My recurring nightmare

I’m 35—10 years since finishing my masters degree at Illinois. I’ll still have this dream every month or two that it’s finals week, and there’s a final in a class that I’ve forgotten to attend and forgotten to drop by the deadline. The dream never resolves. Take the exam and fail? Withdraw from the class? How does it end? Thanks College of Engineering for triggering tonight’s hellride.

Three things: 2016-W31

1. Now reading

Started: Discrete Mathematics with Applications by Susanna Epp. Nerd alert. After ten years in the Industry, I’m trying to recast myself as a software-knowledgeable person. And since code isn’t that hard really, I’m trying to learn some of the math that goes into it. All things I coulda shoulda picked up in college.

Started: The Places in Between by Rory Stewart–audiobook, read by the author.

2. Three Chinese words

  • 记得 – jìde – to remember
  • – chāo – to make a copy
  • 不管 – bùguǎn – no matter what, regardless of

Picked up while trying to follow 今晚80后脱口秀 (2016-07-28).

3. Agent-Based Modeling

The Santa Fe Institute’s online Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling course started. Not sure if I’m going to follow through on this one, but I’ve signed up for now.

The Fourteenth Book

“What hope can there be for mankind,” I thought, “when there are such men as Felix Hoenikker to give such playthings as ice-nine to such short-sighted children as almost all men and women are?”

And I remembered The Fourteenth Book of Bokonon, which I had read in its entirety the night before. The Fourteenth Book is entitled, “What Can a Thoughtful Man Hope for Mankind on Earth, Given the Experience of the Past Million Years?”

It doesn’t take long to read The Fourteenth Book. It consists of one word and a period.

This is it:


—Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle (1963)