When places are largely devoid of people, they often feel at their most pure. It conforms to a kind of open-space ideal that at least some of us have built into ourselves. It’s the same aesthetic drive that made the clay hills we found on the Arizona Road Trip so compelling, as well as the view from Crown Mountain or the overlook near Petgill Lake. While it can certainly be creepy – especially in spaces that are fundamentally public, like city streets – it can also be empowering and evocative of thought. I certainly have plenty to think about, as I carry on trying to plow through my huge pile of vacation books. One of the slimmest, the Very Short Introduction to Cryptography by Fred Piper and Sean Murphy, I have now finished. While it was interesting, it certainly was not worth buying. In the future, I will make furtive attempts to lurk inside Blackwells (or even a library) and digest a few more of these volumes without having to shell out for them.
The search is beginning now for some kind of New Years plan. Apparently, ITG is going to be in London at some point quite near the end of the month. For those who don’t know who I am talking about, Ian Townsend-Gault taught my international law class at UBC, for which the original version of the infamous fish paper was written. He also helped me considerably to bring it forward to the point where it was rejected by a journal no less esteemed than Marine Policy. Dr. Hurrell says that it could probably be tightened in scope and re-submitted, but I haven’t the energy for another attempt just now. The point of the introduction, in any case, was not the paper but the person. Indeed, I am starting to see the hazy outline of some kind of an end of month plan.
My mother has said that I am welcome to stay in London for a night or so with her friend and former roommate Lessia. Additionally, I have a helpful standing offer from Chris Yung of spending a night on his couch. Given the determination that Claire and I have mutually expressed to find something interesting to do in order to usher in 2006, this may provide the necessary logistical base. If people are aware of specific, interesting things that are happening, I would appreciate the information. More precise plans will have to wait for Claire’s return from Kent. With the return to Oxford of Margaret, Emily, Alex, and others, this will become a much more active place. (And one in which I am even less likely to read a good amount about neorealism.)
Anyhow, I must be back to my books.
- Anyone computationally minded should have a look at this amusing comic. This episode is also interesting, as is this one.
- My PGP Public Key is now hosted on this server.
- Tony has a post on why having daughters seems to make people more left wing.
- Some of the jokes posted as comments on the last entry are pretty good, though one is a reminder of how I have a statistics exam in eighteen days. Prior to then, I need to borrow a graduate robe again – since exams here are written sub fusc – and figure out just what kind of statistics they mean to test us on. Anyone from the M.Phil program interested in forming a study group?
- It looks like Zandara is having an interesting road trip. She has some photos posted.
- After a particularly unsettling post yesterday, Frank’s blog has vanished. I hope he is ok.
- Here’s an interesting article from The Economist on some of the connections between law and health. I would be especially interested in knowing what some of my medically inclined friends (Astrid and Lindi) think of it. Clearly, the health care system risks being rife with perverse incentives – such as the ones that strongly discourage drug companies from developing products like new contraceptives or vaccines – and poor approaches to problems – like using juries with no particular medical knowledge to make decisions about complex, technical questions. While the solutions to such problems aren’t evident, it strikes me as particularly important that we work on finding some.
- After difficulty and labour hard, the sidebar now renders properly in every browser except IE 5.2, for Mac. The extent to which I will sleep better at night is considerable.