Ten Years Ago

It’s a little depressing that it’s been ten years since we were applying to colleges. For some reason, a week ago, I thought back to my college admissions essay: http://www.seantime.com/?page_id=641.

Strange how much has changed, yet how much I’ve stayed the same. Life has sucked that youthful energy out of me; those adolescent possibilities and dreams are no longer there. On the other hand, here I am, still searching, still wanting nothing more than contentness — a quiet life with success judged by a different metric.

After a friend read it back in college, he said he was surprised that the admissions committee accepted someone who wrote in his essay that he wanted to be mediocre. Granted, but it sure helps to get a perfect SAT score, make straight As, and fill your spare time with a bunch of extracurriculars, none of which you do anymore ten years later. Although I do miss TKD and violin at times.

The five-year reunion for college is coming up. Seems so odd, especially because I was still in grad school and on campus just a few months ago. But it will be nice to see friends together on campus. Stanford really is a beautiful place.

Information Overload

Going on vacation for a few days and being without internet access is liberating, but it’s so painful . After getting back from 4 days in Cabo, it took me over 3 hours to go through all the accumulated email, rss feeds, and tweets, and to check my usual websites. Which I think means I spend over an hour a day on “information upkeep.” This isn’t terrible or terribly surprising, but it still seems like life should be a little more streamlined so that being disconnected for a few days doesn’t mean one is inundated with a backlog of things to do. Saving 10-15 minutes a day would be a huge time savings. On the other hand, there’s not really that much to do in life.

Some things that I think would help a little:

  • Some sort of priority queue for twitter. I can organize rss feeds into different folders in google reader, which is very useful when I want to skip certain feeds. Having something like this for twitter would be a little useful.
  • A better news system. It was nice when I had the time to listen to the New York Times front page and BBC world news podcasts, back when I had to walk to classes (after my bike was stolen). Not having a TV makes my news gathering a bit intermittent. Currently, I subscribe to rss feeds from the NYT, NPR, Economist (rarely read), and Slashdot, but it’s a minor miracle if I ever read past the feed’s attached blurb for the articles. Having to go through roughly 100 posts a day from these sources is also a bit of a chore. I think it would be nice to have a place where I get short summaries of maybe 15-20 news items a day. Of course, finding a balance of local, national, global, and science/tech news with that constraint is probably a bit difficult. Any suggestions would be welcome on how to tackle this problem.