Xah Lee's Blog Archive 2008-03

resident evil Alice
Image added to American's Obsession with Little Girls.

some Wikipedia reading:

Added web dev websites to Computer Language Websites Popularity Ranking.

What is a Tech Geeker? (essay, software culture)

What is Closure in a Programing Language? (computing, essay)

Pattern Matching vs Pattern Specification (computing, essay)

Why Don't You Do Right (lyrics)

Don't Cry For Me Argentina (lyrics)

Emacs Lisp: How to Write a make-html-table Command. (computing tutorial)

Added 3 songs:

Spent like 5 hours and massively updated my HTML code in my World Literature Classics collection. That's about 500 pages of html. I've updated them from HTML 4.01 transitional to strict. One of interesting thing about Strict is that now “img” tag must be inside a block-level tag, such as “p” or “div”. (inside “body” tag won't do) Also, the “target=…” inside link tag “a”, for making a link opening a new window, is gone in html 4.01 strict.

Also standardized and consolidified my use of css.

Also, in the past week, spend like 2 hours to update the annotation in Shakespeare's The Tragedy Of Titus Andronicus.

Spent like 5 hours adding embedded youtube vids on Ethology, Ethnology, and Lyrics.

In the past 2 months, i've been working on my Visual Dictionary Of Plane Curves website a lot. In particular, adding GeoGebra files, filling up many proofs, and study algebraic curves. The additions is listed here: Special Plane Curves: What's New.

The Geometric Significance of Complex Conjugate (math, essay)

Li Ao on Tibet.

Essay: Go as Cellular Automata. (math)

Fuck Sony.

Starting about 2001 i developed a dislike of their products. Their laptops (the VAIO) go out of the way to make it proprietary in both hardware and software, same with their camera. For example: they use their own proprietary firewire connector so that you can't buy a generic one and have to buy theirs. They modifify their Windows OS with their gook so that in general they makes it more difficult for you to have full standard control (e.g. modified BIOS). I bought a VAIO in about 2000, sent my rebate and didn't get the $100 refund, was very dissatisfied with the laptop, after a few months i sold it on ebay.

Sony, with their slew of electronic products like computer, camera, camcorder, audio and video players, tries to market them in the worst stereotypical negative aspect of brainless consummerism. They make it look like you just have to own their products so that your friends will think you have style.

Of course, brand names, especially luxury items, in general is sold for the sake of name and vanity (e.g. Apple products, BMW, Bang & Olufsen, Gucci, Rolex etc.). Most of these are sold for their quality, style, and the sheer fact being far more expensive. Brand name luxury items serve a inevitable social function, that is: class distinction. Being far more expensive also has economic justifications: the cost for the risk of bad purchase. (e.g. if you don't know anything about TV, you can just buy a brandname, and you are assured of quality; the cost of time and expertise in researching for a good purchase is part of the price tag.) The expensiveness is mostly a consequence of demand and supply.

Sony's products, do have quality and style like other brand names, but is in general targeting the class of average consumers (as opposed to the wealthy), and on the whole in combination of their marketing, seems to be the worste perpetrator of sending the vanity message: to own it just for the name sake so that you can APPEAR to be high class too.

I don't own any Sony products (excerpt throwaway $10 earphones) and never will.

Spent few hours updating this page: Cornu Spiral. Also added a Geogebra file: Cornu Spirals Applet, which allows you to interactively see a family of curves such that their curvature varies as the length of the curve. Fantastic.

$3k per hour prostitution, added to bottom of: A Close Encounter with a Prostitute in Las Vegas page.

Added a propaganda animation from Japan ≈1934, featuring Mickey Mouse as USA, at bottom of The Art of Propaganda.

Apparently, amazon.co.jp sells porn videos. For screenshot and url, see bottom of Nakedness — a WASP Crime.

Added a commentary on the terminology “implicit surface”, at Math Terminology and Naming of Things.

The fascinating need and creativity of human animals to communicate in unusual ways:

Added the song Lovers by Kathleen Battle, and much correction and update on the page 佳人歌 (The Beauty Song) (lyrics)

blog: Math Books Keeping and Reading.

Much update at: Great Math Programs page. Including news of: A excellent surface plotting software K3DSurf. The surface plotting software 3DXM now has a java version. GeoGebra is the best 2D interactively plane geometry software.

Some commentary about the chinese legend 牛郎织女 (the cowherd and the weave girl) and chinese info in Wikipedia, added to China page.

Find/Replace with Emacs. (computing tutorial)

leda swan-mosaic Paphos 2-s
Leda And The Swan mosaic at Aphrodite temple, Kouklia, Cyprus. (Image © 2005 Ken Fairfax, used by permission. img src)

Eight more images added to Art: Leda and the Swan page.

Added images to Art: Europa and the Bull page.

In my Ethology, Ethnology, and Lyrics project, there are 92 pages on songs and comments. About a year ago, i started to use the CSS “div style="white-space:pre"” instead of “pre” tag for the lyrics. So, about half of the pages is using the div tag.

I just found out today, that when viewing it in Microsoft Internet Explorer, the lyrics all become one continuous line. I found out, this is because Internet Explorer does not support the “white-space:pre”. O, shit.

So, i end up spending about 2 hours updating my lyrics page. Changing all the CSS to using pre, and also added a lot youtube links, updated link, and otherwise cleaned up.

Added Russian National Anthem to The Star Spangled Anthem. (essay, lyrics)

lust caution 3

Added screenshots and much more commentary to the essay on the movie “Lust, Caution”: 天涯歌女 (The Wandering Songstress). (lyrics, essay, evolutionary psychology).

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