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Still Watching This Space?

Aug. 23rd, 2007 | 06:35 pm

Hello all,

I'm not posting on LJ any more -- please update your feeds to http://mumak.net.

However, if Livejournal is your only way of interacting with the blogging world, then you may be interested in http://jonathanlange.livejournal.com. Thanks to Mary for setting it up for me.

jml

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Blog Moved Permanently

Aug. 4th, 2007 | 01:27 pm

Hello all,

I'm going to be blogging from mumak.net from now one. This blog will receive no more posts. Please update your RSS feeds.

I'll try to arrange syndication for LJ users soon.

jml

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Things of Note

May. 5th, 2007 | 06:18 pm

Recent reads:
  • Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • PeopleWare, Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister
  • The Pragmatic Programmer, Andrew Hunt & David Thomas
  • The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko
  • Confessions, Augustine
  • Sundry issues of The Economist
  • The Fourth Bear, Jasper Fforde
  • The Sandman: Brief Lives, Neil Gaiman et al
  • The Song of Roland
I've just sat down and listened to Songs of Love and Hate by Leonard Cohen. We should have been introduced to each other a long time ago.

I bumped into a couple of poi spinners in the park today, said hello and joined in on the fun.

Just the facts, I'm afraid.

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Blag

Mar. 25th, 2007 | 07:01 am

Last night I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is both ill and a poet. We were talking about blogging. We don't normally talk about blogging, honest.

Ben had asked fellow blogger Shiloh whether blogging drained her creativity for other enterprises. Shiloh said no. Uhh... just having looked at some of the recent posts, I can believe that.

Anyway, Ben doesn't blog because he thinks his blog would be boring. It's too restrictive writing about one character, he says. Ben thinks his blog would be boring.

Now, I admire Ben's fiction and poetry a lot. If Ben wanted to make something interesting, he probably could. Also, he's not that boring. But I can sympathise, my blogs bore me to tears.

Word I dislike: motorcade.
Word I like: disingenuous.

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Five Things

Feb. 17th, 2007 | 10:27 am

Here are the five things you probably don't know about me. It took a lot of soul searching and imaginative interpretation to come up with five things that are new, true, decent and unlikely to stir up litigation.

1. Youth

Now, many of you know that I grew up in a town lying deep in the heart of redneck country called Kingaroy. I went to both primary and secondary school in that town.

Once, I woke up, made my bed, put on my clothes, underwear, shirt, socks, shoes, hat, and then went out to have breakfast. I must have been seven or eight at the time. My little brother James asks me, "Ready for school then, Jono?".

"Yeah, of course." At this point, I do a mental check. Shoes, hat, port, pencils. All ready.

"Then where are your shorts?"

James and Lizzie have never let me live that one down.


2. Habit

I am a chronic leaner. Leaning is my favourite stance. I find it more comfortable than sitting or than lying down.

I didn't find this out until I moved into King St, a massive house with five other people in it. For fun, we would watch eight episodes of Spooks in a row, argue about music and deconstruct each others' characters.


3. Mind

I can almost quote the entire script of Auntie Mame off by heart.

I don't know how this happenend. It was one of my late grandmother's favourite films, and is one of my mother's favourites too. I guess I watched it early and often enough to have it stick in there.


4. Achievement

The only books that I have started and not finished are Vanity Fair, Three Dollars, Les Miserables and 1412. I think.


5. Youth II

OK. Doing two "Young Jono" things is probably cheating a little, but I don't care. It's Glyph's stupid fault for dobbing me in.

I cried excessively as a child. I could be easily provoked to tears until I was about eleven or twelve years old. I don't know why.

I name Andrew, Bron, Pablo, Jp and Randall Munroe (ok, it's a bit of a long shot).

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Five Whole Things?

Feb. 3rd, 2007 | 12:33 pm

Glyph just tagged me with the "Five Things" chain mail. Bloody hell. I'm going to have a lot of trouble coming up with five interesting things that are not generally known about me.

Expect some delay before I post my Five Things.

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Points of Interest

Jan. 10th, 2007 | 11:12 pm


  • I am coming to the end of several weeks of work for Divmod. It was a lot of fun.

  • I am going to LCA 2007. I think it will be fun.

  • I have moved into an office in Hobart. I'm sharing with three other guys. It's way easier to focus.

  • I just got back from cleaning said office.

  • On the 22nd, I will start work with Canonical. I'm really excited.

  • I'll be in Sydney from Jan 13 to Jan 26

  • New Year's Resolution: To start and finish something significant for which I have no particular aptitude.

  • I'm not sure if xzelan will ever read this. However if he does, I want to tell him, "Nyah, nyah. I told you so :P"

  • I injured my left elbow. It is missing skin.

  • Read Brothers Karamazov (*awesome*), Freakanomics, The Man Who Was Thursday and as much as I'm ever going to read of 1421. I'm reading The King of Elfland's Daughter and Practical Common Lisp. This year's reading plans include Augustine's Confessions, Critique of Pure Reason and Hero With A Thousand Faces.

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How my beliefs affect my job

Dec. 5th, 2006 | 07:21 pm

Crossroads asked me to give a five minute talk on how my belief in Jesus affects my job. I wrote the talk out in full while preparing it. What follows is a slightly edited version of my notes. I've removed any references to the audience, polished up the formatting and made some things closer to what I actually said on the night.

Now that this is online, there's a chance that some of my coworkers could actually read it. To those who do: I have tried hard not to paint myself as better than I am. Still, you perhaps know better than I how much room I have to improve. If anything here rings hollow, please email me.


How My Faith Affects My Job, Crossroads, 3rd December 2006


Someone once asked Jesus, out of all the things you've said and out of all the
Scriptures, what is the most important thing to do, what is the greatest
commandment? Jesus replied, there is one God, love him with all of your heart,
your mind, your soul and your strength.

If someone asked me what my religion means to my job, I'd have to start with
that. I try to follow Jesus, and Jesus says that loving God with all my being
is the most important thing I need to do, so I try to do that. I don't always
try successfully, and sometimes I don't even try, but that's the life decision
I've made.

Actually I should make this clear. I didn't just sit down, open up a Bible,
read Jesus' words "Love the Lord your God" and decide to give my heart to God.
I don't want to give that impression. Any love I have for Jesus is not a thing
which I have worked up in myself. What happened was I sat down with some
friends who opened a Bible and showed me the amazing thing that Jesus had done
for me. And when I finally got it, it was so heart-breakingly wonderful that I
couldn't help but love him for it.

I want to love God with all of my being, and that means I want to love him all
the time. I can't love someone totally but only on Sundays—it doesn't make
sense. So, my religion affects my job.

Once I tried to obey this great commandment by working for God full-time. I
used to work for Crossroads, doing chores, praying with people, praying for
people, studying the Bible, teaching the Bible and so forth. Now these are all
great things to do, but doing them didn't mean I was loving God with all my
being, or even with all of my time. Working for the church meant that my work
was more relevant to the great work that God is doing right now. Personally, it
also meant that God was on my mind a lot more.

Nowadays, I work as a programmer. When you work as a programmer, you can't fool
yourself into thinking you are doing the holy, sacred work of God. I spend most
of my day, sitting in front of a laptop trying to make the infernal contraption
do what I tell it to. During the day, my mind isn't really on God or Jesus or
anything 'spiritual' like that. My mind is, mostly, on my job. I think that's a
good thing.

So what does it mean to love the one God with all my heart, my soul,
my mind and my strength as a computer programmer?

Well I don't know! It's something I'm still thinking about, praying about and
talking about with my friends. Here's what I'm thinking now: It's not so much
what I do, it's who I am.

You know what, there's a way in which it's almost impossible for my beliefs to
affect my work as a programmer. A Buddhist would build the same programs as I
do, an atheist would build the same programs as I do, E.T. would build
the same programs as I do.

But I want to be a person who pleases God. And in my day, like everyone here, I
make a thousand small decisions about what to do, what to say, how I say it,
how much energy I put into something, what I eat, whose advice I take.
Thousands of things. In all of those little decisions, one of the things that's
always there is: is this the kind of person God wants me to be. Now a lot of
the time I ignore that, or more often rationalise it away—not a good
person. Still, it's there, I want to please God. And the more I know of how
much love God has poured out on me, the more I want to please him.

But what does that actually look like in my working day? I try to work hard for
my employer, giving them the best part of my energy and creativity. I try to
make peace in the heated arguments that happen online. I try to take the crummy
jobs. I try to keep my promises and not make exaggerated claims.

I know all sorts people do these things for all sorts of reasons. I do them
because I love Jesus.

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Somebody brought it upon themself

Nov. 28th, 2006 | 01:30 pm

Thanks to the Language Log (just google it), I came across a linguistic humour website. On that site, I came across a helpful page on their used as a gender-neutral singular.

I had already switched to using 'their' for gender-neutral singular, but felt vaguely uneasy about the decision. It was like deciding to wear shorts after a long winter. The same uncertainty churned up my confidence. Now I'm happy.

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Recent Activities

Nov. 12th, 2006 | 01:18 pm

Work

Since I've finished my apprenticeship, I've been working for Divmod Inc. So far it's been a lot of fun.

Cafes

I like to spend a lot of time in cafes. I like coffee, and I find the cafe atmosphere helps me work. I think getting away from the internet helps too. Recently, I discovered Petite Toulouse, hiding where Oomph! Coffee Roasters used to be.

Petite Toulouse has a nice vibe. They still use the delicious and award-winning Oomph! coffee, but their barista's aren't as trained. Still, it's a beautiful venue and it has nice couches around the back. Unfortunately, it's not enough to knock Retro off its pedestal in my heart.

Driving

I went driving for three hours last week. It's incredibly stressful. Still, I'm told I did well for my first time.

Reading

  • A History of Chinese Civilization, Jacques Gernet—FINISHED!
  • The Peaceable Kingdom, Stanley Hauerwas
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Alan Moore et al
  • Kingdom Come, Mark Waid, Alex Ross
  • Sandman: Dream Country, Neil Gaiman et al
  • Sandman: Season of Mists, Neil Gaiman et al
  • Well of Lost Plots, Jasper Fforde
  • The Big Over Easy, Jasper Fforde
  • V for Vendetta, Alan Moore

I think that's all the reading since I last posted about my reading. I may have made mistakes either way.

Finally finished Gernet's monster Chinese history. Great book. Glad I'm finished.

Hauerwas' primer on Christian ethics was very thought-provoking. Could have done with a heavy handed editor (Stanley, do you really need to have four negatives in this sentence?) but otherwise was very good. I may blog more about this.

I've been reading a lot of comics recently. Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman rock my world. I didn't like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen very much. On the other hand, V for Vendetta is amazing. I know the film is a very good action film, and might even be thought provoking. People who've seen come out with renewed scepticism and antipathy toward the present American regime. The book is better. It is a whole new level of better. It's about anarchy, not liberal democracy. It's about a people who get what they deserve, not a people who have been duped and oppressed.

Neil Gaiman is awesome. Nuff said.

Kingdom Come is also a comic and is fairly weird. It's the first real 'superhero' comic that I've bought, and I'm not certain I like it. It definitely looks very pretty.

Jasper Fforde is smarter than I, more creative than I, better read than I and a better writer than I. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to keep reading his books.

Games

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time was a lot of fun. Best absolutely everying. Jade Empire is good, but it's not as fun. They seem to have moved KotOR to ancient China. It even has a Star Wars morality.

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