Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hosting, Servers and life's other big Questions...


Wow, how much I have learnt in the last two weeks. Having successfully deployed my first live webserver last week, meant that before I could get even close to the result, I had to learn alot about how webservers work, how host headers work, what virtual directories are, and mostly, how DNS Zones work and propagate and what TTL means for live environments. This wasn't a quick thing either, it involved alot of google, alot of effort and most visibly, a heck of alot of swearing on my part.
Now, once I finally got the server to run it's various websites (and quite well at that), I got to a point where I needed a form of management software, and after doing some research, I got to two usable options, nl. PLESK and cPANEL. Both are quite good and provide the features that I need, but in my opinion, their pricing is way over what a SME can realistically afford, with the cheaper of the two, PLESK, coming in at R11,257.00 once off, without version updates. Now explaining to the boss that while it is alot of money to layout for software that won't directly influence the business, I can make that money back within a year, and after that, profit at least R12000.00 a year just by the savings to the company alone, ignoring the implementation of client hosting that can generate even more additional revenue.

Now that I have shared that little titbit of information relating to why my work has been keeping me busy, let us consider the actual reason for this post. Relationships, more specifically, love and happiness. Do they actually exist?

To answer that question, I will take a two tiered approach, covering both logical arguments and then summarize my personal view on the matter in closing.

1.) Love and Happiness, an intellectual argument:
I do not believe that love, or at least, the feeling of love, is a real stimulus, but rather the product of neurochemistry whereby a certain chemical stimulus (hormones) generate a counter response, ie. the release of brain chemicals (endorphins, etc.)which emulate a certain "emotional feeling", an abstract concept that we attach to these phenomena, but which in reality are nothing more than subtle chemical changes within our brains. Possibly, it could be argued that this is an evolved ability in order to force a level of attachment which would accommodate the mating practice in the human species, this however, still points towards the feeling of love to be a perception, and not a true feeling, it can thus be argued that the response should, logically, be ignored, and only acted upon should you be able to logically justify the course of action that has caused the changes in your brain.
Happiness on the other hand, is a far more complex topic to tackle. The feeling of happiness, also a simple neurochemical reaction, is, in fact, also an abstract concept, but finding "happiness" is much harder than finding "love" as "love" is by it's very definition hard to quantify and measure, so much so, that asking questions like why and how become moot. But with happiness, there comes the added compllication of it's being both quantifiable, and non-real. It is my firm belief that happiness is the result of lower IQ's or very little intellectual interest in the world at large. I qualify my argument in that of the various MENSA members who I am acquainted with none profess to be happy. Now I would specify that happiness as an overall feeling is what I am referring to and not specific happiness such as the emotional response to a victory at work etc. Whereas the people that I know to openly declare their happiness have, on average, an IQ in the high 90s to low 100s. Meaning, per se, that it is true that only a fool can be happy, this however, begs the question of why intellectuals are not happy, and the answer, is very simple. Intellectualism in it's nature calls for the questioning of everything, and once you understand something, finding happiness becomes impossible as the pure science behind the occurrence blocks any of the "magic" that it holds for the unintellectual, and therefor cannot cause the feeling of happiness that they experience.

2)An emotional response, flawed in it's very nature.
Now, while I list this answer to the original question as a "different side of the coin" alternative, it actually ties in perfectly and needs to be understood in order for the purely intellectual analysis to hold true.
In essence, our clinging to the belief in the existence of abstract concepts such as love and happiness is deeply rooted in our psyche, the need to belong, the need to find fulfillment and the need to believe in a better now than the current now (This has more to do with the abstract concept of linear time and would require a whole discussion at a later stage). Emotional responses are in and of themselves mere products of chemistry without rational thought, and should logically be discarded as ill suited, but in the nature of our being, our emotions form a substantial part of who we are, and the way in which we deal with them shapes the outcome of our decisions far more greatly than most people would consider. But for the purposes of this answer, our emotional belief in love and happiness is what provides our greatest drive in life, and as such, should be considered real only in that it mtoivates us to do the things that we need to do in order to survive in modern society, and for that reason alone, we should consider the existence of love and happiness as real phenomena and not logically reason them out of existence.

Now you should begin to see, assuming that I am in any remote way capable of verbalising my thoughts, that while both arguments seem mutually exclusive in their nature, they also compliment each other, and cannot be isolated.

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