rmc28: Photo of cover of Penguin edition of Watership Down, by Richard Adams (watership)
[personal profile] rmc28
Sooner or later, everything leaks out and animals get to hear what others think about them.


(Apologies for missing two weekends in a row; today is technically still a weekend for me.)

[This post is part of my Watership Down read through. You are welcome to join in at any time; please read my introduction post first.]

reddragdiva: (flame war)
[personal profile] reddragdiva

I've spent the last six months editing a book. Phil Sandifer found himself writing about "A genre dominated by, in effect, an AI crank, an extremist technolibertarian, and whatever the fuck Nick Land is" and I begged to preview it. I ended up researching, editing, copyediting and helping with the publicity. It has been six months of solid and hearty yuks and lulz and a sheer delight.

The kickstarter is up now (announcement). So far it's landed about $1500 in twelve hours; people seem quite keen to get this book. And let me assure you that the stretch goal essays are also things the world needs.

There are also excerpts ([0] [1] [2]) and images of what the conspiracy zine and full colour editions will look like. (If I had $70 of actual money spare I’d be sending it in to get the conspiracy zine and color editions, which look to be gorgeous productions.)

“Or, to put it another way, this is a book that uses Eliezer Yudkowsky, Mencius Moldbug, and Nick Land as a loosely stitched together foundation on which to build an oddball philosophical structure made of bits of Hannibal, China Mieville, Alan Turing, Thomas Ligotti, John Milton, and a futuristic AI that will torture you for all eternity if you buy a mosquito net.”

edit: and at $3000 in the first 18 hours, Phil decided he'd better preview the $4000 essay, "The Blind All-Seeing Eye of Gamergate."

(no subject)

Apr. 29th, 2016 11:02 pm
reddragdiva: (geek)
[personal profile] reddragdiva

installing and setting up xubuntu 16.04. why the hell does vim-gtk have apache2 as a “suggested package”.

to make capslock a control key, run /usr/bin/setxkbmap -option "ctrl:nocaps" from Session and Startup->Application Autostart, and fuck you xubuntu for still not including an interface for this basic x11 config shit. you’re darned lucky you haven’t comprehensively sodomised the pooch like gnome or kde.

(i'd be running xfce debian if it wasn't as bloody ugly as sin and mint if they'd ever heard of security.)

how the fuck do you set preferences for nautilus when you’re not actually running gnome. edit: the answer: gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences default-folder-viewer 'list-view'

State of the Sebastian

Apr. 29th, 2016 11:31 am
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
You know that three-legged stool model where if possible it’s best to only make major changes in one of the legs of home, relationship, and work at any given time? I seem to be doing remarkably well right now, considering that I’m encountering a certain amount of complicatedness in all three.

The relationship stuff is simplest - [livejournal.com profile] obandsoller and I are rock solid, before anyone worries; but for a little while I let myself get my hopes up about a possible something with someone else, and then that didn’t pan out (yes, that’s the sad thing I referred to in the last post). I’m okay, and have bounced back remarkably quickly, but it’s been an undercurrent of uncertainty and anxiety as well as hopefulness for the last couple of months, which takes energy.

House stuff is hard work and infuriating. We found a place, and we knew that our maximum price was higher than the vendor’s minimum, so we were confident that we’d reach an agreement, but then the vendor got cold feet and it fell through. And then we found another place and had an offer accepted and got pretty excited, and now that’s been stalled for weeks and we think isn’t going to happen. And then we found another place and made an offer way above the asking price but were still outbid… And it’s getting a bit tiring, not knowing when it’s all going to be sorted out. I mean, we’ll find somewhere eventually, and once we get to the other side we’ll have a shiny new house and we’ll never have to move again, and it’ll be great. But still, it’s a bit tiring.

A similar undercurrent of uncertainty remains at work. My contract ends in a few weeks, at which point I’m having some surgery and will definitely be taking a bit of time off to recover, but I’m still not sure what I’ll be doing afterwards. My client has indicated that he’d like me to come back in some capacity, but so far has been rather unforthcoming on the details, and although there’s nothing terrible per se about my role at the moment, I’m getting quite bored. There are definitely more interesting projects that I think I could take on, but it remains to be seen whether my vision and my client’s are in concert, and the longer I go without knowing, the less engaged I feel, and the more inclined to just go “Sod it, time to move on”.

But as I indicated at the start, despite having a non-trivial amount of stress and uncertainty to manage, I seem to be bearing up extremely well. I know how lucky I am, being in a position to buy a house in London at all, and having the amount of freedom of choice about where and how I work that I have, and knowing that whatever else happens in my love life I’ve still got this incredible, affirming, enriching partnership with Ramesh. But often knowing that on paper doesn’t stop stressful things from being incredibly draining and clouding out that sense of fortune and gratitude, and that doesn’t seem to be happening this time around.

Now be sensible

Apr. 26th, 2016 09:33 am
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
I have booked this morning and tomorrow morning off work to attack the current essay crisis.  (tbh, if I tried to solve it with an all-nighter I'd end up taking time off to recover from that, this seems less foolish)

3 hours, assignment open, go.

Update:

I managed 2.5 hours with a short break after the first 90 minutes.  There's ... a lot more of it than there was, but also a lot left to do. That is what this evening and tomorrow morning are for. 

Stages of my assignment writing:
  1. outline
  2. structure
  3. hatred
  4. spitefully filling in structure
  5. grudging admission of interest
  6. absorption
  7. completion
  8. wow, that was a really interesting topic!
I am solidly in stage 4.

(and now it is raining and I have to walk to work imminently)

Mood and executive function

Apr. 25th, 2016 01:43 pm
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
Something I need to get better at is remembering how profoundly mood can affect my ability to do practical and useful things, and applying that to my model of other people. The effect of depression and related mood disorders in this arena is something I mostly grok, even though it’s been a long time since I suffered more than the most transient and trifling of depressions, but I’m currently a bit sad about something specific*, and it’s taken me rather by surprise how much of a similar effect it’s had in terms of making it hard to get out of bed and go to work and do my chores and be sociable with delightful people.

For the last few months I’ve been overwhelmingly more functional and productive than I ever had before, and it felt quite robust, so it’s a little surprising to find it this fragile. I mean, it hasn’t crashed down to zero - I managed to lift weights and cook dinner and play bridge yesterday, and although it took me a while to get going this morning, I’ve still made it into work and got a reasonable amount done so far; but it has felt like far more effort than I’d become used to. I expect it’ll sort itself out over the next few days, and if it doesn’t then all the tools I used to become more functional are still there if I need them to get back again, but I think it’s probably good for me to realise that no matter how resilient I feel, there are definitely still squishy bits really quite close to the surface.

I’m also uncomfortably aware that there have been times when thoughts along the lines of “why can’t so-and-so just pull themselves together and get on with things” have been closer to forming than I might like to admit, and although I think I’m usually fairly good at nipping them in the bud with a reminder that different people have different capabilities and needs and responses, perhaps this experience of how quickly capabilities can change even within one person will make them less inclined to reach the point where that nipping is required.

*which is just one of those unfortunate things which is absolutely no-one’s fault, and was handled as decently and kindly as possible by everyone involved, so just in case anyone is thinking of feeling anything resembling guilt about this sadness, don’t you bloody well dare.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
The ongoing return to work
Two more 4-day weeks at work have gone quite well - this is the Tue+Thu afternoons off model.  I have got quite a lot done, some of it urgent and important, without getting especially stressed.  I'm not as fast or as good as I'm "used" to being [as in, pre-cancer], but I'm being good enough, I think.   I have another two 4-day weeks booked, next week with Friday off, and the following week with Monday off.  This will let me find out which pattern is easier. 

I expect I will book another run of 4-day weeks after that though.  I'm still spending large chunks of my weekend days in bed, and rather more of my weekday evenings falling asleep early or sleepily hitting refresh on things without getting either OU study or Duolingo done, or even much reading.  I am really fed up of slow-motion OU essay crises, but I'm in the middle of another one, basically because I was too tired to study for too much of the last fortnight month.  Also, I use the app Regularly to track various self-care and housework tasks (which all need doing at some point - we're not talking make-work here) and I'm in the red on an awful lot there. 

So I'm regarding that as great honking warning signs that I'm running too close to my limits.  I plan to keep on doing 4-day weeks until I get my study hours back where they should be, and my Regularly dashboard back to mostly yellow and green.  I have enough leave left, together with things already booked, to do this until September, so I may as well take advantage.


Physical fitness
I had my second session of beginner's T'ai Chi today, and I'm really enjoying it.  It feels very gentle but focused; I've learned I can do it in a comfortable tunic and leggings, which is what I wear a lot of the time at the moment, and it's gentle enough I don't need to change.

I'm managing the cycling to work via nursery, and walking home via school okay at the moment.  I still get out of breath but no longer as boiling hot; I think I'm gradually getting faster, and it's becoming more routine.  On Monday I cycled to the hospital and back from work for an appointment, and on Wednesday from nursery to Hills Road and back on top of everything else, and wasn't completely flattened as a result.  Even so, like work, I think I'm doing enough right now, and shouldn't look to add anything else until study/Regularly tasks are under control.


Medical
Monday's test was a bone marrow sample.  It was moderately painful and I needed longer to recover before I felt able to go back to work than I would have predicted.  On the good side, they told me they got a good sample without apparently having to work too hard for it, unlike certain of the previous samples I've had taken.  I see the consultant on 10th May (it got moved back, I think because my test was later than originally planned) and as far as I know I won't hear anything before then.  All the external evidence is reassuring though.


... and this has taken me long enough to write and I need to do another chapter of study before I fall asleep.

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Matthew Garrett

About Matthew

Power management, mobile and firmware developer on Linux. Security developer at CoreOS. Member of the Free Software Foundation board of directors. Ex-biologist. @mjg59 on Twitter. Content here should not be interpreted as the opinion of my employer.

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