“Our logic is full of holes...
I can see the bubbles.”
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void* Randomness ( )
/* How are you gentlemen? All your James Joyce are belong to us! */
{
/* June 29, 2002 */
/* Music: Garbage - You Look So Fine

Let's pretend... happy end...
Let's pretend... happy end...
Let's pretend... happy end...

Let's pretend... */
/* <rav> I see Andrea of the Corrs and blood flows thru my body like the Hoover dam just opened after the monsoon season.
<adama2> there isn't a monsoon season where the hoover dam is :P
<rav> there is a Hoover dam where the monsoon is... u have no idea what Bin ladins been upto ;p
-- seen on IRC


I'm teaching myself perl, to do a project for adama - the fact that my book is in french isn't as much of a handicap as one may suspect; I'm learning the perl from the french, and the technical french from the worked perl examples, since it's similar enough to many other programming languages to make most of the examples where the french can't be followed followable.

Um, sleep time now. */
/* June 27, 2002 */
/* Last exam today. I am now free from Carisbrooke; but not yet free in the symbolic manner I sort of crave. That comes later, when I've finished packing (my current project!), and I disappear off with little noise and a notable lack of smoke.

Also had a randomness attack.

I have, waiting in the wings, another depressive rant about relationships, that occured to me at about three o'clock yesterday morning (he said, looking at the clock) - but it can wait, because I'm too happy right now. */
/* In the literal meaning of "terrorist"--people who create terror for power -- governments and the media are way ahead of any third rate coward in some cave halfway around the world. Hold the people who spread fear accountable the next time you go to the ballot box. */
/* June 26, 2002 */
/* {Update: Damn, I just spilt coffee all over my mouse mat again... on the other hand, the fluff that comes out of the mouse when I clean it will be very high class - and quite, quite, caffeinated. }

Right... Physics exam tomorrow. Prime the coffee machine!

On the bright side, I'm using proper espresso mix now, so it isn't quite so medical. */
/* {Update: Just started a new story-type-blog-thing - Welcome To Our Game (as it will eventually be known). Enjoy, people. }

The moon is blood red and low above Brighstone. Evil is abroad. Best place for it.

So, today. IT exam in the morning, or "ICT" as they call it now. Everything has to be a three letter acronym.

It was undoubtedly the single worst written exam paper I have sat; not only in its massacring of the English tongue, which one should expect from a "vocational" (read: bullshit) qualification. What I did not expect was the bad wording in the questions themselves, and indeed the misuse of terminology, was disgusting. For example, one question asked the examinee, having stated that it is a good idea to use protocols, to give one advantage of using a protocol on a network.

So you've got a computer plugged into a network, and it does not speak any protocols, which according to the question is inadvisable but possible. It doesn't just lack compatible protocols - it doesn't speak any. So what is it supposed to do? Jump up and down and fucking wave?

Then they confused the terms "intranet", "internet" and "Internet"; note that last capital I. "intranet" should not have a capital I - it's not a proper noun. In fact, the paper mentioned "Intranet" with a capital I, when it did not in fact mean intranet at all, but an internet, note the lack of any capital. I think.

Bloody examiners.

Oh well.

Also had a kinda song writing session thing with Paul - we've more or less got Orthogonal and Because I Can (home of that which Paul fondly refers to as my "bastard chord sequence") playable, and also are nearly up to speed on the Simon the Sorcerer theme tune cover. Fun. I am now the owner of a nicer microphone, too, so random people can come over and give me random samples. Please? */
/* June 24, 2002 */
/* Wow. Fame at last. I'm No. 1 on a Google search for Bugger me with a fishfork. That makes me feel really good, that does. Can't you feel the happiness radiating off me?

I'm not even going to venture onto the other sites in that list. It's probably blocked from school as it is. Bad language is naughty.

Hahahahahaha. */
/*
I Am Ananse the Spider
Ananse the Spider of African folklore is both wise and foolish in the best tradition of tricksters. If you're like Ananse, you're clever and like to be thought well of, but sometimes you outsmart yourself. You're always trying to figure the best angle and you're intelligent and creative, but you have a crude streak. Still, you like to show off your knowledge and that makes you a good teacher..

Which Trickster are you?
Take the Trickster Test at www.isleofdreams.net


Oh well...
*/
/* June 22, 2002 */
/* Notes on this weekend:

It's not often that you get to watch a production of twelfth night from beneath a lacquered table cloth in the pouring rain, eating ice cream; it's even less often in good company (in this case Toby and Linda). Both happened yesterday.

It was a good production, too - although they emphasised the light comedic aspects of the play, and Feste wasn't nearly scary enough. The whole point is that he should almost be supernatural in his ability to appear and disappear. He's the old sort of fool. The dark, sarcastic, mad sort. Sings well. The Greek chorus; the only player in the play aware of the audience, if I remember correctly. And he wasn't. His intelligence seemed of a less malevolent vein, and the sheer ingenious nastiness of his and the others' treatment of Malvolio was also not emphasised.

Um.

Today, on the other hand was spent doing very little. Learning a little Intel x86 assembly language, eating cake, and sleeping.

Here follow my notes for yesterday (not tomorrow, damn you, thou bumbling fool with no sense of time).

21 July (about mid-day):

An interregnum in the exams - a breathing space in the present before being plunged from dusty Latin to the hurly-burly of Quantum Physics. Lunch time.

I am spending this in a science lab, in solitary confinement since the exam times are all confused. Latin, for example, was meant to be in the afternoon. So here I sit, eating a kebab in a room with a sign on the wall saying "No food or drink to be consumed in this lab". Shrugs. I just do what I'm told. Occasionally. There are spider-plants all over the walls and books and sinks and all the paraphernalia. A skeleton of some small and indeterminate mammal is in a glass case, beneath it two dissected eyeballs also in glass cases. Various plastic cutaway diagrams thereof are on the same shelf. Next along, a cabinet containing microscope slides, old wooden cabinet with a glass-paned door, locked. It has drawers in it, labelled with such wonderful titles as "Agaricus Gills V.S". Above it there is a foot-high model of a tooth, complete with roots on a metal stand. Above that a cutaway of the human head; and so on, all punctuated with lush hanging, exhausted, spider-plants.

On a protuberance marked "Ammonium Hydroxide" there is a distinctly lonely-looking pickled sea urchin that looks destinctly at a loss. So am I. It keeps me company. And Classic FM is on the radio, and the room is echoing to a bizarre advert involving radio tuning noise and cows lowing along to the sound of Smooth Classics at Seven. I'm on the top floor here, and looking down there are people dressed in England flags. I don't think they've worked out we've lost yet. They're already calling it an "epic match". "Tearstains line the painted faces." Hah.

Vidor's Toccata is best played very loudly.

Don't the spiderplants look ornamental?

*/
/* June 20, 2002 */
/* Furry Fetish Fury!

All I can say is: Good... *grin* */
/* Music: Submarine - Sunbeam (Deepsky's Desert Sunset Mix)

Perhaps I need to elucidate that last post - but I won't yet, because I'm much too tired.

Spent today translating Livy, reading about electromagnetic fields, and attempting to get an web based IRC client working for The Adventures of Perkin Warbeck.

It is in the nature of humanity to get irritable when things don't work at twenty to three of a morning, especially when it involves an unexpected hour-long download; so I'll shut up before I say anything damaging. */
/* June 19, 2002 */
/* The joke about the aeroplane went right over my head...

So. Data and Information.

In ICT we were told that data and information were separate, and that information has to be extracted from data. This means that you can have informationless data.

Consider: In Bangladesh, there is a man standing on one leg with a chicken on his head - Data or Information? And while you're considering...

We are told that information is concrete; that a machine can proccess data and extract information to present to management; and yet also told that information is what is useful in the data. This is a contradiction in terms, because peoples' definition of use varies. Messages are information that must be extracted from the data, for example.

So, take Homer's Illiad, for example. In the original Greek. And hand it to somebody who doesn't understand Greek. There is meaning in there; there is information. But because he does not understand Classical Greek, all that our hypothetical reader will see is more or less random data. And if one were to produce some semi-random data with the statistic distribution and physical distribution of the letters skewed so that it looked like Greek, our hypothetical non-classicist may well find it difficult to tell the two apart. Even random data has information stored in it about the distribution of the characters, both in "space" and statistically.

The upshot is this: There is always information in data. If you don't understand it, that's nobody's problem but your own.

When I am told of the man standing on one leg with the chicken on his head in Bangladesh, that is not useful. It is irrelevant to almost every concievable set of circumstances. And yet it isn't data; it isn't bits and bytes. By analogy, the "data" is the fact of the man's existance. I have been informed of his presence; it is information. This disposes of the use argument.

And in fact, all I've proved is that I don't actually know what "information" is. But I am convinced that it is a superset of data, not a subset.

I'll leave the rant on "knowledge" for another day. */
/* June 18, 2002 */
/* The exams weren't actually too bad; the bit of Ovid given was the bit just before the Cave of Sleep, where Ceyx gets killed and Alcyone irritates Juno... and if you don't know the Metamorphoses, that'll cause more confusion than elucidation.

IT exam produced mumurings of dissent against the established order of meaning in IT; I'll post on that in the morning. It's too difficult to put into words for this time of night. */
/* June 17, 2002 */
/* I just spilt Old Brown Java (in ground form) all over my keyboard and mouse, and now the whole room smells of it.

Ben came over today; spent a goodly while being amused at what you get if you cross Macbeth and the Microsoft End User License Agreement with the aid of a Markov Chain (phew, what a link). Also uploaded a a new "Coming Soon" page to Cheesey Fantasies.

Spent most of today when I wasn't not revising revising! (woo). Doing Ovid, Metamorphoses XI - the Cave of Sleep bit. I need to know this and more vocabulary by tomorrow :(

Wish me luck.... */
/* June 16, 2002 */
/* For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.


This poem has been going around in my head all day... I need to get a CD with the setting of it by Benjamin Britten on. Wonderful.

I have some musings to post on the nature of exam boards. But those will wait. */
/* June 14, 2002 */
/* Behind the words, can you feel the concepts dancing?

Behind the veils of meaning we have put upon them, poetry, prose, music, the visual arts, can you feel the concepts dancing and flowing? And such is the nature of their dance that it is impossible to tell when the regulated dance ends and the natural flow begins. Behind Mathematics, there is an art. Behind Computing, there is an art. Let the ideas dance; and sometimes a wild idea comes dancing madly, gavotting down the rows of neat, prim abstracts lined up in courtly ceremony, and swirling them up so they're all a-tremble, and dissolve into chaos; then it resolves and a new pattern emerges - a new dance begins, to different music. Abstract flow and formal dance. Amoebas? No, wrong image. Like Flubber. Little bags of jelly or cloud.

And I'm sorry if that sounds pretentious - but there are no other words to fit the technicolour emotional intellectual beauty.

Does anyone else think like this, or have I finally lost it? */
/* I think I'm going to fail Maths M2. The answer for the question I was just asked was, apparently, 34 metres; my answer? 2 centimetres. The highest I can get it is 10cm. I shall go and redo the last bit. Um. */
/* It has been brought to my attention that the URL I posted yesterday was, in fact, terminally screwed. I apologise mightily, and hereby donate a fixed one: (having fixed the previous post too)

SHROOMS!

Note, however, that the web page they're to be on hasn't even nearly been finished yet :P */
/* The SHROOMS are back!

Must use PGP more. If you've got it, send me keys! If not, why not?

Ehm. Lots of M2 revision... not enough Latin revision...

And my PGP public key is up. Download it here. As much e-mail as possible encrypted form now on please... or try using HushMail. */
/* June 13, 2002 */
/* The sting of reason, splash of tears,
The northern and the southern hemispheres,
Love emerges and it disappears
I do it for your love
I do it for your love


Oh well.

I hurt my back today. Don't know how... it seems to be better now.

I did precisely nothing today. Except a little M2 revision. "Kinematics of particles moving in a plane". Aargh. Need sleep. */
/* June 12, 2002 */
/* And after it rains there's a rainbow
And all of the colours are black;
It's not that the colours aren't there,
It's just imagination they lack.
Everything's the same back
In my little town.
*/
/* Music: Various.

Angry. Very angry. Sent fax to MP. Will be ignored. Nobody gives a fuck, politicians least of all. I'd like to roast them and feed them to the dogs.

P2 went OK, but I'm not really in the mood to talk about it. Not really in the mood to talk about anything.

It'll be dawn soon. Maybe I ought to go to bed (in a spirit of optimism). */
/* June 11, 2002 */
/* Some things are better left unsaid
I'm gonna spend my days in bed
I'll walk the streets at night
To be hidden by the city lights, city lights.
*/
/* Music: DJ Shadow - Endtroducing

Yes, a contrast from yesterday. But never mind.

I've got a Maths P2 exam tomorrow. I might pass it. It's M2 I'm worried about. Fnord.

On a totally unrelated note, is there an approved way of getting rid of foam from Fairy Liquid? (Don't ask, just scroll). As soon as I washed them down one plughole they came up the other. Perhaps too much water pressure was at fault. Perhaps not. It took me ten minutes to wash the accursed stuff down the plug'ole.

Brain fried... Core Dumped. */
/* June 10, 2002 */
/* Music: Arvo Pärt - Tabula Rasa

Had to reach for the HTML entity list there... a umlaut. &auml;. Makes sense, I suppose; but it's not a character entity I have a need to use very often.

Well, well. Another day gone; I did some P2 revision, since the exam is the day after tomorrow, and also translated some Horace:

Causa pater fuit his, qui macro pauper agello
noluit in Flavi ludum me mittere, magni
quo pueri magnis e centurionibus orti,
laevo suspensi loculos tabluamque lacerto,
ibant octonos referentes Idibus aeris;


and so on... I know I've finished that in the middle of a sentence, but I'd rather like to fill this blog up with other things than large chunks of quoted Latin.

Does anyone else remember the TV programme "The Brunel Experience"? It's stuck in my mind as a kind of bizarre intellectual variant on Scrapheap Challenge - as far as I can remember, University students were given a large number of disposables, and told to replicate one of Brunel's achievements (bridges, boats, etc) using them. Meanwhile, the engineering was explained. It was a school programme if I remember correctly; but the last time I watched it was around age 9, so I'm less than clear on the details.

Much to my surprise, and somewhat my dismay, this was profoundly, deeply depressing. The same happened a few days before, when I had been having a really, really good day - I won't give away the exact stimulus, because that would give away the exact situation and that would narrow down the set of whom it might be (I do love a bit of mystery) - but it's surprising how small the stimulus needed to be to get me totally utterly off-balance and depressive again. I'm obviously not out of the woods yet, not by a long chalk.

And I agree with this completely; having been in "Love" gives a kind of immediacy to articles of this nature. Love is, apart from anything else, a much misused word; I dislike romantic love even more now that I know an echo of it resides inside me; but I think it was the Greeks had several words for love; and the other loves are so much in need, that perhaps even the dreaded Romance has its place. And I oughtn't be thinking like this. I don't like feeling this disillusioned. I don't like having to believe in this as a great illusion, just to maintain my sanity; but it's either that or send my spiralling ego even lower than it is. I have never loved without being hurt. Humans are meant to learn from experience; what is it that I am meant to have learned?

And I do apologise to casual readers who just go a-wandering through... I'm trying to find more interesting things to talk about than myself... */
/* June 9, 2002 */
/* "Finger to spiritual emptiness underlying everything." -- How a C manual referred to a "pointer to void."

I got to sleep last night just as the dawn chorus was beginning... and the last time I opened my eyes, light was coming into the room... this can't be good for me.

It takes so long for sleep to come, when I've logged off the Internet, that glorious medium; and it's really only then that I miss Love. Seomone to sit by in the vigils... but there are enough personal depressions on the Web already. I oughtn't add to them.

I've finished my project. It may be posted on here if it's any good.

Hmmm I'll post again later if I think of anything. */
/* June 8, 2002 */
/* So... today.

Did some more work on my project; a project purely for my own personal satisfaction, which may or may not get finished; suffice to say it involves MED and is unlikely to be particularly impressive.

Kudos go to Robert, for getting my spare Backpack CD writer to work; and I got the drivers to work, which is very good.

Also fixed a bug in the commenting system and fixed it.

What an exciting day. I ought to go to bed now. */
/* June 7, 2002 */
/* "Jack, you have debauched my sloth!" (I think that's the right book)

Well... what can I say? Care, slowly, is dropping from me... falling in slabs at my feet, and slowly my old self is emerging, blinking in the sunlight. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing to be honest, and this time of the morning is probably not the best time to discuss about it.

However, like it or no, my armour is growing back even further. This iron self-control, almost obssession with my work; the ability to spend eight-nine hours in front of the computer, just coding. Not happy; but a cold savage delight and satisfaction in my work, especially when it works. And this is partly a good thing, because it keeps me from depression and, above all, people.

Yet... Love, for all the wreckage it caused in my head, softened me; made me make an effort to care. See, I'm already talking in the past tense about it. It's over now, or will be in about a month and a half. I hope I can hold onto some little measure of softening. */
/* June 5, 2002 */
/* "Do eagles also appear, Sir?" asked Stephen.
"Oh yes, oh yes indeed!"
"Do you salt them too?"
"Oh no," said the commandant, amused, "A salted eagle would be a very whimsical dish. They are always pickled, you know; otherwise they would eat intolerably dry."
*/
/* June 4, 2002 */
/* Music: The Shipping Forecast

I hid from the Jubilee to a great extent.

- run to the window, that's all right, the burning smell is coming from outside, it's not the computer - run back again - sit down - where was I? -

Jubilee.

I'm not particularly a royalist. However, I'm not against them either.

Sorry, Chris, if you think this point of view defeatist; maybe I am. But, in the same way that I know many other uncomfortable things, I know that democracy will never produce a good government; at best it produces an adequate government, and usually it comes up with a "lowest common denominator". And if "we" should fight, and if we should keep, and if we should "make right" (the which I do not believe in), sooner or later someone greasy, a good liar, suit and hair slicked back, will grease "us" with themselves - people like Mark Overy - and only then need to squeeze a little until the "we" pop out, liberally buttered (up), pop out like a cork out of a fucking bottle...

The best liars always win. */
/* Simnel is coming along well - that's all I really have to say today. I've been staving off the melancholy with PHP.

When I've got something to write about, I'll write it :) */
/* June 3, 2002 */
/* Music: UNKLE - Lonely Soul (repeatedly) and Art Garfunkel - Sometimes When I'm Dreaming

Well. Today I came back from Dad's. That's about it. Did some more web work for Rob Tolfree's website. It's a bit bizarre in places; faint of heart be warned.

I'm not in the mood to write a long sarcastic bitter essay today. I'm just too damn tired. Always too tired. And my last post worth a dam (no, not a misspelling, a small Indian coin if memory serves) is due to fall off the bottom of this page in another post or two.

*sighs*

More work needed on the blogging tool too - provisionally entitled Simnel - which will be used for Perkin Warbeck and subservient blogs. Possibly this one too.

Note to self: remove blogkomm logo. */
/* June 2, 2002 */
/* I've just fixed comments on Jenny's blog, using my all-new splenderiferous commenting system.

I've also started designing a new blogging system for The Adventures of Perkin Warbeck to replace Blogger. Whereas this last is highly recommended, if I "roll my own" as it were I can achieve much greater flexibility. Sounds like bullshit; it isn't.

We shall see. */
/* June 1, 2002 */
/*





What Type of Villain are You?

mutedfaith.com /
<>


Today I went up to see the grandparents. Two and a half hours to get up there, umpt hours there, then two more to get down; breaking, I am sure, many speed limits, et cetera, et cetera. Time, time, time, see what's become of me.

I have a peculiar set of vices; others smoke Hamlets, I just quote Hamlet; I am caffeinated and egotistical about lack of ego... and so on.

My brain hurts. My heart aches. Why is there so much Life? */
return 0;
}

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