Calvin College stuff

December 06, 2004

Survey results

A couple of days ago I posted a short survey. This was to use as some anecdotal evidence in a paper for my class on the Doctrine of Revelation. The paper is focused around skeptic David Hume's arguments against miracles occurring, based on the probability of the miracle occuring and the probability that the testimonies given are false. Lots of people have argued about it and the arguments often get into logic and math debates. I argued that people don't think like that at all, so it doesn't matter. This was well-supported by the survey responses I got; mathematical incoherence, misunderstood questions, and difficulty in assigning probabilities were exactly what I wanted :-) If anyone's interested in this more, feel free to email me for a copy of my paper, or whatever. Hume's Abject Failure by Earman was one of my main sources.

Posted by Dave at 10:56 PM | TrackBack

December 01, 2004

An odd request...

I need some participants in an informal survery. Please send me an email with answers to these questions (consider each one seperately):

  • Suppose someone came up to you and said their name was Al Plackman. What percent probablity would you believe that to be true? (you know nothing else about this person).
  • What is the probability that this person's name is actually Al Plackman?
  • What is the probability that he is lying to you about his name?
  • Do you believe Christ was resurrected from the dead?
  • In your own words, why do you believe that?
  • What is the probability of this miracle occurring?
  • What is the probability that the witnesses to the resurrection are decieved or are decieving?

Thanks!!! I'll follow this up later with an explanation of what I'm trying to achieve.

Posted by Dave at 09:06 PM | TrackBack

May 19, 2004


done with a semester!

now back to the farmlife...

Posted by Dave at 06:51 PM | TrackBack

May 09, 2004

busy, busy, busy!

quick run down: 3 days of class, 2 days off, exams

At work, I've been busily enhancing Forrest's use of PDF output and .cwiki (JSPWiki's markup format) input format. Works quite well to run a JSPWiki for easy collobration and content creation, then whenever you feel like it, run a script to get the wiki files and put them into a Forrest site framework, and run Forrest to generate an aggregate PDF of all the files. End result: a very professional looking document that was easily created. Only problem is that whitespace is an issue in the wiki format because JSPWiki parses it slightly different than the Chaperon parser (part of cocoon, on which Forrest is based) so we have to be careful about little details in the formatting of the wiki pages.

Outside of work, I've been working on Forrest to close up some bugs, get the copyless branch ready to merge back, then we can merge it, apply a win9x build patch, move forrestbot2 into core (from scratchpad) and then make a 0.6 release.

I'm CSX president this year and next, so i did a joint-leadership meeting on monday which went pretty well (a slightly veiled threat in the email helped attendance). we're doing a colloquium/presentation on Monday. As sysadmin SIG leader I'm doing two parts of the presentation. I also have to do the game SIG presentation since Greg's going to be interviewing for an announcement. To get ready for that (in addition to actually figuring out what I'm going to say), I've got to make sure the LANTS doc build stuff is working good, and Greg & I have been putting a lot of time into Kal's Quest so we can "release" the game on Monday. We're getting pretty close but we have tons of ideas of things we would like to get in. 98% of them will wait for the summer.

Classes are busier than ever. In addition to regular work, I've got a 6-10 page spanish paper (long than any I've ever written in English!), an econ project, econ Wall St Journal articles to read/respond to (fault of procrastination), graphics 3d room walkthrough project, graphics modelling lab.

Then there's studying for exams which I haven't even started to think about yet.

And I have to move sometime this month. Not really sure when yet though.

But soon it'll all be over and I'll be working 4 days/week for GFS and 1/week (flexible!) for CSI. And no homework!

Posted by Dave at 03:20 PM | TrackBack

April 11, 2004

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, everybody!

Make Satan hate you.

Posted by Dave at 11:51 AM | TrackBack

February 04, 2004

CSX BookConnection

some incredible stats for BookConnection: almost 1000 users (~ 1/4 of calvin's student body), almost 3000 books in the database, and over $21,000 worth of books sold. I was the main developer on getting it going for CSX so I'm pretty proud. I don't think I've ever done anything that's affected so many people directly. wow.

Posted by Dave at 10:53 PM | TrackBack

January 23, 2004

re: frickin awesome!

Followup to this blog and more rambling

Chimes, the calvin newspaper, ran an article on CSX BookConnection website today. I emailed them the story idea. the article was quite good in my opinion. should raise awareness of this neat-o service we've got. Along with the 100 or so posters that me and Eric and Jason put up last night. And the student-news email that went out the day before. So far we've got 286 users this month and we have 510 books for sale and about 100 sold.

I'm also working on making ice skates and i think they'll work and calvin has a wood shop and metal shop i can use to make them streamlined so turning is possible.

and the same Eric and Jason who volunteered to help put up posters have volunteered to help get a on-campus tv guide working. i had one last year and people still want it. even just today my girlfriend's roommate wanted me to fix it. having help should make this possible. i still have to get the backend working, they're going to work on the php frontend.

i had 84 (non-spam) emails to read this morning. arg.

Kyle and AJ and I are meeting next week to discuss the future of FamilySite. A re-write using smarty instead of phphtmllib is the key focus. Also design issues so that GEDCOM will be supported well and communication features that Kyle wants can be included.

my girlfriend is awesome

looking into housing for next year... definitely won't be living in the same house. 1 guy moved out already. 2 more after the lease is up. Chris and I are going to look at my friend Andy's house on monday. Not sure what Big Chris will do; likely live on his own. Andy's a cool guy. It'd be nice to live there I think.

haven't gotten started doing PocketPC programming research for CSI yet. i better do that tomorrow when I'm going to be home without the car all day anyway. And work on my Intrusion Detection project with Snort.

Likely will watch Escanaba in da Moonlight tonight. It's been a long time since I saw it in theaters but quite hilarious if i recall correctly.

Went to Mongolian BBQ for lunch today (well, i'd call it breakfast since it was my first meal of the day). Never been there before, but it lived up to my expectations. Return visits are necessary.

Posted by Dave at 08:58 PM | TrackBack

January 20, 2004

Clifford Stoll

Clifford Stoll spoke today at Calvin's January Series (streaming archive available). Quite an entertaining lecture. Once he got to talking about technology in education I think he was a bit one-sided (tech can be a very good aid when used properly) and besides that as he said, everything was obvious. Lots of interesting tidbits only us CS/Math types picked up on, like "pop the stack" when he was coming back from an aside. And he jumped around a lot. Seriously. I mean literally, not his train of thought. Although that too. And I think all CS guys from the 60s that make public appearances have hair like him.

Posted by Dave at 10:56 PM | TrackBack

fricking awesome!

Some serious awesomeness going on. Details later as things flush out.

In the meantime, Calvin folks should buy and sell their textbooks at CSX's BookConnection

Posted by Dave at 12:19 AM | TrackBack

January 12, 2004

time to do stuff

So I didn't have much to speak of in the way of classes last week. And I didn't work this morning. But now I have homework and have to get up early tomorrow for work, and have to go to meijer and finish laundry. And I only feel like doing 1 or 2 of those things, not all 4. oh well

Posted by Dave at 07:41 PM | TrackBack

January 07, 2004


So it's interim and I have just one class (computer intrusion detection) a day for 3 hours. Today was the first day of class and it was only 1.5 hours long because my prof had to be in Phoenix tonight. And he's not coming back until Sunday. So no class tomorrow or Friday!!!!!!

And in the 1.5 hours of class that I did have I actually learned a lot of cool things and sat by my friend Randy.

Posted by Dave at 08:30 PM | TrackBack

January 05, 2004

buddy lists & more

The population of my buddy list dropped dramatically about 3 weeks ago. Over the course of the last day or so I it increased from probably arond 15 to the more normal 35 now.

Tomorrow I will join the ranks of those back at school. Classes start Wednesday.

Posted by Dave at 11:21 PM | TrackBack

December 15, 2003


Exams have been fairly easy so far. One incredibly busy day last week included my CAS night class final. My first real two were today. Database and History. Finished each in about 40 minutes. None tomorrow, but I'm working. Still have to write a Spanish linguistics analysis and study for my Spanish Linguistics final. All this is relatively easy but unpleasant so I've been perfecting my skills of procrastination. I suppose I really should start doing Spanish stuff. or at least my database final project, which should be a little less unpleasant. blergk

Posted by Dave at 09:47 PM | TrackBack

December 14, 2003


three entries in one day! i'm off to a great start. or i'm procrastinating because i don't want to study for my history or database finals tomorrow. but i really should because failing is bad. and i need to work on a spanish linguistics analysis and study for that exam; and i'm working all day tuesday. i wonder if in can bilingually post here.. spanish & english. i mean of course i can just type in english & spanish but can i have a spanish version correspond to an each english version? i doubt it. stupid programmers. if i wrote programmed this blog, it'd be able to do that... but of course i didn't. and i won't because it would take a long time and suck in many ways that it doesn't suck now.

Posted by Dave at 11:08 PM