Happy…

Halloween and all related nomenclature for this particular seasonal holiday.

I won’t finish chapter 1.12 by tonight after all. Parties and all that. But soon. ^_^

Muse-chan wants to dress up as George W. Bush. I don’t think so.

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Document maintenance

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I had a hard drive wipe. My computer had gotten a virus. I was in college, and rather than try to clean it out (perhaps they couldn’t), the campus tech support decided to reformat the entire thing.

I fancied myself an archivist back then, but I was still inexperienced. I had all my school papers not only from those college courses but all previous papers through middle school stored on that hard drive. But it was just one hard drive. It never occured to me to use any external media of any sort.

Let’s just say I was pretty unhappy for a long time.

Right now, “Syncope” exists in four–yes, FOUR–complete forms. I have fully formatted versions on my laptop, my PC, a USB flash drive, and then the current online version. Then I have every individual chapter plus its matching notes in triplicate, since those are online-formatted with tags and individually uploaded during updates. Three copies of my full outline. Three copies of every single research piece I’ve scraped up over the years.

Excessive? Perhaps.* But when you lose a fifty-page senior thesis that was your crowning achievement in high school, you might react the same way.

Lesson of the day: For feck’s sake, BACK IT UP. ^_^

* I think a document comparison thingie of some kind would be easier. Hmm.

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It’s over.

Sit down, kids.

Reading Rainbow is over.

It’s a sad day (week or so) and a sad reminder on the state of true literacy in good ol’ America. It’s not enough to teach the A-B-Cs of how to read and write when no stupid American kid wants to read or write. They’re dumbing down everything, everything, everything.

True literacy includes the ability to understand deeper levels of meaning in all manner of written works (including academic) and concepts that aren’t so light that a cat’s sneeze would blow away the so-called plot. Honestly.

What made Reading Rainbow so good for a television show (there’s some irony in that) was that it taught kids like me to really embrace reading books. What do youths embrace now in this country?

That’s right.

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LJ account

I’ve decided not to renew the subscription to that, since I’m paying for this domain and hosting anyway. I think the only difference it (lack of subscription) will make is that the post pages won’t be styled and… not sure about the gallery.

That reminds me, of course, that I need to transfer the little gallery over here for a complete move. Oops!

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Squib #4: How much do you invest in your work?

“Dedication”

Occasionally, one of my professors would point this out to me. I would invest far too much into the research project I was writing at the time and do too much research, find too much information, and then just write too much, covering too much ground or going too deep. This would sometimes lead to a paper or project being late, but it was still good, and I would still receive a good grade. A much simpler analogy is the “Wikipedia clicker,” someone who starts on a specific topic page and just keeps clicking out, out, out, absorbing more, more, more indirect information. A couple of my friends have that problem. [cackle] I would joke that they need a parental lock on Wikipedia, but that only leads to a pot-kettle comparison.
Continue reading Squib #4: How much do you invest in your work?

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Blah-y Bits.

Honestly, I should just make a T-shirt and get it over with:


OMG talky bits! D: Noooo

…I guess there wasn’t much point to this post. ^_^;
But I’m busy researching and outlining and all that. Maybe I’ll post that squib I have saved up.

It’s been a couple weeks since I posted 1.11, and by now I can’t help but wonder if it just slipped through the cracks due to the end of the school year for most people or something. Maybe my timing’s off, and people are off gallivanting across Europe! (I hate you!)

Carry on.

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Readability

Out of curiosity, I looked up some information about readability and found a Brit-based calculator using the “new” SMOG reading formula. I ran Syncope chapter 1.10 and came up with these statistics:

The SMOG index: 14.6
Total words: 8317
Total number of polysyllabic words: 850
Total number of sentences: 656

The page goes on to say that “(a)s a rough indication, SMOG 9-10 = Entry Level 3, 11-12 = Level 1 and 13-14 = Level 2 but that it’s far from an exact science and SMOG should only be taken as one indicator among many for the suitability of a text.” So 14.6 is around “Level 2.” The interpretation from LiteracyTrust.org.uk indicates that Level 2 tops off this British scale, but I don’t know how this compares to American scales. According to these sites, chapter 1.10 has a readability level between the British newspapers The Sun and The Daily Express, but since I don’t read those newspapers, I have no idea what that means. (Ha!)

In another readability calculator that covers different formulae that do convert to US grade level estimates, the scores for chapter 1.10 are as follows:

  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease 75.50 (A higher score indicates easier readability; scores go from 0 to 100.)
  • Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 5.90
  • Gunning-Fog Score 8.10
  • Coleman-Liau Index 9.70
  • SMOG Index * 6.70 (This is probably the old SMOG formula)
  • Automated Readability Index 5.40
  • Average Grade Level 7.16 (Excludes Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score.)

A Wikipedia citation states:

Nearly all of today’s blockbuster writers write at the 7th-grade level, including John Grisham, Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, and Dan Brown. Experts today recommend writing legal and health information at the 7th-grade level. Laws often require writing medical and safety information at the 5th-grade level.

Hmmm, so it looks like my 1.10 results hit that U.S. 7th grade “sweet spot.” Of course, all these mathematical formulae are largely quantitative approximations and say nothing qualitative, but it’s still interesting (especially that there are so many different methods).

Anyway, I plugged in my rough draft of chapter 1.11 (only half finished) and got these scores:

  • Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease 71.90
  • Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 6.10
  • Gunning-Fog Score 7.90
  • Coleman-Liau Index 10.10
  • SMOG Index 7.10
  • Automated Readability Index 5.20
  • Average Grade Level 7.28

I noticed that shorter excerpts ended up getting scored higher. For example a 1.11 flashback sequence ended up getting an overall 10.28 readability score as opposed to the half-draft; an even shorter excerpt of the same flashback got a 12.30, and one sentence in the excerpt got a 20.54. Curious! I guess it’s an artifact of the mathematics.

Back to the point, though–chapter 1.11 is proceeding right along.

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URK.

This is confusing as hell. Okay, I think I got most of it working. I still haven’t tried the poll plugin, but that’s pretty minor.

Uh, please avoid commenting on any other of my entries besides this one since I’m still trying to figure out how to fully import/format my old Livejournal stuff here. Of course, I’m trying to get an OpenID plugin to work so people could still comment with their old Livejournal userids too. Hmmm.

TO DO LIST:

  1. Convert all entries’ internal links-to-LJ into links-to-WP. This will take some time. (Appears okay now)
  2. Test theme features, make sure everything works (e.g. commenting – login?). (Continue in live testing)
  3. Add thumbnails to represent old LJ layout. (Partial)
  4. Import/edit original About/Gallery stuff from LJ.
  5. Lock down old LJ posts and leave a link to here.
  6. Finish chapter 1.11. Post to site.
  7. Announce to…somewhere.
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Uh oh.

No job now.

I also know one other friend who was laid off this year, one laid off last year, and a bunch of people whose job searches have been empty since late last year. My priorities are shifting a bit, so that’s fair warning that chapter 1.11 probably won’t be released this month.

I mean, you wouldn’t want me to hurriedly put together some half-assed shet for Haruka-Shizuru conversation, right? Not that Haruka’s side takes a particular amount of finesse… Well, maybe her talky bits take a totally different kind of finesse.

[si~~~~~~igh] Economy, please get fixed soon. kthx

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Livejournal

LJ may be having problems since they cut a good chunk of their workforce and has difficulty making a profit.

I’ve bought my own domain and intend to host “Syncope” there among other things, but I’ll have to figure out how to mirror and stuff later. Maybe I’ll set up WordPress? We’ll see. I don’t think I’ll be moving completely off LJ anytime soon until the winds clearly point to the business failing or changing hands or something.

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And a happy new year.

2009 is going to be interesting. I mean, 2008 was pretty demn interesting already, but I expect 2009 to take the cake in terms of international attention span for a lot of people. One can only hope, anyway.

I don’t have any particular new year resolutions, though. I’d like to say that I’m going to continue consistently with Syncope and finish this year, but I’d rather not jinx it given how Life likes to throw curve balls when one least expects it. ^_^;

Aw, and it seems I have the beginning symptoms of a cold. How unlucky.

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