log (2008/05/16 to 2008/05/22)

Man, remember back when I used to post in this weblog every single day? Them was the days, eh? Back before Second Life, and Twitter, and Ballet Craziness Season. (And for that matter mostly before ol' 296.22.)

In fact I haven't been in Second Life at all the last couple of days either (not counting a few very late-at-night hours logged on as someone else, trying to fix some scripts of theirs that had been broken by a small change to the laws of physics, in time for a scheduled experiment the next day, while they were more or less inaccessible at a conference on another coast). Work stuff and Ballet Craziness Season have been consuming all my time.

The latter Season ends tomorrow, though! And for the last time. In a few minutes (as of this writing) I'm taking the little daughter into town to drop her off for hre first two shows. M or I will be ushering at the second one, tonight, and then tomorrow we'll go to the Sunday show, and then the party afterwards for the graduating Seniors, and then Dance will be something that she does off at college (eek!) if she feels like it, rather than something that we roust her out of bed for and drive her off to.

How very strange.

Then there's a passle ("passle"?) of conference papers that I should be reviewing for SRDS2008 (which is in Italy, and I'm probably not actually going to it, but I do love reviewing papers), rather than say writing in my weblog, and various important presentations that I'm giving to executive-types over the next week or two about the future of various kinds of technology and markets and so on.

But right now I'd rather be writing in my weblog. *8)

I've been spending lots of time reading and writing on Twitter, too, under my Secret (ha!) Second Life Identity: Dale Innis. Have been having lots of fun there, meeting people and saying silly and/or useful things, and clicking through to various weblogs and things.

I've also somehow roused the ire of Prokofy Neva, one of the more colorful characters of the Second Life twittering and weblogging community, who is convinced that I am stalking and harassing and poking him, and who calls me rather vile names now and then.

I never quite know what to do with respect to folks like that. People generally advise ignoring them, of course, but I find some kind of pleasure in the interactions. Maybe it's that a few times in the past I've managed to convince such people that I'm really not an idiot or an implacable enemy. Or maybe (relatedly) it's that I'm always sensitive to validation or its opposite, and when someone says negative things about me I always want to make sure I understand why they're saying it, so I can satisfy myself that it's not grounded in some actual thing that I'm doing wrong, that I could fix.

Which is, natch, a good sign that I should work a bit on letting go of that particular desire. *8)

Twitter is in general an interesting thing. It's very tempting (and I think maybe even true) to say that Twitter is to IRC as weblogs are to Usenet, along the lines of my previous comments on that subject (and followups). (Which were, I'm distressed to see, like eight years ago!)

Just like weblogs are like newsgroup postings, only organized by speaker rather than by topic, and are primarily about statement and only secondarily about response (and are in newest-first order), so Twitter entries ("Tweets" hee hee) are like lines in an IRC or other chatroom, only organized by speaker rather than by topic or room, and are primarily about statement (in fact the ability to "reply" was originally thought up by the users, and support was added to the system only afterwards), and are also in newest-first order.

And Twitter has some of the same nice features that weblogs do, particularly that it's less subject to cognitive overload; it doesn't matter if a thousand new people start Tweeting, because you won't see them unless you choose to. And since everyone knows that the medium is organized by speaker, no one expects you to follow all the same people that they follow, and so there's no social / conversational pressure to expand your follower list without bound.

(Ha, J. Phil. just came, and the first paper is called "Is Ignorance Bliss?". A great hook; I wonder what it's about.)

I'm reading (on and off) Cory Doctorow's latest, Little Brother, which is available free online, which is pretty cool. I'll probably still buy the book for portability and readability purposes (which is part of his point), but it's nice having it Right There. It looks pretty good so far.

What else? It's a lovely Spring, we have dance recitals this weekend, next weekend is Memorial Day, and the weekend after that is Reunions already! M's 25th, and the little daughter's first as a member of the class of 2012.

(Twenty-twelve! hahahahahahah hysterical laughter)

Haven't done much outside in the way of pool preparation or lawn mowing (that'll be the little boy's job, but he's busy shooting paintballs at an old door in the back yard right now), or plant planting or other material things like that. Hands always too full of bits, and I've never been all that good at atoms anyway.

So that's general catching-up-ness. How are you? I see the little daughter's about ready to be driven off to her first triumphs of the weekend, so I'll probably post this after.

Be good, hug each other, make pie (oooo, pie!), and so on...

Postum Scriptoriensis: Oh, I love the world! I dropped the little daughter off for her performance, and parked in the nearyby lot, walked around the end of the town track and soccer field (numerous earnest tiny girls in soccer gear toddling around and kicking balls and petting an enormous shaggy white dog that was passing by), bought myself a hot dog (with mustard and saurkraut) and an ice cream bar (the Krunch kind) from the friendly Mediterranean gentleman in the hot-dogs-and-ice-cream van (the inside walls half-covered with Italian wine posters and pictures of his grandchildren and refrigerator magnets saying "God Bless America" and "Save a Tree; Eat a Beaver"), and then I walked down across the field in the center of the track (kicking off my sandals and walking barefoot over the grass, my toes sinking into one muddy spot left by yesterday's rain), and down the stairway on the other side to the grocery store, getting two cloth poppies from the Veterans of Foreign Wars guy for two dollars, going in and buying cheese and Capri Sun for the little boy and his friends, getting money from the ATM, then back to the car and driving home with my window down and my hand sticking out, feeling the air cool and soft and sweet as sweet wine, and now I'm home and the windows are open and the world is suffused with bliss.

Thank you.