Thought Overflow…Golda’s BlogIf memes are like genes, then having a conversation in which you share ideas and come up with new ones is like…?


Archive for November, 2010

what is the world coming to? Broken links on an site – to the latest source tarball for the apache httpd server, no less

ah well – its Thanksgiving ( but that should only affect the US… )

0 deciding

Golda to RandomWrites  

I’m wide awake now, looking down at mountains poking up out of a rippling sea of clounds, side-lit by the dawn. In a plane, not on a mountaintop, but still striking.

The problem is as always: how to spend the moments of time. Deciding on each one is maybe the most wasteful; but hooking into precanned entertainment is not something I want in me. I would like to decide for myself, mindfully, what to do with my time. Most of it is already taken: work, deadlines, paperwork, and the good part, attentioning the kids. Sweet sleep and exercise are worthy too. But – what am I building, creating, or figuring out that is of any lasting worth? Most code is useless within a few years; or worse, still has to be supported 20 years later!

Even if I’d written a transport layer used by millions (without their realizing it, of course) I don’t think it would be what I really want to contribute. Writing must be it, though to communicate values or patterns it will have to be more entertaining than this!

For some reason I love reading introspective writing myself. Hunger of Memory was liberating, because it seemed to make it ok to muse in a bit of a heavy-handed way, to use beautiful language constructs, if that is who you are. Well – this is me. I am stuck in that middle piece of music, the pensive part before the lively bars continue, because I’d like to pick which way to run and dance.

The problem with life is, the predators have most time to plan their next move. Non-predators have to spend more time just gathering and eating. Seems to be true of business predators as well…

0 What would be enough?

Golda to RandomWrites  

I could be better at paying bills, cooking, and cleaning the house. Especially cleaning. But who wants to be the world’s best dishwasher? Or Java coder? Really – I am deeply into best practices, and while coding is significantly more satisfying than washing dishes (at least you are making something, and the patterns are arguably more complex; arguably, because we still don’t have software capable of driving an autonomous dish-washing robot!) it’s not enough.

What would be enough?

If I could polish bTeaching, make it a dynamic and widely-used repository of teaching ideas and techniques, meanwhile exposing the relationships between ideas to the semantic web and helping certain bright but behind kids I know at my daughter’s school catch up faster on math and reading…that might be enough.

At least for now.

The always frustrating, exasperating part, is that I know or feel its possible, that I could do these things. But life..responsibility..its not that, its merely a matter of realistic planning, discipline, and determination. Leaf By Niggle I love that story. Tolkien expresses all this much better than I can. But I didn’t pay attention, the first time I read it, to the discipline Niggle learns in his afterlife, and then the largeness of spirit he and his neighbor attain. Ah..I’m afraid I’m not even up to the standard of making one sparklingly beautiful Leaf.

0 scared

Golda to RandomWrites  

Terrified that I’ll forget, or make a mistake, or that something bad will happen. How can I live free from fear if I’m afraid of myself? I don’t want to make my kids this way either – responsible yes, but afraid no. Is the difference just a matter of organization and procedure?

Writing – do I have the right to write? What makes me think I can tell anyone what they might do?

0 Just write?

Golda to RandomWrites  

Can it be that simple? But what about dishes, feeding the fish, deadlines, svn commits and never, never making a serious mistake?
Just write?

That’s not all Laraine Herring said in Writing Warrior – a book I stole 10 minutes to read in Antigone Books while my 5 year old napped on my shoulder. Also: “You cannot dissect something until it is alive”, in reference to a pedagogical method of teaching aspects of writing. I love that sentence. Not sure that I want to dissect it even after it is alive, but hits some truth nonetheless. She said to breathe, shake and not be afraid to cut.

But the main take home message was the simple one: just write.

So many things I want to write.

About values, temporary and permanent, deep hunger and hunger for pizza, and why and how one can replace another. Sort of like my favorite line from Granny D (paraphrased): “Sometimes I’d look out into the desert and feel a strong desire to just walk out there and disappear. And then other times I’d want an ice cream sundae with chocolate syrup. Life is lived somewhere between these two extremes.”
I loved Granny D, Doris Haddock, even though I only met her twice and I didn’t write and tell her how much she meant to me before she died.