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Turing's Halting Theorem in C [Mar. 30th, 2010|11:53 am]
/* halting.c */

#include <stdio.h>

/* returns nonzero when the process terminates
 * returns zero when it does not terminate
int thisProcessTerminates();

int main(int argc, char** argv)
    printf("Alan Turing is my homeboy.\n");

/* exercise to the reader:
 * write an implementation of thisProcessTerminates(){}.

int thisProcessTerminates()
  /* function stub */

Fake Teak—award nominees [Mar. 7th, 2010|12:59 pm]
Excitingly, Recharged Radio have nominated Fake Teak for two awards!  You can vote for us here:

Recharged Radio—Awards 2010

We're up for best new band and best single.  We also highly recommend these nominees:

{Kah|Gabby Young|Rachel Kenedy}: best female;
Karim Fanous: best male;
{Karim Fanous|Jarmean}: best EP;
Field: best international artist;
Jarmean: shoes and haircut.

Seriously, check them all out, they are great.

Voltage Controlled Filter [Feb. 9th, 2010|11:00 pm]
they sealed it in resin
to keep it secret
and stop its temperature
and when it broke
nobody could get in
and it was irreparable.

C++ stack trouble [Sep. 2nd, 2009|05:55 pm]
My stack runneth over.  Does anyone know how to extend the stack at run-time?

Failing that I am going to have to change my recursive deletion set-up (which has worked fine until now) to an iterative garbage collector (which is going to be a pain to implement).

Dreams [Sep. 1st, 2009|03:31 pm]
I recently had a dream in which two wasps appeared.  One wasp was a common European wasp and one was some kind of massive black-and-lemon-yellow hornet.

I hate wasps, in consequence of which they are one of the symbols my brain has used for years to signal anxiety of some kind, so this was not surprising.  However, as a consequence of my hatred of wasps I decided to find out as much about them as possible—in particular, trying to work out what the least pleasant wasp on earth was (in my opinion it is the Yak Killer), and finding out quite a lot about wasp behaviour in the process.

It turns out European wasps are about the most aggressive stinging insects there are.  All other species use their stings for defensive purposes only as far as mammals are concerned.  Even the Yak Killer only kills the unfortunate yak that stumbles into a nest.  The most painful sting on earth belongs to the bullet ant (it feels like being shot), closely followed by the tarantula hawk (apparently it is like being electrocuted, but the pain only lasts five minutes ... making it almost worth trying).

Thus, in the dream, my reaction was not (as formerly) "oh, no, a wasp!  I shall be stung!"

When I looked at the hornet, I thought, "I've never seen that species before.  I wonder what it is?  It probably isn't real—it looks too fat to fly."

When I looked at the European wasp I was more concerned, but not unduly.  European wasps do attack people, mainly to get at their sandwiches.  As I had no sandwiches I knew I was not at great risk.

Of course the thing flew up my trouser-leg.  So I located it and killed it, during which it stung me twice barely occasioning any pain at all.

It amuses me that apparently I can now outsmart my own subconscious.

Fake Teak gig / 30th October / The Zenith Bar [Aug. 26th, 2009|04:53 pm]
To my astonishment as much as anyone's, Fake Teak now exist.  I've formed the nucleus of a band with excellent synth-player Chris McInnes and we are playing a real live gig, hosted by Broken Toy Music and featuring The Henry Road, on 30th October at The Zenith Bar (gmap).

We've recorded one song together—I literally turned up with lyrics and one riff and we worked the rest out there—and I am very, very excited.

The song (The Halting Problem, named after Alan Turing's famous computational theorem) can be heard and we can be found on Carbon Logic, Myspace and Facebook.

Please do come along!

My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts [Jun. 28th, 2009|02:38 pm]
While on TED recently I saw Jakob Trollback talk about rethinking the music video.  The piece of music he chooses is by Brian Eno and David Byrne, from My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts.

Now I think the music is brilliant but I can't imagine it ever reaching number one, yet it is still clearly a very influential and important piece, as are many Talking Heads tracks.  Thinking of Byrne's RISD background, and many of the Heads' origins, I realized the piece maybe fits more conveniently into the Western art music tradition than any other.  It references African music very powerfully, probably more successfully than Peter Gabriel or Paul Simon in a lot of respects, but seems more like a classical piece in some senses than a popular one.

It made me wonder if the future of art music is to embrace recorded and synthetic music somewhat more thoroughly than, hitherto, it has.

In praise of thinking to excess (1) [Apr. 9th, 2009|02:44 pm]
Sometimes people say, "trust your instincts".

Our intuition sometimes tells us information we don't really know how we know, especially in situations involving people, for which this intuition probably mainly evolved.

Our instincts also sometimes tell us the only way the horizon can stay still while gravity shifts about like that is poison, because our instincts have not heard of boats.

They also tell us that, obviously, if something happened, then something else happened, the first something caused the second.  If something else happened first that caused both those somethings, however, our instincts tend to miss it.

My instinct is not to trust my instincts till I've tested them.

Man 'Flu [Mar. 5th, 2009|10:34 am]
The last few times I have had a cold, at least one and usually two or three girls have asked, "is it man-'flu?"

Given that I have usually just said, "I have a cold", I am not sure why this question is so popular.  But in thirty years' time, the women who are laughing at men's weakness and going into work and infecting everyone with their colds will, in a lot of cases, be desperately trying to persuade men in their lives (relations, husbands, boyfriends, submissive slaves and the like) to go to the doctor about that cough.  The men will be saying, "it's fine!  I'm fine!"

Sometimes you just can't win.

Accidentally rediscovered in an old chat log: Armageddon. [Mar. 4th, 2009|11:07 am]
last night I dreamed it was the end of the world

the military had built a machine which created a condition which would eventually collapse to a quantum singularity (faster if they turned it off, so that wasn't an option).

at first I went, "the mathematics doesn't work that way! quantum singularities are failures in the theory! you can't just make one!"

then I went, "but no mathematicians are coming on the radio to reassure people it's all OK. wait, what if it isn't?"

plus Michael Buerk was flirting with a french female newsreader he had always secretly fancied, and when the professionalism of a man like Michael Buerk crumbles you know things have gone wrong

(she was gorgeous, by the way. I didn't blame him at all.)

then I got very sad because of all the people I loved, but would not have time to reach in order to say goodbye.

then I went, "no, the mathematics really don't make sense. this must be a dream. if I were asleep I would be in this position ... [lay down] and the covers would be up to my neck, so if I wriggle they'll slip, I will cool off and wake up [did this]."

I didn't in fact wake up, I merely entered another dream where I was in bed, but at least it proved the universe wasn't going to end

the weirdest thing was, although I was very conscious of the dream's unrealistic parts, it was the most vivid dream I have had in months, perhaps years. I needed to wake up to prove it was a dream.

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