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(no subject) [Apr. 20th, 2014|08:59 pm]

Some days ago I finished a book named "How Fiction Works" by James Wood. I didn't feel like it gave all that coherent an answer to that implied question, but it did contain a lot of very nice writing on the topic of writing. I get a bit of vicarious pleasure from reading people talk articulately about books they really like, even if I've never read them.
[In Sentimental Education] Flaubert seems to scan the streets indifferently, like a camera. Just as when we watch a film we no longer notice what has been excluded, what is just outside the edges of the camera frame, so we no longer notice what Flaubert chooses not to notice. And we no longer notice that what he has selected is not of course casually scanned but quite savagely chosen, that each detail is almost frozen in its gel of chosenness. How superb and magnificently isolate these details are—the women yawning, the unopened newspapers, the washing quivering in the warm air.

I like the phrase "savagely chosen" as an antonym of "casual". If you asked me what the opposite of casual is, surely I'd say something much more benign, like "deliberate". But Wood is implying that Flaubert goes much farther than just deliberation: doing violence with his descriptions, aggressively clawing picturesque details out of the background activity of Paris—yet, once chosen, this violence of authorial effort is hidden, and they're "frozen in gel". I like the adjective "isolate". I like the weirdness of "washing" abutting "quivering", feeling superficially similar in the mouth, but playing very different syntactic roles.

Haha, oh boy, just to layer on more layers of metareviewing, let me point out a hilarious paragraph from this review of the book:

As a critic, Wood is deeply devoted to a set of commonsensical humanist assumptions that he tends to express in vague old-timey terms like “the self” and “the real.” He is most aligned, spiritually, with canonical realism, so he spends his very rich attention lavishly in all the usual storefronts: Proust, Woolf, Tolstoy, Flaubert, Stendhal, Dostoyevsky, Dickens, Conrad, and above all Chekhov. (You could stir an industrial vat of molasses with James Wood’s Chekhov boner.)
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(no subject) [Apr. 20th, 2014|08:00 pm]

Still kinda sick and exhausted today.
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(no subject) [Apr. 19th, 2014|07:19 pm]

Playing around with attempting to train up a slightly more clever diamond-square map synthesis algorithm which, instead of just adding random noise at midpoints, adds some quantity that is a prediction based on the training data.
map science
(the map images here are not the output of any algorithm, yet, they're just bits of the pacific northwest, but I like how the data structure visualization below looks)
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(no subject) [Apr. 18th, 2014|07:09 pm]

Got another brutal cold or flu or something. This season's been terrible for me.
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(no subject) [Apr. 17th, 2014|08:41 pm]
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Linkdump on

texture synthesis:

texture segmentation: "Unsupervised texture segmentation using feature distributions"

some more webgl things: optimization in webgl webgl inspector
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(no subject) [Apr. 15th, 2014|09:21 pm]
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Did my taxes at the last minute when I remembered that today actually wasn't the 14th.

Found a big coal-vein of bugs at work, which were all hiding behind one innocuous-looking bug. Chipping away at them steadily.
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(no subject) [Apr. 13th, 2014|02:39 pm]
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So after doing a bunch of reading about general graphics stuff yesterday, this article about doing erosion simulation on the gpu is making more sense.

Separately, I was trying to understand how he was special-casing the ambient occlusion computations given that he was working with a heightmap rather than a more general scene, and in the course of looking around for stuff accidentally found this other page that is like "LOL JUST DO A HIGH PASS".

And, dang, it actually looks pretty decent! Here's a before-and-after:

The former is just a heightmap of north america from over here with gimp's "emboss" applied to it, and the latter is that same emboss multiplied with a level-adjusted version of heightmap - gaussian_blur(heightmap). Really makes the lakes and rivers pop out nicely.


Found some entertaining things at ponies and lights where they convert the endianness of a giant image file by using... the audio processing tool sox.
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(no subject) [Apr. 12th, 2014|07:15 pm]
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And now of course I am looking into webgl because clearly 2d games need nothing more than prodigal amounts of computation power spent on cute little visual effects.

Turns out webgl is apparently pretty much the same thing as "OpenGL ES 2.0" which in turn is, afaict, somewhat like OpenGL 2.0 with a lot of old cruft taken out. OpenGL 2.0 seems to have been a pretty major shift in how people thought about the graphics pipeline on consumer hardware, ushering in as it did a complete C-like language ("GLSL") for writing vertex and pixel shaders, in contrast to the pipeline previously having fixed special-purpose blobs of functionality. This was around 2004. So. Yeah. It turns out I have been kind of out of touch with what's been going on in the whole computer gamey mcgamerson world, technologically speaking? As recently noted, the last time I even touched this stuff was last frickin' century.

But here I am, with a fancy computer with a fancy (truthfully: probably not that fancy) graphics card, and I have estimated it gives me about as much FLOPs as the fastest computer in the world in 1990. So that's cool.

The other thing I notice is that OpenGL (at least in its incarnations prior to 3.0 if I am to trust Wikipedia) is The. Most. Imperative. API. Ever.

Would you like to bake a cake? Here is he OpenGL way.
Step one: tell your friend you are about to bind spatula zero to GL_SPATULA_2D.
Step two: hot-glue your spatula to a post-it note bearing the number zero.
Step three: shout "THIS IS SPATULA NUMBER ZERO" to all that might be listening.
Step four: hand spatula to friend number zero. Remember, you only have thirty-two friends, so use them wisely.
three hundred steps later you have delicious cake, assuming you haven't set the egg texture wrapping parameters incorrectly or failed to inform the oven whether you were using single-precision or double-precision flour.
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(no subject) [Apr. 11th, 2014|07:30 pm]
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Here is a javascript game about finding your car in a parking garage:
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(no subject) [Apr. 10th, 2014|08:38 am]
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Dinner with chrisamaphone and aleffert and K since the former is in town for different games. Had a tasty lamb pizza at a place called "bedouin tent" over on atlantic and bond that I'd never been to before.
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