LP: CB22x – The Ancient Greek Hero, Achieving Telos

Final Grade = 94%

Final Grade = 94%

It’s Done! In two weeks time, I’ve completed my Culture and Belief General Education Requirement for CS-Harvard: The Ancient Greek Hero.

The course was  a lot of fun, drawing parallelism on multiple fronts, looking at narratives from multiple points of view, etc. I would say it succeeded in giving a very rich idea of the Ancient Greek Culture.

The latter parts of it proved to be quite a challenge because of its incremental nature, but I managed to stick through it, and I’m pretty proud of the result. Most of the questions required me to do a lot of back-and-forth in the readings though, so I snail-paced a bit near the end.

All in All, both the completion of the course and my learning project was a success. Now wait here while I sacrifice a rooster for Asklepios.

LP: CS75: Virtual Pet Site Final Project

As you may well know, I’m taking CS75: Building Dynamic Websites from Open Course Ware material available through the internet. Right now, I’m developing my final project, which is a virtual pet site.

Why virtual petsites? Because I’m a big fan of them! Also, Virtual Pet Sites are actually a very good example of a dynamic website. You have to store data about the users, their pets, their various stats, while also making a nice polished client.

I plan to have the main ‘game’ content to be served up with AJAX  (along window.history.pushState), so that I can control and actually have animations while the page loads. That way, the site will actually feel very close to a real game, with animated transitions between pages. This is dynamism to a whole new level!

For nerds, here are the things I’ll be using:

HTML and Javascript– client side, though I’m also using javascript server-side (see below).

CodeIgniter -The class mainly teaches CodeIgniter (though previous assignments were actually written without a framework), and I must say I’ve fallen in love with it. The API is very straightforward and is pretty loose, so I can really get crazy with how I design the code base (though I will follow good practices on the project).

PHP and MySQL – both mature, proven technology, no need for further discussion.

NoSQL – I’m also planning to use a NoSQL solution for virtual pet battles, that way, since an RDBMS isn’t really fit for those kind of things. It’s only a consideration though.

Node.js – This is where it gets interesting. Node.js, if you’re not aware, is a platform that uses an “event-driven, non-blocking I/O model”, which makes it perfect for data-intensive real-time applications, ie. games. It’s going to be a real challenge integrating it with CodeIgniter and PHP in general, but the potential opportunities of having it work hand-in-hand are immense.

Because of the fact that I’ll be using Node, I will be deploying my site, (or really, my app) on Heroku. I might however, just deploy it on heliohost like my other projects, while using CORS to get my data, though it might introduce significant latency especially since I’m also going to have to query my database.

LP: CB22x – The Ancient Greek Hero, Hour 13-20

Where have I been? Still completing my learning project of course!

The course really goes out of its way to introduce other narratives so as to show the parallelism of it with the main narratives, but it has been great so far!

CB22x Hour 13-20

It’s hard to give the meaning to the keywords discussed in the course, because of the fact that most of them has a surface and hidden meaning. Every one of them are discussed in detail in each hour, and takes multiple narratives in order to have it fully understood, so as to show it’s different use cases.

Keywords: KRINEIN, POTHOS, SĒMAINEIN, ATĒ, TĪMĒ, KOLŌNOS, MIASMA, TELOS

LP: CB22x – The Ancient Greek Hero, Hour 11-12

Hour 11 and 12 is about the parallelism of the cult hero and the epic hero, which is really interesting because the way the narrative achieves that is through a bifocal view, giving out a ‘surface’ meaning while having a much deeper meaning embedded in it.

It also parallels the works of Homer with the works of Hesiod, and even goes to show that the two works of them are actually consistent, without a real contradiction between them (which is not so obvious at first reading).

Keywords of this day’s hours: OLBIOS, DIKĒ

LP: CB22x – The Ancient Greek Hero, Hour 9-10

Hour 9 is a turning point for the course, switching from the Iliad to the Odyssey.

|1 That man, tell me O Muse the song of that man, who could change in many different ways who he was, that man who in very many ways |2 veered from his path and wandered off far and wide, after he had destroyed the sacred city of Troy.

This line proves to mean quite a lot, alluding to Odysseus’ “ability” to shift his identity for every encounter. See, Odysseus is a man of mētis, a man of craft, showing the direct difference between the two epic’s heroes (as Achilles is a man of biē, force).

Odysseus journey home, his nostos (homecoming), proves not only to be a homecoming in a literal sense, but also that of a mystical one, an immortalization after death, which is even implied directly in the Oddysey:

|78 When they [= the Phaeacian seafarers] began rowing out to sea, |79 he [= Odysseus] felt a sweet sleep falling upon his eyelids. |80 It was a deep sleep, the sweetest, and most similar to death.

A sleep most similar to death, after a journey ’emerging from the great palace of Hādēs’:

|1123 Do not remind me of my misfortunes! The kinds of things that happened to Odysseus have happened to me too. |1124 He came back, emerging from the great palace of Hādēs, |1125 and then killed the suitors with a pitiless heart [thūmos], |1126 while thinking good thoughts about his duly wedded wife Penelope, |1127 who all along waited for him and stood by their dear son |1128 while he [= Odysseus] was experiencing dangers on land and in the gaping chasms of the sea.

Keywords of this day’s hours: NOSTOS, NOOS

LP: CB22x – The Ancient Greek Hero, Hours 7-8

The nature of my learning project seems to work for my favor: Hour 7 and 8 are quite integrated.

It's amazing how much meaning this one image convey.

It’s amazing how much meaning this one image convey.

Hour 7 is pretty interesting for me, because, to a certain extent, it shows how the Iliad is quite meta, with the micro-narratives of the story backing up the macro-narrative whilst also taking into account the post-heroic age of Homeric poetry. The poem seems to digress a lot, but it does in fact serve to support the overall narrative of the Iliad.

Not only are vase paintings (a visual medium) derived from the Iliad (a verbal art) but it is also in fact very much related. This is an important point to make because the two different mediums are actually interacting with each other.

Keywords of this day’s hours: SĒMA, PSŪKHĒ

CB22x Hour 7-8

Some mistakes, but pretty good ROI nonetheless!

LP: CB22x – The Ancient Greek Hero, Hours 5-6

Hour 5 is very interesting, and that’s not to say the preceding hours were uninteresting, but this particular hour does have a very intriguing title that gives out a sense of wonder. Hour 5, “When Mortals become equal to Immortals” is central to understanding the Iliad, and really shows not only the different ways it narrates the plot, but the uniqueness of the ancient culture.

Since its central to the Iliad, the course really goes into lengths in making sure that you understand the stand in -the idea of mortals becoming equals to Immortals in the context of their culture- even bringing in the works of Sappho to give us an idea of how the Iliad’s narrative runs parallel to the Song Culture that is the Greek’s.

Keywords of this day’s hours: DAIMŌN, THERAPŌN