Oil – relatively cheap

For those of you concerned about petrol prices, which is pretty much everyone these days, here’s a graph:

Yup, that’s NZ, fifth cheapest in the developed world, coz we have low, low fuel taxes. So, if you think we need cheap fuel to have a competitive economy, then why aren’t we already more competitive than damn-near everyone else? Coz we’re already cheaper.

(From MED’s data, and yes, I know the fact that petrol is cheaper here than in Hungary doesn’t make the recent price rises here any easier to bear.)

Currently, main job involves reading screeds of theory, then thinking about it and applying it to current situation. This makes my brain rather full and I’m really not in people-mode. Talking is far harder than it usually is, it’s like I’m back to being a head-in-the-clouds academic again. So apologies if, when talking to me, you don’t get a reply, or I say “hang on”, and then start scribbling and ignore the rest of the world for half an hour or so.

I woke up this morning thinking “crap, my disco nap turned into sleeping all night, I’ve missed the psytrance gig.” But no, gig is tonight, hence that’s most likely what I’ll be thinking tomorrow morning.

I once had a fist fight with JK Galbraith from Chase Me Ladies, I’m in the Cavalry:
““Growth is slowing,” he said, “as the housing market cools and consumers rein in their spending.” Terry the Pole overhears, and comes over from the fruit machine. “Don’t be a c**t,” he says.”

Atlas Shrugged 2: Shrug Harder, from
“I don’t know how many of you realize that Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s science fiction classic, is actually only book 1 of a trilogy?”

Flight of the Lombardes, from Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog
“Their gretest ballade ys cleped “Tyme of Busynesse,” and gooth sum thing like this:

“Ywis, it is tyme of Busynesse. Aw yeah.
How knowe I this, askest thou?
For yt ys Wednesday,
a day not forbidden for tradinge and bargaininge by the lawe of Holy Churche.””

I’ve just written a page and a half on Aristotle and his approach to innovation theory and the knowledge-based economy. It’s all surprisingly informative.

I used the phrase “prescriptively deontological cognition”, but only coz I made it clear that I was taking the piss out of the language that some people use in these kinds of discussions.

Monday thots

Further results from my epistemological gerrymandering, I want to to set up a department of Theolology – the study of Ceiling Cat and Basement Cat.

An ideal self-help book for the rest of us – How to Profit From the Coming Rapture: Getting Ahead When You’re Left Behind”

I dreamt that the wisest person on earth was a water vole named Kevin. But that was no use to man or beast, coz all Kevin wanted to talk about was burrowing.

Apparently I went to the ninteenth oldest school in the world.

Wierd glitchy/casiocore/dubstep/idunnowhatgenrebutithinkitscool:
Kanji Kinetic
DJ Distance

Me and acoustic guitars just don’t sit well together. They’re just not enough, I want music that’s information dense.

Am now listening to glitchy rough electro.

Also, new osciloscope has arrived. Initial reports – it is tiny. Tomorrow I will plug it in. It plugs into the laptop…

Oops… listening to psytrance may result in burny death

Warning, listening to psytrance with whoopy noises and distant mechanical vocal samples loudly, on headphones, can result in an inability to notice the whoopy noises and distant mechanical vocal samples that make up a fire alarm. Futhermore, having your back to everyone else in the office can result in failure to notice office evacuation.

More positively, listening to psytrance … can result in the maintenance of a high level of productivity, at least until interrupted by the fire wardens or burny death.

Self-analysis, statistically

Thanks to the wonders of the twenty-first century, self-analysis can now be even less emotional, even more statistical. So, words I have never used in my LJ, so far:

pursue, cornerstone, above, slate, underline, crucial

Now, if I was ded clevur I’d write some script to tell me all the words that I’ve never used in either my LJ or sixty thousand words of my PhD thesis, sort them by popular English usage and I’d have a big long list of words that I callously ignore. But my Python skills are sadly atrophying, these days, so instead I kicked my thesis and the British National Corpus around in a spreadsheet, badly. As you’d expect, given that it’s a thesis on the laser welding of aluminium, those words come up more frequently than in average English. But on the other side of the equation, some words particularly unpopular with me are:

look, getting, way, fact, ever, forced, moments, own, seem, never, former, creating, meet, withstand, future, hinder, interest, termed

From which* we can conclude that I’m a total geek. But you knew that anyway.

* No, not the content of the lists themselves, but the fact that I’d make sure lists is the key evidence here.

(Also, The Reg manages the best headline ever Hummer glummer on high oil price bummer)

Reasons to love living in the 21st Century, part one million:

Scanning flat things, pictures, documents, is a solved problem. But what about things that aren’t flat, three-dimensional things? Like your head, or that randomly-shaped car part that the garage wants to charge an arm and a leg for? Well, scan the one you’ve got into a 3D model and then tell some generalised making machine to make it. Bingo, copying real objects just like you can photocopy a flat thing.

But, the kit to get the 3D model is scary pricey. 3D digitisers cost zillions. Not these days. I quite like these days. We’ve got cheap web cams, cheap lasers, and the software to tie the two together is as cheap as software should be. So, to get this data:

Nintey-nine euros. Oh sweet creeping zombie Jesus! I love the twenty-first century!

(Admittedly, the cost of a generalised making machine is still non-trivial, but plummeting, at which point, all your physical objects belong to us!)