Sunday, September 27, 2009

Database and Derrida

I have been a bit remiss about updating the blog the last three days. We have had a contractor here who is--finally after 11 years--giving us a back yard. The sound and sights of a backhoe moving dirt from the pile in the front yard to the back has distracted me and made it hard to focus.

I did outline a few of my next steps. One of the things I promised to write was an appendix on how to use Access with the book. (I used SQLExpress.) So I need to recreate the book's database in Access. The design parts will all be the same, but I will need to show how to actually create the tables and relationships in access. I will also have to run all the SQL from my SQL chapter to see if it works in Access. The security chapter will be the difficult one. Access security is nothing like SQL Server security, and Access doesn't support stored procedures. For the ASP.Net Chapter all I should have to do is change the connection string.

On the side, or at the corners, or in whatever gaps of time occur, I have been reading Derrida on Plato and Mallarme. Derrida was one of my excuses for not getting a PHD when I finished my Masters--or rather Deconstruction was. The Liberal Arts departments in the major universities were involved in an outright war among competing philosophies--Deconstructionism, Structuralism, New Criticism. Jobs were lost for not espousing the appropriate jargon at a given university. I thought none of that had anything to do with literature and so went to work for the Forest Service instead of continuing after my masters.

I still think that was true. But, years later, I have come to actually read Derrida. I don't agree with all his pronouncements on language and meaning, but I find his discussion of specific texts surprisingly, for me, insightful and interesting. I love his book on Paul Celan, and am learning a great deal about Mallarme. . .

What Derrida and Database have in common is any one's guess. It is one of the conundrums of my life trying to reconcile my irreconcilable inclinations. But at least it keeps me occupied. I am not often bored.

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