December 10, 2010

Lucas is walking!

He started walking today by himself. Here is a video of some of the first steps.
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November 18, 2010

Wheel of Time - Me and my Obsession

Recently, book 13 of The Wheel of Time was released by Robert Jordan + Brandon Sanderson. This is a photo of me waiting in line for the event dressed up as one of the main characters Mat Cauthon.
Me as a fatter Mat Cauthon

I should have prefaced this post: I am a HCFF or "Hard Core Fan Freak" Wheel of Time (WoT) fan. I love this book series mightily. I have been reading and re-reading the series for the past 13 years (I think). In my awkward middle school days I even wrote poems and song re-wordings that were WoT themed for my favorite WoT fan site of the time Wotmania.com (which no longer exists). That photo of me was taken a full 36 hours before the book was released... that's right, I camped out too.

Now that I've relayed my inner nerdiness to the masses, I want to talk about my history with WoT and my opinions, joys, and also criticisms about the series. Then later, I plan on writing reviews of each of the books in order. Let it be known, for those of you that have read, are reading, or plan on reading the series in the future, I am always up to date on the latest WoT news, theories, etc. So sufficient to say, there will be SPOILERS.

August 12, 2010

A message from a Mormon to the Gay Community

In regards to Gay Marriage, I've been thinking about this a lot recently, considering the decision of the California judge to repeal Proposition 8, and I think it is only fair to express my opinions on the matter.

You see, I have more than one member of my family that is, in fact, directly affected by the outcome of the rulings that will inevitably be decided by the Supreme Court.As I am one of the only actively practicing members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in my family, I worry that my family and friends of our family may see me to be secretly intolerant at heart. Maybe I'm putting on a smile and being kind, but deep down I resent them and am very disappointed... well, if you think this of me, you are wrong.

I don't claim to speak for the LDS Church in any way, but I do claim that there are MANY other LDS people who share the same viewpoint that I do. What about all the angry bitter people? Well, they are just louder than we are.

July 16, 2010

New videos of Lucas!

The first video was on our way to Texas in the Hotel. Lucas is about 7 months old. The second one is today where he is about 9 months old. He crawls really well now and is still as big as ever... just look at the difference in these 2 months even!




July 10, 2010

What Would Jesus Do?

Members of the LDS church and Christianity in general have an interesting relationship. We Mormons claim to be Christian since we do, after all, believe Christ to be our Lord and Savior, but we don't share any of the same symbols, history, social structures, even our vocabulary differs greatly in reference to the same things. Since we LDS folk don't use crosses and other symbology to express our faith, we tend to forgo all other sayings as well. I, on the other hand, have a "W.W.J.D." fabric bracelet that was given to me years ago by a friend that I have worn since. Normally LDS people would not wear this. Why? Simply because we have our own culture apart from Christianity and the WWJD craze never became a part of it. To me, it is still a valid message and therefore, I choose to wear it.


Currently, I'm in Texas on an internship and I met another intern native to the southern states (who kinda looks like Martin Keamy on Lost) and we got to talking. He said, ..."so you go to BYU, that explains why you are married and have a son." I laughed and agreed. Then he said, "But you're not Mormon." I replied, "What makes you think that I'm not?" At which point he pointed to my WWJD bracelet and I said "So?" He then replied, "I like you, you are a good guy."

This led me to the conclusion that this other intern didn't believe that LDS think of Christ as our Savior. Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I think we as LDS don't wear Christ on our sleeves enough. We live good works and brotherly kindness pretty well, we also have no problem wearing the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith on our sleeves... but Jesus? We don't preach it much.

Maybe it is because we know others understand it already, they already have a Faith in Christ and we want to focus on what makes us unique, but then we are missing the point.

For the two or three of you that actually will possibly read this, what do you think?

June 5, 2010

RSA Animate - The Secret Powers of Time

Here's an interesting video.

While I mainly agree with what is being said, there are a few things that I think that aren't quite 100% accurate. I think many people have the ability to see the world in many time perspectives rather than just one. While the world is indeed becoming more and more present based, I'd argue that it depends on what we are doing. We work hard for a better future. We take time for our families. We remember the words of our fathers. And we take time to enjoy ourselves. These are not conflicting ideas. They need to be added together into one great whole.




April 18, 2010

Bobby McFerrin hacks your Brain

Music has such a profound influence on our lives. It is built in. Don't believe it? Watch this...

April 16, 2010

The Krit Petty Show

As previously mentioned, it begins...

An end...

As I mentioned at the beginning, there are no beginnings or endings... but this is an end; the end of a semester. I originally created this blog for a class in school, but now it has been released from the shackles of the university prescribed posts to the creativity of my mind on whatever I feel fit to post about. So be prepared one and all... it begins.

April 7, 2010

Choose ye this day whom you will serve.

Selfishness causes all sin. Integrity brings all happiness.

These two ideas are diametrically opposed to each other. One insinuates doing whatever it takes to get what you want, despite the consequences; the other is about doing the right thing all the time, even when nobody will know what your actions are. Adultery, thievery, lust, violence, lying, vanity, and every other bad, awful action that you can think of holds roots in the desire to make one's own status better or to satiate personal desires. Honesty, love, charity, faith, kindness, gentleness, diligence, generosity, and bravery, on the other hand, come from forgetting yourself in the desire to help and care for other people, no matter the time or the place. These choices have eternal consequences and every one must choose one or the other. As for me and my house? We will serve the Lord.

A Gamer's Nightmare

March 23, 2010

The Lord's Will

All of the wonderful and innovative technologies we have today were brought about by the Lord's will. Every piece of technology can be used to help push the will of the Lord forward. From the Internet to Smartphones, they all carry God's word. The make researching and understanding his will so much easier. Sharing the gospel is done online and people have access to nearly unlimited resources to learn His way. Unfortunately, like any of God's gifts, these tools can be used for horrendous evils that plague our society. The trick is to use them for good and not evil. We have agency to do what is right or what is wrong, and if we choose to do what is wrong, whether through our actions or the perversion of good technology, we ultimately are the ones responsible for the consequences. Have integrity and choose to use these things for good; choose to use them to strengthen the Kingdom of God!

March 17, 2010

Communism in Computers


* When You're Downloading Mozilla Firefox... You're Downloading Communism! -Fake Quote, not from Bill Gates

Communism is the ideal that
allows every member of a society to participate in the decision making process. Anybody who wants to can voice their opinion on how something should be changed, and if that person's opinion is supported by enough other people in the society, it will be implemented. In government systems, this process has normally lead to sadness and poverty due to poor implementation and corrupt leaders. However, does this mean that this ideal can't be implemented successfully elsewhere? No. Open source software such as Firefox, Open Office, and Linux have proven to the world the potential benefits of this type of a system. Firefox now enjoys a 30% market share on web browser usage. The constant innovation that comes from these companies keeps larger companies on their toes, forcing them to innovate or play catch up. Whatever your thoughts on Communism might be, the idea behind it is improving our lives everyday in how we use computers.

March 15, 2010

Flat? Fast? So?

My world is a small place that moves fast. About 3 years ago I was in China with my fiance. We were planning on getting married the next year and thought we would take a trip to China to see her hometown. While there, my wife bought a book called 世界是平的,or "The World is Flat," by Thomas Friedman, but it was in Chinese and I wasn't (and still am not) fluent enough to read it. Flash forward one year: I am headed back to China again as I am going to go pick her up to bring her back to the USA for our marriage. While in the airport, I spotted this same book (small world, eh?) and thought, "Hey, why not?" I bought it and began to read it on my 15 hour trip (a relatively short flight ) to Wuhan, Hubei, China.

The book was about how technology is changing the world, making it smaller and essentially flat as far as communication goes. As I read the book, a few thoughts kept coming back to me. The first was, "This book is interesting, but tell me something I don't know." And my second thought was, "Hmm, I guess change didn't used to happen that fast." I realized I have grown up in an age that is completely different than any other in the history of man. I live in an age where change is common and communication is easy. From the beginning of time, communication and travel have always been difficult. Distance always kept humanity from reaching its goals and potential. Well, not anymore. My life is different from the past thousands of years that man has been on this planet.

To me, a fast pace is normal. I've never experienced anything else. With enough money, I can travel to anywhere in the world in less than a day. My world is a world where if I can't figure out how to align 100 different pairs of gene sequences in under 30 seconds, I'm not fast enough to get an A grade. The skills I learn in school will be obsolete before I get a job. My wife talks to her parents instantly for free from Utah to China through video chat, but if the sound lags just a little then everyone gets frustrated. I expect that next year a hundred things I've never dreamed of will be invented and become common place in my life. This isn't strange to me. My whole life has been this way. I'm used to it.

March 4, 2010

Copyright This!

Copyright laws and patents are destroying creativity and life as we know it. Youtube is home to some of the most unique creative content the world has ever known. It is a conglomerate of the the creative minds of everyone in the world. However, when a video of a dancing baby is pulled from Youtube because a copyrighted song is being played in the background, copyright laws have gone too far. Luckily cooler heads prevailed in this case and the courts decided the video was covered under fair use, but too often this is not the case. Similarly, biomedical research companies feel they have the right to patent certain Gene sequences. This implies that if you have a specific rare gene sequence previously thought to only have been made in a lab by humans, you can be sued. Where is the logic in that?

March 2, 2010

Program Your Way Out of a Paper Bag

It seems under qualified people can get jobs as programmers fairly easily. How people in this world can get jobs that they have no experience for is beyond me. People can get jobs as programmers when they don't even know how to write a simple program that prints 1 to 100 with every multiple of three printing 'foo' and every multiple of five printing 'bar.' That is a simple basic problem. If I were to interview someone to be a truck driver, I'd expect them to know how to drive a manual transmission. It is possible, however, to get a job that you may be under qualified for if you can display some aptitude to learn what needs to be learned. If a driver knows how to drive a manual transmission and has driven a pickup truck with a trailer attached, I might consider hiring him based upon similar experience. He would still need extra training first, but he already has the skill set needed. A programmer that doesn't know how to write a for-loop is not a programmer at all.

February 22, 2010

Games as a means of storytelling

Video games have gone through a strange evolution. From the early days of two simple paddles bouncing a ball back and forth in Pong, to the modern day of . . . well, hitting an invisible ball back and forth with two Wii remotes in Wii PingPong. However, a video game has pretty much always been just that, a game. Sure, you may say that there are good story lines in games, but the game is still just a game with a story. You play 45 minutes of game and you are rewarded with a 5-10 minute cut scene that tells more of the story, then you simply rinse and repeat until the epic conclusion. Some modern games are trying to change that dynamic. How can you make a good story that just happens to be a game as well? What if the story was played out the entire time you played the game and not just after a battle? Not a moment is wasted. The games of the future will have this dynamic. One already does. Heavy Rain is a unique game that you cannot fail. There is no moment in this game that does not tell the story. If your character dies, the story moves on without him and the ending changes. Your choices can give the characters a happy ending or end the story in tragedy. You will get emotionally attached to the people in this game in the same way you might with those in a good novel. In this way, games have joined the ranks of books and movies as being a legitimate method of storytelling.

video

February 18, 2010

Trust

Privacy on the internet has become an increasingly hard to control problem. We consistently hear about Facebook, Google Buzz, Twitter, and other social networking sites and the problems they have regarding privacy matters. I believe, however, that privacy on a computer is fictional. If you don't want people seeing certain information, then it shouldn't be put online. In today's society nearly every computer is connected to every other computer in the world. The only thing separating your work and information from someone else out there is a flimsy password. In fact, with cloud computing becoming more and more popular, your information can be stolen straight out from underneath you even if you haven't been online for weeks.

Recently Google was hacked by what they assume to be government hackers from China. They are probably right, but I bet that the United States has just as many hackers on it's own payroll trying to obtain secrets from China. Hacking is the cheapest and fastest way of espionage that we have in the current world. Since all of our information is connected somehow, it is just a matter of time before people find different ways to access it. The internet can seem like a scary place in our day. Is everyone out to get us? Nope.

While we need to understand that anything we put online is easy fodder for hackers and people who want to steal our identities, there is also a whole army working to protect us. Most these people don't even get paid to fix our problems. Jonathan Zittrain gave a speech on TED.com about how the internet restored his faith in humanity. Despite the trust issues, the web is home to the world's greatest acts of kindness. When a virus infects systems, hundreds of people band together to fix it and kill it as soon as possible. Wikipedia is another example of people doing good on the web, just for the sake of doing good. Google's motto is "Don't be Evil!" for crying out loud (although people will argue whether Google is actually evil or not).

We need to think of the internet as an online version of those big bulletin boards you see at Universities. Anything you put on it can be taken down and used for who knows what reason. If you put up a message with your phone number and address then say you need to carpool to California next week, some bad guy can use that information to break into your house and steal your stuff. Most people understand this, so they only put up a phone number or an e-mail address. When people use the board smartly, good things happen. Good people help out other good people, just because they can.

February 13, 2010

Memories

So my Mom came and visited a couple of months ago when we had Lucas. It was really great and fun to have her around for a while. When she came though, she brought with her a couple of VHS tapes that had a glimpse of my past. They sat on our shelves like that until last week when I went and transferred them to DVD.... and oh my goodness... that was a blast from the past. I'm probably 14-15 years old in the videos and things are CRAAAZY... we had so much fun though. Among those guest starring in the video are such illustrious names as Steve Cann, Daniel Jacobs, Ryan Rigby, David Horrocks, Nanny and Gramps, Hunter Petty, a cameo by Dustin Brown, Tiffanie Payne, Danielle Kikuchi, Cory Dahl, and many many more!

It's weird though because we are all so young and well, frankly, somewhat immature. Funny how our memories make those events better than watching them on film. I knew we were having fun at the time. Watching back I can't help but thinking... man, we were weird. But you know... I wouldn't have it any other way. I thought about posting some of the video... but then I just thought that would be inappropriate without everyone's permission. Cause, well, 8th-10th grade isn't everyone's best years. But here's a bonus screenshot...

February 3, 2010

New Family Search

The LDS church has recently updated one of their most popular websites. The new FamilySearch.org is an amazing combination of technology and genealogy. Genealogy can be a very confusing a difficult thing to comprehend, but the new website makes it really fun to casually browse through your own history. As I browsed my ancestors back to the 1700's, I instantly realized the benefits of combining computer databases with family history work. FamilySearch showed me that I have duplicate entries in my family line. Apparently, one of my ancestors is his own great-great-grandfather. Mistakes like this have been difficult to spot in the past, but with the help and aid of computers, the process has been streamlined. There are some drawbacks from what I could see. Much of the recent information is based on current church records, yet it seems I haven't been baptized or confirmed; the same holds true for my mother. Once the church is able to seamlessly streamline current records with manually entered records together there will be no stopping the promise given at the end of Malachi.

January 29, 2010

Life




Original Mouse over text: "I'm teaching every 8-year-old relative to say this, and every 14-year-old to do the same thing with Toy Story. Also, Pokemon hit the US over a decade ago and kids born after Aladdin came out will turn 18 next year."
xkcd.com


As our family enters the 2010's, I am amazed at how quickly our lives can change. A few years ago, I was in high school. Now, I'm married, have a ~4 month old son, and this summer I'm going to work for one of the biggest companies in the world as an intern. Things that I used to love to do, my hobbies, have to take a back seat to the responsibility I have as a husband and father. While my career path allows me to geek out on technology and computers still, I miss the times I could play cello and video games all day. But you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way. When I see the smile on my son's face, when he laughs, it is the greatest feeling in the world. I can no longer be happy alone. The scriptures talk about the man and woman becoming one, well, this truly does occur on a deep personal level. I had an opportunity to go to Seattle (well, Bellevue/Redmond area) for an interview which I thought would be a fun relaxing weekend, aside from the interview that is. But I found myself bored without my wonderful wife with me. Our emotions are tied together, when she is happy, so am I. When she is sad, so am I. I am no longer just Krit Petty, I am Dad, I am Sweetie, I am LaoGong.

Life comes fast, enjoy all of it, even the tough stuff.

January 27, 2010

We are the Cause of our Own Problems

Male chauvinists create a poor environment for women to excel in math and science. Women are looked poorly upon and aren't expected to succeed as often. This is what we are lead to believe, but is this truly the root cause of women choosing not to pursue math as a career? According to a recent study, it seems the trepidation of female teachers in math lead young women in our day to fear success as well. Even my wife recognizes the fact that her own feelings of inadequacy come from her parents consistently making her feel like she wasn't good enough. How can women grow up with confidence when their role models aren't confident as well? Teachers must teach confidence in the skills they pass on to the next generation. We often look to the youth as examples of what the world of tomorrow will be like. This perspective is good, although incomplete. As Gandhi famously said, "We must be the change we want to see in the world." This is just as true for the older generation as it is for the younger.

January 26, 2010

Built in Responses.

Men love to create new things. From the earliest man Adam, men have been programmed and trained to build and provide for their families. Today men like to build cars, computer programs, and companies from the ground up. Women, on the other hand, like to design. Historically, after the man built the house, the woman was the one who had to live in it. It only seems natural that she'd make it a space she liked to spend time in. Generally speaking, men plant the food and the women make it taste good. Well built mathematical systems and computer programs also need to be well designed. Unfortunately, this equilibrium has yet to be reached in the fields of Science and Technology. How can we make the world of programming more appealing to women? The solution is simple. Programmers should take the initiative to shower everyday, clean their offices every once in a while, and maybe tone down how much Star Trek paraphernalia is in the office just a little bit. Only then will women consistently be happy to share a workspace with a programmer.


Do you want to work next to these guys? -- image taken from Fanboys

January 20, 2010

Google and China

Google and China have been in a bit of a disagreement lately. It seems an attack on Google from within China was the last straw in what was already a precarious relationship. Google is in the business of giving information to anyone who wants it. China is in the business of screening all information before handing it to the public. Minister Wang Chen of China's State Council Information Office reinforced this idea stating "Properly guiding Internet opinion is a major measure for protecting Internet information security." The reason Google is threatening withdrawal, while officially tied to the recent hacker attacks, lies in more than this single incident. Google and Google's services (i.e. YouTube) are consistently shutdown or blocked in China causing a huge loss in revenue and apparent unreliable services from Google. Google seems to think that China consistently violates Google's motto "Don't be Evil" by not allowing freedom of speech. In reality, these recent attacks have created a good excuse for Google to not have to deal with the "Great Firewall of China." For more reading on the subject see this article posted on ArsTechnica.

January 13, 2010

The world continues to change

video
Technology has made the world smarter, more intellectual, more opinionated, lazy, and completely alien to what humans have experienced through all of time. What an interesting fact that one single concept can have such a profound affect in such a small amount of time. When was the last time you bought a CD? How long can you go without your cell phone before you go insane? When was the last time you had a question you didn't turn to Google for? We literally have the world's information at our fingertips and what do we use it for? Today's top 5 Google searches all are related to today's broadcast of American Idol. As I am in a questioning mood, let me end with another... Would this paragraph have made sense 50 years ago? 20? 10? Think about it.

January 7, 2010

Neither a beginning, nor an ending...

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, a young man sat in his office trying to understand the complexities of life, family, and relationships when he decided to write a blog. The blog was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But is was a beginning.