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some things about me... - silver Harloe

About some things about me...

Previous Entry some things about me... May. 28th, 2005 @ 07:10 pm Next Entry
I recently posted an answer to a questionaire in another forum (related to a great game called Deadly Rooms of Death. See http://www.drod.net or http://www.caravelgames.net . But, anyway, that explains the DROD references in some of the questions).

It went like this:


Name: silver Harloe. That isn't the name I was born with, but a nice judge in Travis county signed my paperwork and it's been my name since I was 21. He did notice the lowercase 's' and asked if it was intentional. I said, "Yes, Your Honor," and so it's legally and officially 'silver' with a lowercase 's'. I had been going by 'silver' since I was 15, and changed my last name to "adopt" the fellow who was around when I was growing up, rather than the random sperm donor I've never met (he left my mom when I was around two years old. I hear I have a half-brother somewhere. odd.)

Location: Austin, TX. Although if all goes well, then within a month of this post, it will be Seattle, WA.

Age: 34 at the time of this post. I was September 27th, 1970. I like that birth day because it's 32 33. If I could tolerate being 11 years younger (which gets easier to contemplate now that 'my age minus 11' is still adultish), then definitely 32 33 34 would have been better.

Hair: Dark brown, easily mistakable for black in club lighting. I had green streaks when I was 25 or so. Now I have a peppering of grey hair. My hair currently extends to the low end of my shoulder blades.

Eyes: Deep brown and very very nearsighted. But I have stylish glasses and another pair with the exact same frames but as prescription shades.

Gender: Male. Despite the cute kitty picture, or my use of the name 'silverkitty' on forums where 'silver' is already allocated to some other person. The kitty picture is, incidentally, a picture of my actual cat, Mite. LJ edit: same avatar I use here.

Height/Weight: 5'10-11" (177 cm). I am also around 190 pounds (86 kg), which is a bit more than I would like, but much healthier than when I was 140 pounds (63.5 kg) in college and you could count my ribs at a distance.

Body Modifications: No tattoos, but I do have an extra hole in the piece of cartilage known as the 'rook' of my left ear, with a small metal ring in it. I got that when I was 25 or so and haven't changed it, though I did once replace the ring because the old one was, well, old.

Job/Grade/College: Unemployed and looking for work. I'm a Perl/Java programmer extraoridinaire with 10 years of experience. I did receive a BA in Mathematics from the University of Texas (in Austin) in 1992.

Favorite Stuff: Varies too often, based on mood and such.

* books: The sci-fi/fantasy books I've reread the most are Lord of Light and Creatures of Light and Darkness by Roger Zelazny (these are whence I derived the idea for Zelazny's Law (see below)). Greg Egan's futures, though, seem more plausible to me than the futures discussed by most other science fiction authors. The book I'm mostly likely to try to foist on someone is Consciousness Explained by Daniel Dennett. I have become philosophically a functionalist due to him.

* music: All my music is on small, obscure labels and generally involves no one ruining the soundscape with any of that silly singing stuff.

* movies: The first dvd I ever owned was Gattaca. But I love all kinds of movies, even bad ones.

* tv: The new Battlestar Galactica kicks ALL the ass available to kick, and then goes around and re-kicks some of the better ass. Before that I was a big fan of Babylon 5. I also have all the Stargate: SG-1 and Smallville DVDs, but the latter is a bit too teen angsty to be truly great (for sufficiently large definitions of 'bit').

Cats or Dogs? Do you really have to ask?

emacs or vi? Emacs, of course. I'm a programmer, not an administrator. But in my heart of hearts I want to rewrite Emacs in Perl with Perl instead of Lisp as the extension language.

Pirate? In the 'Puzzle Pirates' sense, yes. I am odd in that I own no illegal copies of software. Anywhere. I have even registered or deleted all my shareware. And it's been like this for a long time. I'm probably the only person you've heard of who registered PKZip. And I bought (outright, from my own pocket) Photoshop.

Drugs: Caffeine! I drink Dr Pepper almost exclusively. I also imbibe lots of ethanol (mostly in the form of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum, but I love vodka, cabarnets, and good sake as well). I am currently addicted to nicotine (and I'm a dumbyhead. I didn't start smoking until I was 27. See my quote below.) I am rare in my generation: I have not consumed any illegal drugs. Ever. Except I'm also not stuck up about it, I hang out with people who are altered all the time. Before I was a smoker, I owned ashtrays for guests who smoked. I'm weird that way.

Religion: Emacs! But, more seriously: I am an atheist (of the strict, "nothing supernatural" sort) and also a Taoist (my current signature is a play on the first line of the Tao Te Ching). This is not a contradiction. Raymond Smullyan wrote (this is a paraphase): "The religious person feels obligated to save the atheist from a terrible afterlife. The atheist feels obligated to save the religious person from a terrible life in the name of something that they believe will never happen. The Taoist cheerfully lives his life in accordance with the Tao unconcerned with whether the Tao exists or not."

In case my signature changes before you read this, the one referenced in the paragraph above reads "The signature I could write here would not be my true signature". Though I should probably say "The signature I could sign here would not be my true signature." Then it would more clearly follow the usage of Tao as noun AND verb.

Someone once observed to me that atheists talk more about God than religious people. I replied that this is because they're a suppressed minority. Look to standup comedy. Who does more jokes about race? Minority comics. Who does more jokes about homosexuality? Gay comics. This is a reflection of reality. You are more likely to hear about how white people suppress black people from a black person. On average, I mean. There are always exceptions. Similiarly with atheism, you are more likely to hear about how The State claims no religion but makes everyone take oaths on the Bible from an atheist. Were atheists the majority, I'm sure religious people would be more concerned with discussing why they are being suppressed.

Travel: Draw (in your mind is fine) a triangle where the points are Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Take my entire life of 34 years and compress all the time I've spent outside that triangle into one chunk. That chunk is less than 6 months long. I don't get out much. The furthest south I've been is a bordertown of Mexico (less than 5 hours out of country). One time I drove to Baltimore for a weekend (with 2 other people driving. We took shifts). I spent a week in the Ozark mountains. I've been to Denver twice (3 weeks total. I had an aunt who lived there). I used to drive to Dallas a lot. If I get this job and move to Washington, that will be rather extreme for me, from a travel point of view.

Quotes: Some people quote me. I dunno why. Or maybe I like to pretend they would. In either case, these are some of the more notable things I've written and/or said:

* on Puzzle Pirates: "The ocean is a dangerous place, wear a life jacket."

* on OS wars: "All operating systems suck. Each sucks in its own unique way."

* on Taoism: "Taoism is looking at the universe and seeing the melody instead of the notes."

* on committees: "The intelligence of a committee is the sum of the intelligences of the members of the committee, divided by the number of members in the committee." Though I have to change this one based on a recent modification by a forum member here.

* on translation: "The translation problem is of a higher order than the 'general intelligence' problem." While you can get bad machine translation now, you will never get good machine translation until we have generically intelligent machines. And then you'll have to meet one that wants to be a translator.

* on my smoking: "I started smoking when I moved to Houston. Mostly as an excuse to get a filter between me and the air." Houston is that bad. I also refer to 1997-1999 as "my two year mistake in Houston." I ran back to Austin as fast as I could. But I did have twice as much sex in Houston, oddly.

* on science fiction: Clarke's Law states, "Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." I have proposed a corrollary, which I call Zelazny's Law: "Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from godhood." (magic, of course, meant in the sense of Clarke's Law).

Ever beat DROD? I beat KDD in 9 days of elapsed time and 6 days of play time, which I believe is the record at the time I'm posting this. I have mastered JtRH, but not in anything like a record. I have, incidentally, also mastered all the "prime" levels in SubTerra (and, at the time of this post, am the only person besides the author to have done that).

How long have you been playing DROD? I found it in August 2004, so not long.

Why should/shouldn't you become an admin? I don't have time for additional responsibility (I mean, technically, I don't have a job right now, but I expect to get one soon or else I have to consider more final solutions to my financial problems).

What are you secretly working on? "The maximum number of people who can keep a secret is precisely one". However, I have not officially announced many projects that take some of my noodle time, such as my book on i18n methods and practices, my way too big hold for DROD ("Chasm City", the city built into the walls of a chasm), my scenario for Blades of Avernum (which is less of a secret on this forum than on the BoA forums, where I haven't mentioned it), a game or three I keep wishing I could write, a Go implementation for Game Gardens, and my really s3kr3t plans to modify DROD by fnord with fnord.


A couple of things I mentioned would be bad forum ettiquette to follow up to here. I've reposted this to LJ (LJ edit: you're already here) which is the canonically correct place to follow up to whatever I've said here. If you follow up there, please include your DROD forum name somewhere in the message so I know who you are (LJ "guest" follow ups should be allowed, I think/hope, if you don't have an LJ account). LJ edit: Or if you're not on the DROD forums, I probably already know who you are.
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