You are viewing anaraug

The Uproar of One Hand Clapping

> Recent Entries
> Archive
> Friends
> Profile
> previous 10 entries

April 2nd, 2014

03:33 pm - what
OMG it's LiveJournal. Wow.

(Leave a comment)

December 14th, 2010

11:18 am - Tuesday Tunes? Get Out!

It probably sounds better in SoundCloud if you're into things that sound better but you can't see them:
Euphonia - get out by Walker Shurlds

Read more at:

(Leave a comment)

December 13th, 2010

05:26 pm - Posts, Dec 7-13
Posts on my real blog that might be interesting?

Book Review: Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood

I repost a book review from Goodreads.

Small Synthesizers: Korg Monotron

I talk about something cool I am asking Old Ho Ho for Christmas.

The DS Sleeps Alone Tonight

I perform a cover of "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" on my Korg DS-10 synthesizer for the Nintendo DS.

Fragment Friday: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

I read aloud from Infinite Jest.

Saturday Afternoon Noodling: Stone on the Bubble Mute

I do a poor job at trying to arrange "Stone on the Water" by Badly Drawn Boy for muted trumpet quartet.

Sunday Statuses

I talk about my progress on everything I am working on right now.

Music Monday: The Notwist

I talk about how great the band The Notwist are.

Read me?

(Leave a comment)

December 6th, 2010

02:48 pm - new blog

two posts so far

(Leave a comment)

October 17th, 2010

08:38 pm - Testing testing...
... is this thing on?

I've been using Xanga, which while it is less alive in total, at this point it is easier and more encouraged for random strangers to leave you comments. I can't decide if I should copy over the dozen or so posts I've made in the past two months. They might entertain you but they also might not. Also I don't know if you exist.

Also more of you here I know in RL, which makes me slightly reticent to talk about certain things. You know how it goes. Anyway, I still exist.

(Leave a comment)

June 11th, 2010

02:52 am - Dating Ranges Redux (Now with census data!)
So I did what the xkcd guy did and looked up the census data.  This pdf has all the data I used on page 3.  However it only gives data for ranges of ages, so I set up a simple moving average system to give an interpolation estimate.  I tabulated it in this spreadsheet.  It's better than nothing, although maybe I could have made it second order or something.

In other words, first I took that staircasey data that the census provided and made it un-staircasey:


The data is from 2000, so it's kind of ruined by this big hump of population that I think we call the "baby boomers".  I should really see if any of the 2010 data is out yet since it will probably yield slightly different results.

Anyway, I did the same thing to the "% married" data.  I decided to consider divorced and separated as single.  You can rerun the data yourself with other options if you want.


As you can see, girls marry younger than boys.  Also, boys die earlier, so the female marriage rate plummets much quicker.

By doing some multiplication, I figured out the total single population at each age and gender.  Then I graphed it:


Yeah that's right.  Guys die SO MUCH FASTER than girls that the single female population RISES from ages 61 to 79.  Or maybe there are just tons of divorces.  I could look more at the data but I won't.

Anyway, by integrating that previous graph over a window whose bounds are those prescribed by the awkwardness rule, (I did that bit manually and my fingers are now sore -- google spreadsheets ain't no MATLAB) the following final dating pool graph (which is what the dude was supposedly showing in the comic) results:


Anyway, you can see that the pool of males is largest when the seeker is 35 or 36, and the pool of females is largest when the seeker is 53.


The whole approach is really flawed.  If I wanted some more useful results, I'd not include widows in singles.  Or even better, I'd find some statistics on what % of widows date, what % of divorcees date, etc, and use those statistics to rectify the issues.  Such a correction may or may not result in still-obviously-wrong data, in which case the awkwardness rule can probably be brought into question.  I mean, when you're talking about 50+, the rule is broken.  I'm sure loads of single 50-year-old men are comfortable dating, uh ... 50*2-14=86 ... , 86-year-old women.  But the graph above DOES have that situation not just possible, but almost common.

Last post, panax suggested rewriting the awkwardness rule as a gaussian distribution.  While this would certainly be an improvement, I doubt that it would affect the results much.  It would probably improve it about as much as using better smoothing functions on the raw data, or other refinements of method that don't attack the central problems with the approach itself.


This post is also on xanga and tumblr.

(Leave a comment)

June 9th, 2010

03:04 am - * On the legality and/or awkwardness of particular age differences in dating (WITH GRAPH
So, as everyone knows, the rule for dating age awkwardness is "don't date under half your age plus seven".  Everyone knows this.  Everyone who reads xkcd at least:

I live in Louisiana, where the law states that it is illegal for person y to bang x for the piecewise inequality x + 2 > y > x - 2 for x < 17, y > x - 2 for 17 < x <19, and y > 17 for x > 19.  In other words, the region between the lines y = (x+2) + (19 - x)*H(19-x) and y = (x+2) + ∞*H(x-17), where H is the heaviside step function.  See this graph:


(Please note that this post has nothing to do with me.  I just like making graphs.)

Basically, the law allows anyone to do whatever they want with someone within 2 years of their age, and anyone over 17 to do whatever they want with anyone else over 17.  So 17,17 is cool but 19,16 isn't.Compare the graph to the xkcd awkwardness rule:


It doesn't work very well for people under 14... but what may surprise is that overall it's actually MORE restrictive than the law is.  There are just two little islands of danger that are revealed when the graphs are superimposed:


See that there?  Between the ages of 18 and 20 (for the elder) and 16 and 17 (for the younger), there exist non-awkward illegal couples.  You see, according to xkcd, someone 19 years of age can date someone 19/2+7=16.5 years of age, but the law clearly states that they can only "date" a 17 year old!  Similar situations for, technically, anyone a day older than 18 or younger than 20.

So, the obvious question for you lawyers is: legal ages are members of what set of numbers?  Whole numbers or reals?  Does the law round to the year, month, or day?  These are important questions, people.

Also, anyone actually bothered to back up xkcd's census data?

(1 comment | Leave a comment)

April 9th, 2010

10:55 pm - Readathon Post 0: Preparation
So, tomorrow, starting at 6AM local time, I'm going to read for 24-hours straight or something.  Actually, I have a job interview at 11AM and I also plan on eating and it'll probably take me an hour or two to get awake and also and also ...

I plan to read 6AM until 10AM in my room, then go interview, then read outside by the levee for a few hours, then read at Starbucks until close, then read in my room again.  Will probably come up with extra venues on the spot, of course.

Today I bought enough Bawls and enough Chef Boyardee to get me through the day.  Also I bought yerba mate and a mate gourd.  (One of my favorites stores JUST started stocking them and I couldn't resist.)  So here is a stack of all the crap I got to prepare for the 'thon:


The books I plan on reading FOR SURE are pictured.  There are other books that I probably won't get to.  These are the books FOR SURE:

The System of the World by Neal Stephenson
I only have about 200 pages left.  I've been reading this book (It's the third volume of a single "novel") for about 5 years.  Kind of sad that I'm just now finishing it but it IS about 3000 pages.

Analog Days by Trevor Pinch and Frank Trocco
A book on synthesizers that is written as kind of a narrative.  Should be an easy read and should be a lot of fun.

Electronic Music Synthesizers by Delton T. Horn
Book about how to use various popular (at the date of publication) synthesizers with a short section on how to get started building your own.  Of the synthesizer books I found this is one of the most appropriate topic-wise for me.

VHDL for Logic Synthesisis by Andrew Rushton
A book that covers the VHDL programmable logic language in a general way that is useful to me.  I've been assigned a project requiring VHDL and I know nothing of the language.  Hence, books.

The Designer's Guide to VHDL by Peter J. Ashenden
A reference type book that should help with the other book.  Yay engineering!  Hopefully between the two I should grok it.  Doubt I'll read this one cover-to-cover though.




(Leave a comment)

April 3rd, 2010

07:46 pm - SYNTH BOOKS
OH YEAH!  That's what it was.

I've read lots of books on electronics, and lots of books on music, but I've never read any books that were about both at the same time.

So that's why I checked out these from the library:

Electronic Music Synthesizers by Delton T. Horn, 1980
This one is the most ideal for me.  Half of it is descriptions of classic synthesizers and the other half is all circuitry for DIY projects.  Has chapters on Moog, ARP, PAIA, Oberheim, and some companies I've never heard of.  Most of the circuits in the second half are, to put it lightly , crappy, but it's still the best looking book for someone like me to get started in the subject.  (None of the oscillators are on any kind of V/octave standard or anything, just single op-amp 5-minute circuits are all there are, but it's a good start.)

The Evolution of Electronic Music by David Ernst, 1977
This one appears to be 100% classical/art-music POV.  Basically, synthesizers are barely mentioned, it's all tape music and musique concrète, two subjects that I know as much as I want to about already.  But you never know, there might be some upsight in some passage somewhere.  Still, will probably save for last, forget about, and then return.

The Development and Practice of Electronic Music ed. Jon Appleton and Ronald Perera, 1975
This is a collection of articles on diverse topics.  At least one of them will surely be fairly interesting.

Foundations of Computer Music ed. Curtis Roads and John Strawn, 1985
This is a collection of articles as well, but all of them appear to be in the digital domain.  The synths I plan on building (first at least) are all going to be analog, or at least have analog parts.  Half of the articles in this book aren't even about hardware DSP, it's all about software.  There is one reverb article that looks really interesting though.

Electronic and Computer Music by Peter Manning, 1985
This book looked really promising.  It takes a historical look at tape and other classical techniques, but then starts to cover history of analog synths and so on.  The problem is, someone cut out half the pages!  Someone cut, with scissors, the entire "Voltage Controlled Synthesizer" chapter, which is the most relevant chapter to me!  What an asshole!  In any case, this one looks like it gives more historical context than Horn does, so the bits that are remaining might be interesting.

Analog Days by Trevor Pinch and Frank Trocco, 2002
This one simultantously looks to be the best and the worst.  In one sense, it's 100% on-topic what I want to read about.  It starts with moog and covers events in the creation of vintage analog synths.  On the other hand, nearly all of the info provided is casual and anecdotal, and probably more opinion than fact.  Horn looks like it gives more fact, with Pinch giving more "flavor".  In any case, it looks like it'll be the easiest and most fun to read.  Looks to be written like a story.

I'm reading Analog Days and Electronic Music Synthesizers for sure, but we'll see about the rest.

(Leave a comment)

April 2nd, 2010

08:45 pm - Synths

"Synthesizers" is one of those hobbies that seems so glaringly obvious for me to take up that I'm becoming convinced that there must have been some conspiracy preventing me from thinking of it until now.  Something involving time-travellers, who calculated the precise moment in which it was Ideal for Walker to take up synth-building where any earlier moment would have resulted in some kind of burning out on the topic too soon or something.

I mean seriously.  I've struggled so much (in my head) with my identity as a musician and as an engineer (of the electrical flavor).  When I hang out with musicians I don't feel like I fit in with them because I can't devote myself to being as practised as they are, possibly because it's not required that I be practiced for me to eat.  In a music class I was taking once, a peer told me, "I used to be a physics major.  I know what borons are."  To what end or purpose giving this revelation was intended, I do not know.  All I know is that it took me about 0.135 seconds for me to furrow my brow and say "Don't you mean bosons?"  Like the revelation, this aside has little purpose, other than to explain that musicians typically see me as as person who would like to hear about "borons", not as someone to jam with.

When I hang out with engineers I don't fit in because I'd rather be playing guitar.

I was going to make some kind of proof or point about how I feel like I'm betraying one Self whenever I invoke the other.  Just assume that I've made said point, even if I didn't, OK?

So really.  Really.  Could it be less obvious?  How can I eliminate that feeling of betrayal?  Through music technology of course!  Which is probably why I've collected all this recording equipment.  But what I really have an itching for is something for me to get my hands dirty with designing music technology rather than just using it.  There's really only two areas where building a circuit IS making music.  Effects for electric instruments... and synthesizers.

(I've modded some effects, really you could say that a synth is an instrument simply made out of tons of effects so anyway you could say those two categories are really the same thing.)

Anyway, so I'm officially in the research phase of my first synth project.  I think this post was going to be about something else but I lost track.

(1 comment | Leave a comment)

> previous 10 entries
> Go to Top