Category Archives: Article Review

What Would You Make?

I came across an article over at 43Folders that really made me think. The article states:

If, tomorrow morning, you had 60% of the time and resources you needed to start making anything you wanted, what would it be? And, what would you do first?

At first, this question seems like a simple one. You could say that you would work on scientific discovery, pursue a passion you always wanted, or more simply just create something that gave the world a lasting legacy in your name.

I thought through all of these things, and I’d like to explore my further thoughts on the matter.

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PMOG

I wanted to point everyone to a fun little game that I’ve been passively playing over the past week: PMOG

PMOG (Passively Multiplayer Online Game) is a game that you play while you’re doing your business as usual on the web. Like a traditional pen-and-paper RPG, you have experience points (called datapoints here), levels, weapons, armor, classes, etc.

You start out as a ‘shoat’ (which I just recently found out was a British form of ‘piglet’), and as you use your tools, and take missions, you slowly change your alliances to other classes in the system.

You can find a full description of everything over at The Codex. It is a very rich and entertaining experience.

You get badges for visiting certain sites enough times, using tools, and inviting people. You can take missions, which lead you to all corners of the internet, giving you more DP, and hopefully teaching you something along the way. (check out my generated missions on my profile page: slyde)

Even though this just recently came out of beta, it has been a fairly polished experience, and I am happy that I have gotten involved. Check it out!

How to Remember Everything

I came across a wonderful article via Digg entitled “Want to Remember Everything You’ll Ever Learn? Surrender to This Algorithm”.

The title is a most alluring one, but inside the 7-page article lies a nugget of true wisdom. Although the goal in life is to know and remember things you come across, where is the line drawn between social interaction and intellectual study?

The man in the article, Piotr Wozniak, created a piece of software named SuperMemo, which allows the user to remember tidbits of information indefinitely using a spacing reminder technique. As wonderful as infinitely-long term memory sounds, it comes at a price.

When one learns a new bit of information, there is a certain amount of time that passes before that piece of information is forgotten. The software helps you get a refresher right at the moment you would forget, thereby increasing the amount of time you can remember that information. This sounds wonderful, but if you misuse the software by skipping a session (which is determined by the software), you could be doing more harm then good when it comes to remembering that information.

The idea behind this isn’t new, and the article goes into the specifics, but it certainly isn’t going to catch on with students or teachers anytime soon. While it’s great to think that you will never again forget any information that you place in the hands of this software; giving your life over to a piece of software–often shunning your social relationships in the process–just doesn’t seem like a grand idea overall.

While the pursuit of knowledge does weigh heavily on me, I don’t think I could give myself over to something of this sort. Having a wife, child, normal sleeping habits and a job doesn’t lend well to seemingly random study sessions that can’t be missed.