Today, despite my right now being in emotional crisis mode, was an interesting day.
This morning I found a baby bird on the way to work, and Eric and Chava took care of it for a bit and then sent it to an Animal Rescue place. It was interesting holding it in my hands for at least an hour (it saw the inside of my office for a bit before I could head back out to hand it off to them). The little guy (gal?) didn't have feathers yet and was too young to have open eyes - hopefully he'll survive.
At work I'm using a mix of dictates and consultation to clear out shelving full of computers, some of which have been unplugged for years, some of which nobody knows who owns them or where they came from, and some of which are a bit simpler. Yay organisation. This move to the new building is going to be a big hassle, but it's probably helpful tin providing us a chance to clean house.
After work, my usual coffeeshop evening (at the Te Café this time) ended with my finding a spider in the bathroom. As I have done many times before, I picked the little guy up and as I walked home found a good place to release him. The particular practice of moving one's hands to provide a continual surface on which to walk, while oneself travelling to a release point, is something I've often done and is highly entertaining, like tetris (but simpler, in that all one must do is predict the spider motion and arrange one's body to prevent them from falling off). I have never heard a name for it before, so I dub it Spiderschlepperding, derived from to schlepp and to shepherd. Unlike most activities, one can't easily enter into it without finding and safely lifting a spider.
I think the relation between Islamic judicial philosophy and Islamic jurisprudence and secular judicial philosophy and secular jurisprudence are probably pretty similar. I am not sure if traditional fiqh is more challenged by modern lifestyles and technologies, concepts that have been tried and have been successful in other systems of jurisprudence (e.g. judicial review on points of law and social interest), or the sheer scale of modern nations.
The Iranian election mess was an interesting affair - at the very least it aired the dirty laundry (causing such normally marginal figures as Ayatollah Montazeri and Reza Pahlavi Jr to temporarily have a voice). Rafsanjani may yet have a chance to make things interesting (his attempts to replace the Supreme Leader with a council of Ayatollahs are not yet over but may not bear fruit), but if he does not he has spent considerable political capital and possibly spoiled many careers over this gamble. Perhaps at his age he is eyeing his mortality and feels he has little to lose, but this is not true for others who joined his attempts.
My windows gaming rig did not take long to remind me why I don't use windows. Windows update broke my ethernet driver, and instead of using rpm (or some other package manager or copying files) to revert that change, I had to roll back the entire system to a "restore point" not long after I got the system, meaning STEAM had to spend quite some time re-downloading the games and I had to reinstall everything else. The "heart attacks" that windows has whenever it asks permission to do something cause mplayer to crash.
I shall now attempt to ward off this panic/depressive attack with another jog around the neighbourhood. I don't have the strength to really fix things in my life, but this is at least a way to cope for a bit longer. Sooner or later I'm going to crash very hard though. On the upside, I've been productive in philosophy. Reading about Islamic history and jurisprudence is excellent source material for helping me step further back than ever before (for vision, not necessarily (but possibly) for change) from the presuppositions of western perspective and dialogue. On some level I worry about this - I already feel a bit like the last Jew or last Muslim in that my perspective has wandered far off the map of normalcy to the degree that my notions, judgements, and way of looking at things are different than anyone I've met. I've heard "we just don't see the world the same way" quite a number of times when I started to get to know people in the past, and while it would be wonderful to find someone who "felt like home", that's never going to happen now. Philosophy is a lonely journey, one in which one places things in oneself that one really needs a community to join in for emotional health - what would it be like to be the only Muslim or only Jew in the world, being the only person with Sharia or Halakah? How could one explain these things to others, how could one find a partner? And what happens to a philosophy that fails to spread quickly enough or shrinks down into one person - does it necessarily mix its essense freely with that person's foibles like a species that has thinned down to a single tribe taking on that tribe's specifics even should it grow back outwards? In a sense, the things I need are killing me, and the things I need to respect myself are isolating me from others.
Oh, also, I have a very large collection of random documents that have caught my eye over the years, and occasionally I pick a random one and read it. I recently chose this one, and thought it was particularly cute (and a bit challenging) - it's about applied statistics in Monty Hall-type games. My intuitions on it were initially wrong (my approach to statistics is mostly based on intuition and while not very formal is generally pretty good), and so it took me awhile to translate the paper's logic into my perspective. It was a good exercise and feels like a full mental meal - I feel that it helps remind me about the right way of statistics so hopefully I got useful broader regularities out of it.