February 19th, 2010


Porcupineal Gland

A suggested comprimise for people whose eyes don't simply slide over grey/gray spelling - græy. I *think* I normally spell it grey, but I've seen both of them (and written both of them) enough that my eyes glide over the difference (unlike the -or/-our suffix distinction where the latter is far superiour, or judgement where all other spellings are poor judgement.. :P). I imagine on a computer, græy would stand out as off because in most fonts it looks utterly alien, although in writing my eyes glide over it just like gray/grey.

Read the news today and CS-addled brain suggested "Sometimes I think America needs to have a serious conversation about Race conditions and d(r)eadlocks". Oh goodness.

Logged into facebook for the first time in months to suspend my account - irritating to see all the distant acquaintances pop up with a message "so-and-so will miss you" - errant nonsense and impersonal emotional manipulation. Haha. Perhaps that's a growth industry. Moods have been insensely bad and stormy recently, maybe things have been a bit self-destructive. I seem to be proficient at driving people away for my own neurotic reasons. In theory, there are social events to go to tonight and tomorrow, in practice I will likely panic and hide.

Irritations:Collapse )

Other ponderings and stuff:Collapse )

Overall, this feels a lot like the end to the anime 「Lain」.. the temptation and path of disappearing is not really avoidable.

For now, however, I seek crêpes.



Stanford's Social Innovation Review is a really interesting magazine. I rather like Stanford's yt presence, and it speaks well of them that Lawrence Lessig spent time there. They use their yt presence to have frank and interesting discussions of various policy alongside other classes they put online. I don't recall why I have a copy of the magazine, but it's full of examples of people doing clever, useful, and interesting things for the public good. So far, the most interesting thing I've read (I'm about halfway through the issue) is an organisation that tried to fight malnutrition in Vietnam, which was at about 80% in the villages in which they worked. Noting that government nutritional supplements didn't seem to be working, they intead interviewed the 20% that wern't malnourished and found that they were adding small amounts of shrimp and fish to their meals, and so they organised the best-nourished families teaching the malnourished their cooking tips.

I was thinking that my initial brief synopsis of this technique would be to use an evolutionary rather than revolutionary technique - rather than bringing in knowledge from outside, use knowledge that's already there in some part of the population and perform artificial selection on the responsible memes. A lot of effective thinking, I think, is having a rich set of operators and strategies in one's toolbox and holding concepts and rules loosely enough to allow them to flexibly be employed to nontraditional ends. That process of remembering both specific things and a progression of more abstract forms of them for later use is a precious skill.

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