Call me Al

Aug. 10th, 2006 02:11 am
sinclair_furie: (Default)
Right, I should start by saying that my musical roots are sort of enmeshed in 70's folk music, so my love for Simon & Garfunkel is given. I grew up with my mom's music: Hindi music which I paid no attention to and my mom's English music which I eventually learned to love. Somewhere along the line I also listened to music older cousins did, and then developed this bizarre and disturbing love for pop rock (woe) such as Dashboard Confessional. But freshmen and sophomore year I was all about the sound of silence, baby.
So, somewhat inspired by karaoke today for Sachi's farewell, but also the Supernatural soundtrack...
7 (+1) Songs you should listen to, pre-1980's (as far as I know):
OMG SUSPENSE )

Ask and I shall upload the songs you want, I suppose.
Now, all this talk of the  seventies is making me think of the movie A Home at the End of the World, which has one of my very favorite Colin Farrell performances, ever. It has Me and Julio down by the Schoolyard in the soundtrack! And it's by Michael Cunningham! It wasn't that popular because it's a rather bizarre story about family and sexual orientation (sort of) and it's realistic to point of depressing at times and totally contrived at others. I don't know, it's the kind of story you just have to go with and then have a sort of resolution but not really at the end.
To conclude...
The song Losing my Religion by R.E.M. is best coming-out song ever. That's kind of a bizarre song category, but whatever, it's still a great song. And also, my friends were losers today because they all didn't know it, except Francis, who didn't mention he knew it so I had to sing it alone. But yes, awesome song, because the lyrics include: "And I don't know if I can do it/Oh no I've said too much/haven't said enough" and "Of every waking hour I'm/Choosing my confessions/Trying to keep an eye on you/Like a hurt lost and blinded fool."
I don't think it was written to be a coming-out song, exactly (though who knows, the lead singer of R.E.M. is bisexual) but it works very well as one.
And I thought I was going to sleep early tonight.
sinclair_furie: (Cedric on Crack)
Ok, random things...
I'm rather excited about my dorm room now, after obsessively looking it up. I feel rather tempted to facebook the previous inhabitant. Hurray East Campus!
Also, I had a bizarre surge of MIT excitement yesterday night. Well, really today morning, as I've been making a habit of going to sleep at 6am. So the worst thing about sleeping when the sun rises is that you don't really want to go to sleep, but you know you must because otherwise your dad will find you awake and yell and also you'll be tired in the afternoon and so you try to go to sleep. And I haven't had a surge of excitement since I GOT IN, which was, you know, wildly exciting because I really wasn't expecting it and I wanted it so badly. It's really strange to get something you want that badly.
But you know, everybody has been asking, are you excited about college? And sometimes I say yes, but when I'm being honest, I usually reply with, "No, not yet. I'm rather enjoying indolence." Which makes me wonder... If it was possible to live a life of perpetual sloth and not go to MIT and not have to worry about my financial well-being, would I do it? I mean, I don't think I need human contact that badly, and a life of guaranteed sloth is quite appealing. But would I die of intellectual deprivation?
I honestly don't know the answer, but I'm hoping I'd go for the "work my ass off at college, but have fun anyway" route. Oooff, responsibility. What a burden.
Also, my mom, also being obsessive, called the school and got my IB PIN for me, so I now have my IB scores. And um. The strangest thing happened.
I got a five in psych. This would be Standard Level Psychology, which I've expected a seven in since like, first semester junior year when Ms. Morrison told me nonchalantly, "You'll be one of my sevens." So now I want to know, what crack is being smoked and by whom and can I get some?
Seriously. It's so absurd that I'm not even upset or disappointed, because it's like... I don't know, finding a purple cat in your closet. Bothersome, maybe, and totally fucked up, but ultimately great entertainment.
Ok, now I really want a purple cat.
Also, I've rediscovered the Thrills, who are perfect for the kind of mood I'm in right now.
Really. They're these Irish kids who sing like they're from Southern California. And they have these happy songs that are actually really depressing, kind of like Rilo Kiley or Eisley.
Also, Crystal CUT HER HAIR. And she looks incredibly hot and I think I may have to jump her when we have dinner tonight. So, apologies in advance, I CANNOT CONTROL MY LUST.
Seriously, I have a major girls-with-short-hair thing. You want to get in my pants? Cut your hair.
Finally. Even though I may move to California because it seems to be a the only sane place in the US (and yes, the rest are insane), it's always good to know that Europe is awesome and also has embryonic stem-cell research. On that topic, you should probably read this editorial, which rather awesomely explains the false dilemma that is embryonic stem cell research.
sinclair_furie: (good omens)
So, this is that interview meme thing. And [livejournal.com profile] lunaedraconis is interviewing me. If you want, you can ask to be interviewed in the comments! And I will ask you five personal/ridiculous/serious questions and you will have to answer them in your journal. Hurray.

1) What will you major in at MIT? Was it possible that I met you at CPW/were you there?
(Aero/Astro || Mech) && Lit )

2) What happened to make you not buy into the whole Muslim thing?
A somewhat long story. )

3) Where, exactly, do you live? I know it's Indonesia/Malaysia/Singaporeish in that area of the world, but I'm not quite sure!
The text behind this is shorter than the cut. )

4) What's your favourite author and book, besides Neil Gaiman and Good Omens (I'm excepting those because you iconed the best lines in it)?
H2 students- make a wild guess )

5) What do you want to tell me, personally, that you think I ought to know about you?
I still think Hitler was stupid, though. )

Edit: Ok, these will take me a while to get through, so no more requests! :)
sinclair_furie: (libs)
Tagged by Crystal

Name five of life's simple pleasures that you like most, then pick five people to do the same. Try to be original and creative and not to use things that someone else has already used.

1. Reading something absurdly funny. Books, fanfiction, essays... anything that makes me giggle.
2. Long phone conversations. Longer than half an hour, anyway.
3. The feeling right before the end of exam week- that air of concentrated, tense almost-freedom. It's insane. Also, I love exam week in general because school only lasts for four hours!
4. Entering a new, busy city when travelling and losing yourself completely. Feeling anonymous and powerful... it helps if there's a slight breeze and you're in a bookstore.
5. A cup of good tea. Earl Grey, and at just the right temperature... also, with good cake.

Tag: [livejournal.com profile] funwithgoats , [livejournal.com profile] thesexthatshops  ,[livejournal.com profile] fractaltime ,[livejournal.com profile] guanabana [livejournal.com profile] wr0m
Forbes, Caroline, Svein, Hannah, Fahad
sinclair_furie: (Default)
Reality sucks. Truly.
And teenage drama is lame. It needs to be wiped from the face of this earth. Perhaps there should be laws. Like do not engage in it upon pain of death. Fiery, bloody death.
Ah well.
I will leave you with quotes!
From an insanely long conversation with Yuhki, this brilliant comment:
Me: So you're just going to leave me here, on the phone? I'll be heart broken.
Yuhki: [after explaining his need to read Jane Eyre] Why not? What commitment do I have to you?

And from IMing Tim:
Tim: [After showing me pictures of the Sultan of Brunei's LM variant of the F1]All of the LMs were supposed to be painted this orange color (called Papaya Orange), because it was the favorite color of the founder of McLaren. When the sultan ordered his 3 he said he wanted 2 in black. so, as far as anyone knows (because no one has ever seen any pictures of these 2 LMs), 2 of them are black. As you can tell, i get huge erections for this car, and know more about it than is healthy.
Me: Lol, I probably would too, if I was capable of getting erections.

Reality

Oct. 27th, 2005 07:22 pm
sinclair_furie: (Default)
Today my dad brought a pamphlet about driving lessons. He's been talking about me taking them all week and as we're getting a week long holiday it seems like a good idea to start learning. It's actually kind of funny, a lot of people- students- I know drive already and do so on a regular basis. Cesca, Jun, Paolo, Leanda... They drive themselves around it's all very normal.
I don't know, I think today, between SAT II scores (numbers. NUMBERS.), talking about college boys with Ambika, thinking about college apps and then the driving lessons-the idea that I will physically be in control of a massive metal object and moving it around- I had somewhat of an epiphany. And it was not that the last sentence is extremely cluttered and rather disgusting, though that is true as well.
All of this is real. All of this is very real. I say things and do things which are irrelevant and ridiculous and now that I look at them seriously I know I don't mean half of them... but despite my devil-may-care attitude there is out there a girl named Sharmin and she is living a very real life and things are happening. And the wierdest thing is that I don't really care right now that none of it matters in the end. It's almost an extraneous detail.

I feel strange and out of place now.

[edit]
The world is tragically beautiful and heartbreakingly flawed today. I feel morose and mellow. I blame hormonal fluctuation and the inevitable self-examination.
I actually feel the need to be nice and considerate to people. This is an annoying mood to be in. I hope it goes away. Soon.

[edit again]
The editor in me is going insane. Why are things in twos in the above edit? It is not cool. I need to do something about this lazy writing.
sinclair_furie: (Default)
SAT II's today.
Chemistry, Math, Physics. All in all pretty easy and SOBORINGANDSUCHAWASTEOFTIME!!!
Would you like to know something creepy? I've begun seeing standardised tests in a completely new manner. Instead of trying to figure out the answer to a question, I look at a queston and see the point of the question. As if I was reviewing the test, and the questions had to cover certain syllabus topics. So on the Chemistry exam, for example, when I looked at a question I didn't start by looking at the answer choices and doing calculations- I though, ah, here the test writers are testing my understanding of Boyle's Law!
However, this is creepy in an interesting way. And it makes the tests easier. So I suppose it is all good.
To get away from all this nonsense...
Carl Barat is officially on my to do list. I hope, for his own good, he doesn't come too close to me during his lifetime, as it could be very dangerous.

Check it out. The photographer is quite brilliant. *swoon*
By the way, Crystal, all that stuff on [livejournal.com profile] thelibs_daily about "your famous friend, well I blew him before you" is from the Franz Ferdinand song "Do You Want To." Good music, sexy men, and SAT II's are done... Sharmin is happy, for the next... few hours, at least.
sinclair_furie: (Default)
Yuhki said today that I'm intimidating. ME. Intimidating. He said the whole world probably finds me intimidating.
Allow me to say that if you find me intimidating, you're going to be screwed when you meet real life. And people who are actually intimidating. Alas, I suppose there is not much hope for the world, is there?
Nevertheless, I am now in a state of angst. I never meant to be intimidating! This is a most distressing development. I'm fine with arrogant, self centered, too smart for my own good, hypocritical and ridiculously selfish, but intimidating? No, simply not acceptable.
I'm going to go wallow in my newfound angst in a corner, with no one but Caroline to comfort me.

In other news, Franz Ferdinand is genius and colleges really need to start giving editable PDF forms for applications. The number of forms I have soiled [giggle] by writing the date like a European is alarming.
sinclair_furie: (Default)
LJ Interests meme results

bittersweet romances
:
Somehow I have a thing for love stories that end sadly. The most pure and beautiful form of love is unrequited- and writing complicated, sad (but not angsty) love stories is something I really like to do. Or imagine doing.
There should be some happiness, though, to make it plausible. And to make it sadder when it ends.
more interesting stuff )

Enter your LJ user name, and 10 interests will be selected from your interest list.



sinclair_furie: (Default)
"Indeed," he replies, raising his eyebrows in agreement. I laugh softly. He's picking up my mannerisms.
"Do you do that a lot?" I ask.
"No, just... between us."

Pronouns are the disguised sovereigns of the English language. No- they are the advisers, the sly whisperers who make the decisions while the figurehead verb kings and the affected aristocracy of nouns and adjectives simper uselessly in their contrived court of fools.

Think about it for a moment. That which is left unsaid rules the spoken. Pronouns are massive exercises in not saying everything. They obscure even the simplest things; they conceal true meaning. Pronouns defiantly evade our obsessive categorization, smiling enigmatically when we wonder who they've really replaced. I mean, who are "they" and what is "us"? 

"They" are the hush of fear, the bitterness of accusation and the futility of helplessness. We speak smugly of "us": conspirators, friends, lovers, brothers or children whispering hotly an amusing anecdote. We are objects replaced, nouns substituted. Still, there is camaraderie in dismissing them. 

And there is joy, pure and simple, in being included in us.
sinclair_furie: (Default)
Beauty is when the world is indifferent to its own tragedy.
Elegance in science is when you can't imagine the world possibly being any other way. Like Fermat's Principle.
Love is when without it, reality ceases to exist.

Mastery

Aug. 22nd, 2005 04:50 pm
sinclair_furie: (Default)

I am lying down, the bass rumble of faraway thunder jarring, melding with my bones. Above me the sharp crack of lightning as it burns through the air. It’s a shock to my bones and for a moment I feel, but see nothing. Rain falls everywhere- I am shrouded in darkness- and despite the insistent annoyance of the light flicking in- and out- and back again- I cannot help but think

 
God I love thunderstorms

sinclair_furie: (Default)
So yesterday I got into a conversation with Hillier, and I mentioned that I considered him wholesome. Being male, he of course objected and claimed I didn't know what he did. I explained I meant emotionally wholesome, well adjusted, "normal" without the bother of mediocrity, and he agreed. Which got me thinking about wholesomeness, optimism and all that jazz. And now I'm seriously wondering- How does one reconcile belief in God with cynicism?
I ask this question not because I am vehemently atheist and trying to trap those who belive into a logical argument- I have no bitterness towards religion, just a disgust that I think everyone shares towards what it can be used for. I am genuinely curious. So this is actually an open question to my readers- any thoughts?
(If you want I'll give you candy in return for thoughtful answers!)
In other news, closure is a good thing. Really. Sometimes you forget or ignore how things have been sitting unresolved, somewhere in your brain. Trust me, it's good to make that effort to confront the ghosts (shadows, echoes, regrets etc) of your past.  Whether its years later or weeks later, it makes you feel a lot better.
sinclair_furie: (Default)
So, onto a little exploration of the human psyche. Also known as Rambling.
Recently I've reached a stage with literature where I despise the Love Story. Specifically, I despise the fact that the protagonist seems to, almost without exception, find the love of his (sometimes her, but mostly his) life, have fantastic sex, and live happily ever after. While they're still shooting at him. Why do I bring this up? Because Charlie Stross of all people puts a love story in Singularity Sky. Granted having read his own views on his space opera series (he also claims it the result of a cynical rush of blood to the head) I'm inclined to forgive him. However. For the record... Happy love stories are mostly just ploys to keep the reader happy, both with sex and of course vicarious fulflilment. Also, eternal foreplay throughout the novel, with the characters suddenly becoming nervous, tingly or smiley but not doing anything about it is lame.  I point you in the direction of Anne MaCaffrey. Damn romantics.
I think this is one of the reasons I loved The Big U so much. Despite the fact that the protagonist (Casimir Radon) is totally badass, smart, nice and as physics geeks go, incredibly cool, he doesn't get the girl. But they remain friends and continue to fight the evil that is university bureacracy together. Neal Stephenson rocks. Amen.
sinclair_furie: (Default)
Well, Crystal has asked for my advice, and now that my muse is officially one of my multiple personalities, I thought I'd let her speak...

Being a muse is hard work. Mostly it involves telling people what they should already know, that inspiration can come from pretty much anywhere. This should be self evident, but instead I have to chase self-righteous artists convinced their problem is unique, covinced that nothing is good enough, especially not for them. Haughty things.
Anyhow, if you are an artist starved fo inspiration, listen, young padawan. Wracking your brain for ideas? Finding that everything you write/draw/photograph/etc comes out wrong? Maybe you just need a break.
Not from your work, of course, but try changing media. If you draw people, try doing an abstract. If you write long novels, do an experimental sketch of a minor character. If you photograph, stop for a moment and think about a random thing you've photographed. Write about it. That girl in that picture, what's her favourite color? What's her story?
Talk to interesting people. Shamelessly steal their cleverness and their charm and put it into your work. Try remaking an old piece from a different point of view, in a different media, in a different color scheme to get warmed up. Look around and capture random objects, people, situations, settings... This will get you started, and then, well, you'll be so far gone it won't matter anymore. If you're trying to do something specific, look at it from the point of view of someone else. Does it interest you because it's specific to your life? Because it's beautiful? Because it would shock your parents? Take things apart and find out what makes them tick.
And if you can't get it right, leave it alone, at least for a while. Nit pickers are the most annoying people. Ever.*
If you're still at a loss you're either very very stupid or very very bored. Schedule a special appointment with me, but remember that I require good tea and cake. And comfy chairs. Biscuits are good too.
*Except homophobes, fundamentalists and bratty children, who are annoying but also fill you with great violence.
sinclair_furie: (Default)
Well, a little while ago we saw the unfortunate death of our ismstudents forum.  Oddly enough, this story on slashdot seems to mirror it in a twisted way. Now, the ismstudents site did have a lot of immature, childish flaming and spamming, so they're not exactly parallels, but still.... A bunch of parents set up a forum where they could express their concerns (ie complain) about Charter Schools USA and now the company is threatening to sue them for libel.
All of this goes to show that corporate America should NOT handle our education. Who knows, maybe they'll put advertisements in textbooks.
sinclair_furie: (Default)
Deviant sinclairfurie has now updated her DA with her TOK project.
We have:
Roadkill (thumbnail)
Phoenix Exultant (thumbnail)
The King and the Queen (thumbnail)

I'm actually quite proud of it, though if you're very squeamish you should avoid Roadkill, or at least enlargening the image.  It has a message- we're all pretentious and we strive for something that is actually lost forever to us. I would have liked to avoid the message, but what can you do? Project requirements.

And the Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray, being a super cool book:
All art is quite useless ) In other news, I am currently reading the Silmarillion, which is very beautiful and inspiringl.  I think I'm on the verge of becoming a complete Tolkein geek.
Trainspotting was a good movie. Very strange. And wacky, but good. Only now I'm conviced "cunt" is a term of endearment.
I feel dreadfully bohemian. Tell me, what do bohemians drink?
sinclair_furie: (Default)
1. Jean-Paul Sartre   (100%)  Click here for info
2. John Stuart Mill   (72%)  Click here for info
3. Ayn Rand   (59%)  Click here for info
4. David Hume   (54%)  Click here for info
5. Kant   (51%)  Click here for info
6. Aquinas   (48%)  Click here for info
7. Prescriptivism   (42%)  Click here for info
8. Plato   (38%)  Click here for info
9. Nietzsche   (36%)  Click here for info
10. Thomas Hobbes   (36%)  Click here for info
11. Jeremy Bentham   (34%)  Click here for info
12. St. Augustine   (33%)  Click here for info
13. Epicureans   (30%)  Click here for info
14. Ockham   (30%)  Click here for info
15. Aristotle   (28%)  Click here for info
16. Nel Noddings   (24%)  Click here for info
17. Spinoza   (24%)  Click here for info
18. Cynics   (18%)  Click here for info
19. Stoics   (16%)  Click here for info
That's my Philospher test.
The Ayn Rand bit scares me. Also, I should be more like Nietzsche because he's awesome.
sinclair_furie: (Default)
I've read a lot of science fiction.  And thus inevitably, I've read a lot of stories dealing with robots and computers. It's the crazy speculative streak of science fiction I love, the way it can propose wacky things which some how seem to make more sense than reality as we know it.
One of these things is the capacity of robots and computers to feel emotion.  There are a lot of views on this, as many as there are authors, but they range from granting it to only the very human robots, to granting it to ordinary robots, and even to computers.
And of course, flatly claiming that lines of 1's and 0's can never feel emotion.
So let's start in the order they appeared in my life. [most links are to amazon.com, refering to the book from which the idea came]
Robert Heinlein gives emotion to computers. In The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Mycroft Holmes becomes a sentient computer.  In fact, Heinlein treats the matter of sentience and emotion as inevitable; you give a computer enough connections and have it do enough stuff at once, and with attention and love (Heinlein is big on love) it will become sentient. And like Minerva, want to become a human being.
Isaac Asimov is far more famous for his work with robots. (Yeah, remember that Will Smith movie? :P) He had these incredible humaniform robots, the three laws of robots... and robots who cared and fought for humanity.  And in his later novels, that felt something akin to emotion (Daneel and Elijah, Dors and Hari Seldon).
Arthur C. Clarke immortalized the insane computer with HAL, though he later explained that it was more due to "faulty" programming and an obsessive desire to complete the mission. But ACC has many interesting and varied things to say.
So that's the big three.
Then we have some other authors, such as Frederick Pohl who claim that human consciousness can be stored as data and Dan Simmons who posit a true love story between an AI turned man and a woman. And then there's the entire cyberpunk genre, with Gibson and his people turning into virtual entities that exist in cyberspace, Morgan and his "stacks" (a person's "soul" is stored digitally in their spine) and Stephenson and his... well, weird stuff. Not sure what his view on the whole issue is, probably something hilarious.
As some of you may remember, I've discovered a love for the series Battlestar Galactica, which has humaniod (well, human, really) robots.  The thing about these robots is that in becoming so like humans they have crossed a critical point and feel some sort of emotion. They may not understand it, but they are emotive beings.
I find all of this to be a fascinating line of inquiry. Personally, I believe we are capable of creating beings that can convince themselves that they're feeling emotions.  And deep down inside, I have a suspicion that our feelings and our memories are just emergent properties of complicated 1's and 0's.
So my answer to "Can machines feel?" is not yet, but maybe someday. When we're much better at what we do.
Look out for a story posted under an LJ cut inspired by this...

sinclair_furie: (Default)
Currently Watching
Battlestar Galactica (2003 Miniseries)
see related
You scored as atheism. You are... an atheist, though you probably already knew this. Also, you probably have several people praying daily for your soul.Instead of simply being "nonreligious," atheists strongly believe in the lack of existence of a higher being, or God.

atheism


83%

agnosticism


75%

Buddhism


67%

Satanism


54%

Islam


46%

Paganism


46%

Christianity


29%

Hinduism


25%

Judaism


25%

Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com
I knew that already. But I suppose I'm upset that atheism is listed as a religion at all (and in lowercase letters, as Sephraem rightly pointed out) because it really isn't.
Here is one of my favorite passages from Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness:
"To oppose something is to maintain it.
"They say here "all roads lead to Mishnory." To be sure, if you turn your back on Mishnory and walk away frm it, you are still on the Mishnory road. To oppose vulgarity is inevitably to be vulgar. You must go somewhere else; you must have another goal; then you walk a different road.
"... To be an atheist is to maintain God. His existence or his nonexistence, it amounts ot the same, on the plane of proof.  Thus proof is not a world ofgen used among the Handdarata, who have chosen not to tread God as a fact, subject either to proof or to belief: they ahve broken th ecircle, and go free.
"To learn which questions are unaswerable, and not to answer them : this skill is most neeful in times of stress and darkness."
How does this apply to me? Well to me atheism means moving beyond God, beyond caring if a higher power exists or not.  If pressed I will answer that I believe (but do not KNOW) that there is no God. And that's where my agnosticism comes in- I must always maintain that something might not be true. That is, after all, the scientific approach to life- held as probably true as long as it is supported and not refuted. But one can never be sure.
I find it just a little silly that a lot of atheists are upset by religion, and have hatred of religion itself. Well, I certainly have hatred of the terrible things done in the name of religion, just like I have hatred of the abuse of any other cause, but I find religion-bashing to be a bit juvenile.
Transcend, don't stay back and squabble! For if we were all atheists, the word atheist would cease to exist and we would just be people.

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sinclair_furie

July 2010

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