Thought Repository


I'm sure you've all been waiting anxiously for a new entry. It's been a really busy time since I moved, and I just haven't had the time. I'm all moved in. The house is pretty nice. Not enough people have come by to see me here, but I don't spend much time at home anyway. I spend a lot of time at AEPi just because it is on my way home and my friends are there to get food or play video games or talk.

I've been working really hard. I may have mentioned it before, but basically my goal this summer is to top every expectation Randy could have for me so that he'll have no choice but to hire me for the year. That's pretty hard to do since Randy's expectations of people aren't based on thinking they are people with human limitations but tools to accomplish what he wants done right now. I suppose having people work for you like me, who you don't have to manage too much, is a good thing, but it can cause you to underestimate the difficultly and effort involved and thus underappreciate the good deal you have.

As part of the DARPA project I'm working on, I'm running an experiment. This is an extremely difficult experiment to run. I have to make the code changes, find the subjects, run the subject, crunch the numbers, and if they are bad decided how to fix it. Running the subject alone take me 1 1/2 to 2 hours and requires a process with about a billion steps. This week is the CVE (context validation experiment) where our collaborators from Honeywell are visiting. Basically that means that I was up running subjects until 1am, I worked (mostly running subjects) continuously today from 9 to 9, and I'll probably do the same thing tomorrow. That's not to mention working, running subjects, over the weekend and many long days last week.

As much as it sucks, though, I love it. This is my favorite Sparky. I felt so worthless at MIT. I didn't like the things I had to do and I didn't do very much. I was a slacker and I watched TV a lot. I actually lost confidence in myself as someone who can just get something done, a perception I used to love about myself. I'd become lazy at the end of my time with Stage3 last summer. Now that I'm back, this is definately the person I remember being. Other people might not appreciate how much I do and how well, but I think I like it better that what I do is do everything so well that other people don't even realize that that isn't trivial and they probably couldn't do it without me. I just wish Alex could see this Ben. He would finally understand who I am. Not the first to run to lunch and home, but the first one to pull an all-nighter to get ready for a demo.

That brings up the things I miss about Boston, in no particular order. I miss my sister Missy (well and my other family too). I miss a decent place to eat lunch. I just want somewhere where I can design a decent sandwich and get it every day; I'll get to this in another entry. I miss Alex. Both in terms of someone to have lunch with everyday and to keep me updated on politics. I don't know if he's the cause or if it is just because this country is so fucked now that even I realize it, but I actually care what's going on. I'll never not be too self-absorbed to really get involved, but I actually have an opinion and want to be informed for once. Also, even though I have nerdy friends to talk about computer with here, I miss Alex because each friend is slightly different in terms of what we can talk about.