LISP and the Public Library

What is the most powerful possession that you own? I would argue that it is your library card. If you are lucky enough to have one, without so many fines that, you cannot check out books. The Johnson County Public Resource Library happened to have three books on the subject I was interesting in researching. A long time ago, I gave up a dream, to continue my education. I was working on a program that came to be known as Captain Fractal. My parents have been gracious enough to allow me to work on this program in the comfort of my childhood home.
Jaccie asked about why I do not write prolifically now that I have so much spare time. The answer is that I have been spending all of my spare time working on this program. Thinking about higher order mathematics takes so much out of me that I do not have very much energy to put the prose floating around the abstract corners of my mind onto paper. I hope that is a legitimate answer to the question. If I can finish this program fairly soon, then I will as a happy as a farmer, standing in middle of a field of tall cotton.
I have been having some trouble coding the algorithms. Of course I am programming in LISP, which is, more fun than I can possible convey in words. I actually went back to basics, and have taken some of the slightly yellow-paged books, off the library shelf and brought them home with me. The only three books the public library had on programming in LISP were very out of date; evidence of this can be taken from the proudly shelved books about unlocking the power of your 1980?s commodore! I am now reading some slightly older books, about LISP, and of course learning more about writing code!
1) Laurent Siklossy. “Let’s Talk LISP,” Prentice-Hall, NJ, 1976. 237 pages.
2) Robert Wilensky. “Common LISPcraft” W. W. Norton, 1986. 500 pages.
3) Harold Abelson, Gerald Jay Sussman, Julie Sussman. ?Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs? (MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) MIT Press, 1986. 542.
Think about this for just a moment? nobody has highlighted, underlined, or made any notes in any of these books. It has been a long time since this college student has seen a collection of books from the library that do not have some type of extended student added annotations. The library keeps detailed records about library fines and made me pay $3.20 for a book I had returned late somewhere around the turn of the centenary. Well back to work!

Perhaps capitalism tastes better after eating with a communist spoon.

I have decided that we should send Michael Moore to China for a state sponsored tour. Perhaps capitalism tastes better after eating with a communist spoon. I was reading the propaganda of the state sponsored Chinese mass media source, otherwise known as the People?s Daily. What shocked and appalled me was how excited the Chinese are about importing, ?Michael Moore’s provocative anti-Bush documentary ?Fahrenheit 9/11.?” The state sponsored media in a communist country wants to import this documentary to the Peoples Republic of China. Now is the time to take a step back and ask ourselves what is going on in the United States of America these days? If this is the first American documentary to play in China, then it is a sad day for freedom and choice everywhere.
Michael Moore you should stand up and apologize at the state level to governments around the world. Using documentary style film to spread propaganda, which is simply ideological, and has little to no basis in reality to countries that do not have a free press, is in all honesty simply embarrassing. Michael Moore you should be ashamed that ?Fahrenheit 9/11? is not addressing the realties about real crisis over the inevitable ideological conflict of the three T?s Taiwan, Tiananmen Square, and Tibet. Michael Moore does not know what real dissent is or what media persecution really feels like. Without a free press in China, the people are not fully aware of the realities facing the country. Michael Moore is definitively a participant in spreading a conspiracy theory to a country conspiring to mislead one billion people.
I call on you Michael Moore to use celebrity to face the major issue facing the world today. Without question, terrorism is a serious issue that it is not receiving honest public discussion. For freethinking rational autonomous thinkers everywhere today is a very dark day. Discussion of terrorism blended with, ?Michael Moore’s provocative anti-Bush documentary ?Fahrenheit 9/11.?? Simply helps to spread the message the communist government of Peoples Republic of China finds to be consistent with state propaganda. Freethinking rational autonomous thinkers have to remember the three T?s Taiwan, Tiananmen Square, and Tibet and be willing to have honest discussions about what media censorship really means!

Recent Masters of Public Administration graduate, detail oriented statistician.

Recent Masters in Public Administration graduate from the University of Kansas seeking opportunity to learn about government. This is important to me because I hope to develop the financial security necessary to participate as a humanitarian and save for retirement in today?s ever-changing political and economic picture. I have a strong background in statistics, policy analysis, and work well with people. Well for those of you, who have been taking bets on when I would get a job the hunt is beginning. I have been filling out resume stuff online all day and putting in applications to federal agencies, the coast guard, and even just sending out inquiries.
My ideal job is set in an environment that experiences change, encourages learning, and is full of challenges and requires critical thought. Most of the jobs that are available look very good on paper yet are very far away from home. I have not really found any good jobs in the Kansas City area. Looks like I better get out my walking shoes. Last time I had a job I was working for the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority in Lawrence, Kansas as the Administrative Intern. That was a good job. I mostly updated the webpage and did statistical analysis of different problem areas. Who knows maybe I should find a job doing election statistic or something similar.
One of the drawbacks of sitting around all day and filling out applications forms online is the constant repetition of the cable news channels. I hope you are enjoying life today! If you watched as much cable news as I have today, then you might already know that things blow up in Iraq, Michael Moore is intentionally inaccurate, and the United Nations really wants to resolve the Oil for Food scandals. (I have decided that we should send Michael Moore to China for a state sponsored tour. Perhaps capitalism tastes better after eating with a communist spoon.) People keep asking me about my experiences in China. That is why I took the time to write down my opinions before I talked with people. Faking Capitalism is uncensored Nels without interruption.

the days of summer

The last couple of days have fallen into a pattern that is both enjoyable and disturbing. I wake up in the morning when the sun rises, and then I work out for a while, either lifting weights or running. Afternoons are never serious occasions for critical thought and I have spent a fair number of them going to the country club and simply lounging around the pool. This is the first time in the last twenty-four years that I really do not have anything noteworthy to accomplish. My life is put simply rather mundane and it is a surprisingly enjoyable lifestyle. I find myself spending more, and more time thinking about the future.
On the bright side, I will be leaving for Cancun, Mexico in the middle of July. Two questions, that are very closely related, remain on the backburner. Will I find a PhD school anytime soon? If I do not find a PhD school how much time, will I have to look for a job? The first thing people ask you when they talk to you is about where you are either going to school or working. I enjoy asking a much simpler question, ?Are you happy?? Questions about life are more difficult to ask, because the answers are not very pleasant. I am in good spirits and getting in better shape everyday.
The most disturbing part of the whole process is that I am not writing at a frantic pace anymore. Faking Capitalism was a good start at the beginning of this summer, but with so much spare time, my production rate should be much higher. Who knows; maybe soul searching is a fulltime occupation?

Why do blogs/weblogs come and go?

Everything that is written and published bounces around the internet. What makes for good writing, besides, of course having a voice and being an astute grammarian? As a writer, you have to find something that is worth writing about and write about it in a way that is worth reading. This is an incredibly demanding style of writing, transcending simply making journal entries; this is information presentation and borders on entertainment.
Some blogs are simply journal entries of people?s lives that exist in a world of pure transparency on the Internet for everyone to read. These blogs are rare and involve an individual who is willing to say anything, about anybody, making private thoughts very public. Some blogers write fictional stories, theory, philosophy, critical essays, and of course dissenting pieces of literary prose. These are the type of weblogs that I personally like to think I associate with, but I know that this particular weblog is somewhat of a hybrid. I write both theoretical prose and prose about my life almost seamlessly at times. Weblogs that attempt to disseminate pure theory do well with certain groups of readers, but generally do not have as large of audiences of avid readers.
Personally, I like to read weblogs that share both the writer?s thoughts and develops a good understanding of what in the author?s life is influential. Of course, that is simply a note of personal preference. My weblog will be around as long as I am alive. I can honestly say that because it is both a forum of personal expression about my life and an avenue of information dissemination for my theories. Dissent, dissent, and yes more dissent will continue to be published by Nels Lindahl at Nels Lindahl Dot Com. Now back to the point of this some rant about weblogs? Why do some weblogs come and go? The answer is rather simply some people who only write in a pure journal style, will always have something to post about, it just might not be that interesting. Weblog authors who attempt to produce original thoughts and stories will burn out from time to time. Creatively speaking, writers tend to write in spurts.
Writers do not always acclimate to being at the center of an online forum. Being part of an online community is difficult to being with and when that community is full criticism, writing can become rather scary. For example, Mr. Borys says that my critical dissent about the Peoples Republic of China, titled ?Faking Capitalism,? is both long winded and exceptionally full of facts. Mr. Borys contends that a smaller version of the argument should be written for those who do not want to struggle through over 10,000 words on the subject. This is a civil and well articulated objection. Not all suggestions I receive are either well articulated or civil for that matter!

ramblings of a wonderer

When I lived in Lawrence, Kansas, my windows had several sheets and a giant University of Kansas blanket covering them. Right now when I wake up two windows are letting me enjoy the sunrise for the first time in years. For those of you who know me this seem very out of character I am not a big fan of morning, afternoon, or even the day for that matter. This morning however, I got out of bed to go visit the campus of the University of Kansas. I found out that I get my diploma for my Master?s in Public Administration in the middle of July. The real reason that I made the trip up to campus was to meet with my advisor. I can honestly say that my advisor is an individual, who has taken the time, to show me nothing but kindness. While I did not learn anything significantly new, like where I am going, or where I will be, in the next few months. I think I know have a general sense of direction.

the final draft is almost complete

One of the problems with expanding notes into a draft is that sometimes the draft focuses on the original note text. I am so close to being done with the draft, however parts of it that are referring to lecture notes read as if they are opinions. This sounds out of place since the speakers are not interested in pure free market economics and the general prose of the piece is focusing on exactly that issue. It will be done tonight or tomorrow, then you will never have to worry about falling asleep again, because the newest edition of my writing will be sure to cure insomnia.

working draft from china trip

Censorship is a terrible thing and witnessing it first hand is a very refreshing look at society. I have been working on this draft for the last couple of days it is currently about twenty pages single spaced. I hope that the draft will be completed by tomorrow morning. I believe it is important to be able to write down everything and then synthesize. The best way to see the bigger picture is to be able to read the details and then take a step backward to fill in the gaps. It is so important that people take the time to write down exactly what is going on in China, because without a free press the only way the real story will be told is if people who are lucky enough to have a free press make sure that the story gets out. Taiwan is a flourishing self-sufficient democracy, Tibet deserves religious freedom, and in 1989, the student protests in Tiananmen Square were really put down by tanks. We cannot ignore facts, because they are not part of the worldview endorsed by the Peoples Republic of China.

time to vent

i woke up this morning at a time that is not natural. the clock said 5am and i was wide awake as if time had changed. my life mostly occurs when the sun is down, not when the sun is still down from the night before. china is a strange and wonderful place, full of tons of green tea and of course instant coffee. you would think with a country of over one billion people they would have figured out the joys of real coffee beans. i know of them. i know of them well. of late nights without karaoke bars. which are one of the most disturbing things i have ever seen. the room seems to grow smaller as you sit around and memorize the patterns on the walls. watching espn is nice until they start the cycle over again, for a moment i feel powerful since i know what they will be saying next. then all of a sudden i am annoyed by the repetative nature of the whole process. i bought a book at the store. i wrote some stream of thought text at the airport. i got really board and looked for somebody to converse with. i found nobody of any value and at the same time i am certain that i was judged as being of no value as well. who knows. writing in journals sucks. writing without a real keyboard is terrible. small keyboards are the devil. reading what nels writes without spell check or a big enough screen to edit is also painful. who knows. maybe later i will have some fun. i have started spending more time on word choice in my two current drafts. one about china and the other a critical dissent essay about the nature of prefernce. i dare not post them together on this journal. andy will mock me while at teh same time reminding me of how boring i tend to be. andy is secretly angry that i am not playing baseball or softball this summer. well maybe it is not a secret anymore it is simply somethign that i believe. while china smells bad from time to time. since well it honestly stinks most of the time. i can say that FAS smells worse. i mean that with all honesty i do not know how the stench of one can surpass the waste of one billion, yet i hold this to be true. i fear it to be fact, and at the same time all airports look the same. what do i know? 1) being is the essence of nothing. 2) nothingness is essential to existence. 3) my essistence is not essential to the essence of nothingness. regardless of my existence nothingness would still be nothingness. andy would still like baseball. the FAS would drink pitchers. hmm, now i am hungry… why can i never find a taco bar when i need one!

no more china

it will take me a couple of days to transform my notes into prose. of course it will then take me several additional days to turn that prose into readable form. i hope to see you all soon in the next couple of days. my days of being a guest of the PRC are over. i was on the news several times in china. i will tell you all about it in my next post. i have several ideas i am working out at the moment.