Wednesday, March 31, 2004

F u t u r e M e . o r g

This is a brilliant idea.

You are really a series of You's, a kind of temporal phantom of identity. Who know what you'll be interested in, who you'll be dating, where you will live in the future, you certainly don't!

Send some future mails, reminds yourself of who you used to be.
OkCupid! Test Page

Turning the Tide

okay, the world is completely different now. Ladies and gentlemen, a new blog, for your consideration. It contains the usual thoughts, ruminations, and opinions of it's author. It is varied in it's posting schedule.

And the author is a guy, like most blogs, who has something to say. The difference? this blog is by NOAM CHOMSKY. noam fucking chomsky.

Noam Chomsky. This is a man who has been described by his fans and detractors as the most influential intellectual in the whole world. in the world. and he has a blog.

He uses movable type, just like half of everybody else. He has his links, to Z mag and such.

When did the world switch over? Yesterday I was logging into prodigy net, and wondering if books would be available on the internet, the next I'm reading something that Noam Chomsky wrote twelve hours ago.

Good god. There is going to be a shakedown in blogs, I think, in terms of actual readership. and Now wilwheaton is competing with Neil Gaiman and Noam Chomsky. The little blogs will remain, of course, like mine, and my friends, just to keep people up to date, but I think the days of no name folk with a good gimmick becoming the most popular blog of the world for whatever reason.. it's not going to happen anymore. blogs are hitting the big time.

for the same reasons that it hit the little time. they're fun to read, and easy to write.

famous and powerful intellectuals are lazy and silly too, i guess.

I wonder if he'll get into the habit, and start blogging about his sandwiches and crap. That would be too hilarious.
a ha.

got to read and try to learn and apply the internal scripting language tonight.

didn't actually get much written, but I have a much better idea of how I need to do things.

I do so enjoy learning things I had no idea about. You wonder, and you read, and you play, and then you look back, and all the pieces fit, and you know what the path might be now, where before there was but darkness.

That is why growing is good.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004


ever want to see what the world of internet dating is like, but don't want to pay for or those other services? Like answering millions of silly questions on bizarre topics? Like clicking through craploads of people and judging them on their pictures, and some sparse and largely indecipherable text?

umm, maybe?

You may want to bookmark this for a free moment. It seems to be getting very popular.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Saved! Quicktime Trailers

Check to see if it's coming to a city near you! I went to a private christian high school(strange, I know, but the education was good). And I can certify, this is an amusing movie, that contains a great love story.

for you christians out there, it is not relentless christian bashing(although I would have welcomed that) it is a much classier movie than it's silly little preview makes it seem.

for you atheists, it is not christian propaganda.(it is a much classier movie than that). It is in fact, nuetral on the subject of religion, and concentrates, quite properly, on the people.

for people of other traditions. this movie might not make sense. It relies on a knowledge of christianity and some of it's practices, and a cultural understanding of of a baseline to compare the culture presented in the movie to.

It's still a touching love story, though.

Macaulay returns!
arg. I meant to wake up this morning, but I slept straight through, and now it's eleven again. I should get something loud for an alarm, or maybe construct an elaborate physical wakeup.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

(Now Playing) Jimi Hendrix -The Wind Cries Mary

Today has been interesting, at turns exciting and sad. Cory is in bad trouble. I may be visiting SLC next month, to see if I can help out, and offer support.

Interesting times on the project, lots of good progress.

Got my ass handed to me on KGS today. It was a lot of fun. I enjoy learning a lot, and I certainly freaking learned a lot.

Got a bunch of emails today from local folk from orkut and/or other internet forums. So I may have a more social month coming up than this last one. That will be nice. People from LA Futurists, and things like that. A friend of Richard's.

It's been pretty quiet lately, which is why I kind of welcomed this crisis. I really hope it gets resolved, but it does draw one out. I wouldn't have thought to visit Salt Lake this soon(wouldn't be able to justify it to myself). But now I may have to. It's interesting.

ach. How dark the night is. My jimi hendrix resonates...

"He cries oh girl you must be mad..
wht happened to the sweet love you and me had?
against the door he leans, and starts a scene
and his tears fall and burn a garden green..

..and so castles made of sand,
fall into the sea

be good, everyone.

Friday, March 26, 2004

arg. I am upset about this, and being a bit slow and behind on my work too.

It's times like these when I miss Becky Rhamey. I don't suppose any of you know her? Beautiful blond girl, she lived in cincinnati, then Salt Lake City, then Louiseville, then moved to Oregon, and I lost track of her. She was a lovely actress.

I miss her because I haven't heard from her in some time, and talking to her always made me feel calm, without losing emotional connections to whatever was bothering me. She was very caring, and very lighthearted. I of course had a terrible crush on her, but nothing ever came of it.

I think of her occasionally, though. and some measure of peace returns, even with that faint memory. I should try to find out where she is... The internet fails me..
Okay, whoa. My friend Cory went to the courthouse today, and Now he's being thrown in jail for failure to pay monies owed the state. That is teh suck, indeed.

I don't have any money to help the man out. If anyone out there has loose cash for bail money, you should probably talk to Justin Cram, who is organizing the bailout.

Cory isn't the richest guy in the world, nor the best with keeping on top of these legal realities, but I really wouldn't want to see him in jail for it. Nasty.

Msg me on IM or email, and I'll give you Cram's number if you'd like to help.

Good Luck, Cory.
QDB: Quote #255209

hurts my soul to laught this way....

Thursday, March 25, 2004

(Now Playing): Olive -You're not Alone.

It's like Dori says. Just keep swimming.
(Now Playing): Blackalicious - Deception

My weakness at math has always been a thorn in my side. I have to steal math from other people, assuming they've done it right, and research just about every serious concept I want to use until I think I halfway understand it.

Higher maths are especially difficult. I just don't have a fundamental understanding of most of the concepts. This makes interpreting some physical theory very difficult firsthand.

I mention this because it's very difficult for me to think about concepts that I haven't grounded relatively far down to their constituent behaviors. I had to do some work today regarding clustering of vector information, and spent a good deal of time looking at low dimensionality representation of vector distributions, and how dimensionality affects absolute distance, and things like that.

This lead to various work on display theory, graph theory, things like that. I'm not sure there is an easy way to display that kind of information, but I have a more solid understanding of the kind of data I'm dealing with, anyway.

I also went and did the stairs in Santa Monica again today. The stairs are a set rising up a bluff near the ocean. It's a very very long set, I don't remember the exact number of individual steps, but the rise is quite lengthy.
Last week, I managed a pitiful 5 trips up and down, huffing and puffing. This week I'm up a bit, I managed 8, not without a few problems. We'll see how I feel about it tomorrow.

More Go fun. I'm registered on KGS now, which I've found to offer a good amount of competition. My rank is now properly reflected quite a bit lower, around 10k. Spending quite a bit of time over on taking their timed ranked tests. Lots of fun.

Interesting mini conversation with Peter tonight. Peter is what I guess you would call a neo-Objectivist. He's not exactly 'atlas shrugged is the word of god' but he does think that she had a very serious point. Amusingly, it was sparked by my post below on truth and facts. Rationalists like facts, because they let you get things done. In a field like mine, where no one has ever done what you're trying to do before, you have a very big lack of metrics and boundaries to guide you. So you take hold of what facts you can, and try your very best to keep close to what you are pretty sure about. And most importantly, you dont' make it any harder than it has to be. Your personal feelings, intuitions, values, or guesses can't interfere when new information comes it. You have to keep moving.

I guess every one is really in that same boat, in the end. It just seems worse, since I'm used to being able to look up data on everything normally.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

my good friend Josh Fergason had a killer line tonight, in an email he sent me:

"people all are concerned with being right, rather than being factual."

It struck me that there is a real difference between the social and interpersonal valuation of being 'right', and the less popularly aimed and achieved goal of being in line with reality.

Many would be rationalists seem to be mostly concerned about provability, and having coherent backstories. but the root, the real line to follow, is being as close to the facts as possible.

It's important that we don't get into the awful trap of trying to construct our writings and thoughts in ways that are hard to show as wrong, or very fault-tolerant. It is exactly wrong. We should build our structures in unfortified, vulnerable ways. We should wear our assumptions on our sleeves. Because if we are wrong, we need to know as soon as possible.

I want to know the truth. I want to succeed. I can't do it if I spend my time trying to be right. Defending positions. You can't fight the truth while you keep using parts of it. You just waste time. If someone has a piece of the truth that you don't have, you should want them to prove you wrong, to torpedo your theory. There is no such thing as useful investment. If you are wrong, then it's to be abandoned, and the Visigoths chipping away at your city walls are doing you a favor.

We should all do as much as we can to ensure that the Romes of our thoughts and beliefs may be destroyed in a day, should they be found to lie outside the realm of facts.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Avalanche Company: The 213 Things Skippy is No Longer Allowed to Do in the U.S. Army

This is a very bored individual. It appears to be almost all true, too. Checking the wayback machine shows that this list was updated on an orderly schedule by some family members of his. The websites are all gone now, of course.

I have occasionally considered military conscription, in the form of draft or similar. I'm not really sure how I would handle it. But we'll see what happens.

In the meantime, enjoy this list of things that Soldiers are not allowed to do.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

DARPATech 2004 | Proceedings

New and interesting ways to protect the fine citizens of the United States by killing people.

DARPA is perhaps the most successful government program of all time, producing massive amounts of value, and fostering amazing development. But the directionality of the fostering is neccesarily quite unpleasant ot think about too much.

I thought about applying for SBIR qualifying rounds with some of my artificial intelligence research on my own. As some of the outstanding projects fit comfortably within my project goals. The downsides are complete loss of control, it being shifted in purpose towards whatever nefarious goals the official designation proposed.

Lucky I managed to find someone else to sponsor me in my research. Yay for research teams. The downside being that I am now following someone else's line of research, which is of course suboptimal(my ideas being the best!), which means I spend a lot of time recapitulating past work, and getting to work within the idiom. But this is more efficient, and it's at a more advanced stage. So the tradeoffs are quite simple to evaluate.

hmph, these late night posts always turn into roaming evaluative sessions. I should close this up, print my latest write up, and go to bed, early meeting tomorrow.

I spent part of today marveling at the facility of the internet to connect me to many many people, without actually providing any of the solace of companionship. I should really try to get out more. Or something.

Oh, interesting, Joshua(coworker) and I started the first of a series of long term Go games, setup between his and my desk. We play moves in pauses of work, when inspiration strikes, or in small fast play sessions. We talk over the strategy, which helps raise the level of play a bit, along with the taking of much time, when neccesary. This first game is holding at about 60 moves(joshua is asleep now), and it looks like this is a good idea.

I am winning, of course. ;-) I have a bit more time put into Go than josh, but talking all the strategy aloud keeps me from doing stupid tricky newbie things to him.

I was recently told that IGS(the server I play on) is bad, and I should switch over to KGS for good players, and better rankings. The guy who told me that was pretty strong, and I've long suspected that my 1 kyu rating was massively overinflated by the rated games I've played on IGS. So I'll probably start playing over on KGS instead, using their webclient. More as this develops. (Since I'm sure you're all riveted by the minutia of an amateur Go player advancing in his spare time)

Been listening to girl bands like Poe and Pink, and Laika for sentimental reasons.

Ah, the fair lost to me,
the fair and passionate.
How I hate this distance, and the result.
It was real!
I am not just a memory.
I am not the past.
I am still here.
I continue on overdrawn hope.
You can cash or continue
I guess it's always been so.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Not much today, lots of meetings, some work, nothing to be passionate about.

Send me emails! damn you! I need grist for my idea-maker, and I need interaction. I love talking to people about things, and I got so burned on talking to the same group that I actually logged onto EFnet and Dal net for a little bit, had some discussions about Go, and movies, and some math, after failing at helping someone with some partial differential equations(sorry observer)

I should probably give orkut a chance to work, and msg some locals some more. Get a few social calls setup. But I don't really want to. I like the people I know. They're just not available to me, or not feeling talkative lately.

Fun stuff.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy: Bad TV

For Loren.

Ah, conspiracy. The very juice of paranoia. The strange thing is that despite my disbelief in a great many sources of madness(superstitions, paranormals, most conspiracies) I can often find many beliefs that I have, regarded as complete and utter nonsense by mainstream journalism. But then, journalism has never been a good judge of character. I try to give everything a fair think through, regardless of my initial reaction, but sometimes I can't.

Other things, I turn to the internet.

But everything is just likelihood, and nothing is certain. Except perhaps math. But I disagree with some math too, so I suppose all I have is my self. (but not neccesarily all my memories, or the context they are in).

Can you dig it? Assuming you are out there?

Thursday, March 18, 2004

I can't tell you how lovely it is to have a long conversation with someone on a subject they know more about than you. Yi Shi, you are my hero.

Orkut finally comes through on the promise of interesting new people. Thus far, we've had restructuring of friends, rediscovery of old friends, and interesting special purpose groups for conversations. Perhaps this is a new phase?

Ah the young and the brilliant, Yi Shi is only 19. I start finally to see why my friends were all worried and somewhat uncomfortable with me about. I like the feeling. Makes me feel as if I must move forward. Which I am, of course. The analogy breaks down. I moved past people when I am younger than them, but Yi Shi hasn't quite blown past me yet, despite her great knowledge of areas I have not read in. Micheal Annissimov may be more worrying, though I haven't talked with him enough to really know.

We'll see.
Doomed Engineers

It is instructive to know what has come before us. Engineers are the closest I have to spiritual brethren. They are makers, artists of steel, physics, and code. Here is a darkly interesting page on Engineers who have perished in terrible ways.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

why are these threads so amusing to me? puns are for the weak.
The PENTABARF was discovered by the hermit Apostle Zarathud in the Fifth Year of The Caterpillar. He found them carved in gilded stone, while building a sun deck for his cave, but their import was lost for they were written in a mysterious cypher. However, after 10 weeks & 11 hours of intensive scrutiny he discerned that the message could be read by standing on his head and viewing it upside down.


I - There is no Goddess but Goddess and She is Your Goddess. There is no Erisian Movement but The Erisian Movement and it is The Erisian Movement. And every Golden Apple Corps is the beloved home of a Golden Worm.

II - A Discordian Shall Always use the Official Discordian Document Numbering System.

III - A Discordian is Required during his early Illumination to Go Off Alone & Partake Joyously of a Hot Dog on a Friday; this Devotive Ceremony to Remonstrate against the popular Paganisms of the Day: of Catholic Christendom (no meat on Friday), of Judaism (no meat of Pork), of Hindic Peoples (no meat of Beef), of Buddhists (no meat of animal), and of Discordians (no Hot Dog Buns).

IV - A Discordian shall Partake of No Hot Dog Buns, for Such was the Solace of Our Goddess when She was Confronted with The Original Snub.

V - A Discordian is Prohibited of Believing what he reads.

Monday, March 15, 2004

I've been off this thing for too long. Have to keep in the habit! A plane ditched into the Marina del Rey beach today, a little two person beechcraft. It had Millenium StationAir TC on the tail. The pilot did a decent job of it, although it was a crappy place to ditch. He managed to get mostly parallel to the beach, and avoid the lifeguard huts and wires. He got in slow enough that it didn't cartwheel when it touched down, and the plane got about 15 meters before the sand ripped the front wheel off. After that things kind of went to hell. The plane nosed into the sand, and the prop went nuts, flew all to pieces. Then the back wheels were ripped off, and the plane started to slide sideways, and one wing promptly snapped off as soon as it touched the sand. It came to rest about a hundred feet from where it first hit the sand, nose buried in the ground, tail in the air. When the people were gone, they left a security guard , and put cones around the plane, as well as the trench it left in the sand. Police reasons, I suppose.

I probably would have ditched into the ocean. There are too many people on the beaches, he could have killed someone.

I had a fun weekend. Dinner with my dad and sister. But it's time to get back to work. ph34r the skillz!

Heh heh, in IRC today I got to explain why you still matter in a Many Worlds interpretation of QM. ph34r the timeless 4d universe!

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

I am, among other things, an incredible geek.

I have been for most of my life, despite having something of a nonstardard geek childhood. In many ways I think this has crippled my development as a geek, but it results in a much more varied life overall.

I was pretty physically active as a kid, partially because of my parents signing me up for things I wasn't particularly interested in. I wasn't encouraged towards anything violent(my mom is something of a pacifist) although I did get to take Tae Kwon Do and Judo for short periods at various times. So no football. I was introduced to gymnastics, bless the maker, and it is a continuing passion of mine to watch and enjoy my awkward attempts at it. (tumbling especially, but there's a place near my home with high bars, rings and parallel bars, which I've been going to)

I never really had any social problems as a kid. I did have mostly geek-like friendships, but I hit puberty early so I never got tormented or anything. I did pretty well, mostly, in high school I did theatre and cross country, later founding a martial arts club, which probably didn't survive my graduating class, and doing a lot of art my senior year.

I did spend a lot of time reading, and on the computer in my private time, but I've often felt like I'm catching up from behind on such matters. After high school I began to realize the power and importance of computers and technology, and science in general, and began investing time much more heavily in those areas.

As a result I often feel like a second class geek. I started with the dating and socializing pretty early, and never had many issues with that(save the self generated ones), and have lots of life outside those contexts. I don't have deep detail filled knowledge of computers or geek life. Most of my ability in those areas is largely powered by a relatively small dataset, and massive extrapolation. And I don't really have time to replace that, in a general sense. I'm too busy extending my knowledge in frontier areas, cognitive science, and current trend-based information.

When I have a few years of quiet time, I'd like to play some video games that are largely considered mandatory, and perhaps explore the wayback machine a bit. install a custom linux machine rather than use automated distros, with production software. Spend some time on open-source projects with silly or idealistic goals, like openS/WAN(it's dead now, I know) or pygame kinds of things. But that's probably not going to happen soon, unless I happen to find some way to obsolete myself in my current projects. And by then, of course, there will be even more to do, no doubt.

Monday, March 08, 2004

New Scientist

Hydrogen Fuel cells get a boost of power, using microchannel technology. Happily, it doesn't work for methanol cells(I'm not a fan of toxic wasteproducts in my electronics) so it looks like we may get straight hydrogen cells after all. Another good point is that this may spill over into large format reversible fuel cells, which are my technology of choice to take over in energy storage. (as much as I like flywheels, it hasn't been demonstrated they have the density or robustness yet. )

If this comes to market soon, you may have very long lived laptops, through battery replacement schemes. I'm not sure if that's the form-factor they're designing right now, but that's the one that would work the best. Solving the problem of long livedness would got a long way towards helping people live better, more wired lives. I need a laptop, but maybe I should wait until Apple promo's this technology.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

This mango here on my desk isn't ripe yet. I'll sit it on top of my monitor, and watch it change colors over the next day or so, until it's yellow and ready to eat. The mango is very unhappy to be here, I think. He doesn't see any sandy soil to fall in, no birds to carry him far from his parent tree. I understand how he feels. I wasn't made to sit in front of this screen, and twiddle my fingers. I was made to hunt, and run, and laugh. To find the perfect woman, and to draw her close to me, and to jealously protect her, and the family that we raised.

But then, this mango is delicious. And I was made to die before I was thirty, and to never see more than a few hundred miles of savannah, to never think of much beyond what I could see. I am a little out of place, but that discomfort is little issue, compared to what I can do because of it.

There were too many couples on the beach today. It was very sad. So many of them seemed unhappy, walking a few feet away from each other, or limply holding hands, looking in opposite directions. I wanted to shout, "don't you understand what you have?"! "Talk! Laugh!, take her face in your hands, feel her hands on your body, Kiss each other, and say the things you can say to someone who you trust with your body..."

I didn't. Perhaps I should have. I should have lined them all up, and drawn lines in the sand. I should have told them how precious those few inches of personal space that only a lover is allowed to intrude in becomes to you when no one is there.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Wired News: Chameleon Card Changes Stripes

This is an excellent idea. It increases security, and convenience in one fell swoop. It is also forward compatible, including open ended RFID programmability(you know those things are going to be big) and personalized biometrics. So long as the things are reliable, I'd buy one in a heartbeat. I wonder how stores will react? The concept seems to raise the specter of spoofed cards, but you'd need to steal the original card in the first place anyway, so why bother using a chameleon card?

Friday, March 05, 2004

Man On Fire: April 23,2004 - Large

There is something magical about Denzel Washington. He can play damned characters better than anyone. He doesn't need gritty voice-overs(though he can do them well) he doesn't need strung-out make-up(though he's been given it in the past). All he needs is a story, and a character and a voice. In Fallen, he was the voice of ultimate evil, and the personification of struggle against it. In Training Day he was so much the very idea of rogue police he went past the cliche, a perfect example of the saying that too much is too much, but way too much is just right.

He can portray implacable characters, people who can't be stopped, not because they're so good, or so lucky, or so powerful, but simply because they won't stop. Which is why this movie will be great, no matter how bad it looks, or cheezy the story, or anything. Because Denzel is that guy, for a moment, in every movie. And now there's a whole movie about it.

I love that kind of character. Corwin, arguably my favorite fictional creation of all time, says of himself, that he is just a meddler, skilled in the minor art of survival. That's his magic. No matter what happens, and how the world falls around him, he just keeps going. He is the archetype of stamina. Not brute physical stamina(though he has it) but character stamina, a kind of unbending arrow towards his goals and destiny. That's the kind of person, the kinds of decisions I like to view myself as. No deflection, not even by self. It's characteristic of these kinds of characters to end in prisons of their own making.

This movie is kind of like that. Hopefully they'll make it explicit. Denzel Washington is trapped in the kind of person he has become. The little girl seems to represent his chance to change. And when it's stolen, he reverts to the base of his past, he sinks to the very edge of the blackest things he's done before, to retrieve his hope of being a better person. It's a kind of logic that only makes sense to someone who really feels trapped by who they are. It's a kind of story I like too much.

I'll be seeing this as soon as it comes out.

You will recognize Tony Scott, director of previous Denzel masterpiece "Crimson Tide", vampire classic 'The Hunger'(and the first episode of the series by the same name), Days of Thunder, Enemy of the State, and the absolutely perfect short film "Beat the Devil", underwritten by BMW. (beat the devil can be viewed here at

Thursday, March 04, 2004

The Punisher

Why do all the insanely driven obssessive, dark, anti-heroes turn into wussey pretty boys that are way too young for their backstories when you make a movie about them?


Travolta apparently didn't watch Swordfish after he made it, he appears to be reprising the role, except now he doesn't leave his office or talk to anyone save lackey's. Can you say "walk on role"? I'll be you can.
The Morning Improv -

funny, scott mccloud is responsible for one of my favorite art books ever, "Understanding Comics", but he also has a blog, and is just as silly as everyone else.

An excellent artist, though.

Now don't get me wrong, I like smoothies. But the concept of them being terribly good for you is a little silly, unless you're making them special and with none of that powder they put in normal smoothies, with the sugar and the flavoring and such.

And those boost scoop things, well, that's just wishful thinking. Although I guess protein boost is a decent way to get another 15g, if you're really hurting for it.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

"The paragraph or two of personal analysis is the essential part.
Without that, a "hey, read this!" message is nothing more than a
commercial. In this age of information overload, let's do each other the favor of information reduction."
---Dan Connolly,
Robert Anton Wilson | Thought for the Week

If there were a religion I could believe, it would be Discordian. But then I wouldn't believe it anyway.

Would-be Erisians will know all about dear Robert Anton Wilson, others need to be introduced. If you haven't read Illuminatus, you should do so. Or at least one of the three books.

It seems everyone has a blog of some sort these days. The immediacy of information astounds.

"Our Job is waking up"
--Aldous Huxley

play, because you weren't going to work anyway, you're reading blogs.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Giving the gift of Magnetic Sight

fascinating concept. I actually know a few people now who attend LA Futurists. I'll have to ask around and see if I can meet this person. I'm really very interested in this sort of minor low tech augmentation. It's really a brilliant reduction of what might be a very complex interface.

Interesting that body modification reached this before experimental medicine. Perhaps our friendly local tattoo artists, piercers, and such will be increasing the kinds of services and goods they provide.