Category: rave

Math

posted by ben on 10.11.01 at 14:14, null, null, math, math, rant, politics, rant, rave, Leave a comment Permalink

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/22/AR2010102205451.html

So, so wrong. We need more math education. Yes, set theory may not be terribly useful (unless you interact with tuples on a daily basis), but calculus is a prerequisite for understanding the world around us. If we want to understand how many of the automated systems around us work, linear algebra and more is neccessary. The math education that comes with a typical college degree is totally insufficient to understanding the world.

That means only a select few can understand how things work, which in turn means that an even smaller select group can improve on the working of things. This is a problem. Wider math education means the ability of society to build more complex machines. That means great productivity and that means greater wealth.

Some education has value. Some does not. Math has value.

posted by ben on 08.11.21 at 17:58, null, null, technology, rant, rave, Leave a comment Permalink

I was told there would be flying cars. Now they say I can’t have a car at all. This is not the future, but the numbers keep going up anyway.

Aren't mice necessarily modest?

posted by ben on 07.04.09 at 20:24, null, rant, rave, Leave a comment Permalink

I'm green, Da ba dee da ba di...

posted by collin on 07.03.30 at 12:16, null, pictures, coffee, rave, Leave a comment Permalink

The green chili (a variation on this recipe):

olive oil
1-2 lbs pork loin, 1 lb for soup, 2 for a more stew-y chili
5 cloves garlic
1 white onion, chopped
2 Tbs flour
2 Tbs cornstarch
20 anaheim chilis
6 habaneros
1 Tbs cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 3/4 cups chicken broth
10 tomatillos

Cube pork loin, lightly fry with olive oil with onion, salt, white pepper. Set aside.

Roast, peel, seed, and chop anaheim chilis. Halve and seed habaneros.

Mix flour and corn starch with a little water.

Put everything in a crock pot, cook on low for 6-8 hours.

The enchilada chicken:

1 package dried ancho chiles
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. cumin powder
2 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
6 cloves garlic
1/2 onion, white or red
1/4 cup corn oil

Soak ancho chilis in hot water for 20 minutes. Seed chilis. Put everything (not the chicken), plus a little bit of the water in a food processor and liquify. Quarter and marinate chicken for a few hours.

Remove from marinade and sear chicken in a cast iron skillet on high. Place in pot with half of the marinade and simmer for 1.5 hours. Pull apart with a fork.

Make enchiladas and eat.

...just found this on an ancient notepad... I don't like ancient notepads.

posted by ben on 07.02.18 at 17:28, null, rant, rave, fetishizing intellect and beauty, writing, 2 comments Permalink

I envy you because even if you were felled by some unkind act of god, this instant, you would end knowing her better than I will, if by some chance, we lived to be 100 as we are now.

I need to get out more.

Comment from: Shenandoah [Visitor] · http://myspace.com/missshenandoah
I recognize this quote, its out of "J. Benton Lackey - The Interweb Nastygrams of 2004".
Permalink 03/10/07 @ 01:06
Comment from: ben [Member] · http://ben.nonplatonic.com
I don't think that one was even about you... I'm innocent I say... oh well.
Permalink 04/04/07 @ 21:32

more John Fowles

posted by ben on 06.12.27 at 01:59, null, rant, rave, Leave a comment Permalink

Someone literate should read The French Lieutenant's Woman, so I can ask them about it.

Realization #5

posted by ben on 06.12.16 at 02:18, null, rant, technology, rant, rave, Leave a comment Permalink

Advertising on the internet is a ponzi scheme, but one that is strangely well regarded. Virtually no one actually produces anything with value. Instead, the money driving the internet is mostly in the form of advertisements for other web sites that run entirely off of ad revenue... and so on ad infinitum... How?

For example, it took me two clicks from Gothamist to get to a real product, clicking on the ads..
http://gothamist.com/
-> http://www.sheckys.com/newyear/2007/default.asp
-> http://www.korbel.com/modules/content/?sid=29

... and this is just funny. On slashdot, the second adword ad is for porn addiction. Come on, Slashdot?

This is why I need to get out more:

posted by ben on 06.12.06 at 13:39, null, null, rant, rave, Leave a comment Permalink

Last night, I had a dream that my portfolio was balanced 70-30 in favor of bonds. Benjamin Graham came to me in a mystical vision and told me the balance was all off for this market, so I sold all my bonds. Then Graham vanished in a puff of distaste, just before I put all my bond money in shorts.

apollo on tranquilizers

posted by ben on 06.08.31 at 16:55, null, technology, rant, rave, 1 comment Permalink

...described by NASA's chief as "Apollo on steroids..."

-"Lockheed Martin Wins NASA Contract," New York Times
-via boingboing

Yes, because when I think worthy successor to the $135 billion Apollo program, I think $4 billion spent on a tin can after 30 years of nothing. They're aiming for a manned return to the moon in 2019 or 2020... for the fucking 50th anniversary of the original landing I suppose.

Now that we have computers, you'd really think we could do something more. Maybe in 2047 they'll send another remote control car to Mars.

We choose to go to the moon in the next decade, or maybe the one after, and do something else, not because they are hard, but because they are easy, because that goal will serve to organize and measure some remainder of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we already succeeded at once, so we can probably do it again without much effort, one we are willing to postpone, and one which we intend to get around to at some point... oh, and we may do some other uninspiring stuff sometime too.

Comment from: graham [Member] · http://nonplatonic.com/graham.php
How are the astronauts going to fly to the moon if they can't even fit in the space ship? It has to be at least... three times bigger than this!
Permalink 09/01/06 @ 10:52

posted by ben on 06.08.02 at 00:01, null, rant, rave, seattle, Leave a comment Permalink

Dear residents of 89 Yesler
(and probably Seattle at large, particularly hipsters),

I know you mean well, but you have no idea how to do laundry.

I don't understand how you avoided learning... perhaps you grew up in one of those idyllic suburban households I've heard so much about... maybe your mother made you tuna casserole and Hamburger Helper... perhaps she inspected your underwear for suspicious stains until you left home...

At any rate, it's time to learn.

(1) Never wash your colors with hot water. If, for some reason, you are too obscenely lazy to seperate your colors and whites, at least wash them on cold. This is a public service, in so much as you won't be wearing grey clothes that depress me.

(2) Putting a sheet of Snuggle or Bounce in the dryer will keep clothing from becoming a small, fuzzy Tesla coil.

(3) Do not put Ben's linen in the dryer. Do not put Ben's bike shorts in the dryer. Do not put Ben's swimming shorts in the dryer. You might also consider not putting your nylon clothing in the dryer.

I know you're trying to help, but it doesn't help. It makes my linen fuzzy and that makes me sad.

(4) If you feel the need to use bleach, have the decency to not splatter it everywhere. I know I usually wear white, but if I lack the forsight to wear white in the laundry room someday, I'd like to leave without bleach spots on my trousers.

I hate everyone.

posted by ben on 06.07.21 at 00:23, null, rant, rant, rave, seattle, 4 comments Permalink

The people at .83 are a lot more fun than Critical Mass. I was having a fairly good time. I talked to Jace, the guy the cops beat up about a month ago. It was interesting, but I don't buy his story. There has to have been something else going on that Jace and The Stranger neglected to mention...

...sort of like the Stranger article that mysteriously fails to mention the reason the "artists" were getting evicted: that they'd done a little artwork on the public hallways of the building, consisting of random splatters of paint. So, I'm skeptical.

But, that's ok. Fringe cycle people are entitled to their side of the story. I'm famously partial to my point of view, so I suppose other people can be too.

All that was fine until Jayce wiped out in the dark. He took out some other poor bastard as well. When Jace got up, his first concern was that he'd dropped one of those red led lights... not the guy he'd just taken down.

Then someone noticed a dog, and it became painfully obvious to half the party that Jace had hit the dog.

"Does it have tags?"
"Someone see if it has tags."
"Maybe it has tags."

This is the point where I reflexively say "Christ," shove 15 people out of the way and go check if the dog has tags, which it probably does because I can hear them from 10 feet away. So, I pull out my cell phone and call the owner while everyone else rides away.

If you hit a dog on a bike, you're going to hell.
If you hit a dog on a bike and then ride off, you're going to some special region of hell where you will be eternally tortured next to mother rapers, father stabbers and father rapers.

Also, if you own a dog and go through the effort to buy tags for it, it would be prudent to put you address on so I can determine if your dog is somewhere near where it ought to be. Furthermore, if you lose your dog, it might be a good idea to answer your fucking phone when I call.

And, that concludes tonight's rant.

Comment from: graham [Member] · http://nonplatonic.com/graham.php
Where in seattle is it ever dark enough to be able to miss seeing a dog directly in front of you?

As much as I distrust police, I'm beginning to see why the cops went out of their way to beat him up; he sounds exceptionally stupid.
Permalink 07/21/06 @ 09:01
Comment from: collin [Member] · http://nonplatonic.com/collin.php
I kinda want to hit him right now. Was he high/plastered, or is his impairment more of the long term kind?
Permalink 07/21/06 @ 21:59
Comment from: collin [Member] · http://nonplatonic.com/collin.php
Oh, and that reminds me of the time I almost hit a dog with my car in Boulder. No number on the tags. Call the vet on the tags, closed. Decide, I'll just take the dog home and get her back to her owner tomorrow. Have to deal with the pissy alcoholic that came to pick up his dog [who "was walking his friend home", and no I didn't switch the subject and the object] cause he had to take the bus to south Boulder.

Jackass.
Permalink 07/21/06 @ 22:03
Comment from: ben [Member] · http://ben.nonplatonic.com
More of the long term kind. I liked him before that though. He's a courier. Maybe they're just assholes.

I don't even like dogs and I'm better.
Permalink 07/21/06 @ 23:35

posted by ben on 06.07.06 at 17:38, null, rave, 2 comments Permalink

Who the fuck has my copy of Yeats? Cough it up you bastard...

Comment from: collin [Member] · http://nonplatonic.com/collin.php
Not I.
Permalink 07/11/06 @ 09:20
Comment from: ben [Member] · http://ben.nonplatonic.com
I lost it on my shelf. I'm a genius.

Now I have two copies.
Permalink 07/17/06 @ 15:22

on the politics of randomalcy

posted by ben on 06.06.25 at 03:10, null, null, rant, rave, 1 comment Permalink

Is absolute zero exactly -273.15 C, or is that rounding just like the -273 C we were always told in high school?

If it is, doesn't that seem odd? That is, that the difference between freezing and absolute zero, where zero is defined by the freezing temperature of water and 100 is the boiling temperature, is a rational number without that many digits? Wouldn't you expect it to be irrational, or at least something more like -273.1534985345893589359 C?

Which brings me to one of those lies we were told in high school and before. Say I was told to generate a string of random real valued numbers up to some arbitrary precision. I might right down something like 2.4398, 285930, 2342300, 5.3459. And sure, these have some structure because I mashed the keyboard and there're structural limitations... something... but, you get the idea.

Then, the teacher, pretending to teach, triumpantly says: "aha! 1, 1, 1, 1 is just as random as the string you came up with."

And, I sigh and say yes, because, sure it is. The only problem is that getting a bunch of ones or fives or twos from some actually random process is astronomically less likely than getting what looks like a bunch of garbage.

Sure, it is just as likely as getting any particular garbage, but who's interested in the particulars of garbage anyway?

And that concludes tonight's rant.

Comment from: collin [Member] · http://nonplatonic.com/collin.php
Then, the teacher, pretending to teach, triumpantly says: "aha! 1, 1, 1, 1 is just as random as the string you came up with."


Ah, but then you say: "But '1,1,1,1' has lower Kolmogorov complexity." And then they blink. My kids are going to be such little hellions...
Permalink 07/11/06 @ 09:37

Holy Shitness!

posted by graham on 06.06.17 at 02:39, coffee, technology, rave, Bicycles, null, Leave a comment Permalink

The fact that this is news to me shows how out of touch I am, but the return of Rapid Fire XTRs is a momentous occasion regardless.


Stupid ass interwebs

posted by ben on 06.04.24 at 03:59, null, rant, rant, rave, Leave a comment Permalink

The spambots are inexorably turning nonplatonic into a bonified link farm and the blogging world is tedious as all hell. It doesn't seem that I'll be going to Italy anytime soon, regardless of the number of dueling pistols I purchase... and things generally look grim. If only I could create beautiful things... then I wouldn't be in the company of those who talk about making art while failing to do so... and then everything would be ok... not that I believe that for a moment... clearly that's not all that's going on... at least that's what I continue to repeat to myself... building to a new mantra... a new religion... a new... oh... I give up... So?

So what? What are you going to do? Any suggestions? How's your life going? Why are you so happy with it? Because you don't think about it? Or, are you somehow genuinely better off? Well, fine... fuck you then...

And this is supposed to turn me on how?

Fucking and reading? Yeah, I could do that.... for a while at least.

late night rant

posted by ben on 06.03.07 at 18:33, null, rant, rave, Leave a comment Permalink

I still suffer from the hilariously misbegotten notion that people are generally good, generally do good and have some sort of consensus on the nature of good that is fundamental to the human condition.

Clearly there is no limit of evidence to the contrary, ranging in scale from genocidal maniacs to my disastrous personal relationships, yet I continue to cling to this hopelessly antiquated notion, that may have some justification in biology, but nothing firm enough to warrant the level of altruistic behavior I’d like to see in my fellow man… and sure, I’m a hypocrite, but only through hypocrisy can we achieve greater morality…

begin sexist Valentine's Day rant

posted by ben on 06.02.15 at 01:11, null, rant, rave, Leave a comment Permalink

Girls like to tell me, as a form of consolation, that girls like shy boys... that is to say, real girls like to tell me that hypothetical girls like shy boys.

This is shit. An utter and total lie. Girls... oh girls, when was the last time you dated a shy boy, made out with a shy boy, talked to a shy boy? Never. Because if he were being shy, there is no way he could have: said he liked/loved/felt vague affection for you, no way he could have kissed you, he probably couldn't have even looked at any part of your head... because shy boys can't do that. They can't because they're shy. Instead, they make an earnest effort to look at your face rather than your shoes, but their shyness forces an unfortunate compromise where they stare at your chest... and that never turns out well... and as for speaking... no a shy boy is certainly not going to speak to you... certainly not in an even vaguely coherent manner.

You don't like shy boys. No one does.

You make think you do. It may seem charming in principle after listening to too much Bright Eyes or Belle and Sebastian, but you don't like shy boys. You may like boys who pretend to be shy, who pretend to be artistic and kind, but they're probably worse than the outright assholes. They're practiced liars, excellent at appearing compassionate while harboring calculating souls... No, no... you don't like the shy boys. No one does.

And no one will ever notice the really shy boys... I stand up as one of the borderline ones... too shy to speak in public... too shy to speak to strangers... too shy... too shy... but not too shy to speak out for great justice...

No one loves the shy boys and there is nothing to be done for them. Cursed are the meek for theirs is a life of solitary misery and agony.

In summary, some indicators that your beloved is not in fact shy:
He looks at your face when speaking.
He has a nickname.
He plays music in public.
He can dance in public (he may dance wildly to Missing Persons in the comfort of his own loft and retain shyness).
He willingly subjects himself to situations where he might be forced to amuse others by dancing, singing, whistling, drawing, writing, performing various acts of physical prowess, or otherwise demonstrate characteristics that make him a desirable mate.

Steven Pinker is an ass.

posted by ben on 06.01.15 at 20:20, rant, rave, Leave a comment Permalink

I've had this argument for a long time that there may be differences between the way men and women think, but that those differences are so insignificant that they don't account for the lack of women in the sciences and we certainly shouldn't model our society (or education) on them regardless of their statistical significance. So, reading this made me happy.

Fantabulous!

posted by collin on 06.01.05 at 19:05, nonsense, art, random, technology, rave, tech, Leave a comment Permalink

This is the best book I've ever seen from Project Gutenberg, The Boy Mechanic: Volume I 700 Things For Boys To Do. Ok, let's go through a short list of just some of the wonders inside:

  • p.151 How to Make a Pilot Balloon [and inflate it with hydrogen]
  • p.188 How to Make a a Non-Polarizing Battery
  • p.190 A Fish Bait [minnow in a glass tube]
  • p.195 Attaching Runners to a Bicycle for Winter Use
  • p.213 How to Make Glider [pic above]
  • p.242 How to Make an Electrolytic Rectifier [it just looks like 4 caps to me]
  • p.268 Driving a Washing Machine with Motorcycle Power
  • p.292 Taking Button from a Child's Nostril
  • p.313 Saving an Engine: Turning the water on before starting the gas engine may prevent breaking a cylinder on a cold day. [that's it?]
  • p.330 Rubber Bands in Kite Balancing Strings
  • p.357 An Illuminated Target [to shoot at]
  • p.376 How to Build an Ice-Yacht
  • p.401 How to Make a Sailomobile
  • p.440 Electric Rat Exterminator [scary]
  • p.453 Right Handed Engine: Standing at the cylinder end and looking toward the flywheel of an engine, the wheel will be at the right if the engine is right-hand. [?]
  • p.470 The Winged Skater
  • p.475 The Norwegian Ski: You have often read of the ski, the snowshoe used by the Norwegians and other people living in the far north... Any boy with a little mechanical ingenuity can make a pair of skis (pronounced skees).
  • p.507 An Emergency Glass Funnel
  • p.516 Glass Blowing and Forming
  • p.523 How to Attach a Sail to a Bicycle [pic below]
  • p.524 Piercing Glass Plates with a Spark Coil

Edit: I forgot this, it's from the PG preamble:

Another class of projects illustrate the caviler attitude toward environment and health in 1913. These projects involve items such as gunpowder, acetylene, hydrogen, lead, mercury, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, cadmium, potassium sulfate, potassium cyanide, potassium ferrocyanide, copper sulfate, and hydrochloric acid. Several involve the construction of hazardous electrical devices. Please view these as snapshots of culture and attitude, not as suggestions for contemporary activity.

But those are the best projects!

On the holiday spirit... cranberry or white?

posted by ben on 05.12.31 at 21:36, kittens, puppies, rant, rave, Leave a comment Permalink

As the year draws to a close, I have a perverse desire to write a casualty list… relationships that have died...

I feel no remorse naming the two most mortally wounded: my friendships with Nate and Morgan. This is not to say that I feel no remorse, but it’s the ones still clinging to life that concern me. If I type the words, acknowledge their grave condition, will it be enough to push them over the edge?

Even with people dropping off at an ever accelerating rate, I still have their blogs. Nearly everyone I know is narcissistic enough that if they don’t have a blog, they still have an online specter that makes good stalking material.

When does it stop? After college, all your friends drop away until left completely alone, you go out and marry the first person you can find… buy a suburban house and fight about Swiffers… I’d rather it ends now.

Lonely, reading morbid Turkish fiction, in a coffee shop: “What do you normally do for New Years?” I have a party. My friends come over and we all make food. I sit with people I barely know and watch them smoke. It’s usually cold, but I’m usually drunk so it doesn’t matter. I sit outside, away from everyone else, because I don’t want to be alone. I wear a stained linen shirt that doesn’t quite button and slouch on the floor, wind up with my pants around my ankles or my friends sleeping all around me, ecstatic about the simplicity of good food. I like the later one better.