Reverse-Engineering Persona

January 24, 2010

If you’ve ever had to write an essay about something seemingly meaningless, you probably know how this works. You pick a thought (the more unlikely the better), connect everything to it (the less obvious the connections the better), and make sure to overlook anything that goes against your “theory.” Does this projection of meaning onto chaos sound like what art critics do?

All is well until you start believing your own words. That is what happened to me, and I am open-sourcing some of them here, for the whole world to point and laugh and maybe even plagiarize. This story is about Bergman’s Persona and a certain Andalusian Dog, so if you haven’t seen those species yet, come back later.

Persona: the metafilm

An unwanted child, an insecure man, an arrogant genius, Ingmar Bergman directed what could very well be the most cryptic movie ever made. Persona is painted in two layers: a foreground that makes sense on a background that mystifies. The upper stratum is Alma’s story of self-acceptance, of coming to terms with her dark side. The backdrop is Bergman’s meditation on cinematography.

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September 25, 2007

I know I have absolutely *no* excuse for ignoring this blog for so long, so let me write up a short update on my situation: most of my time these days (except school) is spent at the EAC preparing for the upcoming SAT test in October. I have to go to Iasi, Romania to sit the test, because there is no October test in Moldova / Ukraine. The fact that Romania is part of the EU means they now require visas for us, and there is a 1+ month queue at the embassy. [sarcasm on] Talk about civilized people. [sarcasm off] Anyway, all odds are against my getting the visa in time.

I promise to write more after this is over.


September 15, 2007

Almost a week has passed and I’m still silent. No time? No inspiration? No will?

School is boring like usual. We’re not feeling the full weight of it yet, not until the exams start. Still, spending the first half of the day away from my PC makes me think of how much time I’ve wasted this summer… This year more attention is given to SATs and college applications than to school itself. Teachers had better be understanding or else…

Thankfully, audio-books make the days significantly less monotone.

I’ve been hacking around in KDE, Konsole mostly. So far I helped implement a couple of features which I’m awfully proud of:

  • Double-clicking a tab lets you rename it;
  • Double-clicking the empty space on the tab bar opens a new terminal session;
  • From the menu you can now open Konqueror at the directory you’re currently at.

but I’m still floating around through the files and classes like a clueless wanderer…

So, risking to sound like Abby Normal again, let me just say: ‘later.

Seven Reasons to Hate School

February 28, 2007

attn-from-svg.pngBefore discarding this as a stupid rant, read on for the reasons.

  1. Not all teachers are good.
    A good teacher is one that awakes the desire to find out more in his students. Too many teachers are threatening their students with quizzes instead of trying to make the material they teach more interesting.
  2. Not all students are good.
    If you’re better than your peers, then you are constantly bored as the teacher explains stuff you know to those less enlightened. If you’re worse, you feel bad when everyone seems to know stuff you don’t.
  3. We waste our time there.
    The “diversification” schools offer should really be optional. I find that less than 10% of the history / geography / etc. I am forced to learn will actually prove useful to me in the future. Why learn the information by heart if it’s available a few clicks away?
  4. We lose our desire to learn.
    Mankind will exist as long as there is a longing to improve our life. School teaches students that learning is hard, and that it’s all about exams and term papers. The obsession to constantly seek for knowledge was given to us for a reason, but school teaches us to reject it and say “no, thanks”.
  5. School stifles our creativity.
    Einstein said, Imagination is more important than knowledge. Because knowledge itself will solve no real life problems. It is the art of using knowledge in our own advantage that life rewards. But instead of cultivating students’ creative skills, our education system tries to turn us into robots that do their jobs, not more, not less.
  6. The grading system just plain sucks.
    Different people have different ways to learn. Some learn by doing, others learn by seeing others do, yet others learn by reading dull textbooks. Attempting to adjust everyone to a single learning system (record, replay, repeat) is a poor choice, and so is the grading system, because it persuades us to study “just for a good grade”.
  7. School turns us into prisoners of the left brain.
    So we must do all within our power to escape from this monotony and avoid being turned into pieces of soulless meat.

If you have more reasons, and would like to share them, you are more than welcome to do so in comments! I am open to discussion :)

Some random news

January 9, 2007

1) This sounds interesting. I’m just starting up with Qt4, and have been using Kate + Konsole + qmake so far. Can’t wait for KDevelop 3.4 this month (as I’m too lazy to dive into SVN).

2) School started today. Again. That means no more free time. Bad news :( They changed the schedule and it’s quite bad right now. I certainly hope they’ll change it for the better.

3) I updated the Links page and uploaded my personal Konqueror bookmarks. Enjoy ;)