2010/07/26

i visited the old house yesterday. the place is now completely sanitized, sterilized, neat and ready for the couple with their dog. no signs of what went on, except some strange faint paintings on the walls of the backyard. it's going back to the same state as it was when i found it. just another Lisbon yard full of weeds and very little life.

i guess once the agents of ectropy leave, entropy resumes its course.

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆

2010/05/13



we moved. our new star stuff mandala is here. we are now welcoming guests again. the new mandala is entirely collaborative and without authority. that is the main shift from escotilha8, along with several other changes. the website reflects that and we're logging most of our activity via personal journals. this is my first attempt at sampling the multiple realities phenomenon and the irrelevance of fact.

even though our studies for escotilha8 are shut down, we will continue focusing on social engineering and human behavior. we used a lot of the knowledge accumulated over the escotilha8 process.

also, as soon as i finish cleaning it up, i will provide all my data (spanning over 700 guests, highly detailed for about 200) for any scholar or non profit use, with the appropriate licensing. anyone wanting to find things i overlooked will be able to do so. most likely, it will be in a format ready for the semantic web.

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆

2010/04/23



from the archive.

i'm not a fan of mirrors, mostly of what they represent. so i forcefully removed all the mirrors from the house. every now and then, a well intended guest would skip one or buy one, only to hear my sermon on mirrors and how they affect where we put ourselves in the world around us.

eventually, i gave up. the panic of not knowing how you look seems to be incredibly strong, when if anything is noticeably wrong, someone will tell you. hey, you have a booger in your nose. i like to have other things in my mind instead of worrying how i look. if i need feedback, i'll just ask someone. but the hours spent in front of a mirror tell us that everyone worries too much about looks, even though everyone claims not to care about them.

every night i covered the mirror. and every morning, it was uncovered.

2010/04/01

In September, a friend of mine, André, was in my house and showed me this blog. He told me it was the house of his friend who was hosting couchsurfers and explained briefly what he did there and with his guests. First of all I thought it was interesting. I already knew couchsurfing for some time, since the concept emerged, perhaps, but never heard of a host that made it this way. André returned to Lisbon, and intrigued, I read the blog. I do not know how much time I lost reading the entire blog, but I was doing it for a few days. Studies on the guests and their interaction with themselves and with the ambient that I read the blog where things that caught more of my attention. As an observer of people that I am, all of that sounded familiar, but in a different language, though understandable. I continued to follow the blog normally since then. 

In December I met escotilha8. When I reached av. da igreja I realized that I passed by there before for several times, what made it strange, because the area where the escotilha8 is, is an upper class neighborhood. I rang on the ground floor of No. 8 and waited. I went in and a door at the bottom of the stairs opened and I saw André, as always smiling, inviting me to come in.

I was not surprised by the confusion, clutter, or the noise of people. Whether the blog or the profile of the host are clear on that, and I also confirmed in the calender of the blog how many people would be staying that night.

- Hey, there you have the manual with the rules, you are sleeping on number 6. - Said the host, totally apathetic and neutral. 

I went ahead to see where this 6 number was and I came across with a tiny kitchen full, but really FULL of people, laughing, drinking, singing and playing instruments. 

I remember I lost a lot of time looking at the walls between smiles and laughter as I read what was written there. For those who like to observe, this house was perfect.

I was in the hatch 3 days, and I loved it. Now back to Porto to keep the packing, as I would move to Lisbon soon, according to my plans, even before i met the hatch and João.

I returned on the 30th of December in 2009, and continued here until the hatch was burned. 

I met some of the 700 guests. In the beginning (and I think almost the whole time I was there) I tried to be as invisible as possible, not only because it's very natural in me and I do it so to watch people, my favorite "subject", but also because I realized that the hatch worked for a number of variables and elements that were already structured and which, if changed, how the hatch works also would be. 

In the hatch everyone was free to do whatever they wanted. It was funny to realize that outside ( in our daily lives, in the big city, in my or in your reality) we always see huge clashes of personalities, desires, ideals, that emerge in seconds and quickly become a problem. Not here. A changing scenario, where everyone intervenes and leaves its mark and make their changes. A smile or a laugh is what more we see, 24 hours a day. People with different backgrounds, personalities, colors and shapes, and different political views coexist without any problems or altercations. I never imagined seeing anything like that. 

Not everything is roses, and this experience also served me to confirm in a way, some ideas and opinions that I had less positive about the human being:

-Gratitude or reciprocity are words that do not appear in everyone's dictionaries;
-Although they coexist well, a more spacious personality will always fall on a less spacious and shy one. What happens is that the person who is more shy and reserved doesn't get space to blossom and show what it has to give; 
-Not all contribute the same way although they are receiving exactly the same. The roof, the same bed, the same amount of food and comfort. The sharing varies from person to person.

These are some issues that make me upset. It would be expectable that a traveler or a freeloader who doesn't have shit with him would retrieve back something for the shelter, food, and comfort they have in that house. But no. People will not clean the shit they leave behind, most of them won't buy food, won't help you with cooking, or whatever. And these facts don't have shit to do with people's color, education, religion, whatsoever, in most of the times. We are all the same shit, whether you are from USA, or fuckin' Germany. And in my opinion most of the people didn't realize or gave value to what was happening in that house.

One point I want to stress is that despite the high amount of people who were daily in the house i never felt afraid to leave my stuff there, including a laptop and a camera that are valuable assets and which on the outside of the context of the hatch would be gone within minutes. 

Shortly after arriving there, the house was gradually losing its mutant character due to the growing number of regulars who lived there, me included, despite my efforts so that my presence did not affect the house. Nevertheless, this experience is one of the most interesting I had so far, and helped me to evolve, to grow up and broaden my perspective on life and in the human being, and also my knowledge. Meeting different cultures and absorb all the interesting information and conversations that where exchanged in that tiny kitchen after a good dinner and some liters of alcohol will be remembered as something good and, if possible, to repeat in the future, in another scenario. 

Last month I spent most of my days cleaning the house and destroying it. It was a task a bit heavy, because I was destroying something that was not mine, nor I had built. I am used to destroy or to let things die, but usually something I've built or lived in their full.

I'm glad my path crossed with João and the hatch, and i hope that what we've learned in the hatch will help us to bring life to our new project, which will include the involvement of more people.

Today the house is definitely closed and completely renovated for the pretty much possible new couple with a kid and dog that are going to live their meaningful life in the upper class neighborhood.






Everything is ephemeral and escotilha8 is no exception. <3

2010/03/31

All gone!

2010/03/29

when i first came to escotilha8 there was a czech guy living in a tent in the garden. vlad. 20 years old, had lived on the street since he was 15. troubled, angry, had one of those personalities that made him easy to make fun of. and we all did.

every morning he would get dressed up in an old suit jacket that he had found, take out his piercings and hide his mohawk under a cap. he'd walk to the airport and ask for change. he told me he was saving to buy his mother a birthday present, but i don't know how true this was.
he came to me one morning after i'd known him a couple of days.
"is it possible... is it possible that you borrow me one or two socks?... my feet..."
he had been wearing old boots every day and his feet were all covered in blisters
"of course, here you go"
"thanks! i give them back tonight"
"no it's cool, you keep them"
he hands me his half eaten toast and cold coffee
"we look after each other, yeah? like friends?"

friday night at the squat, L came home and asked P
"is it true about vlad?"
without turning away from his movie...
"yeah, he's dead"

and that was it.

"how can you back to watching the fucking matrix? what happened to vlad?"
they look at me like i'm crazy
"just another overdose, ash. he's a stupid kid, responsible for his own choices. it's... what... are you crying? you can't get attached to junkies. you'll be crying all the time. he's not our problem."

i wasn't attached to vlad, i won't miss him. i probably never would have seen him again. but when does the death of a 20 year old kid become "just another overdose"? does the way that he died affect the value of the life he had?

it's true, he was responsible for his own death, he made stupid choices. but we all come into the world and are dealt varying amounts of shit. sometimes the kid who was raped and thrown out at 14 lives a functional, happy life, and sometimes the rich girl with the perfect childhood commits suicide. i don't know vlad's story, but should a person's ability to deal with the shit they're given, to make the right choices and live a productive life, affect the value that we attach to that life? i don't think so.

why is somebody's value so linked to their intellect, charisma, social status? vlad wasn't smart, or funny, or popular, but had he been, i believe that people would have responded very differently to his death.


"not our problem"?
this guy came into our lives needing far more than a bed and something to eat, and he was ignored. it was too difficult. too fucking hard to care about someone who needs more than a litre of bad wine and a free punk show to make them happy.

i would rather suffer over the death of a kid i hardly knew than to be so desensitised to this. vlad potentially had another 80 years ahead of him to turn his life into something beautiful. i'm not religious, i don't think there's anything to come after this life. this is the only chance we get to find beauty, meaning, love - maybe i'm wrong, but i don't think vlad found that.

i tried to explain all of this, but in the end we all went back to champagne and the matrix. just another friday night.
just another overdose.

2010/03/21

2010/03/18

though it may have been cathartic, i must say trashing the place was easy, mostly because tatiana and ash did all the work. i just showed up as a venerable guru and burned some stuff.

but i must say there are some things that have changed the way i perceive the world profoundly. here are some random snippets.

in 700 guests, i found no good way of predicting anything based on sex, gender, age, nationality, color of hair and so on. i also found that people's responses to myself (a fixed variable) are also pretty much random, ranging from love to hate with everything in between, fitting a nice bell curve that proves that it is a uniform distribution. this pretty much settled a simple thought: we are all clueless regarding other human beings and should ditch, once and for all, all stereotypes, with no exceptions, including gender. all stereotypes are profoundly wrong, and we just use them to confirm our bias

anarchy doesn't work because anarchists don't like to work, but anarchy works if you work a bit extra and provide the basics (food, warmth, security). this means that for anarchy to work, you have to work extra for everyone else and provide for others, meaning you end up being a slave of the community. i see this as one of the many paradoxes of anarchy. but the right answer is: anarchy works, under certain conditions.

people are pretty much an empty shell, filled with what's around them. what other explanation can there be for having 700 random people (with 3.8 connectivity) in your house and not a single one stealing or harming anyone else? we are defined so much by our setting, that a well designed setting will shape people into entirely different human beings. but don't get pompous. everyone reverts to the same lazy, selfish, oblivious fuck they were before, but with some new pictures to tag on facebook. PEOPLE WILL BECOME WHAT YOU TELL THEM TO BECOME! so remind them that they are full of shit. that will ground the ensuing conversation. then you can tell them how awesome they are.

messiness has a tipping point. too clean gets creepy, too dirty and shit grows exponentially, but there's a point where it's just right. it's in that point that people feel "at home"

if you're a young mid-twenties man you're fucked. races have racism, females have feminism, nationalities have xenophobia. but if you're a young male, you're on your own. the lone male traveler is one of the most kicked around of travelers out there.

beautiful people are too used to be catered to and agreed with and are wrong just as many times as everyone else, they just get told that much less often. learning to be able to reject this bias is essential to be socially fair. the inverse is valid for ugly people too. disregard the looks! write it on paper and see how a pretty face makes commonalities sound so interesting just because you want to procreate! ridiculous!

we may think we treat everyone the same way but we don't. everyone caters the pretty girl and kicks the ugly guy. that is profoundly wrong and, if anything, looks must be seen as a warning.

if you are born A and get told that A is always B, you will live up to be B, even if there's no B in you and you're a genius in C. everyone just lives up to their own (and their surrounding) expectations, prejudices and stereotypes and EVERYONE SUFFERS EXACTLY THE SAME WAY BECAUSE OF IT! the fact that everyone is forced to live a lie, to lie to themselves, and to live up to something they are not. yup. that model looking girl is just as fucked up inside as that fugly balding hunchback. everyone is just trying to cope with being real in a fucked up world. if you know how to recognize that in people, you will know people deeply. they will also cry on your shoulder. a lot.

listen. but don't be a neutral listener or people will revert to mindless shit. if the conversation is headed towards mindless shit, say it. interrupt and expose that fact. ask people what they really care about. ask people their story, what are they most passionate about, what world do they want to see. ask people fucking difficult questions. you will hear the most amazing answers if you let people bloom. water this with alcohol and food. we all need brain calories and a little loosening up.

freeloaders breed freeloaders. freeloaders always have money, but never when you need it. freeloaders will always bring friends, take more space than they need, and use a very elaborate and powerful suffering puppy dog look to get their way. if you don't want to have kids but want the experience, get a freeloader or two. here's the catch: a freeloader is the most adapted one to survive, so that suffering look is complete bullshit. learn to treat it like it is: another strategy to get by without doing shit for anybody else.

everyone thinks their music is the best, that their youtube videos are the funniest, that their vacation pictures are the best, mostly because they are so fucking clueless that they forget that only in their subjective experience those things have emotional content. yet EVERYONE will want to impose their tastes on everyone else, i argue not because they see it as imposing, but because they want others to feel that emotional response. news flash: nobody else does. if they were playing that wonderful polka song at that beach when you had your first kiss IT'S NOT THE POLKA SONG! i can hear it a million times IT WILL NEVER FEEL LIKE A FIRST KISS!

the better the humbler. the best buskers, artists and thinkers are the ones that SHUT UP! the ones that value words, music and moments enough to know they are precious. now don't confuse quiet with retarded-and-hiding-it. if someone has a tremendous gift, you just have to recognize it and feed that bit of their personality. they WILL BLOOM if you give them space and time to do it. the most generous and giving will not need to leave a mark, to write on your walls or to leave you notes. they know that the biggest mark you can leave anywhere is generosity and inspiration.

there are no such things as facts. everyone lives a fictional tale and only seldom you'll encounter someone that understands the scientific method enough to know that, that reality is somewhere beyond our comprehension and we're so fucking limited that there is little hope to get critical thinking to spread. the most common stories will always be the invisible aura energy mumbo jumbo, not the actual fact. that is probably one of the saddest (but most creative) things about human beings. they do not live in the real world, they live in a waking dream, walled up in their own beliefs and seeking only like-mindedness.

if you do not choose who you interact with, you will be miserable. you will be proven wrong every day, over and over again. it is a choice between being aware and miserable or oblivious and happy. can happiness come if you are aware? i'd argue yes, but only from adding meaning to your life. the easiest way to be happy is to remain in your bubble, to keep only the friends you agree with, to care only about your tribe. but that's closing yourself up in a cushioned cage. it saddens me that almost everyone i met falls in this latter category.

everyone is the promised messiah, everyone has the solution to all of mankind's problems, everyone knows best about everybody else. yet the people that will save your ass are the ones that make no such claims.

everyone is capable of being the most amazing expression of cosmic exuberance. but to get there, everyone needs shelter, food and real human connections. because if any of this fails, we get what's out there, 6 billion lazy, selfish, fearful sacks of meat that will destroy and kill everyone and everything they encounter.

my house provided shelter, food and real human connections, so it created amazing expressions of cosmic exuberance. all it needed was a keeper. everyone can be a keeper, and every house can be a hatch. yet one of my saddest realizations, is how rare this place and its activities were.

i know that despite hearing inspiration stories, nobody started anything (prove me wrong). but i know i can never go back to living a normal life in my own cushioned prison.

to all you cushioned prisoners: GET OUT OF YOUR FUCKING CHAIR AND ACT LIKE A REAL FUCKING HUMAN BEING. HERE IS A PROOF THAT IT CAN BE DONE. STOP THE WHINING AND BE WHAT YOU CLAIM YOU ARE! BE WORTHY OF THE NAME HOMO SAPIENS!

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆
video


it did burn out. not with a big flame, but with a small, slow, warm stench.

2010/03/14

videofilipe on the guitar, 31.01.2010

2010/03/04

here are some sources for last night's discussion about human nature and the usual sidesteps
- Philip Zimbardo: The Time Paradox
- Steven Pinker on the myth of violence
- Sheep recognize faces and emotions (and check out the faces of stressed sheep)
- Spencer Wells builds a family tree for humanity (the quote on the 2000 individuals thing, around 60000 years ago)
- Hans Rosling's new insights on poverty /
Hans Rosling shows the best stats you've ever seen
stats stats stats!


godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆

2010/03/02

2010/03/01

to everyone following this blog, i am informing that we are burning down the house by the end of this month.

for the last 3 months, the setup has been sub standard due to some emergency bookings. because of that, i haven't been able to maintain the controlled setting i had been working on for the past year and a couple of months.

as a consequence of this, in 73 days we've had a total of 23 guests creeped out. before this situation, i had a total of 11 guests creeped out in 440 days of hosting. so, for the first case, it ammounts to about 2.2 guests a week, versus 0.175 guests a week (1 every 1.43 months). if i compare the two ratios, we can see that the creeped out factor increased 12.57 times. since it is over an order of magnitude, i cannot consider that the setting remains the same.

due to this fact, i am invalidating all my data from the change date onwards, as it seems the setting is clearly different and no longer under sufficient control for meaningful statistics. despite that, i still have about 650 guests before this, so my data is still statistically significant.

due to this change, and due to a fortunate collision of my trajectory with tatiana's and ash's, i have decided it was time to burn down escotilha8.

regarding escotilha8 itself, i will publish a book with a portrait of the progress of this house, its birth, growth, bloom, and death. not as a serious book, but more as just a small paper shrine to all the wonderful things that we created in this house. i will also publish some of the statistics that i collected.

i've always been a fan of ephemeral beauty, and like to see this house as a giant star stuff mandala that we grew for the past year and a half. i will create other mandalas, albeit differently, but the pleasure of living such a process remains.

to everyone that made this star stuff mandala with me, a deep thank you. each bit of star stuff you left behind helped shape a wonderful local inversion of entropy that has made me a better human being in every way possible. i sincerely hope that this isn't just true for me.

as for this blog, it will remain and probably will continue being updated for a while. but escotilha8 is over, and we are now burying it and destroying it.

as for the new mandalas, i will post their coordinates on this page.

again, to everyone that stayed, a deep thank you and godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆

2010/02/26

so, it's lea's birthday soon. i'm feeling a beach party complete with tents, fire, poi and beeeeeer.

ideas?

2010/02/25

i'm happy to report our first mouse! i personally think that it is empirical evidence of spontaneous generation. we have a lot dirty clothes in dark corners and crumbs all over the place and this is known, according to that theory, to produce mice spontaneously.

that or the fact that we haven't had cats outside in a while and there's an open door to the backyard. but this one sounds so boring.

anyway, problem solved without killings, and it does seem it was a mouse, not a rat.

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆

2010/02/20

this new type of man… turns his interest away from life, persons, nature, ideas — in short from everything that is alive; he transforms all life into things, including himself and the manifestations of his human faculties of reasoning, seeing, hearing, tasting, loving. sexuality becomes a technical skill; …feelings are flattened and sometimes substituted for by sentimentality; joy, the expression of intense aliveness, is replaced by “fun” or excitement; and whatever love and tenderness mankind has is directed toward machines and gadgets. the world becomes a sum of lifeless artifacts; from synthetic food to synthetic organs, the whole man becomes part of the total machinery that he controls and is simultaneously controlled by. he has no plan, no goal for life, except doing what the logic of technique determines him to do. he aspires to make robots as one of the greatest achievements of his technical mind, and some specialists assure us that the robot will hardly be distinguished from living men. this achievement will not seem so astonishing when mankind itself is hardly distinguishable from a robot.

the world of life has become a world of “no-life”; persons have becomes “non-persons”, a world of death.

~ erich fromm, the anatomy of human destructiveness, 1974



depressing, but important?

2010/02/18

2010/02/17

lecture nights worked out great. here's a small summary:

1) lecture on optics by Ash (12/02/2010)

an overall perspective on optics, light as a line, wave, particle, lenses, reflection, eyes, mirages. well, a portrait on how basic, every day phenomena are described and used to provide for our day to day optical tools. the web is a good place to start. good starting points would be How Stuff Works: Light and the wikipedia article on light.

2) lecture on visual sociology by Denis (14/02/2010)

a basic description of what visual sociology is, with a lot of examples. several stood out, but in my case the media choices for depicting certain events as non neutral, focusing on fake narratives, versus the real, usually less biased, narrative. for example, the death of Carlo Giuliani, where the picture chosen by the media told a completely different story. how these stories can be perceived, and also created as fiction, is part of what was discussed.

as another narrative example, Tatiana played The Ninth Floor by Jessica Dimmock, about a new york squat that sank under hard drugs influence.

overall, i think the experience was positive, with some discussion afterwards and most people wanting more. in fact, the lack of sleepy uninterested students made it more welcome than most talks when i was in uni. probably something about the informal setting.

the next one will probably be by Anxo about René Quinton and his work on the healing powers of salt water. Quinton, sometimes referred to as the french Darwin, is still credited today, as his "Quinton Plasma" is registered worldwide as verified working medication. no dates on when it will happen. despite the topic, Quinton was no quack.

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆

2010/02/14

videojust another saturday night wtf

2010/02/09




we've been having a few fires outside lately, and were treated to some fire poi by tatiana and lea :)


this friday the 12th feb will be super-fantastic geeky lecture night. 

i will be talking a bit about optics and denis will be talking about his studies in sociology. 

2010/02/07

2010/02/06

2010/02/03

by niklas from sweden

2010/01/30

videothe secret punk fingernail diet, caught on video for the first time

2010/01/29

2010/01/28

a new version of the couchsurfing script is up. i'm very happy with this one, and hope to refine the tag cloud.

it seems that what the tag cloud shows is the multi dimensional coordinates of each person's reality bubble as seen by others, and the reality bubble they see in others. haven't worked out a way to get the tag cloud out of the profile page, but it's in the works. here are some screenshots and their description, using my own profile as an example.

reference behavior



i found that there is a clear pattern on how people behave towards references. some people leave more than they get, some get more than they give, and some are more "spread out" meaning they have a lot of non mutual references. though it might be hard to understand what's going on, and i'm still working on it, i see it as a basic reciprocity factor. someone with a negative reciprocity factor probably feels "owed to", meaning, they consider that some people are not worth the reference, whereas some others feel they "owe", considering that everyone deserves a reference, be it out of gratitude or whatever. as i said, i have no good explanation for this, all i know is that this happens.

my test case: 15.98% of the people i hosted considered i did not deserve a reference back, as i leave a reference for pretty much everyone i meet on the system. i'm still working out why this happens. on some cases people just forget/have no time/whatever, on some other cases, people are expecting more from CS than just a place to stay. i've had some clear examples of this, where people got the impression i didn't like them, and despite the fact that they got the free place to stay, free food, free water, free internet, etc, they still did not consider they should leave a reference because, i postulate, they were looking for more than that and did not get it. this just means that their basic requirements aren't just the facilities, they require some "hanging out" too, some catering, some pampering, some friendliness. some hosts provide this. i do not. i could argue that it's on my profile, but only 25% of the people read it anyway, so it's pointless.


surf/host balance



this one is easy. if you host more, you're a hoster, if you travel or surf more, you're a traveler. people come in all shapes on this one, and the "nothing" isn't working yet. some people host a lot (like myself), some others surf a lot, and everything in between. how that will help you decide, i have no idea.


tag clouds



this is probably the most useful one. i have a set of keywords/phrases and draw a tag cloud out of them. an optimal tag list is still in the works. basically, what each of these tag clouds estimates is what words are most often used in the references, both inbound and outbound. so inbound are what people say about this person (in my case, "interesting" comes up top), and outbound are what the person says about others (in my case, "interesting" again). some linguistics work is necessary and also the removal of some keywords that are too common in english (like "nice" or "good"). anyway, each word is a dimension of a person's personality, and the total amount of times it shows up is the amplitude of that particular dimension on that human being's reality. in a way, we are peer-reviewing someone's character by statistically analyzing what people say about them. i've found this very accurate, and despite the keywords not being fully optimized, it clearly shows, for instance in my case, that there is an intellectual focus, both inbound and outbound. some other profiles have tags such as funny or fun as top tags, showing a different kind of focus. this one is probably the most useful one to get a general picture of what the person is like.


warmness analysis



though incomplete, this one is a special one i'm working on. i postulate that despite almost everyone being selective about who they meet, their friendships through the system will tend to be a bell curve. hiding in this is the fact that there is no way of predicting, even if you read the profile, how you'll get along with someone. this is in line with my previous studies, and will prove, if i get lucky on these numbers, that no matter how well you draw up a profile, people that you meet will inevitably follow a uniform distribution from love to hate and everything in between, i.e., we are all fucking clueless! some normalization of the curves might be necessary, as the average relationship differs from person to person, and i'd argue, from culture to culture, as the meaning of "friend" is different. i argue that "warmer" cultures will rate their friendships "higher" than "colder" cultures. quotes because all these categories are unfair generalizations. but this might be a good place to demonstrate the "warmness" that everyone talks about when they travel.
also in this, i will add awkwardness metrics. the awkwardness is measured by calculating the relationship differential. get this: i note you down as good friend, you note me down as couchsurfing friend. fucking awkward. in this case, it would be a positive awkwardness, where i'm rating people higher than they rate me. i think it indicates extroversion. mirroring it, you will also get people with negative awkwardness, rating people consistently lower than they rate them. i'd say these are the introverted people. also, the total amplitude of awkwardness: how bad are we at being reciprocal in terms of friendship ratings. i'd say, on this one, that this varies tremendously between people. i'd rate pretty high on this one as i do not rate anyone below friend.


i'd recommend posting some metric requests on the script page or comment and request metrics. as i dive into these things, i see some really interesting patterns showing up. it might be that this is a good start for an actual numerical analysis on how people connect with each other. or it might be just another exercise to demonstrate how hard it is to demonstrate anything regarding people.


by the way, license is MIT now due to the inclusion of JQuery.

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆

2010/01/27































































And here are the photos from the Australia Day.
australia day was celebra.......................................ted with some buffering issues while tryi...................................ng to listen to the triple j hottest 100. the barbecue was good and we all ended up somewhat soupslapped but not drunk enough.
i can only describe the whole australia day thing as a strange ritual that i cannot fully grasp from within my western european bubble.
no coding finished as of yet!

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆

2010/01/21

just a quick notice on the authorship of this blog. we now have two other editors (Tatiana and Ash) that, due to extended stay, have also become observers of the hatch. hopefully they will remove some of my observer bias. so authorship is now shown at the bottom of the post, facebookers won't be able to tell who's who, but for that just click the link to see the original post.

currently after the extensive data hoarding, we are now testing several of my hypothesis, and will start accepting guests from different profiles, i.e., residents will be hosting too and we'll manage a common calendar.

also, soon, a new version of the CS script that gives some interesting new metrics about a person. a very good one, apparently, seems to be the reference tag cloud, where a tag cloud is generated for the inbound references and outbound references, showing the main keywords on what people write about the person and what the person writes about others. the plugin has so much data that I'd say it'll have to be spread out somehow.

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆

2010/01/19

for quite a while now, my house has become a kind of experimental hair salon. lea now has a new website to show off her work, which is amazing by the way. she accepts bookings and does some pretty wild cyberpunk shit (electric wire and sockets come to mind).

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆

2010/01/17

Today we are having another movie night. This time we're going to see Terry Gilliam's movie called Brazil.





















In a highly structured and bureaucratic state, the government has installed extreme and highly counterproductive measures for which to track down terrorists. A "bug" in the system mixes up the last name of a terrorist (Tuttle) and an innocent man (ironically enough Buttle). Thus, the wrong man (Buttle) is arrested and killed while Tuttle continues to roam free. Sam Lowry, an average man with a mother who "knows people", is assigned to investigate the error. At the same time, Jill layton, Buttle's neighbor, is trying to report the mistake to authorities. Due to the extremely inefficient bureaucracy, she finds the process to be very tedious. Meanwhile, Sam Lowry, who has been dreaming about Jill, gets sidetracked by his fantasies and ends up also being a victim of the counter productivity of the government.

2010/01/15

movie night was great. instead of Requiem for a Dream we played Spun, also about drugs, and maybe a little less of a downer.
before that i played one of my current favorite lectures (that set me off on that post about the brain) VS Ramachandran: The neurons that shaped civilization, that ended up sparking some nice discussions requiring pens and tile wall systems modeling and mathematical analysis. the author is controversial and obviously does the usual "my science explains every other" thing, but overall, i like to think that this analysis-synthesis system still provides a non-lossy channel, i.e., our empathizing is accurate to a high degree. ash's rebuke, which i now see to be absolutely correct, is that there is no proof that the final outcome has the information, i.e., i see what you do, and imagine that you feel A, even when you actually feel B, meaning that in some cases, A and B will have no connection at all. i am as of yet unable to find conclusive studies on whether this virtual reality simulation is accurate or not. i proposed an experiment where the correlation between the physical responses of A and B is measured and then we can assert whether information was transferred or not, i.e., whether our assumptions of other people's spheres of consciousness are reliable or not. currently i have no guess at all, and subjectively i'd say, looking at my house, it's too fuzzy.

also, we will be finishing the philosopher's corner soon and turn it into a thought workshop. either the corner or the lounge, not sure yet. kitchen tiles are cool but are not enough to express our ever growing logical complexity. somehow, the house right now is becoming a kind of nutty anarchist punk polyamorous science cult thing, so i might make official "think tank" days, in the tradition of the Royal Society and many other scientific groups. obviously, it will not be a "gentleman's club" because i find that concept disgusting, instead a shit hole of drunken longwindedness and occasional reason. it has always been a think tank, but now we start to get results and they need to be discussed and shared.

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆

2010/01/14

a frequent number thrown out there is how many neurons and how many connections does a human brain have. citing this old source [1] and assuming a fully connected brain (an impossible hypothesis due to natural synapse pruning in brains)

a) total neurons
N = 1010

b) total synapses (links)
S = 1015

c) total combinations with no pruning (i.e., everything connected to everything), considering neurons nodes and synapses paths (graph theory).
C = (N*S-1)! = (1010 * 1015 - 1)! = 101028.42432135416435

where ! is the factorial operator

it's a fucking huge number! just so you get how big it is, there are an estimated 1060 to 1080 atoms in the universe[2], so effectively, what is commonly thrown around is true: there are more possible combinations of brain sequences than there are atoms in the universe. in fact, something like 101028.42432135416435 times more!

note that this is grossly overestimated as
1) some brain structures loop, leading to more combinations than what this predicts
2) not sure if the graph assumption is accurate as a mathematical model
3) no pruning included, meaning connectivity is assumed to be the maximum possible

the next time someone tells you "the brain isn't everything", tell them that the brain can represent a gajillion more "everythings" than the whole number of atoms in the universe. this is my naive take, as [1] has it covered with real science.

math results by wolfram alpha

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆

[1] http://www.springerlink.com/content/k24887l86u411w02/
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observable_universe and STFG
Today we will have a Movie Night, and we'll screen Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream.

2010/01/13

2010/01/09












































Last wednesday jam session with fire.

2010/01/08

videoToday's jam session featuring alisson on the guitar, lucas in the harmonica.

2010/01/07

videobye tree

2010/01/06



























some (great) pics of the urban exploration session. all copyrighted by d-lusions photography

/// 2455034.42943 description started
hatch(8).operational() /////////////
reporting of us ////////////////////
stardust twin clusters ////////////
of baffling unlikelyhood /////////
must sync //////////////////////
here is my uplink ///////////
call it brotherhood ////////////
random runners ///////////////////
all, many, one, us ////////////////
unlikely and exceptional ///////////
description ended //////////////////