gotta gotta gotta write write write

Remembering why i blog, or really revisiting it, i’m determined to actually put my foot forward and to blog more often. This really has more to do with looking around at my peers or even strangers i stumble past on the Interwebs than it does with fulfilling some personal mantra. I see ‘em post all the time, even if a lot of it is drivel notwithstanding since it’s still being put out there for eyes other than its originator, and i (of course) compare my paltry offerings to the writing world, look aghast then cringe and berate myself (if only i had the means of self-flogging…lol…joshing, only joshing). I need to produce and publish.

Gotta gotta gotta write write write. Daily. Published (almost) daily.

With the first iteration of Mental Ephemera a few years back, i would blog daily, sometimes three or four times. I don’t know what happened to that. Not saying i need to get to that frequency again, but i definitely need to be more prolific than scant when it comes to weight on the writing scales.

If i can Tweet or post a Facebook status, i can use 15-20 minutes to jot down 500 words. Minimally. I’m sure i’m capable of at least that much. My Stream of Consciousness writings have been a trickle when they should be a, well, stream. Somewhere in the caverns and crevices of my mind lurks a dwarf twiddling his fat thumbs, yearning to be called upon to metal out some scripture. I gotta let him loose more often. (Metal…dwarf…fantasy fans may find that to be clever…or, maybe not lol.)

With my piece on the purposeful randomness of inspiration, it was a spur-of-the-moment blurting-out of thoughts—a reaction to @ChristophNYC’s recent piece paying homage to Rachel Lou-Salome (i first learned of her reading Yalom’s When Nietzsche Wept, an excellent fictional account of Nietzsche and Lou-Salome, by the way). Striking: Lou-Salome was a muse, Valentine’s Day is encroaching upon us non-coupled-up folks; both of them together lurking under my conscious sparked some thoughts. Figured better out than in.

Gotta gotta gotta write write write. Daily. Published (almost) daily.

There’s way too much going on in the world, events to comment on, or people to piss off with my opinions (grounded in fact!) to ever run out of ideas to write about. Heck, with the amount of music i listen to constantly, lyrics being in abundance, i’ve another endless source of inspiration. Fuckyeah. It’s actually what spurred the Skin & Bones post. Anthony Hamilton and Fiona Apple have been catalysts for joints, as well. Though, those are more for private or at least for a sole person’s viewing. So, they remain unpublished. No matter. Better out than in, right?—even if it be for a selective audience.

I’m going with: if i keep on saying it out loud, maybe one day it’ll come true. Sorta like Jesus. Or Rumplestiltskin. Or Candy Man.

Gotta gotta gotta write write write. Daily. Published (almost) daily.

 

 

Donate Your Idle CPU Time

For those like me who keep their computers at home and at work on all the time, here’s a simple way to put them to use while away: it’s called volunteer computing. Basically, your computer gives some of its resources to assist in various scientific or academic research projects. It’s important because there are > billion computers in the world, but most of them are not being used to anywhere near full capacity, especially sitting idle for hours at a time. By volunteering your computer’s idle CPU time, you can greatly assist in projects such as cancer or DNA research. There are dozens of projects that allow you to donate your computer’s resources.

How this works is by downloading software (i use BOINC), signing up with a project manager, choosing the projects you want to assist, and voila. When your computer is idle for a given amount of time (and connected to the ‘net, of course) it will start crunching the numbers for that project. Think of it as a screen saver that actually does something but be pretty lol.

A (very) recent entry into this field, CharityEngine, which donates whatever it makes from research projects to charities, and one that has the potential for mass adoption because of the ease of use, is a team from Waterloo during Facebook’s annual Hackathon contest.

For more information on volunteer computing, i’ve copied & pasted from BOINC’s website:

What is volunteer computing?

Volunteer computing is an arrangement in which people (volunteers) provide computing resources to projects, which use the resources to do distributed computing and/or storage.

  • Volunteers are typically members of the general public who own Internet-connected PCs. Organizations such as schools and businesses may also volunteer the use of their computers.
  • Projects are typically academic (university-based) and do scientific research. But there are exceptions; for example,  GIMPS and  distributed.net (two major projects) are not academic.

Several aspects of the project/volunteer relationship are worth noting:

  • Volunteers are effectively anonymous; although they may be required to register and supply email address or other information, they are not linked to a real-world identity.
  • Because of their anonymity, volunteers are not accountable to projects. If a volunteer misbehaves in some way (for example, by intentionally returning incorrect computational results) the project cannot prosecute or discipline the volunteer.
  • Volunteers must trust projects in several ways:
    • The volunteer trusts the project to provide applications that don’t damage their computer or invade their privacy.
    • The volunteer trusts that the project is truthful about what work is being done by its applications, and how the resulting intellectual property will be used.
    • The volunteer trusts the project to follow proper security practices, so that hackers cannot use the project as a vehicle for malicious activities.

The first volunteer computing project was  GIMPS (Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search), which started in 1995. Other early projects include  distributed.net SETI@home, and  Folding@home. Today there are over 50 active projects.

Why is volunteer computing important?

It’s important for several reasons:

  • Because of the huge number (> 1 billion) of PCs in the world, volunteer computing can supply more computing power to science than does any other type of computing. This computing power enables scientific research that could not be done otherwise. This advantage will increase over time, because the laws of economics dictate that consumer products such as PCs and game consoles will advance faster than more specialized products, and that there will be more of them.
  • Volunteer computing power can’t be bought; it must be earned. A research project that has limited funding but large public appeal can get huge computing power. In contrast, traditional supercomputers are extremely expensive, and are available only for applications that can afford them (for example, nuclear weapon design and espionage).
  • Volunteer computing encourages public interest in science, and provides the public with voice in determining the directions of scientific research.

Hope to see you donating your idle CPU time :-)

my life in 365 days

Directly inspired by Ev’Yan and her “my life in 365 days” post, i’ve decided i want to try taking a photo … every day … for a year.

It’s tempting to think it’s easy, but as a person who’s attempted (and “completed”) several poetry 30-in-30s (at least one poem every day for 30 consecutive days), i know better. The fuel to do so and excitement is there for the first couple days. But then life happens. A procrastinated assignment here; a sick dog there. Next thing you know, you’re behind by three days, forced to cheat by writing seven poems in a few hours, hoping no one notices. But, someone will; and that someone is yourself, the most important person at that.

Anyway, I am interested in doing this mainly because i love snapping photos and it reminds me of Andy Warhol. About three years ago, after reading Warhol’s Diaries, a massive tome chronicling the seminal author’s quasi-daily activities, including photos, food receipts and other ephemera, i was inspired to chronicle as much of the tidbits, important and mundane, of my life. I succeeded for maybe six months, but eventually ran out of steam. I still keep it up to this day, though entries over the past year have been for maybe two or three consecutive days, but then nothing for five or so months. My dedication and remembering to do so has been paltry at best.

I think this 365 photo project plus little blurb (but knowing me, it’ll be some a long-winded memo) will give me a refreshed spirit and resolve to chronicle my life.

And, I think i might have a strategy for this test of habit endurance and dedication: create a daily calendar event in my phone. Now, to figure out what time of day would work best. I’m not a morning person, so right when i wake up won’t work. Maybe lunchtime. Yeah, that sounds like a good time.

Wish me luck!