Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sharing stuff

I've come to a new level of belief in sharing stuff. As in practically, loaning things out to people. I don't use half the stuff I have all the time.

Maybe what I should really do is sell some of the stuff I don't really use at all.

But about the stuff that I use occasionally, I think I'd like to make more of a policy of loaning stuff out.

Does anyone want to borrow anything?

Peter

Saturday, October 3, 2009

-.-. .-.. --- ... ..- .-. . .-.-.-

I was thinking so hard that my brain turned to mush. I was creating so much that I need to zone out. I was hiding away in a box of infinite complexity that I suddenly became ultimately and completely: simple.

Tacit, I sought the words, but found ________ none.

Music expresses those things which would otherwise be inexpressible.

It blows my mind when I hear about how science has rough edges and some of them are interesting and potentially useful, and that smart, clear thinking people disregard the current implementations of science in favour of stuff that works. Which is confusing and I would prefer to just spit out entirely, but then, I can't argue with results. At least not much.

Ice makes you cold and cream makes you soft.

Yeah, I know, the title has nothing to do with the content. And it's in a different language - or rather a different encoding rather than roman letters, but the same language.

Also, visit me on twitter:
http://twitter.com/praffensperger
http://twitter.com/politicorithmic

Peter

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sick day, I donno, whatever

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There's a big block of text. It's like, some
thing. Something, in courier font. A block o
f text. Text of block.

Irrelevant.

I think I'm gonna go crazy..................

Peter

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sick day one

So yesterday I started feeling sick. So today I spent the day in softcore solitary confinement. What's new with me: I'm sick, but that gets old fast.

I devoted myself to the chewing up of internet bandwidth, to limited hedonism, and most of all to complete laziness.

Peter

Friday, July 17, 2009

But it won't make you happy

When I was a kid, I liked this song by DC Talk that had the line:
"And my 200 friends couldn't fill the void in my soul"

I always thought it was like, metaphorical. But now on FB, you can easily have 200 friends. (So long as your peer group is also into FB.)

How many hundred friends does it take to be happy? There is no such number.

Peter

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Too Easy

Serendipity, chance, the illustrious magnificent improbability to our entire lives that engulfs space and time like no other locks can bind. Connection! Love and vacancy with all the freedom and jealousy that it entails and bids to run far away from everything that you thought meant anything to you and to the rest of the world. Hiding from yourself in an incongruent mess of wires, dangling, twisting, rat-nesting your existence into a mess of data. Representations of another self, but who are you? The you that doesn't wear any masks, the you that doesn't need validation from others, but finds inner peace and security from an introverted space that ignores the dichotomy of passivity and voice, of the earnest and the apprehensive. Who is that singer, that actor, the dancer of the moment that rides the wave of existence to the crest of fruitful imagination and bursts into the sonic boom of the eternal omnipotent now. The now. Right here and now. This moment. Forever, now. What are your expectations for the impossible, and who are you looking to for hope? Waves of inconsistency complicate our thoughtless feeling of logic while blibbering blinking ink lights shine their internet-ish light on our primordial existence, and where? What location is it that brings us all together, humanity in a single instant, together, here, now and all by chance, at peace. What is the probability of world peace? Who would know the answer to that kind of question, and when are they going to untangle the cords that bind hate to our hearts like saffron in a silver cinnamon bullet flying through the pie of our hearts and splattering our blood on the hands of our brothers. Colour and race are nothing when you have complete communication, the gallows are then, this is now. This is standing here and, not waiting for a handout, but building a better world, one laundromat chance encounter at a time. Who is to justify every word you say? Impossibly, no one. No one thinks enough about what he says but she does so many things without realising that eternity hangs in the now. The balance of today, which by chance is the yesterday of tomorrow's sorrowful regrets and the tomorrow of yesterday's hopes. Chance is now. I thought I knew myself, and by chance, I did, but then I forgot and I was swayed by the screaming of the crowds that surrounded the arena. In a crowd, where is the introvert who knows herself, but lady luck guides her sailboat down the river of time into the ocean of uncertainty and the torrent of falling rain. Compassion! Reaching out to the other, without thinking of yourself - pay it forward - touching and feeling and entering another's life. That is now. They say seize the day, but that's too easy.

Peter

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Torture

After reading an article on CNN, I feel it necessary to voice my own opinion about torture.

Torture is totally reprehensible, and is technique used by the morally bankrupt. How is torture different to small scale terrorism?

Christ was beaten and tortured (and eventually executed) in order to save me. But was he was saving me to a life where I would beat and torture?

If a person has had a fair trial, and they are given just punishment, then maybe I could feel ok with that. But if an untried man or woman is punished, how far justice from the land?

Peter

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Boring to write

Well I think it's about time to explore all the possibilities of art and life and life as a continuous performance and performance as life. Where will it all go and who will it all affect and whatever has been done about New York? Why is it so cold and why does it seem like the four walls of the world are collasping around me and man this blog post is getting boring to write

Peter

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Metal fans congregate in a tramping hut with an SMT line

So I dreamed that I was tramping in this random place. I stopped at this hut, I'm not sure who else was in my tramping party, but I think there might have been only a couple of them with me. Maybe it was my immediate family, I donno. There were a bunch of other people at the hut, and the hut had this sort of rectangular floor layout. It was a normal width, but there was this passageway into a back part of the hut, where they had a surface mount assembly line! Weird! I was trying to fix this design, so I was looking around for a surface mount 1 watt resistor. Then I kept walking and it looked all high-tech, like a particle accelerator or something, or maybe it was still the SMT line. Then as I walked past all that (the hut was very long I guess!) and I came into this big room full of a bunch of people. It was an acoustically treated room that had really good reflective properties. And it was in a wee back room off that big acoustically treated room that I met Chad Moore. Not many people will know of Chad Moore, but in real life, Chad Moore is the vocalist of the Christian death metal band Soul Embraced. In the dream, he was different than in real life, younger and I think a bit thinner, but I can't honestly say I really know what Chad Moore really looks like. But anyway, I was a bit star struck, and I tried to engage him in conversation. But before long, the crowd that was in the acoustically treated room realised that this was Chad Moore and they started all clapping. At was at the clapping that I realised that it was an acoustically treated room, because it echoed really well and sounded really good, in an echo-y kinda way.

Then I woke up.

Peter

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Incomplete Insurance

So I got myself some contents insurance. But for some reason, the policy doesn't cover acts of terrorism. I thought that was the exact sort of thing that it should cover. Big, unlikely events. But no. War and terrorism are excluded. I guess that's ok, since they are really rather unlikely even on the scale of unlikely things. And they aren't much more costly (in terms of my contents) than plain old burglary. So I'm not too worried. Although my flatmate reckons that I'm more at risk because I'm American. Maybe so, but even still, my point holds. I think.

Peter

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Splinters

So I haven't had internet for the last month.

That was interesting. Now it's back.

Peter

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How To Actually Take Over The World: Thoughts So Far

I've been intent on taking over the world for some time now, but recently I've decided that it's really far too ambitious a goal and that I'd really just be setting myself up for disappointment if I carried on.

So I gave up trying to take over the world.

But today I was thinking about it more. It seems like really, taking over the world is too unambitious a goal. The bar is set too low. Why not dream of greater things? Goals are meant to be achieved, but they rarely are. But the key thing that a goal does is set the direction that you're going to go in. Usually you only make it 80% there, or 50%, or maybe just 30%. But you've gone in the direction of the goal and that's usually good enough.

If you want to take over the world actually then you need to make your goal to be something even more ambitious than taking over the world. Like "I'm going to take over the world and enslave every man, mouse and mosquito until we've colonized the galaxy, taking over whatever civilisations we happen to find along the way." If you go for that, you'd fail, but you might end up merely taking over the world.

But I really, honestly don't want control of the whole world, or even to have 'taken over the world' in any sense really, at all. But I want to get a lot done. So I'll re-establish my goal of taking over the world, with the secret expectation that I'll probably not make it, but I might end up doing a lot of awesome stuff that leads in that direction.

Same thing we do every night! Try to take over the world!

Peter

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Blackwater

I was thinking: what's the difference between Hamas and Blackwater? I was thinking that it was really only a small difference. Both are groups of people that use force, and both have dubious legal status in my own eyes.

I was thinking maybe Blackwater is a terrorist organisation.

But then I read more. I reckon a terrorist organisation is a group of people that use force for a political end. But Blackwater doesn't fit that description. They're actually just mercenaries. A mercenary organisation uses force for a financial end. Terrorism is hot-headed violence, mercenaries are ideologically blank.

So, by reading Wikipedia, I conclude that Blackwater is a mercenary organisation. I also conclude that the United States should join the rest of the world in banning mercenaries, and the US should identify Blackwater as a mercenary organisation and then the US should declare Blackwater illegal for military and security operations. Blackwater should be restricted to helping little old ladies cross the street within the borders of the United States.

Blackwater should definitely not be in Iraq. The Iraqis don't want them, and there's not a good legal system for dealing with the problems that arise. As mercenaries they should be accountable as civilians under Iraqi law (it seems to me), but the United States has basically said that they're immune. Which is kinda crazy in some ways. "We'll send some of our civilians to your country to kill your people and we expect you to treat them like soldiers." (Now war in general and the Iraq war in specific are another matter. I don't know if the American state military should be withdrawn or not, I'm not considering that here.)

Basically I consider Blackwater to be evil and I consider mercenary organisations to be evil. "Private military contractor" being a synonym for mercenary. So I conclude that Blackwater are not terrorists, but they are perhaps less understandably evil.

Do evil in the name of some God or other, at least. If you do evil merely in the name of money, then fearst ye for thine eternity, sinners!

I guess it makes sense, that Americans are terrorists with a financial dogma, a tribute to the local deity of Money.

But we're talking about pretty serious evil here, the kind of thing that I start feeling guilty about paying for when I pay taxes. (Although I probably shouldn't worry too much about where my taxes are going, since Jesus supported paying taxes to the pagan Caesar.)

Peter

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

Okay, so my aunt has tagged me on Facebook for this meme, and it's my nephew-ish duty to comply...

Rules:
Whatcha talkin' about? I don't need no rules! I tag none but those that tag themselves.

Really really random things about me:
1) I have a theory about humour where jokes need only amuse myself. I sometimes wonder if people hear me when I burst out laughing for no apparent reason as I'm trying to fall asleep.

2) I am a soft-core pacifist. I've thought a lot about pacifism and just war theory, and I've come to the current, tenative conclusion that there is such a thing as a just war. However, it seems like human war is generally unjust. Practically, I have chosen not to do engineering work for arms companies or governments and I am unwilling to be in direct service of a military. I voted US Pacifist Party in the 2008 US Presidential election.

3) I'm into heavy metal music, like, where the singers scream. I guess I'm falling down a spiral of sensory down-regulation where I need nastier and nastier music to get a kick. But it's a fun downward spiral of sensory down-regulation.

4) I'm in an argument with food. In some ways, I wish I could be middle aged and not have to eat as much. Yeah, it's stupid I know. Don't worry, I'll enjoy my youth.

5) All throughout school and undergrad at university, I wrote in pen because assessements had to be in pen. Now I'm using pencil.

6) I am a highly imaginary person. As a complex number, I would call myself something like 1.7 + j10. Other people are more real, and therefore would feel uncomfortable summarising themselves (or probably anyone) in a single number.

7) I am a city dweller. I grew up in Chicago, a city so big that it scares me when I go back. As a city dweller, I have developed a set of understandings of the world from that perspective. For example, I am opposed to guns and I believe that the 2nd Ammendment in the US constitution should be removed. In the city, there is no reason to have a gun. However, in the country, a gun can be just another sharp tool.

8) I type with more confidence than I handwrite.

9) I studied electrical engineering but I didn't learn electromagnetics.

10) It's been said that if you play guitar you can play bass guitar. I think the general feeling is true, in that if you play guitar it's easier to learn bass than flute, but still bass is a complicated instrument all by itself.

11) I used to dislike the sound of bass drums. I find get a pop/rock bass drum sound that I really liked. Now I don't seem to have that problem.

12) I've come to believe that maths is just a langauge and that it doesn't express fundamental truths about the world.

13) I've also come to believe that philosophy is a process and that it isn't useful for finding fundamental truths about the world.

14) I've found that fundamental truths about the world pretty much have to be assumed before you start doing anything. It seems like no one questions their own existence, even though "I think therefore I am" is actually arbitrary!

15) I've come to truth in Jesus and reject atheism. Atheism is useless and dead. There is no life purpose in atheism except the arbitrary.

16) Ironically, I am working on a project doing predictions of simple time-series sequences (like chaotic oscillators) but I doubt the predictability of most actual things.

17) I have a funny thing on my right wrist that's like a birthmark but not. It helped me learn left from right as a kid. Now I consider it a special feature and an outward reminder of the asymmetry of my body.

18) I regard asymmetry as an important element of art, philisophically speaking. Art should be almost symmetrical, but not quite.

19) I read and reread the Bible but don't get closer to understanding Jesus.

20) I find it aesthetically pleasing to not own a car, but eventually I'll probably want one enough and have enough money to get one.

21) I'm

22) running

23) out

24) of

25) things!

Peter

Friday, January 23, 2009

Executive Order

I applaud Obama for his recent executive order close Guantanamo Bay. May it happen swiftly and appropriately.

I am hesitant to hope for this big 'change' thing, and I am cautions so as to avoid disappointment. But I wonder, if maybe, just maybe, this could be a brighter chapter in the history of the United States.

But Obama cannot save us. Let's not forget where our hope really comes from, were ultimate and complete justice originates: Jesus Christ. Oddly, Jesus' life centres around mercy, a form of injustice. Jesus proclaimed release of the captives and the year of the Lord's favour. The year of the Lord's favour is in some ways a very bad thing, for the oppressors and the bankers. Debts are released and land is given back to the original family owners.

Obama cannot proclaim the year of Jubilee, but maybe he can cough up a few microseconds of Jubilee.

Lord haste the day, when my faith shall be sight!
And the clouds be rolled back as a scroll!
The trump shall be sound, and the Lord shall descend!
Even so, it is well with my soul!

I invite you to appeal to God for a greater release of justice in the world:
God, I pray that you would be saving us. Be saving the world, be saving New Zealand, and be saving America. Please forgive us for our sins, personally, and nationally. We don't look to inspiring politicians for salvation and justice, we trust in you. Please bring your kingdom to the world, to New Zealand and to the United States. Replace the injustice with justice, replace the torture with mercy, replace the attitudes in our hearts that hate life with abundant joy and love for our fellow creatures. Thank you for what you have already accomplished at the cross, and for the glimmers of justice that we see even now. Come Lord Jesus! Save this world, save New Zealand, save the United States, and save even me, a sinner against you. Thank you for your grace!

Peter

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

USA 2.0

Or maybe that should be USA 44.0.

The changing of the guard. The end of an era. Something new to look forward to. Something old to try and forget.

This morning I read the text of Obama's inauguration speech. It made me think:
God knows what he's doing.
If I were inaugurated president today, I wouldn't have said the things that Obama said. I'd have said really different things. I'd try to give the world what I thought it needed rather than give America what it wants. But remember:
God knows what he's doing.
So instead we have Obama. I don't know if Obama is exactly what America needs, or if Obama is somehow going to be the uber hand of God in a way that previous presidents haven't been. But I just wonder if the King really does have everything in control. The King is not uniformly acknowledged, but let's remember that even though we have a new president, we always know that God is still King. King over America and King over the whole world. God is King of Kings and King of Presidents.

I speculate that Obama is the right mixture of patriotism, and humility, of dedication to America and willingness to serve the world. He seems to have enough patriotism and dedication to America to actually be a decent leader at home, one that the people won't throw out right away. And he seems to have enough humility and willingness to serve the world to almost make the United States a servant leader on the international stage.

He might or might not be able to turn around the economy. He might or might not be able to inspire Americans. He might or might not be able to bring peace to Iraq and Afghanistan. He might or might not be a continued role model. He might or might not be a mockery. He might or might not be respected as he gets to work instead of looking pretty.

He probably won't be able to make a lasting peace in the old land of Palestine/Israel. (Side note: I'm beginning to wonder exactly what the basic difference between Israelis and Palestinians is... It seems a lot like Northern Ireland, where it's mostly a difference of something simple like colour.) Obama probably won't be able to change the hearts of Americans away from their greed. Obama probably won't be able to fix the wrongest things about the world.

But you know what? I think God knows what he's doing with America. God's got a plan, and it looks pretty good to me. I wonder if he also has a sense of irony.

Here's to USA 2.0.

Peter

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I Understand

I understand. I understand why people don't like metal sometimes.

I'm listening to Living Sacrifice now. I'm a latecomer to the Living Sacrifice thing. They're an old band. I remember finding them on iTunes in 2005 and thinking "Good guitar parts, but I don't like the vocals."

Listening to them now, my tastes have changed a bit. I can stand it, but even now, it sounds like trash. There is an angry white guy thinking he's so hardcore yelling about Jesus. The guitar parts just sound like trash and the drums sound like they're recorded in a garage. The guitar solos are like the sound of cutting metal.

But you know how people make sculptures out of garbage? That's kinda what I see in Living Sacrifice. They are the sharpest, the hardest, the loudest, the angriest, the most malicious, the ugliest, the nastiest. They are trash. It sounds like trash. It seems like at any moment, the music could degenerate into total noise, and sometimes it does.

I've got "In Memoriam", and some of the tracks are better than others. Some I don't really like, and they are just trash. Others I do like and they are more like extreme 1990's metal with artistic taste, balance and symmetry.

Hey, if you don't like metal, I can understand.

Rock on,
Peter

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's All Real

I never realised, but all the games about bandicoots are real.

-----

Also, I've been learning Python. I like. Batteries included. Works a charm.

Peter

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Level of Consciousness

I've reached a new level of consciousness! Get yourself a guitar! Quit engineering! Free your mind! Disregard everything I've ever said!

Peter