October 21st, 2003



I'm having It's a Small World moments right and left here at this conference Last night at a reception I ran into Chris Johnson, an AI hacker who was a graduate student at Northwestern while I was there. That's a minor instance, though. I happened to catch a glimpse of a nametag that said Rome, NY... which is where willowisp and her family are from. sylke, the person who belongs to that nametag, grew up (and has family) in Durham, NC, maybe five miles from where I lived while I was going to school at UNC. She plays (or at least played) on Pern MU*s: one of her dragons is listed in the All the Weyrs list, which willowisp maintains. Beyond that, she is (or at least was) active in the SCA, so the odds are very high that clubjuggler either knows who she is or (with probability approaching one) knows someone who knows her.

This sort of thing has been happening to me on a regular basis as of
late. The most dramatic example before this one was one that willowisp mentioned in her journal: when it first became clear that we were going to move to Albuquerque, she went looking for LJ folk around here. She found quite a few. Then, when she started volunteering at Kitty City, she arranged to meet a couple of them over kittens one afternoon and brought them home to visit and talk for a little while. The following exchange took place once echoweaver and I started talking about where we were from...

E: "Yeah, I grew up in Indiana, went to high school there."

Me: "Where?"

E: "Oh, Indianapolis."

Me: "Where?"

E: (cautiously) "...Carmel?"

Me: "It's a small world. I grew up near Greenwood. My parents live
in Zionsville nowadays." (Note: Zionsville and Carmel are maybe 15
minutes apart.)

E: "You're kidding. Where did you go to high school?"

Me: "Perry Meridian, down on the south side."

E: "You might have known a friend of mine. I think he was there
around that time. His name's B...?"

Me: "...his first initial is G and he works on Debian now, right?"

E: (stunned look of disbelief)

I'm not sure where this is going to go next. I would only be half
surprised to hear that erish's significant other is
working on a project that's going to involve visualization work
happening at Sandia... and oh, by the way, I'll be working on it. I
suspect that if too much of this happens my brain will explode. I can think of worse ways to go.