Summer Plans

I’m not doing anything definite this summer, so I’ll have some time.

Reading (1)

I have already read The Plague.  It’s now my favorite book.  I’ll probably reread it in a bit. 

Other stuff on my reading list: the SLE books that I didn’t read as well as I should have, The Brother KaramazovGuns, Germs, and SteelThe RoadWhy David Sometimes Wins (which I can’t find a copy of anywhere in Eugene.  ARGH.  It’s about social movement organizing.  It’s by the guy who came up with the slogan “Yes We Can”), Creating an End to Poverty (by Yunus, the microfinance guy), FreakenomicsConfessions of an Economic Hitman, and A People’s History of the US.  I also have about 30 other books on my list, but I doubt I’ll be able to get to any more than the ones I’ve already mentioned. 

Tech (1.1)

Since I’ll be on the student government’s tech team and I’m still relatively new to CS, there’s a lot I need to teach myself.  Particularly web programming languages like PHP, Python, and Javascript.

I also have the idea for a programming project that would analyze how hard it is to read a given written work.  It would go section by section so that it could tell you which sentences to rewrite.  It might be overly ambitious, but it should be relatively simple to program once I figure out how to make it interface nicely with the internet.  Obviously, it will take a lot of fine tuning.  I’ll need to figure out a nice baseline for easy to read (likely, a news article from a prominent journalist) so that I can figure out what “hard” means, but once I get that done, it will be really cool.

If I do get around to doing it.

Relaxing (2)

I haven’t had much time for video games while at Stanford (though I have, perhaps, spent more time than I should have on video games.  Without them, I bet this could have been 10 pages longer!).  That has changed now that I’ve gotten home.

I haven’t watched any TV at all at Stanford.  The weirdest thing about watching TV again is how horrible and abrasive it is.  Commercials are loud, pointless (unlike Google’s relevant and nonintrusive ads!), and interrupt my show.  I’ve already seen it (in general).  The shows themselves are mostly pointless rather than meaningful commentaries on world events.  The exception is Current TV, also available for free at, which has amazing, interesting, and poignant journalism and social critique. 

Still, it’s on.

I might also do some writing, learn video or music editing, or do some fun software projects.

Etc (1)

I have been 18 for less than a year, and I’ll be doing jury duty this July.  While many people have been giving me tips on how to get out of it, I actually think that my civic duty is important.

What I discovered, actually, is the best way to get out of jury duty: make your county so crime-free that there are no trials on your jury duty date (that is, I didn’t actually do jury duty because there was no trial on my date).  It isn’t quite as easy as it sounds, but it feels fairly rewarding.

I’ll also be learning how to drive.  Probably should have happened two years ago, but better late than never.