October 30, 2002

First of all thank you Jim, Duane and Tyran (your comments were the ones I received last night before I went to bed and so they had the most immediate effect – but I thank the others for their comments as well …) for your comments on the issue of decisions because you again made me lose my tunnel vision where all I could see was myself and my immediate problems. You made me realize that others face the same problems and that they too make hard decisions instead of just saying to heck with morality and do whatever they feel like (which was what brought up this introspection in the first place …). Strangely enough, that made me feel better and so I had a good night of sleep – so thank you :-)

Of course, I now have to clarify a few things about last night’s post and this probably will mean that we don’t get to talk about PostMan or Blog today but I really think that this is a good discussion and am even considering transplanting it to GroupHug since that mailing list does have people interested in this kind of issue – and yes, that was a blatant plug for GroupHug since that list hasn’t got where it was supposed to be due to lack of members. But I digress again … I have this bad habit of adding a lot of extraneous stuff to what I write and clouding the issue – I apologize for that. First of all, I do realize that an individual has to make the best choice that s/he can under given circumstances and they can’t really control the reactions of others – only their actions and while I did talk about chaos theory and seemed to imply that I was worried about the far reaching effects of my actions, what I was really trying to say was that I felt that each of my actions has effects and that I was worried about the *immediate* (as in the next two or three ripples …) effects of my actions.

To illustrate, I knew this person several years ago who called me up (or was it IM’ed? I forget …) at work and said words to the effect that she had a gun and was contemplating using it unless I came over right then – or something along those lines, I forget the exact scenario. Now I believe in not giving into pressure (either physical or emotional) and I should not have gone especially since I half suspected that she was simply saying that to get her own way but could I take that chance and have another human being lose their life? I didn’t think I could. So I contacted her mother and told her what she’d said and she was completely dismissive of the whole thing and said not to worry but I still couldn’t take that chance since maybe she wasn’t like that normally but what if she was having a really bad day or something? So I worried, talked to her and I think I finally did go see her in the evening but of course, it turned out to be nothing – just a threat. It’s just that I can’t help worry about that one time when we think it’s nothing and it turns out to be something …

But to get back to what I was saying, I realize that we can control only our own actions but what if each possible action in a given scenario can only end up in breaking one of your principles? Should you take an action? Should you remain inactive? Or should you continue to search for an alternate solution which will not break any of your principles? Or (this is the choice which started the whole debate …) should you just say these principles/rules don’t affect me and do whatever you want? A friend of mine told me yesterday that he’d promised not to do a certain thing and that he was breaking his promise by showing something to me but that he hadn’t really promised since he hadn’t said “I promise …” only said “yes” when the other person had asked “do you promise …”. I can’t do that – to me the letter and the spirit of a promise are both valid but to others it seems to be such a simple thing to break a promise … So I guess I’m just trying to understand how others think about things and I’ve never been really able to do that – all I know is the inside of my own mind … I don’t think I’ll ever be able to see inside somebody else’s mind …

OK, that’s quite long enough :p I did receive some interesting e-mails from Jim and Duane on this subject and I would have liked to have put up their e-mails and my responses on a separate page but I dont’ know how Jim or Duane would feel about that. So I might (or might not <g>) do that after I’ve received their permission to publicly display what they wrote – provided I remember to ask them that is :p Oh yes, to those who asked, I am in love with Jen :-) I just don’t write as openly about all aspects of my life online as most people seem to on blogs :p

Oh one more thing … Duane brought up an interesting point about what happens to my source code if I were to die or were to give up on coding or something. I can answer about the give up on coding bit because I’ve passed on source code to others who wanted to continue development, before this as well. If I were to die … now that’s a whole new kettle of fish. I don’t like to open source my applications since I’ve worked on other projects where the source code was taken by others to be used in shareware/closed source projects and no mention given of the “borrowing”. Personally, I would probably leave the source for the final version with a friend/developer who could do what they wish with the source after my demise :p Any other suggestions? (And I’m sorry if I seem morbid talking about death but it’s not as if I’m suicidal or have a death wish – to me these are just practical concerns … especially when one lives in Sri Lanka where a terrorist bomb might get you – thankfully that’s not a problem right at the moment due to the cease fire – even if the traffic doesn’t <g>)

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Posted by Fahim at 5:13 am   Comments (2)