aesmael: (nervous)

(but didn't want to post it until I'd caught up on the present. which I have.)

Essay-writing. Stressful, awkward. Combination difficulty of writing to meet the word count, yet also constrained by - although I find it difficult to get these assignment essays completed on time, to spec, etc., if I were writing a serious article on the topic given, I would be wanting rather more space in which to develop my arguments and discuss examples. Likewise with referencing. Targetted numbers + kind of references, I find difficult to meet within the time and other constraints given, but also because as a student I am unaccustomed to doing the work involved. Not in habit. But the target number of references to meet is also quite obviously insufficient if one were attempting to address the topic with seriousness.

But at least that has me thinking and learning. Considering the combination of "this is too few to properly address it!" with "I am having difficulty juggling and re-locating them when needed" helps inspire plans for resolving this in future. E.g. when considering a source and a point occurs, I should be not only jotting down that point for future reminder, but also tagging with at least the source if not a quote or page number. Actually I've been trying to do something similar already, but being unaccustomed I may not think of 'the thing I want to get down' until later, or be able to think of a way to encapsulate it.

Still, we get somewhere. And this early in a course, really that is the primary goal - sure, pass the actual subject, but also learn techniques for engaging with the material so that in later units we won't be completely at sea.

aesmael: (haircut)
In conversations with [livejournal.com profile] lost_angelwings one of the topics she has talked about, especially in relation to Star Wars (and criticism of same), is conveying narrative through fight scenes and how this can be done well or poorly.

Last night I had this in mind as I was watching a movie presented as The Protector (or more properly, Tom-Yum-Goong according to Wikipedia), which features a man named Kham who is of a line of guards protecting the King of Thailand's war elephants and who pursues poachers to Sydney, Australia when the two he is closest with (Por Yai and the calf Kohm) are kidnapped, trying to rescue and return them home. Along the way he is troubled by corrupt white Australian cops who try to kill him and large numbers of people who arrange to be beaten up him, or occasionally to beat him up.

I was not paying especial attention to the plot since most of the movie is in Thai and subtitled and I was busier with my laptop for most of the time. One part which did catch my attention is very relevant to the first paragraph of this post. About halfway through the film Kham has tracked the the people responsible to a restaurant and I was amazed to see a single shot go on four about four minutes following Kham as he fights his way in a spiral up to the top floor. He bursts into the top floor of the restaurant and demands to know where his elephants are. A small group of people come out from the back and mock him about it, shots from around the restaurant and the service counter imply the elephants have been killed, cooked and are being eaten right now. We see his despair as he takes this in and as the lead of the group, wearing white, knocks him down decisively a couple of times while he is still too stunned to defend himself, taunting him with the elephant Kohm's bell. At this we see Kham recollect himself with anger and determination, wrap the bell around his hand and beat down his opponent and others, pushing his way to the back of the restaurant where he finds numerous smuggled animals ready to be killed and served (and the elephant calf Kohm who is alive).

That scene had me rapt all the way through.

There is another somewhat similar scene toward the end when Kham finally finds Por Yai's skeleton mounted on display. He is overcome by this and knocked around helplessly by his roomful of opponents for several seconds. When he recovers himself he takes out his anger by methodically breaking the bones of each of them in turn, leaving behind a floor covered in people groaning in pain.

These are I suppose simple things to communicate in fight scenes (although I did not do them justice, I think), but seeing them so well executed helped me to appreciate the power such sequences are capable of having. It has definitely inspired me to think about how I might apply such craft to my own work.

I said I was not paying much attention except to scenes which especially caught my attention so unless I was watching the US cut (which edited this out among many other changes, and which seems likely at this time) that probably explains why I did not realise until looking it up on Wikipedia that one of the film's main villains is a transsexual woman played by a transsexual woman.
aesmael: (tricicat)
Mainly that I at last was assessed at my placement and came out better than had been my expectation, a tremendous relief. Even to say as happened last time with different person that I might proceed into the full librarian degree.

Very surprisingly to me, was rated quite competent. I thought I had been passable at best. If this keeps up, may have to accept a reassessment of myself as 'not entirely incapable / worthless'. That could be nice.

Still, that assessment aside there are still some things which need to be taken care of before I am done. Two last days at placement. A final cataloguing exam next week. Two last assignments to be turned in. It is mainly the assignments I worry about, am stressed by. Assignments have never been something I handled well, so if I fall down anywhere it will be there.

We hope, hope.
aesmael: (haircut)
Yesterday... weeeell, Wednesday now, day before yesterday (pretend it is not past midnight, pretend there is not another day technically to add to the count) at class was fun, despite my very tired state. I was very relieved to actually show up in the morning. It was the reason I'd missed sleep; the Wednesday morning class is a continuation of two cataloguing units from last semester and one is have its final test in week six, it now being week three. Fortunately for my non-attendance, it seems almost entirely to be of revision, and we were precisely where I had left off last year.

There has so far in this course been one class I did not pass, and I would need to go back and acquire that pass in order to graduate. That was the basic web design class and I failed it because despite constructing a website for assignment and marking I did not turn it in. I was not sure how to get hold of the teacher for that class to talk with him about how to make it up - resitting the class, or simply submitting the assignment. Fortunately he turned out to be who had the room after our morning class, with a different set of students. So I spoke with him for a bit and he said I should just turn in the assignment and a paper representation of the layout next week, which would probably be fine. I would like to rewrite it a bit to incorporate some of the things I have learned since the class, but it should be sufficient as it is.

Had some fun conversation with A and Q later in the day. Included the title of this post, Vampire Hunter D talk of Twilight and how vampires are fueled by angst and not blood as previously thought, and that the child featured at the end of the story is in fact very creepy and likely to take over the world later. Also speculation about werewolves in space and what might happen if they stand on the Moon.

Apart from the lack of sleep and scarce consciousness that comes of being up 37 hours, it was a fairly good day. There is more to write, but that is another post.
aesmael: (haircut)
Thanks to not sleeping I finally managed to complete a project I'd set myself a couple of weeks ago.

I'd wanted to increase my familiarity with HTML, for reasons of school / work benefits and also especially on account of wanting to, so I set myself the task of creating a bundle of pages which held my stories. A sort of book, an anthology of my work shaped like a website.

I am always surprised at how long HTML takes for me to put together. Especially as once I learn the tools for the task the actual putting it together goes rather quickly - most of the time on this project has been reading up on the subject itself, and only the past few days attempting to sort layout. I am pleased to have learned a teensy bit of CSS for this too, but only a tiny bit of skipping ahead because I want to avoid use of any deprecated elements or attributes if I can.

And now it works. Not any glaring errors I have seen. Pleasant to look at, but not spectacular in even an understated sense. It works, though, and I can call the first version done to enough satisfaction for me to say so. First version, which I have playfully* decided to call v0.1, is done. Nine and a half very small stories and nine poems; eleven and a half stories if you count the version with erotica included. That seemed so few in collection, and they so short, I just had to give a correspondingly low version number, to show how far and how many places we have to go.

Jayde, I ended up excluding. She's something different and does not intersect with this at present (later, that changes). And all my larger stories, those are yet in a state of incompletion. There is at least one, maybe a couple of others I might have included, but they would have required further organisational thought to find their places and I wanted first to establish a version of this story bundle as something that works and exists.

And now it does, and I am happy with my little accomplishment. I did have, starting out, a vague idea that I might share this with people as a sort of writing sample or collected work. May as well go through with that and offer a copy, either version, of this little thing to them as would like one. Everything included is available on my journal already. And this makes another incentive to keep working on other stories as I want to work my fingers in them, shape them, tell them, and now having another place to keep them too, somewhere to arrange and enjoy what I have made, that I have made.

*and sleepily, but don't forget the playfully!
aesmael: (tricicat)
I have been having many problems with my sleep cycle. Basically that, if I do not have a regular imperative reason for being up early (such as school or, presumably, a job) it very quickly shifts to my sleeping +/- an hour of dawn and waking around 1400 - 1500. Which means I tend to sleep through and miss the intermittent classes I have now and other events, as well as being less able to spend time with my friends and family. Plus, I miss out on that early morning beauty.

I have been trying to shift my sleep cycle to a more conventional pattern but this is proving difficult - to sleep after being awake only ten hours or to stay up through daylight. Still persevering. Managed better than usual on Thursday.

Thursday was also a day with all my family home and I was experiencing a lot of stress with everyone around, feeling crowded and trying to avoid arguments although I still managed to be drawn into one (what did I want done with the milk-substitute cartons my sister had left out on the bench - she maintains they go bad after a week or two in the fridge while I have continued to use them with no difference noticed - but after having sat out on the bench all morning I was no longer so willing to trust them and got told to stop bitching).

It was a good day, mostly. I have been trying in little occasional steps to convert an old desktop pc with 250 GB hard drive (the largest in the house) into a media server. What I had done so far was move it from the floor of my bedroom onto the desk again, find and reconnect its cords, and finally located a power cord for the monitor.

That turned out not to work. The computer would switch on and start running but the monitor remained dark. I suspected it may no longer work, so Thursday after my sisters had left I brought it out and hooked it up to the main desktop in the lounge room. Still nothing, not even a power light, so I concluded it was dead and moved on to an alternate plan.

I brought out the pc itself and scavenged the working monitor from the main (well only one in use really) desktop to get it set up - the idea was hopefully to (learn how to) configure the server for remote access so I would not need a monitor so much to keep it running. At first it seemed this monitor had suddenly died too and I worried I had ruined it carelessly. Then I pushed the power cord more firmly in at the back and all was well again.

Unfortunately it would not load beyond the BIOS screen, saying there was a problem and Windows could not load. "Well," thinks I, "no problem. I was planning to put Windows in a little box anyway, so we will just skip that phase." I went and burned the Mythbuntu image I had downloaded a few weeks ago and put that in the tray.

No change in the situation. Right. Time for fiddling with the BIOS settings. Changed the boot order so DVD came before hard drive. No discernible effect. Noticed an inconsistency in the clock speed reported at startup with that in the BIOS settings, adjusted settings to match, set which drives are master and slave, and got a bit farther in startup.

Still however it is trying to start Windows and failing, claiming (as it had been all along) there had been some change in the settings or maybe the CPU was damaged. This was the nearest I had dipped my fingers to the heart of a computer so far and it did not seem to have worked. I decided this was probably beyond my ability and I would likely need some new hardware to proceed further.

I called it stalemate and resolved to poke further when I felt up to it again - what after all had I to lose? Because I was feeling so stressed that day I decided to take a break from writing to relax, but then I had to decide how.

Finally settled on trying my first game of Angband, with its startlingly detailed character creation screen (I am more used to NetHack and DoomRL). Eventually I got passed that with a dwarven priestess named First. Then I realised I did not know what the controls are.

Having been freed from my obligation to write for the night I found what I wanted to do was write. Between perusing the commands for Angband and watching Heroes I refined my own personal definition of 'planet' and related terms (yes, that was actually a practical and productive use of my time, even if it does not become relevant for a year or more). There was also some more background work on tSOW, which I would have liked to continue afterward but that phase of the evening was passed mostly laying on the floor crying from anxiety.

It has been a couple of days now and I have not been writing since. I am going to sleep now, and when I wake that day will see writing done. Epic Fantasy is just about finished now and there is really only one way the climax can go. Wrote out that sequence on Thursday too, I think.
aesmael: (haircut)
When I was younger I would question people about their positions and beliefs, asking them to justify, provide sources and motives. Frequently annoyed, upset, angry. More than once pushed people to tears when I would not relent in questioning them.

Eventually I realised from observation how much this sort of questioning hurt people, never mind that it was also unproductive. I worked to stop hurting people in this way. For a long time after my diagnosis I blamed such behaviour on having Asperger's Syndrome and believed myself innately clueless and hurtful. I felt fundamentally flawed for having hurt people in that and similar ways.

[The past tense was used above, but doing so is only partially truthful. More so with time.]
aesmael: (haircut)
Last week I played go with [livejournal.com profile] mantic_angel. Go is not a game I have played much of so far - maybe six starts over the past year and no games proceeding very far before petering out (all online of course). With the difference in our experience I was spotted three stones and very quickly was losing quite badly.

I do not take well to definitely losing. Tend to get sulky, upset, angry. So I stopped paying attention to the moves not long into the game and focused instead on my assignment. When the game continued to not go away and leave me to work, I started trying actively to lose. It still took too much of my attention so I gave up on doing anything else seriously and made moves as quickly as I could until we ran out of space.

Of course I kept hoping I would somehow win, but what I was mostly after was making it go away and stop humiliating me. A lot of unhappiness in my life probably stems from this sort of experience; I have an unreasonable, arrogant expectation that I will be skilled, or talented, or quickly learn whatever I am doing. When I am not best, or notable, or particularly proficient, or anything else of the sort, I quickly become frustrated, feel hurt and angry and inclined to tantrum.

Funny thing is, there is not actually any area of my life which supports this attitude. I think I would be a lot happier if I were to accept that I am not actually exceptional or talented. Then I would stop expecting to be noticed or to do well. Maybe instead I could do things for personal pleasure or satisfaction. Almost certain acknowledging that I am not special would lead to being less obnoxious or bitter toward others.

This matches well with recent thoughts regarding other areas of my life, such as writing. Accepting I am not actually very good at it means I can stop worrying about whether it would be well-regarded, or publishable, or even about sharing it publicly. Instead, I can just work on making sure it is something I am satisfied with for myself.

If a situation is unpleasant, it can be endured, or the situation can be changed to a more pleasant one, or the entity experiencing the situation can be adjusted to find it more palatable. Since I do not wish to endure the present situation, and I cannot cause myself to be superlatively talented in all areas, and I do not intend yet to remove myself from existence, the only option appears to be 'realising I am not actually good at stuff'.

Improving ability is something I might be able to do. However, I think I should not count on any such thing; it would be a perpetuation of this idea that I am or can expect to be exceptional.

Edit: because I was not thinking clearly at the time, this post was originally mistitled 'Games'. The new title is more accurate to its intended message: that I would be happier without ambition to or expectation of greatness.

Fun!

2008-10-01 23:16
aesmael: (it would have been a scale model)
Unlike this earlier post I am not being sarcastic.

I tend to accumulate to junk on my system - trying out shiny new toys, then discarding them or the old tool, but not actually removing the files outright. It is something I expect a fair few people do. Back in April the latest version of Ubuntu was released, not quite with KDE 4 in the Kubuntu version, but with the option if people wished.

I'd been using KDE and GNOME alternately for about a year at the time and was quite excited at seeing how KDE 4 ran, so naturally I went and installed it. Seemed shiny at first, rapidly grew less interesting and after about a week or so I stopped using it.

Finally, tonight, I decided to be rid of KDE 4 until it is included in an official Kubuntu release. Logged in to GNOME. Opened Terminal, and ran the following two commands:

sudo apt-get remove kde4

sudo apt-get autoremove


I did this, then logged out, intending to restart and log in to Vista. Well, that just got me a bland background and a pointer, so I hit the power button. If you know where this is going, shhhh, I'm telling a story.

Starting up, of course, we get loading again, and we come to a text login screen. Of course, because I never did edit settings to give an option to load Vista after startup; that requires restarting the system after an OS has loaded. So I login, and run the following command:

X

Aaaand we are back at the bland screen with nought but moving the mouse around to do. Time to restart again, except that involves powering off and gets us back in text. Meaning I am going to have to work with the command line until I can get a graphical desktop back.

Fortunately I am not scared. Had to do this once before when I inadvertently filled the hard drive to the point it was unable to load a graphical desktop. That was simply a matter of locating and deleting the offending folder. In this case I suspect the problem is that I made KDE 4 the default window manager, so now I need to find and change that setting back to GNOME. Possibly. Could be very mistaken. Looking into finding out, now.

So this is fun. Earlier tonight, was a bit listless. Now I have a problem to solve.

Right now, Melantha has open the manual for Bash. And how am I posting this? From a different, desktop, computer. Unfortunately although I fairly sure Ubuntu comes with a text-based browser installed, I have yet to get it to run despite occasional attempts over the past year and a half. Hm. Perhaps not so encouraging. Let's just keep going.

Edit: Problem solved.
aesmael: (she gets smaller)
[livejournal.com profile] mantic_angel has suggested 5 hours a week would probably work for programming. If anyone can provide an informed estimate of the time investment required to obtain good results from studying Mandarin or mathematics or practicing keyboard (piano), that would be very helpful.

I still intend to search on these things, but it is often handy to have a person available who might be interacted with on the subject - there are often particular details I wish to know which are not covered in print materials and which do not seem readily communicable outside of interpersonal discourse.

As for programming itself, I am reminded that I would need to choose which language to learn, unless I want to try learning more than one at once which seems... something to which the phrase "biting off more than can be chewed" would be appropriate. I am not trying to burn myself out. I am trying to shift into a state of being generally interested and engaged and actively using my brain and doing things which I enjoy. And this does allow for 'vegging out', which is also an important and enjoyable activity and some of these things probably constitute such.

That paragraph sort of got away from me. Was intended to solicit suggestions from people about what programming language I may want to learn, hopefully with reasons why they think it would be a good idea, so I could make a more informed choice. Unfortunately I have little idea what I would want to do with such knowledge; I tend to think ideas for how to apply things come with greater understanding of the thing in question. When I was writing Seeing the Lights I wanted to make a tool which would allow me to match date and day-of-week for Aurora with date and day-of-week for me and better manage / coordinate her time with mine. Would still be interested in such a thing. I am very much ignorant when it comes to programming though, and about the extent of my current skill is using HTML to produce a very basic web page. So I do not know what I am doing and would like the sort of input which I could discuss with people and refine my ideas of what I want and how to go about attaining this.

These posts need a tag. Or an index.
aesmael: (tricicat)
Things I want to do:
Write
Learn Chinese
Learn programming
Improve mathematical skills
Read (books, fiction and non-)
Read (webcomics)
Play games
Watch stuff I want to watch
Learn to play keyboard instruments

Things I feel obligated to do:
Read flist, respond as much as I am able
Reading of on-line materials

Those lists are probably quite incomplete. There is a lot of overlap too, such as RSS feeds and webcomics I want to read, but for which this desire translates into a sense of obligation and taking on more than my capacity, so that there is no time left for me to do anything else.

I think one part of creating such a state of affairs is finding out how much time I should be setting aside for the things I want to do if I want to make them worthwhile. I doubt any of those would seem worthwhile to me at, frex, five minutes per week.

Disorganisation, poor use of time is a reason I have not been doing things I want to / think are important to do. It may take an hour or two to catch up on people's journals each evening but that still leaves plenty in which I do not do other things. Often I take to refreshing the page every half hour or so, casting a gradually wider net of subscribed things from which to pull reading material. An aimless sort of state. Does not help that posts of any length tend to take hours in composition. I seem to be a very slow writer. A very easily distractible one.

So it is not a lack of time, at least in that I do appear to have time available for many or most of the things I want to do. I just find myself not knowing how to choose between some as options and daunted by the prospect of attempting others. In an attempt to make this easier I intend to determine how much time is required for the especially skill- and learning-based activities. Maybe I can make a spinny wheel thing for the others.

Am getting anxious typing this, the previous paragraph especially. Feeling as if skin too tight and wanting to scream frustrated, to think of trying to make a choice between activities and actually doing them.

The other part of this (assuming there are only two) is getting away from these feelings of obligation about activities I do not necessarily wish to be pursuing at the time, this feeling that I must keep up with and read everything I subscribe to and not even cull that selection so long as I possess the capacity to make pretension of reading it. 'Read LiveJournal' is not what I wish my default activity to be. More than that I am wanting to be able to easily move on to other activities or even go to those first.

This is hard, akin to fingernails on chalkboard (akin, not the same). May just have to accept pain as a consequence of doing what I want until I become accustomed to it. Much of this is due to slipping into the easy. I tend to be engaged in other settling activities when I open my browser, such as eating something I do not want to get on the keys, and so settle on flist as something to keep myself occupied while doing this. But that tends to lead to reading the rest too, and once I have done that I am well settled into a passive mode. It becomes difficult to shift out of that into actively doing something. Even other sorts of reading are stressful to switch to because of the way I have things (mentally) set up.

Catching up still seems useful to me. I do in fact want to read what other people have posted on their journals and to respond if I have responses to offer. However, it does not seem to do me any good to be where I start. I think it would be more useful for me to check first my email (as something which may actually require timely attending to), responses to my own posts (included in email), and subscribe to notifications to any posts I may want to follow (again, covered by email) so that I do not have to scroll through the page to find them and consequently am less likely to slip into reading the whole thing. Then, move on to the doing of other activities with the reading of the 'friends page' later in the evening.

This still runs the risk of being 'caught', by friends chatting or links or something catching the eye. Less, though. Maybe even easier to slip away from. Friends, of course, are not something to avoid normally, but hopefully would be understanding if I were doing also something else. Tonight I was excited by the prospect of finishing this reading early and being relatively obligation-free for the evening, yet indecision and stress at the prospect of choosing has led to my doing none of the things I thought I might. Also to writing this.

I think having some sort of framework to operate in would help me with this. Once I know what the various things I want to do will require in terms of time invested I can arrange to have that time available and an awareness of it. I think this level of structure would actually help me to be more flexible once I have named and measured bits of time to rearrange. More clearly seeing what is being traded off against what and where.

And of course there is homework to be fit in and hopefully later employment.
aesmael: (sudden sailor)

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

For one of my classes I am tasked with the creation of a bibliography, an extensive document serving as a directory of books, serials and web resources pertaining to a particular subject. More complicated than something for which a simple catalogue search would suffice.


The library whose resources I have chosen to create the bibliography for (it has to be for and using the resources of a particular library) is the Seattle Public Library. The subject I have nominated to cite is resources for building writing and artistic skills.


My actual intention behind this is to create a resource index for aDE, material we can use to study and learn from. Currently the area of material I am investigating is very broad and not especially well defined. It would be helpful if people would nominate particular areas of interest for skill development, or resources they have found useful in the past.


People who are not members of aDE are welcome to participate too. They are certainly welcome to make use of the bibliography once it is done.

aesmael: (transformation)
This is a comment I made in reply to a post of [livejournal.com profile] gentle_gamer's. It happened because I was having difficulty writing the reply I originally wanted to make and started thinking about why. This was hard too, but at least I knew roughly what I was trying to say.

"It is a mess in here. Someone needs to do some cleaning."

I have been struggling to write a reply to this post. Trying to put together words to say something. Doing this, something which might be a realisation happened.

Possibly I am not as good at talking - communicating - as I think I am. It is very difficult for me to say things directly. Gaps in typing this for apparently unnecessary reasons, to tap on the keyboard or look around or retreat inside for various lengths of time, often when the next thing to type is known or is classed as 'should not be difficult to find'. The previous sentence is not what I was trying to say, although it is reflective of it[1].

What I mean is, attempting to communicate directly with someone is very difficult for me. Most of the time I spin words together, poetic flights and allusions which hopefully carry implicitly what I mean, although since so often they are misunderstood this is doubted. The possible realisation is that much of my communication is pulled from a sort of library which is then assembled in a way which seeks to approach or reference the intention behind my communication but does not often match it. So I do this, which is like the 'classic' idea of aspie-type people compositing speech from television, radio, etc., albeit in a non-standard way and trying to... not do it, to speak in a direct manner, is far more difficult. Often that fails and I end up talking about what I want to say, instead ("I want to say how wonderful the colours in this painting are" vs. "The colours in this painting are wonderful").

This comment is another example, in which successive iterations of a communication attempt are made and refined. I hope this comment will be understandable to people but I cannot really tell; I am not actually sure I am typing English words rather than some other arrangement of letters (but I think I am).

At some point in the past I think you told me I was speaking too fast for you to follow well. If I were doing this I would be very slow indeed, but it would be nice for that to not be a problem.

I want to write about this and place considerations of it and other aspie/autie type things on my journal, but do not know how. Perhaps reposting this comment will help.

[1]as something allusive of what I am trying to say but not actually holding that meaning. The previous sentence was postponed due to being considered nonsensical in original context.


I think this is not always true*, but I think it is also true far more often than I have been realising.

*'true' here meaning something like 'an accurate description of my functioning'
aesmael: (Electric Waves)
Plain enough. Music library of choice on shuffle, list the first ten songs (I would say tracks, but mean to skip any podcasts which come up).

  1. Grainger - Country Gardens
  2. Luciana Souza/Romero Lubambo - Muita Bobeira - I think this track came with Vista *shrug*
  3. Queen - Killer Queen
  4. Akira Yamaoka - April Fool's Song
  5. Yuki Kajiura - Sweet Memories - (would have been: Jason Rennie - The Sci Phi Show Outcast #53 - Sci Fi and Politics with Dr Courtney Brown)
  6. Starsailor - Don't Stop Moving
  7. Yuki Kajiura - Sweet Memories #2
  8. See-Saw - interlude
  9. The Beatles - Love Me Do
  10. Delerium - Forgotten Worlds


I desire to include some substance of my own deliberate composition so I will say that over the past few months I have been working to abandon the rich text interface as much as possible, using it only long enough to learn how to input something I did not know before. So I am proud at knowing how to format this list without having to consult any outside source.

I have not been learning much, have not been making a deliberate study as I have felt always more pressing things to do and then sleep, yet what I have been learning is very satisfying. It reminds me of the latter half of last year, when I had to learn some LaTeX formatting for the wiki on which I was keeping my Electromagnetism notes.

It is not something I know yet how to describe yet learning such things, seeing something of how they work and fit together, is a very... clean pleasure for me. Similar to how I have felt in my brief studies of Mandarin too, and now I am thinking if I could find this in mathematics too that would be rather wonderful. Perhaps my perspective has been mistaken? Focus on the operators rather than the individual problems maybe. Might help with astronomy/physics too.

... I was supposed to be writing.
aesmael: (sudden sailor)
Holidays and when we go back there are assignmenty type things to have done. Consequently lists are being made, tools for guidance.

The first is a reading guide to be produced for an audience, naming at least 25 authors on the subject of my choice. Have to choose a subject by next week and currently am undecided on which of four ideas to go with, so I am going to put each here and see how much material I can find by the deadline. Clearly, if I can only find enough to use for one, it would be inadvisable to choose another. If anyone has suggestions for these, that would be quite helpful.

Early crime fiction
  1. Christie, Agatha
  2. Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan
  3. Poe, Edgar Allan

This is the one I am especially uncertain about. The first idea I had was to contrast modern crime fiction/mysteries with early examples of the genre.

Crime/Mystery stories across other genres
  1. Fforde, Jasper
  2. Pratchett, Terry

Simple enough, stories which are classed of a genre other than crime or mystery yet contain strong elements of same. Stories like Pratchett's Watch books or Fforde's novels of Thursday Next or Jack Sprat.

Alternate envisionings of human sexuality and gender
  1. Egan, Greg
  2. Le Guin, Ursula

I am having difficulty defining this one, which suggests to me my idea is currently too fuzzy. I think I am after alternative functionings, such as found in The Left Hand of Darkness, Schild's Ladder or Distress.

Fictional autobiographies
  1. Dickens, Charles
  2. Wolfe, Gene

Clearly enough, fictional stories which are framed as an autobiography. I am most hesitant about the names on this list since I have not read the two stories I am thinking of, David Copperfield and The Book of the New Sun.

Let's see how much I can expand these lists over the next week.

The other is a shopping list. Last night [livejournal.com profile] soltice showed me this. If she had not, I would have spent today looking for it. The other project in need of doing is after all the creation of a book, blank, fit for a person to write in. So those items are what I am going to have to acquire.

Clips, paper, wax paper, cloths wet and dry. It says "[i]n addition to the rest of your book making materials" but I have yet to see a page on the rest of the site explaining what they are. Other items mentioned: bone folder, linen tape, mull cloth (this is looking less acquirable, wonder if substitutions might be made - better see), awl or needle, thread and needle, beeswax, glue, spine board.

I am not after the same result as this tutorial, so there are a few alterations I can make to the method which will hopefully be easier. Still, I would like to try this method in full at some point.
aesmael: (sudden sailor)
For a while now folks at ScienceBlogs and elsewhere have been putting up posts about basic concepts in science. Also for a while now, John S. Wilkins|Evolving Thoughts has been compiling an index of these posts.

It can be found here: Basic Concepts in Science: A list

I look forward to exploring these and present this to anyone who might wish to do the same.
aesmael: (friendly)
Here is a video demonstrating yet again that mutation and selection can produce complexity without design.

I find evolutionary algorithms fascinating and hope someday to play around with and write some myself.
aesmael: (tricicat)
When I tell the people I know who code that I would like also to learn that dark art they ask what my goal is, what I want to make with it. I might at last have some things to qualify as answers.

The first is, the lead of one of my stories is living in a ten day week. I would like to build something calendrical to make tracking her time easier. Currently I am getting by with a spreadsheet but do not find it optimal. In about six months to a year her calendar will change, so that is a deadline of sorts. If I can learn and make before then, perhaps I can also make something flexible enough to handle new and old calendars both.

The second relates to something I created in my mid-teens, a transliteration of English. Possibly other languages using the Latin alphabet too but I do not know them well enough to say. It is a simple enough pattern, based on hexagonal tiling with text spread across a two-dimensional plane. I would like to build something to display this transliteration as an output.

At the moment it is seeming like a quite complicated project and I doubt it would be of any more use than passing encoded between friends (perhaps as an image?). I wonder if I could extend my original idea, perhaps into a third dimension (layers or angles?). Sentence arrangement was terrible in what I came up with, maybe I can fix that too.
aesmael: (friendly)
    Those are tasty. Star Wars: Attack of the clones, less so. I prefer stories where I don't have to roll my eyes and ask "But why didn't they...?" Although that is fun too.

    I have not written anything since my last writing post, however I did update my silly studying wiki. It is not so good but hopefully I can fix that as I learn. Perhaps tomorrow will see both activities happening. We shall see.
aesmael: (haircut)
    I have decided I ought not read LiveJournal or any other material available via the internet until I have done relevant, school-related study for the day. Ideally this will mean fewer comments from me until I have an opportunity to catch, although I already failed today. Probably fewer posts too. If I follow through on my intention. Days are too short.

Writing stuff )

    *raises glass* To burning one's brain out.

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