Good day all! Well, after 8 months of studying programming, in order to change careers, it has paid in the form of a new job as a front end engineer/UI afficianado at Amplifier Strategies. I start next month. I’ve been vacant from tumblr much of the year as a result of my studies, so perhaps maybe I’ll have free time now to think about other things. Also, I’ve had all my stuff in storage since moving back from Singapore, so that’s on its way over here to San Francisco. I’ve had naught but my laptop since then, so no iMac, no recording gear, no cello, no violin, no guitars, no ps3, no tv :-(
Anyway, yes. So, that’s all good news! It is a testament to the power of will, and I’m quite proud of it all. What I was afraid of being my lost year was ultimately my cocoon nearly-year, and my gamble has paid off. Hopefully it shall pay off exponentially with time.
In other news:
I’m going down to Cow Palace on sunday for a rowdy good time at a Charles Dickens Christmas Fair. Maybe I’ll remember to bring my camera and get back into tumblring after all this time.
Hello all, I’m building a new Django application that uses a bunch of government data to make graphs and datapoints so people can wield them with ease. It would probably have a login, and with that you can save different charts that you want to use later. Only thing is: I’m not sure how expansive I want it to be, and I think this time around I should spend a little more time than I did on my previous application in making it pretty. If anyone reading this has preferred features or is interested in a particular type of data to graph, let me know.
The young peckerlings boarded the train agiggle, donning a variety of black-slimming clothes, attention quite taken with the haphazard accent of the mobile phone’s voice-enunciated verbiage. A cloud of warm, clear liquor breath filled their wake as they sat down. As they did, the blondest of the group ceased her chuckles, and announced aghast “oh my god, it smells like cigarettes in here!”
I think most of us would agree that the capability to reason, especially higher reasoning, is a uniquely human trait. We take it for granted how well-developed this ability is, or how we can sharpen its acuity, even though it is scarce in ratio to intuition and irrationality throughout human history.
Take a simple game of blackjack. A good many people on earth have likely heard of it, know the rules, and are familiar with the basic gameplay. Perhaps they aren’t acquainted with splitting pairs, or that the dealer has to “hold” if he has, in sum, 17 or more points in his hand. But in general, they know the game is about who can get the closest to 21, and if they go over 21, they go bust.
This is a relatively easy explanation for a human to get because there are a great many steps I’m leaving out. If you had to explain it to a blank slate human, someone with no knowledge of anything (except for rudimentary language), it suddenly becomes far more difficult. And I mean the very bare essentials to the game, no card-counting, no odds. There’s even a bit of recusion when examining your hand to decide whether or not the Ace you’re holding will be worth either 11 or 1. Or at least that’s how I programmed it (I’m sure there are other, more efficient methods)
I bring this up because I was given a task to create a “simple blackjack game” friday afternoon to program, and it really got me thinking about how complex it is, and how infinitely complex we are for being able to treat it is a “simple game”. I finished it this morning, and it’s probably a bit sloppy in some areas, so I’ll spare posting it. But I’m quite happy I finished it, and I learned a lot about thinking just by doing it.