is that it changes regularly. What may be clear, succinct, and accurate today is sometimes not so clear, accurate, or succinct tomorrow.
打ち込んでいる現在の時点ではウィキペディアにはまあまあいい記事があります。ここです。ウィキペディアの短所ですが、コロコロ変わるのです。今日、明解簡潔で確実な記事は今日あっても、明日には約束がないのです。

Also, FARMS has a review of a book, here, by the two men who prepared the BYU packet, William E. Evenson and Duane E. Jeffery. (The book itself does not appear to be on-line.) And searching through Google, etc., for "BYU evolution packet" produces more interesting links, some of not much value.
またもう一つですが、 FARMS には、BYU進化論知恵袋を編集した二人のウィリアムEエヴェンソン氏とドエインEジェフリー氏が著作した本の評論文をここに掲載されている。(書物そのものは残念ながらネット上に公開していなさそう。)また、グーグルなどで「BYU evolution packet」を検索すると他の面白いリンクが出てきます。あまり価値のないのもありますけど。

The debate is interesting, and may be instructional if you avoid getting caught up in the arguments of either side.
その討論が面白くて、それぞれの議論に夢中にならなければ勉強になるかも知りません。

I need to focus on the job hunt, so I don't have time to post more than this. Even translating it is a stretch of my time. So I should summarize.
就職活動がに専念しないといけないのでこれ以上投稿できません。訳すだけでやり過ぎかも知れません。まとめておきます。

The best summary I can give is that the prophet says none of the sides in the debate has all the truth.
最も正確にまとめようと、預言者の言っていることは討論のどちら側も誰もすべての真実を占めているわけにはいけません。

And the prophets and the apostles keep telling us, let's quit arguing and keep learning truth from wherever God teaches it to us, whether through science or scripture study or friends with different opinions from ourselves. Or direct inspiration. Let's all keep learning.
その上、預言者たちも使徒たちも教えてくれているのは、論争を止めて、真理を、神様がどんなところで教えてくださるにしても、神様から学びましょう。理化学経由にしても、成分研究にしても、自分と違う意見を持つ友達によってもそうです。直接の霊感でも。学び続けましょう。

And, most importantly to this topic, whatever methods of creation were used, man is created in the image of God. We are literally God's children.
そして、この課題に一番大切なのは、どういう創造法に由るのだったとしても、人間は神様に象って作られているモノです。文字通りの神の子で在ります。

And we can repent, learn from our mistakes, turn ourselves towards God's ways, and become much better people than we have been -- We can personally evolve, so to speak.
そして、我々は悔い改めて、間違いから学んで、神の道へ向けて、以前よりはマシな人間になれるでしょう。言えば、個人的に進化できるのです。

Monday, September 9, 2013

What should we do about the NSA?

More revelations about the NSA, Bruce Schneier talks about them here.

Someone asked about it on the debian mailing list, and my knee-jerk reaction was a quote from someone at one of the British counterparts to the US intellegence agencies:
"Those that didn't know about it were gobsmacked."
(Not sure I got that accurate.) To which I added
If any of that surprises you, you haven't been paying attention.

Technology, we can work on a few things to hold them at bay for a little longer.
But keep your nose clean. Don't be a target.

Anything that must be private, keep it off the internet.

Have as few things that have to be kept private as you can.
Develop a good relationship with God, by whatever name you call That
Ultimate Entity, because that's going to be your only help in the end.

The best security is to not have anything worth attacking.

Technology can only go so far. It's always a war of attrition, which is the gaping hole in the NSA's logic in going from theory to practice, en-masse. So we can only keep them at bay for a little bit longer at any particular point in time. If you can't keep up, you're exposed.

That's the reason for going "religious".

War is always a game of going one better against the other guy until someone runs out of the will to do it again, or until someone runs out of resources. It doesn't end until somebody gives in. (That's actually one of the underlying messages of the Book of Mormon, by the way.)

New technology only adds new ways of going one better.

People who want you to pay them for making new technological weapons will argue that their technology can "beat the bad guys".

Funding development of new technology is usually a win-win, but this particular reason is all wrong, for all sorts of reasons.

In the first place, we have met the enemy and (Hi, Pogo) discovered we were looking in the mirror.

There are no bad guys, no good guys. (There's only you and I and a bunch of other people and sometimes we just disagree about something. Hi, Jim, Hi, Dave.)

Beating the bad guy is always a bad reason.

And if you admit that you may be just as bad, beating the other guy becomes an even worse reason, unless you know how to stop before someone gets seriously hurt.

In the second place, weapons are not the only or even the best use of technology. Neither is war. It's the easy use, in many cases, but that's no excuse, because of the first reason and the third, the reason I have already mentioned: It ain't gonna end until someone gives up or gives in.

In the third place, it's usually the bigger guy who gives in first. You see, the bigger you are, the more you get accustomed to the idea that there is always someone bigger than you are. You beat one enemy, and there's always going to be another. In video games, there's always the final enemy, the big boss. But there's always another video game.

In real life, there's always another bigger guy to beat.

Abraham was shown this, thousands of years ago, if you believe the LDS scripture. It's just as true now.

That brings up the fourth reason and I'll stop with reasons here: God is greater than all of us.

The only way to achieve real security is to develop a good relationship with the Ultimate Entity, as I said above.

I have to acknowledge that humans invent a lot of false gods, because they can't seem to wangle the real God. I'll also acknowledge that there is an influence, a lying influence, that runs around swaggering and claiming to be God, but is not. These are two issues you have to get around before you can start developing a relationship with the real Ultimate Entity.

But if you can get around those (and around your own desire to manipulate reality), you find that God is actually your friend.

Once you can understand that God is your friend, once you can see that God is your ultimate friend, you are no longer vulnerable to the NSA or any other artifact of man's greed.

So, what should we do about the NSA?

First things first, get your own computer in order. Then get your own house, your own life in order.

Wipe Microsofts or Apple's stuff off of it and load a free-as-in-freedom OS.

If you insist on Microsoft or Apple's stuff, think about the free-as-in-beer 3rd-party stuff you've downloaded. Any of those is one too many.

If the source code is not available for you and/or a skilled friend to look at, and if the license doesn't say you and/or your friend can modify the code, it's free-as-in-beer, not free-as-in-freedom.

Understand the difference between free beer and freedom. Okay, that should be the first thing:

Understand the difference between free drugs and freedom.

Well, I can't tell you all the things about repentance you need to know. If you don't have a religion, or a guiding philosophy, find one. You have to start somewhere.

(I'd like to tell you about the so-called "Mormon" brand of Christianity, but you have to take your own course. You're welcome, of course, to check us out, but if that's not your first place to start, start at your own first place to start.)

Be willing to change your ideas about religion, because you are only human, and humans can get wrong ideas. (That goes for any religion or philosophy, including atheism and Mormonism and Shintoism and anything else. No magic incantations that make you suddenly "right".) We all have some wrong ideas now and then. But try to change your ideas for the better, not for the worse.

And don't assume that you have to suddenly throw it all away just because maybe you didn't understand a few things quite right before. A few steps at a time will get you further than one giant step you're too afraid to take.

Once you get connected (or reconnected) with your conscience, learn how to talk with God. Understand that there are deceiving spirits and try to avoid them, but learn how to commune with your conscience. It can tell you right and wrong.

And it can also help you know about strategic things, like whether it's really time to throw away your non-free OS and try debian or openbsd or one of the more popular ones, or one of the more freedom-oriented ones.

And it can motivate you to learn how to use passwords and user names properly. And other things about using the things you have wisely.

So, what to do about all the people who want to steal your privacy?

Don't get too excited.

Get in touch with your conscience first. Once you're in touch with your conscience, the rest comes along, a bit at a time.







Saturday, September 7, 2013

decentralization -- 集中排除

Up until last Monday, I had been using my free-loader account at dyn.com to publish my personal web server at the domain name reiisi.homedns.org. They've been changing the lineup in their free product line, which is perfectly within their rights. But, right now, I can't afford to pay even the small yearly fee for basic dynamic dns, so my personal web server is now off-line.

先週の月曜日までは、 dyn.com のボクの無料アカウントを使って reiisi.homedns.org のドメイン名で自家用のサーバーを公開していました。 dyn.com の方は、オマケの製品を調節しています。その責任と権限は当然彼らのものです。しかし、ボクは、その基本動的 dns のわずかな料金にしても、今は財布から出せないのです。そのため、ボクの個人ウェブサーバーが繋がらないままです。

For various technical reasons, I had wanted to move to a paying account years ago. But I have to feed my family.

技術上のいろんな理由で有料のアカウントに変えたかったんですが、家族は皆食べないといけません。

Why do I think it's important to have my own domain name?

どうして、自分のドメイン名が大事なのでしょう?

Decentralization.

ディセントラリゼーションです。集中排除。

A decentralized network is a more robust network. (This principle needs further discussion, but not here.)

集中排除分散化ネットワークは頑丈です。(この原則を議論したいけど、ここの今ではない。)

In the original plan for the internet, every terminal computer attached to the network was supposed to have its own host (sub-domain) name. (And its own permanent IP address, but that's another topic for another day.)

インターネットの元々の計画では、ネットワークに接続する端末コンピュータは固有のホスト名(下位ドメイン名)を割り当てられているはずです。(さらに、IP アドレスも持っているはずですが、それはまた違う日の課題です。)

So, if my provider were yahoo (It isn't.), yahoo might set me up with reiisi.yahoo-f.jp, and that would be the name of my router (and perhaps a primary computer behind my router). Other computers inside my router might be named clown.reiisi.yahoo-f.jp, merciless.reiisi.yahoo-f.jp, and nohat.reiisi.yahoo-f.jp. And I could set up mail addresses of my own, say, littleguy@reiisi.yahoo-f.jp.

(ヤフーではないけど)仮にプロバイダーがヤフーだとすると、ヤフーからは reiisi.yahoo-f.jp のドメイン名を割り当ててくれるとします。それが家のルーターのアドレスになる。(またルーターのこちら側の主コンピュータのドメイン名かも知れません。)内側のほかのコンピュータは例えば clown.reiisi.yahoo-f.jp や merciless.reiisi.yahoo-f.jp 及び nohat.reiisi.yahoo-f.jp. そして自分でEメールアドレスを割り当てるのです。例えば littleguy@reiisi.yahoo-f.jp.

This solves a whole lot of security-related problems, all by itself. If, for instance, littleguy@reiisi.yahoo-f.jp becomes a spam magnet because I gave it to an unscrupulous salesman, I no longer have to ask my ISP for a new address.

これだけでいろんなセキュリティの問題を解決します。例えば、 littleguy@reiisi.yahoo-f.jp を良心の無い営業マンに渡してしまって、要求無し営利的Eメールがどっさりと入ってくる場合は、わざわざ新しいEメールアドレスを ISP に頼む必要がない。

That's just a small example of how the current centralized mode of control makes a mess of the internet.

これはただ一つの小さい例えですが、現在のインターネットが集中型管理によってどれほど管理できなくなっているかが見えてくると思います。

It's time to change.

改革の時期です。

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

grokked

PJ, at groklaw, recently realized that the internet, in its present form, is just too tempting for the control freaks who tend to gravitate to the tops of bureaucracies. And that the technology ultimately does not change the traceability of communication.

So, rather than risk receiving a warrant from bureaucrats on out of control fishing expeditions, she has decided to shutter Groklaw, apparently on the theory that operating it is tantamount to operating a honeypot for an out the out-of-control government that the US government has become. (Reference the NSA "revelations".)

In order to avoid argument, she locked comments on her final post. So, instead, the loyal readers are commenting via the previous post.

Many of those who have participated in her forum feel that shuttering it is unavoidable.

As a Christian who believes the Revelation of John, I see the end game. Truth will cover the earth as a flood, but that kind of leaves much of what we have assumed about privacy washed away in the flood. Someday, I'd like to write something about that, but rant like my blog posts will not do.

Why am I posting this here? I'm not sure.

Freedom has never come free. I've been trying to talk directly about that on my free-is-not-free blog. But it seems like I am talking around the real problems, after all. Not directly, at all. I've mentioned some relevant issues in my defining computers blog and pages, as well. (Security is not privacy or freedom, by the way.)

My solution to PJ's conundrum would be to just add a clause in the groklaw's site policies -- that the site operators would try to avoid cooperating with the tyrants in government, but that there are no promises.

That's the most that can be promised, anyway. We have no right to demand that another should put their lives on the line in some pre-programmed way, and that's what making any more promises than that would encompass.

If PJ cannot be comfortable with that, shuttering the site may be the best part of wisdom on her part. We can't judge that.

As far as making technology that would circumvent the attempts of the various governments to use a news forum for their own spying, the only way to make that kind of thing work is to set up a irregular, large volume wash of what is essentially identical to the spam we hate so much, and use steganography to hide the posts in the flow.

And if we could, what would we have done? Nameless voices are, in the end, nameless.

Nameless is good when you are doing what Jesus called "alms". In political movements, temporary anonymity helps keep movements alive in a hostile society, but the movers have to be ready for when the anonymity is inevitably broken. This is part of freedom, the willingness to take a stand in your own name on important issues. That's what redeems Snowden's behavior most of all.

Conclusion? I have none to offer beyond this. Setting up a temporary anonymous zone so that sites like Groklaw can continue is a bit beyond our current technological context.

What the wash looks like, by the way, is essentially pushing the internet to its correct form, fully distributed, every end-user running his or her or their own local servers -- e-mail, news, editorial (blog), etc. Beyond that, I don't have time to describe now, other than pointing to steganography.

We do have to break our current dependence on centralized certification and centralized software distribution. Proprietary IP does not mix well into this. (Go away, Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, Intel, and all your ilk.) This is a technical requirement.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

love passion power and Chicago

My wife put on her Best of Chicago album (the more recent one) again just now. She's been listening to it a lot lately, I'm not sure why.

I'm a fan of Chicago. I have several albums stored somewhere across the Pacific, about half of their albums from Chicago Transit Authority to around Chicago XI. Some are rotting on tape, unfortunately.

To me, Chicago VII was the pinnacle of their work, and I still think so. Unfortunately, they backed away from their experiments in fusion jazz after that. Mixed with their high-fructose pop output, I'd have liked them to put out some more albums with the heavy fusion influence shown in VII. (Maybe it would have been hard for them to do that without Terry Kath -- the chemistry of a group changes when a member is taken away like that.)

(I notice that Stone of Sisyphus was released around five years ago while I wasn't looking.)

So we're listening to Chicago, somewhere before the tune "Stay the Night" in the play order, and I'm thinking that Chicago, except for V and VII, is pretty much heavy metal for non-metalheads. Metal adapted to pop.

But "Stay the Night" begs analysis. It came out while I was at BYU, and I and most of my friends listened to it, even danced to it, without really thinking too deeply about the lyrics. This was about a boy's passion for a girl, that was all.

I mean, I understood the irony in Heart's "Dreamboat Annie" when I was in High School. (Love that album. And wisdom and experience tell me so many more things when I listen to it now.) But it was several years later, when I met my cousin's sometimes boyfriend that she just couldn't leave behind, before I started really facing the irony that "Stay the Night" is so representative of.

Read the lyrics sometime. It's definitely youthful passion, definitely not the higher emotions of love. Watch the video with Debby Evans. It's amusing, very juvenile, very instructive of the value of juvenile passion.
I don't want you to misunderstand me

(But does he want to take the time to understand her?)
I just want to say what's on my mind
No need to hit me with an attitude
Because I haven't got the time
(No time? What's so much more important than understanding?)

And so forth. When passion remains untempered, when nothing gets in the way, something is lost.

I still enjoy the music, and the way it underscores the melodramatic lyrics. It seems I enjoy popular music now for the irony as much as I used to for the passion.