ah, enjoy yourself, it's later than you think

September 22, 2008

One fun, if navel-gazing, form of fun for geeks is thinking about thinking.

Recently I read this Derek Yu's musing on left brain/right brain. Even though it gave lip-service to balancing the two, it had a bit of a bias:
This dichotomy between the left and right sides of the brain helps answer a question I've had about why some people are drawn to fantasy, sci-fi, comics, video games, etc. (i.e. things of the imagination), and why some people aren't. A right-brained person would naturally be excited by this kind of media, since they could easily visualize themselves in the imaginative worlds they employ. For lefties, who are more logical, analytical, and grounded in reality, there is perhaps little value in 'fantasy.'
He goes on to argue that the Americian Educational system isn't well-geared for this kind of left-brained thinker. I'm less of a judger (though, ironically, I tend to judge judging) so this sounds a little whiny to me, but hey, pot kettle etc.

My own form of self-coddling academic compartmentalizing has always been "memorizing vs extrapolating" -- I have a brain that seems poor at the former, as shown up in spelling, foreign language, chemistry, but when there are fewer basic elements, and the focus is on manipulating them in interesting ways, I do well; math (up until Calculus at least), computer science, physics. I'm not sure where high school biology (where I did well despite having lots to memorize) and history (where I also did really well, at least on the APs) fit into this scheme, and they might point to it being to simple to be useful.

I was trying to think of other correlated ways of stating this split: like, Memorization is Nouns, Extrapolation is Verbs. Memorization is the Parts, Extrapolation is the Relationship between the Parts. Memorization is static, Extrapolation is fast and dynamic (and again, I think I tend to be a fast and shallow thinker rather than a methodical and deep one.)

Or better yet, try to shoe-horn this into my overarching Interesting/Not-Interesting dynamic; Extrapolation is interesting, Memorization is not. Though it's kind of odd that I'm so eager to explain what I'm good at and what I'm not by finding out what things in either category have in common, similar to the kind of justification I see Derek Yu doing.

Quote of the Moment
"Exercise relieves stress. Nothing relieves exercise."
--Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka and Toshihiro Kawabata, Animal Crossing: Wild World, 2005 (yes, from the usual Quote of the Day thing)

Link of the Moment
I was so happy to see that Wikipedia's List of Fictional Expletives has been saved. (I hate Wikipedia's "deletion = gone without a trace" policy, and it's not new enough for Deletionpedia.) Though I thought I was remembering a science fiction-only list... plus this one would be better if it made a distinction between "implied that it's widely use in a fictional universe" (e.g. "frak" in Battlestar Galactica") and semi-clever writer one-offs ("oooh, ouch, right in the Cape Canaverals.")

It's angst not laziness that dominates my procrastination from techie work- if I'm out of a comfort zone, an urge to websurf is overwhelming
Are you kidding me? They really think they can call Yankee Stadium "the Cathedral"? Puh-leeze. Rest in Pieces, ya old beauty.
"It's worry, worry all of the time / You don't know how to laugh / They'll think of something funny / When they write your epitaph"
Nice not having to learn EVERYTHING from experience, like: "take the lanyard off your neck to use the keys, rather than ducking by the door"
Decisions by the Secretary [for the proposed bailout act] [..] may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency ??? wtf?
Working for a foreign-based company might have its pluses... coworker points out w/ the dollar, WE'RE kind of the offshore cheapish labor.
I've got "lucky" nail clippers. They're from Todai-ji in Japan! (And cut REALLY super well, and have some Kanji (I think) on the side.)