User hostility

This blog has been discontinued due to this decision by WordPress to destroy needed functionality.

See here for details.

Both of these blogs are likely to be deleted in the next few days so if there is anything you want to save, please do so. I will not be making any backups of either one.

The resistance

One more thought about the below.

I did fail that class, but eventually I learned to pass math classes by great effort. Essentially, because I have a very good to great memory, I learned to memorize a huge number of problems so I could kind-of almost see some relation to a problem and a vague guess to similarity was often enough to allow me to recall a problem (of my catalog of hundreds to thousands memorized) so that I could work out the one on the test exactly the same as the one I’d memorized step by step.

Needless to say, this required just herculean effort and means I didn’t understand anything at all.

Essentially, I was (without knowing it) applying AI techniques in a human mind to math problems — that is, I was “solving” them without understanding anything about them. Not the numbers, symbols, what should happen next or why. I had no idea.

All I know was I found a problem in my rote brain catalog and made the same transformations for no known reason.

I became a robot to do robotic things. I never understood a single thing I did or worked out in any math class — not once, ever.

Testamoany

Here’s how terrible I am at math.

Once, in high school, I got a 6 out of 100 on a math test.

Yeah, a 6.

I’ll never forget that as the teacher told me it’s the lowest grade she’d ever seen for a student who appeared to be trying their hardest and actually attempting to learn.

The thing is, though, I could never find any method despite hours and hours of studying to determine which particular algebraic technique to apply to any problem, nor could I ever discern any possible criteria for determining this, even in principle.

Obviously, there must be ones, because some students (including a close friend of mine) made a 100 on the test.

Math always has and ever will look like a language that I cannot read, and when I think I begin to understand it a bit, it shifts to another dialect or alphabet, and then I am again lost.

Touchy

I read this profile of Gal Gadot mainly because I missed Israel, though I think she is an interesting person in her own right. Americans have trouble adjusting to Israel due to the reasons below. I’m not a touchy-feely person, but it didn’t bother me when I was there. I rather liked it. When in Rome…or Tel Aviv.

Gal Gadot is very hands-on. As in: When you meet her, she will put her hands on you many times, in many different places. Israeli culture is so touch-oriented that guides for Americans traveling there warn they may feel their personal space is constantly being violated in formal settings.

Israeli culture reminds me of what American culture used to be like during the 1970s and early 1980s, except x10. Contemporary Americans would be claiming harassment and assault 5 minutes after being in country there.

Here’s how different Israeli culture is: Within five minutes of showing up, and realizing we had no place to stay, a soldier friend and I walked up to a ticket counter to ask the woman there if there were any nearby hotels. She was a complete stranger to us and vice versa.

Us, approximate dialog:
Hi, we’ve just arrived and we need a hotel. Have any recommendations?

Ticket Counter Woman: It will be hard to get a hotel today. It’s very busy. (She looks us over for a moment.) You can stay with me, though, it is no problem.

Us:
Uh, what? Stay with you?

TCW:
Yes, with me. I have big apartment. It is no problem. Just pay for food. I will even make you dinner.

Us:
Uh…ok.

However, my soldier friend, being a fullbore damn idiot, turned her down. I have no idea why. I simply could not convince him to stay with this attractive, apparently interesting and very friendly Israeli woman who offered us free room and homemade board. She looked very disappointed, too, which made it all the worse.

I couldn’t abandon him so I was forced to decline, too.

I know I am supposed to hate Israel, but I just can’t. Gadot’s personality and outlook remind me of why.

Customary

Is this some kind of joke?

The new Firefox is about as customizable as a turnip. Compared to the old version, it’s as locked down as SingSing after a riot. It’s buttoned up so tight it shits diamonds. It’s so user-hostile it screams angrily when you attempt to even change the font.

Fuck the new Firefox. Fuck that piece of crap.

Fled

I like and prefer being around women. Not because of attraction, or even friendship or anything quotidian like that, but because the level of misogynistic commentary is reduced to nearly zero. And of course, there is no macho posturing.

It’s really a win-win.

LLC

I have not read the Harry Potter books, but I just realized that Luna Lovegood from the films is my favorite cinematic character of all time.