Category Archives: Lost in the Flood

Lost in the flood #1: programming, Japanese gardens, music, machine learning

The problem: an ever expanding set of Chrome tabs of read/study/watch/respond-to later material. I’m trying a new solution: put the links in a blog post, write why I haven’t closed the tabs, close the tabs. (And come back to them later. Maybe.)

Let’s go.

What is embodied programming? blog post by Alex McLean (@yaxu). Alex is trying to give a name to something he’s calling embodied programming. From a quick skim I think it’s related to programming in a cyber-physical loop with the machine. But I need to read Alex’s post properly to be sure.

I first encountered the term cyber-physical in a paper by Andrew Sorensen (@digego). Programming With Time – Cyber-physical programming with Impromptu (Sorensen and Gardner 2010). Andrew Sorensen recently posted a video of his latest work: Physics Playroom at QUT’s new Science & Technology precinct, and gave a detailed technical description on the extempore mailing list. Physics Playroom is an impressive piece of interactive programming making use of a huge aggregated video wall, a cluster of computers, and bank of multi-touch screens capable of simultaneously interacting with a hoard of school kids. Playroom is developed in Andrew’s latest live coding system extempore. (If you’re reading this Andrew, thanks very much for answering my question in such detail!)

Emotional responses to music: The need to consider underlying mechanisms (Juslin and Västfjäll 2008). Related to my recent emotional response on the music-dsp mailing list.

One thing I did find time to watch was Dream Window: Reflections on the Japanese Garden (1992) a stunning documentary. IMDb describes it as “Exquisite exploration of landscape and Toru Takemitsu’s music for a Japanese moss garden.” Highly recommended.

My interest in Japanese gardens arose from an ongoing reflective process concerning software design. I was thinking about the concept of negative space — the space around things — the “anti-object”. This lead me to the related (but I don’t think synonymous) Japanese word “ma(here’s another definition of “ma”, and an interesting discussion about Ma at Metafilter). In the process I found MA: Space/Time in the Garden of Ryoan-Ji a video artwork by Takahiko Iimura. The artist’s notes about the work provide an interesting insight into the compositional process. I would like to know more about ma.

Generic programming with C++ concepts and Haskell type classes—a comparison (J.F. Bernardy et al 2010). Lately I’ve been writing C++ code that is better expressed using compile-time polymorphism (templates) than C++’s good old runtime polymorphism (virtual functions). I’ve been thinking about the not-yet-extant C++ concept specifications, which lead me to the linked paper. My knowledge of Haskell is limited. The relation between C++ templates and Haskell type classes has been on my radar since I encountered Bartosz Milewski’s Monads in C++ blog post a couple of years back.

The Fast Cauchy Transform and Faster Robust Linear Regression (K.L. Clarkson et al 2012) paper at and summary at Nuit Blanche (via @IgorCarron). Fast, Robust, Randomised, what more could you want? Fast L1 regression is a hobby of mine. If nothing else this paper will give me a chance to practice my Linear Algebra.

Machine learning – Random forests video of lecture by Nando de Freitas. Random forests, aka decision forests, and ensemble methods. Seems like something I should know more about.

NI have released Traktor DJ for iPad. I am intrigued by the UI design.

Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States (Updated with 2011 estimates) by Emmanuel Saez (via @accessjames). My version of following the movie stars.