April 18th, 2010

Semiformalishmaybe

Carnival 2010 and other galleries

Carnival booths were generally impressive this year. It was pretty amazing how much effort seems to have gone into the best ones.

Behold (newly uploaded):

This year there were fewer proper events at Carnival - I imagine weird weather might be to blame. It's a good thing that the booth damage due to the first night's weather was largely repaired.
Semiformalishmaybe

Lego Junction

Shower thought:

If I were to advise someone really bright on a topic to start digging into the field of political philosophy, I imagine I'd suggest the following:

Compare the topic of useful tension in government developed by Machiavelli in his Discourses with that of the Hegelian dialectic (optionally look at Marxian revision and application of the Dialectic).

I'd be further tempted suggest reading Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah as a warm-up, as it's both immensely broad and relatively accessible to those without a solid background in the needed fields. It is a bit like how many cartoons/shows theoretically for children (consider Peewee's Playhouse, Animaniacs, or Freakazoid) are just as enjoyable when revisited later as adults as age reveals more layers of interest.

I'm not sure what kind of an actual teacher in philosophy I'd be, but it'd be fun designing curricula. It'd also be pretty fun to do that for computer science, I'd think (although there are some neat ideas and areas in CS that I'm not sure I could teach well).

Semiformalishmaybe

Back on the old Allod

Visited Oakland's Moose Coffee today because I hadn't been there before. The tea: awful. The internet: awfully unstable and slow. The seating: ok. Was hoping to be in a sketching mood, but it just didn't happen. Haven't been doing much plot-driven sketching recently because there are some things I want to wait on until the new giant tablet is orderable and here. The ability to perfectly erase, move, zoom into, and do neat things with colour are the most important tablet things for me.. Wacom seems pretty slow in making their new tablet available, alas.

I've started to re-study psych in general and neuropsych, Collapse )

After I was at Moose Coffee for awhile, sipping on the nasty tea and continually trying to stay connected to the net, another computer geek sitting next to me askmed me about my desktop, and we chatted for awhile about programming languages, operating systems, closed versus open platforms, device convergence, and eventually some program he's been working on - he's written an app that tries to fit into that should-be-a-niche-but-it's-so-bloody-hard space of social web browsing. I've seen fortunes made and broken in that type, and his was a reasonably impressive go for a personal project (webkit-based, had some basic collaboration features) - I talked about my experiences with Babbledog and other software of the type to let him know what he's getting into. Being an older geek and experienced programmer occasionally puts me into this role... This was probably the longest conversation I've had in months, leaving my throat all raw and painful (probably will get better in a few days?). I imagine I'll never see him again, but I guess it counts as a kind of nonpersonal socialisation - the weekend wasn't entirely lonely afterall. Plus, the bad tea was compensated for by tasty burritos from nearby Verisign.

I suppose it would be a terribly irresponsible and bad idea to make a game where players took the side of a red or blue stater parading through a parody of their side's impression of the worst of the other, e.g. performing abortions to power up, all while slaughtering in native grounds for all major factions of the opposition.

On the way to the tea place I passed a number of crazy people talking loudly to themselves, one of which tried to grope a nearby girl (who quickly ran off). WTF?! I regret not thinking faster and yelling at the guy.

A few intuitions on doing philosophy:Collapse )