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I recently picked up a book on PostGIS, a set of geographic extensions for Postgres. Good reading, and GIS is definitely a topic on which I could stand to learn a lot; both the volunteer project I'm involved with for the World Bank and the modelling conflict job I interviewed for last week have some GIS components. I've also been doing enough Python programming that I'm more comfortable calling myself competent in the language (I still strongly prefer Perl and C and Java and most other languages though; this indents-have-meaning thing irks me to the core). I'll toss up a few little code samples for GIS things (maybe PostGIS, maybe not) when I have something interesting.

I have about 4 months left in this apartment, and should be figuring out and planning whatever's next. I keep having dreams of waking up and being back in Pgh. I imagine that will fade in time.

I recently read about this, an effort to build a new, "centrist" political party in the United States. I strongly reject this, both because:

As most people are aware, big cities and technophiles currently tend to be democratic, and any technology-centric party will thus draw support awaay from the Democratic Party, and
For right now, it is necessary to both support the Democratic Party against the Republican party and to push it further to the left. The centre of American politics is a shoddy place to be building new ground for those of us who are far to the left of the Dems. It may be true that the Democrats are corrupted by the electoral system like the Republicans are, but neither social conservativism nor lassiez-faire markets are acceptable.

It may be an exciting exercise to take part in this effort, but the most likely result is that they either cannibalise the Democrats and further embold the Republicans, or they ensnare a number of people into thinking the right solution to any problem is to find two sides and slide between them. Or possibly they do nothing at all, which is what I hope happens.