The All-Thing

All stick and no carrot, since ought-three.

`Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on ``I am not too sure''.' -- H. L. Mencken.

各位能夠讀中文得來賓您好。小的這還在學中文中,恐怕中文寫得不太好,希望你們還看得懂。


寄人 (張泌)

別夢依依到謝家,小廊回合曲闌斜。
多情只有春庭月,猶為離人照落花。

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Wed, 31 Mar 2004

Malta

Looks like I'll be attending a conference in Malta at the end of next month. I'm pretty fucking excited. (Check out the Wikipedia page—it's awesome.)

So anyone want to come with? The conference is two days. I reckon I'll only stay an extra day or two if I'm traveling alone.

Posted at 16:04 | /travel | (leave a comment) | permalink

Gender test

Uncertain what gender you are? Here's William's quick test.

Do you appreciate the artwork of Mary Cassatt?

  • Yes – You are female.
  • No – You are male.

Posted at 12:38 | /media/paint | (leave a comment) | permalink

Mon, 29 Mar 2004

The Skellig

William and the Death to the Infidels, aka Whiskey Friday will be ownz0ring the Skellig's open-mic bluegrass jam this Wednesday. Come see us!

240 Moody Street in The Armpit of the Greater Boston Area, aka Waltham.

Posted at 13:52 | /media/music | 2 comments | permalink

Thu, 25 Mar 2004

The little things

He says, We'll be happy to see you in April. Then he corrects himself. I'll be happy to see you in April. I guess I'm still in the habit....

He says, "I found a local grocery store that sells all sorts of pre-made foods."

I change the entry in my cell phone, from Grandparents to Granddaddy.

Posted at 15:06 | /mortal | 4 comments | permalink

Mon, 15 Mar 2004

Changing the world

Ok, let's brainstorm a minute. I need focus.

So what kinds of computer-related things do I think actually have the potential to change my world in the next three decades? (I.e. in the span of time before the entirety of my skill set is made completely obsolete and my ability to keep up completely surpassed.)

I don't think it's any kind of NLP, frankly. I've heard some pretty amazing speech recognition stuff (we have one at work for recognizing people's names that's very useful) but even if that gets rolled into some kind of useful interface, it's not really going to change the way we live. Except for eliminating some jobs.

Any kind of text processing... blah. I doubt anything is going to happen in the next three decades besides current technology getting faster and better, and all that means is that there'll be a slightly reduced need for analysts and translators. I understand the lay of the land here, and this field isn't ripe for a breakthrough. The only thing it's ripe for is stewing in its own juices for another century.

There are two things I can think of that I'm pretty sure can change my life in the mid-term future.

1. Ubiquitous networking and portable devices. Get everything bluetooth-enabled (or, Allah willing, some other protocol that isn't as brain-dead and committee-designed). Your PDA+cellphone, your house, your car, your computer. Your fridge, your oven and your lightswitch. Now all these guys know where you are and know what you're doing. And they're connected to every other device in the fucking world. Holy shit. Think of the things you could do.

2. New ways of networking. This is less formulated than the first one, but. Look how much old people's lives have changed over the past ten years because of the web. Or in the past three years because of AIM. There's opportunity for much much more out there. I'm not sure what, but wikis, blogs, p2p... these are all new communication modalities that have sprung up essentially in the last two or three years. There's got to be more, and better. I don't know what, but I'm betting that centralized distribution (print news, the RIAA, etc.) ain't it.

Posted at 14:05 | /computing | (leave a comment) | permalink

Wed, 10 Mar 2004

Here's a little ditty

We've been recording rehearsals, so that people can go home and play along with the tunes and work them out well. Some of the tracks have come out really well just as they are... here's the best one, a Gillian Welch tune called (I think) Rock of Ages. (Please do not distribute.)

We had some problems recording, obviously (can't heard the bass or banjo at all) but I think it came out pretty good, considering that's maybe the second time we've tried to play that song seriously. Check it. Shaky beginning and ending, but the fiddle is pretty tight if I do say so meself, baring some out-of-tuneness towards the middle, and the harmony is just plain pretty.

Posted at 18:53 | /media/music | (leave a comment) | permalink

Tue, 09 Mar 2004

Absence

In case any of you are wondering (hah) why I've more or less stopped writing anything here, it's because I have almost completed my full withdrawal from the outside world, and now spend all my time reliving my happy memories.

Posted at 20:03 | /meta | (leave a comment) | permalink

Fri, 05 Mar 2004

Accepted

Yay, short paper for HLT/NAACL 2004 accepted. This means I get an all-expenses-paid trip to... Boston.

For future historians and biographers, this paper is significant because a) it caused me a tremendous amount of emotional grief, and taught me to stop caring and investing myself in stuff, and b) it's my first first-author paper. So go me, even if it's just a short paper.

Posted at 15:41 | /research | (leave a comment) | permalink

Wed, 03 Mar 2004

How to really piss off the Republicans in the election

Have John Kerry run with Bill Clinton as running mate. The election platform is, I will commit suicide on my first day of office. (Or, if that's an illegal act, something fuzzier like "I will go skydiving without a parachute".)

Based on this VC post: http://volokh.com/2004_02_29_volokh_archive.html#107833460411712131

Posted at 14:54 | /politics | (leave a comment) | permalink


   

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can read. -- Mark Twain