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Some Thoughts

So this blog is getting updated a little more frequently – hopefully, you are finding some useful tips. At this stage, I’m still a mere squidling (undergraduate), so you’re getting a lot of redirects to other awesome things instead of novel ideas, but that’s how life works. Hopefully I’m guiding you to the right places.

My elbow is healing up gradually – I can rotate my wrist almost entirely and my arm can almost straighten. Twisting my arm remains difficult. The progress is promising, but I still can’t lift more than two pounds. Perhaps in two weeks I can meet up with deCycles in Lexington and finish the last 3 days of the ride.

It’s not too bad being back in Bloomington. This weekend I started earnest work on the paper for InPhO. Right now I’m articulating how AI should be used to augment human feedback, without superseding it. I’ve also been working on some user interfaces and came across a really good Google Tech Talk, “Don’t Make Me Click“. Aza Raskin does a great job of emphasizing the importance of minimalist design and of doing as much as possible for your users. I found it worth the hour.

I’ve also been researching polyphasic sleep. Basically instead of sleeping 8 hours in a row, you have a shorter period of “core sleep” and then take 20 minute naps throughout the day. There are variations ranging from 6 hours of core sleep with a 30 minute nap in the day (Biphasic) to no core sleep and 6 20 minute naps throughout the day (Uberman) and a bunch of middle ground (Everyman). The less extreme versions are more pretentious ways of explaining what people do anyways, but the uberman concept is a fascinating extreme. Steve Pavlina has an interesting journal on adopting the uberman (day 30) (day 120) (going back). My roommate seems to have accidentally adopted the everyman system last year.

This month, I’m going to adopt biphasic sleep as my “thing” (although it seems this is how I naturally react to the school year). My only concern with adopting a true polyphasic sleep schedule is physical activity. No reports seem to have a regular exercise routine, and with 150+ miles of biking per week, I think core sleep may play a larger role in muscle recovery. For more findings on sleep, monitor my sleep tag on Delicious.

Some (public domain) visualizations of sleep patterns from Wikipedia:

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Hey everyone,

I’ve decided to restart blogging with the general concept of “anything goes”. It’s summer now, so I should be able to update regularly.

Sophomore year is over, and it was rather disappointing. Up until now, I’ve been able to take on more than usual and still do absolutely fine. This year I finally found my limit (or it found me). The scariest thing was discovering that I forgot how to write! Next year I’ll be dropping down to a much more manageable 13 hours a semester and begin recovering what’s left of my GPA. C’est la vie.

For the first half of the summer I’ll be working on three things:

  1. Finishing up work on the Power of Logic (PoL) web tutor.
  2. Doing supercomputing research for the Indiana Philosophy Ontology Project (InPhO).
  3. Training for deCycles 2009.

For PoL, I’ll be working on some new applets for argument diagramming. I’ve decided to go with Java for this, since I’m starting to get a decent grasp on the swing libraries and have a general disdain for Flash. You can expect at least one post on swing… I’ll also be relearning C for the InPhO parallelization research. Since it’s summer and I can code for fun as well, I’ll be refining my Python skills too.

This summer is hardly confined to the “great indoors” (thank god). In June I’m leaving for a 1500-mile bike tour from Bloomington, IN to Appalachia. We’ll be traveling across the Bluegrass to the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Parkway. After reaching Asheville, NC, we’ll head through Gatlinburg and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, back through Tennessee and Kentucky, and then back home again. It should be an epic time, but it requires a lot of training. I’m aiming for 1200 miles by June 20, and I’ll be uploading pics from the road.

I’ve made an effort to tie this blog with the rest of my “cloud” presence. To the right you’ll find streams of my Google Reader shared items, bookmarks and Twitter updates. Hopefully they are useful. I’ve also added some friends who occasionally blog. They’re pretty cool. Please subscribe/follow/bookmark/remember the blog, I’ll make it worthwhile.

Jaimie Murdock

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