Saturday, May 31, 2003

Greg Hewlett’s site

It is with an earnest hope that I want to announce the latest family site, Whether or not you know Greg and Christine Hewlett, I would ask that you visit this site and join in prayer with them. They have a tough road ahead, and need all the prayer we can offer. To quote Greg, "I know that something beautiful will come from this. And I want to declare this beauty to the world."

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Happy Birthday Amy!

Amy's birthday is today, and she has caught up with me for another 10 months. Today will be lower-key than her last birthday, and certainly less hubbub than the surprise party she threw for me on my most recent birthday, but it's a special day for sure.

Happy Birthday, m'love! You get more beautiful and lovely every year!

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Matrix Reviewed

Well, a number of us are getting the chance to see the Matrix Reloaded today (some even saw it last night), and I would like to carve out a bit of space here to discuss it. I will be watching it in about two hours, and will be sure to post my thoughts (sans spoilers) when I can.

Until then, anyone who has seen it is welcome to leave a comment.

(Please avoid spoilers. If I see any, I will edit them out...)

Thursday, May 8, 2003

Garbage in, garbage out

Ever wondered about that theory called evolution? Rest at ease, a couple of researchers have proven it, as related in this report entitled Darwin Proved Right by Experiment with 'Alien' Life! I'll let you read the whole article for yourself, but here are a few things that jumped out at me...

"Researchers prodded and annoyed life-like digital entities over more than 15,000 generations to learn that evolution among simple creatures is in fact based on the Darwinian notion of survival of the fittest..."

"...the experiment found that complex logical ability never evolves unless simpler abilities -- foundational mutations -- are rewarded..."

Does something strike you about those statements? As a fledgling software developer, one thing I have discovered (usually to my chagrin) is that a piece of software will not do anything you have not told it to do. So I create an environment for these "virtual life forms" and turn them loose. Lo and behold, they behave much like I expected them to. Coincidence? Nah, must be proof that my expectations about life (which, by the way, could not possibly have influenced my design of the code in the first place) are spot-on, and, as the title of the article seems to indicate, I have PROVEN evolution...

But I'm being cynical. Surely the developers could not have brought their assumptions to the project?

"Scientists do not know how life on Earth evolved from simple organisms... to more complex forms like flowering plants and galloping animals."

Ah, so we don't know HOW, but apparently we do KNOW for a fact that it happened?

At any rate, this reveals an important focus of the experiment. If the scientists that wrote the software were not looking for IF, but HOW, their experiment merely provides a possible answer to HOW. The whether-or-not question stands independent of this entire article. They apparently started with the assumption that it happened and wanted to provide a somewhat feasible (insert debate here) explanation. So how exactly is "Darwin Proved Right?"

Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Matrix Reloaded

Looking to the upcoming weeks and days, it occurs to me I'm greatly looking forward to the release of The Matrix Reloaded. Anyone else out there with me? Amy won't watch the trailer, but I know she's looking forward to it. (As a side note, I give her a great deal of credit for having the self-restraint to resist watching it. I caved and watched it online.)

My general theory with movies like this is to set my expectations very low, and hope for nothing more than a mildly entertaining set of special effects. That was my approach with the X-Men sequel, and I was pleasantly surprised with the movie when I saw it. (Okay, that's an understatement!)

I'm finding it hard to lower my expectations for the new Matrix movie, but I have a gnawing worry that it is going to be a hollow sequel to a movie that stood very well by itself. Technically, the original Matrix left itself open to a sequel, but it didn't scream out for one, and could have lived on in film history without one. So, my question is this: Will the sequel take away from the original, or will it be good enough to make the original even better? And where is that threshold?

Insert Content Here…

I've been looking at my home page for some weeks now thinking that I should update it with a funny or timely entry (wouldn't that be a change!), but nothing has come to mind. Perhaps inspiration will strike while I type...

Nope. My life is not terribly exciting right now. Studying for a final, watching our plants grow and bloom, and just cruising from day to day in most other areas. It's not boring, but it doesn't make good copy. So I'll just sit on the sidelines for now. Maybe if anyone reads this site, they can add some comments that will spark something. Or maybe I'll jump back in when I have had time to pick up the books I want to read from my end table and dust them off after my exam...