I cancelled all my upcoming conference presentations.
I had heart surgery twice this year, and once in 2007. I have to make sure it doesn't happen again. I've done the research and it turns out the surgery I received was unnecessary. Not only that, it increases the risk of heart attack. I'm going to look into filing a malpractice suit, but it might not make a difference: this surgery is the norm for my symptoms. (And my symptoms were certainly serious.)
It might shock people to realize this, but there is very little scientific research done to validate surgical procedures. It makes perfect sense if you ask yourself where a researcher would find a valid control group. You would need a group of people diagnosed with identical illnesses, some of whom chose not to receive surgery. Identical illnesses are themselves quite rare. People who choose not to receive surgery are also quite rare.
Fairness to the doctors who performed this unnecessary, endangering surgery on me aside, however, I still need to avoid having any more unnecessary, endangering surgery. And that means I have to avoid any more of these very serious symptoms. I have a solution for this, but its starting assumption is that these doctors must have been idiots. It goes on from there to get even more controversial.
I've discovered that sharing my more controversial opinions leads to all kinds of tweets and e-mails, and "all kinds of tweets and e-mails" includes "idiotic tweets and e-mails" because "all kinds" means all kinds and "idiotic" is a kind. So I'm going to keep silent because of all the idiots who say stupid things to me. I would love to say "you know who you are", but that's the whole problem with idiots in the first place, they never do. Rather than opening up my unusual methods for public debate, I'm going to wait until I have some extraordinary results to report and let you know then.
One last thing: I will be going to at least one conference this year. It isn't a tech conference. It's a conference for professional artists working in the entertainment industry. It's in Los Angeles, where I live, so it doesn't require a plane trip, it doesn't threaten to undermine my very strict dietary regimen, and it isn't in the reserved block of time (at least six weeks) during which, for medical reasons, I won't be working or online.
I'm looking forward to this immensely, but I'm very disappointed to miss the confs I would have been speaking at. I would have gone to Toronto, France, and Hawaii. I would have squeezed in visits with family in both Toronto and England, I might have found the set for LOST while in Hawaii, and I would have very much enjoyed performing live. Greg Borenstein and I hatched up an amazing plan for tech-assisted live music, and Greg will still be bringing his half of it to Future Ruby. I wish I could be there to check it out.