The Japanese are at it again– now they’ve given a robot the capacity to feel pain.
And while some think that this is an event that can be predicted, I’ve always been of the opinion that we won’t see it coming– the change will already be upon us when the cultural epiphany strikes. Check out this article about using a “position-tracking system” to control your Second Life avatar.
It’s a short jump to brainwaves, folks.
I found this to be hilarious:
US Seeks Mideast Deal Next Year
Yeah, y’know, that problem they’ve been having over there for the last, oh, I dunno, 12 hundred years or so? Oh it’s longer? Well, whatever, we’re just gonna let it go until ’08. Cuz we figure, y’know, could take care of it now, but then we’ll just be bored from like February until April next year.
But then it’s baseball season, and we DEFINITELY wanna get it cleared up by then…
After a typically vaguely-worded meeting that I had with my fellow fin aid advising staff last week, I had the distinct impression that I would NOT be getting the three days off that I requested between Christmas and New Year’s.
The uni is a graveyard during that time. Sure, you can get a lot done, but if there is nothing to do, you just get angry that you had to go in.
Turns out my expectations were unnecessarily low. I will be leaving work on 12/21 at 4:30, and I won’t have to be back until 1/2. Pretty nice.
I guess this means I can continue to blow off cleaning my wretchedly disgusting apartment, since I’m not anticipating a lot of visitors until 12/31.
And on THAT– more to come soon…
It always amazes me that there’s a large sector of students who believe the campus is only operational when classes are in session. A common exchange this time of year:
TRANSFER STUDENT: I’m really concerned that I haven’t heard anything about my spring aid yet.
ME: Well, there’s still plenty of time. It’s pretty common to be at this stage right now…
STDT: But aren’t you like, off all through January?
ME: (laughing) No, we’ll be here.
STDT: Oh, I thought the whole place was closed…
I think this perception just speaks to the general ignorance of the administrative side of the university for the students. I think it’s more common for them to think of “college” as their classes and homework, maybe with a little res hall sprinkled in. It wouldn’t surprise me if a student thought that their professors were more involved in the actual operation of the university. But I do not care to digress today.
If anyone out there is concerned about the WGA’s strike throwing a wrench in the consumption of your stories, please see the following:
3. already-available DVDs
4. (going out on a limb here) READ A BOOK!
I (and I think most sensible people agree with me) am vastly more concerned about the potential screeching halt of the entire economy of southern California. It will be interesting to see how this plays out– for the time being, my best regards to everyone I know who works in The Industry.
Speaking of writers on strike, you may be wondering where the hell I’ve been. Had some psyche-shaking events transpire in recent weeks that lent themselves to extended periods of introspection (that and the 4-day hiatus to the web-challenged Northwoods). I think things are better now, so maybe I’ll get off my dead ass and be more productive.
Maybe I could start writing for TV.
Jen stopped by last night to pick up a CD while Michelle was making dinner and I was working on laundry. One of the things she mentioned is that the place is still not completely put together, and she speculated that my general ambivalence about living there is the problem.
That is true, in part.
The other part, to be completely honest, is the level of “computer-hobbying” that I’ve been doing at home ever since I moved to Milwaukee. Honestly, it is partly just a coincidence of timing– right about the time I got hired at UWM, I switched my daily use OS on the laptop over to Ubuntu. Linux is so flexible, and so many people are working on writing software and doing tweaks of this or that, it tends to make a geek want to experiment and try new things. Sometimes that means you break something and have to start over. Other times, it spurs you on to think of other things to try or to mess with.
In that sense, then, Windows is GREAT. Windows, as an operating system, is so boring and rigid and unchangeable, there’s really not much reason or influence to entertain yourself tweaking the system and messing around with it. Sure, you can (and I have) dick around with the way it looks, or you can hunt for free software, but eventually the computer is just a tool and there’s not much else to do with it. You turn it off and go do something else.
I have to get myself to do that more often, even though I’ve always got some new project I want to try. If I don’t, not only will my apartment never get completely set up, my thesis will never get completely written.