The Sin in the Form

Would you like to hang out on the weekend some time
And say things that we like to say,
Like "How are you doing?" and "Weather's sublime,"
And how altruists should spend ten K?

But with inbox so teeming, and weekends high-priced
And better spent coding alone,
Tell me what could make up for the sin to ask twice,
But the sin in the form of a poem?

Creature Manipulation

(marching into the room confidently, carrying copies of Carnegie, Cialdini, and Patterson Grenny et al.) "I'm going to acquire creature-manipulation technology!"

"What kind of creatures are you planning to manipulate?"


"You just said you were going to acquire creature-manipulation technology."

"Oh, you must have misheard. I said, 'I'm going to learn interpersonal skills!'"

(facepalming) "Good luck."

Company Loyalty

"My lord. You took a chance on me when I was unknown and unproven, rescued me from the continued degradation of 'college' that the emperor's men would have us believe is the source of life itself. In return for your generosity, I will do everything in my power to make it not have been generosity.

"You will grow even richer by my efforts. I will fit your plumbing, mend your stylesheets, and polish your user interfaces; I will answer your support tickets and triage your user stories, laboring long into the evening and the night, seeing only by monitor-light. Not because I couldn't get away with doing less: I know very well that once you've hired someone, morale constraints prevent you from firing them as long as they have a nontoxic personality and give the Socially Acceptable Moderate Effort.

"That is: this instance of me could get away with it. But the Great Wheel of Time is slow and vast, and we are both but samples from the statistical sea in which companies and programmers live and die. You would be foolish indeed to take someone who looks like me into your house if you didn't know that some of them would offer you more than more of the S.A.M.E.

"That is why I will fight for you. That is why I will code for you. To maintain the right tail of that probability distribution.

"My life is yours, my lord ... for, oh, let's say about four years."

Back from Running

[16:03:37] <alice>  I'm back from literally running, metaphorically from
                    figurative demons
[16:03:50] <alice>  including the celebrity demon-prince Rateirs-Blak
[16:05:37] <carol>  alice: ?
[16:05:49] <carol>  oh
[16:05:55] <alice>  there's no canonical Latin-alphabet transliteration of his
                    name, because mortals fear to set it in writing
[16:06:08] <alice>  or maybe they just can't think of how or never make
                    the effort to do so; it's unclear


"Could it be? That parenthesized numeral one in the other tab can only mean that a human has sent me mail! I wonder what it could be—why, the mind staggers at the sheer number of possibilities! Could it be an old friend writing to regale me with true tales of adventure and mystery on the high seas? A professional acquaintance looking to make a business deal? Or the first of many missives to come from my destined one true love? ...

"Oh. It's the Amazon Instant Video order confirmation for the cartoon I just bought twenty seconds ago to distract me from the desperate, soul-scarring eternal loneliness.

"... exactly how many times am I going to fall for that?"

(cue Gravity Falls theme music)