Archive for November, 2011

The Analects, Section I

There doesn’t seem to be any literal translation of the Analects out there that tracks the original grammar, which is annoying. So here I did it, in-text commentary in parentheses. Not a big fan of this text.


Note: The princely scholars, sometimes translated as gentleman-scholars, are more or less the intellectual elite who assign themselves the task of defining morality and leading by example. Here, they have a rambling discussion about the desirable traits of a princely scholar (and therefore the ideal benevolent man), and how such a person participates in managing the masses, who need not understand anything but merely follow along.

1. 子曰:「學而時習之,不亦說乎?有朋自遠方來,不亦樂乎?人不知而不慍,不亦君子乎?」
Master said: “Learning and fittingly applying it, isn’t that also persuasion? Having comrades from afar be drawn, isn’t that also concordance? Others not understanding yet one not harboring resentment, isn’t that also being a princely scholar [junzi]?”

(To learn and teach through example and action, and to get resonance among peers is the mark of an elite intellectual; whether others get it is not important. Confucius is talking about his own reasons for teaching rather than going on the lobbying circuit, where he was frequently rebuffed.)
(Read the article)

user input should take absolute precedence

These and other silly “100% CPU” problems should not happen, first of all:

1. Mac OS X doesn’t know how to stop looping the CrashReporter process on repeated crashing apps.
2. 64-bit Linux kernel doesn’t know how to deal with full swap situation.

But more importantly, given that “100% CPU” situations will arise, why are OS’s designed in such a way that basic user inputs like mouse and keyboard aren’t given precedence at all times? Even just to catch some escape key combo to give the user a chance to correct the offending situation? I don’t believe for a moment that a small amount of computing time cannot be devoted solely to process user input at all times. If your computing resources cannot handle that, then cut out the other crap that’s going on. If the user wants to do something, listen to the user! Simple concept.