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Earlier in MAY, 2006 → ← MAY, 2006

‘A massacre? Ugh.’ … ‘Men fail …’ … «el fuego» 13th of May, 2006 POST·MERIDIEM 08:13

“Oh, well, yeah. Fantastic. ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’. What a great song. It really encapsulates the frustration of a Sunday, doesn’t it? You wake up in the morning, you’ve got to read all the Sunday papers, the kids are running round, you’ve got to mow the lawn, wash the car, and you think “Sunday, bloody Sunday!”.”
Alan Partridge’s TV shows are magnificent comedies of failure. That wasn’t at all clear to me when I saw Knowing Me, Knowing You  at first; I didn’t have exposure to the radio series, and the TV show seemed to involve him succeeding, spreading his mind-bendingly stupid way of thinking across Britain (because making a TV series about someone who’s failing is just asking to get cancelled, right?). And actual life is full enough with that sort of success- despite- incompetence that seeing one episode just depressed me.

But reading up on Graham Linehan I learn a bit more about it, and yes, of course, he fails magnificently and hugely, and taken in its entirety, it’s not a series that focuses on the bright side of being a sycophantic dickhead.

Comment on random blog entry: The crux of treating other people well is understanding their point of view, and then acting to make their life better with that in mind. If you understand anyone’s point of view, you understand your own, and as a result patterns of thought close to your own and reactions to situations close to your own can be related to much better than others.

I cannot imagine myself in any of the described scenarios, I cannot imagine the corresponding point of view for me. If I’m asking someone for money, I am being a ѕhіt, I am exploiting the friendship; having money available is such a priority in my life that “out of cash flow” is wilful neglect, and the prospect of exploiting friends has been thought of already.

Talking about a lousy day just depresses me more, it doesn’t help. If I need to talk to a friend for other personal reasons, ten minutes is either five times more time than is necessary, or a tiny fraction of it.

Unfulfilled sexual desire doesn’t normally disappear like that.

If I think “I want to just sit quietly” and someone comes over, I say in my mind “don’t be autistic, talk to them, remember that time you got all silent on $random_woman and it pissed her off?”

“Backstabbed at work?” I don’t even get the phrase. Someone acted like a ѕhіt? People are ѕhіts, that’s what they do, do what you do in good faith, document it, when they attempt to fuсk you over, you have something to point to when you say it’s them that did the attempting.

Now, I do not mean to say that I would behave as do our blogger’s conversation partners, just that I understand their imagined positions much easier than I do hers. If she’s not ready to accept those imagined positions as reasonable within her cultural sphere, then a heterosexual lifestyle is not suited to her.

Word of the day: оташ is Tajik for ‘fire’.

Last comment from Aidan Kehoe on the 15th of May at 9:36
I like a lot of what she writes, which is what lead me to read that entry. And I don’t think what she says is extreme or unrepresentative of how good numbers of women approach life; if I had, I wouldn’t have written anything on it.

My course in college was 60–70% women, and given that they had chosen the course, they were to some extent technically inclined. One of them liked programming and general hackery in the way I do and you seem to. And she left after first year. The rest could do it, but didn’t enjoy it, in general. So, yeah, IME, you are a little on the other side of the mean :-) .

[Three older comments for this entry.]

Needless complexity … “No positive meaning …” … Unterschied; Auszeichnung 10th of May, 2006 POST·MERIDIEM 03:53

Je mehr dass ich mich mit dem anderen Zweig des Editors beschäftige, desto mehr Respekt habe ich für Ben Wing und für das Design XEmacs’. Eigentlich wenn man C-Kode für GNU Emacs schreibt, die Konvention für den Schutz eines allozierten Objektes vor dem Garbage-Collector ist, man soll diesen Schutz einrichten bei einem Funktionsanruf wenn, und nur wenn, man weißt dass die Funktion Garbage sammeln kann, und man weißt auch dass man das Objekt nach dem Anruf der Funktion verwenden wird. Also, wenn du eine Funktion bearbeitet, und einen Anruf zu Lisp macht, muss man überall überprüfen, wovon man die Funktion angerufen hat, und ob die Argumente entweder geschützt sind, oder nicht mehr benutzt werden. Und in einer langen Funktion, es ist oft nicht ganz deutlich ob ein Objekt wieder benutzt wird oder nicht.

Bei XEmacs, es gibt ein bisschen mehr Ordnung; der Anrufer schützt das Argument, es ist nicht die Verantwortung der angerufenen Funktion es zu schützen. Auch, es ist viel seltener dass man eine Funktion von C anruft, als eine Funktion von C (Fread(…) u.s.w), und nicht mit call3 oder so was, wobei man registriert dass die Argumente nicht Garbage sind.

Anyway. Here’s that bit from George Kennan on the Nürnberg trials, from yesterday:

I have already mentioned my aversion to our proceeding jointly with the Russians in matters of this nature. I should not like to be misunderstood on this subject. The crimes of the Nazi leaders were immeasurable. These men had placed themselves in a position where a further personal existence on this earth could have had no positive meaning for them or for anyone else. I personally considered that it would have been best if the Allied commanders had had standing instructions that if any of these men fell into the hands of Allied forces they should, once their identity had been established beyond doubt, be executed forthwith.

But to hold these Nazi leader for public trial was another matter. This procedure could not expiate or undo the crimes they had committed. It could have been justified only as a means for conveying to the world public the repudiation, by the conscience of those peoples and governments conducting the trial, of mass crimes of every sort. To admit to such a procedure a Soviet judge as the representative of a regime which had on its conscience not only the vast cruelties of the Russian Revolution,of collectivization, and of the Russian purges of the 1930s, as well as the manifold brutalities and atrocities perpetrated against the Poles and the peoples of the Baltic countries during the wartime period, was to make a mockery of the only purpose the trials could conceivably serve, and to assume, by association, a share of the responsibility for these Stalinist crimes themselves.

(from Memoirs, 1925—1950, ISBN 0394716248)

Word of the day: la distinción is Spanish for “distinction,” both in the senses of honour and of some differentiating factor. My thirtysomething Puerto Rican colleague wasn’t aware of it before today, which I found really weird.

Last comment from Aidan Kehoe on the 11th of May at 12:35
Not here, they don’t.

(Was that a comment on the general lack of any coherent theme to what I write?)

[One older comment for this entry.]

And they smile back, too … Avoiding the awkward stuff, for once 9th of May, 2006 POST·MERIDIEM 02:35

It’s May, and the sun is shining, and attractive women are wearing skirts and strappy shoes. Yay, markers of femininity, yay attractive women.

We’ve been talking here in the office about nations and war and famines and genocides, and I could type up something here on that subject, but it’s too sunny and I’m in too content a mood to do that right now. Maybe tomorrow.

Via the del.icio.us popular page, this is funny, and much more cheering than, say, George Kennan pointing out that the Soviets taking part in the Nürnberg trials debased them as a symbol of repudiation of mass crimes: 3. Find x. “Here it is.”

Word of the day: тролейбус is Tajik for a trolley bus.

Last comment from Aidan Kehoe on the 10th of May at 18:10
Hehe, I love that you know the percentage of it to two decimal places!

[Six older comments for this entry.]

Der Wert von Übersetzungen … “All items tagged lesbian-made-of-wool” 8th of May, 2006 POST·MERIDIEM 05:31

I read Bret Easton Ellis’ “The Rules of Attraction” and “Less than Zero” in English in the late nineties, and then “American Psycho” in a French translation around 2001. (I try to avoid reading things in second languages that I wouldn’t read in my first, and this was part of that.) And, the style was that of the other books, the book was as impressive as I could imagine it being. I read a few chapters of it in English later, and it was, well, exactly like the French version, modulo the language. So I’m essentially in agreement with this guy, in that in my experience, a translation can convey what the author meant very well.

Which I suppose makes me question if Gabriel García Márquez is that good of a writer. I’ve started “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” but then no longer had the opportunity to read it. I have his “El Coronel No Tiene Quien Le Escriba” in Spanish; reading it is one more reason to stay in, then.

Favourite graffito of the day: “My mom made me a lesbian.” “If I bought her the wool, would she make me one too?”

Word of the day: „Ungeziefer“ is one German word for “vermin” and is probably most known internationally for Kafka’s „Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte, fand er sich in seinem Bett zu einem ungeheueren Ungeziefer verwandelt.“

Last comment from Aidan Kehoe on the 9th of May at 12:21
I suspect Márquez’ output is in general uneven.

[One older comment for this entry.]

Jamila M’Barek … Given a set A = {…} … Road of Iron 6th of May, 2006 POST·MERIDIEM 08:17

Diverting fact of the day; Lough Neagh, that Isle-of-Man-shaped water-filled hole in Northern Ireland, is the ancestral property of the Earls of Shaftesbury. This means that half of it could be owned by Jamila M’Barek, a Paris-born nightclub hostess of Tunisian background. The stumbling block to her exercising her feudal right to jet ski abusively on the Lough, is that she has been accused of arranging the murder of her husband, Lord Shaftesbury, with whom she had commenced divorce proceedings. Ach, isn’t this twenty-first century fantastic? In a “like a fantasy” sense?

(I believe her prosecution has been reported on extensively in the English tabloids, but I have very little to do with the English tabloids, so this is something entirely new, and very diverting to me.)

Via our friends over at Fistful of Euros, comes one of the cooler LiveJournal entries I’ve seen in a while. Nicholas Whyte writes on the Treaty of Berlin, the diplomatic agreement that confirmed the establishment of Bulgaria (after hundreds of years being part of the Ottoman empire):

… Bulgaria had gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in possession of a huge swathe of territory in the southern Balkans; the western Great Powers felt that this would give Russia too much influence and divided it three ways, with Macedonia going back to Ottoman control, a much smaller Bulgarian principality set up with its capital in Sofia, and an even smaller autonomous province called Eastern Rumelia, with its capital at Plovdiv (then called Philippopolis in English).
He then gives details on how a Bulgarian mathematician looked at the limitations placed on the Eastern Rumelia elections in order to have the Greek and Turkish minorities notably represented, and figured out that he could have the Bulgarians control the province without too much trouble. And Eastern Rumelia has been part of Bulgaria since 1885 as a result.

Word of the day: роҳи оҳан is Tajik for “railroad”; notice the [i] sound (known as the izofat) at the end of роҳ. The izofat is an inverse genitive construction that originated in Persian; it’s also available in Urdu, the Koh-i-Noor being one example of it.