Actually, I’m nodding off…

I seriously meant to write a serious entry about something serious, but — seriously — I couldn’t be bothered. Not serious is the new serious, anyway!

(Although I’ll probably get to that “serious” topic next time, if you’re unlucky.)

[Edit: I wanted to write something about Everlast’s classic mid-90s song “What It’s Like“, which I heard again at the RSF the other day (after giving the CD a spin a little while back — check the music for a couple of entries ago). Besides being just a totally awesome song, the lyrics perfectly epitomize (what I see as) the liberal movement. They should make this the DNC anthem in 2008.]

I’ve decided to get into good shape. After three months of being sidelined by this hip injury, I need to. The big thing is that in addition to my usual regimen of sports — soccer, ultimate, and tennis, these days — and working out, I’ve started running again. I used to run all the time in high school, and when I stopped in college, it became difficult to start again, since I guess it was frustrating to not be able to run sub-five minute miles, or whatever. Kind of how when I stopped playing trumpet after college, it was really hard to start again, since I knew how good I could be, and it was very frustrating to be so much worse. That battle defeated me, but this one hasn’t (yet). Matt and Joel and I have been doing early morning runs (including 8am today!), and I’m pretty proud of how grueling they’ve been: 4-6 miles with lots of hills. I’m still an out-of-shape slob, but I’m getting better. It feels great to run without my hip constantly nagging me.

The other day Manu told me about a great website idea of his, which I won’t describe here because I hope he gets fabulously rich off of it. But it reminded me of all these random (and inferior) website plans I have lying around. The latest involves some kind of system whereby if you’re getting into a new domain (say, camping, or stereo systems), you can type in what you already have and how much you’re willing to pay, and it’ll tell you what the best thing to buy next is, and … okay I’m too lazy to describe it.

But the classic one, that I’ve wanted to do for years, involves Taboo, the great “board” game. If you play Taboo enough, you invariably run through all the cards, and on subsequent iterations you kind of remember some of the more obscure cards (like “ginkgo biloba”), which makes it less fun. So the point is have a website where you could get new cards. To get new cards, however, you’d first have to
1. supply a new Taboo word that could be used on a future card
2. given ten potential card words (taken from previous inputs to 1) in turn, enter the first word that comes to mind for each of them
So the system would construct a new card by taking a word from 1, and then showing it to like 50 visitors to the site, gathering their word associations (2). It would then tally up the five most popular words from 2, and they would constitute the Taboo words for that card. (It might also ask you in step 2 how hard you think the card word is, so we could have different difficulties available for download.)

This way the more people who used the site for cards, the more new cards there would be. Yay, self-perpetuating! I’d code it up if I thought anyone would actually use it… (and if someone could promise me that I wouldn’t get sued by the makers of Taboo).

Addendum to my previous post
My friend Krishna raised two totally interesting objections to my trashing of the Heisenberg Effect.

  1. If the girl falls in love that easily, it’s possible that she might fall out of love just as easily. This one I think you don’t have to worry too much about, since hopefully you’d be able to detect such a trait in her character before it actually happened. But still something to consider.
  2. If you start dating and she still likes you much more than you like her, then it’s going to be tough. Actually my view on this is that there’s just about always going to be some asymmetry in a relationship, in terms of how much each person likes the other, and the more the asymmetry, the less likely it’s going to work out. So this is definitely a concern. However, I think that the reason that asymmetrical relationships fail more often is the same reason that motivates the Heisenberg Effect… a lack of respect, a notion of doing better, etc. So if you can fight the Effect (no easy deal) then you can fight this too!
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5 Responses to Actually, I’m nodding off…

  1. dianaca4 says:

    although I’m all for serious entries, your non-serious ones are always top notch. I think you’re my official favorite blogger :)

    anyway just wanted to give you and your runs and your bright eyes listening a shout out.

    • aj says:

      Hey thanks! That is possibly the nicest thing anyone’e said to me in a long while. And, coincidentally, I’m listening to Radiohead right now… yesss.

      Congrats on the couch!

      (As well as MIT, etc… but that’s all minor stuff. ;p)

      • dianaca4 says:

        haha, thanks. The (brown) couch is definitely the best thing I have going for myself right now. It matches my pretty yellow walls perfectly, and I will finally have something comfy to lounge on. score!

  2. jtlu says:

    we should play tennis in june when i’m out in cali. i haven’t played in years