Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Upgrading from boyfriend to Husband

Recently my friend A.K., an Israeli graduate student, forward me the the following geeky riff on the time-honored theme of men vs. women which appears to have made the rounds a year ago.

> Dear Tech Support,
> Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.
> In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs...

Find the rest of the original post here.... with males in particular fighting back about the short-comings of the many gf models here.

But before I had even thought to google around, my own response typed itself out.

Dear A.,
I have never seen that particular letter to Tech Support, very funny, thanks for sending.

Still, I can't really relate to her complaints. For various reasons, for years I never had the resources or system configuration to purchase Husband 1.0. I thus spent many years using different versions of the boyfriend program. All of them ran the undesirable applications like the Beer and Sports apps that Desperate ran into with Husband 1.0. Excuse my language, but Boyfriend 5.0, 6.0, etc were shitty programs. They were buggy, crashed the system almost daily, and required constant maintenance. its true that they sometimes did run the flower and jewelry applications, but those just didn't compensate for the overall drain on system resources and my worry that because boyfriend programs are traded around so often, they would have viruses. I spent a lot of time talking with girl friends about patches and work-arounds. I surfed the internet for advice about how to get better performance, but information is just too conflicting. I wondered if my system was basically incompatible with the boyfriend program.

What a relief when I finally upgraded to Husband 1.0. It was a big risk because of the huge cost and the fact that once installed, the husband program can not be uninstalled without exorbitant fees and the possibility of permanent system damage. But right from the beginning, Husband 1.0 was a big improvement over the Boyfriend program. Especially in the first year of use, Husband 1.0 installed no undesirable programs. I know other users were having difficulty with NBA 5.0 and NFL 3.0, but my version never ran those. Then in years 3, I started seeing Baseball 2305 being run, and in year 4, Basketball 89. However, I consider that the hours spent with these apps running in the background is acceptable 'downtime' given Husband 1.0's generally stellar performance, lack of system crashes and low drain on system resources. Indeed, Conversation 8.0 runs perfectly, and Housecleaning 2.6 has always had adequate performance. As an unexpected bonus, Husband 1.0 recently acquired a grocery shopping module and has began to run Cooking 1.0, 2.3 and 4.4. I clearly will not need a Husband upgrade given the versatility of 1.0.

I definitely wish I'd upgraded from Boyfriend earlier. I wonder if the rumors about Husband 1.0's bad performance are just an attempt by satisfied users to keep demand from rising, given that only limited copies of Husband 1.0 are available, so much so that plenty of users are eager to use the uninstalled versions?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Today Obama characterized end of American slavery as occurring thru non-violent means

What about John Brown, famous abolitionist, freedom-fighter and terrorist? What about the Civil War?

Modern Day Slavery

A lot more needs to be done to stop sexual slavery of children and adult women. The following spam showed up in my inbox today; The people said to be '14-20' years are coerced. Abduction, forced labor and rape are against the law. How to end human trafficking should be one of the biggest topics of the modern day. See the blog at change.org for more info. Can't a sting operation be planned, given that the slave owners promise to deliver slaves "at YOUR REGION" -- or maybe the Russian mafia is just too scary.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Difference between novelists (writing is object d'art) and scientists (information uptake is key)

Married to a former Eng prof who is now a novelist/playwright, I often get exposed to the contrast with two ways of thinking, which I end up trying to assimilate to some characterization as in my headline.

Here's a recent example.

The end-of-evening entertainment is whatever H has ordered from Netflix. This is a good thing for me as I lack H's encyclopedia knowledge of film running from popular to obscure. After a lot of Goddard movies (or "I am curious yellow" only dimly remembered because I fell asleep) last spring, we are into something more accessible: In Treatment.

I can have fun with this engaging shrink show just for Gabriel Byrne, but as one of my psychotherapist friends said, this is the best show about psychotherapy, so less energy wasted squirming and sighing over unrealistic popularizations a la Lie to me.

Whatever we're watching, whether it's the Goddard, Swedish foreign films, and even In Treatment, I often can't watch the whole thing because my sleep debt accumulated early in my professional career hasn't been paid off yet. So my plea is: let's stop watching now and watch the rest tomorrow. But this is uncomfortable for H.

H: "Let's not watch at all tonight, if you're going to fall asleep half way thru."

For a 2 hour movie, I say ahead of time, "Let's watch one hour tonite and one hour tomorrow."

H: "No, I prefer to watch the whole thing, so let's just do it when we have enough time."

I infer: for him, what's important is to get the whole experience, because that's the intention of the author/artist. For me, I'm okay with obtaining the information and the enjoyment while I'm watching.

Second example: reading printed matter.

H insists on "no skipping around" in a book and reading ahead is something decent people don't even joke about.

But most of my reading is journal articles. When I read a journal article, I'm in information-uptake mode, and often go straight to figures and tables after the abstract because I want to make up my own mind about the message. The author is providing information, not crafting an experience for me. I could skip around in the article; read one page now and take it up again next week.

So I propose:
The artistic/creative personality values the creation of an object d'art, with the aesthetic experience being diminished if it deviates from the intended form

For the scientist, information uptake is key, and the need to approximate the holistic experience designed by the author is less important.

What I do, as a scientist, is what I will call "transfer of a reading/watching habit" (borrowing from cognitive studies on transfer of information processing habits, such as the "script transfer hypothesis" which I'm working on with a grad student). I take my information-uptake habit from science reading, and transfer it to TV/films (and sometimes even novels).

Anyone else transfer their information uptake habits?