11/17/2005

Unexpected surprise!

I was very dumbfounded by the sudden change of review information pages of amazon.co.jp. It was the first renewal ever performed on the pages since I joined as a reviewer. My expectation was the subtle upward change of my ranking; the reality is, however, the recounting of effective helpful votes; my ranking was not changed, but my number of reviews decreased by 17 items; my helpful votes decreased to 785 votes! My secret expectation was evaporated; one thousand votes lasted only one day! I was greatly shocked, because I have to reset my goal of helpful votes to a thousand again!

2005 11 17 [Books] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック

No surprise?

It seems that no clear indication of a surprise found for the anticipation of Nov. 15 in amazon.co.jp. The number of reviewers in amazon.co.jp is about one hundred and fifty thousand that have multiplied three times in a year or two; it sounds like quite a success comparing with about three hundred thousand reviewers of amazon.com in United States.

I forgot to say why I anticipated a surprise for a change in my ranking. It seemed as if some kind of complex logic exists within the ranking system. A reviewer who got many helpful votes is not always going higher up. The number 1 reviewer got over ten thousand votes, but reviewers with ranking of around one hundred have varied number of votes between 900 and 2,000. Some other factors seem to be involved here such as the preference of the average popularity over the concentrated votes on a few items; this is my speculation from the experience of two years as an amazon reviewer of Japan and United States.

2005 11 17 [Books] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック

11/16/2005

A little bit of fantasy

In my school days, I avoided reading so-called fantasy novels, because they are relatively easy read. I preferred to read SF books in English to uncover complex situations that will be unfolded on distant planets or on other galaxies; their cultures and lives are exotic, foreign, and of course alien!

My strong belief not to read fantasy books has been easily shattered by the growing popularity of the Lord of the Rings and the Wheel of Time series. Now I started reading another fantasy novel series: the world of the sword of truth by Terry Goodkind. Its first book "Wizard's First Rule" found to be very easy read for me; it starts by weaving a tale of Richard and Kahlan in a long single thread of 250 pages long until it is succeeded by a tale of Darken Rahl.

I recommend another masterpiece of fantasy novel: Amber series by Roger Zelazny. He is an outstanding science fiction writer and also proved to be a good fantasy fiction writer. Amber novels are unfolded in the lands of Amber, Earth, and the Courts of Chaos, where the powers of Amber and Chaos constantly battle for supremacy through intrigue and adventure. Amber is the land of mystery, adventure and romance; Amber is the one true world; all other worlds, including our Earth, are merely Shadows.

2005 11 16 [Books] | 固定リンク | コメント (4) | トラックバック

11/15/2005

Anticipation

I am one of public reviewers of amazon.co.jp. My rank is now 321 safely within 500 top reviewers. I have 999 helpful votes by writing 279 reviews in one and half years. Now, I am wondering what will happen when I get 1,000 helpful votes. The day will come soon in a day or two. I know I am not good at writing public reviews, because I have a tendency to write only for my own purposes, and not to give a great read for others. The bonus points, however, would be surely a great surprise for the unanticipated.

2005 11 15 [Books] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック

11/13/2005

"Virtual" existed in 12th Century? Is it real?

When reading "The pillars of the earth" by Ken Follett, I encountered the following passage. The king said: "Unfortunately, I've just virtually promised the earldom to Percy Hamleigh." Brief explanation of this situation: An earl plotted a high treason against his king. A bishop knew this plot beforehand and divulged this information to a nobleman Percy Hamleigh, who attacked an earl and checked the revolt before erupting. The bishop asked the king for the estate of the earl perished as his reward. This is a story of intrigue and power, revenge and betrayal that unfolds in England's twelfth century. My point is the use of the word "virtually" in the twelfth century. In modern age, the word virtual reality came out on the ground that "virtual" thing made possible by the enormous computing power of computers. I wonder the word "virtually" can be used in this old story of twelfth century.

Undoubtedly I'm no linguist, so I'm not sure. However, looking up the Oxford English Dictionary 2nd edition shows that it is possible to use the word "virtually" in the sense of "in respect of essence or effect, apart from actual form or specific manner; as far as essential qualities or facts are concerned." The usage example says that "1495 Trevisa's Barth. De P.R. viii. i. S viij b/1 The vertue of god made and ordeyned primordyall matere in ye whiche as it were in a massy thynge the foure elementes were vertually and not dystyngued in tale and nombre as they arne now." The sentence example itself is very old English.

2005 11 13 [Books] | 固定リンク | コメント (252) | トラックバック