carterallen

The Poignant Purple Dot

1 Jul 2013

About a year ago, my older brother Austin moved out of our childhood home in Denver and headed to Los Angeles. At the last minute, we decided that I would drive out with him, at least as far as Las Vegas. My own classes were beginning soon in Denver, so I wouldn’t be able to go all the way to LA, but I would at least be able to spend a day and half of the two-day drive with him. I’m not exaggerating when I say the decision was last-minute: I decided to go with him about an hour before we left, and my packing consisted of throwing my iPad, a change of clothes, and a toothbrush into a small bag. Out the door we went, waving goodbye to our mother and our house. Though I would be returning less than two days later, we both knew that we were waving goodbye to the past 16 years of our life.

Continue reading »

~

The Great USB Key Conspiracy

4 Jun 2013

After being admitted to the University of Southern California, I began receiving quite a bit of mail from their various departments. The Viterbi School of Engineering, where I will be attending school next year, was the first to send me a USB key, which I promptly ignored. Assuming it was just a flash drive full of documents, I cast it aside like I had with almost every other piece of cardinal-and-gold paper that had arrived in my mailbox. Little did I know that the key was just the beginning of a vast conspiracy. What followed was the unraveling of a direct-mail tale of corruption and deceit, a story that exposed the seedy underbelly of USB-based correspondence.

Continue reading »

~

New RSS Feed

8 Nov 2012

Feedburner has been causing problems (not just for me!), and I’ve moved the site to a normal Atom feed with no analytics attached to it. You can resubscribe to the feed at its new location.

Continue reading »

~

Ignorance is Bliss

5 Nov 2012

In our society, the term “stupid” carries with it a significant negative judgement, so much so that it is typically used as an insult. It is therefore not commonly considered that stupidity, and its cohort, ignorance, could actually bring with them a great increase of happiness. With no need to learn anything beyond the skills needed to survive, those who elect to remain in intellectual darkness are left with many years of unused life, life that could be spent falling in love, or serving a prison sentence. In contrast, those who feel that continued education is necessary spend many years of their limited lifespan learning, leaving precious little time to enjoy the fruits of their labor. We often observe that “simple pleasures” can be the most gratifying of all, and it cannot be denied that simple people experience more simple pleasures. In fact, many activities that may be negative for an educated person can be enjoyed by one who cares less for information; without any feelings of obligation toward societal progress, the ignorant can do as they please with limited guilt. Such ignorance inevitably leads to, as the tried-and-true idiom predicts, a state of bliss.

Continue reading »

~

Primality Testing and Factorization in C

10 Jan 2012

A couple days ago, I set to work on what seemed like a fairly straightforward project: I wanted to build a reasonably fast factorization program in plain C. I didn’t need it to be able to factor massive numbers, I just wanted to create it as an exercise. This seemingly basic concept led me into the strange world of number theory, a land I had never been formally introduced to, and ultimately resulted in me gaining quite a bit of knowledge.

Continue reading »

~

More articles »