I particularly like Isaiah Berlin's essay "The Pursuit of Ideal" - it's not a long essay, but it provides a compelling argument that much of traditional political philosophy is dishonest and harmful in attempts to establish systems that are too "order"-centric. I think the type of idealism and order he speaks of is almost orthoganal to the styles/intuitions people have about moral philosophy, as well as belonging more to metavalues than values... I'd love to provide a link here for people to read it, but that essay in particular has not been published yet in a free form.
Last night: talked more with redacted about remote work of various kinds, salary, yaddayadda, as well as specifics of what this company/project is and events with it. Like most private-sector jobs, I can't say it really helps society in an interesting way (nor does it really hurt it), but it's still a cute idea in some sense.
Tonight: dinner at Alladin's. Afterwards, while I was thinking about tea at the 61c and heading that way while I decided, I came across the new Mediterranean place that opened today, replacing Turquoise (a turkish mart that closed a few months ago). Taza21 has sleek, which I grabbed to go. I'm thinking about taking it out to Schenley park sometime later tonight - there are a few benches under all-night "street"lights in the middle of nowhere that I sometimes visit for late-night picnics and reading. I think a good balance in life is having a good amount of very alone time and a certain amount of people time. The latter is largely lacking for me now, but the former is not hard to manage in a city with the right kind of structure. I wonder if many other people have these needs or not..
I tried creating that kind of environment with Google Lively - a nice chair with a desk and couch nearby in the middle of a dark space. Lively is awkward and irritating, although the avatars look good. The word floating around is that it should not be compared to Second Life (the most natural comparison), although if Second Life were slightly easier to embed and had the right defaults for new people logging in, there would be no reason for Google Lively to exist - SL isn't perfect, but apart from those defaults and that SL wants people to pay to create their own slice of land, anything good/useful about lively is better yet in SL. Still... I guess the fact that people use twitter (which still seems strictly inferior to just having another blog with a different signal-to-noise ratio and customs) shows that maybe there's room for something like this, even if only to help establish the barrier between interaction styles with different customs.
(posting delayed because LJ was offline when I wrote this last night)