The State of the Garden

Despite not keeping up to date with posts, I have been progressing with Markov Garden. Whilst enjoying my vacation in the ancestral homeland, I worked mostly on the appearance aspect, which I’m not very good at, but I think the results have been alright.

As I have noted elsewhere, I am deeply concerned about the homogenization of the internet, so I have been trying to find a look that isn’t too in keeping with the temper of the times. After sort of wandering around a bit, I decided that I’d try to work on something based on this amazing Luibov Popova textile design.

I love this because it is organic, but that doesn’t prevent it from boldly facing the future. Unfortunately, as I’m not much of an HTML-ologist, I found myself compromising in ways that undermined the value. After a little more exploration (for which I think I’m really getting a lot out of Pinterest, despite its sloppy design principles) I came upon this Jean Arp image.

This is an easier stylistic guide, although I’m still trying to incorporate influences from the Popova. Right now the thing runs the risk of looking a little mod, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to get past that. I want something that reflects optimism about progress without having to refer to it explicitly.

Oops, I Forgot

I meant to put this picture of Portland institution Beulahland in the previous post.

I’m pretty sure that I’m well enough for Kung Fu tonight, so maybe that will help me get past this overwhelming sense of ennui. The Sifu just got back from Thailand recently, so maybe we’ll just drill. That would probably the best possible thing for me. Nothing quite like kicking for overwhelming ennui, right?

Markov Garden is a little behind. I’m looking through it to find places where I can get it to tell me about itself. The tables mentioned here are a good start, but they’re still pretty overwhelming, and the HTML documents build to display them are literally 50 times the size of the input texts. That’s not necessarily a deal breaker (the tables won’t be part of the published project), but it does mean that figuring out where I can make things more accessible requires a lot of thinking.

Periodically I need to remind myself that this is something that I’m doing in addition to my job/other life concerns/etc. I have been prone to despairing about the fact that I haven’t published the damn thing already, which is clearly about as counterproductive as a thought can be. Here’s the resolution: I’m going to work on it tonight after class, and then after that I’m going to use the parser as-is, regardless of its state, and work on putting some of it up on EC2. Even if things are still a wreck, shifting gears should keep me facile in a way that will make an eventual breakthrough easier than focusing too hard on one thing.

Will and Representation

So today was kind of theoretical for the most part. I drew a big diagram for something I need to take care of going forward. To be more specific, I outlined how I’d get an easy to read representation of the probability table once it has been built. The reason for this is that right now there is now way to check that the overall structure is working the way that I’d like it to. At some point (like hopefully tomorrow) I have to find a very short document, figure out what I’d like the table built from it to look like by hand, and then compare it to the results from my parser. This will be daunting, but I think it will also be very satisfying.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Ulysses, by James Joyce — I — Stately, plump Buck Mulligan brought up a nation for I’m living in the art of feudalism as Walt Whitman called it, is gathering together a sheaf of our spirit. We are praying now for the press. –If Bloom were here, the professor said, coming forward. The key scraped round harshly twice and, when it was all about. Wonderful organisation certainly, goes like clockwork. Confession. Everyone wants to. Then I will tell us at doomsday leet. But a long way along the North Circular from the crown and peace

Speaking of not being sure that things are working correctly: the HTML parser is clearly broken, and only the fact that running it takes a million years has kept me from noticing that. Well, at least there is an obvious problem to track down.

The Stupid Past, The Stupid Future

I gave up on reading Great Expectations. The sanctimony overcame the quirky humor, and I couldn’t be bothered to keep track of what was going on any more. Now I’m reading Wuthering Heights, mostly because of Hark, a Vagrant. It’s way better, although every single character is totally fucking loathsome. Almost as bad as Austen, in that regard.

Speaking of loathsome, the previously observed race to the bottom of the Facebook-UI-emulation barrel continues apace with Gmail and WordPress’ control panel being the latest things that I use to become completely fucking horrible. It’s enough to make me hope that rich fucks do in the global economy completely so I’ll be too poor to see it get any worse.

Why I Hate My Industry

So Apple has announced a fancy new phone, but it’s not as fancy as people wanted it to be.

From this BBC story, marketing jagoff Gregory Roekens:

But in terms of style, it was underwhelming. People were expecting iPhone 5, but instead it’s almost fixing the weaknesses the previous phones had.

I’m glad that we can all agree that the way forward for tech companies is to follow the worst possible practices in order to impress morons and marketers. Also, Siri is. . . a pretty crazy new feature, and if you’re pshing it because you want a fancier case, you’re a fucking idiot (again.)