Monthly Archives: January 2012

Get Excited!

Back in October, I wrote this:

So right now, what do I want? I want to be a good piper, I want to be a good husband, I want to be a good father, and I want to put good into the world. I’m still working on the actual implementation. I guess I need to come up with a new dream. I’m not that good at dreams; I’m better at nightmares. But I refuse to work on my nightmares. I’m just going to have to get better at dreaming.

Well, check it out! What you put out into the universe comes back to you. I’m playing the pipes better and looking forward to a good competition season with a new and very difficult 2/4 march finally coming to heel. I’m very excited about a job for which I’ve interviewed, as I’ve heard that an offer is imminent. And most exciting for anyone who is not me, TechRaising is coming up! Junglemonkey has a couple of really cool ideas which I think are very exciting. I’m sure there are lots of other people with great ideas, too. I’m busy learning Javascript so that I can bring more tools to the task of making someone’s great idea a working reality. I would love to see all my fellow software developers there, too. Let’s make some cool stuff happen!

How Long, O Corp?

BBC headlineI saw this headline on the BBC this morning and I thought, “You know, that is a wrong question.” The right question, I think, is, “How long should a company live?” Whether a company is successful or not, I am of the opinion that it ought to ride the carousel after a brief run and get reincorporated only if society at large thinks it’s a good idea. Seriously, do we want immortal sociopaths running our world?

When to Lie, and Why

The title of this post refers to a wonderful book of manners, “How to Behave, and Why” and I’m thinking about that particularly because we tell ourselves that we shouldn’t lie. We especially shouldn’t lie to the government. Not only is it not right thought nor right action nor right speech to lie, but it could get you into real trouble. And yet, I’m here today to tell you about a time when you really, really, should lie to the government.

When creating a user account at the Franchise Tax Board website, one is asked to provide security questions and answers which will be used for user name and password recovery. Note that the account is used to get tax information and to make tax payments. Pretty sensitive stuff. And yet, one is not permitted by the website to choose one’s own questions. One must select from a list of questions provided by the State. The list includes questions whose true answers would be easy enough to figure out just by looking at, say, one’s Facebook profile (what high school did you attend, what was the high school’s mascot, in what year did you graduate from high school, etc.).

The answer here is to lie like crazy, or even just make up gibberish and then write it down and put the questions and answers somewhere safe – a fire safe, for example. The government’s computer doesn’t care if you tell the truth, and you certainly care that nobody else has access to your tax records.

Anxiety Magnet

I have been listening to Niall Ferguson’s book, “The Ascent of Money,” and it’s making me nervous. I’ve read other popular books on economics, as I find I’m fascinated by the field. This is dovetailing in my mind with other books I’ve read: “Collapse,” by Jared Diamond, “What Went Wrong,” by Bernard Lewis, as well as histories of Alexander, the Byzantine Empire, and the Enlightenment. I’m wondering what horrible collapse I’m going to be experiencing in my lifetime. I am feeling highly motivated to try to ensure my family’s security but I don’t have a good idea what to do beyond what we’ve already done and what we continue to do: be frugal, be humble, and stay scrappy.