The apartment is still a work-in-progress. I'm glad that my landlord is using skilled, diligent people for this - I think yesterday they worked well over a 12-hour day. It's also nice that so many people are willing to help out with some of the details of making life livable. The help and the offers are much appreciated - as many of you know, I hate the cold.
I recently have been bumping into random, interesting people while discussing politics. A few examples on a recent bus trip to the Waterfront with Gustavo -- while we were waiting for the bus to take us back to SqHill, I bumped into an anarchist I had met at a POG party recently, while Gustavo bumped into a friend of one of his friends. Then, I saw a number of additional POG people in the restaurant, and later while talking about western imperialism in Persia and some aspects of post-soviet russia (a lot of history and current events), a guy at a nearby table introduced himself, said he was from Russia, and was happy to see someone who understood history/world events beyond a surface level. This is one of those things that I like to hear - I put a lot of effort into understanding how the world fits together, and it's nice to hear that I'm getting somewhere in that. I'm not much bothered by people having different ideas of "should" from mine, but I hope they at least respect the time I put into "is".
One of the things I really respect about Lawrence Lessig, apart from him being a law professor, an author who shares his books, and being a great speaker (his speech at Wikimania 2006 was very good) is that he blogs and that he's approachable on his. Most of his entries have at least a bit of discussion, and the back-and-forth that happens both includes him and sometimes has him altering or clarifying his positions on matters. He's one of the great minds of the new digital culture. I am tempted to say that taking blogging seriously is the first step towards citizenship, but using words like citizenship for this sort of thing is a bit too newbie-ish for my tastes.
On that last word, it's funny how BBS-jargon has evolved over the years. Around some CMUfolk I often use terms or reference cultural things and am saddened to see that nobody gets it (or that the terms have evolved and I sound like a newbie or wannabe who doesn't quite have things right).
A quick note before I run to class: I recently had a discussion with someone where they both expressed the opinion that the market should decide on morals and then expressed that people should not criticise, picket, or boycott businesses who do nasty things because they're just doing what they're supposed to in maximising profits. The two of these taken separately seem questionable, but together they lead to a kind of market-amoralism where there's no way anything that interferes with market efficiencies should be permitted. I regret not being able to make this point clearly in the discussion -- I only really contrasted the two ideas after we had moved onto another topic. Something to discuss next time, I guess.