Dropout: Day 0.

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You erased so many mistakes
By sitting up and smiling
Your solo show
I hope it never closes
It was the ride of my life
Twice you burned your life’s work
Once to start a new life
And once just to start a fire

— New Girl from When I Pretend to Fall, The Long Winters.

I left school today, and I’m not going back, and sometime around the start of next month, I’m moving to London.

To say I’m excited is an understatement. This has been a long time coming: I’ve been considering it for over a year, and I’m thrilled to finally make the leap.

This means I’m immediately available for work. For this month, I’m looking for freelance development work. I’m experienced with Ruby (Sinatra), Scheme, PHP, HTML5, CSS3, and I have done limited work with JavaScript and CoffeeScript. I’ll be publishing a full summary of my skills online shortly. Please get in touch if you can make me an offer. I think I’m sorted out for this month.

It’s a new year, and it’s time for a change.

Overall, dropping out was an uneventful process. I went to school and told them I wasn’t coming back again, handed in my textbooks, said goodbye to a few friends, (who I’ll probably see on the street in a few days anyway) and left.

Mostly people were happy for me. There were of course people with worries, but I managed to reassure them. By the time I left, everyone I saw was just about convinced that I’m going to do well.

I bumped into the headteacher on the corridor. I went to tell the deputy head while my father went to see the head herself, so she already knew. It’s amazing how much easier it is to talk to your headteacher when you’ve left school.

I showed up for my music class to say goodbye. There I got the strongest reactions — envy, shock. I don’t quite know why you’d be envious.

I still have to fill in the form, which needs signatures from all my teachers to say I’ve handed my textbooks in. I did that today, but didn’t get it signed. So I need to go back to do that. I also signed up to re-sit some exams. Apparently I can still do those if I want to, but I’m not quite sure yet.

My biggest regrets are the people I didn’t say goodbye to, or who didn’t find out until today. That includes some people I’ve known for most of my life. I’m sorry. I hope I can see you soon.

But for now, I’ve left and I’m excited, albeit a little nervous, about the future.

Make a run for it. You better get the hell out. Quick.

— Bill Murray.

Dropout: Day 1.

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I woke up a little bit late, but far earlier than usual when I’m not going to school. Despite leaving school immediately after the holidays, which by logic should make this feel like an extension of the holiday (albeit one that involves a lot of work, emails, and phone calls), today really feels different. I know that everyone’s back at school, and that I’m not.

I got some work done on a (hopefully profitable) project, and got a bit closer to sorting things out ready for the move. Looks like my first-choice apartment might be a scam, unfortunately, but I think I’ll phone them tomorrow to get some things cleared up. There’s a chance it isn’t (I certainly hope so, it’s a good deal on a great place) but I think it’s time to enquire about options 2 and 3.

I skipped breakfast. But I think I’ve fixed my diet, so I should now be getting a UN-approved calorie count daily. I don’t feel any different.

Life goes on.

Dropout: Day 2.

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My typical reaction to being to told that I have to get up early for some reason is to go to bed late. So it was this morning.

I went out shopping then took a nap for a while. That’s a nice part of working at home: if you’re tired, you can just sleep, and make up for the lost work later.

It was another day of emails and phone calls, unfortunately, except that today I didn’t manage to get any coding done at all. There’s nothing worse.

I’m now definitely looking at other options for accommodation in London. I’m annoyed that my first choice was a fraudster (a very bad one, at that, but no doubt someone will fall for it) since the apartment looked like very a good deal on a nice place.

I had to explain my plan to few more people, who were more supportive than anyone I’ve talked to so far. I’m trying to be more forthcoming about my plans: if you’ve ever met me, you probably know far more about my intentions for the future than if you haven’t and you’re just reading this blog.

Let your hair hang down,
it is now the time
to untie your hair.
Let your hair hang down!

Why do we resemble concrete?
Did we order all these rain clouds?
Who overturned the party cart?
Who said to stomp the fire out?

Let the wrong be wrong:
would it be so bad?
When your hair’s so long,
Let your hair hang down!

— Let Your Hair Hang Down from Join Us, They Might Be Giants.

The Long Winters.

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16 podcast episodes have probably done more to promote the music of the Long Winters than 10 years of touring. John Roderick, the band’s leader, is an entertaining, intelligent “bon vivant and raconteur” to be sure, but his music is ultimately the raison d’être for his podcast — and fine music it is.

The Long Winters are best enjoyed by listening to an entire album at once. (This is my default mode of music-listening anyway, which is probably a big part of why I like them so much.) Listening to the handful of free MP3 tracks on their website doesn’t do justice to the awesome experience of listening to When I Pretend to Fall from start to finish.

That record — 9 years old this year — is perfect in a way that can’t be described in prose. It has a personality, and in fact that’s true of each of Roderick’s albums: each one has its own qualities and personality. But shared between them is a cachet: a distinctive, delightful and unmistakable ‘Long Winters sound’ stronger than that of any other band I know.

Their most recent LP, Putting the Days to Bed, is 7 years old. Their most recent release was 2010’s single Connections in Nashville, but the recent dearth of output from the Long Winters is still disappointing. I’m patiently waiting for the next album, which seems to be predicated on Roderick finding a new band members to replace those who’ve left since 2006. In fact, I’m waiting for the next Long Winters record more than any other band.

Dropout: Day 6.

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I’m ashamed of myself. Using this blog, I can publicly shame myself, too, so the pressure to right my wrongs can, at my own will, be multiplied one-hundredfold by knowing that my ill deeds are on display for the whole world.

I’m ashamed of myself because I barely got anything done today. The same was true yesterday, so I didn’t post. Now’s the time to fix that. Perhaps tomorrow, knowing that if I don’t do some proper work I’ll have to write a letter to the world advertising my procrastination, I’ll actually do something more productive.

A teacher phoned me up today. She didn’t say much, but she wished me well and said I should get round to handing in the “magic pink form” officially removing me from the register of students.

Someone from school, who I didn’t have in my contacts but who somehow got my phone number, also texted and asked me to phone them. I didn’t, but maybe I will tomorrow. Then it’ll be a week since I left school, which sounds like an impossibly short period of time compared to my sense of the time and memory since I left. Even the memories of announcing my departure feel like an age ago.

I made an enquiry about an apartment; they haven’t replied yet. The place was listed nearly a year ago, so I doubt they ever will. Everywhere is taken, or too expensive, or not near the Tube, or a fraud.

Nobody is answering their email. Perhaps my writing looks like spam and it ends up in people’s junk inboxes. Or maybe I’m not doing email right.

I am a master of productive procrastination. tools-osx, overseen by Morgan Aldridge, is shaping into a nice toolset for performing various Macintosh-related tasks on the command-line. I made some nice improvements to the install script.

Another way I procrastinate productively is to think of bits for Plan. Sometimes I even implement them.

I wish I was working in a place with other hackers, instead of at home. There I would be ashamed of doing such seemingly-productive unproductive things lest anyone look over at my computer and see that I’m not working on useful things.

Still, at least I’m writing code. That feels a lot better than reading email, looking for apartments, etc. all day. Of course I can write productive code whenever I choose to.

Last night I started a quotes page, where I will keep quotes that are interesting, amusing, or otherwise ‘worthy of a place on my quotes page.’

I also looked at the source code to the UK Top 40 page, thinking of rewriting it at last. For some reason the Spotify links had stopped working, so I commented them out and resolved to fix them some time later. Some day I will rewrite it though, and add archives and a listing of the Top 40 albums as well as singles.

Is it just me, or is They Might Be Giants’ appearance on Top of the Pops disappointingly bad? Seems like they didn’t have monitors on stage, so Linnell and Flansburgh are in tune with each other but not with their instruments.

Dropout: Day 7.

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Well, it worked. Today I phoned an estate agency, made an appointment, and I’m going to London on Monday next week to see them.

I think my photo will be in Guardian tomorrow. The star of the show is my friend Josh Pickett, but I happen to be next to him in the photo. The article is currently online; there’s very little new in it if you read Emma Mulqueeny’s rant about how his coding skills were treated at his school. Update: They printed the article but not the photo. It’s still worth buying, though, if only to see this.

On coding in schools.

What could go wrong?

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Today Michael Gove announced that coding is going to be taught in schools. I think this is great news, but to be honest I’m feeling a little uneasy about it. While it’s great that coding is going to be taught at all, I’m concerned that they might screw it up. In some cases it’s down to the government to avoid teaching coding the wrong way; in others it will be the responsibility of individual schools and teachers.

So please excuse my pessimism. But I think it’s important that the government does this well, and that people understand precisely how not to teach programming.

Wrong technologies.

It’s all too easy for schools to pick bad technologies and languages to teach their students to program with.

At my former sixth form, one of the small number to offer A-level Computing, the primary teaching language was Pascal. The argument was that it’s roughly ‘middle-of-the-road’: higher-level than C and Assembly, lower than Ruby and other scripting languages. Supposedly this was a good thing, because students taught on Pascal could take their skills either way on the language spectrum. The real reason was likely that it was teacher’s Blub.

Another bad way to choose a teaching language is looking at what’s popular in ‘industry.’ In fact, popular languages are rarely good. Java, for instance, is a terrible language, but it got popular because Sun spent millions on marketing and PR to get pointy-haired bosses to insist on it. (They also got it into universities: it’s impossible to get a CS degree in the UK without learning Java. And people ask me why I’m not going to university. I suspect a similar process got Microsoft Office associated so closely with ICT lessons.)

A similar process might happen to Objective-C, which is a fine language for writing iPhone apps — but I don’t think anyone would argue that it’s a more powerful language than Ruby or Scheme.

So I would advise the government to recommend a carefully-picked set of languages to be taught in schools. Don’t choose languages that are ‘popular in industry’ hoping that it will get people a job. Choose good teaching languages in the knowledge that those who would thrive in a computing job will learn the languages they ‘need’ to get a job by themselves.

Too much systematisation.

In his essay A Mathematician’s Lament, Paul Lockhart bewailed the teaching of maths in school. The same danger faces computer science.

The joy of programming is in making things just because it’s interesting to make them, like Bayesian text filters in your own programming language. There’s the joy of writing programs you use every day, which are perfectly suited to your needs and tastes. There’s the joy of releasing that code, knowing that your work is making a positive difference to other people’s lives.

The joy of programming is not in knowing the difference between formal and actual parameters, being able to describe tail-call optimisation (ha), or describing what the function print does. Testing these things is like testing an artist by asking them to define the word palette. They’re useful terms to know when you’re talking about concepts with other programmers, but you don’t need to know them to do real programming.

The most important things are that students write good, working code, and that they work on finding their own problems and solving them their own way. Reducing programming to sets of algorithms and data-types in the way that maths is treated as formulae and constants would be a terrible thing.

“Real programmers”

I didn’t take A-level Computing but if I had a free period or my teacher was away and there was a lesson being taught, I would sometimes ask to sit in on it, to see what they were teaching.

The teacher kept talking about “real programmers,” not in the sense of someone who doesn’t use Pascal or refuses to let his blackjack program cheat, but just to refer to ‘professional’ programmers with ‘real programming jobs.’ He talked as though the professional programmers are “real programmers” but you students are just learning the basics, don’t get too excited now.

If you’re writing any code at all, you’re a real programmer. No kidding. Even if that code is Pascal (or Java, etc.), all code that works in some sense is real code, and if you’ve ever written any then you’re a real programmer.

I suppose my problem is the word ‘real.’ If he had talked about ‘professional programmers’ instead, I wouldn’t mind — that’s a perfectly valid distinction to make, but perhaps still not constructive and motivating enough.

Maltreating the geniuses.

When I was in my school’s ICT lessons and they were teaching how to use Excel, I rarely looked at the actual instructions for what they wanted us to do. I just looked at the end result, then worked on my own to get something like what they wanted. (And I still don’t know how to use a spreadsheet properly.) Somehow I still got good marks.

Things were less rosy in the classes covering basic HTML. They were teaching HTML 1995-style, but I wrote beautiful XHTML and CSS. The teacher wasn’t impressed. (I got my just deserts. I had to test my pages in Internet Explorer 6 — no other browser was installed on the school computers. When I looked at them in Safari or Firefox at home, they looked terrible.)

Teachers are often slow to recognise that sometimes, a few students may have advanced themselves to the point where they really do know better than them. This danger is particularly prevalent in computing, where the state-of-the-art advances so quickly, and the teaching establishment is often so far behind the times.

Many programmers are self-taught, from an early age (usually around 10 or 11 years old). Most good programmers are taught themselves. All the true experts at programming were either self-taught, or learned at university only because computers weren’t around when they were ten or eleven. A successful computer science curriculum will embrace students who already know some, or most of the material.

Dropout: Day 12.

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I’ve not written for a while. This isn’t because, as before, I was being lazy: I just didn’t want this blog to become boring and repetitive. If I felt able to tell you more detail about the stuff I’m doing, it wouldn’t be so much.

I was supposed to go to London today, you’ll recall, but that’s changed: I’m going tomorrow instead.

Study leave has started at my old school. I went and saw Sam, who I’ve known since primary school, at his house. He revised and I spent a while sorting out arrangements for tomorrow.

I was in touch with Josh as soon as his plane touched down; I’ll be seeing him tomorrow in London. (He was astonished that I knew exactly when his plane landed: I was checking the Heathrow arrivals page for his flight. Quote: “This ‘Internet’, it’s a wonderful thing.”)

You called me last night on the telephone,
and I was glad to hear from you
’cause I was all alone.
You said, “It’s snowing, it’s snowing!
God, I hate this weather!”
Now I walk through blizzards
just to get us back together.

— New York City from Factory Showroom, They Might Be Giants.

Dropout: Day 13.

A trip to London.

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An early start again, but this time for a more important reason than just going shopping: a trip to London.

On the train down, I got a message from the estate agent with whom I had an appointment, saying that the flat I enquired about was let out overnight. I figured it would be worth going to the appointment anyway to see what they had (I assumed it hadn’t been cancelled). To get to the estate agent’s office, I had to go to East Dulwich station because there was no Underground connection nearby. As I waited on the train at London Bridge station to set off, I sent a message saying I’d be a few minutes late. The reply: we’ve cancelled your appointment. Fortunately, the train hadn’t set off yet.

I was supposed to meet Josh and Emma at some point at the Canteen so I phoned Josh and he said his train had arrived from Manchester and he was heading there, so I followed suit. I arrived before Emma but Henry Warren was there, who is organising a part for Young Rewired State at Learning Without Frontiers. Josh showed up a few minutes later, which was our first meeting since he returned home from San Francisco. (Jordan, Josh and I are moving in together. We were all supposed to look round an apartment together but we didn’t in the end.)

Shortly thereafter Emma finally arrived — she was held up by the problems at Waterloo this morning. Josh, Emma, Henry and I had a conversation about the future events planned by Rewired State.

Emma had an appointment with Jim Knight so she moved table to see him. We carried on talking for a while, phoned up about two potential flats (codenamed House Alpha and House 2), then Henry mentioned that he had a meeting at the Gherkin and we were welcome to come along. We caught the Waterloo & City line and walked to the Gherkin. It turned out that the meeting was on the top floor, which is a members’ bar. The view really is extraordinary from up there. It really is great up there, and we talk for about 45 minutes further. It turned out something had been messed up and the person Henry was supposed to meet had the wrong place, so he turned up right as we had to leave.

We left to look around an apartment. It was pretty nice, but not great, and the agent was far too pushy. We left it be, partly because Jordan wanted to see whatever apartment we chose before renting it, which is fair enough.

I went off to see a potential source of a job, and we chatted about their current situation and what I’d be doing if I worked there.

After I’d finished up there, I headed to Holborn to meet Josh again, and catch Jordan as he finished work at Government Digital Service. We walked over to Covent Garden, had some paella. This was meant to be a one-day trip, but it became clear that we weren’t going to get anything sorted in one day, so I phoned Emma to pester about sleeping at her house. (Well, not pester: I asked nicely once and she said, “Of course!”)

So after spending a while in Starbucks with Jordan and Josh looking for apartments, we split up, headed for Waterloo station, split up with Jordan and got on the train to Guildford. Josh was very tired on the train but he seems to have recovered since we arrived at Emma’s house. We’re each sitting in our beds and working on our computers as I write this.


  • The corridor at Bank station, down to the Waterloo & City line.
  • The bar at the top of the Gherkin building.
  • A view from the top of the Gherkin.
  • Josh, wearing Henry’s beard-and-moustache hat and his ‘glasses.’

Dropout: Day 14.

In which I achieve a huge amount in a very short space of time.

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I had set an alarm for 8:30, but woke up at about 7. Not surprising given that my “bed” is not that comfy: when I slept at the youth hostel at St. Pancras, where the mattresses are like solid rock, I woke at 6:00am without needing an alarm.

After greeting (and shortly thereafter saying farewell to) Emma’s two daughters, Josh and I had a cursory look at the list of Young Rewired State applications. Unfortunately, we’ll probably have to turn down the applications from North Carolina and Bangalore.

We headed out to London on the train from Woking, talking about plans for hack-days for Rewired State and matters house-related.

We headed to the Canteen at the Royal Festival Hall again, this time meeting someone from the BBC. We introduced ourselves and our skills, talked for a little while but had to go to our first viewing of the day. We headed out to Haggerston and met the estate agent. The place was amazing. We arranged another viewing so that Jordan could come and look around, but had pretty much decided on making an offer.

After a Subway sandwich, we headed back to the agent to ask a few more questions (is that bath in the master bedroom actually fitted?)

We had two more viewings scheduled but, partly in elation at finding the previous apartment, we cancelled one. This gave us plenty of time to get to the one after, so we headed for a coffee shop and had tea (me) and lemonade (Josh) for a while. We left, thanked them, and slowly walked over to the Tube station. After a minor fuckup on my part, we got to the right place early, had the tour in 10 minutes, and decided against it.

While walking back to the Tube station, I realised that Stephen Mount, who I hadn’t seen in ages, was in London, so we should meet. I phoned him, arranged to meet at 7, and we headed for Holborn to pick up Jordan and head back to the first flat.

We arrived on time, but the estate agent showed up half-an-hour late. By that time I had to phone Steve and tell him we’d be late. But we toured the flat, decided to make an offer and headed back to the agent’s office. We can’t formally make the offer till tomorrow, but he’s accepted our terms in principle.

We got to Covent Garden, where we planned to meet Steve, at about quarter-past eight. We wanted some food, as well. We phoned Steve and, after a brief period of phone confusion caused by indecision, we agreed to meet Hyde Park Corner and head to the Hard Rock Café.

I ordered a burger. We introduced ourselves to the waitress by saying we’d just found an apartment, but she misheard in the loud restaurant atmosphere that we’d “founded a pub.” So there was amusement about that for a while.

At the end of the day, we said our goodbyes and Josh and I got the train back to Emma’s house. (After getting the wrong Tube. Again.)

Dropout: Day 15.

My triumphant return… quashed?

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You will recall how I arrived in London and found an apartment in 36 hours, with a promise from the estate agent that we could move in by Saturday.

Well, without saying too much, it could all have gone wrong. At the last minute, as I was on the train leaving London, some news broke which has changed everything. We probably need a new place.

I had a job interview today at a well-known London internet company. Some of the questions were lowball (“What’s a block, in Ruby?”), some were predictable (order of complexity) and some intriguing. I was pleased when he told me that he called me in for interview because I said I was a Lisper.

The interviewer asked what my favourite sorting algorithm is. I resisted the urge to say bogosort, and answered with merge sort, citing its beauty when implemented in a functional style. He asked the average- and worst-case performances. I said n log n and n, respectively. He corrected me that it was n2 in the worst-case. I thought this was wrong, but I didn’t want to object until I was sure. I replied, “Yeah, maybe.” Later I checked on Wikipedia, and my answer was correct. Update: Turns out we were both wrong: I misread the infobox. It’s n log n in both the worst- and the average-case.

I have another interview some time next week.

Tomorrow I have to go about patching over the troubling development regarding my apartment. It’s a blow given that I had hoped to be able to start moving things in on Saturday. Tomorrow will be an interesting day.

Dropout: Day 19.

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Procrastination is the sincerest form of productivity.

I woke up early this morning, but didn’t get anything done until about 11, when I was spurred into action by a phone-call from the estate agent. Thursday’s late-breaking setback has thrown the moving-in schedule up in the air.

It’s now just me and Josh looking for an apartment: Jordan has pulled out. Fortunately, there’s a two-bedroom unit available in the same building. We’ve agreed to take things a little slower for now.

I’m heading back to London tomorrow, mainly for Learning Without Frontiers, but also so I can sort this apartment mess out.

Things need sorting out. I hope to sort them out.

Dropout: Day 20.

Back to London.

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I boarded the train an hour later than last week, but it still felt like déjà vu to arrive in London on Tuesday with Josh on the train an hour behind me.

I took the Tube from Euston to Embankment then to Gunnersbury, the nearest tube station to the hotel. It was still a very long way away and I ended up taking the bus. Upon arrival, the receptionist was less-than-helpful:

ME: Hello, I have a reservation under the name ‘Kendal.’
RECEPTIONIST: OK, but check-in doesn’t start until 3pm. I’ll charge you £10 extra to check in now.
D: Err… no, I’ll wait and come back after three.
R: Also, your room hasn’t been paid for. Will you be paying for it?

Confusion from me: my room is supposed to have been paid for by the BBC. I phone Henry. He speaks with the receptionist and they make some progress towards making sure the rooms are paid for.

M: OK, if I can’t check in, can I at least leave my bag here?
R: No, we don’t take luggage for security reasons.

After briefly considering having a Bruce Schneier rage at the pointlessness of this policy, I decided to leave and carry my stuffed-full messenger bag around with me. I phoned Henry back and told him I was on the way to Olympia to help set up for LWF.

I took the Tube to Earl’s Court and then waited around on the platform for 15 minutes for a train to Olympia, before an announcement was made that there was no service on the Olympia branch all day. Replacement bus services are available but are fucking impossible to find. Eventually I got the right bus, but despite keeping my eyes peeled for a bus-stop at Olympia I somehow went past it and had to walk back to the exhibition centre. Then I walked all around the massive exhibition centre looking for the correct exhibitor’s entrance. Eventually I just charged in and none of the security guards batted an eye. I found the YRS pod after a significant search.

After spending an hour or so helping set up, I had still not eaten lunch so I went out and bought a sandwich from Sainsbury’s. Henry offered a lift back to the hotel in the van. I hadn’t met Josh yet, we needed to take Henry’s friend with us, and there’s only three seats in the van. So we drove to High Street Kensington to pick up Josh and he has to get in the back with no windows and all the empty cardboard boxes.

We headed to the hotel, all check in, then head down to the bar for a beer. Then to McDonald’s for dinner (or lunch, in Josh’s case) and back to the hotel bar to discuss hack ideas and data sources while I wrote this. I think I’ll head to bed in a few minutes.

Dropout: Day 21.

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I woke at 6:00 am and showered, dressed, and was ready to set off to LWF at 7. I jumped in the back of the van (it was my turn) and waited for us to arrive at Olympia. We couldn’t go in the easy way so we had to walk all the way round to the other side of the conference centre, then once we were in we had to all the back to near where the sensible entrance was. But we bumped into John Bevan on the way, so it wasn’t all bad.

Once the conference had started, I headed to the main theatre to catch Noam Chomsky’s video speech. It turned out that would be the last speech I would see, because after that they started turning away people with exhibitor’s badges because only conference attendees could watch the talks.

We spent a while playing with the BBC Micros in the BBC’s tent (implementing the inevitable 10 PRINT "HELLO WORLD"; 20 GOTO 10; RUN program almost immediately), then with Lego in their tent, which invited visitors to “build the campus of the future,” in Lego, of course.

After that we needed to do some actual hacking. I had a barely-formed idea for a hack involving natural-language processing. Using stuff I half-remembered from building the natural-language parser in SICP, I was able to string together a roughly-working parser in Ruby but didn’t get much else done coding-wise because of various distractions, like food, sweets, and a Mario mascot posing next to Rewired State’s Storm Trooper dummy.

After the excitement of not doing enough coding, we headed to Pizza Express, where I was indecisive (as always at restaurants) but eventually managed to choose. We then headed upstairs to a ‘networking reception,’ met a few people we knew, then to an awards ceremony where Emma had been nominated for an award. She was worried about it and hopeful that she wouldn’t win it because she would have to give a speech, and wasn’t really prepared for it.

Fortunately, she didn’t win. We headed back to the hotel in a cab, left Emma to head back to her house in Guildford, and Josh and I split up in the lobby to our individual rooms.

Dropout: Day 22.

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What a fucking tiring day.

Another early start, with my alarm interrupting a dream again. I think that is probably incredibly bad for one’s mental health and sanity, because it is so deeply jarring.

Josh and I checked out, took a cab from our hotel in Kew back to Olympia (which took almost an hour in the rush-hour traffic) and got started immediately on our new project. We had barely got it working in time for the presentations.

Most of today was spent hacking, which is a rather boring thing to write about in an online diary. But a few cool things happened: I talked for a while (well, Josh talked with me in the middle because I was incredibly busy coding) with Dallas Campbell, one of the presenters of the television show Bang Goes the Theory. Not that I watch that or any other TV programme: I only knew who he was because he presented the awards yesterday.

The time came to present, and it mostly went well. Then we had to dismantle everything around the Rewired State pod, which was a bit chaotic because Henry had to park the van many miles away, so while everyone else was finishing packing away, the Rewired State stand was still mostly intact while we waited for our van to arrive.

While we were doing this, Josh (whose original plan had been to stay in London all week) realised he had to go back to Manchester. That just left me to stay at Emma’s house tonight and tomorrow.

Eventually we grabbed a Micro each and headed across the road to a Persian restaurant. The food there is pretty good, actually. (Sorry, I can’t remember the name.)

I had (deliberately, not realising we couldn’t go back in) left my bag in Olympia, so Henry found it while dismantling the stand, and had to stop in the street to give it to me.

Emma is at a big dinner for all the people who spoke at LWF. She had tried to get me into it, given that I’m staying at her house and it would have made sense to head back there together, but she couldn’t. So I caught the Overground to Clapham Junction, then a (very late) train from there to Guildford. I was greeted by Emma’s boyfriend Phill, who has an early morning start and usually slept early, but kindly opened the door for me.

Sleep time now.

Dropout: Day 23.

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Today was a day spent working in front of the computer, which is not nearly as exciting to write about as galavanting off to conferences is, but it was good to have a day of rest after the intensity of LWF.

I worked on YRS-related stuff most of the time: assigning applicants to centres, drawing centres up on a map, etc. (The latter was done with awk, which was a terrible idea but I blame Adam for encouraging me.)

It’s been over a week since I interviewed with a certain London-based internet company. I was supposed to arrange another interview with them during this week, but I sent them an email telling them when I was available but never they never replied. I’m a bit disappointed that, after calling me in for an interview, they don’t even have the decency to even send an email saying that “Sorry, we’re a bit busy, we might take a while to get back to you,” or something along those lines.

A a short interview with John Roderick has just been published. He talks about his next album, and getting a band together to form the new The Long Winters. (Since Eric Corson, the bassist, left the band, it’s now just John alone. The upcoming record will feature the first all-new line-up of backing band members since the band’s formation in 2002.)