Chris Corwin is a UX engineer at @salesforce who digs bourbon, beer, bikes, and beef. And pork. Aaand chicken. And asparagus. Food, really.

Wired News: The Crusade Against Religion

Wired News: The Crusade Against Religion:
Prophecy, I’ve come to realize, is a complex meme. When prophets provoke real trouble, bring confusion to society by sowing reverberant doubts, spark an active, opposing consensus everywhere — that is the sign they’ve hit a nerve. But what happens when they don’t hit a nerve? There are plenty of would-be prophets in the world, vainly peddling their provocative claims. Most of them just end up lecturing to undergraduates, or leading little Christian sects, or getting into Wikipedia edit wars, or boring their friends. An unsuccessful prophet is not a martyr, but a sort of clown.

this article reflects pretty closely where my sense of things has gone over the last few months.

i, too, have read dawkins and harris and found them… lacking.

i, too, have decided that it’s perfectly okay to be agnostic without having to slide into atheism, and that religious belief is not an evil to be overcome, necessarily.

it’s not a comfy place, but it is my place, and it’s actually a pretty happy one.

last pretty day of the season

today is gorgeous out: 73°f, sunny.

so why am i not playing disc golf, on what is the last best candidate day for doing so?

because the winds are up to 30mph, and the disc kept flying into the woods.


so now i sit at a cafe downtown, working at a free wifi spot.

later, perhaps, i’ll take a walk around the canal, before it gets dark, which it is doing WAY early now that the time has fallen back an hour.

make the most of it

I certainly haven’t been shopping for any new shoes
And I certainly haven’t been spreading myself around
I still only travel by foot and by foot it’s a slow climb
But I’m good at being uncomfortable so I can’t stop changing all the time

I noticed that my opponent is always on the go
And won’t go slow so as not to focus and I notice
He’ll hitch a ride with any guide as long as they go fast from whence he came
But he’s no good at being uncomfortable so he can’t stop staying exactly the same

If there was a better way to go then it would find me
I can’t help it the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me or treat me mean
I’ll make the most of it I’m an extraordinary machine

I seem to you to seek a new disaster every day
You deem me due to clean my view and be at peace and lay
I mean to prove I mean to move in my own way
And say I’ve been getting along for long before you came into the play

I am the baby of the family
It happens so everybody cares
And wears the sheeps clothes while they chaperone
Curious you’re looking down your nose at me while you appease
Courteous to try and help but let me set your mind at ease

If there was a better way to go then it would find me
I can’t help it the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me or treat me mean
I’ll make the most of it I’m an extraordinary machine

Do I so worry you
No need to hurry to my side, it’s very kind
But it’s to no avail
I don’t want the pill
I promise you everything will be just fine

If there was a better way to go then it would find me
I can’t help it the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me or treat me mean
I’ll make the most of it I’m an extraordinary machine

If there was a better way to go then it would find me
I can’t help it the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me or treat me mean
I’ll make the most of it I’m an extraordinary machine

i can’t decided if i’m exactly like this, or exactly the opposite — or both.

(btw, it’s extrodinary machine, by fiona apple)

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the very definition of insanity (?)

they say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

the thing is, i’m unsure what i expect the result to be.

well, that’s not entirely accurate.

i know what i want — but is htis what i ought to want?

how do i decide what i ought to desire?

this makes it tough to decide whether to do the same thing again.

how does one decide?

overheard in indianapolis

earlier this evening i found myself standing in borders books with a new friend, looking at art magazines when a person nearby allowed their mobile phone to ring… loudly. some rap song as the ring.

a teenage girl answers with “wwhhhaaaat??”

when we both had to stifle laughs i figured i was going to enjoy this new person’s company quite a bit.

when she tells the person, in an obnoxious voice, that she’s at “barnes and nobles” (we were at borders) and hinted that the person on the other end should come get her and we both laughed out loud at her, i knew i would.

when the phone rang again, it was obviously her mom, as the girl informed her that “dad was on his way to get me” — and my new friend said “if he can find her…” and i thought i was going to die from trying not to laugh.

making fun of silly people in public is fun.

making fun of silly people in public with someone else who is totally making the same jokes you are is better.

i hope, though, her dad figured out where the girl really was — eventually.

with 38°f temps and 15mph winds, tonight would be a cold walk home to the subarbs, i’m sure.


you know that it can’t last you know
you don’t have time to make it work
you know that it won’t be the thing
you know that all’s ahead is hurt

you know that you can’t do this thing
you don’t have the heart you know
you know what i’m trying to tell you
you know where it’s going to go

you know where this love will take you
you know the why if not the when
you know all the pain that’s coming
you will hate her in the end

you will hate her as you love her
you will wish you had not met
you will dream of her forever
you will always know regret

do this thing and you will know hate
do this thing and you will cry
do this thing and you will kill you
you will love her, then you’ll die

(not) moving to new zealand, status update

so, the house is going back on the market, and i am not moving to new zealand, at least not in 2006.

the original job offer (from waaaay back in january) is apparently still on the table, in the sense that he still wants me out there, when i can.

which is awesome — wellington looks like a fairly ideal place to live.

but i have a few things i’m sooo grateful for, in the last few weeks.

it’s nice to get more time with this wonderful group of friends that i adore. i thought i wouldn’t see them again till summer, and now i have all winter with them.

it HAS been a stressful few weeks now, and life’s still up in the air.

no idea where i’m going to land.

move back into my house?

get an apartment?

give up self-employment and get a “real” job (perhaps as a graphic designer again…ooooh!) ?

learn PHP so i can do more/different web work?

whatever it is i decide, i’m confident things will be fine, eventually.

i’m struck by one of my favorite lessons from taoism, suddenly:

“The Vinegar Tasters” is an allegorical image representing Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism (Daoism), and generally favourable to Taoism and critical of the other two. Reportedly, the original “Vinegar Tasters” was painted a long time ago, and has been copied many times. It depicts three men dipping their fingers in a vat of vinegar and tasting it; one man reacts with a sour expression, one reacts with a bitter expression, and one reacts with a happy expression. The three men are depictions of K’ung Fu-tse (Confucius), Buddha, and Lao-tse (Lao Tzu, Laozi), and represent the three traditions of China — Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. Each man’s expression represents the predominant attitude of the religion: Confucianism saw life as sour, in need of rules to correct the degeneration of people; Buddism saw life as bitter, dominated by pain and suffering; and Taoism saw life as fundamentally good in its natural state.

“From the Taoist point of view, sourness and bitterness come from the interfering and unappreciative mind. Life itself, when understood and utilized for what it is, is sweet. That is the message of `The Vinegar Tasters’.”

the vinegar tasters

so, yes, i’m smiling.

strangest dream

last night i had a dream that was totally out of character for me.

it was strange and weird, for me, in that it was completely mundane.

i was going on vacation, with someone, and we were in a car, just driving and talking.

that’s it.

normally my dreams involve surreal plots of terror where i must wait in long queues at airports or bus stations to save the world, or elaborate enhancements to places i’ve lived before.

not this one.

it was just driving and talking and enjoying each other’s company.

oh, also, i have decided to go back on the zoloft.

feeling depression creeping back up, and i don’t want to go back there.

i called in script, and they still have it.

i start tomorrow.

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Is autism a "disorder"? Is psychopathy a "disease"?

Is autism a “disorder”? Is psychopathy a “disease”?:
I realize that these are uneasy bedfellows. Autism isn’t psychopathy. The question is, are there many “disorders” that are really “adaptations”? Homosexuality once appeared in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as a disorder — now, it’s considered just part of the spectrum of human behavior, considered best as “a thing that a person does and is,” not “a way that a person is broken.” What else lurks in the DSM, waiting to be redefined?

i can think of one…


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okay, now what?

now that i don’t have my dog.

now that i don’t have my house.

now that i don’t have a reason to move.

now what?

i want my dog back.


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this will hurt you more than it hurts me
but just you sit for it and bleed

i’m sure to cut you: prepare for pain
i’m sure to scar you: you’re to blame

i’m sure to need to poke and prod and slice and burn and scrape
i’m sure to go in deep and drill you: numb and pain and ache

our time together’s for your good, now
don’t you ever doubt its true

i claim to help you by my hurting, gnawing painful screw

subjected now to pain and noise
of instruments of steel and speed

that bore deep into your body’s armor
digging out your flesh and teeth

that mouth you have
is quite diseased
filth had set up home, and wrecked

and i must scold you for the way my precepts you reject

i’ve made plain before you
how you are to change your shameful ways

and yet you have refused my teachings,
pretended truth can change

the consequences of your actions
are the pain you feel

this chair you’re sitting is is yours
you made it, i just heal

the great emptying

i have spent the better part of the last two days emptying my house of everything i own and doing one of three things with it:

  1. moving it into storage
  2. piling it up to give away or sell
  3. throwing away
  4. piling it up to take to new zealand with me

pile number four is by far the smallest pile, as i am taking pretty much only summer clothes, my hiking poles, and a few pair of shoes.

the storage unit i’ve rented is about 10 x 15 x 12, and holds a LOT of stuff, so i am actually storing more than i originally planned on doing. i had originally rented a 5 x 10 x 8 unit for this job, but when i went to open it up yesterday morning it was obviously not going to do the trick.

fortunately the place had the larger unit size available — it did not when i first signed up, last month.

i have found a few long-missing odds and ends along the way:

  • a friend’s kite strings
  • two space heaters
  • two humidifiers
  • six lamps i was not using
  • chinese checkers
  • oversized posters of the original mac G4 and 20 inch monitor
  • eight backpacks/shoulder bags (no, really)
  • two tuxedos
  • roughly 4,562,209,023,188 crayons/markers
  • a macintosh performa
  • double-sized inflatable matress
  • 200 pair chopsticks
  • menorah candles

mom and dad helped me quite a bit with this whole shebang, there’s no way i could have gotten this much done this quickly by myself. 🙂

and now it is almost time for chinese food.

yes yes

quiet here without my dog

i notice it most when i get up to make coffee or use the bathroom.

this would be the time when trogdor would see i was getting up, get up from his napspot, stretch and run to the stairs and wait to see where i was going, tail wagging.

every time i get up and there’s no dog underfoot, it’s weird.

wonder how long till i get used to it?

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the boy is gone (road trip to NY)

my boy is gone.

this weekend i and two friends drove the eleven hours from indianapolis, indiana to syracuse, new york in order to hand off trogdor to his new family.

obviously this is a bittersweet trip for me.

i love my dog. love him. he and i have such a bond and it is really really hard to give him up, but i simply can’t take him to new zealand with me, because it would be both too expensive and cost notwithstanding, cruel.

i don’t know how i am going to handle a 30+ hour flight, and i will have the opportunity to get up and stretch my legs — let alone use the bathroom.

then there’s the thirty day quarentine he’d have to endure on each side of the pacific, every time we went back or forth.

so trogdor lives with duckee now.

duckee lives in boston with eagles, and i can’t think of a better new home for him. they will adore him for all he’s worth (which, i can assure you, is quite a lot).

right now i’m the passenger in my granddad’s minivan, with my friend mylisa driving. we are less than one hour from indianapolis, and we have spent almost every waking moment between saturday morning and now driving.

almost: we did go see niagara falls this morning, and that kicked ass.

canada was much easier to get into the united states was to re-enter, as citizens, which is awesome, if you ask anybody.

also with us, sitting behind me, is brad — who suggested we go almost two hours out of our way for fried chicken from “clark’s diner” in jacksonville ohio.

turns out it was worth it.

wow that was good chicken.

mylisa remarked a few minutes ago that this was the funnest road trip ever.

i have to concur.

we three had a fantastic time (even though i have driven twenty of the last forty hours).

mylisa keeps making the air too warm.

yesterday her feet were cold even when satan himself showed up to tell us to turn the heat down.


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