Having Been Human
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Mon Jul 16 18:45:35 2012
Thinking about a Plan B

Yesterday I led a discussion group in one of the philosophy groups I'm part of; it was on moral absolutism/relativism, and I'm pretty sure I managed to be much more of a tourguide than an explainer of my opinions. I'm not sure how well it was drilled home that absolutism-vs-relativism is entirely orthoganal to whether people push their values or not, but I think they were having the right conversation generally. At only two hours, unfortunately, we were just enough into it to where we were almost ready to ask the really interesting questions, for example, "what is the nature of our desire for moral absolutism?"; a good answer to that is necessarily sophisticated, and gets into the notion of what kinds of things we naturally want to put into our concepts; it would've taken exampining a few other broad-but-tricky concepts in philosophy to give us enough material to jump right onto that topic, but if we could get enough of the people onto it we could have amazing conversations.

As it happened, one of the guys there led a philosophy group in StLouis; I challenged him to compare/reconcile Nietzsche and Kant (specifically the notions of master/slave morality and the categorical imperative); he fielded it well. I also had a fun time pointing out how EvPsych and Mozi relate to issues of favouritism in the application of morals (Categorical Imperative, and so on). I wanted to get into Kierkegaard, but there wasn't time; I prepared a lot more than I needed to. I might've dipped a bit too much into Sharia and Halakah when we were discussing the relationship of law and morality; I knew the crowd had a few (secular) Jews, but those topics didn't get a lot of main-group discussion (although while we were taking a snack break a few of us had a smaller conversation on eruvs).

So generally that went well. I'm still having problems with depression though; the lonliness is making me feel stir-crazy, and all this feels more like a mockery of what life should be like than a proper life. Not sure how to fix this. My life is in desperate need of more people.

Still reeling from the interview mess, but trying to get myself ready to think about a plan B now that plan A seems to be sunk. Just because I fell in love with a job doesn't mean I win it; I should know that well enough from all the people I've wanted as friends or lovers over the years. Occasionally I meet geeks here who manage to do enough contract work that they seem to be doing well without a fulltime job. Maybe that'd be a decent way to live, if I could manage to be businesslike enough for it. They're pulling in a lot more income than I need to live comfortably, and I could buy insurance and get a bigger apartment and all that while only moderately increasing my workload, probably. It's not the ideal thing, but the ideal thing is often hard to find and harder to get. I think the big challenge is that being an entrepreneur is not really in my nature. There are two edges that an employee never needs to deal with that hourly unstructured workers must get right; striking up opportunities in ways that are not totally disadvantageous to them, and managing to maintain those ties in a way where they actually get paid reliably. I've always preferred the familylike relations inside a workplace.