So I turn on the news this morning for the first time in months and I'm confronted with the story that campaign contribution limits for corporations have been overturned by the supreme court and that the language is so broad that it gives true free speech rights to corporations.
The grand experiment is over. I had some hope this last election cycle in the power of the people, I felt that we could affect the course of the country a little bit, maybe by 8-10% or so. That irrational feeling is gone.
I feel like I should be more sad but I'm not, I've always been a person that embraces change. Money is now in control of this country and the american business sector controls most of the money. In Charles Stross's excellent book Accelerondo, government on earth eventually becomes detached from geography and is an organization you buy into, sort of like the AAA. In Neil Asher's great set of polity novels business eventually learns to create artificial intelligence, that AI eventually gains control of the company and then the AIs in charge of the companies battle it out for supreme leadership over earth.
It's always easy to forget that we're living in the future. If I had more drive I'd set up an opt-in government on my own but as always by development and creative energy is tapped. Pretty soon, somebody out there is going to create the first opt-in government. The citizens will still have to play by the rules of the geographic government of course but it will set the stage.
There will be a winter party. Last year, if you remember, we had bad movie night which was a great time. The exact date of the party is still a bit murky it will be dependent on when we get our boxer puppy but the puppy will be present for the festivities.
I do want to give some advance warning on the theme though because it can take some planning. It will be a mashup between apples to apples (I think we've all played that) and youtube.
We'll have a set number of judges who will be assigned random apples to apples cards (the adjective cards) and I'll send out an email before time so you can prepare. Then we can select youtube videos instead of the red cards. So if Amanda got the ("Yummy") card we'd all look for youtube videos that would seem the most "yummy" to amanda.
I'm not dead set on the food yet but we're thinking "soups".
I'm thinking that this will happen sometime in early march. I know it's a bit late but hopefully the puppy will be doing well by then.
Finally, we will have a total of five sleeping spots (two on a futon, one on a twin bed and two more on two couches) in case anyone from out of state doesn't want to drive back or we get snowed in.
Life is going well. I'm still in love with the house. That being said I'm very particular about my the environment in which I live so there are still a ton of things I'm not happy about and want to fix. We're getting a dog sometime in December, a boxer which is exciting but I'm still pretty darn worried about messing the dog up even though I know we'll do a great job.
In less than a year I've gone from living alone in a small house in Woonsocket to living with Amanda in Warwick in a huge (to me) house, being a landlord and soon I'll be living with a dog. I've got a huge mortgage now and even though I've gone over it a million times and the budget is solid and pretty easy it's still kind of daunting.
Overwhelming is the word but it's OK. It's what I want.
I thought of perhaps the greatest hobby I've every thought up although is completely impractical and probably impossible. Making molds of religious statues on church grounds under the cover of darkness and building full size replicas out of concrete in my backyard.
Crowdsourcing Congress: A hypothetical blueprint
Citizens are assigned randomly to groups of 10 people. Each year this group is reassigned.
Any citizen can introduce a bill anonymously. This bill will be discussed and voted upon by that citizen’s group of ten. A majority will pass the bill.
If the bill passes it will continue forward anonymously to ten more groups of ten. Those citizens will discuss and vote upon the bill. A majority will pass the bill.
The bill will continue higher up until the entire nation can vote on the bill. A majority will pass the bill.
Bills are open source, at any point during the deliberation process anyone else can post a modified version of the bill to be voted upon the same way.
As normal the supreme court can strike down unconstitutional bills and the president can veto.
I'm doing something really cool!
So at work we've got over 100 different reports/alerts that go out each day. They all run on their own on one of two dedicated task PCs. When I got here the whole system was pretty mish mash and when one PC went down horrible things happened.
So I built a new system. I modeled the system on the idea of emergent intelligence, how a number of relatively dumb individuals following an identical set of rules can become something much smarter together. Think of a flock of birds. The birds have no idea what a formation is and don't know that they're in one. They only have simple rules like "Make sure I can see in front of me, make sure I can see another bird out of the corner of my eye and don't be too close or too far away from another bird.
We've got about 60 databases now running our 100+ tasks. They all run different code but it's all build on a core set which can be changed and distributed to each one in about 15 minutes. We can also roll back to any previous version just as quick.
One of the rules is to log any errors in a specific place in a central table. I noticed the other day we were getting lots of sporadic errors, like over 50 a day.
So what I'm doing today (and what is so cool) is I'm monitoring all of the errors coming in on a form in real time. Then I'm making small changes to the core code, distributing that new core out and monitoring the changes to all of the 60 or so small programs all at once!
It's like watching an ant colony and then being able to reprogram each ant mind almost simultaneously and being able to watch the effects.
In a situation like this one I can’t help but feel just a tiny bit like the God of a race of tiny electronic people, who, once given my instructions, go out and do my will.
I also can’t help but feel like an artist who has created and is in the process of continually working on a living piece of art.
In which I type a sentence that has been bouncing around in my head for quite some time and hope that it will bounce around in others so that we may have conversations about it:
In the spirit of Thomas Jefferson's 19 year rule, crowdsourcing a constitution.
So the guy that owns our house right now is in MEXICO.
This wouldn't be a problem except that we need to know TODAY whether or not we can rent the place before the closing.
His realtor has talked to him before and said that he didn't have a problem with it but didn't get his real OK so she needs to talk to him once more and she couldn't get in contact with this ENTIRE WEEK!
NOW, if he says no I don't even think we have time to get a POD to store all of our stuff. Damnit at this point (27 hours from moving) i thought that we'd have an answer one way or another.
Where am I going to be sleeping tomorrow night? WHO THE HELL KNOWS
Also, last day of work before vacation today. You tell me how I'm supposed to get anything done.
Issues with the title. We are not closing today. We ARE moving this Saturday regardless, hopefully we'll be moving to the new house.
We found out this Monday that there was a paperwork issue with the original foreclosure done about a year ago the same person signed as both manager and power of attorney which is a no no apparently. My lawyer and the seller's lawyer are trying to get the right paperwork from the lawyer that did the foreclosure. The foreclosure lawyer is dragging his/her feet because they stand to make no money from this.
My Realtor is hopeful that we'll close by the end of the week. My lawyer is hopeful that we'll have an answer at least by the end of this week.
Regardless, a deal is in the works to allow us to live at and rent the new house until the closing goes through. The most likely scenario is that we'll be moving into the new house this Saturday whether or not we own it. The worst case is that we will be moving our things into a pay per month storage and living with our parents for a few weeks to a month or two.
To have our hopes dash this close to closing... it's brutal. I know it will all work out in the end but not knowing where I'll be living 3 days from now is beyond nerve wracking. All the work we were going to do on the house today will have to wait and it's really hard to get up the energy to do anything right now.
Arg. This will all work out in time. This will all work out in time. This will all work out in time.
Had a mini-breakdown yesterday. The stress involved with buying a house is intense. I'm also highly stressed at work, I'm in one of the most stressful points I've experienced in this job so far.
Being stressed at home and then being able to come into work to unwind (yes, this has happened before) is OK. Being stressed at work and then coming home to unwind is OK. This beings stressed at home and work is bad. I'm going at 100% all of the time and even though I know it will be over in 2-3 weeks it feels like it's going to last forever.
My house is in upheaval. Everything is in constant change because we've been slowly packing and cleaning for a month now. I've told people before that my high level of organization isn't something I do just because, it's a crutch so that I can deal with the world around me.
I've done all of the math and the calculations and I know I can afford everything in any probable situation (discounting zombies, large earthquakes etc.) but there is this panic inside of me that won't go away.
I've resorted to purposeful stress eating which helps out. I'm sure that I've gained a couple pounds in the last month or so but I'm confidant that I can take them off again when everything evens out.
The vacation is going to help tremendously, venting in LJ helps too. It's going to be awesome when this is all done and I've got a feeling that the future me is going to be grateful to the current me for many years to come.