Monday, 31 December 2012

Flattering 2011-2012

My and list 2011-2012

Oswald Buddenhagen for mbsync
John and Hank Green

The teams over at: (and all your other sites)
Free DNS 

and last but not least -

Friday, 14 December 2012

Notice dev cycle

Some of you will know Notice and some may wonder how it is developed. You may also wonder how to connect distributed versions of git so that you can just push changes between clones.

I have a desktop, a server and github.

desktop Notice branches:

* master

server Notice branches:

* live

github Notice branches:

 * master

What are these and how do they link? The desktop master is where I do all of the development. Anything that can go public gets checked out into github and pushed to the master branch on github. If I have a client that needs a copy of Notice then I fork the master branch, ( with my internal code for that customer as the branch name); add their logos and changes and link that to their server, (more on that shortly.)

Rather unsurprisingly I use Notice for my own production server. The desktop master branch is linked to the server master branch. Any time I issue

alexx@desktop:/v/www/s/github/Notice$ git push

github is updated with the github branch and
the server is updated with the master branch. It does not go live.

Over to the server. The sysadmin, (a quick wardrobe change via ssh) on the server merges in the master branch, or if that will break things, (this is production) then cherry-picks or 

git co master -- single/files or/more

The configs

on the desktop:

# cat ~Notice/.git/config

        repositoryformatversion = 0
        filemode = true
        bare = false
        logallrefupdates = true
[remote "server"]
        url = ssh://
        fetch = master:master
        pull = master:master
       push = master:master
[remote "origin"]
        url =
        fetch = master:github
        pull = master:github
       push = github:master
        name = Alexx Roche
        email =
[branch "github"]
        remote = origin
        pull = master:github
        push = refs/heads/github:refs/remotes/origin/master
 [branch "master"]
        remote = server
        pull = master:master
        push = refs/heads/master:refs/remotes/ns0/master

# This shows that push can be local-branch:remote-branch or the more complicated git style

on the server:

    repositoryformatversion = 0
    filemode = true
    bare = false
    logallrefupdates = true
[remote "origin"]
    url =
    fetch = master:github
    pull = master:github
    push = github:master
    name = Alexx Roche
    email =
[branch "github"]
    remote = origin
    pull = master:github
    push = refs/heads/github:refs/remotes/origin/master
    #merge = refs/heads/github

Github has the public ssh keys from my desktop notice account. 

Now this may be because I came from a cvs/svn world, but without a central repo, (like gitolite) it can feel hard to define which is the authoritative version. (Also with the ease of branching and cloning I ended up with over 25 copies of Notice on four computers and two usb flash-drives, each with a few changes and some of the copies.) Now that I've merged them all back together, I've got my version control under control, and I'm getting more used to the idea that the definitive version depends upon which branch you are talking about. If you think that I'm going about this in the wrong way or know of any improvements then explain in the comments. 

Monday, 10 December 2012

Hackers, Crackers, Slackers

I think of myself as a hacker. I know enough to be useful and that is a super-set of, "enough to be dangerous." [0] In private that is how I would describe my computer skills, but publicly we have a problem. Us computer artisans are known in the public media as hackers if we break the law, (or cause a nuisance.)

Some of the hacker community wanted to distance themselves from negative activity without relinquishing their title, so they came up with the term Cracker for Crazy-hacker, (not really, more like probably "work for organised crime or spam-lords" but W.O.C.O.S.L. didn't catch on. )

While looking for a javascript user-data lib I found a blog entry by Constantine. This reminded me of Neuromancer. (OK, so we call them firewalls rather than ICE - though I would have liked that, we already have enough TLAs in my world - Gibson got a lot of it right.) [1]

So I thought to propose we have three scales:
    Wintermute scale is how law abiding they are. (Fully WM would should be imprisoned.)
    Neuromancer is how powerful someone is, (Neuro, is top of the scale.)
    H.Case is how good/kind they are.

Then I realised that
  1. Language evolves rather than is created or forced
  2. I'm just re-creating role-playing character alignment, (and not very well.)
  3. I've tried this before with 
So how do we get hacker = lawful;good and cracker = chaotic;evil ? Add your ideas to the comments.

[0] I've often met script-kiddies who, "know enough to be dangerous, but not enough to be useful".
[1] Though I still prefer Snow Crash, (thanks Shish).

Can you teach me to be a hacker? 2.0

In version 1.0 I talked generally: Learn languages; use them; GOTO :

Here I want to plant my flag. Learn BASH C/C++ python postgres lisp and LFS.

(Oh no, not another arbitrary list from another hacker?) Well not quite. I should clarify that I'm a Perl and C++ hacker. I've been a sysadmin and a netadmin, (I loves me some Foundry/Juniper.) I'm not saying that you should not learn perl, but python is going to replace both perl and ruby in the next few years. (What? How can you defend that statement? Time.)

Why is BASH on my list? Why is it BASH and not Bash, (or BaSH?) Because I feel that BASH can teach you everything that I learnt from BASIC, but can also teach you about functions.

LFS? What is that? Linux From Scratch - find it. Do it. I was using Slackware back in 1998 so LFS wasn't a huge leap for me. Those that have only every used CrunchBang or CentOS are in for a surprise. For me LFS was something to do or try. I live on CrunchBang and my servers are CentOS.

Lisp? Isn't that a teaching language? Yes! Yes it is - and though you don't know it, you need to get taught. As the great Ludwig Wittgenstein said, "The Limits of my language are the limits of my world."
Each language has a number of operators, (e.g. + - * /) that you are going to use and were created by the author of the language; even with ASCII there is a limit to the number of operators. With lisp there isn't a limit. That is just part of the story, but when you really understand and find yourself quietly mouthing, "No limits?" Then you have learnt something. (In practicality you can get far with just 50, which is why perl and C++ work for me.)

If you advocate Lisp why C/C++? C is the Latin for most modern languages. (I can hear your indignation from here! No not you, I know you agree with me, I'm talking about that other guy.)

What postgres? That isn't a language? No, strictly it is a database project, but if you get used to it then mySQL, SQLite and any lesser system will not be a problem.

Why isn't $your_language on the list? Because it is rubbish. If you want to get paid for sitting at a desk poking at keys then sure - learn some Microsoft or Oracle stuff; but if you want to actually get things done then Lean perl.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Seek what they sought

We can be Heros

One of the quotes that I find myself falling back on the most, comes from the Japanese poet Matsuo Basho, "Seek not to follow in the footsteps of great men of old; seek what they sought."

I see this as a warning against Hero worshipping, but also the removal of limits. I'm a huge fan of Leibniz, but I'm well aware that at times he complained like a small boy with a skinned knee.

So lets think of some heros. How do we telegraph our heros to the world, (other than name-dropping in a blog)? The first two methods that I can think of are posters and necklaces. The classic student poster of Ernesto "Che" Guevara or Albert Einstein.

So my question is: "Which poster would your hero have on their wall?"
(This produces an interesting recursive question - at which level do we stop?)

I have been told that both Jean-Paul Sartre and Nelson Mandela were fans of Che, but who would Che have on his wall? Karl Marx? Vladimir Lenin?

Albert Einstein had pictures of both Faraday and Maxwell, (and some other puffed up Englishman.)

Why do we have heros? What do they do for us? To some, I imagine, they embody rules for life.  

Another way to silently tell the world of your hero(s) is a necklaces. One that distinguish the wearer as the member of a religion, (sometimes quite subtly, but mostly brazenly.) Most religions have a list of rules and one of the most popular so far has been The Ten Commandments.  The 10 commandments are a complicated issue of their own, but they are not the first time that a group, or individual has tried to numerate the rules for life. Remembering which is which is hard so here is my simple over-view:

The 10 commandments

- splits into two sections: the rules about god and the rules about man, (obviously god comes first.)

To god

1. I am the Lord your God
2. You shall have no other gods before me, (how about after?)
3. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, for I am a jealous God
3b. If you keep these commandments God will love you
4. You shall not take the name of God in vain
5. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy - 6 days work before the Sabbath

To man

6. Honour your father and your mother
7. You shall not murder
8. You shall not commit adultery
9. You shall not steal
10. You shall not bear false witness
11. You shall not covet your neighbour's wife

Putting aside the obvious mathematical error, if you are an agnostic or atheist you are already down to just six rules. Murder can be euphemistically referred to as, "taking away life", so the seventh is a special case of the ninth, and your parents are part of humanity, (and you might not know which part). Along that line the tenth is theft of the truth. Coveting is a precursor to theft, (why would you take something that you don't want?) so we can distil these rules down to:
  • Be respectful
  • Don't even want what isn't yours, let alone take it

Theft and respect are external things, but wanting something is internal. So we end up with two rules. One governing external behaviour and the other internal behaviour. So once again the Daoists seem to have got there first.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Next Olympic Sport

Having watched Idea Channel "Are the Olympics A Model for Creating Geniuses?" I wondered if we could address one daily chore. To explain this a little further I have to explain computer code optimisation.

Imagine that you have a program that does just two things. Firstly it adds 1 (one) and then it prints.

If the adding is easy for the computer and the printing is proportionally hard, (takes 10 times as much work) then if you can find a better way to print that halves the effort, then your program goes from 1+10 to 1+5. You sit back and feel good. But this isn't the whole story. The program actually loops through the addition 100 times and then prints. So really the effort is 100+10, and with your optimisation it is 100+5. If I can find a way to half the effort of addition then with the original code I get to 50+10.

So what are the things that we do often that require energy? As an aside, I was looking at the stats for this blog and was surprised to see that more people read one entry then any other entry!

Washing up. Electric dishwashers use far more electricity than me. ( I run on food, but I'm going to eat anyway.) It might be possible for the electric dishwasher to use less water, but this is where the Olympics comes in.

Imagine, if you will, a large podium with two people. Above them is a huge transparent tank of water. Below that, (but still above the contestants) is a water heater. Between then is a solid partition and two kitchen sinks. (The contestants can bring their own sink.) They will be judged on the volume of liquid soap that they use, (less is better) and the volume of water that they use, (which will be collected in the grey-tanks below, (that way the audience can watch the tanks under he podium fill up.

The competition will be timed and there will be deductions for chips and breakages and grease spots.

There are competitions where computers play each other at chess - why not have electic dishwashers go head-to-head, or better yet - against a human.

As this becomes competitive efficiencies will be found. As the speed reaches a asymptote we can abandon it for some other task. I'm sure that the cup-stackers and speed-cubers will be able to help coach these sorts of sports.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Buddha's Holy Cow Abattoir

Looking over the last half of my life I can see that I've found a lot of so-called wisdom. Much of it was out of date and the more specific it was the faster it became irrelevant.

One thing that aggravated me was the way that some authors attributed their ideas to much older times, locations or individuals. I thought that they were trying to add gravitas while destroying a good wine by trying to artificially age it. Now, with more experience, I have found that it is much easier to explain an idea if you disassociate yourself from that idea. Often people will waste time asking for the source rather than considering the point, or trying to understand how they could arrive at the same understanding. This is the difference between being show and being a Seeker.

That said, here is some, 'ancient wisdom':

The spoon does not have to make a loud noise to effect change - it moves silently touching only those closest to it.

Do not presume that your prayers will purify you; Slaughter your holy-cows and find the silent voice that knows best.

Be kind and generous and considerate; Try to find the right balance between all three:

Love, hope and charity;
simplicity, patience, compassion - these things often travel in threes.

Do your Tai-chi in the dark, not in the park; Before stretching your muscles, stretch your ego.

If you clatter about yelling at the world how wrong it is then you are contributing to the problem - be the change and wait for others to realise you're perfect. When they ask what is so special about you, rebuff them with a shrug and, a simple, 'nothing'.

Enlightenment can not be taught or bought.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

DNS; What more do you need?

Today is the day of SOPA protests, and I hope that by the time you are reading this you have to search to find out what the SOPA bill was.

All you need to know, for this post: If you are in favour of freedom then you are against SOPA, and anything else that you say is lies dressed up in fancy words.

 When it comes to the Internet I firmly believe that everyone should be able to say that I am wrong, (as long as it makes a funny video about it.) The funny thing is, with most of the Internet, for every service or software program that you need, there is a free version available, (that is often much better than the ones that you pay for.)

Take DNS. If you have one domain and need DNS services, then the place to go is the Free DNS people over at (they do my DNS.)

  • Web browser - Firefox, though Opera, (and sometimes Chrome) are good.
  • PDF viewer    - Sumatra PDF (one guy > $(a whole corporation) )
  • Image browser- irfanview (again one guy!)
  • Password store - Keepass
  • Image manipulation - GIMP (you can keep your PS)
  •  ... and the list goes on, (to another post.)

If you want software for windows then, ninite or Portable will provide a good list, (even if you are on Linux or Apple then you can still look at these places for a list. The one exception that I know of is that on apple I would suggest Adium where, on windows I use Pidgin as my chat-client. )

There is no longer a single program that I need, that isn't free, (to download, often with the complete source.)

So where does the Internet go from here?  The three things that are left:

  • $1 a-year .com domains; £1 a year .uk domains. (Though domain squatters should be charged 1000 times as much to clear out the domain-space for those that want to use it.)
  • to become a IETF RFC standard, (so that compromised x509 SSL certificates can become free; I thought it would be by a PGP like web-of-trust crossed with openSSH); Each ISP runs its own DNS cache, so they should also run their own TLS notary.
  • Education - we all want to enjoy and benefit from the Internet in our own way. If there are any misguided attempts to control the Internet then it will simply create a greater use of darknets, just as surely as a evolutionary pressures find their own solutions, (well not a perfect analogy, but you get the point). So we have to continually educate those that would try to control the Internet, until the Internet generation is in charge, (why does that scare me a little bit?) 
Get to it The Internet!

As ever, what ever you are doing, set up your backup first, (because you can't do it after you lose your data; as soon as you have data you can lose it.)

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Open Source ideas

Morning all,

Today I looked at the weather forecast for the weekend, (hoping that it would rain so that I could stay in and program.)

Like a weather forecast crossed with a spell cast, I would like, (and expect that the Internet will provide):

  1. A Google Chrome Extension of/for (there is already a firefox one.)
  2. A C/C++ version of I find this very helpful, and it is written by a brilliant person, (and though I also love BASH I think it is time for a program rather than a script.)
  3. A Google Chrome Extension port of Last-Tab
That is all I have for today. The wild-card idea is a C/C++ container that has google v8 and webkit in it that lets you write something in javascript and then compile it into the container. The resulting program would be a closed source black-box where you and the user would not be able to view the javascript/CSS inside.

I'm envisioning someone taking this web-cube and writing a youtube client, or a gmail client. The browser would become a bit like a virtual machine, and though it would be nice, (for code-recycling and FOSS) to have the container be able to have add-on programs, (lets call them lumps of sugar) that would provide the actual functionality, knowing the PERL::Acme type people - it would not be long before one lump was created just to expose/sell-out any of the others.

Xombrero is already 95% of this, (and GnuPG and NSIS could provided 3-4% of the rest of this idea.)

Friday, 5 October 2012

Things I do not need (free software)

I promised, in a previous post to list free software. It seems slightly redundant when these lists already exists for all the things that I could need, (and even things that I do not need - but you might.)

The main problem with creating a list of software, (unless it is regularly edited) is that by next week it is already out-of-date, (as seen here in my own software evolution.)

This list is already getting long enough that some people will feel lost, (though I am impressed that they have managed to keep it this short.)  I guess that the natural progression would be a list where a social network or accountable experts could tag and sort by preference each of the pieces of software.

(For example I would rank
 Sumatra PDF as being more useful than
 Foxit Reader on the simple criteria of size and speed, though I have happily used both over 'that other one'; This might be a good way to automatically sort software, or simply  list each one with the amount of RAM and CPU that they use and time-to-load from cold, and let people draw their own conclusion.)

If you install a version of Linux, (like Ubuntu) then "free software" is like Chinese food when you are in China, (i.e. food.) Even then a directory can be helpful to find the name of the program that you are going to need.

So installed right now I have:
tangoGPS, Firefox, Pidgin, Rhythmbox, Epiphany, Quarry, GRAMPS, Libra Office, Audacity, Avidemux, GIMP and WINE, (and bash, perl, python, two SQL servers and many other unix tools.)

On the last XP machine that I was asked to clean up, I added a wifi scannera weichi game and chess as well as a planetarium. (I used to recommend Celestia but I find stellarium easy to use for most of my star related tasks.)

For me, it seems that gone are the crax-n-warez days. I am sure that there are still closed-source proprietary programs that some people can not live without. If you would kindly just add your list of such programs to the comments and we, (the Internet) can start writing free replacements for you.

Recently someone blogged about git, and suggested that like Linux it was great and powerful, but complained that it would not stop you shooting yourself in the foot, (they concluded that many people will be going back to SVN.)

It occurred to me that this is true, (the libertarian nature of Linux,) but then I considered extending the analogy in the vein of I'll start you off with,

"Linux lets you shoot yourself in the foot, for free."

"Windows charges you, shoots you in the foot without warning and then two other people offer to protect you against bullets by selling you anti-bullet and bullit-aware."

"Apple charge you double for a very nice looking gun, but make your gun incompatible with the new bullets a few months later."

(You get the idea, just riff on it. Take it away, run with it.. in a fun way.)

Can't hear myself!

This morning I turned on and decrypted by home computer, (like any usual morning.)
I kicked in screen and went to make a hot beverage, (but I pronounced it beveridge.)
I came back to my screen, unlocked it and found that my computer had failed to ssh into my development server, but HAD managed to ssh into my house server. I set up key exchange as soon as I built both servers, and it has been working ever since.

I tried, (http, https, ssh -vv) my development server, (over with the good people at Bytemark Hosting) but nothing, (I never thought that the problem that I'm about to report was at their end - Bytemark are so nice that no one would want to DDoS them, and too /good/ to have a partial outage.)

Then a little application called WhatPuse told me that it could not get to its server, (possibly not using SSH) and I opened pidgin while thinking about the problem. I was seeing a partial outage, (which is a real pain because reporting "my ssh does not work but most websites are fine" to any ISP other than is going to be frustrating.)

My first reaction was: My dev server! I've spent two weeks rebuilding that from scratch for a new project and I did not back-up before I went to bed, (I'm kidding ofcourse [alot]- backup is encrypted and automatic.) No, what I really thought was, "I wonder what I did to make that crash? It was up last night - I'd better check the KVM-console". But alarms were going off in my head. Pidgin claimed to authenticate, (using XMPP) with Google Talk, ( but pidgin reported an error authenticating with MSN, (well it might not have got to authentication - I just knew at this point that it had not worked.)

By now I had a browser open, (Google Chrome) and tried to Google "can't ssh or msn but https works", and it "did", (with the EFF add-on Chrome defaults to https if it can; Which it did.) Nothing jumped out at me, as I looked for outage reports and other similar descriptions.

So what was happening? Had the broken? worked, but again that was just one protocol.

I set nmap going against my own remote server: All scanned ports on are filtered.
hmm. Maybe my local software firewall updated last night - I check and even flush it: still nothing.
The next gate is obviously my local router - I log in and check the 'firewall' part of it, and then turn that off as well. Still http, (and even youtube is working) but the website of my hosting company is not available to me - but claims that it is up, (as are all of my sites. So that is reassuring.)

So my end seems to be working, and from somewhere on the Internet the other end was working - traceroute time. I know that my connection, (today) is carried by, (so I check their website, and that works.) I then look at the exchange point between them and my hosting company. That shows up in the trace as raw IPv4, but a quick whois tells me, Neo Telecoms. hmm does _not_ work, (maybe that isn't their website - quick google shows that it probably is, but also a helpful tweet from 2011 that looks like an outage report.) has no such update this morning.

... and then my routing flips over to those-people-who-are-less-that-Level4 and the Internet is shiny and new.... all of my websites start working, I go to try ssh aaaaand then it flips back to "Neo Telecoms", (they don't feel much like "The One"). So, (feels like playing Cludo) is it Mr with the faulty switch, Miss with the faulty router or is Neo the one, (sorry) responsible?

Then I realise - just because I can debug this problem does not mean that I should. I should just report the outage, but I'm a friend of a customer of a reseller of

All of this took me a few minutes to diagnose and about an hour to blog.

The routing, meanwhile flip-flops between Neo and level3 like a dieing fish, (or more likely a netops who is trying to solve the problem - which is reassuring - but having been there they may have cost of routing weighing down one side of the scales.)

Service resumes 79 minutes later.... (but I can quite imagine that someone has been up all night trying to fix this - if there is a netops sysadmin out there on their way to a well deserved rest, "Thank you". )

Update 01: This works, (for me) as a lonap status page, (and shows that there wasn't a blip this morning). I'm still looking for the euro-ix and $other_providers equivalent - RIPE or .eu should have a that shows the latest version of these for each Internet exchange and another for each ISP that wants to offer it.)

Update 02franceix, (yes, still with a hiddious 90's URL) is the sort of thing that I'm looking for. fail to provide useful information, (other than a glorified sales catalogue) and their /en/ is covered with french, but both are better than which is offline. PARIX seems to be owned by France Telecom, and in an odd twist they were bought by the mobile, (cell) phone company that do not offer graphs of their network, (which I understand, but _should_.)

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Qt big?

So you want to build something using Qt? How much space are you going to need?

Well if you skip the full SDK and Qt Creator and just go for the libraries you will need:

  223 MB 4.8.3 for the lib
but uncompressed that could be almost
  700 MB (900 MB if you don't remove the src file)
Then configure and make and that src directory grows to over
  1.6 GB (1.8 GB)
Then sudo make install and that adds
  435 MB (2.2 GB total.)

So those of you that sail close to the wind on a very old laptop, make sure you have enough space before you start, (oh and start make about seven hours before you need Qt on 1.2Ghz Centrion Duo laptop.)

Not surprising or shocking, (I'm sure some GTK+ person is laughing) but annoying if your disk fills up part way through compiling.


I like the zetcode qt4 lib guide.

Friday, 21 September 2012

The Juice on Oranges

How much Vitamin C, (ascorbic acid) do you need. Why do you need it?
RDA between 10 and 90mg for adult humans. To prevent scurvy and possibly other undesirable things.

10mg seems to be the bare minimum, and 90 to 200mg seems to be a good target. 500-2000mg (2 grams) seems to be overly excessive, (like double double superlatives or a tautology.)

"but 10-200 seems a rather broad range?"

Yes. This is because we are all different, (which is why Doctors practise medicine rather than 'doing medicine' - or so I like to think of it; It is not that they hope to be good and get it right some time in the future.)

So what is the problem? Well the human body does not store vitamin C. It is lost at about [a few] mg/day, implying that it has a half-life of days, (lets say 83). Massive excess is filtered from the blood stream by the kidneys, (rather impressive filters they are!) and ejected through urination, (though I still feel that humans missed out not having a cloaca like some birds.)

So what is the density of Vitamin C in freshly squeezed orange juice?

100 grams of OJ has about 50mg of Vitamin C. Thanks to the metric system 100g = 100ml (well for water at 20 degrees Celsius.)

[If you have a small Nutella (tm) glass, (and who does not?) then they are helpfully marked with four lines: The peak of the top one is about 130ml, the next one is about 85ml, then 55ml, then 30ml. (Full-to-the brim is about 240ml with 200ml being a "won't spill too easily, but feels full" serving.) So you might think that you need half a glass of OJ a day? Read on to see why NOT.]

Vitamin C seems to be a bit of a pain; What does it have on its resumé? Well it is water-soluble. This means that the villainsed "fats" (lipids) are not required to get it into your body. The best thing is that Vitamin C turns up everywhere! Are you planning on having something to eat today?

A serving of just 70g of raw cabbage, (yes you can, think coleslaw) can have over 40% of your RDA of Vitamin C, (and over 60% of your RDA of Vitamin K {what ever that might be}).
That glass of orange juice just dropped to the quarter-of-a-glass mark, (sorry Tropicana).

At this point I'd like to point out that with unlimited funds I would have my slaves bring me a different 1Liter Tropicana each day, and not tell them which one I wanted, (mostly because I don't know until after I start drinking, though Grape, (either colour) or something with mango and passion fruit rank highly.) The one that guessed correctly gets to eat lunch that day, (see I'm almost-not drunk with power in my imaginary world.)

So Vitamin C does not just live in fruits. It can even be found, (in tiny amounts) in the herb basil. Do you eat onions? 160g of onion has about 20% of your RDA. Even if you are not chugging down five cups of raw onion each day, these things all add up nicely, (hence the term, "a balanced diet".)

180g of Spinach not only has about 30% of your RDA of Vitamin C it has over 1000% of your Vitamin K, (yes that one again) and over 300% of your Vitamin A, (which is needed by your eyes, and other things.)

So if you take care to eat food, (rather than junk) you should only need a top-up at the weekends of orange juice, (when you are indulging in that "English Breakfast" that undoes all the good work that you did the rest of the week.)

So? Feeling evolutionary superior: Goats synthesise their own vitamin C, (humans can't.)

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Pretty Beautiful

I want to explain my interpretation of the difference between the terms pretty and beautiful in relation to humans. I should start out by saying that both are pleasing but simply put beauty is strong and pretty is gentle.

Beauty is a demonstration of better or stronger bilateral symmetry which is why it often does not mater what the features are as much as how symmetrical they are.

Prettiness is our inbuilt "ahhh so-cute" function that causes us to protect and rear our young, (though why that extends to finding young sheep cute is a little confusing... Oh dear that it going to lead to all sorts of jokes that are needless and distracting. Stop it. Stop it now!)

When applied to looks, (phenotype) pretty is child-like and beauty is clearly adult.

Nina Dobrev in season one of The Vampire Diaries, (just an example that google images threw up when I searched for "pretty" - stay focused!) is pretty;
As is Zooey Deschanel, Audrey Hepburn, Bella Tokaeva, (2009), Winona Ryder and even Aishwarya Rai.

Uma ThurmanRie Rasmussen  Angelina Jolie, Katherine Hepburn, Milla Jovovich, (and as she gets older, Megan Fox ) are beautiful.

[As you can see these people but can't smell them, the MHC gene and pheromones isn't a factor here.] Ratios, proportions define the proportions of the face, (I've selected images at differnt zoom levels to demonstraight that, (though now that I review this post, I've picked closer zooms for the pretty image than the beautiful.)]

So if we draw a line with pretty at one end and beauty at the other it should be possible, with a little face-recognition software, to sort the whole of IMDB into some sort of order. Now this is where it gets complicated. Notice that I made a mention about Megan Fox and included Audrey Hepburn, who is dead - we have to decide, at which age we select in individual. (The scary thing is that we could, given accurate time-stamps inside of the images graph attractiveness of each individual over time and then find out the average peak - I conjecture that this would not be beneficial to anyone's self-esteem. )

Beauty should not fade, (accidental or elective damage aside) but prettiness will drain away as the elastin in the skin deteriorates, (another good reason not to smoke.)

If we pick some other random third item, (e.g. averageness - how close they are to the average of all the other faces) we can move from a line to a triangle.

Once we break out of one dimension we can group them by eye colour, hair colour, height, BMI, wealth, I.Q. column inches (or any of the other dehumanising pigeon-holing that people use to understand each other and themselves, "Not my type" and "I'm a [leg,breast,bum] man myself." as examples.)

Can we find a correlation between one of these extremes and, for example, eye colour?

So other than setting a goal what is my point(s)?

1. Grace and Kindness are both far more important, (in my truth) and are much harder to measure.

2. Once this is automated it can be sold to Amazon as a feature for IMDB and all of those, "Top 100 attractive people" lists there and in magazines can stop once we have a mathematically set list.

I have not found any definitive research that explains homosexual attraction, though I hypothesis that

a. XY-XY and XX-XX attraction are probably not related other than both being two minorities, (good work hetro-biast majority.)
b. The composition of the human body and brain is really complicated, (have you tried to build one on your own?) It seems that in a deconstructive method of understanding, each part of the brain exists at some point in a continuum rather than one fixed polarity. This would make sense as it would offer greater adaptability to the individual, and adaptability is, in my opinion, more important than evolution as an explanation for why humanity has destroyed conquered the planet again.

(Yes, my hypothesis writing needs some work, but I'm sure someone can create some solid tests from my wishy-washy hypothesis.)

About this blog

Sort of a test blog... until it isn't