July 23rd, 2003

Illuminati

Today

Much better today. A combination of better diet and more sleep has meant that I actually feel vaguely enthused about life today. Nothing earthshattering, but if I could whistle I'd have been doing so on the way to work.

However, the IDE I work in isn't working properly since it got reinstalled, and I can't do any testing until it gets fixed. I left early yesterday after an hour of waiting for the necessary person to get out of a meeting, and this morning he's in another meeting until 10:30. I guess I'll have to find some other work to be getting on with...
Illuminati

Feldenkrais

I'm sure that someone on my friends list recommended The Feldenkrais Method. I can't, however, remember who it was.

Can whoever it was please offer advice on whether it's worthwhile?
Illuminati

Relationships

Inspired by other people's relationship polls...

It is better to

be fancied by nobody at all
21(42.0%)
fancied by people you don't fancy back
29(58.0%)

I'd rather go out with someone

smarter than me
17(34.0%)
as smart as me
33(66.0%)
less smart than me
0(0.0%)

I'd rather go out with someone

prettier than me
19(39.6%)
as pretty as me
28(58.3%)
less pretty than me
1(2.1%)

On balance, when choosing a partner

prettiness is much more important than intelligence
0(0.0%)
prettiness is a bit more important than intelligence
1(2.0%)
they are equally important
7(14.0%)
intelligence is a bit more important than prettiness
19(38.0%)
intelligence is much more important than prettiness
23(46.0%)

I'd rather go out with someone

older than me
18(38.3%)
the same age as me
22(46.8%)
younger than me
7(14.9%)

The youngest person I would go out with is

Mean: 21.56 Median: 20 Std. Dev 3.88
14
1(2.0%)
16
4(8.0%)
18
12(24.0%)
20
9(18.0%)
22
2(4.0%)
24
12(24.0%)
26
4(8.0%)
28
6(12.0%)
30
0(0.0%)

The oldest person I would go out with is

Mean: 39.29 Median: 35 Std. Dev 9.42
25
0(0.0%)
30
8(16.3%)
35
20(40.8%)
40
11(22.4%)
45
4(8.2%)
50
1(2.0%)
55
1(2.0%)
60
2(4.1%)
65
1(2.0%)
70
0(0.0%)
75
1(2.0%)
Illuminati

Unclothed

I'm not a big fan of clothes.

Which isn't to say that they aren't sometimes necessary (I do live in Scotland after all) or pretty. But in general clothes are something I put up with rather than delight in.

Erin can attest that when there's nobody else about the flat I tend not to bother with clothes, and that leaving the flat on a Saturday tends to involve an extra 5 minutes in which I finally go and get dressed.

I also have pretty much no embarrassment about nakedness. I don't wear clothes to stop myself feeling embarrassed around other people, I do it to stop other people feeling embarrassed around me.

Which, I'm sure, is a huge relief to all my workmates. Although even they will happily admit that we could live without ties...
Illuminati

Emotion

Following Erin's entry here on the wonders of emotion, I decided to write a piece on what I mean by "too much emotion". I then, of course, spent a week not feeling much like writing anything, and largely posting links and polls.

I'd like to start off by saying that I believe emotion is vital. The simplest way of stating my beliefs about the necessity of both emotion and reason is "Emotion tells you what you want. Reason tells you how to get it." Without emotion nothing would be preferable over anything else, and you'd be stuck staring into the middle distance. Without reason you'd not be able to work out the best way of getting to your goal.

When I met Alan Moore he talked about his initial involvement with magic. He had been worried that getting involved in magic would lead him headlong into a nervous breakdown (common amongst writers, pretty much universal amongst magicians). The problem being, how to tell if he was mad or not. Now, the problem here is that it's very hard to tell the difference between a drug-using author who worships a second century snake god and a madman.

The answer, he decided, was the level he was functioning at. If he was still being productive, still happy, still able to get on with the people around him, then he was fine. If he was a dribbling mess, painting the walls with his own faeces and unhappy then it was time to pull him back out.

The same thing, it occurs to me, is true of emotion. If you can't make decisions, nothing really attracts you and everything seems grey, then you don't have enough emotions (usually due to either drugs and/or depression). If, on the other hand, things can't go wrong without you collapsing in tears, the smallest slight has you screaming in anger and your happiness is so strong that you can't form coherent sentences, something is wrong.

Being uncomfortable meeting new people is a perfectly natural reaction. If the fear is so strong that you can't leave your house, that's too much emotion. Frustration at your plans going awry is ok, the rage causing you to lose control and punch holes in your walls (or worse, loved ones) is too much emotion. If a small slight from a friend has you sobbing that nobody has ever loved you or ever will, you have emotional problems.

It's not the feelings themselves - it's the proportionality of them to the cause. If your partner of 2 years leaves you, it's perfectly natural to spend a few weeks (or months) being overcome by emotion. Rage is a natural tool for dealing with people being complete bastards to you. But if it causes you to lose your grip on reality, or it causes you to become non-functional for long periods of time, then there's a problem.
Illuminati

Puzzles

A friend of mine asked me to post this in the hope someone would know the answer.

What replaces the ? in this sequence:

1, 3, 16, 16, ?, 125.
Illuminati

More Webcam fun

I spent hours trying to get MSN Messenger to work with my webcam. I tried hundreds of different things with my router. I changed DHCP settings, UPNP settings and almost everything else you can think of. I could not get it to transmit anything. All other people saw was a blak square.

Of course, one quick driver update for the Webcam and it all worked fine.

Bugger, bugger, bugger.