Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Misogyny, Racism, Sexism

Yesterday I read a reprint from the New York Times (in the Asian Age) that lead me to follow the electro-brick road to Nicholas D. Kristof's blog. It would probably take half the night to read ALL the comments, but I did visit the two test-sites -- links available in Kristof's previous post -- at which one can do a click-along test to check for latent racism and other types of bias (not esp. amusing or interesting tests -- presumably someone or other will be earning their PhDs based on our little rat-clicks) and I did stop to think about some of the issues he raises.

Of course the context of his questions (and the comments) is the on-going US prez elections and the nominees-to-be. One of the commentators made me realize that ALL THREE front runners represent unpopular minorities -- racist, sexist and age-ist (I don't like "agist" and feel uncomfortable with ageist. Hence the hyphen). Anyway, it's an interesting article and I would strongly urge a visit to Kristof's site.

On a lighter note: for those who use Gmail chat, here are two "new" (i.e., new for ME) smileys: :(|) and also :{ -- needless to say, you've got to try it out on Gmail chat in order to see the little face twist around and change. Also :-| but that's kinda boring. Here's what I've seen so far in this family of smileys: :-) and :-P and B-) -- I'm not listing the frowny and noseless variations, but of course they work too.

And ALSO: for those who continue to worry about my declining mental capacities (see the post, some weeks ago re my sudden loss of Sudokability -- I'll post a link the next time I log in here) there is some good news. After a week or two or feeling sorry for myself I returned to regular Sudoking, but with this change: I stopped struggling over any puzzle that took longer than about five minutes to solve. This has resulted in two interesting (to me, anyway) realizations. One is that there definitely seems to be a change in the way I approach solving the puzzles, so I continue to think there WAS some little blizzard in my brain cells about three months ago (but I have no idea what) that accounts for a part of the sudden loss of ability. Two is that about nine-tenths of all the puzzles I do are solveable so I am pretty much back up to speed. If any one of them takes longer than the five to eight minutes I just lose interest.

To go back to point One -- the difference in approach is simply that I no longer attempt to be methodical. Whereas I used to begin by attempting to solve for each of the numbers in turn, I now just leap right in and look for whichever "volunteers" leap out immediately -- i.e., the ones that are obvious, even in the most difficult category of puzzles -- then look for secondary patterns. I wholly avoid the pencilled-in candidates approach because it's too time-consuming. Maybe that's what caused the sudden disconnect -- I was beginning to spend too much time on doing them, as a result of which they suddenly ceased to be fun. So it's either ink or nothing, and no agonizing allowed.

I wish I could name my methods -- I'd love to know whether or not I am applying the famous "swordfish" or "X-wing" or whateverwhatever techniques. Alas, I find it too boring to read the descriptions of what these techniques mean, so even though it's possible that I'm using them, I can't be sure. My approach is purely visual -- I create imaginary "force fields" for each of the nine numbers, to push aside options in different rows and columns, flushing out the spaces in which the available candidates are reduced to just two or one. I have tried to colourize the force fields but they've resisted that: a peculiarly nine-ish -- or seven-ish or four-ish or whatever-ish -- feeling zips down the line, stops short at the end and if a candidate is flushed, great. If not, start again elsewhere.

And on and on until ... ta-daaaaa! Done.


?! said...

(Please delete this comment in moderation. Just thought about how you do your sudoku and was reminded of a piece of mine about a person who used the Sudoku to test his intuition).

?! said...

Lo, and thanks for reading.

Being a dilettante of sorts in the writing field, was struck by some of your works.

Am a gorment babu in saddi dilli, and was happy to see some food for thought. As for the moderation, was only intended to stop piggy backing people from your blog to mine.

Finally, I rarely comment under my own id, so it was also to retain that privacy : )


Marginalien said...

Ahoy Dubious Mover! Thanks for your sensitivity to my possible unwillingness to enable my visitors to click your link but ... I don't mind. Really. Especially coz you gave me the choice. *grin*

?! said...

Hehhhhhhh. Fame, indeed.

--> Begins airkissing an imaginary crowd and "but I did not inhale" kinda replies about shady acts in past for the interviewers.

--> Concentrates on Crystal Karmic Focuser in order to stand up to the rigours of a high octane public life.

--> Goes for his medication.

: )