Site Meter

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I came across this piece of writing called iGooglesque by E. Sartwell, who is actually a cousin of mine (second cousin, once removed?). It was satisfying to see some analysis of what a large amount of time interacting with a web browser might mean, and what it says about personal choice and identity.

It left me with a desire to better understand these things, and led to a flurry of web searches and wikipedia reading on cyborgs. Particularly disturbing was the idea of distributed consciousness. I read something about this, and it opens up a new concept that then pushes me away from the path I've been following. To me, the concept of grounding oneself, of being very much in touch with one's surroundings, and of consolidating experience, and slowing down; all these things are very important and I would like to do them more often and be better at this. But reading about the idea of a distributed consciousness left me wondering if there wasn't a short cut to all of this. This left me with the same uneasiness I used to feel when contemplating the concept of determinism, after reading Richard Dawkins, for example.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

beam optics codes

So I'm continuing on with my conversion of the Excel optics code into Open Office Calc. I've been calling the code Open Optics. I've almost finished the part where a lattice is copied together with the appropriate formulas for calculating some uncoupled parameters by adding them up around the ring. Hard to keep up momentum on this project, because I think that no one will really use it.
But its really not that hard of a job to do, so I can keep moving forward slowly.

For a second project, I have two different possibilities. One is working on the idea of developing a TPSA library to work with Accelerator Toolbox (AT), so that the one turn map can be computed and used to optimize various quantities.

Secondly, there is the need for more collaboration on Accelerator Toolbox. Many different people use it at different labs and they are repeating the work. I can try to put the code in a central repository so that people can work together on it. This is probably the first thing to do before working on the TPSA project. Once more people are working together, it may be easier to use existing code and get more ideas about the right way to combine AT with TPSA. Of course, then, something like a normal form algorithm should be written- or at least something to find tune shift with amplitude.

For the moment, I need to learn better how to use Sourceforge and SVN. I did this with the Tracy code, but my collaborator knew more about it than me. I should set it up myself, and figure out how to do it from behind the firewall, etc.

Finally, there is MAD-X and PTC. This is the existing rich TPSA, normal form code. But its not used that much for light sources, and the tracking routines are somewhat obscure- buried in the PTC Fortran 90. Getting this physics (well, sort of- symplectic integration) out in the open, would be part of the point of collaborating on AT. The tracking routines are very easy to find and read there.

Monday, December 07, 2009


And one day we woke up, and everyone we ever knew was there.
The familiar smiles, the wry comments, each distinctive approach.
But there was a strange slowness and vagueness to each individual. Focus as you will, you couldn't quite grasp them. Small pieces came through, but not the whole. There was a kaleidoscope of moments, a flooding of halting attempts to communicate.
"This is who I am!", Alan said. "Ok, we believe you." But he had spoken too loudly. His mumbling had been mistaken for clarity. His words parsed, the structure analyzed, but his face was foggy, and the impressions he received were not coming through.

Friday, December 04, 2009


One can choose direction in many aspects of life.
I guess on this blog I have mostly dealt with my work and attitude towards online stuff.
Can analysis help? We may try to think about who we are communicating with, how we are doing it, and what we hope to gain from this. In a blog, you mainly put stuff out there and don't get a lot back. It can be valuable for the purpose of collecting thoughts and recording moments, but as far as interaction, its rather minimal. I suppose this is not set in stone. Some blogs may cultivate communities in which the relationship is quite different. Perhaps blog is just not a very good word, or its meaning is not specific enough.
Anyway, if one is to be serious about online communication and work this into one's life as a positive thing, and not always an experimental, rather unconscious hope that it will be therapeutic in some form, maybe a little more clarity and direction is required.
This is just to note here that I would like to do this. Either fade this aspect of my life out, or clarify it. The one to anonymous connection doesn't feel like a long term healthy solution. It is too murky, and though perhaps part of development, should be clarified.