1 + 1 = 3

The title of this post is true. I'm not making jokes about very large values of 1, I'm pointing out that people sometimes seem to forget a non-mathematical principle concerning combinations and aggregations. Specifically:

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

A game console is more than a price, a marketing team, a controller, a set of games, a TV, and a few hours to burn. You can't extract the attributes of one, compare them to another, and mathematically define which is intrinsically better. Attributes are not a homogenous group, they will interact with each other. Controllers interact with graphical power, prices interact with the aestetic look of the system, and games interact with the ease of use. Failing to realize the interconnectedness can lead to the updated principle:

The whole is rarely the exact sum of its parts, but is often less or greater.

It's the same reason a well written script, a dedicated staff, a great director, awesome actors etc. can somehow fail to make a great movie, while a group of lesser quality with the right synergy can make epics.

In whatever you do that involves combination or aggregation, remember this.


Rant: "pls"

I like grammar. My mother might contest that statement citing certain activities I abhored during homeschooling, but nevertheless I stand by it. I am not entirely comfortable with semi-colons and I certainly don't have absolutely perfect typing. I do, however, wish to be able to lay down punctuation with the best of them.

But this is the internet, and in the name of the expediency of such things as "instant messenging" not everything will receive due attention. That is alright, I have no qualm with abbreviating concepts and actions into one word that would otherwise have been a long sentence.

Such acronyms as "lol", "rofl", and "brb" are appropriate and understandable; each is born of an express need for haste. In any situation that is funny, it is both polite and friendly to give a near immediate indication that said joke/story/whatever was humorous. When one intends on leaving for a brief time, typing out the full "Be right back" serves only to delay one's return. That is why I condone and use these shortcuts.

To expand on that, multiple word acronyms that lack any inherent attributed alacrity are annoying. These are acronyms such as "u2", "oic" and "ru". That's a separate subject from what I'm attempting to cover today.

I am constantly finding myself amazed at the laziness of the internet. I can not, will not, ever endorse shortcutting a single word unless it conforms to the following:

1. It is as long as supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
2. It is a confirmational/feedback word such as "Okay" that indicates one's presence or attention.


"u" - Seriously, the 'y' and the 'o' keys are right there. If you can be bothered to spell words like "halo", "r0x0rz" or "make up", you can be bothered to hit the other two keys that are no more than two spaces away from one another.
"ur" - See "u".
"y" - The 'w' and 'h' keys are far more reachable than the 'y', not to mention the 'h' is immediately below it.
"o" - The 'h' is immediately to the left of one of the more dexterous of fingers. Can't you take the minimal effort to add that one additional character?
"r" - The 'a' and 'e' characters are right there. If you reach for the 'r' with your pointer finger, your middle finger should come to rest right on the 'e' while your pinky remains on the 'a'. Your hand is naturally putting itself in a position to type this easily, why is it so hard just to press down with two fingers that are there anyway?
"pls/plz" - I really, really dislike this one. If you seriously can't be bothered to write out the entirity of the word "please", what reason do I have to help you? This is especially annoying when the favor being asked is long, tiresome and thankless. I can only think of one time I ever helped someone who said "plz" and that was because I could tell they were only 4 years old.
"thx" - No, it was nothing. Don't mention it, I mean it. I don't want to hear your half-hearted "thx" for my deeds. If you can't type out a full "thanks", you could at least use the more respectable "ty". "ty" is two words abbreviated, it makes sense.
"wat?" - 'h' is currently setting up a noose over being excluded like this. It's one of the 10 easiest keys to hit on the keyboard.
"b4" - Numbers do not belong in words. It's funny in 1337, but that's because the numbers are replacing the symbols for specific letters and not entire sections of the word itself. "Before" is a long word, but by the time I figure out you aren't playing IRC battleship you could have typed it three times.
"rite" - "rite" is a word. Its definition is very different from "right". Please do no use the one as an abbreviation of the other.
"ez" - I already know you can be bothered to type 'y'. The 'a' and 's' keys are already under your fingers, and the 'e' is sqrt(2) away from 's'. It's easy to type this word, probably moreso than reaching for the oft-neglected 'z' key.
"nvm" - Just, nevermind. I'm not going to bother saying anything more about this pure obfuscation.
"ppl" - There are only two additional keys to press to make this a full word, 'e' and 'o'. One is right near the otherwise idle left hand. The other is right next to the 'p' key you're already hitting twice. Are we really this lazy?

Maybe I'm an elitist, maybe I'm just a fast typer, maybe I really shouldn't take grammar on the internet so seriously. Whatever the case, needlessly shortening words that need not be shortened is going to knock you down a few notches in my book unless done in parody.



I just finished watching Utawarerumono, and it's one of the best anime I've ever seen. Here's why.

I've seen many, many movies spanning a plethora of eras and genres. I've watched a lot of TV shows, a lot of short films, and been subject to a great number of video game plots both good and bad. These things tend to have villains.

Generally a lot of authors try to make you despise their villains whatever form they take; some being evil masterminds, homocidal psychopaths, quiet assassins, malevolent gods or whatever else happens to be the flavor of the day. I tend to be very difficult to make angry, or otherwise incur an emotion of hate. As such, it is very rare that I can use such a word pertaining to any character.

The last character I hated was Shinji from Neon Genesis Evangeleon, but he was the hero so he doesn't count.

Watching Utawarerumono, there was a moment where I genuinely despised, scorned, hated, and personally wished eternal suffering upon a character therein. I won't spoil why this came about; Utawarerumono is far too awesome of an anime for me to give things away. What I will say is that I was staring wildly at my computer screen with an unspeakable malice towards this fictional person. There were active machinations in my brain calculating the most suffering that could be exacted before final termination was inevitable. I was that incensed.

I have to give credit where it is due. Utawarerumono was that awesome of an anime that it made me mad. I think that's saying a lot.



There appears to be a strange glitch involving the template change. This appears to be IE specific, possibly relating to some CSS changes I made.

It also seems to only affect really short posts.

We'll see if I ever bother to fix it. A quick select or scroll past the missing text reveals it.

This post is mostly to let you know I'm aware, and also for testing purposes.

Testing results: The error only occurs if the post can be held within the entire window. It is related to some CSS float junk I've done, so anyone with insight into this is hereby ordered to freely relinquish their knowledge.

That is all.



1: I haven't finished tagging all my posts. That's not something ethicly viable to do at work, and when I'm home I'm generally doing more or less important things.

2: I did a quick, easy update to the blog template. It should be a lot easier to go through the archives.

That is all.


Rant: Yarr

So the IFPI posted their 10 Inconvenient Truths about file sharing.

I'm not one to generally stand in defense of the music and video swapping that goes on, it is on the dark-side of the greyscale concerning legality, but the arguments made were so ridiculously stupid I couldn't believe it. What happened to all of the valid criticisms?

Here are their 10 "Inconvenient Truths".

1. Pirate Bay, one of the flagships of the anti-copyright movement, makes thousands of euros from advertising on its site, while maintaining its anti-establishment "free music" rhetoric.
2. AllOfMP3.com, the well-known Russian web site, has not been licensed by a single IFPI member, has been disowned by right holder groups worldwide and is facing criminal proceedings in Russia.
3. Organized criminal gangs and even terrorist groups use the sale of counterfeit CDs to raise revenue and launder money.
4. Illegal file-sharers don’t care whether the copyright-infringing work they distribute is from a major or independent label.
5. Reduced revenues for record companies mean less money available to take a risk on "underground" artists and more inclination to invest in "bankers" like American Idol stars.
6. ISPs often advertise music as a benefit of signing up to their service, but facilitate the illegal swapping on copyright infringing music on a grand scale.
7. The anti-copyright movement does not create jobs, exports, tax revenues and economic growth–it largely consists of people pontificating on a commercial world about which they know little.
8. Piracy is not caused by poverty. Professor Zhang of Nanjing University found the Chinese citizens who bought pirate products were mainly middle- or higher-income earners.
9. Most people know it is wrong to file-share copyright infringing material but won't stop till the law makes them, according to a recent study by the Australian anti-piracy group MIPI.
10. P2P networks are not hotbeds for discovering new music. It is popular music that is illegally file-shared most frequently.

Pretty conclusive, right? Right guys? They tried so hard, they really did. Don't they at least get a "Good Effort" ribbon?

1. CNN has ads. Slashdot has ads. In fact, the website the article was found had ads. It's standard practice on the web these days. However much I dislike the ads, they don't cost me money and are critical to allowing such websites to function without charging anyone for the "free music".

2. AllOfMp3.com was legal until the laws changed. Additionally, the closing of said site does little to dissuade people who have never heard of it, use P2P file sharing services, or don't know where "Russia" is on a map. This only makes sense insofar as destroying a distributor "inconveniences" the people who used to go there.

3. Organized Crime gangs and Terrorists also drive cars, breathe air, and work day-jobs. Stop affirming the consequent and understand that doing evil things makes a person evil but not everything an evil person does is bad.

4. We also don't care if our Crest toothpaste is made in Taiwan or Quebec. Crest is the brand that everyone recognizes, parent companies and distributors are not noticed. You'd think the marketers would know something about that.

5. This is a point, and I'll accept that it is true. However, there are several availible counterpoints: You weren't supporting underground artists in the first place, file sharing has been a major boon for underground artists, and artists make most of their money from concerts anyways.

6. Could it possibly be that the responsible ISPs are advertising such reputable websites and services such as eMusic and iTunes? Just because it's music on the internet doesn't mean it's pirated.

7. Firstly, since when is the economy the yardstick for everything? Civil Rights and Women's Liberation didn't create jobs, didn't generate tax revenue, and the protests often directly impeded the economy. Should these movements have dispered for the sake of the almighty dollar? Anti-copyright may not be as morally important as Civil Rights or Women's Lib, but attacking it for not helping the economy is silly.

Secondly, I understand that a weakened recording industry might mean a decrease in the jobs and tax revenue from said industry. This will affect many people directly and indirectly. However, those who believe said industry is cheating them and the artists they represent will not cry upon hearing this.

8. I don't think I've ever heard someone argue that it's the homeless guy on the street or the mother just making it through each day pirating the music. Most people I know point to high schoolers and college students who simply don't have the money to spend on oodles of CDs in lieu of important items like books, food, and school supplies. So as it isn't poverty that is to blame, we must ask what the cause is.

Generally, as this is economics, we must consider supply and demand. The RIAA and similar organizations have basically positted that demand hasn't changed, but has found a seperate and illegal channel for its supply. The anti-copyright movement posits that the demand has shrunk in lieu of the crap the industry is producing and that, if anything, file sharing has been slowing that by introducing people to bands they never would have listened to before. They also posit that, if anything, copyright and DRM only hinder the process by which file sharing does this.

Whoever is right, stating that poverty isn't the cause is like stating "The answer is not 3" when the question was "Should I use 'their' or 'there' in this sentence?".

9. "Wrong" and "Illegal" are not the same thing. They may often go hand in hand, but not always. As it stands, it is illegal, and the anti-copyright movement says it shouldn't be. As "Wrong" is obviously being used in the "Illegal" sense, you're not telling people anything they already don't know.

10. Point 1: There are more methods of file sharing than P2P networks (See The Pirate Bay, torrents, irc and other methods many of which you've already mentioned).
Point 2: While "unknown" bands being shared more frequently than known ones would be solid proof of the "hotbed"s of P2P, it would not exclude "popular" bands from being shared with appreciable frequency. The question isn't whether "popular" bands are still shared more than "unknown" bands, but rather is the ratio of "popular" to "unknown" far greater in such a situation than what appears in store sales?

All in all, I don't think any of the best arguments against file sharing were brought up. The anti-copyright movement has to convince the RIAA that file sharing isn't evil; this is something that current trends within the movement hinder more than help. File sharing is illegal, and a lot of the anti-copyright movement sits around laughing at the RIAA more than they do anything to rectify the illegality of their situation. File sharing does hurt sales when people download music they would otherwise have bought and never pay. File sharing often spreads viruses and misattributes music to the wrong author.

There's a lot more that's wrong with file sharing, but ultimately very little of it was brought up in the "10 Inconvenient Truths". For stealing the name of a documentary reknowned for making it crystal clear exactly how we're screwing up our planet, this was a very poor job of damning file sharing.