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19th October 2008
Letter to C. L. Moore, by H. P. Lovecraft, 1936
"As for the Republicans-- how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical 'American heritage'...) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead." : Source
24th April 2007
Founder's Day, after all
Hmm. Dusting off the severely neglected LJ, and it's just to ask a favor. Of course. My schedule has been completely disrupted this year by the quarter system, among other things, and I've been pretty much living one day at a time as far as deadlines and events. Thus, Founder's Day snuck up on me before I knew it, and I'm just now making plans. :
I *do* want to fly out to Vassar to visit people for Founder's Day weekend, and Becca *does* plan to come with me. But we need rides. The current plan is to fly into Stewart on EDIT: FRIDAY the 4rd at 11:00 in the evening, and to fly out from the same at 4:00PM on Tuesday the 8th. Renting a car isn't in the budget (especially with the under-25 penalty fees), so I'm posting to see if anybody loves us enough to come pick us up late on Thursday and drop us off Tuesday afternoon. Any takers?
I've been planning a trip, in the abstract, all year; but I'm only just now looking at actually doing it. There's still time for this to happen, but we need to buy the plane tickets soon, if we're going to at all. Please let me know ASAP if you can do us this huge favor. I hope to see everybody in a couple of weeks.
EDIT: It is, as Becca said, Friday the 4th that we're flying, and not Thursday.
25th May 2006
Becca's arriving tomorrow into Stewart around 5:00, and I'm going with George to pick her up. She's eager to see everybody, and I'm sure she'd be very happy if anybody else wanted to tag along to greet her. I'm not sure exactly when we're leaving, but is anybody interested in a short trip on Friday?
17th May 2006
College is now over
Except for the diploma, and a couple of tiny details (fixing a few minor points on my thesis, grading Prof. Livingston's delta rule assignments), and a lot of packing, and a lot of hanging out... :
I'm done with college.
This is a very strange feeling. I can more or less relax now, though not completely, because as I've mentioned there are a few little things that still need to get done. But still. I'm done with my work at Vassar, I'm going to graduate, there's really nothing I can do to ruin it at this point. I'm going to be going back across the country to my home coast for the next 5+ years, and I have no idea when I'll be setting foot in New York again. Not that I got that much of a flavor of the East Coast (thank you, Vassar bubble), but it still makes me feel sort of empty to be leaving.
Not sure what else to say, except that I'm up for pretty much whatever, as long as it involves spending more time with the awesome people I've been lucky enough to spend the past four years with. You all know how to get in touch with me. Let me know what's going on.
28th April 2006
Thesis draft is done. :
When I say draft, I mean *draft*.
I sleep now.
29th March 2006
So not only am as busy as I remember being (over periods longer than a couple of days) during my time at Vassar, but I *also* need to finish running my experiment for my thesis. Which requires subjects. Of which I have run 10, out of a minimum of 30 and a goal of 45. So I need volunteers. If you *really* loved me, you'd volunteer. It won't be that painful; it shouldn't take more than half an hour, of which ~20 min will be listening to a computer speak nonsense, ~5 will be testing, and ~5 will be setup and explanation. Volunteer. Big Brother wants you to. So does God. If you don't volunteer, the snake-terrorists on a plane will win. :
New icon courtesy of venus1216
, who is awesome. And who also wants you to volunteer, I'm certain.
25th March 2006
The Plan, etc.
Because major happenings are afoot, and because I haven't updated for years, I'm providing as complete a dump of my current state as I can manage while hanging out and on 3.5 hours of airplane/train sleep. :
First, ( the big news.Collapse )
I will refrain from posting on the probable effects of this decision on Becca's future path, as I think she has a better idea of that than I do.
In other recent news, ( break went well.Collapse )
There is of course ( a million work I need to do.Collapse )
That's about all I have time/patience/consciousness for. If updates are required, they might appear. Maybe.
2nd February 2006
Ok, this is getting silly.
I know, even *I* am getting tired of hearing about my grad school application status. But this bears special mention, and an LJ-cut for those of you who are as sick of this as I am. : ( Read more...Collapse )
1st February 2006
This morning, I got an e-mail from USC (Neuroscience secretary or something) inviting me to an interview on the weekend of February 24th. :
This afternoon, I got a phone call from Erik Thiessen at CMU, chatting about his work and whether I'd be interested in doing it (I would; the point is the Big Names I was interested in weren't taking students, and he wanted to know if second best was good enough), and inviting me to an interview on the weekend of the 24th.
This evening, I checked my e-mail only to find one from JEFF FUCKING ELMAN at UCSD, mentioning he'd *called* earlier and missed me, saying "I think there's a lot of overlap between your interests and my own", and inviting me to an interview on the weekend of the 24th.
Sometimes, the stars just align themselves.
28th January 2006
So I got a phone call this morning. It was a psychology professor at University of Michigan. Apparently I've been accepted to the program. I'm a little bemused by this; it seems likely to me that they were going primarily off numbers, since there was no interview or anything. Needless to say, they're flying me down for a recruitment weekend, which happens to fall at the beginning of spring break. I'm very excited, less because Michigan is at the top of my list and more because this bodes very well for the status of my other applications. They all got pretty much the same personal statement, after all.
25th January 2006
So I've been invited to interview at Washington University in St Louis, during their interview/recruitment weekend of February 17-18. This would be better if this were a place I really *wanted* to attend, rather than a place that *Becca* wants to attend that I applied to out of solidarity. That said, there are a few (read: one) researchers who I'd be excited about working with/under. I guess I'd better review the work being done by the profs there so I can hopefully find somebody else interesting, towards the goals of (1) making a good impression on the interviewers and (2) deciding that I actually want to go there. :
Bedtime now; thesis meeting and first class tomorrow. Which reminds me: these first few weeks are going to be pretty hellish, since I need to write and turn in a thesis draft (which involves *finding a second reader*, after all), as well as write and do my presentation for the AI seminar (I got tapped to do the first one, which is probably a blessing overall, but difficult to manage at this moment).
Also, game was highly stressful today, moving between dread, fear, and frustration. Extremely well run--Mike once again demonstrates his GMing skills--but very draining. And, for no obvious reason, my back hurts. I'm getting whiny now, so it's time to stop and sleep.
21st January 2006
Not a real post
I'm back on campus as of now. Just for the information of interested parties.
2nd January 2006
New Year's Resolution, Of A Sort
I've decided that if, before I die, I don't go mad after spending weeks or months poring over ancient tomes in a dusty and forgotten library, I will consider my life to have been a failure.
7th December 2005
Stressed beyond the ability of mortal man to conceive
LJ posts nowadays seem to be a competition centered around "life sucks so bad", so here's my entry. I hate grad school applications. I feel like I'm slowly going mad. Magic nerd version: Somebody is playing a Millstone deck against me. Point is, I need to stay together until the end of the semester, and in particular until I (attempt to) submit some of my applications this weekend. WHY isn't Heather getting back to me? I need her letter of recommendation, and it's far too late to get a (good) letter from any other professor. I'm doing the whole dull headache, brain wrapped in warm fuzzy wool thing. I imagine it shows. It's not just sleep, either; I've been getting enough, even if not as much as I'd like; same with food. If I don't hang out, it's just because I'm too busy staring at the computer screen and trying to write personal statements. Classes are just an annoying distraction at this point. At least I'm not worried about finals. I can't be; I don't have time. I'm pretty sure that I've got a solid D, maybe even C, in each of my classes no matter *what* I do at this point. This is not to mention thesis, which I *really* don't have time for right now. Back to statements, or maybe statistics. :
What does Liber AL have to say about this? Open to a random page, and: "Now a curse upon Because and his kin!" (II, 28). Ah, bibliomancy.
EDIT: Heather wrote back, and is willing to do some recommendations. That's one big thing off my mind.
12th November 2005
So, I took the Math GRE (note, completely different from the general GRE math section) this morning. Exhausted, but I think I probably did almost exactly as well as I predicted, which is (hopefully) a few points above the practice test. Seems like reading through the Princeton Review guide did very little, though even just touching all those math concepts which have fallen out of my head in the last three years was helpful in a way. My goal is a score that *might*, if I'm lucky, get me into grad school for math, because I'm hoping that such a score will look very attractive to a math-minded cog sci program. :
Now, if only finishing this GRE means the stress were over. Of course, it isn't at all. Still need to take (and schedule!) the general GRE, which I'm less worried about (and can't really prepare for anyway, so whatever). Both of these are for the purpose of applying to grad school, so I need to start writing applications, not to mention generate a final list of schools to which I'm applying, which in turn requires coordinating with Goldfish so that there's at least the possibility of overlap.
Then there's thesis, which I have barely even thought about for the past n weeks, which currently requires (1) an experimental design--easy, since it's a replication of a published study; (2) stimulus sets for the study, harder, since the authors apparently didn't bother to document the features of Macintalk that they were using (on their *Quadra 700* for a study published in *2004*, for the love of all the gods save one); (3) an IRB form so I can run the study, easy enough once I have time; (4) some idea of how I'm going to go about doing the neural network side of the thesis when *nobody* at Vassar does neural nets.
There's more (like, why do I get sick *every* *single* *time* I have a chance to spend time with Goldfish?), but that's enough for right now. Might as well mention some of the good points, like the aforementioned visit from Goldfish for the excellent final weekend (ever!) of Rocky Horror. Now that Rocky is over, we get to *game* again. Contrary to my joking statement of last night, there is nobody on the planet who could even *envision*, much less *run*, the Ravenloft game, other than Mike (assuming that Mike exists at all, which, as the "Dark Powers" have always seemed to be an in-game term for the GM, is in some doubt). Also, very little other than fighting a giant brain living inside of a truly gargantuan brain floating above an underground city which is the hub of an entire brain-based economy could have made me stop worrying about the GREs the evening before the test. And the revelations. Oh, the revelations.
Ok, this has pretty much come full circle, so it's time to stop now.
30th August 2005
To Do list, past and future
X Move my brother into Wesleyan :
X Stay in a sketchy motel on 9 overnight while parents fly home
X Move all stuff from Addspace to side of Joss to front of Joss to inside Joss to room (213)
X See a few people while moving, and recruit them to help carry the Big Box
X Die of fatigue afterward
- Get food
- Find list of books for classes, to buy online
- Buy shampoo and conditioner
- Take a cold shower
- Inventory room damage
- Unpack / assemble / arrange room
- Find people sometime during the above
19th August 2005
Gratuitous Icon Post
Yes, my first. No, I'm not actually updating; maybe I'll do one big one for the summer, but not right now. George made it, and it's too cute not to use. Multiple thanks to him. Mr. Saturn was half the point of Earthbound in the first place.
2nd June 2005
So Much for Money
I have a new toy: a 15" 1.5GHz G4 PowerBook. Half my money, half a (late birthday+early graduation+early birthday*n) gift from my parents. With the educational discount on the one hand and the extended warranty on the other (nearly balancing each other), it came to a total of $2038. I'd better find a job as soon as my lungs touch LA smog. :
(Updating was really just an excuse for playing with it.)
4th April 2005
Finally, I have a new power supply. Not the old one, which sounded like all the hounds of hell baying at my hard drive, before the fan failed altogether; not the first new one, which exploded the first time I plugged it in and turned it on; nor the old one again, with the case open and my huge room fan blowing over its innards in some weeks-long open-heart surgery. Now my computer runs as silently as night, or so it seems in comparison, and the fan is actually succeeding in moving air across the circuitry. :
Not that this was particularly more important than most of the things I've neglected to post about for the last long while.
14th February 2005
Happy Valentine's Day
: ( NathicanaCollapse )
Sorry, I grabbed it online and didn't have the patience to edit out all the typos. Especially since every copy online seems to have a common source, and nobody's ever bothered to proofread it.
(Yes, he intended it to be a parody.)
27th January 2005
I think I'm going to quit going to Aikido. Over the two practices I've been to this semester, I found myself not enjoying it as much as I used to. Possibly the whole "being too busy to go" thing I did for the last half of last semester was just me not realizing I didn't want to go anymore. Somehow, this makes me feel absurdly guilty; possibly it's that I'd sworn I was going to go more this semester, or that I thought I was going to attend a few more sessions before deciding this, or just that I seem to be giving up. Whatever. Perhaps I'll sign up for Tai Chi again, now that I don't work Wednesday nights, just to give me *something* physical to do. That's much less of a time commitment, and since I have to pay money, I'll make myself go. I guess I'll be around more now, but in my current mood, somehow that doesn't seem like a bright side. Why am I a complete failure, and why is the back of my hand stuck to my forehead. Maybe I can cheer myself up by purchasing goods online with money I shouldn't be spending.
16th January 2005
on campus, on about four hours of poor sleep. Freezing rain made getting out of Portland an adventure--I'll tell the story later. For now, need to go call my parents (wireless phone battery in room is dead), shower, and find people. Also, appeal some kind of room charge: can't tell what, because the copy is totally illegible, but probably has to do with my rice cooker, the one *with* an auto-shutoff. Dug out the manual, need to contact house adviser. Also, in next few days, need to get CDO to help with this resume or CV for the summer program, and write short essay for first seminar class. Also unpack. First, call and shower.
7th January 2005
Complex Systems School
Well, it's looking more and more likely that this thing might actually happen. The story is, right toward the end of finals, Prof. Livingston forwarded me this e-mail for "an intensive four-week introduction to complex behavior in mathematical, physical, living, and social systems for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the sciences and social sciences." Underline "graduate students and postdocs", but he thought I might have a chance anyway. Of course, I need to consult with my parents first, and of course, we immediately fly down to California for a week where I'm pretty much cut off from internet access. :
Now, these people have no idea who I am, whereas Livingston might actually have some pull, so when I get back, I e-mail him asking if he'd ask *them* about the possibility of me getting in. Simultaneously--because, after all, the application is due at the end of January--I ask him and my URSI fellow from last summer, Heather Johnston of Math, to write me letters of recommendation. Well, yesterday Livingston e-mailed me something containing the words, "Yes, we will consider an application from an advanced undergraduate," and today I got a response from Heather. So now, all that's left is to write myself a resume and a short essay. I think that as soon as school starts, I'll be heading down to Career Development for some assistance.
The coolest part is that I can apply for either (or both, if I don't care) the session in Santa Fe, which would be the safe option, or in Beijing, which would probably be much more of an Experience. In the latter case, I know that everything at the summer school would be in English, but I'd probably need to learn some survival Chinese anyway, which is a little intimidating. What are the chances of Vassar paying for me to go there, anyway? (Room and board and tuition would be paid for by the program, by some financial miracle the details of which do not concern me.) Details here
And the downside, as Livingston noted, is that I wouldn't be around for URSI. Still, this is such a cool opportunity that I'd be criminally negligent not to try to take advantage of it.
24th December 2004
So, home from visiting relatives in California, as usual. Had a nice time and all, and my 3.5-year-old cousin is sufficiently adorable. :
Some things that are awesome:
-Used book stores with ancient, if frequently overpriced, old esoteric books and periodicals in no particular order
-Uncles who give GBAs complete with Mario III
-Pokemon FireRed (yes, I know I'm a geek, but keep reading)
-Naming myself Tomoe and forming a Witches 5 plus random daimons-themed team of Pokemon, then setting out to bring Silence to this pitiful Pokeworld (and incidentally to become the greatest Pokemon trainer evar along the way)
-Gifts of cash, even if they do make me feel mildly guilty
-Being home for a little while, but hopefully not too long
-The possibility of attending summer school on complex systems in Santa Fe, or perhaps Beijing
-Lack of classes, ability to catch up on reading and one-shot-adventure writing