The biggest problem with going home is that the past is now in front of you and the future behind you. Hence that once derelict street you rode bikes down, now becomes the most intense melancholy. In our daily lives the future is supposed to be in front of us, firmly planted, becoming present. In reality the past gets in the way of our feet all time. We trip over nostalgia, we lose time as past events slurp up that precious moment called present. It’s when we’re walking into the past that we often find the most valuable trinkets however. The little realizations that build up into the future that becomes us. It is simply the fact that the past can be defeatist, depressing, that keeps us running forward into a future that can only be improved by walking into the past.

October 10, 2016 at 4:33 pm Leave a comment


The works of Takashi Amano are often startingly on first look. The use of aesthetics in what is usually just the pet trade makes the clever and thoughtful touches of his work stand out. Amano was a Japanese aquarium maker who excelled at revealing the beauty of natural forms in cleverly engineered ecosystem we called aqua design or more popularly known as aquascaping. Amano managed to install aqua scapes with a sense of permanence as if any naturally occuring envionment would ever stay in as complete status as his aquascapes do. In that they reveal a hidden hand: Amano’s aqua scapes are carefully controlled, crafted, yet manage to capture a disorganized beauty we usually only see in the nature.it is by a careful understand of those slippery dynamic systems that Amano is able to achieve such simplicity. Electric motors, carefully placed plants, and selected fish all become the cybernetic appartus that maintains a perfect algae bloom that juxtaposes perfectly with schools of betas. Technology can produce silence and that quiet is visual, the aural feedback of all the filtering systems and pumps behind Amano’s designs are far less aggravating compared to the silence of the landscape.

ABZÛ – with a name that translates into body of knowledge AbZu, which is a spirtual follow up to Journey, wants us to believe it is a profound or meaningful experience. Meaning here being defined those moments when the mystical rains down and some nonlinguistic understanding overcomes us, in other words a spiritual experience. It is the later that AbZu excels at. Heiroglyphics suggest this is a creation myth and schools of exotic fish placantly swim by like an Amano aquarium that has gentrified into full blown cosmpolitianism. But AbZu at heart is algorithims. It’s lush overly dense ecosystems are like vivrant stereotypes of the coral reefs and kelp gardens divers lumber through daily. Yet the game reveals some serious limitations. This is not Aquanaut’s Holiday, AbZu often feels more confined than even Amano’s creations, the game takes place in a sliver of ocean teeming with schools. This is not a quiet world. Dolphins click, an orchestral soundtrack soars, and the ocean is busy. In other words its a lot like diving. But is is this maximalism, which is much more like the real ocean than Amano’s calm, which also reveals the hand behind all of this. AbZu isn’t like nature, rather it is a series of algorithims intended to provide Disney like moral lessons that paint disrpect for the oceans in completely black and white terms. It is a love letter to diving, but the game is heavy handed in approach. AbZu is a hyper real myth of oceanic becoming and in that feels all the more fake for it. The ocean is mysterious and large enough itself, AbZu on the other hand schools a little to perfectly, presents its enviroments are a little bit to grand. Its as if nature obeyed the plot of Beauty and the Beast. In that it is a nice psyedelic shot of earth worshipping goodness. Take it with ease, and remember sharks do smile, its just thst the game is more interested in a cinematic experience of the corsl reef when the actors in actual reefs always seem so much deeper as if they have something to say AbZu can not.

August 15, 2016 at 6:36 pm Leave a comment

TensorFlow on Nixos 4.4.14 with Python 2.7

was discussing this in #nixos yesterday and while the general consensus was it could be done no one knew exactly how so figured it out.

Basically the script from the nix os dev environments for python with virtual env is all you need:


with import <nixpkgs> {};
with pkgs.python27Packages;

buildPythonPackage {
name = “impurePythonEnv”;
buildInputs = [
zlib ];
LD_LIBRARY_PATH = “${stdenv.cc.cc}/lib”;
src = null;
# When used as `nix-shell –pure`
shellHook = ”
unset http_proxy
export GIT_SSL_CAINFO=/etc/ssl/certs/ca-bundle.crt
# used when building environments
extraCmds = ”
unset http_proxy # otherwise downloads will fail (“nodtd.invalid”)
export GIT_SSL_CAINFO=/etc/ssl/certs/ca-bundle.crt

the only minor additions are swig you also might need to add numpy and pip if you want to. I installed pip from nix-env -i

the only minor modification is this:

LD_LIBRARY_PATH = “${stdenv.cc.cc}/lib”;

it sets the lib path so when tensorflow needs a gcc lib it can get to it.

and that is my default.nix

nix-shell in the dir with that then do a normal virtualenv install of tensorflow for python 2.7 I did it CPU only.

I am working on modifying this script so it can work with tensorflow 3.5 and possibly with open cuda, but I did this to do basic tensorflow examples at a Hack Night so might be working in something else next.



July 27, 2016 at 12:31 pm Leave a comment

Some quick points on Angular vs React

At heart Angular is a piece of javascript that acts like a browser inside of a browser in order to emulate what a Single Page Application is supposed to be like. When you click on a link in angular an html template is fetched and then inserted into the view in front of you. Some javascript services and controllers might be too. In case you hadn’t noticing your browser can do this a lot faster than Angular can.

React is written in jsx an xml / html like language that fools you into thinking you’re writing html. In fact you’re writing javascript. Because of this views in React are primarily composed of functions. The order of those functions is manipulated by the state. The result is that when you’re using React you think you’re looking at html when in reality its actually a javascript function with the ability to render multiple views on a single page. React in other words can do a single page application while Angular is mostly relaint on a duplicate browser and a client side server to do the same.

Angular is complex, full of inheritance, uses an MvC like model, and has numerous global like $scope that create really intense inheritance chains that can become hard to manage. React is deceptively simple mostly because React does what browsers do the best: Views. React is intended to make pretty views its only afterwards that you learn about flux and realize  that react is more complex than it seems. React is also based off component compisition. Inheritance is difficult in React and that expense makes it more stable: you have to think about what you’re passing down while Angular $scopes and controllers often become jungles of services and inherited objects.

Angular places you in a high seat, it asks you to design an entire framework first and then views second. React on the other hand starts with the views then tries to simplify the controller using flux. Angular is like the visual studio of javascript frameworks: a lot of what’s going on is hidden underneath you kind of just have to do things the Angular way. On the other hand React will accept jquery functions and let you bind them to components. Its more of a rigging that javascript can build around. Anyone who has tried to get jquery to work in angular’s digest cycle knows the pains of incorporating other libraries into Angular.

Angular’s methodology is more serious, it was built with applications in mind. React on the other hand was built from serious research into high volume high performance javascript applications, but has a less serious tone and presentation. Working with react is pleasant, facebook had the common sense of letting users develop simple little applications with react before the reality of incorporating a flux framework comes into play. Angular on the other had requires an extensive learning curve of specialist terms and c like methodologies. It can be daunting and using it fully can be challenging.

None of this is intended to disparge Angular entirely. The entire framework in the right hands can do some amazing things. However I can’t help but be surprised at how easy, interesting, and fun I’ve found creating React apps to be. Angular requires skilled programmers to work out its various parts however React encourages good practice and a clean state system to make web apps more idiot proof. The later is highly appreciated not because web surfers are dumb, but rather curious.

January 15, 2016 at 3:01 pm 1 comment

WordPress Entry

in the late 1990s I found myself in China as an Oracle salesman. Entire post-occupied blocks had been abandonned as well off originals had now situated the selves in former tax shelters in Taiwan, Singapore, portions of the bay area etc. So I found myself alone in a British colonial apartment block with nothing but the cyborg I was trying to sell them.

The cyborg would climb the thick wood stairwell in the morning as I began another night out trying to get Jason Fong and other notable tech types to by into our technology. Mainlanders would soon occupy this spot. Capitalists would swoon in making their lives into the 30 usd a plate street food you encounter today, but back then It was still colonial opulence. The cyborg would mutter random phrases like a monkey’s paw, truthisms that we couldn’t quite muster tales of words delivered on different planets interplanetary dispatchs of UFOs aground in Shenzen and visa booklets larger than life itself. My passport swelled.

September 12, 2015 at 5:19 pm Leave a comment


There’s this magical theater where all the girls go to masturbate. Elizabeth knows it well. She sits in the front row, unzipped khaki shorts, and masturbates to the hunky guys she has plastered over the unicorns on her trapper keeper. The movie is never terribly interesting mostly housewives confronting mundane situations like an ex-lover who pops up as the principal of the kindergarten or a former friend who fucked your ex now on the other side of a business deal. There are some robots that mop up the house, but the films never depicts them as more than domestic servants so Elizabeth has lost interest. Primarily the films are about sex, but not the physical kind more the weird emotional kind capitalism consumes as lifestyle. The weird fetishistic touches of consumerism she is allowed, the way her house and body are in some commune of domestic malaise that drives her to the bedroom and that’s when Elizabeth watches, when the movie gives tips on the clit and the pectoral muscles. Where to touch your husband and why. When it’s all over she goes home.

April 26, 2015 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment


i work in this high tech future park maybe somewhere in Seattle. There is a zombie out break somewhere out there, but ya know class politics and all of that. I am homeless in this high tech park and must sleep in the park. I am paranoid and stash a shotgun inside a small circular aquarium I guess? Not sure. Regardless the night comes and I’m trying to be inconspicuous when this guy I know from New York shows up and kisses me or maybe he tries to bite my nose it is strangely pleasurable but also weirdly humane as if he’s sparring me his desires. I am then accousted by a roving band of Africans who I am frightened by but turn out to be just like me and rather safe. At some point I fish a flashlight out of the aquarium and we go through my stuff. The next day I am in a car and we’re discussing how the zombie outbreak must be like horrific in lower class circles (I know I’m homeless right?) when I am on my bike and in that same place in the park some cops knock me off my bike using water. It’s a roadblock and they’re checking folks for the virus. I am asked if I know this man and I gingerly say yes.

April 15, 2015 at 12:08 am Leave a comment

Ludums: Irem on Nes, Alien: Isolation, make your own adventure aka Minecraft

My new job involves long sit downs in a glass cubicle filled with constant fiddling with variables and often 16 minute returns from a Swedish server built in a summer by a former golf pro. Let that context inform these reviews.


Metal Storm is probably the best NES game I never played. The music is awesome. I mean really I hear the tunes in my head at work sometimes. It is at heart an R-Type game, but where r-type felt like a draft in memorization as difficultly Metal Storm is more of a full fledged novel. It requires consistent play with its central mechanic: the ability to reverse gravity at will. Its the way the game manages to introduce puzzles with out every signaling you are in a puzzle that makes it unique. I am not sure where, maybe level 3? In which you have to trick some magnets to fire, nearly crushing you, jump onto their platform, and then reverse gravity to get around a block. This section isn’t overtly difficult, but it does require skills. Later level require you to think about power ups switching from shields to blasters to take out different objectives. Its not as Mechanically complex as I would like it to be, but when you attenuate to its antiquated nature it becomes a gem you hum as you reconsider and plot out your next move.


The hardest part of Alien: Isolation is the beginning. That first stealth puzzle is really the most difficult thing in the game so far. After you’ve managed to take down 3-4 humans the Alien is easy peasy. Why? Because the Alien means death. It is that simple. What to reset a puzzle? Run away from the Alien. Alien: Isolation makes a good case for presence and graphics in video games. It is essentially a love letter to H.R. Geiger and in that it’s a game whose skin is more compelling than often the storyline is. In fact Isolation’s story is sadly rather weak. Its gameplay however is compulsive. I knew I needed it the second I saw the hack tool that said tool exists fully realized inside a set of stealth rules that create serious tension is even better. Alien: Isolation is a film that was chewed and cured into gameplay. However its designer had the lateral thinking skills available to iterate on the known gameplay elements enough to make it work. The result is engrossing exploration situations that are tense, but rarely frightening. The world design brims with detail, but it’s really the story Geiger is telling that makes it important, from the communal shower stalls to the lightbox hallways, the lived in way the station resembles an oil rig or the abundance of hiding spots the belie another meta-game: which spot is truly strategy and which is merely aesthetics? Film is a great medium to play in.

Minecraft is not a game I have ever binged in before, but last week with the server down I redownloaded this hot MS property

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/e2a/7654/files/2014/12/img_3248.png and got to work on my first house which in turn became a 3 hour construction binge including torches, numerous pick axes, cobblestone fences, creepers, and a garden on top of a house. I wanted to change nature to make my house more realizable. It was strangely satisfying to finally have a minecraft property something like what I had seen in youtube videos and then a day later I was bored, so I crafted numerous swords and set out on a journey at midnight fighting Zombies and eating pork chops, minecraft is a game that understands play. It understands that you shouldn’t take it seriously rather that frivolity becomes seriousness the more you play. It is a game that is entertaining as long as you are entertaining. Its the perfect sandbox for tots. Good work Notch 🙂

December 29, 2014 at 1:39 pm Leave a comment

Lovely Planet

The enemies are symbolic to the point of parody. Their simple signifiers are so red for bad blue for good are subverted by the expressions they give: only the red ones are truly alive. The stages are small. No pretense like invisible walls or infinite skyboxes, rather the game is more like a movie set. It artfully admits to being a game. The mechanics are sparse, kill the baddies get out. Red is your enemy. The music reminds of j-pop in the best sense, the random splatters of text rarely make sense. The protagonist’s ludicrous cartoon hands bring forth images of being a demented possibly perverted cupid roaming a strange post-logical sky land.

All of this is a reason to play Lovely Planet. Let me tell you about the gameplay: its simple. You move in ways accustomed to fps players, you jump mildly like jumping flash, you shoot square arrows, the blockiness of which revels in its own laziness. Even the less refined aspects of the game are churned into irony, the game is powered by a logic only a Japan fan could know, but its fun and the game quickly breaks into flow.

The flow in turn reinforces the repetitive nature of the game. You try, you succeed, but the leaderboard tells you: you could do better. You will do better.

October 5, 2014 at 3:38 pm Leave a comment

The PC Race

Its my lunch my lunch break so I take out the hospital appointment card and proceed to jettison to a far away land via motorcycle taxi. For the last few months or year I have been having consistent prickly pains in my feet and hands. I was told I needed to see a foot Doctor, but a perplexed vascular specialist. The department however says pain and the Doctor gets out a small reflex thingie bangs a few nerves and takes my blood pressure before she declares me insane and prescribes me to an anti-psychotic for schizophrenia, but I am getting ahead of myself let me tell you about my new PC.

On Saturday after class I walk into a PC shop and buy a new PC. My brain is tired of running over the various possibilities of PS4, Wii U, or PC. The PC is the right price so I buy. I have to wait. I go outside to smoke and suddenly I am worried they are cheating me. Is the PC going to be switched? Is it going to be an I7? I try to calm myself down and go upstairs. A quick look over and a tech shows me the windows specs. I am cool.

I park my electric bicycle and take a motorcycle taxi home clutching my pc. At first returning to steam is all disappointment. All the games i didn’t finish, the strangely imprecise user interface of windows. Its a let down. Plus the pc runs in 720p instead of 1080, but then I get going in steam and skullgirls shows up and lovely planet takes my time, steam becomes luxurious again. Tony comes up and i have a joystick now, plugging the joystick in I forget about my Destiny and super mario 3d world desires and just begin to game, but that’s the thing: gaming laptops are just big gameboys. The joystick is really all I need, the keyboard is an unnecessary addition, i switch to big picture mode.

There is something about someone telling you are crazy or not telling you and with confidence prescribing you to a medicine for psychotic episodes that gets you down. The confidence with which the Doctor prescribed me, her aloof air, it was the almost fascist sense of decision that annoyed me.

The PC has all these features I don’t need. They dig into me like little sickles further aggravating me. This is just a game machine, an 800 usd game machine. I am thinking of switching to Steam OS. But just a few good games is all a system needs. Its just what good games, steam is full of medieval themed fantasy adventures, sci-fi a tad more realistic than imaginative, but then Lovely Planet pulls me in. I game a for a bit forgetting about the world.

The psychologist tells me I need to reduce my stress. Apparently Japanese themed quirky fps games provide this for me. The PC contains bounties of distractions, exactly what a psychotic needs.

October 5, 2014 at 2:04 pm Leave a comment

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