Lorelai, Maven changelog plugin, the government shutdown

Things I have travelled across:

  • github-issues-maven-plugin generates a markdown file with a list of closed issues for a target milestone. Useful for creating release notes.
  • The death of a child is always heart-wrenching. 🙁 Rest in peace, little one, even though I only knew you through friends of friends.
  • Bless social media for bringing people together… except social media as a benefit assumes that people are basically good. If we can learn anything from the arc of human history, it’s that many people are basically good… and the bad actors ruin it for everyone. Social media is affected negatively by the presence of a few bad actors, and there’s no real way to fix it that I can see. Every fix is worse than the original problem.
  • I don’t quite understand why people are feeling victorious over Trump ending the government shutdown: all this means is that – for once – he adulted first. He, unlike his political opponents, managed to put the good of the country above his political aims. Sure, it was late… but he still got there first. Way to “win,” Democrats?

The simplest words

I was thinking of my epitaph this morning, after reading the colophon of a book I love. It struck me how different my epitaph would be, if it said “He died,” with the addition of one word: “And.”

Both are good epitaphs, I suppose; they communicate the essential information.

When I die, I will be dead: “He died” is appropriate, final, and enough.

But how much greater would it be, for the me who will no longer exist, for my epitaph to be “And he died”? It implies that there was more: I lived, perhaps I loved, perhaps I did… such that my death will have been the period at the end of a life’s sentence.

I don’t think I’m afraid of death. I’ve seen it too much to appreciate its rarity for each life. My own recent brush with death was amusing in how nearly trivial it was, and the primary anecdote from it was from deep within a morphine fugue; no profound utterances from the World to Come from me… just something humorous about a whale.

But what I am afraid of is having something ungiven. I want my cup to be empty when I die. I want to be able to say “It is complete.” I want the choice to add or ignore the “and” to my epitaph to be deliberate.