A sure recipe for mental whiplash: having two pleasure books in one's bag, one on Islamic jurisprudence, the other a HP Lovecraft collection. On the walk to campus this morning I grabbed one expecting it to be the Islamic jurisprudence book and found myself reading a bit about a fictional mad arab wandering into a forbidden city in Arabia. Oof. On that I can blame entering an elevator and pressing the button for the same floor I was on for five minutes wondering why it was ignoring me and hoping I would not be trapped in a broken elevator for hours.
Hegel reading group: hegel is often incomprehensible, and when he is not he is often absolutely infuriating, and on the rare occasions he is not, he's kind of clever in what seems to me to be a bad epistemology. I admire cleverness, but I'm not sure that it's worth reading him - I might have to give up my current only reliable social outlet (that is, this group) if the later bits of this book don't get better. I've tried reading it in German, but the incomprehensibility are not a result of translation. James suggested that Hegel's style of thought would probably better be expressed in terms of equations or some other symbol set than normal spoken languages - that may be true.
Dear CMU, it is terminally stupid to think that the best time to fix Wean's quirky elevators is when the department that primarily occupies the building is moving to a new building. I know that there are freight elevators, but people will also be schlepping a lot of stuff by foot. There will be one functioning normal elevator starting shortly before the first moves happen.
While I'm at it, it is irritating that while my phone can hold plenty of pictures that are 50-80k apiece, it cannot handle over 50 messages in my inbox, and stops recieving TXTs when that happens. Sentimental fool that I am, I keep old messages to remind me of better times - trimming the last few messages out of the phone to make room for more is an irritating chore, especially when there really is plenty of room for more. It feels almost like we're back in the DOS days and TXTs have to live in the town of conventional memory when the vast countryside of extended memory is visible around us (to further jumble the analogy, let's splurge on a nice imaginary utility and dream about installing QEMM onto our phone).
Personal meanderingsI think my depression may be teaming up with my general strong impression that most people don't like me much when they're around me (justified or not) to create cycles that reinforce both. When I'm with a group I generally assume that people would prefer that I not be there, causing me to generally slink off at first opportunity (often without so much as a goodbye), and guilt about the selfishness of indulging my social needs when I'm around others causes me not to really interact much with people when I'm there, often not even saying the hellos and catchings-up that are essential to communicate and sustain mutual interest. All of this is a group deficiency, of course, and when I'm alone with someone, particularly when they make the effort to spontaneously contact me for some event, things are different, but I'm not so good with groups because that (mis?)reading of people starts up and some bit in me screams that I'm a selfish monster that nobody could possibly like, leading me into behaviours that are somewhere between aloof and rude, looping back to the beginning. There really isn't a good solution to this, and it's neither sufficient nor appropriate to simply tell people when I like their company - that's not how societial interactions work and it strongly fails the "golden rule" for me because I loathe compliments and direct acknowledgement or discussion of such things.
I criticise people for pathological distrust of government and societal institutions and the way they struggle quite hard to paint even the post office in a sinister light, while I kind of do the same thing with most interpersonal relationships. In both cases, the paranoia enhances any problem that's already there or creates it if it is not.
Today I shall probably have crêpes for lunch, and will tour our new machine room in the Gates Center.
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