2011-08-27

Katy Perry - Last Friday Night

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Katy Perry - Last Friday Night

Xah Lee, 2011-08-27

Hilarious.

Katy Perry - Last Friday Night

Cast (in order of appearance, show at 06:08):

Who's the football jockey and the cheerleader chick?

Directed by Marc Klasfeld.

For more detail, see: Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)

Lyrics:

There's a stranger in my bed,
There's a pounding my head
Glitter all over the room
Pink flamingos in the pool
I smell like a minibar
DJ's passed out in the yard
Barbie's on the barbeque

There's a hickie or a bruise
Pictures of last night
Eended up online
I'm screwed
Oh well
It's a black top blur
But I'm pretty sure it ruled

Last Friday night
Yeah we danced on tabletops
And we took too many shots
Think we kissed but I forgot

Last Friday night
Yeah we maxed our credit cards
And got kicked out of the bar
So we hit the boulevard

Last Friday night
We went streaking in the park
Skinny dipping in the dark
Then had a menage a trois
Last Friday night
Yeah I think we broke the law
Always say we're gonna stop-op
Whoa-oh-oah

This Friday night
Do it all again
This Friday night
Do it all again

Trying to connect the dots
Don't know what to tell my boss
Think the city towed my car
Chandelier is on the floor
With my favorite party dress
Warrants out for my arrest
Think I need a ginger ale
That was such an epic fail

2011-08-26

Infibulation Explained

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Swearing in Writing

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Swearing in Writing

Xah Lee, 2011-08-26

Darren Rowse, the guy who became famous as a blogger that became a millionaire thru ads, asked in his post: «Do you swear on your blog?» Source plus.google.com

here's my answer, and i have a question if anyone can help.

i do it often, and for me, it's somehow natural to swear, insult, offend. e.g.

i think that if you find it natural to do so at the moment, then do it. (it's prone to happen more in hardcore programing communities) Though, of course the writing must have content. But also, advertisers will shy away from it, as usual.

Well-Known Writers Who Swear

are there well-known writers who swear a lot in their writing?

i've been trying to find well known writers today or in the past that are well known for blunt swearing or offensive style. I thought there surely must be few, but couldn't think of any. Closest i can think of is Marquis de Sade (e.g. Justine by Marquis de Sade). Jonathan Swift came close (e.g. A Modest Proposal and Gulliver's Travels, but mostly it's just offensive satire.

Another is Sir Richard Burton's translation of Arabian Nights, e.g. The Arabian Nights: 70. ABU AL-ASWAD AND HIS SLAVE-GIRL (here we have penis-sucking in 1850, from tales of ~1500.) but again it's not that he swears freely, but rather he's just doing faithful translation.

Besides Marquis de Sade, the other i can think of that actually qualify is S.C.U.M Manifesto (by Valerie Solanas), but that's just a one-hit-wonder by a non-writer.

can anyone suggest other well-known writers who swear a lot in their work? I really like to collect a list. (note: porn/erotica writing doesn't count here. Am more looking for writers who swear a lot, or known for offensive writing style.) Am thinking there must be few from philosophers too. Thanks. (from the few of Darren's blog i read in the past, i knew it's not his style. I think he has written that even bitching/complaining style doesn't work for him.)

2011-08-25

Steve Jobs Presenting the Apple Circle Building

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Steve Jobs Presenting the Apple Circle Building

Xah Lee, 2011-08-21

Steve Jobs, plans to create a new building for Apple. The building is a giant circle, 4 stories high. With capacity to host 12k people. Here's his presentation to the Cupertino City Council

Steve Jobs looks gaunt. He's 50 something. 10 yrs older then me. I watched him since 1990. We all get old.

Steve Jobs Presents to the Cupertino City Council, 2007-06-07

One thing interesting about this video is that, normally, he does presentations at tech conferences, or to stock holders. Of which, he freely peddles and brags, to a large audience, from hundreds to thousands. However, here, the atmosphere is different. His audience is just a handful, and they are city councils. It's almost like a defendant vs several judges. However, his job here is still pitching, like a salesman.

Note: just a month after this presentation, Jobs announced that he quits CEO. (it's all over the news)

dark clouds looming

dark clouds looming,
surrounding me, in a desert.
because i see the stars,
shining and bright,
they are killing me.

2011-08-22

Google: “Don't be Evil” vs “Don't Do Evil”

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Google: “Don't Be Evil” vs “Don't Do Evil”

Xah Lee, 2011-08-22

Matt Cutts, Google's search engine anti-spam leader, perhaps the most popular face at Google after its founders, posted a interesting post about the phrase “Don't Be Evil” vs “Don't Do Evil”.

Here's excerpt:

On the subject of “Don't be evil” but unrelated: sometimes people turn “Don't be evil” into “Do no evil.” What's the difference, you might ask?

So I think “Do no evil” is an impossible standard: reasonable people can disagree on which choices are evil, and for different reasons. I prefer “Don't be evil” because it leaves room for honest disagreements, but still encourages Google to strive to make the world better.

Note that “Don't be evil” is Google's informal motto. See Wikipedia Don't be evil, for some detail and criticism.

I find the concept of “evil” being popular mostly in US America only, perhaps in particular became very popular in the past few decades. US has a infatuation with “good vs evil”, “good guy, bad guy”. Everything is framed as either one of them. This probably originated from western culture and religions, in particular, the scripture of Abrahamic religions (e.g. Christianity), and worsened by Hollywood movies. (Star Wars captures the zeigeist here)

The concept of “evil” doesn't really exist in Asia, or rather very different from Western cultures.

Personally, i despise any quote or quips involving the word “evil”. For one, because of the above. I find the concept itself questionable and valueless. I rather prefer, say, illegal, harmful, damaging, etc, from utilitarianism or pragmatism perspectives. Because, when you use more concrete terms, it gets meaningful, while "evil" is dramatic. For two, i despise any quote, quip, sound-byte. Because they are the source of innocuous propaganda and mis-information. Everyone likes to quote them, so it gets spread. Often they are wise or wise-sounding, but truth, or context, gets washed out. For example, “imagination is more important than knowledge” of Einstein. That quote, taken at face value, is patently false. Even given its context, is arguably not true because it's a philosophical statement. But it gets quoted widely, for various purposes, and to please each individual's personal fantasy.

Likewise, the famous “Don't be evil” of Google, is harmful, precisely because the dramatic quality and vagueness. As we see now, lots debates on Google revolves around that quote, generating countless unnecessary emotion and arguments.

I think the concept of “evil” became popular in US after World War II, during Cold War era. e.g. communism = evil. (Need some expert to confirm this.) One way to ascertain this is to count the frequency of occurrence of the word “evil” in publications

In the original article Matt cited:

What Does Google Mean By “Evil?” (2011-08-22) By Aaron Aaron Swartz. @ Source www.aaronsw.com

Aaron mentioned he couldn't think of instances where Google being evil (in the context of his definition of it, roughly: knowingly doing something that will benefit the company but clearly harmful to the public.), and he added 2 possible examples from his commenters. Quote:

  • Chris Soghoian observes Google refuses to add Do-Not-Track support to its browsers or servers in order to maximize ad profits.
  • Scott Teresi suggests Google's refusal to provide customer support (in order to save money) qualifies.

I like to add possible additions, see: Google Sidewiki Block.

Here, in essence, Google hijacks comments from site owners, with NO OPTION FOR SITE OWNERS TO OPT IT OUT.

Another issue i possibly see as Google Evil™ ☺, is that Google kept giving out SEO advices, in particular the evolution of the “nofollow” tag. From Google's perspective, it is helpful for the health of web. In my cynical perspective, it is a way to increase the SEO/spam war escalation, with desired consequence of increasing online ads, and resulting in more spam and today's content farm. So, in this view, Google intentionally fostered the whole SEO market knowning it will increase ads on the web, albeit without any behavior to specifically favor sites that use Google ad service. (More detail here: Google's nofollow Rule and Why Does Google Give SEO Advice?.)

But i must say, on the whole, in my 15 years in the IT industry with attention to company ethics from a philosophical vantage, i'd say Google is a good company on the whole, and i still trust Google. See: Google Ice Cream; Can Google Be Trusted?.

2011-08-21

Feminism, Reality, and Disney Princesses

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Disney Princesses and Sexual Attraction Between the Sexes

Xah Lee, 2011-08-21

Some Disney Princess mockeries from the web.

Disney Princess mentality
Disney Princesses mentality. Source unkonwn.

Here's the descriptions:

Snow White: Her burgeoning sexuality is a threat to another woman, so she's killed. Her only assent, physical beauty, is what saves her in the end.

Sleeping Beauty: Betrothed at birth to solidify a political position, she is killed by another woman out of spite. Her owner… ahem… fiance, saves her with a kiss. Again, sex is her only salvation.

Jasmine of Aladdin : This princess must get married to satisfy the requirements of the law. Her reluctance to do so causes her powerful father no end of trouble. She is enslaved by a powerful man and is only saved by the wit of a street rat

Ariel of The Little Mermaid: This one drastically changes her appearance so as to be more attractive to man. The price is that she can't speak. No problem, she has nothing of value to say anyhow. She is saved by a prince.

Belle of Beauty and the Beast: Saves a prince's life. With her only asset, her sexuality.

Cinderella: She is saved from terrible living conditions by a prince. He does this, not because she's such a hard worker, but because she is beautiful

Some of the above are not quite accurate summary of the princess of Disney nor the fairy tale some of these are based on. For example, Ariel of the “Little Mermaid” didn't get legs to be more attractive to man, but rather, she did it so she can be with her lover.

(See also: The Little Mermaid - Poor Unfortunate Souls.)

Though, there are certain central theme that are eternal truth:

  • They all involve sexual attraction, as in almost all princess's role in fairy tales.
  • Female's physical beauty and youth are the primary element of attraction for male.
  • The archenemy of these women are often other women. It reflects the fierce competition in mating.

Wikipedia Links:

disney prince
“What Disney Princes Teach Men About Attracting Women” (source unknown)

In the above, it captures the fact that the primary element of attraction of male for female, is power.

Note that in Disney's Aladdin, the prince started as a street pauper. His sexual attraction characteristics at first is rather opposite of other princes. Here, the focus is bravery, honesty, as depicted by Disney. But of course by magic the lad became the most powerful. In the original text of Aladdin of Arabian Nights (See: Alaeddin; Or, The Wonderful Lamp.), she only sees him when he is the powerful prince (due to the lamp).

Following is another funny one. It captures what women's magazines are about.

disney princess on cosmo
Parody of Cosmopolitan Magazine cover featuring Disney Princess. By Dan O'Brien and Matt Barrs from Source www.cracked.com

Women's magazines are like that because they need to attract women, and women's primary concern in life is to look pretty. (because that's prime criterion of mate selection by male.) (See collection of US Mag covers at the Concerns of US American Female and Male Human Animals.)

For cereal box featuring Disney Princess, see: Disney Princesses of Americanism.