October 30th, 2005


Sic Transit Gloria

The running theme that my body has given me these last few days is that I am not as young as I once was, and that things that were earlier in life non-issues are now things I need to pay attention to. I no longer can consume large amounts of butter melted on bread, nor can I lift heavy things at awkward angles, without consequences. I in fact appear to now be unable to handle much junk food at all -- recently I've felt rather ill when I don't stick to the mostly-vegetarian diet of healthy things that I've largely settled on. This is good and bad, I suppose -- I wonder if I would be this way if I stuck with my pre-Debb/Nicole way of a high-meat, more-sweets diet. I suppose it doesn't matter. I suppose getting older is like slowly adding to a damage multiplier and peeling off immunities, if one is to think like a gamer.

Today I went to see Damien Conway speak on Perl modules with minimal interfaces, and he demoed a number of very clever modules (several of them involving source filters, but not all) with clever but weird interfaces. I'm not sure how many of them are actually improvements -- one of them was an I/O module that was callable in a million different ways, doing operator overloading and similar. It may be pretty how it can be formatted, but when it comes to understanding it, I suspect one would need to see the documentation to find out how to do a number of things. The benefit primarily is that a number of the cool and useful things stick in one's head more easily. In his former life as a university professor, he dealt with a grad student who was working on making a realistic impression of a person saying arbitrary things. The standard way to do this is to have them read a standard sentence that should get all the phonemes that people make in English (an example can be found on this site). He matched this with video recordings of the mouth making each sound, and routines to stitch these together in arbitrary combinations, in order to make the image component. Apparently, the tricky thing is that people viewing it were creeped out (without knowing quite what was wrong) because it did not blink. The solution was to take images of the phoneme productions, each with eyes open and closed. With rough blink frequencies added into the mix, acceptance was significantly higher. I thought that was clever and nonobvious.

Yesterday's KGB Halloween party was decent. I didn't stay very long -- later that evening I met with friends to hang out, but I suppose I don't really feel particularly accepted by KGBFolk. There are a few people I would be friends with (or more, depending on the people), but none of them seen particularly interested in hanging out or anything. A friend told me that that's because I keep pushing people away, and I suppose that's correct. People arn't always consistent, and I guess in this I'm no exception.

Once I pay the ticket on it and renew its registration, my car will officially be for sale. Hopefully I can get decent money for it..

I've been feeling like writing fiction recently....


Sacrifice Blows

I read in the news about a new book by Putin, and naturally went to Amazon.com to look it up. Much to my surprise, Putin has also written a book on Judo. I suppose this guy had better be careful.. :)

Also unusual, apparently Utah is the U.S. state with the most computers per person (Alaska is right behind). I might guess that there's little else to do in Utah. Related, in a conversation I had yesterday on social alienation caused by modern technology, and that possibly leading to trolls like Usenet saw (because of lack of physical cues), another possibility occurred to me -- that perhaps it's just transitioning adults that suffer this, and people raised on the "new way of communicating" from birth may not suffer at all from it.

I recently learned about the Muslim equivalent to Karaite Judaism. Interesting. Also interesting is that the United Nations has a neat website for world heritage sites.

Right now I'm on a rare trip to the Beehive. It's a nice place to hang out -- it's just inconvenient to get here. Over the next while, keep an eye on the philosophy section of my website -- I'm restating my reformulated, rejuvinated ideas, and I think they're coming out a lot better than they did before.