flewellyn: (Default)
On October 10th, 2010, the date will be 10/10/10.

101010 in binary = 42 decimal.

In other words, October 10th will be the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.

We must celebrate!
flewellyn: (Default)
So, the other night, I had a strange dream in which a science teacher was explaining about how light travels at different speeds through different substances. Some joker in the class asked "how fast does light travel through marijuana?"

Said the teacher, "About three miles an hour. And when it makes it through, it can't be bothered to care if it's a particle or a wave."
flewellyn: (Default)
So, a friend of mine is writing a television script, and wanted some examples of absurdly unbelievable reality TV shows for characters to mention in passing. Naturally, I relish a challenge to be silly such as this. She had already set the tone with "Celebrity Food Fight".

Here is what I came up with...

  • "Two chefs compete to bake the best cake...only the winner will have the bomb strapped to his or her leg defused! That's right, it's another exciting episode of 'Cake or Death!'"

  • "Two teams compete to decorate a semi truck and trailer in the most outlandish way possible, then drive it across country and see who gets the most bizarre looks, in 'What the Truck?'"

  • "A bunch of self-absorbed, egotistical idiots live together in a house...while every week, one of them mysteriously disappears due to ideological thoughtcrime! That's right, it's 'Big Brother: Orwell Edition!'"


Other ideas include "Hurling Bricks At The Stars", "Slaughterhouse Danceoff", and "Extreme Makeover: Septic Tank Edition".

Got any of your own? Comments welcome!


Edit: Another idea I had: "HE is a banking executive whose bad decisions cost thousands of people millions of dollars! THEY are the thousands of people! Watch as they compete not just for money, but for vengeance, in 'Who Wants To Beat Up A Millionaire?'"
flewellyn: (Default)
Some time ago, I left a comment on a thread on Shakesville in which I outlined my observations of a certain type of debator, who is often found on the internet. This is the particularly precious kind of mansplainer who, not merely content to assume he knows better than women, assumes he knows better than everyone. About everything. I referred to this type as a "pseudosopher".

Some friends of mine have since told me I should post about it here. So, here is a somewhat edited version of that comment, in which I describe this strange and infuriating sort of person.

Pseudosophers are endemic on the internet. They are, in my experience, almost exclusively (cis-)male, so I describe them here with male pronouns. They are also mostly white, middle or upper class, and almost always heterosexual; often, they are atheists who used to belong to fundamentalist or conservative Christian sects. I have observed one or two who are Orthodox Jews, however, so the common thread here is fundamentalist thinking, rather than a particular religion or lack thereof.

The pseudosopher is an intelligent but unwise thinker who has bought into his own hype that he heard from parents and teachers about how "you're so smart, you can do anything!", and actually believes that being clever and rational is enough to carry the day. In doing so, he has fallen victim to a most debilitating memetic contagion. A pseudosopher is smart, though never quite as smart as he thinks he is, but also arrogant, often suffering from entitlement poisoning, and exceptionally lazy in some ways. Specifically, lazy in the sense that, while he may well put a great deal of effort into learning things that interest him, he will make the mistake of believing that the facility with which he acquires a decent layperson's knowledge of a particular subject equates with actual expertise. He may well have a field in which he is genuinely expert, commonly some form of science or engineering (computer science and IT are rife with them), but pride or intellectual laziness will make him reject the notion that this does not magically make him expert at all things.

A pseudosopher will also express a great veneration for logic and reasoning, purporting rationality and cold, logical discourse to be the highest and most important forms of intellectual pursuit and inquiry. Of course, he disparages emotion and empathy as silly and irrational, and thus unworthy of consideration. He will insist that he is always logical and rational, and deny that his emotions have anything to do with any conclusions he ever reaches, or anything he ever says to someone about anything, even while he transparently manipulates people around him in order to satisfy his (often woefully immature) emotional needs. He often believes, in particular, that women are inherently emotional, and thus unable to reason properly; since he believes reason to be the pinnacle of humanity, this naturally translates into thinking of women as lesser beings. In debates, he will resort to all sorts of fallacies while maintaining that, because he knows the names of those fallacies, he obviously cannot commit them; attempting to point them out to him will result in him becoming enraged and calling you "irrational" and "emotional", missing the irony completely.

This veneration of logic and reason above all else, of course, ties back into the laziness issue: because one can construct a valid argument from any set of premises, provided one uses the proper logical rules to reach a conclusion, the pseudosopher will treasure the ability to assume any number of absurd and insane ideas, and then proceed from those completely bogus premisese to a "logical" conclusion. In reality, as we all know, logic is useless without empirical observation; it is from those observations that we glean true premises, on which we can then build sound logical arguments, based not only in proper use of the rules of logic, but in actual fact as well. But, since that takes work, the pseudosopher prefers to simply look for existing memes (or invent new ones, though often that's also too much work) which suit his biases, adopt those as his "facts", and then base all of his careful logical arguments on them, regardless of their actual truth.

The final piece of the puzzle, of course, is entitlement, often accompanied by a large dose of paranoia. A pseudosopher generally believes that, because he is smart, he should automatically be successful, wealthy, powerful, beloved by the opposite sex (pseudosophers are almost never gay!), and so on. The fact that he is not these things, or if he is, not to the extent he believes he deserves, is never due to anything wrong with him; the cause, of course, is some external factor, often a conspiratorial group or political or social movement for which he has some preexisting antipathy. While some do go so far as to blame the Illuminati or aliens or something, most confine their paranoid delusions to actually existing targets: feminists, liberals, "the government", and organized religion are common culprits.

I've found that pseudosophers often gravitate towards Libertarianism as a political philosophy, because it appeals to all of these traits: it's a very logic-based, axiomatic philosophy, whose core principles are not based in empirical observation but are simply meant to be assumed true; it's a very good vehicle for paranoia, because the Libertarian pseudosopher can simply blame the government for any and all personal misfortunes or societal ills; it appeals to his sense of entitlement, because of its emphasis on property as the most fundamental right and the evils of people taking from him the fruits of his labor in the form of taxes, which he views not as the price of civilization but an onerous burden from which he derives no benefit (or none that he will acknowledge); and, because it's politically an "out-group", it allows him to claim persecuted "underdog" status without having to commit to any actually unpopular or risky political stances, or suffer any actual hardship.

(That said, I should add that you see a number of these types manifesting in radical socialist, Marxist groups as well. And, might I add, for the same reasons.)

The cure for this pernicious memetic disease is to somehow impart to the sufferer a sense of humility, coupled with at least a measure of empathy. Unfortunately, most of the pseudosophers I have met have been completely unreachable, as they don't even speak the same language as the rest of us. What they use will resemble English, but (especially if they are Libertarians or hardcore Marxists) with many common words redefined into "terms of art" that mean not what the rest of the English-speaking world mean, but what they want them to mean. They will not tell you that this is the case, of course, as this would both require effort, and some degree of empathy on their part, to realize that their understanding of something is not universal truth. Instead, they will mock you for not understanding them, while continuing to spout intellectual-sounding pronouncements that, on analysis, either make no Earthly sense whatsoever, or are utterly repugnant and unsupportable.

The best cure is prevention: instilling a healthy level of introspection and self-criticism, while maintaining a good level of praise for actual ability and accomplishment, along with emphasizing the need to understand the mental and emotional states of other human beings, is the only means I know to prevent infection. This is mostly a job for parents and teachers, not participants in an internet discussion, so to the latter, I advise only awareness, and perhaps a certain level of detached amusement.

OW

Aug. 22nd, 2010 09:38 pm
flewellyn: (Default)
I have a song stuck in my head, which I cannot dislodge no matter what I try.

The song? "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" by Kylie Minogue.

Painful AND ironic. Score!
flewellyn: (Default)
LimpingPigeon: Anywho... I must sleep.
LimpingPigeon: gotta be up in... five and a half hours. Ugh.
LimpingPigeon: Stupid job.
LimpingPigeon: Stupid work.
Flewellyn: Aww.
Flewellyn: Gnight Pigeon.
LimpingPigeon: I need to win lots of money so I cna quit and just draw all the time.
Flewellyn: *tuck tuck*
LimpingPigeon: and play video games.
Flewellyn: Or maybe get some more work doing drawing.
LimpingPigeon: and read manga.
LimpingPigeon: and buy a little tiny saddle to put on Morris.
Flewellyn: ...what?
LimpingPigeon: and tranquilizers so I can put the saddle on him without him shredding me.
Flewellyn: Why do you want to...
Flewellyn: I mean, WHAT?
LimpingPigeon: So I can give the bunnies riding lessons.
Flewellyn: You're...doing this on purpose, aren't you?
LimpingPigeon: *innocent look*
flewellyn: (Default)
"Antidisestablishmentarianism" is a poor choice for a safeword.
flewellyn: (Default)
Feeling a bit silly the other night, I left a review on Amazon of the King James Bible.

Reproduced here for your convenience:

Disappointing.

The language is rather lovely, and poetic, although portions of the book do appear to resort to excessive synopsis. The third and fourth chapters, in particular, are guilty of this, with the third being a drab list of rules and regulations presented without elaboration, in a sort of authorial filibuster, and the fourth being a litany of tedious revenge fantasies. Some of the later chapters are quite interesting, and there's an lovely romantic interlude, but the tendency towards authorial filibuster doesn't completely disappear.

Also, the main character is a bit inconsistent, sometimes appearing kind and loving, while other times wrathful and vengeful. This dichotomy could be an interesting plot device, but alas the book never goes into detail about why the disparity exists. We are simply left to wonder at it, or just figure "that's how it is". Frustrating.

The book does suffer a bit from uneven editing, as well. For instance, there's a fascinating tale about a golden bull statue, which is unaccountably buried in between two tedious and nearly identical descriptions of carpentry. What's the deal? I admit that editing such a large work can be trying, but surely such duplication should be easy to avoid!

Overall, though, it's not bad. I am rather disappointed that the publishers chose to bundle the inferior and hackneyed sequel with the groundbreaking and innovative original, however. Really, if the sequel can't stand on its own merits, why include it at all?



I'm rather pleased with it, myself.
flewellyn: (Default)
So, I'm getting ready for work, and I chance to see Bella laying on the floor. At first I think she's just lounging, but then I notice that she is rolling back and forth, thrashing around, while furiously licking herself.

Apparently, Bella likes to make washing herself into an extreme sport.
flewellyn: (Default)
Last night, when I came home, I found Miette flopped in one of my new saucer chairs. These are foldable, mini-Papasan chairs. Nice and comfy, and also lightweight and easy to move. I got them partly as auxilliaries for company, and partly to replace my old recliners, which are now gone (and thank goodness, they were busted and covered in cat hair).

I didn't want the cats getting hair all over these chairs, so I tipped her out and folded them both up.

This morning, when I woke up...

I found her flopped against them.

They were leaning up on the wall, and she was leaning against them.

It looked so sad and pathetic that I unfolded them and plopped her back in one.

Such a sucker...
flewellyn: (Default)
I was challenged by a friend today to come up with one nice thing to say about George W Bush.

After thinking hard for nearly five minutes, all I could manage was this:

"I'm sure he's biodegradable."
flewellyn: (Default)
Did you hear the one about the cat who ate some cheese, and waited at the mousehole with baited breath?
flewellyn: (Default)
LimpingPigeon is reading about odd urban legends related to conception

LimpingPigeon: Hahah. "Douchin with Coca-Cola" that's one I hadn't heard before.
LimpingPigeon: I always say i'll try anything once, but I don't really think I want to squirt Cola into my vagina.
LimpingPigeon: I mean... it would get all sticky.
Flewellyn: *snrk*
LimpingPigeon: And the carbonation would just feel really weird.
LimpingPigeon: I do not want a fizzy vagina. That would just be wrong.
LimpingPigeon: Although it would be a great band name.
Flewellyn: Fizzy Vagina?
LimpingPigeon: Yep.
LimpingPigeon: Y'know... they could be a kind of sexy pop band.
LimpingPigeon: *ducks*
flewellyn: (Default)
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flewellyn: (Default)
So, I saw at Shakesville a video and transcript by a deeply conservative, apparently Catholic, fundamentalist, asserting that if you use condoms, you will not be Raptured. This guy calls himsel the "Third Eagle of the Apocalypse", and insists he is "Co-Prophet of the End Times".

Several responses come to mind.

First off, "Third Eagle of the Apocalypse" would be an awesome name for a heavy metal band. Or else an album. I could see Manowar, or maybe Mythic Slaughterbeast, putting out an album with that name.

Second, what the hell is with the fundie hate for contraception and disease prevention? Is their manhood so threatened by the idea of not putting their "holy spirit" in every possible woman that they have to ruin everything for the rest of us? (Rhetorical question. Of course, the answer is yes.)

But last, and more importantly, those silly fundie Christians who misread their Bibles! There's nothing about a "rapture"! What they're waiting for is the RUPTURE.

That's when God will take all the people, of all faiths, who believe that they are God's speshul snowflakes, and that this gives them license to behave badly towards others, and assume them bodily into the heavens.

Not Heaven, but the heavens. As in, low Earth orbit.

They will not be given any special means to survive in hard vacuum, however. That's why it's called "the Rupture".

And it can't come soon enough.
flewellyn: (Default)
Dubbug: *dead*
Flewellyn: Hi bug!
Flewellyn: Why are you dead?
Dubbug: why not?
Flewellyn: Because dead is bad?
Dubbug: no, then I ccan be undead
Flewellyn: Oh.
Flewellyn: Brains?
Dubbug: no
Dubbug: I don't got brains
Dubbug: peaaaaas
Flewellyn: I mean, do you want brains?
Dubbug: *eat all your peas*
flewellyn: (Default)
Thanks to my practice of giving bizarre tags to batshit insane fundie books on Amazon, there are now ten books under "autoerotic blowtorch sodomy".

I feel I've really accomplished something.

Edit: Some of my friends have been busy. It's up to 13 now.
flewellyn: (Default)
Flewellyn: I just had another one of those holy shit moments.
LimpingPigeon: I warned you about those bran communion wafers.
flewellyn: (Default)
Dubbug: how's flew?
Flewellyn: Pretty good.
Flewellyn: I had good dinner.
Dubbug: ooo
Dubbug: turkey?
Flewellyn: Nope.
Flewellyn: Hungarian goulash.
Dubbug: GHOULS!??!?!!?
Flewellyn: No, goulash.
Flewellyn: It's a kind of beef gravy dish.
Dubbug: it's not even hallowe'en yet!!!
Dubbug: wha?!
Flewellyn: With paprika.
Dubbug: ghouls aren't made of beef you know...?
Flewellyn: This has nothing to do with ghouls.
Flewellyn: It's just a coincidence of spelling.
Dubbug: erk
Dubbug: I doubt it!
Dubbug: I bet it was some sneaky secret thing waaaaaaay back
Dubbug: and ppl just forgot it
Dubbug: ...or the secret managed to NOT leak, for once
Flewellyn: You absurd bug.
Dubbug: am not!
Flewellyn: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goulash
Dubbug: I am most definately not a bean curd!
Dubbug: wait...absurd?
Dubbug: what's that?
Flewellyn: It means very silly.
Dubbug: oh, definately not that, either
Dubbug: CAULDRON!
Flewellyn: Yup.
Dubbug: it's HAS to have ghouls in it NOW!
Dubbug: a WITCH MADE ITTTTT
Flewellyn: Witches can make perfectly good food, you know.
Dubbug: so?
Dubbug: I never said ghouls were not tastey
Flewellyn: Hmm.
Dubbug: I just never had them before
flewellyn: (Default)
Okay, so I'm not a huge fan of fanfic. I like writing stuff, and I like reading stuff...but I prefer to write stuff about my OWN stuff. I will gladly be inspired by the works of others, but I want to make my own plots, my own settings, and my own characters. It's just a thing.

I'm also not usually fond of reading fanfic. I've made some exceptions, but most of the time I am not interested. I find, in particular, the idea of crossovers to be hideously wrong. To me, it doesn't make sense to mix together two fictional worlds, which have different assumptions and serve different narrative needs.

But, doing so humorously can be a delightful bit of evil fun, and so I have lately found myself trying to think of the worst possible crossover ideas ever. Paul T. Riddell, former sci-fi and comics writer, came up with my first entry: Absolutely Fabulous/Farscape.

Here are some of my own:
  • The Shield/Diff'rent Strokes

  • Stargate SG-1/My Little Pony

  • Hellraiser/Care Bears

  • Aliens/Harry Potter (whence the post title)

  • and

  • Silent Hill/Sesame Street
If any of you have any other ideas, I dread welcome them in comments!

EDIT: One more: A Midsummer Night's Dream/Night of the Living Dead.

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