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Friday, January 16, 2009

Mental Diversification

Gradschool week 12 of 80 is... complete. I really wish I could be a full time student right now, turns out MATLAB is fun and interesting rather than painful and daunting, as I had vaugely expected. I've made some decent progress in using my BASH terminal to do basic stuff; I can run GAMS, R, and SCHEME, now I just have to learn how to use those programs. I'm gonna try to duplicate what I do in MATLAB in R, since apparently R can do all the same things. I also found what looks like a really exciting peice of software called Repast, from the University of Chicago. It does agent-based modeling and is really flexible, and it can call all sorts of other open source programs (like R) to do fancy things. It sounds perfect for what I want to do with my mind/market idea.

Heres a question: whats a good way to measure the true richness of your life? Dollar oriented measures fail for obvious reasons. I think one interesting measure would be the number of ways in which you can truthfully summarize yourself in one (concise) sentance when meeting a person for the first time. I'm reminded of the time at the Singularity Summit when I decided to call myself an artist rather than a grad student, a professional, philosopher, a musician, a librertarian, or anything else. All of those things are true descriptions and could each be a starting point for lots of talk.

Of course, another important measure is how good you actually are at the thigns you describe yourself as. I'm certainly not as good of any of my descriptors as somone who focuses on, say, music excluseively. And they might be better off for it; I imagine that having such a focus makes life more enjoyable... but I'll suffer on with my conflicts in the name of being a well-diversified mind.