boku no tanjyoubi (my birthday)
I turned 21 today.
I would have expected myself to have more to say on this, but today is much like any other day. This is my first birthday away from home; perhaps that has something to do with the lack of oomph.
(Meta-reflection-writing-note: Several hours pass. Ted goes to and returns from lunch with Jason. His mood shifts from unintelligible to fairly pleased. He checks his email.)
Yay! Jing Jing sent me this happy birthday postard thingy! That rocks.
A friend of mine once sent me a postcard with a picture of the entire planet Earth taken from space. On the back it said, “Wish you were here.”
— Steven Wright
I’ll dearly miss the San Diego crew when I head back next week. While the network can lessen the effects to some extent, it’s of course not the same.
I’m returning to school in exactly one week. In true utterly-predictable style, I’m simultaneously struck by
- how long I’ve been here in San Diego (three months!), and
- how short of a time it appears to have been.
I’ve worked at Bomis for three months. I’ve lived with Carolyn for three months. I met Andrew in person three months ago. I met Jing Jing only a week ago. That’s messed up. Where did the time go? Three months ago, I couldn’t do anything with a bicycle besides falloff, and yet I’ve been riding a 24-mile commute for about a month now. Surreal.
OK, I’m going to kill this thread before it gets even more generic and Normal.
kill_team()function is more than a system call. It’s therapy.
— The BeBook
For the salon on Sunday, Andrew asked us to prepare two sentences, one which described what we liked best about Rand, and one that described what we liked least. I found the first one to be easy: her method. The second proved more difficult, and I ended up arriving at the salon undecided.
But Andrew made a crucial mistake as he summarized our task: he mentioned offhand that a sentence or a haiku for each would do. So I of course immediately began to hammer out two haiku for the occaision, each of which follows:
What I like most in Rand
Her method is great!
The facts of reality
Give rise to concepts.
I was rather pleased with the way this one went. Rand’s Question fit nicely into the format.
What I like least in Rand
Don’t need two or more.
Now this one, while lacking the flow of the first, almost makes up for it in that I was able to complain about three different problems I find with Rand in one haiku, and thus remain within the rules of the game.
I suppose this haiku needs to be unpacked a bit:
I refer to Rand’s blanket assertions about “today’s philosophers” and the like. Citations please.
She wanted to justify government, but her argument falls very short of this goal.
Don’t need two or more.
This is a refernce to her method of concept formation. In an upcoming paper that I’m submitting to Enlightenment’s online conference, I argue that animals and humans form simple sortal abstractions using only one exemplar, and argue that an understanding of this process is an important step toward the creation of artificial intelligence.
life: short term forecast
- Bomis Kids’ Day! Jimmy’s taking us all out to Chuck E Cheese for a combo birthday/farewell thing. Yet another reason why Jimmy rules (don’t forget Vegas).
- Next week:
- Head back to Rose, move back into dorm room w/Casey, start classes
- Fall term finals
- Say bye to Curtis, who will be leaving us for better places (read: not Terre Haute).
- Head home for the first time since April.
- Enlightenment online conference
- May 2001:
- June/July 2001:
- (Exchange program to Kanazawa, Japan) xor (TOC Summer Seminar)
- life, people, work, singularity, etc.
Don’t deny or disown what you see or experience merely because you can’t explain it, justify it, or fit it into some familiar frame-of-reference. Allow a large space in your psyche to accommodate ambiguity and uncertainty. Don’t invent explanations prematurely just so you can tell yourself you have the universe all tied up in one neat package. Keep your eyes open, keep observing, and be confident that sooner or later the truth will appear to you, providing, of course, you live long enough. And if you don’t, well, hasn’t it been an interesting adventure anyway?
— Nathaniel Branden