Teresa, no H.
Ugh, another deranged social site

My friend was trying to get me to help him bring this new website, likealittle.com to Whitman. Essentially it is a site which allows users to anonymously (and rather creepily) “flirt” with other anonymous individuals in their community. The idea is that if you check it out enough, you might at one point run across a ‘flirt’ that is about you.

Although it would be kind of exciting to see a post that was potentially about myself, I’m not completely intrigued by the site. I think all of these social networking sites which allow you to escape reality and sink into anonymity to an extreme level takes away from the point of real-life human interactions. Obviously. Thus, I feel like its a waste of time and energy- why not practice actually meeting potential love interests? I think that’s quite a skill to build up- meeting someone new, stepping outside of your comfort zone.. ya know?

Two things

First of all, I LOVE poetry by slam poet Andrea Gibson, this is her website

Also, I’m reading Eat Pray Love, and I really enjoyed this speech by Elizabeth Gilbert (the author) on TED

I connected Tumblr to my http://flavors.me page - http://flavors.me/trizza18

Speaking of self portraits.. This is an AWESOME way to transform one into three dimensions. I think we should find a way to do it in class.

Polygon Playground (via starcodo)

SUPER cool interaction with shadows and software!

Caustics Processing Sketch

http://www.openprocessing.org/visuals/?visualID=12010

The thing that fascinated me most about this sketch/collection of code was the existence of the menu on the top right side of the sketch. Instead of having to go in and change code from the most basic level, you could alter the sketch as it was occurring using drop-down menus and other options. The menus sort of served as on/off switches for certain traits that the program took on.

Here is the sketch code:

public class Caster {

  float[] bg;     float n = 1.3;  // index of refraction  float d = 100;  // Distance to back wall  float intensity = 1;     boolean reset = false;  long loopCount;     public Caster() {    bg = new float[width*height];  }  public void reset() {    for (int i = 0; i < bg.length; i++) {      bg[i] = 0;    }  }  public void cast(float x, float y, float nX, float nY, float nZ, float thetaI) {           // The angle of the refracted ray relative to the incident ray      float thetaR = asin(n*sin(thetaI));           // Refracted vector      float rX = -nX;      float rY = -nY;      float rZ;      if (rX == 0 && rY == 0) {        rZ = -1;      } else {        rZ = -abs(sqrt(rX*rX+rY*rY)/sin(thetaI+PI-thetaR));      }      //float rZ = -sqrt(rX*rX + rY*rY)/sq(sin(thetaI+PI-thetaR));      if (rZ > 0) {        println("Sanity Error: refracted Z must be always negative. Was: " + rZ);        exit();      }           float s = d/rZ;  // How much we need to scale the refracted vector to hit the back wall.           // Coordinates where the vector hits the back wall          float hX = x+s*rX;      float hY = y+s*rY;              if (hX > 0 && hX < width && hY > 0 && hY < height) {        // Integer of closest pixel to the point of impact        int flX = round(hX);        int flY = round(hY);                 int index = flY*width +flX;        if(index<bg.length && index >= 0) {          bg[index] += intensity * (1-abs(flX-hX)) * (1-abs(flY-hY));        }                 index++;  // right neighbour        if(flX<hX && index<bg.length && index >= 0) {          bg[index] += intensity * (hX-flX) * abs(flY-hY);        }        index-=2;  // left neighbour        if(flX>hX && index<bg.length && index >= 0) {          bg[index] += intensity * (flX-hX) * abs(flY - hY);        }                 index++;        index-=width// top neighbour        if (flY > hY  && index<bg.length && index>=0) {          bg[index] += intensity * (flY-hY) * abs(flX - hX);        }                 index += 2*width; // bottom neighbour        if (flY < hY  && index<bg.length && index>=0) {          bg[index] += intensity * (hY - flY) * abs(flX - hX);        }      }  }

}

Positive Psychology- Martin Seligman

This lecture by Martin Seligman was surprisingly easy to relate to and understand. Because of this, he completely captured my attention, caused me to want to take the tests on authentichappiness.org, and to generally find ways to make myself a happier person.

The thing that affected me most was the concept that Psychology as a field of medicine should not just be looked at as a field which fixes the weak, damaged, or miserable. It should be looked at as a field which can benefit ANYONE. If it was viewed as such, I think a lot of people would be able to find the strength to, if not find help, to improve themselves and strengthen their happiness skills so they are not as susceptible to falling into depression or another type of psychological disorder. Taking a preventative measure seems obviously advantageous (since depression-like treatments only bring you back to zero anyway) and also reduces the fear of stigma for maintaining psychological health. 

I know personally, I am not afraid to say that I’ve gone to a counselor, or would completely consider going to one again, and I think that is a result of a societal push for reducing the stigma around ‘getting help.’ Getting help implies there is something wrong with you. Society has been trying to make people more comfortable with getting help by exposing that most of an individual’s peers probably have the exact same problems. Its made it easier, but why focus on problems rather than improvement?

Another thing that really caught me was the concept of finding what you FLOW with. He discussed this when talking about the good life- finding an activity or job that you flow with will not incite any emotion- you’ll feel nothing, you’ll be completely at one with what you are focused on. This really resounds with Meditation for me- Meditation is all about mindfulness and being in touch with every aspect of your body. Being mindful allows you to have a certain focus- to unwind the cloud of thoughts, memories, and reminders in your head so that you can clearly see the world around you. I still definitely need to work on being mindful, so that hopefully I can find the type of flow that Prof. Seligman was talking about.

I took two tests at authentichappiness.org. I took the general happiness test, and the brief strengths test. I ranked a 5 out of 7 in general happiness- so I could definitely work on being a happier person. My highest strength in the brief strength test was vitality: zest, enthusiasm, vigor, energy. My lowest strengths were spirituality and self regulation. This describes me perfectly actually. I do try and be enthusiastic and positive on the outside, but I don’t feel like I motivate myself to do things until the last minute a lot (like this blog, for example) and I don’t have a good anchor in something spiritual. I want to keep exploring the site, to learn more about myself and to learn how I can further improve my psychological state.

Re: Society of Control, Deleuze

I notice that in this essay, Deleuze presents the compartmentalization of our society’s ways of life in a kind of negative, or cautioning way. However, I think that this concept of having enclosure and discipline is what we crave. It gives us a sense of control and differentiation between all the different aspects of our lives. When it comes to the idea of these controls controlling us however, I see where his attitude could come from. The excerpt that caught my attention the most was in section II; “The corporation constantly presents the brashest rivalry as a healthy form of emulation, an excellent motivational force that opposes individuals against one another and runs through each, dividing within.” He goes on to say that unlike in the times of capitalism and the factory (production) versus corporation and the product, we are now willing to put value and importance in the stock of a product, its name, brand, or label, instead of just the physical object itself. This gives corporate owners unlimited power.

Since the importance lies in the newest version, or the hippest brand, the inherent competition that he speaks about in the above quote is used against us as consumers in our society. In each ‘enclosure’ of our lives, we want the best, and we will invest in the ‘best’ simply because it is the newest/fastest/best thing. Its really obnoxious- it reminds me of the little “UPDATE!” messages that pop up at least once daily on my computer because I’m supposed to want the “newest version of flash player” or something. But despite my annoyance, I do it.. why? because maybe I can’t stand having my flash player run slower than my peers… i dont know. I’m controlled. Now I’ll watch the video.

The augmented reality videos we watched reminded me of this technology, Pranav Mistry’s goal was to re-engage our technology-centered lives with the physical, old-fashioned lives we used to lead. Instead of getting more and more lost in cyberspace, he wants to bring technology, and our own minds, back to the real world.