QotD: Jon Corbet on linux.conf.au and Linux Australia

In summary, LCA remains unique in its combination of strongly technical talks, freedom-oriented and hands-on orientation, wide variety of topics covered, and infectious Australian humor. There is a reason some of us seem to end up there every year despite the painful air-travel experiences required. Linux Australia has put together a structure that allows the conference to be handed off to a new team in a new city every year, bringing a fresh view while upholding the standards set in the previous years.

— LWN’s Jon Corbet on linux.conf.au, An LCA 2012 Summary

However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light

Playboy: If life is so purposeless, do you feel that it’s worth living?

Kubrick: Yes, for those of us who manage somehow to cope with our mortality. The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning.

Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre, their idealism — and their assumption of immortality.

As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. But if he’s reasonably strong — and lucky — he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s élan.

Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation. He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining.

The most terrifying fact of the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment.

However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.

— Stanley Kubrick, Playboy Interview with Eric Nordern, September 1968

Potentially fatal marriage joke

“Well, I put the towels in the bath tub so the hotel staff know they need to be cleaned.”

— A potentially fatal joke (in the context of marriage), which I apparently survived last night.

… not that the hotel staff took the towels away.

(Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!)

QotD: John McCain’s favourite joke

John McCain's favourite joke

I feel terrible for all the mothers in the state of Arizona because, as you know: Barry Goldwater from Arizona ran for President of the United States, Morris Udall from Arizona ran for President of the United States, Bruce Babbitt from Arizona ran for President of the United States, and I, John McCain from Arizona ran for President of the United States… Arizona may be the only state in the nation where mothers can no longer tell their children that some day they can grow up and be President of the United States.

— John McCain in May 2003, via ZUG’s 100 Senator Prank