Anthropological Confusion

Here's the thing: if one day, you met a robot who could think, speak, feel and love... is it a man?

Should it have human rights? Or should it be treated like a super-advanced toaster?

Some would say, yes, it has human rights. Under the surface, it may just be a collection of electronics, but it behaves exactly the same way as a real human would in that situation. In fact, we're no different from highly advanced, biological robots.

Some would argue, no, it's just a machine. We organics have something special inside, a soul, that makes us different from anything we could possibly fabricate. Any machine, even a supercomputer or artificial intelligence, is lower than the tiniest bacterium because it doesn't have a heart.

What do you think?


I was just doing some literature review on a text. The basic summary of the story is that the narrator was gifted a valuable figurine of a horse by her dad, but gave it to her friend, and her parents were (understandably) royally pissed.

I've clearly been on the internet for an unhealthy amount of time, because when I read it I immediately thought "Creative Commons".


Scatological Response

Today, I will express my disappointment over what people are calling art today.

Art is bullshit.

First, to discuss art in any sort of meaningful manner, we must first understand the question: What is art?

Wikipedia says "Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions".

By this definition, everything is art. I mean literally everything. The chair you are sitting on right now is designed to evoke a sense of comfort. Is it art? Some people think so. How about that research paper my friend is working on? It's an arrangement of elements in a way that appeals to the teacher to give him a pass mark. That's art too.
I'm sure you see what I'm talking about now. Essentially everything man-made is art, from this laptop I'm working on, to the Mona Lisa, to Taipei 101, to the air-conditioned air a billion people are breathing across the planet. If you believe in a Creator, everything that even exists is art.
So why are there "art galleries" and "art classes" that exist in society? Art galleries claim to display art. So why are their walls overflowing with canvas paintings when they should be filled with things from every corner of life? Art classes only teach you how to represent shape and form in two-dimensional spaces, not how to build and grow truly beautiful things.

The term "art" is a misnomer. What we label as "art" is getting more and more muddled over the years. Modern art galleries, by clinging to the old (and at least comprehensible) notion that art is created with skill, have confused themselves and opened their floodgates to utter mockeries of talent. Take this installation. Does it show you any universal truth? No, of course not. But if the artist made a simple write-up about how the destroyed trailer represents the emotional baggage that we as human beings leave behind in our lives, everyone would hail it like the next Michelangelo masterpiece.

I leave you to ponder this. This is a long-standing problem that challenges the identity of art and who we are as human souls. If we can't solve it, then we are lying to ourselves about beauty, nature and the universe.



I really need to stop signing my posts off with Spanish. It gets annoying.


^^ Accent Accent

I'm sure you know what an accent is. In this context, it's that funny-sounding rendition you make of a foreign language when you attempt to speak it, or conversely, the skewed version of English foreigners speak. What I am going to explore today is, how do these exactly come about?
Basically, an accent appears whenever you pronounce a given syllable in a foreign language wrongly. Take, for example, the word "rendezvous". In English pronunciation, that would be "ran-dez-vuhs", but in its actual French roots, it is "ron-dei-voo". This disparity in spelling and phoenetics comes because the English language takes many foreign words, but attempts to preserve the spelling, which is bad.
Foreign languages often have vastly different syllabic alphabets, and Romanization only attempts to synch the sounds with the best possible letters or sets of letters. Unfortunately, the Roman alphabet is heavily limited and these efforts usually end in pain for everyone involved. Accents appear here because the foreigner to the language is attempting to pronounce the syllables inherent with his own language's syllables. Only a very good understanding of the language and phoenetics can allow one to avoid producing an accent (or to purposely produce an accent, as in performing arts) and this is why accents occur.
Thus lie the failings of the Latin alphabet. It fails to take into account all of the potential sounds that a foreign alphabet can make, and increasing the confusion, its own pronunciation system is inherently flawed. In fact, for some languages it actually adds dïáçrîtìcs and иⅇw ϟϒµβøζs, adding to the confusion. If someone were to radically redesign our current linguistic system and invent a new lingua franca to replace English, these problems would be solved. ¡Hasta la revolución lingüística!


Knickknacks and Oddities

Notice the new Downloads section in the sidebar? That was me. You can now download several original compositions of music, if you're interested. They're all comprised of preset loops, but still worth a look.


Aweful Items of Note

This is my list of things that are awesome.
  • Twilight
  • Action figures
  • Ballistics
  • Biology
  • Geography
  • History
  • Literature
  • Speculative fiction
  • Special effects
  • Digital art
  • Conventional art
  • Animation
  • Myth and legend
  • The Bible
  • The Koran
  • The Tao Te Ching
  • Aviation
  • Photography
  • Cooking
  • Martial arts
  • Dance
  • Japan
  • Hovercars
  • Airships
  • Jetpacks
  • Ray guns
  • Space elevators
  • Genetic engineering
  • Other worlds
  • Video games
  • Programming
  • Checkers
  • Character design
  • Game design
  • Product design
  • The letter Y
  • The Greek alphabet
  • Roguelike games
  • Pie
  • Processed meat
  • Salmon
  • Sushi
  • Chinese food (authentic, not that screwy American trash)
  • The elements
  • Nature
  • Volcanoes
  • Dew
  • Narwhals
  • Cats
  • Anime
  • Manga
  • Cosplay
  • Typefaces
  • Linguistics
  • Writing
  • Apple Computing Inc.
  • Graphic novels
  • Batman
  • Linguistics
  • Foreign languages
  • Fictional languages
  • This list

עברית נעשה לשעמם

I changed my phone language to Hebrew just for the hell of it. I must have been really bored.

Lingual Inter-Relationships

I like linguistics. It's seriously a fascinating study, of how language can affect one's culture and even one's thinking. I've been studying other languages apart from English for a while now, and I recently came across this:

"Night" in 10 Languages
  • English: night
  • German: nacht
  • Dutch: nacht
  • Swedish: natt
  • Danish: nat
  • Latin: nox
  • French: nuit
  • Portugese: noite
  • Spanish: noche
  • Romanian: noapte
I think you get what I'm trying to say here. It seems that there are many languages which are highly similar to each other, especially when you see a side-by-side comparison. The theory is that the two groups I highlighted above both descended from single languages - the top group is known as Germanic languages and are descended from Proto-Germanic, whereas the bottom group is Romance languages and are descended from Vulgar Latin.
My idea is that all these were originally dialects, seperately spoken in different parts of Europe. As the settlements became more distinct, the dialects became different languages, but as you can see above they're still pretty similar.

Linguistics is cool. Not only do you get to research how words came about and how they affect human thinking, you also learn a fair bit of foreign languages. ¿Los lenguajes es maravilloso, usted no está de acuerdo?


Bizarre Academic Obligations

Apparently, my school's English department thinks blogging is now officially awesome, which means I have to regularly post and Twilight's URL has just been added to a public list. Odd, but cool because I get an excuse to slack off and rant.