Everyone Gets To The Yes

“Actually, there’s only one instant, and it’s right now, and it’s eternity. And it’s an instant in which God is posing a question, and that question is basically, ‘Do you wanna be one with eternity, do you want to be in heaven?’ And, we’re all saying, ‘Nooo thank you, not just yet.’ And so time is actually just this constant saying ‘No’ to God’s invitation. I mean, that’s what time is. linklater.jpg
It’s no more 50 A.D. than it’s 2001. There’s just this one instant, and that’s what we’re always in. And then she tells me that actually, this is the narrative of everyone’s life. Behind the phenomenal difference there is but one story, and that’s the story of moving from the ‘No’ to the ‘Yes.’ All of life is like, ‘No thank you, No thank you, No thank you.’ And then, ultimately, it’s, ‘Yes I give in, Yes I accept, Yes I embrace.’ I mean, that’s the journey. Everyone gets to the ‘Yes’ in the end, right?”
Watched Waking Life again this evening – I’ve been waking up mornings these days with conversations from my dreams fresh and vivid in my mind. The people in these dreams have been telling me things that are astonishing, in ways that stagger me and leave me agog for the few minutes it takes before the memory fades, things I can not understand how I could possibly know, and I’m determined to find out how that could be.
The living iguanas will come and bite the men who do not dream

Kinda The Lonely One

Number 5 in a continuing series : tonight’s song [4 Mb, mp3] is as always available for a couple of days.

The Lowest of The Low – Kinda The Lonely One
Ask the question
Am I on the blacklist?
How long can this go on?
And… If I pull will you resist?
Are you the bleeding Christ?
And am I the mongrel dog?
If I knew you were so far gone
I’d have run right out and bought you a bottle
But then again, you were always kinda the lonely one
I met an old friend yesterday
He’s gone to Vancouver
He just left his wife and kids
What a sly manoeuvre
So drunk the night he left
He was too drunk to recover
Now I’m digging old bones
Now I’m digging old bones
If I knew you were so far gone
I’d have run right out and bought me a bottle
But then again, you were always kinda the lonely one
If I knew you were so far gone
I’d have run right out and bought us a bottle
But then again, you were always kinda the lonely one

Seeing Asian Characters

If you wish to be able to see the Korean characters (like this favorite from the World Cup – 대한미국 화이팅!) in some upcoming posts I’m planning, or Japanese or Chinese elsewhere (like at glome.org or in some upcoming posts I think Jonathon is planning), and you’re using Windows, here are some clear instructions in how to get the fonts (and input method editors) you need (XP, Win2K).
Here are a couple of free truetype unicode Chinese fonts, too (requires valid email).
It says here that Mac OS X 10 did not originally include support for as many languages and scripts as Mac OS 9. Mac OS X 10.1 supported Central European, Cyrillic and Japanese, and Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese were made available as downloads.
If you’re using some other operating system, it’s time to become assimilated to the hivemind, weirdo. Heh.
More resources : Linguistic Considerations from scholarly-societies.org and Creating Multilingual Web Pages: Unicode Support in HTML, HTML Editors and Web Browsers from Alan Wood.
Good luck, and let me know how it goes.

Another Take

Another very interesting take can be found here (from a writer new to me, which is always cool) on the whole SapirWhorf linguistic relativism conversation, one that I almost missed in my growing dependance on trackback to keep me up to date on who’s been saying what…
One of the best things for me that came out of this ongoing discussion has been finding a whole constellation of new and interesting voices that had something to say on some facet of the topic, in addition to my friends in the virtual neighbourhood. It’s been a pretty good week in blogaria for me.

This Is A Test Of Korean

한국 말?

Edit : Woot! It worked for me, at least, on IE6. That was my very first MT-hack, and I’m pleased as hell that it seems to have worked. If you don’t see some Korean up there (or, come to think of it, even if you do), please let me know which browser/version you’re using.
Crap, now I have to worry about spelling in two languages, at least one of which I don’t speak worth a damn.
Edit again : If you can’t see the Korean characters above, can you also not see the Korean, Chinese and Japanese characters in this post at glome.org (from whence I have borrowed the UTF-8 encoding tricks to try and make this work)? Can you see them in one or the other, or both, or neither? Thanks for the help!
(Edit : I found this today, coincidentally – “an open community of bloggers who post in one or more languages about material discovered in one or more other languages.”)

Eater of Meaning

Emptybottle.orgEmpire.Organism : A liter songbook, a liter dan, a litmus selfridge downloaded your pantomime.
This will probably be all over Daypop if it’s not already, but I love it, and couldn’t resist. Instant Finnegannifier. I’m seriously thinking of changing the navigation items at the top of the page to “HOMEOMORPHISMS | ME | BLOOMERS | ARCLIKE | LINGUISTS | PICK | LODGED FORAY SALLYING” as it suggests.
The Eater of Meaning, via MeFi.


I found this through one of the referrer-tracking tools I have set up like laser tripwires around this site, and it looks like a potentially useful set of tools, particularly the ‘blogthread’ bit, which promises to track and graphically display conversation threads, much in the way that we’ve talked about (with Shelley usually in the pole position) a few times in the past around the neighbourhood.
I’ve added some code to the templates, and you can see a little ‘Blogthread’ link down there at the bottom of each post, which at the moment unfortunately seems to do sweet bugger-all. Perhaps it needs some time to get revved up. We shall see, on the morrow. I love a new toy.
Edit : Well, this seems to work, though. And this SVG-based graphical view is pretty snazzy too. Hmm. I think it’s hungry for data. Feed me!
(Wow : my hundredth post to ‘metablogging’. That’s positively wanktastic!)

Lost in Transit

A while back I was asked if I would like to be a part of a group weblog written by expats from nations all over the bloody map, and I accepted, and promptly settled into a steady regimen of procrastination, as is my wont.
I broke my silence and posted a wee thing today. Hooray for me!
Hope you like it.
Edit : I also recently received an email about a TV pilot being produced for a show about blogging (‘Wow, lookit ‘im type, Martha! That fella must be some kinda geeenyus!’), which invited me to produce a short bit of video that summed up my webwork here. The only thing I could think of was a blurry closeup of a dew-beaded beer bottle with me chanting a stream of obscenities in the background, followed by a few kaleidoscopic seconds of semi-nekkid belly-slappin’ dancing.
Maybe I’ll just keep the video to myself, huh?

Ignorance Bought And Paid For

Language Hat points to this strangely timely article in the New York Times, which not only mentions the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, but mentions it in the context of East Asian languages. How interesting, thinks I to myself, as I follow the link, hoping it will be germane to all the fascinating and erudite discussion in the neighbourhood that’s sprung up around and taken off in a multitude of interesting directions from my brain dump last week.
In it are described the ideas of a certain William C. Hannas, “a linguist who speaks 12 languages and works as a senior officer at the Foreign Broadcast Information Service,” author of a newly released book which claims that Asian science has suffered because the main Asian languages are written in “character-based rather than alphabetic” systems.
Not to get off on a rant here, but : in and of itself, this seems to me to be the most vile form of egregiously wrongheaded bullsh-t, and I suspect Mr Hannas is precisely the sort of person that I’d take great pleasure in pummelling until he whimpered like a frightened infant (a reaction that may reveal to some extent why I left academia many years ago, having dipped no more than a toe in its calm waters). But that’s not the thing that bothered me.
The article states, presumably parrotting Mr Dipsh-t, that “Western specialists are better informed today […and] now recognize that the writing systems of East Asia, including Chinese, Japanese and Korean, are “syllabaries,” in which each character corresponds to a syllable of sound.”
Now, I can’t speak for written Japanese (for which I think this may in part be true, depending on which way of writing the language one chooses – Jonathon may be the better person in the immediate neighbourhood to address that), and I’m only semi-certain it is true as far as my knowledge goes for Chinese, but this is completely and laughably wrong in the case of Korean.
I’ve been promising for over a year now to write a piece about the Korean language and alphabet, and this may have me riled enough to actually do it.
“Mr. Hannas’s logic goes like this: because East Asian writing systems lack the abstract features of alphabets, they hamper the kind of analytical and abstract thought necessary for scientific creativity,” says the New York Times.
Replies the wonderchicken : Mr Hannas should take his head out of his ass, because having one’s cranium so firmly lodged up one’s rectum can hamper the kind of analytical and abstract thought necessary for actually making some f–king sense.
A googlesearch takes literally about 5 seconds to find a multitude of sites that describe hangul, the Korean alphabet, and make Mr Hannas look like the idiot (or at the very most gracious, ‘mind-bogglingly poor researcher’) he would seem to be.
What is also distressing to me is that Sapir-Whorf (to the weak formulation of which, as I’ve mentioned, I have a degree of sympathy) is being talked about in connection with such worthless, badly thought-out crypto-racist twaddle.
Here’s a rude bit of English, sloppily and phonetically rendered into the Hangul alphabet in 5 letters and two syllables for Mr Hannas, sounding something like ‘puhk kyu!’. Wonder if he’d be able to read it…

f--k you!

[Gah! I thought I had all my ranting out of my system for the week. Ah well.]

More Lies

You are being lied to, clumsily. Redux.
My seething hatred of the American Junta still, you know, seethes. Occasionally it froths a bit, and it is known occasionally to erupt, after which it drips slowly down my leg. Most of the time, it merely simmers, on a low boil, until I see something like this, and, well, then I’m off and seething again.

“We were not lying,” a Bush administration official told ABC News. “But it was just a matter of emphasis.”


you bullet-headed, baby-killing micro-phallused warwanktard, you

I might be lying to you too, of course, and in fact I probably am : but at least it’s moderately more artful than the cheesedick trailerpark celebrity faux-cathexis that serves for discourse on the tee-vee.

You have been lied to, and it’s a lovely feeling, that they should still care enough to try, isn’t it? But they’re clearly not trying very hard. Or they’re trying their damnedest, but they are so ham-handed, half-witted, blinded by hubris, too busy slapping each other on the back while carefully wiping the faeces off each other’s dicks after the latest washingtonian clusterf–k that they actually think the dog-and-pony show is fooling people.
Of course, inside the borders of their mighty nation, they’d be right, to a surprising extent. Pity, that.
You are being lied to, clumsily.
But you knew that already, didn’t you?
OK, I’m done. That should hold me for week or so.
Edit : No, I was wrong. One more thing.