July 25th, 2006

Milord

"Where does that name come from?" As requested...

...by dushai, here.

The history of "Ορως" (Auros) is a bit complicated. My given name is Robert Michael Harman, or R Michael Harman. My parents call me Michael*. (The middle name thing is a bit of a family tradition. My dad is S Mitchell, and I have brothers W Gregory and J Alexander.) Freshman year of college, there was a Michael M Harman three doors down in my dorm, and it became inconvenient for people to say, "Hey Mike!" (Which one?) "Mike Harman!" (WHICH ONE?) So people in the dorm started calling me "R", just the bare letter. (I'd never been Robert, and had no particular desire to be, but I've always included the first initial in my signature, and since I was comfortable identifying as "R Michael", shortening that to just "R" seemed fine.) I was futzing with my MacOS laptop, and managed to alter some stuff in the resource files so it would say "Welcome to R-OS", and use "R-OS" instead of "MacOS" a number of other places throughout the system. (Considering I was using hexeditors on system files, it's shocking I never managed to create some horrible error that would've forced a painful restore-from-backup.) I then named the computer "Auros", as a pun. It's cognate with the Latin roots for "sound" (and I'm a singer and generally enjoy the sounds of language) and "gold" (which is one of my favorite colors), and we also have "aura" (which is probably a Middle English import of Greek "aero" after a detour through Latin). The -os ending is common on Greek names. (Also, ὄρος, with two omicrons rather than an omicron and an omega, is a word for "mountain" in old Greek. See this discussion of Orichalcum. βουνό seems to be preferred for that, in modern Greek.)

All of my computers since then have also had metallic names: Argent, Wolfram, Titan, and, most recently, Lefkochrysos (or Λευκόχρυσος), which is literally white gold, but means platinum.

Because the computer had that name, when I would log into IRC channels, or MUDs, or whatever, there'd be a banner saying, "Login from auros.res.jhu.edu." So I started using Auros as a net handle. When I got out to San Francisco, I made a lot of new friends over IRC (particularly the #sfgoth and #sfrivethead channels), started dating somebody I met through the goth scene, and she introduced me to a bunch more people... Eventually the majority of my friends knew me as Auros, and I like having a name I picked. Especially since my given name is so common. I sometimes joke that the name picked me, since I sort of grew into it organically.

* Or at least they did when I originally wrote this; since then, even they have mostly switched to using "Auros". When I left Motorola and started an MBA program, in '07, I decided to go by Auros there, and have used it professionally since I graduated. I'm still debating whether to make a legal change.

[Update: Legally changed it in 2017, finally.]
Focused

Hey, cool! Paul Krugman wrote back to me!

I'll just say up front: mickle, you're going to love this post. *g*

After reading PK's most recent column, which I'll place Collapse )

I wrote in with the opinion that the GOP is not intentionally racist (anymore; it certainly was in past decades). I think most of the individuals that make it up, at the leadership level, on a case by case basis would make an effort to treat people in a color-blind fashion. (The fact that these individuals will treat a man in a business suit better than one in a flannel and jeans is a separate issue -- class-ism or Social Darwinism, treating the poor as if they deserve their poverty.) The party is, in practice, institutionally racist (and sexist) because of its amoral (as in, not even taking morality into consideration) pursuit of electoral advantage, in which it has transformed itself into a servant of extreme wealth. The privileged few are, in general, white men, and the poor are disproportionately black, brown, and female (especially single mothers). Here's the text of the exchange, Collapse )

I never knew that, about Robin. (Though I did know the bit about Cheney.) Quite fascinating. Only an indirect response to my actual point, but it sheds a lot of light on where the column was coming from.

ETA: BTW, Phil Angelides, as an early-adopter of the concept of Socially Responsible Investment, was involved with the South Africa divestment campaign.

ETA: While I'm in partisan mode (OK, I confess, I'm almost always in partisan mode, but I don't do more than one or two partisan blog entries per day), I want to note this really interesting post from a right-ish econ professor (note that he's opposed to taxes on entrepreneurship and investment -- he says "Unfortunately, the way California taxes the rich is a *cause* of the problem."), explaining that Schwarzenegger's budget plans don't make any more sense than Bush's. I happen to disagree with him about the harm of taxing the rich (CA and the Feds taxed the rich much more than it does right now during the '90s and, strangely, lots of people kept going into business and trying to get rich), but certainly I agree that Arnie's budget is a pipe dream. Phil, on the other hand, is a fantastically successful businessman and financial manager, and if he can't get all of his tax plans through the legislature (which is a possibility), I'm sure he'd find some sort of compromise to balance the budget -- the same as Clinton did for the federal gov't, and the same as Warner did in Virginia. Democrats are the fiscally responsible party in this country, and have been for at least twenty-six years.

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Abelian Grape

I ♥ LMi.net

So, some of you might've heard that I've had a lot of problems with my DSL. All AT&T's fault, of course; the first round (six weeks) had to do with both stupid policies ("we can't turn on your DSL until it's been off for a full week while we deal with switching the number from your ex-roommate's name to yours") and faulty equipment in the local "Central Office" (the Customer Service Center can't actually give meaningful orders to the CO people, just file tickets and hope they get worked on, and the techs the CSC dispatch to your house aren't allowed to step inside the CO, let alone futz with equipment there; the CO closed the ticket without actually fixing the problem two or three times before they figured out that, no really, we weren't lying about my lack of signal, and just because the diagnostics looked normal that didn't mean the device was working). I never did hear what actually caused the most recent round (three weeks). LMi has not only been very patient in trying to get things straightened out, and dealt with making the calls to AT&T on my behalf whenever possible; they've also credited my account for the period the service was down. (In case you're wondering, Greg, that'll show up in next month's bill; this month's bill included the payment for the period we did have service. *g*)

If you're in the Bay Area, you really can't go wrong with their DSL service. Yes, it costs a little more than the generic, but you get your money's worth.
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