(2003 to 2005)

2004-03-06 0325

Sat Mar 6 03:29:00 UTC+1100 2004


It's a bit after 2AM, I was awake until about 4PM today, after being awake for easily 24 hours. I got up this evening at about 10PM.

I've been reading some programming articles, checking out some e-mail, writing blog entries that I didn't post, and doing some programming since I got up. I had Pizza for dinner tonight, mostly because I wanted them to deliver me 10L of Pepsi so that I didn't have to get dressed and walk up the road for it.. extreme laziness I guess.. but I don't have car, so such an exercise would likely take at least half an hour or more, which just seems like such a waste of time. I hate losing time to travel.

I was lying on my bed, having a think about what I'm working on here. I'm still kind of tired, it'll take a few more hours before I'm in my 'programming zone' for the day, so I'm just easing into it. I'm listening to Communicate by Plastico as the moment, everything is kind of cruisy, and it's Friday night (or Saturday morning now) so I don't have to worry about the 9-5 concerns that force me to be wary of my sleeping habits Mon-Fri, so right at the moment, I've got all the time in the world.

I'm thinking about quite a few things, far reaching, high-impact, complicated programming design decisions basically. Trying to weight their use with regard to getting something of acceptable quality up in an acceptable amount of time while maintaining the ability to extend it rapidly without wasting effort. I guess it's what programmers do everyday, at least that is what this programmer does every day. Things I'm particularly thinking about are multi-threaded behaviors on clients, treatment of null values, user interface/business model/database synchronization, distributed transactions and treatment of 1:1 and 1:n and n:m relationships in OO abstractions of a 3rd normal relational model. I'm trying to find a steady middle ground that addresses each of these concerns. It's hard. I keep running into low-level problems that are *someone else's* fault, things like the Xor stuff I mentioned yesterday, or the dispose pattern, or interface implementations in single-inheritance frameworks, etc. These aren't really of themselves a big deal, but the thing is that they remain so flexible (vague is a better word, but I'm trying to be nice) that different tools use them in different ways, while some may argue this flexibility is a good thing, I think it is bad, because it means I can't learn something once and then know it, I have to relearn the same thing all the time, trying to weed out the (however minor) logical inconsistencies that have been introduced by people who hadn't bothered to master their problem domain, yet who had developed toolkits that I rely on.. I know I'm ranting, but that's what this forum is for. This is where I rant. Deal with it. :)

So, that's what I was thinking about when I hit my bed. I'm tired. The Pepsi hasn't kicked in yet. I'm mentally exhausted too, and I worry about that. What sort of a condition is my brain in? Am I going to be capable of coming up with good solutions to my problems, or am I going to get stuck on a minor detail and make little progress in my present state of mind? I think the fact that I acknowledged and consciously addressed the possibility that I might be too 'close' to my problems is probably enough to feel comfortable that I'm not. But yeah, I'm going to step back for a while and think about something else, and rant. Rant is such a great word. You can say anything, and then say "hey, I'm just ranting", and people won't be upset with you. It's socially acceptable to *unload* on people (in the metaphorical sense) as long as you append a little note that says: rant.

Meh. The thing is I'm *angry*. I can't rationalize this emotion, it just 'is'. It's not a great thing to talk about, but I'm in no mood for caring what impact it might have on your perceptions of me just right now, so I'm going to. My anger keeps getting in the way of my thinking. When I find problems, I would fix them if I could, but I can't, they are problems caused and controlled by someone else. The problems might be 'social' problems ranging from international affairs to what my brother said to me last week, through to 'programming' problems where concepts are poorly considered, poorly expressed or simply wrong. It doesn't really matter what kind of problem I'm thinking about, my emotional response is anger. For me, this is unusual. It's only been the last year or two that I've been an angry person, and I'm still trying to find mechanisms within myself for dealing with this emotion. Typically as I've lived my life, I've either been excited, or depressed. Those were my two main emotions. I was rarely angry. These days, things that in the past would have either depressed or excited me just tend to make me angry, and it's been starting to creep out into the way that I interact with people, which sux a bit.

I've been trying to determine why I'm such an angry guy these days. Perhaps it's isolation. Perhaps it's my perception of the emotional or intellectual capabilities of others. Perhaps it is general disillusionment with regards to the ever illusive 'meaning of life' and inherent problems that not knowing it causes. Or perhaps I just need to get drunk and get laid. Whatever the case, it'd be nice to figure out why my emotional response to things is to get angry of late.

There are 23 Draft e-mails in my drafts folder at the moment. Each tactfully un-addressed to avoid the accidental send. Each pointing out how much of a wanker the intended recipient is. Thankfully, those e-mails will never see the light of day. The fact that I was compelled to write them is another issue altogether.

Back to me lying on my bed. I was supposed to be thinking about software architecture, but I started daydreaming, contemplating why I've got so much angst. I'm 23. Historically, by the time I'm my age I'd be pretty lucky to be alive. Young men have always gone to war, and died in them. I feel like going to war. Emotionally, I want to fight. I don't know who, or why. I don't even want to win. I just want to unleash. I wonder if this is normal. Perhaps it's a typical emotional response to futility. Perhaps it's the result of a survival mechanism that is useful in young adult males, so they can help to aid in the survival of their community at large even if they can not survive themselves. It's certainly kind of disturbing, but I can't help but fantasize that if I was born any time in the past I would have been on a battlefield. What I need is a tangible, physical, worthy, aggressive and pure evil enemy. I know the reality is that I will never have any such thing, and in truth I probably don't really want such an enemy at all. But I wish I did, just so that as they came to destroy me I could wail upon them with my army of guitars.

I tend to be contemptuous of violent people. Violence is a last resort. You act violently when you have lost all ability to reason. But I'm wary of my anger, because it is anger that feeds violence. Unintelligent people lose their ability to reason, and I don't want to consider myself unintelligent by virtue of feeling angry and losing my ability to communicate rationally. Despite my emotions, I'm not a violent person, although I think because of my general angst and perceived 'capability' of (or 'potential' for) violence many people I know might think that I am. I've been told by my friends before that I am. This is not true however. Violence requires a physical aspect. While I am most certainly confrontational, antagonistic, angry and to some extent 'fearless' I am not violent. Violence is not something that I've been terribly good at avoiding mind you, because it seems people are happy to be violent toward me, generally as a result of my 'a little bit too in your face' attitude I guess.

Perhaps it is true that I'm 'just asking for it'. I don't think so, I'm pretty sure there's more to it than that. I think somewhere deep down I want to 'find' something. I'm guessing that eventually I will end up finding what I need, and it will probably be one of two things. Either a profound rational analysis that allows me to dodge the requirement to feel anger, or more likely a change in circumstance or long-term distraction that allows me to witness an irrational environment without experiencing anger.

Well anyway, I've done enough 'ranting' for the night. Now, about this nullable library..


Copyright © 2003-2005 John Elliot