bouteillebleu: (Maggie)
Urgh, shouldn't have gone googling for blog posts about NLP this evening after a conversation in the pub.

Some of this stuff is a mixture of useful advice and simplistic nonsense, with an extra dose of creepy in the form of how to use "hypnotic language" when talking to someone.

(Also, the author talks about linguistic presuppositions, kind of almost explains them sensibly (presuppositions are pretty much the unspoken assumptions that go along with a spoken/written sentence and are kind of its context), and then something about hypnotic effects? What?)

[1] The acronym mentioned in the title being Natural Language Processing, which includes things like automatic language translation, search engines, and other things involving computers processing text.
bouteillebleu: (Pocket watch)
Following a conversation with a housemate in which he asked what the proper linguistic term for things like "saxamaphone" and "tramapoline" was, I share with you the following article: Reduplication in English Homeric Infixation.

(Yes, that Homer. Yes, it has some phonology in there; the Wikipedia page on Optimality Theory might be interesting, or you could just skip most of the phonology and read the examples. :)


Oct. 8th, 2009 11:30 am
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
I am ashamed to admit that I read all of Miner's "Body Ritual among the Nacirema" and got to halfway through the footnotes before going "...hang on..."
bouteillebleu: (Bad day)
I was having a look on Google earlier for advice on PhD research proposals (for reference, the course I'm looking at asks for "a statement of proposed research that outlines [your] intended topic and research strategy in 1000-2000 words").

Then I came across this fantastic piece of outsourcing. To be fair to the person who posted the job, it doesn't say which language it needs to be in - but assuming it's English, I am somehow not surprised that they've tried to contract someone else to write it...
bouteillebleu: (Pocket watch)
The book I'm reading while waiting to be called for jury duty had one of the best, most succinct summaries of deconstruction I've found:

1: Anything that is written will convey meanings which its author did not intend and could not have intended.
2: The author cannot adequately put into words what he or she means in the first place.

What is this book?

Christian Theology: An Introduction, by Alister E. McGrath. I'm reading the third edition, which I picked up quite cheaply at Galloway and Porters. This is probably because the fourth edition has been out for a few years.

Still, I've been reading about the Reformation and getting a better idea of the history of the various Christian denominations over the years. Next is the section of the book dealing with aspects of doctrine, which promises to be interesting.
bouteillebleu: (Chocolate)
Busy Bluebottle is busy.

1. Putting my CV on has yielded me phone calls from several recruiters and I've had two interviews so far this week. This is going better than my manual job applications, currently stalled as I plan out cover letters.

2. It appears that the MPhil examining board cut it a bit too fine this year - I won't get to graduate until October. This after I'd pulled out of cousin's wedding to arrange Maelstrom-and-graduation this weekend. Weekend will be fine (will go to Maelstrom), but the late notice is not what I'd hoped for.

3. I can't find my dark blue trousers and I need them for Friday. I suspect something under my bed has eaten them.

4. My bed is COVERED IN BEES. Er, I mean, covered with the contents of my room (which do not fit anywhere and thus will end up going back onto floor, chair and top of laundry bin).

5. zzzzzzzzzz


Jul. 2nd, 2008 08:53 pm
bouteillebleu: (colour terms)
Got my mark summary today.

MPhil in Computer Speech, Text and Internet Technology: passed!

Now I have a long list of stuff I need to do, including rewriting my CV and applying for jobs.

Also, I've found that the July graduation date that the department is hoping to enter us for is the 19th of July. That's the same date as my cousin Ed's wedding, so unfortunately I won't be making it to the wedding...

...but coincidentally, a friend of mine is also graduating that day, and may be able to give me a lift to Tolmers so as to make about half of Maelstrom. Which is convenient.

Now I need to decide whether to go to Tolmers on the Friday as well, and get a lift from there to Cambridge on Saturday morning.
bouteillebleu: (ZORCH)
Good: have submitted my MPhil thesis. Will now no longer wake up housemates by using bathroom at stupid hours of the morning when trying to work on it.

Bad: have been informed (see [ profile] theblunderbuss's recent post) that our house is being rented to a college starting the 1st of September, so six of us need to find somewhere new to live.

Oh, and there was some LARP stuff but that can wait until after this weekend (which features house-viewing and more LARP).

Exam fun

Jan. 16th, 2008 06:44 pm
bouteillebleu: (ZOMG Rei)
How this week was supposed to start:

Monday: revise lots.
Tuesday: exam in morning.
Wednesday: exam in morning.

How this week actually happened:

Monday: revise in morning at CL. Feel not great, go home. Spend afternoon and evening throwing up, and night in a bizarre maze of dreams involving some fiendishly complicated knot that was somehow related to my inability to sleep comfortably.

Tuesday: go to college nurse's office, confuse her greatly about why my tutor sent me there when I may be infectious, finally explain it's because I'm supposed to be incommunicado (by this point, the exam has started at the CL). Go to GP for anti-nausea tablets, which work wonderfully and are apparently also used to counteract hallucinations from mental illnesses.

Sleep for a few hours. Have visit from tutor and senior tutor's clerk in afternoon, decide to do exam at 4, attempt exam, get 45 mintues of 2 hours done before head and stomach ache too badly. Go home, eat, sleep.

Wednesday: much better. Manage breakfast. Go into college again as arranged on previous day, do second exam mid-morning, do slightly better though still have headache afterwards. Rejoice, go home, eat sushi to celebrate not being ill now.

Here's hoping that Thursday just brings the expected lectures, and not a recurrence of illness. This was possibly the most impressive and inconvenient time to have a stomach bug... :)
bouteillebleu: (Pomowned)
I went to a talk yesterday on Computers and illusion - from photography to colour vision. it was interesting, though due to lack of time he cut the part about shading and colour vision very short, which was a pity as I'm interested in colour vision.

Here's a summary of the talk with links to the papers for anyone who is interested. )
bouteillebleu: (:3)
Today is linkspam day.

1. Management theory

Because I'm curious about what happens to companies when they go from being fairly small to getting rapidly larger. [ profile] kingofwrong recommended looking at reading lists for MBAs, but do any of you guys have suggestions for reading?

Here are some things I've found so far, though:
* Rankings of MBA programmes for 2006, so I know where to look for reading lists
* Joel Spolsky's suggested MBA curriculum
* The Personal MBA Manifesto, which links to a list of books
* Wikipedia's page on Theory X and Theory Y, a comparison of theories of management (based on whether the manager trusts their employer to work if not forced to)


2. "How to read non-fiction"

Has some interesting advice about reading books through three times, and also mentions annotating them in the third pass through to maximise how much you absorb.

An open question to readers - do you annotate books you own? For example, to correct mistakes (one of my housemakes marks errata in some of his computer science books). What about commenting in them?

Have you ever come across annotations or marginal notes in books you borrowed, from a friend or a library? Anything interesting?


3. XWiki

I've been looking at wiki systems recently, and came across XWiki.

It appears to be marketing itself differently from other wiki systems I've seen. Specifically, it calls itself a "second generation wiki".

I'm not sure what they were saying on that page. I think they were saying that XWiki is not just a wiki system, it can also be used to run blogs and collaborative applications.

I'm going to investigate XWiki to see:
(a) if I can install it on my own machine at home, rather than needing a server running Apache
(b) if I can edit the XWikiCodeMacro system to do syntax highlighting for languages other than XML, Java and SQL
(c) if it's actually tolerable as a wiki system, because right now it confuses me simply because I'm not used to it (unlike UseModWiki and MediaWiki, both of which I'm vaguely familiar with).


4. Bob the Friendly Eidolon

And finally, [ profile] aquarionical gives a Rule 7 thread a much-needed dose of humour and sense:

You rock, Aquarion. :)
bouteillebleu: (DDR)
Things that are awesome.

1. Puzzle Pirates and our soon-to-be crew. We have a ship on order (it'll be ready in a day or two), we've been training up at puzzles, and I've been trying to memorise routes so as to not need to worry about charts.

I don't think I'll manage to memorise any before we start sailing, but I've been getting island league points on my world map at least. I would have had the third archipelago of the ocean mapped if I hadn't accidentally teleported home when playing this morning.

Remember, kids - don't pirate while asleep, or while using a touchpad laptop mouse. It never helps.

ETA: I now have our ship, and a whisking potion so I can skip to islands I've been to before.

I do not, unfortunately, have the option to make a crew. Still need Narrow in swordfighting and battle navigation.

2. Reading computer science papers. The history of Haskell makes for interesting reading. (I have been warned off Haskell by Fib, who suggests I learn ML instead if I really want to learn a functional language. I need to play around with ML more.)

3. Three songs:
'Tribute' by Tenacious D
'Title of the Song' by Da Vinci's Notebook
'Finite Simple Group (Of Order Two)' by The Klein Four Group

4. Spoof CS tripos papers. I couldn't find them on the university site, but a bit of hunting produced 2006's paper. Question 3 amuses me far too much.

A little more searching produced all the papers from 1999 to 2006. Warning - most of these contain swearing, marijuana references and very bad jokes about curry (there's one almost every year). Do not inhale. Do not take orally. Oh, and probably best not viewed at work, either.

More random links:

The photos from this year's 3YGB.
Homepage for Philip Wadler, one of the inventors of Haskell.
Oz and Ends, a blog that's mainly about children's and young adult fiction.
bouteillebleu: (Writing)
100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know

Of the whole list, I think I can define about 70 or 80, and demonstrate the most common context you would use the remaining 20 or 30 in while not being entirely sure of their exact meaning.

I'm not quite sure what the point of the list is, though. There are two I can think of, one charitable and the other uncharitable:

* Charitable: Finding out what these words mean makes you find out about the contexts where they're used, which means you'll learn a lot about language, literature, science, logic, mathematics, politics and economics; they're indicators of a good all-round education.

* Uncharitable: Knowing these words means you can sound like you've had a good all-round education when you've not looked further than the pages of this book.

Anyway, here are some further thoughts about sections of the word list. )
bouteillebleu: (colour terms)
I want a Stroop Effect T-shirt - the classic psychological experiment with names of colours written in a different colour.

Alas, I can't find a Munsell chart T-shirt. I'd imagine it might be somewhat expensive to get such a thing printed (at least, in good enough quality).

Words Affect Our Reality - On The Right. Some research done in February '06 about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. The best comment is the first:

And all this time I thought the Worf hypothesis was just "Today is a good day to die.".

...the Whorf hypothesis holds for the right visual field, but not the left.

Apparently the left visual field is "without honor".
bouteillebleu: (Water)
This post is mostly for [ profile] rochvelleth, since she's the other person I know who'd be amused by them:

A collection of silly pictures about Linear B. My favourite one is under the LJ-cut...

Greek cows through the ages )
bouteillebleu: (Pocket watch)
A friend of mine emailed me a few days ago, and because she's doing a PhD at DAMTP (hello, [ profile] bachlover! :) GMail came up with some physics-and-maths-related adverts. The one that caught my eye was RelativityChallenge, with the tag line "Did Einstein make a math mistake? You be the judge!"

I had a look. They do indeed think that he made a mistake, and yet don't pause to wonder why, if Einstein had made a fundamental mistake when deriving one relation from another, the people that read his paper when it was submitted to journals (his 1905 paper was in volume 17 of Annalen der Physik, and his other publications are listed with links on the Wikipedia page about Einstein) would not have spotted these mistakes. Particularly when the authors of this site say that the mistakes can be understood by anyone with "an understanding of basic Algebra".

Searching for "Relativity Challenge" on Google brought me a lot of results about a more respectable challenge by that name - the Pirelli Relativity Challenge, offering a reward for the best explanation of the theory of Special Relativity.

There were a few links to discussions of "RelativityChallenge". However, in many of them the site is used to complain about the 'Scientific Establishment' in general, or one of the people discussing rejects the theory because theirs is so much better.

In conclusion, you might like to use a version of the Crackpot Index to see how mad these people's theories are. Though they're probably not as mad as the writer who believes Einstein was a plagiarist who was only famous because of 'the Jew-controlled media'.
bouteillebleu: (Pomowned),,1751402,00.html

Tuesday April 11, 2006 - Dr Annie Seaton believes that "Derrida, Bataille, Baudrillard, Lacan..." are among the best French thinkers. (Recall that Lacan is the man who implied that the square root of minus one was equal to his penis.)

She also says "My apologies to Oxbridge, where conceptual advances seem less important than old school ties and reinforcing class distinctions".,,1751860,00.html

Wednesday April 12, 2006 - James Syme replies that Oxbridge is better than France in the sciences, and Cambridge alone has 56 Nobel Prize winners to its name compared to France's 11. Alas, he fails to mention that Trinity College alone also has more Nobel Prize winners than France.,,1755146,00.html

Monday April 17, 2006 - Six more people respond to Seaton's letter. Prof Raymond points out that French universities have moved on from the worst of the postmodernist nonsense that Harvard is still fascinated by.

Seaton herself replies to Syme's letter, with the claim that "there is a reason why it is the sciences - and not difficult modernist fiction or books about the philosophy of freedom - which can still flourish in totalitarian societies". She then fails to mention what this reason is.
bouteillebleu: (Reading)
I wonder if there's any list or test anyone's done online for whether something is hard sci-fi or soft sci-fi?

Possibly "Isobel reads it" is equivalent to "it's soft sci-fi", as I know that the stuff I read probably has too many girl cooties to be hard sci-fi.
bouteillebleu: (Pocket watch)
Bus rides to work sometimes produce very odd effects - I was working on a NaNoWriMo entry this morning but ended up thinking about the Dons Problem once I was walking from the stop to the office.

The Dons Problem is set (as far as I can tell) every year on the first Numbers and Sets example sheet in the Maths IA Tripos at Cambridge. I had it set in 2001, and I presume they're still setting it now. It's a fairly simple problem to state, and proves to be surprisingly difficult to solve - only a handful of undergraduates, if that, manage it each year. The problem is as follows:

Each of n elderly dons knows a piece of gossip not known to any of the others. They communicate by telephone, and in each call the two dons concerned reveal to each other all the information they know so far. What is the smallest number of calls that can be made in such a way that, at the end, all the dons know all the gossip?

This page discusses this problem and includes, on page 3, a proof by one of the commenters. It's quite interesting to read it, and try to figure out how it works.

(There's also a link to a lecturer quotation site I made back in 2001 in the discussion, as a demonstration of who Imre Leader is. ^_^)

For those who want to have a go without looking at the proof, it seems that set theory and graph theory may be useful.


bouteillebleu: (Default)

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