Sent at 8:19 PM on Thursday
me: “It’s often very hard to measure the thing that you’re hoping for. You don’t actually care about how calories you eat; you care about how much weight you’re going to gain from the calories you eat. But as soon as we go, oh, well, calories are a pretty good proxy for weight gain, we start to come up with these foods that are incredibly unhealthy but nevertheless have very few calories in them. In the same way, Google doesn’t really care about inbound links because inbound links are good per se; Google cares about inbound links because inbound links are a good proxy for “someone likes this page; someone thinks this page is a useful place to be, is a good place to be.” But as soon as Google starts counting that, people start finding ways to make links that don’t actually serve as a proxy for that conclusion at all.”
Sent at 8:25 PM on Thursday
Scott: where’s that from?
me: Cory Doctorow, in an interview w/ a Duke prof who is using his book Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom in a utopias course.
me: You should read that, btw
me: Is the baby in the dishwasher?
(Here’s the link to the Doctorow interview. I read Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom last year; blogged about it here.)
April 29, 2010 @ 7:36 am | Filed under: Geek
Thanks to Girl Detective’s handy chart, I know at last that I am a geek, not a nerd. At least, I don’t think I am socially inept. Not often, at any rate. OK, maybe sometimes. Like the famous family story of the first time I met Scott’s older sister. When Scott and I started dating, Susan was living in Somalia, so I was hearing about her for a good year before our paths crossed. Susan is seriously brilliant, beautiful, poised, and accomplished, and I was just this awkward college student with little-girl looks and bitten nails. I knew how much Scott respected his sister and felt somewhat intimidated about making a good impression.
Shortly after Susan returned from Africa, a friend’s wedding drew the family together. I knew I would be meeting Susan for the first time. When we arrived at the church, Scott dropped me at the front entrance and went to park the car. I entered the foyer and recognized a knot of women chatting quietly in one corner: Scott’s mother, two of his sisters-in-law, and—I knew her from photos—Susan. As I crossed the foyer I silently rehearsed what to say: Hi, Susan, I’m Lissa. Hi Susan, I’m Lissa. But just as I reached the group, Susan put out her hand and said warmly, “Hi, Lissa!”
Completely thrown off my mental script, I blurted, “Hi! I’m Susan!”
Perhaps we should go with 70% geek, 30% dork. Intelligence and social (in)eptitude may be fluctuating variables, but I think it’s pretty safe to say obsession is the constant.