Sleeping Cyborg

Jonathan David Page talks about whatever he happens to be thinking about. Sometimes other people join in.

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Look ma, I’m a writer! & my glorious return to blogging.

by on 1 November 2013
in , , , , , , , , , , , ,
with some comments, maybe.

Regarding to the "posting links regularly" thing I mentioned in the last post, I need to make a remark:




hahaha. ha.

Okay, now that that's over with, I can get down to business.

First, I promised links, so here are some links with which to entertain yourself after (or, if you prefer, before, or even instead of) reading whatever swathes of rambling prose I disgorge onto here.

Now, onto some actual meat. And by "meat", I mean a rambling blog post that I will probably regret later.

Since I last posted, I have finished my second year in undergrad (halfway there, woo), started a new job, stopped that job, started my third year, moved into a non-dorm house, and spent an inordinate amount of time talking about the cat on Facebook.

The government shut down, and summarily reopened. I had approximately four major thoughts about this, and I was going to do a fairly vitriolic post about them, but instead I will sum them up here:

  1. NASA is shut down and JPL is incommunicado because their press stuff has to be vetted by NASA. This sucks.
  2. What do you mean, Congress is still getting paid?
  3. What do you mean, NSF-funded researchers have to quit working?
  4. Wow, some of my friends have really frustrating and misguided opinions about this whole thing.

I somehow managed to survive without getting into any major arguments, though. I think there is an opinionated and damning1 article related to #4 hidden in my draft posts2, and I intend for it to stay there.

The title is referencing the fact that most of my classes this semester are writing-related, which means that most of my late nights and all-nighters have also been writing-related. The situation isn't going to change much next semester, with two maths classes, two English classes, two PEs, and a psychology class. And the big assignment for one of those maths classes is a writing assignment. Dear friends majoring in engineering: I am living the liberal-arts dream right now. Nyah nyah nyah. Lots of love, Jon.

Of course, one of those classes next semester is Real Analysis II, and considering the drubbing I took in Real I, I might be laughing on the other side of my face in a few months.

The title is also referencing something I recently saw somewhere about people who call themselves writers, but do not actually write. I have been actually writing, so I am safe (for the moment, at least). I have a spot of flash fiction which I did for a class which I rather like. Once I have it cleaned up a bit more, I will post it here. I am also going to be writing a longer story, which I will also post here once it is in presentable form. So fear not, gentle reader! There is actual content coming down the pipes.

On a different tack, I have been keeping a close eye on the development of the Rust language. If it pans out, it could become one of my new favourite languages, and replace C in my toolbox. There is a lot of steam behind it, and it has a niche which it has a good chance of filling nicely, in my opinion. My only concern is that I periodically see posts on the mailing list where someone has gotten wrapped around the axle while trying to work with the safe memory system. I don't know if that is due to an inherent problem with the language, or whether it is similar to the problems encountered by Haskell newbies, in that sometimes you have to think a little differently to get things done.

Speaking of programming, IEEEXtreme 7.0 was last weekend, which probably deserves a whole post to itself, which can wait until after they publish the final results. Mercifully, they allowed languages other than C, C++ and Java this time around, and as such I used Python 23 for all but one of my solutions. The exception was a problem which involved a lot of arithmetic, and so I used C++ to solve it. More on that in a later post.

Before I finish, I would like to point you at some books, music, games, etc. which I have run across since I last posted:

I have a few more books I would like to recommend, but I need to finish them up first, and they probably deserve their own post. The new Sandman series has just started, so expect4 something about that when I finish it. I just saw Ender's Game, which was quite a good film. If you liked the book, you should definitely go see it. I have some things to say about it as well, but again, they can wait for a little bit.

Until next time.

  1. Whether it is damning for me or for the people I disagree with is up for debate. 

  2. I have a theory that for the entire run of this blog, the "rants" and "politics" tags will never be seen one without the other. Oh well. 

  3. One day, I will switch to Python 3. That day has not yet come. 

  4. Don't actually expect anything. That way you won't be disappointed when I forget to post for another seven months.