July 28, 2006

The Trouble with “Work” (the word)

Filed under: General — Cory @ 1:09 am

I have issues with the English word “work.” To me, this single word can mean too many things, much like the word “love.” Let me describe the problem I have.

Recently at my day job I have been putting a lot of effort into a project, and I’ve been having a lot of fun while doing so. I hesitate to say that I am “working” on it, because that makes it sound like I am miserably slaving away at something that gives me no satisfaction. Several times lately I’ve found myself at “work” past 8 pm because I am still trying to get something to “work.” See the confusion?

This is similar to the situation we English speakers have with the word “love.” “Love” can mean many things, and the ancient Greeks recognized this and had different words for the different types of “love.” Summarized from Wikipedia:

  • AgapÄ“ – In Ancient Greek it often refers to a general affection or concern… AgapÄ“ is used in ancient texts to denote one’s feeling for a good meal, one’s children, and the feelings one has for a spouse.
  • Eros – Passionate love, with sensual desire and longing.
  • Philia – “Friendship” in modern Greek, a dispassionate virtuous love. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity.
  • Storge – Natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring.

When you think about it, its pretty silly that we use the same word for all of the following:

  • My friends parents love deep fried twinkies!
  • My friends parents love their children.
  • My friends parents made love tonight!

And I think its the same way with the word “work.” It seems to me that the following verb forms of “work” should all be represented by different words:

  • Intensive laboring without enjoyment or satisfaction. As in, “The slaves were forced to work year round.”
  • Attending to tedious, monotonous or boring tasks. As in, “I am working my way through writing these graduation announcements.”
  • Pursuing exciting, interesting or important efforts. As in, “As a class we worked through the night to prepare the school gym for the prom.”

Maybe its just me, I don’t know. Occasionally I get calls from friends and family around 7:30 or so in the evening, and when they ask what I am doing I tell them I am “at work” and they always seem to make a sighing type of noise that sounds like they feel sorry for me. Usually the reality is that I am there because I am having too much fun to leave: my idea of being “at work” is typically different from theirs. I don’t really have any new words to propose, but I figured I should at least write this down while I am thinking about it. :)

Now its time for a bowl of Boo Berry.

• • •

July 25, 2006

Debian “etch” Coming in December

Filed under: Technology — Cory @ 12:32 am

Woo! The Debian folks have announced that “etch” will be released in December. I find this very exciting! :)

Recently I have been helping to admin a couple of Ubuntu Dapper Drake servers, and I have to say, I am pretty impressed with this distribution. From a server perspective its just Debian with up-to-date packages, which is really nice when you need to run the latest versions of Ruby and MySQL (which are quite behind in Debian proper).

I know this will make me sound like a zealot, but I really don’t understand why anyone would choose to run a server with anything other than Debian or one of its derivatives. I’ve had to administer reasonably large numbers of Red Hat and Debian servers, and the Debian servers have been without question the easiest and best maintained distros. I continually hear about Red Hat’s up2date breaking existing installations and generally causing havoc. Never once have I had anything like that happen on a Debian “stable” server, although I can imagine it might happen on the more frequently updated Ubuntu distros.

Its really pretty amazing what the Ubuntu/Kubuntu people have been able to do to the Linux desktop. I prefer KDE, so Kubuntu is my distro of choice and it has really come a long way. Mac OS X is still my primary desktop OS, but at the office I have a Kubuntu box running Synergy and its hard to imagine how a work environment could be any better than the Mac OS X + Kubuntu combination.

• • •

July 23, 2006

Another Net Neutrality Explanation

Filed under: Technology — Cory @ 11:48 pm

This weekend I had brief but interesting discussion with some folks concerning the pros and cons of Net Neutrality. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it at this point, but I do understand the arguments from both sides. On the one hand, I learned growing up “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but there is also an opportunity for something better to come out of it.

Net Neutrality is a complicated issue, and we’ve already heard a Ninja explain it, but what if you don’t speak Ninja? Well, fortunately the Daily Show has put together a nice little segment to help explain it as well.

• • •

July 17, 2006

Overheard in NY + Google Maps = Overplot

Filed under: Places,Technology — Cory @ 8:33 pm

Everyone here should know by now that I love a good Google Maps mashup. In the past I’ve posted about the Seinfeld Mashup, the NYC Subway Mashup, and StreetEasy – a search tool for expensive real estate. Of course, all of these are based around one of my favorite places: New York City.

I am fascinated by NYC, especially the people living there, which is probably why I find Overheard in New York so interesting. How could it get any better? By adding a Google Maps mashup of course: Overplot. :)

• • •

July 7, 2006

Putting Things Into Perspective

Filed under: General — Cory @ 8:32 am

A friend sent this to me today and I think it is fascinating: The Size of Our World.

You can see in the second image that the Jupiter’s Great Red Spot storm is the size of Earth.

• • •

July 2, 2006

My Shiny New Gary Fisher Piranha

Filed under: General — Cory @ 2:22 pm

Several friends have been after me for a while to get a bike. It always sounded like fun to me, and I’ve been trying to make an effort to get outside more and pick up some hobbies that included physical exercise. So this weekend I went to Bike World and brought home a Gary Fisher Piranha.

It took me a while to decide on a model, but I rode this one and really liked it. The only thing I wasn’t 100% with was the color and style of this one, but in the end I finally accepted that “looks” shouldn’t be the determining factor for not buying a bike. Some of my friends have road bikes, and I thought about that, but I think this style will end up suiting me more.

I mostly want to just tool around my area of town and ride to dinner, although I probably will end up going on rides with friends as well.


• • •
Powered by: WordPress • Template by: Priss