zundel

Thursday 285

RIP Dennis Ritchie

Filed under: Computers, Open source — Tags: , , , — zundel @ pm

We owe Dennis Ritchie hugely.
You can read this.
I can write it.

He built the foundations.
And very beautiful and capable foundations.

Other things have been tried but basically we still use Unix and C.
He built those things. And he built them extremely well.

I’ve used some version of Unix since 1979.
Now various distributions of Linux.
I still smile every time I drop to the command line and tinker with the innards.
The elegance, power, and flexibility still please me immensely.
Good tools make a joy of work.
These are the best tools.

Thank you.

Dennis M. Ritchie

Dennis Ritchie obituary

DMR, 1941—2011

Unix combines more obvious-in-retrospect engineering design choices than anything else I’ve seen or am likely to see in my lifetime.

It is impossible — absolutely impossible — to overstate the debt my profession owes to Dennis Ritchie. I’ve been living in a world he helped invent for over thirty years.

Friday 183

Bonnie Tinker

Filed under: Politics, Portland, Society — Tags: , — zundel @ am

I feel a sudden and painful loss, leaving a gaping hole in my fabric of Portland. I don’t know how to describe the absence. She wasn’t a friend. If I flatter myself, I could have once called her colleague and ally: rarer than a friend. I enjoyed working with her.

She made a fierce ally. I remember sitting with her privately at Friends’ in July ’04 and frankly discussing the stark chance of defeating Measure 36. I remember her the year before in that same room trying to add her integrity and realism to the amorphous coalition opposing the invasion of Iraq.

The following quote from her exemplifies the mind and character we have lost:

It is a stark reminder for me that life is easier for sexual minorities of all backgrounds and definitions because other minority groups have struggled for centuries against discrimination. It is often simpler to consider homophobia by itself, to want to work only on “gay issues.” It is simpler, but it is dishonest. Sometimes those of us who are white become so consumed with the injustice we experience that we forget the many ways that white privilege lightens our load.

She wasn’t always easy, but she was often right. I remember her seriousness: the thought and effort, the dedication she applied when something mattered to her. I remember her well informed sharp intelligence and the integrity of her character.

Bonnie Tinker” by Altaira H 2009-07-04

Remembering Bonnie Tinker” by Eileen Flanagan from her blog “Imperfect Serenity” 2009-07-03

Bonnie Tinker – Love Makes A FamilySpirit In Action audio interview by Mark Judkins Helpsmeet 2006-08-06

Queer politics: Local and sustainable?” by Bonnie Tinker in The Portland Alliance July 2006

Language to open hearts and minds” by Bonnie Tinker in The Portland Alliance April 2006

We can’t force people to believe that discrimination is wrong, that the planet needs our protection, that marriage rights are human rights, that war is not the answer. But we can use words in a way that creates the possibility of change by unilaterally disarming our own speech.

20/20: Young Men with Gay Moms” by Alice Irene Pifer from “20/20” ABC News 2004-09-30

Tinker v Des Moines

A video that shows Bonnie’s charm and substance:

Monday 349

Bettie

Filed under: Photo — Tags: — zundel @ am

She always looked comfortable. Always. She never looked undignified because she always looked herself.

She teaches portraitists. Photographed by anyone, in any costume or pose, she, the person, always shows through.

I strive to show a model as a person anywhere near a well as she showed herself with such apparent ease.

Ignore the commentary. Everybody loads what they write about her with interpretation. Just look at the photos. The photos can tell you more than words ever will.

I know how to make the camera lie. I also know how it cannot lie. She revealed more than her skin. I see a person.

She needs no obit, as a poet needs no biography. Her work lives.

queenofpinups.com
vampress.net/bettie/nudes

Bettie Page” from The Pursuit Aesthetic 2008-12-14

Saturday 305

Studs Terkel

Filed under: Society — Tags: , — zundel @ pm

So far, the best article about Studs Terkel comes from 2006: “Saint Studs” by David Murray in The Week Behind.

Or I could just turn to my bookshelf. I consider much of his work essential. I have his The Good War on the shelf. I think the US experience of WW2 incomprehensible without it.
We have a moment not to memorialize the man’s mortal character and words, often presented in many past years, but to re-present his profound work.

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