a ba'b'ian journal

old stuff
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
a gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
  • January 29, 2000
eating less. when you're hungry all the time. food really tastes good.

  • January 27, 2000
the tittle makes the 'i'

  • January 17, 2000
went into work today. got quite a bit done. the monthly accounting stuff. there was one problem from bruce, but another problem from where i keyed in a wrong account. that messings things up quite a bit. then i keyed in all the deposits so far this month. i saw some stuff on cgi security. i have written some scripts that are insecure. and i bought some study books for the mscd. some visual basic stuff. i probably know more visual c++, but vb is more used. got to study. and some big book on "analyzing requirements and defining solution architectures

stupid cable modem went down again. seems like mondays are bad for that. i had to actually reboot, and it changed my hostname, which i have to change on my web pages. it's a real pain, but i'm getting more used to it, and i might write a script to automate everything. i'm still working on a way to redirect pages. i know how to do it with cgi, but i lost that when i traded away my commercial cruzio account. i may be forced into some other account though. i wonder if any free accounts allow cgi.

downloaded a shareware game of poker, 7-card stud. it's way different from 5 card draw which i'm used to. i shouldn't bet too high.

this might actually be a good year for me

went to a discussion group at the yoga place. didn't say much, though we were discussing an article, and one of the people in the interview mentioned chaos theory. should have said something.

  • January 15, 2000
played poker at matt's. interesting. never played before. don't much like gambling, but i wanted to learn about it. lost a few dollars. wasn't really playing very well. learned how to play texas hold 'em. the worst loss was because i ante'd 2 dollars into acey deucy, which is not a game for me. dave won that a few time with some serious against the odds bets. i couldn't really play it though, because i couldn't cover the pot. matt did all kinds of sleazy stuff. naming games and then explaining the rules after people bet. he said in acey deucy all you can lose is the ante unless you get greedy, but you can't win unless you bet more. but it looks like dave was card counting, and so had a real edge in the game, since the cards were shown. people pretty much all bet proportionally to the value of their hands, and i really didn't think about the game very hard. one game of 7 card stud with suicide king wild, dude showed two pair, and i had a straight, and i let it get carried away at max bet. took a bruising. he had the suicide king. but one game, i dealt 5 card draw, 5's wild. betting got really high. the hands two people had two pair, matt had three queens, i had four aces. whoosh. but before that i was skidding down. another thing to learn about. when you lose your cool and panic, you bet poorly. i'm not used to 7 card stud, and that was way common. that may have been my problem. matt was up about $15 dave was up maybe $25. cherish lost $3

finished the darn sed program. maybe my stuff with bruce is done

went to a seminar at new horizons on training. visual basic is big around here, but not java. java is used at fedex and universal pictures. maybe i need to get some certifications. webmasters can make 40k something. but microsoft certified system developer can make 69k i need to try to get work. they did say they look for experience first, and then certified people.

  • January 8, 2000
so, someone on cap suggested that if you devalue yourself to be less important than others, you can become emotionally unstable. hmm.

slow day. just sitting around.

a bird is a nest's way of making another nest--batesman

i've seen it a couple of times now on tv. women naked shot from behind and turning just a little so that you can see just a little of the sides of their breasts. standards (as silly as they are) are eroding.

last year sometime i started thinking of hamburgers as sandwhiches. i dunno, i just had always just thought of them as being distinct.

  • January 7, 2000
[posted to comp.ai.phil et al] I'm coming into this late, but it sounds like an interesting discussion, so i feel like adding my bit. I just noticed that one of the groups this is crossposting to is sci.skeptic, and I consider myself pretty much a skeptic. Why, just Wednesday I was telling folks at the mensa meeting that "Skepticism is true! You can't prove anything based on evidence!"

Anyway, as for consciousness, I just recently pulled off the shelf a book by Nick Humphrey, _A History of Mind_, in which he puts forth a story about how consciousness evolved as an extension of sensory reactions. To Nick, consciousness just is sensation, a perfectly understandable brain process. In simple organisms, the prototype to consciousness was just the reaction at the surface to some stimulus: if it liked it, it gobbled it, if it didn't like it, it pulled away. As organisms became structurally more complicated, the reaction signal had to move further away--whole appendages neededs to get pulled back, say. Of course, eventually, there was a central location that represented what was happening at the surfaces, such that responses could be more global. One of Nick's main points is that there is an active feedback loop between the central point and the surface. The surface is saying "Ouch Ouch Ouch!" and the center saying "Move Move Move!", back and forth to each other, the whole process being the sensation. And ultimately, the loop moves all the way to the center, such that the brain has the ability to control how the reaction signals finally do go back out to the body.

Sensations are feelings about what is happening to us, but we also have knowledge as perceptions; that is, we also interpret the information as being about things in the world. We can only be conscious of sensations, but the brain has the ability to convert perceptions that it generates back into sensations (using those wonderful content addressable memories I guess) such as in imaginings and internal dialog and dreams and such. Thus, to know is to recreate a sensation from some perceptual knowledge. (I might be misreading him a little here). And certainly our "language generator" is constantly bombarding us with a stream of internal audio.

Anyway, what does this have to do TM? Well, I'm guessing that TM is largely about turning off this chattering, but I also feel that it may include shutting down a lot of the perceptual processes that run in parallel with sensation, such that the practitioner would be just sensing without perceiving and interpreting and such. I suppose that would be relaxing. Also, a benefit of such a meditation practice is that you become more aware of the two different modes of mental processing--how sensing is different from perceiving. And you see how the self is a construct, and all that maya stuff that mystics talk about.

i really blew it on wednesday. i thought i was ready to talk about that humphrey stuff at the ai meeting, but i chickened out. i turns out i probably wasn't quite ready, because i tried to explain it at the mensa meeting and flailed. but i looked back at it some more, and wrote the above, which is a little better. Dr. Stan has his son Sam along. cute. maybe 10. And Art Graesser showed up. i thought that was nice. but it helped intimidate me. i still want to bring up the phd thing.

  • January 2, 2000
Happy New Year!

My brother Fred and his wife Grace had their big fat baby at 3:19am Jan 1

I got a CD-writer for christmas and have been having trouble getting it to work under linux. it's and ide drive but the software requires the scsi general driver, which i had taken out of the kernel, so i had to put it back in. and then the kernel was too big, but now it seems to be in it but it isn't loading the device into /proc/devices. grr. it's an annoying OS when it doesn't work.

today is my mom's birthday

I hung out with Aimee after the FSM. walked from her place to the pyramid. I really wanted to hang out with her on new year's eve, but didn't.

a got a big book of knots

my dad is shrinking or i am growing because i am about his height now. i think he is shrinking. but i have heard of yoga making people taller.