A Mess of Random Thoughts from Mike

Today I'm going to try something a little different; I'm going to put a little of everything that's bugging me into a rant. This is for a few reasons:

And so begins the jumble of thoughts …


I published this on my 17th birthday.


How one looks doesn't really matter too much. By this I'm saying that if e.g a girl has short, short hair and horns, it doesn't mean she is a lesbian, demonic psychopath. Maybe she really does want to be different. And it's not just hair; clothing is often taken the wrong way as well. I know there are some social groups where what you wear is important, but to judge someone by what they wear alone is not a Good Thing and is often proven incorrect. A prime example of this is the recent crack-down on teens wearing trench coats at schools. Imagine, if you would, if someone bombed a school wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Or maybe it's their underwear, lets ban that. I think you see my point.

Some people dress different for attention, others to just be different. It may be okay to ask the person what their thoughts are (Are you a psychotic killer?), but don't assume anything. Remember, a-s-s-u-m-e makes an ass out of u and me.


Clothing is an important part of identity politics.

I do wonder what strawman I was fighting with this.

Browser Standards

Part three of my Web browsing complaints. Why can't they just get it right? If they can add their own tags and attributes, why can't they just support standard ones? If people can write HTML linters and validators, why are the companies that make the browsers so incompetent that they can't make them work to the standard?

Another thing that bugs me is that Web browsers serve one purpose and one purpose only; to correctly display HTML documents to the standard. Everything else is an add on. But after four tries, neither Netscape nor MicroSoft has made their Web browser correctly display HTML documents. MicroSoft has released a version 5, which still doesn't do it correctly, but Netscape's Mozilla (their "version 5") correctly displays HTML documents and more. (I heard <blink> is being edited out.)


IE 5 introduced AJAX, for better and (mostly) for worse.

Years of industry have not added nuance to my opinion: if they can add features, can't they support the standard first? It's helped answer why they don't do it this way, but it hasn't helped me think that they're right.

Web Standards

The World Wide Web (WWW or Web) really needs to remember its roots. It was created as a device-independent method of distributing textual data internetwork (InterNet) wide. Now it is a method for making money and looking at nude teens. And I blame the HyperText Markup Language (HTML).

HTML started out nicely as a linked, structured, ASCII, marking language. Then came the Mosiac. Mosiac changed everything and started Netscape on its way to the top. With Netscape ruling the browser war, it was able to introduce substandard elements: frames, tables, colours, and sizes. None of these were well thought out, but they soon became popular. And the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) performed a ghastly act — they incorporated the unplanned, substandard, device-dependent elements introduced by Netscape into a standard.

What we thus need is a recreation of a linked, device-independent, universal, internetworkable, information sharing marking language. And the official Information browsers (iBrowse) must pass a standardization test. I'll call the idea the Informational eXchange System (IXS).


I still have this complaint: I'm totally fine (well …) with the HTTP and Web browsers being used for one-off program installation and execution, but I also want a graph of documents that I can read.

I now blame Netscape's script HTML element for this downfall of the Web page. I can imagine what happened: Brendan took the next ticket off the queue, saw yet another As a Webmaster I want to make the text do something so that I can create a better presentation, and thought to himself, How about I give them a programming language and they can figure it out! Whoops.

Caffeinated Beverages

*Yawn*. I grow weary drinking the same boring Mountain Dew, Krank2O, and Jolt day in and day out. People talk about the drinks as if they are the coolest thing ever invented; I'm trying to kick the habit. People look at me drinking a Krank2O, a popular Caffeinated water, as if I am odd or have a weird sense of taste. As far as I know, I don't. So what's the fascination with the stimulating drinks? I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this; I think I've read too much (void).


I have since developed a caffeine sensitivity and had to quit entirely.

Movies and Books

I heard that Ender's Game is being made into a movie. Uh-oh. Looks like it will be another This was a book too?! type of deal, which happens with all Michael Crichton's, Star Wars, and most science fiction books. And this really bugs me.

I'm not sure why this bugs me so. I think it has something to do with not knowing the history of an object, or not respecting it. This really pissed me off when people were listening to the remake of Led Zepplin's Kashmir by some rap artist (I use the term loosely…) and didn't even know who Led Zeppelin was! Many would often respond with Uggh … my dad listens to them. I would never listen to that kind of music!, while the rapper's Kashmir blasted in the background!

Ender's Game was a really good book. It was so good, in fact, that I may just read another fiction book, for the first time in three years! And then, the movie comes out. I don't know how that book will be made into a movie; some stuff will have to be edited out, such as the thoughts Ender has. And anyone that has read the book will know that will not work. I don't know why they bother.


Led Zeppelin, of all the examples I could have used. Huh. Anyway I do think there is value in understanding the history of something and knowing how we got where we are and what struggles people have faced. But people can consume media however they wish.

I never saw this movie and never heard about it after this announcement.


If people that speak three languages are trilingual, and people that speak two languages are bilingual, what do you call someone that speaks one language? American!

The American language is another thing that bugs me. And it bugs me even more when Americans say something like Everyone in America should speak English, like me and you. (I usually respond to this by telling the person that everyone in the United States of America should use Linux, just like myself.) Just because there is no official language of the United States of America doesn't mean that we do not have to teach a language correctly. The predicate form of the first-person singular pronoun is "I", and it goes last in a listing of other pronouns.

I blame the schools. We are forced to attend an "English" (American) class every year of school, but we are stopped being taught English at about 6th or 7th grade. From then on, we read and write. And if we are supposed to learn from example, the wrong books were chosen. We were told never, ever to use any form of the word "got", yet 90% of the books I read in my freshman high-school class use every form of the word possible. When I complained to the teacher about this (it was also a poorly-written book, so I tried to not have to read it), I was told that We should learn different writing styles. There were also grammatical errors I caught on things she and other "English" teachers said and wrote, including the head of the department.

There was information not covered in any "English" class I attended, such as the difference between "who" and "whom", or the predicate and nominative parts of a sentence. I looked them up myself, and decided to just read the whole English dictionary. I probably should have read Webster's instead of Oxford's; now I spell "colour" with a "u".

We should all just speak Esperanto.


I wish I had more outlets for linguistic study in high school. I might have been less pedantic if I understood the history of words and how languages work.

Home - Contents - Search

Mike Burns <mike@mike-burns.com>