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VaelynPhi
10 May 2011 @ 02:54 am
Past and history show an odd bias for people. Most seem to accept that the past is in some definite sense fixed, finished, set--done. What it was it forever will be. Or, to put it dumbly, the past is done. The future, however, hasn't 'happened' yet, and so is not set--still to be determined.

So, in some sense, the present flies along like a loom, plucking the insubstantial threads of possibilities and locking them into the tapestry that is history--after which those threads may move no longer. How is it that the present ziplocks the future into the immobile past?

From the perspective of modern physics, past, future, and present are simply slices of a blob--a sort of causal cheese. General Relativity treats time similarly to the dimensions of space (especially if you work in units where the speed of light is equal to one); quantum mechanics, however, almost ignores time... and you can put time in several places, or sometimes treat it like relativity does. It gets confusing, but it amounts to quantum physics not having a particularly solid way of treating time, which nevertheless doesn't seem to bother the quantum scale of things too much. Entropy, however, which is probabilistic in nature, seems to favor going in one direction alone--past to future. Also, our conscious perception seems to follow that direction pretty closely.

But what I want to attack here is the notion that the future is somehow inherently different from the past. Consciously speaking, there is one indisputable difference: we know quite a lot about the past, but very little of the future. We can imagine and project or extrapolate to predict the future, so we do know a good bit about it. Also, insofar as we remain within the bounds of the universe, we know a great deal about how the cosmos evolves and changes. The future is only 'indeterminate' in the sense that we do not yet have certain knowledge of it.

This is on the face of things different from the past: we know the past. Having been there--having come from there--we remember. However, without advocating any radical postmodernism of history, it's clear that we don't know as much about the past as we think we do. As much as we remember, we're free to forget also, and what's worse, our minds indulge us. We rationalize gaps in our memory, and our mind provides explanations with a pretty stunning seamlessness. Even the present isn't as cohesive as we'd like to believe, as optical illusions and psychological testing shows.

So why do we project our hopes into the future, which is uncertain, troublesome, and almost frightening in its obscurity, and yet regard the past as a cage of obligations, regrets, or perhaps bygone glories? Should not the past seem more like an old friend, the close counselor who holds our wisdom--the lessons of our experience--and the roots of our personality. The past knows us best. And what is so free in the future? The threat of tomorrow holds repetition, duty, the unknown. The future is a test, not a promise.

As either past or future hold no special ability, neither for consciousness nor in the natural understanding of the universe, what reason is there to grant the present some special mediating power between them? To regard the present as the moment in which you 'choose'--in which you eliminate several competitors for your decision and enshrine action in the permanence of having happened--is to grant it the power to 'change' what in no sense can change. Change is a notion in time, not a notion of time.

Moreover, to grant consciousness a special position because it seems to perch between is folly. The flow of consciousness in time is best regarded as a side effect of the preference for electrons to move forward in time and biochemistry's respect for the law of entropy.
 
 
VaelynPhi
08 May 2011 @ 02:58 am


Gaga's newest single was stolen... from Castlevania!

Honestly, I'm still not sold on the song. The JUUUUUUUUUUUU DAH JUJUJUJUJUJU DADADADADADA GREATGOOGLYMOOGLY GAGA bit just gets on my nerves, unlike her other nonsense riffs, which I insanely chanted for months. The video (the actual one) is interesting enough that I don't care, though.

I was really hoping she'd have a different video, though; so far I'm not liking these as much as her last three. Then again, only half of her other releases was awesome, and the other bits were neat or listenable, and she probably should be free to experiment. So, yeah, not so much, Gaga, but I'm not enough of a fanboy to expect everything from you to be mind-blowing. We need more dance routines like Telephone had, though; those were awesome. ::takes a bite of his sandwich::
 
 
 
VaelynPhi
03 April 2011 @ 03:48 pm
When they involve telekinetic assholes and some unfortunate, unwilling, and unsuspecting penises.
 
 
VaelynPhi
30 March 2011 @ 07:18 pm
Kinda buggy.
 
 
 
VaelynPhi
19 March 2011 @ 04:04 pm
Why?  
I'm tired of the way people treat each other.
 
 
VaelynPhi
05 March 2011 @ 07:32 pm
It's a good bit easier to handle when it's outright and not prolonged and uncertain. Probably also easier to handle when the rest of your life isn't a train-wreck of monumental proportions.
 
 
VaelynPhi
02 March 2011 @ 01:57 am
I just learned something: I have *never* heard the actual original lyrics to Money for Nothing--apparently they've been censored in most media.

I miss everything these days.
 
 
VaelynPhi
01 March 2011 @ 01:15 am
Shitty birthday almost salvaged by this image:
 
 
VaelynPhi
28 February 2011 @ 01:39 pm


Of course I find it fitting that she should release a video with some strange overtones about birth on my birthday. Anyone notice the "invisible" "pink" unicorn at the beginning? On a related note...Collapse )
 
 
 
VaelynPhi
24 February 2011 @ 04:33 pm
It's been a while since I totally freaked out over a boy. A few hours (okay, 24 total... but I'm discounting sleep and work) with no messages/calls and I'm crawling up the walls about him.

Gah, I've got it bad.
 
 
VaelynPhi
14 February 2011 @ 12:34 pm
8am: Wake up, call Staffing Agency #1 for appointment. They're closed today; didn't I know it's a holiday? MOTHERFUCKING VALENTINES. ::eyetwitch::

9am: Call from Staffing Agency #2... to tell me to come in on FUCKING THURSDAY. WTF?

11am: Call from Office #1; "We've hired someone more qualified for that position." Did he have a fucking spreadsheet with awesome stuff in it? "No." In what was was he more 'qualified'? "He worked in a college office as a work-study." I did too, bitch. "Oh."

12am: Waiting for call from Office #2 which was supposed to come three hours ago.

These places are really on the ball.
 
 
VaelynPhi
04 February 2011 @ 03:20 pm
 
 
VaelynPhi
02 February 2011 @ 04:54 pm
SNL's recent ep is kind of crap so far. The first major skit was basically "Hey trannies are funny, right?". I mean, I'm up for humor involving pretty much any touchy subject, but this fake commercial was just dumb.

Same with the Mr. Wizard sketch.

[EDIT: The fitTV skit was pretty funny.]
 
 
VaelynPhi
02 February 2011 @ 02:43 pm
Hah!  
Taco Bell pic and rant under cut.Collapse )
 
 
 
VaelynPhi
01 February 2011 @ 07:51 pm
Stood up 10 11 times this year.
 
 
VaelynPhi
01 February 2011 @ 04:20 pm


This is true to first order.
 
 
VaelynPhi
26 January 2011 @ 02:44 pm
Met yet another basically perfect man today. Naturally, he is both taken and (mostly) straight.

This would be so much more bearable if I had a job.
 
 
VaelynPhi
25 January 2011 @ 01:07 pm
FML  
Morning: apply for six jobs.

Afternoon: get calls from two spam dialers.
 
 
VaelynPhi
24 January 2011 @ 01:47 pm
 
 
 
VaelynPhi
21 January 2011 @ 06:08 pm
I clean his litter box.
 
 
VaelynPhi
18 January 2011 @ 03:14 pm

There is nothing funnier than watching a comedian utterly lose it.
 
 
VaelynPhi
18 January 2011 @ 11:34 am
When a reply to a job application comes from an e-mail address like "mascbibtm", I have to wonder if I should reply or not...
 
 
VaelynPhi
10 January 2011 @ 12:22 pm
Snow, you say? Here?!Collapse )
 
 
VaelynPhi
"Your personals ad at 'pounced.org' has expired!"

They've revoked my swimming license at the cess pool. What ever shall I do?
 
 
 
VaelynPhi
05 January 2011 @ 03:42 am
WoW  
Ah, the Shrine of Goldrinn, where you become a hero to a bunch of furries.
 
 
VaelynPhi
23 December 2010 @ 04:57 am
Found in loltheorists:
 
 
 
VaelynPhi
22 December 2010 @ 06:32 am
According to the TV Leonard Susskind used to be Weird Al.

Or is that "dramatization"?

I would have sued.
 
 
VaelynPhi
15 December 2010 @ 06:46 am
The latest XKCD has one of the most perceptively amusing mouseover texts I've read:

"STUDENTS ARE CALLING PRESIDENT JOHNSON EN MASSE TO PROTEST THE BOMBING AND IT'S JAMMED THE WHITE HOUSE SWITCHBOARD. COULD THEY COLLAPSE OUR CRITICAL PHONE SYSTEMS? HAS THE FIRST TELEPHONE WAR BEGUN? STAY TUNED FOR MORE ON THIS DANGEROUS NEW TECHNOLOGY."

LMAO
 
 
 
VaelynPhi
14 December 2010 @ 05:52 pm
Just got back from meeting with a prospective client for web design... and concluded that he didn't really need a web site at all.

Made $50 and got free lunch, though. (Yes, this is pitiful, I know... but considering that in web design often you can't even get a client to fork over the actual money for the site, making a consulting fee for maybe thirty minutes of time and getting free food is almost miraculous.)
 
 
VaelynPhi
14 December 2010 @ 01:31 am
How like Finnegan's Wake some fanfics become when their authors, already miserably contorted creatures, devolve further.
 
 
VaelynPhi
13 December 2010 @ 05:29 pm
I can forgive Hal Sparks for engaging in persistent Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today, but only because he gave us some hot, hot scenes in Queer as Folk.
 
 
 
VaelynPhi
03 December 2010 @ 05:51 pm
"That's why we feed them glitter, Finn."
 
 
 
VaelynPhi
02 December 2010 @ 04:31 am
After making this comment in atheism, I went looking on my computer for a pic of the "Are you Gay or Lesbian and don't want to be?" shame-ad. After starting Windows searching for it, I Googled it (Google being often faster than Windows), and found some surprizing results.

Wow... how things get around.Collapse )
 
 
VaelynPhi
23 November 2010 @ 04:34 pm
My Halloween interviewing costume outfit...
Oh, the horrors!Collapse )
My phone's camera leaves something to be desired, but I'm afraid I'm completely responsible for that blank look on my face in the second picture. These come after a day of three (or five, depending on how you count) interviews, two of which included me looking entirely out of place in almost every way possible, me accidentally insulting my (unlikely now) possible future supervisor, me probably sounding like some kind of kook by talking about field theory for ten minutes (thankfully not *during* the interview), and me accidentally finding a bug in a version of Visual Studio I've never used that, thankfully, made me look probably ten times more adept than I have any right to seem.

Also, what is it with HR people and muffins? I think I've eaten five muffins today. Maybe that's the look on my face.
 
 
VaelynPhi
22 November 2010 @ 11:45 am
 
 
VaelynPhi
20 November 2010 @ 09:34 pm
Apparently Apple has already solved The Hard Problem of ConciousnessStupidity.
 
 
VaelynPhi
20 November 2010 @ 07:54 pm
Read more...Collapse )
 
 
 
VaelynPhi
17 November 2010 @ 02:23 pm
Apparently anosognosia is suffering from a dictionary disorder, as he seems to have forgotten what 'luddite' means. Especially odd is how disconnected his 'definition' is from the actual origin of the word.
 
 
VaelynPhi
17 November 2010 @ 03:19 am
I'm pretty sure anyone whose primary objection against computational theories of mind is that symbol manipulation is insufficient to produce complex effects also has no idea how computer programming works or what kinds of wicked things one can do with a few simple words and a compiler.
 
 
VaelynPhi
16 November 2010 @ 01:58 pm
 
 
VaelynPhi
13 November 2010 @ 05:19 am


I wonder how long it took before this occurred to someone. This is how my life feels about now.
 
 
VaelynPhi
12 November 2010 @ 05:34 pm


So, thanks to zimzat I now have a domain name and a place to whore outadvertise my programmatic talents. (He was modest about the gift, but for someone in my position it's worth more than gold.) Of course, this also means I have to figure out *what* to put there!

Oh dear.

I'm going to put up something that hopefully approximates not crap this weekend, so I can start pointing prospectives there. I'll be taking requests, suggestions, and unwarranted threats for clever or useful devices I can put into code and post.
 
 
 
VaelynPhi
10 November 2010 @ 06:09 pm
Perhaps I'm just being cruel here, but I think this is an amazing example of credulity by someone who should have known better. Techdirt reports:

When asked to remove the virus from the laptop, Mr. Bedi allegedly told Mr. Davidson that his computer had in fact been attacked with a virus so virulent that it also damaged Datalink's computers, according to prosecutors.
Mr. Bedi told Mr. Davidson that he had tracked the source of the virus to a remote village in Honduras and that Mr. Bedi's uncle, purportedly an officer in the Indian military, had traveled there in a military aircraft and retrieved the suspicious hard drive, prosecutors said.
In addition, Mr. Bedi told the victim that his uncle had uncovered an assassination plot against Mr. Davidson by Polish priests tied to Opus Dei, according to prosecutors...


Oh, *really?* Opus Dei? WTF? Evil techies bilking rich idiots by scamming is terrible, but beyond suggesting installing Norton and a bunch of useless shite (which companies like Best Buy and Office Depot get away with all the time), I hadn't imagined any such scams had reached the level of The Fucking Da Vinci Code!
 
 
 
VaelynPhi
04 November 2010 @ 02:41 am


I feel like I was just smacked in the face with an orchestra.
 
 
VaelynPhi
01 November 2010 @ 05:41 pm

I still think this is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
 
 
VaelynPhi
29 October 2010 @ 11:50 am
Hah!  
No one dies of Scrofula!