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September 19th, 2007

Return to High School

I just finished (re)reading Lord of the Flies.  Sometimes I wonder why these kinds of books were assigned during high school.  Either teenagers can't be fully aware of the subtle connotations in these books or I'm lagging far behind.  After this reading -- over a decade later --, I couldn't believe the story had ended ... and I said outloud, "Yep, that's how it is."  Does such cynicism start at 14?

This time I connected with a few of the characters.  I really like Simon.  He was "batty" but he knew how things were going to End.  I knew, about a quarter of the way through, that he had to be killed.  Simon knew to much; people who know much and act oddly have to "be done in".  Piggy also knew too much but in a more belligerent way.  He was too adamant about how things ought to be done and that approach is too easy a target.  Every reader probably expected him to die.  And I admired Ralph, the benevolent leader, and I probably would have followed him.  Between Ralph and Piggy, I see my secret desires for recognition, as when Piggy desperately shouts "I have the conch!", tapered by my repulsion from actually leading as Ralph had done.  I hope that I'm not too obstinately righteous like Piggy. 

I did not like Jack or Roger.  And no, Golding didn't demonize them.  I see my own dark tendencies in them, like Jack attaining Piggy-recognition by hiding behind a mask.  And you wonder whether you would have gone over to Jack's side -- I mean, on an island that is far away from society.  Like the Lord told even the angelic Simon, "You know perfectly well you'll only meet me down there -- don't try to escape it!" (143).  But my saving grace is that I don't like chanting or any ritualistic frenzy, nor unquestioning obedience, and Jack demanded  such crap from his followers.  It justifies egomaniac sadists like Roger who "... found a lodgment for his point and began to push till he was leaning with his whole weight.  The spear moved forward inch by inch, and the terrified squealing became a high-pitched scream. ... 'Right up her ass!' [Roger said]" (135)  The consequences of working myself up into a selfish compulsion are always like Golding depicted.  It always ends badly.

And of course, after all their frenzy, "the forest was very still." (137)

SAD Correlation in LJ Analysis

Steve, my roommate, just looked at the graph and said, "that's Seasonal Affective ..."  :)

There seems to be an abrupt and positive correlation in my journal between cold, sadness and vision during the first quarter and first halves of the year.  SAD, as Dr. Allen suspected. (These dictionaries include words like "light", "depression", and obviously "cold".)

Now is this significant when compared to my age group?  More than two-thirds of those born circa 1980 were writing more about sadness, coldness and light, but this is normalized over the 2005-2007 range:

Custom Categories
Regressive Imagery Analysis for vap0rtranz's journal
Compared to: Everyone
What does this mean?

During the specific periods of the first quarter and first half of the year, I often wrote more about sadness, cold, and vision than 8 out of 10 of my fellow 27-year olds, including those who usually wrote about those things.  Even more compelling is the abrupt drop in sadness during the summer and fall months, where a mere 1 out of 10 were writing less about these things than me.  The same periods were the semester that I had the most difficulty in school.

This all means that I got it working on a a new install of Windows 2003 Server!  *gag*  But seriously, I recommend everyone install it (on the shitty XP that you're probably running).  Theoretically speaking, this kind of analysis over time is precisely the kind supported by my general theory of information.  Practically speaking, this brings more meaning to blogs than merely EMO kids floating from Internet whim to Internet meme.  For me personally, it could mean that I will fair better in the warmer climate of the coast, so this new job could be a good move.  And back to the application of theory, this whole thing is an awesome catalyst for getting my semantic wiki working.

I thank Dr. Allen for encouraging me to find some way to analyze any trends.  Be damned all those other students who hate her!

Cops vs. L33t Geek Overlords

The cops' hack job is why we (l33t geek overlords) should encrypt all disks. This particular gadget was forwarded to me by a private source. It's used to suck up child porn from alleged predators' computers.