Friday, May 04, 2007

On Passing Judgement

Sorry to have missed so many, but this week has been a wild and crazy ride. On the bright side, I got my Sansa today! I'll give full impressions soon enough, just not today. Today I'm going to cover a topic I've wanted to discuss for a couple of weeks and now Paul Graham has given me reason to do so: judging people. I like his view of there being two types of judgement: judging for the sake of judgement (as in for a contest or for a court case) where impartiality is vital and expected, and judgement as means to some other end, as in judging who's best to date or who should get into a university. What's interesting is that we often expect the first time when we're really getting the second not realizing that the second type doesn't have a concept of being fair. Just because a girl is at a club and chooses to dance with one guy over another doesn't mean that the other guy should take it personally, because she's not investigating his abilities or character to judge him in particular, she just wants to see who she'd have the most fun dancing with.

I even have a personal case to relay, where obviously no names will be revealed (so don't try guessing). There's an individual in my department who I knew of but didn't really interact with much because, well, I usually interact with friends I already have in my CS classes (as we all do when we know people in certain classes). However, this person judged me as being arrogant, unbeknown to be until a few weeks ago where it started influencing people who I had never met before. Understandably, I was offended by this and yet, this person didn't really mean any harm (at least I don't think). They didn't care to get the full story on me because they had no interest in this, they were just trying to make a prima facie analysis of whether I was a worthwhile person to know, which clearly came out as negative. In fact, we do this all the time. When the bus is full and you need to decide who to sit next to, who do you pick? Often, guys sit near guys and girls sit near girls, and it's weird to be offended if someone decides to not sit next to you because they're not trying to knock you as a person, judging you just wasn't their end goal. However, there is hope yet: make more of an effort to sell yourself, as Paul puts it. There's something I hate doing, but I hope that spending more time with certain people will replace false impressions with the real thing. We've actually been having judgement problems in ACM as well where a gender/sexuality workshop at meeting failed horribly because the moderator was close-minded. I took one thing from it though: we sometimes make subconscious judgements of people based on gender not because we mean to judge them a certain way, but it's that second type of judgement and it's become ingrained in us. Anyone who's not a jerk tries to treat women equally, I just feel like sometimes women mistake that second type of judgement for the first type and get offended, especially in this department. Anyway, I'm not going to get offended by the second type of judgement anymore. It's important to not be so self-centered, and to think of the bigger picture (just like in software design; what do you know, a nerdy parallel?!).

Speaking of design, Joel Splosky has a quick read that I just thought was cute: a new elevator technology that's really fancy and efficient, but it wasn't designed quite well enough. Don't cheat like I did, actually try to figure out what the problem is before you highlight the answer.

Usually, I pass on social networking sites nowadays because it's just done to death. It's a nice little trend, but it's headed right for the toilet at this rate. Anyway, I yielded a bit to Wakoopa, which is a really neat site that uses your software usage to suggest other products you may like and list updates and even show reviews of your software. It only takes 5MB of RAM while running, so give it a shot. It also provides usage stats and, lo and behold, tags (bet you didn't see that coming).

Joost has gone "live", which means that they now have premium content supported by ads (haven't run into this yet) and have given all beta testers unlimited invites. So leave me a comment with your e-mail address and name if you want an invite! There is a ridiculous amount of channels now, but my computer is running low on RAM so I'd better not try looking through it for you (Firefox is eating memory like no other and I don't want to restart until after this is done).

Speaking of new software, Gaim is now Pidgin and Ars Technica has a full review of Pidgin 2.0. The review is very positive, which is a big compliment coming from Ars Technica. Plus, I'm using it right now and I feel cool just using it because of how nice the interface changes are and the welcome bug fixes. If you're on Linux or Windows and use IM, you're really missing out if you don't try out Pidgin.

Yahoo has finally decided closed down Yahoo Photos. I speculated on this very early on because it didn't make sense for them to have two competing services once they acquired Flickr, and their justifications for keeping Yahoo Photos were pretty stupid. I didn't think it'd take this long for them to realize what was necessary, but I'm pleased that they're actually being quite graceful about it.

This post wouldn't be complete if I didn't briefly mention the Digg scandal about Digg taking down dugg stories referencing an HD-DVD processing key after receiving a cease-and-desist order. Using this key literally circumvents the DRM used on all HD-DVD discs released. Yes, they're just that stupid. I think the community backlash for doing this was a bit harsh given that releasing such a key can't possibly be legal and it violates Digg's TOS, but I respect them for decided that freedom of speech reigns over corporate control of the Internet. Personally, I agree with distributing the key as a sign of rebellion for how inane the HD-DVD schema is.

We have a poster for The Golden Compass, but I felt it was too ugly to post here (despite my love for the original book, mind you). So instead, I thought I'd show off one of a few new posters for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which I like much better. There are also some new ones for The Simpsons if you're interested, but they're nothing special.

Now onto the trailers. Apple has an HD trailer for Rush Hour 3, and I felt very underwhelmed by it. My friend disagrees because he's afraid that fanboys are just going to hate on Brett Ratner, but my issue is with the trailer and not with him as a director as I enjoyed the first two Rush Hour movies very much. Moviefone has another trailer for Shrek the Third, and I think that I like this one even more than the last one! It's very funny and I think it'll end up making for a cute, family movie that adults will actually enjoy (like the first two). Yahoo has the teaser for Hot Rod, featuring SNL's Pete Sampers (of "Lazy Sunday" fame), and it's mildly amusing. I'm holding out on judgement (heh, funny to use that word now in this post) until I see at trailer.

Disney, in a strange display of openness, is showing off 9 minutes of Ratatouille on their website. I really like the animation style in this movie, and it's executed quite well. I didn't laugh out loud or anything, but it was still fun in its own respect, and I guess more of a visual feast.

According to Joe Carnahan, of Smokin' Aces infamy, he's seen the teaser trailer for Sin City 2 and it's supposed to be phenomenal. Now I'm really really excited to see some footage from this movie!

Lastly, given that people aren't saying the best things about Spider-man 3, you may want to try giving Lucky You a shot instead. It sounds like a worthwhile drama from some people I respect, but critics are butchering it.

Now, before I go eat myself, for Friday's Feast:

Name something you would not want to own.

A motorcycle. I'd be so scared to ride the bloody thing!

Describe your hair (texture, color, length, etc.).

It's black, very thick right now (in a fro when I don't gel it, almost), and very curly. It really is way too thick (like 2-3 in. above my head), but I'm too lazy to get a haircut here in Austin.

Finish this sentence: I’ll never forget ___________.

the girl next door. Just kidding, there was no girl next door, but I assume that comes from a comedy I love, The Girl Next Door. Anyway, I'll never forget how my luck changed on March 1, 2007 with a job offer followed by a night of Sandy's and dancing.

Main Course
Which famous person would you like to be for one day? Why?

John Frusciante, so I can learn his mad guitar skills (or at least a day's worth).

Write one sentence about yourself that includes one thing that is true and another thing that is not.

I enjoy smiling wide and polishing my gun collection.

1 comment:

Joseph C. Harris said...

Great Feast. My feast is now up.