Welcome to my world! The world you have just entered is a pretty bland one. I work, play, and travel just like any person. I do have some uncommon interests and an occasionally warped perspective. This world has yet to reflect many of my eccentric qualities, however.

My full name is Yoo Chul Chung, and I am not a very talkative person. This is true for both my online and offline lives, which explains why I have not been a big fan of instant messaging or parties. I can’t help it, so if someone dies of boredom while talking to me, please don’t arrest me.

I maintain the blog Stochastic Scribbles, where I write about anything random that catches my fancy.


My school, the Information and Communications University, had merged this month into a subdivision of another university, KAIST, as the IT Convergence Campus, or ICC for short. It just feels so unnatural that ICC is an abbreviation of a name that already includes an abbreviation. Obviously the powers that be have long forgotten that IT is an abbrevation for information technology ...

As part of the merger, there is a whole lot of paperwork that has to be submitted online, which sucks since it means having to use a bunch of ActiveX-ridden and security weakening websites, not to mention having to find a way to print out document formats that I normally have no way of reading. At least the original KAIST websites I needed to access didn't have as much problem in this regard.

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English proofreading services

I just got spam for a proofreading service with the following blurb:

Please excuse us for contacting you directly. We are offering an efficient service to help you ensure your academic and professional work is written in perfect English. We will check the grammar and style of your work and return it to you to meet your requirements and deadlines.

Would I need someone to help me write perfect English in my work? Not that I write the epitome of perfect prose, but I would think that my writing skills are "good enough". What makes the use of such services even more dubious for academic work is that one often needs clarification from the original author on many things, sometimes even going into deep discussions about the topic, lest your editing for better English makes the text mean something completely different from what it's supposed to mean. I should know: it happens often enough to me when editing something written by a colleague. I can't imagine it being any better for a distant proofreading service with little opportunity for interaction.

Of course, such services might be useful if your writing skills are truly horrible, where you could fix the text in a much improved manuscript than what you originally wrote ...

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Tidying tar on MacOS X

One of the annoyances with a default installation of MacOS X is that tar includes dotfiles such as ._text.txt in the archives it creates. The dotfiles store metadata for actual files, but I almost never want them included since I often use tar to create a bundle of files to be sent somewhere. And I keep forgetting where to find the tip for turning this feature off, so I'm writing it down here.

On MacOS X 10.5 Leopard, the COPYFILE_DISABLE environment variable must be set to true, or on the command line:

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Greg Egan
Publication date: 
July, 2008

Using the free time thanks to the holidays as it is New Year's day on a lunar calendar, I managed to go through Incandescence, Greg Egan's latest science fiction book. As with most of the other science fiction he has written, it is indeed hardcore science fiction with a special emphasis on the science. I just love it when a story manages to be interesting while staying within the boundaries of plausible laws of physics, and this story is no exception.

Book genre: 

The bad thing about IntenseDebate

While I have found the IntenseDebate commenting system a worthwhile addition to my blog at Stochastic Scribbles, I have found one really "bad" thing about it. And it's not just for IntenseDebate in particular, but rather about email notifications on new comments in general. Also, it's just a "bad" thing for me personally: plenty of other people love it.


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