If you've visited my home page before March 2001,
you may have noticed my "thought of the week" (depending on whether
I had thought of anything that week (-: ). As of March 2001,
I decided not to do that anymore, and whenever I happen to
think of something new and/or interesting, you'll find it here.
If you have any thoughts, comments, or questions about my thoughts,
please e-mail me at
- I think that if I could truly understand
what was going on in my head, I would be able to understand the
- "No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness." - Aristotle
- Cleaning up my old "thoughts of the week", here are
my thoughts on the 2000 U.S. election.
- Maybe I'm just special, but when I take a good look at my life, I find
that there are so many contradictions in what I do.
It's like I have no idea as to what I really want.
I think if I were able to resolve these contradictions, I could be a
really incredible person... [2001-03-25]
- I've just noticed it's really hard to come up with thoughts
if you really want to.
- Why do we call goldfish pets? You can't pet them.
- You know how, in Monty Python and the Holy Grail,
the keeper of the Bridge of Eternal Peril asks Sir Robin what the
capital of Assyria is? It's Assur, in case you ever need
to cross a bridge.
- I was thinking that this would be so neat: to find a place in
your house where the sun shines onto the floor, and create on that
bit of floor a mosaic using coloured glass, so when the sun shines
in, you'd (hopefully) get a really neat effect... [2001-04-11]
- One of the things that I often regret is that I spent $3.75 on
item X or $69.00 on item Y, when, as things turned out, I didn't
really need items X or Y. What I wonder is: What would have
happened to that $3.75 or that $69.00 if I hadn't spent it?
- The purpose of parties is, IMHO, to make sure that people keep
inviting you to their parties.
- The following thought comes after eating a few bags of (store
brand) potato chips. I think that all "flavours" of potato chips
are the same flavour, and they're just coloured differently.
- Are the people that watch Survivor really so dumb that they
don't notice the blatant product placement everywhere? I think,
though, that they missed a real opportunity last week. The
Australians should have sung the song "Drinking Bud Light with my mates"
(-:. Let me amend this point [2001-04-29]: I've noticed that
people are catching on now. I guess it had to be really blatant for
most telly watchers to even notice it, though.
- I was thinking about the different meanings of the word "forge".
You can forge a trail, but you can also forge documents. If you
forge a trail, are you just making up the whole thing?
- Maybe I'll make a slight modification to the mosaic idea that
I listed above: Instead of a mosaic, have a floor like that of a
disco that lights up. Perhaps get have the lights turn on and off
based on certain audio or tactile triggers... [2001-04-29]
- I would really like to create a radio that scans through all
stations and attempts to determine if the song that is currently
being played can be found in a collection of songs that I like.
That might require a bit of thought, but, hey, that's what this
page is for. (-:
- Have you ever noticed that it's impossible to do everything
on your "to do" list? Whenever you finish a few tasks on that
list, others always seem to come along to take their place.
- If you think that my thoughts are a little "weird", one of the
reasons may be that I often only present the end results of my
thought processes. I almost never give any intermediate thoughts
to get there. Without that context, I certainly would think that
some of these points appear unusual.
- Exciting things are things that happen to other people.
- Well, Survivor II is over and done. One thing that caught
my attention the other day was during the introduction, when
the narrator mentioned something along the lines of "building a
new world". Hello? I don't ever recall seeing anything like that.
What I think would be a great idea for a television show is if
a group of people spent 42 days actually doing something worthwhile,
something significant, something that will affect the world in ways
other than people's telly-viewing schedules.
- While I'm still on the topic of Survivor, may I suggest to anyone
from Australia that searching for those idols that were thrown in the
river could be a really profitable use of your time...
- "Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still
be a dog. Sigh! There's so little hope for advancement." - Snoopy
- We brag about the speed of communication nowadays. I feel that,
even with the Internet, there is a real problem connecting people to
the information that they really want to know. To take the example
that got me thinking about this, Douglas Adams died on Friday, May
11th. I didn't learn of this until Sunday evening, though. As well,
I read on douglasadams.com
tributes from several people who, for various reasons, didn't hear
until much later than that. I was on the Internet several times in
those two days, but didn't see anything. The Internet currently
doesn't do a good job of connecting me to the information I really
want to see. If you have ideas as to why or how to fix the problem,
please let me know.
- What would the Peanuts gang
be like when (if?) they grew up?
- Things have changed. They haven't necessarily changed for the
better or for the worse, but they have irrecovably changed.
- Although scientists aren't ever going to admit it, I think that
science really rests on several assumptions that can't be shown to
be true, most of which have to do with causality.
- What is it with people who don't capitalize "I" in their online
correspondence? Do they have low self-esteem? Poor grammar skills?
Do they think it's "cool"? Is their Shift key broken? If you have
a better reason than that, please let me know. [2001-07-08]
- I apologize if this is muddled, but it's so hot outside:
What people really seem to care about are things that affect them
directly, like people cutting them off or stuff like that. In other
words, people are selfish when it comes to caring about stuff.
Problem is, it's only thinking about oneself that causes things
like cutting other people off, causing a vicious circle here...
- A few weeks ago, I read an article that described someone as
"one hundred percent proof". I suppose they intended that to be
complimentary. I don't see it that way. To start with, 100% is
equal to 1. If you have 100% of a pie, you have one pie, right?
So the statement boils down to "one proof". In North America at
least, this translates to 0.5% alcohol content. So the author
seems to be comparing this person to near-beer. Not quite the
glowing reference that they intended, was it?
- I find those radio ads that say "safety starts with u" really
annoying. Everyone knows that safety starts with s, don't they?
- Perhaps no-one will ever know the exact time for the fastest
100 metres ever ran. Why? Perhaps because this was run under some
conditions, such as being chased by a lion, where stopwatches aren't
readily available and aren't the main thing on people's minds anyway.
- Hot weather seems to be quite discouraging to interesting thought.
- I've noticed an interesting contradiction in my life. Even though
on one level I think it's ridiculous to equate change with suicide, I
find that, no matter what choices I make, I feel that I'm killing off
possibilities in my life.
- I hope that one of the things learned from the terrorist attacks
on America on September 11th is that this sort of attack
is the wave of the future, so to speak, of mass violence. With that
in mind, large and prominent buildings are a liability. Furthermore,
they're less and less necessary nowadays, as decentralized working
environments are more and more possible, as the Internet revolutionizes
communications. In short, I believe that one of the best defences
against terrorism is decentralized workplaces. [2001-09-12]
- "And indeed, everyone who does wrong hates the light and avoids it,
for fear his actions should be revealed. But the man who lives the
truth comes out into the light, so that it may plainly be seen that
what he does is done in God" - John 3:20-21
- I've always thought that one of the reasons I've never used drugs
is to keep "entropy" as low as possible. See, if I've never used
drugs, and an opportunity arose where it would be beneficial to have
used them, I can always use them. However, if I did use drugs, and
there was an opportunity that arose where it would be beneficial to
not have used them - it's a lot harder to never have done
something if you've done it already.
- I really like being alone, but when I am alone I always forget why.
- Have you ever argued with someone with whom you share no common
ground? Pointless, isn't it?
- "Heaven help us if government ever gets into the business of
protecting us from ourselves." - Ronald Reagan, April 12, 1973
- I find that the sorts of stories that I really like are those
wherein the main character actually changes themselves during the
course of the story. I wonder whether that says something about me...
- "broad spectrum of meaning..."
- Has anyone else had the feeling that you get when you're listening
to one of the most incredible songs of all time? [2001-11-10]
- I was watching "60 Minutes" last night. I always seem to have
some problems watching this show because it not only always presents
cut-and-dried opinions, but also because the opinions it presents are
often opposite to my positions. Anyway... They had an article on
racial profiling of Arabs and seemed to present the view that it would
be a good idea when it comes to airport security. This is rubbish.
Even if you assume that most people who are terrorists are Arabs,
very few people who are Arabs are terrorists, so this would be a
total waste of money. To take an example that
the show used, approximately half of the people on the FBI's most
wanted list are named "Mohammed". If we flip that around, though,
Mohammed is the most common name in the world, with about 100,000,000
people sharing that name. The probability that someone is on the
FBI's most wanted list, given that their name is Mohammed,
is 22/100,000,000, or as close to zero as I care to get.
- The next article dealt with whether Martin Luther King Jr.'s
family should be allowed to hold the copyright on his speeches and
the rights to use his image, and be able to make money off of them.
The show seemed to indicate that they shouldn't.
Of course they should! They had very little when King was alive,
and King was a smart man to copyright those speeches, so it's only
right that his family gets something out of them.
If they didn't hold those rights, everyone
could go about using King's image for whatever purposes they wanted.
Even though I'm not American, I know that American advertising agencies
often use images of America's Founding Fathers to extremes (see this
article from the September, 1985
Consumer Reports for more on this). Holding the rights
to things prevents such problems. The show seemed to indicate that
the Martin Luther centre was misusing the money that was brought in by
selling rights to use King's image (as in that Alcatel commercial),
but that's a completely different issue and has nothing to do with
copyright laws. [2001-12-03]
- Ever wonder about what the difference between "Virgin Olive Oil"
and "Extra Virgin Olive Oil" is? I think I figured it out, just by
watching a Britney Spears (Speers?) video. Virgin olive oil is olive
oil that has never done it, just like Spears. Unlike her, however,
extra virgin olive oil not only hasn't done it, but also
acts in a manner that's at least somewhat consistent with that fact.
- Sometimes you can't just find it on the Internet: I heard on the
radio the other day that Yavahn, the vocalist in Ruffneck's hits
"Everybody Be Somebody" and "Move Your Body", died in 2001 of cancer.
If this is true (which I would think so), how come I can't find any
mention of this whatsoever anywhere on the Internet? [2002-01-13]
- Why does this "always" happen? Yesterday I had a really neat
idea for a thought to put here. This morning I couldn't remember
what that idea was, but had a new thought that I wanted to put here.
Now I can't remember either of them. [2001-01-20]
- From the spam files: another pyramid scam. I've seen these things
since I started using the Internet in 1996 (although in 1996 they
were mostly cross-posted to newsgroups). Do people never learn?
Even if they aren't illegal (which the spammer greatly emphasized),
they're really immoral. It's obvious they don't create any wealth,
and the money that one makes has to come from somewhere, namely
other suckers who join the scam a little too late.
- I think that the use of barter is going to increase in the future.
Why? Well, one of the problems with barter is that everything ends
up being priced not in terms of a currency, but rather in terms of
everything else. In the past, this would cause a problem because it
would be impossible to figure out what's the best buy. However, I
think that computers can solve this problem in the very near future.
- "He sat in the dark and worried.
How did you wake up a sleepwalker, anyway?
He recalled vaguely that it was said to be a very dangerous thing to do.
There were stories about people dreaming about being executed and then,
when someone had touched them on the shoulder to wake them up, their heads
had fallen off. How anyone ever knew what a dead person had been dreaming
was never disclosed." - Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures
- Okay, I'm a couple of weeks late on this one (I originally had this
thought on February 24th). As you may or may not know, I
live in Canada (at any rate, you know now). On the 24th,
after Canada won the gold medal in the men's hockey, there were large
amounts of vehicles driving around with Canadian flags flying out of
their cars. Would anyone have done this if the Bell ad that aired
during the olympics didn't have flags flying out of the window of
the SUV in the ad? Ah, the power of advertising. [2002-03-08]
- You know what would be a neat invention? A DVD rewinder.
- Looking at the logs of an HTTP server of mine, I haven't seen any
attempts to infect my machine with Code Red for about a month now,
so I guess that it's finally no longer a concern. That took a long
time, didn't it? [2002-05-13]
- In his book Computer Lib, Ted Nelson defines
"cybercrud" as "putting things over on people using computers".
I (to be precise, a family member) received a really good example
of this the other day in a bulk snail mail from Publishers Clearing House.
Among their letter urging us to order from them, they sent a two-page
"printout", ostensibly printed from
an IBM 9672. It obviously isn't, of course, as can be demonstrated in
many ways, the most obvious being that the "hex dump" (yes, you read
that right) is in ASCII, not EBCDIC. Furthermore, IBM mainframes and
printers can generate really good-looking stuff nowadays, so there's
no need for that sort of junk nowadays.
- Why do older ovens with dials that you turn to set the temperature
have "0" to represent "off"? If the temperature really were zero, then the
oven would be the coldest place in the house.
- The English language is pretty weird. When we say that someone
"cannot" do something, we mean that they do not have the ability to
do something. On the other hand, when we say that someone "must not"
do something, we mean that they have the compulsion not to
do something, which is not same the as having the compulsion to
do something. Why? [2002-10-20]
- "Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them" - Dion
- Would my grades [this thought is actually from a long time ago when I
went to school, but I'm writing it down anyway] be as high if I went out
with my friends every night? Would I have to pass up opportunities to do
something useful [I probably meant meaningful here] if I had obligations
to more people? Would I still be able to enjoy the simpler things in life
if I were a more social person or would my experiences lead to these
experiences being muted?
- I noticed some chalk drawings on a sidewalk I was walking down the
other day. It occurred to me that,
when I was a child, it never consciously occurred to me to stop doing
childlike things such as drawing on the sidewalk. Rather, it just
happened, and I kept going on living my life until one day it occurred
to me that things had really changed. [2003-07-27]
- Oh, wow, it's been a year (less a week) since I last updated this page.
Time flies, doesn't it? I'll need to update this stuff some more.
- Science is not so much a subject as it is a
framework for acquiring knowledge. While it works well in the disciplines
it's used in, it's far from the only framework. For
example, the framework of logical deduction works very well for obtaining
mathematical knowledge. The "framework" of authority is used quite a lot
in school, even in science courses. Other frameworks, such as those of
democracy and religion, are able to provide answers to other questions.
This raises the question: Will some other framework eventually supplant
science as a framework for answering questions about physics, chemistry,
biology, and so on? I guess it's possible, but probably not likely to
happen in the near future. I couldn't even imagine what kind of framework
it would have to be.
- I heard somewhere that, if you wrote down all of the thoughts you had
in one day, you would have enough to fill a small book. That's sort of
interesting, isn't it? The only problem is that, if you actually tried it,
you'd be spending your time writing your thoughts down instead of doing
anything productive. And who'd want to buy it anyway? [2004-07-25]
- Speaking of writing things down, wouldn't it be neat if I'd kept a
log of every book I'd ever written, maybe along with a few sentences about
it? By now, that would be an amazing document. Or maybe if I'd kept a
log of every TV show I'd ever seen? It would be neat to look back at a
list of every show I've seen or book I've read for years and years.