us: the whole spectrum

i’m continually amazed at the life styles that coexist side-by-side in this country. on my flight back from san diego, i was subjected to products like this one:

and the stewardess sang a southwest airlines song? What the fuck is up with that?

then, only a couple hours later, i crashed at johns party. i was introduced to that kid from, michael. the evenings festivities ended at some guys place where i slept in the guest house, and went on to see margaret cho. she is the most anti p.c. person i have ever seen. i laughed so hard it hurt..

virtual economies

quite a few people are losing interest in the real world, and settle for virtual ones like everquest. a new study calculated the theoretical GNP, and its at 77th place..

so far, dealing with real cash has been discouraged. if project entropia has their way, this will change. .. the ultimate goal of the project is a worldwide
network monopoly in virtual reality 3D commerce, replacing all existing internet
browsers and web interfaces with a single virtual world of millions of users.

technologies of coordination and cooperation

the community meme is quickly taking hold. i met two friends yesterday who want to do the same things in the music space, what a coincidence..

the key issue in the coming weeks / months will be striking a balance between centralization and decentralization.

i talked to some social scientist recently, and he confirmed what i had assumed all along. communities are the next big thing. duh.

on a different note i want to have the autolink stuff working decently. manually entering links cannot be the answer.. maybe if it scours my past articles and my link db for hints..

A liberal arabic voice: al-Jazeera

For the first time, there is a tv station (al-Jazeera) that is not giving in to pressure from governments around the arabic world to censor its content. for the first time, arabic people can get real news, without the usual all-distorting propaganda. this will change the region for good, its things like that that are crucial in the fight against stupid fundamentalists. let the people have their own opinion, and foster economic growth. this article has more details.

communicating with the arab world

according to a paper on Rhetorical Ethnocentricism, communications between the arab and the western world are primarily hampered by diverse cultural understandings of language.

First is the role of the Arabic language itself as an artistic form. As an early scholar noted, the “magical sounds of the words” combined with the images, have a powerful effect on the psychology of the Arab.(42) Hitti perhaps summed it up best when he stated,

Hardly any language seems capable of exercising over the minds of its users such irresistible influence as Arabic . . The rhythm, the rhyme, the music produce on them the effect of what they call ‘lawful magic’ (sihr halal).(43)

The melodious sounds of the phonetic combinations and plays on words in the recitation of Arabic prose and poetry has been likened to music.(44) Indeed, as one Arab colleague once remarked, recitation of the Koran may be the Western equivalent of classical music. Because of their talent with words, poets throughout Arab history have been held in high esteem. As Chenje noted, “there had been hardly any scholar of consequence in Arab-Muslim society who did not try his hand at poetry.”(45) With the stress always on style in Arabic, eloquence and effectiveness were equated.(46)

The power of the Arabic language for Arabs is also derived from its religious association through the Prophet Mohammed and the Koran. For the believer, the majesty of the language of the Koran is considered a miracle from God for the Moslem prophet was illiterate and unschooled. “It was the Koran — the Revealed Book — that was conceived to represent the highest linguistic achievement of the Arabic language.(47) The Koran was not only revealed in Arabic, but Arabic is the language used in prayer by Moslems throughout the world.

shrek vs final fantasy: animation at its best

it just happens that final fantasy opens today in the us (and will open around august 18th here). and shrek has just opened. both movies have only synthetic actors, which makes them kind of intriguing :)

the days when have to endure tom cruise might just about be over. or they might not. as james cameron has said: people do not want to see actors. people want to see stars.

will synthetic actors draw fans? if lara croft is any indication, they will.. social implications aside, both of these movies are stunningly made and best of class. i will certainly check them out.

very timely, slashdot has an article about the tech behind final fantasy.