Skip to main content

Musing 1024 (#1024)

Topics/tags: Meta-musings

I recently celebrated musing 1000. However, as a cmoputer scientist, I find musing 1024 equally important [1]. Just as 1000 is important to many people because it represents a transition from three digits to four digits, 1024 is important because it represents a transition from ten bits to eleven bits.

If a quarter is two bits, then ten bits is a buck and a quarter. I’m not sure what you call eleven bits.

Why do two bits make a quarter? There’s what I remember and what is probably the truth. Pieces of eight. I always think of it as being something like a Hershey bar; a dollar bill, as it were, but easily segmentable. But Middle Son says that they were scored circular objects, coins you might say. Let me check the Interweb. It appears that Middle Son is correct. Or maybe I heard it wrong, maybe it’s pizzas of eight, since that’s what they look like once cut apart.

Where was I? Oh, celebrating an anniversary. It appears that I am even less prepared to celebrate this anniversary than I was the four-digit decimal anniversary. I should have realilzed that it was upcoming when I posted musing 1023 yesterday, but it didn’t strike me until I was about to post a very different musing 1024 tonight. That one gets added to my written, needs minor revisions list.

How should I celebrate? I’ve been thinking about the history of another document about binary lately. But that’s a topic for another musing. I still haven’t gathered together the sketches that never made it to the sketchbook; I know that there are a bunch. Let’s see.

 $ ls *.md | grep -v index | wc -l

Yup, there are about 200 files sitting around that do not appear to have been used. I have some listed in my sketchbook, but not all of them. I also moved some to a sketchbook folder. How many are there?

$ ls sketches/*.md | wc -l

Another 50, more of less. I wonder if any are ones I’d want to revise.

$ ls sketches/*.md                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Okay, a lot of those can probably be set aside. Permanently.

Almost certainly anything with a 2017 in the title. Some are nearly finished musings, but no longer relevant. Others are sketches. The alum one appears to havve been notes from when an alum was back on campus, including things they asked about (1010, Posse, Frisbee) and a bit of a reflection on some changes in language. I can get rid of the older complaints about the amount of workload I impose on myself, including the fourth in the nibbled to death by ducks series, the ninth in the inbox-zero series, and the taskcading that I had already moved.

Should I keep the musing on accumulation? It seems to be one of many sets of sketches on addiction and accumulation and my hoarder instinct. That seems like something I should keep. The organization one, too.

It took me awhile to remember what idgaff is. Then I realized that it was an acronym for something I say to myself once in a while, but never out loud. I wonder what mood I was in that I decided to eliminate it.

The sabbatical calculations one reeks of privilege, even though it’s mostly completed. I’m dumping it [2].

Communications does not deserve the rant. I’m pretty sure I sent it to them for feedback before posting and realized that most of my assumptions were wrong. I appreciate those colleagues’ willingness to gently correct me. Another one to dump.

Cool. commonplace-endings was the start of my attempt to create a commonplace book of endings in response to my complete inability to find a way to end musings well. It appears that I have a similar inability to keep commonplace books. I’ll keep it, just to be optimistic.

It appears that I was thinking a lot about term faculty. Let’s save those to look at again some other time.

Some of these are from last spring’s hiatus, including one about the hiatus that I got close to finishing, but never posted. My, that was clever of me. I’m sad that I never finished the one on Salt Marsh Suite. It’s no longer relevant, so I’m going to include the part that I did write.

This evening, eldest son said something like Dad, you seem more relaxed than you’ve been in some time. In some ways he’s right; although I have way too many things on my plate right now, tonight I’m in a relatively good place. In part, it’s simply a comparison to how I’ve been the past few days. But mostly, it’s a response to having spent time immersing myself in the arts, particularly in a multimedia dance piece in the Flanagan entitled Salt Marsh Suite.

[The missing parts that Sam never managed to write.]

THANK YOU to the students who gave up so much of their time to provide this wonderful piece to the broader community. Thank you also for your contributions to the wonderful choreography.

THANK YOU to those who designed and built it.

THANK YOU to the infrastructure at Grinnell that supported bringing the piece to Grinnell.

[Some final parts that Sam never manged to write.]

I should probably get back to making mix tapes for my kids. I particularly appreciate how I started the love/hate one:

These are songs that I love that do not naturally fit in the genres of music that my children like. Hence, it’s a love/hate mixtape. I love them; they’ll likely hate them.

  1. Venus in Furs by the Velvet Underground
  1. Los Angeles by X
  1. That’s When I Reach for My Revolver by Mission of Burma
  1. Mary Tyler Moore Theme by Husker Du
  1. Little Johnny Jewel (live) by Television
  1. Piss Factory by Patti Smith
  1. TV Eye by the Stooges
  1. Blank Generation by Richard Hell

Definitely songs I love. Likely songs my kids will hate. Definitely a project worth revisiting [3]. But I have to remember where the live TV is. Perhaps The Blow-Up.

That’s about all I have energy for right now. I’m down to thirty that I’ve kept. That’s not too bad. Will I ever finish them? Maybe by musing 2048.

$ ls sketches/*.md                                                                                                                                                                                      

Was looking at musings a good way to celebrate this momentous event? Possibly. Perhaps I should have written software instead. It seems more appropriate.

Postscript: Thank you, once again, to Celeste Miller and her awesome team. Sand Marsh Suite brought joy to my life and helped me survive spring 2019. I’m sorry that I was never able to pay tribute to you in writing.

[1] If I’d been sensible enough to number my initial musing as musing 0, I would have completed 1024 musings, rather than 1023, before the rollover. However, as I’ve noted in the past, I was not expecting to continue this habit for nearly this long. There’s also long-term evidence that sensible is a term that rarely gets applied to the person typically referred to as SamR.

[2] More precisely, I’m moving it to a folder of musings I will never post.

[3] We had a Marimba concert on campus tonight. They were planning to play some popular songs and, for some reason, my mind said In-a-gadda-da-vida. I wonder if that fits into the love/hate tape. I’m not sure that I love it that much, and I’m not sure that they’ll hate it. Time to move on.

Version 1.0 of 2020-02-21.