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Showing posts from 2015

8 Dimensional Thinking

I was once watching a show on physics where they spoke about the fabric of spacetime. They said people often view an event as having 3 dimensions, that is, where does it happen? So, your x, y and z axis, or height, width and depth, will state where an event occurred. They then expanded on this to say that an event is really 4 dimensional because we have to include the time at which it occurs. So, give x, y, z and t and you have the “location” of your event.
Thinking more abstractly in a social setting, what really defines an event? How about the people who show up to it? What influences their actions leading to said event? Their mood, attitude, energy, other recent events, the weather, blood sugar, alcohol level, hormones, a conversation they had with a friend earlier, an upcoming deadline, etc. Given that any of these items can heavily influence a person’s actions at a given time and place, they in turn influence what event occurs.
So, could we define an event not in just 4 dimensions …

Learning React: Part 1

I recently decided to start learning React for a new project at my employer. I’m going to try to post some of my findings along the way with the hopes that someone will find them useful. First, starting with a good up to date template is important. Things move so fast at the bleeding edge, a template can die in just a couple months. I wanted something integrated with SailsJS since I recently learned that, liked it, and needed a simple back-end for this new project. Despite how long Sails has been out, there doesn’t seem to be an up to date generator/template for Sails + React.
Side note, a fellow developer recommended react-hot-boilerplate to start with. It doesn’t come with a server back-end like Sails but it does appear to be better maintained than the other templates.
I started messing around with sails-generate-reactjs. Starting out, I really liked it. However, the repository has not been updated for about 3 months now and the author does not seem to be active on it any longer. Thu…

If Technology is Magic, Where is the Curiosity?

Many of us have heard the Arthur C. Clark quote “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Those of us who work in the computer industry for a living seem to have an immediate agreement with the quote. Push these buttons or click these boxes in this order and this other thing will happen. People who don’t spend a career or hobby in tech are sometimes lost when going beyond such explicit instructions. Under those actions exists layers upon layers of complexity and abstractions and the user has no idea how any one of them function. So…. magic.

Now, with traditional magic, there’s often a strong element of curiosity. Show anyone a simple card trick that they have not seen before and they will immediately want to know how you did it. They will be up front about their request and possibly resort to nagging if you don’t reveal the secret. There will be a strong tension built up inside the person that demands an answer. Even though knowing the secret ruins the ma…

Is Over-Analyzing Just an Opportunity to Avoid Grit?

Recently, I ordered a used cellular phone off E-Bay, the LG G3. My current phone, a Samsung Galaxy S3, is running rather sluggish and given it’s age, I’ve been considering an upgrade. I’ve been putting it off for some time though, because when I make a purchase like this (one I expect to last for years) I go into heavy research mode. Ideally I would line up all the current phones, compare their specs, read reviews, make a list of my requirements and on and on. To my credit, this method tends to work fairly well, at least regarding this particular type of goal, of purchasing a product that I’ll be satisfied with for some time.
My purchase ended up being induced by reading an article online that had a table comparing pixel density on various LCD screens. This included computer monitors, televisions and even mobile phones. Despite a 5k monitor on the list (what the article was actually about), the LG G3 ranked at the top for PPI. For whatever reason, I immediately became interested, did s…