June 22nd, 2004

Semiformalishmaybe

Forcing the Puzzle

I just got back from a Nightmeal with Dan and Jess. It was fun... I realizeagain though that occasionally my brain puts things together in verydifferent ways than most people, and when this happens, it often leads toodd parts of conversation. Actually, this happens more often than you'dthink. I'm not really certain why, and wonder if it happens to me morethan it does to most people. Anyhow, chances are pretty good that, unlesssomeone comes to visit me this weekend, I'll have something to do onSaturday night.

In other notes, a friend is now in the early stages of a new relationship,and I'm happy for him. He suggested I ask out a particular someone else,but I just don't think that other person is my type. I'm pretty pickythough.

The deep thought for now is a reflection on my recent reading, and a challengefor Marxism. Marx suggests that as communism is incredibly more productivethan capitalism (in human capital), people will not need to work as much toproduce a surplus of goods, and so there will be no institutional or stateforcing of people to work as work is intermixed with more leisure. This, onthe face of things, seems plausible. The problem, or question, I see is thatnormally Capitalism, when an area becomes efficient enough that fewer peopleare needed for task X, forces them to a new focus of labour through pricepressures. How then would Communism deal with such labour shifts astechnology develops? Would it suggest a mix of leisure and swapping labour to aless-advanced field? I have several similar questions...

Semiformalishmaybe

Tofu Hair Monster

When tofu grows fur, it's trying to be meat, and I thus won't eat it.Heh...

Today has been a weird day. I've spent much of it programming for workat home, which is very nice. It doesn't feel like work when I programelsewhere, which goes to show how much I needed to get out of that officeand away from the new structure there. The reason I did it at home, insteadof elsewhere on campus like I often do, is that I'm waiting for UPS again.It seems that everyone hates UPS... whomever I mention it to typically hastheir own UPS/Fedex horror stories. I popped into the new office for a bitto fix a busted system, programmed there a bit, and now I'm back homewaiting for UPS some more. Joy. Anyhow, as to the warning, while I wasprogramming, my laptop decided to turn itself off, and it wouldn't turnall the way back on. I've lately suspected that it's been overheating a lotrecently, and so I grabbed the appropriate tools, pulled some panels off,and found thick clods of (cat, I think) hair inside it. No wonder the thingwas overheating. So, I suggest to you all, whether you have a desktop or laptop,today wouldn't be a bad day to open it up and clean it out. Pay specialattention to the power supply and all the fans -- if one of those clogs,it could be very bad news. While we're on the topic of maintenance, I gotmy bike back yesterday, and it again rides like a new bike. The new seat theyput on felt way too high for me, and I was going to adjust it, but it'sstrange -- the different posture I have with it actually makes me less tiredwhen I ride.

Two days ago, while reading Trotsky, someone walked by, spotted the book,and suggested I read Stalin's point of view as well. I guess I will --I'm tempted to dismiss Stalin's approach out of hand as being undulyrestrictive on civil liberties, which I regard as being very important(to his credit, Trotsky also cares about them, and denounces Stalin frequentlyin his book, albeit from a different slant than I do), but it may bepossible to argue that, outside of his paranoia which twisted all of hisstate acts, his acts may have made sense to him at the time. It's importantto know these things, and to wonder, given power and a vision, what one woulddo. In particular, I wonder if some directly-caused deaths might be candicatesfor being weighed against deaths caused by a system. It feels a bit odd toquestion this -- we're not accustomed to blaming Kapitalismus for the failureof people to strive, or even survive, in it. Should we? I suspect the answeris "sometimes", and that one should find criteria. And, of course, assigningblame to the system doesn't mandate or suggest action if an overall bettersystem is not possible. There's always going to be some blood on the floor,I suspect. That's (social, in this case) engineering..

As soon as UPS gets here, and I switch to my new phone, I'm off to grab ameal, and then later tonight to go rock climbing. w00t.