Friday, August 31, 2007


sad when the professionals cant execute a joke as well as the amateurs...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Genius answer

First off - the question is crap. She is thrown a fact - and asked 'why is that' - and she responds with 'I personally believe' - which is the right thing to say rather than 'in my opinion' - the difference between ‘belief’ and ‘opinion’. People use them interchangeably and shouldn’t. A belief is related to the statement of fact… or purported fact… ie ‘I believe the earth is round’. One does not have an opinion that the earth is round… one may have an opinion that people who believe the earth is round are nutjobs – because it’s so obviously flat – and that’s the big difference.


For example…

Racism. People may have the opinion that someone of a different ethnicity is ‘less good’ than another – but that is generally predicated on the belief that there is some fact to back that up. Those beliefs, when confronted with factual evidence, can be termed ‘mistaken beliefs’ by the rest of us – and thus the opinion denigrated as baseless.

Once upon a time, we believed lightning was the result of Thor’s hammer, or Jupiter’s anger. Others believed the earth was the center of the universe – and it took Copernicus and Brahe to correct that misconception. Now what happens when we base fantastic supposition upon poorly founded belief? It cracks. Without a basis in fact, belief systems become interchangeably valuable.

As children grow up – they begin to face realities… beliefs begin to fall away… there is no tooth fairy… no easter bunny… no santa claus… there are no prince charmings waiting in the wings to sweep you away… and the more of those beliefs you cling to – the bigger the veil of tears one must face. In this case, the girl in question 'believes' - so that's a good start...

it continues... 'that US Americans' - which is a distinction that too few make. The fact is that the Americas constitute 2 continents and a rather large number of nationalities... and with this being a map question - it's doubly important to set the proper tone for the response. In actuality - she's correcting the question itself - by calling the generic use of 'Americans' itself to account.

it continues... 'are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation dont have maps...'. Now - honestly, i dont think i have a world map in any way handy... other than the few ancient species in my old texts (my favorite being wonderfully illustrated and exacting cribbed from Suarez Miranda, Viajes de varones prudentes, Libro IV, Cap. XLV, Lerida, 1658 -- it folds well...) in fact, of the people i've spoken with on the subject, there really does seem to be a lack of distributed world map cartography in this country. We really aren't a nation of people who keep maps - certainly not ones without UNITED STATES OF AMERICA printed boldly across the midwest... Even then - I assume we're talking about Mercator projections here - the very Eurocentric mapping projections that have been forced upon us by our forebears - much like the NTSC color palette. Then again - what with the recent tendency to refute science with such idiocies as Intelligent Design and Pi=3 - perhaps the questioner was using a Beatine map to perform the survey. Again - without seeing the map in question and knowing what sort of projection was used (Austronesian perhaps) - it might be best to simply assume that the people who were questioned were not familiar with the particular style of cartography.

it continues...'and i believe that our education, "such as" in South Africa and Iraq - everywhere - [implied 'should be'] like "such as" - and i believe that they should...'

As the great Albert Einstein once said "Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means." 'Such As' - the use of Exempli Gratia - is a critical method of educating people. In this example - she is simply and eloquently making the case that the lack of contextual relationships in our education system is no different than the lack of boundary divisions in maps. South Africa and Iraq are quite simply the perfect examples - for each of these nations may well be termed 'nations' in our limited western hegemonistic sense - but with longstanding ethnic divisions such as the Bantustan or Lesotho situation in South Africa or the Marsh Arab and Kurdistan groups in Iraq - a national 'border drawing' identity that is at odds with its own regional and ethnic drives creates a difficulty in applying quick and easy border definitions. A nation of broad divisional generalizations, such as blue states and red states, cannot long stand -- and teaching said approach should be not be tolerated. If we are ever to understand and treat the deep underlying causes of social outgrouping and its resultant hatred - one must begin with the sense of arbitrary borders as implied in maps should be approached with this broader sense of inclusiveness in mind.

it continues... 'our education over here in the US should help the US or should help south africa - it should help Iraq and the asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for our ch(ildren).'

Simply stated - education is universal - and by drawing the question of borders and maps into the forefront - she is emphasizing that our insistence on arbitrary demarkation only impedes our ability to pursue an ever expanding economy - a pursuit that is already a goal that should be questioned as a unreasonable. Her awareness that our education must take into account the coming cultural and economic dominance of the asian nations is not something one would necessarily expect from a teen from South Carolina - but as that would be implying some sort of regional discrimination based on an arbitrary border - which flies in the face of her answer to begin with - I'll refrain from such a supposition out of respect to her answer.

Now - the real question is... does anyone have her number?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007


"Some have said things to save their own necks. Michael Vick has received more negative press than if he had killed a human being. His crime is, it was a dog." --Atlanta NAACP Chapter President R.L. White
White said he does not support dogfighting and that he considers it as bad as hunting.

As bad as hunting.

Hmmm.... "It didn't surprise anyone - most people knew the fights were going on - just nobody talks about it. There's a certain code on the streets..." ... "...even in a gang shooting, most people say 'the guy had it comin to him' - who's going to be concerned about a dog when they have to deal with their own life in situations every day"

Hmmmm.... "They will be forced to run on treadmills with "bait" animals such as cats dangled in front of them - the reward usually being to maul them afterwards." ... "Part of the psychology of dog fighting is the same as other forms of animal cruelty - a lot of it is about power and control. The dog fighter sees his dog's victory as having a direct reflection on his strength and manliness, which I think is one of the reasons that we see brutal treatment of animals that don't perform well," Dr Lockwood said.

Well there ya have it...
Some are saying 'this is a cultural thing' and part of the culture is to treat the individual the way the dog is treated. Fine by me... would you like me to oversee the drowning and electrocution - i'd be more than happy to do so.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I've got a Lee Greenwood earworm going... after seeing this, you will too

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Highlights of the Spring Season

Not that anyone cares... since no one who reads my blog will sit through several hours of cartoons on a recommendation... but the series have been running long enough now that it's worth commenting.

Best Anime of the Spring

Seirei no Moribito (go ahead, watch the first 2:30 of that... and remember that this is youtube... imagine this in HD - because it's available that way)

Hands down - better than the overly stylized Champloo or X or those horrible 90s samurai abominations, this isn't just a good story. Not much filler... nothing subtle... just very well told and unbelievably well drawn. Already licensed for the US, if they get good voice talent (which is a LOT less likely than it should be) they could run it in primetime and it might hold its own. This is the sort of standard to which the studios in Japan are churning out animation and it's SOOOO much better than the garbage American's create.

Others of note: Claymore, El Cazador de la Bruja - both good (so far...) - just that Seirei is a real standout.

Three underappreciated series have already finished - Sola, Rec, and Hitohira. Of them, Rec is my favorite. I'm not really Hitohira's target audience (though i think Hitohira as a school play might be really genius - if only for the recursiveness), Sola tried a little too hard to be something bigger than it was, but Rec - Rec was subtle. It's a love story between an advertising executive and the voice actress for his product... episodically built around 10 different Audrey Hepburn films... this is the sort of thing that you can do in anime and it uses the medium perfectly. Yes - it's a bit cloying - but it's a love story... that's like saying Saw III was a bit bloody.

Now - dont get me wrong - there's some real crap out there too. There's a lot of it - but for example...

Idolmaster Xenoglossia

What happens when you combine a 'save the world from meteors' mecha story with an all girl pop-idol competition? yeah... exactly. This one is... hmmm... bad. Bad in a I want to shoot minmei sort of way. The Mecha arent even pretty - though you can tell there are moments when the male element of the animation team went a little whole hog to try and rectify that - usually in the fight sequences. Lots of repetition - reusing sequences and backdrops - overused memory sequences. Considering that - the story isnt too terrible. It's a bit copy and paste - but honestly - what CAN you do with something like this. Good to know that 12 yr old Ami Futami has a B bloodtype... strange people... and the old guy hanging out on the beach with all the 16 yr old girls in swimsuits is more than a little pervy (fan service is bad enough - but come on...).

What's odd - this feels like one of those 'trying to be all things to all people' animes that ends up being shallow and abysmal everywhere as a result. Feels like Mai Otome in some ways - with less interesting art... and when we get to the inevitable best friend betrayal homestretch that i see coming - it all just feels like a mess.

Monday, August 06, 2007

One worth watching

when you're done... if you want to understand why he's so upset - yeah...