Food for thought

| Thursday, July 30, 2009

What if you die next month? Next weekend? Tomorrow? You never know what's around the corner. One little faux pas, and it could release horrendous consequences that extinguish your flame like a thumb and forefinger. Gone.

Gone. With no time beforehand to protect your computer.

unshifted on Reddit narrates a potential posthumous happening:

They'll have to learn how to use computers after you die. Who else can [your parents] turn to? Then one day while feeling whimsical, they'll go through the files on your computer. They'll find some papers you wrote ("He sure was a smart kid, wasn't he?" they'll say, teary-eyed). Then they'll find some political cartoons you've saved. It will remind them of you. Their loss will feel real to them all over again.

Then one of them will say, "Aw shucks, we need to update the pictures we have hanging around in the house. He probably has a couple pictures of himself on here. What's that thing we learned in that computer literacy class we took to honor his memory? Ah, yes. We'll just search for pictures and movie files. We'll be able to find the right ones." Then they'll see it. The search results for E:\Program Files\AIM95\config\default.

It's all downhill from there. They'll change your epitaph to "Here lies Liru. Filthy heathen sure loved tentacle porn."

Quote from a thread on Reddit on this topic.


| Sunday, July 19, 2009

When I get hit by a thought of ✺, I get incredibly nauseous. For as long as ✺, the feeling lasts. No matter how busy I am. I want to puke everything I ever ate, everything I ever drank, everything I ever felt or smelled or heard or seen. I want to shovel out everything I've absorbed from other people and everything I've developed myself to be. I want to gut myself of every impurity ever touched or conceived and

I want to say ✽

but no matter what, my words will appear clear as glass, and the option to hold and feel their weight is unavailable. My words can only ever feel the impact upon the ground when swept away, so all I can do is box them in cotton for storage. Nothing is changed either way.

Six months stretching into forever. Sad part is, I deserve this. As long as I'm alive though, I believe I should live; but how can I live full when I am periodically shot ✺ around blind corners?

I can't ✽✺.
I can probably ✽myself.
It should be easy but I make it hard.

Just an Example

| Thursday, July 9, 2009

Textbooks love using examples. It's a way to illustrate the information in a real-world setting. It's a way to repeat everything they just said in a different format. And especially when featuring a hypothetical John or Betty, it can be a nice creative change from the dry informative bulk. I can appreciate all of that, especially on technical topics that don't entirely click in my head until there is some sort of hands-on connection.

Writing and speech textbooks use examples a lot, too, but this is where I start to wonder whether examples become overkill. Writing and speech classes usually require a lot of thinking and writing on my part, and although the lectures and reading are pretty catalytic to the learning process, the actual project is most of it (including planning, writing, revising, and reflecting). When having to read this textbook before starting on a large writing assignment, I'm interested in what insight it has to show me, but in a concise format, please. Paragraphs slow me down. I want lists and tables. With long reading assignments, I usually skip paragraphs and try to focus on the main points, sometimes reading deeper if I want to know more about one. But sometimes paragraphs are all they've got. It's annoying, because that's especially when without warning, they will start in on an example. Like this.

For example, Toni, a recently graduated computer engineer,

I stopped right there. Toni? That is a girl's name. I scanned the next few sentences and confirmed that yes, Toni was a she. Well excuse me for acknowledging this as a little uncommon, but we all know that out of a handful of computer engineering graduates, you're probably not going to come across a female until you grab another handful or two. I don't have a problem with other women in that field, obviously; I'd totally be fine with more. I'm just a little taken aback at how deliberate that is.

Why do they do this? Is it to make the example kind of pop out as an interesting one, like "Ah that's pretty cool, a lady in engineering in a position of power in a firm, I wonder what her deal is"? Or is it just to offer diversity, like how they put stock photos of happy minority figures on company webpages? Or maybe it's to keep PC-weenies from stopping in their tracks in their edumacation to go "Why do all computer geeks have to be men?!" Well good for them--I stop in my tracks at the opposite. (I guess they just can't win.)


Maybe these things are subtle details that shouldn't require a second thought, but I really can't help but notice. I'm not sure what that makes me. Maybe even... my outrage was just a giant excuse for me to procrastinate on my reading.