Monthly Archives: February 2011

Like there’s no tomorrow

What’s with all these songs that talk about living like there’s no tomorrow? How could someone possibly advocate this message seriously? I thought the goal was to get kids away from present-hedonism. The whole education paradigm is centered around be-bored-now-but-invest-in-your-future-or-it’s-gonna-suck-for-you-one-day. It makes no sense that these songs apparently are all about combating this. Like what the hell? Propagandists, get your act together. Either you can screw kids up and turn them all into depressed reckless pleasure-oriented backward-thinking furiously-procreative druggies, or you can go back to crafting your conformant close-minded unfaltering unquestioning clones for the benefit of mankind and the progression of some arbitrary measure of standard of living. Hey, either way is fine for me. Just don’t go like halfway. I’m getting mixed signals here.

How a watch changed everything

Every guy should have a watch. I don’t know why I didn’t figure it out before. Watches are great! In one of the animated-lectures I’ve seen, someone said that watches are outdated and unnecessary because they are single-function devices. Of course, the watch bit was a side point, but it is grossly shortsighted and needlessly assertive. Watches may only tell the time, but they’re exceedingly good at doing so. Reading your watch is plenty more efficient than checking the phone or the computer. Usually, I’m already looking down at my hands, writing, eating, or programming. The placement is perfect. A simple glance to the south-west is sufficient without even turning my head. It’s both stationary and exceptionally portable and always ready to work when I need it. Now get this: the single-function of watches isn’t a limitation. Whenever I hear… more →

Robot, make thyself

Genetic algorithms seem like another one of those cutting-edge discussion topics reserved for only the most knowledgeable and i-did-it-before-it-was-cool hipsters. It fits in the same category as non-relational, decentralized database hype (read: the cloud). But genetic algorithms may be what defines the future of programming, you know, the IA and evangelion MAGI stuff. Genetic algorithms work like evolution in biology. A group of “candidates” is created with slight variation between individuals. Each is assessed for its fitness. The most successful candidates are cloned and randomly mutated to form the second generation. The rest die off. This method works well for some problems, given that you have 1. a way to measure fitness, 2. a reasonable range of values to test, 3. an absurd amount of computing power. Now think about this: how do calculators compute sine? They can only do a… more →

Social games are evil

In Econ, Mr. Bosanko was talking about adults wanting to live high school again because they screwed up the first time. Then, I got it. Go back a couple hours and I was at home (~9:20AM) reading this: it’s long, but definitely worth the time PC Gamer: About that lecture you gave recently. I wanted to ask you about social games. And I know you don’t like that as a title. Jonathan Blow: Did I say that in my speech actually? PC Gamer: Well, you called them evil. Jonathan Blow: No, I mean the name “social games.” PC Gamer: I think you said you don’t like it being attributed to some of those games? Jonathan Blow: Well, they’re not very social. A game like World of Warcraft or Counter-Strike or whatever is way more social. Because you actually meet new… more →

Lost to extinction

AP Biology certainly makes a big deal out of ecological preservation and endangered species. What’s the deal? Things die off, and then there’s more to replace them. I read 4 chapters and I still can’t answer the “Why is it important to protect endangered species?” question. But I think I’m finally starting to get it. Now, understand that I relate a lot of things to programming. It just works for me. Spanish is like a massive programming language. Certain functions only take certain kinds of parameters. You can mash a bunch of words up and sound smart, but the code won’t compile. Learning spanish is like reading an enormous book of documentation: “The Spanish Programming Lanuage: 2nd edition”. Then it all fits in. Physics is a lot like programming too, but that doesn’t even need to be explained. But biology…. more →

Reworking the workflow

With such a clean desk, I could be really productive and fast. If only I had something to work on besides homework and IA’s and distractions. I just had to clean up my desk after I found out about nerdfort. What a moving paragraph. I had chills after reading this. Instead of validation for web pages, how about validation for web browsers? If a browser doesn’t meet standards, everyone should agree to block it from their sites with a message on upgrading browsers. If the W3C said so, it would totally work. I’ve always found that physical books help me more than PDF’s. Maybe I’m just so used to screwing around in front of the computer screen that it’s impossible to focus with it there. Hey on a side note, RogerHub validates. But IE still sucks, so the result is… more →

This is not about computers, I swear

There are stereotypes. Then there are people who point out these stereotypes, in their cultured/hip unconformity. Then others write history books about beat poets, “writers and artists [who] harshly criticized what they considered the sterility and conformity of American life … and the emptiness of popular culture.” These arguments are endless. Once in a while, somebody speaks out about unconformity though media: video, blogs. Then people on all tiers of cultivated, pessimistically-cynical sophistication form a dazzling gradient of reactions—first total confusion and indifference, then massive mindfucks and life-changing enlightenment, and finally qualified scoffs—based on their personal standing, or perhaps perceived personal standing. It’s relaxing to know the controversy backwards and forwards before it spreads to your peers, because then, you can go ahead and take your hipster analytical view about it. (It being the responses of your hipster-peers) You will… more →

The hidden archives

Cairo is 90% media hype. Many people openly support the Egyptians, like the hipsters they are. But who knows why they’re protesting? Poor living conditions? Yeah let’s protest against poverty, that’ll work like it worked in 1930 right? How about a corrupt, repressive government? Well this is exactly why there’s so much public hysteria. Because the government shut down the Internet, everybody suddenly soiled their pants, effectively creating the biggest example of the Streisand effect in existence. Since when did the Internet become the world’s stronghold for revolution/democracy? Not just Cairo. There’s the overblown net-neutrality fears, Canada’s troubles, and hey, don’t forget China. It’s absolutely exhilarating how a massive, furious entity of transoceanic cables can incite revolution. What will the chapter on 2001-2010 look like in your kid’s history book? Slowly, everything is beginning to come together. You know the title attribute that goes… more →