January 29, 2008
Security vs. Privacy

Security vs. Privacy: "If privacy and security really were a zero-sum game, we would have seen mass immigration into the former East Germany and modern-day China. While it's true that police states like those have less street crime, no one argues that their citizens are fundamentally more secure."

(Via Schneier on Security.)

Posted by ed at 09:46 AM
January 02, 2008
The meaning of life

Once in a while I get caught up speculating about the futility of existence, and just what the point of it all is. I vaguely worry that my life has no real meaning and that I haven't done anything in particular to leave a mark on the world. Blah, blah, blah.

Lately I just don't care all that much about stuff like that. But I do want to feel like I am contributing something, and I don't mean giving money to charity.

As everyone who knows me knows, I am a Star Wars freak. As in I dress up like a Stormtrooper for fun on weekends as a member of the 501st Legion. The cool thing about the legion is that when we do an event all we ask is that the people requesting our presence donate money to a charity in the name of the legion. That way we do good while indulging in our geeky hobby. Some events are silly (children's birthday parties), and some are very serious. Sometimes our presence is charity in and of itself.

We have an event coming up in August that is serious indeed. We will be visiting a camp for terminally ill children. These kids will most likely be dead within a year after we visit. In the long term meaning of life sort of context this visit does nothing. These children are doomed to die tragic deaths, what good will meeting a bunch of Star Wars characters do in the long run? These kids have no 'long run'. Still, I consider this event the most important one I have ever done and I am really looking forward to making those kids smile, even if for only a moment.

And I will be very glad that I will have a helmet on to hide the tears.

Posted by ed at 04:18 PM