Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Poking around

I've been poking around with the Mac, installing MySQL (a database management system) so I can get the Netflix data into the database. I also spent a good half hour figuring out you can use nice/renice to reprioritize processes, and use prepare/execute to speed up MySQL insertions, which is making the Perl script go a bit more smoothly on the 10 million insert statements I need to do to get the data into a table.

I also plugged my pedal into the Mac. I was a bit surprised to find that it was plug-and-play, zero configuration in Garage Band. I have been doing stuff in Audacity, but it's apparently the week to experiment.

If the "Music By Dan" player in the left column is not showing five songs by me, you can also go look at a static Google page with them here. An earlier commenter gave me the impression she couldn't see them.

On Vince's encouragement, I picked up some more Glenn Gould CDs from the library, along with Simon and Garfunkel's albums. Incidentally, their entire concert in Central Park is here. I also got Stephen Colbert's I Am America (And So Can You).

On the way home, I was listening to Kathy's Song and it got me thinking, here:

And so you see I have come to doubt
All that I once held as true
I stand alone without beliefs
The only truth I know is you

I don't think that I have beliefs exactly. Instead I have one big belief, or one big world of belief that I inhabit. The individual things that make up my world, it turns out, are all connected. They are supposed to hang together, and for the most part they do. They are not gas particles randomly colliding in Brownian fashion. Really they are more like a crystal, albeit with impurities.

I will try to get around to explaining this when I have a few more minutes. But what I want to say about it for now is that pursuing destructive proofs by contradiction (gotchas) of a crystalline belief is like pointing out impurities in a crystal. My wife's engagement ring has a diamond with such an impurity, but that doesn't make the diamond worthless, or make it structurally unsound. As a believing person I am not personally attached to x, y, or z flawed example belief. If you want to destroy a diamond, you have to use another diamond.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Simon and Garfunkel rock. They were my absolute favorite when I started college my freshman year. Somehow that wasn't really very "cool" but whatever!!

I haven't listened to your music yet, but I want to. Soon.