10 Feb 01 
Just a little note. (Yeah, I know, I've typed it before.  But don't I 
usually deliver something of use when I break that promise?  No?  Well, go 
do something else then.  I don't =make= you read this.) 
Which (the parenthetical comment) is to the point: annoying messages.  The 
Catholic Center gets unwanted advertising faxes (faxen?  never mind), 
people get phone calls from credit card and long distance companies (oh 
yeah, mine just sent me a "ultra-liberal events around nyc" list.  i think 
i'll pass on the composting tour today.  i swear, i'm only in it for the 
low rate and the ben & jerry's (which i no longer get... hmmm)), and i've 
been getting emails from the ncssm alumni list.  Oh yeah, I usually 
capitalize in this journal.  whatever. 
I wonder why there's this big "me too" movement from people on mailing 
lists.  Usually the impulse dies down after the first couple volleys, but 
give me a break.  Yes, I'm a naturally voluble person, but I'm not filling 
up your email with my posts.  They sit here, waiting for you to 
come.  (and thank you for coming!  the words don't feel lonely 
anymore.  Perhaps next time you should bring them a host gift, like a 
4-pack of Guinness Draft or something.  Just a thought.)   
In a related note, I want to describe a game from FUN at Mathcamp that Ari 
taught us... blind counting.  It was one of the weirdest experiences.  You 
sit in a dark room with lots of other people, and try to count.  The count 
shall always start at 1 ("and the number of the counting shall be 
three.... Five is right out!..."), not necessarily starting with the same 
person.  No person is allowed to say two numbers consecutively.  There is 
to be no set pattern (it's difficult to set a pattern), there is no set 
rhythm.  So what's the catch?  If two people say the same number at the 
same time, you have to start all over again.  This can be a very 
nerve-wracking or a very relaxing, yet high-attention, situation.  I know 
we got up to 30 once, but I really can't remember the largest number we 
ever counted to.  It has a measured pace, for if the gaps become too long, 
the temptation to say a number becomes overwhelming to more than one 
person, and if the gaps are too short, people are likely to step on each 
other's words and one has to begin again. 
Anyway, try it at your next party.  Tell me how far you get. 
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