Blog: Looking Backwards and Sideways

Looking Backwards and Sideways
Looking Backwards and Sideways
Date: 2019-Aug-25 15:11:48 EST

One of the interesting things about having gone from SRE to SWE in the transition to my current job is still being on a team that has a side that manages infrastructure - for major ops I still see all the chatter that goes on in doing infrastructure (even at this relatively small scale), knowing that I'm not taking part. It's liberating, but also makes me a little itchy. The liberatingness is more important - by being largely uninvolved in that I don't need to engage much in conflicts of vision with anyone else, nor does my tendency to sacrifice my entire personal life to the job come out. I do have my own small infrastructure in AWS for the coding projects I'm working on, but they're few enough in number that they're trivial to keep going.

For DragonCon travel, I've made the PaperDoc checklist of things I need to do today/tomorrow, and I'm pretty sure I haven't missed anything big, so there's just a little bit of execution and I'll be off. To go through some avocados I have that won't last the absence, I've been making avocado rolls. I'm not in the salt-craving stage that makes that amazing, but it's still pretty good. I think a lot of my dietary swings have to do with managing different kinds of food cravings, and over the years a certain expertise in using those rather than struggling with them takes shape. It's probably more challenging when doing this with a life partner unless both bodies tend to move through the same swings (or can be managed to do the same - the meals not eaten together could be seen either as a challenge or a tool to attain this).

Tonight I'm going to a Flogging Molly concert. I haven't been to live music for a good while; maybe almost a year. I don't think I've ever seen FM live before. Hoping I enjoy it. They have a fair set of good songs, but for me their "likable rate" is about 40 percent.

A few thoughts:

  • Dershowitz has been spending credibility more than stashing it. Given that this isn't a real trial, I wonder if the mock trial he is involved in defending biblical figures from child trafficking charges can be said to say more about his views. It isn't necessarily, although all of this is pretty weird, and it should remind us that people distant enough from us by time or distance often have fairly different ways of seeing the world.
  • I'm worried about efforts towards peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Allowing their return strikes me as a terrible idea, and instead of talking, I would rather see them wiped out. What they do to Afghan society when in power is dangerous for the world, and there's no reason to trust them in any agreement.
  • Vaccine policy, like abortion policy, can make fundamentally decent people with single differences in their understanding of the world or values into die-hard opponents. As is, I support ending custody for parents that deny vaccines or other important medical care to their children. But I could imagine some version of me that didn't believe in effectiveness of vaccines (or believed them to be harmful) seeing it worthwhile to use violence to prevent the state from forcing that on my children. It's unfortunate how sharp that policy edge is. I hope as a society we can find ways to persuade people onto the right side of that line without curtailing free speech. This, unlike abortion, is a policy question that depends on something that fits almost entirely into the true-false domain.
  • I don't have a lot of involvement in this particularly because I don't read a lot of comics, but I find this plan from Marvel to have a continually retconned war sometime back for its characters to have fought in to be philosophically abhorrent and a marker of shoddy writing. Part of it is this - they could just have stories set in the past so as not to mess with the origins of characters but still have new stories. Or, they could just retire old characters and invent new ones occasionally. The latter is probably preferable. Either of these doesn't make a mess of continuity, and the latter pushes some badly-needed innovation.
  • The All Of Us/PMI initiative is finally starting to accept broad participation. I've felt this is good for society since I first read about the plans.