Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ten short days.

For those of you not up to counting, that puts my flight home on April 30th--yup, I set foot back on Torontonian-Canadian soil at 7:45pm (ahhh... 12-hour time). I'll forgo all the usual "this seems surreal," but if you could assume for me that it's there? Many other things remain to be done, of course, but that's April for you.

The plan is to be BBQ'ing and eating non-ketchup-tasting pizza somewhere around Southern Ontario for the summer. I have a few job leads, but nothing definitive... maybe Ottawa, likely the T Dot or Waterloo. So please, if you know of someone I could interest in a resume (the Penner Special), drop me a comment or an email. I've got soft. dev. and information management (tech. writing) down... but will switch career paths for food. Okay, not quite, but I might be interested.

Also, I hope to visit you at least twice and snatch a frisbee from out your grasping hands times innumerable. Plus, if you mangle sentences as badly as I've begun to, we can be friends.

Back to work, but keep Canada warm for me, eh?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Whoa, something to blog about, and it just kind of happened to me.

All right, so this post is going to be personal, as in, you might learn something about me. Sorry. But recently I've been working on this new plan whereby I try to do work all of (well, most of) the time, and "save up" my pointless internet exploration... for Friday afternoon, during which the (morally and lawfully legal) sky's the limit. It's fun! I'm done classes early, I usually just want to turn my brain off anyway, and it means I can waste time productively!

...or something. Right, so it's amazing how boring the magical interweb appears when you sit down and say "begin." But that's kind of the point, and besides, despite your best efforts, one or two collaborative bookmarking sites will usually be enough to get you going. With the imposition of a few ground-rules, like "no repetition" to avoid infinite time sinks--for example: clicking through pictures, posting comments (anywhere), and pretty much any kind of news but especially the odd surreal weird (life will continually outdo our ability to keep up, and yes, I spent a year reposting fark entries [can't promise the ads are tasteful--ed])--you can find yourself in some pretty interesting places, reading some pretty informative and interesting things.

Of course, Sir Net is the king of niches, and so anything I reveal here is going to "niche me," but I've already warned you about this so away we go:
  1. Start with a standard, eternally-making-the-rounds article, usually a reprint from 1993, often the type of straight-forward satire piece that stands the test of time:

    How to Deconstruct Almost Anything

  2. Marvel at the smooth writing, the witty perceptiveness, and the peculiar relevance of the intersection of literary criticism and computer engineering (here we go already!).

  3. Take a moment to find something to disagree with for superiority purposes (e.g. "clearly, the author fallaciously overgeneralizes literary criticism from an overtly reductive view of deconstruction"), note the irony, then accept the author's olive branch of "fine, there's some content in literary criticism." Nod with satisfaction at the successful completion of yet another brush with what could have been a conflicting worldview.

  4. Pause, get a crazed "I used to be in CS" look-in-your-eye, then hack the planet by removing parts of the URL to bring you to the main page, and *then* navigate through the (clearly pathetic) homepage until suddenly you find yourself at *that* talk about cyberspace, from (even earlier!) 1991, and realize, stunned, that his resume backs up every word.

  5. Spend some delightful minutes reading the rest of his opinion pieces, realize that once again someone has been you before you got there, and resolve to give up both the internet and your dreams for the sake of something more immediately tangible.

  6. (Upon return to reality, raise doubt in yourself as to whether you might not have already posted this before... vive la Derridean differed meanings of differance!)
Anyways, I know I've just made most of my audience cross their eyes and roll them at the same time (impressive!), but this kind of stuff *is* my druthers, and I'm now an official Google reader subscriber to The Habitat Chronicles, because who doesn't like statements like "our intuitions involving identity break down in the face of the scale of global civilization and the technological affordances of the Internet" (the promised part II of A Contrarian View of Identity)?

Regardless, if you didn't enjoy with some sort of primordial glee the depths of "Godel, Escher, Bach" (should we really have to link things anymore, especially when odds are someone's already biased it into Wikipedia?), you can relegate this "Chip" and, indeed, my entire post, to the land of overinflated internet ramblings.

Though if it's Friday afternoon, you may as well make yourself comfortable.