HIGH SCHOOL PROJECTS (Visual) (Art) Portfolio ⤺ go word golfing My Cultural Influences
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My current book rec is A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. My current movie recs are Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and Brazil.
As a piece of chalk. As a bit counter. In combination with superglue, a way to block a road quickly. To build a house. To use as a demonstration for a clay kiln. To demonstrate entropy. As the centerpiece of brick roulette. To evoke a noir novel. In combination with trendy lighting, convince people to pay $15 for rice bowls. To make fun of brownstone houses. To split open a pipe. To create a water-catcher. To create a hole for ice-fishing. To throw out of an airplane. To use as ballast in a submarine. To use as a waymarker for civilization . To start an avalanche. To demonstrate martial art skills. To go brick-fishing. To practice graffiti on . To make a backpack heavier for endurance training. To stress-test a drone. To gain traction under a stuck car. To hunt rabbits in the desert. To calibrate a jackhammer. To test rocket payload. as a short time-dating method (the brick will dissolve in 100 years (?). To stir up media and public outrage. To break a window. To sharpen a knife. To decoy a x-ray scanner as a drug brick carrier. To see how deep a well is. To use as the null-hypothesis for rock skippiness. To hide valuables behind a painting. To hide a key in a garden. To break a computer. To reinforce a doorstop. To raise the level of water for drinking from a really tall glass. To smooth out your nails . To scare away a flock of crows. To build a garden pathway. To stress-test a baseball bat. To use as a key stone in an arch. To use as a first-point-of-failure in a geological survey. To play a practical joke on archaeologists. To play a practical joke on architects. To play a practical joke on clueless cognitive test-takers. To act as a centerpiece among highly cultured coffee table items. As a demonstration of the value-add theory of capitalism. As a symbol of worker's rights. As a bench for a frog. As a symbol of anti-intellectualism. As a makeshift rock-climbing grip. Buried in the sand as a deterrent against miniature ships. Buried in the sand, as a way to track the tides. Buried 20 miles deep, as a way to track geological changes /and /or a volcanic eruption. To make people pay more attention to a "careful, raised step!" area. Combined with a speedometer, as a Voight-Kampff test, but for gorillas, not androids (gorillas can't throw at speeds >20mph, unlike humans). Actually probably neither can androids. Hopefully. As a movie prop. As a density test for liquids. Tied to ankles to hide evidence of a murder. As a way to measure a building by brick length. As a way to surreptitiously block a surveillance camera. As a way to break open coconuts . As a way to shatter vending machines. As a percussion instrument. As a cooling block in extreme heat waves. As a directional marker . to dent the water bottles of people you don't like. as a way to prove that the earth isn't flat. As a way to throw the end of a rope across a raging river. As a way to secure a bear bag and hoist it up a tree branch. To scratch the glass of highly sensitive scientific instruments. an easily obtainable hardness scale for different minerals. To easily appear purposeful and hard at work. Thrown loosely on the ground, to give visitors a sense of unease about a place. Tom Sawyer (wow, I sure love bricklaying). To calibrate a regular scale. To use as a "household objects" reference for demonstrating the scale of the solar system. To play brick Jenga. To balance enigmatically on the head of a statue. On its short side, to represent a person in a crude diorama. To disable the controls for the nuclear football. To smooth a freshly torn sheet of paper against. To wedge in a hole. To blunt a hatchet. In the trunk of a car to waste fuel economy. To trick people into thinking there are secret compartments in the doors of a refurbished car. To trick international drug dealers for a very short amount of time. To use as an addiction substitute for cell phones from the 1980s. To crush insects with. To act as insulation. To use as lining for a grill pit. To block up a chimney. To cook an egg on in hot weather.

ERIC XIA'S BLOG 夏启商周

word vectors + agglutinative esperanto synthetic biology protocol simplifier redesigning the model UN crisis format redesigning the model UN crisis format GANs on Google Street View brightness mapped collages a visual proof of arrow's theorem a visual proof of arrow's theorem

daily feed

(1.22.2022) Ran 9 to Juanita. Started V. by Thomas Pynchon.
Finished A Clockwork Orange and Never Let Me Go. Did 13 miles to Silver Firs yesterday, probably try long distance again today. I've been writing some code and drawing otherwise.

(1.20.2022) Finished The Glass Menangerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on A Hot Tin Roof, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, I Hate You: Don't Leave Me, To Live by Yu Hua , The Paper Menangerie, a stupid machiavellian pyschology book, Ovid's Metamorphoses, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,and Vonnegut's The Sirens of Titan. Look at my Goodreads if you want to read my reviews. Halfway through A Clockwork Orange.

(1.14.2022) Finished The Paper Menagerie. Will probably try Blood Meridian next. This morning I started working on a sundial maker.

(1.13.2022) Two major things from today:
  • Reading Genetics for Dummies and Evolution: A view from the 21st century. The ongoing debate over Darwinism/the Modern Synthesis/ directed/adaptive mutations is fascinating, I can't believe it wasn't mentioned at all in school. The author makes a pretty convincing case that natural selection, which fundamentally runs on innovation and not variation, is not in fact driven by random mutations or copy errors but by a myriad of intentional processes within cells which move and modify sequences. The genome is both read and write, not simply read-only. Even random mutations are constrained by the cells themselves; higher adaptation in times of stress and lower adaptation when not. And to tell the truth, natural genetic engineering actually seems like the only logical conclusion wrt plasmid transformations in bacteria which is what iGEM is all about...
  • Over halfway done with the The Paper Menagerie. In general I'm not quite so impressed with the catalogue / Marco Polo in Space stories, of which Ken Liu has several, but I really liked State Change (TS Eliot references), The Perfect Match, The Paper Menagerie (which isn't even science fiction), and Mono No Aware which I just realized I've read already. Liu has a wider dynamic range than traditional Chinese SF authors -- there's a western, a war story, a mystery -- but a more constrained view of life, more superfluous adjectives, more traditional plotlines.
  • I also finally got Docker working again so you can find timed word.golf is up and running.

    (1.12.2022) Finished Broken Stars. The very first story, Goodnight Melancholy, is about Alan Turing and a fictional chatbot he builds, and whether a machine can really be like a human. Moonlight by Cixin Liu is alright. Broken Stars is a horror story, disturbing in its own way. Salinger and the Koreans is funny and worth reading. Under a Dangling Sky is also really good, a strong archetypal fairy tale + Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is interesting as well. The Snow of Jinyang is predictable but very dense (about a stranded time-traveler who attempts to change history). What Has Passed Shall In Kinder Light Appear is really good, a kind of natural reverse chronology of China. My favorite two stories are definitely What Has Passed and Goodnight, Melancholy.

    (1.11.2022) Reading translated chinese sci-fi anthology Broken Stars which again shocks me with the the density and gravity of the ideas conveyed. I particularly liked the first story, did not appreciate the namesake story as much. Wisdom is acceptance of irrationality.

    (1.10.2022) The problem with existential literature is that it is effectively a play on words and our perception of reality, establishing a sense of profound understanding between you and the author so that you may characterize it as important but certainly not making you any happier. Dostoyevsky understands this but still wants to prove that he too is clever which is why I infinitely prefer White Nights to Letters from the Underground. Git is fixed but AWS is broken.

    (1.9.2022) word.golf is now fixed! But I forgot about the w2v file so git is broken. Tomorrow I am going to get up early to work on it again. Maybe 5 miles today on reverse I-5. I can't leave golf in its current state... fixing it now.

    (1.8.2022) Took advantage of good weather to make it to Everett today, about 14 miles. Tomorrow I'll do a recovery run. Thinking about which Coursera course to do next. Also I want to read my genetics book.

    (1.7.2022) Ok. Word.golf day. I wasted time trying to implement timing by tacking on a runs completed variable and rendering a display with p5.js. I need to design a prettier progress bar, speed up the backend, ... actually there are actually words that I should remove too, like "rise" and "drop". Did eleven miles to Silver Firs today, probably longest run since August. I should set a time for two-day trip to Tacoma. Bad news: will rain next two weeks. Good news: it won't snow!

    (1.6.2022) Dostoyevsky is good. Taking a computer break today.

    (1.5.2022) Whew! Subconsciously I've kind of starved myself artistically by trying to make word golf a very stripped down sport, and now I've gone a bit crazy on my personal site. Colors, buttons, flickers etc -- I'll pare back on it as necessary but this is a good place to work from.

    (1.4.2022) Finished my online course. Still working through the design of this website. I'll probably be experimenting with some big changes before settling down on anything. I like the general look right now but some of the links are missing.

    (1.3.2022) This is starting to look good but it needs more time. But also, I can't stand the look of my old site anymore! I'm going to have to finish this later. I'm (really) almost done with the Coursera ML course! Just have to do collaborative filtering and then I'm done. Matlab was impossible to begin with but I've learned to check dimensions.

    (1.2.2022) Designing my new site is hard. It's one of my New Year resolutions though. Also, I started learning Rust today.

    (12.10.2021) I had a really inspiring conversation yesterday that made me think hard about my future. I still have so much to learn, about life, my place in it, what I can do. Custom prompts are here, implemented with an additional run_uuid column in mySQL. Enter word.golf/p/[start]>[target] to try it out. This will give me additional flexibility when implementing curated timed sets, and eventually allow users to create their own timed sets.

    (12.5.2021) Been working through the Coursera machine learning course. There are a ton of programming assignments I didn't do in sequence with the videos. Still, over halfway done with them! Lots of word golf work its going well. I realy want to rewrite my blog to a more immediately interesting form. It can have a microupdate section, and then a projects section to highlight cool things. Read Sinopticon, an anthology of chinese science fiction from this year. It's really, touching and inspiring. There's a perceptiveness unique to chinese writing that american english can't come close to. The closest thing is borges and that's also translated. Also read Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut and Envisioning Information by Edward Tufte (really good). Also started reading Cryptonomicon (I'm getting sick of Neal Stephenson's social theories of hobbit and dwarve culture), Infinite Jest , "the first great internet novel" (it's really good), Red Mars (first of the trilogy), and reviewing Div Grad Curl. Made a bunch of drawings since Inktober.

    k
    If you ask a kid to draw a house, they will draw a slatted box with a cross on a window and a simple door; every house here and everywhere is an amalgation of similar details. It is a few large boxes, upwards chevrons, windows. My house is that American house. There is an American house just as there is an American strip mall or an American highway, even beyond their stereotypes. So was my last house in Oregon.

    My Cultural Influences

    "The problem with these aesthetics, which influence almost everyone I know, is that they are fashion movements masquerading as intellectual ones. They are only superficial signifiers of the profound. It draws you very close because it is exactly your dream. Then it tells you can get closer to your visions by moving positionally, within society, without ever really doing the work. This is how you begin to chase dreams by changing clothes..." Lynnwood Shrine

    ABOUT ME


    I'm a student living in Lynnwood, Washington. I'm on a year of medical leave before enrolling at Brown University next fall. I'm interested in a lot of things, including biology, philosophy, art, and computer science. I like running long distances and learning new things. I read a lot of blogs and write my thoughts here.


    As of October 2021, I am proud to be an Emergent Ventures grantee! I am making a sport known as word golf (word.golf) which uses word vectors to model language. I believe in intrinsic motivation and want to create meaning for others. I want to build things that money can't buy.


    You can read some essays on the left side of this page, browse my independent projects from high school, browse through my art (drawn with graphite and colored digitally), or read the daily feed in the center of the page. I am in the process of moving content from my old site to this one.


    This site is built with a CSS framework called Tachyons and served through Netlify, Github Pages, and Next.js. My main project, word.golf, is built with python, flask, tachyons, nltk, gensim, sqlalchemy, mySQL, and deployed on AWS Lightsail.