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He of the Lion Below are 10 entries, after skipping 10 most recent ones in the "He of the Lion" journal:

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October 7th, 2008
11:50 am

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What do you mean, my grades don't matter?  They're grades, that's all they do, is sit there in my transcript mattering all day long.  You mean to tell me that  nobody will ever look at them again?  That all anyone cares about now is how well I learn the material?  That it's entirely up to me to decide what I do and don't need to know?  And, more to the point, that I don't have to finish this problem set if I don't think I'll get anything out of it?

... weird.

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September 28th, 2008
09:37 am

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I just got an email from Microsoft's Mac Business Unit, saying they got my resume at WWDC and have a job I should apply for.  They're about a year late, of course — I now have a much cooler job on the opposite side of the country as a scientist, though I suppose it pays about a third of what these jobs pay.  And the other thing, of course, is that I haven't been to WWDC in two years.  A little odd, no?

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September 27th, 2008
09:41 pm

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The fact that I order lattes at coffee shops has led to a lot of people calling me a "latte-sipping arugula-eating east coast liberal," which is, I suppose, more or less what I am. But lyster and I want to print up t-shirts: one for him that says "black-coffee-sipping Chinese-speaking martial-arts-practicing novel-writing liberal" and one for me that says "latte-sipping viola-playing computer-programming Midwestern liberal."

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09:26 pm

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Things I like:
  • Cambridge.
  • My house.
  • My new guitar.
  • My new iPhone.
  • My classes, amazingly enough.
  • Dudley House.
  • Biophysics students.
  • Systems Biology students.
  • Law students.
  • Boston accents.
Things I do not like:
  • Harvard.
  • Harvard undergrads.
  • The Harvard IT department(s).
  • The writing ability and style of scientists.
  • Matlab.
  • Spending an average of 2 hours going to and from class every day.
  • Flooding.

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September 3rd, 2008
05:52 pm

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Moving to a new city and starting a new school has prompted me to change nearly all my contact information, including my phone number and my google talk address. I've posted a friends-only entry here and a note on facebook telling you how to reach me; if you want my new contact information and are neither my facebook friend nor my livejournal friend, drop me a line and I'll send it to you.

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September 2nd, 2008
11:02 pm

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I just watched a stadium full of Republicans waving signs that say "Service" and chanting "Country First." Is it just me, or are they actually starting to sound like fascists?

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August 21st, 2008
11:38 pm

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Life with Dan and Max
From a conversation with lyster:

The philosopher Xun Zi is largely known for two views: first, that academics are the highest form of human endeavor; and second, that human nature is basically evil. These views seem (to Max) strangely unconnected, but he thinks there is an answer in the etymology of the Chinese word used for "evil" (恶). The word acquired its current meaning around, let's say, the 16th century AD, when Christians used it to translate the word "sin" in the Bible; Xun Zi wrote c. 300 BC. The character itself depicts a deformed man and a heart, and appears to have originally meant not evil so much as incomplete or malformed of soul. Xun Zi's meaning, then, might be that humans are born incomplete or malformed.

So why was this word used in this way? Because the word is actually a faithful translation of Greek "ἁμαρτία," which has a root meaning of falling short or missing a target, and a pretty reasonable translation of Latin "peccatum," which has a root meaning of failing or being in error. These words are used as approximations in the Bible because, as Nietzsche was fond of pointing out, Latin and Greek do not have native words for the Judaeo-Christian concept of sin. Classical philosophers used these words in a moral sense, but one slightly different from the sense in which the Bible uses them. So this means our modern misinterpretation of Xun Zi's philosophy is based on a confusion in terminology between Western Classical philosophy and Biblical ethics.

I know I'm a geek, but I am highly amused.

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August 16th, 2008
03:20 pm

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Report from the road
Our truck has a governor that won't let us go faster than 75 mph. Since our truck is called the Dawn Treader, we have named this imperious circuit Reepicheep. It seemed appropriate.

Yesterday: take US-23 south from Ann Arbor to Toledo. Just past Toledo, turn east on I-80, a.k.a. the Ohio Turnpike. Stay on I-80 through about $10 worth of Ohio and a whole damn lot of Pennsylvania. Once safely in the middle of New Jersey, take I-280 towards Newark and Jersey City. Stop for the night.

Last night: Upon arriving at our destination in Jersey City at about 2 AM, we discovered that our padlock had suffered a fatal injury and would now not open, meaning our suitcases and my viola were trapped in the back of the truck where we couldn't get to them. We called a 24-hour locksmith, who said he would be there in half an hour. Two hours, four phone calls, and $120 later, we had a new working padlock on the back of our truck. We got to bed around 6, which is something I usually try to do only for reasons involving a girl in my bed.

For what it's worth, we checked the contents of the back periodically along the way, so we know that the lock did not break until we got on I-280. I-80 is our friend and would never do us wrong. She is, as Dave Carter will tell you, a mighty good road.

Today: wake up at noon, hang out in New York City, go to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour.

Tomorrow: take I-95 across the George Washington Bridge, through New York City and up to New Haven. Wave hello and then goodbye to Mother Yale. In New Haven, take I-91 to Hartford; in Hartford, take I-84 to the Mass Pike; from the Mass Pike, take exit 18 to Cambridge. Arrive at the new house and rejoice. Then start lifting some heavy furniture, which is not quite as joyful an activity.

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August 12th, 2008
09:18 am

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Disjointed thoughts about Boston
I'm leaving Ann Arbor probably for good on Friday, and arriving in Cambridge on Sunday. I am, as you may know if you've been paying attention, insanely excited to get on my way. Packing, however, is a bit of an ordeal. As will be the journey out.

redbaker and I are renting a Budget truck and taking an epic 3-day road trip into the Utter East, also known as New England. We are naming our truck the Dawn Treader, for obvious reasons. We will make good friends with I-80 and the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania. Chances are I will be ready to kill him by the time he leaves Cambridge.

Speaking of redbaker, over the weekend we discovered that he has a tendency to think women I'm interested in are kind of high-maintenance and significantly crazy. In retrospect, I think this is probably true of the women in question. A day or two later, he announced that he knew a woman in Boston who might be perfect for me, which appears to mean more trouble than she's worth and dangerously insane. Somehow I'm still excited at the prospect.

I have realized that, rather than just being vaguely unhappy and bored, I may have actually been suffering from depression for a good chunk of the last two years. This means that being in a new place with new people and new things to do might not really help. On the other hand, maybe it will. I guess I'll keep you posted.

I guess I'll actually have to wake up in the morning and be on time for things in the fall. Too bad.

Over the course of the last two years, I have written seven songs I think are good and significantly revised one. Together with the three that I was happy with from college, this makes enough to record an album. I'm not sure how to proceed at this point. At the very least, I'll start showing up at open mic nights in Boston and singing them. Hopefully they're as good as I think and I won't get booed off the stage.

Relatedly, I have a shiny new guitar, which is very pretty. Astonishingly enough, I can actually play it passably. It's pretty easy if you already play a string instrument.

In the last two years, I have learned to play guitar and brew beer. I've switched from being a physicist to being a biologist, which worked out well, since I never would have gotten in to a program this good in physics. I've also lost about 40 lbs, shaved my beard, cut my hair, and started wearing contacts. You might not recognize me.

I have completely lost touch with my TD friends. If any of you still read this, I'm sorry and I'll try to do better once I get to Boston. That goes double for Marc, whom I haven't spoken to since before I graduated, even, and have no idea how to contact. Marc, are you out there?

I think that's all I have to say at the moment.

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July 22nd, 2008
12:24 pm

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Things I have called "the bane of my existence" in recent memory:
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Line endings
  • The Conservative movement in Judaism
  • Teleconferences
Things that I have not called the bane of my existence, but it might be kind of funny if I had (courtesy of redbaker):
  • Non-black non-ravens
  • The void at the heart of existence
  • Stefan's mom
  • Kittens
Things that actually are the bane of my existence:
  • Stupid and unnecessary relationship-related drama, both mine and others'

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