Michelle and I hiked 13 miles round trip to Pear Lake in Sequoia National Park on Monday. It’s been too long since I’ve experienced wilderness. That place where people aren’t. It’ll be interesting to see how biking overnight into the San Gabriels feels in comparison.
As of Monday, I will be living up to my official title at Caltech. I tried to quit grad school a couple of weeks ago. In response to Bob’s email: “Please let me know that you’re not dead.”, I replied: “I’m not dead, but apparently, I don’t want a Ph.D. either”. Today was to be my last day, with figures cleaned up for the Wahr et al. 2008 stress paper, and helpful outlines of future research projects written for my academic successors.
Michael Pollan talks about American gardeners (including himself) being unable to bring themselves to cultivate beauty, or to see that as their purpose. Instead, he says they cultivate virtue. Sometimes I wonder if American liberals also suffer from this affliction, except instead of seeking virtue at the expense of beauty, they seek it to the detriment of functionality. It doesn’t matter if this works, only that it’s right. And maybe American conservatives do this too.
I’d been wondering what was up with my tax rebate. The IRS sent me a notice today saying that I didn’t pay my taxes. Except, I did. They took the $291 I owed right out of my bank account on April 10th. I can only imagine that it was my name change that confused them. I called the 800 number as instructed, and was on hold for so long that my (admittedly decrepit) phone battery died. How exactly I’m supposed to fix this is unclear.
Since I started doing what would one day be called “blogging” in the mid-90s, and since Ideotrope came into existence in 2001, a lot has changed on the web. There are powerful and extensible open source content management systems available today that do most, but not all, of what I always wanted to do on the web. The software underlying Ideotrope has fallen into disrepute and disrepair, and other software has charged ahead, and garnered many thousands of users and developers. I believe it’s time for a change.