Archive for the 'self referencing' Category

Page 2 of 2

Array road show, road tested

I did not expect to find myself celebrating this week; the North American tradition of Thanksgiving never sits very well with me.  My uneasiness stems from the awkward history of European land acquisition on this continent.  It isn’t a very nice story when you get down to the details, and I’m a little too ashamed of this dark past to be in the mood for a big party.  That’s just me.  However, I recognize the importance of being thankful.

So to my surprise, I’m counting my blessing right in step with a large portion of the people right here in North America.


First of all, Professor Ali Miri invited me to speak at Ryerson University’s Undergraduate Computer Science Department awards ceremony last week.  That was, hands down, the most positive experience I’ve had since the beginning of time.  I’m still smiling.  Amazingly, after the event it wasn’t just the professors or the closeted APL aficionados who came out of the woodwork to further the discussion.  The students were engaged!

What? Really!  No shit.

At the very least, I am thrilled that I could keep one 20-something woman in a white Hijab smiling and nodding for 45 minutes while talking about array programming languages…. Wow. Life is good…. It made my day. Heck, it made my month.

Secondly, you might have noticed that we posted a Happy Birthday APL post.  Well, fine readers, you sent that thing flying all over cyberspace and our blogsite received the highest number of visitors yet.  This was totally unexpected to me; the only reason I remembered the date, is because Roger Hui posted a reminder on one of the APL forums.

That, Folks, is the power of cyber team work. You rock!  The Jedi live!

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.


Evil plan part 2

Evil Plan Part 2 involves inventing a clever and fun business model to fund this operation and make everyone who is not a part of it jealous.

I think I’m on to something.  The timing is perfect for a collective cybernetic media strategy based on, guess what?  Stories, of course!

Are you lost?  You might be.  Here’s some homework.  Jinnean Barnard illustrates the power of unharnessed social media in A Recipe for Collective Outrage.

Let’s put some reins on this beast, shall we?


Evil plan part 1

Part One of my Evil plan is to use free blogging, sharing and networking tools to expose and track the discovery process concerning my documentary.  My secondary agenda is to propose that in order  to preserve the history of APL and its descendant languages, some amount of organization from within the array language community is necessary, or it’s not going to happen.

My blog, which is central to this effort, is illustrated in this photo, on the right side of the dotted line.

The dotted line separates what exists now from what I want to build.  I have obscured the details regarding what I want to build; they will be revealed at the appropriate time.


No plan B

I’m getting ready to travel again.  This time, I’m not revealing my destination.  In fact, I can count the number of people who know where on one hand, and I’m related to most of them.  Mystery!

Not really, I’m lying. No mystery.

Honestly, I desperately need a little time and space to think things through.

My travel routine is pretty typical:  ticket, passport, wallet – check!  Except, the night before…    every. single. time. I. fly…    I experience this period where I feel like I’m a sister from another planet.  At that moment, I panic:  what are you doing? I say to myself…  I can’t believe I’m going.  If you’ve been with me here for a while, you’ve probably begun to detect the pattern.

This time, it has started prematurely and I’m trying to comprehend why.

Maybe because during my last adventure, my cat almost died from some mysterious illness; had I not cut my trip short for an unrelated reason, that would have been it for her.

But no, that’s not it.  And I do think I know what it is:  there is no plan B.

Before I even knew what was happening, I said this out loud to an actual person this week.  I admitted it.

After such a colossal wipe-out this summer, rather than do the rational thing and get rid of plan A, I dumped my Plan B.  In fact I trashed 3 or 4 of them. Now I have none.

I’m totally focused on plan A: my evil plan.

Oh, I did notice that not everyone is comfortable with my use of ‘evil’…  But that’s a segue for another day.

My wise and supportive companion said:  You’re making a commitment.


Curses! Damn! RATS! Bloody Hell!

Whew!  That felt good. Now, I’m off to have my run through the woods, because Jedi must be very fit.


Michael, Asperger’s and me

In 1983, with my hanky tied up on a stick and  my white cat perched on my shoulder,  I left Swarthmore, Pennsylvania to venture into the world.   My first stop was Hampshire College located in Amherst, Massachusetts, USA.

Camp Hamp, as we fondly and irreverently call it.  

That’s where I met Michael John Carley.  At the time, everyone in my motley crew knew that Michael was destined to do great things.  For one thing, he’s a bad ass poker player; and through the hazy eyes of 18 year olds, that’s a sure fire sign of success. Little did we know that he would eventually found an extremely successful peer support group for adults on the Autism spectrum.  More to the point, we had no idea that he was on the Autism Spectrum.   Not a freaking clue.  And that’s the theme that keeps coming up in our side project.  No one knew.

What side project? One of my sneaky plans is to get to know Michael again after all these years, so I volunteered my video production skills and we’re collaborating on a video for GRASP.  For the last couple of days, I’ve been looking at the testimonials of the brave folks who stepped up to participate in our little production.  It’s a treat and a privilege.  It totally rocks.  A great evil plan.

I encourage you to read Michael’s book: Asperger’s from the Inside Out.


Evil plans ARE best

My Cohort, Godzilla has been hatching a plan for novel and upbeat ways  to finance this array of covert operations here in cyberspace.

After our weekly tête à tête amoureux, We concluded this Social Networking Experiment is a monstrous success.  And, Godzilla needs a new tie…  …so, viola:  We’re pushing this baby to a higher level!

After market testing some ideas…  (We discovered that taking wagers for pranks on prominent community members could  potentially be perceived as  mean spirited.  Though, with some help from our network of spies, We did mastermind some excellent pranks… Like asking X why Y’s logo looks like a guy’s ‘thing’ on camera)  …We settled on a something different And exciting.

The next step, of course, is to sell the idea; Godzilla tasked me with creating a Pitch. 

What the heck is a pitch?

Turns out I have no idea.  I started with an outline.  Some of my friends said it was a good start, while others:  What the hell are you talking about? Things slid downhill; Godzilla looked very concerned.

We decided to pitch the Pitch, and to draw It instead!

With really cool results. Stay tuned.

BTW – I cribbed ‘Evil Plans are Best’ from artist Hugh McLeod, please subscribe to his newsletter because he rocks.  And for the record, I did not get paid for saying this.


Ken’s fingers and Bernard on Passion

Ok – I was warned.

When Rick gave me the tapes from the 1997 APL conference here in Toronto, he did mention that it was just a couple of regular folks holding the camera, not.. hem… filmmakers or videographers...

And not to complain, but what am I going to do with… well… Ken’s fingers?  They’re not even his fingers themselves, just the shadows.

The shadow of Ken’s fingers.

Well.  It’s poetic.

The truth is I’m feeling ten steps behind this week.  I was really looking forward to meeting Benoit Mandelbrot.  Damn.  Damn!

Time feels like water slipping through my fingers.

Since it’s too late to phone any of my friends, I flip through Sheila Curran Bernard’s Documentary Storytelling for Film and Video, to page 32, Passion and Curiosity:

‘Do you care deeply about your subject?’ – well, yes.

Passion is going to be your best weapon against discouragement, boredom, frustration, and confusion. Passion is not the unwavering conviction that you are right and the whole world must be made to agree with you.  Instead, it is the commitment to the notion that this idea is exciting, relevant, and meaningful, and perhaps more importantly, that it’s something you can look forward to exploring in the months or even years to come.

Years to come.  I should be running like crazy in the other direction.  Damn.  And I won’t back down.

My sincere condolences to the Mandelbrot and Halle families. The world has lost a great man.


Socialnomics based on Qualman



When I began this project, I calculated that 375 people in the whole wide world would give a damn about the story of APL and its descendant Array Languages.  I based this number on my own magic formula: roughly 500 IPSA Employees in its heyday.  I can count on 75% of them to be interested in a story that must inevitably include them.

Imagine my surprise when I figured out that the Origins of APL video I posted on myspace is much more popular.  In fact, it has received 4,ooo views since I posted it over a year ago.   Exactly 4,000, as of this moment. Merci, Bashyal at LtU.

Fri 13th - Survey Visitors by Country % of 600 counted

Fri 13th - Survey Visitors by Country % of 600 counted

Oh shit.

Pardon my language,  I mean: WHAT?

Given that we’re talking about the whole wide world, these stats are not earth shattering or what a rapper would bring in, but man oh man, am I excited.

You see, I had no idea how many lives and careers and programming languages the APL story has influenced.

This is serious.

And if I  had actually grabbed the right type ball for my photo shoot with Godzilla last week, I’d be feeling like little miss smarty-pants, right about now.  But, alas, once again, this proves to be an ironically humbling road.

In any case, for better or for worse, this brings me to the survey, because this is all one big warm up for…. drum roll…. The results.

Friday the 13th of August 2010 Survey Results


Who looked vs who responded

Visitors (survey days only) = 621
Unique Visitors = 432
Survey Respondents = 46


In case that wasn’t enough information, here’s your APL trivia for the day – John McGrew told me in NYC that APL2 still carries APL’s birthday, which I promptly forgot and so from the other side of Canada, Roger Hui tells Array birthday stories.



I just did my own informal survey about what you guys are looking at.  And guess what?

It’s the WOMEN!

No kidding, my photos of women are looked at roughly 4-7 times more often than those of the guys.

Hey Dudes, invite more women to your conferences.

We’ll all have more fun!


Analytics Plugin created by Jake Ruston's Wordpress Plugins - Powered by Laptop Cases and r4.