keflce ekelfc cekfel kclfee elekcf kfeelc fleekc fcleek elkfec lkcfee lkcefe ekcfle ecelkf leckef kceelf kcflee leckfe fkceel kefcle lckeef
~.. floating rubble .~.
3 days ago
Ugh, math exams at the TUM. Time and time again I get frustrated by how much emphasis is put on being able to solve problems fast. Here an example:
Today's exam was for the course "algorithmic discrete mathematics". 5 questions in 60 minutes time with roughly the same amount of points each. That is 12 minutes per question. Let's assume the process of reading the problem and understanding what is to be done takes 3 minutes. Writing down the answer takes another 3 minutes if you have the solution worked out. That leaves only 6 minutes to work out a correct solution.
Knowing that you have very few minutes to come up with a solution creates a lot of pressure, especially if you read the problem and not immediately know the answer.
It punishes exploring multiple paths of reasoning and forces you to pick and follow one path of reasoning without room for error. If after 3 - 4 minutes of thinking you notice your path does not work out you are punished. If you want to double check your answer for errors you are punished. If you make a small mistake that requires a lot of re-writing the answer you are punished.
So these exams are a high-pressure, no-room-for-error situations which in my opinion do not evaluate ones knowledge of the subject matter very accurately. Even less so if you do not have a very good intuition when it comes to problem solving (in general), in other words you are not particularly "clever" or "quick of thought", which I am not particularly.
I would much prefer exams with slightly more complex questions but a much relaxed time constraint like I had in Sweden at the KTH. Or even better, graded homework and/or oral exams.
..~ floating rubble ..~
10 days ago
It is so much fun to spend a lot of time and energy trying comprehend my lecture notes - carefully dissecting every step and struggling to fill in (the many) gaps - only to realize that the notes contain a subtle error and it is simply impossible to fill in the gaps. It's like a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle missing 200 pieces and containing a handful of wrong pieces that cannot fit at all. Just lovely.
And these digitalized handwritten notes (written by my professor) contain infuriatingly many errors.
Silver lining: I'm getting pretty good at spotting subtle errors.
Some excerpts of my inner monologue:
Ah, that I looks suspiciously like a V missing a stroke. Uh, one of letters α, b, c doesn't seem do fit in. Oh god, I hate discrete math so much right now. Åh, the correct sequence of variables is l, n, m, o and the professor apparently forgot how to sing the alphabet song.
.~. floating rubble .~.
15 days ago
Time to say farewell to my hero Kara Ben Nemsi. I'm going to miss the many adventures in foreign cities, through deserts and valleys, over mountains and hills. No matter how great the difficulties, not matter how dire the situation, no matter how numerous the enemies ahead, Kara Ben Nemsi and his brave companions always found a solution. Always using his wit before reaching to his weapons. Always trying his best to uphold peace and stay true to his ideals. That is something to admire. Lebe wohl.
I will come back to these stories for sure. I only have two of the six books of the Orient Cycle in paper and I will try to get ahold of the remaining four. Actually, I hope to acquire earlier editions with the many illustrations that are missing in my editions.
There are many things to be said about these stories but that's not for now. Only one thing here: Karl May did a great job of bringing Kara Ben Nemsi's journey through the orient to a conclusion.
All the more did it hurt to read the epilogue which he wrote four years later in 1892 to reach the required number of pages for the sixth book (according to wikipedia). It's not a bad story and it keeps the spirit of the main narration - but best forget about that sad reunion quickly and never read it again.
*big sigh*
.~. floating rubble ~..
16 days ago
Nach zwei Tagen Wache fühlt sich der Hüter gar nicht gut.
Schneemonster, huh? Danke L!
~.. floating rubble ..~
18 days ago
Der Hüter des Gemüsegartens.
He looks dismayed. Could it be because I tore up half the vegetable garden to play with the snow and build a ... couldn't be right? Aiaii, this is getting loop-y.
~.. floating rubble .~.
23 days ago
I fixed the embedded videos on here to also provide mp4 as an alternative to webm. Special thanks to Apple for making my life harder by not supporting the webm video format.
If you took a look at The Lonely Maize without working videos some confusion might clear up by watching them. The three video clips really should stand in the center. They were the inspiration for the whole project. I came up with the dialog as sort of a homage to this strange lonely maize I came across.
~.. floating rubble ..~
26 days ago
Another pair of dancing shoes joins the flock. Tap tap.
In recent years the "flock of dancing shoes" has managed to increase its following dramatically, now outnumbering the "clan of everyday normal shoes". It has been rumored that one of its recent additions is armed with metal plates. Trying times indeed for everyday normal shoes.
..~ floating rubble ..~
30 days ago
My favorite islands are the islands of Urza's Saga. What are your favorite islands?
I wish I was on such a lush island now. Here everything is cold and grey. Preferably not the leftmost though.
..~ floating rubble ~..
36 days ago
Music from Zimbabwe: "Zvichapera" by Chiwoniso. I love the call-and-response. Such an amazing element in music and dance. I need to find more of that, both in African music and swing era jazz.
..~ floating rubble ~..
37 days ago
After some struggle I finally finished "The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer" by Neal Stephenson. After "Snow Crash" which I enjoyed very much it was a huge disappointment. Here a short subjective review.
The book is about 600 pages of moderately interesting SciFi with some compelling ideas like its take on nano-tech or VR. But as a novel it failed me completely. The story lacks focus and has no clear resolution of any sort. There are so many loose ends that seem entirely unresolvable (i.e. what could ever become of the "Mouse Army", what about "The Seed", what about Hackworth or his daughter)?
Moving on, the chapters concerning Nell and the primer were very repetitive and boring after a while. There was not a single character I could relate to or empathize with in the entire book. It read like a dragged-out Asimov story without a carefully thought-out story (like in the Foundation Triology). It seems to me that the plot of the story only serves the SciFi ideas and not itself (in contrast to Foundation). To me it felt very forced and arbitrary at times.
The last thing I want to mention is the over-the-top and entirely unnecessary sexual thing that is going on with "The Drummers". That irks me so much. Why? If you need transmission of particles ("nanosites") carried in the bloodstream, why not by some other means, like uhm, saliva or directly by an exchange of blood? Aiaiaii ...
"Snow Crash" was over-the-top as well but there the story, the characters and the setting supported it. "The Diamond Age" does not.
Final verdict: Very meh!
To recover the final book of the "Orient Zyklus" by Karl May is in order. Kara Ben Nemsi warte! Ich komme, ich komme ja schon zurück.
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