Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

03 Jul 2001, 10:01 a.m.

Declension and Fall of the Roman Empire

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2001 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Maybe the reason the Roman Empire fell was that its inhabitants were just sick and tired of asking, "should this be in the dative or the accusative?" and instead said, "[expletive] it, we'll just stop talking." And the empire was doomed. If only they'd had Esperanto.

I Can't Stop Eating Cheap Ice Cream. Twenty-five cents for a yummy cold chocolatey snack on a hot summer day. Yum.

Today, a small entry, followed by a larger one.

I should mention, regarding Seth's mention of my bit about layers of symptoms and problems inherent in my decision to take or not take some eye drops for my tired, dry eyes, that I eventually took the eye drops. But I'm also trying to get lots of sleep and water. Short-term and long-term solutions. After all, when the short-term and long-term solutions are not mutually contradictory, and one is relatively trivial, why not use both?

At least I haven't had a really bad eye day yet.

Ancient [Chinese] sitcom. I remembered, bizarrely, an episode of the sitcom "Mr. Belvedere" today (premise: he's an English butler, she's a suburban Pittsburgh family, they're cops), in reference to the phenomenon in which a person lies about some fact so well and for so long that he forgets the original truth.

Obligatory Cryptonomicon reference. What is the term Stephenson uses in his description of the -- striated! That's it! Captain Crunch nuggets are "striated pillow"-shaped! Finally! I've been trying to remember all day! I remembered that it was a word like "serrated," but not. And now I remember. "Striated." Ah, I can sleep now.

First published by Sumana Harihareswara at