2013-05-04

Almost Rammed into 6 People; Still Blogging.

I just finished writing a project "risk + reward" review email to a client, and feel like a professional cheerleader. I hate having to be a cheerleader - that should be someone else's job. But, I guess that's only because my folks did this for a living, and I really prefer to be in the driver's seat.

Speaking of which, I hate driving. I hate driving because driving is cognitively expensive, never mind the economic and environmental costs of owning and operating a single-passenger vehicle. There's just so much physical brain power involved in driving that I find to be better employed thinking about real problems. Like the architecture of web application development frameworks in monadic functional programming; or the contingencies of loose legalese around a complicated business venture; or the structural flavour profiles of coffees at various points between sniff and swallow; or the culture and social mores of English-speaking upper-middle-class Malaysians in urban cafes around a pivotal general election; or the economic gamble of deciding to be a bartender, and giving up love, life, and other liberties in order to get more study time.

Anyway, I was thinking about all of those today, when at some point I decided to rush an amber light, and almost mowed down a dozen people replacing a car battery behind a blind corner. This was the junction at Section 16, on the SPRINT highway, where the golf course is to the left of the traffic light, and where you turn right to go up the hill towards Jalan Universiti. It's a junction I'm quite familiar with, as it's how I've gotten home from my temporary office in Taman Tun every few days for the past few months. It had been raining, and the street was wet. There's been a construction crew around there working on the new train line.

I'm not sure how much I saw before I rushed the light, but the chaps fixing the vehicle became visible just as I turned the corner. So I increased my turning angle, as I had less leeway - this resulted in oversteer, which I overcompensated for, again (I'll explain later), resulting in the nose of my car turning straight into the crew. Fortunately, I braked in time, inches away from the blokes who briefly scattered. Most of them appeared to be our darling Banglas, and then there were a few local chaps, one chubby Indian dude who kicked my car a couple of times - I don't blame him. It was my fault, I was stupid, and we were all lucky. I got yelled at. I deserved it.

I was embarrassingly calm throughout the entire thing. I wonder if it's just the training I've received over the years. Folks telling me I faced a 50% survival rate from juvenile dermatomyositis when I was in kindergarten. Getting assaulted by would-be muggers and having my pinky hewed off by a guy with a steering-wheel lock. Buying my first car, then losing control of it under similar conditions as today, then crashing it into the barrier of the SPRINT Highway a month later. I think about how I will die and the economics of it, almost daily. It's been intentional, since I went to college and had the free time to think about life in general. It's a good discipline, but it also makes me feel less normally human, sometimes. Cue all the Dexter and Sherlock jokes you care to indulge in. If I ever have to kill someone, I will, but I want it to be completely intentional, and in self-defense.

Whereupon the analytical tendencies I have place upon me a question of what counts as self-defense? I also wonder what it'll be like to have limbs amputated from accidents or assaults. I consider these things because I avoid hiding things from myself. I see these things happen in the world, and I apply these learnings to myself. Sometimes I wonder if none of these entertaining activities will ever help other people.

I try to maintain some semblance of thinking about things, and getting them done properly. I don't think free-will is an important component of being human - but many people do, and it is occasionally fun to indulge their conversation. Righto, so I've blogged about this evening's brush with death (not my own).

Still alive.
Still a legal citizen.
Still cavalier.
Still on the right side of the law.
Still wondering what else I'll get around to before I go to bed.

Such is the life of one regarded as philosophical. Most days, I'm just fighting my abnormalities, and trying to fit in.

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