14 September 2008

RIP David Foster Wallace

I'm not deeply versed in his canon or anything, but I've been greatly affected by what I've come across and was surprised at how bummed I was reflecting on news of his death. Plenty of blogs and newspapers are filling up with eloquent obituaries so please go check a few of them out. The obit on salon gives a good general account of the sort of writer he was, if not an exhaustive survey of his contributions (which would be nearly impossible in a reasonable space, he was so prolific).

Wallace was probably a genius, Infinite Jest making with Ulysses intimidating literary bookends for the 20th century. More than an entertaining writer, he was engaged with the world. He wanted us to reclaim language for communication beyond amusement; he appreciated irony but feared that it was subverting our ability to be brave in making connections with each other. His writing is both rich in craft and a vector for important ideas; it is technically overwhelming and often prodigiously long, but not imprecise, usually hilarious, occasionally profound, and possibly hopeful, as no one would give us anything like that without suspecting that we deserved it. I don't know what he was like as a person, but he was clearly a man of enormous intellectual generosity. It is good news for us that such people can exist at all; and as they are rare it's sad that we have such a hard time keeping them here.

10 September 2008

Amazon is Hiring

Any of you suckers looking to change jobs? My group at Amazon is shaking us down for referrals. You all would be fun to work with again, and I might win a Kindle!
Seriously the place is, so far, an excellent one to work. The attitude is laid back but there's a million things going on. Some really cutting edge technologies, some strange archaic in-house stuff. There's a huge call for Java developers especially right now.
One of the things I love about it so far is that each small team is trusted to use the tools that's right for them, and do the right things so that the company as a whole is run the right way. There's no big cheese manager telling the teams what to use. Think state law instead of federal law. This can also be an issue when each group has their own ways of doing things, of course.

If anyone is interested, let me know.

Further distractions from work

Has anyone thought about squatting on an irc channel? Might I suggest #anchorbutt on freenode?