Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

The Will to Dream

I find myself really wondering about my dreams sometimes. Last night, I hadtwo, the first was one of my fairly regular have-mental/magic-powers dreamswhere I basically live life with added powers that nobody else has.. yeah,I know, stereotypical geek stuff.. blah. The other was more interesting --it was another living life thing, but although there wern't really anyelements in it that should've caused this, there was a pervasive horror I feltthe entire time I was in that dream.. part of me was telling myself constantlyit'll be over soon, but all I really was doing was walking around, doing normallife things, really nothing unpleasant. This may be related to some presentoddities in my life, or to some kind of generic fear of life or death, orsomething.. I don't really understand it -- I've never before, as far as Ican recall, had such an inappropriate pairing of sensation and emotion. I would,na klar, be a lot more worried if I were awake and had such a thing going on.

Last night was, naturlich, philosophy gathering. The topic this week was oneI suggested -- the Persian Islamic revolution. We're fortunate to have 2 Parsipeople in our group, and they were able to share a good amount of personalinformation, experiences, and perspective of the Parsi-American community, whichis a lot bigger than I knew. R brought some classical Persian music on CD asa background, and it was, as usual, a lot of fun. I'm going to try to get someof the Generalists into rock-climbing -- perhaps the weekend after the comingone, as this one is closed for the holiday. It seems that everyone I meet, I'mtrying to get them to give it a try.. it's a lot of fun, and it's a great thingto do with friends.

After the Generalists disbanded for the evening, R and I went to India Gardenand talked about relationships -- largely, I wanted some advice, as well as toexplore the angles made visible by two perspectives on the topic. We duginto how the border between friends and significant others works, emotional andother forms of intimacy, and rationality and emotionality in relationships inlife. Yes, reader, I know that it's probably dull for you to read this withoutthe content, but a big part of having a blog for me is so I know that I couldgo back and remember things :)

I'm running my first fMRI next week. Hurrah!

A developer at Microsoft has some rules of thumb for software development.Some thoughts on a few...Rule#1 - Be forthright with you don't know -- wave it on a banner sometimes to stay in the habit This is excellent advice, but not just in software development -- unless you're applying for a job, in life it's almost always a plus to be able to be honest with oneself and others on one's skills and knowledge.Rule#5 - Use milestones, not letting people move on to the next set of bugs until the product reaches a particular state of goodness, and have these periodically This is interesting -- it has definite plusses because it's easy for developers not to understand what each other do, and these occasional periods of working together to make the milestone can build better understanding which can pay off in the long run. However, sometimes people have specialized skills that, if they're the people holding up the milestone, nobody else will understand what the fnord they do, and so everyone else's time is wasted. Hmm.Rule#6 - Be wary of lone-star developers I think they're talking about me here -- In programming, I tend to like to do it in a solitary way, with minimal feedback to supervisors. I *hope* I'm more like the innovator rather than the savior complex person they describe, but there's probably a bit of each in me. I agree that for group programming, my type is not usually very suitable, but think that provided the tasks are chosen and divided sensibly, I can be very productive, and indeed was as a developerRule#9 - Shipping understood, conservative solutions is a good thing I agree -- attempts to be too fancy with software too often end up creating disaster. This is, alas, true of government as well -- I've been reading in a philosophy magazine a set of examples of the difficulties in attempting to steer the masses with laws.. twisty rules create twisty abusesRule#10 - Design first, code later Here I disagree. I think planning needs to take place, certainly, but a lot of it should happen at runtime, and the initial planning is best kept light lest time be wasted on something that'll prove inappropriate or suboptimal later. If, for instance, I find a better way to do something as I go, I'm going to do it, and talking to management about every little improvement would be wasteful.Rule#11 - Compile as often as possible, to keep the code close to working A great general mandate that should occasionally be breached for large redesign/refactoring. Use tinderbox for this. It's great!Rule#12 - Portability is for canoes Don't be portable I disagree, but not entirely. Being worried about platforms that are sufficiently different is tough, but easy portability steps are nice, and there are many steps that can be taken that cost nothing.

I came across this article, and the general theme of stagesof Kapitalismus, by random chance on wikipedia recently. It is very topical formy recent study of econopolitical systems. I also randomly found an event inChina that's absent from the history books I was taught with --the Taiping Rebellion. I've come, over many years, to come to the conclusion thatthe American educational system is partly to blame for why the masses hereare so bloody ignorant. Over the course of 13 years, I think I got moreAmerican History than European History, and Asian History was hardly covered,saying nothing of Middle Eastern or African History. Yes, things happened inthe United States, but it's a young country, and to understand the world,sticking exclusively to one's own history is a distraction. It's even sadderthat all this was from what was probably one of the most wealthy, best-staffedpublic schools in the country.

Either our government is being disturbing or stupid with this thing --it claims that it's technically incapable of meeting FOIA requests.Upgrade your stupid systems, if that's what it's really about...

I don't remember who pointed me at this, but it's funny.

A friend has gotten me interested in a rather expensive restaurant. Wow.

Fujitsu has decided to fund some interesting PostgreSQLdevelopment. Thanks, Fujitsu! I'm not sure how it fits into their business plan,but I like seeing new features going into my favourite database. I think I canfinally say that I like it better than DB/2 and Oracle, a recent change.

I'm thinking about going climbing tonight... not certain yet. Holiday weekendsare a bit strange for me -- I'm used to knowing how much to unwind on a normalweekend which I usually have entirely to myself, nearly unplanned. Tackingan extra day on and taking away a normal activity (Sunday climb) messes with theformula.. but .. the fact that I live life in a formulaic way is itselfdisturbing. Hmm. It's a minimal formula though, mainly designed to get theessentials done so I can improvise the rest.. but it also accidentally tends tomeet my needs for certain amounts of human contact and similar, so I've perhapsbeen letting it mentally slip into a uniform rather than a set of clothes amongmany that I like.. ahhh, but life has been .. different.. recently. So I'll skipthe analysis for now.


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