Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I bought a 100 slide box through ebay

I have only about twenty water quality slides for my microscope but decided to buy a 100 slide box to hold slides. I do not really have my microscope set up for viewing. But it could go on my office desk. It would be nice to have the microscope set up to work with a digital camera or video camera.

I am continuing to read the ethnographic study of Second Life.

I am continuing to read the study of Second Life. I have also started to read books on simulations including learning about self avoiding random walks (SAW's).

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I am making some spreadsheets to be saved as csv and then read into R as data frames.

I am making some spreadsheets mostly full of zeros for one year counted by hours. That is how many rows these spreadsheets have about 8600 rows. In the columns I have workerID, time in separate columns for hours, days, months and years. Then I have three extra knowledge columns then seven columns for types of knowledge then two dummy columns. I have the files names which will become variable names of
This is the basic spreadsheet with all zero entries.
knowHoursNorm.csv and knowHoursLeap.csv
This is the same spread sheet but with the hours column taking values 0 to 23 and then repeating for all the rows, again for one year.
knowDaysNorm.csv and knowDaysLeap.csv
This has the hours values and then in the day column the value 1 repeating for 24 rows, then the value 2 repeating for 24 rows, etc. up to the value 7, then starting again at 1. This represents days of the week but there is no direct correspondence between say Tuesday and the number for that day.
Here we have 31 days worth of rows or 31 times 24 rows (days times hours) taking the value 1 for January. Then 28 days for February etc.
This is the same as the previous spread sheet with 29 days for February. The above leap files also have the extra day.
These will then be read into R. I will up load all this work to my MyExperiment account.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I am wanting to write some more simulation code. I will probably wait until my simulations course starts this fall. I also have the 3rd edition of Ross's Simulation out from the library. I have only programmed one chapter's problems in this book so far in I think it was the C language. This was when I first read this book in its 2nd edition a few years back. These were simple simulations to generate average solutions of integrals using random numbers for each solution then averaging. This then gives an approximation to the integral solution. This is a type of numerical analysis.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sabre R manual is perfectly laid out and is perfect for printing.

I printed some chapters of the Sabre R manual. Each chapter was an even number of pages and I made little two sided booklets of each chapter using 8.5 inch by 11 inch paper. I can just staple these. I have a neat little collection now of chapters of the manual.

Just about finished reading The University of Google

I picked this book up because it seems to be about the sociology of the Internet. It was in the educational books section of the U of O library. I found the book browsing the new book shelves. The author, Tara Brabazon says sociology of the Internet needs to be supported by media studies and history studies.

The book did teach well about education. She does seem to make her points with only Google and some of these points could be made with Yahoo too. She questions how we define globalisation and says this term is used by many with different meanings at both ends of the communication. Also, the term globilisation is used by different ideologies.

Her coverage of the Internet is not so repetitive and boring as many early Internet books by academics. She includes an argument found in the thesis of Lessig's Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace and applies this argument in her analysis of national cultures and diversity and sharing across cultures claiming Google brings views of only the US Western world view of the rest of the world through the WWW.

A significant point is that teachers now must work hard to be available to students 24-7 but I think she misses that mature students like myself are also being scholars 24-7 on our computers. But the point is well taken, because of the Internet we all work too hard. Also because of the Internet there are vast exclusions of knowledge and this has all developed just after advancing capitalism has made huge gaps in income though the 1980's and 1990's. This point I get because I have been poor for all this time. She makes a point of showing that there are few jobs for the educated in our society, yet there are more persons in university these days than there ever have been. Perhaps this is a larger middle class but with no wages and no jobs waiting for all that education. She makes some very good arguments about the use of higher education vis a vie working and the perversion of education by commercial interests. So education must be a business and accountable and no longer publicly funded. This is the final death blow I figure unless I can get funding.

One chapter argues well against power point lectures and she talks well of the art of lecturing and oral auditory nature of this art form. A few chapters later she derides the new medias convergence with creativity and old school art. And this fits one of the themes she points out that the old and new is not a good dichotomy for improving education in the age of Google. She also say the blame is not with Google but is more historically set in the context of Western colonial capitalism which makes her a deconstructionalist. She also finds some fault though with post-modernism which I find refreshing after my exposure to post-modern criminology studies.

One statistical point about her arguments on development might be made here. She compares the amount of money needed for basic medicine for the worlds people who do not have basic medicine with the amount of money spent feeding pets in Europe and Japan. So this then infers it is people v animals in terms of spending. This is a bit like cake or bread numbers. Cosmetics v clean water and an old flame source for heated debates.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Learning Sabre software but no luck getting it to run yet.

I was introduced to Sabre software by the NCeSS web site because this software was developed as quantitative software at one of their nodes. I was today not able to get Sabre to run on my Macbook nor have I been able to install Sabre as an R package on my eMac R.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Back from workshop at MIT and I am unpacking bags and notes, not concepts

So I was in the company of sociologists this past week on Thursday. I heard them use the term "unpacking" meaning to take apart and analyse a term or concept. I am in fact, unpacking my bags and not really concepts because I am not really a sociologist. These people know me by email and now by my presentation. It went well and I was not trashed like some bad school boy. In fact, I am now looking to take up a more serious study of knowledge management and search out the author Cousins.

I will be following up on things I learned from all the other speakers and in the future applying all this learning. Each one was interesting and presented concepts I can learn more about. First I will visit the web sites presented by the Keynote speaker at the centre of e-social science in the UK. I may even study over there for a few days. Her centre also is involved with which I joined a few days ago but have not fully explored or added much content yet. Another featured speaker has developed an open source plug in for Microsoft Excel 2007. I do not have access to Excel 2007. This plug in draws network graphs and diagrams much like seventies' string art as the speaker put it. He is the only sociologist employed by Microsoft apparently. This whole event was sponsored by Port 25 the Microsoft open source lab. Their site can be found here

Our conference packages included name tags with USB keys with the CITASA name and logo printed on them. I have not even opened this USB key up yet to examine the files. I should join this group with real membership fees but I still owe this years fees for the Canadian Mathematics Society student membership I hold. The full program is here at