This is by far the best piece of free media that I have ever seen. Even though you can view it for free, I bought it for $5 off of iTunes just because I thought they deserved pay for something so awesome.
To warn you, there are two or three uses of profanity and some sexual innuendos.
Don't get turned off because the first few minutes are slow. It gets better very quickly. In fact, if you watch the first ten or so minutes, I think you will probably want to finish it no matter who you are.
Please let me know what you think.
I meant to post it on Pleonast, but forgot, and I just found it in my Google Documents. It's called Newcomb's Paradox.
Okay, here's the game.
Lets say that I am The Predictor. Okay... so it's mostly a made up title, but it has meaning. As the Predictor, I can predict the actions of people with spooky accuracy. In fact, I have never been wrong. My predictions are subject to a few rules though. These are:
1) I am not omnipotent or omniscient. I am completely incapable of actually knowing what you will do; I am just very good at guessing.
2) Although I have never been wrong (and let's say I've played this game... 8 million times), I am capable of being wrong.
3) My predictions do not violate your free will. No matter what I predict, it does not predetermine you to fulfill my prediction. You have a choice.
4) Your choices does not, somehow, effect my predictions. My predictions cannot be retroactively corrected, and once I log a prediction, no one can change it, not even me.
Now suppose there are two boxes, which we will call "box A" and "box B."
No matter what happens, box A always has $1000 dollars cash inside it. If you open box A, you get the $1000, no questions asked.
The contents of box two vary according to a prediction I make. Specifically, I give you the choice of one of the following:
1) Open box B.
2) Open both boxes.
If I predict that you will open only box B, box B will contain $1,000,000.
If I predict that you will open both boxes, box B contains nothing.
Would you open both boxes, or just box B?
Mathematically speaking, it is most advantageous to open both boxes, no matter what. No matter what the Predictor predicts, you maximize your winnings by opening both boxes.
...or do you assume that the Predictor will predict correctly, and choose to open only box B?
If the Predictor predicts that you will choose box B, the gain is still greater by opening both boxes, but would the predictor predict that you would use this logic and predict that you would open both boxes?
The more you think about it, the more the decision seems to complicate itself.
What do you think?
I fully expect detailed responses from each of you.
Apparently homecoming politics at Tech have become increasingly corrupt. I laughed, because before I opened the email, I actually
thought that's what it meant.
*I started this post a long time ago. …on the day after Labor Day apparently.*
As many of you, perhaps even most of you, know, yesterday was Labor Day. What you may not know is that on the Sunday before Labor Day, there occurs a spectacular fireworks show in downtown Knoxville. This event is called “Boomsday,” and for those of you who have never been, I highly recommend going.
…but before you even consider attending next year’s festivities, allow me to posit a critically important piece of advice into your well of knowledge.
Do not park in a parking garage.
Whether for emphasis or dramatic appeal, allow me to reiterate and use italics.
Do not park in a parking garage.
What follows is the grand adventure of Boomsday 2007 and the heroic tale of seven intrepid journeyers who defied death and conquered shirtless hippies to see the sky lit ablaze for a mere half hour. This tale is not for the faint of heart. It is riddled with betrayal and carnage. Carnage.
The seven of us left church around 7:30 and began our epic quest. Cody and Lydia had to grab a critical car part for their newly acquired vehicle, so a quick pit stop at Advanced Auto Parts was necessary. Driving through Taco Bell completed the quota of necessary supplies for our pilgrimage.
We got on I-40 and drove downtown, not hitting bad traffic until we got to the Seventeenth Street exit, only a couple of miles from our final destination.
What followed was a very interesting series of choices that led to almost certain disaster.
Jessica was driving our car, and the four of us decided to follow Cody, Lydia, and Marci. Cody led us to a parking garage where we dutifully paid our $5 event parking fee.
We’ll refer to that mistake as “The Big One.”
Sure, the decision seemed innocuous enough at the time. Parking - parking garage… what’s not to love? To the innocent observer, the decision seems elementary.
We walked a couple of blocks to see the fireworks, which were (as expected) amazing. …and one could not have asked for better atmosphere. We sat on hard asphalt, which wasn’t so bad, and the companionship afforded us by the intellectual mecha that encompasses downtown Knoxville was clearly fantastic. More specifically, we observed at least 15 mullets, 4 shirtless hippies, several people in potentially chemically assisted states of mind, the obligatory screaming baby, and a myriad of female middle schoolers dressed like prostitutes.
The fireworks, spectacular though they were, lasted a mere twenty to thirty minutes, and then, it was back to the car. Pushing through the mass of humanity was like moshing. Honestly, I got way too close to some people that smelled twelve kinds of funny. I’m not sure who, but one of the girls in our car was holding onto my shirt, and I think it’s fair to assume that someone was holding on to her as well. With stealth and agility, we darted into every empty crowd-pocket available, and we eventually made it back to our car.
The car was in the same parking spot we left it in, and it was apparently quite comfortable there, as it would not be moving for more than an hour.
Remember “The Big One?” Yeah… about that. It was apparent as we ascended the parking garage that it would take a while to get out, but we really had no idea how long. As it turns out, the traffic in the garage would not move for more than sixty minutes.
*Aside – while much of my story is highly sensationalized for the sake of good reading, it *actually* took over an hour for *any* of the traffic to move.*
So, naturally, we wait patiently in our car, singing Cake in Falsetto (I’m still not sure just how my sister achieved this), with me entertaining the girls in the back seat with my limited array of known magic tricks. We also called various friends and made small talk, telling them of our comedic predicament. That’s probably what anyone else in the parking garage would do; right?
Clearly, the best thing to do in this scenario is to get out of your car, walk to the edge of the parking garage, and look down at the cars below. That should speed things up, right?
…but that’s what everyone did. If cars weren’t going to move, a party was going down up in here, yo (We’ll actually just pretend I never said that.).
The most unique people in Knoxville started popping out of the woodwork. There was the group of punk-rednecks with no shirts on. They were clearly good ole country boys, but they had that whole emo thing going for them. One even had a Mohawk. There was scantily-clad-fifteen-year-old-princess, who, of course, was making out with creepy-you’re-too-old-to-be-in-college-guy. There was teenage-mother-chain-smoker and her six year old son (!!!!). …so all in all, the usual crowd.
So we huddled in the car, rationing the rest of our food and water – we don’t know how long we’d be stranded there, and all we had left was half a Nalgene bottle of water and a few gingerbread cookies. My Eagle Scouting skills were obviously critical in this scenario.
Anyway, we had just finished paper-rock-scissoring to decide who would be eaten first, and someone from a vehicle in close proximity to ours announced that he’s going on a beer run. Allow me to reiterate – we’re stuck in a parking garage, and the first thing this fine young man thinks to do is walk to a gas station and buy alcohol.
He got back just as traffic started flowing… and there was much rejoicing (due to the increased flow rate of traffic, not the beer). We got on the road, and arrived back at home at only 12:30.
I was supposed to get up at 7:00 the following morning to go mountain biking with Greg and co., but instead I slept through two alarms and their six subsequent auto-snoozes (That’s 12 alarms.) and was not awakened until he called me at 9:05. Yeah… I felt lame.
After some solid hanging out, I drove back to Cookeville, grabbed the ResLife cell phone, as I was on duty that night, and ate dinner. I can’t remember what I had now… spaghetti maybe?
I proceeded to spend the rest of the night hanging out with a good friend of mine named Katie, who was, later that night, upgraded to the status of “girlfriend.” For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s pretty much like being friends, except more so. She’s sweet. You’ll like her.
*** (I think that’s called an ellipsis.)
So yeah… that whole school thing started back.
I have five classes and a lab. These are:
Signals and Systems
Java Programming + Lab
Pretty fun stuff, but nothing to write home about I guess. I haven’t had a test in any of my classes yet. My first one is this Monday in Engineering Economics. Unfortunately, I don’t actually have any idea what’s going on in that class. I’ve got about 36 hours to figure it out though, and it seems easy, so it’ll be okay.
My job has calmed down a lot. Last year, Marshall/White, the hall I’m in, was a bit… eh… rowdy, but they’ve been great this year. Of course, that can only mean that they’re planning something of spectacular proportions. For the most part, my job is to do paperwork. I’m like super-secretary-man… except sometimes I get to deal with drunk people.
Well, the second half of the UT game just started. I’m going to watch that now. In any case, I’m fairly certain that this is the longest post I’ve written to date. Actually... the power outage one might be a bit longer. Oh well. I’m not about to proofread it either. If you find errors, you should most definitely chastise me for them.
Post script: Eh... something gets owned... in the face. That's for you, Tim.
I’m back at school, but there’s a good chance you already know that.
Today marks the end of my second week of Residential Life training, and let me tell you, I am so thoroughly trained that… well… actually, that analogy isn’t really going anywhere. I’m pretty sure I know what I’m doing though.
*Aside: I’ve been humming Anna Molly by Incubus all day. I don’t know why. I just turned on Pandora.com (online radio), and the first song it played is Anna Molly. The odds of this are very poor. Heh, Odds.*
…but yeah, training. This year doesn’t seem so much like “training” as it seems like “frantically making sure the building is in order.” So far as I know, the building is as in order as it is going to be… at least until my supervisor slams us with more work. When I say “slam,” I don’t mean slap a textbook down on a table, I mean slam-with-a-hammer. Are you visualizing a ball-peen hammer? Try bigger. Sledge? Bigger still. Picture an inhumanly large war hammer wielded by some mythical creature in a Lord of the Rings-esque novel. That’s what we get slammed with.
As you can imagine, this lends itself to a fair amount of stress.
I’ve always done pretty well with stress. In fact, some of my finest papers/speeches/tests grades have been accomplished by “cramming.” One time, I began a speech for Speech class at 5:30 AM after an all night Lost binge. I had to deliver said speech at like… 10:00 that morning. No sleep, four and a half hours, and two Mountain Dews later, I received a 93, enough to sustain my A in the class.
Ah, stress. Bring it.
I think people should laugh at things more. Anything. It is truly and spectacularly unreal how medicinal and therapeutic laughter is. I can’t deliver an accurate count of the number of bad days that have been remedied by an episode of The Office. Granted, while I can’t endorse the cleanliness of the show at times, the humor is undeniable.
Ah, stress. I laugh in your face. That is, of course, assuming you have a face. If you do not, I laugh in the closest anatomical analog to a face that you have.
Honestly, when I started this entry, it was probably going to be more melancholy than what I’ve got going so far. See how well a little humor can do?
Edit: Chop, chop.
Don’t you just hate it when it says…