Archive for February 2006


Daniel Reeders has an excellent post about risk which you should go and read.

It’s very old, but for some reason it just appeared in my aggregator.. the content isn’t dated though.

The probability of HIV transmission may be low, but infection is a serious business — a terminal illness, a lifetime of taking drugs, dealing with depression and social prejudice. Compare the consequences with the trivial burden involved in preventing the risk: safe sex versus life with a terminal illness — you don’t need a lawyer to tell you which is preferable.

Update: Coincidentally, I’ve found another post, this one much more recent, about the difference between risk and perceived risk.

I’m now linking to an article which is itself little more than links to some newspaper articles.. argh!

We also tend to overestimate risks that lend themselves to memorable images, like planes crashing into buildings. Like shark attacks and kidnapping by strangers, terrorism is strange, uncontrollable and forms a ready mental image. So people overestimate terrorism’s risk and demand excessive protection from it . . . .

We're all going on a…

early autumn (but before the equinox so technically still summer) holiday.

Intended itinerary is at this point (and all flights etc are booked, so it’s fairly final :p):

Mar 10 – fly to BNE after work

Mar 11-12 – R&R in BNE

Mar 13 – Fly to TSV to see my siblings

Mar 14-15 Train to MBH (I’ve got a berth in an overnight train. It should be.. interesting. I don’t know how much sleep I’ll get..)

Mar 16 – Fly to BNE, thence train to the Gold Coast (I’d say OOL to be consistent, but I don’t actually intend getting within 10km or so of OOL until the 19th).

Mar 17 – Dreamworld

Mar 18 – MovieWorld

Mar 19 – Dreamworld (encore performance) + fly home from OOL


The Great Inner-City Fag Bushwalk – '06 Summer Edition

What: Manly Scenic Walk, from the Spit Bridge to Manly. Afterwards, possibly either dinner at Manly followed by a ferry back to the city; or, a ferry back to the city followed by dinner. We’ll stop somewhere along the way for a light picnic lunch (possibly at a beach, see below)

When: Saturday 25 February, 2006. Meeting at Wynyard at 11:20; walk should take 4 hours if done nonstop; probably arriving at Manly by 6:30pm if we stop for lunch and a swim.

Where: Meet at Wynyard by 11:20 in order to take this bus to The Spit Bridge

How: On foot, dummy. It’s a walk!

Why: because it’s a change from yum cha.

How Much: If you have a travelpass green (or yellow, or purple, or pink, or anything larger) you’re covered already. Otherwise, the bus trip is 8 zones long – $3.70, and the ferry back is $6.20, for a total of $9.90. If you’re taking other public transport that day, you may want to consider a Daytripper (insert Beatles jingle here), which would cost $15, but also include whatever transport you need to get into the city and home again

What to bring: the usual. It’s a 10km walk; some of it is up interestingly steep/worn/difficult stairs cut into rock, so don’t wear your best high heels. Do bring water; sunscreen is a good idea. We go past about half a dozen beaches, so if you think you can talk the group into stopping at one of them swimmers/towel would be a good idea.

RSVP: Actually, there’s no real need to RSVP – it’s a very large track, so we can fit lots of people. However, if you don’t RSVP, we won’t know that you’re coming so we won’t be waiting for you (actually, we probably won’t be waiting for you anyway, but if you’re really good looking we might). If you do want to let us know you’re coming, email me, sms me if you know my number, or leave a comment below. Everybody’s welcome – if we don’t like you (or you smell bad) we’ll just walk really fast to get away from you and/or make you carry all our luggage.

Also: Feel free to leave suggestions – maybe you’d prefer to walk the other way, or maybe you have suggestions on where to have lunch (I think Washaway beach would be the nicest spot, if anyone knows how to get down the cliffs to it – the Grotto Point Carvings would come a close second) or swim?

sb2m alert

I’m planning to do the Spit Bridge to Manly Scenic Walkway on Saturday week (the 25th Feb). All are welcome.

Details are on my site – please let me know if you’d like to come.

More google alert joyness

Remember how I mentioned I have a Google Alert on “James Polley”?

Well, just in case you decided that you, too, want to be kept up to date on all the latest news and gossip concerning “James Polley”, I’d just like to point out that the latest find is not, in fact, me. That’s a whole other James Polley right there.

Here’s the quick way to tell us apart: I don’t do moustaches alone. If I’m going to grow hair on my upper lip, there’ll be hair on my bottom lip too. Not neccessarily a lot – usually, I just go for a goatee – but never, ever a moustache alone.

While we’re at it, I should mention that none of these are me either.

Would you like to be my friend?

I already have accounts on a whole heap of social networking sites – Orkut, Livejournal, OkCupid, Gaydar..

I’ve just discovered one more site that’s decided it’s a social networking site, and wants me to add people to my friends list – Amazon!

Why? Why? I want to buy books from Amazon, not meet people! There’s even a spot there for me to upload a picture – perhaps they think being able to see my face is going to help them suggest books for me?

Strangely, I didn’t find out about this from Amazon – I have a Google Alert for the term “James Polley”, which found this and mailed me about it. Hurrah for Google!

Update: Within an hour of posting the above, I had one amazon friend already. It’s gratifying to know that people do actually read this, but at the same time, it’s very sad seeing how much time some people have on their hands.

Walking the line

If this year has a theme, it’s balance. I’m spending more and more of my time thinking about, and trying to balance on, the thin line between two extremes.

This isn’t unusual – I’ve found that life is a constant series of tradeoffs between competing priorities. However, it’s been particularly on my mind of late for a couple of reasons, all involving tradeoffs between short-term goals and long-term goals.

* Financial – for the first time, I’ve made holiday plans for an entire year. To be able to do what I plan to do, I’m going to have to save up. Saving is not something that I’m particularly good at – spending exactly the amount that I earn in any given month is. Thus, I’m being forced to pay attention to how much I’m spending this month because of how it’s going to impact my plans for the month after next

* Relationship – near the end of last year, I found myself suddenly with a Significant Other for the first time in years. While this situation was unlooked for (and if you’d asked me 20 seconds before we met, I’d have sworn it was unwanted), it’s proven to be very, very nice.It’s now so nice that I’m forced to consider my long-term relationship goals – over the last few years of singleness, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on what I do and don’t want in a relationship, so I’ve a good theoretical understanding of what I think I want, but it’s never been tested. I’ve always known that some of my long-term goals are things that won’t come easily and will require work and have the potential to cause short-term pain and annoyance – but this is the first time I’ve had to actually do that work and endure that pain. I’m a little surprised by how much work is actually involved, but thus far the payoffs are fantastic.

* Pleasure – well, this isn’t quite so easy to describe. Let’s just say that I’ve been making the mistake, over the last few weeks, of pursuing quite assiduously short-term pleasure, thus jepaordising many hopes of long term pleasure. Hurrah for self-destruction.

So. I’m home earlier tonight than I have been for about 3 weeks, after having not gone out at all (but taken a very long journey home). I’m about to go to sleep and get the best sleep I’ve had in those 3 weeks. Tomorrow, I’m going to push myself and get better work done than I have in weeks.

That’s the plan, anyway…

One joke, slightly spoiled

Neil Gaiman seems to have (uncharacteristically) spoiled a good joke.

He’s just moved his blog to a new site, and a few days ago made his first post

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Looks around nervously…

…is this thing working?

posted by Neil at 3:07 PM

Naturally, I tried to leave a comment saying “Nope, can’t see it” or something along those lines (blame my father).

Unfortunately, Neil doesn’t allow comments on his blog 🙁