A summation…

Ξ February 23rd, 2009 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, General, Philosophy, Work |

 

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  1. Britton said,

    on February 23rd, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    “But I am working at living a rockin’ life long before we get to that point, and to ensure the best possible quality of life for my spiritual or genetic descendants.”

    Homework assignment: using the arguments of secular humanism, answer the question, “Why?”, in respect to the above.

    (Not that I think it can’t be done; I’m just ignorant and curious as to what secular humanism has to say on the matter.)

  2. Cthulu said,

    on February 23rd, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Give you a two-fer. Why? *and* Why is there evil?

    A common flippant answer would be “Why not?” A first-order response.

    Most casual writings on secular humanism make some gross assumptions: that learning, growth, and improvement comprise the natural course of affairs. This still begs why and leaves a fair number of formal philosophers writhing in their graves.

    How can the very concept of improvement (or “progress”) be viable, if we believe that all existence is ultimately a zero-sum game?

    A second-order response lies in the phrase I cribbed from Kingdom of Heaven: “If [Jerusalem qua the kingdom of Heaven] lives only for a while, … it still has lived.” As well, refer to the aforementioned Viking saying (credit for which goes to Doug for getting me a Viking phrasebook back in 2001).

    Because. Because the journey between birth and death is important. Significant to us individually, who live that journey. It behooves us to make the most of it, as we see fit. Still, where do right and wrong come from? Why not live as Hitler did? Or kill like the Khmer Rouge?

    To get to the absolute core, my final answer is based on the mere fact of the existence of life — of dynamic complexity in the universe. Why do remoras live with sharks? Wasps sting tarantulas? People harvest grain?

    4 billion years of complexity has led to a dynamically stable state of affairs we call life or the biosphere, on Earth. Its unliving roots can be seen in the solar system’s aeons-old but only momentarily stable planetary orbits.

    The lesson: Sometimes, existence falls into stable patterns. Some a day long (mayflies), some 80 years long, some 8 billion years old. The stable pattern that we call life on earth is predicated on individual combinations of elements (which we call DNA, cells, plants, animals, etc.) all striving to perpetuate more of themselves. Up against the constraints of available resources, this must happen at the expense of other life — competition arises.

    Competition and dynamic change lead us to grow, learn, adapt, and develop greater complexity as necessary to sustain and increase our auto-propagation. Thus, the answer to “Why?” is: “Because it’s in our nature.” However, too much competition leads to many (but not all..?) forms of evil.

    Anything which threatens destabilization is dealt with, increasingly forcefully. Everyone gangs up on the most powerful Risk player. Countries slowly united against Napoleon and Hitler, the more those would-be emperors flexed their might. The Soviet bloc formed as a response to NATO, which was itself a free market response to the Communist manifesto. In contrast, Japan’s post-war economic development has achieved a dynamic and symbiotic tension with that of the US, such that the current Japanese state has now existed for longer than each of the three aforementioned failed empires — and has prospered more to boot.

    Particularly virulent diseases can’t last long because they tend to kill off their hosts before they can propagate further.

    So whether disease or dictator, evil behavior works too explicitly against the benefit of others. Those others will then work against the evil-doer. It’s all relative. Two Xerox salesmen will compete against each other, but not kill each other, b/c only a fractional difference in quality of life is at stake (e.g. a $500 commission). But two Somalian farmers may well commit violence for a few acres of scarce arable land, because their lives and their families’ lives depend on it — yet their situation came about only because the fecundity of prior generations led to an average family size of 11 and consequent overpopulation. The family size arose out of a disjunction between traditional values intended to offset historically high infant mortality rates, and the recent (1960s) introduction of modern medical care which dramatically lowered infant mortality rates before Somali agrarian culture had a chance to adapt.

    (The world would be in a heapload more trouble if every Catholic was truly diligent in multiplying. We’re in enough trouble as it is, and initiatives such as zero-growth population and planned parenthood are only superficial-but-necessary triage measures which don’t address deeper social/environmental issues.)

    Evil arises from real or perceived shortages of critical resources. We see actions spurred by real shortages as “tragedies”, and acts induced by perceived shortages as “crimes”. Theft and murder as we see them in the news are often a result of the perpetrator feeling that he lacks … money, his partner’s sexual fidelity, respect, whatever. He acts out of what we call reasonable proportion to his need, and thus the disjunction between his and society’s perceptions of his needs and shortages leads to his actions being labeled crimes. Grey areas of uncertainty tend to get exploited, then handled badly with things such as Sarbanes-Oxley.

    Nations and societies, packs and murders, flocks and herds are the next natural step after individual organisms. And with that, we have to move beyond an exclusively DNA-based model of heritage and propagation.

    Being artsy, smart, fit, sexy, etc. are all ways to improve our ability to continue some aspect of ourselves. This is usually through offspring, but there have always been humans who propagated their heritage via meme distribution. Why do many of the best thinkers, artists, scientists, etc. not have much of a family life yet are satisfied with how they have lived? (I note that they also tend to have a high incidence rate of depression or dissatisfaction, resulting from a mental disjunction between their competing desires for distributing their intellectual and genetic heritages.)

    (To wit: an excess of passion for book learnin’ can lead to dateless Friday nights and a bitterly single life.)

    “Why?” is answered with: Because change, growth, and adaptation are the quintessence of our 4-billion year living heritage. If there was no life, I’d be a rock. But there is life, so I’m an Asian swordsman with no GF. :D

    (And there are probably some kinds of evil which are not rooted in resource competition, but I can’t think of any at the moment. Can you?)

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An unexpected call

Ξ September 15th, 2008 | → | ∇ General |

 

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Impermanence

Ξ August 30th, 2008 | → | ∇ General, Philosophy |

 

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  1. David said,

    on September 2nd, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    THERE’S the word! Inspire. That’s what I was waiting for you to get to.

    Sorry I haven’t called you back. I’ll try to fix that soon.

  2. Mark said,

    on September 3rd, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Working hard is rewarding - not only financially but also psycologically. The sense of personal pride in accomplishment makes the hours worth it, especially when you are too busy to worry about where the time has gone.

    One day, moping around in self pity will be a mental impossibility… At least that’s what I hear.

    Keep workin your ass off. Manda and I are proud.

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Big cans

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Cellular soup cans

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  1. Paul B. Sims said,

    on July 29th, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Your entire page is a book unto itself! Why bother with trying to obtain the original manuscripts from the masters when you have thus delved into, and exposed all their marvelous secrets for us? Six hundred reps w/ footwork? Of what? I hurt even thinking of doing six hundred of anything.But, alas,I am advanced of age and, thusly, must be kind to myself.I cannot do what men younger than I am capable of.So,I let the younger showcase,knowing that even the most unstudied can land the blow that fells.Even as we speak,both sides along the lower ribcage, hurts, from three sessions of sparring.But, it’s a good kind of pain, for we all know that pain is simply weakness leaving the body. There sure is alot leaving me………………can someone pass me the codeine?

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Finding your métier

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Science is crazy delicious!

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Hamlet, eh? Sounds like some kind of egg special!

Ξ March 23rd, 2008 | → | ∇ General |

 

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2284 miles later…

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Hi ho hi ho

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  1. MooBob42 said,

    on March 14th, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Dude, $480 is a lot of money but how much is your time worth?

    P.S. I found $260 for Saturday (tomorrow) - Monday on lastminute.com.

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What a difference a day makes!

Ξ March 7th, 2008 | → | ∇ Current Events, Science / Technology |

 

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  1. MooBob42 said,

    on March 7th, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Hey, we signed up for green energy. :) All our electrons are renewable!

    (Just kidding — I know I’m just buying offset credits.)

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Precisely!

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Aw, not Dobringer?

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Passement est possible

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  1. Candice said,

    on December 15th, 2007 at 11:19 am

    You know, it works the other way around, look at how many people make side comments about how I’m too skinny. Which is a small debate Robert, Godwin, Simone, I think Corvin was there too got in with me. Here’s the thing I actually weigh about 125-130lbs. Archery, Fencing, Horseback riding, walking everywhere and swimming, doesn’t leave many muscle groups not undeveloped.

    Now I will admit there are time where my percent body fat does drop below 6% that it’s supposed to be. But I do have to say I’m happy with my heart rate of 60bpm and 109/60 blood pressure.

    So why do folks always say I need to eat more and gain more weight? THought the goal was to be “in shape.” But I’m not exactly skin and bones, there’s a heck of alot of muscle in some places.

    Here’s to dying from cancer from the chemicals in mountain dew, verses dying from a heart attack.

    Yay! For adding a way to make comments!

  2. admin said,

    on December 15th, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    See, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. You are, in fact, very in shape — the kind of shape most of us can’t fathom. You already know that you sometimes dip into “real” skinniness (<6% body fat), and you also know when you are eating less than you should. After age 25 or so, you should probably eat healthier — I had to, at least. But there’re worse ways to go than death by BBQ ribs.

    The perception disjunction is b/c most of us (including me) are out of shape (even the ones who’re the right weight could use a little toning up), so a fit person looks weird and below-average. Heck, sometimes I have to remind myself that you’re trim, not thin. Sometimes I wish I could sneak 20 lbs of mine onto Andrew, just to hide some of his sick definition and make me feel better. :D

    But hey, y’know, the day someone pays us $50,000 to be extras in 301: Rippling Pecs, we’ll get in godly shape.

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Operation Holiday Onslaught commences

Ξ December 11th, 2007 | → | ∇ Food, School |

 

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Kicking ass and saving energy

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  1. Doug said,

    on December 12th, 2007 at 9:39 am

    Moveon.org??! Dakao, man - step *away* from the crazy lefties…

    I’m all for increased fuel economy, but the heavy hammer of government regulation ain’t the way to go about it. It will come from individual choices as people realize that they don’t want to pay for $3/gal gas. I just replaced my V6 Acura TL with a (supposedly) more fuel-efficient 4-cyl. Sonata. (I’m still only getting 23 mpg, but that’s another gripe..)

    See here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/03/AR2005100301657.html

  2. admin said,

    on December 12th, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    1) Quelle bummer about the lack of actual savings.. :/ Maybe you were already driving pretty conservatively..?

    And I do believe in free-market choice. As much as I’d like to see American business flourish, the Big 3 and their unions need this punishing wake-up call to make them realize the need to be more competitive. They shortsightedly snoozed through the ’80s, fiddled while Rome burned in the ’90s, and only now when the barbarians are at the door do they scream bloody murder. I’ve been thrilled with the way environmentalism and sustainable biz practices are all the in thing now, and corporations are seeing the mid-term and long-term value as they monetize green concepts. Most of what I’ve seen from MoveOn.org has been in line with supporting that.

    2) In another entry a ways back, I think I mentioned that I am pretty mercenary about my envi news and activity. Just b/c I tend to resort to MoveOn.org re: environment doesn’t mean I don’t look the other way, too. I don’t really like some of their other campaigns, so I ignore ‘em. I *do* like what the National Review has to say about the writing on the wall. Again, prosperity through being green makes people want it. If the govt mandates (like in NM) that all new govt buildings will be LEEDS-certified by … 2010? Then that primes the pump for other construction to follow suit, b/c it helps bring about economies of scale.

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A side jaunt into recession, autos and obesity

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The end and beginning of words

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Turn signals on a Hussite war wagon

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Damage control teams report!

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The natives are restless…

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*How* long is it?

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All that’s missing is the swords

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Wet, sore, and feeling *awesome*!

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Green is in! And guns are apparently out.

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Oh my God, are we *ever* in Hicksville

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What lurks in the deep, dark places of the earth?

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Kaizen

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I get weirder stuff in my sandwiches than you

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A comedo-drama for the gods

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Swedish … xylophone?

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Hired!

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Staving off a radio-free future

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Uh oh, will WMAW or KWAR ‘07 be in trouble?

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Ah, Hollywood…

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Aesthetic heaven

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My, isn't the sky extra blue, Portnoy?

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GW debrief

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Automation exceeds mine expectations again

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Bad juju

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Polycarb! (and Lily Allen)

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Blagged? Do you people speak English?

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The beauty of the meisterhau

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Which world are we to live for?

Ξ February 11th, 2007 | → | ∇ Philosophy |

 

6 Responses to ' Which world are we to live for? '

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  1. Britton said,

    on February 11th, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Agreed.

    There are two interpretations of Genesis that I’ve come across. One is that humankind was put on earth as stewards of creation — to act in God’s stead as caretakers of the planet. Another is that all of creation was put at Adam’s feet, for him (and his descendants) to do with as he willed. I couldn’t tell you what camp most Christians fall into, but as you might guess, most Austinites I know subscribe to the steward theory. I believe official Catholic doctrine follows the same lines, while extreme right-wing fundamentalism leans more towards the other side, but don’t quote me on that. (I’m sure Mr. H will weigh in at some point. ;))

  2. 'Mr H.' said,

    on February 13th, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    “What I speculate Christianity (specifically, various Protestant flavors such as Calvinism) brought to this table was that it extolled the virtues of hard work. Through hard work and a correct life (ostentatiously displayed in practice, despite exhortations of humility), a person showed his worthiness for eternal reward.”

    This sounds much more Catholic than Calvinist (or at least from a strain of Protestantism closer to RC, such as Anglican). Calvinists are big on predestination and sola fide. Good works, in their theology, are expected of a Christian, but do nothing to gain salvation.

    Sir Britton is more or less correct on Catholic doctrine, but it’s important not to assume this leads to Austinite hippy-ness. :) To borrow a phrase, “Man was not made for Earth, but Earth for man.”

    More here: http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a7.htm

    Particulary:
    2402 In the beginning God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common stewardship of mankind to take care of them, master them by labor, and enjoy their fruits. The goods of creation are destined for the whole human race. However, the earth is divided up among men to assure the security of their lives, endangered by poverty and threatened by violence. The appropriation of property is legitimate for guaranteeing the freedom and dignity of persons and for helping each of them to meet his basic needs and the needs of those in his charge.

    -and-

    2415 The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity. Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man’s dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.

  3. Andrea said,

    on February 16th, 2007 at 12:05 am

    My brain is a little fried from too much work and not enough sleep, anyone who knows me knows I can’t hear religiosiphyzing without weighing in.

    All I can say is that, in my line of work, I am the unwitting target of people who are frustrated, scared, and angry about what’s happening to the environment and how no one’s doing anything about it…

    …and then they get in their SUVs to go home and smoke a joint.

    I find it much more productive to make a career out of searching for answers rather than make a career out of yelling at people.
    (Although yelling at people is fun on occasion, too.)

    The hard question I have to ask myself is, aside from my career, how much am I doing personally to help the environment?

  4. Andrea said,

    on February 16th, 2007 at 12:11 am

    Wow, that was so much less insightful than Britton’s and Doug’s.

    Maybe I too need to get a religion with a textbook - in my learn-as-you-go theology I can’t quote anyone but myself, and I’m not very inspiring.

  5. Me! said,

    on February 16th, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    Re: Calvinism, I perhaps stand corrected. I just imperfectly remember a tidbit from RELI 101 (it’s been 11 years): Calvinism believes in predestination, but in practice, Calvinists in the 17th century worked very hard to demonstrate what their predetermined fate was, though that work did not help in any way to bring about or change that fate. Your neighbors tended to judge the quality of your eternal fate by your past, transient deeds, rather than your unknowable afterlife — kind of like how people estimate their odds in the casinos based on the PR material they see.

  6. Me too! said,

    on February 16th, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Too true, Andrea. I’m with you on the answers vs. accusations.

    Considering you’re still doing alternative fuels (right?), that puts you way ahead on the karmometer (sounds like “thermometer”).

    But yeah, everyone wants to see some tangible, positive outcome that can be directly traced to their own actions. It’s like how our eyes are geared for a 20-foot hunting range and not several hundred yards ahead for driving.

    So what *do* you do?

    I take my Windrose Armoury cloth bookbags to the grocery store when I remember. I do a monthly cardboard / plastic / aluminum recycling drop-off on my way to school. And I’m subverting our house’s light fixtures with the energy saver fluorescent coil bulbs as the incandescents go out.

    OTOH, I can’t afford to replace my ‘96 Blazer, which is now getting 14 mpg (versus an ideal 21 mpg). Luckily, I only drive a median 100 mi / week.

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Sire, the peasants are revolting!

Ξ February 9th, 2007 | → | ∇ Current Events, SCA |

 

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Repressed shutterbug

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Relic’s work as a reflection of world history

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Boo-yah!

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Armourer's envy

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Not Christ's disciple

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First (belated) update of the new year

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A 65 million year tradition

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End of year renewal

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Subideal holidays

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Every year we do this, we do this every year

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One Response to ' Every year we do this, we do this every year '

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  1. phi said,

    on January 4th, 2005 at 2:40 pm

    That would be bocce ball.

    Posted by: MooBob42 at January 3, 2005 10:30 PM

    he’s alive!

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Ho, ho, ho, bub.

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  1. miriam said,

    on October 21st, 2004 at 1:14 am

    Welcome back. It’s been several months again, though. Have ye nothing for us to peruse?

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Ansteorra's Argent Anniversary

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Iron man

Ξ November 1st, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA |

 

2 Responses to ' Iron man '

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  1. francine said,

    on November 13th, 2003 at 7:03 am

    hihi! sorry been outta touch
    call me over the wknd!
    luvs!

  2. tranny said,

    on December 3rd, 2003 at 7:22 pm

    so…where’s cows with guns anyway in this place?

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Opened eyes

Ξ November 1st, 2003 | → | ∇ Current Events, History |

 

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  1. Dakao said,

    on November 3rd, 2003 at 2:20 pm

    It certainly seems that a good deal of the Middle East’s tension would go away if those peoples were shown / taught the means and infrastructure to compete economically, and consequently bring about a higher standard of living and education for their people.

    Ah, but we do. Our universities are open and student visas apparently aren’t that hard to come by (that’s how several of the 9/11 hijackers got in). Many Middle Easterners come here (as well as to Britain, France, Germany, etc.) to study. The problem is a piece of sheepskin does not by itself grant power to change your society. Saudi Arabia and, until recently, Iraq have/had governments that aren’t interested in helping their people better themselves, but only in remaining in power. Neither place suffers from a lack of educated citizens.

    As to the news: I often use Google News to get a look at a bunch of different news sources. Everyone’s got a slant, so you need to do some sort of vector sum of the stories to synthesize what’s actually going on.

    The BBC, NY Times, and LA Times have all taken huge hits to their reputations recently. You might give less weight to stories from those outlets.

    You need to know which way an outlet slants before reading anything they say.

    TV News:
    Networks (incl. BBC) - quite liberal
    CNN - fairly liberal
    MSNBC - moderately liberal
    Fox News - moderate to fairly conservative

    Newspapers:
    NY Times; LA Times - quite liberal
    Washington Post - moderately liberal
    Washington Times - generally conservative
    WSJ - all over the map on the news pages; editorial pages are conservative.
    NY Post - fairly conservative, tabloidy
    Daily Telegraph (UK) - conservative
    Times (London) - somewhat conservative
    Guardian (UK) - quite liberal
    Independent (UK) - somewhat liberal
    The Sun (UK) - somewhat conservative, tabloidy, nekkid girls on Page 3 ;)

    Posted by: Doug at November 2, 2003 02:08 PM

    Thanks, re: political news map.

    Very true, re: Mid-Eastern govts. I just read a thing on how a Saudi worker got fired b/c he couldn’t understand that he had to come in to work at 2 p.m. every day. Their population has been pampered with migrant workers for so long that they culturally are almost incapable of working — no one will wait tables or collect garbage b/c those jobs are demeaning.

    I remember Bryant and Dawn talking about Qatar gives its citizens the equiv of USD $25k / yr, so they only work if they feel like it. Oil money’s good if you got it, but if you squander it, then what?

    By comparison, one of our contacts in Viet Nam is a local district representative. He told us how VN-Am relatives have been sending back tons of money ($1000’s?) to this one fishing village since they arrived in the U.S. He’s been working to get them to invest that money in new fishing boats, plumbing, etc. rather than buying TVs or cars. What will happen when the current generation of U.S. immigrants gets too old to work (and they’re getting there in the next decade or two)? Their VN-Am kids won’t continue to send money back to Viet Nam.

    Made sense to me.

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Ruminations

Ξ October 22nd, 2003 | → | ∇ Current Events, Philosophy |

 

3 Responses to ' Ruminations '

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  1. Dakao said,

    on October 22nd, 2003 at 3:37 pm

    Hrm.. Looks like the savings rate is forecasted at 2.9% for 2004. Or 4.6%. But these guys sound like they’re pushing an agenda.

  2. Britton said,

    on October 23rd, 2003 at 8:59 am

    I’m going to have to go with Bryant on this one: once you get your own lawnmower, you’re officially Grown Up. But speaking personally, I’ve felt like an old man ever since I graduated college, maybe before then. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that in every job I’ve had the average age of my co-workers has been around 36.2, and many of them *still* have serious emotional maturity problems. Ah, the joys of the field of engineering.

    I think you’re dead-on in believing that people consider themselves grown-up at a later age now than they used to, and I think it’s not just a self-perception: I think people are maturing (at least emotionally) at a slower rate. As we develop more tools to avoid work and responsibility, we lessen the need to develop “character”, as Calvin’s dad would call it. Without that need, many of us take the path of least resistance and mature only as quickly as we have to.

    Are people slowly becoming more affluent? Maybe. I’m no economist, but my wager would be rather that the poor are getting poorer and the rich, richer. Thus those who can afford to go to Rice are (a) dwindling in number, and (b) getting more toys.

    Alright, enough from the peanut gallery. Time to go find a job.

  3. Dakao said,

    on November 1st, 2003 at 3:40 pm

    I agree that the rich have gotten richer. Not sure about that “poor getting poorer”. Let me just throw some figures at you–
    Source
    Avg. U.S. personal disposable income (constant ‘96 dollars):
    1960 = $9,210
    1980 = $16,063
    2000 = $23,148
    [increased monotonically except for a small hiccup in the ‘91 recession]

    In 1980, over 20% of all households made less than $15K (constant 2000) dollars. Nearly 36% made less than $25K. By 2000, those percentages were down to 16% and 29%, respectively.

    The first set of data shows that we are definitely getting more affluent in this country, as we have over twice as much spendin’ cash now as our parents/grandparents had in 1960.

    The second set shows that even the “poor” are doing better as time goes on.

    One anecdote I’ve heard about the final years of the Soviet Union — apparently the Kremlin thought it would be a good idea to show an American news special (”Frontline” or some such) on “Poverty in America”. The idea was to show how the evil capitalist system left the working class in the dust, etc, etc. What the Soviet people actually saw was that even the poorest in America lived better than they did — in general, they had a car, a phone, a bigger place to live, etc.

    Personally, I don’t mind not being forced to “Grow Up” at 15 because I was needed to provide for my family, or defend my country, or whatever. I don’t believe that living carefree for an extra decade before I acquired car, wife, house, & kid (in temporal order, not order of importance) was detrimental.

    Posted by: Doug at October 23, 2003 03:40 PM

    Thanks for ringing in, callers. :)

    I’m with Doug and Joseph on this — wealth has gone up overall, over the decades. It’s also true that a lot of people consider a lot more things a lot less expendable these days (cell phones are rapidly becoming not-just-a-luxury in society’s consideration).

    I don’t necessarily agree with society, but as Joseph said, it’s happening.

    I’ll also hasten to point out that as the total wealth pie enlarges, and the number of people dipping into it also increases, we find that the number of people out there at the far ends of the bell curve also increase. So we may have a lot more multi-billionaires today, which makes it seem like the rich are richer, but they actually represent a smaller percentage of total wealth than e.g. J.P. Morgan or Andrew Carnegie represented in their day. After all, we have a lot a lot more middle classers than Morgan or Carnegie could have crushed in their day. I think. I don’t have numbers to back this up. It also doesn’t help that the media is always highlighting the rich and the big corps, as if it’s evil and magical to become rich.

    Yeah, I’ve got my secret backdoor trading codes for the internal capitalist money market right here. Whatever. :P

    And I forget who else I was talking to, who told me $80 was too much for a date — it’s not just Joseph.

    Dude, I said in my blog that there are plenty of original and interesting budget dates possible! All I’m saying is that I know a lot of people do go for the same old crappy dinner-and-movie, and that costs a lot more these days.

    After all, I don’t go on dates. :P I buy power tools and steel, instead!

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Blades and bleariness

Ξ October 21st, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, School, Work |

 

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Hunter of Dreams

Ξ October 13th, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, General, SCA, Work |

 

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  1. phi said,

    on October 14th, 2003 at 8:43 am

    I admire Vienna a lot too but she had something else to fall back on besides the cush job…talent. something I seem to lack. blah

  2. juan holio said,

    on October 16th, 2003 at 1:19 am

    dude. you l33ted in your blog.

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Penance

Ξ September 16th, 2003 | → | ∇ General |

 

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  1. phi said,

    on September 22nd, 2003 at 9:32 am

    Urh?

    Posted by: Doug at September 17, 2003 10:26 AM

    fuck it all! welcome to fight club

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Winding down

Ξ September 16th, 2003 | → | ∇ Work |

 

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Stagefright

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Public debut

Ξ September 12th, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA |

 

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Scatter!

Ξ September 11th, 2003 | → | ∇ Work |

 

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Flocks and herds

Ξ September 4th, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, Work |

 

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  1. Dakao said,

    on September 5th, 2003 at 5:09 pm

    You can do it Conquest-style where Peter explains the history and everybody has a go at it. Afterwards, he explains that what they just tried was hogwash and what people REALLY did was this other thing. History, beating, wash, rinse, repeat.

    Posted by: Leo at September 5, 2003 10:48 AM

    Of course! It’s brilliant.

    I’m not shaving my head, though.

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Celestial operators are standing by

Ξ September 2nd, 2003 | → | ∇ Current Events, Science / Technology |

 

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  1. Dakao said,

    on September 3rd, 2003 at 1:57 pm

    Oy vey.

    Well, while it personally makes me want to put my eyes out with a brooch, I’m not going to burn every copy I see out of principle. Translation is not inherently a bad thing — even into teenybop pop culture, eh?

    However, I would like to point out that the New Testament was written entirely in Greek (no Latin), and that Aramaic has nothing to do with Greek, being rather the language that more or less displaced Hebrew when the the Jews got hauled off to Babylon.

    This history lesson was brought to you by the letter aleph.

    Posted by: Britton Gregory at September 3, 2003 10:07 AM

    Ach, mein Fehler.

    What would I do w/o you to keep me honest.

    A non sequitur BTW, you *have* seen your pic in the gallery, right?

  2. Angel said,

    on September 3rd, 2003 at 2:10 pm

    Can we say the buddy Jesus??? I’m getting flashes!!

  3. Dakao said,

    on September 4th, 2003 at 2:07 pm

    Buddy Jesus is what it’s all about nowadays, yeah? Conservatives are going nuts. The Episcopal Church may very well have a schism on its hands Real Soon Now ™. Yow.

    To continue the non-sequitur, no, I didn’t see the gallery before. Good pics of my sis, and the one of me is actually one of the better ones I’ve seen. Thanks!

    Posted by: Britton at September 3, 2003 04:14 PM

    Yeah, if you want the 1.3mb originals, let me know.

    …And get on Liz I’s case about getting copies of Subway’s CD o’ wedding pics (of *your* wedding) to the rest of us!

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Labor Day groovin'

Ξ September 1st, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, General, Work |

 

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Do you bite your thumb at me, sir?

Ξ August 27th, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA |

 

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Spalled shards in the brain

Ξ August 22nd, 2003 | → | ∇ General, Work |

 

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  1. Dakao said,

    on August 25th, 2003 at 11:10 pm

    Non sequitur cheer: fish!

    Sorry, just had to point out that I just saw you on Megatokyo: http://www.megatokyo.com/index.php?strip_id=453

    (Note el chico with ski-mask type deal and shades in the center.)

    And this seemed like the best place to do said pointing out.

    Posted by: Britton at August 25, 2003 10:04 AM

    Har! So we yellow men all look alike from the nose down, do we? Well, at least he’s Vietnamese. :P

    Speaking of which, I saw your great-uncle today.

  2. Angel S. said,

    on August 29th, 2003 at 4:01 pm

    Ah-ha, touche!

    By the by, have you read Scaramouche? I’d give it a go, were I you.

    Posted by: Britton at August 27, 2003 03:25 PM

    *adds the sink* smooch!

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Domestic violence

Ξ August 18th, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, SCA |

 

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  1. babE said,

    on August 21st, 2003 at 11:30 am

    you poor poor thing! Thank goodness for frozen peas ;P

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Wherever weather's wont to tarry whither, we'll dither whether weather won't carry us hither

Ξ August 13th, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, General, Work |

 

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  1. Dakao said,

    on August 18th, 2003 at 6:35 pm

    I can’t even get an interview. :(

    Posted by: JetBabee at August 14, 2003 09:39 AM

    Google sez…

    29 degrees celsius in fahrenheit

    Posted by: Leo at August 16, 2003 11:55 PM

    Whoa, so my approximated mental math was right. Coolio.

    And we tender our deepest condolences to JetBabee.. Thanks for playing — maybe next time. ;)

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Pregnant skies

Ξ August 11th, 2003 | → | ∇ General, Work |

 

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  1. Dakao said,

    on August 13th, 2003 at 5:17 pm

    Apparently, when you run in the ran vs. walking, you get 10% less wet. They did a study on this.

    Posted by: JetBabee at August 13, 2003 03:47 PM

    Hrm.. So if I had run with the pot over my head, I would have only gotten 84.6% wet (10% less than 94%, since the pot has already been factored in) at the highly increased risk of being run over or colliding with a tree due to the decreased visibility from underneath a pot.

    How about I just not forget my umbrella next time?

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Cookware, beef-breeding, child-raising, God, overdue gays and gynecology

Ξ August 8th, 2003 | → | ∇ Current Events, History, Philosophy, Work |

 

9 Responses to ' Cookware, beef-breeding, child-raising, God, overdue gays and gynecology '

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  1. Dakao said,

    on August 11th, 2003 at 2:49 pm

    When I said that Queer Eye is the most successful show, I *did* add that it’s Bravo’s most successful show. :)

    Posted by: Leo at August 11, 2003 01:20 PM

    Hrmph. What is the natural order of things? New York City is not natural. Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch aren’t. The Holy See isn’t. Neither is the Hagia Sophia, or Michelangelo’s Pi

  2. Lelu said,

    on August 20th, 2003 at 10:20 pm

    :) I like

  3. Britton said,

    on August 24th, 2003 at 9:43 am

    I see where you’re coming from, Dakao. What you’re missing is the Christian doctrine of the Fall. The idea is that when God created everything back at the Beginning of Time, he “saw that it was good”. Eden, paradise, a place for everything and everything in its place, Creation as God intended. Everything according to the natural order. However, he gave Man the power to pervert this Creation should he so choose. And he did.

    The analytical mind, of course, balks at this. “Wait a minute — if God is perfect, how can he create a being that is capable of going against His will? Wouldn’t that make Him imperfect?” The crux of the matter is this: in order for God to make a race of creatures that weren’t His abject slaves, He would have to give them the ability to do something besides what He wants them to. Does this make God imperfect? I do not believe so, but that is an argument that we can go into at a later date. Suffice it to say that this is the doctrine of the Fall: everything *was* perfect, and then we messed it up. As a result, the current state of nature does not jive with the natural order of things; the world does not work as it should.

    (Oddly enough, this is a common theme amongst even humanistic writers such as Adams and Pratchett. They present a chaotic, topsy-turvy world — but not in a way as to suggest “that’s just the way it is”, but in a way that draws attention to its topsy-turviness as something that is peculiar, out of sorts, often ironic — in other words, funny. I get the impression that they, too, believe that the world doesn’t work as it should…which me to believe that there is, in fact, a way that the world should work, a natural order. Which leads me to ask the question: what is that logically determines that natural order to these people? I am curious.)

    Now, as far as providing to “serve the common purpose of imposing a sense of order, structure, and the egotistical centrality of humankind on the universe”, that doesn’t really jive with me. At least as far as Christianity goes, the whole story of the Bible from Creation to Fall to Resurrection is mankind learning over and over again that he is NOT, in fact, the center of the universe. God is, ego be damned. And Christianity certainly doesn’t presuppose that mankind is the only sentient race God created. The Bible is focused entirely on what happened with Earth…but Earth isn’t the only planet out there. Take a look at C.S. Lewis’ “Space Trilogy” for ideas on what other races God could have created.

    Order and structure? You can’t get much more ordered and structured than the Jewish sect of the Pharisees: when the time came for them to tithe, they would even take a tenth of the herbs out of their freakin’ herb garden! They had a mind-boggling set of rules that they’d developed from the Mosaic (from Moses, not made of little tiles) Law. Seems like that would be the ideal religion, eh? But no — this Jesus character had nicer things to say about prostitutes and tax collectors than he did about these guys! And then the apostle Paul comes along later and writes all about Christian liberty, the idea that the old rules don’t really apply any more. (That’s yet another discussion in and of itself.)

    In short: ehhh, I don’t really buy that.

  4. Dakao said,

    on September 12th, 2003 at 4:44 pm

    For a further description of the Catholic faith on Creation and good vs. evil in nature, see the Catechism, nos. 302ff.
    See especially #311.

    Let me briefly summarize what’s there:
    * The universe was created in ‘a state of journeying’ toward perfection.

    * God guides the universe in the direction of perfection, using his creatures’ cooperation.

    * As creatures with free will, men are required to find their ultimate destiny ordained by God through their own choice and love of God. They can also choose to deviate from, or even abandon, this path. (”moral evil”, as opposed to “physical evil” — the imperfections of Creation that will exist as long as the world has not reached its final, perfect, destination)

    * God is not the cause of moral evil. He permits it because he respects the freedom He has given man, and because he has the power to bring a greater good from it. (Cf. “Joe’s Coat” — Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery, but God was able to bring a great good from it in that Joseph saved Egypt from the famine.)

    Also, the Cathechism has a section specifically on man’s freedom, and his ability to choose to do wrong. See #1730ff.

    Highlights:
    * As long as man remains imperfect, there is always the possibility to choose between good and evil.

    * Choosing evil is an abuse of man’s God-given freedom and leads to the “slavery of sin”.

    Leaving the Catechism now, I’ve looked at the matter thusly: If God did not allow evil in the world, would there truly be good in the world? If your chice of actions was circumscribed to only those which we (and God) consider ‘good’, are you really doing good by performing those actions?

    I believe it is only by choosing to do good that we actually do good.

    Posted by: Doug at August 24, 2003 10:53 AM

    Hrm… Good points all around, but by and large heard before. I fully agree with you, that (wo)Man does Good by choosing to perform good deeds.

    It may be a matter of semantics. Man does indeed choose to commit evil deeds, the first of which led to the Fall. But did not God create Evil (capitalized) such that Man could choose to commit it?

    That’s the bit that I think you’re copping out on when you say that God only permits Man to choose good/evil on his own.

    Also, ref. Joe’s Coat… You probably didn’t think twice about your wording, but look at it again from this perspective: You say that Joseph’s brothers committed Evil in selling him into slavery, but that God brought Good out of it in that Joseph saved Egypt from famine.

    If you want to say that Man has choice in the matter, then your syntax should reflect it, no? i.e. Joseph’s brothers committed Evil, and Joseph committed Good.

    In my view, God created both the Evil and the Good, and this story exhibits Man choosing each one in turn. Does this fly with you?

  5. Britton said,

    on September 12th, 2003 at 7:42 pm

    Hrm. I don’t know that there are these nebulous things called ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ that are creations of God.

    God has a plan for his creation. If man chooses to follow that plan and follow God, he does good. If man chooses not to follow the plan, he does evil. [simplistic, I know]

    I’m not sure I buy your thesis that God creates actions for men to choose among. God created all things (material & non-material), and God grants various abilities to his sundry creations/creatures. It is man’s choice how to use his God-given abilities.

    God built the playground, but sometimes we kids don’t play nice, or don’t use the equipment in the way for which it was designed. :)

    Posted by: Doug at September 12, 2003 07:05 PM

    It’s a tough philosophical nut to crack. I think it’s worthwhile to reemphasize what Doug said, that there are no beings that can, in simply *existing*, be truly classified as Good or Evil. Rather, *what they do or think* is classified as such, and that in turn leads us to classify them by their actions and ideas as Good or Evil. God created the being, but God did not create the action or thought — simply by the logical idea that actions and thoughts are, well, acted and thought, not created.

    So a better way to think about it is this: is everything in God’s created universe a part of Himself, such that if any part of His creation acts in an evil fashion then it is essentially He Himself doing it? Another spin: if the entire universe was created according to God’s Will, how is it *logically* possible for anything to defy that will? What other will is there to follow?

    Like I said, a tough nut, even when we ask what I think to be the right questions. The answer I am happiest with is, like so many in Christianity, a paradox. God is completely sovereign, while Man has completely free will. Yes, God created everything. Yes, God is in control, and everything is working out according to His plan. And yes, this includes a will *which is outside His own*; thus giving humans the ability to do what He doesn’t want them to do. He’s God, He can do that. Yes, these things are hard to understand and reconcile, but not impossible; thus, a paradox. Yes, you can look at creating the potential for evil as creating evil itself by your own definition if you like, but that doesn’t change the fact that He has a definite Will that humans can choose to follow or not — so that there is, in fact, a natural order.

    And round and round we go.

  6. Dakao said,

    on September 12th, 2003 at 10:24 pm

    Also take a look at this essay by Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim: Does God Create Evil?

    (Ain’t the Internet wonderful?)

    Posted by: Doug at September 12, 2003 08:05 PM

    Britton very aptly restated the question I’ve been tiptoeing around. And certainly I didn’t mean (and I didn’t say, I think) that there are any intrinsically good or bad beings out there. As I said, a being performs an act which is deemed to be good or bad.

    Baldly put, Doug, I do think that God must have conceived the infinite set of possible actions for us to choose from. :P

    But I see your point, and I also really like Rabbi Moshe’s argument from Maimonides on the direct making and indirect creation of things. I’m no stranger to the notion that evil is merely the absence of good, and it does make sense to me, but that’s largely a matter of semantics. It’s like saying that dark is merely the absence of light. It’s a true statement, but it’s still bloody dark out there when the sun goes down and there’s a new moon. For whatever cultural or cognitive reason, we mortals perceive our world in bipolar terms — there is light and dark, good and evil. We don’t see it in terms of A and the absence of A, except intellectually. I don’t observe, “My, it’s very not bright tonight!”

    Those more enlightened cultures and individuals also concede that there is a continuum between the two poles (e.g. twilight and moral ambiguity) — it’s only clods like the American public who view life as a crusade between two extremes (thin vs. fat, us vs. them, poor vs. rich, good vs. bad, free world vs. Communism/terrorism).

    In other words, I agree insofar as the existence of light and its absence (i.e. dark) are taken for granted.

    But think back to that moment before Creation. There *was* no dark and no light. What’d God say? “Let there be light.” OK, so He didn’t say “Let there be darkness” before or after flipping the lightswitch on. But it stands to reason that if He created the rules of physics for light (travels at c, can’t be outrun by physical objects, etc.), then He also created the rules for what’s there in the absence of light. I mean, it could have been light and pink instead.

    So this analogy only works in its application to Man, who creates the absence of goodness (i.e. evil) by doing an act that is contrary to goodness.

    My question goes back to Britton’s restatement. But I’ll close this round of rebuttals with this:

    What’s wrong with the notion that God conceived of Evil? Be it merely Good’s absence, or an entity unto itself, I think Evil is a necessary component of the world in order for Good to have something to contrast against.

    So God made Evil. Good for Him — now we have our choice, and can Fall or be redeemed.

    It seems like a lie-to-children to say that God is Good (implying He is not capable of Evil). We don’t want our kids to prematurely learn about the flipside of Good and the thorny issues we call moral dilemmas, do we? No, we want them to grow up good first. Then as they mature and the glass of their faith becomes larger, they will (or should) require more water from the font of knowledge to fill it to the same relative level as in their grade school days. That’s who C.S. Lewis is writing for. ;) I can understand the position (or plight) of someone who through inaction chooses to remain with his / her smaller glass of faith, but I cannot condone it. ;) You need to know how to reconcile Evil in order to fully grasp Good.

  7. Dakao said,

    on September 14th, 2003 at 2:18 pm

    “It seems like a lie-to-children to say that God is Good (implying He is not capable of Evil).”

    Not so much a lie-to-children as a central tenet of Christian (and Jewish and Muslim, I believe) faith. The God we worship is all-good, all-knowing, all-powerful, with perfect justice, compassion, and mercy.

    As I tried to say in a previous comment, there is physical evil, which is the imperfection of Creation, that God permits to exist until the perfection of the world in the End Time. I think this is what Maimonides/Rabbi Ben-Chaim was referring to as the absence of good.

    There is also moral evil. If moral evil is defined as something contrary to God’s plan, then no — God does no evil. I’m assuming when you’re talking about capital-E Evil, you’re discussing moral evil.

    Certainly God can “conceive” all possible actions — He is omniscient, after all. I can conceive some evil acts: I can imagine tossing my cats in the microwave. That does not mean that I am morally culpable for this act unless I carry it out (or at least actually desire to carry it out).

    I’ll concede that by the very act of having a Plan for Creation, God has defined what is evil (all that is outside or against the Plan). If you want to call that “creating Evil”, OK.

    Posted by: Doug at September 13, 2003 01:00 PM

    Ah… But I would be pushing the point too hard if I were to call it such. “Methinks the lady doth protest too much” and all. Hrm…

    OK, within a Christian context, I should leave it at the notion that God conceived of Evil, but He has only created Good.

    In conceiving of Evil, He has conceived of the possibility that Man can freely choose to commit Evil. Man can also choose to perform Good.

    This is all contingent on the notion that evil is the absence of goodness or contrary to it, rather than being an actual concept in and of itself.

    It still feels a little lopsided to me — harkening back to my beef with calling darkness merely the absence of light. I’ll mull on this a bit. :)

  8. Britton said,

    on September 15th, 2003 at 8:41 pm

    You’ve hit a central point of Christianity, Dakao, although it’s among the more subtle ones. Evil is not, in fact, the opposite of Good — rather, it is the corruption (or absence, as you said) of Good. Christians believe that all natural pleasures come from God, and that this includes sex and food as well as the trees and flowers. The problem comes when people misuse them, and thus evil arises. Gluttony is bad, but only because you’re perverting the God-given pleasure of eating a Burrito Supreme.

    Chrisitianity is NOT a Dualistic religion. It does not believe in an equal tug-of-war, with God on one side and Satan on the other. The story of Satan being an ex-angel who Fell and became a perverted version of his former self bears witness to this idea…as is the prophecy that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the Archangel Michael will soundly kick his ass at Armageddon.

    So yeah, it is lopsided.

  9. Dakao said,

    on September 17th, 2003 at 1:32 pm

    In my more flippant moments, I feel a spot of sympathy for the Devil. I mean, a U.S. president only has to endure caricatures of himself in semi-serious Opinions pages for at worst a decade or two.

    Lucifer’s been ripped on for millenia, and every now and then he crops up in Saturday morning cartoons, etc.

    Disclaimer: The following discussion refers to evil merely as shorthand for what I now understand to be a nondualistic concept of wholesome goodness (Quaker Oats?) and corrupted uses of the same. :)

    Addendumb to the following drivel: First, skip down to the last three paragraphs — I think I finally get to the point which has been niggling me.

    I dunno.. I still accept Doug’s implied point about how God’s conception of evil isn’t necessarily the creation of it… But it seems to me that if God hadn’t conceptually created evil, then we wouldn’t be able to conceive of it at all. Therefore, He is responsible for our having the capacity to conceive of evil as well as act on it. But this is not a bad thing to my mind.

    …Because, as has been said, it’s our capacity to perform evil or good and our subsequent self-governance and judgment (free will) which lets us determine our eternal fate. (For the sake of this discussion, I assume an immortal soul, which I normally do not)

    I feel like I’m starting to have reruns of myself, and I apologize for that… But again, it seems like it’s a “Chris Columbus discovered America” sort of thing to say that God wasn’t responsible for our ability to do evil. I mean, He had to be, in order for us to be able to self-determine.

    Or perhaps, instead of Columbus, consider the Nuremburg trials. There, it was established that the German leadership was ultimately responsible for the genocidal actions their men performed under orders. The leaders didn’t have bloody hands, but they initiated the orders.

    OK, so this analogy breaks down b/c God’s not ordering anyone to perform evil. But He’s responsible for everything in Creation, which includes the capacity for corruption. He doesn’t create corruptions of goodness, but He makes it possible. I keep coming back to this point, for some reason.

    I guess it boils down to my simplistic desire to see a more grown-up Christian perspective. That sounds bad.

    Right now, I hear a Christian message as being: “God is good! He is not evil! Man is capable of corrupting God’s good works. Therefore Man is the originator of evil. Oh, but BTW God created everything.”

    Urh?

    Tell me why it shouldn’t be thusly: “God is good, He is not evil. But as a good parent, He created the opportunities and capacities for evil when He created Man, because Man has to be given such opportunities and the ability to choose between them, in order for Man to fully realize his self-determinism.”

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Pleasing in thy sight

Ξ August 6th, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, Metalworking |

 

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Ow.

Ξ July 29th, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA |

 

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Dog therapy

Ξ July 27th, 2003 | → | ∇ General |

 

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  1. Dakao said,

    on July 29th, 2003 at 1:05 pm

    World Wildlife Fund?

    http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/1038611

    Posted by: Leo at July 28, 2003 04:31 PM

    Yeah, dude, it’s the WWE now.

    Posted by: JetBabee at July 29, 2003 10:23 AM

    Hey, I grew up with Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and the WWF, alright?

    It’s just not the same anymore — Hulk Hogan went bald years ago. Heck, the new guys like Stone Cold don’t even start their careers with hair; they’re not kid-friendly, either.

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Encounters of the hobo kind

Ξ July 25th, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, General |

 

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Preheat to 350°, salt-bake evil for 30 mins

Ξ July 24th, 2003 | → | ∇ Food |

 

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Behind Heaven's door

Ξ July 23rd, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, General |

 

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Handmaids and holy hand grenades

Ξ July 20th, 2003 | → | ∇ General |

 

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Honey, the Bra Guy's on the phone…

Ξ July 18th, 2003 | → | ∇ General |

 

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Good days…

Ξ July 9th, 2003 | → | ∇ General |

 

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  1. Stephen Ambrose said,

    on July 18th, 2003 at 3:28 pm

    Okay, admit it. You stole “pregnant with rain” from some other author. I know I’ve read it before. :)

    Posted by: Leo at July 17, 2003 10:53 AM

    Well, duh, I plagiarized it. :P

    But if I did, I have no recollection wherefrom I did so. It’s a pretty common (almost trite) phrase, really.

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…Bad days

Ξ July 9th, 2003 | → | ∇ General |

 

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…And furthermore, I think Carthage should be destroyed.

Ξ July 8th, 2003 | → | ∇ Language / Literature |

 

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Good work and a square meal

Ξ July 3rd, 2003 | → | ∇ General, Work |

 

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…And the radio man says

Ξ July 3rd, 2003 | → | ∇ General |

 

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Ach, fershlugginer!@#$

Ξ July 1st, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, General |

 

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  1. phi said,

    on July 3rd, 2003 at 8:12 am

    what about all those times back in VA? was i grouped into B? =p

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Anyone get the number of that executive truck?

Ξ June 26th, 2003 | → | ∇ Work |

 

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All the woman I need

Ξ June 20th, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, Philosophy |

 

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  1. Miriam said,

    on June 29th, 2003 at 6:21 pm

    Truly beautiful weapons, Dakao. Not too overstated or ornate. I have a small double-sided knife that a friend gave to me eons ago because I thought it pretty. I’ve never let him sharpen it. No one understands (except the friend who gave it to me) how I could appreciate the gift at all and then keep it for it’s looks, not it’s usefulness.

  2. Brian said,

    on February 8th, 2004 at 3:41 am

    Ach, they’re just too pragmatic to understand the sensibilities of the aesthete. I admit my dagger looks a bit silly with the tip lopped off, but that’s so it doesn’t kill someone when I poke ‘em with it. All the weapons have archery rubber blunt tips on them now, and they just don’t look quite the same. :)

    I like the lines too — that’s why I got them! But seriously, they’re 100% period style. The polish is a bit rough, but that way the little nicks and dings from use (and my subsequent filework and sanding to repair) won’t show up as badly.

    I made a leather belt and hanger this weekend. Pictures up soon.

    Posted by: Dakao at July 1, 2003 02:21 PM

    Where did you acquire the sidesword in the following picture:
    http://www.dakao.org/wma/images/sidesword_full.jpg

    I do not plan on checking back for an answer on this site, so please reply in email to naurhir@hotmail.com

    Thanks in advange

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W00t!

Ξ June 20th, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA |

 

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  1. phi said,

    on June 20th, 2003 at 8:34 pm

    l am amazed with the level of dorkiness displayed here… l applaud you sir ;)

  2. Dakao said,

    on June 21st, 2003 at 2:56 am

    Ah, you’re just jealous that you don’t have a stiff, 48-inch weapon in your hands.

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How trite, it's 1984 all over again

Ξ June 17th, 2003 | → | ∇ Current Events, Work |

 

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Gumbies: The Next Generation

Ξ June 17th, 2003 | → | ∇ School |

 

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Fathers, fruit, finance and friends

Ξ June 16th, 2003 | → | ∇ Current Events, Metalworking |

 

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Rainy late night drive

Ξ June 14th, 2003 | → | ∇ General |

 

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Bam!

Ξ June 13th, 2003 | → | ∇ General |

 

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Housewarming at the Chaos Ranch

Ξ June 8th, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, General |

 

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TrackBack Test.

Ξ June 5th, 2003 | → | ∇ Uncategorized |

 

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They're a-ringin' in my ear

Ξ June 5th, 2003 | → | ∇ General, School |

 

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  1. Dakao said,

    on June 5th, 2003 at 11:01 pm

    Weird, your kitten link goes to some lottery article, which is interesting in its own right, but it’s not about kittens.

    Posted by: Leo at June 5, 2003 10:37 PM

    Yeah, ‘cos CGD is compulsive gambling disorder. :)

  2. Britton said,

    on June 8th, 2003 at 10:21 pm

    You know, I *do* read your weblog. You should know, ‘coz I leave comments, ‘n’ stuff. For the record, I was butt-tired and a little antsy that Ben would convince you folks that a wild and wacky bachelor party would be a Good Thing, and I was secretly relieved that it was as tame as it could be. If you can call forty tacos and a little fellow who proves the motto “it’s not the size of the kitten in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the kitten” tame.

    Thanks for the writeup!

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What's in a name? A B'kow by any other…

Ξ June 3rd, 2003 | → | ∇ SCA |

 

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  1. tranny said,

    on December 3rd, 2003 at 7:42 pm

    hilarious! b’kow! i think i ought to right that as your name so you can get the hint i’ve read your weblog…

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Testing. Ignore.

Ξ May 24th, 2003 | → | ∇ Uncategorized |

 

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Closet confessions

Ξ May 22nd, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, General |

 

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How much for the leetle girl?

Ξ May 15th, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, SCA |

 

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  1. MooBob42 said,

    on May 16th, 2003 at 1:23 pm

    You fence righty now? Isn’t it weird? :P

  2. Dace Caius said,

    on May 22nd, 2003 at 3:24 pm

    Welp, I’ve been fencing righty in longsword and rapier for the past 3-6 months. They say that developing dexterity with your off hand carries over to your on hand, but not vice versa. Since I’m naturally lefty, I should theoretically have been benefiting ambidextrously all along.

    And I apparently have, since I’ve been successfully fencing lefty for the past week. ;)

  3. tranny said,

    on December 3rd, 2003 at 7:31 pm

    yeah, and remember this?
    ho ho ho, don’t fool me. i read this a long time ago but now, it’s time to take my stand. i’m a chicken, go on and laugh…
    i say this on 12/3/03, a long while after this was posted so keep checking for these wacky comments!

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Midnight… The witching hour which fills my hovercraft with eels

Ξ May 14th, 2003 | → | ∇ General |

 

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  1. Doug said,

    on May 15th, 2003 at 10:18 am

    Except that petty drama and casual spite are part of what makes us human, as opposed to Nietzche’s Superman or Christian Archangels. Whether such a machine would be good or bad (and in what sense) is an interesting topic for debate; however, it would certainly not be any more human than the “unwashed masses” who’ve made Jerry Springer so successful.

    Posted by: Britton at May 14, 2003 09:29 PM

    We could always go back to the system of starting a day at sundown (which is why we Catholics can go to church Saturday night to fulfill our Sunday obligation..) but methinks that sizable portion of humanity which gets to bed at a reasonable hour prefers our timekeeping the way it is. ;P

    .. And as to the other question, “what more could one ask for” for your machine? A soul and an afterlife would be pretty cool if you ask me. [Of course if the machine is able to self-repair and become effectively immortal, perhaps that point is moot..]

  2. Bob's pocket lint said,

    on May 15th, 2003 at 2:35 pm

    Ah, a clarification: When I wrote this, it seemed to me that a person who does not seek new experiences (i.e. sits at home, day in and day out, watching the same, tired TV shows and etc.) is not as fully realized a person as someone who e.g. volunteers at a children’s shelter, plays paintball, fiddles with node management interface coding in the afterhours, or studies the book of Matthew. *Anything* is better than nothing — even if it’s dealing X, getting stabbed, shot, and thrown in jail. In that case, you hopefully survive and are wiser for it; elsewise you’ll end up removing yourself from the gene pool and it’ll be a cleaner place in which to swim.

    I admit, we have no obligation to do such things, but .. your life is so much more interesting, and *you* are so much more interesting. Plato’s unexamined life isn’t worth living, and all that.

    Of course, this hypothetical Unit Daisy would need to have a curiosity and passion for experiences (whether new, old, comfortably at home, or thrillingly abroad).

    As for the soul and afterlife.. People such as Stephen Jay Gould may argue from a scientific POV that there is .. um, what’s that German word for the unidentifiable other which makes the human soul and being a gestalt of its component parts?

    Well, whatever. :)

    Don’t the various Christian ideological strains argue that God’s will is unknowable, etc. etc.? To me, it seems fruitless to quibble over whether you do have a soul, and whether you’re going to heaven or hell.

    The only thing left to (Wo)Man to accomplish is to have faith (for those inclined to it), live life well, do good, and be good. Boy, how many times has *that* been said?

    ..And who’s to say that Unit Daisy may not have a machine sense of self which is conceived differently from our sense of self (which has led in part to our concept of the soul)?

    Any machine with such sufficiently advanced expressions of feeling will appear human to us, to paraphrase Arthur C. Clark’s quote.

    Also ref. Poul Anderson’s Genesis and Boat of a Million Years re: machine intelligence.

    Er, to put my ramble into a nutshell: If Unit Daisy looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck, then Unit Daisy *is* a duck as far as this plane of mortal existence goes. Of course, by that point, Unit Daisy would most likely be a biological android rather than something mechanical.

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In one ear and out the other

Ξ May 13th, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, General, Metalworking |

 

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Whoo! Dayum, Cletus!

Ξ May 9th, 2003 | → | ∇ General |

 

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It’s been surreal, but I can’t Dali now

Ξ May 8th, 2003 | → | ∇ Science / Technology |

 

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  1. MooBob42 said,

    on May 9th, 2003 at 3:38 pm

    I swear I read an article in Technology Review, but I couldn’t find it. Here’s a different article on the same guy, though: http://www.lib.calpoly.edu/infocomp/modules/05_evaluate/WIC2a.html

  2. Beavis said,

    on May 10th, 2003 at 12:06 am

    Yeah, thanks for looking, Leo. I tried searching Google with combos of: genetic, evolutionary, algorithms, speech recognition, and even yes and no.

    No dice. I need keywords! :)

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Old endings and new beginnings

Ξ May 7th, 2003 | → | ∇ Fitness / HEMA, History, School |

 

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  1. tranny said,

    on December 3rd, 2003 at 7:35 pm

    you do cartwheels? amazing! i’ve always wanted to but b/c of my “messed-up” brain, hint hint, i’ll never “lift my two feet off the ground” ever again…

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Who dat? Why, 'tis that little miscreant, Cupid!

Ξ May 2nd, 2003 | → | ∇ General |

 

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Happiness - n. Enjoying, showing, or marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy.

Ξ May 2nd, 2003 | → | ∇ School, Work |

 

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Deus vult!

Ξ April 30th, 2003 | → | ∇ School, Work |

 

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  1. MooBob42 said,

    on April 30th, 2003 at 11:16 pm

    Well, I hope their activity design skills are better than their web design skills. Frames are so ’90s. :P And what’s up with the lame Flash navigation?

  2. Cabbagehead said,

    on May 2nd, 2003 at 3:12 pm

    Dude, at least it’s not http://www.psychedelix.com/ is all I’ve got to say. :P

    Non-profit always lags a little behind the bleeding edge. ;)

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Dancing on sunlight to the tune of Billy Joel

Ξ April 28th, 2003 | → | ∇ General, School |

 

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On the topic of children

Ξ April 28th, 2003 | → | ∇ Work |

 

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  1. Leo said,

    on April 28th, 2003 at 10:36 pm

    Of course I would be the first to respond about the lyrics, for two reasons.
    The lyrics are from Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods”. The two reasons I would be the first to respond are:
    1) I was “Jack” in the musical in 1998 and heard that song more than anyone else in the world, save Bernadette Peters and Vanessa Williams.
    I was on stage during that number, so no dozing off! I had to wait for my cue “sometimes the spell may last…”
    2) I’m a big enough dork to be on my computer at 10:45pm, with the sincere intention for the last three hours of working on my Electrochemical Engines paper about the contribution of renewable sources to the hydrogen economy, but instead updating the “Car Gallery” on my website. I got some good links on the rotary engine, and some good classic cars, like the ‘61 Corvette, the ‘38 Phantom Corsair, the ‘49 Jaguar
    XK-120, and of course the ‘73 Corvette Stingray.

    Hmmm. Those are two very interesting reasons. Sometimes I wonder if I really _am_ a female. Maybe I’m the son my father never had.

    Good luck with your blog, Dakao. When I first received your e-mail I thought that you had contracted a disease. But, fortunately, a blog is
    more innocuous than I thought (or is it?).

    Posted by: Andrea at April 28, 2003 10:00 PM

    Darnit! Red wins the prize. And I was all proud of myself and stuff.

    Working at the Austin Children’s Shelter I’m slowing learning some of the things that Dakao is now experiencing. Kids are amazing…they’ll forget every important lesson you give them in under a second, and then remember the most trivial act for weeks (I haven’t known any of these kids for years). We’ll have to get together and jabber about ‘em sometime, boyo.

    And Red, I was once told that it was virtually impossible for me to actually be male and heterosexual, given how fascinated I am with musicals. So that’s a strong point in favor of you being a daughter, not a son. ;D

    Posted by: Britton at April 28, 2003 10:30 PM

    Mmm, rotary engines. I admit, the only reason I really have a fascination with them is due to Monty Python and the “Are You Embarrassed Easily?” sketch.

  2. Stefan said,

    on April 28th, 2003 at 11:59 pm

    Two hours too late. “Into the Woods” is my friend Adrianna’s favorite musical, so I’ve been subjected to the musical many times. I even saw Vanessa Williams perform in L.A. a year ago.

    Strange, the topic of children. I’m very far removed from them in my sheltered academic life. The only time I see children is when they are being dragged unwillingly through the aisles of Target. I think the part of my brain that deals with interacting with children has been surgically removed. I honestly don’t know what to do around them. I don’t think I’d be a good father. At least I’m not in any imminant danger of becoming one, due to the flatline which is my love life. Ahh, ce la vie.

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Traded my horse in for a blog

Ξ April 26th, 2003 | → | ∇ Work |

 

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  1. MooBob42 said,

    on April 27th, 2003 at 11:36 pm

    So how many activities do you mock up? How do you round up kids and parents? Do you just rope them in while they’re walking around in the museum?

    I need to go there some time so I can play with those walls that take pictures of your shadow.

  2. Prime Mover said,

    on April 28th, 2003 at 4:37 pm

    Welp, we had 13 activities, some of which tested out fine on the first iteration. Some we had to revise and test again 2-3 days after. Only one of the 13 is still problematic.

    The other 14 some-odd activities are all much simpler and were not tested due to budget constraints — these were the most conceptually or mechanically complex ones.

    Took us 8 days at 2-4 hrs a day for actual testing, and took me 2-3 hours for pre- and post-testing setup and debriefing.

    I pretty much walked around and approached parents with kids who seemed to be in the right age range. I tried to make sure that I cycled through different ethnicities and levels of well-dressed appearance.

    Like I said, not particularly scientific. ;P

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Dear white, pro-life CEOs

Ξ November 30th, 1999 | → | ∇ Uncategorized |

 

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Roots of success and failure, for ourselves and our children

Ξ November 30th, 1999 | → | ∇ Philosophy |

 

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