Sunday, January 28, 2007

Book status

The draft is currently 266 pages long. Five chapters are complete, chapter 6 is about 30% done.

The thing is that I will be extremely busy during the coming months, so I won't be able to write as much as I wanted to write before my April 1st deadline. Thus, I have decided that I will give myself 4 more months to finish writing all that I want to write.

I hope this is not a disappointment and that you can understand the motivation for this delay.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Another boundary has been crossed

I've been offered the opportunity to work at Cincom on VisualWorks' VM, and I have accepted it.

I have worked with Cincom's clients, and I know first hand how much trust goes into what I will work with. I am looking forward to take on this unique challenge --- both because of the fun and because of the responsibilities. It is a golden opportunity that I do not want to miss.

More to come...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Calculating n!

One can calculate n! with n-1 multiplications and n-1 additions.

But one can also do so with about n/2 multiplications and n additions. How is this possible?

Also, does anybody know an even better way?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

On change and the crossing of boundaries

As others have said before, I insist on paying attention to distinctions. They are these regions in which we cluster similar values, separated from other regions in which we cluster different values. In an information space, processes that travel in it induce attractors in the space by means of their intentions because their effective trajectories tend towards them. By mapping the attractors of the space, one can draw distinctions in it by drawing where the separatrices between the attractor basins are.

Being aware of all this makes you look at things from a particular point of view. Change, in particular, this act of crossing a boundary, becomes a most strange phenomenon. When you leave someone behind at an airport, for example, there is a time when you are with the other person, then a moment when you are no longer with the person but when changing your mind is still possible, and a moment when going back becomes impossible without considerable effort.

Such is our experience of crossing distinctions and moving from one attractor basin to the next. A time of approaching the boundary, a time when our direction does not feel clear because we are equally influenced by similarly powerful attractors, and a time when one of those attractors becomes dominant again.

As I write these lines, finally... the first glimpse of exactly what is a process begins to come clear. And with it, the understanding that it is not possible to go against the current and try to escape your attractor directly. But if you change, you induce different attractors in the space, and the new attractors move you in the space.

Change, and the crossing of boundaries --- what an adventure!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Third presentation in Buenos Aires

I forgot... I also presented Writing Truly Efficient Smalltalk at a computer security company in Buenos Aires before coming back. There is so much to do --- I feel I need an assistant!!!

Go Book Go!

After addressing a number of itches I had with regards to Fermat's factoring method (and 4 alternative approaches I found to be just as interesting)... I went back to writing the book.

It had been some time already, the last draft said December 22... well, now the draft reaches 262 pages. It's going well, but of the 12 chapters I had thought about I will probably have to cut back to 8 or so. I have no time to pursue all the things I wanted to explore before the deadline arrives, so I think I will leave them for the next book.

Back to getting the latest stuff out of the laptop and into this computer so I can write some more.

Welcome to a new era of disinformation

In the time I have been in the US, I have had a chance to see many of its beautiful places. They are most enjoyable because the National Park Service keeps them nice for everybody, and because people that care for them are a vast majority.

Something I also like of the parks in the US is that they have plaques and legends that explain the processes by which what you see came to be in the first place. For example, Crater Lake has a pumice desert --- and proper explanations of how it was created. Steens Mountains have several such instructional boards that teach you rudimentary geology and, well, science in general.

If you know about what you are seeing, you will enjoy it much better. Multnomah Falls, the Columbia River Gorge, Larch Mountain, Mount Hood, Black Butte, Three Sisters, the beautiful redwood forests of northern California, Silverfalls Park... they are all perfect examples of what is waiting for us in our backyard.

But check this out: the Grand Canyon was created via Noah's flood, according to action and inaction by some people currently employed at the NPS. And note the NPS is not to blame here. The NPS is some abstract entity with a name. The issue here is that some people, with first and last names, are not complying with our laws.

The beautiful parks we have in this country, as well as ourselves, do not deserve such a disservice. As a tax payer, I demand that whoever is responsible for this mess is fired immediately. Division Between Government And Church 101, anyone?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Different city, different rythms

So, some friends of mine have been having fun writing Python games in a week. And not just silly games with nonsense rules or whatever...

... how about this one? Perform arithmetic with steam pressure in a The Incredible Machine fashion. Complete with gfx, music, intro, and everything else. Note also this particular one has a lengthy introduction as well.

The game has 6 levels. Division by 2 is essentially a T pipe, so no problem there. But what if you are asked to subtract one number from another? And what about multiplication???... multiplication, you say?!?!? How do you do that with steam pipes!?!??

Well, there you go. A game a week keeps your mind healthy. The link will be available shortly.