Friday, December 23, 2005

Pasko 2005

Wake up little darling,
its Christmas morning
The sun is up,
it's time to open all the gifts that you've been given

You had been dreaming,
angels are singing
But now they're gone,
and once again it's time to go on with our lives

Let's hope that the next year will be better than last year
and somehow we'll all get by
And maybe the time will come when we won't have to pretend
to be happy for just a while

World keeps on turning
Fools keep on wishing
And when you wake,
you'll find that everything is not what we dreamed them to be

Wake up little darling,
its Christmas morning
So rise and shine,
let's make the most of happy holidays
Or maybe, i should let you dream for a while longer
wherever's a better place than here...

- Eraserheads, Christmas Morning

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Case of the Killer Robot

A friend and former colleague used The Case of the Killer Robot in his Ethics and Technology class at Ateneo de Naga. The case is basically "a detailed scenario that combines elements of software engineering and computer ethics", and is used primarily for ethics teaching and discussion purposes. The scenario begins with the indictment for manslaughter of a programmer who wrote faulty code that caused the death of a robot operator. The student is supposed to come up with a judgment, based on "different ethical perspectives and theories."

I decided to look at it from a different viewpoint, and here is what I could come up with.

First, Silicon Valley does not fall under Philippine jurisdiction. So, let us assume, arguendo, that the events happened in Philippine soil.

Absent any criminal intent on the part of the programmer Samuels, he can be found guilty of, at most, criminal negligence (Art. 365 Revised Penal Code). If Samuels is found to be criminally liable, then he would also be civilly liable per Art. 100 RPC.

Note that Samuels can argue that the injury was caused "by mere accident without fault or intention of causing it", which, according to the Art 12(4) of the RPC, would exempt him from criminal liability. This is without prejudice to a civil case that may be filed separately against him under Art. 2176 of the Civil Code.

His employer will be liable for the death of Matthews (Art. 2180 CC), unless, it can prove that it exercised the diligence of a good father of the family in hiring and supervising Randy Samuels.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

So Ordered

We spent the weekend over at Subic, and I had the chance to browse over some old files and clippings which I conveniently stowed under my bed. I reread Constantino Tejero's two-part article The Making of a Lawyer which ran over two Sundays back in July 1993, in the Sunday Inquirer Magazine.

A few interesting tidbits from the article:
  1. In 1993, the tuition fee for ALS is around PhP 9K per semester. It is now closer to PhP 50k. UP's tuition fee barely moved, if at all.
  2. ALS's performance in the bar was better than UP's in the early 90's. The topnotchers, however, usually come from UP. These are still true as of last year.
  3. UP folks are "smug" as to their counterparts' apparent superior performance in the bar. They did not care then, we still do not care now.
I was happy that I kept that article after all these years, if only to convince myself that whatever it is I am trying to accomplish right now is not a mere passing fancy. Why I decided to do this right here, right now defies logic and basic utilitarian philosophy. It doesn't make sense, moreso if you consider the fact that I am earning more right now that what a new associate will earn five years hence.

Knowing that I made not a few illogical decisions in my life - and that most of them turned out to be right - somehow tempers this seeming ambivalence. It is what makes us human. It is what makes all this, fun.

You see, according to Cocteau's plan I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think; I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech and freedom of choice. I'm the kind of guy likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder - "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?" I WANT high cholesterol. I wanna eat bacon and butter and BUCKETS of cheese, okay? I want to smoke Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section. I want to run through the streets naked with green jello all over my body reading playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly might feel the need to, okay, pal?

- Edgar Friendly, Demolition Man

Monday, December 19, 2005


The project I am working on is currently being continuously harrassed by the firm's Process Group to comply with the latest CMMi requirements. In English, it means that time, effort, and resources are being redirected towards endless meetings, documentation work, and other narcolepsy-inducing tasks that will supposedly enhance the quality of the work product.

It's a freaking scam. The guy who came up with this crap should be shot. If he's already dead, we should exhume his remains and shoot him again and again.

I am pretty sure that my being subjected to constant reminders to complete the requirements within two months has nothing to do with my choleric attitude towards it. Neither does the rather exciting nature of the task - tracking hours, counting defects, measuring variance, and other oh-so-fun stuff - have anything to do with my disposition. I just somehow developed a liking for it, similar to the attachment developed by Garci towards clean and honest elections. The loath came naturally. It is just something that I find to be utterly inconsistent with the core of my being. I couldn't care less if half the world feels as if it's the greatest innovation ever created by man. It is still crap.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Oblation Run

I was reading the news this morning when I suddenly thought, maybe I should've watched the Oblation Run yesterday.

According to the Inquirer:
TWO YOUNG WOMEN WEARING NOTHING BUT masks and wigs yesterday stole the show from 20 male streakers in their "Ritual Dance of the Brave" during the "Oblation Run" at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.

For the first time in its 28-year history, the event featured naked women, who gamely posed for photographers in front of the Oblation Statue at Quezon Hall. They carried posters with the message: "Equal Rights for Women."

The organizer, the UP Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity, quickly denied that it had a hand in the women's surprise appearance. "We have no idea who they are," said the fraternity's media liaison officer, Joselito Narciso Caparino.
Photo courtesy of the Inquirer.

Monday, December 12, 2005

He Who Fights and Runs Away...

From the Shoot-Yourself-In-The-Foot Department:

Joseph Yeo turned an otherwise very good exhibition "dream game" between Ateneo and DLRT last Thursday into something from The Twilight Zone. Or Ultimate Fighting.

The teams were composed of alumni now playing in the PBA and active varsity players. It appeared that both teams wanted to win, despite its billing as a mere exhibition game. It was just another game, before Enrico Villanueva's elbow found Joseph Yeo's shoulder off a rebound play with 10:27 left in the third quarter. Yeo decided to make things exciting by pausing for a second and hitting Villanueva in the face with his forearm. He then promptly ran away. As per PBA rules, Yeo was expectedly thrown out of the game.

PBA commissioner Noli Eala remarked that "[Yeo's] actions will have a big bearing on his eligibility in the draft." He added "We are already studying our options. One, to disqualify him from the (rookie) draft. Two, make him ineligible for some time. Three, let him be drafted then suspend him." Chot Reyes, who coached Ateneo, when asked about the incident said "What I feel is not fit for print."

Ateneo wanted to end the game right there and then, but according to Reyes "the organizers decided to just let the pros to continue, so that settled it." The varsity players were all benched thereafter.

The ending was one for the books. DLRT mounted a spirited comeback late in the fourth quarter to lead by three with less than two minutes left. Wesley Gonzales, who could not sink a single shot the whole game, drained a three (but not after Macmac Cardona bit into his fake so hard that Gollum found himself out of bounds) off the left corner to tie the game at 85.

After the DLRT inbounds pass, Gonzales then harassed Ritualo into turning the ball over with nine seconds remaining in the game.

Ateneo milked the clock before Olsen Racela passed to Villanueva who launched, and sank, a three-point basket at the buzzer. Game over, 88-85.

Larry Fonacier led all players with 30 points. Villanueva scored 27.

ATENEO 88--Fonacier 30, Villanueva 27, Alvarez 12, Bugia 6, Gonzales 4, Intal 4, Chia 3, Tenorio 2, Racela 0, Kramer 0, Hizon 0, Aguilar 0.
LA SALLE 85--Allado 18, Cardona 14, Telan 11, Ritualo 13, Cortez 8, Yeo 7, AraƱa 6, Limpot 4, Cuan 2, Cabatu 2, Maierhofer 0, Wilson 0.
Quarters: 20-22, 44-37, 62-56, 88-85

Monday, December 05, 2005

Eheads Forever

I have copies of all the Eraserheads albums from Ultraelectromagneticpop to Carbon Stereoxide (except Aloha Milkyway). I know that I can still fairly rant Punk Zappa. My copy of Natin99 was signed by the members of the band. My wishlist for the office party exactly ten years ago consisted of one item: a copy of Cutterpillow. I guess you can safely say that I listen to their music.

Now, some marketing genius just came up with this idea of a tribute album to the Eheads. The news - and the album - was out for quite some time now. This finally explains the crowd lining up in front of the UP Theater last Tuesday. Apparently, there was a concert featuring the artists who did the covers. The fact that I learned of it only now, is a testament to how much free time I still have in my hands.

I was hesitant to buy the album at first, because the track list had some characters who have absolutely no business whatsoever singing an Eheads song. For example - and for the love of everything good and holy - Cueshe. WTF?

But there is hope. FrancisM is doing Superproxy - which is rather expected. I am interested to hear Paolo Santos' interpretation of Magasin, and there is that now familiar remake of Maling Akala, as sung by Brownman Revival. And get this, Ang Huling El Bimbo will be sung by no other than Rico J. Puno himself.

Of course, I am not expecting any of these songs to be better than the Eheads' originals. In fact, I am willing to bet that not one of these bands will even come close to the standards that the Eheads set all those years ago. But, I am rather certain that it will be some trip down memory lane.