The Mask You Live In – Something terribly destructive that we demand of boys all the time

Gender development is one of my primary foci within the field of Child and Adolescent Psychology, and this video from The Representation Project vividly portrays one of the most destructive demands that we place on young boys—”Be a man!”

The Mask You Live In – Be a Man!

There are wonderful pieces of wisdom from Dr. William Pollack (who wrote an outstanding book [Real Boys] that I’ve ready many, many times), Dr. Judy Chu, and Dr. Niobe Way (who wrote another outstanding book about boys’ emotional interactions called Deep Secrets).

Not only does it automatically assume gender inequality, but it does so in the worst of ways. It puts down females by implicitly suggesting that men are better, stronger, more efficient, or what have you. Further, it contains a message that showing the perfectly normal (and necessary!) human emotions of pain, fear, and the umbrella of empathic concern weaken masculinity. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Abraham Lincoln said that “No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.” That powerful quote is dually applicable in reference to this video. Firstly, it shows that true masculinity is characterised by helping others, and especially those who are unable or less able to help themselves. Secondly, it is a call to action for all of you reading this blog entry: help boys everywhere to grow into a healthy understanding of masculinity. Dispel this myth of masculinity. Teach them to help one another. Teach them to care, even if others laugh at them for doing so. Teach them that fear is equally as important as courage. Teach them that is okay to cry, even in front of others. Then they will truly know what it means to “Be a man.”

|:| Zach |:|

Linux – RHEL 6 / CentOS 6 two NICs in the same subnet, but secondary doesn’t ping

Recently I ran into a problem with RHEL 6 (and any derivatives, like CentOS 6 or Scientific Linux 6) where having two NICs (network interfaces) in the same subnet resulted in strange behaviour. In RHEL ≤5 (or CentOS ≤5), one could have two interfaces with IPs in the same subnet and there weren’t any problems (besides the obvious question of why one would set it up this way instead of just bonding the interfaces). However, in RHEL 6 (or CentOS 6), having two interfaces with IPs in the same subnet results in the primary one pinging but the secondary one not responding.

The cause of this problem is that the rp_filter settings changed between these kernels (2.6.18 in RHEL 5 and 2.6.32 in RHEL 6). In RHEL 5, the rp_filter setting was a boolean where 1 meant that source validation was done by reversed path (as in RFC1812), and 0 meant no source validation. However, in RHEL 6, this setting changed to an integer with the following settings:

0 – No source validation

1 – Strict Reverse Path validation (RFC3704) – Packets are checked against the FIB (Forwarding Information Base), and only the best ones succeed

2 – Loose Reverse Path validation (RFC3704) – Packets are checked against the FIB, but only non-reachable BY ANY INTERFACE will fail

So, though the default setting is still 1, it now has a different meaning. In order to get these two network interfaces with IPs in the same subnet to both respond, I needed to make two changes in /etc/sysctl.conf:

  • Change net.ipv4.conf.default.rp_filter from ’1′ to ’2′
  • Add the line net.ipv4.conf.all.rp_filter = 2

To better illustrate the changes, here are the differences:

# grep '.rp_filter' /etc/sysctl.conf
net.ipv4.conf.default.rp_filter = 1

# grep '.rp_filter' /etc/sysctl.conf
net.ipv4.conf.default.rp_filter = 2
net.ipv4.conf.all.rp_filter = 2

In order to make these changes effective immediately, you can reload the configuration with:

# sysctl -p

Ultimately, the new defaults make it so that the kernel discards packets when the route for outbound traffic differs from the route of incoming traffic. Changing these settings as mentioned above will make the kernel handle those packets like it did before 2.6.32. That way, having two or more interfaces with IPs in the same subnet will function as intended. Also, these changes aren’t limited to just RHEL 6 and derivatives, but also to any distribution with ≥kernel-2.6.32 in which the defaults were not changed.


Drill Sergeant surprised by a boy’s response about fatherhood

A friend of mine recently sent me a link to this video clip of a Drill Sergeant coming down hard on a preteen boy for his bad behaviour (taken from the Jenny Jones show, Bootcamp my Preteen episode). The boy’s response caught him off-guard, but should serve as a reminder to us of the different situations that children have to endure.

Drill Sergeant stunned by preteen boy’s response – Jenny Jones – Bootcamp my Preteen