[Nita]'s diary

1051772  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2008-10-23
Written: (3287 days ago)

Five things said or written by Richard Feynman:



When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty damn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress, we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt.



I have a friend who's an artist, and he sometimes takes a view which I don't agree with. He'll hold up a flower and say, "Look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree. But then he'll say, "I, as an artist, can see how beautiful a flower is. But you, as a scientist, take it all apart and it becomes dull." I think he's kind of nutty.



Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars — mere globs of gas atoms. Nothing is "mere". I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination — stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern — of which I am a part... What is the pattern or the meaning or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little more about it. For far more marvellous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?



You say you are a nameless man. You are not to your wife and to your child. You will not long remain so to your immediate colleagues if you can answer their simple questions when they come into your office. You are not nameless to me. Do not remain nameless to yourself — it is too sad a way to be. Know your place in the world and evaluate yourself fairly, not in terms of the naïve ideals of your own youth, nor in terms of what you erroneously imagine your teacher's ideals are.



Looking back at the worst times, it always seems that they were times in which there were people who believed with absolute faith and absolute dogmatism in something. And they were so serious in this matter that they insisted that the rest of the world agree with them. And then they would do things that were directly inconsistent with their own beliefs in order to maintain that what they said was true.
1050679  Link to this entry 
Written about Friday 2008-10-17
Written: (3293 days ago)
1049819  Link to this entry 
Written about Sunday 2008-10-12
Written: (3298 days ago)

A couple of essays on power and privilege:

"People can be a bit like water" http://ballastexistenz.autistics.org/?p=565 (featuring Neville Longbottom)

"On Flavors of Privilege" http://www.existenceiswonderful.com/2008/09/on-flavors-of-privilege.html (shorter)

1049727  Link to this entry 
Written about Sunday 2008-10-12
Written: (3298 days ago)

And in cultural news...

I saw John Singleton's "Baby Boy" on TV last night. It's a movie with no white characters, which was refreshing. It was fairly simple and romantic, and there was one bad guy, but I liked it because it felt warm compassionate towards the characters despite all the dysfunctional shit going on.

And [Levoton] has introduced me to the love that is
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=flight+of+the+conchords
Thanks! :)

1049709  Link to this entry 
Written about Sunday 2008-10-12
Written: (3298 days ago)

Lacking Control Increases Illusory Pattern Perception

"Participants who lacked control were more likely to perceive a variety of illusory patterns, including seeing images in noise, forming illusory correlations in stock market information, perceiving conspiracies, and developing superstitions. Additionally, we demonstrated that increased pattern perception has a motivational basis by measuring the need for structure directly and showing that the causal link between lack of control and illusory pattern perception is reduced by affirming the self."

Science article abstract: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/322/5898/115
A few details on ScienceNOW: http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/sciencenow;2008/1002/2
BBC coverage: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7649970.stm

Mmmm. It feels good to have my intuitive conclusions supported by science.

In other words, if you're feeling chronically stressed, overwhelmed or helpless, get that sorted ASAP, because it's impairing your judgement.

1049380  Link to this entry 
Written about Friday 2008-10-10
Written: (3300 days ago)

And now, a quote from [Serwa]'s description (yes, the whole thing is a quote, including the picture :P):



<img:http://www.elftown.com/img/drawing/389_1220645408.jpg> I have a broad taste when it comes to art.


I ROFL'd.

P.S. I went to take a look at his house because he had been being a dick in the Mainstreet poll comments, but then apologized. Good PR in action, I suppose ;D
1049215  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2008-10-09
Written: (3301 days ago)
1048922  Link to this entry 
Written about Wednesday 2008-10-08
Written: (3303 days ago)
Next in thread: 1048924
1046683  Link to this entry 
Written about Tuesday 2008-09-23
Written: (3317 days ago)
Next in thread: 1046804

Today, for the first time in my life since I hit puberty, I was able to look in the mirror and see my real face. Not the cute!me, not the ugly!me - just me.

P.S. The face in my photo is a bit of a pretty-face, though. It's for you ;)

1044773  Link to this entry 
Written about Tuesday 2008-09-09
Written: (3331 days ago)
Next in thread: 1044831

<rant>
See, this is why I prefer to read slash (as in, fanfiction with gay sex) rather than het (same with straight sex):


I could never have forced her.

I … I truly care for her.




This, in an otherwise decent fic. Straight drama/romance/smut, without any inclination towards touching the more dysfunctional aspects of life (which I do enjoy in fiction, in case you're wondering). And here I was, with my naive belief that not raping someone was a part of basic human decency. Silly me! Obviously, it's a sign of True Love. *sighs* How romantic.
</rant>
1043489  Link to this entry 
Written about Saturday 2008-08-30
Written: (3341 days ago)

Greta Christina asks her readers how to avoid becoming a crank, and receives some great replies! Very recommended for overcritical nitpicky spoilsports like me ;) http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2008/08/on-not-being-a-crank.html

1042705  Link to this entry 
Written about Monday 2008-08-25
Written: (3346 days ago)
1042288  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2008-08-21
Written: (3350 days ago)

Free textbooks!
Article: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-textbook18-2008aug18,0,4712858.story
Discussion: http://news.slashdot.org/news/08/08/19/1316227.shtml
Example: http://www.lightandmatter.com/books.html

On a related note, SiSU looks interesting: http://www.jus.uio.no/sisu/
As you might know, I love the flexibility of HTML+CSS(+JS). I'm also a wannabe fan of S5 (file format), Leo (text editor) and the LaTeX class beamer. If you know of any other one-source-many-uses projects, let me know :)

1042001  Link to this entry 
Written about Tuesday 2008-08-19
Written: (3352 days ago)

We were talking in the forums, and I remembered about The Eatpoo Guide for Art desperados, which is a pretty good intro for newbie (and maybe not-so-new) artists: http://eatpoo.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&amp;t=27

1041819  Link to this entry 
Written about Monday 2008-08-18
Written: (3353 days ago)
1041610  Link to this entry 
Written about Saturday 2008-08-16
Written: (3355 days ago)
1041525  Link to this entry 
Written about Friday 2008-08-15
Written: (3356 days ago)

A small study finds that female relatives of gay/bi men have more children than those of straight men. They come up with a theory to explain it, but I'm not convinced: http://www.newscientist.com/channel/being-human/dn14543-bisexuality-passed-on-by-hyperheterosexuals-.html

1041357  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2008-08-14
Written: (3357 days ago)
1041346  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2008-08-14
Written: (3357 days ago)

Apple is doing well, the stock market believes; nerds discuss why: http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/08/14/0257244

And, apparently, being pretty has measurable benefits (imagine that!): http://www.newscientist.com/channel/sex/mg19926694.600-humans-are-biased-towards-the-beautiful.html

1041339  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2008-08-14
Written: (3357 days ago)

A discussion about allowing doping in sports: http://science.slashdot.org/science/08/08/13/1957200.shtml
As one commenter says, "sportmanship is hard to find in professional sports, but it exists at other levels." I think it's a natural result of athletics turning from a discipline into an entertainment industry too popular for its own good. We, as a society, have lost perspective somewhere along the way :/

And in other news, we have... robots with braaains! (well, almost) http://technology.newscientist.com/channel/tech/mg19926696.100-rise-of-the-ratbrained-robots.html

1041328  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2008-08-14
Written: (3357 days ago)
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