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veen's profile

Infrastructure & Planning student in the Netherlands.

Sometimes make things like this:

And I write here:

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veen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 15, 2019

One week from now I’ll be flying somewhere over Greenland on my way to Seattle! I’m stoked. Gonna be fun.

I’m hoping I can make some progress on my paper writing while in the air. I had a talk yesterday with a professor I know about whether a part time PhD, building off of my paper, could be something for me. He asked me to write down what I think I need to make a PhD worth it. It’s mostly about agency for me, which is good because part timers don’t have to deal with anyone’s crap but do have access to all the resources that a top notch university has available. Which is alluring, for sure. But I also feel like I need to figure out what my personal mission or goal is, at least for the coming years. I feel like I need a solid answer to the question “what do I really want to do” in order to decide whether to pursue a position or not.

veen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: NASA: We Are Going

Yeah, I feel like I need to see an action plan and a budget to be fully convinced this isn't some wishful thinking, but part of me is really excited about it too.

    Bad news if you’re not an American: you will not be allowed to opt-out.

    “Once the biometric exit program is a nationally-scaled, established program, foreign nationals will be required to biometrically confirm their exit from the United States at the final [boarding] point,” said CBP spokesperson Jennifer Gabris in an earlier email to TechCrunch. “This has been and is a Congressional mandate,” she said.

Fuck that shit, that's what international passports are for. Jesus, the US already has all of my fingerprints 3 times over, my social security number, they now need to know where and with whom you're staying for ESTA. Hell, they even know when, where and from which IP I booked my flight. Give it a few years and they will make the now-optional 'social media accounts and passwords' mandatory too.

There is no need for hackers, the US government literally already has everything to steal my identity already.

veen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 1, 2019

It's in English, but I'm not sure if I want to subject you to the stilted language of niche academia. It's language that's more concerned with being correct than with being compelling. I do want it to be that way, so maybe I'll take you up on the offer sometime. Always good to have an outsider perspective on things! :)

veen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: The Peculiar Blindness of Experts

My interest is also definitely piqued. I consider myself a generalist, but I also know it’s a weakness of mine to get lost in the substance of things. I sometimes think about this in D&D terms - you have points for Wisdom, which someone once explained to me as how big your world is. Experts look only at the small plot of land that is their niche, while generalists enjoy and wander around the endless fields of study. Experts have intelligence, but not always have wisdom.

It’s like a Dementor crossed with a crow and a knight.

Surely EggNot would be more concise.

veen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 1, 2019

Ups and downs. Mostly ups. Things have never been stranger. As they say, a smooth sea never made a skilled sailors.

Something really cool: I'm unofficially spearheading our efforts to export our sustainable transport knowledge across borders. Three weeks ago, we were notified of a tender to do a study into early EV adopters and where / how they will charge... in Cape Verde. We had less than a week to apply, and in that time I wrote 90% of the offer, got a Portuguese transport company along for the ride and fixed most of the required documents. Last Friday I heard we won the tender! So I get to fly out not once, but twice to Cape fuckin' Verde in the next three months along with the owner of our company. And the advice we'll give them by the end, if they like it, will pretty much decide their steps forward. They intend to start building charging infrastructure next year. So it's a good opportunity for us as a company to show what we're worth, and if it's a success story there are many sunny Medditeranean islands where similar EV solutions are possible.

The only downside is that as it stands now, I'll go there first week of June, which means I'll be back for two days from visiting Seattle before flying out again. And the weekend after I have a trip planned with my girlfriend to Cologne. So aaahHHHH LOGISTICS, but also fuck yeah LIFE.

Today I had a really cool meeting about my academic paper. Which yes, is still a thing, but no, it's not moving fast at all. But I feel like I have found a small group of people who are just as passionate about equitable transportation as I am, and they want my help to figure out how to bring it into practice and make the world better in as much places as possible. They're practical, networked and smart people, and I'm the academic in this equation. With only my master thesis and not-published paper. I have no idea where this will lead but I'm already invigorated.

The rest of my work is busy AF. That new colleague that was supposed to start May 1st? He bailed out two hours before signing his contract and meeting us. Which is not only incredibly rude, it's also frustrating as all hell - I have all these cool new avenues to explore and a bunch of projects to offload and I can't offload them until there's someone to offload them to. And there's now a lot on my plate, enough for me to work much more than I want to. Did 5 days of work in 4 last week and it feels too much like a grind. I can't complain too much though, as most of the work is interesting or engaging, but there's just so much of it.

veen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 1, 2019

You gotta know the beaten path to know where best to go off of it. There's a lot of value in outsider perspective, in someone poking holes into the status quo, but it takes a certain kind of person to realize that.

They just dropped their new album and I'm really liking it so far. Might have to do the same. (Just not in Chicago though.)

It's so weird to me that a middle man's value-add can be to subtract value, yet still be valued positively.

Somehow the two words "WeWork IPO" have an ominous ring to them. What do the finance moon howlers have to say about it?

Gah. Should’ve looked better.

I found it a useful read, if only because she connects a bunch of phenomena that I see so many of my peers struggle with. Of course we’re mostly the subject of our particular circumstances, but isn’t that what makes each generation feel and act different in the first place?

veen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 24, 2019

I stumbled on Giving What We Can a week ago, and since then I've been thinking about giving much more on a regular basis to charity. Looked up a bunch of charities that strive for things I care about a lot, such as global warming and animal welfare. Found out which ones are well regarded and ended up with a few good ones.

Last weekend though, the gf and I visited my parents for Easter. It had been a while since I'd last seen them, and while we had a wonderful weekend, it was also pretty clear that they're not in a good place. My dad finally got something of a stable job - something he hadn't had since 2008 - but fell really badly and broke his shoulder in the first week. They got a pretty hefty bill from the energy company, which had promised the bill wouldn't be big. And there's a bunch of other stuff they're dealing with - enough that they're losing sleep over it.

So instead of helping charities, I decided to help them out instead. And despite my best efforts, there's this veneer of guilt and empathy and sadness around all of this - I feel bad for not doing more, for not helping more, for choosing what's near over what's far away. For doing more than fine myself. I don't know what's best, don't know if I can know. At least I can try.

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