Arbtirary thoughts on nearly everything from a modernist poet, structural mathematician and functional programmer.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ideals, Scheme, and useful kludges: 3 unrelated topics

So... Today I met with a friend I've seen once (maybe) since highschool. We were never really that close, but 2 years age difference will do that... I've often complained about women, drama, etc, but I do find myself often preferring the company of women. I've long struggled to find an answer, and I think I've begun to understand.

It hinges around my idealistic hopes for the world; I have an almost kitschy ideal of human relationships, and there are certain types of interaction I find stimulating. I'm still having trouble pinning these down, but, I digress.

The longing after my ideal place in the world is something I've comet o call nostalgia, however (in)correct that term might be. It is certainly related to the concept of sensucht, angst, despair, nostalgia, discussed by many philosophers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Anyway, when I feel some sort of fulfillment of this ideal, I experience the emotion nostalgia, in all of its painful beauty.

Now, how does this relate to my preference for the company of women? Nostalgia, faith, romance, platonic love, and empathy all fall under a class of emotions; all of these ideals trigger the emotion nostalgia (as well as the emotion they are associated with.) I find myself able to sit down and converse with female friends much more often than male friends. I'm not sure why this is, but a personal connection is easier for me to establish with a woman. Something tells me that I find this connection easier to make because of a desire for romance with these women, but I find this very difficult to accept. Tiffany, Rachel, Katie, Kate, Haley, Tessa, Melissa, Sasha, Adriana, Adie. Of these, I've only felt a "crush" on Tiffany, Katie, Melissa and Adie. Of those, only Katie has developed into something I'd classify as romance. Tiffany was an emotional security blanket, Melissa was the last person I had an engaging conversation with before leaving the springs, and Adie was the first person I truly felt close to in Chicago, so it follows that I'd have had a short-lived crush on each of them.

What really makes sense, is that all of these girls represent an approximation of my ideals. They evoke nostalgia, which allows my to feel a solidarity with them. I haven't met nearly as many guys who do this, perhaps because men make friends in a fundamentally different way than women; the push for alpha status has to be set aside before this sort of friendship can develop, or it has to be clear that we think in a similar way for me to be able to relax around another guy; I guess I'm afraid of the guys "kicking me out".

Katie, then, seems to represent the closes approximation of this ideal. Perhaps it's her passion and faith; perhaps it's the warmth she radiates, but I can't seem to interact with her without getting excited...

On another note, I'm having problems with my cell update functions for the Game of Life, so I've decided to sit down and force my way through the tedium of a whole Scheme tutorial, while of course supplementing it with "oo! I think I can do this!"
I'm still struck my how easy it is to do things in functional style. It's truly breathtaking.

And finally, it ahs been explained to me why someone would want to use the kludges taught by koots. Granted, it doesn't excuse their use as a teaching element: good habits should be taught first, useful, yet inelegant kludges should be taught only after the concept they are useful for. So perhaps he's not a terrible coder, just an inelegant one: an engineer, not an artist.

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