Thursday, July 31, 2008

最後一次 (Zui Hou Yi Ci) MV

A short but beautiful song about undying love.


在我最後一次 閉上眼睛之前
我想對你說 我愛你
在你懷裡 捨不得放棄
心理有千萬語 還沒有說給你聽
我使勁全力 不想閉上眼睛
這次告別就不能 再相遇
不能再陪你 但不要忘記
你曾經答應我 你會好好活下去

先走了 去了好遠的地方
不能再陪你看日出 等不到天亮
所有回憶 抹去卻並不容易
生死由天決定 不要太傷心

I personally prefer the duet version (the singers of which are apparently Singaporean).

Friday, July 25, 2008

Followup to Benny Lava

I love this about Web 2.0 ... you can parody the parody itself

The Original

The Chinese Benny Lava

And the Acoustic Benny Lava

And one of umpteen amateur dance videos

This is the true greatness of the web ... without it, people from many other continents and cultures would not have known of the greatness of Benny Lava, and we would definitely have not seen the application of their creativity to the same.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

Genre: Comedy
I was not so sure ... Dreamworks was, after all, responsible for that Shrek atrocity, and Jack Black is not exactly my idea of fine comedy. But I must say that I was pleasantly surprised and entertained by Kung Fu Panda all the same. Visually stunning, it features grand backdrops, diverse styles and great detail in object rendering and physics. The frequent parody of slow-motion was not frequent enough to be annoying, thank goodness; in fact, it was very well timed. The whole Chinese theme was carried through very commendably, from the opening screen to the finale. The fight scenes looked very genuine and elegant, and the ever-moving point-of-view made for really engaged spectatorship. Character development was also very good, and plot points were funny without being silly. The humor consisted of a perfect harmony of slapstick and subtlety - no small achievement. And the constellation of stars in the voice cast (even for cameo-length speaking roles) did a great job with their respective characters, especially Dustin Hoffman, Ian McShane and Jack Black. A strongly recommended film.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

A decent article, actually. I tend to disagree with many points, and not just because I am doing research in semantic web and argumentation (which promise to exceed this guy's nightmare, by giving machines the ability to not just organize and dispense information, but to come pretty darn close to actually knowing and thinking).

I have seen first hand how search engines and other forms of easy information retrieval make people intellectually lazy. Sometimes you see term papers written using what seems to be little more than the page pointed to by the "I'm feeling lucky" button on Google. Students copy-pasting entire (and topically irrelevant) paragraphs off web pages without applying any interpretation or discrimination, based on the mere presence of keywords. And of course, Wikipedia being used as a source, rather than an introductory guide.

The written word eliminated our need to receive information through personal contact. Printing made it so ubiquitous that long-term memory was no longer a necessity. Text messaging made literary flourish (not to mention spelling) a bandwidth liability. The accumulating refinement of search technology and the immediacy of information access over the web threatens to eliminate short-term memory as well. When semantic web becomes a reality, to whatever degree, it may even take on some of our more basic roles as information interpreters.

Still, while I agree that we need to get back our concentration and comprehension skills, I don't think the doom-and-gloom is completely warranted. After all, we still have the same choice we had when all the other information technologies were brought about ... we can use our newly liberated mental space to further our creativity (something humans can still do better than machines) ... or we can fill it with crap.