Critical Section

Archive: May 8, 2005

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Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday,  05/08/05  09:11 AM

To my Mom, my wife, and all mother's everywhere:
Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!


RSS reader cleanout

Sunday,  05/08/05  09:41 AM

Whenever I don't post for a while - which has been pretty often lately :( - I accumulate tens or even hundreds of blog posts in my RSS reader "to be blogged about".  These are items of interest which I would have posted about, had I been posting.  Some of them stand the test of time and are worth blogging about two months later, but most aren't.  This morning I happy deleted a couple hundred posts.  I'm happy because they had a kind of mental overhang for me, and you're happy because you won't have to read them.  Of course, you did have to read about not having to read about them :)


In praise of Epiminedes

Sunday,  05/08/05  11:24 AM

Epiminedes is one of my favorite Greek heroes.  Only he wasn't Greek, he was from Crete.  And as a Cretan, he is known for saying, publicly, "all Cretans are liars".  (So, was he lying?)

The short version of Epiminedes' Paradox is: This sentence is false.

We had a great discussion about this yesterday.  My daughter Megan thinks it is so cool that something can be true and not true at the same time.  It relates directly to Godel's Theorem and [the limit of] the power of logic.

We visited the island of the Knights and Knaves ("I am a knave!"), and the famous Monty Hall Problem.  ("Should you switch?  Yes, you Cretan!")

Here's a sample problem, courtesy of my friend Yogi:

"You come to the gates of heaven, and there are two doors.  St. Peter explaines that one door leads to Heaven, and one to Hell.  There are twin brothers guarding the doors, one of whom never lies ("a knight") and the other never tells truth ("a knave").  You may ask one brother one question, and then must select a door.  What question do you ask?

Stay tuned for an answer...


As the laptop turns - episodes 2, 3, and 3.5

Sunday,  05/08/05  07:56 PM

The saga of my laptop trouble continues...  (Link to 1)  Here are episodes 2, 3, and 3.5...

-----Original Message-----
From: Ole Eichhorn []
Monday, March 07, 20051:53 PM
Subject: Episode 2 - Re: As the laptop turns (seeking sympathy points)

As before feel free to ignore if you’re busy :)


So I reached a nice service manager at HP (I have a Compaq laptop) and he is going to have a tech meet me tomorrow in
Vistawith the new parts.  There is some reason to believe I might have a working laptop by tomorrow night.  If not, at least I’ll have another episode to relate.

Also those of you who have never seen a laptop reduced to a bag of parts can indulge your voyeuristic fantasies by looking at what’s left of  mine :)

Stay tuned for more...


-----Original Message-----
From: Ole Eichhorn []
Monday, March 07, 20057:15 PM

Subject: Episode 3 - Re: As the laptop turns (seeking sympathy points)

Okay, so I went back to Fry’s and invested in a USB 2 1/2” drive housing.  ($25 + 2 hours spent.)  With this, I can connect my laptop drive to my server.  So I do.  And it works, first thing.  Yay, now I can backup my drive.

So I launch Ghost and begin a FULL backup of my laptop drive to another drive.  It’s running!  

Oh Oh.  It’s running, but it’s running at 60MB/minute.  For those of you keeping score at home, that is about 10 times slower than a typical Ghost backup.  My server has a USB 1.0 interface, which is slower than tectonic drift.  My laptop drive is 50GB, so this is going to take about, er, 14 hours!  Oh, no, because I started it at
6:00and I have to leave for Vistaat 5:00, so it won’t be done.  SIGH.

I’m not sure what to try next.  I could go back to Fry’s again and buy a USB 2.0 attachment card, that would take about $20 and about 2 hours, and then I could back up the drive in another 2 hours.  Or maybe...

Stay tuned :)


-----Original Message-----
From: Ole Eichhorn []
Monday, March 07, 20058:42 PM

Subject: Episode 3.5 - Re: As the laptop turns (seeking sympathy points)

Okay, I had a brainwave.  My daughter Alex has a computer, and IT has USB 2.0 ports.  In fact, in an embarrassment of riches, it has four in the back and four in the front.  Thank you Sony.  So now my laptop drive is happily plugged in and being TruImaged at about 500MB/minute.  So it will take about two hours.  Whew.

The best part about this backup is that once I have it, I probably won’t need it.  But I know that if I didn’t have it, I’ll wish I did.

Stay tuned...


Continue to episode 4...


Sunday,  05/08/05  08:14 PM

I had a wonderful day doing absolutely nothing.  (Well, okay, I did a bit of coding, and a bit of blogging.)  This is Shirley's standing desire for Mother's Day - we enjoy the day at home with our family.  Happy Mother's Day, S.

Powerline links Victor David Hanson: What Happened to History?  Of course, "those who are ignorant of the past are doomed to repeat it."  There are [very] few writers with whom I agree as consistently as VDH.

Masters of DeceptionThe other day (well two months ago) I posted Cool art that will mess with your head, part 1.  "Soon" I will post part 2, but in the meantime I've received several emails telling me that work was by Rob Gonsalves.  The book Masters of Deception by Art Seckel was recommended as well (this piece is on the cover).  I'll have to get this book, it includes my hero Maurits Escher, and has a forward by another hero Douglas Hofstader.  Thanks for the emails!

Honda penny farthingMan, here's some awesome Photoshopmanship: the Worth 1000 contest: Current products in a vintage light.  Pictured: the Honda penny farthing :)  [ via Tom Coates ]

Clive Thompson notes that a Humboldt squid was captured in Victoria (Vancouver Island).  Now that is awfully far North for this "warm water" animal.  More evidence for Global Cooling?

Are you following the Kansas state Board of Education hearings on Intelligent Design?  Well I didn't think so.  I bet you're not following the proceedings of the Flat Earth Society either.  CNN notes Scientists Snub Kansas Evolution Hearings.  The best news has been posted on The Panda's Thumb, an excellent blog tracking the progress, or lack thereof, of ID advocates (aka "creationists").  I find this so amazing.  Not that people disagree about science, but that the subject of evolution is so emotional.  Only abortion rivals it among political issues which get people upset.  This must have been what it was like in the 1600s, when there was public debate about whether the Earth orbited the Sun.

Barbie USB driveAmong the hundreds (thousands?) of USB drives out there, this one absolutely takes the cake.  Pull the head off the Barbie, plug it in, and poof! 256MB.  And who says Barbie is an airhead?  [ via Gizmodo ]

Sidestepper - Critical SectionThis is so cool; Sidestepper.  You enter a URL, and a "virtual living room" is made from the images and text of that page.  You can pan and zoom around.  I took Critical Section *today* and ended up with a dodecahedron on the wall.  This is a really cool "HTML proxy", kind of an extreme modification of content.  [ via Clive Thompson ]

Thanks, Robert, for the link about Aperio's summer intern position!  I've already received a bunch of emails and resumes.  Very exciting!


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About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji The Nest Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?