Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage.

The last twelve months of my life have been extraordinary. I can’t begin to describe how intensely good and bad my experiences in that time were, nor do I want to. I have, however, learned what love is.

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I have not posted about this, because I usually don’t post personal things here. However, this year the long-term (10+ years) relationship I was in came to an end. With that context, here’s a learning experience I did not expect:

  1. Be in a long-term relationship.
  2. During that time, learn to be progressively more open with each other.
  3. Realize how much easier it is to be open like that, and apply more or less the same principle to (close) friends. Enjoy the improvement in mutual trust.
  4. End the long-term relationship.
  5. Try to be as open as you’re now used to with new people you meet/date.
  6. Watch them run and hide in distrust.

I did not expect this to be the most frustrating1 part of the whole experience.

  1. It’s not the worst part, but the one I find hardest to deal with. []

Open Source, Free Software & Fanaticism

So, Eric S. Raymond posted about Richard Stallman, and my first thought was “who cares about ESR these days?”. Then I thought “oh, wow, this could become a nice flamewar”. Then I went and read the article. Yeah, I’m cynical like that.

It turns out ESR makes a few great points. Basically he states that RMS/the FSF is too fanatical, employing quasi-religious rhetoric, and thereby damaging “the cause”. I couldn’t help but agree with every point he made.

But then I was wondering, if I agree with every point, why is it that I still prefer the free software rhetoric over the open source argument1?

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  1. And that despite the fact that I intensely dislike any (quasi-)religiousness, and have been known to fight it in other aspects of life. []

Epic Medical Failure

I got together with my wife in early 2002. In mid- to later 2002, she started suffering from digestive problems. She got treated, got a little better, got worse, other things were diagnosed, she got treated, she got a little better, she got worse.

It’s been ten years now. I’m sure in the meantime, some of the stuff doctors told up turned out to be a diagnosis, and the treatment was alright. But nothing has made my wife any better.

Today, after the umpteenth blood test was performed on her, after she had repeated her huge list of symptoms to the hundredth doctor, one doctor mentioned in passing that she had Gilbert’s Syndrome – a supposedly harmless genetic condition. This isn’t the first blood test where it showed up, either, but nobody felt it was necessary to mention the condition to my wife.

Yet just about every symptom my wife has ever mentioned to anyone shows up on the list of symptoms for this condition.

Words fail me, for how FUCKING stupid this is. Ten years of suffering, not just from the symptoms of the condition, but far more from not knowing, and it’s just because doctors are a bunch of idiots? Really? Nobody put the list of symptoms together with the abnormal blood test results? REALLY?

Well, no, you’ve got to excuse doctors! Because, after all, their guidelines tell them that Gilbert’s syndrome is harmless.

Which in a sense it is. But if a patient comes to you, tells you of their suffering, and lists everything the blood test confirms, you’d THINK that they could FUCKING TELL YOU.

ACTA & Copyright

The German news1 are currently dominated by a verbal battle between proponents and opponents of ACTA. For the uninitiated: ACTA is an attempt to put stricter legislation on the internet, in order for content providers (music/film industry) to better fight piracy.

In this debate, proponents of ACTA love to label any opponent as a pirate, potential pirate, or supporter of piracy. By contrast, ACTA opponents love to accuse ACTA proponents of being enemies of liberty.

The sad thing is, both parties are missing the fundamental truth behind the debate2.

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  1. Quite possibly also the international news; it just appears to be Germans that are sending me links right now. []
  2. I hasten to add, that that’s not actually the case. I’ve read the same argument I’m making below a few times, but it’s raised far too little. That’s why I’m posting this again, to get it more exposure. []