Archive for November, 2006

solipsism

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

sol·ip·sism:

n. Philosophy.

The theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified.
The theory or view that the self is the only reality.

Everyone Has Issues

Monday, November 20th, 2006

Scott Adams the creator of Dilbert has his own blog. I have been reading it for the last month. I like his style of writing and he always manages to make me laugh. Here is a snippet from todays blog:

Second, it’s my observation that almost everyone has some sort of mental problem. I’m dyslexic. You have ADD. The neighbor is clinically depressed. Your uncle washes his hands four hundred times a day. Your sister is an emotional basket case. Your best friend is a chronic masturbator. The guy in the next cubicle is on Prozac. The woman behind him is on Xanax. To her right is the guy on Paxil. He’s on the phone with the vendor who’s on Valium. And they all pray to invisible friends.

Read the rest here.

ipsedixitism:

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

ipsedixitism:
noun: an unsupported dogmatic assertion

a declaration that is made emphatically (as if no supporting evidence were necessary)

Ipsedixitisms are given as though absolutely no supporting argument is necessary. One motivation for not supporting declarations is the hope that it will make the declaration less visible, particularly in an obfuscated chain of mathematical or legal reasoning.

Good Olde Days

Friday, November 17th, 2006

The Hand Drafting days are no more. Get over it!

I deal with a rather large variety of engineers, architects, architecture professors and consultants. The one topics that comes up several times a week is the constant state of technological change in our profession and the inevitable glassy eye nostalgic claim of how wonderful it was in the “Good Olde Days”. Now there is something to be said for “getting one’s hands dirty”, it allowed more time to contemplate. On the other hand it was hard on the back, eyes and fingers to draw up a 100 sheet set of drawings on 36″x48″ vellum or mylar. Just the act of filling out the title block would consume 2 – 3 days work for one employee. It could also be tedious, redrawing the same details at various scales as an example. What I hated the most was lettering by hand. The worst was having to fill a 36×48 sheet with general notes and specifications. My hand usually cramped up after an hour.

Do I miss the “Good Olde Days”? Quite simply no. I can now do so much more with todays technology. Hand drawing now seems primitive. Now I hand drew for 10 years and have used a computer for about 12 years so I can relate to both.

The question that is being posed is this: Has the quality of architecture design been degraded by the technology? I think to a degree technology has contributed to a decline in quality of architectural projects for architects who fight the change. By not embracing the technology they expend a large amount of energy struggling and working around the technology, that always ends in frustration. The technology that should free the architect of the constraints of hand drawing instead enslaves and frustrates the design process. For those that have embraced the change all the promises made by the technology pundits have been realized and then some. Most of what was predicted has come to pass and some things that weren’t even considered are now common place, such as desktop realtime rendering, light studies and animation. In the last year even sketching and quick design software for preliminary vignettes has advanced to the point of making pencil and paper another choice and not a requirement. In my opinion we are experiencing a return to an architect that can now have control of almost all aspects of design and construction on the desktop, a return to the “master” architect in control of all aspects of the design process….. that is for those willing to continually learn and try new technology and embrace and welcome never ending change. (more…)

U Know

Friday, November 10th, 2006

I love quotes. In honor of this election and it’s aftermath here are some quotes by Donal Rumsfeld.

“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

“There’s another way to phrase that and that is that the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. It is basically saying the same thing in a different way. Simply because you do not have evidence that something does exist does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn’t exist.” -on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction

“I don’t know what the facts are but somebody’s certainly going to sit down with him and find out what he knows that they may not know, and make sure he knows what they know that he may not know.”

“If I know the answer I’ll tell you the answer, and if I don’t, I’ll just respond, cleverly.”

“I’m not into this detail stuff. I’m more concepty.”

“I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started.”

“I believe what I said yesterday. I don’t know what I said, but I know what I think, and, well, I assume it’s what I said.”

He really liked messing with the media and language. Too bad he couldn’t confuse the enemy as well, you know?

Elections and Technology

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

Diebold Memory Card

I watched a very scary documentary on Diebold voting machines and the election vote counting process. I had trouble going to sleep after seeing the laughable ease the software can be manipulated to rig an election. The documentary is on HBO and is called Hacking Democracy.