Originally Written 12.21.2000
I’m running in total sleep deprivation mode and need to get some sleep soon. Last night was hella fun. In the afternoon, I gave my debate presentation for the hs kids. It went pretty well. Peter showed up and he was a big help as he was more familiar with the resolution and was able to give some concrete examples of the theory I was discussing. I think my presentation might have b52’d most of the kids, but hopefully it will at least give them some better perespective and exposure to some of the more challenging areas of debate so they won’t be defenseless in a round.
After that, I came home for a bit before I went out christmas shopping with one of my friends. We hit some of the book stores and toy stores and I was able to finish up much of my holiday shopping. It was pretty cool. My friend is a fun guy to hang out with regardless of the activity. Like tim and peter, he has such a huge knowledge base that any given event can prove to be the catalyst for a winding and interesting conversation. After shopping, we went back to panet and to taco bell for some late night pseudo-mexican cuisine. Aww-yeah. Its odd, my friend has such a repoir with people be it peers in his field or fast food workers at the taco bell, he can draw them into a conversation and be perfectly at ease doing so. In that respect its sort of exciting to hang out with because he is able to break down many of the barriers against communication that we as a society have built up thereby making life that tiny bit more like a richard scary book or something. After taco bell, we played zork for a bit. The thing about my friend is that he always seems to have a new passion or at least something new that has piqued his interest. This fact makes things unpredictable, interesting, and fun. His latest thing is this old-school, text-mode, role-playing/puzzle game called zork. The came takes natural language commands from the player to move the player through a virtual world where they player has to solve puzzles to navigate the realm and score points. Even for someone who was too young to really get into computer games before they were graphical masterpieces, I found the game instantly addictive. Unfortunately, I doubt I have the attention span to ever beat the game. We shall see, however, how that might change when I am back at school, looking for yet another reason to avoid doing work.
The other thing about zork that is cool, is that it is a good catalyst for discussions about how to extend the game, and for discussions concerning computers and natural languages and artificial intelligence in general. When this other employee who is also hella smart showed up, we had this great, just completely nerdcore conversation, and it was terriffic fun. We stayed up until the wee hours of the morning doing a system upgrade of some of the ISPs boxes and talking about various computer, programming, and logical topics. It was big fun. However, now it has left me rather tired. I need to go get some sleep because tomorrow I go off to Philly to watch crouching tiger hidden dragon, and to go to a hardcore show. More on this later …