Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

11 Apr 2001, 2:43 a.m.

And did you always do what Mama said?

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2001 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

So when was the first time your parents lied, and you knew they are lying? --I asked my class on Friday.
Perhaps the best response: "Once, my parents told me to get in the car because we were going to Disneyland, and then they took me to the dentist."

The domain of is not taken! How can this be?! Where is General Mills, or some squatter, or something?

(I actually only visited because I haven't eaten yet.)

I am currently wearing a clear plastic pocket protector, which is one of four I bought for 22 cents each from a clearance table at Office Depot. Inside the pocket protector: a highlighter, a mechanical pencil, a pen with black ink, a pen with blue ink. Funny thing is, I never really thought about carrying pens in my shirt pockets until I started wearing a pocket protector. Now I love it; they're so convenient! I may actually be writing more, thanks to the lowered transaction costs of whipping out writing utensils.

I now own six: a white Linux "Open Minds, Open Source" dealie from IDG at the Linux World Expo two years ago; the four clear ones; and a white Buca di Beppo protector. Buca di Beppo is an Italian restaurant, and there is one somewhat near where Seth Schoen used to live. Thus, we often ate BdB food at Seth's gatherings, including the housecooling a while back.

Does ThinkGeek or such sell pocket protectors? Maybe ones in which to hold Visors?

Bird linguists. As I trudged lightly towards my 8 am class today, I saw two birds chirping really near each other, near Dwinelle and VLSB. They looked really different from each other -- different colors, markings, sizes, etc. Maybe they were two different species of birds! Do different bird species understand each other? Maybe these were two bird linguists, breaking inter-bird barriers. Or maybe they were bird ambassadors. Maybe they were dividing up campus territory. "OK, you get to defecate on Sproul, but we get Memorial Glade and the genetically-twisted trees near the Campanile." Or something.

The Fine Arts Cinema, at Shattuck and Haste in Berkeley, will soon be showing several movies that I'd like to see, preferably with others. (I'll probably send out a mention via e-mail to friends who don't read this. Or maybe I won't, so as to punish them...)

For those of you who missed the Kieslowski marathon, this is your chance to see meaningful stuff!

Through today:
Secrets of Silicon Valley
April 11 through April 14th:
Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster
May 11-17:
Shadows, directed by Cassavettes. (Leonard, you know you want to see this!)
May 18-23:
Charulata, directed by Satyajit Ray. Desis represent, as Anirvan says.
May 24-30:
City Lights, a Charlie Chaplin film. I just saw The Great Dictator, so all of a sudden I'm floating in midair....wait, I'm not stuck in a closet with Vanna White, as Weird Al was. I mean to say that all of a sudden I'm interested in Chaplin's work.
Oh, and by the way, today at 4 pm in 100 Lewis Hall, you could come and see It Happened One Night with my Films of 1939 class. It's a classic screwball romantic comedy, starring Clark Gable and (I think) Katharine Hepburn or some such. I'll be rushing over right after my DE-Cal class.

The artist is not the art. Hitler said some stuff. And some of it was offensive and chilling and so on. But I'm sure he said some things that were not so chilling. "Thank you." "Salad, please, I don't eat meat." And so on.

And then there are the sort-of-scary things. I've been reading a bit of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and I remember that a favorite saying of his was, "retain the essential and forget the nonessential," which actually seems to be pretty good advice, if you can forget from whom it came. And forgetting the authors of advice seems to be a bad thing, in general.

So it seems that I should just retain my critical facilities, and take any advice with a grain of salt, which is tough, as I tend to be too trusting (except when it comes to mass murderers and other such obviously wrongheaded people). And it's just so exhausting to be wary all the time! I want to be a reflexive skeptic, but not a reflexive cynic. A difficult balance. And don't tell me it's not, please, because I'm just saying it'll be hard for me.

Parents shouldn't ask their older children to trust them unconditionally -- asking for blind obedience -- if those parents cannot mediate every substantial interaction between the children and the outside world.

Originally published by Sumana Harihareswara at