20 may 2016
so now markdown is available, which'll be nice, since easier to remember than html for me. news for me:
- gave a two-hour talk on wednesday. i'm not great at that and it's stressful, and afterwards always feels like a bundle of nervous energy released.
- going to see my fiancee this weekend, which is always fun, except this won't be as fun because i'll have to deal with car insurance bullshit.
- i've been neglecting this. hi ~town!
05 may 2016
It's kind of exciting to be using this program as it continues to develop. I like being able to see other people's blog posts from the command line; it gives a nice feeling of..."togetherness" almost?
For some reason, when I first started using this, I thought that it would use Markdown or the like instead of HTML; I'm now wondering if, in a future version once the formatting is more solid, I could run scripts on my blog posts, add some small automated touch when I post, add starfields like the one ~vilmibm's zine entry uses, etc.
Unrelatedly: math is weird, and working on math is even weirder. There are times when you make almost no progress (or at least it feels that way), and times where it seems to zip up on you. I have a more volatile emotional state than most people might think me to have, and I wonder how this contributes.
02 may 2016
And I mistook the title for something else already, hahaha.
What better way to start off, though, than a harmless mistake?
I guess I should talk about something, though. Maybe randomness, which is a theme that my page has picked up.
The mazes use the Aldous-Broder algorithm, a random walk which is supposed to be slow, but not actually slow enough to matter. I think it ends up being O(N^2 log N), where N is the number of cells, but more importantly, even on tilde.town's shared server, runs immediately at the sizes on the site, and is incredibly easy to implement. The two actually use a slightly different variation on the random walk: the cube "breaks" the walls while the orb "makes" them, because I realized the latter would also work and not require me to keep track of the topology.
The cubes is based on reading a math blog post about "plane partitions" and their relation to tilings of a hexagon by rhombi. It made me think about doing something based on that and continuously adding cubes; initially I thought about tiling a torus (i.e. a tiling background) that way but then realized that starting with an empty cube and then repeatedly adding until I reach a full cube gives an interesting combinatorial property of starting out with just a few options, continuing to a combinatorial explosion, and then near the end returning to a regular option. I made it 7x7x7 and have it add a cube every 4 minutes so that the cycle ends up close to but not quite equal to a day; I'm a bit embarrassed that this keeps my page near the top of recent changes all the time, but I like the page nonetheless.
The binary bumblebee (currently inactive) doesn't have any randomness, but I was planning on adding another set of 16, a scramble puzzle where one configuration creates the actual image, and then having the moves swap on both the two triangle-based parts of the puzzle and the scramble puzzle, so that unscrambling would create a random pattern on the "bumblebee". Maybe I'll get back to that sometime.
There's something interesting to me about randomness; even though I don't believe, say, Tarot cards, I have a strange attraction to the idea of getting deep truths about the universe from shuffling cards and pulling them out. And then there's tabletop RPGs, where the direction of a story is based, at least in part, on the roll of the dice. Maybe running one on tilde.town would be worth doing, someday...?