“This is pity, he thought, and then he lifted his head in wonder. He thought that there must be something terribly wrong with a world in which this monstrous feeling is called a virtue.”
The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand

On Accomplishment, Shop Class as Soulcraft

“Pedagogically, you might want to impress on a student the miserable state of his mind. … You do this not out of malice, but because you sense rare possibilities in him, and take your task to be that of cultivating in the young man (or woman) a taste for the most difficult studies. Such studies are likely to embolden him against timid conventionality, and humble him against the self-staisfaction of the age, which he weats on his face. These are the pedagogical uses of the “D” [grade], but give someone a low grade, and he is likely to press upon you the fact that his admission to law school hangs in the balance. The Sort is on.

“With this attitude, students are merely adapting themselves to the marketlike ethic of the institutions that school them. “Educational institutions find themselves located in a heirarchy of their own, forced to compete with other institutions for position in order to enhance the marketability of their credentials to socially mobile consumers.” The result is “a growing emphasis on producing selective symbolic distinctions rather than shared substantive accomplishments.” that is, what matters is your rank among your peers; it matters not if the whole lot of you are ignorant.

“Through the exercise of charismatic authority, the manager unsettles others, shaking them out of their cramped views and stale habits, thereby unleashing the creativity of all workers. this is a charismatic leader of a new kind, a sort of radical democrat. He does not seek followers; he seeks to make every man a leader of himself. Authority itself disappears as he turns work into play. He erects Nerf basketball hoops; he announces pajama day. The creative class expands.

“Not surprisingly, it is the office rather than the job site that has seen the advent of speech codes, diversity workshops, and other forms of higher regulation. Some might attribute this to the greater mixing of the sexes in the office, but I believe a more basic reason is that when there is no concrete task that rules the job—an autonomous good that is visible to all— then there is no secure basis for social relations. Maintaining consensus and preempting conflict become the focus of management, and as a result everyone feels they have to walk on eggshells. Where no appeal to a carpenter’s level is possible, sensitivity training becomes necessary.

“… As one manager puts it, “You can’t just push people around anymore.” Discreet suggestions, hints, and coded messages take the place of command; this, of course, placesa premium on subordinates’ abilities to read their bosses’ vaguely articulated or completely unstated wishes.

“It is common today to locate one’s “true self” in one’s leisure choices. Accordingly, good work is taken to be work that maximizes one’s means for pursuing these other activities, where life becomes meaningful. … There is a disconnect between his work life and his leisure life; in the one he accumulates money and in the other he accumulates psychic nourishment. Each part depends on and enables the other, but does so in the manner of a transaction between sub-selves, rather than as the intelligibly linked parts of a coherent life.”

Shop Class as Soulcraft, Matthew B. Crawford

Google Sketchup in Arch Linux x86_64

####What’s needed

From winetricks:
* vcrun6
* vcrun2005
* dotnet20

From AUR:
* lib32-nvidia-utils-96xx (conflicts with lib32-libgl)
– do not remove optional dependencies after removing lib32-libgl!

registry key edits (regedit):
* [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\SketchUp7\GLConfig\Display]
“HW_OK” = dword:00000001

Then run the installation files.

Most of the requirements needed in wine seem to be based around the Visual C++ runtime components, and 32-bit OpenGL compatibility.

Perfect Dark in Arch Linux

Getting Perfect Dark working in Arch Linux is pretty simple.

  1. Open /etc/locale.gen, uncomment the lines with ja_JP.
  2. Run locale_gen as root to update locales.
  3. Copy MS Gothic font to ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/fonts.
  4. Run C_ALL=ja_JP.UTF-8 wine perfect dark.exe in the directory containing the Perfect Dark executable.
  5. Generate the mutagen files in Perfect Dark, edit the mutagen config and change fonts to MS PGothic.

SmartyASS: SmartyPants for Advanced Substation Alpha scripts

Inspired by SmartyPants (from John Gruber), I decided to modify its code in order to fix typography in ASS-formatted scripts. This script does pretty much the same thing as SmartyPants, but leaves non-dialogue text and ASS tags alone, working its magic only on dialogue text.

Naturally, it also faces the same limitations as SmartyPants: apostrophes at the start of sentences cannot be properly replaced. Users are advised to verify the output after running this script. But as a bonus, it removes italic tags.

To use, just run the command “SmartyASS.pl” in the directory containing SmartyASS.pl (or in any directory, if the directory containing SmartyASS.pl is in the $PATH environment variable). It can be used as a shell script, possibly requiring some editing of the first line to point at the correct path of the perl binary.

SmartyASS requires perl to run. Which version of it I do not know; I am only a one-day perl coder.


A brief summary of branches of Physics

The Nature of Physical Reality – Table 19.1
Significant features in causal description for various branches of physics

This table should be distributed to all Physics first-year undergraduates; Thereupon they are made to memorise it and reproduce it on demand.

The experienced physicist will find this a trivial exercise.