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Semiformalishmaybe

Back on the old Allod

Visited Oakland's Moose Coffee today because I hadn't been there before. The tea: awful. The internet: awfully unstable and slow. The seating: ok. Was hoping to be in a sketching mood, but it just didn't happen. Haven't been doing much plot-driven sketching recently because there are some things I want to wait on until the new giant tablet is orderable and here. The ability to perfectly erase, move, zoom into, and do neat things with colour are the most important tablet things for me.. Wacom seems pretty slow in making their new tablet available, alas.

I've started to re-study psych in general and neuropsych, in the theory that I'm going to make it out of Pgh and that if I don't head straight into a grad programme I'll at least eventually make it into one, and that psychology will continue to edge out philosophy in terms of things I want to study officially. I am not entirely confident I can autodidact enough to get an equivalent of undergraduate study (so I can go into a grad programme directly at some point) even though I've worked in the field, but it's worth a shot. Hopefully the parts of me that want me to focus on philosophy instead will either score a big win and convince me very soon or STFU enough for me to get a PhD and career in Neuropsych (argh argh I have too many interests). Some years back when I was looking into this I was asked by people to choose a particular field and ideally subfield in Psych - am I more interested in perception, problem solving, etc etc. Important recently-gleaned way to help decide - go for fields where I would not be inclined to tell people at conferences that their work is immoral, should be illegal, and they should be locked up. That might neatly mean that studying perception is out, for example (I've seen researchers describe, with a straight face and no look of guilt, experiments that made me really really want to place my hands around their neck). I should probably take the GREs sometime soon too.

After I was at Moose Coffee for awhile, sipping on the nasty tea and continually trying to stay connected to the net, another computer geek sitting next to me askmed me about my desktop, and we chatted for awhile about programming languages, operating systems, closed versus open platforms, device convergence, and eventually some program he's been working on - he's written an app that tries to fit into that should-be-a-niche-but-it's-so-bloody-hard space of social web browsing. I've seen fortunes made and broken in that type, and his was a reasonably impressive go for a personal project (webkit-based, had some basic collaboration features) - I talked about my experiences with Babbledog and other software of the type to let him know what he's getting into. Being an older geek and experienced programmer occasionally puts me into this role... This was probably the longest conversation I've had in months, leaving my throat all raw and painful (probably will get better in a few days?). I imagine I'll never see him again, but I guess it counts as a kind of nonpersonal socialisation - the weekend wasn't entirely lonely afterall. Plus, the bad tea was compensated for by tasty burritos from nearby Verisign.

I suppose it would be a terribly irresponsible and bad idea to make a game where players took the side of a red or blue stater parading through a parody of their side's impression of the worst of the other, e.g. performing abortions to power up, all while slaughtering in native grounds for all major factions of the opposition.

On the way to the tea place I passed a number of crazy people talking loudly to themselves, one of which tried to grope a nearby girl (who quickly ran off). WTF?! I regret not thinking faster and yelling at the guy.

A few intuitions on doing philosophy:

It is the way of philosophers to live a painful life - only such pain awakens the self enough to think. Membership in a tribe gives one's mind to the mindset of that tribe, keeping thoughts safe, insulating one from the damage that life provides the lonely person. Philosophy begins as a quest to understand the self and the end of one's pain, and yet it distances one from humanity further than any jail cell could.

Without a love of humanity strong enough to withstand the disappointment of particular people, meaningful virtue is difficult and potentially empty.

Comments

Calling you on a malaprop

Plus, the bad tea was compensated for by tasty burritos from nearby Verisign.

Free personal cert with every burrito? ;-)

Re: Calling you on a malaprop

Tsch. For the last few years about half the titles of my entries have been obscure wordplay, and probably about half my entries have had at least one good bit of wordplay, however obscure. :P