May 6th, 2003


Tis a wonderful thing

I love the way the brain works. The fact that it allows people to communicate without properly waking up is amazing - I just asked Erin what time she needed to be woken up. Her right arm came up and flicked out a whole palm of fingers twice. It then kinda hung there in mid-air until I took it and put it back down again.

So I'll wake her up at ten. And she'll have no memory of me asking her to when to get her up.

Deformation Fascination

I have a 3 second attention span. Well, maybe slightly longer - I can, after all, read books and watch films without too much trouble. But I need to be entertained on a fairly constant basis or my boredom centre kicks in and demands that I do something before it explodes.
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Climbing the Eigen

In the fascinating "Figments of Reality" (a most excellent book on the effect that the extelligence of our culture has on us) the writers talk about eigenfaces. If you imagine the perfectly average face, then an individual face can be described by the differences between it and that average. This 'difference map' is an eigenface.

They were fascinated by the fact that masculine and feminine faces were both represented by the same eigenface, with one being the inverse of the other - they had expected the 'average male' and the 'average female' to bear little relationship to each other facially, so to discover that they were inverses of each other was pretty amazing. They theorise that they are this way precisely because it makes it easier to recognise them - you only have to memorise one 'value' in order to recognise both types of faces.

Anyway, this same kind of idea can apply to lots of things. Thinking about what I was saying before (and what Stephen said in his comments) I think it comes down to how predictable the eigenperson is. As I said, I think I've got a fairly good handle on "people" now (and before I get accused of even more of a superiority complex than I have, I don't think this means I understand people perfectly. Not at all), which presumably means that I grasp the basic eigenperson (at least a basic eigenperson - there's bound to be differences between the one I've grasped and the human-wide average).

So what interests me are either people whose difference map is very complex, thus meaning it takes much longer to get the hang of them, or whose difference map is quite different to the one I know.

Alternatively, people that change and grow over time are perennial favourites. I've chatted to some people for years because they constantly do knew things and have knew ideas - you can't get used to someone whose always changing.


Came home, cooked sausages and eggs and beans, went to X2, brought Bekka and Sana and Sneaks back to my place, watched Zim, discussed nonsense, threw them all out

Now to bed. X2 review to follow tomorrow (general synopsis - woohoo!)