Quality E-Mail

I think that everyone deserves a proper response to an e-mail. I see older people around me, people that have supposedly been doing this a long time, and they don’t understand what a complete response means. A full response ensures completeness of meaning for those who question every word, or in many cases, lack of words. A thoughtful response, even if a negative one, is more digestible. A prompt response shows attentiveness and commitment to communication. Finally, an honest response implies concern and attention for not only the person who is expecting a response, but importantly the sender himself. That complete, prompt, honest response depicts a person of those same qualities, and inspires a working environment of the same manner.

No one takes the time to do these things. No one has time to do these things for people who they probably won’t ever see face-to-face to talk about it. We’re all busy and productive, and as positive as that is for any company, it causes a lot of stress, too. I sent a couple mails around today, replying to a question, and accepting an invitation. I found ways to extend them beyond yes and no to the point where I felt proud sending these to people. Neither one of them replied back with more than two words. This led me to question and indecision, largely owing to my insecurity in this strange environment, but also a global quality amongst people in general, demanding to know more, demanding a complete answer. Two words left too many what-ifs and maybes. It made my original seem comical and inappropriate. It wasn’t enough, and it’s thrown my whole day.

I do know of one person, though, who takes the time to send quality messages. He consistently provides through answers, confirmation or denials with reasons, and little quips that brighten my day. I know for a fact that other people enjoy his e-mails, too, and yet they still send, “No.” and “Thanks, Michael”. It leaves me a little insane; it’s because I’m just the intern, right? I delete your messages anyway, though, so don’t worry. I like a clean inbox.

Valient effort, clean inbox
Valient effort, clean inbox

The Falling Machine Flies

I don’t think it’s wrong to be unhappy with what the world has to offer. I don’t think it’s selfish to dislike what society means, requires, or suggests. I believe, truly, that there’s something else worth trying. That bothers some people; they seem to think that this is how we’ve always lived, and that there are no alternatives. A plane is in a dive toward water is still a plane flying in the air, until it just isn’t. No one supposes to think that planes overcome the laws of physics, aerodynamics. No, instead, they work with them, using them as support. Why is human life different? I live in a way fundamentally unsupportive and ignorant of my own mental and human nature; I think that a lot of people in civilization do. Our machine is flying, sure, but what happens when it’s just not?

Today I saw a double-feature package of Say Anything and Garden State. I haven’t seen Garden State in a long time. I used to watch it, but one day, I just turned it off. I was tired. I think I fell in love with it, because it has people who seem to genuinely feel connected, despite being so utterly dysfunctional and unconnected to both gas pumps, laws, and the rest of the world. It wasn’t that they fell in love, or that they had great adventures. I liked it, because they had each other, and that was beautiful. I didn’t buy that movie set, because I have them both. Though I like to think that those things can happen I also know that I didn’t watch either of them tonight, because every person I felt could of have co-starred with me in one of those is now either dead or not someone I would call a friend.

Ubuntu (as made famous by the Linux distribution) is an african word meaning something like, “I am, because you are.” I said that at the beginning of my last year in band camp, and while I still believe in it, I’m not sure I’ve met anyone else who does. I’m sitting here dreading work, thinking of my meaningless fight against everything I dislike is this society, knowing nothing I will do or have done has made any difference, and I just cannot find the positive attitude to go to work and help accomplish a goal. We’re working on an open-source project now, but the funny thing, the people who seem to be the most supportive of open-source, with all its ideals and good-natures, are the most abrupt, rudest mailing-list contributors. I think they don’t have enough time to live both in the fantasy communistic world they love, and the world of money and sense that requires you to pay the rent.

I just read that the Cern Laboratory is about to house the coldest space known to exist, even colder than deep space at 1.9 degrees Kalvin. It disturbs me that humans that even the deepest depths of space could be warmer than the future of quantum particle research. It’s like someone took the mentality of hate and infused into science to produce that stereotypical heart of ice. It almost makes me want to wait for God, or aliens. It’s weird, because I tried an astronomy class, and I hated it, but I can’t help but feeling like I belong somewhere out there. I hope, to-this-day, that someone will come to fetch me, tell me that’s all okay, and that I don’t need to be human anymore. I actually hope that my parents are really aliens looking for me, and I don’t feel like that’s anything to be ashamed of. I feel guilty and inconsolably sad. I don’t think that’s inappropriate. I think anyone with allergies should want to be clear of the dust when everything we know finally comes crashing down.