2013: Postmortem

Posted in meta on January 19th, 2014 by Samuel Kenyon

This is a personal postmortem (aka retrospective), not a report on the world at-large.

crossing a stream in the Amazon

crossing a stream in the Amazon

What Went Right

I accomplished several things of a wider diversity than I did in 2012, particularly new-to-me activities.

Riding horses in Iceland

Riding horses in Iceland

Highlights:

  • Sky-dived for the first time
  • Went outdoor top-rope rock climbing for the first time
  • Submitted two artificial intelligence papers to conferences/symposia, one of which was accepted
  • Went to aforementioned symposium and presented a poster for it
  • Wrote 25 blog posts
  • Started working on developmental systems
  • Started a new job (technically started mid Dec 2012)
  • Wrote a new, improved version of my short film screenplay, Enough to be Dangerous
  • Started working on a horror film screenplay
  • Acted in a music video for Wake No More
  • Acted in a book video for Kissing Oscar Wilde
  • Acted in a a BU short comedic film called South x Southeast (screened in Dec 2012, but we’ll count it since the video appeared online in 2013)
  • Explored Iceland
  • Explored Ecuador
    • Including rising to the highest elevation I’ve ever been at
    • Explored (via a guide) the Amazon rainforest
      • Monkeys!
      • I ate a grub (it wasn’t raw–it was cooked (smoked) by the natives)
  • Learned to ride a horse (in Iceland, also went riding in Ecuador in the Andes mountains)
  • Explored the entire Freedom Tunnel in New York
  • Went sailing for the first time (part of a company forced-fun day, but it was fairly interesting)
  • Participated in No Pants Subway Ride
Laundromat cafe, Reykjavik, Iceland

Laundromat cafe, Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland

Iceland

Iceland

A volcanic crater we climbed up to

Iceland

Iceland

Kayaking in the volcanic crater of Quilotoa, Ecuador with Emily

Kayaking in the volcanic crater of Quilotoa, Ecuador with Emily

Me holding a freshly opened jungle coconut (Amazon rainforest)

Me holding a freshly opened jungle coconut (Amazon rainforest) (photo by Emily Durrant)

What Went Wrong

AI Paper Number 2

The second papers I wrote was obviously not ready (both the paper and the research), but I submitted it anyway. However, I got excellent feedback in the rejection.

Not Enough Personal Coding

Although I worked a lot on non-work projects, I didn’t write as much code as I wanted. Still, I think there was an increase from 2012.

Not Enough Hardware

Aside from testing some little programs I wrote on a NAO robot, I didn’t do any work with real robots in 2013. I need to improve the balance of theory to implementation with my robotic and computational intelligence ideas.

Not Enough Art

I didn’t make any new drawings except for a few doodles. Also although I’ve written some notes for new music compositions, I didn’t actually generate any new music last year…although I did finally post an old composition on Soundcloud.

Skydiving

I didn’t like being squashed in a painful/awkward position on the floor of an overfull plane and without even any handles to pull myself up out of this position. It kind of ruined the whole experience until later on after the parachute was out and we were gliding—after tumbling ridiculously on exiting the plane and almost going unconscious from lack of breathing. Apparently the instructor was supposed to tell me about making sure to breath (the experience is quite new if you are not used to having your face blasted with air as you plummet from the highest location you’ve ever jumped before), but he failed to do so. I probably won’t go back to that airfield and if I do, I will make sure I’m not getting on the plane unless I can crouch or sit in a safe, un-strained, non-distracting position.

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I’m Back

Posted in meta on September 3rd, 2011 by Samuel Kenyon

To the few people who actually read this blog:

I will resume posting soon!

I took a break from this blog for a couple months. However, I did not stop writing—I was working on fiction, specifically screenwriting. I used to write screenplays and short stories in high school, but it’s been a while. I sort of had to relearn how to do it. To go along with the screenwriting, I also got some acting training. It was quite fun.

Stay tuned.

photo of Samuel H. Kenyon

Me

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Atheism and Tango

Posted in meta on August 21st, 2010 by Samuel Kenyon

Although atheism is not the main theme of this blog, I figured other atheists might enjoy it.  So I joined the Atheist Blogroll (quote from Mojoey):

The Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts for more information.

(Photo credit: Henrik Schröder, CC Attribution 2.0 Generic)

Also, I just stumbled upon this weird group on Facebook called “Tangoists.” They are atheists that have apparently replaced the ritualistic aspects of religion with Argentine tango.  The full description also mentions the needs of consolation and sensuality (I wonder, were people getting a lot of sensuality out of religion?) :

Tangoism – world view (Weltanschauung) based on scientific atheism with meeting the need for ritual, consolation and sensuality by means of argentine tango. Tangoism followers (tangoists) usually have their own conception of tangoism, however.

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What does SynapticNulship mean?

Posted in meta on December 28th, 2009 by Samuel Kenyon

I have been using the handle SynapticNulship for several months, and now it is the title of this blog.  I created this term because it conveys my interest in cognitive neuroscience combined with the concept of an advanced flying device.  A nullship is an antigravity conveyance—one might imagine a small volantor (flying car) or a large hovering ship not limited by typical aircraft lift constraints.  I was introduced to this word via a Heinlein novel that I read as a teenager (unfortunately, searching for “nullship” on the web turns up almost…null).  Spelling “null” as “nul” is unnecessary, but it could be considered an extra nod to computer nerds and those into the whole brevity thing.  A synapse is an interface between neurons in the brain, and the brain (along with the rest of the nervous system) is the captain’s chair of the mind (not the best metaphor but it sounds cool).  That notion paired with the notion of a futuristic antigravity ship results in a vague sense of flying above current minds with future technology.  Or it could mean a rising propelled by one’s mind.

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