Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

Archive for August, 2009

Blogging Month

Posted by Michael Dickens on August 31, 2009

I have officially written at least one post every day during August. Except one. But 30 out of 31 days is a pretty damn good record, huh?

Posted in Off-Topic | Leave a Comment »

New Keyboard Layout Project: Serious Problem

Posted by Michael Dickens on August 31, 2009

Uh-oh. I’ve just noticed a huge bug. The inward roll scorer was not working properly. I fixed it, but now it’s getting some unusual results. I am going to have to seriously revamp the scoring system to get the results I want.

Although I did like MTGAP 3.5, it has far fewer inward rolls than I thought. It’s only 4.98% inward rolls, and not 7.66%. In fact, I had inward rolls and outward rolls switched. It’s a nice looking layout, and probably better than version 2.0, but it is certainly not optimal.

Here’s what I mean by “unusual”. This layout looks very strange to me.

, y c d b  x l u f .
a i n t g  h r e s o
q j p w z  k m ; v '

However, after I examined it, I saw that it is actually very good. It has better distance and same finger than MTGAP 3.5, and MUCH better inward rolls. It does not perform so well on row changing, and it will probably still need tweaking, but it’s very good. Its same finger is even better than Colemak.

I also got this:

, g h c b  x l u p y
a t o s d  m r e n i
q j . f z  k w ; v '

It scores well overall (and especially well on inward rolls) but does not do so well on same finger. But TH sure looks uncomfortable. I’m going to have to fix that. Phynnboi was right about that.

Posted in Keyboard Release, Keyboards, New Keyboard Layout Project | Leave a Comment »

Texting Layout

Posted by Michael Dickens on August 31, 2009

Phones with a full keyboard, like Blackberries and iPhones, need optimized layouts just as much as any other keyboard. But as I have discovered, it’s actually a pretty simple optimization. Check this out.

x p m w v  ' z ; , .
r h t s b  y g e a i
l n d c f  j k o u q

Thoughts? Improvements?

Posted in Keyboard Release, Keyboards | 2 Comments »

The Greatest Stimulus Package Analogy

Posted by Michael Dickens on August 31, 2009

The problems with our economy can be represented by a big whirlpool. The government’s plan is to plug up that whirlpool so that nothing else can fall into it. So they are throwing so much money into the whirlpool that it has to get jammed.

Does that seem like a good idea to you?

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

Moral Arguments from Misunderstanding

Posted by Michael Dickens on August 30, 2009

Frequently, I see both sides of a debate making arguments based on an unsupported assumption that the other side does not hold. For example, pro-abortioners say “it’s a woman’s choice what she does with her own body”, which falsely assumes that a fetus is part of the mother’s body. This is painful to listen to, especially when there are so many good arguments in favor of abortion. Similarly, the argument for gay marriage that “we love each other just as much as a straight couple” is irrelevant to most anti- gay marriagers, since they think that gay love is the spawn of Satan, or something like that (I don’t actually know what those crazy basterds believe).

The problem here is a fundamental misunderstanding between both sides of the argument. The solution is to try to see the argument from the other side’s perspective and find common ground. Base your case off of certain assumptions that both sides hold. Even the two most-opposed people on earth still must agree on many, many points. For example, nearly everyone probably assumes that humans exist (even though it is unproven). Even people who “know” it is unproven still assume existence in their daily lives.

So the next time you are in a disagreement, try to uncover the foundation upon which each side is standing. Try standing on your opponent’s foundation. Find shared ground. And then you might actually get somewhere.

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments »

The Evil of Global Warming, As Explained by Chip Giller

Posted by Michael Dickens on August 29, 2009

So-called “global warming” is just a secret plot by wacko tree huggers to make America energy independent, clean our air and water, improve the fuel efficiency of our vehicles, kick-start 21st-century industries, and make our cities safer and more livable. Don’t let them get away with it!
–Chip Giller, founder of

Posted in Global Warming | Leave a Comment »

MTGAP 2.0 and 3.5 Now Available

Posted by Michael Dickens on August 28, 2009

Thanks to LRFLEW, my keyboard layouts are now available. I do not think that they work if you’re not on a Mac. But if you are on a Mac, you can get MTGAP 2.0 and 3.5. In addition, the QWERTY shortcuts are retained, so the QWERTY zxcv positions still work.

Version 2.0

Version 3.5


1. Click on the above link to the layout of your choice.

2. Copy the contents of the page into an XML file that you create on your computer.

3. Take that XML file and put it into the folder Macintosh HD/Library/Keyboard Layouts.

4. Log out, then log back in.

5. Go to “System Preferences” and click “International.”

6. Go to the “Input Menu” tab. You will see a list of keyboard layouts with check marks next to them. Scroll down until you find the name of the layout you downloaded, and click the check box next to it. An icon should appear at the top of the screen. Presto! You can now switch between layouts!

Or you can just download the installer that LRFLEW created.

Posted in Keyboards, Software Release | 2 Comments »

New Keyboard Layout Project: The Optimal Layout?

Posted by Michael Dickens on August 28, 2009

MTGAP 3.5 is the best layout, even with several criteria changes:

' y l d b  j p u m ,
o i t s c  h n e r a
x q w g z  v f . k ;

So the question now is, is it really the best layout?

-Low same finger, most of which is on the strong middle or index finger.
-A lot of keys are in good positions. I very much like the position of l (ell).
-Very good inward rolls.
-A good balance of outward rolls to satisfy both those who find them easy and those who don’t like them.
-A good-looking home row.
-The word “are” is super easy to type.

-Same finger, while low, could be better.
-hand alternation is pretty bad, though better than Capewell or Arensito.

How does it compare to Colemak, MTGAP 2.0, and Carpalx GYLMW?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Keyboard Release, Keyboards, New Keyboard Layout Project | 6 Comments »

New Keyboard Layout Project: Followup

Posted by Michael Dickens on August 27, 2009

My previous post was erroneous. MTGAP 3.6 was in fact the convergence point. But MTGAP 3.5 still scores better for some reason.

Posted in Keyboards, New Keyboard Layout Project | Leave a Comment »

New Keyboard Layout Project: Another Cost and a Strange Development

Posted by Michael Dickens on August 27, 2009

I added another fitness element. If the curve follows the natural roll of the hand, then it should be supported. I made it cheaper to change rows if the row changes were (QWERTY positions) DV/VD, FE/EF, MK/KM, or IJ/JI. After adding that and running the program once, I got this strange result:

, p h d k  j c u l y
a n o t m  g s e r i
q b . f z  v w ; x '

It looks so different from the other results that I don’t entirely trust it. But h and o on the same finger? What? But perhaps surprisingly, it actually has very low same finger.

I ran a comparison, and it turns out that it is actually not the best layout for the score set. Apparently, adding that extra fitness criterion caused the program to take longer to converge upon the best layout.


k c f g b  j h u w .
o s a t d  l n e r i
q v , p z  ; m y x '

Fitness:       18.99
Distance:      1822.85
Inward rolls:  7.50%
Outward rolls: 5.27%
Same hand:     22.29%
Same finger:   0.85%
Row change:    9.89%
Home jump:     0.30%
To center:     3.16%


, p h d k  j c u l y
a n o t m  g s e r i
q b . f z  v w ; x '

Fitness:       19.49
Distance:      1864.59
Inward rolls:  8.67%
Outward rolls: 6.06%
Same hand:     24.29%
Same finger:   0.76%
Row change:    11.67%
Home jump:     0.23%
To center:     2.92%

3.6 has better same finger, but 3.5 is a good deal better overall. How could this happen? At this time, I have no idea. I will probably not be using the additional criterion, since it makes the convergence rate so slow.

Posted in Keyboard Release, Keyboards, New Keyboard Layout Project | 6 Comments »

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