Friday, September 29, 2006

Tao Te Ching Number Two

When people find one thing beautiful,
another consequently becomes ugly.
When one man is held up as good,
another is judged deficient.

Similarly, being and nonbeing balance each other;
difficult and easy define each other;
long and short illustrate each other;
high and low rest upon one another;
voice and song meld into harmony;
what is to come follows upon what has been.

The wise person acts without effort
and teaches by quiet example.
He accepts things as they come,
creates without possessing,
nourishes without demanding,
accomplishes without taking credit.

Because he constantly forgets himself,
he is never forgotten.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

This is your brain...

You may have seen this before, but some guys with too much time on their hands figured out that, when you read, your brain mostly just picks up on the first and last letters, the length of the word, and which letters are in it, generally disregarding what order the middle letters are actually in. So, give this a read:

It is a vilaotion of btoh dmstoeic and interntioanal law. But mroe ianomtrptly, ttuorre is amoarl udner evrey maojr rliigeon. Taht you cnnaot fhgit a mroal war wtih imrmaol mnaes. And if we're rdaey to emcrabe irmamol maens, if taht's how we're giong to fihgt tihs war, tehn we hvae lsot. And no one wlil cmoe to our aid. We wlil be aolne. And taht's waht hapneps wehn you bmoece - in the veiw of mnay - an enmey to the rlue of law. And we cannot affrod taht to hpaepn.

(Quote from Johnathan Turley on last night's Countdown with Keith Olbermann)

And here's another interesting brain-buster, the language of Europanto.

Europanto is an "artificial" language constructed by a guy named Diego Maranti, in 1996. It's basically a loose scramble of words from various european languages with the same basic structure. The idea is that people who don't speak the same language can understand enough to get the basic point across. I suppose the downside is that you'd have to know words from each language in order to speak it, but it seems like a good candidate for computer-translation software. Here's an example:

Que would happen if, wenn Du open your freund's blog, finde eine message in esta lingua? No est Englando, no est Germano, no est Espano, no est keine known lingua - aber Du understande! Wat happen zo! Habe your computero eine virus catched? Habe Du sudden BSE gedeveloped? No, Du esse lezendo la neue europese lingua: de Europanto!

(Comment stolen from Metafilter)

Completely unrelated, here's a new Science fiction short by Bruce Sterling - I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by Google