countries, respect for boss

"Focus on knowing everything." That would be a laughable goal! I think, in terms of countries, I would like to visit every country beginning with "I" and try to learn as much as I can about those countries. So far, I have been to Italy, Ireland, Iran, Israel and India. I would like to visit Iceland and Indonesia next, perhaps in that order, and leave Iraq for much later. Perhaps in some senses Iraq is not even a real country -- that is: its borders were defined by the British, who left it independent in 1932, and many people living there identify themselves by their religious or tribal affiliations first, before their national affiliation.

Yesterday my boss asked me about my passions. I mentioned chess, even though I am not that good at it. I told him about the best available chess program Rybka and he said he had read about it in the "IEEE Spectrum" magazine. I was really impressed that the magazine would mention the program as I didn't know it was well-known outside computer chess circles. Also, I mentioned that one of the designers of Deep Blue, Murray Campbell, said that "a present-day Cell processor has as much processing power as that entire [Deep Blue] system did in 1997." My boss knew that a Cell processor is the one in the Playstation 3, but at the time I read the article, I had to look that up in Wikipedia to check what a Cell processor was -- I couldn't remember. Anyway it seems my new boss has a wider variety of interests than my old boss did!

I feel sad about the deterioration of my Persian...


make friends, not enemies!

On the 28th of April I went to the Mansour concert. What an enjoyable concert it was! He sang all of his famous songs like To azize delami, Bezan berim, Divooneh etc. I had never seen so many Iranian people in one place in Brisbane before. It was good to see such a mixture of ages because I had been to a few Iranian events where there was a big generation gap, ie no-one from 20 to 40 was there. I enjoyed meeting friends I had not seen for a while. Now, in the past there was a girl I was attracted to, K. Because: she seemed happy, she liked to exercise, she was adventurous and was kind of scientific (she had studied engineering). And I enjoyed talking to her. But when she got back to Australia in Nov 2005, she told me she just wanted to be friends. That was ok with me. We had dinner with my cousin and his wife (now ex-wife). But then she just started ignoring my texts and emails. When we did meet up she claimed to have been too busy to reply, "I've been working 9 to 9 in my research assistant job". My cousin said to me "oh come on R, you know it's bullshit". But it was sad to lose someone who I thought could have been a good friend. It's annoying when someone is too rude to reply to texts but I cannot waste energy on thinking about it. I would also forget all about the rudeness if she did contact me of her own accord (remembering what I read in the book "Games Indians Play" about defection and cooperation -- the best strategy is the so-called "tit for tat" strategy -- ie don't bear grudges, don't be the first to defect, but also forgive easily. Also, let insults be like water off a duck's back!)

Now I met her brother-in-law S at the concert. I hadn't talked to him for about a year. He told me that K used to be living with them, but that she had become a drug addict and they had kicked her out, and they don't know where she is living now, or care. I was shocked. He wants to destroy the relationship beyond repair, even going so far as to try to damage her reputation in the non-Iranian community. But also I wondered if it were true and if she were lonely at this time. It would be a terrible thing to have a split with my family like that.

The truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others: 1. Move out before it gets too bad. 2. Don't take drugs. 3. Don't "put all your [emotional] eggs in the one [family] basket".

And finally, for S and K and me, don't waste your energy on hate!! How pointless it all is, how much better to redirect it. At uni, I knew a guy who destroys every relationship and person he touches to the extent that I will never contact him and I don't even want to link to his page. He has been having a legal battle with his brother-in-law for over ten years. Everything is at his page. I don't even want to touch this guy ... so his website is an h, then an a, then an i, then a g, then report.com. It would be more aptly called the Hate report.