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February 18th, 2005

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07:31 am - meh
Yesterday, as I was zipping around the office getting ready to go - after staying a half-hour later than planned, I might add - I realized that the project I had just spent three hours doing (and staying late for) was going to have to be redone today due to a stupid formatting mistake on my part.

That's the big problem with batch jobs - once you've set things in motion, all you can do to correct something like that is abort the process and start all over again. My track record with computers yesterday was pretty abysmal.

Things continued when I went over to meet with one of my IROSF cohort about some technical glitches, personal and site-wise, and we couldn't figure out how to convince my Mac to talk to the inside of the network. It's an area I can sort of fumble my way around in on a PC, but have negligible experience on MacOS or Linux. I am finding that Mac stuff seems to work really well for users who know absolutely nothing, or absolutely everything about what they are doing - I fall entirely too much in the middle of that range at the moment.

Nevertheless, I managed to get my burning questions put out, and the moral support was much appreciated. The more I do this sort of thing, the more interested I become in how interacting over the computer affects humans as social animals. I continue to aver that I'm about as introverted as it gets for someone with a need to put stuff 'out there' (like writing, say) - and I would if asked say I far prefer interacting online. However, I did feel an instant and thorough easing of tension when I found myself greeted by someone whose posture and attitude conveyed you're ok, you're doing all right. The need for that feedback is part of being a primate, I'd guess, more than it is part of being Joy-the-person, if only based on how unconscious of the tension I had been until it was gone.

One of the first things I noticed about Usenet groups, back in the day, was how most of them to have some sort of face-to-face meeting about once a year. Not just the technical groups - where you could argue that yearly conferences were carried over from the methods of off-line professional associations - but the purely social groups like soc.motss (motss.con) or alt.gothic (Convergence) did it too. There's some kind of drive for contact there, it's pretty clear.

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