June 1st, 2011

Semiformalishmaybe

Self-sacrifice

I just read about the Skilled Veterans Corps, a group of retired japanese engineers that are organising and offering to enter the irradiated Fukushima power station in place of younger workers, noting that they're old enough that their quality of life is not likely to be affected much (and slower-developing cancers won't hit them before they die of old oage) by the radiation. I am inspired by their selflessness and concern for the public good. *Warm Fuzzies*

Semiformalishmaybe

Feet on the Ground

So, moving. After work today I hopped on a bus to North Versailles (and now I finally know where Kennywood is; never been). I was kind of weirded out by the towns in the area; it was kind of depressing, although I'm also embarassed to be depressed. That style of urban layout is just not what I'm used to, and the people are ... different. Different body shapes, different ways of talking, zero bicycles, American flags, people talking about praying for things, every building and everything in every building looked at least a bit undermaintained. Football jerseys. That's not my kind of place, but I know I have a cousin who moved down there a year or so ago and I think he's happy. Hmm.
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U-Haul: they gave me a slightly bigger one at no cost because the one I was to rent was broken. It handles very unpleasantly. Still, it is very large and I should be able to fit everything I'm taking (and then some) in there. Plus, I got a 1-way rental so I can take a Megabus back on Sunday rather than drive this thing on two trips. Surprisingly affordable!

So, I've helped a fair number of people move in Pittsburgh, and I know this is short notice, but if anyone is free tonight and wants to help me move, please call me. I'll be happy to buy pizza or take a reasonable number of people out to dinner, or something like that.

Additionally, if anyone wants to keep me company on the drive with me to Philadelphia, and ideally help me unpack once I'm there, I'll be happy to pay for your meals and busfare back (if you bring a sleeping bag you can crash at my new place). If by chance you need to be in Philadelphia anyway (or plan to bus elsewhere in the area), this might be a more fun way to get there. I plan to leave tomorrow morning, and I think the drive will take a bit over 5 hours.

Again, call me if you're interested in helping out.

Semiformalishmaybe

Meaning

This Stanford talk makes the case for the humanities (why philosophy is important). Partway through, he describes a period of intense personal growth and transformation of perspective. His experiences have some similarity to mine.

"I see a humanities degree as a rite of passage into intellectual adulthood. A way of evolving from sophomoric wanderer and critic, into a rounded, open, engaged intellectual citizen."

I don't think the degree is so important, but the exploration is.