Archive for October 2010
看了有几个星期了。还是很好看的。剧本写得好，很揪心，从头到尾就没松过。very well made movie。怪不得有人叫嚣是年度best picture。
故事里面真真假假，几乎所有主要人物都出来论述过了哪些是真的，哪些是假的。所以这里就不提了。看了之后最大的感想是is this my profession? 电影把nerd/geek/软件工程师的生活描写得仿佛(男人的）天堂一样，连招个intern都要一边喝酒一边coding，更不用说随处所见的groupie美女了。我看世界上凭空要多很多男人打算当软件工程师了。
话又说回来，hacker culture确实和我们通常的软工们不太一样，更何况facebook确实直到现在还是有很强的hacker tradition。两三百个engineer之后，原先的strong presence of a hacker culture就被迫退位了，至少在mailing list上面啊，冠冕堂皇的地方啊，都要politically correct了。所以这一点上看电影还是准确的抓住了这一个特点。
另外一个很显眼的地方，而且网上几乎没有任何人提，就是其实这是一个非常sexist的电影。为什么没有人提呢？因为大多数会看这个电影然后要发言的人都是男人啊。里面所有的女人，都是object of desire, 没有任何性格或者人生之说，也是hacker culture的一部分。另外的一部分，关于jewish guys and asian girls, 也是相当的脸谱化. asian girls贪婪，追逐名利，without shame, bitchy，看了会觉得如果我有个女儿， do i want her to grow up in a society with such stereotype for her?
在等火车， 用wordpress的iphone app写写看，到目前为止还不错挺方便的，除了中英切换之外，所以要尽量用同一种语言的说。这对我有点难度，因为我的自然状态是混合型的：有的概念是完全从英文学习来的不知道怎样用中文表述所以如果不强加限制的话通常都是讲着讲着中文就变英文了，再讲讲又变回中文了。
The movie itself is good, better than most of the recent productions from Zhang Yimou. The pace is a bit slow. I don’t think you need to be that slow just because it happened in the past or memory. People in the bygone times were not retarded. They were still normal. Also I don’t like the way how they use captions to show plot twists. That is lame. Only people who cannot tell a story resort to that kind of help.
I love the story, however. Was even more touched by the fact, later learned, that it is based on a true story. The movie itself even opened in Yichang, Hubei for that is where the original story happened during early 70s. The fact that there were people who loved so unselfishly is strangely comforting. It is almost like an announcement that love always exists. It is just you never meet her.
I read some reviews on douban and felt none of them grasped the key point. Well, the humorous ones are rather amazing, for example, this one. (Don’t check it out if you haven’t watched the movie. It is dissecting the movie into bits and pieces.) The marketing campaign of this movie was focusing on the innocence of the love. In everyone’s interpretation, that basically means there was no sex but still a great love. So people review it like crazy. Such as no sex does not equal to innocence. Innocence is about heart. If your heart remains pure, you can still be innocent (but promiscuous). I don’t understand the logic at all. How can you be promiscuous *and* innocent? Just someone tells me how??? It sounds like someone wants it both but couldn’t get it both so they have to change definitions.
Anyway, coming back to the movie, after the initial wave of emotions set upon by the beautifully sad story, I came to the realization that this is an one-sided love story. It is about how a man loves a woman while the woman never really wakes up and responds with her own passion. It fits the frame of thousands of years of story telling from the man’s point of view. Woman is supposed to be passive and receptive and never someone with her own identity. Don’t get me wrong. I am not a feminist but I cannot help notice it despite the motivation from the hero is purely admiration and his lack of chance to fulfill his dreams is heartbreaking.
I don’t feel ‘pure or innocent’ is the key point to describe this story, although I understand sex sells so allusion to it also sells. It is more about how a man can love a woman without even a single thought about himself. Given the general truth that men are selfish animals (don’t throw bricks at me. i know every man reader out there is not selfish :), it makes the love so rare and so unattainable. In a sense, the hero served the purpose to display the existence of such love to us and died young so that we won’t be so regretful of our own choices. Good things are never meant to last.
之前说不看村上春树了，可是在图书馆里面乱逛的时候还是抡了一本回来。是Philip Gabriel翻译的。这本还挺好看的。我觉得主要是没有那么玄妙和后现代，所以还能看下去。内容总的来说可以在bbs上面挖上很多大坑的说。坑一： 怎样才能得到女孩子的芳心啊大家帮帮我啊。坑二： 三角恋爱被女友发现怎么办。坑三： 工作巨无聊，大家的工作都这么没意思吗。坑四： 人生可能就这么回事儿吧想settle了。坑五： BSO, 心理脆弱的慎入。 坑六： （Dreamer发贴） 想离婚了。 坑七： (Dreamer 发贴） 想自杀了。
其实没有这么庸俗。但是the topics it delt with are the same: what is love? what is marriage? 没有人能回答。还好的是，大多数人并没有这样一个可以全面反思自己的决定的机会。所以很多人就是无聊，落寞，懒得离婚而已。
看完很喜欢。但是也很欣喜自己十几年后才想起来看她。十几年前的我，恐怕很难理解很多人性上面复杂的问题和欣赏一份能够透彻的毫不犹豫的展示人的弱点的作品。十几年前的我也不大可能对宗教，或者Organized Religion这样的话题有任何兴趣。但是对于现在的我，is totally piqued by the question that why organized religion can exist and flourish how I should approach it. Murdoch用一个短小的故事探索了宗教，爱情，弱点和the darkness caused by the weaknesses.
Only one character survived the darkness, so I have to think of her as the heroine, Dora. Other characters received fairly significant treatment so at times it is hard to tell who is the main character. Dora started the story as a young woman, insecure and shallow, married to an abusive husband who she couldn’t tear herself away from. The husband, Paul, was studying an ancient manuscripts in a convent and lived in the lay community outside the convent. Dora joined Paul to live in the community to rescue her marriage. The community had an assortment of characters who wanted something more than what they could acquire in a normal life but were not determined enough to give up the world. Everyone came with an emotional luggage and thus despite their full wish to act out of pure belief in the goodness of following God a series of events happened around the introduction of a new bell into the convent. Dora ended up being the only one who thought of life differently and for the better and left the community with courage and confidence to face the turmoil which we call life and potentially love it. Everyone else was permanently scarred and there seemed no hope that they could recover from the damage and face their faith the same as before.
听起来很沉重，但是读起来并不是这个感觉。Murdoch writes in a beautiful and poetic language. At times, I would stop and recite her sentences many times just to savor the beauty of her lines. She is a writing master!
A few random examples:
1. It was a bright moonlit night and he could see as he looked out, intent and nervous, the great expanse of the lake, and the Abbey wall opposite to him, clearly revealed in the blazing splendour of the moon which was well risen above the market-garden. Everything looked familiar and at the same time rather eerie.
2. The boat came lazily to a standstill in the middle of the lake.
3. Dora Greenfield was wearing a spectacular dress of dark West Indian cotton and carrying a white paper parasol, which she must have purchased in the village, and, for some reason, a large Spanish basket. She wore the sandals deplored by Margaret Strafford. At Mark’s suggestion, she had drenched herself in oil of citronella to keep off the midges, and the heavy sweetish perfume gave to her person an allure both crude and exotic. Michael watched her, as they ambled along, with irritation. He has seen her, similarly attired and accoutred, in the market-garden that afternoon, and her presence had seemed to make their labours into some absurd pastoral frolic. There was something a little touching all the same about her naive vitality. Her arms touched by the sun were now a glowing gold and she tossed her heavy tongues of hair like a pony. Michael saw dimly how Paul might be in love with her. Paul himself was in a restless excited state and fluttered about his wife, unable to keep his eyes and his hands off her. She teased him with a slightly impatient tolerance.
4. It was the next morning. The sun was still faithfully shining, but a certain chillness and bleakness in the air at breakfast time made known the season, and then the eye was more quick to see the signs of the autumnal decay.
It has been a long time that I have written about any technical details or new knowledge recently gained on this blog. One reason is that I have started using personal Wiki pages to document the accumulation of my own tech knowledge. Another reason is that I have been so absorbed in working that except working anything else is considered a waste of time and not even time to stop and consider what I have learned time and again.
Luckily this has changed. I spent nearly a full day today to write a shell script that can hook up with my own pre-commit hooks for svn. Along the way, I discovered useful bits on writing a shell script faster.
1. Number one discovery of the day: how to debug shell scripts. Change the shebang line from #!/bin/sh to #!/bin/sh -x will do the trick.
2. On Ubuntu, /bin/sh, by default, links to dash, which is a supposedly POSIX-compliant shell interpreter for bash. Unfortunately dash still has bugs which makes it not exactly POSIX compliant. So if your script starts complaining about ‘unexpected operator’, consider using bash directly instead of the symlinked dash. That is, change the shebang line from #!/bin/sh to #!/bin/bash
3. if [ $transaction == ” ] complains about unitary operator needed. this is because if $transaction is empty string, it will vanish completely and leave the interpreter looking for another input parameter. use “” to wrap around $transaction will fix it.
4. on a similar note, spaces after [ and before ] for a condition are not optional. dash will complain about weird things while bash will tell you there is a missing ].
5. I don’t understand why most tutorials online says ‘if  then … else … fi’ or ‘ if  then … elif … else .. fi’ are acceptable if statements. In reality, for the latter case, it is actually ‘if  then … elif  then … else … fi’