Elias presents ... a worm!    Thoughts on family, philosophy,
and technology


Monday, February 28, 2005

My wife's funny

I wish I had a way to scribe the pearls Amy one-offs most days. Such as this, an attempt to recreate the Preamble to the Constitution from memory:
We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, do solemnly swear WAIT A MINUTE!!!

Friday, February 25, 2005

When smart people make foolish decisions

I've been too busy to write lately. Mainly because the honeymoon at work is over, the deadlines are coming fast now. But at least I have dealt, emotionally, with the greatest problem at my job: the fact that the execs don't know how to run a software development shop. The great project that I was hired to help with 8 months ago, the one that was supposed to solve the company's woes in the market by duct-taping an acquired system to the existing main system, is now approximately 10 months late and has already been deprecated, even before we launch it. Somehow, people with a lot more power and a lot less information than engineers like me have decided that this system isn't going to work that well after all, so we're going to rewrite everything in a separate procect, and that will solve the company's woes. And this total rewrite is going to be deployable in 9 months. ... It is hard for me to describe what I think of these decisions and plans without using a stream of foul language, so I will just summarize by saying that these may be the most categorically foolish decisions I've directly encountered in my career.

To end on a positive note: Elias, my most wonderful son, makes every day a joy on this planet for me, even if there are some silly happenings at work.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The value of college education

Amy and I were having an interesting discussion of the proposed value distinction between private and public college educations. Being down on the quality of college education in general (due to the prevalence of really bad philosophy in our culture), and having attended a state school, and having taught myself more from textbooks than I ever learned from lecturing professors and the other things unique to collegiate life, I'm very skeptical that a private college education is worth the extra expense in this era. In a better culture, the more expensive educations which tend to be the better educations, but today I wouldn't expect the Western Civ. class at Harvard to be better for one's psyche than the one at State U., since the Harvard professors are much more likely to be on the bleeding edge of subjectivism and nihilism.

I've been listening to some lectures on Ancient Greek history by a professor at U. of Pennsylvania, which last I heard is the most expensive public university in the country. The lectures are good and I thoroughly enjoy them, but he clearly doesn't think much of any supposed cultural superiority of the Greeks, i.e. his presentation is predicated on multiculturalism.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

ee-LIE-ess happenings

Elias is crawling now. He suprised us about a week ago by suddenly, one evening before bed time, showing that he could not just creep (a form of locomotion most unfortunately involving the face), but "walk" his hands as he moved forward with his body raised. I had been wondering how long it would take for him to figure this skill out, because it is quite a dramatic change from creeping, requiring the ability to balance with one hand planted on the floor while the other makes its move. But now he makes it look quite easy, when he decides to do it, and even makes quite exagerrated arm movements, lifting the hand a good six inches off the ground with each "arm step".

His first tooth is getting more pronounced now, and for the first time it really hurt when he bit my finger last night. Amy claims if your keep the pad of the finger towards the tooth it doesn't hurt, but I am "twice shy" now, as they say.

We have also settled on how to pronounce our son's name. Excellent. Good thing we figured that out before he turns six months, eh? ee-LIE-ess. Sometimes we have said eh-LIE-ess or even uh-LIE-ess, but those seem wrong, especially since the first E is definitely long in the shortened Eli. And we are thinking of favoring the long version day-to-day, since there seems to be a lot of Elijah's popping up. We'll see how that goes. I still have a tendency to use Boo-Boo.

Factoid: Elias was the 452nd most common male name in the U. S. 1990 census, and Williams was the 3rd most common last name.