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Benjamin Russell
Attended Yale University, New Haven, CT
Lives in Tokyo, Japan
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Benjamin Russell

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Notice to all readers of my circle: 

If you wish to read my scholar/poet persona posts in English, please either subscribe to my "English Scholar/Poet Persona Posts" collection, or just ignore my Japanese posts.

If you wish to read my otaku persona posts in Japanese, please either subscribe to my "日本語でのヲタクのペルソナによる投稿" ["Japanese Otaku Persona Posts"] collection, or just ignore my English posts.

Please try not to read an English post, follow me on its basis, then see a Japanese post (and possibly attempt to use some automatic translation tool, such as Google Translate, to decipher it), and then unfollow me on that post's basis (unfollowing me for some other reason unrelated to the Japanese post is fine).

I have two distinct personae that think differently depending on the choice of natural language.  They have different interests and different opinions that depend on their respective languages and cultures.
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When I pressed my one-time password device, a beautiful 6-digit number appeared; however, I needed to do something else, and by the time I returned to enter it, it had timed out.  Unfortunately, when I pressed the device a second time, an ugly 6-digit number appeared!

Now I feel like a schlemiel.

Noun.
schlemiel ‎(plural schlemiels)
  1. A loser or a fool.
  2. A person who is clumsy or who hurts others emotionally.

(Examples of beautiful numbers:

000222
100002
101010

In general, any extremely unlikely number with an easily remembered pattern coupled with symmetry is beautiful.

Examples of ugly numbers:

153895
582987
593199

In general, any number that is difficult to remember that lacks a clear pattern is ugly.

I detest ugly numbers.  As a poet who is obsessed with beauty in patterns, sometimes I wish that I could eradicate them once and for all so that I would never need to see them again.

It is almost impossible to write a good ode for any ugly number.)
English[edit]. Alternative forms[edit]. schlemihl · shlemiel. Etymology[edit]. From Yiddish שלימיל (shlimil). Pronunciation[edit]. IPA: /ʃləˈmiːl/; Rhymes: -iːl. Noun[edit]. schlemiel (plural schlemiels). A loser or a fool. A person who is clumsy or who hurts others emotionally.
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I deliberately disconnected the device that required the one-time password and reconnected it so that it would prompt me for a new password, and then obtained a third number.  Fortunately, this one at least had the same first and last digit, and included one of my favorite numbers in the middle.

It was neither a flower garden nor a pile of dung.  It was more like a bag of potato chips.  Now I don't feel queasy anymore.
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Apparently, Hillary Clinton used BleachBit, an open-source disk cleaning application, to wipe her e-mail servers.

According to the article,

"Two of the main features that are listed on the BleachBit website include 'Shred files to hide their contents and prevent data recovery', and 'Overwrite free disk space to hide previously deleted files'. These two features would make it pretty difficult for anyone trying to recover the deleted emails.

...

According to a related article on Slashdot (see "Hillary Clinton Used BleachBit To Wipe Emails - Slashdot" at https://news.slashdot.org/story/16/08/26/1954241/hillary-clinton-used-bleachbit-to-wipe-emails),

"Slashdot reader ahziem adds:

  > Perhaps Clinton's team used an open-source application because, 
  > unlike proprietary applications, it can be audited, like for backdoors.
  > In response to the Edward Snowden leaks in 2013, privacy expert
  > Bruce Schneier advised in an article in which he stated he also
  > uses BleachBit, 'Closed-source software is easier for the NSA to
  > backdoor than open-source software.'"
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This is just one of a number of reasons that I don't use Facebook.  They cannot censor someone unless that person is foolish enough to allow them, and I'm definitely not.
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Generally speaking, when I am in a situation where a weak entity is fighting a strong entity, I usually favor the weak entity.  This stance comes from exposure to the Jargon File, which is a lexicon for hackers.

For example, if I am at work, and a supervisor and a subordinate have a disagreement, I usually try to find some way to help the subordinate without my assistance being detected by the supervisor.

If a rich person and a poor person have a disagreement about capital, I usually favor the poor person.

If a corporation and an individual have a disagreement about a patent, I usually favor the individual.

I once played a hacker simulation game entitled "Uplink."  In this title, players accrued positive reputation for hacking to help individuals, and negative reputation for hacking to help corporations.

If you are weak, I will usually either leave you alone; in certain cases (assuming not much effort or time is required), I might help you.

However, if you are strong, I will usually try to find a way to overthrow you to prove that I am stronger than you.
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A picture (or photograph, in this case) is worth a thousand words.
 
NASA satellite image of ice-free Northwest Passage in Arctic Canada reveals the ‘new normal’

http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2016/08/19/nasa-satellite-image-of-ice-free-northwest-passage-reveals-the-new-normal/
They say an image is sometimes worth a thousand words. And this NASA satellite photograph of the nearly ice free Northwest Passage snaking through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago illustrates the Arctic’s “new normal” as climate change continues to transform the region. The famed Arctic sea route, connecting the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is usually…
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Benjamin Russell

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According to the "interesting number paradox," there are no uninteresting numbers.  The proof is by contradiction:  If there were a non-empty set of such numbers, that set must have a smallest uninteresting number, which must make it interesting.

However, I do believe that there are beautiful and ugly numbers.  Beautiful numbers tend to combine some sort of symmetry with some sort of easily remembered pattern.  For example, 100001 is such a number.  So is 240042.  So is 102030.

Ugly numbers, however, lack any readily identifiable symmetry, and do not have any pattern that can be easily remembered.  For example, 827840 is such a number.  So is 489726.  So is 431796.

Numbers are patterns, and some patterns are beautiful, whereas others are ugly.  Symmetry is the most important element in beauty.  A readily understood pattern is another such element.  Without any symmetry or readily understood pattern, most numbers fail to inspire a Muse.
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There needs to be a way to prevent either of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton from being elected as President in the upcoming U.S. Presidential election.

Electing a demagogue will lead to World War III; electing a crook will lead to widespread corruption.  Neither alternative is acceptable.

One solution would be simply to vote for an alternative candidate, such as Zoltan Istvan (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoltan_Istvan) of the Transhumanist Party, who advocates, "taking money from the US military and spending it on medical and science research [to extend the human lifespan]."

Voting for the better of two evils repeatedly is what has led to the current situation in the first place.  The solution is to insist on a candidate who is not evil, not a candidate who just happens to be the lesser of two evils.
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Some people may not understand the difference between Facebook and Google+, so let me to state why I am not on Facebook in a nutshell:

Facebook is not oriented towards geeks.

Specifically, whoever has the misfortune of running Facebook seems to believe that almost nobody remembers that Facebook did not allow its users to purchase its stock when it went public, or that Facebook maintains a watch list of users who submit more than a certain percentage of their friend requests to members of the opposite gender, or that Facebook removes accounts of users who attempt to document police brutality.

I remember all these details, Facebook.

Unlike most of your other users, I just happen to have a good memory, a decent analytical reasoning ability, and the ability to think critically.

I keep a mental list of everything that you do, Facebook.

And I never, ever forget, either.

Why?  Because I am a geek.

Understand?
I feel like I have this conversation increasingly often. I figured I would just write it down and send people the link now instead. All my fellow non-Facebook users are invited to do the same.
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Does this cartoon sequence remind anyone of a silly tradition in culture?
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One of the problems with a college education is that, whereas it may increase one's knowledge, it can do so at the cost of decreasing the one's self-esteem.

Prior to college, I knew very little, but precisely because I knew so little, I was not aware of my own ignorance, and did not feel unintelligent.

Unfortunately, in college, I discovered that there was a vast area of knowledge that I knew nothing whatsoever about, and moreover, that there were certain areas in which I seemed to lack aptitude; for example, linear algebra.

This discovery was extremely depressing.  The fact that one professor, Drew V. McDermott, specifically told me, "I don't think you're cut-out for computer science," didn't increase my self-esteem, either.

In fact, subsequent to graduation until returning to Tokyo and changing my identity from an amateur computer science scholar back to what it had been prior to matriculation, an otaku, I felt almost constantly depressed.

The original purpose of having entered college had been to become a scholar similar to Carl Sagan; unfortunately, I discovered that because my talents seemed to lie much more in haiku poetry (and in English composition in general) than in any other area, I had a much more difficult experience in attempting to become a computer scientist than a poet.

However, poetry, unlike computer science, was extremely ill-suited to earning sufficient income to live in Akihabara (my eventual goal of residence), and switching computer science to astronomy did not improve that aspect, either; because I had been self-taught prior to college, I had not taken any high school physics laboratory courses, and felt ill-prepared for required college laboratory courses.

In other words, if I tried to follow my abilities, I could not live where I eventually wanted to live; however, if I tried to live where I wanted to live, I could not follow my abilities, either.

Hence the depression.  Furthermore, there was always the specter of Professor Drew V. McDermott in the background, who seemed to consider any non-research occupation to be trivial, and any field other than computer science to be either uninteresting or beneath mention.  The last event that I wanted to experience was to run into Professor McDermott one day by accident, have him look at my occupation, and then have him give me a strange smile without saying anything, as if to say, "Well, that's what I expected."

Hence began my long journey in search of identity; i.e., my trip to discover myself.

Efforts to become more intelligent as a computer scientist caused me to feel unintelligent because I was not proceeding according to my forte; efforts to proceed according to my forte caused me to feel unintelligent because poetry was not considered significant in computer science.

Thoughts to learn Ruby, which was easy to learn and to use because of its similarity to the programming languages that I used prior to college, inevitably led to the conclusion that any results achieved would only cause such professors as McDermott and his ilk to label me as a "script kiddie."  That was unacceptable.

Thoughts to learn Scheme inevitably led to the conclusion that that programming language was not well-suited to my goal of eventually writing a virtual world because of insufficient libraries.

Thoughts to learn Haskell inevitably led to the conclusion that in order to program in that language properly (i.e., according to the functional style of Professor Paul Hudak), I needed to learn category theory; however, my apartment lacked enough space to study, there was no local library near where I lived where I could study after midnight (when I felt fully awake as a night owl), and I didn't drive.

Thoughts to learn Smalltalk inevitably led to the conclusion that that programming language was extremely difficult to learn for someone who was accustomed to thinking functionally, because that language was a message-passing language, not a functional one.

So I wound up not programming at all.  I definitely didn't want to be labeled a "script kiddie," yet any programming language that allowed me to avoid that label was either not useful or impractical.

Since I didn't program or study category theory, I felt unintelligent again.  I occasionally thought of what any computer science professor at my alma mater would think upon randomly encountering me, and kept thinking that that professor would most likely either simply ignore me, or consider me to be some insignificant entity unworthy of mention.

In other words, college increased my knowledge only enough to realize that I was probably never very intelligent in the first place.  Then I became depressed again.

Unfortunately, generally speaking, there seems to be an inverse relation between knowledge and self-esteem.
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This is what will happen when humankind fools with Mother Nature.  Simply repeating, "It's not any hotter outside than usual," will not keep the temperature from rising.
 
The American Warming Climate: 2010 USA versus 2060 US versus 2100 United States of America

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/08/20/sunday-review/climate-change-hot-future.html
July wasn’t just hot — it was the hottest month ever recorded, according to NASA. And this year is likely to be the hottest year on record.
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Have him in circles
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Work
Occupation
Patent Abstract Translator
Skills
bilingual (Japanese/English), majored in computer science at Yale University, can compose _haiku_, can write programs in Scheme and C
Employment
  • Patent Abstract Translator, present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Tokyo, Japan
Previously
Oceanside, CA - Honolulu, HI - Kuki-shi, Saitama Prefecture, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - New Haven, CT - New York, NY
Story
Tagline
Scholar-aspirant who majored in computer "science." Occasionally discusses algorithms; _haiku_; Scheme, Haskell, and Smalltalk (in the context of programming language theory); astronomy; and some narratology.
Introduction
J-E patent translator in Tokyo. User of Haskell, Scheme, Squeak. Mac Pro user. Amateur programming language/philosophy of mind theorist.  Occasional animals rights activist. 東京在住の特許の翻訳家。Haskell、Scheme、Squeak言語の研究家。Mac Proのユーザー。アマチュアのプログラミング言語/心の哲学の理論家。時折、動物愛護運動家。
Bragging rights
Original author of "Gödel's Second Incompleteness Theorem Explained in Words of One Syllable" (see http://www2.kenyon.edu/Depts/Math/Milnikel/boolos-godel.pdf), submitted as a term paper for a class by then-visiting professor George Boolos at Yale University in fall 1993, later published as the last chapter in _Logic, Logic, and Logic_ (Boolos, George. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999) under George Boolos' name .
Education
  • Yale University, New Haven, CT
    1994
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Ben