Macbeth dans la Tour Vagabonde

Si vous avez toujours rêvé de regarde une tragédie de Shakespeare dans un théâtre élisabéthain proche de chez vous, vos rêves se sont réalisés : la compagnie belge Arsenic fera le tour du Luxembourg, Belgique et France dans un gros théatre rond de bois.

Ils vont jouer Macbeth du 1-5 octobre au Luxembourg, 29 octobre-3 novembre Charleroi, 12-28 décembre à Huy, 11 janvier à Nancy.

Reservez vite car beaucoup de séances affichent déjà complet.

Bach Edition

In an effort to avoid searching for CDs all around my flat, I begun to transfer them all to my hard drive in the lossless FLAC format and enter their data into Musicbrainz database. The most time consuming part was entering Brilliant Classic’s Complete Bach Works. At a speed of one CD a day I’ve already finished Volumes I and II of the collection.

For those that intend help with the work I advise reading Musicbrainz’s Classical Style Guide or look at the titles already entered.

I didn’t have time to listen to all these CDs, but there are some known artist names in the lot, like e.g. Trevor Pinnock or Jordi Savall so I will listen to those attentively.

I post the links on Musicbrainz to the first volume of the series to keep track of them and correct them more easily.

Volume I

  1. CD I-1: Brandenburg Concertos 1-2-3: Musica Amphion feat. conductor Pieter-Jan Belder
  2. CD I-2: Brandenburg Concertos 4-5-6: Musica Amphion feat. conductor Pieter-Jan Belder
  3. CD I-3: Orchestral Suites 1 & 2: La Stravaganza feat. conductor Andrew Manze
  4. CD I-4: Orchestral Suites 3 & 4: La Stravaganza feat. conductor Andrew Manze
  5. CD I-5: Violin Concertos
  6. CD I-6: Harpsichord Concertos BWV 1052-1055
  7. CD I-7: Harpsichord Concertos BWV 1056-1058, 1060, 1065
  8. CD I-8: Concertos for 2 & 3 Harpsichords
  9. CD I-9: Double Concertos
  10. CD I-10: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin I
  11. CD I-11: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin II
  12. CD I-12: Cello Suites 1-3-5
  13. CD I-13: Cello Suites 2-4-6
  14. CD I-14: Flute Sonatas BWV 1030-1032
  15. CD I-15: Flute Sonatas BWV 1033-1035
  16. CD I-16: Lute Works BWV 995-997
  17. CD I-17: Lute Woks BWV 998-1000
  18. CD I-18: Viola da Gamba Sonatas
  19. CD I-19: The Musical Offering
  20. CD I-20: Violin Sonatas BWV 1014-1016
  21. CD I-21: Violin Sonatas BWV 1017-1019
  22. CD I-22: Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach
  23. CD I-23: Violin Sonatas / Trio Sonatas

The cry

[This post follows the rules of a blog story and is the continuation of its beginning]

…and a cry filled the sky, the mountains trembled in a terrifying and fatal roar:

“And you will be damned among men for thinking the unthinkable and for defying in your thoughts the sacred laws of the gods. Everything you will ever touch will move away from your grasp and will be turned into stone. And everything you will ignore will fall under your feet and you will stumble, slip over, raise again with pride, fall again and raise untill your natural death will free you from this pain.

The rules of the society and morality will bind you for ever and you will bend on your knees under their weight. You will never be free again, you will experience joy, but never satisfaction and the only thing that shall last will be sporadical moments of happiness in a sea of boredom and suffering.

Cherish these moments, since they will be the only thing to hold on, your unique reason to live.”

Naïveté

[I ought to have published this entry almost three months ago, but I didn't find time nor motivation to finish it properly and I a not sure I ever will. But time passes and I am far beyond schedule, so I hope that nobody will bother if I'll delete this entry in the future replacing it with a more complete one. I would like to dedicate it to my friends Paola and Federico Fedrizzi and Delia and Razvan Gurau who got married in July.]

In the interview that the German actress Cosma Shiva Hagen (IMDB) gave to the DB Mobil magazine I found some words worth quotation:

Romeo und Julia sind ja zwei Kinder, die sich ineinander verlieben und sich da voll reinhängen. Was im Erwachsenenalter oft verschwindet, weil man nicht mehr an die Liebe glaubt, sie viel theoretischer sieht.¹

I couldn’t agree more. The long road that brings us from childhood through puberty to the adult life is filled with disenchantment, the death of the more naïve ideals and the painful aknoledgement of the complexity of the world. First we learn that Santa Claus is just one of our relatives with a funny beard and costume; then it is the turn of the other illusions of Foscolo:

The ideals of justice, democracy, glory, beauty, the importance of life and somebody could say God, fall from their pedestals into the category of chimeras or just approximations of the real life.

Justice isn’t the same for everyone and all the attorneys know it: their skills can make a cause just or unjust. Democracy easily turns into demagogy: it is the power of those those who cry louder.

Glory goes to those who amuse the crowds: football players, singers, actors. Most great people are almost unknown outside their circles.

Love doesn’t make an exception: it is far away from the romantic irrational feeling, without any compromise. It is more complicated, it has a much more material and chemical basis, making lovers and OCDs not very different² :-) An adult Juliet would surely subscribe an insurance policy in case of her death and Romeo would surely forget about Juliet’s death and move over after a while.

In order to free our lives from false truths, we must abjure these illusions and understand the real mechanisms of the world: wars, power struggles, corruption, compromises. We should be able to use these against whatever the fortune throws at us.

But if we were permitted to take a souvenir from our past lives, to make an illusion true, I have no doubt what I would choose: love. Everything else is worth dying for, but it’s certainly not worth living for. I hope that my friends managed in some mysterious way (for me), to make that wish come true.

¹Which roughly translates into:

Romeo and Julia are just two children that fall in love each for the other and they throw themselves entirely into it. They see in a very theoretical way what often changes in the adult age, because one doesn’t believe in love any more.

² Ig Nobel prize 2000 for Chemistry.

Uptime

I was talking quite recently with a friend about the importance of for a geek and why we leave our machines running while we are not at home… and some curse touched my poor computer.

Today, on my friend’s birthday, morgoth rebooted for unkown reasons, though I suspect a power shortage. He had an uptime of 176 days, 6 hours and 31 minutes at the time. Accidentally Joël‘s machine also rebooted four days ago with a much bigger uptime.

Open Discussion Day

Aujourd’hui c’est le Open Discussion Day. Pendant 24 heures je boycotte les réseaux de messagerie instantanée proprietaires, tels que Yahoo! Messenger et MSN Messenger.

Vous pouvez me joindre sur Jabber à l’adresse piotr.karwasz@jabber.org. Ploum explique dans un billet bilangue, comment utiliser le protocole Jabber.

Today is the Open Discussion Day, you won’t be able to join me on any proprietary instant messenger. You can however use my Jabber address piotr.karwasz@jabber.org as explained by Ploum (or wait until tomorrow, when I’ll regretfully will start using Yahoo! Messenger and MSN Messenger again).

And by the way, happy birthday to Darco.

Explorer Destroyer

Last month come up with 2 pleasant surprises:

  • As a consequence of the first point I am seriously considering using the scripts of Explorer Destroyer to achieve the goal of less than 25% of IE users on my site.

The script is still a little bit too intrusive and I don’t want in any way make the Web surfing unpleasant for those users who freely chose to use IE: they have as much right to use IE as I have to use Firefox. However I would like to “rescue” those newbies that doesn’t know that there are other explorers beyond IE and I really don’t like to twitch my pages in order to work around IE’s bugs.

See more progress on: witness the end of IE

Life of an INTP

« Good evening, my name is Piotr and I am an INTP. »

These would be my first words in a hypothetical INTP Anonymous meeting. For those who are not accustomed to this terminology, an INTP (Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving) is one of Myers and Briggs’ psychological type indicators (in short MBTI) and it’s not a disease, even if many INTPs are outcasts in the “normal” society.

As stated by the excellent Portrait of an INTP, INTPs are people with a high tendency for abstraction and little interest in the outer world. This characteristics push them towards mathematics, but limit their interpersonal relationships. They are lonely wolves since they can neither become alpha wolves, nor they tolerate the status of omega wolves¹.

The interactions between Myers-Briggs types and sexual relationships have been analysed and published (e.g. see Personality and Relationships for a simple explication of the results), but I failed to find these principles applied in any of the On-line Dating Communities, such as Yahoo! Personals or Meetic that advertise themselves on every possible webpage.

I was thinking for some time of the best application of psychological tests to Computer-Aided Soulmate Search: let the computer restrict the choices of possible partners not using the usual descriptions of who you are looking for (since you didn’t already find someone matching those requisites, maybe you are looking for the wrong things), but rather the description of who you are. I won’t explain my theories here, since I had to modify them after the following:

Experiment

Eventually I found something that follows these principles, when I noticed the recurrent appearance of a Parship advertisement on my BOINC statistics page (here it is). I decided to analyse their methods and their free psychological test, to see if it fitted what I had in mind.

I was mainly struck by two characteristics of the test: it has much more questions to acquire knowledge about my habits, in a “what would you do if” way, that I had expected. It does make sense since practical habits like “smoking”, “working in the kitchen”, “cleaning the flat”, etc. have a bigger impact in a relationship than some behaviour predispositions. Other aspects that I didn’t take into account in my theories was all the “do you believe in monogamy” stuff. A theoretical test such as Myers-Briggs’ can show that you believe strongly in some principles, but it doesn’t collect data about the principles.

For example I have strong feelings about smoking, but a theoretical test cannot show if I don’t like smokers or don’t like people that don’t tolerate smokers (actually it’s the second one).

The other thing that attracted my attention in the Parship test was the part when I was supposed to choose between different figures the one that I liked the most. I could not find the pattern in these questions, but I suppose that they tested my predisposition for order rather than chaos (in every pair of figures there was a symmetric one and an asymmetric one).

Let’s go to the results. Most of them were not really a surprise and filled the INTP pattern: I am mostly rational (62%), with strong feelings (25%), but not impulsive (13%) and a great tendency towards introversion. Some of the advises are generic one (they work for everyone): Action: move yourself; Communication: express your feelings. Other are more original: I must be more tolerant with myself and find someone that leaves me some freedom; others are quite impressive: the test showed that I am a rather conventional person, while I still think of myself as of an eccentric and original mathematician that likes to write nonsense in his blog.

While the test is far from being original, I think that the approach taken by Parship opens new horizons to the whole Online Dating Systems and that the data they collected about me would have helped me to select a much better partner for me than I would find using Meetic, but I am not willing to continue this experiment, since I am not interested in relationships
right now and I don’t even have time for them.

The experiment showed me that I have still many flaws in my understanding of human nature and psychology, so I am willing to accept all references to academic publications that would allow me to improve my knowledge of psychology.

¹ I am talking about social life, not professional life. Professionally I have always sought the establishments populated by many sharks (the choice of the links is entirely arbitrary, the footnote is not big enough to mention all the names).

Creative Commons and Bittorrent

While looking for a standard way to incorporate Creative Commons metadata to BitTorrent torrents I found some interesting applications of both technologies to the music industry:

  • Jamendo­-a repository of non-mainstream music albums as the one that you can see in the picture. Most music on the site is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence, thus the use and distribution of music is free in most common occasions. In order to save bandwidth Jamendo uses Peer-to-Peer technology (and yes, it is legal; the legality of a technology doesn’t depend of its misuses).
  • Magnatune­-is a little recording company whose motto is “We are not evil”. Indeed its business model is quite intriguing: all recordings are free to download, half of their income goes to the artists and you can choose the price of the albums you decide to buy. I really appreciate their refusal of the DRM techniques: these techniques are quite useless, since they bother legitimate users and are usually ineffective against illegitimate users. Magnatune has also a very easy way to licence music for commercial purposes.
  • Prodigem­-a hosting company that simplifies the use of torrents: in just a few clicks you can upload your files to their servers, choose the licence to use (all CC licences are there and some commercial licences too), create a torrent and even charge a fee for every download. The torrents are feeded by Prodigem servers until there are 3 other seeds on the Internet and after that you don’t pay Prodigem for the bandwith.

Update: Prodigem was acquired by MoveDigital and is a of July 18th 2006 a part of its services. See the announcement on their blog.