Entries from July 2005 ↓

bash.org

In a bout of compete unproductivity I resorted to reading a little [bash.org]:

<Mank> Happy New Year.
<Mank> 666 + 1337 = 2003
<Anders> So the Antichrist is to arrive this year in the form of a preteen hacker?
<Chris_A> It's the Ap0cA1yp53!!!!111
<Mank> a11 uR j3suz r b3lonG 2 US!!!!!!

Why Greenpeace lost me a long time ago

It is all because of things like this.

Not only is it a sure fire way for us not to be prepared for the future, but claims that it is probably a dead end are just close-mindedness. Fusion works, look at the sun, sure there are difficulties to work out but that is what we’ve been doing with technology since forever. The scientists that are devoting their lives to it obviously also think it can be done, and surely they’d be the ones to have the best guess, no?

And this:

Fusion energy – if it would ever operate – would create a serious waste problem, would emit large amounts of radioactive material and could be used to produce materials for nuclear weapons. A whole new set of nuclear risks would thus be created.

Anyone who had actually bothered to research fusion power production wouldn’t make such bogus claims.

Abstract ideas

I’ve recently watched a couple of slightly different (“unusual”) movies. The first is a recent release in New Zealand – “What the %^&$ do we know?”, and the other is couple of years old – “Waking Life”. They both focus on world view and philosophy, so there isn’t much of a story to either. They are more about provoking the viewer into thinking about interesting ideas. And it worked for me and The Golden Owl.

What the %^&$ do we know?

This movie is really more of a documentary allowing some people to express some
relatively far out views of existance. There is a subplot about a girl experiencing the world which they use to try and explain their ideas – which is quite poorly acted, although about par with the acting you get in most documentaries.

The people they talked to were quite wacky, but interesting – there were lots of moments the The Golden Owl and I have laughed about later. The general premise of the movie is that we have the power to influence the world as we know it through positive thinking, and even if you think they are talking bollocks it is still a nice message. In fact, so long as you go in with an open mind and don’t take it too seriously (i.e. turn down the critical scientific thinking) then it can really spark some interesting discussions. So I like it, if for no other reason than that.

Waking Life

This movie is the one that you may know as being filmed and then animated over the top of the film – making it pretty surreal. Full of interesting (for the most) ideas being discussed with the lead character… who for the most part says little to nothing.

Anyhow, the reason behind the movie eventually plays itself out, however the ending it self leaves alot to be desired. Actually just thinking about it has made me question the ending, and thinking about it now, it does make symbolic sense.

A meme it seems

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Overview: This post is a community experiment with two broad purposes. The first is to create publicly accessible data about bloggers’ personalities, which may have sociological value in addition to being just plain fun. The second is to track the propagation of this meme through blogspace. Full details and explanation can be found on the original posting: http://pixnaps.blogspot.com/2005/06/meme-worth-spreading.html

Instructions (to join in the experiment):

1) Take the IPIP-NEO personality test and the Political Compass quiz, if you have not done so already.

2) Copy to the clipboard that section of this post that is between the double lines, and paste it into your blog editor. (Blogger users may wish to use ‘compose’ mode to preserve formatting and hyperlinks. Otherwise, be sure to add hyperlinks as necessary.)

3) Replace the answers in the “survey” section below with your own.

4) Add your blog information to the “track list”, in the form: “Linked title – URL – optional GUID”.

5) Any additional comments should go outside of the double lines, including the (optional) nomination of bloggers you wish to pass this experimental meme on to.

6) Post it to your blog!

Survey:

Age: 23
Gender: Male
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Religion: Agnostic
Occupation: Student
Began blogging (dd/mm/yy): 1998

Political Compass results
Left/Right: -4.63
Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.05

IPIP-NEO results

EXTRAVERSION: 23
Friendliness 7
Gregariousness 21
Assertiveness 34
Activity Level 80
Excitement-Seeking 46
Cheerfulness 11

AGREEABLENESS: 62
Trust 51
Morality 61
Altruism 57
Co-operation 72
Modesty 74
Sympathy 31

CONSCIENTIOUSNESS: 46
Self-Efficacy 52
Orderliness 73
Dutifulness 17
Achievement-Striving 46
Self-Discipline 57
Cautiousness 30

NEUROTICISM: 80
Anxiety 73
Anger 14
Depression 79
Self-Consciousness 89
Immoderation 85
Vulnerability 89

OPENNESS TO EXPERIENCE: 59
Imagination 60
Artistic Interests 22
Emotionality 65
Adventurousness 58
Intellect 59
Liberalism 71

Track List:
1. Philosophy, et cetera – pixnaps.blogspot.com – pixnaps97a2
2. ferrouswheel – ferrouswheeladef2

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(un)Zen and the art stress of PhD

I wanted to further my explanation of how to stay organised, however I feel distinctly unorganized as if I’m just floating around aimlessly. This is apparently to be expected now and then in doing “research”, and granted I have been in this position before and come out of it in a flurry of activity. Instead of continuing the last post this will be an intermission, part 1.5 if you will. I’ll try and come up with some stress relief ideas. Bear in mind that this is probably more for me than anyone else, but if other find it helpful then that’s great.

The Physical

So the first thing I could think of to relieve my stress and the “voices” in my head was to go and work out at the gym, which I generally do anyhow. I always feel high on endorphins afterwards, and I usually do it at the end of the day to release all my tension. However, I think it would be much more useful to go in the morning so that the endorphins can help me during the day instead of just in the evening.

Also I’ve started Kung Fu (only 1 session so far, but it seems good), and this along with most other martial arts is bound to help stress.

The Mental

Now to combat the source of the stress. My incessant thinking of possibilities. I think the best idea for me is to start meditating at some time during the day, just to clear my head. There is another solution, and that is to cut my 7 cups of coffee a day down to only a couple, or none at all. By a startling coincidence, “none at all” is exactly how much chance there is of that happening right now. Besides, I’ve pretty much quit smoking and that is meant to better stress levels, even though I’d really love a smoke right now.