Thursday, November 25, 2004

I finished my paper this afternoon. It's not great, but it'll do. I also finally figured out a title better than 'Title': 'One Hasn't Really Lived Until One's Been Painted'. Stems from this just-before-the-end paragraph:

However, let us consider again just what is now being claimed. This experiment originally intended to show that we cannot conceive of an unperceived island, and then take the principle that what cannot be conceived most likely cannot exist to reject unperceived objects. But does that principle make sense under the wider meaning of perceive? It seems as if we have expanded the meaning of 'perceive' to essentially mean 'perceive or imagine', which seems in a sense synonymous with 'conceive'. So what we're claiming is that we cannot conceive of an island that is not being conceived. This seems an odd argument. One could just as easily argue that one cannot paint something without it being painted. Surely one cannot then conclude that nothing exists but things that are painted.
Yeah. The whole paper is kind of lame. There are a couple nice(?) spots. Here one from the opening paragraph:
Let us begin by considering one of Barkley's objections to one of Locke's claims, and if the required five pages has not been reached*, we shall go on to consider a pro-Barkley argument and see how it fairs1.
And here's a fun excerp from later on:
...Consider the numeral '4'. Aside from having four points in some fonts2, it has no resemblance whatsoever to the number four.

2 Twos, threes and sometimes fours are easy to add because you can count the points. I think I did this with fives too, but that was pushing it.
And around the same spot:
So what is it that allows these things to represent? In the case of the numeral '4', I honestly have no idea*, but I believe Dr. Georgalis once said that numerals are proper names for numbers, so let us consider the case of the name 'Luca' and assume the issue of numerals is essentially identical to it.
(Interesting, that one instance is the only place the name 'Luca' is mentioned in the entire paper. Oh well.)

Oh...I just realised the title of this post isn't quite accurate. I have one deadline appraiching. NaNoWriMo ends in a couple weeks. I think I'm close to 2 000 words done. Only 48 000 to go! (I'll bet I could get it done too. Yes I could.)

* Honesty is the best policy, right?

Monday, November 22, 2004

Over the past few weeks (or however long it's been since my last update), I've thought of things to write about here and not done it. So here's a collection of ramblings. I'm probably forgetting the most interesting ones.

* The CSCI club watched Wargames last Thursday. We spent ages trying to get the sound to work. I suggested just printing out copies of the script and assigning each person a character or set of characters. We ended up just moving to another room where the sound actually worked, but it was a good idea. Maybe better for shorter shows, as it may get boring after a while, but that'd be a fun game. Like Rocky Horror, only . . .different.

* I have a five-page Barkley paper due Wednesday. I started this morning thinking it was due tomorrow, but I asked the professor and he's cool with it being Wednesday. The assignment sheet said 'Tuesday...before you leave for Thanksgiving...before Thanksgiving even if you don't leave for Thanksgiving'. Not a very clear deadline. Anyway, I have two or three pages done (I rejected Locke's Resemblance Thesis, argued that resemblance is unnecessary, argued that Locke's theory still doesn't work, and then concluded that God solves the problem. It took three pages only because I'm trying to stretch it as much as possible. Lots of useless examples which are then dismissed as unhelpful. Anyhoo...I have a Stats test tomorrow, and I want to study for that briefly at one point. Prepare a crib sheet so I don't have to remember how to do everything. Sidenote: My TI-83--normally willing to do everything for me--will only do the Chi^2 tests when given the observed and expected values. There seems to be nothing on there to compute the expected values. I could probably program it (the professor doesn't mind if we program our calculators), but that's too much work.

* I was thinking about parsers last night. How a parser could be made so that it can handle things like doifXwhileY...just running everything together with no delimiters. Doable, but if you had commands 'whi', 'while', 'let', and 'tell' (for example), it could avoid using the greedy algorithm by regressing in an almost-bubble sort-like procedure. It'd be cool. I did a quick writeup on it and ended up deciding what I was doing was solving the partitioning problem.
Anyway, it could be trouble, as such a grammar could easily become non-deterministic with the proper commands (or variable names, if they weren't clearly distinct, as with different case or something).

* Christmas decorations popped up in Grimesland a few days ago. And of course Christmas commercials have begun. And one local furniture store is doing an end-of-the-year clearance to make room for next year's models. (Furniture comes in yearly models?)
you don't need to start on my girt just yet though. My list contains items such as 'become a vegetarian', which you needn't start on until Christmas morning (or 20050101, or sometime soonish). Or donate to the EFF or the ACLU. They'll probably send me email and it will arrive within a few minutes. (I know the EFF sends email usually, but they didn't last time.)

* Or buy me some new hardware. If it arrives late, I'll forgive you, since it's not like anybody else is buying me that. They're getting me random junk I didn't ask for.

* Remember: Friday is Buy Nothing Day! _Don't_ _buy_ _anything_. (Charitable donations aren't consider purchases in my book. Keep sending money to the EFF!

Monday, November 08, 2004

A couple days ago, my brother was playing around with one of the other students' phone, trying to guess the phone's password for fun. He didn't get it, but he got close, apparently.
Today, when the guy entered his password a few seats away from my brother, my brother asked to try guessing again.
A moment later, the phone was unlocked.
So the guy changed his password. My brother got that one on the first try.

Here's a hint for you: if your telephone beeps in a different tone for each number, your password is not secure. People who know music can get it just by listening to you type it in.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The Blogspot article Blog The Vote has links to search Google for "I voted for Kerry" and "I voted for Bush" restricted to the Blogspot domain. Currently, Bush (131) is far ahead of Kerry (47) (especially if you add in 'George W. Bush'), and in second place is my guy: "I voted for Nader" (101).
Somehow I don't think it's a very representative sample.

Of course, following this post I should show up on all three lists, but I'm only three votes, so it doesn't make a difference.