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One Last Ditch: the movie

So I sort of nominated myself to the roster of presenters at next Thursday night's Five Minutes of Fame at Noisebridge. I thought about it briefly, figured I might as well ask if self-promotion was appropriate and apparently that is what it is all about! The nice young man said he couldn't wait to see my presentation but he will have to wait till next week cause that is how long I have to fit everything I want to say about my poetry videos in five minutes.

Let's see. Look at this! Help me buy better equipment!

Oh and buy my book if you think about it.

That's about it really but I suppose I should tell them my name and stuff and when the book was published and maybe I should try to describe my genre of writing but I have no idea where to start with that. Anyone have any ideas? Beyond "poetry, sorta, but prose, sorta, also"?

I got so caught up in the laundry carnival that I forgot to post about going to the Python class there at Noisebridge on Monday night. The class met at my bedtime, but I dragged myself down there anyway. I decided that the best way to deal with the phone question was to leave my phone at home and use the old-fashioned buzzer if the door was not already open. Which it was so I just walked right up and found the stairs.

The class was fine. I would tell you about my question concerning recursion but maybe two people reading me would be interested. Possibly three. Oh ok: I asked if there were any rule of thumb for how best to recognize when recursion was an apt solution to a problem if it was not already obvious that you were doing the same thing over and over and the answer I got was "if it works." The guy leading the class appears to be a pragmatist and one who prefers iterative processes. There was a reason given but I do not recall what it was.

Otherwise nobody bit and nobody stared and almost nobody looked at me like I had three armpits except for one guy but if you are in a space in San Francisco that anyone at all can walk into you must be prepared for anything. So I decided that was his problem and not mine.

Suddenly it seems time for me to go to bed. Well, ok then.


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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
daisydumont
Aug. 12th, 2011 12:44 am (UTC)
>Oh ok: I asked if there were any rule of thumb for how best to recognize when recursion was an apt solution to a problem if it was not already obvious that you were doing the same thing over and over and the answer I got was "if it works."

i read this aloud to ted and asked if he understood it. he said yes.

he says, "in general, the iterative process is more memory-efficient, but the recursive process is easier to write."

oh well. i just nod and pretend to get it. he's looking up more about it online even as i type. ;)
eriktrips
Aug. 12th, 2011 01:32 am (UTC)
Ah yes I think Al (teacher of the evening) said that iterative processes were more efficient but I couldn't remember it was in regard to time or memory.

Thanks for asking!

I find iterative processes easier to write, personally. Recursion fucks with my head. I would have gotten the concept easily just out of high school but those brain cells were sacrificed long, long ago.

That's ok. I had fun losing them. :)
badgerbag
Aug. 12th, 2011 03:24 am (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad you went to Python class! Though the space seemed a bit grimier than usual when I was there Tues. night. It is sometimes much more clean!
eriktrips
Aug. 13th, 2011 12:05 am (UTC)
Grime? I didn't really notice it. It was dark--not many lights were on, but also, well, my house? Not the epitome of clean.
altamira16
Aug. 12th, 2011 08:31 am (UTC)
All the school examples of recursions that I remember had to do with factorials. You know
4! = 4*3*2*1.

There was some problem that I saw once that looked like it should use recursion because it involved if else statements inside the else statement of an if else statement, and it was like 10 layers deep checking for very similar things over and over again. But figuring out how to write it recursively was more of a pain than writing the if else statements ten layers deep. The recursive solution would have been more complete.
eriktrips
Aug. 13th, 2011 12:11 am (UTC)
Yeah I've seen most of the simple math ones; the Fibonacci series, factorials--those seem fairly obvious. I agree though that for more complex problems a bunch of if else statements are easier to figure out than a recursive algorithm.

I just have this sneaking feeling I would have been able to understand recursion a bit better when I was, like, 17, and I keep waiting for the factoid that will help it fall into place for me.
altamira16
Aug. 13th, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)
Here is where I think it is useful probably. I have never done anything complicated with trees. I just know that they exist.
eriktrips
Aug. 13th, 2011 01:02 am (UTC)
I can see how that makes sense in an abstract way, and I have heard of trees as though they were well-understood objects, but in all the "learn x-language" programming books I've gone through I have never been asked to create anything they called a tree or apply a given algorithm to one. I've done linked lists and multi-dimensional arrays/matrixes and dictionaries, but no tree (or even a hash table) has ever been mentioned in all I have read.

Maybe I read the wrong books. Or maybe I am trying to do a computer science degree without the convenience of classes and professors to advise me. Anyway, one reason I am trying to visit this hackerspace more often is that there is this gap in what I have learned about writing programs and how they are talked about professionally.
altamira16
Aug. 13th, 2011 11:18 am (UTC)
I think that you go more deeply into arrays, linked lists, has tables, and trees in a data structures.
altamira16
Aug. 13th, 2011 11:19 am (UTC)
in a data structures class. I haven't been to one though.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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