a ba'b'ian journal

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  • June 24, 2014
I'm again listening to the Teaching company class on the meaning of life. I've only gotten two topics so far, the Bhagavad Gita and Aristotle's ethics, but they really just irritate me as to how wrong they seem. Plus his idea of meaning as significance makes it all about being popular and fitting in, which ould bug me as an introvert. But it has me thinking about that book I have in mind. My writing is getting rusty, though.

Life is really pretty empty for me now. I just listen to stuff and play solitaire. And go on facebook and reddit to consume, but no longer much to contribute.

It's possible to have a eeling of holiness towards everything, but what is that feeling? Kind of like awe, but with a bit of connectedness. It's an elevated, higher feeling. It really does feel directed up. And the up direction does some psychological things. A talk on TED on body language has people do an exercise where they raise their arms, and raise their head, making them bigger, for a couple minutes and it raises their testosterone, and lowers their cortisol, giving a feeling of confidence which impressed some pretend hiring managers. Shrinking down and crossing arms did the opposite.

The thing about the Gita seemed so much about making people feel good about their fixed roles in society. Blech!

  • February 12, 2014
Yesterday was a busy day. I applied for and got food stamps. My mom is excited about it, as she has been spending a fair amount on food and loaning me money, so she will not have to spend so much. Plus she won't have to worry about me having food when she goes back to the farm. I don't feel good about getting food stamps, but I'm out of money, so I guess it's a good thing.

I had a phone interview with the food stamps people. It was to be from 9:15 to 11:15, so I had to get up before 9 to be all ready for it. I had a psych appointment at 11:15, but should have been able to handle it. It got close to 11, and I had to leave for the appointment. Apparently they called the house phone just after I left. But then they called my cell phone as I was driving, and I did it in the car. I was parked before it was over, which was good because I had to get into my wallet to tell them my checking account number. They mostly wanted to know I wasn't getting any money. So they are going to give me $180 a month. We never spend that much, so I should be able to live pretty well. Support the farmers. Apartently this is a program having to so with agriculture. And they cut it back, but there is still enough for me.

I also had a job interview yesterday with MLG&W. I don[t think I got the job, since it's mostly PHP and I haven't done much of it. I only found that out at the end, which is not good as I was mostly talking about my Java stuff, and I didn't emphasize the PHP stuff. I told them about tracking down that random bug, and the dude (there were two women and one guy) said he got from that that I have the patience of Job. I think it's funny that I've heard that before. One funny thing, they asked me to bring my diploma and transcript. They didn't need to see it then, only if they make me an offer will they need to verify my education. It's a government job, so they have weird requirements. Like I needed a valid driver's license, and they made a copy of mine. They have a pension plan, and somehow related to that, they don't pay into social security retirement, just the medicare part. There could be 24/7 phone support. And in emergencies, like a storm, you could have to do anything, like manage phone calls or something, or do emergency programs. It was an interview. Like I said, I don't expect anything.

  • January 16, 2014
Another year. And it's been months since I wrote anything in this blog. I really have kind of abandoned it. Too much Facebook.

I've run out of money, so I have to rely on borrowing from my mom. She actually has just given me quite a bit, for some bigger bills. I'm not doing so good. And there were several good job prospects that haven't worked out. Hilton almost called me back, but the Indian consulting company wanted to put one of their people on it. U of M even interviewed me, but I didn't get it. Had to take an online programming test for that one. Mostly I look on monster.com and apply to java jobs that come by. There was one job from a headhunter that has worked with Doug, but it was in Arlington, which I said was too far to drive. I'm not in very good shape any more. I need to write an app and put code on github. Doug has two jobs but he has managed to be good at working remotely. They are on different coasts. I just want to work in Memphis, but it's been hard to find.

I got more books for Christmas. I realized too late I should have asked for money. Mom gave me some. But I guess the books were nice. They were on my amazon wish list, so it was convenient. I didn't buy or give anything at all. it felt pretty bleak.

The first book I read was _Get a Life_ by William Shatner. I was about Star Trek conventions and what people get out of them. Apparently, Shatner did not really get them, as he would rush in, do his talk and get out, while mostly not mingling. Then he finally started hanging out and discovered the feeling of belonging, or whatever it is. He would just go around in a monster mask. Filled up another book.

The second book was something about thinking from the Edge guy, John Brockman. Lots of essays from people. I guess it was interesting, but nothing sticks with me. The third book, which I'm working on now, is Nassim Taleb's _Antifragile_. Beyond robust, where things can resist fluctuations, it's things that do better with shocks, like how exercize makes people stronger. Things that have unlimited upside with limited risk. As opposed to the things which can blow up with unlimited down side, like how the economy crashed. I guess. Seems like the book has irritating little errors in it. But I'm working on it.