October 18th, 2006

Semiformalishmaybe

Dual Duel Cynicism

On the way to CMU today (I hesitate to call CMU work, because it's just as much play and town), I came across the most wonderful leaf, shed to the ground. It has a beautiful contrast of red and black (really just super-dark red), looking like a study in colour theory, or an organic yin-yang. I scooped it up, and it is now in my office - I often collect leaves when this time of the year comes, and each year I forget it and shedding season, it being my worthy seasonal surprise. Some parts of me offer criticism that I allow myself to be distracted by such things, and that they are taints of the bourgeois mentality that lead me from class struggle. Less orthodox argue back -- that I dream of a better, more human-than-before marxism, and that not every moment or thought need be spent in activism. There are other arguments from other parts of my brain, but by and large I am satisfied to silence everything but pleasure at the complexity of the leaf.

A few things I wonder about -- do most people do more reading of words (book or computer) than they do talking with other people (face-to-face)? Is there a lot of variance there? How does the amount people write by hand compare to the amount they type? How often do people still write paper letters to each other, and when they do, have letters become customary for a subset of what they were once used for?

I find it particularly interesting that in an age of near-universal literacy (in western countries), some of us have already moved on to the next media.

Semiformalishmaybe

Applying Glue to Photons

I'm trying to put together my Cleveland/Brecksville travel plans for this weekend -- Amtrak is incredibly cheap (about $70 roundtrip), but the arrival time (~2am) is too late for me to expect my mom to be awake to pick me up, and the departure time is almost as bad (~12:45am the next day). These appear to be the only feasable times if I want to leave sometime friday and still have any amount of sunday left here. Alternatives include flying (way too expensive) and renting a car (possibly affordable, although I hate driving). Sigh. This is the part of travel I don't like. I'm determined to get there, one way or another - I can figure it out tomorrow, I guess. Maybe I can twist one of my sisters' arms to pick me up.

In more utterly uninteresting news, CMU is having a "CyberSecurity Summit" on 1 November. Despite the incredibly lame name, it might be some combination of interesting and amusing -- it's free, with free food, and I can probably go in lieu of my normal job stuff without any ill consequence as it's theoretically tied to my job duties. The things I'll be attending:

  • 8:3 Poster contest preview, free breakfast!
  • 9:: Welcome and Introductions
  • 9:15: Undeclared Presentation by some SEI guy
  • 10:15: Break (with free food!)
  • 10:3: Cylab panel session on social networking (Myspace/Facebook is bad?)
  • 11:3: Combating Cyber Crime by some FBI guy
  • 12:3: Future of Information Security
  • 13:3: Break (more free food!)
  • 13:45: Presentation on Insider sabotage threat by some SEI guy (don't trust your employees!)
  • 14:45: Break (still more free food!)
  • 15: Data retention (probably relevant to my job)
  • 16: MacOSX Security Features by some Apple guy
  • 17: Video contest
  • 17:3 Intellectual Property Bullshit by some i-SAFE/RIAA git. Includes free pizza.
Interested CMUites should register. If nothing else, free food is good, and it may be interesting.