knaveofstaves: A picture of an interpretation of the Knight of Wands Tarot card featuring the Egyptian God Thoth (Default)
The more I code my programs for comp sci, the more I am reminded how easy it is to pull things apart. We've been working with the bubble sort algorithm and variations on it. The latest program involved dynamic memory and (in my case) a potentially big ass vector. The kicker was that after I'd sorted the vector, which contained strings of characters input by the user, I had to do a binary search to see if a new string input by the user was in the vector. And

NO MATTER WHAT I DID

I could make the binary search screw up. I know the program's close because it works under what you'd consider "normal" circumstances. But throw enough variations on a, aa, and aaa at it combined with variations in case and eventually it's like, "ap is missing from the list".

No it's NOT. It's at index six you stupid ...

sigh.

SO much easier to find bugs than fix them. SO much easier to destroy than to create. SO totally not news to anybody who's worth a damn.
knaveofstaves: A picture of an interpretation of the Knight of Wands Tarot card featuring the Egyptian God Thoth (Default)
Throughout my long history with DART, I have, of course, always hated how slow traveling across the system is. But BUT it is ALMOST as annoying that their motherfucking phone system DEFAULTS to using voice recognition. Like ninety-percent* of your freaking customers are standing about five feet from fucking TRAFFIC. I like having the option. I CAN ALMOST NEVER USE IT WITHOUT IT FRAKKING THINGS UP BECAUSE IT THINKS THE CARS ARE TALKING TO IT.

huff huff

I spent most of today coding a program for my computer science class. The assignment was to implement a program that plays Conway's Game of Life. Took all day because I apparently don't understand if statements yet. Got it working though. Then after I'd emailed it to my professor, I tinkered with it some more.

See, at first I had several versions of the code that sort of looked like they were working except that they were actually killing living cells that had two living neighbors. I finally ended up with a program that had all sorts of nested if else statements. Ugly as hell. Went back in and paired it down and FINALLY figured out a way to get it to work with code resembling my original "vision". Is vision the right word? Whatever.

Works baby. And no if elses. Take THAT.

Quote of the Day:
"i'm sorry
i could not understand you"
-The DART phone system


*all statistics based exclusively on fury and are not meant to represent real world numbers
knaveofstaves: A picture of an interpretation of the Knight of Wands Tarot card featuring the Egyptian God Thoth (Default)
I accidentally blew up the universe again the other day. Happens to me a lot when I start messing around with notions I have no educational background in. This specific instance came on the heels of some thoughts about random number generation and went a little something like this:

There is simply no way to generate a perfectly random number from an unbounded set. Let x equal any real number. Let r equal the random number, and let S equal the set of all real numbers, (-∞, ∞). So the probability that the absolute value of x is greater than the absolute value of r is infinitely small. Thus, for any value of x, r is greater, which means r is infinite, and thus not an actual number. I think. So I would presume that random number generation involves at all times a bounded set, even if that set is craaaaaazy large. Times like this, my mathematical vocabulary, and - y'know - actual understanding of mathematics, fails me.

Anyway, let's take what we know from the preceding and apply it to a thought exercise. I have a magical computer, which can perform any computational task regardless of the task's complexity or possibility (vocab inadequacy err code: blah de blah). Thus, the magical computer can generate a perfectly random number - r - regardless of the fact that that's impossible. Here's the problem, the magical computer now either sits there holding r in its magical innards and doing nothing with it (thus devolving into an uninteresting tree-falls-in-a-forest phenomenon), or it proceeds to transfer r's value to a nonmagical recipient. As shown above, r is boundless despite being a single value, so there are two results. One, the universe dies before the value of r finishes being displayed to the recipient, or two, the universe explodes because it can't contain all of the necessary ... I dunno mass? paper? DAMMIT ... that r is encoded on. More accurately, the medium r is encoded on requires infinite mass and the universe probably collapses into a black hole or something. Grarr!

And that's where the thought process usually shuts itself off and renders its results as jokes or something. Basically, I can't wrap my head around things, sometimes, and it's frustrating. A lot of this stuff isn't ever going to be my field or anything, but that doesn't mean I don't find it interesting to think about. I actually spend a lot of time comforting myself with remembrance of a conversation I had with Bork once. This was about a year, year-and-a-half ago, and I was commenting on the difficulties I was having linking certain images I have of contemporary lifestyles with the image of participants in a starfaring civilization. At one point, Bork commented that part of my trouble might be that I wasn't taking into account that such participants would likely be more and more specialized in occupational/intellectual/social pursuits as compared to today. It actually ties into a theme I've been interested in for awhile, which wonders how people in a transtellar civilization might manage to find a sense of personal identity and self-worth amidst the endless tidal wave of (in this case) humanity.

Anyway, brain splodey. Nothing to show for it too, because I have no way of knowing if I'm on to something and expect that I am actually not. It did conjure a funny image in my head of mathematicians walking around with scarlet lemniscates sewn into their clothing.

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knaveofstaves: A picture of an interpretation of the Knight of Wands Tarot card featuring the Egyptian God Thoth (Default)
Chad

May 2016

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