winterkoninkje: shadowcrane (clean) (Default)

I had a friend recently comment on how some of my posts were more like "articles" than "journal entries". I began to write this response in a comment back, though as it got longer I began thinking that my other readership might be interested in it who would not have seen the comment reply.

Arguably I've been trying to keep my livejournal more article-like than diary-like, at least for the stuff mirrored from my main blog. At which I occasionally succeed. I keep a physical journal for the more introspective and personal stuff. As many of you know, my memory is horrendous, or at the very least interesting in what it decides to hold on to. For that reason, more than for posterity, is why I began keeping a journal, so that I could at some point in the future look back over my life and remember it. And that is still, to an extent, why I keep it. When I began writing it I was going to read through the previous volume and write some sort of synopsis or thoughts on the past span of my life each time I began a new volume. While still nice in theory, as i've grown the tradition has fallen to the wayside; the journal is more about introspection than retrospection.

I'm on my fourth volume now, excluding one false start. I hand made the first two volumes and if or when life settles (which is a nice way of saying never), when I'm better about not overcommitting myself to too many projects and too many hobbies, it might be nice to start doing again. Though I somehow think that it is a hobby of mine that will never be returned to like sewing, or poetry and shortstories, or jujitsu and aikido. Even in this world of dynamic media, this world of crossreferenced information, I think there will always be a place for physical writing. Once can't as easily spellcheck it, or index it for reference, or grep it for a word or phrase, and sometimes it's illegible, but it is somehow more real, more human. Once must invest something of themselves to read it. Information is uncountably infinite, but writing is not about information, or even communication, but about the art itself of commuting thought to word. Calligraphy is also a hobby I'd like to take up again in a world where there is time enough to do everything.

Though every so often I have little moments I'd like to share, hence the blog/lj. That and the log-keeping for inane things like links I found amusing or useful, website updates, latest computer hacks, etc, under the hopes that someone else will also enjoy them or perhaps be interested in the minutiae of how I live my life, the thoughts I've followed, the media I've read. The latter is more limited to lj than my main blog, since the latest incarnation of my website is intended as a portfolio piece for any webdesign jobs I apply for[1]. Though, like with my journal, whenever things get really interesting, whenever I have a lot to share is usually when I'm too busy to take time out to write them down.

[1] And for that it succeeds only passably since I've not had time to finish moving over everything I want to keep from the last incarnation of my site, and so it has "construction ahead" signs everywhere.

winterkoninkje: shadowcrane (clean) (Default)

So I went out shopping today for a watch to replace the one I have since its band is wearing out and I can't change the time on it. As some of you may know, I'm not a big fan of wrist watches; They're uncomfortable, they get in the way, and people harass me about wearing them like a lefty. So I'm looking for a watch I can clip onto a belt loop, nothing fancy, just a digital watch that can—by design or coincidence—be affixed to hang from a loop.

I wasn't too surprised that the belt-clipping feature was difficult to locate. But what did surprise me was that I couldn't find any digital watches. Nor could I find any watches for under 55$. Now I'm just shopping for something utilitarian here, it doesn't need any fancy gewgaws[1], doesn't need to be particularly attractive, just needs to work, and for that 55~110$ is a bit much in my book.

But maybe I'm shopping in all the wrong places. Watches, like belts and wallets, are things I only shop for when my current one has outlived its usefulness, and which never seem to have a reasonable central location to go shopping for. When I had to replace my belt and wallet recently I discerned that normative Americans must obtain these devices from one of those frightening megalithic structures so common in suburbia but much rarer in civilization known as "The Mall". Thankfully, I already knew the locations of two such structures within traveling distance of my domicile, and therein managed to locate the needed items and escape without SAN loss or becoming lost in their disarmingly welcoming yet labyrinthine passageways designed to forbid egress.

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As I mentioned in my last post I spent much of yesterday in an extended web of internet spidering. Below are some of the paths this vaguery followed.

Geeks are renowned for their... peculiar social skills. And even within the realm of geekdom, some are considered particularly lacking. Michael Suileabhain-Wilson wrote an opinion piece discussing Five Geek Social Fallacies that lead to some of the more egregious examples of this

In a public service announcement on LiveJournal, [livejournal.com profile] cerebrate mentioned that "mb" is an abbreviation for millibit which sparked a discussion about whether such a thing was even possible. Which in turn caused another discussion by [livejournal.com profile] lederhosen on information entropy which I found surprisingly interesting. I say surprising because I frequently have little interest in higher-level (read: post-calculus, particularly logical) mathematics because they tend to be overly omphaloskeptic and offer very little of use to the non-theoretical (read: real) world. I'm not sure what it was particularly that I found so interesting about it, but it was... pleasant. If it strikes your fancy, Lederhosen also posted some followup links to Wikipedia and Shannon's seminal paper (Shannon being the one who came up with the whole idea).

One possible reason I found it interesting has to do with another post by [livejournal.com profile] lederhosen regarding a linguistic side of the information theory branch of mathematics. In that post he lays out an example of designing a language of semaphores which I found particularly interesting for (a) its resemblance to "designing" the phonetics of a natural language and (b) how it seems to imply an emergent linguistic component to information.

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...anyone who knows me I'm sure :) So I woke up this morning and had an idea about an interest I should add to my LiveJournal list. After adding it I noticed, somewhat amazed—though I shouldn't be—, that there were others who shared the interest. Thus began an extended spidering through the web. One thread of that travel led me to take a Myers-Brigs test, the results of which were INTJ: Introspective iNtuitive Thinking Judging (strengths of preference 33%, 88%, 12%, and 44% respectively).

Which is pretty consistent with what I usually get on such things. The amusing thing is some of the articles linked to from that site describing the type. In particular D. Keirsey labels it the "Mastermind Rational". Some more amusing excerpts are:

[...Masterminds] tend to be much more self-confident than [other Rationals], having, for obscure reasons, developed a very strong will. [...] Natural leaders, Masterminds are not at all eager to take command of projects or groups, preferring to stay in the background until others demonstrate their inability to lead. [...] Theories which cannot be made to work are quickly discarded by the Masterminds. On the other hand, Masterminds can be quite ruthless in implementing effective ideas, seldom counting personal cost in terms of time and energy.

There's also the description by Marina Margaret Heiss, which is quite amusing on the whole if only because it's so accurate. I've excerpted greater than half of the thing, so you might as well just follow the link. )

winterkoninkje: shadowcrane (clean) (Default)

Recently there's been yet another blog meme playing tag around LiveJournal. One of the questions on it, at least as I interpreted it, was to list five songs that mean a lot to me. The question sort of stumped me and it took me a while to figure out exactly why. )

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