Older blog entries for amars (starting at number 366)

It's interesting to watch the campaigning done on Google. So far, it seems Clark (or perhaps his supporters) have embraced Google the most. A query for "Clark" yields a sponsored link at the top, no other candidates do this, not even Bush, additionally, there is a sponsored link on the right for Clark when you search for Gephardt and the link for Gephardt is a generic link for someone selling democratic campaign supplies for all candidates. Searching for Kucinich yields some more generic links not necessarily dedicated to Kucinich, which i find unfortunate, since he needs more attention, even if he has no chance of winning. Kerry yields nothing, not a damn thing, except the typical google search results. Sharpton has the most sponsored links, appropriately, for satire and such. Lieberman has nothing either.

Bush has nothing, but then again, why would he? Historically, he's shown that you don't need support from a majority to be elected President, and being the incumbent works to his advantage. Kind of makes me wonder why this already rich white illiterate drug-addicted draft-dodging warmongering liar needs so much money for his campaign this time? could it be because he's fucked up so badly that he needs to buy his way into the white house again?

Anyways, I hadn't intended on turning this into yet another Bush criticism, but it's hard not to do when i get on the subject.

After a lengthy conversation discussing a math problem with a friend, i realized it would be cool if there were an instant message client that supported TeX or MathML. seems like it would be reasonable to have an architecture to allow the user to run their conversation through a user defined filter, and then build MathML or TeX into that filter.

stevey: With the exception of the grid stuff, iChat does all of that. The contacts are integrated with the Address Book where yo ucan add all of that additional information and have contacts shared between groups. Unofrtunately (unless you have a mac) iChat is OS X-only, but i remember Trillian providing so much utility back when I used windows, i'm pretty sure it at least let you make aliases for your contacts.

29 Sep 2003 (updated 29 Sep 2003 at 03:26 UTC) »

No matter how hard I try, I can't kick my Coca-Cola habit. I really really want another can, but I know if I indulge, I will feel the pain in my left side that has become so familiar by now when I've had too much already. I've got some water heating for some Chai, hopefully that will prove a worth substitute.

deekayen: yet you can rape, murder, steal, vandalize, drive drunk, whatever and still remain in school *and* continue receiving financial aide.

In my brief experience with it, LaTeX is really cool. I can really see it's utility, since it takes all of the formatting out of writing and lets the writer focus on writing in a way that is comfortable for someone like me. It's a bitch to set up, but TeXShop helped.

ugh, I swear I must be the case study to prove Murphy's Law. Next week, Oct. 1, is the Radiohead concert I have been planning to attend since July. Yesterday, I received my take-home exam for the most important class i've ever taken, for which I have one week to complete. Since the Radiohead Concert will occupy, taking travelling and such into account, Tuesday night through Thursday morning, which means I essentially have until Tuesday to do this exam, for which I am horribly unprepared. Oh, and in addition to some crazy math I have to present my answer in LaTeX.

24 Sep 2003 (updated 24 Sep 2003 at 04:43 UTC) »

Life is expensive, especially when you end up working for free :(

I have calculated a conservative, approximate cost-of-living estimate over the past 12 months to be roughly $26/day, not including tuition. If i were to include tuition, it would be roughly $41/day or approximately $15,000/yr. Thats alot of money any way you look at it.

Compare this to, say, travelling. In my trips to México, I've been able to bring the daily cost down to between $20 and $25 per day, including food, transportation, lodging, recreation, etc... and would be lower if i were to pick a spot and stay for an extended period of time.

When I put things into perspective like that, it makes me think. Minimum salary for teaching english in an asian country like Taiwan or S. Korea is roughly $1500/mo where housing is either provided or is significantly cheaper than it is here. I need to check into salaries for teaching english in Latin American countries, but according to those figures, if i'm unable to find a job worth a damn (not likely) when i graduate, I might seriously consider going overseas to teach english for a year or two.

Even if I were to pick up some telecommuting programming work, I think it would be feasible to live in a foreign country, excluding Europe (too expensive), even if i had to move every six months or so for Visa reasons.

In fact, I would actually prefer to not be in this country after graduation because of political differences... i'm tired of watching rich old white men hold us hostage. I'll do as so many others do, get my education and leave, excepting of course my having been born here.

22 Sep 2003 (updated 22 Sep 2003 at 01:17 UTC) »
deekayen: I agree, it *IS* unfortunate I feel this way, it is a truly horribly depressing feeling to have lost faith in your government and I really, really wish I didn't feel this way... I wish I could confidently believe that there are people in The White House that are on my side. But until we restore democracy and have a President elected by a majority vote who carries out the will of the people, I doubt my feelings will change. For example, if, instead of spending $87 Billion dollars cleaning up the mess we made in Iraq, we spent the $87B on Education, we'd more than double the national Educational budget. According to projected budget costs and enrollment statistics, that would mean there would be approximately $11,000 extra for every full-time undergrad student in the US... that could pay for alot of scholarships, or at the very least would mean more investment in academia by the Federal Government. Or think about how many more people would be able to afford the medicine they need to live with an extra $87b. And that's ignoring the already tremendous cost of having waged war in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

back when i was ignorant and my views on politics were skewed, I used to complain about President Clinton, over issues like having american troops on foreign soil, bombing suspected terrorist organizations and domestic issues like healthcare and such. In retrospect, I feel guilty because when elections came around, i was more anti-gore than i was pro-bush... at the time, someone outside of the Clinton regime looked like a good alternative.

But now, things have changed. We love to criticise foreign dictators but before doing so, we should look at our own situation. Our "President" and head of military obtained power through non-democratic means. Never before has a President appeared before the American public and the world wearing a military uniform during presidency, yet Bush has made appeared on aircraft carriers wearing a fighter pilot uniform, several former presidents had prior military history, but Bushes brief time in the Texas Air National Guard hardly qualifies as much of a military history in comparison to, say, JFK who was a known war hero, yet never crossed that line during presidency. President Bush will consistently make biblical references in his speeches, even when criticising religious fanatics. Actions by President Bush have resulted in the imprisonment of innocent people, denial of rights to individuals based on unsubstantiated suspicion, wars have been waged based on false information, American Soldiers have died supposedly defending our freedom from Weapons of Mass Destruction which have been shown to be non-existent. Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden remain to be "on-the-loose" while domestic, non-violent citizens are terrorized by their own government. Yet, no one says a word, in fact, the people support this "president."

Why?

Sooner or later, I need to learn matlab, in fact I should already have a good grasp of it by now. What better way of learning something than by relating a problem to a game... I wrote a routine to check a n x n matrix as if it were a tic-tac-toe board for a winning scenario. 0 for blank, 1 for X and -1 for O, that way you can check for column sums, row sums and diagonal sums for n or -n. The code I wrote will work for a board of n x n dimensions, meaning that it can go beyond the typical 3 x 3 board.

I'd swear accomplishment is as good a replacement for drugs as anything.

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