Monday, May 28, 2007

Passion and Willpower

Papa Bear jumped to the icy arctic sea to hunt some fish for his third one-seventh breakfast, but he forgot that he couldn't swim. When he was almost drown, to be found who knows how many years later as an interesting fossil, a gigantic penguin with its pet ice cube saved him.

Papa Bear was thankful to the penguin, who called himself The Great Penguin of Passion and Willpower. Unfortunately, Papa Bear didn't have good memory, so he called his savior Mister Penguin Willpower instead. The Great Penguin of Passion and Willpower was very kind; he let Papa Bear call him Penguin Willpower. From then on, The Great Penguin of Passion and Willpower was known among common penguins as The Great and Kind Penguin of Passion and Willpower.

Papa Bear couldn't go home. Bear Jr. went to the city to be a super fantabulous legendary epic rock star of the millennium and Mama bear was angry about that; she wanted Bear Jr. to be a president. Anyway, whenever Mama Bear is angry, no one is allowed within 3.14 kilometer radius, deadly radiation. So Papa Bear stayed with Mister Penguin Willpower and be his student. Student, what student?

The Great and Kind Penguin of Passion and Willpower had a noble job. He traveled around the arctic looking for troubled penguins, bears, fishes, moss, anything. He glared intensely at those poor beings, and when he did, they'd get some willpower. Mister Penguin Willpower's glare lights a fire in the beholder's heart and soul. Papa Bear was accepted as The Great and Kind Penguin of Passion and Willpower's pupil in the arts of intense glaring and lighting fire in hearts.

Soon, Papa Bear learned all that can be taught by The Great and Kind Penguin. He was then sent to do the noble task of lighting fire in human hearts, the title he was given: "The Magnificent Papa Bear of Passion and Willpower". Papa Bear Willpower carried out his task dutifully, and soon human folks began calling him The Magnificent Papa Bear of Passion and Willpower That We All Love, or Our Love Papa Bear Willpower, and whenever they are in a pinch, they would call "P-P-PAPA BEEEEEAAAAAAAARRRRR!", and Papa Bear Willpower will come to their aid.

The news eventually reached the ears of The Great and Kind Penguin of Passion and Willpower, and it made him proud. He then began training more penguins and bears in the arts and sent them all over the world. His students later called him Our Beloved Fantastic Teacher The Great and Kind Penguin of Passion and Willpower.

The teacher's mission finally came to a success. Everyone in the planet is now overflowing with passion and willpower. They then renamed the planet Planet Earth of Passion and Willpower. But Our Beloved Fantastic Teacher The Great and Kind Penguin of Passion and Willpower wasn't one to be satisfied easily. He said, in an epic ceremony to celebrate the new name of the planet "Today this planet, tomorrow the galaxy, eventually the universe! PASSION. AND WILLPOWER!" to which every single living thing in the planet answered "OSU!"

In The Spirit of All That is Sweet

Internship is drawing to an end. It has gone on for 20 weeks and I won't say that it feels like yesterday when I first stepped into my cubicle. It was 20 weeks ago and it remains that way. No nostalgic cliche, penguin, no. Now that the report is submitted (more or less, it's complicated) and the project is somewhat done, I suddenly find myself sitting in the cubicle browsing tech news, finding kittens with witty captions, searching papers relevant to my FYP (it's find-print-read abstract-doze off-read intro-doze off-throw paper away cycle, it's vicious!) I'm kind of out of idea on what to do these two final weeks. Well, there's a presentation coming up in the very last week, but I don't think too much of it, I'll get through it somehow. I'm presenting something I've been doing for months anyway.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Healthy Like a Thick Steel Wall

I don't go to campus medical center often. Only once after admission for the obligatory medical check up, in fact. It's not like I'm totally healthy like a thousand kilometers thick steel wall containing a massive nuclear fireball (that's healthy? I wouldn't know!), I have my fair share of days when I just can't get out of bed (and not out of laziness) and am too weak to do anything (especially administering generous doses of bricks to people who need them, desperately). Usually, I can just disappear from class for a day. After all, a good night sleep is the most practical treatment for common cold, no? Things are kind of different when you're in internship, yes? I can't just disappear from work, yes, yes? So yesterday I gathered up some resolution and went to campus medical center, an alien territory for the most part, to get checked and be a certified ill person, sigh. First thing I noticed, they don't have my record. Well, that's the first time I go there to get debugged for three years. Then I caught a glimpse of their computer, what the ... a DOS box? I was tempted to check the date, just in case I time-traveled to ye olde days, but brushed that off after I saw the more common machine in the doctor's office, there goes all dreams of changing history. If I didn't go, I wouldn't have any hassle with medications, but I sure will have much explaining to do to the kacamatasuper, oh well.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Humans, More or Less

This happened almost two years ago in a German class. We were semi-frustrated about the upcoming quiz. I said, casually, that it would be nice to have a hard disk drive attached to our brain. To my surprise, one of the them responded "But that would make us less human." In what way? In what way does that make us less human? Human + HDD = less human. I can't see how augmentation results in subtraction. I think no one really feels that an amputee with prosthetics is less human, or someone with glasses, or hearing aid. Of course it's kind of different in this case, the augmentation is done to improve functionality, not to reduce deficiency. So, deficiency reduction is acceptable and functionality improvement is not? Let's see how they feel if we plant microprocessors on the brain of some mentally under developed person. So let's give in that augmented people do not conform with the non-augmented people, they are different. As long as the non-augmented is still the majority of human population, then it's the augmented that's less similar to the average, and not the other way around, so that's less human? I'm very much inclined to say no. If so, then when the augmented becomes majority, the non-augmented will be less human, and the definition shifted, not that there's any problem with that. When we are augmented and go so far as to absolutely depend on our instruments, and we wouldn't be able to function without, then that's less human? One argument against that is the removal of augmentation at that stage would be similar to introducing deficiency to non-augmented people, similar like damaging one's eyes, or ears, so augmented is not less human, it is human. But no one is born with the instruments, one may be equipped with them immediately after birth though. Over time this may very well lead to degradation of some physiological functions, like when one is bound in a wheelchair for decades his legs would shrink. Multiply the process to every single person, over long period of time, evolution would favor those with better interfacing capability with the instruments. So augmentation leads to being less human, over time? Now, we're talking about it as if the technology will be much similar to what we have now. We're talking more or less about small chips with pins that get stuck in our nervous system somewhere. But it doesn't have to be that way, it won't be that way. Grazing animals have symbioses with bacteria to digest their food. They don't produce the bacteria themselves, nor do doctor cows inject a dose of bacteria to every calves born. Our augmentation will be like bacteria, they assemble themselves from materials in our body, they circulate in our blood, they are passed from mother to child. We have our fair share of symbioses, adding one or two artificially, and through time naturally wouldn't be strange. But is that less human? How about more human? Aren't we humans because we can think and invent for ourselves? To come up with such ingenuity as self-augmentation would be a triumph to humanity, no? Natural evolution is not likely to push us much further now that we can circumvent many natural threats anyway, save disasters. Or maybe people are fearing to be robots physically now that they are mentally robots?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Robot Penguins

Doing boring repetitive tasks? Dangerous things that have to be done? Complex but orderly procedure that has to be done in as little time possible? Those are things automation are for, and things robots are for. Current robots can't do too much yet, we still have human operators in manufacturing plants that just keep an eye to the machineries, real-life farmers, flesh-and-blood drivers, etc etc. In the future, of course, robots will take over most regular tasks. The bots will clean the road, cultivate the lands, do maintenance to machineries and other robots, and so on. Robots will build more advanced robots and computers will design better computers. I believe a lot of people would immediately ask: "What of the human workers that are replaced, they'll be jobless?" Well, the technology won't be developed, tested, refined, and rolled out overnight would it? By the time the tech is ready, the people would be somewhat ready too. Of course, companies would let go some human workers when the tech is cheap and reliable enough, but by that time, most process would be automated anyway and already less human workers would be needed in the first place. So the impact would not be as big as if it happen, like, next Monday noon after lunch. "Ladies and gentlemen, you are free to go. Your robot replacements are ready to take over. Have a nice job hunting, bye bye" *flying saucers* Still, when robots/AI take over more advanced tasks, like optimizing chip designs, writing programs, coming up with business strategies, and more, we can't help but ask, what would us humans be doing then? At first maybe we'll be coming up with creative techniques for anything and everything that robots just aren't capable yet at the time. Maybe we'll be all kinds of scientists coming up with problems ourselves and trying to get the answers ourselves. Or maybe we'll be busy bickering among each other. Of course we can always be artists, or hippies, or artist-hippies, whatever. But what about when robots finally gain the creativity like we have? When their electronic brains are simply a silicon-based version of our carbon-based brains, only faster, what then? They will be just like us, but better most of the time, if not all. Will they dominate us? Will the future Homo superior not be our descendants? Personally, I think we humans will always come up with more amusing things to do. That is, robots creativity will not surpass humans', though they will be superior in maybe every other things. So we will always have something to do, after all knowledge is not something which end you can simply see. But if they do become a better version of us, what then? Then the only thing maybe to step down and let them do all the works, just make sure that they're wired to care for us while we while away the time playing games, philosophizing meaningless things that the robots don't bother doing, pondering the meaning of our existence, making art pieces that the robots can do better, seeking the meaning of life the universe, and everything. Should we be afraid then of progress? Isn't progress always good? Rather, if robots are becoming more like humans, why are lots of us becoming more like robots? You know that trick question "What is your greatest fear?" that may come in job interviews, maybe we should answer "To be like robots when robots are becoming more like us" *shrugs*

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I feel like screaming

No, wait. I just did. One more time. OUENDAAAN! Break my door and dance for me, I need to do some work. Saving the world from meteor can wait. Really, I'll help even. Did I just hear a distant osu?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Don't Press The Button! Discuss!

Lift buttons, on which side are they? Well, the answer varies from lift to lift, they want to be unique too! Some lifts have it on the right, some on the left, some both. I wonder if any has overhead buttons, or on-the-floor buttons that you press by stomping on it (now, that's kinda cool, someone's gotta make that.) On-the-floor buttons: "Excuse moi, can you stomp button number deux?" "Sure, handsome, no problem" *boing* "five please" "three, thanks" "can you press two, please?" "stomp 7 for me, pretty" *tap dance* See, that makes for cool scenarios. Moving on to discussion. This thing here is a discus. You throw it for sport (well, not this particular discus, but near enough.)
Now when someone says "I need to discuss with you", be wary, be very wary. He might mean he wants to see a discus on your face, ouch. Curiously enough, disci are round, and discussions go round and round. Now we know what's to blame.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

There's a limit to fabulousness

  • A report due soon, fabulous!
  • Work being hectic, fabulous!
  • When I want something to work, it jams, fabulous!
  • Not getting more than 4.5 hours sleep every night, fabulous!
  • Penguins haven't invaded our cities yet, super-fabulous!
That sleep thing reminds me of my senior high history teacher. He said he only sleeps 4 hours a day, if he sleep 8 hours, it'd mean he's sleeping 1/3 of the time; In 3 years, 1 full year is spent sleeping! If you're dreaming when awake and asleep like me, that doesn't really make a difference. But still, even if I try to go to bed early I'd just lie awake for hours, often while talking to myself like a mad penguin. "You will not be able to sleep... You will not be able to sleep... So why don't you just stay awake?"[citation needed]
I'm a bat... I'm a bat... I'm a bat... penguin, BAT-PENGUIN!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Missing the Festival

Didn't get to join the festival this semester, that's kind of ...sad. Why not relish the memory of last festival instead, it was pretty eventful too! So first, there's a song that's kind of played in the background of life surrounding the festival last semester: Yuukyou Seishunka (Eulogy of a Chivalrous Youth) by ALI Project. During festivals I love to stay late in the library until closing time, but of penguin, boredom would strike, like, every twenty minutes or so. What to do then? Log on to a computer, remote to my machine in my dorm room (was still a windows dude then), and have a quick listen of Yuukyou Seishunka, ha! No one caught me doing this, not that that's not allowed, just kind of out of place, or... stealth missions feel more thrilling, no?
"kochira snake" "snake, snake! dame da! mirai ga kawatta, taimu paradokusu da!"
So what does the picture have anything to do with? Well, for one, it's cute. Of course, there's also this little fact that the picture has many things to do with Code Geass, and Yuukyou Seishunka being the first ending theme for the anime.
Yuukyou Seishunka Yuke domo kemono michi shishi yo tora yo to hoe Akane sasu sora no kanata ni mahoroba Yuushuu no kodoku ni samayou seishun wa Yowasa to ikari ga sugata naki teki desu ka Chichi yo imada ware wa Onore wo shirigatashi Sekidatsu anira no Mienai senaka wo oeba Mayoi no hitoyo ni myoujou wa izanau Shishite owaranu Yume wo kogare domo Tashika na kimi koso waga inochi Reppuu no kouya de chou yo hana yo to iki Tokoshie no haru ni sakisou maboroshi Kondaku no junketsu kono mi wo yogoretemo Kokoro no nishiki wo shinjiteite kudasai Haha yo keshite ware wa Namida wo misene domo Ashimoto no kusa ni tsuyu wa kiemosede Umareta igi nara Yagate shiru toki ga toyou Kono ima semete no giki chishio ni hitashi Tada kimi wo aishi Mune ni kizanda shisei no you na kizu wo daite Yuke domo kemono michi Shishi yo tora yo to hoe Akane sasu sora no kanata ni mahoroba Yuukyou no chi to nari tatakau seishun wa Hono aoiki hodo ni oroka na mono deshou ka Chichi yo imada ware wa Ai hitotsu mamorezu Karisome no kono yo no makoto wa izuko Reppuu no kouya de chou yo hana yo to iki Tokoshie no haru ni maichiru maboroshi Kondaku no junketsu kono mi wa yogorete mo Kokoro no nishiki wo shinjiteite kudasai Haha yo itsuka ware wo Sazukarishi homare to Iki domo kemono michi shishi yo tora yo to hoe Akane sasu sora no kanata wa mahoroba Kouketsu no shi no moto tatakau seishun wa Hakanaki toki yue utsukushiki mono to are Chichi yo itsuka ware wa Onore ni uchi totan Tattobi no kono yo no makoto wa soko ni
Eulogy of a Chivalrous Youth Down the trails of the beats, roar along lions and tigers. Yonder the glowing sky is a paradise. A youth lost in the prison of loneliness asks: Weakness and anger, are they enemies without shape? O Father, yet do I know thyself! If I were to chase after the unseen backs of my brothers before me, stars on a night of hesitation would surely seduce me Even when I yearn for a dream that ends not with death, You are real, You are my life! In the gale of a barren wasteland, to live in an eternal spring with the flowers and butterflies is an ever blooming illusion Even If I were to be dirtied by the purity of turbidity Please believe still in the brocade of my heart O Mother, never will I show my tears. And disappear the dew from the roots below my feet If it is the meaning of my birth, the time will come when I shall know it. Now I will at least soak the flag of righteousness in my blood Only you do I hold dear, I hold a wound carved to my chest like a tattoo Down the trails of the beats, roar along lions and tigers. Yonder the glowing sky is a paradise. A youth fights and dies as a hero. Is he more foolish than an inexperienced? O Father, yet have I been able to protect even one love! Trifle is the truth of this world In the gale of a barren wasteland, to live in an eternal spring with the flowers and butterflies is a dream shattered Even If I were to be dirtied by the purity of turbidity Please believe still in the brocade of my heart O Mother, someday, please bless and honor me! Live in the trails of the beasts, roar along lions and tigers. Indeed a paradise is yonder the glowing sky A youth fights under the resolve of purity. Fleeting though the time, let him be one of beauty! O Father, someday will I bring thee down! There shall the noble truth of the world be
Now, as usual, I disclaim any shred of accuracy. Especially since this is an ALI Project lyrics. Blame the penguins if you must, but they are too adorable to blame, no? Lastly, penguins know I can't wait for season two! Can't wait to see the most epic battle in area 11 sky. Can't. Wait. Oh yeah, Euphie dies.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Cheeriness of a Train Captain

Usually, there's a recorded announcement just before the last station "this train is terminating in ... thank you for traveling with ...". That's all normal and penguin. However, there's usually nothing when a train departs from the first station, just "pip pip pip ... doors closing" and swoosh, we're on the way to a future of happiness. Now that's why my ride last Friday was strange. I boarded on the first station expecting nothing, and ding! "Dear passengers ... thank you for traveling with ..." the captain talked. Uh, yes? why the sudden cheeriness? I'm not talking as if it's bad, it's all nice and penguin, but it raises questions, and theories. Why did the captain talked? Maybe he's extra happy that day, it's the beginning of a new month and all. Or maybe he's practicing for something, like he's going to have to talk in front of many people soon and this being a little practice, he doesn't have to show his face anyhow. It's also possible that he has a dream of being a commercial flight pilot. You know, those pilots always talk before take off and after landing. Of course, I can stretch it a little and be a conspiracy theorist, he did that to get people like me thinking about it and make a post on it, oh witty! free publication! One more, let's stretch a lot and say that the captain has a little obsession of being a dashing rock star, and that was his little "live show", isn't that cute? Maybe I was wrong all along and that the penguins were making me hearing things. Oh, penguin. Let's return to the beginning and talk about the usual recorded announcement. Those people whose voices were recorded, do they get royalty every time the records are played, or was it volunteer job? Or was it not a recording of anything and just pure synthetic ingenuity, somewhat like ...Stephen Hawking? If they're paid, are they paid big money? Are the recordings infested with DRM, or maybe it's Creative Commons, or Public Domain even? I've never heard of a recorded announcement specialist, so they can't exist, can they? Ha! Like I've heard everything under the sun!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Badly timed holiday

Labor day was Tuesday, what does that mean? That means a lazy Monday, if you had the diligence to go to work on Monday, that is. But it's kind of different in my internship place. They decided that Monday wasn't a workday-in-a-pinch, but Wednesday to Friday are. So they told the people to take leave from Wednesday to Friday. What does that mean to a no-leave-granted intern? Free leave, of course. So here I am immersing myself in the guilty pleasure of gaming while I should be writing a report or something. Anyway, it's backflipping genki with extra genki, ...maybe. I'm in a delusion that they actually point fingers, hit tables, crack whips, and shout in a court room of law. Blame Phoenix Wright (wiki). HOLD IT! But don't enlighten me to the truth, let me have that little idyllic world for some time. TAKE THAT! Phoenix Wright, Defense Attorney. Why's he a good lawyer? because he's always wright! Maya Fey, spirit medium, Phoenix' assistant. Also once murder suspect, once kidnap victim, and full-time glutton. A fan of Steel Samurai, live-action superhero show for kids (She had a poster of Steel Samurai hung on Phoenix' office room) Pearl Fey, spirit medium, Maya's cousin. Also known as Pearly or Pearls, she's qualified to be a good spy with that many aliases. Didn't know much about the world outside Kurain village, until she met Phoenix that is. Always thought that Phoenix is Maya's special someone and acts accordingly. Franziska von Karma, Prosecutor. A prodigy, her whip has more authority than the judge. *whip* That game was a healthy dose of spirit channeling, circus fabulosity, dominating doll, superhero battle, spiky head, judge whipping, and teddy bears. Did I say that it's a lawyer game?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Impulsive Little Mister Researcher

Me. One certain night around a week ago over IM (with adjustments): (first part omitted) . . . me: I just bought another Tolkien book! not me: oh, what? me:'The Children of Hurin' not me: looking for inspiration? me: y-yeah *blushes* not me: why blush? me: because I'm cute . . . (next part omitted) Now, that conversation lighted a bulb of inspiration ...for another experiment. The experiment goes this way: I would post a message in some mailing lists telling only that I'm embarrassed, then take a note of the responses. Next I would post that I'm embarrassed because I'm cute, and take note of the responses. The lists don't usually get messages like that, but if there's one, chances are that I'm involved. The members are people I meet pretty often, at least not complete strangers. I was having quite high hope for the experiment, but the result wasn't so flattering. List One: -responses to 'I'm embarrassed' (adjusted)
  • I bet this can't be Ryan
  • What the penguin does that mean?
-response to 'I'm embarrassed because I'm cute (adjusted)
  • this is a waste of storage space
List Two: -responses to 'I'm embarrassed' (adjusted)
  • Please have more tact when you junk
  • You just reached puberty? (ryy_: what the penguin's with this response)
-response to 'I'm embarrassed because I'm cute (adjusted)
  • Can someone ban him until he takes his meds?
I guess I have to be more creative with my experiments to get more data, oh penguin. I'm wondering too if you get embarrassed during puberty, I don't recall it to be as such. Anyway thanks for the inspiration not me, the execution is fun enough, who really cares about the response. I'm denying any attempt to apply any scientific method in the experiment, so if you want to a raise an objection to this experiment on that ground, tough luck. This was done for the penguin of it.