It's that time of year again...

Feb 15, 2011

So, it's been another year on this weird, wonderful planet... This is the first year in recent memory that I've looked back and been halfway satisfied with everything that's happened.

I still have most of my hair, though the tides of Time have eroded the shoreline somewhat. I don't yet look like Bruce Schneier (and even if I did, I've only a fraction of his intelligence and skill). Not a lot has happened on the weight loss front, either, though metabolically I'm still kicking ass and taking names (though I no longer eat the bodies of my slain opponents, finding organically grown supervillians is neigh impossible in the United States).

I've been married for a bit over two years.

I got to go to Portland, Oregon last year and spend a week with some close friends.

I code more, now. A lot more.

I didn't finish my research project on the Tor network in time. Unfortunately, some privacy researchers in Germany beat me to publication by a couple of months and presented at last year's Chaos Computer Congress. Oh, well, it happens. I still learned a lot in the process.

I've gotten to watch history unfold a number of times in the past year. I think I've also participated in it in some small fashion, and perhaps helped shape how things turned out. I might have helped a few people. If nothing else, the experiences have made me somewhat less cynical.

I've learned more about compassion and the value of it by interacting with people who are steadfastly opposed to the concept. I can't say that the discussions were been fruitful; they weren't and in fact left me tearing my hair out for a couple of days. I've come to the conclusion that, if they were being entirely truthful in their words (and I've little reason to think that they were not given some research) that's the sort of people they are. Vice of kings though it be, I think it's one that I'll hold onto for a while longer.

I've learned to appreciate a well-told story. I've also become more fond of telling stories.

I haven't published any of my books yet. In truth, I need to finish them and find some beta readers before I can make them available.

I've yet to post the writeups of a couple of social experiments that I've performed in the past year. Unfortunately, they border on cynicism but I think they also confirm what some consider common knowledge.

I've also finally come to terms with the fact that I'm an infosec burnout, and that leaving the field was probably the best thing I could have done to improve my quality of life. On one hand, I kind of miss having the inside track on certain things, as well as crazy stories from assignments that I can't tell anyway due to the mountain of non-disclosure agreements I had to sign. On the other hand I've come to enjoy only having to be professionally paranoid about stuff under my direct control, and not the infrastructures of a dozen clients at a time (my personal paranoia is something else entirely). I might still dream in stack dumps and assembly language from time to time, but it's all stuff that I'm working on for fun. I certainly don't miss the ego-fueled battles over "Things are perfectly okay," and "No, they aren't, fix this before you get pwned."

I have a better appreciation for why Cassandra cried.

I saw evidence that there is value in spending your money in one place instead of another, and how that can be used by those of us who aren't rich to effect change at higher levels of abstraction. Tangible change can be manifested in this way.

I've learned that people who talk conversations into circles because that's the only way they can be right aren't often worth talking to because there isn't any meaningful exchange of information. Shouting doesn't make one any more correct, either.

I sang at a bardic circle.

Now, my 833'rd year. Round one. *ding!*