Monday, May 12, 2008

R?ttd #1

I'm debating about starting a series here: Random questions throughout the day (see title). Instead of forgetting the questions I was going to ask throughout the day, or post them on twitter as they occur to me, I think I may try to gather them up here. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's so I feel like I'm actually posting things here with some sort of regularity (like that's important). Perhaps I just don't want to be limited to 140 characters (although you might like it better if I were). Perhaps I'm looking for (and successfully finding) more ways to avoid work. Or I want to express questions, but not take the time to write up a full post about any of them in particular? Anyway, here's today's (issue 1) of r?ttd:
  1. I think I'm missing something with XHTML+CSS. When I think about it, my xhtml is still too focused on the presentation. I have to put a divs or spans around things so I can place them how I want them to show up on the page, with extra divs for spacing and other decoration. But I thought the point was to separate display from content? Move display handling over to the css side? But if I don't have enough divs in place to position and decorate my page, how do I make it look like I want? I'm sure an example would help this explanation, but I should be doing real work anyway.
  2. In this article, the author states that "Programmers understand hierarchies, but many users don't think that abstractly". This is removed from the point of the article, but it still stood out. Seriously? Users don't understand hierarchies? Sigh. I read that article and also this one in the same day, which seems about as noteworthy as anything else I talk about. Anyway, I found both interesting.
  3. Am I ever going to find time to really learn about all the acronyms floating around? Should I post a list of the ones I'm most interested in learning on this blog? One of my sidebar items? Would anybody notice? Would anybody care? (If you're still reading this far into the post, I guess you might notice)
  4. Am I ever going to _do_ anything? Should I try to trim down the amount of reading I do, and instead actually go "out" (while staying indoors) and try to build something? Or "out" (wherever people go) and meet people? Anybody have any tips for good ways to trim down your feed reader list?
  5. Heading to the beach next week. Should I go without a computer? Don't people say unplugging is good sometimes? How long will it take me to catch back up on my rss feeds when I get back?
  6. This article (pdf) talks about engaging students. It seems to be mostly talking about younger students. Does it apply in the college setting? How should I engage my math students? Not entirely related, but this article talks about scientists opening up their notebooks to the world, before publishing, to expand science itself. How does it apply to mathematics? How about to Ph.D. students? Should I be posting here about the things I'm doing in my research? Would somebody come along and finish my work before I get a degree? If somebody posted a helpful comment on some key point I was stuck on, would I still be granted a degree? Was I ever going to get one anyway?
  7. Do I (do you?) have a romanticized view of fast food? Like... the people who eat there are busy getting things done, and don't have time to stop and prepare some actual meal? And, gosh, don't I wish that was me? Well, even if I'm not that busy, and never getting anything done, I can pretend by going to taco bell at night and getting some mt dew (to keep me up, so I can get more done?) and tacos?
  8. Did you make it this far through the post? Kudos.

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