Wednesday, 3/7/01

A Berkeley EE professor, apparently in preparation for retirement or suicide, announced that he was donating his entire engineering library to the students. He invited everyone to stop by his office and take two or three books. Helpless to refuse such an offer, I made a rare trip to campus and checked it out. Most of the books were rather old (WWII-era), but I found a potentially useful book on active filters, and a wonderful little volume from 1965 called "Basic Tables in Electrical Engineering". About half of it is useless, being filled with trig tables, log tables, log of trig tables, and other such numerica that you do on a calculator nowadays. There's a section on common punch-card codes which I think falls squarely into the useless half as well. But the other half contains tables of integrals, Laplace transforms, transfer functions and impedances of various passive and active circuits, filter design data, material properties, and lots of other really cool stuff. Quite a find. And you can't beat the price.

Later, I was ICQing about this with Brian, who also stopped by to browse the selection. He said, "I got a noise book from 1950s... it's pretty much all math. I guess noise hasn't changed in 50 years."

To which I replied, "Of course noise doesn't change. That's why you can model it as stochastically stationary."

And at that instant, I realized... that was It. My moment. That was the funniest thing I ever said, or ever will say, in my life. At the age of 23, I hit the peak of humor. I got my perfect 10 on the funny-o-meter with a nerdy EE joke. It's all downhill from here. The rest of my life will be a sad, futile attempt to recapture the fading glory of this moment. My future will hold no greater success, so there is nothing more to ever look forward to. Truly a bittersweet triumph.

I don't think Brian got the joke.