2013-06-14

Mating Burn-ins

(Awesome evening so far. My friends may find it weird, but I'm happy when they change. I myself change so slowly, I'm just happy to be reminded that there's more. Much to write about later. Observations! Data! Closure! Hypothesis unfalsified! Lol. #scienceNerdMoment)

Following a delightful evening of conversation with two young ladies, I've arrived at a statistically significant epiphany of sorts. I'm not sure that the methodology of this stands up to critique, but here's what I learnt anyway. There is a particular sort of girl that appears frequently in the pool of girls that I find attractive; this particular sort of girl also has a high probability of despising a particular aspect of my character. In simple language (I'll try my best) ...
it seems that I should minimally pursue girls that find the following notion offensive: "that individual humans ultimately behave systematically, and can be fully delineated, as if onto a giant flowchart."
You see, I've lost at least two female friends who fell into this pattern, whose company I used to enjoy immensely, prior to even asking them out on formal dates. I've also at some point dated someone who falls into this pattern, and the feedback remains consistent (fortunately for me, she still speaks to me, though maybe she'll stop at some point in the future).

What you have to understand is that for the past 13 or so years, this has been one of my core interests - to study the quantification of human experiences. All experiences - every single one. For the past few years, I have spent nearly all my free time and energy pursuing skills in phenomenology, mental conditioning, and computer programming (and eventually math and statistics too), which will enable me to further test my understanding within this field of study. I figure that the only way to know that we understand the structure of human experience, is to build a machine that we can't distinguish from what we consider to be an authentic human being. So, you see, anyone who's religiously or personally attached to the notion that people, specifically themselves, cannot - or should not - be quantified, or deciphered in a systematic fashion - they're firstly not going to understand me, and secondly going to hate the way I talk about them.

So, I really need to start applying this early-stage burn-in test to girls who are potential dates, or first dates. I'm sorry, but it seems that if you're such a girl, it's highly probable that we're not going to find it easy to get along.

Aside, it seems that I have recently begun to superficially judge the dating potential of girls by the speed of their speech... perhaps this is a temporary phenomenon, due to my geolocation. Also partially specific to my geolocation... I tend to warn all acquaintances about my attitude towards my parents, as that is a prickly point with Asians.

I have never used a dating services seriously, but I may want to at some point in the future.

A friend quips:
If you want to turn relationship into science, you'll end up alone haha
I disagree. I think there are plenty of systematic thinkers out there. It's only now that I'm burning-out the non-systematic thinkers from my target audience. If anyone survives the burn-in, then great, I guess.

Update: high-context and low-context cultures just about explains all of this. Thanks to conversations with a linguist friend.

2013-06-13

#minifiction

A loud day. Drills, hammers, and squeals rose up from the floors below. "What a party," he said; "I know another," she replied.

"Eww," said the ad man. "It's not trying to be cool," said the beggar. "We can't use it." "Why not?" "It's trying."

"This place is beautiful." "It took a while to get it there." "I love this. Who makes that rich, red, velvet?" "I do." #horror

They sat on a roof's edge, hands held, talking about people. Gust of wind. Sound of muddy footsteps. Thereafter, inseparable.

The merc swung around a corner. Arms bleeding. Mouth torn. Weapons empty. "No where to go," he thought, "goddamn this #minifiction meme."

Bidets always creeped her out. She could never shake the feeling of impending invasion. Then she studied it, and found a way.

Brick fell from the walls of the dying city. Flames starved inside. Ash golems arose, shaking life into their eyes. Howls afar.

The puppy traversed the street. Fulfilled, inside. Its human was away. But it needed a hug, and took one from a stranger.

The stench of sweat broke through the equilibrium of sleep. "Is it human?" She couldn't tell. "Oh fuck, it's still here."

Every time he got back to the bar, she was there, tired and drinking. "Did you dance?" "Of course." "Back!" He went out again.

He skinned his knee, and he helped him get it together. They stalked frogs and built windmills by plan. Then, they grew apart.

Laced was her dress. Laced down by lovers in plural. Her lovers, also wore laced dresses; their clasps undone by each other.

Wood, ingrained with his tools; soul, ingrained with that of wood; tools, creeping over grains of wood. Anything was possible.

He no longer felt alone in the world. He could now weather any drought of physical comfort. His heart was at home, somewhere.

Helpless, she felt, eyes tearing and mind falling to pieces. An angel of strength collected her pieces, and coddled her mind.

Liquid movements in the dark; two eyes in the night. Pressed harder, moved faster. Oversteer. Six men dead, by the streetside.



Slippers always went missing on this street. Slippers, shoes, and underwear. Perverts. One day, they killed the monkey cruelly.

No words recorded this. He had lost her to a friend. He was past distraught. He was empty. This was beyond Common Law.

"Package at 6 Jalan Lok." / "How heavy?" / "Seven kiloh." Later: "Boss, box dripping blood lah. How?" / "What?! Go die lah.
"

Boors on the stage. Boors on the floor. The janitor had had enough. "Fuck you all." Locked doors; flames roasted the theatre.

Introverted Defenses

I guess the introverted aspect of my personality is a defense mechanism against the tribulations of being an offensive extrovert.

#boredgasm

Event. The blast of serotonin received when you stop caring about something.

Defining "Third-wave" Coffee

"Third-wave" is a term coined in the USA. You can read up on the traditional rationale for its choice of language. But even within the community of people who use it, its definition remains in question.

Language must be useful, otherwise we discard it. A definition must enable us to distinguish what a symbol does and does not point to.

So far, the terms I associate with "third-wave coffee," are: "micro-lots," "lighter roasts," and "flavour profiling."

Update 2013-06-29:
The SEA style is the only one with additives at the roasting stage: butter, margerine, salt, sugar - perhaps, some say, to provide a sweetened taste for otherwise uncharacterisable beans.

The "traditional Italian" dark roast is said to have been a result of the coffee-exporting regions in Africa which the Germans colonised at certain points in history. The quality of the beans, the requirements of the industrial age, and the ability of the fast-extraction "espresso" method to extract the lighter components of the roast, are further hypothesised to have contributed to the development of "espresso" in Italian culture.

In the USA,

(i) post WW2 industrialisation led to gradual degradation of coffee as a consumer product. Think Folgers, and flavored beans for home consumption, etc.

(ii) Peets / SBUX reacted to this with Italian influenced tradition, see above, with full-bodied, dark roasts, without additives at the roasting stage, finally brewed via the espresso method.

(iii) At some point, a bunch of coffee quality nerds honed in on the problems of SBUX's style... things roasted too dark lose their individual taste/aroma characteristics... and so there was a need to roast lighter to preserve the unique flavours of each lot of coffee. Further research led to miscellaneous very very nerdy insights into that everything from terrain, farming methods, pre-roast processing, roasting, and brewing methods. Ergo, US hipster coffee... at some point began referring to itself as "third-wave" where the waves correspond to the three industrial developments in this list.

Addendum: super-customised-candied-drink style of customer service ... that's also been popularised by SBUX. The third-wave purists just don't encourage anything to be added to coffee. But as a businessman I think there's plenty of room for a single company to diversify into every niche, and use different brands to satisfy every customer (no matter how idiotic their preferences).

That being said, purist ethics would entail that we try and nudge customers in the direction of fewer additives to "just good coffee"

Coffee Brewing vs. Water Hardness

This week, we talked to a supplier of water filters and she gave us some interesting feedback about local water conditions. She said that Klang Valley water tends to have a purity of ~70 ppm Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). Further more she said that this is with a "hardness," of "15-20," whereupon I guessed she was referring to Total Hardness (TH). She then said that this is regarded as too soft for coffee brewing, by certain customers.

I'm trying to read up on this, and have obtained some view-points, though not yet a conclusive view.
Google search term: "coffee water too soft"
This search yielded some interesting results.

(i)

Jim Schulman's Insanely Long Water FAQ. It tends to go missing, so you may have to search for it by name in the future. A choice quote:
Taste testing by various authorities over the past twenty years has established a rough agreement that neutral pH water with 90 mg/l hardness is optimal for coffee taste.
Note that the unit "mg/l," ought to be equivalent to "ppm by mass." This article has the best documented data of all the sources linked in this article. It is referred to by some of the resources below.

(ii)

The third result quotes an SCAA source, saying
As a point of reference, SCAA’s specifies* a target for TH of 150PPM with a tolerable range of 75 to 225 PPM.
and took the view, that overly-soft water (i.e. water which is too pure) makes for under-extracted coffee.

I commented my reaction:
It's interesting that you have observed water softness being positively correlated with under-extraction. (I've seen folks espousing this view, as well as its inverse.)

I'm trying to make sense of this in my head. Did you observe specifically an increase in acidity/sourness when the softness of the water increased? If so, could this simply mean that the ionic compounds responsible for acidity/sourness in fact were extracted at a *higher* rate than usual, due to the softness of the water? If so, then "under-extraction," might not be the term to use... rather, perhaps we could say "over-extraction of acidic substances?"

Just a thought.

(iii)

This article states,
Water with 20ppm (parts per million) to 120ppm of calcium is good. Calcium is essential for good extraction.
but does not say why, or based on what evidence.

(iv)

This article states,
For plain coffee, a minimum mineral content of 150-200 parts per million is essential to a good extraction. Water softer than this will result in weak and flavorless coffee. For espresso, some mineral content helps the flavor, but lots of mineral content will not help more,
but again, we're lacking in documented evidence.

(v)

This chap talks a bit about how water dissolves coffee in general, and his views on water for espresso are unquantified.

(vi)

This conversation (which makes references to this earlier conversation) takes the view that any under- or over-extraction due to water hardness or softness can be compensated for by jiggling the other parameters of brewing coffee.

2013-06-12

Empathy

Empathy for me is mostly a trained process. If you give me a rapist or a murderer, I will empathise with it to understand where it comes from; if you give me a victim or any other stranger, I will empathise with it to understand where it comes from. That's just the way my brain works these days, and I am happy to have curated it to this quality of operations.

Generally, I've also trained myself to minimise empathy with whiners regardless of gender, race, creed, color - etc. but with some consideration for situation, environment, and other contexts.

"Friends," is a loaded word - which I try to avoid. I'm happy being labeled "a friend," but not everyone's happy being labeled as "my friend." So I say, everyone is an acquaintance.

Diet Notes

Added 50% to my lean meat intake yesterday, compared to most days in the past week, and found an increased quality of sleep (less required, higher alertness after conclusion). It seems I may need to move to supplements if I am to afford to extend experiments in increasing muscle bulk.

Dating Geeks

I'd consider it a test of meta-cognitive ability. It's easy to just shut up and play the mating game in a minimally verbal fashion, but I prefer folks who can talk about what they want, ask for it, negotiate, and close deals.

2013-06-11

iOS 7: Luminance

Today a friends showed me iOS7 on his phone. iOS7 needs gamma correction. That is all.
Preferably, automatic gamma correction that takes your wallpaper into account.

Meanwhile, Mac Pro... hmm. It's only a matter of time before they stick one on wheels, turn on Siri, and make it self-navigating.

Update: Designs are inconsistent - but that's explained... Ive intentionally siloed the design teams (this sort of thing is good for increasing mutation rates), and this is not the final designs (so he still has time to cull / standardise the designs before launch in Q3/4).

2013-06-10

Sampling Resolution (of Sensations)

If you abstract (i.e. zoom out / reduce the sampling resolution of) sensations enough, they become more and more like each other. If you do the opposite, their differences become more and more apparent.

To some people, every distant country looks the same... because they don't analyse the landscape and cultures. To some people, every apple or orange looks different... because they do analyse the contours and the shapes.

People who can zoom in and out at liberty, are generally going to find it harder to discover novel empirical experiences; they are then more likely to dwell on the differences between concepts. People who can't zoom in and out at liberty, are generally going to find it harder to see the similarities between empirical experiences in general; they are then more likely to dwell on the difference between empirical experiences.

In both cases, the mind likes novelty.

Weekly

Monday

Can't wait for this idiotic vocational traffic jam to be over.

Running nose. Can't catch up. Woozy. #dustanddemolition

Bored, tired, and sleepy. And sick from dust exposure. Going to bed. Hoping it'll be better in the morning.

--

Tuesday

Three baristas counting foot traffic. Three streetwalkers go by. Six people think: "revenue".
Q: What's worse then a shy girl? A: A dry girl. #dropsMic
Risque humour? The womenfolk have been asking for it. Also. I'm on one of those KPI-less assignments where it seems like I deliver service per ad hoc requests and get a huge tip called my salary at the end of every month. Boredom ensures. Hehe.

The rule of life is that it always ends in tears; unless you've simply decided to be happy. lol

Probability of shit storm : 3% #apaItuBuaya #philosophyToday Exactly how dirty does a guy have to get, to be considered one?

:-S this job is making me bored; being bored is bad for my health; i tend to endanger myself....
i generally keep myself happy
the side effects, as I said, might be bad for health. lol
My personal "saham," at an all time low?
It's a good thing I have put options... #omgSoBad
Some people are unapproachable for the sole reason that they remind you of past battles fought and lost.

--

Wednesday

Black Perdana in Kl sporting what looks like a StreetView camera.

Sad buaya is sad. And possibly carsick. Lulz.

I have upcycled blinds in one room, finally. Will get curtains in the living room when cashflow improves.

The day ends with a traffic jam. Approaching the climax of a truly legit boredgasm. Totally new experience.
It's just that kinda week. Make me wanna cover Teen Spirit: end result of data collection from cover... i still have the option of vocal training; pity it's not a priority... and may never be

--

Thursday

Do you know why I respond badly to employers looking for amazing people? Because nearly no one amazes me. #cantRelate

A classic personality development track is Sensitive -> Needy -> Emancipated -> Projective -> Unreflective -> Boring (but narcissistic) :p

--

Friday

Broke, but debtless, and well informed. Does that make one a technosexual? #dorky

--

Saturday

Awoken again by exhaust fumes. This can't be good. On the bright side, it's 8am and hyper Jerng is hyper.

Wishing I had fewer fashion and language taboos to worry about; creativity is stunted in this environment.

Before all, but after some pawns have been slaughtered.

Time for housekeeping... Confusedchefs say, man with hoover sucks at life.

Ruminating on absence of activity. At some point will evolve fireball. Much work later this year. But not yet.

Wait for it. BOOOOOOORRED. going to ikea to buy curtains. ENTERTAIN ME.

Homemaking + retail therapy. Jerng is an IKEA brand. Just don't tell no one.

Boozers are boozing. Imma go watch a movie.

I like the smell of theatres. It reminds me of life outside the sterility of my peers.

One day I might develop the gumption to drink myself stupid. But while most ambition has long left me, my mind is unready to retire.

Man of Steel: 1) best fight physics in a while 2) smooth production values 3) pumps in the desert? LOIS. WUTRU DOIN?

20 hrs since waking. 4 hrs from when I ought to be up. Recovering old habits, but still feeling like a dork in the interim. #likeAVaca

We were having a discussion about slow Malaysians who like to say "relax," when you pressure them at work to get things done better. Something came back to me, and I realised that I used to get relax-hate while on vaca... shudder.

--

Sunday

Doing some research into protein supplementation: primarily for time and money savings, secondarily for strength training, and tertiarily for bulk

Time for some emotional engineering. Making a point of reminding myself that I'm not yet fighting fit vs. a 100kg guy. Strawman target.

Defrosting chicken, after a postponed over-chicken date, before a roast chicken supper club; it's amazing how much chicken there is.

Expensive non-functional details are mostly fluff to me. Aesthetics counts as a function, but its co-domain is vast.

Must learn SketchUp. Can't deal with this many ding-dong ping-pong frisbee handoffs if I'm running a realestate project of this sort.

In my experience, it seems hard to do a solo academic program, a solo job, and a lonely relationship all at the same time. Hmm.

World, Y U NO study your emotions as the empirical phenomena that they are? Y U NO seek to hone your language?

2013-06-09

What Makes Me Sad

Recently I have heard acquaintances say things of the variety, "I observed X, and it made me sad." So that got me thinking about my own position on this issue.
People who don't analyse their feelings make me sad.
And really, I guess that's what this blog is about. Sensual pursuit, technological pursuit, commercial pursuit - these are all fields that I dive into for social purposes, because so many people engage in them already, making them good excuses to socialise with others.

Nevertheless, folks who identify strongly with some form of these fields... foodies, boozers, other druggies, motorheads, hackers, bankers, lawyers, etc. rarely seem to seek to tear down their macroaesthetic concepts and cognitions of these fields into components.

For example, too often one finds folks who, "enjoy riding motorcycles because it makes them feel good," who refuse to further analyse this feeling. There are also many folk who, "need to feel right about a certain person, or situation, before some decision can be made," who refuse to further analyse these feelings. There are folk who, "enjoy the taste of crabs cooked a certain way," who might be able to tell you the algorithm for preparing crabs, but who refuse then to analyse the experience of taste itself in a technical fashion.

I just find it exasperating. And since most people are like this, most people make me sad. But that is life, and one continues to attempt to find happiness amid these challenges. I suppose that is why in most social relationships, I find it easier to target the requirements of my counterparties - I generally regard my own as a lost cause.