I am amused, when looking over my finances, that my Paypal money market account is now beginning to reach the point where it is comparable to the allowance I got from my parents when I was very young. I'm up to about $6/month in dividends on that account (naturally, they go right back into the fund). Near the end of my childhood, I think I got $20 every two weeks, and I remember the transitions between usually involved asking my dad for "raises". I wonder now if that was meant to teach me how to ask for raises in real jobs. It's a skill I've never had to put to use -- I always have been given raises, and even at this age have never stayed at a job long enough that I felt I had to ask. I wonder in what sectors people ask for raises versus receiving them automatically. Admittedly, I didn't follow the life of wealth and power that my dad occasionally nudged me towards, but I've achieved contentment and lived a far cleaner, more noble, and more beneficial-for-society path than he has. I don't trust wealthy people, and more often than not I think their wealth is gained through unhealthy means, even if they are nice people. That understood, while I live in this system, I want to manage my money carefully so if I ever start a family, I can support them, or if I find another cause to drop everything for, I can manage that transition gracefully. I wonder, if I had saved all of my allowance, how much money I would now have from that investment. To a certain extent, that's unrealistic -- people living too much for the future, to a certain extent, smell of death.
My bedroom is now rapidly approaching the way I've wanted it to be since moving in -- my desk is nearly clear, there's very little on the floor, etc. Each hour spent cleaning makes me happier, although I don't ever seem to be inspired to spend more than an hour at a time, and often get distracted by data sources, memories, and the like.
It occurs to me that among the things I've written that I really like, some of my contributions to Wikipedia, in particular the policy discussions and the like, are things that I'm rather proud of. Extracting them all in a sane way would be difficult -- I'm tempted to download a database dump sometime, install Wikipedia proper on my TV computer, and write some Perl/SQL to get what I want. MediaWiki, the software that Wikipedia and most decent wikis run, is usefully frustrating -- it implements enough features that it hints well of the true potential of the medium, but it is implemented poorly and will not easily be improved to meet that potential. It therefore makes an excellent stepping stone -- the post-mediawiki wikis will be awesome, while pretty much all the wikis of today are inferior to mediawiki. All it will take is some really clever people and considerable time (to catch up with MediaWiki's impressive feature set) to produce a truly great piece of software. ... have I said this before? .. hmm
Today at work I had a conversation with a coworker about employment, staying places, and the like, and it provided more fuel for the fire -- what am I doing in Pittsburgh? Should I stay here? He apparently is keen to go within a year, and CMU was pretty much just a grad school/postgrad thing for him. I'm now pretty sure grad school would be a waste of time for me because academics, while a great way to pay the bills, will never be my main life interest given the path I've chosen. The respect of a more advanced degree, like most kinds of respect I might get, is utterly uninteresting to me. Meaning in life comes from one's perspective, not one's status, and certainly not one's degrees or wealth.
Tomorrow I'll probably take a nice walk in the woods, or perhaps I'll see if I can buy some running shoes somewhere and take a run.