Memoro MMXVIII, Praedico MMXIX

Antonio Gramsci once wrote a quite brilliant essay on why he hates New Year's Day. He argues against it being a fossilised point, and would rather have a situation where: Every day I want to reckon with myself, and every day I want to renew myself. I admit that I am sympathetic to this point of view, however as much as one wants to do this, there is also value in graduated and longer-term planning and reflection. A daily reflection and plan, and monthly reflection and plan, quarterly, yearly, five-yearly, decal, until one's entire life is reflection and planning and, to borrow from Hannah Arendt, promising and forgiveness (if only to one's self). So dutifully, I look over the activities that have been in 2018 and that are to come for 2019.

1. Work and HPC

Memoro, this was my third year at the University of Melbourne and as I thought would be the case my title changed to Senior HPC Training and Support Officer and, following a very minor restructure with no change in activity, to Senior Developer-Operator Engineer. In the course of year the GPGPU cluster joined Spartan with total a aggregate performance of 900TF (around number 200 in the world if we ever had a system-wide LINPACK). During the course of the year I conducted around 20 training training courses (including a new course on GPU Programming), and joined the board of the International HPC Certification Programme, which also included a presentation at the International Supercomputing Conference (and a follow-up at SuperComputing). All up, IT nine papers and presentations this year, with attendence at five conferences, albeit only one international.

Praedico, my biggest disappointment of the past year was not getting some of the VPAC books in print, which is really quite poor of me, given that at least two are print ready; this year for sure. These texts, the HPC Certification Programme (which I'm dovetailing with a Master of Education), expanding the existing course of GPU programming, and developing a new course on Regular Expressions, are the major projects for the year. Conference-wise once again I have my eye on the International Supercomputing Conference (Frankfurt), and possibly TERATEC (Paris), and IC2E (Prague), which will make a nice trip and I assume I'll have to fight the university tooth-and-nail to get it funded. Actually, I confess that I am not really happy with my current workplace although I don't really show it (either in terms of productivity or disposition). Whether something changes there is an unknown for the coming year.

2. Politics

Memoro, both the Isocracy Network and the Victorian Secular Lobby are doing quite well again, however, smaller than the deserve to be. As with last year I've produced eight articles for the former, along with thirteen 'blog posts. I've also taken up a volunteer role at LabourStart and, appropriately was engaged in some successful industrial action. The State election was a big success as the opposition had swung to the far populist right, and I cannot help but think that one of my articles helped contribute, given some media voices I noticed. Once again four meetings with the groups and an expanded executive to include a member of Socialist Alliance, and even a French contact. The Labor-Greens Alliance side-group limps along, mainly because neither organisation is serious prepared to compromise in a manner that's not disingenuous or self-serving.

Praedico, again the biggest disappointment was planned publications that did not eventuate and for no good reason. Again, I still hope for three publications this coming year, the same as last year, one on Syria and Syrian refugees (which I will edit), one on Australia's former Deputy Prime Minister, Jim Cairns (which I have already written, years ago, but never published), and a Esperanto for Anarchists (which I have already started). One of these days I should really make a concerted effort of putting all the Isocracy theory into a single volume, as well. However, dovetailing again with studies, I forsee a significant emphasis on economic policy this coming year in articles and research.

3. Gaming

Memoro, this was the third year of the RPG Review Cooperative which saw the release of five issues (37-41), to a point where are remarkably up-to-date with our journal publication in its tenth year of publication. The committee is working well, the introduction of life membership has worked well, our library is bigger, and of course, we organised RuneQuest Glorantha Con Down Under III at Kryal Castle which was a huge success for the group, and to me personally, receiving the inaugural Greg Stafford Memorial Award. In personal gaming, I've continued to run HeroQuest Gloranhta, Eclipse Phase, and Exalted Journey to the Far West, and have played in RuneQuest and Megatraveller games in particular. There was also GMing at PAX-AU which was quite an event as well. Apart from my editorial work for the RPG Review journal, I wrote nine articles, yet had only one review on

Praedico, and to continue the theme, I didn't quite get the Papers & Paychecks supplement "printer ready", although that will be ready in a week. For some weird reason I forget about reviews, and I'll get those underway, post-haste. I also didn't get to hand over the editorial reins as planned, which means I'm still on the lookout for someone to take that role. Following some astounding generosity at the auction, RQ Con Down Under IV will happen and I forsee that I'll be the main person organising that as well. This month is Arcanacon and the Cooperative will be having its AGM at the event whilst also havin a second-hand games stall; which also means that the new online store will have to be ready by then as well, or at least sufficient for the event. There was talk of a Traveller Con as well, and that is still a possibility especially with the planned release of a new edition. For my own RPG activities, Eclipse Phase is several sessions short of completion, whilst HeroQuest is also at a similar point (but takes longer using PBeM). A new edition of Bunnies & Burrows has been released and there's good possibility of taking up a role there in future publications.

4. Philosophy, Languages, and Other Academia

Memoro, I completed a frankly ridiculous seven skill trees in Duolingo, although this said five were more intensive studies between languages (e.g., French to German, German to French) rather than new languaes, of which I completed two (Italian and Portuguese). I gave one presentation at The Philosophy Forum (philosophy of technology) and two at the Unitarian Church (environment and prophecy, Martin Luther King Jnr), and also one at the Human-Technology Relations Conference in The Netherlands (Immersion in HPC). Whilst I did not complete any degrees this year, I started three - a Masters of Science (which I've progressed a great deal), a Graduate Diploma in Economics and a Masters in Higher Education (both have modest progress).

Praedico that I'll complete the Duolingo skill trees for Russian and Chinese and continue the cross-language lessons for the West-Central European tongues. Ther is also Esperanto and Tetum projects to work as well, and I'm currently going over the French translation of Attack of the Fifty Foot Blockchain, which I'll finish ealry next week. However languages as a whole will be put a bit on the backburner as I work through the academic pursuits I have set myself. I have no doubt that I will finish my MSc this year and I am hopeful that I should pass the GradDip in Economics as well; the MHEd is two years so that should be done by 2020.

5. The Aesthetic Dimension and Travel

Memoro, I am still attending gigs and writing reviews for Rocknerd, albeit only three completed this year - Snog and Severed Heads, The Chameleons, and Blue Man Group. Also attended The The which was reviewed just on this year. Still going The Astor on roughly a monthly basis, with many enjoyable and memorable sessions at that classic deco cinema, and I suppose I should mention that when we take a trip to Europe we find ourselves in art galleries, museums, and the like (although, to an extent, Europe is an art gallery and museum). This year, as we travelled from Frankfurt and Mainz, to Heidelburg and Stuttgart, to Luxembourg, to Brussels, to Ghent, to The Hague, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Enschede, and then Oldenburg and Berlin. I should also mention the conference visit to Fremantle which, although short, was quite lovely,

Praedico, that there will be more of the same (but different) on this activity. I should write more for Rocknerd, especially given that I can produce a review a day on new albums (just jot down a couple of lines whilst listening). Concerts are harder, and books harder still, and I still have some of those in the works. Astoundingly, I did not go to New Zealand last year, so certainly ammends must be made in that regard, certainly within the next six weeks or so. I already have a Europe trip planned for the middle of the year (a residency in Zurich is required for the MSc programme), and there's the aforementioned IT conferences on around the same time. It would be nice to see Prague this tim around.

6. Personal

Memoro, I had my fiftieth orbit around the sun this year which was a good opportunity for reflection on that part of life's journey; the dinner gathering was quite memorable in the company of many old friends. For some unfathomable reason caseopaya is still hanging out with me and providing the necessary support on life's journey. There was also the addition of Sabre cat to the household following Tojo's sudden demise who is still a grumpy creature, but gradually being more accepting. Managing Rick's affairs as his power of attorney has been one of constant stress, but also one which I am responsible for. Overall my physical health is slightly on the worse side, whilst my wealth has improved.

Praedico, that there going to be more Rick issues to sort out - his apartment has been cleaned out which means that selling it can commence. His health is not great and I don't know how many years (or months) he has left. My own health needs more attention as well. I do keep track of these things and I know that my general level of fitness is probably as bad as it's ever been. I have also set an objective of getting rid of a lot of stuff this year. I like living in a small library and everything, but now I have Rick's collection of books as well. I have reached the point where I don't need to buy another book of the rest of my life - so some serious decluttering is on the agenda.

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