October 06, 2005

Wednesday 5th October

I stayed up way, way too long speaking on the computing society chatroom, mainly because I apparently found the only Pride and Compsoc member. The chatroom itself seemed to be not exactly homophobic but more cheerfully na´ve about subjects that some of other orientations may find very sensitive. Anywya, I got to bed around 2AM, as my first seminar was around 12.

I got woken up at 9:30 by an alarm for a seminar! I swore I didn't have one (out loud, too, very colourful swearing it was). But I crawled out of bed, found my last set of clothes (laundry tonight, it seems) and skedaddled to get breakfast. The room was a mess again and the cleaners were in there. They were lovely people, happy to accommodate, but they are having enough. So am I. I was about to write a note to the people in there saying I was going to have to be an asshole and check up on you was and wasn't cleaning before I realised (munching away on branflakes) I apparently had to be in CS 1.01 in five minutes. I ran all the way there and arrived at the room panting. Damn, damn, damn. I remembered now – seminars in week 2 were cancelled. But I had forgotten to remove the alarm. I crawled into the computer room in a panting, wheezing wreck and oozed over the desk in front of an Internet connection lead and calmed my nerves with information overload.

After a bit I sauntered back to the halls. I found some people there are told them I would like a team meeting as the cleaners weren't happy. I just got brushed off. Oh well, their problem. I headed off to a philosophy seminar, and when I finally found it (apparently S is Social Science, though that's SO on the map) there were two computer scientists outside. We got talking a bit:

  • Me: "McDown says that first order sceptics can't exist because there's a paradox in that they're taking a stand on something."
  • A: "But what if they don't debate at all, just say something's wrong?"
  • B: "They're still a moral sceptic because they are applying values to the world."

Damn! I'm dangerously close to being a philosopher. The seminar was fun. Our seminar tutor was young, the class was small and he was really into the subject. He got over administration and started talking to us about a brief history of philosophy and the various strands, and managed in his discussion to disprove the existence of God twice without even thinking. Apparently modern philosophers tend to assume a Christian God doesn't exist even if he does because it makes philosophising too difficult with all of the contradictions that it entails. At the end of the lecture I volunteered for the first presentation along with another guy on Mackie. Apparently it doesn't matter what we come up with as long as it's about Mackie and a presentation of sorts (rap tunes not allowed). I also found out I need to sign up for the modules I want to take by tomorrow, which was scary. See? Not having Internet access in the halls meant I couldn't do this earlier!

After the lecture I convinced two people to go with me to Tescos. One was a very friendly, northern-sounding individual. The other was a tall person with a very well enunciated accent. I asked about it and he said he was from Boars Hill, Oxford and went to Abingdon school. We got chatting about about Oxford and various things such as travel. He's a nice chap! The other guy was just friendly and instantly likeable, though he didn't talk much. In the supermarket I bought all the ingredients I could possibly need for at least two stir-fries. The others bought cooking utensils. The walk back was enjoyable and I exchanged contact details with them (luckily one was the one I'll be collaborating on my presentation with).

I got back to halls and no-one was around at all! Disturbing. I put my stuff away and used the working, and fast as it wasn't in much use, network connection to do chores and write up some stuff. I called the person I was working on Mackie with (Simon, I found his name was) using Skype and discussed the Mackie project. At the same time I tried to register for modules, but couldn't as it was just giving me a blank page. I gave up on that and discussed more on the presentation, deciding to convert our notes into presentations and then comparing the two. I headed off into the kitchen to do a stirfry.

It worked spectacularly, though I had to juggle around Anika who was cooking as well. Her religion made her vegetarian so I was careful not to contiminate her stuff with my chicken spatterings. The stirfry was very overcooked for safety but was gorgeous, and was largely an accident. Afterwards I sat down to chat with the people in the room (James, Mark, Anika) and ended up trying some of Anika's potato mixture. It was gorgeous, and spicy. We talked a bit more, with subjects including:

  • Chicken Tikka Masala (apparently a Tikka is what some indians wear on their heads, a type of bead)
  • Public/state schools (I was the only one in the room who'd been to a state school, it seems. And no, I didn't start this conversation thread!)
  • The giggles (Anika and I broke into giggles over practically nothing)
  • Oh shit, I'm late for Debating Society.
  • Ah bugger, too late now, thirty minutes so. I'll skip it and go to the next one.

I retreated to my room to bathe in the glow of working internet access for a while. I headed off to the Computer Society social and sat down, letting the cool weirdos like me filter in around me. Coversation topics:

  • Me: can I help set up.
  • Me: Hello! Hi! Hello!
  • Person A: What are you interested in?
  • Me: Website, administration, Python, Linux, blah.
  • Person A: Good! Meet Person B!
  • Person B: Want to help me with webpage?
  • Me: Yes! Talk, natter, natter.
  • Me: I was meant to be meeting someone tonight.
  • Person B: Who?
  • Me: Long hair… 4th year.
  • Person B: That narrows it down… maybe…
  • Person C: Hello! (Turns out his nickname is Dementia.>)
  • Me: Bugger! It's you! Your hair isn't that long. Want to see my laptop?

So, after managing to sign up with helping the Computing Society with their webpage I managed to end up talking with Dementia for the entirety of the evening, he turned out to have so much to say! I'd met him the night before on IRC, he is the only other dual pride and computing society member. He turned out to be very talkative, charming, witty, quite cute but for some reason had got a reputation for himself as being a complete danger to all things male. I think it's because he had a habit of randomly hugging people. I guess I'm used to that from some of the scarier conventions I've been to. Anyway, the evening was great fun.

I ended up wandering around the campus a bit, before to my surprsie I'd gone home with him. He's the first person I've ever had in my room! We ended up trying an online matching service to see how closely matched we were, and I dhowed him a few clips I had lying around. I then logged into the Computer Society IRC and pasted a nice, simple message to get them tittering:

  • Guys! I took Dementia home!

They immediately filed the quote and put it against my name. I'm getting a reputation already, and it's a good one! Anyway, writing this is antisocial, need to get back to talking with Dementia. Nightnight.

- 3 comments by 0 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Mum

    Wow, what fun! Are you taking any modules this term since you didn't sign up? Hopefully you can still sign up today?

    And the poor old laundry got left behind in all this did it, left a wallflower in the basket? You'll be streaking naked if you don't wash something soon!

    Thought Dementia sounded nice in his helpful comment (the thought of 'dementia' sounding nice is a bit strange isn't it?

    Let a thousand social flowers bloom, to misquote Chairman Mao completely!
    Lots of love

    06 Oct 2005, 10:15

  2. Dementia

    I would guess that the online names most of the people I know use will appear very odd to people unconnected with the community (hell, a lot of them seem odd to me).

    Have been using 'Dementia' for many years now – think I changed it from Insanity by using the thesaurus sometime in secondary school after I got bored with the name. Just to really confuse things I'm also now using Mithious and Mordelm in various other communities (mostly where there was already a dementia).

    Anyway, just to introduce myself, I'm Nick, a 4th year Civil Engineer and to be fair my reputation isn't quite as dodgy as David's comment makes it sound (At least I hope not :P).

    06 Oct 2005, 11:33

  3. Mum

    Just to reply to Dementia, David:

    To Dementia, ie Nick – glad to meet you. I didn't think you sounded dodgy. David had some earlier experiences of the so-called 'scene' and its devotees that have (rightly) made him a bit over-cautious, so he can sound a bit gothic at times. Hopefully, you and others can show him that it need not all be like that, at least in the university community.
    Best wishes,
    David's Mum, (Olivia)

    06 Oct 2005, 16:16

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