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I'm trying to give up my LJ addiction. At least until after the… - Sally's Journal
April 13th, 2005
08:28 am

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I'm trying to give up my LJ addiction. At least until after the exams, but hopefully on a more longterm scale too. I don't mind if I want to spend all my social life reading LJ, but I am being paid to do a PhD, so I should do it. The problem is the cold trukey approach seems somewhat irrational, as I'd miss you all, and an hour reading LJ at lunch is a cheering thing, when M's on a course. Unfortunately I don't have the willpower I used to, and at about 3 in the afternoon things spiril slowly downwards into a spod if I'm not careful. In fact, this is something I've never been able to deal with. Occasionally I have nice productive days from 9 - 2. But I can't seem to get anything decent out of the hours 3 - 5. Wonder how other people manage it?

I'm also trying to exercise, courtesy of the y-plan. I've managed three days now, which is very good for me. Although I ache all over. I remain confused how I can live in Girton and cycle at least 4 miles a day and be this unfit.

Just occasionally, being a mathmo is really handy. When M was wondering about solving for all possible permutations of nodes, because he wanted to test all possible "nodes in set A / nodes in set B" combinations, I pointed out it was 2^n rather than n!, and that just counting in binary was a perfectly sensible way to impliment this. Last night my weeks of supervising algebra and geometry came in handy, when I was able to tell a pair of clever engineers that what they were trying to do was not to invert the matrix*, but find out when it had a non zero kernal, ie when the determinent was zero. They went away and stuck it into matlab (sigh, what strange worlds I walk in) and came back grinning with "It works!"

This is what I want to do, walk between worlds and fix things for people. Unfortunately half the time I don't know the answer, and the other half the time people don't know that I'm a good person to ask.

And of course what I want to do today is to not check LJ between the hours of 9-12, 1-6, come up with something productive to do in these hours instead, get my code working and do some revision. Sigh.

*Well, what they were trying to do was invert the matrix, but the problem they were trying to solve didn't require them to do this :-)

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From:crazyscot
Date:April 13th, 2005 07:51 am (UTC)
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Cycling is a very energy-efficient mode of transport. In order to get fitter (in the cardiovascular sense) on a bike, you have to push yourself rather than just bimbling from A to B; consider getting a bikeputer to give you some sort of quantitative analysis of what you're doing. NB also that cycling uses leg muscles and not much else; your legs might be strong and fit, but (doing no other exercise) the rest of you won't be.
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From:atreic
Date:April 13th, 2005 07:52 am (UTC)
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But especially when the weathers cold, I hit "wheezy / can't breath" long before I hit "actually doing any work" Maybe this will be better now it's the summer
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From:rmc28
Date:April 13th, 2005 08:13 am (UTC)
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What I want is to ...

walk between worlds and fix things for people

not check LJ between the hours of 9-12, 1-6, come up with something productive to do in these hours instead

That's so me! Get out of my BRAIN :)
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From:atreic
Date:April 13th, 2005 09:12 am (UTC)
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Oh, and get the wedding organised. There, you've already done that one :-)
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From:rmc28
Date:April 13th, 2005 10:21 am (UTC)
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It's not over until the fat lady sings we leave for the honeymoon.

M-87 and counting ...
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From:senji
Date:April 13th, 2005 08:33 am (UTC)
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I find working in the mornings hard (and the afternoons easier).
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From:emperor
Date:April 13th, 2005 08:36 am (UTC)
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WHS
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From:the_lady_lily
Date:April 13th, 2005 08:36 am (UTC)
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I find I hit a deadspot for about two hours in the afternoon, regardless of where I am or what I'm trying to do (normally around 2-4, but can be a bit later). If it's reading I can usually push myself through, but in writing or anything more creative I go completely dead. Of course, I have the luxury of being able to push on till 7 or 8 if I feel like it, whereas I'm guessing labs are a bit less conducive to that than my bedroom. I get on with it by admitting it's there, and doing something non-thinky in that time (like laundry or e-mail or paperwork), although again if you're in the lab that's hardly ideal unless you wish to carry your correspondence with you.
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From:the_lady_lily
Date:April 13th, 2005 08:37 am (UTC)
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Oh yes - if I'm going to have lunch on my own, I normally wait till the deadspot hits to have it. It means odd eating hours, sure, but at least the time when I could be working involves work rather than feeding followed by staring at a screen and going 'eek, deadspot!'.
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From:megamole
Date:April 13th, 2005 09:07 am (UTC)
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hit a deadspot

/me needs to stop having a brain like an open sewer. But seriously, I tend to run out of energy at very similar sorts of time.
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From:libellum
Date:April 13th, 2005 09:50 am (UTC)
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SIESTA!
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From:ewx
Date:April 13th, 2005 08:43 am (UTC)
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I managed to maintain a rule of only reading LJ at lunchtimes for quite a long time after starting my current job, though it started slipping a while ago. It didn't help that people often organize things in the afternoon for the evening, so if I didn't read between about 1300 and 1800 then logistical difficulties could sometimes result.
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From:aldabra
Date:April 13th, 2005 08:49 am (UTC)
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Would it help to go for a twenty-minute walk at about 2.45?
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From:lacuna
Date:April 13th, 2005 09:10 am (UTC)
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Occasionally I have nice productive days from 9 - 2. But I can't seem to get anything decent out of the hours 3 - 5. Wonder how other people manage it?

I'm the same: I can study well in the morning (and in the evening, though I understand this isn't so easy if in a lab), but in the afternoons I find it much harder to concentrate. I just blame it on biorhythms! I find it much easier, though, if I only have a small lunch and nothing really sugary - I don't get the post-lunch slump. Like the_lady_lily, I think it's sometimes worth giving in, if you have the time, and doing something that doesn't require much brain power.
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From:flats
Date:April 13th, 2005 09:13 am (UTC)
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If your brain stops for the day at around 2.30, then clearly what you must do is not faff on LJ whilst you're being productive, but when midafternoon braindeath comes around you might as well read your flist all you like, as you'd not manage to do anything useful if you weren't net-surfing!
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From:lifes_a_dream
Date:April 13th, 2005 10:14 am (UTC)
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God, I have the same problems with LJ....why is it always so much easier to mindlessly sit there refreshing your friends page, than to get up off your arse and do something productive?? I don't know about you, but I always feel horrible after an afternoon of spodding, yet this doesn't seem to prevent me from repeating the exercise again and again!! Aaahh!!
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From:feanelwa
Date:April 13th, 2005 12:37 pm (UTC)
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They what? But that's a huge difference in things to do with a matrix. I repeat my assertion that I'm not travelling by plane unless absolutely necessary.

I think you're falling into the classic female trap of doing the rest of the lab's thinking for them, and as such have earned a two-hour break between 3 and 5.
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From:atreic
Date:April 13th, 2005 12:43 pm (UTC)
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They're seeking solutions to Ax=0

Their first approach was x = A^-1 0, which annoyed them as they kept getting the trivial solution and nothing but. (of course, inverting the huge matrix kept them occupied for long enough not to have to think about this)

Now they're not at all interested in the trivial solution x=0, so they only want the case where the kernal is non zero, ie the matrix isn't invertable, ie when det A = 0.

So it does make sense (sort of) and inverting the matrix and finding the determinent are all sort of linked.

It's easy when you know how :-)
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From:feanelwa
Date:April 13th, 2005 12:46 pm (UTC)
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But but but. It's really obvious what to do if they just stopped hitting it with a hammer and looked at it first. Gah.

Mind you I only learned what inverting and determinants were a year ago so I suppose it's fresher in my head than theirs. Still, though, if they get employed by a company, could you discreetly tell us who? ;)
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From:girlofthemirror
Date:April 13th, 2005 03:39 pm (UTC)
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Making a lj post about how you are trying to not be addicted to lj...

*giggles*
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From:ilanin
Date:April 13th, 2005 06:30 pm (UTC)
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...and nobody pointing this out until the twentieth reply...(to be fair, I deliberately refrained from so doing, and I imagine a lot of other people did too, but still)
From:ex_robhu
Date:April 13th, 2005 07:26 pm (UTC)
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I envy your mathematical brain.
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