Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

Still reading “Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid”, couple nuggets. In Chapter V, Recursive Structures and Processes, Hofstader talks about modularization, loops, and procedures. Naturally, you’d think he was writing about computer programming, and to some extent he does. There’s a discussion about the difference between bounded loops (loops which have a known maximum number of steps) and free loops (loops whose boundary is not known) and nested loops (loops within loops). He diverts to the non-programming trail for a short time to talk about how loops (in the theoretical sense) exist in knitting and crocheting (“… very small loops are repeated several times in larger loops, which in turn are carried out repeatedly…”) and how loops reside in music (“… when a scale is played several times in a row, perhaps displaced in pitch each new time.”).

This book is fascinating in that I’m finding so computer science fundamentals explained in rich detail and yet I’m not reading a book on computer science. And maybe that’s one of the points of the book; at its’ core computer science is no different than music. Both are sets of symbols that we’ve assigned meaning too.

The Age of Spiritual Machines

From Steven Johnson’s post, I knew I needed to read this book by Ray Kurzweil, now I need to get “Prey: A Novel” by Michael Crichton as well… I go through reading phases where I read all of a certain authors books in a short time… couple years ago now I read all of Michael’s books: Jurassic Park, Sphere, Andromeda Strain, The Terminal Man, and Airframe, among others… I think I had to leave all those books in California when we moved.. bummer. I’d love to pick one up right now and plow through it, especially since it’s 16 degrees and feels like 5 degrees according to weather.com.

November 2002 Netcraft survey

From the November 2002 Netcraft survey, check out the comparison between the numbers of IP’s found on the large ISP’s compared to the smaller guys:

Number of IP Addresses hosting Websites
Hoster Dec 01 Nov 02 Change
cw.net 11,980 9,653 -19.4%
exodus.net 10,797 8,605 -20.3%
gblx.net 6,681 4,767 -28.6%
above.net 5,838 4,133 -29.2%
level3.net 8,980 5,449 -39.3%
digex.com 9,883 2,374 -76.0%
psi.net 5,244 1,272 -75.7%

Number of IP Addresses hosting Websites
Hoster Dec 01 Nov 02 Change
rackshack.net 5,152 13,459 +161.2%
crystaltech.com 6,874 11,170 +62.5%
dialtoneinternet.net 22,441 31,351 +39.7%
ratiokontakt.de 6,444 8,375 +30.0%
he.net 9,659 12,493 +29.3%
datapipe.net 13,603 17,340 +27.5%
rackspace.com 8,776 11,160 +27.2%

Looks like smaller *is* better.

back from Toronto

Spent the last four days going to, in and traveling from Toronto. We (Karen, myself and a resident alien, true life Canadian Allison King [note Allison has not left any other mark on the web except this PDF file that she is a part of]) left early Thursday morning, arrived 9 short hours later. Had a fine Thanksgiving dinner at Movenpick, a restaurant in Yorkville, which could be described as the Newbury Street of Boston. Exhausted, we retired early to be ready for Friday, when we…

a) took an elevator up 114 stories to the top of the CN Tower, the tallest structure in the world. Stood on the glass floor. Sat on the glass floor. Wow.

b) Had lunch at the Hard Rock in the Skydome. I’m a Hard Rock pin collector, so we had to go here just to get a pin, plus I’d love to see as many baseball stadiums as I possibly can. No baseball, but we could see the field. I *saw*, but didn’t go into, the other Hard Rock Cafe in Toronto. 🙁 [note: I’ve got 17 Hard Rock pins so far… Hong Kong, Kowloon, Beijing, Amsterdam, Washington DC, Baltimore, NYC, Skydome, Paris, Vegas, Los Angeles, Seoul, London, Memphis, Lake Tahoe, and Newport Beach. Maybe I should get the Boston one soon. ]

c) shopping at the Eaton Centre (remember, I’m with 2 girls on the day after Thanksgiving, I didn’t have a choice)

d) nap

e) dinner at the Green Papaya (great Thai food!)

f) saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding (for the second time)

g) fabulous crepes at Golden Griddle

and then Saturday when we…

a) toured the Casa Loma castle

b) had lunch at Harvey’s (supposedly the best burgers in Canada, eh?)

c) napped..

d) went to Ikea (what? why you ask? who knows…)

e) late dinner and drinks at the Duke of York, a wonderful Irish pub near U of T. Had my first Caffrey’s.

and finally… Sunday (today), we drove the normally 9 hour drive in approximately 12 hours due to snow, hail, numerous traffic jams due to pile-ups, and Thanksgiving traffic. I’m exhausted. Pictures? Coming soon..