So I couldn't sleep last night and I do what I always do in bed, think. I think I'm training myself to think of the bed as a place to think, I have been getting a lot of ideas while laying down trying to sleep. The bad part of that is I don't sleep but I just don't feel like I accomplished what I wanted to. I wasn't physically tired and mentally I was going a mile a minute. Most of it was garbage but I had another note to add to the change the future through online education idea. I was was trying to think of what really frustrates me and it's probably looking for information online. I know google exists and I should learn how to use complex queries and stuff but I never really find that exact page that panders to my position on the educational scale. The scale going from n00b or novice to amature to pro. In a game you start off at n00b and build your skills up. In cyberspace the guy who wrote the page on hosting comparisons or who added the post to the forum on web hosting problems doesn't have the same context that you do.
What I'm trying to say is that the web wasn't made for learning. Games are a much better way, I think, to engage me to get me to do something or change how I think. And until Tom Clancy makes an Advanced War Developer, I'm screwed. So what if there was a place where all people do is learn together. They bring in outside content, maybe the stuff they saw on digg or the top google results and then put them in an educational perspective. They could edu tag them with things like it's place on the n00b to pro scale, or the way that's it tought. Like screen casts vs step by step tutorial. The things you know before hand and after the tutorial. Or review books or resources the same way. A larry ullman book on PHP is way different from the W3C's PHP tutorial or even the php.net page. A geek who has a ton of time and lots of motivation could keep chugging at it, but tv and video games have made me want it to be easy and entertaining. I don't know how entertaining I can make learning about CSS but I want to try. I'm going to take all the CSS tutorials on digg and google and all the books I've read and the websites I've added to my rss feed and look at what makes them good to learn from. Where are they strong and where are they week and maybe come up with some tags that way. I'm envisioning a place where people would work in a edu framework with edu tags to make real courses that anyone could use. Sorry wikiversity, but you sucked.
I feel really dumb for signing up for hosting with godaddy.com. There were so much cheaper with the code from commandN that I didn't really think it through. The savings were just kind of blinding. So I own jacobsanchez.com but I just have it redirect here. I was getting frustrated at the CSS I was trying to implement so I decided maybe I should try and get some php going on the site. JacobSanchez.com was going to get user registration just a few minutes ago. But besides the fact that no one would want to register at my site, I find it impossible to do through GoDaddy and be safe with my connection strings. Even if I had gotten the right kind of hosting, Linux and not Windows, seriously am I gonna use ASP and ACCESS after paying 36 bucks for a year of super cheap hosting. I guess you get what you pay for but at least I own jacobsanchez.com for a year. Hopefully before that's up I can run my own server that I can install Apache, MySQL and PHP on and have a private friggin folder to hide my stuff. Dang. Dang it. I apologize for all the cursing in this post but I told my mom today about my site so she may someday read it. Yeah probably not, but my next employer might. Did I tell you all how hardworking I am? Just today I put in 15 hours straight debugging code without a lunch or dinner break. I just gnawed on my knee caps that were thrust into my mouth considering my crouched position in the windowless closet I call my office. I had all the lights and AC off so it was pretty hot. I even had my monitor turned on the lowest brightness to save power. I was actually powering my computer with body heat a la the matrix. Enough future insurance. I can't wait to get some more CSS books to use to make jacobsanchez.com at least as cool as something on csszengarden. I mean some of them look kind of suck. Maybe I can try and create some art or something on there. I think Dan Cederholm ?spelling? said the advice for developers was just keep at it, to keep coding. So i'll do as i'm told and keep at it. So frustrating sometimes. Maybe I should do a comic on IE vs Firefox standards. It might go something like this.
Panel 1: Developer: I've done it. I've created the coolest looking website ever. All standards compliant, it searches better than google, it's cooler than myspace with the tech cred of a digg.
Co-developer: I think MS just released a new patch for IE 7 during your rant there. You website looks like shit now.
Panel 2: Developer: Well at least it'll run ok in firefox.
Co-developer: Just now they bought mozilla.org for 10 billion dollars.
Panel 3: Why don't they just club the baby seals to death while they're at it.
I know that's not funny and there no punchline but this battle isn't funny. Unless you imagine a marriage ending over this. Or having it split up a family. The IE father disowns his Firefox son who ends up hanging out on myspace, giving chat jobs for adsense. </dork joke>
There has been a lot of talk about the tiered Internet. And this is what I think. If the Internet was a real place this is what you might hear at a toll booth/router.
Operator: Can I help you?
Packet: Yeah I need to get to Timmy's house. I'm part of a video blog from a friend of his.
O: Can I see some priority documents?
P: You know my ISP doesn't have it this month.
O: Well then you'll have to wait in line with the penis spam. Sorry. NEXT!
New Packet: Hey, I'm in a hurry, WTF?
Operator: Oh yes, Yahoo! premium content, right this way sir. They're waiting for you.
New Packet: Hey Packet! Can't afford the toll? Why don't you go stand with your hippie friends and chat with your liberal losers.
Packet: Your mama was a stack overflow.
And this is why servers go down. Packet fights. It gets ugly, fast.
This is freaking awesome. I just did a technorati search on circle vs square, my last post, and I was the first response in the results page. So if people are looking for circle vs sqaure stuff they can read my post and then go, damn this page sucks, I'll go check out that girl who lists stuff she finds in her room.
I wonder if google knows about me yet. I don't know if I'm ready to blow up quite yet. Uh oh. I used the words blow up in a blog entry. The FBI is monitoring the rest of this post. So… uh… I love america. I mean I LOVE AMERICA. WE ROCK!
p.s. The FBI sucks
I just bought jacobsanchez.com. I'm a little nervous about having my own website. There's so much I want to do. I want to put a resume on there, maybe on /info and then i'll have /blog redirect to this blog until I can figure out how to host my own blog. I was also thinking today of having a daily comic or a podcast, but what would I be podcasting. I hope to just try out a bunch of CSS and PHP stuff and make it look cool. I guess beyond making my own blog functionality which I don't want to, what other web apps do I need. I should probably make some art for the pages, maybe some icons. I guess just making cool API links to the stories I digg or del.icio.us or my amazon wishlists or make a page with all my RSS feeds. I guess maybe just the perfect home page. But registration takes a day with hosting so I'll have to wait til tommorrow.
I have this philosophy that anything in life is either a circle thing or a square thing. Anything in life being acts or steps or parts of your day, but to me their more like the categories on my to-do-list. Problems, I find, are either simple to solve using logical steps or are complex to solve requiring multiple often unconnected and potentially stressful steps. I think of square problems as easy like when you were at school. You had to do your math homework one problem at a time, get it right, and then move on. A circle problem came later, maybe in college where you had to prove that theorem using all the little pieces of the puzzle you had learned over the years. You might have to ask your professor questions, create something new, or just keep guessing until an answer emerged.
Besides the fact that kindergarten had naps, I like the square problem. It's just a checklist, not a thesis. So why these shapes and not just some things in life are hard and some are easy. I'm a bit of a visual person and I love objects. I love playing with Lego's, bouncing balls and running around. Stacking a bunch of Lego's is much easier than stacking a bunch of soccer balls. The square problem just sits there on the table, waiting to get blown away. The circular problem is always moving, making you stress out about where it might roll and thinking about how to even approach it. I just think a cube knows where it is, it's planted, on terra firma. The ball is going where it wants, you have little say in the matter. That lack of control makes all the difference.
So what's the answer? How do we handle tough, stressful situations? Do we make them into small sqaure steps instead of round rocks across a river? That is a whole post unto itself, maybe for another time. I just like to warm up with some easy brick building and then when I've warmed up I can exercise my brain with circular problems. We'll see how that works out.
I am gorging on the plethora of quality tech news podcasts and videocasts. I watch dl.tv, diggnation, crankygeeks, and I listen to TWiT, CNET's Buzz out Loud and Inside the Net. I guess the only way to learn about next gen tech is to hear about the buzz around it. A lot of these shows run similar stories and you end up hearing what the presenters THINK that's going on. I guess it will be a while until you see a textbook on podcasting or the MLA writing guide for blogging. I think wikipedia's main pages on these topics are the best place to get your feet wet and then maybe read some books written by Leo Laporte or someone famous who's a professional blogger. I just wish there was a one true place to study these new things and learn from the pros and help out the n00bs. I just gotta keep at it and plug away, listen to every cool podcast and vidcast and keep at the programming. Viva la CSS.