Archive: October 16, 2008
One of the joys of blogging - especially having done so for a while now - is re-reading old posts. I often get sucked into doing this by looking at referer logs (essentially, who out there is linking to my blog), and just yesterday I re-discovered a post called moving backwards from November 2005. It's great; please take a moment to read it. I'll wait.
The question posed in this post is: am I still capable today of doing things I could do in the past. Essentially, am I moving backwards? I wonder about this a lot, with fifty approaching (yeah, I am 49 now, and will turn 50 in December). There are certainly some things I can't do as well as I could twenty-five years ago, but they are mostly physical. I don't have the intensity I had in my mid-twenties; I could work all night on a program without interruption, only to discover I'd gone twelve hours without eating, sleeping, or communicating with any other humans (perhaps this contributed to the downfall of my first marriage :).
In the nearer term, my moving backwards post was pretty good; could I write it today? Or was I capable, at 46, of writing something I could no longer write today, at 49? In three more years I may read this post, and compare it to that one; which will seem "better"? Not clear. (I'll check back in three years and let you know :)
Today I participated in a board meeting; with the current financial turmoil you can fill in the blanks, yeah, it was "interesting", and we have some cool new opportunities we reviewed as well, and the combination of messages was/is difficult to process (be financially conservative while aggressively pursuing new opportunities = huh?). I'm definitely better at that sort of discussion and analysis than I was twenty-five years ago, or even three years ago.
So on balance I reiterate my conclusion from November 2005; there were things I've done that were good, and I wouldn't do them the same way today, but I don't think I'm moving backwards. Whew!
I am sitting in Claim Jumper over a steak and a glass of Pinot, reading the news… spent the day in a board meeting and post-board-meeting-meetings, then did a nice ride (yay!) - my second 30 miler this week. The day didn't start well; I almost overslept, I had the ultimate hair on fire awakening… fell asleep last night watching Get Smart, if you can believe that, and enjoyed it (don’t tell anyone) and was up ‘till way too late.
I wasn't late to the board meeting - just made it - but if I had been I would have been tempted to observe, "missed it by that much". Maybe it was my mood but I can't remember having enjoyed a comedy as much as I enjoyed Get Smart for a long time. It wasn't stupid, it was funny, it was interesting, and the characters seemed real (despite being caricatures, if that makes sense). The interaction between this movie and the history of the old series was especially well done; when Max steals a shoe phone from an old Control museum and ends up using it to make a call forwarded through a cell phone, it was especially great...
BTW weird that there are two versions of this movie's poster...
So what's happening? The Ole filter makes a pass...
I missed the third and final debate between McCain and Obama last Wednesday, but it seems to have been the best; the Economist has a nice overview. "The third and final debate, which took place at Hofstra University, New York on October 15th, was a firecracker of a show, as riveting as the two previous meetings were soporific. The candidates discussed substantive issues. They exchanged sharp blows. And, most of the time, they avoided reciting their talking points."
The debate seems to have helped McCain; although there was disagreement among pundits about "who won", in the subsequent days polls have shown McCain closing the gap.
Gerard Vanderleun links an interesting analysis from Zombie: The Left's Big Blunder. "Obama supporters operate on the assumption that individual McCain supporters or undecided voters will in actuality change their minds about who to vote for if they perceive that a majority of people are supporting Obama... I submit that this assumption is a catastrophic blunder. On November 4, they will go into that voting booth, and in total privacy and anonymity, they are free to vote for whomever they want, without fear of social condemnation for doing so." I've wondered about this myself; how many people tell their friends (and pollsters) they are supporting Obama, but secretly like McCain? I don't think this has anything to do with race; it has just become so unfashionable not to support Obama that it is easier to act like you do, too.
Panda's thumb features a baby Geochelone nigra, i.e. a Galapagos turtle. Awww, isn't he cute?
National Geographic have announced their best microscopic images of 2008. It is only October - what if someone now creates an ever better one? - but these are pretty cool. Check 'em out! My favorite by the way is the highly magnified lily petal shown at right...
Return to the archive.
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
where are the desktop apps?