kirby1024: Kirbinator Icon (half-my face, half-terminator face) (Default)
I know I have a few people with political experience in my circles, and while I was watching the Election coverage last night, a question came to me.

How, exactly does the vote counting work?

Specifically, I'm wondering, do all the votes get taken to a central facility, or are they counted at the polling booth? I keep hearing of booths being counted pretty much at end of polling, and it seems to me that, especially in the rural electorate, it would have to take a fairly significant amount of time for the voting papers to get couriered to the tally room. If they're all being sent to a central counting room, the rural polling booths (especially in seats like Katherine, where there must be a huge number of very isolated polling stations) would barely get to the counting room before end of the election coverage.

And yet, we get counts for them on the night. So... How do the logistics of vote counting work?

In terms of actual reaction to the results? As much as I absolutely loathe the idea of Abbott in power, I suspect that even if he is in power, the Greens in the senate (and the House of Reps! Yay! Congrats all round to Adam Bandt!) will probably cause all manner of consternation for him. Even if he becomes PM, this is not a win for him, and the next few years are likely to be a horribly frustrating experience for him. I don't think it's quite time to start booking flights out of Australia just yet.

If Gillard wins she's likely to have a much better time of it, and I suspect that also, we're much more likely to get an ETS and Gay Marriage out of Labor with the Greens holding balance of power.
kirby1024: Neon outline of Kirby on black (Kirby Neon)
For the last decade at least, I have been moving towards one goal in life - to become an academic. It was something I decided on when I realised how much I loved university, and how much I loved studying and learning. Almost every action in my life has basically been about how this will help me get to this goal in my life. A lot of the frustration and unhappiness in my life has been when this goal has become unclear to me - when the obstacles have seemed too great, or when something has required me to change my plans.

But I've been wondering recently. The person who made that choice, the me that made that goal, that was a long time ago - almost 8 years ago, in fact. As one might expect, 8 years will do a lot to a person. Hell, just the past 4 years have changed me, to someone I'm not sure the me from 8 years ago would recognise. And I've been looking at that goal, wondering: Is that the goal that I really want now? I do want to learn, I do want to study. These are things that I still want to do, and still drive my passions. But am I cut out for academia? Academia is a lot more than studying and learning - it's an entire culture and way of life, and can be a very cut-throat world, full of competition for time and funding.

When I was in uni, as a student, it was all very simple - I loved uni, I loved the people there, and I had no real plans to leave and do anything else. I'd found my home, and it was a great home. Now that I've been gone a while though, I've been occasionally looking back, looking at that culture from where I am now, and I can't say that it inspires me terribly now. I'm just not sure that what I want to do is worth everything that I'm going to have to put up with to do it.

The question afterwards, of course, becomes what do I do now, and I'm not really sure on that one just yet. I've focused on the one goal for so long that I never even looked at everything else that I could be doing. I'm fairly certain I don't want to be a real perpetual uni student (I'm not even sure that's sustainable these days), and I know that I'm not terribly interested in being a Call Centre monkey forever either. Some things are pretty constant regardless of what I decide to aim for (for example, paying off debt is going to be prereq for most things that require a big change in income), so it doesn't change the current course of my life too much. But past the short term, I'm just not sure what's next for me, and I can't help but worry about that somewhat, even though worrying doesn't seem to be coming up with any answers. I'm not sure I want to drift from goal to goal, never having a real clue of where I'm going to end up.

It's just a big question mark in my life, and it's only confronting because I'd never realised how big that was, and how fragile what was covering it was, before I started questioning it. And to answer it, I have to do that thing that I'm not so great at doing, which is actually knowing myself enough to have a goal I want to work towards.

It's at times like these I really wish I had a better handle on myself. Then again, maybe I have a better handle on myself than I thought if I'm in this quandry...
kirby1024: Powerful Kirby Icon (Kirby Spark)
So yes, I'm obviously pleased as punch that the cards have lined up just so in order to stop the government from continuing with the Clean Feed.

But I have one, teensy little question.

Why, pray tell, did it have to take an unholy alliance of Liberals and Greens and Xenophon to put this thing down?

The government's own feasibility reports showed that in order to do what the government wanted, it would have to slow down Internet access in Australia by an absurd amount, and even then wouldn't even kill the main distribution channels by which the offending material gets shared on.

But they kept going on regardless.

No poll on the Clean feed from anyone showed a majority of Australians supported it. Huge swaths of child-rights groups, censorship groups, technology groups, citizens groups and other special interest groups were yelling at the government that they were doing it wrong.

But they kept going on regardless.

At every single step, the government was told "This Is Wrong, It Will Not Work, Don't Do This", and yet at every step they kept going.

What. The. Hell.
kirby1024: Kirbinator Icon (half-my face, half-terminator face) (Default)
So, The last week has, unsurprisingly, been quite massive:

Sunday was moving day, a surprisingly larger venture than the previous move. Apparently two years of being in one place added much more stuff into my life. So, my parents, [ profile] littlesir and Hannah spent much of the afternoon packing all my stuff into boxes and bags and driving them to my new place. The morning was spent with me helping the Man with a Van move all my big stuff and picking up my new fridge (so I have most of the essentials at my place now. I merely lack furniture...)

So, now I has a new place! It's very exciting.

Of course, I was moving while I had a cold, and all the exertions gave me one hell of a fever on sunday night. So, I've not been at work today or yesterday to recuperate. Hopefully, I'll be back to working state my tomorrow. This is, BTW, why I haven't around online much - my internet will still take a week or so to be activated in my house...

A Strange Sort of Self-Discovery
On Wednesday me and [ profile] not_in_denial had big discussions, which have made me think a lot about stuff. See, when me and [ profile] not_in_denial first got together, the first thing we did was point out the bits about ourselves that we thought were most likely to cause problems. For me, it was that I didn't really know who I was. At the time this just went in a whole bunch of directions - that I'd broken up with Lara, broken up with Ryan, started looking at polyamory, was still sorting myself out after the rape... Basically, it was a chaotic time in my life and I didn't know where I was going.

So, a year later, and I have come to a stunning realisation that not much has really changed. I still don't know who I am. I've worked through a lot of stuff, but I haven't come close to actually dealing with stuff enough to let go of it, and I still have issues with simple things like, you know, what I actually want. Not just the "what I want now", but "where I'm going, what I want out of life". And that's making things difficult - because knowing what I want is kinda important if I want to know, say, where I want my relationships to end up. I can't just keep taking things a day at a time, because that's not fair to partners present or future.

Now, of course, I have realised this stuff. And I realise why it's important. And now that I know the what and the why, I might be able to start learning who I am and what I want. Because I don't think that before I was ever really interested in finding out. But I think that now, I have a shot. I'm realising that I can't get away from myself anymore.
kirby1024: Powerful Kirby Icon (Kirby Spark)
It has been some time since I've posted anything significant in my journal. I think it's about time to start reversing this trend. Alas, this post is quite heavy and angsty, so enter at your own peril

Wherein I discuss my idiot of a brain and how it continues to impede my relationships. Extremely long. )
kirby1024: Kirbinator Icon (half-my face, half-terminator face) (Default)
I'm a horrible person to watch television with.

It's true - ask anyone who's watched TV with me. I jump up, suddenly wanting a quick cuppa, or a stretch outside of the room. I can't sit for 5 minutes to watch a TV show, and if I'm forced to sit, I cover my ears, close my eyes, anything to hide from the action on TV.

For the longest time, the best theory I've been able to come up with was that it was because I don't like social awkwardness. Certainly, it's when the urge is strongest. When two people come into accidental opposition, or some misunderstanding comes up, I hide away, often long before it even comes up. I just have to predict that it's coming, and I get this irresistible urge to run away, to hide. I'm absolutely hopeless at watching sitcoms, especially horrible at American sitcoms - it often seems their primary source of humour is that of social awkwardness, of people making idiots of themselves in public without even knowing it.

But I'm not sure anymore that that's the trigger. Even when it's not sitcoms, even when I should be able to watch something from start to finish, I still hide. I've suddenly been noticing, it's not just the awkward scenes. To be honest, it's almost any tense scene. I just finished watching Torchwood, and it shows up so much - any particularly tense scene, even if it's not awkward, I find it incredibly difficult to watch. [ profile] not_in_denial made a note that perhaps this is why I don't become a fan of television anymore. How can I get involved in a show if I punch out at every tense scene?

And... I have to ask myself. Why? Why does it take so much effort for me to actually watch anything from start to end?

Maybe it's because tense scenes jerk at the emotions. And maybe I'm so crap at dealing with emotions that I've learned to avoid TV hitting mine.
kirby1024: Powerful Kirby Icon (Kirby Spark)
An interesting philosophical question: Can one be too courageous?
kirby1024: Kirbinator Icon (half-my face, half-terminator face) (Default)
Visit to learn your Lustsign!

And some mental meandering, cut for your convenience )

Edit: Second result:

Visit to learn your Lustsign!

This seems slightly closer...
kirby1024: Kirbinator Icon (half-my face, half-terminator face) (Smiting in Progress)
Don't mind me, I'm just thinking out loud. This may be a tad rambling.

A week or so ago, I was talking with [ profile] designadrug about viral marketing in particular. At the time, I made the observation that the battle between advertisers and The Jaded Public can be compared to the battle between germs and the medical establishment, a struggle between evolving memes/germs and concurrently evolving memetic defenses/antibacterial agents.

I've been thinking on and off about the issue as it stands, and I've been wondering whether the analogy can be extended to other ideological exchanges. I noted in the original discussion that human memetic defenses have been improving considerably in sophistication since the 1950s, as the public has been getting more and more cynical about the world around them. In the 1950s, advertising techniques appeared to have a considerable edge over a more naive and trusting public, while these days, the situation seems to have reversed, and advertisers seem to be having to find more and more sophisticated memetic attacks in order to convince the public of the utility of the memes that they carry.

I wonder, though, whether the far more sophisticated public memetic defenses are entirely good for us. In particular, I wonder if we're starting to approach the point where we're getting the equivalent of memetic allergies in the memespace around us. A lot of people around me have been despairing at the apparent inability for the public to recognise obvious goods, and I've heard the theory that politicians in particular are so used to thinking that everyone and everything has an "agenda", that they naturally believe that science has an agenda as well.

Perhaps the public are too cynical for our own good? We've become so adept at being cynical at the overt messages that the world keeps sending us that we've become incapable of distinguishing between good and bad messages, and reject all messages that don't match up with our constructed view of the world. You may, of course, be wondering at this point "why then do the fundamentalists seem to be getting the upper hand?". I think, honestly, they always did. I think our memetic immune system, much like our biological immune system, requires time to build up sophistication. Get the kids early, and you may very well have them for life. Religions also have the assistance of a long-standing connection with Authority, giving their words a touch more weight.
kirby1024: Hypercube Graph Icon (Hypercube)
In the last few days, I've been noticing that I'm becoming very interested in myself. Or, perhaps more correctly, in seeing myself through the eyes of others. In seeing what people see in me, in part or in whole. In seeing me in novel settings, seeing me in ways that I can't see myself in real life. Taking me apart, finding the important bits of me, and seeing them represented in strange and interesting ways.

Part of it is something that I think I've always enjoyed - talking to [ profile] designadrug, I mentioned that "I like seeing people reinterpret me". [ profile] designadrug mentioned that it was an interesting choice of words, and I've been meditating on that for a bit. We were talking, in particular, about photomanips of my tattoo shots, and I think that the thought of altering my visual appearance, a really visceral manner of reinterpreting a section of my self that doesn't tend to change all that often, brought some of these thoughts into real focus. I've had a few other conversations on the same subject with others, of course.

And this afternoon, walking to the shops and back, I had to ask myself, why? Why am I so interested in seeing novel aspects of myself? I don't think of myself as self-loathing in that sense - I can't claim that I don't like the self that I am, and that this interest in novel views of self is a representation of a desire to dramatically change myself. I'm fairly certain that I like the way I am, for the most part.

Perhaps it's simply an exploration of myself, something that I really didn't do a lot for a while. Maybe, now that I'm single, I'm taking the chance to use the lack of attachments to take a look at who I am, both within and without.

The best questions, sometimes, are the ones that you can't answer yourself...


May. 21st, 2006 12:44 am
kirby1024: Kirbinator Icon (half-my face, half-terminator face) (Default)
It seems that in this time I ask myself questions that have answers I don't want to accept.

Why do I feel that I have to justify an action that I know was the right thing? Why did it happen in such a horrible time and place? Why was I such a coward that I couldn't face this beforehand? Why didn't I try harder to explain myself?

The answers to these, I think I know. But it seems that I have no desire to accept them. I justify because while I know it had to have been the right thing, the fact is it still hurt her, something I know is Wrong. It happenned where and when it did because it was there and then that I reached a point that made the confrontation inevitable, that ensured that I could not step back. I was such a coward because my nature is to make people happy, not hurt them, and hurting others fills me with pain. I didn't try harder because by then, I'd lost any ability to truly communicate with her, and it would have just caused us both more pain.

But I cannot accept these answers.
kirby1024: Powerful Kirby Icon (Kirby Spark)
I bang my head and uberstress about my assignment. With all this head-banging, I get 1200 words done of a 3000-5000 word essay in about two weeks.

Then, today, the day it's due (thanks to an extension), I all of a sudden manage to do everything. Bump the word count up to 3100 words, restructure a good deal of the essay, finally find a whole bunch of useful references. In a span of about 7 hours.

I don't get it. What's so special about the day an assignment's due that gives me these super-incredible powers to miraculously complete an assignment?

I don't get it.
kirby1024: Kirbinator Icon (half-my face, half-terminator face) (Default)
So here I am, on a wednesday night, desperately trying to finish my Linguistics presentation for tomorrow, finding myself unable to concentrate. Thus, time for a livejournal update.

I think I'm settling in rather well here. I'm not in opposition with anyone here, and with so many people around, it's hard to be lonely. I kinda miss the freedom of my mum's car, but that's neither here nor there really, since I'm coping with that rather well. Need to learn to eat well, but I think that's more a matter of me refusing to spend the money, and me being slack. Them's the breaks.

Work has been, well, busy as anything. Still need to train my boss up - when I ask him to consult a lecturer about what's urgently required in an urgently required book, I don't generally mean to consult the unit guide again. However, I'm sure I'll train him up eventually.

This Saturday I go to the Commonwealth games with [ profile] fireflyfaery. Yes, I know that a bunch of people here probably think it's a waste of money, but my parents paid for the tickets, and they're pretty good anyway. And apparently table tennis is really exciting to watch!

The Urban Dead Wiki is starting to annoy me. I think I'm almost hitting the end of my productive lifespan there, alas.

I still love [ profile] fireflyfaery. Love her so much, it hurts sometimes.

Now, with those out of the way...

I had an odd thought on the forums, regarding polyamorous marriages. It was noted that a good deal of the problem is dealing with contracts with more than two people involved. Thinking a little, it occured to me that we already have a solution to this problem - Corporations.

A corporation effectively acts as a person that many people can contract to. So, if the issue is legal contractual issues, why not turn marriage from a contract to a corporate entity? All potential members of the marriage sit together and write up the charter, including exit clauses, obligations, possible entrance clauses, etc. When everyone is satisfied with the charter, it gets taken to a lawyer, where the marriage entity is registered, and a public version of the charter becomes available. Since the exit clauses are set out explicitly from the start, those "divorcing" the marriage know exactly what they're entitled to, and so does everyone else. Further, such marriages may be able to allow other spouses into the marriage. Monogamous relationships follow the same rules, and all marriages become dissolved should less than two people exist within the marriage. Writing up the rules of your own relationship means monogamous couples and polygamous groups both get the benefit of having all of the relevant people's views and assumptions made explicit before they're contractually obliged to follow them. It also means open relationships can have full grounding in the law, as that can be written up as a part of the marriage charter.

I expect there's some issues with this implementation, but I think it might be a useful model should polyamorous marriages get off the ground.
kirby1024: Kirbinator Icon (half-my face, half-terminator face) (Default)
It seems that Melbourne's public transport system can't hack it.

Of course, we all knew that already, but it's good of The Age to spell it out for anyone who's listening...
kirby1024: Kirbinator Icon (half-my face, half-terminator face) (Default)
Well, the world changes, and another LJ post becomes inevitable...

Think I did rather well. Even my Operating Systems exam, which I felt woefully underprepared for, wasn't too bad after all. I'm confident I'll pass, and I'm confident I may do better than that even. My other subjects, I was always pretty confident with, but I don't think I did anything horribly bad on them.

Well, Scanning's finished for another year, and I'm jobless until scanning starts again in January. Which means I have to go and find work. Which is a pain.

Web Projects
Deiludum seems to be chugging along slowly, but consistently, which is a blessing I guess. I'm still finding it really dirty to advertise the place...

I think there's something horribly, horribly wrong. Well, maybe just wrong. See, I know I'm stressed (and everyone around me seems to know it too), and usually it would be good that I know this, because it would mean that I could button off a bunch of stuff. But frankly, I don't know what's stressing me, and that's really scary. Don't people usually have at least an inkling of what's troubling them? I mean, I can rationally pick a few things that could be it (Honours, Exams, Joblessness, Relationships, etc), but I can't figure out what's which and how much. This doesn't seem right - you'd think that if you're stressed, you'd know what was stressing you, right? Right?
kirby1024: Kirbinator Icon (half-my face, half-terminator face) (Default)
How do you respond to this? I'm not entirely sure anymore.

It seems that a lot is happenning, and the many different reports and views try to tear your heart in one direction or another. I just know that I've been trying as hard as I can to get as much info as I can. Why? I dunno. Perhaps it's that human desire to understand things, since if you understand something it doesn't seem so scary.

But I think that everything that can be said about New Orleans has been said. I hope that the loss of life is as small as it can be, and that more people don't needlessly die. I hope that the heroes outweigh the villains, and I hope that in a years time we'll watch all the anniversary specials and we'll be able to find some good out of this.

To all those out there, listening or not, I hope you're OK, and I hope your families are too.
kirby1024: Kirbinator Icon (half-my face, half-terminator face) (Default)
Why do all the good shows have to be on at 9:30 on a Monday?

Seven's got Crossing Jordan (which, yeah, is American cop show at it's best, but is still fun to watch)
Nine's got Cold Case (Fan boy...)
Ten's got Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (Which is fun, amusing and educational...)
SBS's got Oz (which is edgy, and in a good way).

I swear, if Cold Case hadn't nabbed me first, I'd so be screaming right now. And there's not enough VCRs in the house to record all of them!
kirby1024: Kirbinator Icon (half-my face, half-terminator face) (Default)
It's taken me a while, but I think I can finally, honestly say what Valentine's Day is.

A lot of people rail about the commericialisation, about how "you should always do stuff for your loved ones", and other such things. I'm beginning to think that these issues are kinda missing the point, at least for me, anyway.

Really, Valentine's Day is a reminder to occasionally go above and beyond for your loved one. You don't have to do it on the day. You don't have to gloat to the world about it. But you should note it. Whatever you normally do, just for one day out the year, any day of the year, exceed yourself. Do something that'll surprise the heck out of your Significant Other, something you would normally never do if it wasn't that special day.

It doesn't have to be flowers, chocolate, cute teddy bears, dinners, picnics, hot sex or breakfast in bed. But it should be something good, spectacular, above and beyond the normal call of duty.

Being away from [ profile] fireflyfaery this Valentine's day, and my Valentine's day gifts at the mercy of the Canadian Postal Service, I can't go out to dinner, or get her chocolate, or breakfast in bed. But believe me, I'll make it good. She did, I can only return the favour.

Valentine's Day is just a handy reminder of this little fact. It's why I celebrate it.


kirby1024: Kirbinator Icon (half-my face, half-terminator face) (Default)

January 2011

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