CSCI 467

I’m currently in a class, in which I can’t describe the subject matter nor can I tell you its use. This class could probably fall into the category of principle. The principle of something to do with gathering requirements for software. No matter actually writing the software, there will be no opportunities for writing code, we will instead use UML, MS Access, or MS Visio. I’ve never used any of these things, and I wonder how they might be useful in my desired line of work. In this final quest I expect to fail.

My professor keeps repeating, we need to train ourselves to think object-oriented. I’m not entirely sure what that means.

I miss coding. I need to go back over some Assembler and COBOL if I want to find a job in mainframes. It’s a shame there’s nothing online or in the way of open courseware in these subjects. I’m really interested in that sector of the software market..

My class smells like cigarette smoke, which is giving me a bit of a headache.


Thoughts on a Sunday night.

At this point in my life, I listen more than I speak. There’s much more I have to learn, than there is to know.

This will always be true.

If this were a post on Twitter, it would end there. I just finished listening to this week’s This American Life, which tells a story about something each week. It’s a podcast, or as some would call it, a weekly electronic radio broadcast programme. Today, I turned off the distractions and listened to the podcast. I took in what was being said, and learned quite a bit about about how our electronics are made in China.

Americans don’t hate communism, they love it, many of us just don’t know it.

With only audio, there’s a lot left to your imagination. That might be the most captivating part of a show, sans visual element. All you get is a little slider indicating how much time has elapsed, and how much is left, before you’re doused with silence. To paraphrase an overused term, pictures are worth many words. If this is so, how many images are produced, by just one word? A sentence spoken without context or description?

Has the following thought ever occurred to you, “That’s not how I pictured them at all”?

It’s becoming a more scarce occurrence every day. I don’t have evidence or facts to back this up, but I’m led to believe more people are consuming entertainment passively. They are being told what to think, and their minds are shaped by someone else. Something else. News corporations craft and tailor their messages so that only what they want you to know, is what you see.

Don’t believe me? Look at what they’ve done to Ron Paul.

Can you think of any information you receive from a primary source? It’s usually gossip, or a story about someone else’s life. All this “world news” and “national news” is taken from somewhere and given to you in what’s supposed to be a palatable form. The story of something, taken by someone it didn’t happen to, and told to you through their vehicle. You also have to keep in mind that many of these vectors of information, are a business. They want your viewership, and I can only imagine the message is tailored to suit you, the viewer.

That’s the beauty of capitalism, right?

I have a problem with “the free market” in a few key areas, namely healthcare and utilities. Healthcare should be a guaranteed right to all citizens of every nation. Unfortunately this is not the way our country works. We have middle-men and greed. Everyone wants money. Everything is about money. Think of a decision you made, that didn’t involve weighing the cost of something. Whether it be the purchase price, or opportunity cost expressed as a monetary value. I couldn’t do it.

Everything is about money, from where I’m sitting. “Sitting” being used as a loose metaphor for where I am observing from in relation to the world. An in-debt college student writing this on a computer he pieced together, because he likes that kind of thing.

The political system is all about being liked.

Sometimes I wonder why we go along with laws and the constitution, and capitalism… or the representative republic for that matter. Have you ever though about how unfair the electoral college system is? It’s a relic from a bygone era which required a consensus be reached in smaller sub-units of population to be conveyed to D.C. With the internet, what’s the point? Why doesn’t the popular vote decide who wins?

If we had used the popular vote in 2000, Gore would have won. Or so I’m told.

If we consider someone’s vote is among three candidates, their vote can be expressed as a two digit binary number. The size of said value, is of course, two bits. If the entire population of the US voted on election day (which may or will never happen due to apathy, state of consciousness deviations, age, incarceration, or not being registered) the maximum size of all this data in a jumbled mass is around 300million * 2 bits.

That’s 600,000,000 bits. A byte is 8 bits so 600,000,000/8 is 75,000,000 bytes. 75 million bytes, is equal to 75 Megabytes. or .075 Gigabytes. 1Gigabyte is the size of a very inexpensive flash drive for comparison. I alone, can transmit that much data from my family’s home connection in about half an hour.

So in short, my family’s $20/month internet line is able to transmit enough data to express every United State citizen’s vote for president.. in half an hour. Organizing all of that data on the other end is another story, but it’s just my way of showing how outdated our stupid election process is.

Someone had to make up the rules and guidelines we follow. Someone thought that the law, or that section of the constitution was a fantastic idea from where they were. Times have changed.

Maybe some of the rules have to change too.