With all these parameters, the equations are the following:
U1 = pb * ub + ugb(ts)
U2 = pnb * ub
U1 represents the expected utility of trying for good behavior, while U2 represents the expected utility of not trying for good behavior. If U1 is higher than U2, than I should try for the good behavior. Of course, the crux of these equations are the probabilities. If there is not much difference between pb and pnb, this means that I stand the same chance of being someone's bitch either way. In this case, I might as well go for good behavior. If there is much greater chance of being someone's bitch because of good behavior, well then maybe I should think about just waiting it out. Of course, this is a simple model. If you have any extensions that would make it more accurate, let me know. And if you think that this is disturbing, you should see the parameters I left out.
I don’t have a comment about this entry in particular; it is more about the ‘blog’ as a whole. I’d like to see a revival of the “Ask Tim” forum. I have so many questions, yet so few answers.
You are surely aware of my aging condition and it is entirely possible that I may drop dead at any moment.. So, rather than waiting for the return of “Ask Tim”, I’m just going to go ahead and ask my question. What the heck is a ‘blog’. Back in my day (just after we stopped golfing the old fashioned way) the kids used ‘websites’ to express their thoughts. Take a look at an ol’ favorite of mine: http://millatime.homestead.com/home.html
This ‘website’ was created by the Omnivorous, well mostly Maruchen, Lutheran formally known as “T-Mills”. “Where have all the websites gone, long time ago…. and why have blogs taken over? Kids these days with their fancy shoes and crazy thoughts. To qote my favorite rap artist, the Fresh Prince, “parents just don’t understand..”
From this tome of a comment (over 100 printed pages), I have distilled a few worthwhile questions:
Anyways, on with the answering. The canonical, or "Boring", definition of a blog can be found here. I believe I can provide a definition that goes beyond that.
Some blogs are compilations of interesting news articles. In this case, the intended audience is lazy people who can't be bothered to look at more than one website.
Other blogs are intimately personal, detailing the minutiae of the authors daily life. There is no intended audience, per se. What happens is that in real life the authors try to tell everyone the boring details of their lives, and real people stopped listening to them. So, they publish it in blog form, ostensibly so that the whole world can read it, but knowing that they'll be lucky if one person stumbles across it.
So, that's all for today. If anyone actually read this far, I will add that if anyone does have a question you need answering, I am all knowing, so you've come to the right place. Just leave it in the comments.
Okay, so I have seasonal allergies, not cancer, but she didn't know that. Lady, just tell me how long its going to take, and I'll come back. Your performance may have been Oscar-worthy, in the sense that Marisa Tomei's performance in "My Cousin Vinny" was Oscar-worthy, but I didn't come here for the drama.
So half an hour later, when she sidles up to the counter and tells me how much I owe, I repay her attitude by looking like it's really paining me to have to pay (this is not very hard to act out, because it is, in fact, painful). I say, "You know, I really have a lot of other things to pay for. This is going to be very difficult for me to cover. I stick my hands in all my pockets, and pull a few empty pockets out as if I'm scrounging for my last ha'penny. Finally I pull out my wallet and ask if credit is okay. She says yes. I say, "My parents said it's for emergency use only. Do you think my cancer medicine counts as an emergency? I hope they don't hit me again. It really makes my cancer sores hurt." Oh, wait - I'm sorry. I'm sure your life is the only one with any difficulty in it. Having to push around pills all day with that little metal scraper can be very taxing, I'm sure. May I massage your feet? I will not charge for my services, and your corns and bunions will be greatly rewarded.
One possible topic I've imagined I could write about is dating, romance, love. Surely there are some humorous tidbits that can be gleaned from that realm. Unfortunately, this would require me to start dating. I don't date very often for the same reason I don't play basketball very often - I suck at it. Let me enumerate the ways:
So there you have it, a nauseatingly long account of my thoughts on this blog. Updating everyday is difficult if the same thing happens to me every day. Positively 18th Street manages to be funny despite appearances that his day-to-day routine is as mundane as mine. But he updates about once a week, and many times posts about his drunken escapades rather than his job. So, I guess what I'm saying is that I haven't figured out what direction I'm going to take. If I had a theme with a little more staying power than my hatred of birds, that might make it easier, so I'm working on that.
You may be thinking, what is the point? You'll never be able to use all those words. Some of them have such obscure meanings that there will probably never be a situation where you get to use them. Thats the same kind of negativity that has people thinking that the war in Iraq isn't going well, and maybe our president wasn't appointed by god, and frankly, its not healthy. Besides, I find that I'm usually able to use the word of the day the very day it comes into my inbox. For example, today's word is ananda. Yes, its spelled like Ananda Lewis from MTV, but it means "Pure bliss," which is coincidentally what I feel when her lovely countenance appears on my television. I didn't know this word before today, did you, smartass? Anyways, I was able to use this today. Someone rode by me on a bike, and there was still some standing water that splashed me, so I said, "Go ananda yourself!" It doesn't really fit with the actual meaning, but he didn't really know that, and neither did anyone else. Last week someone called me lazy, so I called her a potemkin village. Technically it means "An impressive showy facade designed to mask undesirable facts," but she thought I was calling her fat by equating her with a village. Either interpretation suited my purpose, I guess, which was to make myself feel better at her expense.
I guess what I'm saying is that I don't really need a word a day. All that is really necessary is a random combination of letters that sounds like a word a day. I will then take that "word" and use it as an insult in any manner I see fit. But, I suppose, as long as this guy is sending me real words, I might as well use those.
The first problem is the garbage. The dumpster for the building is located in the parking garage. By the time garbage day rolls around, the garage has accumulated quite a nasty sour milk and dirty Depends smell (I live in an assisted care facility). Now, I can see the benefit of indoor garbage. If homeless people know that they can't even get into the garbage to dig for my financial records, they'll be less likely to even get out of their Ford Tauruses to try. But the smell! At least with vagrants digging through the garbage they tend to pick out the bits of food before they get old enough to start smelling. This is a fundamental insight that the good people in Milwaukee and Marquette University must have noticed, as the garbage there is considerably less smelly, and there are six homeless people for every homeful one.
My second issue with the parking garage is the width. With all these SUVs and minivans, it's sometimes difficult to pull in or out even in a moderate sized sedan. There are a couple possible solutions to this. One is to make the garage wider. Since it is underground, this involves moving the foundation of a building several feet with the building still on top. While I am in favor of doing this after I move out, for now I say NEIN! Another possible solution is not allowing anybody else to park in the garage. Now, I do not deny having a massively exaggerated sense of self worth, but even I cannot condone this idea. Other people simply need to drive. The final, and I think, best, solution is to have everybody else drive Geo Metros. The Geo Metro is a very dependable car with exceptional fuel efficiency and being small abilities. This enables them to easily fit into any parking spot, while allowing me plenty of room to back out. Plus, if you get a door ding, who cares? Its a Metro! They're so inexpensive its probably cheaper just to get a new one. You can collect them like they're different color mini iPods. Now, the challenge is to get everybody to want to drive a Geo Metro. If I can get a beloved celebrity, like George Jetson, to drive one, people would think its the car of the future and jump right on board!
Now feeling slightly discouraged, I continued on until I saw someone standing in the grass in front of the union holding a clipboard. "Care to take a survey?" she asked. Hoping to lift my spirits, I asked, "Is it a survey about how sexy I am?" It turns out it was not at all about how sexy I am, so again I was discouraged. Then I saw a bird fly into a window and I felt much better.
Then, at the student union, I saw the CASH table. "Sell your soul for an oreo?" they asked. "I'd sell my soul for a piece of gum right now," I replied. Well, apparently there isn't a single atheist on this campus with a piece of gum, so my mouth went un-freshified.
Another possibility is that he's trying to pull off the "just got out of bed" look. This is a look that celebrities like Brad Pitt and Jake Glyenhaal are able to pull off only after many hours of grooming and primping. No one really looks like this when they get out of bed, it's an idealization. When I get out of bed, all the hair on the right side of my head sticks straight up. It has been dubbed "The Weekend Wing" by Joynt because he only sees it on weekends, e.g. if I crashed at his place in Madison for Halloween. The point is, if disheveled guy thinks he can pull off the "just got out of bed" look by just getting out of bed, he is sorely mistaken.
Here is where I'm going with this: the legal drinking age should be raised to 25 years old. Now, don't panic, I have good reasons. We'll tell lawmakers that it's to protect children and reduce alcohol-related deaths. We'll hold back federal highway dollars unless the states comply. But the real reason for changing the age is to make me feel better. Now, with a legal drinking age of 21, I'm just a 23-year-old drunk. But if the drinking age were 25, I'd be an outlaw freedom fighter just trying to have a good time, like I was when I was 18-20. Parties would be more exciting, due to the nervous tension of wondering if the cops would come. Not to mention that I'd save a lot of money by not going to bars. Man, undergraduates think paying $5 to get into a party is expensive. If my 18-year-old self found out that my 23-year-old self once paid $5 just to GET IN to a GAY bar, my 18-year-old self would probably think he was about to win the lottery, and find out something very unexpected and life altering about himself.
The only reason 21 is so acceptable to us is that its been that way since we were born. But when our parents were young, the life expectancy was like 40, so rasing the drinking age by 3 years cut off like ten percent of their drinking time. Now that we live in a time where neural prosthetics and cancer-fighting robots have pushed average life expectancy to 120-140 years, raising the drinking age a few years is not so bad. Oh, by the way, I'm writing this entry from the future.
Person is waving this toy back and forth as the cat chases the end of it and tries to pounce.
Person: How can the cat be so amused by this? Why does it keep playing with it for so long? What is it thinking?
Answer: You've been playing with it the exact same length of time as the cat. What are you thinking?
As far as I'm concerned, the only thing cats are good for is killing birds.
Linz: If you could kiss your own ass, would you?
Guy 1: I bet I can kiss my own ass!
Linz: Thats not the question. If you could, would you?
Guy 2: Dude, I'll give you $5 if you can get within 6 inches.
(Guy 1 tries to kiss his own ass, by going through the crotch, past the genitals, and doesn't even get close)
To me, the funniest part about this exchange is how the original question is so intentionally silly, yet it turns into something serious.
During the singing of the anthem, I was standing face to face with Mike Tice, Daunte Culpepper, and Randy Moss at a distance of about 10 yards. For a few seconds, I'm pretty sure Moss was looking me right in the eye. While I had his attention, I tried to throw him off his game by mouthing the words, "I love you." Unfortunately, he ended up scoring two touchdowns. If people back in Green Bay were to find out that I was standing this close to Randy Moss and that I did not even attempt to kick him, I could legally be hanged from the Ray Nitzche bridge.
The announcer claims that Vikings fans are the loudest in the NFL. The argument seems to run like this:
No one has more power than the people on the field that launch prizes into the stands. The prize can be hot dogs, t-shirts, or rubber balls. The method of launch can be 3-man slingshot, pneumatic cannon, or just an overhand toss. It doesn't matter, if a prize is somehow being launched from on the field into the stands, people will scream maniacally and maul 8 year old girls trying to get it. They could be launching cow manure into the upper deck with a trebuchet and the fans will go crazy. They should combine this event with the event where they give away a free pizza to a lucky fan. Just launch slice after slice with the three man slingshot.
I hate when people say, "When you assume you make an ass out of you and me." Ooh... you're so clever. I say, when you use that cliche, you make an ass out of only yourself.
Every single store that I shop at now has their own credit card. Target, Kohl's, JC Penney, Best Buy, Circuit City, Gap, Abercrombie, Banana Republic, Home Depot, etc. The list could go on forever. Anytime you sign up, you get 10% off your purchases, so it's very tempting. The problem is with having all these different store credit cards in your wallet. Who has room? I have an idea. How about, we get one central company, and they will issue you a credit card which allows you to use a "line" of "credit" at any store at all. That way, you would only need one or two. I'm surprised no one else has thought of this.
Next you notice passersby and their slick smiles. They seem to say, "Public transportation? How quaint. I thought Kia made buses obsolete when they started manufacturing cars using only cardboard and super glue." But no, people still ride the buses, and some of them even have cars. They have foolishly decided that driving to campus is not worth the hassle, and that the monetary benefits of not paying for gas and parking, as well as the free high that comes with inhaling all the bus fumes, is well worth the time spent waiting among other miserable people who have made the same silly decision.
Then there was a car accident. No one actually saw or heard a collision, but we definitely saw and heard a woman out of her car yelling at the person behind her. "YOU THINK THIS FUNNY? I GOT KIDS IN THERE!" Except when she said "kids," it sounded like "Keeee-idddsss." She then yelled various combinations and variations of these two sentences for a few minutes. Like President Bush with emotions, she had a few talking points, and she was going to hammer them home. After a few minutes, I felt compelled to say out loud, "Yes, I actually do think this is kind of funny." Kids or no kids, traffic was moving about 4 miles an hour. And now you've stopped it completely on the main road through a college campus during rushhour for an accident with no damage.
If QWERTY's awards were the Grammy's, mine is the Shortlist Award. If QWERTY is Roger Ebert, I'm the dead guy who used to work with Roger Ebert. Without further ado, here are my awards:
Wow, those BMX bikers sure are impressive. Yep, those 30-year-olds riding bikes built for ten year olds sure do impress me. Seriously, how is this possibly televised? These are grown men riding bikes. And before you try to tell me about how much more money they make than me, I'll paraphrase a standup comedian I saw once who responded to that (about professional bowlers) with "so does a butt doctor, but I don't wanna do that either."
11:50 A.M. - We are lined up to receive our test packets. The test administrator lets out a harrowing shriek. "Oh no! I forgot to put them in alphabetical order!" I suggest that we just cancel the test.
11:55 A.M. - We are to examine our test booklets before starting to make sure there are no mistakes. One student starts sobbing and then makes a mad dash for the doorway. Too slow. The dogs catch him and start tearing at his clothes. He was only 29.
12:30 P.M. - Hey its kind of cold in here. Isn't it like 90 degrees outside? I put on my fleece.
1:00 P.M. - The fleece is not enough. Thank god for whoever brought in those snack size Twix bars. They are the only thing helping to stave off hypothermia.
1:30 P.M. - Okay, I've been throwing down Twix bars like they're popcorn for the last hour. I go to drink out of my water bottle but its frozen solid.
2:00 P.M. - Finally, its break time. Most people mill around outside the room for fifteen minutes. I start a fire in one of the garbage barrels outside the ee/cs building and jump in to warm up.
2:15 P.M. - Break's over. I bring the barrel back into the testing room. The fire is instantly snuffed out. I notice that some students took their break to hunt some polar bears for their pelts and are now sporting them for the second part of the test.
3:00 P.M. - Almost done with the test. Fellow test-takers are dropping left and right from the combination of stress, cold air, and the pungent odor of dead polar bear.
4:00 P.M. - Finally done. Twenty of us went in. Five of us go out. Of those five, maybe one or two will pass. I will never eat another Twix bar. After this one. Okay one more. Man are these good.
The WPE is a three part test that every PhD (Player haters degree AKA Pimpin hoes degree AKA Pile o' Hot Dung) student must pass shortly after his or her first year. Some say it is merely a gauntlet thrown down to test your resolve. This makes sense. Anyone who is willing to put in the time indoors studying during the 2.5 months of the year in which Minnesota weather is actually suitable for human life deserves a shot at getting a PhD.
Some people say that the WPE actually is a very useful learning activity. By studying so intensely, so shortly after taking a course, the information is learned extremely well. This explanation is a little harder to buy, and let me tell you why. After I finish this exam, I am going to get so fucked up I won't remember what planet I live on, let alone how to select training examples to get the version spaces algorithm to converge to a single hypothesis in ceil(log2|VS|) steps (Yes, this is an actual piece of information to know, and sadly I went to look it up to make sure I got it correct for this blog entry).
So, the point is, over the next week I might not update as frequently as I have been lately (every weekday!). Do not fret, I am not running out of random ass crap to write about. Even if I do, I will just start copying from people who are actually funny.