2010.06.18 19:00 - Registrars, and Servers, and DNS Managers! oh my!

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Pema Pera. The comments are by Pema Pera.

    Pema Pera: Hi Calvino!
    Calvino Rabeni: Pema :)
    Pema Pera: I'm glad that we're now streamlining the wiki setup
    Pema Pera: but I have to admit, I'm still not fully clear as to the three aspects of a web site:
    Calvino Rabeni: Consolidating resources
    Pema Pera: registrar, web server, and what is the third name?
    Calvino Rabeni: DNS management
    Calvino Rabeni: If I gave my view, it could easily be wrong, but ...
    Calvino Rabeni: I believe there is some technical reason why there can be only one registrar for a given domain
    Calvino Rabeni: it functions as an authoritative source of information
    Calvino Rabeni: the domain would be something like playasbeing.org
    Calvino Rabeni: then there are subdomains - addresses within the main domain, such as wiki.playasbeing.org
    Calvino Rabeni: those don't require registration
    Calvino Rabeni: there are name servers all over the internet, that translate from those URL names to the numeric address of the actual server
    Calvino Rabeni: keeping track of all of those directories is DNS management
    Calvino Rabeni: it is like the forwarding service and translation
    Calvino Rabeni: then there is the place where the programs are run, the hosting service
    Calvino Rabeni: it only cares about the numeric address

    As you can see, this is becoming a rather technical session :-)

    Pema Pera: so web server is kitchen, where the work is done; registrar is the doorman; and DNS manager is the maitre D' ?
    Pema Pera: (or the waiters/waitresses)
    Calvino Rabeni: hmm, going to a nightclub instead
    Calvino Rabeni: Adults only
    Calvino Rabeni: the registrar is the one who issues the ID card
    Calvino Rabeni: the maitre D / doorman is the person who meets them at the door, checks their ID and says - down the stairs
    Calvino Rabeni: the hosting server is the club itself
    Pema Pera: okay, that makes sense
    Calvino Rabeni: If you open a command window (Mac or Windows) and type "Ping playasbeing.org"
    Calvino Rabeni: you get - 216.146.47.162
    Calvino Rabeni: but with no response, since there is an address mapping but no server listening to that address
    --BELL--
    Calvino Rabeni: If you say "ping wiki.playasbeing.org" you get the same address, but with a reply, which comes from the wiki server
    Calvino Rabeni: sorry, that first IP is 216.98.141.250
    Calvino Rabeni: but no server
    Calvino Rabeni: that shows the difference between the hosting server and the DNS translation service
    Pema Pera: that is very helpful, such a conrete example, thank you!
    Calvino Rabeni: So, if we want to move the WOK wiki...
    Calvino Rabeni: did you see my email on that?
    Pema Pera: what is common? do people typically use three different companies?
    Pema Pera: (no, not yet)
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't know any statistics on that, or the reasons for choosing them
    Calvino Rabeni: it would depend on convenience of administration, and cost
    Pema Pera: I could argue either way: consolidation seems simpler, but you might wonder about putting all eggs in one basket
    Pema Pera: (just saw your email -- thanks, will reply soon)
    Calvino Rabeni: OK

    We switch to wider quesions.

    Calvino Rabeni: Do you know whether Wolfram Alpha has any traction in the scientific computing community?
    Pema Pera: haven't heard anything about it yet
    Pema Pera: have you played with it?
    Calvino Rabeni: No, I don't really have a need for informal quantitative queries
    Calvino Rabeni: I assume they haven't gotten into semantics yet
    Pema Pera: that's the holy grail, for everybody :-)
    Calvino Rabeni: seems that it is
    Calvino Rabeni: one of the upstarts was twine.com
    Calvino Rabeni: recently they were acquired, under conditions of financial hardship
    Calvino Rabeni: by a company that wanted to position itself in semantic search
    Pema Pera: it basically is the door to real AI . . . .
    Calvino Rabeni: from my point of view, it was a mistake, because they dropped the "social" part of the semantic computing process
    Calvino Rabeni: that is, they took a step backward, thinking in the more classical way, of semantic as a property of objects, rather than of the subject/object relationship
    Calvino Rabeni: in practice, that means, they dropped participation and user-submitted content
    Calvino Rabeni: and in that way, lost their distinction from traditional search engines such as Google
    Pema Pera: interesting!
    Calvino Rabeni: for a lot of the twine.com community, the social aspect was important
    Calvino Rabeni: but their accounts were taken to the acquiring company, and lost the interactivity and "social" dimension
    Calvino Rabeni: and became a *lot* less interesting
    Pema Pera: yes, the bottleneck in progress of most technical and scientific developments that are complex seems to be a lack of appreciation of the role of the subject, as qualitatively different from that of an object
    Calvino Rabeni: now the site, appears like just another "what's popular on the web?" engine
    Calvino Rabeni: Exactly, Pema,
    Calvino Rabeni: It seems a philosphical bias, with very practical consequences

    Indeed, I'm always surprised to see how important philosophy really is, especially when we don't realize that we act out an unacknowledged philosophy.

    Pema Pera: very much so -- and there is a funny parallel between phenomenology and category theory
    Calvino Rabeni: listens
    Pema Pera: in both cases people initially don't see the value
    Pema Pera: it seems so trite
    Pema Pera: and superficial, not much depth to it
    Pema Pera: until you really get into it, and then notice that your whole way of life is changing
    Pema Pera: the way you look at things, the way you *parse* things really
    --BELL--
    Pema Pera: ha, I wish I had more time, but I have a category theory interdisciplinary circle that I established two weeks ago here in Kyoto :-) -- can't miss my own RL meeting. bfn, we should definitely follow this up!
    Pema Pera: bfn

    After I left, Calvino provided some interesting ideas for the long -- read on!

    Calvino Rabeni: OK, good to see you Pema
    Calvino Rabeni: For the log readers....
    Calvino Rabeni: to complete that thought ...
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, I was thinking of a funny example of that today
    Calvino Rabeni: I was sweeping a large driveway with a broom
    Calvino Rabeni: and remembering oriental movies or american remakes like Karate Kid
    Calvino Rabeni: the student had a job to do something like paint the fence, or wax something
    Calvino Rabeni: and the conventional interpretation is that it's just serving the teacher, maybe to prove loyalty, who knows, but unrelated to karate skills
    Calvino Rabeni: the view is theres (1) painting a fence, and (2) learning karate techniques, and they are obviously unrelated
    Calvino Rabeni: but actually, (1) is practice developing skills of (2), via the missing piece of the equation - (3) the Subject, the one who is learning to see, relax, be aware, coordinate movements, strengthen muscles and tendons, get good concentration, etc.
    Calvino Rabeni: In the most general case, any (1) and (2) activities are related in some way through (3), which is awareness / consciousness / subjectivity, the context for *all* activities
    Calvino Rabeni: and so in principle any activity could be "practice" that creates capabilities that may be transferable to other areas of experience
    Calvino Rabeni: as in the story of a student at a fighting workshop I attended, who sprained her ankle
    Calvino Rabeni: so the teacher said, no problem, here, sit over there on the side, and toss paper clips into this cup
    Calvino Rabeni: (since the student was an intermediate student, he didn't have to add "WITH YOUR FULL AWARENESS AND NOTICE WHAT IS GOING ON")
    Calvino Rabeni: In my view (others may differ) that's a hint about what to during the 90 or 9 second awareness break that is being promoted here in PlayAsBeing
    --BELL--
    Calvino Rabeni: that is, dropping as then becoming fully present, which done "HERE" can also be done in ANY activity and benefit it accordingly
    Calvino Rabeni: I was also thinking of alternatives to the timed structure of those 9-second breaks
    Calvino Rabeni: something equally practical, and embedded in an active life
    Calvino Rabeni: One such technique (from various traditions) is to use specific structures in experience to remind oneself to shift awareness in specific ways
    Calvino Rabeni: that is, events as alarms or reminders to wake up and be aware
    Calvino Rabeni: like when going through doorways - thresholds are symbolic
    Calvino Rabeni: leaving the house - passing through the door - dropping the leftover concerns about everything happening there, clearing,and reorienting to the "different" world on the other side of the threshold, becoming present with that.
    Calvino Rabeni: Another is, when passing through a large room, go through the center of it, maybe pause there (physically or just in imagination), drop any "one sided" fixations of attention or "tunnel vision", and feel the openness, wholeness, and spaciousness of the room around.
    Calvino Rabeni: A way to experience being "centered" and "open" in an embodied way
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm not sure how much this needs justification to a conventional way of thinking...
    Calvino Rabeni: the idea that the practice creates a consciousness that is "transferable" to other activities
    Calvino Rabeni: for example, the work task done in the next room, might benefit from having a wider variety of options (say,if its a creative or problem solving task)
    Calvino Rabeni: Being "open" or "centered", etc. are abstractions of something that occurs in different specific ways in many domains of experience
    Calvino Rabeni: And that brings me to the end of the PaB session.
    Calvino Rabeni: Thanks, "Log", good to talk to you :)
    --BELL--
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye for now :)

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