Friday, August 31, 2007

beauty 2

We arrived from the bar this morning just as daylight was starting to emerge.
While she was ice-cubing, I opened the window to gaze at the deep blue sky.
I saw two bats flying around. I think he was courting her :) Wonderful.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


While experimenting with swapping on usb flash storage, I found the following:
Timing cached reads: 666 MB in 2.00 seconds = 332.28 MB/sec
which is absolutely correct.
Here is some code that spits that (adapted from the benchmark program):
unsigned int total_MB = 666;
double elapsed = 2.00435;
printf("%3u MB in %5.2f seconds = %6.2f MB/sec\n",
total_MB, elapsed, total_MB / elapsed);
Have fun.
P.S. It was much slower than swapping on the hard disk and yes, I did use a hi-speed port.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Every now and then I have an argument with a friend or acquaintance about mixing maths and art, logic and emotions, understanding versus feeling and so on. I tend to get upset when people try to separate these, especially when they do it very vocally and categorically. Every now and then people tell me things like: don't describe autumn and spring using sines and derivatives; music is for feeling, not understanding; once you understand something you're unable to see its beauty anymore; and so on. The last one is even described in a poem by an interesting guy called Blaga, who also wrote that heaven is lit by the flames of hell - which is both a nice image, a nice idea, nice philosophical reference and so on.

A few years ago, someone showed me how to awake feelings through music. He said that music is mathematics and showed me how the sequence and combination of certain notes evokes certain feelings. I didn't fully understand the mechanics of this, because I'm not very musically literate, but I certainly got the idea. The guy expertly confirmed something I was already suspecting.

There is beauty in mathematics. There is beauty in physics, biology, psychology, just as there is beauty in art, history or philosophy. There is a great deal of beauty in computing, and there is a lot of philosophy there also. There is a lot of philosophy in every science, and there is beauty in thought.

There is beauty in engineering. A skilled engineer can recognize an elegant solution to a problem when they see one, and that evokes certain positive feelings. Good engineers are creative. They just work on a different level, not with words and colors but with nuts, bolts and electrons.

Take the human body, or the body of any living thing for that matter. One can't start to really see its beauty until one dissects it, studies it under the microscope, studies its functioning in greater and greater detail, until finally realizing that what they see is an incredibly complicated and finely-tuned machine! That is true beauty, and it's no wonder that many feel that our bodies are the careful work of a highly skilled engineer. Some call the engineer God, some call it Evolution. This makes it even more beautiful. Some even say that God engineered humans by means of evolution.

It doesn't even matter, for our minds are too small to comprehend God if "God existed". This is a reason why beauty will never fade away, because the more things we learn, the more things pop up that have to be studied and learned. But not before being perceived, felt. Our minds are small and our souls are primitive. Cosmically, we are but ants. And there is infinite beauty in the Cosmos.

So even if we accepted that understanding destroys beauty, that wouldn't be a problem. But understanding does not destroy beauty. I understand rainbows quite well but still find them beautiful. Especially similar phenomena that happen at night when the moon is full. I understand why I see the moon the way I see it, but I still find it very beautiful. And this could go on for days.

So, saying that feelings are somehow superior to logic and rejecting mathematical beauty simply leads to ignorance. It reminds me of an age not-so-long gone, an age of witch hunting, astronomer bunrning and other stuff. You can't praise the moonlandings, the microprocessor, the Internet, modern medicine, and not accept mathematical beauty. It's not ethical, not correct, not just. There is so much joy in discovering, in understanding, and there is so much beauty in the world on so many levels! The only thing I find no beauty in is dogma.


I took the following traits specific to each (western) astrological sign from Wikipedia and proceeded to highlight the ones that I think mostly match and mostly not match myself. The rather neutral ones were left unhighlited. I should point out that I can be in many ways depending on mood, environment and people. Excuse the sloppiness, it's been done quickly just to prove a point.


* Image:Aries-symbol.png - Aries (The Ram) (fire, cardinal, personal): Keyword: "I am". Freedom-loving, assertive, individualistic, independent, intellectual, pioneering, leader, action-oriented, fiery, straightforward, passionate, powerful. Can be extreme, arrogant, intemperate, violent, headstrong, impulsive .

* Image:Taurus-symbol.png - Taurus (The Bull) (earth, fixed, personal): Keyword: "I have". Resourceful, thorough, devoted, patient, sensual, affectionate, cautious, musical, artistic, solid, earthy, strong, sturdy, kind. Can be slow, possessive, stubborn, acquisitive, indulgent.

* Image:Gemini-symbol.png - Gemini (The Twins) (air, mutable, personal): Keyword: "I think". Logical, inquisitive, lively, active, curious, multi-tasking, talkative, sociable, duality, mercurial, whimsical. Can be superficial, two-faced, inconstant, restless.

* Image:Cancer-symbol.png - Cancer (The Crab) (water, cardinal, personal): Keyword: "I feel". Protective, sensitive, tenacious, family and home oriented, helpful, nurturing, watery, emotional, loving. Can be crabby, clinging, moody, worrying, pessismistic.

* Image:Leo-symbol.png - Leo (The Lion) (fire, fixed, social): Keyword: "I will". Generous, proud, theatrical, passionate, sunny, bright, kingly, powerful, loves attention, dramatic, independent, noble, creative, leader. Can be arrogant, bossy, boastful, egotistic, snobbish.

* Image:Virgo-symbol.png - Virgo (The Virgin) (earth, mutable, social): Keyword: "I analyze". Practical, efficient, critical, work and service oriented, common sense, modest, health conscious, mentally active, helpful, flexible. Can be pedantic, fussy, over-critical, worrying, over fastidious.

* Image:Libra-symbol.png - Libra (The Scales) (air, cardinal, social): Keyword: "I balance". Co-operative, diplomatic, urbane, fair, needs partnerships, refined, balanced, graceful, charming, debative, just, open-minded, social. Can be lazy, indecisive, rationalizing.

* Image:Scorpio-symbol.png - Scorpio (The Scorpion) (water, fixed, social): Keyword: "I desire". Passionate, secretive, powerful, keenly perceptive, deep, complex, analytical, inquisitive, resourceful, magnetic, intense, hypnotic, sexual, perspicacious, creative, vigorous, untameable, ambitious. Can be jealous, controlling, possessive, aggressive, cunning, cruel.

* Image:Sagittarius-symbol.png - Sagittarius (The Archer) (fire, mutable, universal): Keyword: "I perceive". Freedom loving, straightforward, extrovert, philosophical, intellectual, fun-loving, arrogant, adventurous, expansive, optimistic. Can be blundering, scattered, careless, tactless.

* Image:Capricorn-symbol.png - Capricorn (The Sea-goat) (earth, cardinal, universal): Keyword: "I use". Prudent, cautious, patient, methodical, practical, reserved, ambitious, authoritative, competent. Can be saturnine, suspicious, rigid, cunning, over-cautious, pessimistic.

* Image:Aquarius-symbol.png - Aquarius (The Water Carrier) (air, fixed, universal): Keyword: "I know". Democratic, unconventional, detached, friendship oriented, humanitarian, cause-oriented, believes in the group, society, progressive, sophisticated, objective. Can be eccentric, elitist, dogmatic, aloof.

* Image:Pisces-symbol.png - Pisces (The Fishes) (water, mutable, universal): Keyword: "I believe". Imaginative, sensitive, compassionate, feeling, idealistic, spiritual, accepting, undiscriminating, creative, mystic, self-sacrificing, artistic. Can be impractical, neglectful, escapist, lazy, distracted.

Conclusion: bigBullShit.

Have a nice day :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

press 3

as i said earlier: with certain exceptions, the press is a whore.
yesterday night they reported gunfire in the city center. two women were attacked, and one injured. it was really scary, one might have felt that it wasn't safe to walk on the streets anymore. today, they reported "scenes reminiscent of American action movies", after which they revealed the truth: it was a paintball gun and probably just a joke.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Grammar, punctuation and the likes.

Check this out. And this, esp. the part about quotes.

Dude, you can write <big><b>shit</big></b> and get a big bold shit, and it's valid HTML. But that's an exception and it's certainly not legal XML, and as a programmer I cannot write ' "Fuck," Bill said ' , because it's stupid. And as Wikipedia explains, it's an outdated tradition due to technical reasons having to do with typesetting, rather than some legitimate language rule. I wouldn't care anyway.

press 2

tv and radio stations get censored quite heavily. certain things can't be shown/spoken on tv/radio between certain hours ("to protect children") or never at all. (here) no poll results can be shown on tv prior to elections. and so on. certain authorities will fine stations that don't comply or even revoke their broadcast licence. well: how much until the internet starts being censored too? in 10 years time, would i be able to say fuck on this blog, and do it legally? this is really worrying. i mean, this blog can be read anytime by anyone in the world, irrespective of their age. (kids go away!) sure, unlike tv stations, i don't need a license in order to post here. but will it still be like this 10 years in the future? fcuk {politics, control, the system}. potentially contaminated yogurt best before september the 11th has been confiscated. oh the irony.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


heavy ranting today folks.
with certain notable exceptions, the press is a whore. they exploit every possible event and distort the truth in order to gain viewers / readers. everybody knows (should know) that. but if being a whore wasn't bad enough, a certain part of the press can justly be labeled a stupid whore. For instance: after a month-long drought followed by a day of light rain, mr. weather reporter reports: "starting tomorrow we're finally getting rid of the rain". But this is only a mild example. It makes me want to live in Afghanistan with all the uneducated people there using primitive tools instead of electricity when I hear people measuring energy in "kW/h". And I'm talking about people in the hi-tech, computers-magazine-type press. Dude, I mean, he only played a significant role in the industrial revolution that ultimately brought you all this comfort and gadgetry, why the hell should you know what a watt is?! Right? In school I was expected to know the year, month, day and preferrably hour when Johnny Walkman the Great signed the ass-kissing treaty of Cockpissville, plus all the mountains, mountain passes (with height to four significant digits), mountain peaks (with height to four significant digits), hills (with height to...), plains (), rivers (length in km with four,,.,.....), bla-blas, cities with sexually-hinting and otherwise stupid names (with population, thankfully with only 1 significant digit), know all the blokes who are claimed to have written valuable literature, know their work,...... and people that report "news" to other millions of people don't even know what a watt-hour is, or that "knots" are a measure of speed. Yeah, today someone was reporting a boat's top speed in knots per hour. I smiled :) Maybe I should understand that in such a fast-moving, ever-changing world, people feel the need to think of everything as an acceleration. Or maybe I should re-re-evaluate the necessary bit width of stupid, again.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

man space man enter

I was watching some documentary on some channel while the other was airing commercials, about air crashes. Except for all the sensationalist parts, it's acceptable and fair to watch. So this pilot was flying some large passenger plane and suddenly hits turbulence or something, I wasn't paying attention. What I did pay attention to was the way he managed to crash it into some houses on the ground killing a lot of people. It seems the rudder control sensitivity was higher than he expected and so he violently jerked it full-swing left and right, repeatedly, thinking the plane's erratic movement was due to the (long-gone) turbulence. In fact he was fucking up the plane himself. This violent struggle with the obedient machine, pictured through the usual crappy computer graphics, continued until the tail fell off from the excessive and repeated stress. Partly the builder's fault, but come on! I could be potentially sitting quietly in my home, and suddenly be crashed by a falling plane, why, because the pilot didn't RTFM! (Fire and smoke and shitty CGI again). Yes, human life is just another commodity. Sad.
P.S.: Kids! Read The Friendly Manual!


Nearly all tools can be repurposed to function as a hammer, even though very few tools are intentionally designed for it.

A hammer is a useful thing. For example:
What to do when your design needs 38 macrocells so it won't fit in an XC9536 CPLD?
You can:
a) use an XC9572 at almost twice the cost and fill up the rest with
a.1. (a piece of) another design from a separate piece of hardware (see c.1)
a.2. a new, useful feature
a.3. a new, gratuitous feature ('because I can, dammit!')
a.4. nothing
b) move a small piece to external discrete logic (if possible)
c) repartition the design
c.1. move some functionality to other hardware
c.2. move some functionality to software
d) fuck the compiler/synthesizer/translator/mapper/fitter and hand-optimize (hopeless, the machine is always better than you)
d) use a hammer as pictured.

All hail the alias- and quantization-noise-ridden, superbly crappy picture.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

CO_2 bullcrap

I've been meaning for a lot of time to write an article about how much I hate cars and traffic and pollution. For instance, instead of being forced to attend sports class in school, I would have very much preffered being able to use my bike instead of the subway/underground between the school and my apartment. But I was not, because until recently bikes were banned on a lot of streets and more importantly because there are too many fucking cars. Besides Romanian drivers being one of the most uncivilized in the EU, there's the damn smoke! The same fucking smoke that enters my window when I try to ventilate the room. It stinks and most probably is not healthy. Between the idiot that invented the suit and tie, and the cretin that thought about putting LEAD into gasoline,... I wish I had the money/power to erect a grand statue of human shame. They're not allowing Pb in circuit boards now because it's toxic; this makes the circuits unreliable. It's a totally unnecessary measure, as all the lead in those circuit boards would ideally be recycled. But cars in Romania and other countries have been running on leaded gasoline for years, without anyone caring. It's being phased out now, but exhaust fumes still STINK! I've seen a documentary that correctly argues that artificial CO_2 does not cause global warming. And even if it did, who the fuck cares? People are living in Africa and South Asia and Central America just fine with very high temperatures. Extreme weather? Look at it this way: besides there being absolutely no evidence that we're causing hurricanes and floods, more people probably die in car accidents than in said hurricanes and floods. So I don't give a flying fuck about the CO_2 in car exhaust, I just hate cars, and please replace the shit in gasoline that's toxic and stinky when burned! It's not global warming we should be worrying about, it's pollution and toxicity. Dust, industrial ash, acoustic noise and light pollution. Yes, and ideatic pollution from all the commercials, religious extremists, political extremists, environmental extremists and so on. We should probably be worrying about increasing oil prices rather than CO_2. And we actually are, and new technologies are being developed. Why am I ranting then? Because of all the wrongness.
P.S. There are a lot of substances that, when properly burned, only release CO_2 and H_2O in the atmosphere, and no crap such as ash or lead, nitrogen, sulphur or phosphorous oxides. Problem is, they're expensive. One example is alcohol, which can be produced by bacteria from just about any oranic stuff, but it's more economically used as booze rather than fuel.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Beer is good for your soul.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


everything is relative, even this statement.
axioms are a product of the mind.
the mind can understand its own structure?
an idea or thought that defines its own structure?

i feel like feeling something but i'm not sure what. because i'm defective.


i sail on unknown waters running away from the dawn
i fear the sun and its deadly rays
the cold wind takes me away into the deepest night
and there is nothing in sight.
i've been sailing for centuries, all alone,
just me and the stars
and the thick black clouds that come and go
same wind, same sea, same stars, same moon
same quiet waves, same emptiness
same search for something i know nothing of
same expectation of change
i am trapped in a dark eternal one-sided shell.