Monday, October 01, 2007

Postpourri - Dystopias, Man-months and Kibibytes

Quotable Scooter: "I don't have a writer's ego. If I did, I would have been an MFA student."

Rex has a link to the Top 50 Dystopian movies of all time. I agree that a lot of the movies have dystopian tendencies, but I disagree with their ordering and a few choices. Brazil certainly belongs in the top three. But Wings of Desire near the top? That's a great movie, really great, but it's a weird one to even have on the list. And where the hell is A Handmaid's Tale? I pointed out to Pooteewheet that maybe it didn't make the cut because men made the list and didn't feel it was dystopian. And based on some of their choices, I'd offer up A Handful of Dust as a dystopia, at least at the end of the story - a damn sight scarier than many of the others. Idiocracy? I was watching it last night when I read Rex's list. It is dystopic - it actually gave me a headache. But in many respects it's a rip off of Futurama, which is much more clever (though not a movie), and it doesn't belong above Rollerball (the old one) and Stormship Troopers, which has a few clever tonuge-in-cheek bits that are simultaneously dystoptic and mocking of dystopic ideas.

I was reading Wikipedia's entry on The Mythical Man-Month and found myself amused by his formula for group intercommunication: (n − 1) / 2. Digging around for an old script I had - Visual Basic with an error catch that just rolls past duplicate index values - I ran a count versus one of the nine projects I'm currently involved in, but not the biggest:
 InternalArray() = Split(MyItem.To, ";")

For i = LBound(InternalArray) To UBound(InternalArray)

A.Add Trim(InternalArray(i)), Trim(InternalArray(i))

And it came back with a list of approximately 95 distinct emails and email groups, which results in over 18,000 lines of communication. This explains much about my day-to-day confusion.

MNSpeak has a link to Steve Marsh's article on Twin Cities bike culture.

And via Merlin's Rest from a few weeks ago, a link to World Wide Words. I've been reading bits and pieces of it all the time - it's fascinating. At least two co-workers can attest to me using the phrase beanpole family and I'm looking for the opportunity to use kibi-, mebi-, gibi-, and tebi- byte in polite geekversation.

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