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Using Statistics to Coddle Vagrants

I left Microsoft at the end of May, largely so that I could write my opus magnum book on Excel. At the time I set a September 1 deadline for having the first draft done. That seemed like the right amount of time, but I failed to predict that I'd spend a substantial chunk of August doing consulting work, and so I slipped the deadline.

I shifted it two weeks later, to September 15, which I slipped again due to unavoidable commitments like going to the Puyallup Fair and drinking beer and napping. Finally I pushed it to September 17, which I met by arbitrarily deciding that several components of the book were "not part of the first draft." Right now I'm letting people read it for feedback, after which I'll revise it, beg famous authors for blurbs (*cough* Philip Roth *cough*), and start selling the heck out of it.

While the book is out for alpha testing, I've shifted gears for several days to focus on other things like fiction-writing contests and shaving and working on an Ignite Seattle talk.

Ignite Seattle is a 4-times-a-year collection of 5-minute talks. As best I can tell, you submit a proposal, and "they" choose their favorites to actually give the talks. I attended the last one, and a surprising number of the speakers were introduced as "my longtime friend" or "my frat brother from college" or "my concubine," which makes me suspect there's a cronyism element involved. There also appears to be some sort of sex-quotaism, as they back-patted themselves for exceeding the (presumably court-imposed) 40%-female-speakers requirement.

I didn't get the sense that the people picking the talks were demographically identical to the people listening to the talks, which sets up something of a political-primary dynamic: play to the base to get through the first round then pivot back to the center.

In any event, I think I need a more congenial title than "How Do You Like Obama Now, You Kitchen-Composting, Vagrant-Coddling, Prius-Driving Useful Idiots?" Maybe something more geek-friendly like "Eleven.com: Using Statistics to Model Elections in Washington State" or Seattle-friendly like "Home Composting Projects That Also Help Vagrants" or even a mixture of the two like "Using Statistics To Coddle Vagrants." [Insert your own p-value joke here.]

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