Minority Opinions

Not everyone can be mainstream, after all.

Archive for December 2012

Merry Christmas!

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I’m starting to wonder whether Santa isn’t as much a fantasy for the parents as for the children.  As a child, presents magically appear either way; as a parent, things would be a whole lot easier if someone else were handling the magic.  This year, for example, one of our children could use a new bike, but it needs some assembly in order to appear by the tree.  And not only can it not stick to one size of nut, it can’t even stick to a single measurement system.

The holiday feast just adds to the pressure.  I was introduced to this as a teenager, but only in terms of a dish or two; only later did I appreciate the amount of planning that went into the full meal.  This year, though I’m once again in charge of the rolls and maybe a vegetable, the logistics of baking five pans in time for an hour-long car trip to a 2:00 dinner require that I stretch the first rise time overnight by refrigerating the dough.  I also experimented with a new mixing technique that used more flour than usual, and the butter wasn’t fully melted, but they should still be okay.

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Written by eswald

25 Dec 2012 at 6:24 pm

Posted in Lifestyle

Magic Git Commit

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I’ve finally implemented a magic `git ci` command to resolve my most serious complaint with the version control system I use most.  Now I just have to train myself to use the new `git df` command instead of diff.

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Written by eswald

18 Dec 2012 at 5:48 pm

Posted in Linux, Technology

Robot Science

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After reading how a sufficiently smart artificial intelligence could potentially build a nanotech factory once it had access to proteins of its own design in the right environment, it scared me to discover that scientists have given an AI control over yeast cultures and taught it the scientific method.  That particular robot is probably limited to the general question domain for which it was designed, but that kind of behavior sounds exactly like something that could lead to an uncontrolled Singularity.

On a related note, I’ve finally gotten around to playing Portal 2.  Sleep, a full-time job, three children, one snake, and this blog take up the rest of my time, which means I probably won’t continue any personal programming projects until it’s done.

Written by eswald

11 Dec 2012 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Technology

End of the Universe as we know it

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No matter how scary the Singularity might be, it doesn’t seem to frighten me.  I believe in an abstract sense that a Singularity will happen sometime, but I don’t honestly believe at this point that it will be bad for us, even if it logically appears more likely to be bad than good.  It’s simply not real to me.

What truly terrifies me is an upcoming energy crisis.  Not the peak oil crisis; oil will simply become more expensive as alternative energy sources get cheaper, and people will switch in small waves.  Not the depletion of all fossil fuels; there’s enough geothermal, tidal, and solar energy to supply our needs for some time, once we start harnessing it properly.  Not even the death of the sun; by then, we should have figured out some form of space travel.  No, what I honestly fear is the heat death of the universe.

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Written by eswald

4 Dec 2012 at 5:54 pm

Posted in Lifestyle, Technology