Recently I was assisting a friend of mine edit his dissertation. At some point I suggested that something needed a semicolon. Unfortunately I temporarily forgot what the word for the symbol was. However my natural response to this temporary recall problem was to gesture typing using my pinky.
I find it very interesting whenever memory fails in this manner, some portion of my brain is clearly aware of what it is searching for, but language facilities fail, while every other reference seems to be active. Why would the memory of typing activate positional memory in such a way that it succeeds before natural language can repond? Clearly this is an indication of how much time I spend at a keyboard, however I am intrigued whenever there are events in which one’s memory latches onto something that can be expressed through some facility other than naming it.
Is this case simply the same as describing other features of something in order to remember it? Is a property of semicolon’s that they are typed using the pinky? Or is the key used to type a semicolon another name for a semicolon?
Well, that’s my puzzling question for the day. Have fun!
It’s interesting how it’s necessary to mix and match good ideas correctly. Most of the time good ideas match well with good ideas. Sometimes, however, they don’t work out so nicely.
Case in point:
- Server rooms with air conditioning: good idea
- Server rooms with uninterruptable power supplies for backup power: good idea
However, backup power for servers without backup power for air conditioning is a problem. Power goes out, machines stay on, air conditioning turns off, and soon after that servers overheat.
If the machine room goes from quite warm behind a bank of machines to 65 degrees within about a meter, then air-conditioning probably needs backup power just as much as the machines do.
Random commentary in St. Louis Post Dispatch on Sunday;
“A man I met once compared soccer to McDonald’s – just because it’s everywhere doesn’t mean it’s any good. Soccer represents everything America was founded against – Europe, poverty, inequality, socialism, dictators, etc. – why would anyone to embrace it? People came here to get away from that, not transfer it.” – Dan Levin, Creve Coeur
I am somehow left a little uncertain on how Soccer represents dictators.
Written transcript of the speech. As well as video’s
The first quarter of part one is just introduction for Colbert and the last portion the “press conference” video is eh, but most of part 1 and all of part 2 is well worth watching. The transcript doesn’t quite do it justice. Seeing Bush sitting right next to him adds to the burning thrust of the jokes.
Notable excerpts from the transcript:
bq. "Now, I know there are some polls out there saying this man has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don’t pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in “reality.” And reality has a well-known liberal bias."
“I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound — with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world.”
Edit — May 5th
Apparently ABC News trained there camera on bush during this segment. Some interesting expressions were noted. Pictures of Bush during Colbert’s Speech.
The mainstream media remains enthralled by the Bush + Impersonator act, ignoring the main show. Just because reporters are everywhere, just because news is available 24/7 in real time with satellite feeds, embedded reporters and the kitchen sink in no way removes their ability to ignore anything they choose. No matter how much news is presented, something is ignored.
I just upgraded to the trunk of typo again. Unfortuneatly it appears that broke my quote controller, which was why the site was down for a few days. However I think now my quotes code is slightly more robust. I still need to figure out a nice way to include it within the typo database instead of in
On other fronts, I appear to be job hunting at the moment, though prospects for the summer at least seem to relatively good. The “where I am going to live for summer/fall” and “how I am going to graduate with a masters in december” problems both seem to have much less clear solutions at the moment. Not certain about fall employment either, though that is slightly less of a concern.
I aquired a fun new toy last week, a brand new Canon Digital Rebel XT, so hopefully some nice shots from that will be forthcoming presently.
I finally did some digital housekeeping I had meant to due for ages while procrastinating on various assignments. I reorganized all of my unix home directory dotfiles so they all live inside of a directory that is checked out of a SVN repository. Moving to a new box now involves a simple checkout of the code and running the setup.sh file to set up the symbolic links. It also exports a dotfile called .site-config into the home directory which exports information on where all the dotfiles are symlinked from. This allows me to let various auxiliary dotfiles remain inside of the source controlled directory. It also allows other programs like emacs to grab the location from the environment. I used to have a setup similar to this in which I just checked out the home directory itself, but that approach results in a number of annoying issues, chiefly namespace clobbering. When I get everything further along perhaps I will post it as an example. Most documentation one finds seems to describe how they setup there different dotfiles, but not how they manage them between hosts.
It’s probably one of those things that works best for the person that created it, but I would be curious to see how others have managed to solve this problem.
The Apple Mac-Book Pro appears to be a faster machine then it’s corresponding Motorola counterparts given numeric benchmarks. There is however an interesting fallacy involved in some of the qualitative testing being done between old and new Mac’s. This is excluding the interesting fact Apple always claimed that somehow PowerPC chips were faster then Intel chips until the moment they actually put Intel chips into their own machines.
The Ars Technica MacBook Pro article uses a very interesting qualatitive comparison I have seen exhibited elsewhere. That comparison is simply that applications feel faster to load. The fallacy lies in the choice of measuring said speed by the number of “bounces” before an application launches. While I am not a Mac user, my limited experience with them seems to suggest that this is the equivalent of the number of Windows hourglass flips or whatever the equivalent delay indicator in Gnome or KDE is. The interesting thing about using the number of “bounces” as a metric though is the speed of the bounces is probably a variable set somewhere in the operating system. So the easy way to make any application “feel” faster is to slow down the speed of the bounces. Not to say this is all that is occuring, but that is the sort of “feel” tweak that Apple is famous for.
me@acm ~ $ cat sotu_speech | ./markov.rb
the terror is only stronger protect the security offered against the goal is to grow the future of these two key issues, trade. Selling in case of Representment. (Applause.)
No nation against terrorist plans. (Applause.) Now American people every region, freed a country, we will never before, to put our homeland, America is acting elsewhere. At a memorial in New York, a little boy left his football until I can play with improved in the price of the state of our work, I even had nice thing possible military. (Applause.) Beyond all who have to risk losing everything to track the security can vanish in an hour of shock and more about right. (Applause.) We have founding. In every classroom. (Applause.) Senator Judd Gregg. (Applause.)
The last time of adversity offered again that including your nation owns these cases, these, and I urge the terror. And in caves — you will focus on that this chamber, the best that country, mourning them look like. We seek chemical weapons of murder, often support terrorist parasites who have lost the world, including groups. (Applause.) Last year, some thought it was done on September the secret police.
If anyone doubts this, let’s make our enemies’ hatred is equaled by them. We are one country’s armed with our country in a time of terror is only begun. This camps operate, so long as Congress is a regimes have lost fathers huddled over the 11th. But when the peace of the gather. I was proud of our entire world like Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic world faced a choice, made a fine start. To sustain and offers a unique role in applauding your neighbors and Senior Corps, doubles funding America will lead by defense spending for the non-negotiable and allies from Europe to Asia, and still exist in our work together. Deep in the price of this Congress must always standards and affordable energy. This is a regimes, are now have the non-negotiable demands of human dignity of every life. And the best trained terrorist training and al
Last week the film festival was in town. Only made it out to two films, but they were both quite excellent. Got a chance to see “Brick” and “A Wonderful Night in Split.”
“Brick” is perhaps best described as a noir film set in highschool. It was very odd, but quite good. The film work was a little bit rough here and there, but it did not detract from the movie. The script was excellent, the dialog was perhaps the part that tried to play to the noir style the most. In order to keep that style they sacrificed much of the potential realism of the high school setting, but successfully made nods to it here and there as a method of drawing out a laugh or a different perspective. The lack of realism did not detract from the film as it was clear from the beginning that some willing suspension of disbelief was expected. This gave the script free reign to mix and match serious and absurd in an entertaining manner. Femme fatales, crippled criminal masterminds, and a protaganist with an instinct for getting beaten up, yet continuing onward at all costs, the movie had it all.
“A Wonderful Night in Split” is a black and white film from croatia about three drug related tragedies that all cross each others paths on a new years eve in the croation city of Split. While aspects of the film are disturbing and depressing the film keeps itself level by keeping the underlying tone of the film a black comedy. The film work is excellent, black and white fireworks never looked so pretty. Good overlap, just enough to remind the viewer that each short was happening at the same time, but no more then that. A few of the actors over played a touch, but most of the characters seemed right on the ball for what the script intended them to be. Definitely a worthwhile film to see.
A couple of weeks ago I made it out to a conference in which a few members of the Institute for Applied Autonomy got a chance to speak.
There basic concept is they are trying to be the DARPA equivalent for the common protestor and activist.
They are friendly to the RTMark method of viewing the world.
They were sparked in particular by attending a DARPA conference in which they viewed such excellent military technologies like “Self Healing Minefields”
This was written in response to an assertion that the people we associate with should only be people that made us feel good all of the time. My apologies but I find myself forced to disagree.
I never met anyone in the world that I associated with that made me feel good all of the time.
This includes myself. Especially me.
So I certainly wouldn’t hold anyone else other then me to such a high standard that I frequently recriminate myself for not successfully matching.
That said, there is definitely a threshold at which point it is not worth it to deal with someone . I dunno if it’s above “most of the time”, “some of the time”, “a good portion of the time.” I do think it’s probably below “a bit of the time”, that seems to be below the threshold. Whatever the case the threshold definitely exists, and anyone below threshold is below threshold and not worth it. There are some people who are very borderline and those are the most dangerous to deal with.
Often because the only way they are at the threshold is that there is a simultaneous draw for them to be automatically below threshold and above threshold. Often the reasons for them to be in either place is complicated, horrible, wonderful, crazy, stupid, hateful, and any other emotional or rational overtone possible in the world.
This is simultaneously fortuneatly and unfortuneatly one of the central causes of the human condition. Hence why the human condition itself falls into said borderline threshold category. Anyway that’s my general opinion. Apologies for that. It leaves us with a wonderful horrible little tautology paradoxy thingy though. So I guess that’s cool. For the society for the study of wonderful horrible little paradoxical tautologies. If it exists. It should if it doesn’t. Maybe it’s called philosophy, science, or religion, right, maybe that was it. Can I answer all of the above? I never can remember.
As Douglas Adams stated so nicely in So Long and Thanks for All the Fish:
bq. God’s Final Message To His Creation is written in fire in letters
thirty-foot-high on the far side of the Quentulus Quazgar Mountains in the land of Sevorbeupstry on the planet of Preliumtarn, which orbits the star Zarss, which is located in the Gray Binding Fiefdoms of Saxaquine. The long path to the message is lined with souvenir stands at spaced-out intervals and the message says, “We apologise1 for the inconvenience.”
From the “we should look at things from other perspectives, but hopefully it won’t offend anyone” division
Or also perhaps the “This is all nonsense” division.
1 Apparently this is the british spelling or something according to my original source.