11.10.07

eco-terrism

thus concludes my little vacation. i'm back, peeps: been pretty fucking ill recently, scared the crap outta my new maths class smacking my head against the wall in an unsuccessful attempt to stop myself passing out, upped the dosage on everything, changed a few things round and couldn't fucking think for a couple days, etc. it's all good, i'm dealing with it.

the worst side-effect of said meds, in fact, is their effect on your perception. you notice different things on large doses of opiates: it's like waking REM or something, you can't concentrate on your lecture (was i talking about Delphi or Java, kid?) but you start looking at trees and seeing Darwin's phylum diagram spreading out in front of you, or reconstructing the function of the vocal chords, the sound waves moving across the room and their reception in your eardrums and then your neurons when you hear someone sing. i've been in that state all week; today i realised something really, really fucking weird.

in the compulsory core lectures for Computing Science at the University, there are two people in the theatre using a machine. one of them is me, and one of them is a kid with a Vista laptop trying not to look like he's reading the BBC Cricket News instead of listening.

a lecture lasts an hour. there's an average of sixty kids in any given lecture, and each kid (i've noticed) covers about three sheets of A4 paper with notes. nobody uses either voice-recog software or an oldschool Dictaphone, and that one kid doesn't actually use his machine for notes. that's a hundred and eighty sheets of A4 per lecture, there are four core lectures and two electives (at least) per week, the kids take notes in tutorials too and i'm thinking there's something a little fucked up here.

now, i ain't no ecowarrior, but we can use that paper for other shit, right? the kids've got machines, i know; i hear them yammer about them. it seems like it just hasn't occurred to them not to use paper notes, which is fucking weird because they're CS students. you can also see them using the pricey University print service (yeah, 5p per sheet, no exceptions until you get your PhD) to print off the entire set of slides for a lecture before they get there. i just wanna know whether this is really necessary. i mean, they're not going anywhere, nobody's gonna steal them off the projector's buffer and permalete them before you finish copying down that formula... hell, maybe they just don't like all that exhausting typing or something.

i don't know whether to get them all enrolled with some Government scheme so they can all have cheap, oxygen-producer-saving laptops, or just to interrupt Database Management 50554 with some sort of guerrilla protest.

L

ed. the single most beautiful opener to a white paper ever: "Everything evolves. There are no exceptions, even for shell code." (Evolving Shell Code, Masaki Suenaga, Symantec Security Response Japan - get it from the ridiculously well-hidden Symantec whitepaper cache) this in contrast to the London Review of Books article i came across today (i ain't gonna link it) arguing "The Case Against Natural Selection". sometimes i just wanna kick someone healthier than me. - L

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