Forgot about my little DIY blog at slowass.net/~scott/blog.cgi. Haven't been updating my "daily coding log".
Anxious. Google wrote back with a rejection. No tour of the Googleplex for me.
Every now and then, I try to impress someone. It's silly, and it's ugly when I see other people do it. I want independant opinion -- have I worked hard? Have I had interesting breaks? Have I been interesting places, at interesting times? Have I been around to see the birth of interesting things? The question of whether these experiences rubbed off on me some way I can't even begin to breach. By and large, people seem pretty unimpressed. That's not the answer I was expecting -- this is a sanity check, part of diagnosing why things are in the unexpected state they are, and I wasn't expecting a negative response. So this is a piss poor litmus, or I have a lot of rethinking to do. Arguments can be made either way.
Google probably has a very good litmus developed; they wrote interview question software, with scoring and question categories and difficulty levels. I took the Geek-Quotiant test and failed it.
On the other hand, people overwhelming fail to think for themselves (sorry for the cliche) but instead delegate to others for metrics such as employee value. Working one job for several years and ending with a good title is a strong indication that someone else has confidence in you; scraping by as a consulting for several years does not. Writing free software that gains a large community is a strong vote of confidence; writing large, complex, technical programs that don't happen to find a user base (even though they're unique) does not. Qualification for a technical job is still a social test -- specifically, how your social web ranks you in the aspect of technical accomplishment. All around you there are people on cell phones who would rather convey information to and get information from other people than experience life first hand, at least for a large chunk of their time. I'm sure there is some interesting math behind it as to why it's effective, but delegating opinions as well as decisions to your sociel web is the safe and only sane route.
Crap. The fucking universe is defined in terms of itself with endless recursion on every question. I need something like Google's random-starting-point-partial-graph-traversals with statistical sampling to get any indication on anything. So far, my approach has been to throw common wisdom and caution on the wind and follow my heart. This has worked spectacularly badly. When I go looking for answers, I find none... resorting to behavior emulation, my guide could be summerized as "fear everything and everyone, but act like you like everything and everyone". Fucking crap.
So, as I was saying, I've been having a lot of anxiety lately, and it's keeping me from getting my work done. I've always kept myself from getting my work done. I'm either busy and can't get stuff done because I'm too busy with one thing that proves to be soaking up all of my time at the expense of everything else in my life and the expense of paying attention to what I need to do next, or else I have nothing but time and the question of where the next paycheck is coming from haunts me.
So, here I am, looking at investment property on eBay. I'm seeing 5 acre "ranchettes" going for about $2,650, if you go nice and rural. (Note to self: bring in plenty of supplies on the motorcycle before winter hits and the trail becomes impassible, or else con some yummie people into following me in.) RMS has a lot of bits of wisdom, but the "live inexpensively" I strongly agree with. I'm wondering if 5 acres would be enough that I could build a serial-killer style make-shift dwelling without the neighbors complaining... cement, rocks, timbers, mud, that sort of thing. It was popular during the 60's to drop out of society, but I'm not seeing any communes on craigslist. Buddhist temples in Japan do quite well for themselves, with wealthy business men and ordinary people alike dropping out of society and pursing happiness at a more fundamental level, but we seem to have nothing paralleling that here. But I'm not ready to drop out yet. When I'm ready to drop out, I won't have a dollar to my name. I know, it keeps happening and I keep not having dropped out. I want something to fall back on, psychologically -- I want to be able to say to myself, "well, if it gets really bad, I can take the tent and go camp on that acre I have over in east Arizona for a while". The lack of safety net plus my inability to incorporate myself into society unnerves me. And I can't concentrate. And that just sucks.