Having Been Human
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Fri May 18 17:43:24 2012
Returning to Locality

Today: Had a very pleasant phone second interview with a big tech company, talking about the philosophy behind some design decisions in Unix. An interview it was, but it was also a nice conversation of the sort that I haven't had much of in years. My social needs are a bit recharged. There was a second big tech company I was supposed to phone interview with, but the recruiter apparently became ill and missed the appointments. Oh well.

Currently at another coffeeshop a few blocks from my house, the one I found when I was walking to a bus stop to check out Roede Hoek. This place is called Qathra. It's not huge, but it has a neat atmosphere, a nice deck in the back, decent coffee, and good food. Prices are pretty reasonable for NYC. When walking by I just thought of it as a neat place to check out for variety's sake, but it's a few notches up from that on investigation.

That's one of the things I am still getting used to in NYC; there are not just a few nice places that you can know all about (like in Columbus, Pittsburgh, or Philadelphia); there are more places worth visiting than there is time to visit them. My standards are not high enough that I can easily differentiate the variety of more-than-acceptable pleasant places. My habits of giving the worthwhile places a yellow star on GMaps are blanketing the whole city. Still worthwhile; less than 20% of any given kind of place is worth visiting (so randomly going someplace is a bad bet), but that's still an abundance. The one thing that's remained constant for me is that Yaffa is the best.

If I can just get a decent and fulfilling job, some friends, a signficant other, and lessening of the migraines and depression, things will be pretty good. I'm liking NYC.

Recently finished with a videogame mania; got a PS Vita, downloaded Disgaea 2 and 3 and Touch My Katamari, and was playing them a bit excessively for awhile; now relaxing that a bit having beaten them all; there is post-game content (and all of them have some replay value), but I'm getting back to philosophy and sketching and other hobbies again.

I sometimes find broad societal aesthetics weird; there's a reasonable amount of pressure for men to have really short hair, wear a certain kind of button-down shirt, a few acceptable kinds of pants, nice shoes, etc. I go back and forth on the shirt thing; I loathe business suits (and think less of people when they're wearing them outside of opera or a few other circumstances), and am not into the preppy look, but funky button-downs are now something I commonly wear. I really don't like the short-hair prescription though; on one level I don't like how lower-class european norms have become the standard, and on another I think bigger hair on guys leaves more room for personality. Plus I tend to find a completely shaved head tends to look thuggish. I wish the norms for male dress hadn't come down where they have; I don't mind going against the norms (some things might always look weird to me by the way I've been raised, but intellectually I'm comfortable going beyond my snap/gut judgement), but why are they where they are in the first place? Why did we decide that the cool, varied garb and hair from Elizabethian times should be replaced by the dull, uniform look that the theoretically best-off men wear today? What a dumb collective decision.

I think in clothes it'd be great if we worked on broadening those norms and pushing very hard against the suit-and-short-haircut look as being prestigious. That look is lamesauce and we can do better.