I had four or five
straight shots of whiskey infusions of liquid courage through the course of the event, and boy was I tender this morning. Ciaran Winters asked me to consider giving a talk at three o’clock, I threw ideas at Jenny over Skype while I walked the beach at half-past the hour; I decided to take on the talk at four thirty, while enjoying an ice cream on the Salthill promenade; I then drafted, proofread and revised my presentation between half five and half past seven; and eventually I had my talk at half nine with a glass of liquid courage inside of me. There were no rehearsals except for some repetitions of my opening sentence so I could meter my speech (something speech impediment).
The talk (PDF) was about how the NSA spying have led to a modern-day global panopticon that it impossible to escape from short of embracing a Luddite lifestyle. Broadly it was the same vein of talk as last time, although I feel my execution was more focused.
I flubbed it, pretty badly. I gave too much time to pointless introductions, had to gloss over or rush through several points, and just said “feck it” at the end, and continued to talk when my time ran out, because I had been asked to fill in and space out. I got an amazing applause out of the crowd (~40-strong), and some excellent questions in the follow-up question and answers session.
The rest of the talks were of the standard mix: One part high-handed concepts, and one part shilling of a service or company. The first talk could be summarized as “Tor is cool, give us money” while the fifth talk delved into “god is inside of you”-essentially, that by renouncing all gods and faith, you renounce a core part of your being. The conclusions were nebulous.
All in all, a fun evening.
Update 01/01: The talk is up!
I chatted to a few friends in America, and founds their new year’s eve was on par with mine; I missed the actual Irish new year because I watched a talk from a pair of PHD students who hacked Cisco phones; I tracked down glorious – chapter-by-chapter – spoilers for the final Wheel of Time novel, A Memory of Light, one week ahead of it’s official launch date. The (the) climatic chapter of the book is described as “a constant punch to the crotch”; I quit World of Warcraft (boy oh boy, do I set a low standard for new year’s resolutions), again; I made a move to turn my brain back on and focus back on study. Well, tried. I got distracted by cat videos and boobies after an hour.
The last year was horrible, I was horrible, and I brought horribleness into the lives of almost everyone I know, and wound up in a profoundly manic state. I tried to make some small amends with Mariah in December, but I am certain that the letter was danced on and burned in rapid short order.
Before that, dinner with my family was fine, although it lacked the expected drama. Both Frank and Jennifer said this separately after, so it wasn’t just me who thought that, heh. Actually, my siblings and I all hate Christmas. Dad ruined it often enough that we’re stuck with the self-fulfilling prophecy about how Christmas will be horrible this year too. Even mum’s wised up – she didn’t invite any of us around until the 27th.
I camped out at 091 Labs last night and had all of said fun. I hung around until 4am because (no, really) one of the hackerspace’s members went wandering Galway in a Pedobear costume.
Mum put a shot across my bow as I walked out the door, gave me some wise words about how I need to “put aside all that rubbish in your head in 2013.” I immediately regretted my blurted riposte about religion, and left.
In the end, it wasn’t my worst new year’s eve.
…this one made me out-and-out guffaw.