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



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 ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆


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 ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆


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 ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆


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 ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆


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.


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 ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆


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.



Last wednesday jam session with fire.


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


bye tree


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


fucking sexy

another ode to subjective perspectives. apparently the little animals are real, and feed her rampant imagination


inspired by rainy days and european anti-north-american prejudice. drawings by Allison Kennedy of Ragwitch (montreal) fame


another session of urban exploration ended, in an amazing twist, in a jam session in the water tanks of the abandoned hospital. Adam spotted a tiny hatch on the floor, which I had never even noticed before. it's what I expect to be the old independent water supply system for the hospital. the two tanks resonate incredibly, so together with the old metal machinery, we played about 15mins of what I would call old school squat industrial, with creepy singing. some songs came out better, but I only taped video on this one, which is alright anyway. I have about 15mins of unedited .wav goodness, if anyone wants it just contact me.

anyone looking for a real acoustic industrial drumming kit should visit that bunker. who'd think a bunker like that would still be open and clean in Lisbon?

heavenly voice by Allison, she will be busking in Lisbon for a while, I'm sure the odds of crossing paths are high.

also, everybody's been getting sick on and off (I guess the excessive drinking helps), so I caught shaman doing some strange exercises to heal himself, in front of the chakana inca. cameo by lena. loop it to see what's going on.

sorry for the poor quality on the videos, they're all taken with a cellphone.

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆



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