22 December 2009
Another flaw with Avatar: Ana Lucia has still not been punched in the face. Help me, Season 6. You're my only hope.
Also, Avatar shares a lot of themes with Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Loved that one. Hannah does, too.
21 December 2009
We shall not cease from explorationI really like it. I find it very compelling. I don't want to leave my family – I don't want to go exploring – I don't need new friends when I've got such good ones in my daily life already. (I suppose I'm taking an optimistic viewpoint on that last line, but that's well within my liberty.)
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot, LITTLE GIDDING
The quote seems relevant in light of college graduation. "Where to?"
I don't want anyone to leave. And I want everyone to come back.
It is a great movie. It noticeably lacked only two things:
An original plot. Reviews I read before watching made this same critique. The avatar thing is a nice speculative fiction twist (and a bit over-played in the title, I think), but doesn't sway the story too considerably from Pocahontas/Dances with Wolves/The Last Samurai: efficient-killing, greedy invaders lend wayward hero to "savages", who turn out to be noble and inspire the hero to switch sides.
Here's the catch: I love this plot. Add in the thoughtful and inter-woven support from the Na'vi culture and Pandoran ecology for the audience's inflamed environmentalism, and Cameron has sharpened-up a very old and very proven story.
Character development. The wittiest critique I read on Rotten Tomatoes was about how the movie looks great in 3D but the characters themselves are trapped in 1D. Nobody really changes.
The closest I'd say was the capitalist Parker; his resentment for his charge and his thin attempts at self-deception become more evident as the movie proceeds. I like that veneer of sympathy the movie allows him. Clearly, Jake changes, but this is a plot element more than character development. Moreover, the lack of information about his past character (=spunky?) leaves us with no trajectory upon which to witness character development.
I'll say it again. It is a great movie. But not a film. I'd say the two missing pieces above are pretty much pillars of film, but no more than pieces of a movie.
Basically: amidst the simple plot, Cameron effortlessly blends dragon-riders and mecha in the same movie. I can dig that. Layer on the wonderment of being a Na'vi, the invitation for redemption for our greedy ways (demonstrated by Dr. Augustine/Jake connecting with Eywa), the drop-dead gorgeous Pandoran environment, and the most seamless computer animation ever, and you have no excuse to miss this one.
19 December 2009
18 December 2009
I saw Phil yesterday and that reminded me that some people change the caps lock key to be other things, since caps lock is so worthless. OS X actually supports this directly in the Keyboard preference pane†, so now my caps lock key is just another option key. My thumb feels better already.
It feels hopeful.
† You can change other "modifier" keys too: control, option, and command.
15 December 2009
14 December 2009
My picks from that list:
- Acacia: The War with the Mein
- Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
- Look to Windward
- The Mount (maybe)
- Perdido Street Station
- Rainbows End
- Stories of Your Life And Others
13 December 2009
If you want access, let me know. I'm going to read it all, seasons 1-5, before 6 starts on 2 February because I don't remember so much!
11 December 2009
Though I had followed the ragtag instructions and got GHC working as far as I could tell, I was having trouble getting Apache + FastCGI + GHC to work for a web application I had made on my laptop (OS X 10.5). I couldn't really find any error issues and other parts of the web site were working fine, so I just figured the bit mismatch was causing the problem, since IPC can be iffy in the first place. I had given up for a while.
But, I recently installed mod_python and wrote some home-grown python to filter my Google Reader shared items and this blog for my Twitter account (a little more sophisticated than twitterfeed, especially since it is triggered via URL). This put me back in the mood to get Haskell working, since I much prefer it to Python given the choice. I think what it turned out to be was me not noticing that GHC didn't actually rebuild the Haskell executable since I had only changed GHC-system files and not the actual source. Works now. Joy.
Long story short (too late): my online Quoridor program works now, so two people can play over the Internets. En garde! It's password protected because I don't understand the licensing issues and Family Games, Inc. hasn't responded to my inquiry. If you want to try it, let me know.
10 December 2009
09 December 2009
Lindsey shared this, and it's freakin' brilliant! I hope the Lost cabal has pre-manipulated all the Wikipedia pages it references, though – that'd be masterful.
Note that Charlie's never mentioned, which is good because he's dumb.
I really dig the theme (that I first saw in Gaiman's American Gods) that the atrophy of pagan faiths has a "physical" consequence for the deities themselves.
08 December 2009
07 December 2009
05 December 2009
Thanks for listening, and I hope you've gotten something from reading it. I've enjoyed writing it from the silly little shares to the diary-esque or even manifesto posts.
I've changed the name a couple of times, from "Ignorance is OK!" to "Rumblin' Bumblin' Stumblin'" and now to "Myopic and Moderate" (which has no zing and so will probably change soon). Each of those was meant to reflect my current philosophical mood. In that way, I suppose, this blog has largely served to record some trace of my (re)construction of a personal ethic.
I'm sick of thinking about that stuff: I've deconstructed, but the reconstruction isn't getting anywhere. This is why my posts have been a lot less thinky recently.
On that note, it is a fitting time to mention (again) that I've opened a Facebook account and – just now – a twitter account. I've set it up so that both of those just feed out this blog; don't expect anything beyond that (though I might be using some twitter syntax). I'm just connecting to my friends in whichever way they've invited me to do so. No more social networking elitism.