Decided, based on a lot of separate reasons, not to take that job in SB, and to reopen myself to considering jobs at CMU. Partly this was economic (good rule of thumb is that you should make 30% more outside of academia in exchange for losing out on university benefits/lifestyle, and with both this and the different costs of living in CA means that while the offer was for more, it was for less than I should be making), partly because I'm near my surviving set of grandparents here, and partly because, now that I'm seriously thinking about grad school, academia seems to be the right place to be. I still will likely move out there if the awesome job at UCSB ends up happening (I am willing to live on little money if I am in academia), but for now, getting back into CMU sounds like a good idea. I applied for a job called "Reverse Engineer" that, as described, sounds more like it should be called "Hacker" - a lot of greyhat stuff that's the kind of work I often dreamed of when I was a kid. I'll keep applying at UCSB too, and maybe I should consider applying at UTAustin too. I think enough different reasons have come together here that this decision feels like the right one. I dunno if I'll ever settle in Pittsburgh, and I will leave sometime in the meantime, but only for the right reasons when it meets the right goals.
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Soon there will be a return to your usually-scheduled offhand thoughts about politics, philosophy, and the like.