Random Thoughts 3

Less short thoughts this week for some reason. *shrug*

Monday, October 25, 2010

- It’s funny how apparently often the way to obtain something is to not focus on it at all. I’ve heard people find their spouses when they aren’t even dating. A family friend talked about how in business he always tried to write software that was so well documented it was self sustaining so people would never have to call him. But then people would call him for more business because he did a good job. The scriptures even say if you want to find yourself, lose yourself in others. This thought came to mind because I keep having people mention job or similar opportunities when I’m not even looking for them, I don’t want a job yet! Yet I have many unemployed friends who are searching for jobs unsuccessfully. It makes me feel a little bad and ungrateful, I wish I could offer them the jobs I’m hearing about but they’re kind of based on the contacts ability to recommend me specifically, and they’re related to my degree. The sad thing is I mostly wrote this out of annoyance :P.

- I like to give girls witty compliments, and if they say that they always want an example but I can never think of one on the spot, they just come in the moment. I had one today that I liked though that maybe I can use as an example if I remember.
Me: I think you’d like lolcat pics.
Kjersti: I believe it, I like the things you like.
Me: How do you feel about yourself?
Kjertsi: I like myself!
Me: Than your previous assertion holds true.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

- Is glad for room mates to talk to for two hours in the middle of the night when I can't sleep. My body letting me sleep would also be nice though.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

- Today’s thoughts turned into the 4 long posts below

o Peacemaking and Halo

o Earning, Dating, and the Atonement

o Video Games and Life Points

o Technological Singularity

Peacemaking and Halo

My patriarchal blessing mentions me being a peacekeeper. For some reason I always thought that was a little odd, because I was thinking of it in terms of at my parents house within my family. Not that I’m a troublemaker, but I didn’t feel like I served in a peacekeeper role much at home. I had an insight last night after a friends comment though. There’s not a frequent need for a peacekeeper at my parents house, I’m blessed with an amazing functional family for which I am super grateful.

I do serve in that capacity often with my friends, not exclusively mind you, and I can be a cause of pain too. But I have a mentality that I’m finding less people share than I thought.
I’ve always thought of myself as a people person. One of the most powerful lessons I remember learning from my Mom is the importance of people. Specifically, there was a time when I was very young, and I did something to make a sibling (likely CJ) upset. I probably took a toy or hit him or something stupid, I was pretty young. What I remember though is my Mom didn’t tell me “it’s not nice to take things” or “it’s rude to hit” she said something like “you’ve hurt him, and now he doesn’t trust you as much”. Whatever I did became irrelevant in comparison to the effect it had on the relationship. I by no means live perfectly by this guideline, but I’m finding I seem to do so more often than many.

For example, we had a Halo party on Saturday. There were very even 3 on 3 teams (with me as an onlooker) , it was super fun. Anyway in Halo Reach there are 5 special abilities which players can choose from in certain gametypes. They mostly played “slayer pro” which only allows the player to use the sprint special ability, because they see the rest of the abilities as dumb or cheap or some other nonsense, which I think is mostly bias but whatev. Their main complaint with normal slayer, which allows picking the 5 abilities, is when people use cloak. They finally tried the gametype just to shake things up, with a unspoken rule of “but no cloaks”. Landon was there playing Reach for the first time, I watched/coached him most the night. I told him pick cloak because it would just upset everyone, but he did anyway. And since he was using it everyone used it, and since everyone used it, no ne enjoyed that match.

So what’s the parallel here? Why is a specific power-up such a big deal as to create contention and discontent in a game? Note that it wasn’t a big deal, and grudges didn’t continue after the match. But there’s two sides, either of which I think could easily bend.

Side 1 is the “cloak is stupid” side. Their basis is that the cloak is cheap (sitting invisible on a hill with a sniper can be admittedly over-powered), and that the radar messing up effect it has is annoying and thus no fun. To this, I’d say it’s not cheap, it’s just different. Maybe it directly counters the tactic you prefer to use effectively, but that doesn’t mean it’s “cheap” it means you need to try something different yourself. It’s like when the British would line up shoulder to shoulder and fire, and then getting upset that their opponents hide in the trees. If you keep lining up shoulder to shoulder and marching at a slow pace, you’re going to lose, that doesn’t make the opponents tactics cheap, they just need to be responded to differently. Yes some people online use powerups in a way that is truly cheap and lame, but in a room of 6 real life friends the peer pressure to not be an idiot will prevent anyone from being truly cheap for more than a few kills. I should also add even sprint can be “cheap” when used as a direct counter to other strategies. The moral of the story is, why be a butt about it? Just play different for a bit rather than damaging a relationship.

Side 2, “it’s part of the game, I can use it if I want”. Also a decent basis, there’s no cheating taking place, it’s built into the rules! Sometimes people view it as dishonorable, sometimes they just view it as annoying or no fun, but it’s the way the game was designed, why not play the games full potential? Also totally logical, once again it just focuses entirely on the event (the tactic you’d like to use) and totally ignores the relationship. If everyone except you says don’t do it, and you do it anyway, you can single handedly bother the entire group over something equally stupid as the above British army analogy. This time you’re the guy in the trees. If you’re only objective is to win, then sure, it’s the correct decision. If it’s a matter of preserving my family’s life, I’ll hide in the trees for sure. I’m not sure I’ve ever been in a situation serious enough for it to be justified based on my logic here. Any time I decide to go for the dirty tactic anyway, I’m just feeding my pride. Whether it’s an unconditional desire to win, or a desire to be right, it’s still pride. Almost every one of these circumstances isn’t about saving your family, it’s about having fun with your friends. So why not just avoid the tactic so everyone’s happy?

Hmm, this turned into a Halo rant haha, it can easily be generalized and applied to all sorts of games or circumstances though. Note once again I’m far from perfect, but I do believe I tend to go “meh, ok we’ll do it your way” and have fun playing with or without the tactic in question a lot more than most people I’ve observed. Often times people get upset or annoyed, and I don’t get why. Literally no one benefits. Both parties are bugged, the tension increases, no one even gets to be right. What’s gained? The exception to this is when playing with the tactic would be some sort of moral compromise, like say if there was some sort of option to make every halo player naked, I’d be opposed to that to the extent of leaving. But if it’s using the cloak, or the rocket, or even edge guarding in smash, is it really worth the tension? I don’t think so.

Earning, Dating, and the Atonement

Andrew Clark brought up a powerful concept last night. As humans, we seem to believe that we can earn anything we want to go for if we’re willing to put in the right effort. For a lot of things this holds true, if I want to beat a video game, I can put in enough time an earn my victory. If I want a new computer, I can get a job, work to earn enough money, and purchase it. However, there are at least two things I can think of that we can’t earn, these deal with dating, and the atonement.

First up is dating. Dating can be frustrating. To me, “success” in dating means finding an eternal companion. By that benchmark, thus far I have “failed”. Note that I don’t really mind as much lately, despite my sometimes bothered comments about females. But anyway, it seems like there’s no straightforward route to earn a wife, like there is for buying a car, or becoming a black-belt. If there is a clear way to earn a wife, no one I know knows it. I submit that how to “earn” each different person as an eternal companion is different though, thus the path to success is subjective. Sometimes I feel like “I’ve put in so much effort! Taken out so many people! Isn’t it enough yet?” but feelings like this are based on the mistaken notion that after a set amount of general dating effort I’ll have earned a wife, and this just isn’t true. Which kind of sucks because it removes the predictability out of it. It’s really easy to know when you’ll be able to afford something.

The other interesting point is the false notion of ‘earning’ the atonement/forgiveness. This is probably a problem I have due to my amount of pride. Fully accepting the atonement has a lot to do with humility, and I realize I’m less humble than many, maybe most. But sometimes I feel things like “I have been good for 6 months, so I’ve earned forgiveness!” when I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works at all. Just a thought…

Video Games and Life Points

Interesting stuff! This blog brought to you because of a paper Professor Knutson wrote about how we can improve our genealogy application by learning from the “Angry Birds” iPhone game, and because of a video lecture another classmate linked to me. The overarching concept is, what we’re learning about what draws people into video games will likely change our world forever.

I don’t really think I can do it justice in a page long blog post, so I actually encourage you to go watch the video linked above. But as I assume you don’t have 30 minutes to do that, here’s my synopsis.

The world has been changing very quickly lately. Facebook and smartphones have provided a level of interconnectivity which I really don’t think people fully grasp the magnitude of. But this allows us to see what people around us are doing, and it often affects our decisions.

Video games have found really good ways to pull us in, and they keep finding more, which keeps pulling in different audiences. One thing of particular note is achievement points. A super dumb sounding idea, “oh, let’s just give them some imaginary points that don’t mean anything for accomplishing random tasks, and then let them compare how many they have to their friends!” who’s going to care? Everyone apparently, a clear sense of unfinished business, and a sense of accomplishment from achieving things like this turn out to be powerful factors which draw people in and keep them.

It’s only a matter of time before technology gets cheap enough that advertising companies (or even other agencies) can track us and use the information to reward us with imaginary points which interpret into bonuses later. What if you had a wireless transmitter in your toothbrush that tracked how long you brushed your teeth and gave you discounts for brushing longer? Or transmitters in your shoes that gave you bonus points for walking a mile a day which would reduce your monthly insurance payment? Or so on. The possibilities are endless, I highly recommend the video lecture, I’m not doing the idea justice here, but it’s cool.

Technological Singularity

So Landon is writing about the idea of a ‘technological singularity’ in one of his classes, and wanted my computer science background opinion of the matter.

As a quick basic definition, “a technological singularity is a hypothetical event occurring when technological progress becomes so rapid that it makes the future after the singularity qualitatively different and harder to predict."[wiki] there’s 4 ways authors have suggested such a singularity might take place, but basically an obvious example is a super intelligent computer (AI). Where such a computer can intellectually out-perform a human in every way, including design, thus it could make better versions of itself at accelerated rates, and human understanding would get left in the dust.

Overall, I think this theory to be pretty off, particularly the super AI approach to it. It holds a small amount of water, for example Vinge (the original pioneer of the term) states “the arrival of self-aware machines will not happen until after the development of hardware that is substantially more powerful than humans' natural equipment.” In my opinion, equipment is a possibility. Processing speed and hard drive space continues to increase. While our human memories are limitless as far as we know, I believe it’s possible hard drive space could get large enough to be essentially limitless for any purpose.

The flaw I see is the software complexity of such a self-aware system. True our hardware capacity essentially quadruples every 18 months, but our software intricacy does not evolve at the same accelerated rate, just look at windows. It’s first release was in 1985, which would mean by now it would have quadrupled in complexity 16 times, that’s 4^16 = 4,294,967,296 more sophisticated. I wouldn’t say it’s done that. Yes, hardware has increased approximately at that rate.

A huge problem is decision making. Current AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chances of success” [source]. The problem with this is a machine is bound by strict logic, everything in computers comes down to 1’s and 0’s in the end, some qualitative number. The way this works is by heavy reliance on probability.

For example, when you decide to go to the store, how many factors go into your decision? What are your primary motivations? Get some eggs? Save the most money? Be home by 5? Don’t die? If ‘don’t die’ is your number 1 driving motivation, there’s a chance if you leave the house you’ll get in a car accident, so you never leave the house. Probability to the rescue! Bayesian probability logic allows one to factor in what they see as all the relevant factors and then get a numerical probability of the outcome. The system can be designed with a certain acceptable threshold to follow like “anything greater than 5% chance of death and I won’t go”. The problem is for every new factor you add to the math (is it rush hour? How fast is my car? How good was the safety check on my car? How fast can I react?) the math complexity grows exponentially. Plus how much of a difference do each of these factors make? These are all decisions made by the creator. Suddenly writing a system to make a simple decision like whether to go to the store becomes an immense task, strongly affected by the authors bias and perception.

The way AI moves forward still today is when faced with such complexity, the designers decide to focus on a very small set of the factors they consider the most important, and just ignore the rest. However, a super-intelligent machine needed to cause a singularity would not have this luxury. It would have to be able to consider all angles, otherwise a human could outperform it, or think of things the computer never can, because it wasn’t programmed to.

Even if some way was found to tie multiple small decision making processes together into a giant system, each different system will have been created by different developers, who each programmed in their own bias of what was important and what isn’t, or what an acceptable threshold of risk is. Over the combination of thousands of different specialized decision making processes, conflicts of interest are bound to occur, and the AI would be practically helpless.

I further submit that software can only do what humans tell it to do. It can’t “learn” in any mysterious unpredictable matter. Machine learning is still deterministic and thus observable by humans. In fact, the bias used by the machine to “learn” things is also programmed in by humans. In order for a computer to have a “new thought” it has to follow a logic path set for it by a human.

I’ve probably ranted about this enough. I find the idea of a technological singularity, at least by creating a super-intelligent AI, very implausible. The other ways a technological singularity is theorized to happen I have different gripes with, but they’d each require an equal length rant, so for now I’ll leave it at this.

Regulation through a LimeWire

The internet regulation battle rages on. In what’s being called a major victory for the music industry, a New York federal judge has ordered the P2P(peer-to-peer) software maker LimeWire to immediately and permanently stop distributing and supporting its file-sharing software. This works because it’s a business within America being regulated, and LimeWire does have other avenues it’s pursuing and implementing, but as a whole I surmise this will destroy the company. Not only that, but it will only temporarily help the music industry. A LimeWire copycat will set up outside American jurisdiction, or an existing one will now get the power to become the new #1. However, I do actually agree with decision. No it won’t fix the problem, but the best we can do is take a stand ourselves. If the whole country takes a stand, even better.

Random thoughts 2!

Weekly thoughts!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

-An awful lot of people get engaged in the fall, it’s kind of disheartening.

-When bringing people into a team with you, work or otherwise, find people different than you.

-It seems like some people are pushing to get more women into CS. I understand how we should not discourage people, but it sounds like people are pushing for things like “teach you daughters to program!” and I don’t see the urgency.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

-I think Micah thinks I might be debating coming back to WoW. If so he’ll be disappointed.

-I think I need to be around Kjersti less, or at least control my thoughts better. Not in a dirty way! I keep wondering if we have dating potential, and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t work. I can’t allow myself to entertain the idea of dating her, it’ll just lead to hurt. Am I not striving to care less and be less active about dating?

-I keep feeling like my weeks take forever, because so many events seem to have happened since an event I’m thinking of. (Example: me, “So remember when that one thing happened at that place?” You, “yeah, you mean 2 days ago?” Me, “THAT WAS ONLY TWO DAYS AGO!?!”) It also feels like time is going fast though, at the same time it’s weird. But I think I figured out why. When I played video games 4/6/8 hours a day, I only had 1/3, 1/2 my daylight hours to do other stuff. But now I fill that time with other events, so twice as much stuff happens all the time! I’m still weirded out.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

-Not sure what to do about certain friendships. I frequently feel like I’m a killjoy around them, straight up. But I wouldn’t change it. If the two of them have been hanging out they are as giddy as school girls, but also as vulgar as the stereotypical modern male, without the cussing (well, with rare cussing.) I swear there was some scripture about avoiding boisterous laughter, but I can’t find it… maybe it was a prophetic quote, but anyway I always associated boisterous laughing with being super drunk, but I’m pretty sure this is a similar thing. When I wrote this our apartment white board said, “STFU! Tits or GTFO!” to me, this is over the line. They’ve combined making light of pornography, making light of swearing, making light of sex, and objectifying women, all into a single statement. But it’s “ok” because “it’s effin’ funny!” and now I can be a killjoy because I don’t support or laugh or join in with this type of humor, and I have no plans to slacken. But I sure miss my pair of friends who took their values seriously more consistently.

Monday, October 18, 2010

- You used to form powerful connections with strangers by being pen pals online. Why not be pen pals with people you actually have met?

- I came to the somewhat sad conclusion that I will definitely need glasses as I row up. Probably in the next 10 years or less.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

- When you encounter turbulance in life, slow down, and focus on the basics. (“Of things that matter most”, Uchtdorf, Oct 2010)

- I love feedback. I think it's largely due to my confidence. I feel I know myself pretty well and can back up my motivations for most things. So if someone calls me out, I don't feel guilty or defensive like I did something wrong, I can just take their information into the mix. If it's entirely off base, I can just discard it except maintaining the possibility some people feel that way. If it applies, it may open my eyes to how stupid I was being, and I'm fine with being wrong.

- “Human beings are social creatures—not occasionally or by accident but always.” (Peopleware, pg 14)

- Micah says I'm the greatest back-seat gamer ever, hecks yeah!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

- Just made the connection between all the managerial things Dr. K. has been talking about (not motivating by force, having trust, etc…) and why our government is doing so bad.

- Lab retrieving instinct faith example, they automatically want to follow you. A trainers job is to tell the lab to stay, then go as far as the lab can take before it gives in and follows you against orders, once it’s at that almost breaking point you call (reward) it. Heavenly Father is like that with our faith, waiting as long as possible to help improve and stretch our faith before rewarding us.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

- It’s funny (and somewhat annoying, but maybe that’s just because I’m admittedly irritable today) that since people are so used to me being happy, if I’m sad at all they assume it must be something monumental and they worry a lot about me. I can be sad too folks! I’m not going to kill myself it’s ok!

- “nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future” - Chris McCandless

Sunday, October 24, 2010

- Dr. K. frequently mentions how employee productivity differs by a factor of 50. I think how fun I am on any given day (or hour) can also differentiate by a factor of 50 as well.

Two genealogists are better than one.

It appears genealogy efforts are focused on applying the “two brains are better than one” concept. While doing today's reading, something that kept kind of grating on me was how many resources are offered to bring together different people who are working on the same family line. Apparently I'm o a terrible genealogist mindset, but my natural inclination is to think, “bah! I don't really care about what some stranger is working on, I'm sure it doesn't overlap with mine” but apparently it happens quite frequently, or they wouldn't have these tools. It really hit home when I thought about it in connection to chapter 1 of Peopleware, where it emphasizes that everything we do at some level is a team effort, and improving those teams tools and communication increases their effectiveness. I'm sad to report at this phase of my life I don't personally get excited about doing genealogy work, but I hope to someday.

Diffidence and Doctrine

Have you ever thought doubting yourself was a sin? Neither had I. I actually just wanted a good attention grabbing one-liner. However, I do think there’s a fair amount of basis to it. Cecil O. Samuelson said, “If you demean yourself in any way, you need to remember your theology about who you are really criticizing.” Our doctrine does say we are blessed with certain talents and weaknesses, but we are also children of God, which means our potential is essentially limitless. If we consider ourselves incapable of doing something we’re promised everyone can do, like overcoming sin, are we essentially scoffing at our own doctrine? I for one will think twice before proclaiming “I can’t do it!”

Random Thoughts

So I found that I seem to have my most interesting thoughts while driving in my car. However, even ones that I intend to write down rarely got recorded because once I got to my destination, I would then be distracted by room mates, homework, family, etc... This made me sad. So lately, upon arriving at my destination, before exiting my car I open my computer and write my thought down.

I thought I'd share them with you. Some are lame, some turned into longer thoughts ("Simple, Average, Intelligent" and "Rant about women".)

Random life thoughts

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

-As a consistent repeat customer of fast food places, I’ve found the workforce in any given fast food restaurant changes very frequently.

-I cut my average food spending by 30% this month. Take THAT dating!

-It hit me today that one day, Google will fall from glory. It’s not something I’m looking forward too, to my knowledge right now everything about them is great. I can’t possibly imagine how they’d fall, or what could be ‘better’, but the point is they probably will. People couldn’t picture anything better than gigantic mainframe computers, anything better than basic cell phones, where the crap did Facebook come from? It’s amazing we even care about it! New ideas will come, as they always do. I’m just very curious what will dethrone Google.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

-Happiness is a choice we make through the choices we take

-How unproductive can a Corby be in a single day? I feel like I’m trying to set a record today, and it’s only 10:00 AM, and I’m not even using video game assisted time wasting techniques.

Monday, October 04, 2010

-It would be a lot easier to enjoy the rain if I was fatter (didn’t get so thoroughly cold so easy) and ditched my laptop.

-The first girl who shows interest in Jason, he will either scare away by being too clingy, or he will get upset at how “they don’t care about me” (which means they won’t always pick up on/choose to react to his needyness) and he’ll give up.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

-You can learn a lot about someone by their Facebook status updates. If I was hiring someone, I’d be very interested to see their last 20 status updates. Business/app idea?...

Thursday, October 07, 2010

-A debt collection agency took a debtor to court and got their money out of him by showing that he recently posted pictures of his new corvette. The radio show was recommending things not to put on your Facebook so places like this can’t hold them against you, but I’m pretty sure the real safe bet is PAY YOUR DEBTS!! Or stay out of them. Yeesh society!

-What other kind of stuff can people derive and use from Facebook though?

-You should figure out how to write a Facebook app that datamines the last 20 facebook status’s. Apparently the interface is not that difficult.

-I got asked by Professor Knutson to join his Seqoia research lab today, to research stuff that interests me. What interests me?
-Somehow I changed from someone content to play WoW 8 hours a day, to someone who is interested in reading things like the psychological reprocussions of facebook, how did that happen? How could I study this?
- what kind of conclusions about people can one datamine from social networking?
- Social structure of a software development team
-Kjersti thinks I should be a ‘computer psychologist’

-"Simple, Average, Intelligent" was written here.

-What break downs DO I believe are more absolute than others?
-“there are only 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don’t.” – yep.
-“2 types, people who never feel like they’re enough (humble, low self worth) and people who never feel like they’re doing as much as they can (prideful, confident)” – mostly true as a primary characteristic in my opinion, but people dabble in both feelings.
-“2 types, givers and takers” – not true to generalize. I mostly feel like a giver but I have taker moments. Jason is the reverse.

- I love class google groups, they are so useful for getting help, and for giving assistance, which makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

Friday, October 08, 2010

-It’s funny how the back of your head becomes itchy magically after realizing you’re raising your hand for no reason, or that you don’t actually know the person you’re waving at.

-I’ve found having people who understand and agree with your ideas is very valuable, even if they don’t bring new ideas to the table.

Monday, October 11, 2010

-I’ve concluded I won’t be getting married anytime soon. I really need to be at peace with this. I don’t like hanging out and thinking it’s a waste of time because there isn’t a girl there I’m trying to woo.

- So I have a friend who developed alopecia, which is when hair stops growing anywhere on your body and falls out. She made the comment that it's much harder to tell if a fly is walking on your arm (apparently we normally notice it disturbing our arm hair, even if it's just the peach fuzz variety) and that when she gets a runny nose, there's nothing to stop it so it just drips out. Yum.
That being said, I've never found blowing my nose very useful. Pretty much nothing comes out. Also, the hair on my head is undeniably some of the thickest hair people I know have ever encountered, including my sister, and she cuts hair for a living. So I had the thought, I wonder if my nose hair is also thicker? And thus hangs on more powerfully? So blowing my nose is less effective? The end.

-The first step is to accept the fact of change as a way of life, rather than an untoward and annoying exception. (Mythical Man Month page 117)

-When’s the last time you REALLY sat and thought about how you want to be remembered, or how you want people to see you? When’s the last time you wrote it down?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

-when talking about gender representation in fields, are people hoping for 50/50? With any luck, the majority of women get to be stay at home moms, do the numbers take that into account?...

Simple, Average, Intelligent

So recently Neal, Micah, and I were up talking, and Neal mentioned this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people." Micah thought it was interesting enough to post as his Facebook status, which was followed by discussion with Andrew and Drew. Andrew asked if it’s a specific person we love, or the idea of love we love. Drew responded with an awesome comment that I think should be slightly more immortalized in note fashion, he said:

“When you talk about that person, you aren't necessarily talking about them, you are talking about how they are important to you, how they make you feel, and how you appreciate what you do with them. All of which are ideas.

Example: Person number 1: I like Mary. (Not so smart). Person number 2: (I like Mary because she kickboxed a jaguar. (Average). Person number 3 (I just saw Mary kickbox a jaguar. I like that because jaguars are pretty aggressive killing machines and Mary makes me feel safe around jaguars. (Smart). Person number three got the same point across with an idea and therefore is probably going to be considered a little smarter in general.”

That’s kind of a tangent though. Another thing brought up in the conversation spurred by Micah’s status post is that “there are X types of people in the world” generalizations are generally stupid. Take the aforementioned on for example, so small minded people talk about people? If I ever talk about people then I’m a simpleton? That’s not very fair, and doesn’t seem accurate. With most any of these X types of people generalizations, people go between the different categories all the time. In fact, the only one I can think of that seems absolute is “there are 10 types of people in this world. Those who understand binary and those who don’t.” And I’m not sure it counts because, despite its truth, it’s actually a joke.

I think the better way of rephrasing Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote is, “Simple conversations are about people, average conversations are about events, and intelligent conversations are about ideas.” This sits much better with me personally. I don’t feel like I’m being called simple if I’m talking about people, and I’m certainly willing to acknowledge that “Did you hear that Hugh Jackman is making a new movie?” is more a simple conversation than “if chemically balanced people can show behaviors of chemically imbalanced conditions, is it ever really possible to diagnose someone with a chemical imbalance when observing only behaviors?”

To further explore this the thought behind this quote, what about what we choose to do with our free time? Do we prefer people? Events? Or ideas? This thought occurred to me because I have quite a bit of reading assigned by a teacher who I have two classes with this semester. He is certainly one who encourages ideas. I’m a bit behind on my reading and wondered why it got this way. My first thought was “I just haven’t had time” but I really have. In fact, I read The Hunger Games, and The Way Of Kings (which I’d guesstimate is 6x the length of Hunger Games) so far during the semester. What makes them more desirable than my assigned reading? My conclusion was my novel reading is somewhere between people and events, while the assigned reading fits in the ideas category. Apparently in my free time, simply pursuing ideas isn’t quite a full driving force to me. However, I submit that great minds of the past came to great conclusions because even in their free time they frequently (yet not exclusively, balance much?) choose to interact with ideas.

That’s pretty much my train of thought so far, at this point I should stop procrastinating by writing notes about my ideas, and actually go read some of the aforementioned reading that I’m behind on. But I’ll leave this with a few questions.

#1. What are your thoughts on this?

#2. What other aspects of life do you think this measure can be related to?

#3. Do you think novels (Twilight, Harry Potter, The DaVinci Code, etc…) are better compared to talking about people, or talking about events?

#4. If we have a current measuring method that looks like

<- Simple — Average — Intelligent->

<- People — Events — Ideas ->

What are ways we could modify it to improve its clarity?

To infinity, and beyond!

In reading the articles for today, the thing that stuck out to me the most is how little we are living up to the potential of modern technology. This church article talks about how they are using computer assisted architectural design, member statistics management , a massive centralized genealogy database, and magnetically coded temple recommend cards. This is all great, but the most interesting thing is this was in the 1984 Ensign, only 3 years after the (debatable) debut of the personal computer! Sometimes it feels like ‘A Google! A Google! We have got a Google and there cannot be any more Google.’1 But if they could do things like this in the 80’s, our capacity to produce beneficial software today has limitless potential of which we’ve barely tapped.