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Showing posts from May, 2009

Church of Stupidology

Image via Wikipedia Wow.  I love to read stuff like this:
According to The Register, Wikipedia has banned multiple IP addresses related to the Church of Scientology for extreme, one-sided editing in an attempt to remove Scientology criticism from the Web. The decision wasn’t an easy one though: Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee took nearly half a year to resolve the matter.This makes me so happy.  Such simple minded people (Scientologists) ought not to be allowed to do anything that lures the minds of people away from real, natural, rational thought. Of course this is just my emotions speaking.  So rather than banning them completely (we have no right, after all, to repress anyone's or any organization's right to exist.  We are a free people), what we really need is true and effective education that will allow us to save the precious, impressionable minds of our young from such superstitious nonsense.

Perhaps as an alternative to banning them from wikipedia, why not just enforce…

Interesting Marijuana Poll on Opposing Views

On the website OpposingViews, I found an interesting poll question:
Would Legalization Increase Marijuana Use?
Of the number who voted, 46% indicated Yes while 54% indicated No.  I found this particularly interesting, and completely backwards.  I believe that there would probably be a significant increase in its use because once legalized, it becomes accessible to anyone who might want to smoke it (this assumes that it is distributed similarly to alcohol).  Even if the number of people who smoke pot remained the same, their use could easily increase, perhaps even double.  Certainly one can assume, I think, that most if not all habitual users would smoke more.  And even many casual users might increase their use by some degree.

Because of the number of big drug busts in the US, there are less drugs on the street and so finding it would be difficult and obtaining it would be even more difficult as prices become prohibitive.  But if it were legalized these shortages would probably disappea…

Western Pennsylvania Scrapbookers

I created a google group called the Western Pennsylvania Scrapbookers, which is a group for discussing ideas, sharing information, making announcements, meeting new friends, etc.  This group is all about the art and crafting of scrapbooking, created by scrapbookers for scapbookers at all skill levels.  Although it's called the Western Pennsylvania Scrapbookers, it's really open to anyone.  So far we have sixteen members and little action, but I'm hoping for the best!

Apple iPhone and Censorship

So Apple has banned from their app store an application called Eucalyptus.  It's a viewer and search tool for Project Gutenberg, which is a collection of free classics (books).  Apple claims that the app contains inappropriate material.  Here is a quote from the email that Apple sent the guys a Eucalyptus.
Thank you for submitting Eucalyptus — classic books, to go to the App Store. We’ve reviewed Eucalyptus — classic books, to go and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store at this time because it contains explicit content which is in violation of Section 3.3.12 from the iPhone SDK Agreement which states:

“Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple’s reasonable judgement may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users.”Now here is the interesting part.  The app actually…

Star Trek: A Thought Experiment

I've been a fan of Star Trek for a long time, but I am not a fanatic--I own no Star Trek memorabilia nor have I donned a Star Trek costume.  I've yet to see the new Star Trek movie, but I've read that it is excellent and am looking forward to watching it.  But thinking about Start Trek something came to me--a little disturbing, perhaps. 

In the scene in my mind there is this villain who has commandeered a star ship (not unlike Khan) and warped around the galaxy destroying and terrorizing. Capt. Villain has a right hand man who I'll just call mr. mini.  So Capt. Villain suspects that mr. mini is plotting a coup and plans to kill him after taking the ship.  Obviously Capt. Villain is angered and so, as one would expect, he plans his own small plot to get rid of mr. mini, but he wants to do it in such a way that mr. mini suspects nothing and to send a powerful message that mutiny is a bad idea.

So mr. mini happens to also be an engineer and knows how to repair stuff on s…

Modeling to Learn

Modeling.  Not the thing that supermodels do.  But modeling as in creating a representation of the ideal of some object in the world.  In order to understand something such as an apple, we need to observe and study it.  If we examine apples of different varieties we will see that they can all be described by an ideal apple, but of course only inasmuch as its constituant parts are concerned.  Each variety has its own charactertics, including skin color, taste, texture of the flesh, etc.  But all apples have a skin, flesh and core that makes them apples.

So how would someone go about modeling an object.  How does one model something anyway?  Usually we model with a modeling language (in the case of software architects, we use something called the Unified Modeling Language) which often times is a graphical language in which we can show very concisely and in brief what an object is and what it does.

Think about what an architect creates when designing buildings or playgrounds or whatever.…

Things that Piss Me Off

[rant]

Despite all the meds I still something get pissed off over the most stupid things.  I like watching Planet Green and especially I like to watch Living with Ed--I have no idea why.  Perhaps this is a general comment about cable networks, but there are over twenty episodes in two seasons of Living with Ed yet for some reason they show the same six or seven episodes.  And this of course gets boring.  I know I can switch channels and watch something else.  And I do.  So I don't know why this pisses me off, it just does.  I think it has something to do with my burgeoning psychosis.  So much for the medication. 
[end rant]



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The Machine that Understands

I would like a way to filter the web based on my own personality and experience.  For example, when I go to Mashable and read and article that first explain a technology (e.g. an RSS reader) then goes into the story I'd rather not have to even see it because I know what an RSS reader is.  But, should a filter remove the article all together, or simply "fold" that opening paragraph.  This is probably a ridiculous idea, but I wade through blogs, online magazine and newspaper articles and basic web sites, and I get cranky when I have to figure out what portions are interesting.  I have an idea how to do this.  It'd something I have been thinking about for a while, but it's a very small piece of a larger intelligent system I've been thinking about.

The larger idea is to have my computer study what I am doing when I'm on my Mac and find automatically things that might interest me.  This model works just as well with the desktop as it does the web.  More than s…