Saturday, June 28, 2008


"Oh my gosh, nearly every book that, Steinbeck wrote, was made into a movie." says Daniel.

My Friends

Out of ***********, who would be whom if we were Lord of the Rings characters? Inklings? Disney princes? These are the types of questions we discuss between readings of formal logic and classical literature and runs and bike-rides. Also, my friends eat a lot of pasta, chew loudly, are very funny, especially and frequently in witty ways, are surprisingly well-rounded but yet not quite so in areas of grown-up type maturity, and are each "not in the background", causing a sort of "spirit", comparable, says Max, to the way the fellowship of God the Father and God the Son generate God the Holy Spirit by working up an ethos through labor and love (he cites C.S. Lewis). We analyze cultural movements and theological paradigms and play around with conceptual machinery after emptying out its contents like a bully shakes the change out of a Torrey student's pockets by turning him upside down. We brutally make fun of each other and ourselves, condescend to everyone else, the kitchen is frequently and painfully messy, Halo 3, soccer, wild gesticulations, and energy bars. Colby has been shaved and looks ridiculous. Everyone who knows us is jealous of our commune, summer is unfolding and downtown is bustling. We are all supremely happy but persistently discontent, behind, many of us are jobless, wifeless, and without an extant educational program. In fact some of us don't even have degrees beyond a high school diploma. Chess games are in progress in every room of the house. I wonder how many pages of text get read in this house per hour? A thousand? More? I am eating a pot pie. Max won't allow "billion" to describe the number of cave trolls in the Lord of the Rings but he is polite about it. Not any two members of this commune are not on fire, and I mean that in the way NBA Jam means it, which is a lot less meaningful I think. Every one of us is distinct but not separate, and in fact you would be surprised at how alike and how opposite each man is to the other.

More to come.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Why dreary doesn't rhyme with weary.

Quine points out in so many words that dreary cannot rhyme with weary as they are both feelings, and feelings cannot have any rhyming qualities. Rather it is more precise to say that 'dreary' rhymes with 'weary', as 'dreary' and 'weary' are names of feelings, and names may rhyme. This distinction becomes important in certain circumstances but I thought I'd forward it independent of its context.

Insisted upon due to alternate motivations or during improper contexts, analytic methods can be annoyingly smart-alecky

Grappling with the Temptation to Withdraw

Often I find myself in contexts that conjure in me a desire to withdraw. Typically I want to withdraw from situations in which I have a more advanced understanding of a concept than everyone else around me. The thought of bringing others around me up to speed is so daunting that I give up before I seriously consider it.

These situations are also often textured with culturally defined roles. It is not always appropriate for me to take the lead. I find myself ill-equipped with the necessary cultural information and/or interpersonal skills to know what my goal should be in these situations and/or how to achieve such a goal. I also recognize that the particulars of each situation may be relevant to these things as well.

I have only recently realized that I must fight this desire in 99% of cases. It is almost always the case that I can and should participate without either withdrawing or dominating. I must learn to be a follower, a member, a participant, a contributor. The role of submission is just as important and valuable as the role of leader.

God the Father is glorified by God the Son, especially so by His submission, and even unto death.

Sometimes taking a task over robs another of a growing/learning experience. Catching a man a fish... well, you know the story.

I should seek to meet every man exactly where he is and play my proper role in elevating him even a little bit in wisdom.

And where it's my place to grow, God, let me grow with all humility.

Attitude-Nature Analysis of Reformation Christianity Independent of Any Truth-Value Analysis

Just read "- - - - - - - - - - - - -: On (Punk Rock &) Modern Reformationism" and discovered that someone concisely verbalized a sentiment thrust upon me long ago, which lingers latent in my disposition toward what Miller calls "Reformation" Christianity.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Quotation Marks and Punctuation

That's it. I'm using the British system because of its precision and utility.

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Apple and Microsoft are NOT competitors. I swear." [Updated for Chrominess 6/16/2008]

From the beginning, as Jobs reminds us in a flashback during D5, Steve has cooperated with Microsoft in every way he can. And it's wise to do so. Apple needs Microsoft. Because Microsoft owns too many standards.

But during the exact same interview, Jobs characterizes Apple as a software company. He says that Apple's main focus is it's operating system. But wait - Microsoft's main focus is its operating system... and Jobs insists that if you are a passionate software company, you're going to want to make your own hardware, too (but wait - Microsoft doesn't make their own hardware...). And not only does Apple focus on their software - they elsewhere claim that it's more advanced than Microsoft's:

But notice how, with one hand, Apple's product (which directly competes with Microsoft's) is praised as being superior, Apple stresses compatibility and cooperation with the other hand.

All the while at D5 Jobs talks about how PC Guy is lovable and the ads foster a cooperative attitude and he and Gates have always been buddies and Microsoft revolutionized computing etc. ad infinitum (but if Apple is more advanced than Microsoft, what does that say about Apple?). Steve Jobs, you are a subtle and cunning spin-master and I love you. Not like I love my wife though. Take a look at another example of Apple's near duplicity:

"iWork is the BEST way to create DOCUMENTS, PRESENTATIONS, and SPREADSHEETS. And one of the biggest virtues of this suite is that it works with OFFICE. Because Office is the standard, duh - everybody knows that." Or how about:

"Remember me? I invented the friggen iPod, right? Well I built this new thing called 'MobileMe.' It's like Microsoft's Exchange, only way better on so many levels. I'm branding it as 'Exchange for the rest of us,' because Exchange is the standard for businesses. But it is interestingly available at the same time that this new toy (you may have heard of it, the 'iPhone') begins supporting Exchange. So you can choose which service you want to use (hint: mine is better)."

Apple makes it as easy as possible to switch. You can still use whatever services and formats you're used to. But when everybody else starts switching, there won't be any reason not to use Apple's superior versions of all these things. Apple just keeps insisting that they are not direct competitors with Microsoft, they keep improving compatibility, and they keep coming out with products that one-up them (also - Office can't read iWork files [like Macs can run Windows but not vice versa] - all roads lead to Apple, and they are ONE-WAY, baby yeah!).






Friday, June 13, 2008

Overheard in North Idaho

Katie: We should all go to the gym, now.
Steve: We should all get dessert.
Katie: ...the exact opposite. Wow. Wait - I have an idea.
Steve: Does it involve ice cream?
Katie: Did you get cranberries at the store?
Steve: No... I just thought you really wanted beer. And onions.

Some Recurring Fallacies in Political Libertarianism

I recently took a look at this semi-interesting but severely (and characteristically) simplistic perspective and had a few thoughts.

First it must be understood that by "paternalism" this article means something like "any law interfering with what a man may do to his own body (or what consenting adults may do to each others'), such as abuse drugs and gratuitously economize sexuality, but also including things like ride a motorcycle without a helmet. To say nothing of my own position on the particulars of various laws or potential laws this article may deem "paternal" (or anything of any overarching political paradigm I may or may not be inclined toward), I am going to briefly speak to a few themes present in it.
Another reason to reject paternalism is that it sets a nefarious precedent. Up to what point does the government get to play nanny? Where does it end? [...] Furthermore, the justification of "it’s for their own good" is bound to be abused. It will be used to justify all manner of special-interest plunder, such as excessive licensing laws.
The Slippery Slope light on your logical fallacy dashboard should be going off. Mine does almost every time I read a Libertarian argument.
Passing blanket restrictions on behavior rides roughshod on individuality.
Compare and contrast:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to... promote the general Welfare... do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Rather than leaving the individual free to learn from experience and example, paternalism deprives him of these moral opportunities. By pre-empting choice, it weakens the moral faculty of choosing one’s own course.
Aside from the bizarre and upside-down phenomenon that some of my dearest friends who happen to be philosophical Compatibilists somehow also manage to profer arguments like the above as support for their political Libertarianism, this constitutes a textbook example of a False Dichotomy by wantonly ignoring the spectrum of various nuanced positions in lieu of the extremes of anarchy (under the guise of liberty), and the fascist socialism that somehow manages to pre-empt choice itself and utterly deprive all citizens of any moral opportunities (their label for any position but their own, starting somewhere around a moderate perspective and continuing on beyond Zebra).

You can lead a Zebra to water, but you can't make him drink.

You can lead a Libertarian to a clear explanation of his logical fallacies, but you can't make him drink.

An Ouroborian Sentence

I have another one of these about which I wrote about 2,000 words and then scrapped. I thought I'd at least get this one out, even if without commentary. This came out of a conversation with Jon a couple months ago. I have been thinking about it since.

Perspective #3

There is a fine line between a red herring and an undercutting defeater

Monday, June 9, 2008

How to get backlinks from itself.

I was analyzing some of my backlinks, and got excited when I found that I had one from none other than itself! I thought about how I could duplicate and elaborate on the original strategy I used to get into Google Trends (I mean hey, has got to have some high TrustRank in Google's own algo's right?). But alas, once I took a closer look at it, I saw that it wasn't from google.COM, but! I can only assume given the context that .nf is an entire domain that Google uses to host pages as "nofollow," in other words "useless for SEO." Sucks dude.

UPDATE: If you go to you can see that this is not a "nofollow" domain, but a localization of Google Search for the Norfolk Island! Why does my backlink analyzer pick up this link but not the equivalent that I dug up? I am not sure yet, but I would prefer my backlink be weighted than my software be exhaustive.

Not that I've even really worked for any backlinks, but hey - I would like to know about the ones I get for free.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sweet New Way to Find Out About Concerts

I am lazy. I do not want to go searching for information about concerts. I would rather someone look through my music library and let me know when any of the artists I listen to are playing in my area. Enter iConcetCal and bam it's done. I download & install a free plugin for iTunes (two steps) and all I have to do now is pick iConcertCal as the visualizer (one button) and now, whenever I want concert information, all I have to do is turn on the visualizer (one button) whenever I want concert information. It's free and hey - it even syncs with iCal, so I don't even have to go outside of my normal workflow to be served with geographically and preferentially relevant concert information.

And thanks to iCal events, whenever I bring up my Dashboard I will receive the same information, since I don't always open up iCal to get a glance at my schedule.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

One False Step and It's All Over!

While I was running some long process on my computer just now I whipped out the ole Minesweeper for old times' sake. I was doing well - I was speedy and I was accurate; I was totally kicking ass and then - one move away from success...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Obama is it!

I guess Obama is the Democratic nominee.  As a commemorative note, I would just like to tell the world that I do not care if his middle name is Hussein.  I don't care if his grandma is a Muslim - I wouldn't even care if he were a Muslim.  No quantity of email forwards will make me care about Obama's middle name.