Before I went to sleep last night, I happened to remember a face that I haven't seen for many years, and I couldn't place it for quite some time. Eventually, I stumbled across them on one of the friend-mapping websites, and remembered she was a close friend to someone I really disliked in the OSU CS social circles. I checked up a bit on him, and am amused that he somehow works for a company related to Haskell. He also still has irritating-as-hell philosophical views (of the being-principled-is-evil flavour). Meh. When I went to bed, I received a harsh lecture from some part of me, given a physical form by the dream, on the topic of strongly disliking people. I'm not sure what to think of it - somehow the lecture and the argument I had with that other bit of me managed to escape dream-forgetfulness, and I'm still really angry about it (I wonder if I inherited the anger from both my normal self and that other self). I suppose one good point though is that I should never dehumanise people I decide to oppose in one way or another, and that it's usually against my actual values (my value conclusions need to be reworked) to work against them in areas unrelated to where I oppose them. I realise that I have made a pretty good number of enemies over the years, some of them in ways I don't mind (stances I've taken, things I've done) and some in ways that arn't so cool (until people get to know me, unless I'm paying attention I tend to leave bad impressions). I need to think about some other things "said" in the dream though.. I'm also a bit worried that I wasn't able to simply analyse these criticisms while awake - do I really exercise enough so much control over the mess of ideas, drives, and intuitions that is me that I lose out on some valid competing ideas that I'm clearly able to make? Dreams and other areas where the "consensus" is examined always force me to deconstruct what I mean when I say "I" though...
At work, I was given a new topic and a rough sketch of an experiment! This is exciting - it does mean I have a lot of work ahead of me finishing the design, implementing/programming it, and laying out the analysis path, but I'm glad to have some more variety in things I'm doing at work. This also is up there with the Towers of Hanoi experiment I started with in the most interesting experiments I've run - the appeal of this one is more of a psychology-type thrill though - the memory manipulation, while relatively simple, promises very interesting results.
This may make me a bad person in some people's eyes, but here are my impressions on various parts of the United States, with their suitability as places to live. I'm not presently planning to move elsewhere in the United States, but...
Allow me to state a few quick disclaimers:
- The "shallow people" thing for California is based on the impressions of a very close friend of mine who moved out there several years ago and has seen a good bit of California. While I don't know about that bit myself, I tend to trust his judgement on these matters - that California's culture tends to produce a lot of people like that. There are always exceptions.
- I could talk about my thoughts on settling in Texas for a long time. Not now.
- The ex-Cuban thing for Florida mainly refers to the "political exile" community there, which I loathe just as much as the big swarm of Objectivists that organised in Poland near the end of its Communist period. I have no issue with ethnic Cubans per se, just with the people who make a huge deal about being anti-Castro and reestablishment of their plantations and similar in Cuba.
This might amuse suitably geeky people.
For people who follow Wikipedia/WMF politics,This came as no surprise - Danny Wool was one of the most important people in the Wikimedia Foundation, partly because of his willingness to do huge amounts of work behind the scenes, and partly because his vision of what the project needs was the most clear of anyone I've met. Why did he resign from his position on the foundation? Whil he's not willing to discuss it, I believe it's pretty clear to anyone who knows the players well enough - not long ago, Erik Möller was put in charge of Danny, and Erik is one of the most disasterous people to be involved with the Foundation yet (although his ex-gf Angela Beesley at least deserves a mention) - he's unprincipled, ego-mad, and a politician at heart. The conflict-of-interest policy was put into place, as I understand, specifically to deal with some such conflicts Erik has, and I would be very surprised if Erik didn't ignore them or otherwise make impossible demands on Danny. In either case, it would be hard to work for someone one doesn't respect, and given how clear a head Danny has on the topic, I can't imagine him being able to work under Erik. I wish Danny luck in his stated intent to later stand for the WMF board - while I disagree strongly with Danny's handling of the advertising matter and still feel that he's part of a consensus that has failed to take the board in a long-term healthy (or acceptable to me) direction on that matter, I still respect his judgement on other matters.
Unrelated, Brad Patrick, general counsel, has also stepped down, relating to also unspecified but implied strong disagreement with some foundation decision. I don't have a clue what those are, nor do I have a strong opinion on Brad Patrick himself (he seems like a sensible guy from what I've seen though).
I absolutely *love* being able to air out my apartment. I also absolutely love being able to buy the blue stuff everywhere. Last night, I determined that it is not, in fact, worse than the 2005 vintage (it's actually better, roughly on par with the 2004), it was just that I made the elementary mistake of drinking it warm rather than cold when I judged it. Oops. Anyhow, spring cleaning continues, and that's nice too.