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I'm feeling inspired after reading a great post by [livejournal.com profile] hot_turkey about the importance of lovers being friends and of the delights of having friends with whom one can have wide-ranging creative and playful discourse. (Hmmm, too formal and stilted. Reading too much French. Shift.)

I like my friends to be smarter than me. Fortunately, this is pretty easy. Intelligence is a wildly multidimensional quality. It's especially easy for my friends to be smarter than me if they're either older or younger or have spent time in other cultures (same thing, if you think about it) or have interests I don't have, which they always do. It is a sure thing that they are smarter than I am if they simply are playful and curious, and these are qualities I treasure in my friends. Of course this means we are all mutually smarter than one another. Sometimes we even outsmart ourselves! :-)

I like it when my friends give me a viewpoint that I would never have myself, either on something familiar or something brand new. I really love it when there is enough overlap that we can inquire deeply into something where we both have enough background to go deep. Unfortunately, my friends rarely have really deep conversations with me. I tend to be intellectually aggressive and sometimes come off as a jerk. It can also be challenging because I question everything!

Outside of my wonderfully large circle of friends I often have trouble making contact with people. I enjoy living in the world of the "bohemian intelligentsia". People who participate with Burning Man, Tantra, etc. People with training from the Human Awareness Institute, Landmark Education, Body Electric, etc. People who read extensively and diversely. People who have traveled widely. People with exposure to diverse spiritual disciplines. People who value and express consensuality and authenticity. Etc., etc. No one has all of this richness, but in community it is accessible to all. No wonder my friends seem so smart to me.

_Greg
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Geneva just went into their Daylight Savings Time, so when I checked my PDA this morning it said 7am and it said that DST was on and even that my current "home" city is Geneva. Knowing my PDA, a palm pilot phone, I now knew it was either 7am or 8am or maybe something else and nothing I could do with it would tell me the truth. Even in the states where it has access to network time, it usually takes an extra day to figure it out.

A nice simple clock reliably tells me the time. I can then factor in DST or whatever without confusion. An enormously sophisticated system plugged into the net and kept up to date by experienced administrators who are up to date with changes in law can give me the current local time - usually, but not always - but I won't know the "real" time. Consumer devices frequently leave me in confusion these days. Fortunately, my computer uses Universal Time (Greenwich meridian, no DST) so now I know what time it IS and the local time as well - it was 8am DST.

Good morning!

_Greg
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Sher and I have been participating in a community and personal growth oriented retreat at an off-the-grid property on the Big Island of Hawaii. I've been experiencing breakthroughs in balancing and integrating my intellectual, emotional and physical expression. The experiences we're having are very rich and multi-dimensional. Internet connection is a bit weak, though. We'll be back in another week.

Aloha,

_Greg
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After another wonderful celebration at the Blowers I found myself requiring a nap today. I choose to associate my exhaustion with reminiscence of a lovely time spent with close friends.

This morning when I was assisting the heroic and generous Sizzle in cleaning things up before the Blowers awoke, she asked me if it was true that the things which happen on New Year's Day will reflect how the whole year will go. I said that if you believe such hokey notions on New Year's Day it was very likely that you would be deficient in reason all year. That seemed to settle it.

_Greg

(Cancers don't believe in Astrology)
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I'm a book person. A voracious, omnivorous reader. One of the key components of my personal website I've been working on is the presentation of my library and my favorite books. Then I read [livejournal.com profile] idiva's post about LibraryThing and I fell in love. I'm now putting the books I care about into My LibraryThing collection. Although I've hardly begun (only 40 books so far, a mere pittance) they are there for the world to see and comment on. I'll mention it again when I've got a more significant part of my collection and of the books I admire into the system.

LibraryThing's servers already show signs of strain - not because of my few books, I assure you! Like all great services on the web, as they're discovered, they suddenly have to handle a large load of requests. They're going to have to upgrade their infrastructure fast to avoid collapsing. I've helped a bit by buying a membership. I certainly hope they succeed and grow!

_Greg
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Covering any of my years at Burning Man in a single LiveJournal post is unworkable, yet it is apparently what I've been expecting myself to do; hence, the big silence. For anything so big, complex, rich and profound it is better to post small, preferably intimate impressions.

What got me out of my stupor today was a reminder by a friend of a sign that was there:

Don't worry about the demons that keep you awake at night...
It's the demons that keep you asleep during the day that are the problem.


_Greg
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Over the last five weeks I've lost a bit more than 20 lbs. I wasn't trying to lose any weight. I have been trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle. I've been (very) loosely following the suggestions in the book Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever. The premise of the book is that if we take good care of ourselves now, we might live long enough to take advantage of future technologies which will slow our aging, further enabling us to live long enough to take advantage of still further off technologies which could restore our bodies to youthfulness. I find the book to be a mixture of fairly hokey notions about the future and very well researched, obsessive ideas of how to optimize one's diet and overall lifestyle for longevity.
Read more... )
At the moment my whole family household (Sher, Bill, Cat and I) are reading three copies of the book. All four of us are very skeptical. All four of us have some background in health and nutrition (especially Bill and Cat). It feels really good that we're supporting one another in adopting sustainable improvements to our lifestyles, especially our nutrition. I'm hoping that there will be further benefits for me and that these benefits will show up for the rest of my family as well.
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I detest the credentials which are more and more required as proof of expertise. I thought I was done with Linux related credentials and then Novell notified us that the credentials they had us get last year and earlier this year would not be sufficient after July. We would have to pay $200 and sit their 2 1/2 hour "Practicum" exam. And me with five Novell Linux courses lined up to teach in September and October.

As usual, I've been a mess about it. It was very hard to get myself to study. The list of objectives to study for is huge. I know almost all of it from a practical standpoint, yet the earlier exams from LPI didn't test practical skills, they tested memorization skills - not my best skill. I finally sat the exam today and had a wonderful surprise: It was a real test of ability. They provided a network of servers (probably using vmware) and a set of objectives to accomplish with them. The servers were fully loaded including all of the usual documentation, so it was a true test of capability, not memory.

I did run out of time before quite finishing, so I "only" scored 776 out of 800. I do criticize them for not providing plenty of time, but overall I'm fairly satisfied. Most of the students I teach are planning and preparing for this same Novell "Practicum" exam, and now I can feel good about that and I can feel good about teaching the way I do.

So here I sit, recovering from being stressed out for several days, lack of sleep, etc. At some point I may actually feel happy about the whole thing.
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Over the last several weeks my close friends have been asking me what extra thing(s) I'd like to do or have to make my birthday special. I honestly couldn't think of a thing. My life feels very full right now. My projects are taking lots of energy and focus, They're going well and I'm accepting that they rarely move with the kind of momentum I'd prefer. Friends are expressing lots of love. I wish I had more time and energy to spend with them. I apologize if you're someone in my life whom I've been neglecting, and if that's so, please let me know.

I love the gentleness of Summer here in University City. I love the light coming in from the garden and the peacefulness here at home. Sher and I have been swimming the course at La Jolla Cove at least twice a week as part of our exercise program. Every time we do it I feel blessed (after the first minute or so it takes to adjust to the temperature ;-).

In a couple of weeks I'm leaving for Summer Camp. A week after I get back from that I'll be leaving for Burning Man. I've made promises about where my two key projects will be before leaving for those two wonderful adventures. Pressure! But today I'm doing only and exactly what I feel like doing. I'm having the kind of simple pleasurable day that Epicurus would recommend. Some other day I'll have one more like those of his followers'.

I stayed up late to read "The Half-Blood Prince" which Bill gave me as a bday present. Harry Potter is pretty light stuff for adult readers, but I think JK Rowlings has done more to advance children's literacy than anyone since Dr. Seuss - and she's significantly contributed to those children being thoughtful and tolerant. I also just finished Brian Greene's "The Fabric of the Cosmos", a popular book about the nature of spacetime written by a leading physicist. Given its need to avoid any math it does a good job, but I could wish for someone to do for math in our culture what JK Rowlings had done for reading. We need a George Gamow for this century.

Have a great day every day, whether it's "special" or not.

Love,

_Greg
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This is a meme borrowed from idiva:

I'd like to ask that anyone who reads this add to the comments something they would LIKE to do with me SOMEDAY. Then post this in your journal to find out what I want to do with you.

I'm looking forward to reading the comments.

Thanks,

_Greg
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At the beginning of the week I was feeling really down, no energy, no mental focus, unwilling to pick up any of the intellectually challenging projects I'm currently involved in. I barely got done the urgent non-intellectual tasks. When I tried to just "snap out of it" I wound up taking a long nap. I also made a serious mistake taking our most important server offfline for an hour. What did I think was going on? Clearly, another sign of my lack of moral fortitude, a sign of my questionable worth as a human being.

The next day, Wednesday, I had chills, slight nausea and a general sense of being under a viral attack. What wonderful news! As my interpretation shifted from functional to organic I let myself off the hook. I took a long nap with a clear conscience. I no longer expected myself to accomplish anything challenging. I was now proud of myself for getting basic things accomplished and giving away what I could.

What a crock it is to be so ready to come down on myself! This is a good reminder of the value of listening to my self-critic: none, zero, zip.

Sher came down with the same thing two days later. So did Amanda. Maybe you, Dear Reader, will get it, or you already have.

I'm pretty much over it now, with most of my energy back and a slight cough. I've just plunged back into the new web framework I'm learning, which I wasn't willing to face at all two days ago. I'm once again reminded of how dependent I am on my body's support, and how clueless *I* am about what's going on with my body.

I made a mistake this morning trashing a system install I'd spent half of yesterday doing. It took only a few minutes to let go of the upset and redo the work with improvements. A slight lack of energy makes mistakes extra easy. It is not a moral failing!
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Based on the lj interests lists of those who share my more unusual interests, the interests suggestion meme thinks I might be interested in
1. functional programming score: 18
2. transhumanism score: 13
3. sex positive score: 12
4. lisp score: 12
5. game theory score: 12
6. nonviolent communication score: 11
7. prolog score: 11
8. compersion score: 10
9. sapiosexuality score: 10
10. extropianism score: 9
11. haskell score: 9
12. cybernetics score: 9
13. algorithms score: 9
14. compilers score: 9
15. programming languages score: 9
16. sacred sex score: 8
17. biotechnology score: 8
18. extropy score: 8
19. nvc score: 8
20. scheme score: 8

Type your username here to find out what interests it suggests for you.
Popularity Ceiling: (Please be patient!)

changed by [livejournal.com profile] ouwiyaru based on code by [livejournal.com profile] ixwin
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Not too bad. The main surprise is that so many of these rank low. The only unrecognized item is "sapiosexuality". I'll have to look that one over.

_Greg
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Now I seem to have three online presences:
my nascent geek page
my page as _greg at tribe
and LiveJournal.

Tribe has a primitive blogging feature — or maybe it's that people on tribe aren't really into blogging like they are here. I enjoy the sense of connection I have there, yet nothing much is done with all that connection. I've just uploaded a few pictures of myself to my tribe page, something I wouldn't really do here. I still need to find some good gallery software so that I can attach my photos to my geek page.

Community website software has lots of room for improvement. This is good!
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OK, it seems that I can't learn a new programming language and a new web framework in one day on my own. This time.
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That was the best earthquake I've felt at home. I was in my water bed, which shook very nicely. After we looked at all the neat computer generated analysis Sher asked "what would we do without our computers?" and I realized I should call my Mom. She was out walking her dog and didn't feel it, despite being only 9 miles away. I also called my sister who lives in Borrego Springs, very close to the epicenter. She was up on a ladder repainting her bathroom! Her pets freaked out and she was still shaking 20 minutes after the quake. Like us, she had gone to her computer first, but appreciated my thinking of her. The drive to get information and reassurance is fundamental. The web is now our first source, but it doesn't replace human contact.

Home!

Jun. 12th, 2005 03:44 am
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My travels were good and it's so good to be home. Sher was supposed to be away for two more weeks and her schedule changed at the last moment and she's home too! We're both jetlagged and that's fine. Bill went shopping for us and turned up the heat on the spa. He's fixing dinner for us tonight. I walked to the store and got milk and ice cream. Home. Simple mundane wonderful things. It's so good to be home!

Homepage

Jun. 6th, 2005 10:38 pm
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I now have a provisional homepage. It doesn't look pretty, but it's a start.

It's at ngender.net/jgd

What got me to start putting it together more than anything else was my desire to share what I'm reading and hope to connect with other people who are reading the same or similar things.

If you check it out, expect it to be very geeky!
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I'm on my way out of England in a couple of hours. I stopped to check /. and LiveJournal one more time and discovered two new LiveJournal friends!!!

Although I'm not a frequent journaler (the recent spurt nonwithstanding), this medium gets better and better the more friends share it with me. This is also one of the reasons why I'm doing R&D on community webware.

Hi new friends!

Now I'm on my way to Chicago for the week, then home.

Love,

_Greg
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Yesterday I went back to Oxford. I love going somewhere for the second time. I have a general sense of things. My feet know how to get around without my having to consult a map. I retrieved my favorite jacket from the restaurant where I left it last Saturday. I joined a two hour walking tour which included part of the Bodleian Library.

I was very moved by the story of the original collection being burnt during the Reformation. Burning books is as horrible to me as burning people, and they did that, too. Still, few if any works were truly lost, and what a wonderful place it became afterwords. We are almost at the end of a great era: The great classical libraries are now engaged in digitizing their collections and making them universally available. In the early days there was nothing like copyright: if you could afford to copy a book, you didn't need to ask anyone's permission. Now, the only thing which keeps us from making all recorded human expression universally available is coming up with an acceptable alternative to copyright.

I finished my Oxford pilgrimage with afternoon tea at the Grand Cafe, the first coffeehouse in Britain. Coffee came there before tea, so I should have had coffee, but I'm not passing up any opportunities to clot my arteries with clotted cream while I'm here. Finally I went to Blackwell's, the oldest, biggest and best bookshop in Oxford. Another institution I love, and another institution which will hopefully soon pass.

_Greg
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