Xah Lee's Blog Archive 2007-06
Why is that, of websites in china, every link opens a new window? this seems be the norm in every major sites. More at: china.html.
Completely redone the Emacs's Command Frequency page with 2 new person's stats.
Lyrics Appreciation: Baby One More Time (Britney Spears).
Poincare's Prize: The Hundred-Year Quest to Solve One of Math's Greatest Puzzles by George G Szpiro, 2007. amazon
Amazing wikipedia. I assert today, that wikipedia has surpassed all major general encyclopedias as well as specialized encyclopedias in mathematics and computer science.
Expanded: Mac OS X command line tool Tips.
Addendum to Futuristic Calamity.
Wikipedia: The 48 Laws of Power. Quote: «The 48 Laws of Power is a work by Robert Greene and published by Joost Elffers, compared to Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince, with the main difference being that the audience is not royalty, but the masses.»
Summary of the “laws” in the book: Source www2.tech.purdue.edu
Such, is really just a pop take on a particular aspect of social psychology. Looking at the principles put forth by the book, they seem sensible, however, but their effectiveness really depends on the populace's general knowledge, in particular, their attitudes and mental makeup. As society moves forward, and education and massive communication (such as in today's info era ushered by interenet, cellphone, instant messaging, blogging, wikis, … etc), will render such kind of power advice less effective, because, psychology of people changes with what people know. So, for example, imagine if everybody read this book and learned these “laws of power”, these principles themselves erode. Put in another way, such pop principles is not a match to truth, or real understandings from science.
Another widely popular book of this type is: How to Win Friends and Influence People, (1936) by Dale Carnegie (1888 – 1955).
In the same way, the effectiveness of the principles advised in the book, is dependent on the mass's general knowledge of human psychology. In effect, changing times and attitudes renders the advices insignificant.
See also, Cold reading.
“Chinese History for Beginners”…. see: China.
In past few weeks, i had significant understanding of several issues that has confused me for the past decade. Specifically, now i understand the relations between mathematical formalism, logicism, math notations. And, clarified the confusion i had about predicate in logic and computer language. See The Codification of Mathematics
Wikipedia Scanner. A tool that in massive scale traces anonymous Wikipedia edits with corporate IP addresses. Fantastic.
What is modal logic? See: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, by, James Garson, 2007. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-modal/. Basically, a predicate logic with “necessarily” and “possibly” quantifiers added.
A chess variant: Alice chess. Interesting. From a math point of view, it's a variation of chess board, where the board has a particular topology.
Here's how the network (graph) of the board might be described: Consider a 8 by 8 nodes laid out in a grid formation in a plane. Call this the level 1 nodes. Above this plane is another similar layer. Call it level 2 nodes. The 2 levels of nodes are the space the Alice chess pieces lives in. Specifically: each piece will be at one of these nodes.
Now, consider how the pieces moves. The simplest is the king. For the king, a node is connected to its immediate neighbors in the other layer.
Now, consider the rook. Basically, a node is connected to all the nodes on the other layer that is in the same rank and file the node is.
Similar rules can be inferred for how other pieces moves.
The interesting thing i learned in thinking about this, is that in chess (traditional), the pieces actually do move in some way ad-hoc to themselves. Specifically, originally i was thinking that Alice Chess is just a variation on the topology of the chess board. However, further thinking shows that Chess cannot be considered as a simple form of cellular automata in a particular topology of network. In order to describe in some simple mathematical fashion each piece's legal movement, it is necessary to introduce some complex math concepts
A poem about emacs added to The Writ of My Heart page.
The church of emacs filling of chars lispy and binding buffers insert yank meta sexp add-hook eight mega-bites and cons. swapping
- Linspire (formally Lindows)
A look into this esoteric craft. A complex science by itself! Note its classification system by Olfactive families. The classification of concentration levels. The term “Fragrance Notes” to describe 3 stages of evaporation. And note the aromatics sources. Plant sources by far, than animal. Modern ones are almost all synthetic. Oh my god, the fruit of science. Think of the science of molecules and chemistry. Fantastic. Also note the complex and exotic craft of a perfumer. (who's jobs is to compose perfumes (such as music composition or writing composition)) Then, there's analysing a giving perfume or reverse engineering aspect. Namely, given a perfume, use chemical analysis to find its ingredients exactly.
Vanilla. I've always wondered what vanilla is. It is a orchid! «Vanilla is a flavouring derived from orchids in the genus Vanilla native to Mexico. The name came from the Spanish word “vainilla”, meaning “little pod.”»
Emacs Lisp: Regex Replace with a Function (computing)
Chinese modern poet: Xu Zhimo (徐志摩, 1897 – 1931)
Computing: emacs: Emacs: Rename Files Interactively by Pattern (regex; wdired) and Emacs Regex
Lyrics appreciation: Information High.
Guns, Germs, and Steel. Excerpt:
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is a 1997 book by Jared Diamond, professor of geography at UCLA. In 1998 it won a Pulitzer Prize and the Aventis Prize for Best Science Book. A documentary based on the book was broadcast on PBS in July, 2005, produced by the National Geographic Society.
According to the author, an alternative title would be A short history about everyone for the last 13,000 years. But the book is not merely an account of the past; it attempts to explain why Eurasian civilizations, as a whole, have survived and conquered others, while refuting the belief that Eurasian hegemony is due to any form of Eurasian intellectual, genetic or moral superiority. Diamond argues that the gaps in power and technology between human societies do not reflect cultural or racial differences, but rather originate in environmental differences powerfully amplified by various positive feedback loops. He also, most explicitly in the epilogue, argues that societies with food surpluses and high-to-moderate degrees of interaction with outsiders are more likely to encourage great people to realize their full potential and to adopt new inventions.
See also: Anna Karenina principle. Kinda silly. Quote:
The Anna Karenina principle was popularized by Jared Diamond in his book Guns, Germs and Steel to describe an endeavor in which a deficiency in any one of a number of factors dooms it to failure. Consequently, a successful endeavor (subject to this principle) is one in which every last one of the possible deficiencies has been avoided.
The name of the principle derives from Leo Tolstoy's book Anna Karenina, which begins: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Diamond uses this principle to illustrate why so few wild animals have been successfully domesticated throughout history, as a deficiency in any one of a great number of factors can render a species un-domestic-able. Therefore all successfully domesticated species are not so because of a particular positive trait, but because of a lack of any number of possible negative traits.
Jared Diamond. (born 1937). American scientist and author whose work draws from a variety of fields. He is currently Professor of Geography and Physiology at UCLA.
Emacs Command Frequency (computing)
Expanded significantly the FAQ section about the Meta key in the article Modernization of Emacs.
Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature By Alan S. Miller Ph.D., Satoshi Kanazawa Ph.D., Psychology Today Magazine. http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-20070622-000002.xml Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters: From Dating, Shopping, and Praying to Going to War and Becoming a Billionaire amazon
YouTube video: Moebius Transformations Revealed , by Douglas N Arnold and Jonathan Rogness, 2007-06.
Alice of the Wonderland fame. From: Xah's Edu Corner in Second Life.
Tech Warfare Guide (Second Life; Real-time strategy game)
Mythological creatures of Second Life (computer graphics, screenshots)