Tag Archives: kuro5hin

Archive Journal Entry: 20030326

My friend Charlie has started a blog. He suggested that I start adding some photos to my own, specifically my avocado project. Unfortunately I have some technical difficulties (not enough usb ports on my laptop) so I cannot upload the photos right now.

More news about my Software Construction Analogy paper: there is another article on kuro5hin.org, this one about software architecture. It refers to my article. I have also participated substantially in the discussion there. I’m hoping that in a few weeks I will be able to publish a more scholarly attack on the software construction analogy. Eventually, I would like to develop the ideas into a full book. How many words are in a standard technical book? Addison Wesley, one of my favorite publishers, has some guidelines for book submissions.

Today was a crumby day. I had a very bad headache that started last night and continued until this evening. It seems to be gone now, but I didn’t make it into work. I have an important deadline coming next week so that was very frustrating. Tomorrow I have a morning meeting with the CIO of the organization I am working with – I hope I feel much better!!!

Archive Journal Entry: 20030324

I wanted to thank a couple people for putting comments about my Software Construction Analogy paper on their blogs: Seth Dillingham, and Eric Hancock. Thanks!

I went to see the movie “Dreamcatcher” today. It was okay. The real reason I went to see it was to see the Animatrix short that precedes the feature. I am very much looking forward to the Matrix sequals coming soon…

Yesterday I got the dance pad for the StepMania dance game for PC. I tried it out briefly last night and did about 20 minutes with it this evening in Jersey City. I love it!!! I fully expect to get really good at it and get lots of exercise in the bargain. There are a couple minor problems tho: the pad is a thin flexible plastic thingy that slips easily both on my carpet at home and on the hardwood in my apartment. Not only that, but in my apartment, jumping around on the hardwood is a bit tough on my feet. So, I’ll probably buy some stuff to make it better, like a thin dense foam underlay and some sort of system for holding it in place on both hardwood and carpet. I was also thinking of putting some sort of ridges under the pad so that I can feel when my feet get out of place.

Archive Journal Entry: 20030314

Yesterday I submitted an abridged version of my paper “The Software Construction Analogy is Broken” to Kuro5hin. It was submitted at 9:30 pm EST, and posted to the front page of Kuro5hin at around 11:00am EST today. Someone by the name of Hamis Harvey has already written some very intelligent comments on my article on his blog. The larger paper itself deals with the same topic but provides a substantial set of scholarly references and notes as well as some differences in the text. The paper is not yet complete and I am grateful for the many excellent comments people have made on Kuro5hin. I intend to honor those comments by making my paper even better (and of course acknowledging the sources of the improvements!). Thanks K5!

Archive Journal Entry: 20030308

There is an extremely interesting article up on kuro5hin called Temporal Symbolism in Human Communication. I recommend it particularly to any writers and to those interested in the Baha’i principle of an international auxiliary language.

Thanks to those who emailed me about language learning materials (namely, Ross… do you have a homepage I can link to?)!!!

This past Christmas/New Year’s break, while visiting my family in Fort McMurray, my dad had an insight about my character. He noticed how much I enjoy food. He noted that, in essense, this pleasure is a very sensual delight. Finally, he suggested that if I was concerned about how much I was eating, I might try including more of the arts in my life. So. I have made a small effort in that regard. Particularly with music. I have started to listen to music a little more, I have set up my piano and I regularly sit down at it, and I have started composing with buzz. In the meantime, I have continued to think on this insight. It turns out that it is a little more dark an issue than just a natural inclination to the sensual… I believe I use food as psychological respite, similar in perhaps a small way to the drinking of an alcoholic. Now due to my fantastic metabolism, I am not having a serious weight problem. Nevertheless, I realized that I “use” food when I am lonely or otherwise feeling down. It is something that I turn to instead of to a real solution. At the very least, I should seriously consider saying more prayers. And writing here helps too 🙂

My mom got me a great present for my birthday. I forgot to mention it because it was sent by mail and arrived quite late. She got me “The Idiot” (US$, CA$) by Dostoevsky (google search). I’m now serveral chapters into it and enjoying it very much. The main significance of this work to me is that it is the source of my name. The main character, Prince Mishkin, is the one after whom I am named.

Last Tuesday night I started with a Ruhi book 1 study circle in Jersey City. I am quite happy about it. I last did book 1 back in 1993 or so in a retreat with four other young guys. We became known as the Five Boy Institute. Alexei, Sky Glabush, Dean Kalyan and Cory April were the other attendees. There were three notable aspects of that winter weekend retreat at a cabin. The first, that the water, or some food was bad and we all ended up with multiple trips to the outhouse the one night we stayed over. The second, we didn’t really know how to use the enormous wood-burning stove and we ended up with an indoor temperature of somewhere around 45C (113F). And finally, we had one seriously spiritual weekend with many rounds of the “Fire Tablet” and serious study of the writings.

Archive Journal Entry: 20021218

Here are two interesting online questionnaires: about philosophy and politics – very thought provoking, about religion and belief – this one got me pegged.

Here’s a diary entry I posted on kuro5hin:

I love movies. A movie can be inspiring, enjoyable, challenging, funny, instructive… or it can be depressing, unpleasant, meaningless, boring or deceptive. But either way, a movie can still be “good”. So what makes a good movie? Poll and discussion…

I have personal preferences regarding the genre of movies I like (action, sci-fi, romantic comedy) and don’t like (horror, suspense, most drama, mystery). I have some favorites that don’t really fall into those categories (“Run
Lola, Run
“, “The Last Emperor“, “Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon
“, “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover“). Please add your own favorites to the discussion. Why did you like them?

But what about qualities? I tend to like films that have good music and sound effects. For example, “Run Lola, Run”, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “The Cook…” all have music and sound effects that turn good, cool movies into hair-raising excellent movies that I will watch over and over and over again.

My younger brother is a film-maker (no-one famous, yet). He has sensitized me to many other aspects of a film. For example, every good film rests on a good script. If the dialog and story structure suck, or even are just mediocre, then it is difficult to become fully immersed in the story. An excellent script can even make a good movie out of poor actors. Acting quality is important, but lets face it: most Hollywood actors are… actually quite good! Sure some of them have a limited repertoire, but within that range, they are well-honed.

Now plot… one of the interesting things about plot is that it is usually all exactly the same: one character goes through the “hero’s journey” (do a google search) either literally or symbolically. I personally find that I am more affected by a movie when that hero’s journey is represented in a movie at more than one level.

Other factors: I tend to like any movie with cool special effects. But special effects can be over-done (“Attack of the Clones” springs to mind). On the other hand, “Spiderman” was the perfect mix of special effects and story (I absolutely loved how the everyboy’s dream of becoming a super-hero was presented). I really dislike visually dark movies. The darkness (for example in “The
“) seems to detract from my ability to become caught up in the movie. It annoys me and I keep noticing that I’m watching a movie instead of being enthralled by the plot and characters and imagery. Despite its other excellent features, “Blade Runner” is also like this for me.

I also love the pure escapism of romantic comedy, but I’m getting pickier. I still love “Forget Paris“, but some of the others are starting to annoy me. I tend to like the things Steve Martin does but they tend to focus more on the comedy than the romance. FWIW, I tend to watch only Hollywood movies.

So what do you think?

Here are some of the things I would do to clean up the story:

1. Work on the implied hypothesis in the intro (movies can be good even if they are "negative") and emphasize it more in the body
2. A more interesting poll perhaps about the most important qualities of a movie
3. More clearly separate my own personal tastes vs. a discussion of the hypothesis

I was partly inspired to write this because I re-watched much of "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" last night.