September 20th, 2007


The Dependency Principle

One of the interesting things about information is that it's totally dependent on a medium of representation for it to exist. Sure, one could argue about whether patterns exist in the abstract, but fundamentally, if anything interesting is going to happen with information, it requires an underlying medium of support.

Which brings us to Permutation City, which I went ahead and finished and then promptly tossed against the wall. It was a toss rather than a hurl; I certainly wouldn't recommend it, but I don't regret the time invested either. It was okay. (Although it got some extra oomph in the throw for also misspelling "balk" as "baulk.") It does have some interesting thoughts about identity mixed in, but mostly revolves around these issues of patterns and information and medium and whatnot and quite frankly I think that Iain M. Banks dealt with the whole topic much better in four pages of exposition in the middle of Excession. (p. 152-155, just in case anyone ever needs to look it up.)

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All of which is a very roundabout way of bringing up the fact that the power went out at work today, and I can't do anything productive without my computer. ANYTHING.

So I came home and got a haircut.

(Plus, they didn't want people in the building without the lights and fire alarms working. But still! No work!)


God I love working with Tcl/Tk. Once you get your mind wrapped properly around it (everything is a string. No, EVERYTHING), there are so many areas where it really just Does The Right Thing without any effort on your part.

Today's example: set up a slider so that, when another control changes state, the slider gets reconfigured. What happens when the slider gets reconfigured so its current value is off the end of the scale? It changes the value to the new maximum. Everywhere it needs to be changed! Which is exactly what I would have wanted, had I bothered to think about it beforehand. But I didn't have to!