Xah Lee's Blog Archive 2011-01
Falun Gong Front Groups (cult; politics; news)
What is Al Jazeera? (answer. commentary. politics)
Another funny video from Fredryk Phox.
For another, and who's he, see: Internet Personality: Fredryk Phox
Naked Nimba Girl (photo; commentary)
Wikileaks, Bank of America, Anonymous, US Government, Espionage (politics; news; video; commentary)
王菲 - 彼岸花 (flower of paradise) (lyrics appreciation; video)
lyrics appreciation time! Eurythmics - I Need A Man (music video)
In 2005, i read and annotated the Unabomber Manifesto (Industrial Society and its Future), by Dr Theodore Kaczynski (aka unabomber).
Few days ago, i got a comment from someone who's in contact with Kaczynski. It appears, that a revised edition might be coming.
from L.F. Zolgotz, 2011 Feb
I'm in communication with Dr. Kaczynski and have jointly addressed many of your arguments. I intend to publish a revised edition of this work and other essays written by Dr. Kaczynski in the near future. Upon completion I will forward an electronic copy for your review. I believe you have missed the purport of his argument and failed to understand the nature of systems as interpreted in Industrial Society and Its Future. To summarize in a very brief manner: technological development has become so complex and intricate that it now necessitates finite and restricted responses from humanity. The system's goal, above nearly all else, is order and because of this greater degrees of control, through the innovation of techniques and tools, will be pursued at all costs. Humanity's ability to exist autonomously is denied and frustrated because of the massive amounts of organization necessary to perpetuate techno-industrial society. It is not humanity that is responsible for this condition because humanity is only responding to society as it exists today and the inheritance of hundreds of years of technology. Though created by humans, techno-industrial society exists outside humanity and subjects humans to the demands of their own creation.
Recently, in the academic psychology community, there's hot discussion about a psychologist (Daryl Bem) who made experiments that seem to confirm the possibility of some parapsychology phenomenon. e.g. seeing the future, knowing the past, reading other's minds, etc. I'd say, don't pay attention to it. But if you do have a interest in this matter, i recommend reading this article:
Back from the Future: Parapsychology and the Bem Affair By James Alcock. @ http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/back_from_the_future
Been listening to this song continuously for the past 12 hours. Lady Gaga - Bad Romance ＆ 王彩樺 - 鋩鋩角角 (music video)
T-ara - Bo Peep Bo Peep ＆ 王彩樺 - 保庇 BOBEE (music video)
Farewell My Concubine (youtube video; movie)
Humor: Chinese Breast Enlargement Video Commercial (funny video)
China Built the World's Fastest Computer
You hear China being on the rise in the past few years right? But i'm totally taken back now.
The world's fastest super computer is from china now. See: China Owns the Fastest Supercomputer …Now What? 📺 @ http://singularityhub.com/2010/11/07/china-owns-the-fastest-supercomputer-now-what-video/.
Here's Wikipedia listing of fastest computer: Fastest computer. Funny that they all run Linux. LOL.
Also on the news is that china also built the “longest bridge”. See: China Completes World’s Longest Bridge – More than 26 Miles! @ http://singularityhub.com/2011/01/18/china-completes-worlds-longest-bridge-more-than-26-miles-long-video/. Here's Wikipedia article: List of longest bridges in the world.
hmm… interesting. my facebook page is google ranked at 4. I guess it's good thing for me to be ranked high, though i have little idea why. I guess people google my name and clicks on my facebook page. I got a rep among online programing forums as a troll. I know people are interested in oddball personalities, as in gossip mags on celebrities. Though, i dont write much personal stuff (as in, my current mood, feelings, what i had for dinner, new relationships), partly because writing trivia isn't my style, partly because in past 7 years i don't really have good news on these to brag about. (that reminds me, i'll have to write my 2-years experience living in a Honda Civic around 2005.)
Am guessing that the perception of me as a troll has waned in the past 3 years. I think partly because my emacs tutorial is getting popular, and i haven't written much essays with downright idiot-this n shit-that expressions.
As a thinker, even a nameless one, or possibly crazy idiotic one, i think it's important to write as you are, even with extreme views and insulting words. Because, that is the force of idea, expression, that are not ubiquitous. Sure, politeness is great, in fact critical, and actually necessary if you want to sell yourself, make friends. (e.g. in marketing, advertising, diplomacy, a core ingredient is to make people like you, and cynically — ingratiation.) But if thinking is what you sell, as a philosopher or artist, you have to sell them as is, and best to express them as you are.
Yeah, right! So, Xah, you think you can make a point only if you insulted people. What you take of me, a idiot? Yes, and i just made a new friend. (O, Shakespear says, please remember to read between the lines!)
Now, let's engage in a lil' fun speculation on humbleness from evolutionary psychology's perspective. Why do people despise arrogance? why humbleness sells? Besides selling, what's the effect of humbleness in the quality of work?
I don't know!
PS this blog shouldn't be titled “why humbleness sells”. That's the inaccurate message. Humbleness doesn't sell by itself, of course. Nobody would care more just because a idiot is humble. Rather, “why humbleness is in general a good quality to present onself”. For exmple, some well known celebrities are not shy to express themselves, examples are Stephen Wolfram, Steve Jobs. Others, for example blogger Steve Yegge (of amazon and google), Jeff Atwood (of codinghorror and stackoverflow frame), write conspicuously in a humble way (usually injecting extraneous humble statements or jokes), and they get tens of thousand followers. Political leaders, some are also humble, some cocky.
See also: Self-deprecation. Quote:
Self-deprecating humor relies on the observation of something negative about the person delivering the commentary. Many comedians use self-deprecating humor to avoid seeming arrogant or pompous, and to help the audience identify with them. In this way, the use of self-deprecating humor could be seen as an application of the rhetorical concept of ethos. This is a major component of the comedy of comedians such as Don Knotts, Jon Stewart, David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Jerry Seinfeld, Rodney Dangerfield, Conan O'Brien, and Daniel Tosh.
Thanks to Lori Williams for some thoughts.
Ran into this mockery: “Why I Need To Quit Facebook” @ http://runt-of-the-web.com/post/2472562549/why-i-need-quit-facebook#. Go check it out.
Though, note, that fb and other social media is merely a extension of RL chat or whatever u do around friends or water coolers.
So, when you are with friends in meat space, may it be in party, on phone, or at work place, do you engage in serious intellectual stuff like history, philosophy? Of course not.
In a sense, the article about “why i need quit facebook” mockery is itself just another insignificant thing on the web that “wastes” your time.
Its significance, is alerting us that many of us spend too much time on social media. But, that itself isn't a problem caused by social media, rather, it is caused by modern society. The internet merely provided you a way to waste time by many means. Without, those who spend too much time on Facebook probably would over-sleep or playing solitaire endlessly (which indeed people do a lot in 1990s). If the entire internet got shutdown today, you won't be reading War And Peace or dig into history, philosophy, anytime soon. You probably go back to watch TV all day.
Likewise, average human activity been like that for past thousands of years too. Great literature such as War And Peace existed for over a hundred years, likewise other great literature or philosophy been around for thousands of years. Do average people get excited by them?
For info and more vid, see: Humor Video: Magibon, Boxxy, 4chan Personalities
Am re-starting my wordy-english word-a-day. From 2004-11 to 2008-10, it ran on yahoo mailing list at games.groups.yahoo.com/group/wordy-english/ But now, the new address is wordy-english.blogspot.com. This way, you can subscribe as blog and read it whenever you like, or you can subscribe by mail.
You can see archive of about 5 thousand words with usage here: English Vocabulary. Everyday, i'll pull a word there and post.