Shimura Curves

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Maxwell's Demon

I'm doing something fiendishly complicated at work - really in over my head, basically taking a report to pieces and putting it back together, hacking and cracking bits of code that seem to do the things that I need them to do even though I don't actually understand the code itself. There's an example oft quoted within debate on "what comprises consciousness" about a person locked in a room with a set of descriptions of how to react to instructions - essentially doing blind translations in Chinese without understanding - and I want to call him Maxwell's Demon, but that's to do with heat transferrence in Physics. This is essentially what I'm doing in programming terms.

And I feel like a freak because yesterday in a meeting, one of the bankers asked me what my band was called, and I said "Shimura Curves" and he said "Shim... WHAT?" and so I asked quite casually if he'd read Fermat's Last Theorem (not an unreasonable request - it was on the bestseller list for ages) and they all burst out laughing as if I'd asked the question in Chinese.

But whatever... I was called on the carpet this morning and essentially told to develop more social skills to cope with the FD's foibles or something (when the thing that provoked this was me trying to find a time-proven way to cope with my own shortcomings and poor memory) and burst out crying because of the stress and the pressure and I'm a human being, not a robot, and there's only so long I can carry on working 10 to 12 hour days doing seven impossible things before breakfast before my brain just collapses. (And if I collapse, they really *are* in trouble because no one else here understands the legacy system and What Went Wrong with it.)

I'm not sure what any of that is about. Probably to explain why I was so burned at last night's rehearsal. Which I'll talk about in another post.


At 4:26 PM GMT, Blogger Farfisa said...

Oh, the old "social skills" thing.
At my last job, I was written up because my eyes are light green. Yep, they thought I was stoned at work. It was just the eyeliner I had on that made my eye's look super weird/light coloured/etc.
They were just fishing for excuses to get rid of me. I'm not saying that this is your case. It's probably not. They just figured out that you're smart and a good worker so they want to take advantage of it.
At that "hen house"(it was like working in a bloody henhouse!)they started to pile on the responsibilities without giving me the proper compensation($$$).
Next job I get I'm going to do no more than what is required! Then maybe I won't have to drive ome in tears everyday.
Yeah, I wound up leaving on my lunchbreak and never going back.
I'll never understand why employers feel they have to make your life hell. Like you're going to automatically stop thinking about your crap day when you leave work. NO! How can you not bring your work home with you?!

At 5:24 PM GMT, Blogger Masonic Boom said...

My boss did actually take me aside later and apologise to me, and asked how we could both work together to try and workaround each others' foibles. So I guess that's a good sign.

And hopefully things won't go the way of your hen house (though lord knows I've suffered through jobs like that so you have my commiseration.)

On the whole, I like the people I work with, even if it's bloody difficult work sometimes - I'd rather be challenged than bored, TBH.


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