Thursday, June 26, 2008

Grey Matters

Ars Technica posted a response to the article I linked yesterday, it's a detailed response outlining the same points I brought up. Definitely a good response. Go Internet, everything is so democratic and cool.

In personal news: I got paid. Skrillabot charged.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Don't Know If He's Autistic...

or he's just an asshole, but this guy Theo Moon in the IT department has the worst social skills I have ever seen. When he came over to my office to set up my fancy-ass phone the other day he maybe said three grunted words while reaching over me to plug stuff in. When I said "Thanks" in the most polite tone I could manage, he walked way without even looking back.

I would take it personally but when he brought another fellow in the office a hard drive today they asked the simple question "Oh, is this mine?" to which he replied "It's a hard drive." as he walked away.

P.S. He wears 'Morpheus' glasses that just rest on the bridge of his nose and has a dirty (as in doesn't wash) blonde pony tail.

Data Mining FTW

Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson is a pretty smart guy -- this article is pretty inspiring and nicely stated.

While I don't feel that model-based analysis is completely outdated, I do agree that having mind-bogglingly huge amounts of data available allows for statistical techniques to be used to give awesome and predictive results. The comment about the status of physics as a 'discipline starved of data' carries some truth, but it applies more to the string-theory family of models whose hypotheses reside at the Planck scale. There is plenty of space for models testable by current accelerators or those coming in the next few decades and hopefully they will receive more interest as comments like these demonstrate the public's view of current physical research. A really interesting development is the combination of statistical analysis and models as a unified tool rather than competing ideas.

In all though, the mathematical treatment of data is bread and butter now; it is the quickest way to draw (frighteningly) accurate conclusions about groups of people and all sorts of objects and can be used in so many different fields, not just large-scale systems like finance and sociological trends. Any businessperson so inclined could gather data and generate reports about his own business and market and reduce both his need for personnel and overall risk. Correlation isn't causation, but in many practical matters it serves just as well.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Nuclear Power

The prospect of someone willing to build nuclear power plants again makes me almost willing to eschew all other points of discussion.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Not Guilty

Today was the last day of my first week at work. Today is also Friday the 13th and also the anniversary of Michael Jackson being acquitted on all counts back in 2005. I also found out today that I live in the neighborhood where Thriller was filmed, of course it's hard to tell which area since everything is sort of gentrified now. Work is pretty A-OK, everyone is really nice and it seems like a good place to get that 2-3 years experience I keep being told I need.

Workin' for the weekend.

Monday, June 9, 2008


I started work today but I've enjoyed some major free time heretofore. There has been a lot of hanging out and skating and general fun things. A few pictures of interest:

Julian is kind of rad:

Chilling, waiting on some guy named Blaise -- ironically pronounced 'Blaze' -- to give us the hookup on a sweet spot (sweet spot not pictured):

On my bike ride to work:

Raddest BBQ in East LA:

Not quite 106, but a nice place:

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