The boring rants of a lazy nerd

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Mad - You might want to skip this entree

Modern biology says* it’s all about procreation, ensuring the survival of one’s genes, or genes as close to yours as possible.

Freud said* it’s all about sex.

I maintain that every human achievement, every advancement of civilization has been made by a man seeking to impress a woman or challenge another man’s plans/claims for some woman. All the great creative thinking was done by people in their late teens and early twenties, before they became old and settled down, monetizing their ideas into college money for the kids.

Until some entrepreneur invented porn. Now, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and consider it wasn’t a plan to eliminate competition but a service for men who have no access to women for long periods of time (such as soldiers) and no wish to practice homosexuality and/or bestiality. Which is all great (when tastefully done) but as with all good things, introduces a catch: porn, unlike flesh and blood females, is immaterial information (graphical or audio-visual), thus making pr0n feasible.

When computers were invented and all the really important things to do with them ran out (cracking Enigma, building The Bomb, playing chess) geeks found that relieving themselves using graphical stimuli is a quicker way of clearing one’s mind and getting back to solving interesting problems than bothering with real women (wooed or rented), and since they were still in the creative stage of their lives they didn’t care for reproduction.

Since most good hacking is done by “scratching one’s itch”, i.e. working on fixing the problems you face yourself, technologies for enhancing the experience quickly evolved. Technologies like high resolution true color graphical displays, graphical user interfaces (to navigate albums in thumbnail mode), networking (to share pr0n with friends and argue taste), cheap photo-realistic inkjet printers (in case of power outages), storage so cheap you can fit the library of congress without selling a kidney (for collections), complex algorithms to compress and transport multimedia streams over bad network conditions with minimal loss of quality and audio-visual synchronization (because one never has enough storage), the web (the ultimate publishing medium for conventional pr0n), P2P networking (for spreading the racy stuff) and DHTML bookmarkslets (to remove bad links from pages).

Higher levels of immersion are being developed – Doom3 can make you scared, but what else is the graphical engine capable of? What do you think AI is being developed for? Accurately guessing what the user wishes the character does next, of course! And finally, the ultimate, last, invention of human kind – Virtual Reality, when all the creative minds of humanity get lost in a Matrix-like dream-world they’ve built for themselves.

You ask how I know all that stuff was invented for pr0n? I'll tell you. Because all the real work I do on my computer (managing big distributed databases, developing, testing, debugging, deploying and analyzing the output of cross platform software (and by "cross-platform" I mean the exact same source is compiled on s390 (MVS), RS/6000 (AIX 4) and P4 (Win2k)...), etc.) I do on the command prompt, in text-only mode, usually by telnet. The only reason for me to have a monitor like that is for reading lots of documentation PDFs (because I don't want to search for the hardcopy) and watching the flash clips my friends keep sending me, not for using bloated development environments like Websphere or Visual Studio .Net 2003. I imagine it's much the same for many other people, so unless the CAD/CAM industries were that influential, I say computer graphics were invented for pr0n.

* - I am aware these are criminal generalizations, people.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Travel - Nachal Yehudia

Most of my department went on a two day trip to the north (bonding and stuff, because otherwise we don't get any non-computer related experiences as a group). I don't remember how the place we've done the first day is called, but it wasn't that good or special. On the second day, on the other hand, we've done the Nahal Yehudia hike - a beautiful, challenging, hot & wet trek following a river in a canyon. The flora & fauna were great (lots of insects, no bites, not even from mosquitoes!), the water was cool (almost cold, but that might be because the ambient temperature was 37°c in the shade…), the company lively and the bikini-clad ladies we were seeing every few minutes lovely (" - hey, check out that really hot wet foreign tourist babe! - hey look, 200 pound local gorilla boyfriend watching you checking out his girl!" ;) ).

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Personal - resolutions

I've recently had a photo taken for a new ID badge. Comparing it to one taken 20 months ago I've decided I'll be cutting down on fat and fic. I only wish to find the strength to make good on that promise.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Web Tech - real vs. virtual life

Read the last paragraph of Mark’s post here. Especially said paragraph’s last sentence.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Web Tech - refactoring and improving performance

I'm following Joel Spolsky's advice in "Fire and Motion" and trying to work on that thing every day, as much as I can, no matter that my work is not "perfect". If I manage to steal an hour of "zone" time a day I'm happy with my progress - it gets better, faster, cleaner as I go along. I'm using an oldschool version control system (solid RAR archive of timestamped directories, one for each version, each self-contained) and document ideas in a "to-do" section. Most of the code has been re-written twice already, and each time I'm astonished how bad it was. That should mean it's iteratively getting better. I've learned to appreciate ECMAScript functions as first class objects, closures, and most recently the fact that array.reverse() is "free" performance-wise. Also I noted that IE's DOM has been optimized only for sequential access, while Mozilla also does decent random access. In general, Mozilla is so far ahead of IE (despite its cross-platform compatibility) it's staggering. The usefulness of the DOM Inspector tool is beyond words.

TV - Six Feet Under

I've watched the first three episodes. It's a really good show. Your thoughts?

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


I was on guard duty and me and a friend discussed fandom (numerous software development houses on base, the place is bound to be crawling with geeks, even when they're not dressed like it and are occasionally armed). She mentioned "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Fifteen Minutes". Go, read. ROFL.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

TV - What do you watch?

I don't watch TV. At all. I prefer the Internet (more choice in what I watch, when). Since Alias, I have nothing to download. Which shows would you recommend? Please specify name, genre, pros vs. cons.

Blog Archive

About Me

GCS d- s-: a-- C++$ UL++ P+++ L+++ E--- W+++ N o? K? w++$ !O !M !V PS-(+) PE Y+ PGP+(-) t--@ 5++(+++) !X R-- tv-- b+>++ DI+++ D+ G e h! r* y--(-)>+++