2013-02-16

Feels like a normal life

War games again in Damansara Jaya. Mari kita berDota. Jom.

Making myself chill out and try to fit in. Mamak talk with the Dota gang. Dota's the only complex computer game I've let myself learn properly over the last decade or so.

Other epiphany: if I don't have crazy ex-s, shit... that means I'm the crazy ex... (more false modesty here)

I have concluded that my dog brain is an extrovert, and that my monkey brain is an introvert.

Ubersnob

If I have to acquire expensive tastes, I hope to become an expert on those, without losing my ability to distinguish among the cheaper tastes that I already know.

I have noticed a prejudice among third-wave coffee snobs, against dark roasts, and iced drinks. ^_^

I don't often have milk with my best coffee either, however, I'm not sure that it's impossible to construct a drink in which milk (or something else) adds to the experience of coffee.

I guess third-wave therefore defines itself as a being on-the-edge (and IMHO therefore, as reactionary - which is never a nice definition to have in the long-run).

Art is only relevant, within a cultural context. Explanation of the motivation for 1st / 2nd / 3rd wave coffee cultures needs to increase.

For example, I think Starbucks gets it absolutely right when it serves a sweet, fruity, Kenyan, over ice. I like cold fruit juice. It tones down the perceived acidity, and gives any bitterness a nice hard edge. I must encourage our chaps to respond to the question, "do you have any fruit juice?" with "we have several, they are from varieties of the coffee cherry."

No wonder wave-3 coffee invented the term "cupping," the alternative is a preponderous phrase, "degustation."

Serving coffee in wine-glasses - now why didn't I think of that? Given the vast variety in coffees out there, I'm willing to bet an arm and a leg that some would work fine, chilled, in a wine glass. Plenty of opponents to that view, I'm sure. Now what would work as a chilled coffee? My plebleian wanderings have led me to actually enjoy Starbuck's iced-coffees, which are typically brewed from dry-processed beans, resulting in a lot of fruit aroma. I'm guessing that a light-roast would bring out further acidity. I'd be interested in pulling low-temperature shots through something like that... to bring out an espresso that'd be too acidic at room temperature. Then serve it in a wine glass, shakespresso style (shaken with ice).

A couple of days later: Dark roast. Increasing extraction rate makes it less bitter, more sour, and no more flavourful. Got it.

Demystifying structures

Food, music, art, literature, relationships, companies, products... all fascinating until I figure out how to build them. Then blah.

:(

Only minds remain. And maybe the interfaces between minds and languages.

Evening social aborted. That means more time at home for work readings and personal programming, I guess.

Tea time, bitches. Xoxo #slowDay

Science is not normative. Engineering is what takes science, beyond mere description of past facts.

Surrounded by depressing stupidity. Not that I blame anyone for it. Just a #slowDay.

Need to comfort myself - will attempt to focus on building future minds. Distracting myself with CSS3 as graphical medium. Web development always makes me feel more like a Zen gardener, than a theoretical physicist...

In iOS Safari, to get :hover {CSS} to work when the user touches an element, wrapping that DOM element in a <a href="#ignore" />, makes that element "touchable" #dirtyHack - anyone got a better / simpler way to make this work?

(The solution turned out to be: simply to add an attribute to trigger certain events to the element.)

I'm not sure I understand how the ontouchstart attribute changes things, but I guess it works!)

Trying to figure out how to make LaTeX-Hamlet code look prettier. Hmm. I get the basics of WAI and Hamlet, but to avoid the risk of reinventing the wheel, I'd better dig into Yesod tomorrow. G'night work.

Jailbait

So after the war games, at mamak, the sausages discussed past parties organised by female friends of ours. I remarked that my typical reaction when arriving at one of those is, "... jailbait... jailbait... er... jailbait; ok, is there anything you need? Can I get you some more ice from the store? No? The music's kinda loud. I have work to do. Ok, byee!"

This is facetious, as everyone is pretty much a yuppie there. But the model citizens that our friends are... attract a class of yuppie that can only be called preppy. So the parties feel like people put on prom clothes (I'm being facetious again) and come to talk trivia about careers that they don't have yet. Or about boring mundanities like the role of civil society, their material aspirations, and states of popular art... such as what's showing at the movies, books, and such.

At which point, I apologise for being facetious and admit that I'm merely airing my point of view as a somewhat-hermit, to whom most people appear as plastic.

I wish I was mentally vacant enough to have the slack to enjoy most mundanities. But life is short, and my mind has generally been busier.

Hmm. Getting into extended conversations with certain folk is possibly intellectual gaol.

Unsexy

A reader commented that there isn't enough sex on this blog, despite the title Sex, Tech, and Mergers.

so sorry my dear man, ain't got nothing sexy to blog about; ps - you've discovered the power of gratuitous copy! :D

Espresso tasting: McCafe, Starbucks

Tried McCafe espresso. Seems like 6g shot, dark roast, fast pull, super light coloured crema. Fast food. Tried a SBUX espresso soon after. Less liquid, bitterer, 1.5x the price. Crema also light. Beans were SBUX roast, of course. Not sure if I'm imagining it, but SBUX espresso roast consistently gives me almond and anise flavours. Albeit bitter.

2013-02-14

Balance

As I grow older, I find that in order to achieve economic balance, I prefer working in the arts, and going home to science. (Perhaps it goes to show what I am willing be sociable about. Perhaps it goes to show what I am willing to be commerciable, about.)

Don't be that fucker who writes, then attributes to "unknown," because she's too shy to own it.

Trying to wrestle down the monster of brand identity. Off to KL for meetings.

Kandar brunch. Weak coffee. Slides. Then either coding, or gaming with the cool kids.

If managing by the numbers isn't working out for you... you've got the wrong numbers, motherfucker...

Looking for pretty pictures has got to be the most boring job in the world.

There are two jerngs. Jerng himself can live on minimum wage. Jerng at work always wants to know, why the numbers aren't larger.

Esoteric philosopher and student of cognitive science, or shallow corporate raider. Such a tough portfolio.

Sometimes one's role in a team is most surprising, and unintended.

It will all make a good story some day.

Bench presses. Breathing exercises on the pull-up bar. Slowly getting back into shape... upper body definitely needs more coordination.

Great. Washed up. Ready for the game. Need to grab dinner and sample McCafe before that. In a meditative mood. Won't carry a book out today.

2013-02-13

Break time

Ok - almost sure I've run out of high-priority work items. Going to break out some hobbies, I guess... break time!

Tea time. Now where did I put my Euler?

This is where I start scribbling shit on papers, and sticking it to the wall with masking tape... #mathHobby

Actually no... let's be efficient and do this digitally. MathJax to the rescue. (This is actually quite an accomplishment, in the sense that there's a small chance I won't ever need to change the format of my math study journal, in the future. After many false starts to a sustainable program, this might actually be it.)

Thirty-thousand files for a rendering library. Mother fuckers. Between math and women, sometimes I wonder if I'd be happier if I'd picked women as my primary hobby.

Sweet - got it down to 650 files with minimum effort. Next thing to do... write a Haskell web app that allows me to inline-edit my math journal.

Tempted to go down to the mamak and be a little more social for a bit. Brief roti flooded with curry and soy milk at the mamak. Shower. Back in bed for coding... my Haskell is soo rusty. If machines didn't give me so much grief... I might actually have more time for women. Sigh. -_- Wishing that I was a smarter cookie, so that I could actually chew into what I bite off. Finally, got WAI, Hamlet, MathJax, and HTML to play nice. But it is ugly. Well then, off to bed for now. We'll clean this up later! Pretty close to replicating SageMath's notebook functionality. Not bad for a night's work.

It's nice to do some coding for the first time in like... a month... or three. Meanwhile, it seems I can still get her to call me, baby, for what it's worth. Happy v-day to one and all.

Tradition

Exclusivity is a strange parameter, for romance amid economic excess. It's driven simply by the fear of losing.

I don't know about you, but sex to me is more like breathing, than base jumping. Ain't no thrill about it. It's just life. (haha... so you see, folks like me feel like everyone else is a da-ra-ma-quin... haha...)

I don't usually RT hate, but you know, sometimes it's considered socially acceptable. #getTheRapistMurderers

I do what people do; I say what people say; but sometimes, I don't feel more normal than I usually do.

I believe in true love, and true love at first sight. But I don't often let emotions last for more than 10 minutes... :P

Better than, better than, better...

Every time I hear a consumer marketing specialist wax lyrical on uber-plebian / lux tasting. Plz. Is continuum! Of mewling babies! Howl!

Marketers need to move away from the notion that taste is anything other than subjective. It's politically distasteful. LOL.

It's a sad state of affairs, when people are so distant from others, that the only ones they feel close to, are friends and family. Or tribes.

Categorical inclusions

Theory without sensation is about as droll as sensation without theory. How do all these morons live with merely one, or the other?

Dreams

If you believe that we are meat, then all dreams come from meat. If you believe in spirit, then from spirit. Yadda yadda.

Cheras-ing

Went out to passively socialise a bit, while reading for work. First stop, a fusion cafe in Bandar Mahkota Cheras, a geographical variety which I generally refer to as Chinktown. Had an espresso. It was bitter, but not sour. More to learn. Later, found the most cosmopolitan McDonalds in Connaught at 2am.
Went in search of a more colourful setting than chinktown. Lo and behold, a mamak next to a bar, overflowing with the African people.

Vietnamese hos at the mamak, sit and give quotes to the occasional john. (Typing on their phones. I can't tell if they're fronts for other product sales.) Feels like planet earth again!

I guess Cheras is not 'completely,' boring :p

Assholes in academia?

Comment on this blog post.
As a generally harsh speaker, I must say I chose to avoid a career in academia because I thought it would involve a lot of time being nice to people for non-technical reasons (i.e. you could say, I didn't want to have to continuously pretend that I wasn't an asshole). For better or for worse, I think of myself as a clever person who walked away from the academy. Perhaps not for the reasons you wrote about, however. :)
I don't flatter myself - I just smile when I see people identify "non-assholes," as the better half of society :P

How could it be flattering to spend most of one's life as a distasteful hermit, achieving nothing more than personal happiness?

2013-02-12

Killing time

Restrung the guitar. Haven't played with full-metal strings in a loong while. The work is ugly - I haven't strung a guitar in a couple of years either. Chilling out, testing hands and timbres. Thinking of Myanmar, the spotty Internet connection there, and a soon-to-fail business that I was checking up on. Wherever you are, my love, I hope you are well.

The next day. Tea time. In the twilight. The sky darkens on my empty mind. Hot tea. Over the years, my primary vent of expression has shifted from music, to knowledge, to commerce. Geetar practice on the balcony... then a run. A good run. Breathe and footstrikes are getting recoordinated around the center of balance. Getting back into shape ^_^. Now making some congee.

Purists

At the moment, it seems that little specialty coffee is blended with non-coffee ingredients.

Coming from a cooking background, this just tells me that we have a looong way to go...

(A link, in case you've never heard of Coffee Review.)

If I keep poking at coffee for a decade, perhaps I can work as a coffee derrivatives trader after that :p

Is it just me, or does a coffee with strawberry overtones start to taste like soysauce when old/overextracted?

Just fell in over my head into coffee agronomics. Low humidity, high vapour pressure, closed stomata, less growth. Uhuh.

Nail biting moments - battling over the role of comms strategy within a new service (product) design. I can't underemphasie "delivery"

Religious fallacies

This is not intended to troll. But anyone can call what they believe in a religion. Even if it means burning your religion. :P

Burn all the incense you like. There are no goddesses in my head. Only the goddesses in my bed matter much.

Unpopular philosophy

My comment on an article in the Guardian.
I'll risk being the punk on this.

Philosophy and many other "humanities / arts" disciplines do address timeless issues (i.e. problems which are highly relevant to anyone, anywhere), however, academia has completely slacked off over the years, and failed to bridge contemporary vernacular with the language of the academy.

In the marketing of philosophy (i.e. the rhetoric regarding why philosophy should be in demand), the "messaging," about the Anglo-American philosophical tradition's core positioning that "we're really fucking up our life through language," remains starkly ignorant of (or in stark disagreement with) the position I raise above.

Philosophy-about-philosophy can assert a framework that the business of philosophy broadly covers epistemology, ethics, and metaphysics. These are roughly explained as fields stemming from the questions "how do we know what we know?" "what should we do?" and "what are we discussing, exactly?" The three questions are really quite omnipresent, and have their applications in business analyses, engineering analyses, and operational risk management analyses in general... which is what philosophy really is about: checking and double-checking your opportunity cost, for the assumption of any belief.

Philosophy provides the student with many tools, for the attack upon both uncertainty (general fuzzyheadedness) and over-certainty (general instinctiveness).

It's a shame that professional "philosophers," have failed to properly market the identity of their discipline. Outside of that, many amateurs, such as myself, and others who have never known the formal definition of "philosophy," are happily practicing philosophy outside the classroom.

[Street cred: I have a BA from a US liberal arts college with a major in Philosophy, and seven years of programming / business experience in professional services, from suit-and-tie think tanks, down to shorts-and-flip-flops startup clients.]

Positive association

The more the media repeats what Mahathir says about anything, the more the public consciousness is likely to align with BN. Just an intuition, based on observation. Wish I had sufficient interest in this to get some data :P

Socialising

... sometimes entails subscribing to group-buying spam, in order to stay in touch with consumer trends, though I'd rarely buy anything they were pushing. (To-date: haven't bought a thing.)

Searching within myself for good company. Finding none, back to work with a weak cuppa joe.

Ants

Beginning to take for granted the continuous return of the ant hill by my balcony. Just you wait. We're about to switch poisons.

CNY

Avoided setting an alarm. Woke up. Checked messages. Cleaned up. Went to the store. Got three watermelons. Covered them in ice. Drove to lunch. Got lost. Arrived only 30 minutes late, for an event scheduled to start 2 hours prior. They're never on time...

2013-02-10

Emotional garbage

Emotional garbage collection. Not even a metaphor - almost exactly the way I clear dangling pointers from my memory. Frequency and thoroughness of such operations aid focus, by controlling memory.

Gradually coming to terms with the fact that: I find many people distasteful, because from my unfiltered point of view, they are softies. I filter a lot. Maybe too much. But already they complain that I don't filter enough.