Kaplan, a company that once employed me, has decorated its Berkeley office with posters of teenagers making virtuous and determined faces, as if America’s Last Best Hope, alongside copy such as, “My name is Scott. I’m going to be an engineer. And that’s not negotiable.” And if no one is willing to negotiate? There’s the same determination in the robin that scuttles around ten feet in front of me. It disturbs the dead leaves, pecks what it finds there, lifts its head and warbles. It watches me, of course, but doesn’t believe in my power to threaten it. Probably they do make good companions, as Audubon told it: “The gentle and lively disposition of the Robin when raised in the cage, and the simplicity of his song, of which he is very lavish in confinement, render him a special favourite in the Middle Districts, where he is as generally kept as the Mocking-bird is in the Southern States. It feeds on bread soaked in either milk or water, and on all kinds of fruit. Being equally fond of insects, it seizes on all that enter its prison. It will follow its owner, and come to his call, peck at his finger, or kiss his mouth, with seeming pleasure.”
My startup’s product is launching and from this point will have to be managed by telemetry. My dissertation is collecting signatures like some kind of misguided ballot initiative, so that it can go to rest in its vault, and I am very near sealing up a collection of eight short pieces. I started another record but have to delay it because of some weakness in my right hand, which needs to be investigated: anyway things are all right, they are clicking shut.