Thursday, June 20, 2013

Taking risks

I got an e-mail from a head hunter looking for a patent attorney, yesterday.  I've been looking for a job as a patent attorney for a long time.  This job looked like a fit, though it would have meant moving to Virginia. A few years ago I would have applied for it.

This time I did not.  I have developed this dream that I am going to become a content creator, that I am going to write novels and comedy, act, improvise, do standup, sing, and do calligraphy.

So far, I have never made money doing any of these things.  My father, who paid for law school, would not have approved.   He liked my being a patent attorney.  It was one of those small satisfactions that I had in my relationship with him that he approved of my academic performance and my career choice.  Otherwise he was a pretty dour, distant, critical person, who was difficult to relate to.

Perhaps I would not have had the courage to say no to this headhunter if I had not had a improv workshop with David Razowsky [ ] this week and if he had not said right into my face that he had been doing this for 35 years and I was a strong improvisor.   He told me to celebrate that.

I sort of froze, like a deer in the headlights.  I wasn't expecting such a comment.  He had been yelling at me before.  I should have thanked him, but I was stunned.

So I said no to the head hunter, not that I would necessarily have gotten the job anyway.  I've been failing to get jobs I applied for for a long time now. Still, I wonder if I have become a bit like Jack from "Jack and the Beanstalk" who traded a cow for a handful of magic beans.  Jack was exceptionally lucky that the beans turned out to be truly magic.  By all rights they shouldn't have been.  

Let's hope that  I have at least a fraction of Jack's luck.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Aaron Swarz

This Aaron Swarz thing is really eating at me.

This was a youthful, non-violent, first offender committing an act of civil disobedience, for no personal gain, out of idealism.  He committed suicide when an overzealous federal prosecutor would not plea bargain down from seeking a sentence of 50 years -- and he was isolated from the activist community, which had been supporting him in his proposed activities.

Granted, the value of the copyrighted material he proposed to publish was large, but similar white collar crimes in others, others who profited from their actions, resulted in much lesser sentences.

The Enron people got 25 years or so, and one of them may get out with 14

Raj Rajaratnam, who did super huge scale insider trading, got 11 years

We need to have better control and standardization rather than unbridled prosecutorial discretion.

Anyway, if you, like me, are bothered by the Aaron Swarz prosecution, there is a petition going around.

Also, Aaron reminds me of my own son, who is a Stallmanite.