Sunday, December 31, 2006

Caution: May be harmful if understood!

Today I was at Barnes & Noble. Usual Saturday afternoon hanging out looking for books in the math section. I found one that looked really interesting. Number Theory by George E. Andrews.

This evening I ended up talking to a few people about my enjoyment of this book. One commented that I seem to be jumping a few years ahead of where I'm currently at considering that I have never really taken calculus. I really enjoyed the chapter about "fundamentals of congruences". See, I've been trying to learn more about cryptography and congruences and their notation are very important to understanding it.

The interesting thing I noted however was the attitude some other took with my reading material. There were two people at two different times that told me that the book should be burned. Those who know me would probably appreciate that I really like books and the thought of getting rid of any books, let alone destroying them, is one I don't entertain often. As an example I cite my copies of the Turbo C 1.0 and Borland C 4.0 programmers references I still have.

I find it most interesting that the response to unfamiliar information would be to destroy it. One person even called it a "Horrible book". Granted, it's not exactly light reading, but I found there was pressure to not find it enjoyable. It's an attitude I don't really understand. So many people that I know have a tendency to say "I would never be able to understand that" anytime something unfamiliar comes up. It's too bad... It's a very limiting way of dealing with the world.

My tendency to try and understand the things I come in contact with have lead me to where I am today. Jumping in with curiosity has made me a good programmer and sysadmin. Taking the attitude that unfamiliar things are chances to find new and interesting things is the direct reason why I'm even thinking about things that make number theory necessary to understand.

The other day I told my brother Byron that I like learning things that bend my mind. Learning lisp did that. Now, learning about cryptography and number theory is doing it. A mind has to bend to allow something new and different to fit into it.

Perhaps that's the trouble with people who spurn the idea of learning new things... They don't want to let their minds bend and change to allow for new thoughts. I suppose then that they are just trying to help me avoid the pain they associate with trying to understand new things.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

'Tis the season

Yesterday my friend Andy showed me this picture he took while driving his UPS truck.

Not only is their gas being siphoned, but the container they're putting the gas in has a hazmat sticker on it.

The primary question I my mind however is who steals gas out of a church's van just days before christmass? The kicker is that it's the First Baptist Church of Layton and this was taken in west jordan.

I guess it sure beats sugar in the tank...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Post 100 and a new version of blogger

I just finished upgrading to the new version of blogger. And wouldn't you know it? It's time for post 100!

To commemorate this occasion I present you with a video of a man receiving a gift toy horse...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Deer mounting...

Tonight some friends and I went to brewvies to see Tenacious D and the pick of destiny. None of us had anything to drink (I especially since I don't drink). However we ended up mounting some deer afterword...

I participated, but there wasn't any evidence as I was the primary camera person...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Where do you fit?

It's been 3 weeks without posts. Why? Because the most interesting stuff that's going on in my life can't be written about.

I found this on reddit recently. It's an attractiveness scale displaying physical and mental attractiveness on each axis. Now it just begs the question... Where are you on this scale?