Update on Joke

January 31, 2007

Clearly my joke didn’t get quite the reception I thought it would. I can think of two reasons for this: one, I botched the first section. It should be “The computer scienstist started,” not “The mathematician started.” Kind of kills the whole “zero and one” part.

My second guess is that the two negative comments come from engineers, and clearly engineers turn up looking the best in this joke. :) I’m just kidding, you guys. You know I love you!


I hope you all enjoy your sleep-y time. I might forego that tonight. Why not, right?

Warning: Nerd Joke

January 31, 2007

My Discrete professor told a joke today that I thought was worth sharing. So without further ado:

One day, a computer scientist, an engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician were brought together in a conference room. They were given the task of proving that all odd numbers are prime.

The computer scientist started, “Zero, one. Hm, both of them are prime. Therefore all odd numbers are prime!”

The engineer began to count, “One, three, five, seven, nine, eleven, thirteen… yep, all primes so far. Therefore, all odd numbers are prime.”

The physicist, catching onto the engineer’s error, counted, “One, three, five, seven, nine, eleven… well, one, three, five, seven, and eleven are all prime. The nine must be due to experimental error! Therefore, all odd numbers are prime.”

The mathematician simply left the room, shaking his head.

I know, I know. One isn’t a prime number. And zero isn’t technically even or odd. But we had to put them in there to make the joke.


January 29, 2007

Extroverts should understand that if someone is being quiet it doesn’t mean they’re having a bad time; it doesn’t mean they’re depressed; it doesn’t mean they’re lonely or need psychiatric help or medication.

~ Jonathan Rouche, from Introverts of the World, Unite!
I was reminded of this article while writing my own. I love this article. Once again, it articulates my feelings better than I could hope to.

Warning: You’re entering the land of metaphor, analogy, and science. This combination may be dangerous. Proceed with extreme caution. This ride is not for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. Side effects may include insomnia, narcolepsy, diarrhea, decreased sexual desire, dry throat, and death. Please ask your doctor if this treatment is right for you.

Eureka! Breakthrough! It all makes so much sense to me now! I’ve found that “Theory of Everything” necessary to explain human interaction. A grand scheme to explain it all.

Or at least me. And in the end, who else should I care about? You’re a closed box to me. I’m a closed box to me. The only difference is I might have a key to my box.

Stay with me here. This is important. This explains me. This is the ultimate explanation of my behavior. If you understand this post, you understand the inner and outer workings of anything I’ve ever done or will ever doing. You know who I am more than I myself might know. So let’s go:

It starts with chemistry. [Have the new viewers left yet?] Thermodynamics, to be more specific. The thermodynamics of relationships. Before I get into the metaphor, it’s important that you have a grasp on the actual science. In that case, I advise that you scrounge up your notes from 10th grade Chemistry. I can think of no better explanation. But in case you burned those like you said you would [heathens!], here’s my primer.

There are three fundamental laws governing energy in the universe. Truth be told, this post has nothing to do with any of them in a direct way. What this post will discuss is the concept of Gibb’s Free Energy. Free energy, G, is the energy in a system available to do work. ∆G, read delta [or change in] G, our best friend on this adventure, tells us whether or not a reaction releases or takes in energy. For our purposes, a negative ∆G corresponds to a reaction that can occur spontaneous, while a positive ∆G corresponds to a reaction that requires additional energy to begin. Your body decaying? -∆G. You being born? +∆G. The circle of life [zaaaaaaa zaaaaaaa bimyaaaaaa]: 0 ∆G.

Only one more component until we have the complete theory [as far as I’m concerned]. Activation energy. E sub A. The energy necessary to get from the reactants to the products. That final push that gets the components to do the tango, come out the other end, and curtsy in a completely different form. Because even a spontaneous reaction doesn’t have to happen. It will, given enough time [if you have the billions of years to wait], but you don’t have the time. You need the activation energy.

And now we have [most of] the parts necessary for my theory. The thermodynamics of relationships. Relational dynamics, if you will. All the same pieces in place: ∆G, the likelihood of any sort of relationship / friendship forming; activation energy, the bit of energy necessary to actually form the relationship. That’s it. Two variables and you have it all. Now for the explanation.

[Note: This regards interactions with myself and the world. While I imagine this metaphor can be expanded to cover many more people than the minority of me, I have no data on you, so your mileage may vary.]

If most relationships have the chance of happening, then they all have a negative ∆G. I imagine that some human relationships may have a positive ∆G, but that’s an extreme case. No matter how small -∆G is, it’s still existent.

So that leaves activation energy. I imagine that varies greatly across the population. In a bell curve sort of distribution. Some people are outliers. Others lie in the middle. Most, in fact, lie near the middle.

I myself, do not. I live in one of the outliers, the one lying towards a very large E sub A. I make myself at home there, in the area of the graph now easily labeled introversion [this will all make sense as I continue]; but the neighbors don’t tend to leave me alone. They’d rather try to push me towards the other end. Now a bit more information.

If activation energy pertains to whether or not a reaction [relationship] will happen in the near term, then a person with a high relational activation energy will find themselves much less likely to make friendships. The ∆G may be something completely attainable. The high activation energy person may perfectly enjoy most of the people in their life. The effort may seem minimal. But the activation barrier will set up a more or less insurmountable barrier.

In more relational terms, activation energy for me is getting to the point that I find interacting with you more interesting than interacting with myself. This may sound strange to someone that’s not introverted. And it shouldn’t be taken as an insult. I enjoy all forms of interaction with all forms of people. But all things considered, I get most of my ENERGY, my joy, my happiness, from my internal world. That internal world MAY involve communicating with others through writing or reading or any other mode of non-personal communication, but it still involves residing in my own personal internal world. Any trips out of that world, while refreshing, are at the same time exhausting unless you and I have reacted. Unless we’ve already gotten over the E sub A hump that makes communication between me and you so painful (to me).

There’s so much more I have to say about this, but I think I’ve already gone on too long. And yet said just enough to make me look like a giant asshole. Sigh. I realize this “revelation” may seem trivial to all you out there, but you couldn’t imagine the light it’s shed on how my internal landscape and external relationships interact to create my life.

Look for more posts on this in the future as I further flesh out the idea. Some thoughts to consider: catalysts, increasing temperature, and other extenuating circumstances. And a view of my (school) life from this relatiodynamic perspective.

Truly, namaste.

PS If you’re reading this, chances are pretty good that we’ve already “reacted.” I don’t want you to think that I think of my friendships in these dry terms: I don’t. I just found this metaphor too powerful an explanatory model to leave by the roadside. Stay with me as I flesh this out, and maybe you’ll have something to help explain your own behavior [or at least understand mine more].

Empty the cup…

January 28, 2007

Of course your psyche is fractured and broken. Isn’t that the whole point of all this. That there is no whole, only a giant hole. And every step you take to try and fill that hole will only lead to wasted effort. Isn’t that all that this all is, a giant effort to try and do the impossible because we don’t quite get, in any way worth not(h)ing that this is impossible. That trying to fill up the hole left by our “soul” that doesn’t really exist only wastes efforts we might put towards something resembling what really is. Isn’t the greatest gag of all time that all our efforts towards making ourself more whole can only start to scratch the surface of that hole.

January 28, 2007

I know the pieces fit cuz I watched them fall away
Mildewed and smoldering. Fundamental differing.
Pure intention juxtaposed will set two lovers souls in motion
Disintegrating as it goes testing our communication
The light that fueled our fire then has burned a hole between usso
We cannot see to reach an end crippling our communication.

I know the pieces fit cuz I watched them tumble down
No fault, none to blame it doesn’t mean I don’t desire to
Point the finger, blame the other, watch the temple topple over.
To bring the pieces back together, rediscover communication

The poetry that comes from the squaring off between,
And the circling is worth it.
Finding beauty in the dissonance.

There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away.
Mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting
I’ve done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing
Doomed to crumble unless we grow, and strengthen our communication.

Cold silence has a tendency to atrophy any
Sense of compassion
Between supposed lovers
Between supposed brothers

~ Schism by Tool

Thanks, Dave, for reminding me of this great song. And for turning me on to Tool in the first place.

I find that Tool’s much like an onion: the more layers I unravel, the more I find.

And what I find never fails to impress me.

Only from a master…

January 24, 2007

Yeah, so, us Chi kids can be funny.

But Ze Frank one ups us. He’s a master at the art of euphemism. And much more subtle…

Man, if only I could play with my Wii RIGHT NOW…


And so it is. How about that. Life just keeps it coming.

What am I talking about? Three strange ideas I’ve had of late that have managed to work their way deep into my intercranial space and jar themselves around. Namely: (!) the method of experimentation in every day life, {??} the usefulness of talking to myself [or as I like to call it, internal monologue], and […] the three p’s of perfection: practice, practice, practice.

Okay, so these ideas may seem a little unrelated to you. But that’s clearly because you’re not me. And don’t have my brain. And therefore don’t have my mind. Which scatters these sorts of things together into some sort of über-theme that rings out throughout the symphony of my life.

But I digress. One at a time, now:

I’ve found that a lot of the improvements in my life have resulted from random chance modifying my daily routine, a modification that I then decide to keep because of its beneficial nature. Evolution of the mediocre? Maybe, but let me give you an important example. Have you ever tried to drink out of a water bottle? No?! Okay, well, just stick with me, then. You know how when you’re drinking out of a water bottle and you put the whole thing in your mouth [hehehe… “whole thing in your mouth”… hehehe…] and begin to suck [{you get the idea}], the bottle caves in on itself due to pressure differences caused by the sucking [] of air? And then when you stop drinking, the bottle makes that annoying pop sound announcing to the whole room that you’ve been drinking? How annoying!

Well, once I had a sore in the top lip of my mouth, and therefore that method of drinking was not viable. So, while messing around with ways of drinking to reduce pain, I found out that by placing the bottom of the bottle-top on my lower lip, and the top of the bottle-top under my upper lip, I could achieve the same imbibation without spilling OR popping. Brilliant! And all this thanks to a silly little mouth soar. I’ll never drink out of my water bottle the same way again!

So that (well, maybe not that) got me to thinking about my life as a whole. Most of the things I do today that put me ahead of the pack [like drinking out of my water bottle in the Dave Darmon Method©, or using a timer to push myself to do things, or using a drop down todo list to get this entry written] have resulted from random chance occurrences that stuck. Which got me thinking further [as you can see, a lot of thinking went into this post!] about whether or not I could intentionally go about mixing things up to see how else I could optimize my life! My life as an experiment. A pretty novel idea!

Think about it: how much of the things you do in your life are of conscious volition? How much of what you do every day did you DECIDE to do CONSCIOUSLY? Not much, right? At least, in my case, I find myself on autopilot, navigating the skies of my life as if they’re some sort of fixed object.

Why not mix things up?

Of course, mixing things up will lead to turbulence. It will lead to a bruised ego. And it may lead to everyone and no one thinking I’m a pure, utter, douche (why the f#&$ do you use military time / eat a vegan diet / use the European method of recording the date, etc?). But that’s something I’ll just have to deal with. Heck, I already do!

I don’t know what the first course of experimental action should be. I suppose it should be something relatively trivial that I can hone my abilities on. Like how I brush my teeth. Or maybe how I comb my hair. Or possibly how I dress myself in the morning. All viable options.

If anyone has a suggestion, feel free to shoot it over here.

And no, saying, “Jeese, Dave, you’re pretty [insert your insult here] does not count! :)

Part 1: Experimentation: A Trip into the Unknown
Part 2: Talking to My Self: Are You Talkin’ to Me?
Part 3: The 3 P’s: Practice, Practice, Practice, Pra….

First, watch this video.

Then go to this site.

I must say, this guy must have some BIG (Bigoted, Ignorant [of science], and Guilty) CHOPS to put this sort of stuff up and expect that “[he’s] gonna make a splash.”

Just further proof that internet lets EVERYONE in. Which I’m all for! But I’m also all for making fun of the poor bastard that believes this shit. The KKK fell because they lost their credibility through humor. Maybe the same can happen with Christianism…

Oh, and to end my speech, God Bless America*.

* Because apparently you can’t end a speech in this country without invoking our “Fag Hating” God. ;<

The Future… Maybe

January 23, 2007

This is a pretty inspiring video.

If only the future really happens that way. Here’s me crossing my fingers.