journal for 2003-04-02

my lack of c

I used to know C pretty well. Certainly, I couldn’t have written a kernel or compiler, but I was doing some non-trivial stuff with it. Then I sort of gave up on it when I moved to UNIX. In retrospect, that was pretty incredibly dumb. If anything, I should’ve realized how useful it was and delved further into it.

Anyway, I didn’t, so I forgot most of it, and now I just can’t get myself motivated to learn more. I need to find a project to hack on, but most of the things that interest me are out of my league. It’s depressing. I am seriously rutted, in many ways.

I do not want to live a life of quiet desperation. Toward avoiding that, I will learn C. Yeah, you read rightly: I’m going to learn C to better my life. Stop laughing.

I’ve been pondering the facts that (a) there are no free (as in speech) interactive fiction compilers and (b) people keep kvetching about Inform. I really like the Z-machine concept, I like the interpreters that exist, and I like Inform, pretty much. I’m thinking about trying to learn more C by working on a compiler for interactive fiction. Sure, it’s stupidly ambitious, but it’s something.

Of course, maybe I should work on rjbs-ping or something… but that just sounds depressingly boring.

fox news

I can’t stand Fox News. Editorializing is fine. I just wish they’d be clear about when they’re reporting and when they’re ranting. Instead, they happily mix the two and provide skewed, subjective reporting. They play it all the time at Ray’s and at the gym, so I hear it a lot. It just bugs me. They actually had reporters just going on and on about how Peter Arnett is stupid. That’s the word they used. They used it repeatedly.

I really do think, frequently, that objective journalism is dead. I think it was a real thing once, but I don’t think it’s really around much anymore.

I’m avoiding political discussion at work, even with those co-workers with whom I’d normally discuss that kind of stuff. The France bashing is really getting to me. Making fun of France because it’s France was fun until people started taking it seriously. I can’t even put into words the way that the propaganda-born stupidity now affecting this country makes me feel. I’m ashamed and angry and disgusted and sad. Sweet God, is Bush going to get re-elected?


Reading the Dark Tower books has replaced all other reading. I’m about 80% done with The Waste Lands, and I hope to finish it before going to the gym tomorrow. I might actually go straight into the fourth book, just to get it over with. It’s quite good.

Written on April 2, 2003