The huge language issue

Friday, 13 March, Year 7 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

When Trilema was started, it was designed and intended as a Romanian language personal blog. Things, obviously, never work as intended on the medium term, and so here we are : as I'm contemplating writing a Spanish translation of the Argentina for business article, I decide I want to fix the languages on this blog.

First step is to open a page, look at the source, and sure enough...

<html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en" >

That's all fine and dandy, until you stop to consider that, for instance,


Doesn't look that much like lang="en", does it. (I've changed it, by the way, and I'm having the remaining bits of Romanian entrenched in the various administrative tasks expunged as we speak).

More importantly : Wordpress doesn't really have a way to specify language on a per-page basis. Because it's made by and maintained by fucktards, which is to say ESLi speakers, and what do you mean there exist things in the world ?!?!

Even more importantly : you're supposed, according to "the standards", to mark by paragraph, sentence and even meta-relation. I kid you not, strange like

<para>Il faut utiliser <abbr title="Simple Object Access Protocol" xml:lang="en">SOAP</abbr></para>

The problem here is this : on one hand, not being the owner of the machines, I have very little incentive and even less inclination to make it easier for the machines to interact with my text.ii On the other hand, Trilema is meant to be read by humans, not by machines anyway. On the third hand... fuck.

So in conclusion : I am going to have the stray Romanian bits fixed. As I started writing this article I was imagining I will also put in an order for someone to figure out how to make it so correct language markings appear in the headers of all articles, probably by expanding the database with an extra field. But then, what to do about (the very numerous!) articles where languages are mixed ? Have someone else run through the entire databaseiii I suppose and find them and mark them. But then... Trilema often enough makes specific use of ambiguity, deliberately, to confuse this very matter. How would someone other than me be ever able to wholly solve this separation problem, and moreover why exactly is it that I wish to undo what I have done ?

At which point I took a step back and realised the foregoing. I don't in fact wish to undo what I've done to any degree, on the contrary.iv So I'll be simply striking the language bit off the header. And, for completeness, I will be also striking the "document bla bla" bullshit. It's not needed, and besides, whoever came up with the string isn't even in my WoT.

So there. No problem is truly insurmountable to the man wielding a flamethrower and willing to use it.

  1. English as a single language. []
  2. Think about this for a second, will you. If you expend five minutes to "properly" add xml language markings on an essay you write, this has cost you five minutes. What does it benefit you ?

    From the opposite camp, if you spend those five minutes to "properly" add xml language markings on the essay you wrote, this has benefited google, facebook, every other USG-VC captive ponzi operator plus every third world scammer trying to cash in on the USG ponzi cycle. Now they can more easily take your text and use it for their own purpose, whatever it may be, and make money. Money which they will use : the third worlder to pay for a plane ticket over, and the Ponzi circuit to pay taxes to the USG, so the USG can pay the TSA, so the TSA can hire some third worlder fresh off the boat to shove his fist in your wife's asshole whenever you visit her parents.

    Does this sound like any sort of deal to you ? It doesn't to me, and I'm not even suffering from half of those constraints. Of course captive "standards bodies" would make standards to make text more accessible to machines. This isn't something you actually want, as a general principle, unless you actually own the machines. Which, by and large, they do.

    Yes, I know, I know, you're innocent. You simply don't have any poltical bones to pick, because this can now happen somehow, magically : agency without agency. Just like that, by itself, of itself, all for you.

    Whatever. Enjoy the next fisting trip. Is the daughter of age yet ? Actually... it doesn't really matter what age she is when they do her, does it now. It's only terrorism, child porn and money laundering when you do it. Well... good that you don't have any political bones to pick, then. Enjoy your flight, sir. []

  3. Trilema consists, as of the time of right now, of 7`066 published articles (thus excluding this one). That comes to a lot of words, check this out :

      mysql> SELECT SUM(LENGTH(content) - LENGTH(REPLACE(content, ' ', '') )+1) FROM posts
      WHERE status LIKE "publish";
      | SUM(LENGTH(post_content) - LENGTH(REPLACE(post_content, ' ', '') )+1) |
      |                                                               12272503 |
      1 row in set (8 min 41.84 sec)

    It's kinda cool when you can make a computer work for minutes at a stretch. []

  4. This is a very deep matter. Consider the following exchange :

    mircea_popescu << just to blow your mind : you are speaking to a man who has bought that sort of thing (apartment, 3 rooms, 75 sqm) for 350 dollars.
    assbot: Logged on 12-03-2015 17:10:37; asciilifeform mircea_popescu 'Why would a property in a peso land be worth dollars ? Oh, because the peso is shit, they readily explain to you. Well, if the peso is shit, why do you imagine your real estate is worth anything at all ? ' << because if it were 10 usd, a beggar from calcutta would buy it and live in it; if it were 10K usd, i'd buy it; if it were 100K usd, american speculator corps. would buy it. so it

    asciilifeform Betcha you had to spend more than 350 to turn into the sort of fella who might open the door behind which it costs 350. 'linux is free if...' etc.

    mircea_popescu Nope.
    asciilifeform Ok I'll bite. Where do I buy one. And I think I'd like a 'boeing' too, for 250.

    mircea_popescu Gorj, Romania's lignite mining county, finally had govt subsidies cut after 5 years of the mines no longer being economically workable. Prices collapsed, an apt could be had for a working color tv. Because everyone wanted to just fucking leave. It came back to sense within a decade. This was an earlier time in Romania : foreigners weren't allowed to own property, like in fucking Burma, and locals were the sort of retards the soviet collapse left behind, not the slightest clue of a commercial spirit.
    asciilifeform As I understand it costs more than that to have your title not magicked away by the 'big boy' privatizers in the locale.

    mircea_popescu You misunderstand. No title was ever magicked.
    asciilifeform Aha if no foreigners, even easier. That's the only way prices like this can exist.

    mircea_popescu Yup.
    asciilifeform Or Soros et al would snap up the whole shebang. [Turner bought a lot of land further south in Argentina. It's altogether unclear this was such a smart purchase. Then again, the man has plenty of time - he's almost dead as it is. May his own Nicole Smith enjoy it more than the original.]

    mircea_popescu Worthless dollars being worthless, of course.
    asciilifeform Only 500k 'worthless' dollars buy a Moscow flat. Today.

    mircea_popescu I wouldn't live in Moscow if the flat were free.
    asciilifeform Just an example.

    mircea_popescu << why the fuck would you own furniture in excess of the real estate you own ?
    assbot Logged on 12-03-2015 17:15:40; asciilifeform mircea_popescu 'unlike anywhere in the civilised world, the Argentines rent unfurnished.' << wai wat?! most rental pads where i live are unfurnished - just the way i like it (wtf to do with the incl. furniture if you have your own?)

    mircea_popescu This is like renting cars without the engine. "Because I have an engine". Why the fuck are you going around with an debodied engine!
    asciilifeform Not in excess. In exactly the correct volume.

    mircea_popescu To rent means, ready to use. If I rent I expect to take the keys, take a girl there and fuck her in this order. If I wanted a place to work on I'd buy it.
    asciilifeform But no, I don't have precisely same items to put in rented space as the neighbouring derps.

    mircea_popescu So then you're muddying the discussion up by being one of those who lives in a warehouse. Obviously warehouses are rented empty whether you live in them or not. This is residential not commercial space we're discussing here.
    asciilifeform Speaking of my actual residence here. I -like- my desk, chair, etc. Don't want 'generic' ones when I move.
    chetty Germany unfurnished apts didnt even have a kitchen sink.

    mircea_popescu You're nuts, the lot of you. Who the fuck cares about the desk! And a chair, whatever, you just... buy a new one! That fits! What sort of consumerist culture is this anymore!
    trinque Do you know how long it takes to get the perfect ass crease in an office chair?!
    asciilifeform If I were moving to, wherever, jp, yes - things more economical to buy 2nd time than ship - would. [Amusingly enough I know a guy who went to Japan, picked a pretty cherry flower, came back with her and shipped himself a containerful of stuff, too.]

    mircea_popescu I never used a chair for more than I dunno, a year ? Two ? [I suppose Tara ca un hotel, sau o schimbare de perspectiva> should be linked here.]
    asciilifeform But that isn't 100% of furniture.
    chetty "do you know how long it takes to get the perfect ass crease in an office chair?!"// longer than modern ones last
    trinque Haha.

    mircea_popescu Alf, you also go around with your bed ? "This is my bed, my grandmother died in it."
    asciilifeform Phun phakt: I once had a costly, 'premium' type office chair spontaneously convert into a stake.

    mircea_popescu Kinda why you change them yearly.
    asciilifeform Or use one made 20+ yrs ago.
    Adlai ;;ud chair ass
    gribble | Chair Ass. The natural effect of the slow growth and spread of a clerical worker's physical frame, across the span of years of combining vending machine snack ...
    Adlai Clerical workers, the lot o ya.
    trinque Standing desk is where it's at. Better for pacing angrily.
    assbot Homer - Ass Groove - YouTube ... ( )
    asciilifeform My brother works in a chair that almost certainly was once at 'bell labs'. It is indestructible.

    mircea_popescu Look, if you're going to fill a place with antiques, YOU SHOULD NOT BE RENTING IT. Antiques suffer from transport, and wtf do you even want to put nice furniture in a place you don't like.
    asciilifeform Yes, plainly antiques should only travel in atomic dirigible. For the rest of us, who don't have access to $maxint - they sit in rented hovels, yes.
    chetty oo thats what I want a desk that goes up and down so you can sit or stand :D
    asciilifeform We have these where I work. Overrated imho.

    mircea_popescu Basically, you're in this space that doesn't exist, at all. There's a) real estate you own, and you like enough to own, which contains furniture of value proprotionate to that ; and b) real estate you don't give a shit about, if you come back to find it ablaze you just shrug and move on. Yours is some sort of insane c) where it has all the disadvantages of both.
    asciilifeform MP is approximately correct. He is puzzled because he can afford sanity, but over here we live in demented pauper-land where sanity is a premium product available to select few.

    mircea_popescu Well so then, here's an idle thought : the reason you find it so hard to escape the gravity well is in no small part due to the fact that you've spent many decades making the wrong decisions and they're a bitch to undo. Hardest of all is to move from c).
    asciilifeform Not quite a decade.

    mircea_popescu That may explain why you're even contemplating the alien insanity, instead of just telling me I'm evil.
    asciilifeform But otherwise a nearly obvious description of what a gravity well even is.

    mircea_popescu I guess so huh.
    asciilifeform I mean no shit, it sucks and no one would climb in on his own volition if they knew what's in the tank.

    mircea_popescu Myeah. I see it. Well... I feel better for having discussed it! []

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6 Responses

  1. Re: the furniture thread: I didn't even mention the several tonnes of dead tree and their racks. (I like text-on-dead-tree. Not ashamed of it, either.)

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Saturday, 14 March 2015

    I think one's only allowed to keep a library if lord of the manor, as opposed to tenant in precaria.

  3. > only allowed to keep a library if lord of the manor, as opposed to tenant in precaria

    Wait till you hear about Naggum's mega-library. I'm told it that it filled his flat (much like mine did when I lived in a flat.)

    And what's inherently precarious about serfdom, while we're at it? I sat in my previous digs for almost a decade, for instance. Outlived a whole landlord, even. Was inherited by his heir, much like an actual serf would've been.

  4. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Saturday, 14 March 2015

    Just the term of art, precarium as opposed to freehold.

  5. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Saturday, 21 March 2020

    This lived as long as it has ; but meanwhile unrolled it back to whatever icanhascheezburger is currently using. Should be good enough for another half decade / five year plan, I'd hope.

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