Take the Scenic Route

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

One Year...

But life is so busy that I've hardly had time to make note of yet another milestone/change

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


So after purchasing my camera waaay back in July, I've finally acquired the appropriate software and memory card to do panorama shots, and voila!


This is the view from the stairwell outside my (current) office. Yes, I know it's a bit big, but it's cooler this size....

I also note that this is my 100th post (and it must be pretty close to a year as well??). And for my flickr friends, there might be a few more panoramas there....

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Affective Forecasting...

Affective Forecasting is your ability to predict how you feel at some future time. Incidentally, affect is the word that the hip and cool use to refer to moods/emotions. And by hip and cool, I probably mostly mean psychologists. Technically speaking Affect refers to shorter durations than Mood, and an affective state may be the combination of a variety of emotions. Essentially, you could construe it as the sum total of how you feel *now* or at some other point in time.

Sometime last year I got a free lunch at the Green Acorn to meet with a visiting expert on affective forecasting. Her particular angle was looking at the how reasoning affected your ability to forecast your affect, and I got the free lunch having done some work looking at how reasoning affects some other things. As might be expected, it turns out that we're generally pretty crap at affective forecasting. Effortful activities, in particular, tend to be perceived as less likely to make us happy. So think like going to the gym, going out etc contrasted with staying at home and having a quiet night in. There's nothing too surprising about this. By the late 70s, some scientists were starting to question the validity our introspective processes, and increasingly it appears that although we might think we have access to our own thoughts, it appears that there is a lot of stuff that we don't have access to, and that that stuff can be quite important. Oftentimes, making a quick decision based on a gut feeling is better than listing pros and cons, or even talking about the basis for the decision.

But I digress. (How unusual). There have been a few notable times recently where I've been very unenthused about leaving the house, but surprised at how good leaving the house has been. On Saturday night, I'd had a few glasses of wine[1] and finished watching Frontier of Dreams. Somehow or other, I managed to make a snap decision to go see The Bats, with Operation Rolling Thunder. It was fantastic, and needless to say, I'm starting to question the validity of my affective forecasting. And the no-smoking-in-bars fucking rocks.

[1] Selaks Premium Selection Pinot Noir 2004, highly recommended, especially if you can get it for under $10. I'm not usually a fan of Marlborough Pinots, but this was all types of good. A real sense of lush cheery balanced with some savoury and bordering on chocolate tones. Oh, and by 'recommended', I took all of Pak'n'Slave's shelf stock at $9.95 (usuallly $15).

Monday, November 07, 2005

Too sad for words

Like most people, I couldn't quite believe that Rod Donald had died. In fact, we had a fairly uncharitable discussion over dinner about which MPs would have seemed more likely candidates for an untimely death.

My earliest memories of him relate to MMP. I gave a pro-MMP speech in English in Fourth Form, which was probably one of the least intelligible but well delivered speeches presented to RZ, and managed to convince a few oldies of my acquaintance that MMP was a good thing. Then he was campaign co-ordinator for the Alliance candidate in the Selwyn by-election, which was just up the road at the time.

So, ummm, yeah. I don't really have anything to say, so I'll leave you with a picture of some compost.