Updates from May, 2003 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • 9:29 pm on May 12, 2003 Permalink | Reply  

    Storage crisis! 

    Yes. It hurts to them. I laughed.

    I knew how crazy storage had been last year. So I started packing right away on May 5th. Finished two boxes. They went right away on the 8th into storage. Finished another box. It went on 9th. Another one. 11th. So I got my fifth stack, mostly paper in a small sportlich bag, and I was looloo lala into the narrow Doty corridow where literally thirty-some people had gathered with three to six boxes each. I went past them, since my storage is separate. Our storage is near-empty. I feel priviledged. They were all sweating, running, tense muscles. Outside between Doty and Dupre there was an endless line of people running like crazy with huge boxes in hand. It was like war refugees – just that this was Midwestern U.S., not Khambodia. Good. I helped two or three friends around and left. The Residential Life staff was commenting highly bitchily about the situation. They were supposed to close the place at 10:00pm, but as of now 10:05pm, there’s a row of people with boxes in the hallway. Most of them arrived before 10:00pm, they just haven’t been attended due to the large number of people who showed up last minute. While they wait, though, people keep cramming in. It’s impossible to tell who came before or after 10:00pm. Reslife staff is taking remediary responses – they’re merely giving out stickers, you stick your stickers, and you’re out. (I think this is what they do – unless they want to work till 2:00am or so) One of the girls at the Doty hall office was making highly looking-down comments on most of the people, and the general staff was looking HIGHLY unfriendly. Several people walked in asking when the closing time was. One girl looked angry and bitchy, the other snobby (aka “I am in command, and you’re a meaningless student, unlike me“, another guy was laughing at them, and a friend of mine seemed at most hopeless. I hope their indifference was due to the fact that they were contract workers, and that they had faced highly disgusting residents several times, etc. I don’t get to do any business with these people – last year I did, I hated the experience, and decided to comply to their fucking deadlines so that I can avoid them. I hope this is not the way they usually work. Maybe they’re displacing their frustration at not doing well on class on their residents? Maybe they got badly bitched by somebody and in response punish everyone? Well Reslife complains of students knocking lamps and destroying stuff – WELL SIR MAYBE they’re frustrated students with the fucking disgusting reslife staff! Aha, I bet you haven’t thought of that one!

    On another unrelated note, I finished the logic paper. Judging by the face of professor Folina when I turned it in, I will pass this class. I was dreadful, dreadful, dreadful, that I might not be able to make it by Monday. I finished the draft by 3:30pm, proofed it, and turned it in by 4:00pm. Went from 5 pages originally to 15 pages. For the past 15 hours or so I thought I would not make it, get my D+, and receive a brand-new letter from Dean of Academics telling me that I had been dismissed. Oh well.

    Woohoo! I got an A- in Elem German!!

    Humanities courses completed
    GERM15 01 Accelerated Elementary German 4.00 D+ H dist
    GERM15 01 Accelerated Elementary German 4.00 A-

  • 4:36 am on May 12, 2003 Permalink | Reply  

    I woke up at 4 to finish a… 

    I woke up at 4 to finish a paper. Yay!

  • 5:57 am on May 11, 2003 Permalink | Reply  

    Those germans 

    A brief quote I got last night while reading the fervently devout correspondence between Charles Peirce -u.s. scientist- and Victoria Welby – english writer.

    Welby to Peirce
    Duneaves, Harrow, England
    December 4th 1903
    I am going to send a type-written bit of my last night’s lecture as soon as I can get it done. We say “type-written” here; but your “typed” is better. Ours sounds like a German word. There is too much German influence in this country, in every way. Their subjectivism is detestable & antipragmatical.

    V. Welby.

    Hardwick, Charles S., ed. Semiotic and Significs: The Correspondence between Charles S. Peirce and Victoria Lady Welby. (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1977): 11-12

    I shall expound on this later. *giggles*

  • 3:45 am on May 10, 2003 Permalink | Reply  

    Fixed Response Lab Report 

    Yong Ho Kim
    March 10, 2003

    1. Describe your rat’s progress during shaping.

    A mistake in the experimenter’s side must be firsthand explained in order to make sense of the rat’s behavior. I understood that the rat was not being given water until it pressed the lever by itself and assumed that the light was merely a cue stimulus to let the rat “know” that it was approaching what it was looking for – water. I convinced my labmates of this, and it is only now that I re-read the instructions that I realize that light always accompanied water and that the large delay in our rat’s shaping was due to excessively provided water.

    During the initial stages, the rat approached the light hole shortly after the cue stimulus was given. Every time the rat turned its head to the direction of the switch or when the rat came close to (3 to 5 ratfeet) it, the lights went on and water provided. After moving rather randomly around the light box (I was wondering why it was that the rat had its head stuck in the box for so long), the rat came back to the middle of the box and stayed quiet. The experimenters began improvising cues to get the rat into moving, such as knocking the window next to the switch and making loud noises. The rat showed some response, and tried several times to stick its head between the glass wall and the bottom bars.

    After lying down for a while, the rat again began to move around. A second shaping chance was tried again. The rat began lying its front feet on the wall more often than the first trial. Eventually it began holding the button and immediately moving over the square when the light was lit on.

    2. How do you know that water was a reinforcer for today?

    Providing water was a reinforcer because doing so increased the likelihood of the rat repeating the operation that became associated with water.

    The rats were deprived from water, which means that there was a background negative stimulus. Letting the rats access water, which would be a neutral stimulus in regular circumstances, became a negative reinforcement because thirst was temporarily removed every time the rat performed the desired behavior.

    3. Which child in a classroom would keep trying to get called on longer?

    The child who almost always gets called will keep trying to get called on longer. We need to assume here that being called is a positive reinforcement. If this is granted, then it is clear that if a child was almost always called per trial then the child would associate raising his hand with being called (which we assume is a desired behavior).

    4. Which type of reinforcement schedule is utilized by slot machines? Explain why it is successful.

    A variable ratio reinforcement schedule is used. This makes people easily addicted because they can’t control the desire to go and give the slot machine another try by thinking “well.. I could wait till somebody tries it 15 times and then I’ll go because chances are high between the 17th and 20th time” because any instance could be the lucky instance.

  • 10:33 am on May 9, 2003 Permalink | Reply  

    Woohoo! People click in dumb email attachments such as "Congrats!" or "Japanese girl play". 

    (More …)

  • 12:37 am on May 9, 2003 Permalink | Reply  

    Yongho's perilous adventures into Carnegie 3 

    So yesterday afternoon I was at the econometrics lab, hanging out with Mary and reading some more for the Marx essay. I need to realize this in a more frequent basis. Econ majors are humans, too. They are humans, and nice, and greedy, and neat, and sentimental, and humanly, and right-winged, and smart, and methodical, and snobby, and, and.. well. I really have to admire the diversity that the econ department gets to achieve. About 40% of the skin surface I get to see at Carnegie third is not white! Wow, that’s something.

    Anyway.. so I was sitting there and reading and checking my email for replies from possible subleasers and professor Kollasch walked in and said hi to everybody and it was very cosmopolitan and she took pictures of some people for her course page. She looked at me, and was like, “Wow, a new face! Are you an econ major, too?” And I smiled and shook my head.. but she insisted, so I went “Oh no, I am writing my Marx essay!” And waved the Marx-Engels reader triumphantly in the air. (It didn’t have a red cover nor a hammer and sickle, though) That convinced her and she went back.. to her office I think.

    The lab is real cool. It’s got twenty iMacs neatly arranged in six rows, and they’ve all got OS X with the visual commodities and although one of the girls was complaining it was too slow, it was ok to me. Well, quicker than my laptop. Most people had earplugs and had real loud music plugged to them, mostly disco style. If you were sitting next to them you could hear all the beats across the plugs. There’s a large projector screen in the front, and a humongous whiteboard, to straighten up the race imbalance.

    The atmosphere was real supportive – about eight people were working at the lab, and occassionally somebody bursted out “Oh my god how do you make the linear regression!” and immediately one or two peers would scramble for help. People were making light jokes constantly, most likely out of the high level of stress (their econometrics paper was due Friday – in fact, they are working in the lab in this very moment).

    They need to work on the lab computers because they need to use this bizarre analysis software that is copyrighted and the department has bought a group license for the lab computers. Throughout the semester, the lab stays up till 10:00pm and students may stay afterwards indefinitely (there is card access, just like bio or chem labs). However, I observed that most of the people weren’t really working with the software per se, but on regular word documents and excel spreadsheets; it was more the professional-ish environment and the feeling of “we’re all in the same boat” that keeps them in the lab. Plus, the lab has an entrance towards the hallway and another towards the econ dept lounge, so professors know who’s working at the lab and who’s not, and how long they’re staying, etc.. that might work as a psychological deterrent.

    I also saw the Econ dept news board. While I understand that they scrapbooked the guy going to Harvard Law since he’s an econ major, I don’t quite see the connection between that Ian, who interned at Microsoft, or other random seniors who were featured in the admissions bulletin. Maybe the dept secretary believes that the principles class they took in their first year have branded them for life? Or maybe it’s really about the equation econ dept=that thing at mac; anything that happens at Mac=econ dept news. Of course the The Economist article criticizing Naomi Klein as a little adolescent who needs to grow up (and get a job, to paraphrase the old man) was highlighted in the hallway bulletin. Of course, the golden plaques with names of random students at this or that knowledge bowl or fellowship were all enlisted in the walls. The professor’s offices weren’t as pretentious as I imagined them to be, though – just little name tags with relevant news for their courses.

    Overall, visiting the dept & the metrics lab was a rewarding experience, reminded me of the human condition of all us mortals, gave me a chance to observe the need for a distinction (the “prize”) prevalent at the dept., and was an opportunity to examine the environment in which future generations of right-wingers of the reformist sort breed.

    I have enjoyed the rain throughly. What a fragrance. So much green leaflet rugged against the asphalt. Refreshing.

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