Stepping onto the bus to work today, I felt like I had accidentally stepped onto one of the charter busses that drive around town -- the bus had a large number of old (late 50s?) hippies on it, complete with peace symbols, appropriately styled t-shirts, etc. I now regret not asking where they were going or what they were doing. Checking the local anarchist organising website (the Anarchists are rather better organised than the Communists here), I don't see any protests that they were likely going to (side note: there is a protest in two days that I will likely go to -- the actual protests they list are usually not things they control, so I thankfully wouldn't be the odd-man-out at an Anarchist event). This leaves me still wondering what's up in hippie-land.. and it also makes me wonder how the remnants of the hippie movement see activism today. In my experience, the old hippies tend to be too squeamish to do what needs to be done to fix society, but they usually have a kindness in them that doesn't blind them to how things actually work and how people do what they do in society. By contrast every anarchist and many other communists I've met seem to be mentally ill with regards to their understanding of police, the mental state of the upper classes, etc, portraying them all as hopeless and irredeemable human beings. There is a kind of motif that the "can't we all just get along" folk get right -- the essential sadness of struggle between good people on opposite sides of many viewpoints. This motif is almost antithetical to belief in evil in the traditional sense, and it's a motif that I think is a mark of intellectual maturity. Movies do us a tremendous disservice, portraying villains who are cackling behind a crystal ball trying to find ways to hurt people and providing a clear path to dehumanising people rather than trying to understand them. I feel that pacifists are naive to think that we should, in so understanding, refuse to raise a hand against them, but at least they still see them as people. When I got to work, I found that Baker Hall was taken over by circuslike celebrations for the incoming freshmen (with the smell of popcorn and the typical noise of circus too). After lunch today, I grabbed two of the balloons from the disassembling circus, and determined that two balloons cannot quite lift my chopstics (see below), but they can lift an edge. Perhaps later I'll try to do the voice thing with the balloons. This makes me wonder, if a balloon or other container could be used that would not be flammable nor exchange the gas with the atmosphere, whether helium could be used in architecture, in suitable abundance, to make buildings that would otherwise not be structurally sound.
I found my chopsticks. They were hidden in the very bottom of my computer bag. Oops. My neuros, however, has still not shown up. I kind of miss it, but not so much -- generally it's a good alternative to reading when moving to place-to-place, and great for jogging, but I don't really need it. I occasionally put more time into cleaning my office and home while looking for it, so maybe it's better lost than found, for now. I am again embarassed to be reading the Hitchhiker's series in public, as the book together in which they're all bound looks a lot like a bible. It is presumably meant to do so, but I kind of wish it had a less embarassing cover. I might actually make a book cover for it to prevent the issue from coming up... hmm.
The accordion playing went pretty well, I think. I learned that the extra strap with my accordion is not actually extra -- one is supposed to use both straps at the same time to share burden on the shoulders and wearing it like a backpack (except in front). My wearing of a single strap slung over shoulder and neck (like a laptop bag) was partly to blame for the strap wearing out rapidly, and so presumably it should not be so tiring to play.. We improv'd a bit (Does English not have a better way to past-tensify "to improv"?), and I learned a bit more about how accordions work and the variations possible in their design.
I am presently thinking about withdrawing from the Foundation elections, partly because based on what I understand of someone who recently stepped forth, they're a better candidate than I am, and I would not want to get the seat knowing that they did not. Some part of me still thinks it's a bad idea to step down, but that may just be ego talking, and if so, I don't think I should listen. I do want to look a bit more into this person's opinions and the like to make sure that it'd be the right decision to withdraw first -- I did meet them (and had a nice discussion about social conditions and politics, focusing on the Parisian riots and Pim Fortuyn, in Europe) in person at Wikimania, and now that they're running, looking at their qualifications, they seem perfect for the position. There may be some social capital and prominence I get from running, which I should perhaps figure in too, but just as it seems somehow wrong to run for something just for publicity's sake, maybe it's not so cool to figure that in here either.
I'm still stressed and a bit depressed.. but maybe things are a bit better..
I might talk to another Perl-blog-software-writer person soon -- maybe we'll share ideas or something.