Since the beginning of January, I have started a new, exciting project — cataloguing my books using the analytic and logical Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) system.

My books are currently arranged according to the Chinese Library Classification (CLC, 中国图书馆分类法). Despite its simplicity, especially given the many Mandarin Chinese books my family owns, this system is traditionally limited to a hierarchical breakdown of subject areas. Synthetic categorization, such as the relation between subject areas, the language the work is in, the era the work covers, etc., are not possible.

With UDC, however, the ontology contains auxiliary data structures that enrich the categorization of all kinds of works, from books to electronic files.

The rollover from CLC to UDC is relatively straightforward, but very time-consuming, given UDC’s structural conventions and availability limitations. You can find a free, limited version of the UDC structure here.

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Header photo: 2019 Screenshot from http://www.udcsummary.info/php/index.php

Important privacy note: DuckDuckGo is my search engine of choice as well as the default browser on my smartphone. Check it out at https://duckduckgo.com/#1.

Also, for the curious, here’s how to get rid of Google: https://spreadprivacy.com/how-to-remove-google/.


Header photo: Dax the Duck, logo screenshot from duckduckgo.com

Last evening, I attended a splendorous performance of the Four Seasons by talented American violinist Benjamin Beilman and members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.

Transcendental notes, an appealing performance of the ensemble, a virtuoso and elegant lead violinist, but a miserable audience. First, they clapped right after the performance of the third movement of Summer. Apparently, they had no idea there are two more seasons after summer. Second, they were dressed as if attending a BBQ in the park. And that was precisely what added to my nausea. It is an insult to the performers, to the divine music being performed, and the rest of the audience to dress in T-shirts, sneakers, jeans, or sandals, for the love of God. Uncultivated peasantry as such that needs to be confined to the parterre, at best.

What I’ve noticed about this part of the world, Western Canada, is the injurious lack of elegance and etiquette when it comes to classical concerts. On the one hand, the VSO is happy to perform to an audience that would otherwise not show up if a certain attire etiquette were to be imposed. On the other hand, I firmly believe it is far worse to allow hill billies wearing flip-flops to attend early-music concerts, thus offending not only the performers, but also the memory of the grand composers of Western Music.

Shameless, painful, mediocre, pitiful, miserable, and sorrowful; tipping the scale of the transcendental towards the ordinary emotion.

Here’s a simple etiquette to follow:

  1. For matinee concerts, dress up nicely.
  2. For evening concerts, dress up really nicely.
  3. Listen to pieces unfamiliar to you before the performance so you get a flavor of what’s coming, a sense of the tempo, and a sense of when to clap.


Header photo: Chan Centre tage shot during the intermission prior to the performance of Four Seasons, 2018.12.21

Read Cancer care mistakes, including surgery on wrong patient, detailed in Manitoba critical incident reports | CBC News by Marina von Stackelberg (CBC)
Five different incidents involving cancer care occurred in a three-month period in 2017, according to newly released Manitoba Health critical incident reports.

CBC reports that CancerCare Manitoba has cooked a few nightmares with Type-I and Type-II errors in diagnosis. Imagine going home being told you’re fine to later die ignorantly happy. I don’t know whether to laugh or laugh about it.

It is my well-informed opinion that white Europeans are fundamentally, inherently racist. This phenomenon is publicly observed among Europe’s most interestingly shallow people — the Italian celebrities, such as Sweet & Gabbana.

Well, #boycottdolcegabbana.

(Header photo: CC-BY-NC-ND itheorist. Screenshot from the whimpering duo’s non-apology on Twitter)

Read A Man’s Last Letter Before Being Killed on a Forbidden Island by Jeffrey Gettleman (et al.)Jeffrey Gettleman (et al.) (nytimes.com)
John Allen Chau’s letter to his parents from the Andamans lays out a disturbing account of his final days trying to spread Christianity.

Sad news from India: An American missionary was most likely killed by the xenophobic tribal inhabitants of the North Sentinel Island. The young missionary was attempting to spread Christianity, a pagan religion invented by Rome to introduce a new form of power to the world.

He died because of a belief that nurtures immoral acts, such as foregoing one’s life for the sake of a deluded human claiming to be the son of God and inviting others, often against their wills, to share the belief, or else they’ll burn in hell.

The world must wake up to these dangerous fairy tales. Chau would have been alive had it not been for his blind Christian beliefs.

Read Comma Queen: To Whom It May Concern by Mary NorrisMary Norris (The New Yorker)
Does civilization depend on the proper use of “who” and “whom”?

As a grammar enthusiast, who takes joy in syntax, I find the use of the nominative “who” is wrong and often dissonant when the accusative “whom”, the dative “to whom”, or the ablative “by, with, from whom” are not employed instead.

It’s not too late for Twitter to correct the phrase “Who to follow”.

So does civilization depend on the vulnerable “whom”? Yes. No matter how bad the news, we must not stop caring.