Earlier today (or maybe it was yesterday? With the sun being mostly gone, my not seeing other humans very regularly, and erratic sleep and food schedules, it's hard to say), I found this, a wonderful Japanese sketch of a Tetris game breaking the rules to frustrate its player. (unfortunately, it is marred by watermarks - anyone watermarking an image or video really should be tarred and feathered). While watching the intro, I thought of an awesomely difficult variant of tetris where pieces become invisible once they have dropped. I'm not sure what kind of intelligence Tetris demonstrates - perhaps it's mainly strategy combined with an ability to adapt under pressure - making pieces invisible would add a memory element to it... When I was younger, I recall playing a 3D variant of tetris for DOS - the player was looking down from the top of the field and could rotate pieces in any (square) direction. I'm not sure I still have a copy of that (I don't have a floppy drive on any of my systemsso my old floppies are presently unreadable) - I wonder if I would be any good at it anymore. Thinking of the things people used to have to go through to write software for DOS, I suspect even the people who complain loudly about the PS3's bizarreness would rather have that than a return to those days (particularly given modern tools - documentation is kind of a wash because even Microsoft and IBM did documentation reasonably well back then). Writing a decent small game in SDL is reasonably simple (thanks to LokiGames) - it or flash is what people should probably be writing most games on nowadays, IMO. It would be interesting to try to write some glue making it easier to translate Actionscript/Flash games to Perl/SDL or vice versa (SDL has mature bindings for many languages - I just mention Perl here because I think the translations would be easiest on the SDL side with a language like Perl or Python (and I really dislike Python because of its whitespace sensitivity, hence the lack of mention.. oops!)).
I've had a migraine beginning for most of today, leaving the day more social than usual, but now it's starting to arrive. I'm sure it must be partly the weather that makes them so frequent - I'm not sure if it has to do with things in the air or the frigidity. I also swung by the old workplace in psychology for the first meeting under which I'd be doing some light sysadmin work for them. I've come to the conclusion that the best way to do portable backups of their (maybe I can say "our" again honestly?) terabytes of data would be to get two very small form factor computers running Linux and drop multiple 2T disks in each (surprisingly affordable). This would allow for offsite backup (move the system), selective recovery, and be at quite a low cost. Finding/building an appropriate configuration might take some thinking (power supply and cooling, mainly), but the problem has become much easier, provided we can keep the primary storage from growing beyond that means (a 2T disk can be had for less than $200 right now). Semi-related: I would love to be geeking out over SSDs, but I presently lack the hardware and my geeking out energy is in scarce supply - there are all sorts of projects I'm theoretically interested in but I haven't been in at all the right state of mind to do them.
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(political philosophy that's kind of half-baked switched to private)
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Scrapping my information gathering software - too many sources I used to use require passwords, have become broken, block bots, or have just changed too much to be worth rewriting. Interesting relation model differences:
- Under many social networking sites, relationships are only mutual - in order to make a link, A or B makes a request of the other, and if approved then the link is made.
- Under Livejournal, relationships are directional and not necessarily mutual - one can be friended by someone else without friending them back, and the friended person may not terminate the relationship. However, in friending someone, one exposes, by default, friends-only posts to that other person (changing this is a pain in the butt), as well as considerably more information to people who know about the bugs in the Livejournal software. By default, LJ is moderately lurker-friendly - recipients of a friendship relationship recieve notice, but may not block it. People may withdraw their posts, either all of them or select ones to friends-only or to particular groups of friends (meaning that external software that wants to scrape things shared with their owner have some hoops to go through)
- Under Twitter, relationships are directional and not necessarily mutual, but the friended person has an additional ability - to remove the friendship which they've been targed with. Also, the friender exposes no information - the information flow is explicit rather than inferred (following a private twitterfeed requires permission), and tweet permissions are not available except on a per-journal basis. By default, Twitter is not very lurker-friendly, with the ability of recipients to remove relationships as well as the rough-grained relationships causing people to either lock everyone but select people out or be completely open.
I'm not sure why social software is so interesting.
Unrelated, not for the first time in my life, I am livid about Joe Lieberman. It seems like the health care reform is to be so watered down as to provide little significant change, in order to please people who will likely vote against it anyhow. I also have been working my way through some feminist theory works - I generally find that to be very challenging material (like with Marxist works) because I am passionate for my own version of the ideas, but am very skeptical that the academic/theory-driven forms of each field is well-constructed. It would be great to have a reading group for either (or for other general philosophy) - it frustrates me to no end that none of the stuff I read (or write) is stuff I can go into more than the most cursory details here for (part of general social isolation frustrations though - I don't know if the primal "I have no very functional ties ot other humans" or "I have nobody to talk about ideas with" is worse). I'm still working on characterising the traditional faults of feminist theory - in some aspects, it feels like the sloppy thinking of orthodox Marxism, except it has more of an emphasis on collecting a cornucopia of different people and ideas and fuzziness (omg if there are no black lesbians represented then there is oppression, and all forms of oppression are essentially the same). As I work through the collections, I am trying to understand a criticism they're levelling that might apply to society in general (and possibly to me) - that we are focused too much on formal relations and not enough on social ones. The notion of social oppression is a complex one, perhaps big enough that any of us who focus enough on formal relations in society might not have the eyes to see how we might be socially oppressive to those of the other gender. I recognise that there are probably irreconcilable difference between me and some parts of the social/movement circles over the definitions/termsets I use relating to gender and sex (and I don't see that difference ever disappearing unless I should happen to find a philosophical/definitional reason to use a different framework). I've also long been critical of feminist theory because of its stronger ties to multiculturalist liberalism than value liberalism, its embracement of pseudoscience and empty words, and its occasional odd choice of allies. Still, I think it's an interesting ideal they posit, one worth heavy consideration. Formal equality as a focus is at best incomplete and encourages an unhealthy alienation of government from the will of the people.
I wonder what the rate of new music listenitude is for different people - do we prefer a small set of favourite songs with rapid churning of new candidates, or some other permutation of those attributes? Tiers of songs?