rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Long Night Too Short

I checked the Windows update page, just in case, even though I've only had this computer for a few weeks. There were over 15Megs of critical updates! It took hours to get them because my connection kept crapping out. Then Micro$oft recommended a vist to the MS Office update page. It turns out that I also need Office service pack 3, which (they say) would take 90 minutes to download at my connection speed. I didn't fetch that. I know that the 90 minutes will stretch into several hours. That's a job for another night. Will no one rid me of this meddlesome Gates?

But after installing all the patches (I always envision Windows as a cheap garment of the sort one would find at K-Mart, worn by a homeless derelict, growing ever more tattered as it quickly ages in its owner's peregrinations through the dangerous slums of the Internet), I had a bit of time to read about something more durable. Advancing technology has made it possible to read a horde of ancient papyri found in Egypt a century ago. Bits of the Greek and Roman worlds unseen for ages will be revealed. I'm wondering how long it will be before any significant portion of it is translated into modern languages, though. Even when it is, it will probably be costly to procure. I don't see the academicians releasing this stuff under a Creative Commons License. We rabble are apt to be waiting a long time before we reap any benefit from this discovery.

I've seen the video of ambiguous smoke coming from the Vatican chimney. It's showing up on every newscast. Invisible talking heads discuss whether it looks more black or more white. It's odd how events that people consider important can make people who think they are doing important work behave like puzzled monkeys. I've been wondering if, should a fire now break out in the Sistine Chapel, everyone watching would mistake its smoke for part of the normal re-Poping process, and fail to call the fire department until it was too late to prevent a burnt offering of barbecued Cardinal?

Time for sleep, obviously.

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