Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Archive for May, 2003


Posted by shannonclark on May 30, 2003

BlogShares – Player Manual

The manual for the Blogshares game, which looks to be pretty cool (though I suspect manipulatable).

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Posted by shannonclark on May 30, 2003

Weblogs.Com News : Ping-Site Form

Useful tool which I may want to start useing, especially if I also start playing the “Blogshares” game (see next post)

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Posted by shannonclark on May 28, 2003

Inner Geek

I am a “Geek God” – or at least the test says that I am (without even exagerating, there are a lot of items on this test that I have done or do, or have in the past.

Scarry I guess, but heck, I also get the 5 bonus points for geek things not on the test, a few that come to mind:

1. Captain of the Chess team (vs. just “on it”)
2. Started a convention (possibly, which is still occurring)
3. Know what IETF is
4. Been on a “working group”
5. Been an editor

I could go on… but I won’t. (now at least)

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Posted by shannonclark on May 27, 2003

“National Leadership Award”
or how I, and many others, “win” an award from Tom Delay…

Okay, this morning I had a voicemail on my work line from someone in Tom Delay’s office informing me that I have “been awarded a National Leadership Award from Congressman Tom Delay” and leaving a number for me to call back.

Being the sceptical high tech geek that I am, my first step was to use Google and do a search about Tom Delay and this “National Leadership Award” (I used “Tom Delay” “Leadership Award”), and guess what, I found about 800 people who have also been given this award, most of whom did not then respond favorably to the request for $300. It appears to be a fundraising effort on the part of the National Republican Party to skirt the rules around fundraising, and to get money from small business owners (as per some set of lists which they have purchased and are calling).

As I am not a Republican (nor a Democrat but that’s not important for this discussion) and I do not support Tom Delay’s positions, I have not even returned their call.

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Posted by shannonclark on May 27, 2003

Return from Wiscon, summary 1
or I return with a writing idea, but not one that is fiction

Okay, first a quick summary, I am now in a mode of recovering from seven straight days of conventions, first the MetaGroup’s conference here in Chicago, then Wiscon. Needless to say for anyone who has been to even one convention, I slept a lot last night and suspect this week will be a period of adjustment.

Wiscon was both great and difficult this year, something in the vibe of the convention was different, perhaps tinged as well by my own lack of sleep before the con. I went to Wisonc with the intention of having fun conversations with people (did this), of spending a weekend thinking only of writing and fiction (did not do this, see below), and hopefully being inspired as I have in the past to get some of my own writing done, and to take that away with me and get even more done in the weeks and months after Wiscon.

First note, I will almost certainly be doing a lot of writing as a result of what I thought about at Wiscon. But, this will not be fiction.

While at Wiscon, I was interupted by business calls far more often than I should, however that is not what I will be writing about. That, while annoying, I was mostly able to deal with and/or ignore until today. Instead yesturday at Wiscon I had one of those “ah ha” moments that come only rarely, and I now have to spend the next weeks (months and perhaps years) exploring the implications of my insight. I’ve started to try to explain it to a few people, and I have started to write it up, until it is more fully thought out, and until I have a better grasp of it entirely (and have checked whether indeed I am the first person to think about things in this way) I will not be posting my insight in detail here (or elsewhere online) but the quick and simple version is that I may have come up with a fairly radical, but simple, way of rethinking about all of Economic theory, the type of thing that might mean I should finish my BA and enter into a PhD program in economics with the intent of writing my PhD thesis on this idea, it could be that serious.

Indeed, if I am right and noone has yet thought in the terms that I am proposing, it may offer some serious insights and new directions for Economic theory to persue, ones that I hope could turn help make the science of economics better and more useful.

My first task is to write it all down.

Then I will be doing some fairly heavy and serious google searching and literature searching to confirm that I am indeed thinking about things in a new way (I’m pretty certain that I am, the basis of my thinking is quite recent works so there has not been a lot of time for someone else to come up with this insight).

After that, my plan is to meet with some friends who are economics professors, probably by means of a road trip out of town for a day, and after meeting with them and getting their feedback, also asking them what they suggest that I do next. I think that there are many simple, and some complex steps that could be taken with my ideas, there are some papers that might be possible to write quickly and see if the theory can be used to demonstrate real solutions to complex problems. Then the full theory would probably have to be written up in a book length form (or at least a long form journal article) – whether I can get such a thing published without having a degree in economics is a question. It may also be that the ideas I have should form the basis of a PhD thesis (possibly putting me in the odd position of having my dissertation partially done before taking any graduate classes, though I’ve often assumed that this is how I would likely get a PhD if and when I ever do).

So, while I did indeed have some great times at Wiscon working on my own fiction, and talking with many other people about their fiction and other writers, I also was distracted by non-fiction thoughts.

More about Wiscon after I make more progress on the 400+ emails and many many messages and tasks waiting for me at my desk.

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Posted by shannonclark on May 16, 2003

Searching for the Moon, 2003 edition
or my luck seems consistant

If you have read my journal since the beginning (or check out the archive of my earliest posts), you’ll know that this journal is named for a play I wrote many years ago, “Searching for the Moon”, which in turn, was named after an event which took place during a relationship I was in years ago. To recap, it was about this time, 9 years ago, and another night of a Lunar Eclipse. My then girlfriend and I wanted to watch the lunar eclipse, and so we went driving to try to get away from the lights and clouds around Chicago and to a place where we might see the moon. (It was, I think a few months earlier in the year as there was snow on the ground still). We did not find the moon, but we did have a very memorable evening, and the image of her and I in a snow filled park, with a gazebo, looking up at the sky for a moon that was not there, has stuck with me still.

In the play, the phrase “searching for the moon” took on a contotation of searching for love, for a relationship.

So, last night was another Lunar Eclipse, and once again when I went looking for it I was unable to find it, well at least the moon. But, I did have a great evening with a beautiful woman, so, what’s not to like?

This weekend I hope to spend a lot of time catching up with various friends, one friend is getting married soon, his bachelor party is this weekend, other friends are in town to attend a concert for a group they are groupies of (don’t think they’d mind me describing them that they, heck they plan their vacations around the band’s tour dates and are working for the band at at least one concert this weekend selling CD’s etc). I may also try to get to The Matrix Reloaded this weekend, though I suspect it would not be hard to find people to go see it at Wiscon next weekend if I miss it this weekend.

Who knows, I might spend more time with the woman I was out with last night (if she wants to).

And I have to between today and Monday, get ready for 7 days during which I may not make it back to my office at all. First, starting Monday night I will be attending a conference sponsored by MetaGroup, a great conference but also one that starts early in the morning and usually goes until late at night (dinner meetings etc) – great networking and a lot of information to be learned, but also a lot of time.

Then on Thursday I have an early lunch meeting to discuss a Ryze event in June, and then will be picking up friends whom I will be driving up to Wiscon, and then that afternoon I will be driving up to Wiscon, checking in, probably helping stuff envelopes, attending the pre-convention event at a Madison area bookstore, catching up with old friends, and then Friday morning I have the Writer’s Respite (have to read my fellow writer’s stories this weekend, and work on my own story, as well as reread it before the workshop). Then Friday afternoon until Monday morning is Wiscon, my favorite science fiction convention and my first real vacation in a long time.

All the while, however, I will be somewhat nervous about my business, as we are in the midst of launching our new software, bringing salespeople onboard for the first time, and otherwise beginning to get pretty serious.

When I get back, I suspect the last week of May will be a busy one, and June as well.

All good stuff, but also chaotic.

And while my business picks up, I hope so to does my personal life, both a potential relationship, but also keeping up with friends, getting out and enjoying all that I can of this wonderful city Chicago in which I live. On the weekend after Wiscon I’ll be cooking at my friend’s pig roast – so that’s at least one very fun event that I have planned, with hopefully more to follow.

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Posted by shannonclark on May 14, 2003

“Moonshine” by Isaac Asimov

How did Isaac Asimov get a copyright in 2003? I’m a bit confused….

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Posted by shannonclark on May 13, 2003

The Modern Word

Okay, and when I tire of reading about Umberto Eco (one of my favorite authors period), here’s this entire site devoted to literary things… *sigh* is there enough time in the day?

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Posted by shannonclark on May 13, 2003

Eco – Introduction

Okay. This site shows me a number of important things.

One – I’m a fan of “postmodern fiction”, whatever that means, guess I’ll have to live with that and come to terms with it in my own way.

Two – This site is just darn cool, and I can see that I will be sucked into it in the days to come…. but I don’t have time.. but it is so cool… ah well, who needs sleep before a convention anyway?

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Posted by shannonclark on May 13, 2003

The Minicon Moderator Tip Sheet

Some tips and lessons – for my first venture into moderating a panel at a con.

If you are at Wiscon, stop by the Panel at 10:00am on Saturday, on Blogging (and online journals, diaries etc), if you are reading this, and attending Wiscon, you’re probably interested in this topic. We’ll mention some of the technology stuff, but mostly I’m going to leave that for links on a handout (come by and get one) the more useful thing will be the discussion about how keeping a journal interacts with writing (and/or reading) and the other implications arising from it.

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