Friday, December 14, 2007


... through the day. Vague achey residual tiredness, strained voice, mild proto-headache which refuses to either go away or become a real, i.e. treatable, headache. Rose late after nine hours' train travel yesterday, walked downtown for cappuccino, then to the Dead White Male Poet cafe for lunch, then a little burst of translation; now a pause for tea and cookies before settling back to work on the wiki.

The demo went well, but they probably won't buy: what they think they need doesn't fully overlap with the database's feature set. It would have been a single client/server system in any case, without even any data-import consultancy to sweeten the pot: they claim to have no electronic data at all! Hard to believe, but I am certain that they weren't lying: only a fool would willingly set herself the task of manually re-typing paper records, if there were electronic records that could be imported in no time at all at a twentieth of the cost. We shall see.

I bought a copy of the current "Foreign Affairs" to read on the train, as I do once or twice a year (it's published bimonthly). FA is a strange beast, fascinating and infuriating at once, I cannot think that either the left or the right among American readers would be more than half-pleased by any issue—which is a sign that the commissioning editors have done their job fairly. Non-American readers would find the general tone to be very pro-American, every subject is discussed in terms of its impact on America and how it might be leveraged to further increase the wonderfulness of American life and society. "America has made mistakes, but America is not actually wrong" is as close as the magazine comes to criticism.

The stand-out articles this time around are Hillary Clinton on undoing the damage of the Dubyah years, Philip Gordon on whether the war on terrorism can be won, Colin Kahl on the Army's new Counterinsurgency Field Manual (fascinating, download the manual itself here), and a justly damning review of "The Israel Lobby" by Walter Russell Mead.

Yesterday's xkcd cartoon was quite enjoyably nasty.

Dooce has written well on depression and how to deal with it:
I think many people are afraid that if they take medication or even agree to see a therapist that they are in some way admitting failure or defeat. Or they have been told by their boyfriend or their mother or their best friend that they should buck up and get over it, and that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Well then, let me be weak. Let me be a failure. Because being over here on this side, where I see and think clearly, where I'm happy to greet my child in the morning, where I can logically maneuver my way over tiny obstacles that would have previously been the end of the world, over here being a failure is a hell of a lot more enjoyable than the constant misery of suffering alone.
Quite right. Go read. [Updated on Saturday: 1026 comments, almost all saying "thank god for therapy and/or [medication of choice]".]

Today's Friday Favourite is one of the best songs on an album that I wrote about earlier this week. Enjoy.

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OpenID diddums said...

Indeed - changing a situation that causes suffering is never a failure. It'd call it common sense, if anything.

(Ah - one of my favourite songs has just shown up on my Christmas songs CD - 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now' by Starship. My mood has improved in the matter of seconds.)

Was just going to say - I finally threw in the towel and moved to WordPress. My feeds on Blogigo died some time ago. I'm changing a situation that has restricted and irritated me for some time!

December 14, 2007 at 9:04:00 p.m. GMT+1  

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