Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I am feeling of low mind

I can't quite understand how the Large Number Championship would work. A few key parameters aren't specified by the description I have, such as what sorts of notations are allowed, and if the contestants are allowed to define new notations, what standards govern their introduction, but that's not what's confusing me, as far as I can tell.

My first thought was something using Knuth's up arrow notation, and I felt pretty happy about that. It felt good, albeit not professional caliber, until I realized it was actually just someone else's idea.

So, the problem is that the contestants know the ins and outs of not only Knuth's notation but Conway's much more powerful chained arrow notation and any other demoniacal inventions out there (non-computable functions!!!!). It's quite plausible that they'll have prepared something entirely new for the contest. If so, they'll have to have a good method of determining which of the numbers is larger on the spot, which I find a mind-blowing task.

Monday, January 15, 2007

My first semester is over

This is how I feel. But I'm unsure whether I'm Roast Beef or Ray. Usually I'm Beef, but maybe today I'm Ray?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sort of about music

I've been away from the blog for so long that firefox deleted its URL
from my history. In order to ease back slowly, here's something content-free.

When I was in middle school my dad decided to make things easy on
himself, and at a pre-appointed hour, would enter my room, turn on my stereo, and leave. At that point in my life, I was embarrassed by making my preferences publicly known and only listened to music using headphones and a portable player. So it was three months of Greenday's Insomniac. This was a very bad time. Nevertheless, my dad had the right idea. Waking up is the most unpleasant part of my day, and to compound that by involving an alarm clock would be too dreadful to contemplate. In contrast, my computer is very considerate about the entire process, gradually increasing the volume over the course of five minutes (alarm clock plug). So here are a few songs I've used in the past.

  • Radiohead - Everything in Its Right Place
  • Xploding Plastix - Treat Me Mean I Need the Respect
  • Ratatat - Seventeen Years
  • Nirvana - ??

I listened to these four in sequence.

  • Radiohead - Everything in Its Right Place
  • Gorillaz - Last Living Souls
  • Mogwai - Golden Porsche
  • The Orb - Earth Orbit One - Little Fluffy Clouds
  • Tortoise - TNT

Of these, I recommend any of the standalone songs, though don't try Gorillaz for the first time when you have anything important to do--I always slept
through it. After being woken up by a song for long enough, it
will tend to wear on you: to some extent, that's what happened to me
with the Radiohead and Mogwai, so the Orb and Tortoise are new
additions: hopefully I can find a few more to put into a rotation. Any

Incidentally, you're going to want to get the Xploding Plastix album and listen to it constantly.