Wednesday 7th November 2012

by sophie

first: congrats to President Obama on his second term! what a nerve-wracking and exciting election it was. in general i do not enjoy very much politics as it is, in my opinion, far too political and rarely efficient nor rational. the best thing about election years, in my opinion, is the discussion and debate it causes people to have with each other. although i generally vote democratic I have had a number of really great conversations with my peers: liberal, conservative, and independent. however, here’s to hoping we do indeed move Forward with an open mind and real change.

no rant today, just a few things that have been on my radar lately and will hopefully get your brain a little extra food for thought on this rainy and frigid wednesday. and yes, i feel like writing in all lowercase today. interesting how the way words look on a page can have so much of an effect on one’s voice. in general, i have a thing for ALL CAPS (certain works, in my ideal world, should always be written in CAPS, such as the words of KANT), however it’s the first day back to school after a strange hurricane week, 4 days off from school, an exhilarating election, and i have a midterm tomorrow. so, undercaps (is that a thing?) it is.

recently read this article written by an MIT student whose experience mirrors my own conflicted feelings about attending a high-pressure high-cost university. no matter what college you may be studying at or not even in school at all, it is a very well-written, touching piece and a good thought-provoker.

second, and more nerdy-fun thing: say what you may about Facebook’s privacy policies/business interactions/Mark Zuckerberg, etc. etc. (I actually am not a huge fan but i am, as always, biased) but it is for sure one hell of an addicting product. and, being scientifically minded, i’ve always been fascinated by guessing the algorithms it uses to queue up one’s friend list and other auto-complete actions. i spend a good deal of time guessing why it choses to show the friends it does on a certain profile, etc. etc. but maybe i’m just a nerd.

ANYWAY, i found this very interesting JS bookmarklet and a great explanation of how it works on this blog post. in short, the bookmarklet will pop up a list of rankings based on how FB guesses what your order of searches will be. aka who does it think you stalk the most? potentially embarrassing, but certainly fun. the algorithm FB uses is called EdgeRank. google it for more fun distracting research!

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