Virtually Yours:
Carolyn L Burke
Top 5% at the Point
My Cognitive and Physical Landscape
Page 9

Be warned: This is my diary... clb

... Today
... From The Beginning
... inDex


Is there a point?

Tue Aug 15 1995

Apparently so. [Geez, that is simply one in 20 web sites. Hmmm. Even more interesting [Although the sites they have listed are very good indeed in general, I have to admit.], how do they determine how many sites are out there such that they know how many 5% actually is?!! I suspect the number is more in the range of the top .005% due simply to the tens of thousands of sites available to look through.] And while this occurred with thanks to Greg of SpinnWebe, I spent the weekend with Tracey up at her cottage. It's a pleasant enough place, quite nice actually. My one grumble: too many relatives. Picked up a great tan, reminiscent of Venezuela. Imagine spending the weekend away from the net only to encounter relatives and pick up a tan.


Tonight is my first real try at visiting my cats. I pointed out to Peter that given his preponderance for the cheap movie, he tends to spend the Tuesday evenings that occur each week out of the house, and with the local princess at that. I noted this only because his knowledge of movie theatre locations has expanded. With him, this must be due to the presence of another's input, namely ?.

It is funny to speak of ? or of Athena in this manner. I cannot regret having agreed to do this ever so odd thing, but I do end up with a rather negative opinion of someone who would impose such on another. The such amounts to having the assistance of others for the purpose of living in secrecy -- or perhaps more to the point, for the purpose of living through the controlling of others. The agreement arrived as a consequence of my wandering over there once last month in anger. I had insisted that since I am constantly talking to only one member of the collective uni-mind that is Peter?, I needed to keep the unit members informed more thouroughly than previously. At some point in the incredibly tense interaction, I simply gave up. I told them so. I offered to ? anything and everything she wanted - all only in return for ending the competition she alone was trying to wage against me. Women tend to fight dirty inmy opinion. I think I should have been one of the British landed gentry, given my thoughts on expliciteness in interactions (being a good thing).

Well, I offered anything and everything to her with the understanding that she simply tell me what she wanted. And what she wanted was that I never use her name again. Lo, she became Athena and also ?. Funny, no? This occurred mainly, I think, because I had been claiming not to know who she really "really" is/was, and this only in order to get Peter, the communal friend by force co-op, off of my back. Of course I had opinions and thoughts on who this person was, and I still do. And they were greatly effected in the negative when I was asked, not for the honest use of what she took from me, but instead only (explicitely) for the failure to use the word that she claims points uniquely at her. In some sense it does. But simply to ban the use of the word has puzzled me since.

[Computer Crash]

I need a bigger faster larger computer once again I guess.

What was I on about, and how much of it got lost? I have no idea.

As my brain grinds further to a halt from lack of mental stims, I think I shall just have to take up being a jock instead. Or read better books. Actually, I am organizing a reading group to get the interesting bits back into my environment. Various of my humanities type friends are going to be asked to join in. I'll see if that can work out.

Yup complete and utter trivialities today. miau.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Wed Aug 16 1995

The things you learn - and think about - in university. The big question for linguists was how can the deep structure of language generate these two sentences with different grammatical structures without getting at least one of them wrong. Richard and I found a 5 way meaning ambiguity for the second one years ago - after the first one bored us with only three conventionally recognized meanings.

More interestingly, Peter has suggested that we visit his mom off in Saskatoon, where she was transferred a couple of years ago. He, the prodigal cheapskate, has even suggeted we fly. Wonders will not cease in my life. Of this alone, I am certain.

I just had dinner with both Tracey and Aaron. This was fun, what with each of them being so elegantly literate and up on the cultural phenomena they observe. I think often ofthe times that I wished to create and be a part of envigorating social situations, and realize that this comes very close. I end up realizing that the delicate ease of a well thought-out, and yet positioned and opinionated, conversation can be a joy. The social stresses of not completely knowing each other almost evaporate.

A large grey cat with black filled eyes just sat down beside me. And now he is off to hunt for Neko in the apartment.

And to top things off [funny, I'm not actually happy, more just very tired as it is past my bedtime], I have a slick new very fast and enormous hard drive now along with a new modem io card with a buffer. Heh. There are perks to being a computer consultant! And to think that not so very long ago I was amply happy with my Atari 1040 -- it didn't even have a hard drive!!! Heh. Geez... I'm talking about the organs of a computer... a good indication that it is time to sleep.

As I ease back into not working - after a long spell of overwork - I feel that maybe I will be able to remember what it feels like to feel. I am getting close.

I should try to write ... aaaaaaaaaah I can't believe I wrote that. It sounds like all of those wannabe writers. Well but I meant it!! I'd like to write something more interesting to me in the next few days. I have an idea or two for another TimeBugs like story that I'd like to put into motion.

G'night, and miau.

Eight O'Clock.

Thu Aug 17 1995

In the morn. Trying to think here... trying to fail to succumb to the workaholic that I built of me these past few weeks. Peter has been droppingby more and more often - or really very regularly every two days until last Friday. Since then he has been here every day. I wonder if there is any connection between this and his home life... I heard from a butterfly that Athena's fiancee is in town to stay with her for the month. Perhaps all is not so cosy when a different alpha comes along to impression young female minds. Perhaps he sincerely does realize that I am what ... who he loves?

My room is becoming full of plants and cut flowers. I'm starting to love their presence here .. gazing at them wondering what they are doing. I've acquired a new one every time I've had to deal with a bureaucrat. This has gathered me quite a collection of leafy fellow inmates.

And I visited with Moppins and Sable and Jerry the other evening as per our plan. This was remarkably nice, mosquitoe bites and all. Moppins recognized me to the point of complaining if I didn't continue rubbing her shoulders ... and she is a cat who is afraid of more than the two or three people she knows well. I enjoyed being recognized. It seems funny to me that the world makes sense mostly due to my cats still knowing me. With that understanding in me, I feel connected and important. If this is at all what separated parents feel on getting visitation rights, then I'm an advocate for allowing them maximal rights. The feelings resulting from moving and leaving spousal substitute and pets / children are disconnected from the concerns of the society any longer (well at least for me).

I cannot help but think that there must be many who feel that disconnection. It has its advantages of course. Consider the freedom left to one to design a new life - with pre-considered improvements. If it is improvements that one wants, this is a powerful way to go about making them. As I've done this before to bootstrap myself out of the mundanesville family I grew up with, to good end. [It is of course difficult to draw that line declaring NOW to be the end from which to evaluate a change.] Note that this is ONE way, not the only way to constitute change. I shouldn't get too caught up in such extremes ona usual basis. I know better than that.

Fish under water.

Sat Aug 19 1995

Here I am early on a Saturday. Wondering whether to go garage sailing. Probably I shouldn't. I am off to Saskatoon next weekend for a few days though. We are visiting Hella there. This is a place in the middle of quite a large prairie in the middle of Canada. Very far away. If I was in Europe I could get from London tp Moscow in the same distance -- well actually I have no idea. But that is rather close to acurate anyway. I'm really looking forward to this. Travelling isn't particularly enjoyable currently, but the shaking me up source of ideas and new things is so wonderful.

Richard's father is dying this weekend. It's amusing to watch since he doesnn't care an iota about theman or the process. I can relate. There is so much pressure when people realize that I wrote my whole body of blood relations off years ago - that I float free in the obligation space most live in. Richard is mostly free in this way. They call him up sometimes, and send him really awful presents sometimes. But he claims that the relatives are more active than mine, and that any attempt to suceed would only cause them to swarm. It caused mine to stick their heads in the sand. So I watch him worrying about whether they will swarm and how badly if he doesn't attend to this death properly.

Has society been constructed from the enforcing of various "We care about each other" norms on each other? I'll grant that I seem not to have picked this up in any automatic way.

Poor fellow.

I don't write my analyses of other people here too openly. I regard hat sort of information as very powerful. I regret this but can't choose to weaken others in that way. Except when i'm angry or hurt.


Another Sunday.

Sun Aug 20 1995

Yup. Alone.

Guess I'll go read a book. Fuck it.

I did a bit of T'ai Chi, read a really not motivating book, watered various plants, rad a long letter from Aaron discussing aloneness, and am once again here at the computer looking for company. Man... I'll just do the singles movie thing tonight.

I'm craving conversation. But most of my contact has been with one person at a time which I'm tiring of. It's like I never get to do what I enjoy most - watch others talk and just interject a bit when I have something to say that I value.

When people get over me, they find that I'm rather shy and easily bored if forced into the tumult of the real time interaction. I enjoy the slightly more distant position of being the third person in a conversation.

I guess starting Quine group part two as of next Sunday will help. I've invited Aaron and Richard and Carey, and I'm hoping to get one or two more people. These guys are into it though. We're going to discuss tacit knowledge - I forget why (like usual).

S'toon Travels.

Mon Aug 21 1995

Lunch soon. More little plants here.


Fri Aug 25 1995


So I am travelling along in life as it seems. Dice rolling, making the best of what I can do and of what I have and know. Fair enough.

So what. Is it more fun to watch a repeat of an old Star Trek episode? It shouldn't be. But then life is harder - there is no script writer. I've beendoing interesting enough things. It's just that when I slow down for a moment, it isn't as pointful as I make it out to be. There's almost a fantasy image of how life should feel. Surrounded by indulgers of one sort or anouther doesn't make me want to taste things too fully myself. That's it I think.

I rather enjoyed the ascetic life style I used to have. Although having little on purpose is restircting in some ways, the tastes and colours ofthe universe come out so much more clearly and witha bibrance that is missing currently. My hearing feels worse, my tasting and smelling faculties don't much care about themselves, and even textural touching is no longer what I remember it to be. [What is mcs anyway?]

My natural tendencies could be responsible for this in a couple of manners: I tend to counteract my environment when I perceive it to be off balance; oh there was another answer possible but a typo made me forget it accidently. Does off balance always indulgence? Are they the same perhaps?

Counter balancing though mplies that I know whatthe balance point is. Is what I perceive that to be actually in some bigger sense correct? I doubt it.


Sat Aug 26 1995

How do I feel today? I spent the last two days relaxing at a friend's house, almost like a vacation of sorts, and tonight I'm off to Saskatoon for some more with Peter.

I get the sense that people don't really understand the strange relations that I live amongst. This may be because they don't have conventionally established - or establishable - labels. I have to describe the workings for people to get the picture. Such descriptions are unusual in themselves. The lack of labelling is easily sufficient to shock people. I tend to carry myself in most things I do that way though, so I am mostly used to it. It is refreshing to meet someone else who also doesn't do this sort of thing. I suspect that psychological only people do not automatically expect labelable positions in each other. Such categories are purely social in the first place.

..... bye .....

In case of emergency, wait until Tuesday! Or call Peter. He responds fast.

no room for honesty left.

Tue Aug 29 1995

further thoughts.

Wed Aug 30 1995

Neko went missing because I left town .. and because I left a request with a friend who didn't take it seriously enough to come by and feed him. Unfortunately, my philosophy was for so long to simply write someone off when they made decisions about my life for me. It doesn't seem to be the right response in this case. But the compromise really hurts.

About cats and their freedom, I cannot fight. If a cat wonders away, that is its perogative in my opinion. But I will miss him. And I will be lonelier. And I probably won't go away for quite awhile again. And I certainly never will trust said friend with anything I actually care about ever again. No way. Only I can make decisions for me that I can live with without regret. The decision I had made was to accept the reassurances from this friend that my cat would be fed and companied. I should have questioned the reassurance's veracity as a fact. An emotional commitment isn't what I wanted. And a vacation at the expense of my cat geting so unhappy that he left also wasn't acceptable. Without the reassurance, and instead simply a clear yes or no commitment from my friend, I could have made a better decision. But instead I got hoodwinked by a perennial liar who thought it better to lie to me about his own committment-taking-seriously-ness. My opinion however would have remained higher if he had simply said that he couldn't take on the committment in the first place.

I don't really like trusting people, and I hate asking for help of any kind. And here I am justified in having these beliefs - after it is too late. Fuck anyone who does not recognize my own intelligence, my own understanding of things, or at least that I have an understanding of things. Liars, sewers of bad information to prop up their own self-image, can go to hell.

I suspect that is pretty extreme. Then again, I now live entirely alone once more. And I didn't want this.


The trip last weekend was tiring and a tad boring. But well-served. I think it was important to Hella that we visit her even if the three of us and as well her father are all interested in very different things. Completely different things. I should say that this is my opinion based on my perceptions of things. Isn't that obvious? Anyway, I say that so that I can just think out load here now.

Hella seemed very detatched. She ran around making sure her offspring and as a spinnoff me were well-fed. About 24 hours into the trip, I just started crying. She looked really sympathetic until I told her why. Then she looked really defensive. The why of it was that her method of getting her way anmounts simpy to ignoring agreements based on any of her previous questions of what people want until they made the seemingly voluntary move to agree to what she wanted - without her ever having expressed a want or an opinion - even when prompted. Peter has a little of this left, but only a little. He shed most of it many years ago. I semed to have the option of eating a dinner I didn't want (because I had already overeaten to please them) and crying about it, or hurting everyone's feelings. And I seemed to have managed to do both serially! Yeah.

My form of life is odd. I think I'll end up just being alone forever. I am gonig to be a very powerful person at some point just by dint of being myself .. I think. Being alone seems mandatory for this too. Others compromise oneself. Completely.

[The liar bought front row tickets to a play this evening for us both. I am a total hypocrite for going along with this.]

I have to run along now.

like a fool.

Sat Sep 2 1995

Funny ... Tracey asked me to look after her cat this weekend. She never has before. Hmmm. I'm going to do so only because I cannot contact her more directly to discuss why she is doing this. I'll err onthe side of caution, but I suspect that she is trying to make me feel good babysitting her cat. Really it is more an inconvenience given the amount of work I have scheduled in this weekend. Coincidences and I don't get along without a lot of thought first.

So once again I find myself desiring to omplain about everything. I guess really the point is only that I have spent a miseralbe (in a mundane way) week doing stuff I don't really want to do. Meetings. Social events that are tiresome. Being really upset about the shape of my life... and I keep reminding myself that it is good. But really I am in shock at being catless. Simple shock. Without the dramatic writing off that I would normally wnat to engage in, I feel no respite -- maybe I'm finally living like a real and normal person - compromises intact. YUCH. Honesty says that that is the right answer. I really hate it though.

Issues one get's attached to become so tangled in one's own thoughts. I seem to go kinda numb about that which I'm in shock about. Perhaps the numbness has a broader scope. Yeah. In a couple of weeks I'll stop driving around the neighbourhood looking under bushes. But this morning I will go to the Humane Society of Toronto and sort through all of the cats. My only real oncern is that this cat didn't leave according to his own will. That would be awful. And this I must ensure didn't happen to the best I can.

My neighbours, the one's with the Marguarita parties, had Richard running around after a neighbourhood myth - the other neighbour who "snatches cats. Heh. I broke out into such a big grin when I saw him knocking on the unsuspecting victim's door. Those guys are too much what with sending him on such a wild evil-doer chase. Neighbourhood myths abound. :)

Not enough peaceful mental airtime here to write further this morning.

Sounding Good.

Wed Sep 6 1995

Oooh.. the 'net is speedy today. That's fun. I've been reading BB's book HeadCrash. It was really fun to buy a novel and find an email address in the text of the book. Off atrackin' I went and lo there was a whole website of neat and related stuff... The multimedia aspects of that sort of crossover are quite fun. This book attempts to be written in hypertext in a novel form. Cute to say the least. So many poor souls (and rich ones) have been trying to produce book format on the web -- here is a guy trying the opposite. :) In fact it looks like the book was written on the web.


BB is Bruce Bethke, self-proclaimed coiner of the word CyberPunk, and now novelist.

Cute little boxes

BB calls these infonuggets, an embarrassing name in my etymology. :) These are simulated hotlinks for a text only format as you can see.

I've been hurt underneath a lot this past week. My cat's leaving, even though I only lived with him for a few months, struck me hard. But there was more to it than that. I wanted people I know to know about it so that they would give me a bit of leeway on the happiness front. Instead they jumped around in various different ways offering help, looking for the cat, suggesting I get another, trying to make me feel better. I can't feel better because inside of me there is, and was, a very strong sense that I really am not worth living with. The cat's leaving confirms this feeling.

In reality, I know I am a horror to live with. I am incredibly fussy and demanding, and for most of the early part of the day, comletely intolerant. I find this to be a very reasonable way to live now, and will not stop it for another. But I sorta did for Neko because I enjoyed having him around. He didn't mess up my stuff the way people do. Instead he fit in and added stuff - warmth and companionship. I liked feeding him everyday.

People have a social way to them. Maybe they always did and in my little shared universe bubble with Peter I didn't notice.

do-gooders flee now

Geez. I just read that letter over again as I pressed it in these pages above. There is somethng to what I was saying but different. I lived in that bubble with Peter and the world had two types of people - the insiders who I was completely emotionally open and honest with, and the outsiders who got analysed, understood, interacted with, but were never ever emotionally close. Now every person I know, and, since I know no cats now, every being I know is on the outside, many demanding to be put in the inside. But no. I have no desire to have anyone in there.

I want to learn a new way of dealing with people. I have been sulking and diving under the carpet - blankets, eh Olga? - for quite some time now. But I don't do what I want to do as a consequence and that sucks. If I am not worth living with, so be it. I am not. Fine. [I still want to be so much but it isn't happening so deal with it. - my mind tells me.]

That is what that letter meant. But it was a response to a response to a half written entry here during my interim fiddling with Dragonware as it took over my operating system.

I think treating people as either on the inside or on the outsidesucks. It was very much part of the cult-like living I had with Peter. As he goes on with his one-man cult, I intend to decultify a little. Each person will earn or derserve their own level of closeness. That was one of the many reasons that I moved out because of -- my refusing to let a certain nameless entity into my inside space. I continue to make that refusal. And I continue to think I had good reason to. If where Peter has wandered towards - a good place for him it seems but definitely not for me - is an indicationof where she is at, then I definitely made the right decision to not let her in to my inner spaces. Hers are sexually loaded, and indicative of a tenth percentile mind replete with common person themagery.

Grief .

Thu Sep 7 1995

Neko died. He was hit on the road. Last week, chasing a squirrel out of a park.

I can't read yesterday's entry without crying -- a lot.

Most of my reaction is guilt and pain. I have flashes of feeling awful that I have behaved so atrociously these past days. and then I think of all the links in the causal chains that I would've changed. Chainged.

I can't write here anymore today.

What everything means.

Sat Sep 9 1995

Look it up yourself.

It's getting cooler here, and summer seems to be over - finally. I'm enjoying ht ecrispiness in the weather here. It reminds me of Pittsburgh in November last year. These are good memories. Walking to .. oh I forget the name of the street already .. just a block frommy house there, and the campus for lunch, and then a quick jog to Pitt campus and up into the Cathedral of Learning for a class or two. A second brisk walk over to the CMU campus for some math, and then a rest stop in a cluster to pick up any stray email. I have missed that place a lot.

But I am also glad to have left. My life as a graduate student consisted always in part a sense of being a lower life form. I think that my hierarchy sensitivity served me really badly, even at CMU. Even after my deciding not to serve such hierarchies. It worked well to have made that decision, but still the mere presence of such really sucked. I want to be either at the topof such things or have them be absent in the activities I engage in in the world.

My life now is as free as it was then, much less happy personally, much more fulfilling creatively [no, that is not true - I think slower now - and I miss the mind speed that I had then - but I really don't want to speed up again yet - there are too many energy thiefs around still -and until I have the strength of resistance to their plea bargainings - I will remain slower - by choice] [yesterday we did play paintball - it was absolutely fantastic - I'm going to go again soon] [and then Richard fluked out some BlueJay tickets on the street and off we went to see them win and otherwise analyize the weird social phenomena of this mass-socializing [and statistics creating] industry.], less exciting, more stationary, and quieter.

Peter just arrived.


He's gone again rather quickly as are and his writing's from here as far as public distribution goes. Please read this unfrinedly copout, instead of the brood writings, but be aware before clicking that button that this is totally dull account and explanation as to why they are gone. I wouldn't read it personally because it really is boring and angry and rather reflects my disgust at collectively mindsetted and badly informed and badly intentioned and life-long lying persons. C'est la vie. I have a personality too.

Sunday again.

Sun Sep 10 1995

And now I am miserable. I am such a basically sad person.

email poetry and cardinals.

Mon Sep 11 1995


Carolyn's Diary email depo was broken over this past weekend. I know I lost quite a few notes and a


poem or two before the problem was fixed. Ooops. The brood has settled itself back down. I phoned Peter this morning and called a truce. I pointed out that neither of us seems to have any ability to bring conflict uncer control anymore. We seem to have both capped at infinite argument potential. The call seemed to break the ice again.

I don't suspect that I will easily and without conditions link his poetry here anymore. I so enjoy the open freedom of simply publishing work for other people. However, I don't enjoy being jerked around. Even if each particular jerk is somehow justified. So if the poetry inflow goes too low in these pages, go buy a book.


I'm considering lack of cat warmth more rationally again. Beautiful Nekosan - a memory now, and a warmth in me. I feel so foolish about how I feel about cats, but I know I am right too. My friend base has always been more easily feline, especially when a wise or intelligent cat is around. I find that a cat such as that is easier to come across than a person of similar properties.

Cats fill in the edges of a room with a warmth that makes my toes curl a little. I can imagine that people could do this to a space too, but it seems that in reality they instead redecorate the corner. Sure a cat might piss in the corner .. or play with a bird for awhile. The differences are important though. Simply we don't travel in the same phase of concern usually - another human cannot be a commensal for this reason. Cats don't conflict with racoons either I've noticed. They will sit and watch as the rac comes in and eats all their food [Toronto is reported to have the largest domestic population of racs of any city in the world - and correlated rise in rac encounters too]. Another cat couldn't get away with such behaviour. Humans and racs seem to commensal great with cats.

Scarlet the cat who lives upstairs just made a charge for all the little sparrows out on the back deck. One flew full speed at my window, and I now realize it was probably confused by the stained glass red


cardinal I have hanging in the window with the plants. Foolish little feathery things. But the sparrow survived and Scarlet, a rather red calico, went on her merry way.

justified true beliefs.

Thu Sep 14 1995

This is an old tried and recently failed phrase in philosophy. It refers to knowledge. These were considered the three main ingredients of knowledge, that something called a belief be true, and justifiably so. So then a debate raged on about what consitutes an acceptable justification. Another debate as to what constitues a belief, does it have propositional form, if it is not true is it then false, etc. And finally a debate arose concerning the nature of truth. So although the thinking had it that we can have knowledge if we have these three things, the problem became acquiring these three things.

And then things got worse. A philosopher whose name starts with a G (Gauttier?) found an example of a justified true belief that was nevertheless obviously not knowledge. Here is a similar situation:

I decide to go to Tracey's house to pick her up for a movie. We do this regularly. I drive by her house and see her pickup truck in the driveway. Now I know, from previous experience, that if the truck is there then she is too.

I have a belief - Tracey is home. I have a justification - Tracey is home because her truck is in the driveway, and this is an indication of her presence. I have the truth - in fact, she is home - although I don't know this directly at this point.

By the definition above, since I have all three components of knowledge, I also have knowlege.

But here is what I didn't know. Earlier that morning, Tracey's truck was stolen from her home, leaving her stranded there. And without transport. Tracey had decided to stay home as a consequence after phoning the police about the theft. Later on, but before my arrival, the thieves returned the truck thinking perhaps that their deed might have gone unnoticed. Indeed her truck was to be found in the driveway. However, its presence was in this instance not a good indication of Tracey's presence at home even though it does serve as a justification of my belief. The presence of both there was at this point not causally correlated at all. But it was still correct.

My belief was true as well. Tracey was indeed home - but not because she had initially planned to be. Her missing truck had changed her plans.

Well, needless to say, I had a belief, true, and justified. But was it knowledge? After all although the justification I used was wrong, it is reliable, and used again it will work again. My justification wasn't justified, but it was a justification.

What a puzzle.

I found The Spot today. I got totally jealous. The concept is this place x 10. Graphics, many people all getting involved in keeping online journals. Saying stuff that I wouldn't in real life say here. Even if this is a real diary and sometimes I need to say it.

Gotta run.

...flip the page...


All daughter writings of Carolyn's Diary are copyright © Carolyn L Burke, 1995, and may not be copied without permission except for non-commercial gain. See what your lawyers can make of that.

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