“Our logic is full of holes...
I can see the bubbles.”
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/* How are you gentlemen? All your James Joyce are belong to us! */
/* July 31, 2002 */
/* And I don't understand why I sleep all day
And I start to complain when there's no rain.
And all I can do is read a book to keep awake
And it rips my life away but it's a great escape.

Most of my stuff is now up at Dad's with me - got my computer and stuff up here, which is nice, and all set up, which is nicer...when it's nice and tidy and all my stuff is up here and sorted, I'll post some pics... not quite up here permanently yet, I'm back on the island next week - then offically "off".


My mobile telephone just crashed. It's irritating when it does that. */
/* July 29, 2002 */
/* Brainfuck update:

I suspect that the problem of the subjectivity of language is the same thing as its incompleteness theorem. The problem is that a word can never be precisely defined except in terms of other words (and usually not even then). All these words eventually boil down to the metaconcept plus variations.

The problem, then, is this: How do you know that the metaconcept and the variations are consistent between "systems", between people?

This is the same problem, I think.

End brainfuck. */
/* Please forgive the following; it's not finished. I need to read more, amongst other things. I think we're almost right though.


The metaconcept, the stopping problem, and incompleteness
with thanks to Keith and Toby

Consider an oak tree.

It's an example of a species of tree.

Now, think of the generalisation of "Oak Tree", so that you have the concept of "Oak Tree" in your mind.

Now, generalise all trees. You have a concept now of "tree".

You may be able to do this almost indefinitely - but eventually (I recommend you just try to jump straight to it or you'll be hanging around all day) you'll hit a concept of "concept". This is the metaconcept.

There are a couple of interesting things about the metaconcept: first, it is entirely abstract. There is no "real thing" associated with it at all. Second, there is no meta-meta-concept: The metaconcept is a concept, so the concept of the metaconcept is in fact less abstracted, more specific, than the metaconcept itself. The word metaconcept is used too many times in that last sentence - I apologise.

This can be seen to be akin to a fractal - as the iteration numbers get smaller and smaller you approach the initial shape (iterations=1); and when iterations = -1 you get an inverse. But what happens when iterations = 0? It breaks down.

The metaconcept, being the "root level object", if you like, of the system, can only be defined in terms of refinements, specialisations of itself; within this limitation, it is possible to say that the metaconcept exists while (since it is entirely abstract) containing no information whatever in itself. Thus it can be seen to be equivalent to the null set - or, indeed, zero; to which modifiers, meanings, our "Gödel Numbers" are added, much as they would be to a system.

It is impossible to define the basis of definition. That's the point. It always simplifies down to itself. But if you prefer a more formal idea:

The problem is this. Invert the null set, the empty set [] and you get the set of everything. The same is true conceptually; there is a concept of "nothing" and a concept of "universe" - the last of which contains not only the universe without our heads, but that within. And here lies the problem. The set of everything must contain itself, since it is a part of everything...

Not a problem, you may say. Pointer to itself in the set. Not a problem.

But it's infinitely deep, and a process trying to recurse it will get stuck in an infinite loop. Can you trap this condition?


It's called the Halting Problem. It is impossible to work it out.

This is equivalent to Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem.

Thus, we have this problem that the metaconcept is indefinable, because it falls foul of the Incompleteness theorem. In other words, if modelling this, you can only ever have an approximation to the metaconcept; the more accurate the approximation, the more flexible the system, until when you have an actual metaconcept in a mathematical framework, the surrounding logic must be infinitely complicated.

And once you find the "metaconcept" of a system, you begin to find them everywhere; a metaconcept, a nodal point of possible knowledge, if you will, is in the distinction between code and data; I suspect there's one involved in evolution, too.

In other other words, my plans to use Plato as a basis for an object-oriented system needs a little reworking.

*wanders off muttering about evolving object models*


I was going to write about the IRC meet - but I'm too tired now :P */
/* July 26, 2002 */
/* Take me away from this place... this place where people are "romantic" in public, in the streets, and keep jackhammering home my own inadequacy.

Maybe I can write about it. Maybe I can sing about it. Maybe I can rant convincingly about it.

But life doesn't come easy, it really, really doesn't - and despite what I may say, I do miss the feeling of caring for someone. Now I'm just adrift. And I spend my time watching, watching nonsensical conversations scroll past on IRC - some of the people on there cannot exist - they are the embodiment of a stereotype. Maybe those blokes who started the anti-religion about there only being a few "real" people had a point. Maybe I'm one of the cardboard ones. I'd like to think not. But they got it wrong. They built there world on logic. They built it on the exclusion of all feeling. Logic can only ever justify extensions to itself.

I'm rambling.

On a lighter note, an unscheduled (but quite cool) addition to the Bagel saga (not the Bagel itself, the story of its creation) has begun. Watch this space, people... */
/* July 25, 2002 */
/* <LazyBons> cheesey`: who is this james joyce guy?

This is so incredibly depressing it isn't true.

I've phoned round various "employment agencies", and most have been polite but hopeless. I've got a couple of leads I'm following up, but I can't see any success looming.

I was hoping for a good run at this next year, but no job, no love, no life....

Oh, buggerygrips. */
/* I'm looking for a job :(

Let me explain.

I'm taking a gap year out between sixth form and university, to give my head a chance to recover (amongst other reasons). In other words, I need someone to pay me to strut my code-fu. And yes, I know that link leads to my old, broken, half-dead website. As soon as all the stuff thereon is moved elsewhere, it'll go. Promise.

Everything is now in boxes except this computer. The first lot of boxes was handed into the care of Robert Tolfree today who, with his father, is transporting this first batch. For this I am deeply thankful. Still have too many boxes though.

If anyone has bright ideas as to how to go about this "job" business, leave comments below... */
/* July 24, 2002 */
/* oooh, I've gone all oxymoronic...

www.cheeseyfantasies.com is now up! Enjoy it.

Took us long enough to get there... */
/* July 23, 2002 */
/* I've not written much recently, because, frankly, not much interesting has been happening. All, that is, save, Ben and I have been doing design-fu for cheeseyfantasies.com - the site should be up tomorrow.

I have a headache. Ow. Ow. Ow.

All I did was care. Is that so bad, really? */
/* July 19, 2002 */
/* "These are the daughters of the deep, and their dance is a welcome to drowning." -- the storyteller

Happy birthday, Code Red!

Been playing with SimpleBlog - a tool for running simple weblogs - I've got it running on Pete's journal.

Otherwise - I sent an e-mail to Chris Moyles last night about the Shipping Forecast Remix; I really ought to put that up on mp3.com.

Fish. */
/* July 18, 2002 */

until boxes > stuff;

Grrrrrrr. */
/* July 17, 2002 */
/* Just... it's so pointless. I'm so tired. Why do people have to be so fucking difficult?

Blog stuff for Wales:

11th July

"hodie natus est radici frater"

I am now in Wales - my father says it's nice to be in a civilised country again, and to an extent I cannot help but agree with him. For someone born and bred in England, I suspect I'm pretty Welsh at heart. I'd like to think so.

These headphones have a dud volume control. My right speaker keeps dying. Listening to Skaven's Unreal Symphony.

I rather suspect that if you go for long enough on a motorway you'll see most things - today (although it may have been on an A-road rather than a motorway, I can't remember so well as I'd like) we saw five men staring down a hole. The inner lane was closed for about a mile, and in the middle of this mile, there were five men in dayglo jackets. Three were standing, and leaning on one another - the other two were sitting on the barrier; and all five of them staring down this manhole as if they expected some sign, some holy miracle to emerge from its dankness.

There was also a wide load, escorted by a police car who did not seem unduly bothered by all those speeding to get past him and the truck, since they themselves were already doing a comfortable seventy...

And so we arrived.

12th July

"Indeed, de Souza seemed to find a curious private pleasure in doing something he knew to be absurd, with minute efficiency."

Today we went to the Welsh Life Museum (sorry, I can't remember what it is in Welsh), which was interesting. Lots of old rebuilt houses in various styles from various eras. The first, for example was a farmhouse (17-th century, if memory serves), which had a rowan tree in the garden and was painted red - both these expedients were to keep away evil spirits, and I couldn't see any evil spirits, so I suppose they must have worked...

Also went on a nice walk along the coast, and ate inordinate quantities of ice-cream.

13th July

"All in a dream I heard the kindest words:
She spoke of loving me while cups of tea were stirred
And I swear the mad march hare, and the mad hatter, he was there,
And someone shouted: 'Life is so absurd!'
All in a dream I heard the kindest words."

The first half of today was spent in the Swansea maritime and industry museum. There was a wonderful woollen-mill there; it occupies a hefty chunk of the upper floor and spins and weaves and smells of oil and machine. This afternoon we went a-shopping; not my scene really. I acquired a terrible CD (no, I cannot mention the name of the "artists" without shame - a clue, though: They're scandinavian) and a book by Mark Twain from a charity shop. I also bought two jars of marmalade.

The evening, although, was distinctly odd, in that whereas belief in God somehow comes naturally (although it's not quite that simple - more musings on that may come later), I seem to be prone to disbelieve in the floor I'm standing on. Reality just goes on the blink. Nothing there was in order to show the existence of any world without my own head. Silence may be golden, but after a while it becomes leaden. I'm really explaining this very badly.

And so to bed. Reading Anthony Trollope and listening to Purple Motion.

15th July

"The source of these outrages is known, and if they are repeated I have Mr. Holmes' authority for saying that the whole story concerning the politician, the lighthouse and the trained cormorant will be given to the public. There is at least one reader who will understand."
-- The Veiled Lodger

It's 11 pm, and someone is practising playing the piano. I hoped it was some ghostly music come to haunt my dreams and finally give me leave to go mad in a really convincing, pseudo-romantic manner; but, alas, my father can hear it too, and thus at least one of my prospective demons must rest.

It's coming from across the road somewhere: dum de-de dum, and then higher: dum de-de-dum, and then chords: clang, clang, clang; clang, twinkle, clank, twinkle. dum de-de dum - and so on it goes. Dum de-de dum-dum-dum, dum de-de dum. But they must be playing it uncommon loud. And now triplets: ta-te-ti ta-te-ti - that's how I was taught to count them. Clang, clang, clang.

I didn't write anything yesterday; frankly, there was little to say. We went up in order to see my grandparents, which was nice, but not... unexpected. Not... interesting, in any other way than it was nice to see them again.

Ta-te-ti - slower now.

I've read the entire short stories of Sherlock Holmes over the past two days, which may in part account for my slightly eccentric state of mind at the present moment. Ta-te-ti dum and hold for two beats.

Today we went to Techniquest, in Cardiff, for the elucidation, edification, and hopeful loss of my little brother; having found him impossible to mislay in the midst of the mirror maze (yes, O casual reader, most rare of creatures, this is a joke; however much I find my brother irritating, I would still not wish him on Cardiff without due warning to the dignatires of that city) we went shopping. In Swansea. I attempted to find a tuner deck and failed miserably; on the other hand, I bought a couple of random CDs, most notably "The Golden Sounds of the Wurlitzer", which promises to join "Lennon and McCarteney in Tijuana Style" as a very entertaining second-hand record.

Whoever it is is still playing. I'm sure they're getting louder. Things like this don't happen in Brighstone. Face it, nothing happens in Brighstone.

If he/she/it doesn't stop soon, I shall have to read Anthony Trollope again in self defence.

{Update at 11:30 pm : Piano stopped. } */
/* July 11, 2002 */
/* You see me torn by a thousand deaths
And yet no tear has been shed from your eye,
But only scorn and anger

-- Petrarch, Rime Sparse 44

I'm going to Wales in a few hours. Alas and woe is me, I'll have no Internet access when there - not sure when I'm going to be back. Tuesday? Wednesday? Don't know. I suspect I'm going to be expected to be jolly and bouncy and family-conscious... which I may manage. We shall see, we shall.

Perkin Warbeck is alive and living on the Isle Of Wight! (amongst other places).

I need more boxes. There is a random VHS video tape sitting on top of the mixer, saying "Japanese Language and People". It wasn't there yesterday - is this a hint? And if so, what sort?


Onward to Wales, then... */
/* July 9, 2002 */
/* "Romans" - he smiled - "will mock your slavish rhyme,
the slaves your love of Roman structures, when,
from Metamorphoses to Tristia
art obeys its own order. Now it's time."
Tying his toga gently, he went in.

-- The Hotel Normandie Pool, by Derek Walcott

I finally managed to find the author of this poem today - I've been looking for months.

Am tired and angry and cold and depressed...and I'm obviously not quite free of my demon, "Love", yet. And I'm not packing fast enough; my room looks like a bombsite. I haven't got enough boxes, I've got too much stuff, and I'm not getting enough sleep. I'm also watching the tour de france at 1:30 in the morning, and am making silly spelling mistakes all to regularly.

Not a good day, really. I'll go and pack again in a minute.

{Update} and at 2 am - it's David Attenborough on penguins again! */
/* July 8, 2002 */
/* Albatross! Albatross!

I'm watching David Attenborough in a small window in the top-right of my desktop - a moderately relaxing thing to have on at this time of the morning. I really ought to sleep in a bit.

The problem is that of the metaconcept, as far as I can see - the concept of "concept". Not the concept of a concept, necessarily, but the concept of the conceptualisation of concept. And now you see why I call it the metaconcept :). The problem is this: Just wtf actually is it?

More may follow.

A mildly depressive day. Just... the normal things getting me down. I suppose they're normal. Well, normal for me. Some less than pleasant things have been happening amongst certain friends of mine (I'll say no more) ... and I cannot help but feel I have some truths to admit to in the relationships department, which are uncomfortable, but will be survivable. With any luck. */
/* July 6, 2002 */
/* I cannot help but feel that Plato, if he had been alive at the right time, would probably have invented object-oriented programming while everyone else was still buggering about with wires with plugs on the end; Just think. Object-oriented Colossus. But I digress.

The point, of course, is in the theory of "forms" - the "form" is the template from which an object is copied, or on a more abstract level, almost the concept of the type of object. Can you say class? I know you can.

So pity poor Plato - marooned umpt thousand years from Java and Object Pascal - and smile good-naturedly at the mysticism he built around it, the debates about the reality of the forms. How could he have thought up reference counting? That's an implementation detail.

Wasn't that random?

I do actually have serious thoughts on this matter, but they'll have to wait - I really ought to read more, too... */
/* July 3, 2002 */
/* Music: Decameron - The Ungodly

A scare in Newark, New Jersey, has meanwhile been resolved. A man of Middle Eastern appearance who tried to buy an ambulance has been traced and found to have a perfectly innocent reason for wanting the vehicle. Gah.

Well, it seems that everyone else has gone on holiday. or on field trips, or just... away. I'm still here, as ever, living behind a keyboard and a screen.

I very much doubt I exist any more. Just... as some kind of entity that eats breakfast and types and packs books and computer parts into cardboard boxes. Maybe packing is all that preserves me from collapsing into a quantum thingy, in accordance with the indeterminacy principle. Maybe I'm talking rubbish. You decide.

There's currently a link off the BBC News site labelled "Officials deny grass switch". It was almost a disappointment to follow the link and find a story about tennis ;).

This, however, is scarier. However, I am not so inclined to be sweepingly rude to politicians as I was due to the throwing out of the RIPA addendum thingy; however, that may well be a one-off. This is worse. This is much, much, worse.

Just cut myself almost completely loose from reality these last few days, thank heaven. */
/* July 2, 2002 */
/* Sagittarius: (Nov. 22óDec. 21)
The race does not always go to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but the job of lead singer always goes to the guy with the best hair.

Quite. */
return 0;

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