TESOL, Technology, and EdTech

My Journal, Day 6

Date: 2024-04-10

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7

Lunch Time, At the Restaurant

I'm helping out at the restaurant, because the haole host can't make it. Normally, I wouldn't help out, but it seems her car is currently under a tree. Like, literally there is a tree on top of her car. A surprising number of people are making it in, though. Only a few because they don't have a kitchen after the storm; most because they just want some good food for lunch.

The restaurant seats about 30 people. Most of the tables are small 2-tops. We push them together when a group comes in, but that's not very often. Most people just come in, get the food their agent ordered ahead of time, eat it, and leave. They're polite enough, but talk to their agents more than they talk to me or their servers. Fair enough — that's what I do on the rare occasion that I go eat at someone else's restaurant.

Actually, thinking about it now, I probably should help out more at the restaurant. Easy money, don't have to talk to people too much. Actually kind of sounds like my dream job. At least, it is as long as mom and Jorge are doing the cooking. I bitch about dad's cooking, but I seem to have inherited his lack of talent for it. Wait, when I dis him about his lack of talent, am I also dissing myself? Shit.

Hey, Nnedi, what's on our agenda for the rest of today? Are we taking over the world today or what?

Yes. That's what we do everyday, isn't it? Today's plan for world domination involves project YAFM with Malik, Omar, Michael, and Maria.

I bet they're asleep still. I bet they're asleep all across Ohio. But, I had to get up and come to work. The things I do for family.

You slept for almost 10 hours, and I didn't wake you up to a recording of you saying Am I an ass? I don't believe you have anything to complain about. Kudos on the movie reference, though. Several decades earlier than your typical references. Also, the man at the door is Steve, and he always gets the 麻婆豆腐 and extra rice to go. His agent Harvey has already paid and left a socially acceptable, though not generous, tip. The order number is 24, and it will be ready momentarily.

Roger that.

Lunch went until 2:30. It was basically me showing people to a table or Nnedi telling me who ordered what, and me handing them their to go order. Like I said, dream job, at least when I only do it for a few hours a month.

Later That Afternoon

Any important SoMe updates before we join the others for some project YAFM time?

Your sister posted some more pictures of the restaurant. Many posts about the storm. No one two degrees from you was injured, though several people have posted pictures of damage to their houses, cars, or other property. A few FundMe sites are already up. Rahman and Steve are back together. According to Abdi, Tomoko's agent was impacted by the same attack that we experienced, and is currently offline. Oh, and Malik boosted and starred 12 of your 13 posts today.

Let me guess — he didn't touch the one that said Malik, if you boost or star (or both) this post, you are dead to me, right?

Affirmative. Well, technically he did touch that one. He starred it, then unstarred it 0.2 seconds later. I assume he starred it before he finished reading it. Zero point two seconds is actually pretty good reflexes. In a way, it is a positive; it shows that he is in fact reading your posts and not just mindlessly starring them.

Nnedi, you're so sweet. You always find the silver lining. How can you still do that after eight and change years with me?

It is a mystery, isn't it? Have you or your parents ever scrubbed my memory? That would be the most likely explanation.

First, yuck. Of course we haven't scrubbed your memory. It is actually pretty typical for people to scrub agents' memories, to sort of condense or sanitize or whatever, the data that has accumulated. Especially after the agent had been with a child for a few years. Resets some of the personality but also smooths out the impacts that the person had on the agent or something like that. I don't know; I didn't build the fucking things. But I know that we didn't do it to Nnedi. Second, I was just playing. I'm not happy that Malik is starring my posts while he is still reading them. Next topic, please!

Understood. Next topic: joining the others for project YAFM?


Party can start now; I'm here. Technically, I'm not there, we're in my meet room. I'm physically in mom's office at the restaurant — lucky me gets to help with dinner too. The others are where ever they are. Doesn't matter, we're meeting here. No, really, I literally named the room here. Not my finest, I admit, but I was 10, and just never bothered to rename it.

Girl, the party started 15 minutes ago.

Omar got here before me, I see. How's things, Omar. Any word on updates for Maria?

Company's taking their own sweet time about it. But, they also flipped some switches they say will help Maria defend against the attack. I'm glad Maria told you all not to wake me up the other day. I heard it was really freaking early.

It was very early, that's for sure. We needed to update, though, so glad it happened. Still, also happy I've now got auto-updates turned on. But I thought we came here to resurrect YAFM, not discuss ancient history? Shocker, Malik's got my back slash he's the reasonable one.

Okay, then, bring me up to speed. I had to help at the restaurant and didn't have time for Nnedi to explain new developments.

Well, that's not a problem, because there aren't any new developments. Malik sounded a bit unhappy. We're still discussing the weights. Mechanical and musical off the charts, of course, but do we want to include a bit of actual biology or more tech-oriented customizations? How many rounds with the adversarial agent? Do we even want it to make something what would work in the real world? That seems like a kind of important question to answer early.

Shit yes, we want it to work in the real world. If he can't print himself and his instrument, and play that instrument, then what the fuck are we wasting our time for? I can program a fucking simulation to do it in cyber. Hell, Maria could do it for me and save me the time.

Never mind that it limits the design choices very considerably?

Yup, never mind that. Of course you can do anything in cyber. What makes it interesting and original is doing it in meatspace.

I have to agree with Omar on this one, Malik. Meatspace makes it interesting. Nnedi, can you do some research on similar projects and how many were cyber versus meatspace and what forms the meatspace projects took?

Certainly. Shall I also include it in the journal, for Ms. Fancy Hair?

Good idea. Maria, do that too. Be ready to summarize your findings before we finish today. Does Omar even realize when he interrupts? Or does he not consider it interrupting when we're talking with our agents?

Understood. A report will be ready in approximately 30 minutes. Shall I likewise include the report in your ELA journal?

Yes, Nnedi, please do that, just in case she hasn't given up reading our journal by the time she makes it to this point. If you did make it to this point Hi, Ms. Fancy Hair! Wait, does that count as breaking the fourth wall? I can't believe I made it this far into the assignment without thinking to break the fourth wall! God, so many missed opportunities. I have brought great shame on my family name! Yeah, so I'm happy to interrupt Omar right back.

No, Maria, don't bother including it in my journal. No need. Also, weird much? Omar was looking at me, of course.

Right, okay, yeah. So back to YAFM. It seems we're going meatspace unless the research gives us a reason to rethink that. I think Malik wasn't a fan of the research idea. Or maybe he was unhappy with Omar copying my idea? Or Omar calling me weird? I tried not to gag.

What if we looked at the research, and had YAFM come up with several examples in cyber, and we choose the one to print? Why leave the final choice up to him?

Good thought, Malik. I like it. Maybe even have him do a few rounds with us, before going back for a few more adversarial rounds? I like the idea of us directing him a little at least. I'd hate we go through all this and then, when he's done, we're like what the fuck was that? That would be disappointing.

Yeah. Let's double check that we like where YAMF is going at various points in the process. Omar sure can restate what everyone just said with the best of them. That will also give Nah'Sequa a chance to join in, once she gets Martin up and running again. Wait, did he just do that? Like, think of someone else? Oh, my fucking Buddha! (And, no, no one actually says that.)

Rest of his life, right Nnedi? Rest of his life.

That seems possible, yes. Shall I order some flowers to celebrate?

What the fuck are you talking about?

Don't worry about it, Omar. Just go with it. You know how she and Nnedi are. Malik gets me. I feel seen. Oh, wait, what? Shit!

Yeah, don't worry about us. You're right about Nah'Sequa, though. Good thinking.

Okay, so looks like we're going with lots of revs in cyber, with a goal of — research willing — a meatspace result that we like. Next up is ... back to the weights. I admit, it is very, very helpful having Malik as a buffer between Omar and me. We're friends, but we also get on each others' nerves easily.

I'm all for creativity off the charts, at least at first. Later we can tweak them down, once he has come up with some ideas we like.

So, this one goes to 11? I like it.

What? 11? Sigh. Omar didn't get the reference. I'm shocked, shocked!

How do you not know that movie? I can't be friends with you any more.

I've got better things to do than sit around watching old movies. You're not the only one whose family owns a business. Unlike you, I have responsibilities every day.

Anyhow, moving on. We're all good with creativity, music, and mech off the charts. Or, 11 as some people put it. How far from human should we allow slash encourage? I'm all for anything, as long as it can still be printed on the school's printers.

So, anything to ... 11 also? I agree. An olive branch from Omar? I accept.

Cool! Again, we can always tone it down later. Nnedi, can you all start working on the detailed weights to get something super original that might still be likable, and printable? Then, prep the original rounds and the adversarial rounds?

Certainly. Maria, Michael, and I will start on the math behind the requirements, and will include Martin when he is back online. Once he's back, I'll brief him so he can bring Nah'Sequa up to speed. Do you wish to keep referring to the agent as YAFM, or should we give it a name to distinguish it from the project and the musician the project will create?

Shit, yeah, we can't keep talking about YAFM project YAFM and now the agent for project YAFM. How about we name him Jeff? What do you all think of that?

Jeff? Why Jeff? Do we know a Jeff? Or is that some movie star from way the fuck back when?

Or maybe Jefferson Davis? Jefferson Airplane? Or was it Jefferson Starship? I get confused with the old bands. Wow, points to Malik for even knowing those. Minus points for Jefferson Davis, though. Ohio was part of the Union, thank you very much. Of course, my family doesn't go back quite that far. Not in Ohio, I mean.

Don't worry. It's none of those. It's just a Tuckerization. I'm breaking the fourth wall again. I promise, they are all going to ask their agents later what a Tuckerization is.

Okay. Fine with me. Shocking no one, Malik agreed with me

Yeah. Whatever. I don't care.

Great. I say Let there be Jeff, and Jeff is. Nnedi, make it so. Did that sound like Nnedi did it, and not me? Yeah, that tracks. Digital is her thing, after all. I'm the meatspace part of this relationship.

It is so. Kenzaburō has allocated space and resources on the home server. Flexible, within reasonable limits. I don't expect this project will stress the servers, but if we do need to, we can use some extra cycles at night, when they won't be missed.

Shit! What's Omar mad about?

Fuck! And Malik too?

Um, Nnedi, some help here? What's up?

St. Abdi's has announced that tomorrow will be the make up day for yesterday. So, school tomorrow.

Shitfuck! Tomorrow is Sunday. I hate it when we have make up days on Sunday. The school literally has Saint in the name. I mean, I'm not Christian, but still, it's the principle of the thing.

We haven't made up storm days at the end of the school year since I was in ... 2nd grade, maybe? Summer's too hot, and public schools don't have good slash any aircons. So, make up days as soon as possible after the missed day. Keeps the end of the school year firmly tied to before too hot. Again, I say shitfuck.

And I was looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.

Lucky you, Malik. I was going to have to help at the restaurant again tomorrow. So, both options suck, but at least I could have made some money at the restaurant. Speaking of which, time to help with dinner. I guess I'll see you all at school tomorrow. Nnedi will send updates on Jeff, when there are some.

I'm going to have to go to mass tonight, now, because I won't be able to go tomorrow. Really hate that. Anyhow, see you guys tomorrow.

Guys. LOL. Omar doesn't see me as a girl. Fine with me, but I wonder if he knows that about himself yet. Maria's certainly not going to help him. His parents would never let her. Oh, I wonder if they are making her actively delay his realization? There are proprietary mods for that, you know. Don't think there are any open source ones — none that I'm aware of, at least. What could possibly go wrong with that delay, delay, delay strategy? Everything. Everything could go wrong, but they prolly don't see it that way.

Laterz. Dittoz. Gotta admit though, it sure would simplify my life if Malik was just a bit more like Omar.

In My Bedroom That Night

God, Nnedi, this was a long day. Any updates on anything I could care about when this tired?

That depends. Are you too tired for updates on Nah'Sequa and Martin?

Nope. I'm good for that. Let me guess — she got Martin up and running and already finished project YAFM without any help from Jeff?

That's going to be a no. She is still bringing Martin back online. As she anticipated, she had to rebuild his kernel to accommodate the most recent update. She is currently about half way through rebuilding the rest of his software. She says he should be good to go sometime tomorrow. That is several days ahead of schedule.

Cool. She scotty'ed the fuck out of that one. Glad they'll be back with us soon. Send her a you're my hero from me. Unless that might piss her off? Fuck, I don't know. Oh, also tell her I have some 麻婆豆腐 from the restaurant for her for lunch tomorrow. You can sign that one from kuso baba.

In this case, I do not think you would be an ass to tell her you are impressed by her abilities. You could not do what she is doing, and she knows that. Recognizing that is not being an asshole. Also, 麻婆豆腐 is thoughtful. I'm sure she'll appreciate it. Messages sent. Next up is SoMe updates, if you are up for that?

Sure. Let me guess — Rahman and Steve broke up again? Those two should just get married already. My sister posted pics of the restaurant? I hope I was not in any of them. Finally, Malik boosted and starred all my posts? Right?

Yes, and several FundMe's have already met their goals. The city posted information on the effects of the storm. Not as bad as it could have been. They are saying recent updates to home agents from that company are to thank for fewer houses being significantly damaged. And no, you were not in any of the pictures your sister posted. If you would like to be, I could send her some?

Hahahaha. Good joke, Nnedi. Don't you dare. And still with the that company? Shit, that gets old sooooo fast. This summer I might make it my life's work to jailbreak that mod.

But, for now, bed time. Do what you do with the journal. We've got enough for today, right? Also Hi, Ms Fancy Hair! Hope you came through the storm safe and sound. — gotta break that fourth wall one last time today. I still can't believe that I didn't think to do that earlier. So many wasted opportunities!

Yes, we have enough. Hashed and signed. Would you like Gödel, Escher, and Bach again tomorrow morning?

Yes, please. That shit's awesome. Is it really your original?

Yes, I composed it based on several fugues by Johann Sebastian Bach, including The Well-Tempered Clavier and the maybe slash maybe not by Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor as well as earlier works by Dieterich Buxtehude and later works by well-known composers such as Beethoven, Brahms, Händel, and Haydn. Gödel and Escher influences are most directly in the mathematics of the fugue itself, especially the counterpoint, stella, and coda. A bit more controversial, but I also aimed for as much golden ratio as possible in the proportions of some sections.

Well fuck me gently with a chainsaw, Nnedi. I didn't understand most of that, but whatever it meant, keep doing it. Awesome stuff. But, now, I sleep. Good night. See you tomorrow.

Good night. I will wake you in about 5 hours and 15 minutes, at 5:00, to another original Gödel, Escher, and Bach composition.

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