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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in ding dong's LiveJournal:

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    Saturday, September 8th, 2012
    2:21 pm
    The future is already here, it's just not very evenly distributed.

    -William Gibson

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    Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
    10:16 pm
    From reddit:

    "When I was a libertarian, and subscriber to /libertarian, I failed to understand this concept.

    But it became clear after a while, that when you remove government authority, it gets replaced with individual authority, gang authority, which are just as bad.

    The second you remove government from a market, that market becomes free for anyone to abuse and conduct unfairness to give themselves the advantage. Libertarians have to accept that ALL people are genuinely and inherently GOOD and FAIR, and they have to believe in the myth of perfect-information for all consumers, for a lassiez-faire capitalist system to work.

    What I didn't realize was humans have the biological instinct, preservation instinct, and greed, to take every opportunity to give themselves the upper hand. The Government's job is to level the playing field so every player in the market has an equal starting point."

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    Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
    6:31 pm

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    Monday, March 12th, 2012
    11:53 pm
    "I believe that in a society with things such as free universal health care and guaranteed retirement income, humans will be much more free to make 'rational' decisions. Finances and health, in my opinion, are two of the greatest emotional factors at play in human decision making. It seems natural in my mind that philosophies which rely on rational action would desire to eliminate the sources of emotional stress in human action. " - archangelwar

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    Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
    4:30 am

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    Sunday, October 9th, 2011
    12:18 pm

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    Saturday, August 20th, 2011
    9:57 am

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    Sunday, July 3rd, 2011
    11:32 am

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    Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
    2:42 pm

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    Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
    3:50 am
    An SQL injection works something like this.

    First, you have an SQL statement, like this:

    INSERT INTO table_users (firstname, lastname, age) VALUES ('Jim', 'Dogfort', 17);

    That's a specific format which tells SQL to look up the database table named "table_users" and put three values into three specific fields, such that "Jim" goes into the "firstname" field, "Dogfort" goes into the "lastname" field, and "17" goes into the "age" field.

    (SQL treats strings of text and numbers differently, which is why 17 isn't enclosed in single-quotes.)

    The end of a line (or a command) is noted by the semicolon. Generally we put each command on their own line because it makes it more readable to humans, but SQL doesn't care so long as each command ends with a semicolon.

    All fairly straightforward.

    Now, what if someone does something like that xkcd comic I listed? Let's change the lastname entry to '); DROP TABLE table_users; instead.

    INSERT INTO table_users (firstname, lastname, age) VALUES ('Jim', ''); DROP TABLE table_users;', 17);

    Reading through this, SQL sees three things:

    1. It sees an INSERT statement just like our first one. As far as it can tell, we're telling it to insert "Jim" into "firstname", put nothing into "lastname", and we're not giving it a value for age. At this point, depending on the SQL version and the server settings, it may give an error, because we told it we're putting something in "age" but we're not.

    2. The second thing it sees is a new statement. DROP TABLE means "delete this table and everything inside it." So even if there's 10,000 entries, it all just got deleted.

    3. Then it sees "', 17);" which doesn't make any sense. It'll spit out an error here, but at this point it doesn't matter because the damage is done.

    In order to avoid this, good coders will scrub any incoming text in order to clean up stuff like quotation marks so that the SQL won't misunderstand it. Lazy coders don't bother.

    With an SQL injection attack like the one LulzSec used, they probably did something similar to this, but instead of having the table deleted, they got SQL to echo back to them the contents of the table. So they can see who all the users are and all of their information.

    ((all of the above is a comment from reddit. i find it interesting that most 'hacking' activities consist of the above. it's interesting from a coding perspective, because it exemplifies that most security vulnerabilities aren't due to the software, but the people using it.))

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    Sunday, June 5th, 2011
    4:34 pm

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    Saturday, June 4th, 2011
    3:14 am

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    Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
    12:29 pm
    Ever had a dream that made you think you were more creative than you really are?

    I had two dreams. The first one I had two little sisters and one little brother. I think we were defending the Earth from an alien invasion. The aliens were like us, humanoid, but they were a bit more red and had purple streaks across their bodies. I think one of them threw a ball of energy at me and I materialized a giant bat and hit it back to him or something.

    I think this was the same dream, but a bit later I'm in this mansion I apparently live in, and a bit of my real memory creeps in. I think there were a couple details like my littlest sister being angry with me, and me taking out the trash in this kitchen that resembled my real one (not the kind you'd find in a mansion). The real memory was that I lived with my mother most of my life, a single parent, as an only child. The only conclusion I could come to was that someone went back in time and married my mother after I was born, creating these other children and this alternate reality. I guess I woke up shortly after accusing my mother of remembering as well but not caring.

    The last dream was really amazing. It was like I was in a Disney musical mixed with a sort of anime style. The first scene was these kids fighting against shadow creatures. They had a robot companion with them that was providing the only source of light with his glowing eyes, and the shadow creatures just barely stayed at bay from this light. Some of them attacked anyway. Some sort of flying shadow crows up in the sky decided 'screw it' and grabbed the robot, making the light go away and changing the scene. Suddenly, a girl was walking around with a torch, and the way the scene changed it was like the robot opening its eyes to create that light and then it's revealed the light was made by a torch. I guess cinematic techniques creep into your dreams. So, the girl sees a younger girl next to a broken companion robot, except this one is pink and in pieces. They're both depressed, because they thought the other just came to save them (I assume some bad stuff is going on, what with the shadow creatures in he previous scene and the dearth of adults).

    So, the older one tries to help fix the robot, and they start singing. Just so everyone knows, I have no singing ability. I'd love to, but my accent just mangles anything song-like that comes out of my mouth. But these girls had perfect singing voices and had matching lyrics. I think, at this point, I was there too, but I was in this living room type of place, and I was watching this unfold as if I was watching a movie. It was a dark, nighttime, so I started to get worried that someone was hearing the movie.

    Man, I hope we progress one day to where you're watching a movie from inside a movie. Talk about immersion. Imagine BEING the camera, see what you want to see at any angle or distance you choose. Right now you sort of have that in video games, but it's different. Typically you're the main character, it's all rendered graphically, not actual actors, and it doesn't happen the whole way through. Plus, you're still looking at a monitor in a video game. It's not virtual reality.

    Anyway, another striking thing about the song is I vividly remember the tune and some of the lyrics. I know that in the dream the lyrics were perfect, and I lost some of that memory upon waking up, but I was amazed that I could create a tune and lyrics that matched the scene on the spot. I'm thinking that maybe I heard the tune somewhere before, but who knows? It's certainly more likely that I borrowed it from the back of my memory instead of creating it from scratch. I woke up in the middle of the song, probably because reality creeped in after I thought I was watching a movie and was worried people who were sleeping might hear it.

    I hate it when dreams end that way. I've had some that didn't end abruptly and reached their (logical) conclusion, but the vast majority don't. They end on a cliffhanger. I try to avoid watching TV series until a season is over so I can avoid those stupid cliffhangers, but I can't avoid them in my dreams! It's because I'm too damn self-conscious in my dreams. I start worrying in certain situations what others may think and then I usually wake up shortly after. Why do I care? Some cool stuff is happening, why do I care what others think? Oh well.

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    Saturday, May 14th, 2011
    9:21 am

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    Thursday, May 12th, 2011
    10:14 am

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    Monday, May 9th, 2011
    8:13 pm
    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/05/05/orrin-hatch-tax-poor-people/
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/09/974476/-Senate-Republicans-vow-to-gut-Consumer-Financial-Protection-Bureau?detail=hide
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/07/wisconsin-recall-election_n_859011.html

    "With all due respect, when the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee openly declares that he wants to raise taxes on the poor and middle class to pay for tax cuts for the rich, 44 out of 47 Senate Republicans vow to filibuster any nominee to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau because it has too much power to advocate for the middle class, and at the state level are fast-tracking attempts to disenfranchise voters before said voters try to remove them from office, it is not possible as an informed citizen to conclude otherwise.

    Once, I believed that your party had some good ideas and that it could act as a responsible counterweight to the tendency of democracies to vote ever-increasing funds out of the treasury to support the indolent poor. Hell, I even thought that we wouldn't make it until May with not a single jobs bill introduced by Republican House and Senate leadership - I really thought there might have been at least one patriot out of the nearly 300 Republican members of the House and Senate. I'm a Christian, and I was taught from an early age to pray for my enemies, to turn the other cheek, and to try to understand those who try to hurt me, because most of the time they are in error rather than malicious. Now, though, I have lost any sense of respect or assumption of good faith for the people you have voted into office. They're evil. They have no interest in the good of the nation, only the good of their pocketbooks and the wealthy interests they represent. I despair of finding an honest man or woman that flies the elephant flag, and I have honestly wept at the knowledge that more than a full half of government has become an unquestionably evil force."

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    Thursday, April 28th, 2011
    6:22 pm
    http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney

    "We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself."

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    Sunday, April 3rd, 2011
    11:01 pm
    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/04/03/tax-cutting-nathan-deal/

    "Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."

    ~ John Steinbeck

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    5:54 am
    I saw this sort of thing in a previous thread. The problem is not with the group you think is expressing hypocrisy, but with yourself: You don't understand that there's a fundamental difference in ideology.

    You argue that on the basis of government intervention, pro-choice people should be denouncing other instances of government intervention, but that's ignoring the big picture. That's assuming that they hold the same 'small government' mindset as their peers.

    The way I see it, many pro-choice people are part of the 'preventative government' ideology. That the government is there to prevent catastrophic either from the mistakes of people, or through no fault of their own. That means financial, medical, physical, mental, and philosophical.

    I like to compare The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) with car insurance. That's mandated, too. It provides the same sort of thing. How can you denounce PPACA but not car insurance? Because people have a choice of getting a car or not? To me, that seems like a cop-out. A lot of times they don't have a choice when it comes to work. Plus, with the mindset of 'preventative government', this all fits in. The government should protect you from catastrophic financial failure due to your car crashing. If you figure in the potential hospital costs, you can begin to wonder why health insurance isn't more closely tied to car insurance.

    I believe when this type of government was created, it was made to protect the common person from oppression by nobles or royalty. Preventative government fits in with that, but you can see from recent history that it has failed to do so. CEO pays rose tremendously, while the vast majority of people little to no increases in their living wage despite inflation eating up all their disposable income. White collar jobs have become blue collar, and blue collars have become poor. When something like this happens, it is the failure of the government to protect the interests of those pursuing a living wage.

    You can apply this to education as well. Is it the fault of the person being born into a disenfranchised, dysfunctional, and poor family? Why is their only choice an underfunded school? Why do they deserve less of an education than someone who was more fortunate to be born into a rich family?

    Small government types want to return to the 1920's. They want 'every man for himself', but if they lost everything, they would change their tunes. They're fine with small government as long as they, personally, are met with the least amount of inconvenience for as long as they are financially stable. The problem is that they see the opposition as trying to equalize them with poor people until everyone is poor, but the 'preventative government' mindset is one that gives everyone a fair shake. You can still end up poor, disenfranchised, make some really horrible decisions, but this should always be the worst case scenario, not just a natural progression from their upbringing and permanently-poor financial situation.

    So, yeah, the biggest thing would be government preventing a person's failure through no fault of their own. To protect their rights is to insure them against the elements, against the accidents and medical conditions that they are not responsible for. And if any of this is the result of a mistake, these people aren't punished with complete loss of their own future.

    I have more examples, but you get the point.

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    Monday, March 14th, 2011
    8:29 pm

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