So I got to spend the first week after the election in Brisbane at an Open Source Developers’ Conference, filling my head with Perl, laughing at a lot of genuinely smart and funny presentations, and having strange thoughts about my career path and such things. Why am I so uninvolved with the OSS community? Is it because I’m an arts guy who fell into programming by accident? (There was a law degree, too, but I never worry about not having followed that up) Or is the problem that I have always seen my humanities and my technical sides as either/or, and because the humanities side, in the final analysis, is what matters most to me, I’ve neglected the technical side, held it at arms’ length, so to speak, despite the fact that it’s how I earn a living? And can I get to a point where it becomes both/and rather than either/or?
On my previous visit to Brisbane I didn’t like it at all, but that was in 1989 and I think we’ve both matured quite a bit since then. It still gets very hot very early in the morning, and I don’t like the Courier-Mail much, which is why I read The Australian while I was there, something I never do. As David said, it made for delicious post-election reading. But Schadenfreude aside, reading the papers has left me wishing that we could have elections for columnists as well. The last 11 years have seen so much bad, dull, pointless, culture-wars-style journalism from both sides of politics: this is not something we can reasonably blame on Howard, and I’m afraid we’re going to have to put up with it for a while longer.