Wednesday, September the 3rd, 2003

Well, that’s not entirely accurate. What I meant to say is, I am without a watch. I’ve had my trusty watch for a very long time, and it has given me very little trouble. Of course, I’ve had to change the strap a couple of times, and the batteries a few times, but hey, it has worked so far. About a month or so ago? just before my Albuquerque trip, the batteries started dying again, and it failed BANG IN THE MIDDLE of my talk.

It is weird, I use (depend on) my watch more than most people. Next to google, it is my brain’s closest friend by being an ‘off line’ data store containing (seemingly important but actually unnecessary) information like people’s contact information and birthdays and all that sort of thing. It helps keep my mind freer for the hopefully more relevant things.

But, I do use it to tell time too, and often.

Which is why, when it died in the middle of the talk, I was more than a bit flustered. Of course, I then resorted to the more fundamental art of telling time by how bored the crowd looked. And, surprisingly, it worked. Judging how patents and so on work in this country, I think I can patent the idea of “telling time based on how bored your audience appears” and make a fortune some day. Some day.

It’s been dead since then, and I’d almost learned to live without it, apart from the sporadic “stare at empty wrist hoping to see the time” syndrome. I’ve just been too lazy to do anything about it. I assumed I could get by, and yes, I was wrong.

Today was one of the more hectic days and I rushed in and out of five? or so (with four of them being fairly advanced math analysis) classes. Not fun when they are in totally different parts of campus and I didn’t really know what time it was most of the while, which resulted in some odd, and slightly embarrassing, class entry/exit times.

I have to get it fixed. Of course, that’s easier said than done.

I also realized I’ve messed up, I think, by getting into engineering. I should have pursued pure physics/math instead. Damn it, those people are so much cooler than we can ever be. Even the halls and the buildings just radiated a “we know more than you people” sort of glow, complete with the “we just love knowing, and we don’t stop as soon as we know ‘just enough’ to make a product, or write a program, or design a circuit… like you lowly engineers”.

Sure, half of my degrees should make me a hybrid, like I halfway belong with them. But it’s still not as pure as it could have been.

No, it isn’t.

And one of the cooler things that could have happened did happen today. As I was running around those older, feel more “grand university”ish halls, absolutely random people (lying down in the corridors with their all free software stickers plastered laptops and so on) were all smiles, starting random conversations, gesturing (something vaguely resembling a thumbs-up) and so on. Why? I was in my friendly Free Software, Free Society shirt.

Again, if these normal people (complete with the ones with hair all over their face and beards upto their knees) can see, recognise (the importance), and strike up a civilized conversation on some geeky topic, why can’t the engineers?

They’re just pseudo geeks, they don’t really know or really care. Just fake it.

This is a printer-friendly version of the journal entry “I am timeless” from actuality.log. Visit to read the original entry and follow any responses to it.

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