DIARY 2002















Sat, Sep 28

<22:58> Almost too tired to write. Two days of concrete work at Rantasalmi are over, and the foundation of the new cottage has been laid. It went surprisingly fast, and the main physical irritation seems to come from the cement which is a strong base in two meanings. It seems my practice this summer in wheelbarrow-fu and shovel-fu has paid off.

Today's sunset was quite ordinary compared to a couple of previous nights, when the sky and the horizon were painted in astounding fabrics of purple and pink. However, the most interesting natural feat so far this summer was when we saw something funny in the middle of the lake. It turned out a family of elks on a swim. Probably running away from hunters. They were heading towards our shore, but we probably scared them off.

There's a nice ambient.[mp3|ogg] site called So far I've found one truly amazing song called Alternaton by the Finnish Pinza. It's on page 14.

Mon, Sep 23

<01:20> It's not like I'm a net junkie. It's just that I've been without a personal fixed pipe since I left Cambridge, and I need some adjustment to this current situation where It Just Works via Sonera's cable. Not surprisingly I keep finding interesting stuff, like the fact that Star Wreck is using a photo of Rudi which I took on May 1 @cam.

The situation isn't much easier at the summer place where I've spent most of the last few days. I'm becoming something of an expert in moving around vast amounts (i.e. several m3) of sand and gravel with a wheelbarrow. Unfortunately these tasks mean my real work is hardly progressing at all. The catch-22 is that I'd be better off living in Jyväskylä on my own, but this situation makes it harder for me to arrange things towards that goal.

Updated XFree86 to 4.2.1 which I thought was a mere security patch. However, it looks like MPlayer XVideo is vastly improved in speed and quality. There's hardly any need for MPlayer DGA on Willow (aka, btw:).

Final note to my friends outside Finland: It's bloody cold up here, nights sawtoothing about centigrade zero. With the many indoor interests I'm not really sure if I'd like a heatwave anyway.

Sat, Sep 21

<03:01> Finished reading that Maya. I should add that, in addition to the usual philosphical musings of Gaarder, the book had interesting new dimensions in poetic sequences and number mysticism. Neither of these went really far, though, and overall I think the book was missing a final edge. This is not necessarily bad, as it is quite apparent that Gaarder wants his readers to think for themselves (my mission exactly!). On the other hand I felt there is a thin red line which separates Maya from true scifi stories, as it was still slightly too mundane for my tastes, and the mysticism, philosphy, sugardolls and the like, were not used to their full extent. "You will grow," is something that Mr. Perälä might say, but I shouldn't be too hard on Mr. Gaarder until I publish something worthwhile myself :-)

[This update is done over Sonera's Cable which I got earlier today (Friday), works like a charm.]

After the DU meetings I've had hard physical work at the summer place and I feel there are tons of things to do. Which is exactly a good thing now that I've got the time.

Fri, Sep 20

<01:42> A benevolent conspiracy.

It's been an intense philosophical hyystö of two days (Tuesday-Wednesday) in Espoo and Helsinki. Basically I've had meetings with Dr. Suntola and other Dynamic Universe activists. On a more significant level I've found a deeper mental connection with the Suntolas, a vegetarian yogi couple, and the entire positive and open athosphere about the DU people. Even my sudden appearance into the DU field has been almost as if anticipated.

The benevolent conspiracy also relates to a number of wonderful coincidences in nature, which have become more apparent within DU. One example is the apparent Euclidity of distant space, which basically means that gravitational systems are expanding like the whole of the cosmos. DU agrees with this experimental outcome, while GR requires heavy modifications even to come close.

Benevolent conspiracy theories also come to mind when reading Jostein Gaarder's Maya. Many ideas in the book are basically those from his famous novel Sofia's World, but much more subtle. To someone familiar with Indian philosophies, it was apparent from the start that Maya does not refer to the American indian people.

Sat, Sep 14

<20:18> It's bad luck to be superstitious these days! Therefore it was good my main plan for yesterday had been clear for a while. It was the end of my engineering-bourgeois work and the beginning of new freedom. I'm starting a research project with, and for now I might say it's going to be relatively theoretical. Unfortunately I'll stay in Varkaus for some time, because I'm not officially a student at JyU and this is a rather short project. But obviously I'm hoping to continue there with a more solid basis.

Wed, Sep 4

<18:37> Read a few books after the last update. Arto Paasilinna's Ihmiskunnan loppulaukka (The final spurt of humankind) was definitely not the quality I'd expected from him. A remarkable, positive surprise was reading two of Tove Jansson's Moomin books: Pyrstötähti (Kometjakten, Comet chase) and Taikatalvi (Trollvinter, Magic winter). Explicit in the fantasy there is a lot of powerful philosophy, such as the understanding/acceptance of dissimilarity, and refraining from too many material attachments in one's life. The entire world, of different kinds of troll and other creatures, is no less impressive than that of canonical masters like Tolkien.

It seems now that my plans with academical research are taking off, albeit slowly. There's definitely no certainty of a PhD studentship, nevertheless things are starting to roll in the right direction in the 4-space with absolute time.

Risto A. Paju