September 23rd, 2003


All Elbows

When I woke up this morning, I did some programming before I cameto work, and the people in the other half of the triplex in which I livewere yelling at their bird every time it chirped, which was often.Fortunately, I don't think it understood their shouting -- it's not likeyelling at a cat or dog... however, it is kind of interesting to chew on.It reminds me of that cricket I mentioned on here recently.

A thought -- are narrative versus descriptive modes of thought related tolingual versus imagery modes of thought? Is there a relationship there? Ithink it crosses all ways, but there may be deeper connections..

Here's an article on jury duty. Raises interestingissues, and there's the typical ubercapitalist nut comment at the end.Professional juries? Blech. I don't want to discount alternate judicialsystems, but professional juries are a negative twist on the current system.

Oh, yay, another OpenSSH security hole.

I've found that I'm generally more productive working at home, at the coffeeshop,or out in the atrium where I work rather than in my office. I think it might bethat I like open spaces, or that I tend to work better when I'm not crammed inwith two other people. One of my coworkers mentioned last night, over IM, at23: that he likes to stay late for the same reason. Yet, when I spoke about thiswith another coworker who has never been outside academia, he doesn't understandat all. Interesting.

We're going over attention and memory in Cognitive Psychology today.It's an interesting topic, and during discussion, I tossed some of my longchewed-on ideas into a discussion period -- specifically that attentionis mostly illusory, and what's significant is memory.

I wish some of my classmates would stop talking. Grr.Oh, and here's an experiment below. I cut'n'pasted some foreigncharacters into my editor. I wonder if they'll show up on the web.

(omitted because they broke display of both modern versions of POUND and LJ-sync)
(section not shown)


Wind-blown shadow

Imagery -- she walked across the desert, not quite part of the scene.The wind didn't touch her, the sand laid not a speck on her clothes.Her stride long, she walked purposefully, her shadow behind her, thesole thing embracing the scenery. The wind picks up, and though she doesnot react, a sound like a poster in the wind is made.. a flap, a rustle..and the shadow peels *up* off the ground, away from her feet, and iscarried away by the wind, like a snake in the air. Not turning, shehesistates a moment, and moves on.

Today, after philosophy class, I spoke with the professor for about halfan hour on the topic of what makes a scientific theory good. I initiallytook predictive power to be the most important factor, perhaps dominatingalmost entirely the field, but he showed me how I can't give short shift tosimplicity, at least in the short run. We also discussed a number of interestingexperiments. It was one of the best conversations I've had in a long time.If he's interested, I'd like to see if he'd like to be the CMU faculty advisorfor PUSH, which, by the way, meetstomorrow. There is an available source of funding, should/when I need it, thatI recently have heard about. But yeah, one of the most important things for anenriching educational experience is to to build good connections with theprofessors. You learn a lot in class, sure, but you can learn a lot moreoutside. To my readers who are still in their first go at college, rememberthis. When you're done with University, you'll end up paying big bucks tolearn new things (conferences, etc). Learn as much as you possibly can, and takeinteresting classes for your GECs. Education isn't a duty -- it's a gift, andopportunity. Stretch your mind, because it'll contract when you enter thebusiness world. Yeah, I know, with all the schoolwork and stuff, it's easy tolose your enthusiasm for learning, but do your best to renew it when itneeds to be. Most people get only one shot.

After work, I went to do a Psych experiment for class. It was kind ofinteresting -- on how different letter features and manipulations affectrapid recognition of other features. I also have three experiments that needto be done by the end of semester (I still think quarter, and need to correctmyself).. I'm going to try to knock them out of the way within the next twoweeks, so I can forget about them. There's also a report due for psychsoon. I hope amazon's shipment of the requisite book arrives soon...Reflecting on taking class while working, it's working out pretty well.It's sucked a good amount of my spare time away, but I'm coping pretty well,and the extra hours in a day at CMU arn't too bad. Oh, Andrew has some newBiometric recorders that he's getting in for some projects, and, because I'minterested, I'm volunteering to have my temperature, pulse, and eventuallylocation (maybe, depends on if they get the equipment) monitored for closeto 24 hours a day. Some people like privacy, some people revel in its opposite.I'd like to start signing up for the paid experiments at CMU to supplement myincome. They, of course, work out to pay a good deal less, per hour, than mycurrent salaried job, but, of course, I'm salaried :) A little more money, ifit can pay for lunch/dinner most days, would be quite nice, and it's all inthe name of science..

Oh, California is banning spam. This is a good thing, I think..

Brr... evenings are starting to get cold, and the evenings are getting darkearly again..

I'm working on the login screen for my blog now...


Music, Mojo, and Logins

Was just talking with my musician friend again.. he reminds me a lotof Charles. I miss Charles... Anyhow, we talked about the relationshipbetween moods, creative energy, making music, and inspiration. It wasa good talk, but hard to summarize. I'm glad I did so much music whenI was younger -- otherwise I wouldn't be able to have such interestingconversations with musicians... I really should start playing somethingagain...

Oh, yes, the development version of my BLOG, on my laptop, now has loginsfully working. It turns out that handling a POST request required verylittle additional coding. For those of you that arn't geeky enough to know,most of the time, when you're interacting with a webpage, your browser is usingGET requests, where it simply provides the hostname and the document path,and the server usually hands it over. Occasionally, when you're dealing withforms, or uploading files, it uses another type of request, where instead ofjust sending that data, it also provides key-parameter values in a specialformat (no, CGIs like altavista are usually still done with GET requests).Anyhow, it wasn't hard to parse those requests, so at least locally, I havea login button, and logging in changes to my test monochrome colour scheme.Now I need to make a screen for users to edit their preferences and info,so logins will be useful. At that point, I'll probably sync to my actualBLOG -- there's no real point doing it earlier. I think it'll be prettyeasy to add comments after that. Oh, yes, apparently, my code for settingtemporary cookies doesn't work. I'll need to figure that out soon --I really want to use cookies that expire on browser close instead of long-livedones.. but for now, long-lived cookies are ok.

It's SO COLD out right now. It's not a good time to be doing programmingoutside of Coffee Tree... and it's just going to get colder. I'll needto switch from fall jackets to my winter coat soon if I keep up the latenight trips here.

Well, I'm gonna try to get my psych homework done and maybe do some morecoding for work before I go to bed.. not yet sure if I'll give in to the coldand do that at home or not..Brrrrrrr