Monday, March 31, 2008

How to Panic with Hex

Suppose you have something to panic over, but not sure how panic you should be. Enter the hex panicking system! Now you can plan your panic level in a simple and effective way. Now you can use those times wasted in thinking how panicked should you be for something more useful, like panicking for real!

In short, you plan your panic level by the largest points in a time unit where they're the same whether you write it in decimal or hexadecimal. For example, in writing a report, you set yourself to begin screaming and clawing the wall when the days left to deadline is the largest that is the same in hex and in decimal (9 days, that is). Now, to get things rolling, let's make a complete example with our favorite activity: writing a report!

Time column denotes the time unit that is the same whether written in decimal or hex when the actions written in the Panic Level column should be executed.

TimePanic Level
weeksRealize that eventually a report must be written. Have some vision of grandeur, preferably a grand vision of grandeur; Nothing is too grand
daysBegin writing the report, probably at a leisurely pace. Wear a wide smile of confidence, don't compromise the vision of grandeur yet
hoursFrantically finish the report. Screaming, wall/face clawing, hair pulling are allowed. Start thinking up excuses, be creative
minutesUnless you got it pretty much neatly done and in pretty wrapping paper with flowers, rainbows and ribbons, begin considering 'alternative' solutions like which bridge/skyscraper to jump from, where to disappear to, etc

You can of course make a more detailed plan, or divide up the time units more finely, like twice the amount of hours that are the same if written in hex or decimal.

After that simple example, anyone can plan their panic carefully, and panic in peace when the time finally comes; it's all according to plan after all!

(After all this mucking around in hex and decimal, you can just say 9 units. Nine days left, nine hours left, nine minutes left, etc; They're the same, but I like a healthy amount of confusion)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Explosion Imminent

Today. FYP First Draft Deadline. Don't get it on time? You're dead. Dead as a dead penguin is dead.

Favorite question among final year people last week: "How's your report?" It's somehow a self defeating question, I think. You see, when people ask that, they're trying to find comrade-in-pains who share their predicament, and make themselves think it's not so bad as there are people in a similar pair of shoes. Or, they seek justification of how much they have done themselves; "She's only done about as much", "He got that nice page count because of his graphs anyway, when my results finished pouring in, I'll have about as much anyway". The problem, no matter how much other people have done, there would /always/ be a way to justify your amount of work, unless the other people's works are done, checked, corrected, and finalized. Then it'll be good excuse to sulk and question what you have done all your life, a long well-thought reflection, maybe a long contemplation about life, the universe, and everything too, only at the wrongest time possible, or almost. Reference? How about self experience?

Well, a first draft is a first draft, it might not be the cleanest and neatest thing on our little cosmic piece of rock, but it has most of the content. Most. Also, pretty graphs are great, maybe about in the same class as chocolate cake and ice cream.

In reflection, everything was actually /very/ interesting. Especially when I'm not preventing my head from exploding. Letting it explode won't take care of anything anyway, the magnanimosity and enormity (they're conflicting!?) of the task would compel the scattered brain cells to reassemble and force the biological machine to continue working. Of course, because they are rational to begin with, they won't let the person let go and leave them explode, because exploding and reassembling take precious time that can be used for more useful things, writing report, for example.

Hey, maybe we can propose a project to develop an anti-exploding helmet so that people can labor away in front of the computer without worry. It'll sell millions!

You know, sometimes I ponder about people saying that they're putting their life on the line for something big (not an FYP report, of course). Maybe, just maybe, there are things that you got to be ready to get done even if you're not going to be the sanest you will have been for the rest of your life, or the liveliest. Okay, simply put: things that must be done even if you're going to be barking mad after it's done.

Or, the difference between 「一生懸命やって見せる」 and 「命落としてもやって見せる」. If you know what those glyphs mean.

I'm not really talking about myself though, I'm still quite cheerful and still am seeing sunshine at midnights, and candies and ice creams dancing in the sky, and rainbows labeled in RGB, ergo, all's right with the world and I'm not barking mad. Besides, I'll be meowing when I'm mad. Nyaa~