And now, for something entirely different: Piri-Piri Jelly.
So fall has been somewhat busy for me. I moved, got a new job (as a professor at UQàR), but pretty much everything is fine now. I’ve got a nice house with a view that I rent; it’s smallish but comfy.
Well, anyway. I write to say that I will resume my blogging, posting every tuesday morning, as I used to. Starting today.
I have been running the blog for four full years now, never missing a week, posting some 345 entries. While the experiment has been quite enjoyable, I feel it is time for me to move on to something else.
To avoid repeating one self, or doing trivial entries too often, one must always push forward. Some blog entries took half an hour to write, but a lot actually asked for quite a bit o’work. Keeping the pace has been increasingly difficult given all the other things that are going on in my life.
I have thought for a while of merely slowing the pace and posting say, twice a month, because I would have enough material to do so—a lot comes up all the time. For a while, I thought of posting only the occasional entry. But I think it will keep asking for more time, and that my energies are needed elsewhere presently.
I would like to thank my followers (there are quite a few) and all the others for all the good discussions in the (800-something) comments. I will not close the blog, so I will still manage it, at least for a while.
The other day, I was discussing with a friend about my log books, and it seems that, while it’s fairly common with scientists of all sorts, it’s not a generalized practice amongst computer scientists and programmers. But it should: the log book is not only for chemists.
First, the log book serves as… a log. A written trace of your activity during the day. While this sounds silly, it may be useful in retrospect when it is needed to assess time spent on a particular (class of) task(s), to get a good idea of were you are spending your time at work.
A couple of weeks ago, my basement got flooded by meltwater. Fortunately, long story short, I’ve got insurances for that, and except for the basement underfloor that will need to be redone, relatively little damage was done. No computers floating, nor furniture. It could have been a lot worse. Wet, but not floating, was a box containing backups and old CDs and DVDs with data sets.
Luckily, this box was air/watertight and its contents remained dry. What kind of box was it?
For years, I had to get up really early to beat the traffic (which is increasingly stupid in Montréal) and find a parking spot near ETS (where I work). Suffice to have one circulation cone misplaced (or a dick using two parking spaces) and you have to pay for parking.
However, working schedules can really mess you up, and I decided recently to let go of it and just get at work later.
Making a difference isn’t easy. Like everybody else, we are taken by our daily tasks and obligations and we end up having little or no spare time, and, anyway, we rarely know how to make a difference with the means we can afford.
Making a donation (other than getting rid of the clothes or furniture we can’t stand anymore—and that nobody wants anyway) isn’t easy because we are never sure we can actually afford to give money away and that we are never sure that the money goes were it should and that it’s used as it should.
Progress, as conceived by most people, consists in replacing older objects, techniques, or philosophies by newer, better, ones. Sometimes indeed the change is for the better, but sometimes it is just change for change—ever had an older device of some sort that was perfectly adequate for your usage, yet you still replaced it with a newer version with no net gain? Unfortunately, the same happens with ideas, especially with mathematics and computer science.
But there are lessons to be learnt from the past. I’m not talking about fables and cautionary tales; I’m talking about the huge body of science that was left behind, forgotten, superseded by modern techniques.