Jason (jcreed) wrote,

This morning I stared at the whiteboard and realized I could simplify a twelf encoding that's been dancing around in my head since last fall even further. That puts it about two or three steps better than it was originally. I think it's quite cute now. I should probably write it up, but it's not terrifically significant or complicated. I don't think it will take more than two or three pages to explain fully. Nonetheless, I think it is, as I said, kind of cute, and unlike the original idea I had (which leaks out of the pattern fragment a bit) it fits well within the bounds of what twelf is actually capable of metareasoning about. At least I think it does now. The only possible snag is that one part of the encoding is 3rd-order. I think it's in a benign way. I must say, I do love having a bedside whiteboard.

I've been reading Lem's A Perfect Vacuum. The mockreview of Gigamesh is 100% double-distilled genius, and hilarious at that. I had tears running down my cheeks. Les Robinsonades was pretty good too, in a hallucinatory Swiss-Family-Robinson-rides-The-Yellow-Submarine sort of way. But oh, the introduction. Best. Introduction. To a book. Ever.

Read another chapter of "Modern Mind" over dinner. It was discussing behaviorism, Skinner, Chomsky, Piaget, post-Freudian reactions in psychology, etc. I didn't realize Chomsky made his name early on by beating up on Skinner in a book review.

Watched another couple of eps of "French in Action". Eight down... Forty-four to go. Whew. We'll see if I don't give up pretty soon. Something I noticed was the word sportif, which they applied to both the main characters Mireille and Robert, apparently meaning that they like sports a lot. Or at least they sure pumped it for an excuse to give lots of vocabulary about sports. Elle fait du patin à glace! Elle fait de la natation! etc. etc. Indeed the Dictionnaire de L'Académie française, 8th Edition says

Il se dit aussi des Personnes et signifie Qui s'adonne aux sports. Il est très sportif.
I was kind of hoping that pensif would turn out to have the same connotation for thinking, but sadly it seems not to: L'Académie dit, Qui est occupé d'une pensée qui l'attache fortement. That's so... stative. Like the kind of thing you'd use estoy for rather than ser in spanish. Being pensif seems to be just being really into some particular thought at some particular time. And the English word "pensive" isn't what I'm looking for non plus: it's too sad, too passive: (from dictionary.com)
1. Deeply, often wistfully or dreamily thoughtful.
2. Suggestive or expressive of melancholy thoughtfulness.
Where's a word that means Qui s'adonne à la pensée? That's what I want. To give yourself to thought, to be intellectual, to have a wide range of forms of pursuit of that devotion. Maybe esperanto pensemo is close to; aŭ eble mi devas nomi min pensemega por kontentigi mian emon troigi :).

Anyway, I've also been actually poking a little at the code I'm supposed to be working on for, like, work. I think I'ma have to suck it up and write a separate pass instead of being able to wedge LF-to-LF* conversion inside another pass that's already written.


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    Something that's bugged me for a long time is this: How many paths, starting at the origin, taking N steps either up, down, left or right, end up at…

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    Still sad that SAC seems to end up being as complicated as it is. Surely there's some deeper duality between…

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    I had already been meaning to dig into JaneSt's "Incremental" library, which bills itself as a practical implementation (in ocaml) of the ideas in…

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