Archive for August, 2009

Random Thoughts

I think it’s time to publish this. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Taxi-driving PhD

Very late in the morning but have to write this before I forget.

Just now I read an article that my friend had shared in his Facebook several days ago. OK, I’ll give you some time to read it. And I’m now getting really worried.

A PhD, even from Stanford, does not always guarantee you for a secure job. The struggle for having a decent life is still there, waiting for the time when we fail to meet what we are expected to do.

Then I googled his name and found his blog. Spontaneously I started to admire his stores and also writing style. He must be well-versed in philosophy or something. He translated a Chinese poem into English while maintainng its rhyme, and yet he considered it an ย “amateur work”. Quite skillful, eh?

He must be a very great guy.

And from his stories it seems like being a taxi driver can introduce you to other people’s life briefly, from which you can learn how to respect life.

I like this andย this posts most, BTW.

***

Personal note

In fact having PhD as my intermediate goal is partly to search for a better life abroad. I wrote in one of my previous post that continuing your study is the fastest and easiest way to achieve it for a person in my position. But I thought once we have PhD we will have a secure life with a secure financial condition. I didn’t know about this until just now. And even further, I didn’t know that there areย many PhDs doing the same thing somewhere else.

Considering my elitist-leaning nature, I am not sure that I will be prepared if in the future I happen to have the same experience as him. Will I be grateful if I can only get a job as a, say, janitor, cleaning the floor and the tables of a restaurant after the consumers finish their dishes? Even a position in an Indonesian university will not do. Really, I seem to resemble the people that he criticises.

And I am obviously a bad driver.

Oh, maybe I can strive for my second dream. To be a rock star, even if it is just in local events. My musicianship is below par, and I play guitar and bass sloppily, so I guess being a punk rocker is reasonable. I love you full, hahahahaha. ๐Ÿ˜€

Real-time Graphics Programmer

I am a computer science student, whose job includes writing computer programs, and my field of interest is Computer Graphics, with more emphasis in real-time applications such as computer games. In this application, there is a 30 frames-per-second boundary that must be maintained, so that an image is shown on the display device at least every 1/30 s. I know that today’s computers are already very fast in processing graphics, thanks to the development of GPU, but I am *always* worried whether the algorithm that I implement will severe the frame rate, even if it just computes the length of a vector using Pythagorean theorem, which says the magnitude of a vector is defined by the square root of the sum of the squared components of the vector. A very cheap computation, yet makes me afraid to implement.

Surga dan Neraka

Heaven and Hell

Heaven and Hell

Buat apalah engkau repot-repot memikirkan surga yang bentuknya saja kau tak tahu, kau tak kenal, dan hanya bisa kau raba berdasar nubuat-nubuat para nabi
Jika sebuah senyuman dari orang yang engkau tolong sudah cukup untuk membuatmu bahagia
Bahkan bilapun itu adalah sebuah sumpah serapah yang kau terima, engkau tetap bisa tersenyum simpul

Buat apalah engkau repot-repot memikirkan neraka yang bentuknya saja kau tak tahu, kau tak kenal, dan hanya bisa kau raba berdasar nubuat-nubuat para nabi
Jika air mata orang yang engkau celakai sudah cukup untuk membuatmu menyesal
Jika cacian mereka sudah cukup untuk membuatmu terjaga semalaman, merenungi hari yang lalu ketika engkau berbuat salah

Buat apalah engkau repot-repot memikirkan ganjaran apa yang akan kau terima di alam barzah
Biarlah persamaan-persamaan Tuhan memberi nilai yang tepat untukmu

Political Correctness; By Default

I read this and this and loled hard.

๐Ÿ˜† LOL ๐Ÿ˜† LOL ๐Ÿ˜† LOL ๐Ÿ˜† LOL ๐Ÿ˜† LOL ๐Ÿ˜† LOL ๐Ÿ˜† LOL ๐Ÿ˜† LOL ๐Ÿ˜† LOL ๐Ÿ˜† LOL ๐Ÿ˜† LOL ๐Ÿ˜† LOL ๐Ÿ˜†

I’d already guessed that it would turn to be like that. :mrgreen:

Of course I know that the commentator’s intention was good, but I think it is not politically correct. In order to make such a wish, you must first know whether the person you wish observes it or not. Previously, he also wished me a happy fasting, but I can understand it (and I don’t really mind about the OOT-ness; such a kind guy, amn’t I? :mrgreen: ) since you can’t find what my religious belief is easily in this blog. However, in Jensen’s case, he has explicitly written in the sidebar that he is a Protestant, so logically he doesn’t observe the Ramadhan fast. Well, maybe the wisher missed it, but he wished it anyway since in his mindset Indonesians are Moslem by default.

This is not only to mock the commentator. In fact I suffer from this too, sometimes. The difference is that I don’t want to know what your religious belief is; I am not interested to know it. E.g., I didn’t know that my colleague who sits next to me is a free thinker until I read his Facebook profile, several months after I knew him. Therefore, by default I won’t wish you anything, until you tell me or you observe your religious practice in front of me or I just accidentally find out.ย In fact not only religion. I had a kawaii xD friend, a girl, who looks like a Chinese. Some friends say she is not, while others agree that she is. Therefore I didn’t wish her a Gong Xi Fa Cai during the Chinese New Year. Well, I am not sure whether this is good, but I do it all the time anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

But political correctness sucks, doesn’t it? ๐Ÿ˜•

BTW, I have ever been wished for a couple of events that I don’t celebrate. Deepavali. Chinese New Year. Do I look more like a Chinese or Indian, actually? ๐Ÿ˜• Anyway, I just usually say “Thanks, but I don’t celebrate it.” ๐Ÿ™‚ But sometimes I don’t really care about it and just respond “Thanks”. ๐Ÿ˜†

Unguiltily Blocked

This started a couple days ago when I was banned from entering one of my favourite-yet-infrequently-visited website, 4chan. It said that I was permanently banned due to overwhelmingly spams that I had sent and that I could not make any appeal. So I was like, wait, what??? I never left any comment there! What I did there were basically downloading and downloading. Never have I typed a single character in the comment box.

And this happened again just now when I was procrastinating surfing on Wikipedia. Not being logged in, a notification appeared, stating that I’d got a message. I clicked and read the user talk page. What I understood is that somebody had committed vandalism by editting a couple of entries unconstructively. The interesting part is the following paragraphs at the top of the page.

This IP address,ย xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, is registered to **********, an Internet service provider through which numerous individual users may connect to the Internet via proxy. This IP address may be reassigned to a different person when the current user disconnects.

For this reason, a message intended for one person may be received by another. If you are editing from this address and are frustrated by irrelevant messages, you can avoid them by creating an account for yourself. In some cases, you may temporarily be unable to create an account due to efforts to deal withvandalism, in which case, please see here.

If you are autoblocked repeatedly, we encourage you to contact your Internet service provider or IT department and ask them to contact Wikimedia’s XFF projectabout enabling X-Forwarded-For HTTP headers on their proxy servers so that our editing blocks will affect only the intended user.

So yeah, the IP address that I use is a dynamic one, automatically set by the ISP. Somebody else must have abused it forย trolling and vandalising. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

PS: just now I rechecked the 4chan’s side again, and the IP address was different from the last time I visited it. I was still banned, although the ban was remanent, only 5 days.

Computer Graphics and Artificial Intelligence Research Groups

Today I upload my list of Computer Graphics and Artificial Intelligence Research Groups. I made it in the end of 2008 but it only stayed in my harddisk for months. This is the link to the list: [link]. Alternatively, you can also click the third item in the header of this blog.

This list is far from finished. Some notes:

  1. It is obviously not tidily written. The future format should list the full names of every university in English, unless the name has been aย de facto standard for addressing the university, like in the case of RWTH Aachen.
  2. Only a few entries have brief descriptions. I want to summarise what their respective research topics are.
  3. So far I only include universities which make up their ways to the top 500 best universities lists according to Shanghai Jiao Tong and HEEACT, and a small number of other universities that don’t. Nice addition will be to put some links to more unlisted universities’, governmental, companies’ and independent research groups. I am not planning to put links to individual researchers as there would be too many of them. This is only done if the research group the researcher is affiliated to doesn’t have any particular website.
  4. I face difficulties in understanding universities’ websites that do not have English section, for example universities in France, Japan and China.

Any help is appreciated, and I hope you find this list useful. Thanks.


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