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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

"Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions, including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog." - Doug Larson

***

Me: am I bigger than you? o_0

Someone: i'm very confident that you are
you definitely can do paizuri

Me: ><

you want to help?

Someone: i don't have a dick, sorry ):
i'd really want one, but its not worth the trouble


Someone else: it's hard to say at first glance

how much more is more
in both likes and money

Me: haha
well

go back to bolehland!

Someone else: ugh

i think when bad people die
they go to bolehland

Me: HAHAHAAHAHAHAH

that's why all of you come here

Someone else: oh well

to snatch your jobs obviously
and your women
and terrorize your old folks

what else..


ME: go mexico lor

MFTTW: hallo

that reuqires me to convince my friend to drive me there
-_-

Me: not far mah

MEXICAN COKE

MFTTW: ....

Me: what
didnt' you complain abt HFCS [Ed: High Fructose Corn Syrup]

MFTTW: huh?

OH MEXICAN COCA COLA
NOT MEXICAN COCAINE
-_-


Someone on UK visa restrictions: I'm glad I come from a country with a surplus of arts graduates.... I wonder what a society with a surplus of scientists and engineers would look like. Not pretty, probably.

Me: Richer.

Someone: Ha ha, touche!


Someone else: dun like girly boys

Me: hurr hurr
so you're a top!

Someone else: mmm

no i like tops
silly
O_O"

Me: eh
oops

but you quite aggro what

Someone else: as a lesbian friend of mine once said

its more fashionable these days
to not be limited to a label
or to be defined by a label

why u wanna still maintain a stereotype?

top or bottoms
whatever

even men and women...

its more fun being ambiguous
theres a term of those like that lol

Me: "dysfunctional"

Someone else: no

Me: hurr hurr


Someone: you know, I envy these people I meet on the *** fanboard, who so confidently assert they're right and they 'know' texts

I'm like, I don't know! I don't know anything! how can you say you know it ALL?

I guess it's a bit tiring in general -- but I must say I never realised that

I mean I began listneing to them way before any of this analysing business
and it's a sad coincidence most people I like -- I find out AFTER that the person who wrote the song studied english at uni. It's a bit sad. I find it hard to appreciate like.... 'pure blatant' songs

when I hear what *** likes -- for instance - that horrid song 'you're the inspiration' my blood curdles... it's like URGH YUK
he used to play such songs all day

and I'd counter with my own stuff, which he, in turn, hated. Felt it was difficult and depressing

he loves 'simplicity', he married it
I sure hope I don't marry 'complexity' though. Marry a good writer and you'd be a widow in a decade cuz he would've killed himself


Frigid Girl: i know people who turned gay cos it's more fashionable
idiots

Me: what happened to them

Frigid Girl: just started dressing up and hanging out in clubs with gays lor
cos they feel better being with the marginalised group

Me: are they still gay
and how many years has it been

Frigid Girl: i lost contact

it's 'cool' being with the outcasts
idiots lar

Me: [they're] torpedoing the "being gay is not a choice" campaign


Someone: I got into a fight with a 'feminist'

how horrid

...

she also said
everything can be construed as feminist and non feminist

I think that's absolutely STUPID

if I eat char kway teow instead od hokkien mee
what the FUCK
does THAT have to do with feminism!?

REALLY

...

I just think -- this is me -- you should just take a stand
be informed of the various sorts but just go with what you want

it's like any other contentious term lah
if you go around iffying about every single interpretation and insisting each is right you're going to go nuts

Me: like 'char kway teow'?
ask a malaysian what he thinks of singapore-style char kway teow

Someone: OO

...

Me: when you say char kway teow in malaysia they think penang char kway teow

here at least people are less parochial
they know that different types of char kway teow exist


Cunning Linguist: err i dont really pink nipples are common in asian girls

i dunno why there is even a difference
and i didnt even know pink nipples existed till some years back

cos i remember someone telling me when u lose ur virginity ur nipples will change color
LOL

i read it somewhere also
but i think its bullshit lah

maybe u can do ur dissertation on different nipple colors


MFTTW: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Intelligent Design

HURR HURRR HURRRR
scroll down to "what do customers ultimately buy after viewing this item" 26% buy "the gospel of the flying spaghetti monster"


Cunning Linguist on an article on cunnilingis: i was super entertained reading it in class just now
this china dude passed it to me no less

there are other sex articles
maybe there are some on the blowjob

but i bet its some gender/feminism thing going on tts why dont have
the writer is a girl

Me: yah
if a guy wrote one on blowjobs he'd be called a pervert

Cunning Linguist: true
but a girl writes abt it shes empowered

Me: oh well
men are evil

Cunning Linguist: DO NOT DISAGREE

Me: hurr hurr
I fly over there to oppress you then you know

Cunning Linguist: hahaha
i will marginalize you back


Someone on Japan: and they might think your hair is weird even if they wont ask you to lop it off

so guess it depends what level of 'accepting' you want

Me: if they hire me can already

unlike feminists and queer theorists I do not insist on total equality
people will always differ from social norms, and norms being what they are they will always resist deviance

"your dress is ugly" is arguably a form of oppression

Someone: hahaha or it cld be freedom of expression!

Me: speech is oppressive ;)

Someone: hahahah as is silence!

Me: let the oppression olympics begin
“Incorruptible men, who have no other passion besides the well-being and glory of their country, do not dread the public expression of the sentiments of their fellow citizens. They know only too well that it is not easy to lose their esteem, when one can counter calumny with an irreproachable life and proof of disinterested zeal; if they are sometimes victims of a passing persecution, this is, for them, a badge of their glory, the brilliant testimony of their virtue; they rest assured with gentle confidence in the suffering of a pure conscience and the force of truth which will soon reconcile theirs with their fellow citizens.”

--- Robespierre on political defamation
"If you drink, don't drive. Don't even putt." - Dean Martin

***

The Beauty of a Woman

Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater.

If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby.

If you give her a house, she'll give you a home.

If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal.

If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart.

A woman multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.

Why is this important for every man to know?

Because if you give her any crap, you need be ready to receive a ton of shit in return.

Friday, December 05, 2008

"Not every story has explosions and car chases. That's why they have nudity and espionage." - Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum

***

The Lopsided Ivory Tower: Reflections on a Controversy Occasioned by a Conference

"The vast majority of professors, at most public universities and many prestigious private ones as well, hold and espouse views that are liberal-to-left and advance their views by affiliating themselves with the Democrat party. As a result, there is less intellectual "diversity" on campus than in the society at large. This want of diversity is said to violate the core ideals of higher education and to skew both research and instruction, as well as undermine the credibility of higher education in the eyes of taxpayers, many of whom may be disinclined to support politically lopsided campuses...

It is unlikely that any group possesses the only truth and the whole truth, as John Stuart Mill reminds us in On Liberty: "Popular opinions are often true, but seldom or never the whole truth. They are a part of the truth; sometimes a greater, sometimes a smaller part, but exaggerated, distorted, and disjointed from the truths by which they ought to be accompanied and limited." In other words, it is imperative that truth-seekers listen to, and sometimes embrace, the claims of rivals. This is the most effective and reliable method for analyzing and resolving social and political controversies:

In politics, again, it is almost a commonplace that a party of order or stability and a party of progress or reform are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life.... Each of these modes of thinking derives its utility from the deficiencies of the other; but it is in a great measure the opposition of the other that keeps each within the limits of reason and sanity. Unless...all the other antagonisms of practical life are expressed with equal freedom and enforced and defended with equal talent and energy, there is no chance of both elements obtaining their due; one scale is sure to go up, and the other down. Truth, in the great practical concerns of life, is so much a question of the reconciling and combining of opposites that very few have minds sufficiently capacious and impartial to make the adjustment with an approach to correctness, and it has to be made by the rough process of a struggle between combatants fighting under hostile banners.


... Almost every department in the humanities and social sciences has instituted in the curriculum--to some degree and in some way--politically orthodox approaches and topics. Class/Race/Gender approaches, which now permeate the humanities and social sciences (and are increasingly found in other disciplines and professional schools), incorporate an avowedly left-leaning political orientation. Many of the "studies" disciplines--African-American Studies, Women's Studies, Gay/Lesbian/Bi-sexual/Transgendered Studies, Pornography Studies, Peace Studies, White Studies, Fat Studies, etc.--promote a generally leftwing appraisal of the world. Middle Eastern Studies, for example, has been so warped and corrupted by anti-Israel and anti-American biases that, according to Martin Kramer, it has repeatedly failed to foresee or understand tectonic changes in the Middle East, with tragic human consequences. Cultural Studies--an interdisciplinary field focused on the poetics and politics of popular culture--has been shaped by leftwing theorists, including Marx, Sartre, Foucault, Lacan, the Frankfurt School, and Gramsci. The assumption governing these "study" areas is that the Truth has been found, and it merely needs to be conveyed to students...

The Center for Survey Research and Analysis (CSRA) at the University of Connecticut surveyed randomly chosen undergraduates in the top 50 colleges and universities (as listed by U.S. News & World Report). Forty-nine percent of the students surveyed said that their professors "frequently injected political comments into their courses, even if they had nothing to do with the subject." Twenty-nine percent of the respondents felt that they had to agree with the political views of the professor to get a good grade. Forty-eight percent reported that panels and lecture series on political issues seemed "totally one-sided." Forty-six percent said professors "used the classroom to present their personal political views." And 42% faulted reading assignments for presenting only one side of a controversial issue. A majority of the students responding considered themselves liberal or radical. Only 10% of the respondents were majoring in political science or government. The vast majority were studying subjects like biology, engineering, and psychology...

A study by Redding of articles appearing in American Psychologist between 1990 and 1999 revealed that 96% of the articles expressing any political views expressed liberal views. As Redding also points out, research is distorted in another way as well--by the exclusion of research that might correct one's own. The works of avowed conservatives (inside and outside academia) are rarely read and cited by academic researchers (unless to be sneered at). The prevailing assumption seems to be that nothing is to be learned from conservative scholars. The exclusion of conservative viewpoints has an insidious effect on intellectual honesty, creativity, and progress. As Redding puts it, "lacking political diversity, we maintain a dominant liberal discourse that may result in the biased evaluation or exclusion of conservative ideas as well as undue confidence in the validity of liberal paradigms, thus undermining the accuracy of our scientific theories and findings"...

In 2002, Boston University held a conference on "The State of the Social Sciences." Session III addressed the issue of "The Political Leanings of the Social Sciences." One participant, Peter Wood, pointed out some of the negative effects of ideological commitment and uniformity. First, they induce scholars to lie and to accept the lies of others to advance a political agenda. There is little interest in uncovering inaccuracies in congenial research, and when these inaccuracies do come to light, they often are either ignored or denied. Second, they induce scholars to engage in self-deception. Social scientists are prone to identify with the people they think they should help. This identification provides a powerful incentive for social scientists to interpret data in ways that might advance the cause of people in need of a break. Third, social scientists who live in a political echo chamber move to the extreme, nursing the notion that "we can erase human nature, or that there is no such thing as human nature, that it is all culture, it is all therefore malleable, that we can change the world to suit some sort of ideal." For Wood, this is putting "social science in the service of something that ultimately is destructive" to both the social sciences and the people that are supposedly to be helped (191-92). And fourth, a lopsided political commitment within the social sciences poses a danger to academic freedom. Academic freedom is predicated upon truth-seeking and commitment to fairness (192). Academic freedom guarantees that scholars can "freely question and teach and pursue ideas where ever they might lead us. But if we are engaged in lying, if we are engaged in self-deception, if we are engaged in a wrongful sort of utopianism, I think we put that academic freedom in jeopardy" (Wood 192)...

Many academics find nothing wrong with the current ideological lopsidedness of higher education. As professor Hollinger blithely put it, what's the problem with a given department being 90% Democrat? Although he used "90%," I think he would ask the same question if it were 100%. Hollinger sees nothing problematic with this situation because he does not see Democrat/left values and policies as biased. They are the "truth," and 100% of the "truth" is a Good Thing. Hollinger believes that these values and policies are "true" and "good" because he assumes that they have undergone authentic and rigorous vetting. According to his thinking, then, what liberal academics believe must be morally and intellectually superior to those of their opponents. This is why he sees any effort to redress the political imbalance on campus as a nefarious conspiracy against the truth.

This sense of ethical superiority is reinforced by the widespread conviction amongst academics that one of their most important professional duties is to wage war against racism, homophobia, sexism, and imperialism. These terms, of course, can mean what Humpty Dumpty wants them to. They are almost always defined to condemn attitudes and policies that differ from those espoused by the left. A Republican or conservative is, by definition, a "racist," "homophobe," etc. The notion of allowing more of these intellectually impoverished and morally vile people into the citadel of higher education must strike many on the left as absurd and reprehensible. Given this widespread and unquestioned "conservaphobia," no amount of evidence or argument is likely to convince a critical mass of academics to make room for right-of-center colleagues to any significant degree, if at all."
"If little else, the brain is an educational toy." - Tom Robbins

***

My Favourite Periodical:


September 13th:

"In her idiosyncratic way, Mrs Palin also represents the fulfilment of the feminist dream. She demonstrates that gender is no longer a barrier to success in one of the most conservative corners of the land, the Alaska Republican Party. She also proves that you can be a career woman without needing to subscribe to any fixed feminist ideology. Camille Paglia hails her as the biggest step forward for feminism since Madonna. One can argue, as we have, that it was astoundingly reckless of Mr McCain to have picked her on the basis of having once met her for 15 minutes. But if feminism means, at its core, that women should be able to compete equally in the workplace while deciding for themselves how they organise their family life, then Mrs Palin deserves to be treated as a pioneer, not dismissed as a crackpot."


September 20th:

"Things have been so good that perfume-makers face a new product-liability problem in Russia, where oligarchs’ girlfriends buy dozens of bottles in order to bathe in a fragrance, unaware that this can be deadly."

“The extractive industries, firms like Shell, got the message about political risk 30 years ago, but most of the Fortune 100 weren’t thinking this way until recently,” says Mr Bremmer. “Corporates in the tech area are among the worst, perhaps because their management is suffused with engineers.”


September 27th:

"I was surprised at your positive treatment of Islamic finance (“Savings and souls”, September 6th). Islamic finance taps into a captive market where people pay a premium in order to buy products that differ mostly in semantic terms from their mainstream alternatives.

These products are sanctioned by a select group of self-appointed scholars, who receive a tidy fee for their troubles, and have an interest in maintaining strict barriers to entry. Most users of such products doubtless do so sincerely, but I expected you to condemn those who sell them as old-fashioned rent-seekers.

Philip Blue
London"

"Muslims the world over poured scorn on Sheikh Muhammad Munjad, a puritanical Palestinian preacher, when he suggested earlier this month, on a Saudi television show, that since mice are abhorrent to God, Mickey Mouse deserved to die."


"Far from being some newfangled experiment of the 1990s, humanitarian intervention was a relatively familiar practice in Europe in the 19th century, Mr Bass says, and was understood as such, not just by the intervening countries, but also by those whose sovereignty was being violated. Then, as now, states would sometimes seek to cloak their rapacious imperialist designs in sanctimonious humanitarian rhetoric. But politicians are not always cynics or hypocrites, at least not always totally so, he argues. On occasion, states are genuinely driven by morality, even when it goes against their own interests.

Britain’s campaign against the slave trade and then slavery itself was waged at the cost of severe damage to its sugar industry, the souring of its relations with America and France, and the loss of some 5,000 British troops’ lives. Indeed, throughout the 19th century, Mr Bass says, Britain repeatedly went against its own realpolitik interests—notably its desire to check Russian expansionism—out of a genuine sense of humanity.

The doctrine of national sovereignty has always been fairly flexible, he argues. “Do not let me be told that one nation has no authority over another,” Gladstone thundered in 1894: “Every nation, and if need be every human being, has authority on behalf of humanity and of justice.”"


October 4th:

"One Confucian Chinese says with a rueful smile that most of the pretty girls at university were Christians–and would date only other Christians."

"Barack Obama does not let his audiences forget that he will not hire or take money from lobbyists. But he cheerfully collects donations from lobbyists’ relations, lobbyists can volunteer to advise his campaign, and he rakes in tens of millions of dollars from lawyers. Mr Obama has certainly taken cash from lobbyists in the past"

[On Obama] "His voting record is one of the most liberal in the Senate, but in his books, he tends to present two sides of each policy argument without reaching many firm conclusions. During the campaign he has tacked to the centre. Even professional observers are now thoroughly unsure what he stands for."

"Apologies for past wrongs by present-day institutions are trickier still. Jonathan Sumption, a London lawyer and historian, calls them “a vulgar anachronism”—in effect, he says, “a rebuke to the past for not being more like the present”. Trading apologies and forgiveness on behalf of dead people sounds phoney—especially when the issue is centuries old (such as Viking rape and pillage in Ireland, which Denmark’s culture minister Brian Mikkelson bemoaned in 2007). Collective guilt is an odd idea even in the present (and has often been, Mr Sumption notes, the root of just the kind of massacres for which people are now apologising)."


October 11th:

"The Economist supporting a massive bail-out? Now I’ve seen everything. The only thing left to do is change the name of your newspaper to The Communist.

Carlos Ferrero
Salamanca, Spain"


October 18th:

[On a Rush Visa pre-paid charge card] "“This card is meant to get people laid, get them feeling dignity,” he says."


October 25th:

"You always bandy about the phrase “mildly Islamist” in articles on Indonesia and Turkey; indeed, you seem incapable of writing “Islamist” in any context other than suicidal fanaticism without putting “mildly” in front of it. Religion is not mild. It is a deep and abiding belief in the righteousness of one’s personal God that when unconstrained in government translates into correspondingly uncompromising legislation. The ransacked mosques in Jakarta of Ahmadiyah, a moderate Muslim sect, and the dwindling Christian populations of eastern Turkey are witness to the effects of even “mildly” dogmatic policy.

It is not the charters of religious parties that preserve the freedoms of non-believers in Indonesia and Turkey, but the safeguard institutions of, respectively, pancasila and the secular military, without which your favourite adverb would be mildly inaccurate.

Drew Newman
Jakarta"

"I find it somewhat inconsistent that as a society we are more than happy to profit from the sale of alcohol or cigarettes, the abuse of which indisputably causes medical harm or death, yet we squirm at the concept of creating a financial market for organ donations, which saves lives. As more and more people die needlessly, we might finally end up with a donation system that maximises utility of what shouldn’t be a scarce resource.

Austin Locke
New York"


"Other evidence does indeed show that homosexuals tend to be “gender atypical” in areas beside their choice of sexual partner. Gay men often see themselves as being more feminine than straight men do, and, mutatis mutandis, the same is true for lesbians. To a lesser extent, homosexuals tend to have gender-atypical careers, hobbies and other interests.

Personality tests also show differences, with gay men ranking higher than straight men in standardised tests for agreeableness, expressiveness, conscientiousness, openness to experience and neuroticism. Lesbians tend to be more assertive and less neurotic than straight women."


"Mark Abler, a Canadian writer, says the protection of endangered species is closely linked to the preservation of tongues. On a recent expedition in Australia, a rare turtle was found to have two varieties; a dying but rich native language, Gagudju, had different words for each kind."
Wth?! They're really desperate.


November 1st:

"Your rather sombre defence of capitalism reminded me of the late John Kenneth Galbraith, who said once that one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

Murali Reddy
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey"

"The French seem extraordinarily tolerant about being spied on in their daily life. The tradition reaches back far, and not only to dark times under Nazi occupation. Recently published archive documents from the Paris police headquarters include a leather-bound volume of intelligence files on 415 prostitutes, and two registers containing files on 1,200 homosexuals—all collected by police spies under Napoleon III."

"As a rule of thumb—call it the Richard Scarry rule—politicians will rarely challenge interests that feature in children’s books: such as farmers, fishermen, firemen and those that build exciting things. Mr Sarkozy told the European Parliament recently that EU leaders had a duty to ensure Europe could “continue to build aeroplanes, boats, trains and cars”... Mario Monti, a former EU competition commissioner, recalls how finance ministers would often visit Brussels, begging him to rule against subsidies they had promised to some local company, perhaps in the heat of an electoral campaign. They were “delighted” whenever he promised to block the state aid—with the understanding that, of course, they would condemn the commission’s move in public."

[On penalising Johns rather than Hos] "A sex-workers’ association in Sweden says the law makes life dangerous for those who ply their trade secretly. A life of dodging between apartments and exchanging furtive texts can leave women more reliant on pimps. Another argument is that fear of prosecution reduces the chances that clients will report the exploitation of under-age girls or boys."

"In 2003, [New Zealand] decriminalised the sex trade with a boldness that exceeded that of the Dutch. Sex workers were allowed to ply their trade more or less freely, either at home, in brothels or on the street. A study published by the government in May, measuring the impact of the new law, was encouraging. More than 60% of prostitutes felt they had more power to refuse clients than they did before. The report reckoned that only about 1% of women in the business were under the legal age of 18. And only 4% said they had been pressured into working by someone else... One unusual investigation concluded that from the prostitutes’ point of view, the New Zealand system was the fairest. A pair of British grandmothers from the Women’s Institute—a homely club that is more often associated with cooking tips [gave] top marks went to a discreet house in a suburb of Wellington—classed in New Zealand as a “small owner-operated brothel”—where two women offered their services from Mondays to Fridays. “Just like a regular job,” one of the grannies noted."

"Chanel’s logo is a pair of entwined “Cs”, the initials of the company’s founder, Coco Chanel, but given the price of Chanel’s wares the letters could just as easily stand for “credit crunch”."


November 8th:

[On war denial] "The public reaction to the affair reinforces how beleaguered these days are Japan’s history-deniers, says Jeffrey Kingston, a historian of Asia at Temple University in Tokyo. Even Yasukuni has toned down the exhibits in its notorious museum, where until recently militarism was celebrated and all atrocities denied. The most notable denial was of the Nanjing massacre of tens (or possibly hundreds) of thousands of Chinese in December 1937. Now the museum admits that killings took place, but suggests they were of enemy soldiers disguised as civilians."

"Esmeray wields a sharp tongue to expose the systematic violence faced by fellow transvestites. “I am a Kurd, a transvestite and a feminist, so I am screwed all round,” she says."

[On Patty Hearst and her time] "Some of this effort, however, stretches credulity: the break-up of the Beatles and the fact that Paul McCartney played all the instruments on “The Lovely Linda” are apparently proof of “the transition from group to individual”."
"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." - Samuel Johnson (attr)

***

Clinton's civil response to Lee Kuan Yew
South China Morning Post

"Singapore's infamous censorship regulations have never quite applied to its officials, nor has their sensitivity about criticism from outside inhibited them from commenting on other governments.

The island nation's founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, underlined that point on Tuesday with his commentary on various global issues in a speech to the Clinton Global Initiative. And yesterday Bill Clinton felt compelled to clarify one of Mr Lee's remarks - the rather disparaging suggestion that Asian culture, based on Confucian values, inherently meant civic groups were weaker in Asia than in Europe and the United States.

Mr Lee, the former US president declared, "gave a very historically accurate answer about Confucian society ... but ... it's not a factually accurate description of where you are today. I mean, this gentlemen [Wang Jianzhou, executive director of China Mobile ] has 450 million customers of his cellphones, he does not have to be here ... Michelle [Yeoh Choo Kheng] could be making another film at the moment. None of you have to be here. It's important that we say to the rest of the world that Asia is a part of not just the global economy but in building a global civil society".

Did he mean Singaporean society should be a model for the rest of the world? We think not, though Mr Lee would doubtless say otherwise."
"The best way out is always through." - Robert Frost

***

Changed the description again:

"Agagooga is a recent graduate of the the Premier Institution of Social Engineering [NB: But not an engineer].

He likes to think of himself as a Renaissance Man and is a student of the Misery of the Human Condition.

He is currently working towards his long term plan to achieve his 3 dreams by trying to find a job and learning French.

His current motivational slogan is: "君子报仇,十年不晚""
"A sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering happier times." - Lord Alfred Tennyson

***

"The prevalence of this tendency to obiectify values — and not only moral ones — is confirmed by a pattern of thinking that we find in existentialists and those influenced by them. The denial of obiective values can carry with it an extreme emotional reaction, a feeling that nothing matters at all, that life has lost its purpose. Of course this does not follow; the lack of objective values s not a good reason for abandoning subjective concern or for ceasing to want anything. But the abpndonment of a belief in objective values can cause, at least temporarily, a decay of subjective concern and sense of purpose. That it does so is evidence that the people in whom this reaction occurs have been tending to objectify their concerns and purposes, have been giving them a fictitious external authority. A claim to objectivity has been so strongly associated with their subjective concerns and purposes that the collapse of the former seems to undermine the latter as well...

Yet at the end [Bertrand Russell] admits:

Certainly there seems to be something more. Suppose, for example, that some one were to advocate the introduction of bullfighting in this country. In opposing the proposal, I should feel, not only that I was expressing my desires, but that my desires in the matter are right, whatever that may mean. As a matter of argument, I can, 1 think, show that I am not guilty of any logical inconsistency in holding to the above interpretation of ethics and at the same time expressing strong ethical preferences. But in feeling I am not satisfied.


But he concludes, reasonably enough, with the remark: 'I can only say that, while my own opinions as to ethics do not satisfy me, other people's satisfy me still less.'...

'Moral sense' or 'intuition' is an initially more plausible description of what supplies many of our basic moral judgments than 'reason'...

As Cudworth and Clarke and Price, for example, show, even those who still admit divine commands, or the positive law of God, may believe moral values to have an independent objective but still action-guiding authority. Responding to Plato’s Euthyphro dilemma, they believe that God commands what he commands because it is in itself good or right, not that it is good or right merely because and in that he commands it. Otherwise God himself could not be called good. Price asks, ‘What can be more preposterous, than to make the Deity nothing but will; and to exalt this on the ruins of his attributes?’ The apparent objectivity of moral value is a widespread phenomenon which has more than one source: the persistence of a belief in something like divine law when the belief in the divine legislator has faded out is only one factor among others...

It is curious that so much interest has been concentrated on the word ‘ought’, which is a relatively weak modal auxiliary. Anyone who really means business uses ‘must’ or ‘shall’ rather than ‘ought’ (or ‘should’) in his moral pronouncements. The Ten Commandments are not given in English in the form 'You ought not to have any other gods before me ... You ought not to kill...’ and we should get a rather different message if they were...

The thorough-going Nazi, the hard-core fanatic, is the man who will sincerely prescribe that he himself and his family should be exterminated if it turns out that they are Jews by descent. He is prepared to follow the second as well as the first stage of universalization, but not the third: his attachment to the Aryan ideal is so strong and inflexible that he will give no weight to interests which are incompatible with that ideal, and which would be valued in the light of other ideals which he neither shares nor respects. The ordinary run of Nazis, as distinct from these fanatics, are merely thoughtless and insensitive: they have failed to carry out the second stage of universalization, for example, to consider seriously what it would be like if they themselves were Jews; but, if they did this, their adherence to Nazism would be undermined.

The position of Hare’s liberal reveals one of the above-mentioned indeterminacies. Can the liberal, if he is to give equal weight to all ideals, have any ideals of his own other than this liberal one itself — the second order ideal of weighting all first order ideals equally? If he has some first order ideals, we must distinguish him in his role as a participant in this first order conflict from him in his role as a third stage universalizer, giving equal weight to all actually-held ideals, and looking upon himself qua participant as one among many...

Thinking in standard moral terms, seriously prescriptive and genuinely universalizable in this first way, carries such a willingness with it. But the (supposed) truth of this logical thesis does not compel anyone to think this way, even under penalty of illogicality. For one can with complete consistency refrain from using moral language at all, or again one can use moral terms with only part and not the whole their standard moral force. The fact that the word ‘atom’, used in nineteenth-century physics, had as part of its meaning ‘indivisible particle of matter’ did not in itself, even in the nineteenth century, compel anyone to believe that there are indivisible material particles. One could either refrain from using the term ‘atom’ in affirmative statements or, as physicists have subsequently done, use the term with other parts of its meaning only, dropping the requirement of indivisibility. A logical or semantic truth is no real constraint on belief; nor, analogously, can one be any real constraint upon action or prescription or evaluation or choice of policy.

[Ed: One for the etymological fallacy people and strong proponents of Sapir-Whorf]

... The contrast between Protagoras and Hobbes points at least to a change in the scale of the problem. Protagoras was looking for the ordering principles of a city, a polis, and in Greece a polis could be pretty small: his problem was how men could form social units large enouugh to compete with the wild beasts. But for Hobbes the problem was how to maintain a stable nation state. Today the scale has changed again: we can no longer share Hobbes’s assumption that it is only civil wars that are really a menace, that international wars do relatively little harm. Warnock thinks it is slightly improper for a philosopher to take any account at all of contingent empirical facts about the human predicament; but we might argue that, given this general approach, he should have taken more account of them, not less...

Technological advances of many kinds have put greatly increased powers into the hands of some men and some organizations. These include powers to do harm; for example, to wage nuclear war. Also, powers to do at least apparent good. As Belloc said:

Of old, when folk were sick and sorely tried
The doctors gave them physic, and they died;
But here’s a happier age, for now we know
Both how to make men sick and keep them so.


... It is tempting to speak of all these as increased powers that mankind (or ‘Man’) now has and may use in one way or another or refrain from using. But this is utterly misleading. Mankind is not an agent; it has no unity of decision; it is therefore not confronted with any choices. Our game theory examples have made even plainer what should have been plain enough without them, that a plurality of interacting rational agents does not in general constitute a rational agent, and that the resultant of a number of choices is not in general a choice. These powers are scattered about: they are possessed, and may be exercised, by some men or groups of men or organizations, not by Man...

At the beginning of this chapter I said that morality is not to be discovered but to be made; we cannot brush this aside by adding ‘but it has been made already, long ago’. It may well need to be in part remade. Of course only in part. Nothing has altered or will alter the importance of being able to make and keep and rely on others keeping agreements. Hobbes’s third law of nature, that men perform their covenants made, is an eternal and immutable fragment of morality. But some more specific obligations traditionally attached to status, not created by contract, are dispensable; patriotism, for example, may have outlived its usefulness.

[Ed: I think I've figured out his Jedi Mind Trick: assuming the flourishing of mankind to be an objective good.]

... There is even a problem about the distribution of happinese within the life of one person. A period of misery followed by one of happiness seems preferable to a period of happiness followed by one of misery, even if the quantities of misery and happiness are respectively equal. However, it could be argued that order as such is indifferent; what makes the difference here is that when one is unhappy the anticipation of future happines is itself pleasant, whereas the recollection of past happiness is not (but is even, according to Tennyson and Dante, ‘sorrow’s crown of sorrow’) while the reverse holds for the anticipation and recollection of misery when one is happy. One can enjoy troubles when they are over. When we take into account these joys and sorrows of anticipation and recollection, the aggregate of happiness is greater when the order is right, even if the quantities of misery and happiness were otherwise equal...

All real societies, and all those which it is of direct practical use to consider, are ones whose members have to a great extent divergent and conflicting purposes. And we must expect that their actions will consist largely of the pursuit of these divergent and conflicting purposes, and consequently will not only not be motivated by a desire for the general happiness but also will commonly fail the proposed test of being such as to maximize the general happiness.

Act utilitarianism is by no means the only moral theory that displays this extreme of impracticality. The biblical commandment ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,’ though it has its roots in a mistranslation of a much more realistic rule, is often taken as prescribing a universal and equal concern for all men. So interpreted, it is, as Mill says, effectively equivalent to the utilitarian principle. And it is similarly impracticable. People simply are not going to put the interests of all their ‘neighbours’ on an equal footing with their own interests and specific purposes and with the interests of those who are literally near to them. Such universal concern will not be the actual motive of their choices, nor will they act as if it were.

[Ed:

"There does seem to be an interesting difference, though. between the Hebrew and Christian teachings on love of one’s neighbour, mainly due to early mistranslations. As the linguist Edward Ullendorff has argued. the correct translation from the Hebrew Bible, Leviticus 19: IX, is ‘thou shalt love thy neighbour, for he is as thou’, whereas the Christian Gospels, apparently following what would appear to be a Septuagint mistranslation, speaks of the command ‘thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’ " - Compassion and Remorse / Steven Tudor]

... To put forward as a morality in the broad sense something which, even if it were admirable, would be an utterly impossible ideal is likely to do, and surely has in fact done, more harm than good. It encourages the treatment of moral principles not as guides to action but as a fantasy which accompanies actions with which it is quite incompatible. It is a commonplace that religious morality often has little effect on the lives of believers. It is equally true, though not so frequently pointed out, that utilitarian morality is often treated as a topic of purely academic discussion, and is not taken any more seriously as a practical guide. In both cases the mistake is the same. To identify morality with something that certainly will not be followed is a sure way of bringing it into contempt practical contempt, which combines all too readily with theoretical respect.

But why, it may be asked, are such moralities of universal concern impracticable? Primarily because a large element of selfishness — or, in an older terminology, self-love — is a quite ineradicable part of human nature. Equally, if we distinguish as Butler did the particular passions and affections from self-love, we must admit that they are inevitably the major part of human motivation, and the actions which express and realize them cannot be expected in general to tend towards the general happiness. Even what we recognize as unselfishness or benevolence is equally incompatible with universal concern. It takes the form of what Broad called self-referential altruism — concern for others, but for others who have some special connection with oneself; children, parents, friends, workmates, neighbours in the literal, not the metaphorically extended, sense. Wider affections than these usually centre upon devotion to some special cause — religious, political, revolutionary, nationalist — not upon the welfare of human beings, let alone sentient beings, in general. It is much easier, and commoner, to display a self-sacrificing love for some of one’s fellow men if one can combine this with hostility to others...

But could not human nature be changed? I do not know. Of course, given the techniques of mass persuasion adolescents can be turned into Red Guards or Hitler Youth or pop fans, but in each of these we have only fairly superficial redirection of what are basically the same motives. It is far more doubtful whether any agency could effect the far more fundamental changes that would be needed to make practicable a morality of universal concern. Certainly no ordinary processes of education can bring them about.

Besides, if such changes could be effected, they might well prove self-defeating. Thus Bernard Williams has argued that in becoming capable of acting out of universal concern, people would have to be stripped of the motives on which most of what is of value in human life is based — close affections, private pursuits, and many kinds of competition and struggle. Even if our ultimate goal were the utilitarian one of maximizing the general happiness, the cultivation of such changes in human nature as would make an act utilitarian morality practicable might not be the most sensible way of pursuing it. But in any case this is at most a remote possibility, and has little relevance to our present choice of a first order moral system. For the present our terms of reference can be summed up in words close to those of Rousseau: we are to take men as they are and moral laws as they might be.

It may be objected that if we trim down moral demands to fit present human capacity, we bring morality into contempt in another way. But I do not mean that moral demands are to be so minimal that they are likely to be fulfilled by most people pretty well at once. We may well advocate moral principles that are in conflict with established habits of thought and behaviour, (hat prescribe a degree of respect for the claims of others — and of distant others — which can flourish only by overcoming
ingrained selfishness and limitations of generosity that are authorized by the existing law and the real conventional morality (as contrasted with the fantasy moralities of utilitarianism and neighbourly love). All I am insisting upon is that we should advocate practicable reforms, that we should look for rules or principles of conduct that can fit in with the relatively permanent tendencies of human motives and thought...

The problem for any attempted proof of the principle of utility, any considerations that are intended to determine the intellect in the way Mill wants, is to make the transition from individualistic hedonism (psychological or ethical) to universalistic hedonism...

Once the disputants start using the concept of something objectively good, the transition from egoism to utilitarianism can be effected; but as long as the egoist is content to speak in terms only of what is objectively right (or rational), he can claim that it is right (or rational) for each to seek his own happiness, and he cannot be dislodged from that position and pushed into utilitarianism. What I have suggested is that Mill was thinking implicitly along the lines that Sidgwick makes explicit, that he was in effect relying on a notion of the intrinsically desirable, the introduction of which would make cogent such an argument as he was trying to present...

Mill’s proof requires a further stage. He has to show not merely that the general happiness is desirable (for everyone) but also that nothing else is so. His argument for this rests on the claim that nothing but happiness is desired. But this seems patently false. There are, as Butler said, particular passions as well as self-love, and self-love could hardly operate unless there were particular passions. Mill gets round this difficulty by arguing that everything that is desired is desired either as a means to happiness or as a part of happiness. But in this way he scores only a verbal success which is really fatal to his main argument. He is in effect emptying the word ‘happiness’ of all specific content: it is no longer the name of a distinct condition, a state of an individual person made up, perhaps, of recognizable feelings of pleasure or well-being that outweigh contrasting feelings of pain or distress, but a name for whatever anyone wants. But if happiness thus ceases to be any distinctive sort of thing, the suggestion, in my interpretation of Mill’s earlier argument, that our desire for our own happiness is evidence for its intrinsic goodness, collapses. We cannot be recognizing the intrinsic, objective, goodness of happiness if there is no specific thing or condition, happiness, to be objectively good. If ‘each person’s happiness’ is only shorthand for ‘anything and everything that each person desires or aims at’, we are left with nothing whose intrinsic desirability could be indicated by the widespread occurrence of a desire for it...

Though we admit that the way to hell may be paved with good intentions we are very sure that the way to heaven is not paved with bad ones. Consider two people who together plant a bomb in a railway station, knowing (or believing firmly and with good season) that this will both promote some intrinsically defensible political cause and do damage to property, inconvenience many travellers, and endanger some lives. There is a sense in which each of them ‘intends’ both these results: each acts with the full expectation that what he is doing will bring both results about But suppose that one of the two has the promotion of this political cause as his chosen end and accepts the foreseen harm as an unavoidable accompaniment of this, while for the other the foreseen harm is itself his chosen end, and the promotion of the political cause merely incidental; are we not inclined to view the two rather differently?...

It is a more difficult question whether a similar distinction should be drawn between a means on the one hand and either side effect or a further consequence on the other — we can call either of them a second effect... For example, a man defending himself against an attacker may do something which has two effects: the saving of his own life and the death of the attacker. Aquinas says that if he intends the former, his action is right, provided that he does not use more force than is needed for this. But unless he is acting with public authority for the common good, a man is not permitted to kill another; so if a man who lacks this authority intends the death of his attacker and kills him, his action will be wrong, even though his ultimate aim was to save his own life and the killing of the attacker was a means to this. A well-known modern example is that it is held that a doctor may give pain-killing drugs to a patient who would otherwise die in agony, although as a side effect his death is accelerated; but he must not give a drug that will kill the patient as a way of preventing further pain...

Even under duress, I can refuse to kill an innocent person, though I know that others will die as a result of my refusal, for this too will be a second effect...

Moral philosophy appears as a poor relation of law...

It seems absurd to say that I must not use someone’s death as a means to some end
— say, the saving of many other lives — and yet that I may use as a means to that end something which will inevitably, and to my certain knowledge, carry his death with it. To lay stress on such artificial distinctions is not merely implausible but also morally corrupting. Anscombe has herself said that, while the rejection of the principle of double effect has been the corruption of non-Catholic moral thought, its abuse has been the corruption of Catholic thought...

Rival social and political ideals offer different ways in which cooperation, competition, and conflict may be institutionalized and regulated, but every real alternative includes some combination of all three of them
.
This would be obvious if it were not that moralists in both the Christian and the humanist traditions have fostered an opposite view, that the good life for man is one of universal brotherly love and seffless pursuit of the general happiness. I have already argued, in Chapter 6, that this is quite impracticable; I would now add that it has little plausibility even as an ideal...

[Fitzjames Stephen] contrasts ‘The man who works from himself outwards, and who acts with a view to his own advantage and the advantage of those who are connected with himself in definite, assignable ways’ with ‘a man who has a disinterested love for the human race’ — which Stephen suspects to be ‘little, if anything, more than a fanatical attachment to some favourite theory about the means by which an indefinite number of unknown persons ... may be brought into a state which the theorist calls happiness’ — and ‘who is capable of making his love for men in general the ground of all sorts of violence against men in particular’.

The alternative to universalism is not an extreme individualism. Any possible, and certainly any desirable, Ituman life is social. We can see each individual as located in a number of circles — smaller and larger, but sometimes intersecting, not all concentric — and so united with others in a variety of ways. Within any circle, large or small, we must expect and accept not only some cooperation but also some competition and conflict, but different kinds and degrees of these in circles of different size...

Kant, having argued that there can be no sound speculative proof of the existence of God, thought that there is a cogent moral argument for this conclusion, that since God is needed to ensure the ultimate union of virtue and happiness, his existence can be established as a necessary presupposition of moral thought. But any such argument is back to front. What it is reasonable or rational to do may depend upon the facts, but the facts cannot depend upon what it is reasonable or rational to do. Equally, in our basic order of inference we must derive conclusions about what it is reasonable to do from what we believe the facts to be, and not the other way round. (Admittedly, if we had an authoritative ruling about what it was rational to do, we might infer from this what the facts must be, as seen by the giver of this ruling. But in the present context such a ruling would have to be a divine revelation, and it would be circular to rely on a supposed revelation in what is meant to be a proof of God’s existence.) If the assertion of the existence of God is a factual claim, it cannot be given its sole or basic warrant by the desire to reconcile the two primary judgements that we are inclined to make in the sphere of practical reason...

The rationality of morality (in the narrow sense) consists in the fact, brought out variously by Protagoras and Hobbes and Hume and Warnock, that men need moral rules and principles and dispositions if they are to live together and flourish in communities, and that evolution and social tradition have given them a fairly strong tendency to think in the required ways. The rationality of prudence consists in the fact that a man is more likely to flourish if he has, at any one time, some concern for the welfare of later phases of this same human being, and that evolution, social tradition, and individual experience and training have encouraged and ‘reinforced’ this egoistic prudential concern. Both these contrast with the more basic rationality of the hypothetical imperative, rationality in the sense in which it is rational to do whatever will satisfy one’s own present desires; but all three cooperate in some measure. Once we understand these three sorts of rationality we can tolerate their partial discrepancies; we can see how they arise — what makes each of the three patterns rational — in the actual world, and we have no need to postulate another world to make the first two coincide more completely.

Another problem is thrown up by our discussion of absolutism in Chapter 7. On our view of morality we can defend only nearly absolute principles. But a theist can believe that strictly absolute variants of these are commanded by God, and that we both must and can safely obey them even when from the point of view of human reason the case against doing so seems overwhelming: we can rely on God to avert or somehow put right the disastrous consequences of a ‘moral’ choice. But though a theist can believe this, it would gratuitous for him to do so without a reliable and explicit revelation of such absolute commands. If he had to work by inference from general assumptions, he could not reasonably ascribe to God any more complete an absolutism than a secular moralist could construct using the same empirical data. And unless it can be shown independently that there is some merit in an unqualified absolutism, it is no advantage for theism that it makes it barely possible to hold such a view...

Political and economic problems are genuinely complicated: there is no single change or small number of changes, however radical or catastrophic, which would put everything right. It is simply an error, though no doubt an attractive and inspiring one, to suppose that there is some one evil — capitalism, say, or colonialism — the destruction of which would make everything in the garden lovely. No doubt there are extreme forms of injustice and exploitation which, if they persist, will give rise to disastrous civil, international, and inter-racial wars. But there is more than one kind of exploitation, and the very means used to remove one can themselves turn into another."

--- Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong / J.L. Mackie

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

"If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity." - Bill Vaughan

***

Japan trip
Day 13 - 18th June - Tokyo
(Part 2)

I'd had a Shaka Chicken and McPork for 'lunch' to keep me going. For the former I chose the lemon pepper flavour, but couldn't taste anything.


I then went to Shibuya.


Political campaigning for "People's New Party". 2 hours later at 7:10pm the people were still on the van shouting through loudhailers.


Hordes. This was 5:20 on a Wednesday so it wasn't as busy as it could've been. Apparently this 3-way crossing is famous.


Line for Baskin Robbins. This was curious because of the 10 people in the queue, ALL are women - and they are not famous for their low fat flavours. Even more surprising was later, when 3 schoolgirls walked in front of me - 2 had 2 scoops of ice cream and 1 had 3. Wth. Note also the butch schoolgirl looking at me - I didn't know they had butches there (maybe she was from the Japanese CHIJ).

Someone: eh gabriel, she's aware of u taking e pic
did anything interesting happen?

Me: [...]

Someone: no, she called her yakuza bf
haha


"A lit cigarette is carried at the height of a child's face"
I like the helicopter. Maybe it's for gunning down smokers.


International curry: Indian, Sri Lankan, Bhutanese, Malaysian, Thai, British and Indonesian.

I was trying to look for the Love Hotel hill. It took me a while but eventually I found it; I knew I was getting close when I saw:


"New Style Wild One Adult Shop... Rotar only Y180- So Fucking Cheap!!"


I also saw an information centre. Again. I was quite sick of getting into red light districts, but I guess it was inevitable to have such facilities beside Love Hotel hill.


One love hotel. Most of them are plain from the outside.


Lobby


The rooms didn't look that exciting either, but maybe that's because the really funky ones were already taken (the darkened ones)


"Casa di Due". Frigid Girl informs me that it means "House of Two" (or "House of Dice" - go decide which it is)


"Rental Goods" presumably doesn't include vibrators or that kinda stuff.


"Sweets Menu: Moffle"
Y320 is really cheap for a waffle with ice cream. It must be the same reason why buffets are cheap in Vegas.


"Presenting New Cosplay
[kawaii!][sexy!][Plenty of variation cosplay]"

There was one hotel called "Name of Love". It was full, but I noticed that there was a machine dispensing free drinks. I pressed a button to test it, but then heard a characteristic artifically high female voice, and ran away before I got a yakuza knife through my guts, happy for the configuration of love hotel counters (the receptionist can't see you - this minimises embarrassment).

Another love hotel had cheap drinks (Y100 for a can of drink, Y200 for Asahi Beer), so I got a Kirin Lemon Drink (with no lemon juice) and ran off.


"Hotel Beat Wave"


"Alcatraz E.R."

More information:

"Upon arrival, you have to state your blood-type to enter (I don’t know mine, which made things confusing.) You are then handcuffed by girls in nurse-outfits (mmm, kinky!) who lead you to your “cell”- a dingy room which resembles a medieval dungeon.

Cocktails with names like “Influenza” and Acute Mental Stabilizer” are served in test tubes, or you can even drink from a hospital drip. Meals are delivered in those metal dishes surgeons use during operations. The food isn’t so tasty but presumably it’s better than actual prison food...

While I was there, an unsuspecting birthday girl on another table was thrown the over the knee of a maniacal doctor, who prodded her arse with a giant syringe while she squealed."


More love hotels


Kebabs have invaded Japan

For dinner I ate at a place called "Little Spoon".


Special Katsu Curry. Limited to 20 orders a day.

There were 3 levels of spicyness: "甘口" (mild), "幸口" (spicy) and in between. I was annoyed because the young waiter serving me obviously knew what I was saying, but was unable to reply in English. Gah. Maybe Japanese takes up so many brain cells that it's hard for most of them to use anything else.


Dinner
Curry, rice and tonkatsu with tonkatsu sauce. The cherry tomato was damn sweet - the first I had I'd call sweet.

The curry was very smooth and better than any other Jap curry I'd had (the lack of spicyness to obscure the taste didn't hurt). The tonkatsu sauce wasn't very good though - it was very one-dimensional and astringent.


Pickled onions and radish and mushrooms. The latter was nice, the former not so.


Damn cheap food. At Y190 for a small udon, I was almost tempted to eat some.


I wandered into some food alley (2-3 levels of a building with restaurants). This plastic food display seemed the most interesting of the lot.

I then wandered into HMV. It didn't look or sound Japanese - the big signs were 100% in English, and only the smaller ones were in Japanese.

However, once I saw this, I was suddenly reminded again that I was in Japan:


????????

Someone: "it mentions Jap athelethics av is thriving in response to beijing olympics
e vertical words in white

crap lar...no relevance"

[Addendum:

Speculation about the gender of the model:

"it is inappropriate for a guy to have boobiez"

"i don't get it. guy or girl? i am drawn to this picture like moth to flame... the breasts are a bit weird? like one nipple pointing up and one pointing down? this leads me to think they are fake and thus it is a guy. who is "tucking it in"."

"I think it's a girl.
No prominent bulge below :P"
"i hear taking steroids does that to u"

"No cameltoe also"

"i think i spot an adam's apple on the chimera, and that pelvis looks distinctly male..."

"the boobs look like they've been glued onto the person's chest
and that person is not fully naked. not 全裸. he/she is wearing underwear.
i have a hunch this is a guy"]

They were also selling "Nuts Magazine" and "Britain's best new boobs" which had a line: "my boobs often pop out to say hello when I'm out". Erm, right.

The classical section was large and really well-organised: it was divided into early music (5 shelves), orchestral, concerto, opera, vocal & choral, symphonic, brass & winds, contemporary, crossover, SACD/DVD audio, DVDs, great singers, new, chamber & instrumental, piano, light classical, recommended and healing (?!). On the flip side an infuriating number of discs had no price tag.

They also had a section with LPs (wth), and one of the Glenn Gould LPs had him doing early music (I learnt something new).

Over at the Sentai DVD section they had Denjiman (!), JAKQ (!!!), Jetman etc.


40 Year Old Virgin poster


Really bizarre video.

This is from "The World of Golden Eggs". This football player has discovered a bra that this girl left behind. He uses it as a skipping rope he is naked. One of the manifestations of his soul (him in drag) tells him that if he smells it, he can reach "a new level". Then his coach's thought bubble shouts at him to be decisive or be a loser football player forever. He then says to the girl that her bra is important to her "next to her life"

One rave review of the series:

"It contains all the attributes of what you definitely wouldn’t see in good animation. The voice acting’s anything but professional, and so is the animation quality. Furthermore, it lacks even the slightest shred of intelligence. In fact, I am simply unable to describe it, so you’ll have to watch it for yourself to find out what I mean."


I find the juxtaposition of a safe sex exhortation and palm reading very weird Japanese

At a McDonalds, I finally had my Milk Tea McFlurry. For some reason they put in Oreos - I thought they didn't go.


I paid Y30 more (Y330 vs Y300) for the privilege.

There was a cute Firefox ad I saw where the fox ran around a boxing ring, but I only saw the last bit.


"Although I smoke, I hate other people's smoke"; "I carry a 700°C fire in my hand with people walking all around me"


"No!!!!!!!!! Drugs. Be Poisoned. Flashback. Be Broken. No Future!!"
I hope they weren't referring to pot, but I see green leaves.

"Flashback" is their translation of "attacked by hallucinations". A full translation:

"Be Poisoned - After being poisoned, you rely on drugs to live
Flashback - Attacked by hallucinations
Be Broken - Brain and organs are destroyed
No future!! - You are no longer what you used to be"

I saw one candybar phone, but it slid open to reveal a keyboard so that wasn't quite counted.

The map to the hostel had helpfully marked a "liquor shop" so I stopped by there to have a look.


Liquor in 2.5l tetrapaks


Liquor in 4l and 5l PET bottles. Hoho.


Food that probably goes well with 5l of 25% liquor (well, they sold snacks, cigarettes and sacks of rice as well)


A drink I got from the shop. Supposedly it's cider, but it tasted quite vile. Maybe it's meant as mixer.
"The word 'meaningful' when used today is nearly always meaningless." - Paul Johnson

***

SSRN-The Optimal Design of Ponzi Schemes in Finite Economies by Utpal Bhattacharya - "As no rational agent would be willing to take part in the last round in a finite economy, it is difficult to design Ponzi schemes that are certain to explode. This paper argues that if agents correctly believe in the possibility of a partial bailout when a gigantic Ponzi scheme collapses, and they recognize that a bailout is tantamount to a redistribution of wealth from non-participants to participants, it may be rational for agents to participate, even if they know that it is the last round. We model a political economy where an unscrupulous profit-maximizing promoter can design gigantic Ponzi schemes to cynically exploit this "too big to fail" doctrine. We point to the fact that some of the spectacular Ponzi schemes in history occurred at times where and when such political economies existed - France (1719), Britain (1720), Russia (1994) and Albania (1997)."
This could be the story of International Finance. How prescient.

Chocolate for a Woman’s Sex Drive - "Diane Kron, former chocolatier to First Lady Jackie Kennedy, has developed the only chocolate advertised to increase a woman’s sex drive - some are calling it Viagra for women - she calls it K Sensual... "These quarter sized treats are made with three kinds of cocoa beans, and exotic Chinese herbs, including something called 'horny goat weed.'""

Chocolate raises libido - "Women are always likely to compare chocolate to sex, now their assumption has been proved by Italian researchers. After questioning 163 women about their consumption of chocolate and their sexual fulfilment, urologists from Milan's San Raffaele hospital have discovered a scientific link between the two. According to their research, women who eat chocolate regularly have the highest levels of desire, arousal and satisfaction from sex. That means female chocolate lovers have a higher sex drive."

Britons 'saving money with sex' - "As the credit crunch bites, Britons may be turning to sex as a cheap way to pass the time, a charity says... Around one in 10 respondents to the survey, carried in November, said their favourite free activity was window shopping and 6% chose going to a museum as the cheapest way to pass the time. But the sexes differed on their priorities, with women preferring to gossip with friends while men had sex firmly at the top of their list."

Do Women Enjoy Chocolate More Than Sex? - ""Women's sexual motivation is far more complex than simply the presence or absence of sexual desire... Women with desire disorder had self-esteem that was weak or even fragile, emotional instability, anxiety and neuroticism." She adds that sexual arousal and orgasm, especially in a partner's presence, require a certain degree of vulnerability, which is impossible for some women who "cannot tolerate feelings of loss of control generally, and loss of control specifically of their body's reactions."... A study found U.S. college students are more likely to be addicted to the Net (and alcohol, cigs, gambling and TV) while young women troll for -- you guessed it, a chocolate fix... "American culture encourages disproportionately more chocolate cravings among females than males."... "We now talk about being bad on the weekend as a ménage à trois with a bucket of Ben and Jerry's"... "Food, in some ways, is a better lover. It's comforting, pleasurable and distracting. Until the inevitable guilt. It's a very complicated cycle""

Foreign branding - Wikipedia - "The foreign-branded item need not have a name that would appeal to native speakers of the language. For instance, Pocari Sweat, a popular sports drink marketed in Japan by the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., has a name that to many English speakers would imply that the product actually contains sweat, rather than the intended meaning of a beverage intended to replace the electrolytes lost in sweating. In some cases the foreign name may even be offensive to native speakers. There are an inordinate amount of car models that can be used as examples: The Mitsubishi Pajero had to be renamed to Montero in Spain and Hispanic America, since pajero is a Spanish slang term equivalent to "wanker," or even "faggot." However, Mitsubishi originally got the Pajero name innocently from the pampas cat, Leopardus pajeros. Another example is the Honda Fitta ("cunt") in Sweden and Norway (the car was later renamed.) Buick had to rename its Lacrosse the Allure in Canada, because it was a euphemism for masturbation in Quebec. The SEAT Málaga was marketed in Greece as the Seat Gredos, because the word Malaga was considered very similar to Malaka, an extremely common Greek swear word which translates as "jackoff" or "wanker". Similarly, the primarily-US fast food chain Taco Bell formerly sold a burrito called a chili-cheese burrito. Its name was switched to this when many people became aware that the original name, chilito, is often used as a slang term for penis in Mexico."

Malaysia- dirtiest among 7 nations - "A recent seven-country survey conducted by the Hygiene Council, a global panel of medical experts, found that Malaysian kitchens were more bacteria-infested than bathrooms... A total of 140 samples were taken from homes of families across the income spectrum in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, India and Malaysia... Hygiene Council consists of experts in microbiology, virology, infectious diseases, immunology and public health. They found almost 70 per cent of Malaysian samples were highly contaminated. Sixty per cent of plastic toys in Malaysian homes were infested with E. coli, a bacteria commonly found in faeces, and 25 per cent with S. aureus, an organism found on the skin, nose and throat."
Malaysia Boleh!

Blood ties: Yakuza daughter lifts lid on hidden hell of gangsters' families - "She quickly rose up the ranks of the Tokyo hostess scene, but it was her decision, in her early 20s, to tattoo the top half of her body, yakuza-style, that marked the end of her emotional and physical dependence on the men of violence, and the beginning of the new life she has since made as a writer and, now, as a mother... She does not believe she is alone among yakuza offspring in having had a turbulent childhood. "Japanese society looks very calm on the surface, but underneath it is in turmoil," she said. "Discrimination is rife." Though she is not ashamed of her tattoo she knows even a tiny patch of tell-tale ink poking out from beneath the cuffs of her shirt is enough to invite looks of disgust. "Musicians and artists can get away with showing off their tattoos, but a delinquent like me does her best to hide them.""
From elsewhere: "Being a gang member is not illegal in Japan, and until recently the gangs were known for openness. Their offices even posted signs with their names and membership lists inside. Gangs cooperated with police, handing over suspects in return for police turning a blind eye to yakuza misdemeanors"
Okay, cutting yourself is one thing, but tattooing your torso...


Blogging in the wake of terror - "Bloggers have reacted to the multiple terror attacks on Mumbai by logging on to express their views, share information and offer help to people looking for missing friends, relatives and colleagues... Bloggers have also criticized coverage on local television stations. "In a lot of the blogs I've read, people are really angry with one or two news channels in particular who they say have created panic," Viswanathan said. "Trust me, they're on full panic mode right now. It's not helpful when the city's already reeling from terror shocks. Blogs have approached this with calm more so than the mainstream media has.""

Author: Society forces women to lie - "From Susan Shapiro Barash, the best-selling author of "Tripping the Prom Queen," comes a provocative look at the reasons behind female deception. "Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets" reveals how society doles out mixed messages to women, fostering the lies they tell... 'A woman’s lies to friends, children, husband, lover, adult siblings, and coworkers are societally induced — it’s a tool used when we’re missing out, when the life we dreamed of eludes us, when the going gets tough. It’s interesting how women recognize a lie coming from another woman (men often miss the lie, as do children, especially sons) and often endorse the behavior. Unless a woman’s lie deliberately hurts another woman, it’s as if we all belong to the same club, where the expedience of our lies proliferate and rule the day... Where a man will lie for a secret as a quick fix and be sloppy in his lie, a woman will carefully guard her secret — this secret is a part of her existence, it can make her feel powerful... we’ve been taught by our grandmothers, mothers, and other female role models that a shade of gray is the standard, rather than white against black... Women justify how they profit from a lie, using it as their armor and shield. This falls into the “greater good” theory, a safeguarding of family or ourselves, and therefore has an ethical explanation... A woman lies with intentional deception because she is convinced of the exigency of her lie. A woman instinctively perfects her lie, which offers the advantage of not being detected or criticized. A female lie appears much more satisfying than a male lie.'"

YouTube - cookingwithdog's Channel - "Cooking show hosted by a DOG named Francis! The show currently focuses on how to make popular Japanese dishes."
Damn Japs.

Cursos de Ingles Gratis: OM OPERA-Argumentos de Operas-Opera Stories and Plots - "Operas may have ridiculous plots but their music is sublime and passionate. To help you follow the action OM Personal has collected virtual and written information from different sources and outlined the stories from the most frequently performed operas with a sense of humor in an entertaining way."
They have: Setting, Plot In Three Sentences, Highlights, Death Toll, What To Say In A Loud Voice At Intermission, What To Say In The Pub

Australian TV journalist jailed 10 months in Singapore for drugs offences - "An Australian television correspondent who said he was traumatised from covering wars and natural disasters was jailed 10 months by a Singapore court on Tuesday for drug offences... Haq argued that Lloyd was suffering from post-traumatic stress because of his work as a journalist covering wars and disasters in Asia, including the 2002 Bali bombing. Lloyd "is not a drug abuser as such" but took methamphetamine as a way of dealing with nightmares caused by the tragedies he had covered, Haq said. "In trying to deal with this... ice became a form of self-medication for him. He does not do it for recreational purpose," the lawyer said... Singapore's attorney general last month withdrew a charge of trafficking"
I'd like to see someone else use that excuse.

狮城芽笼红灯区偷拍(图) - "上面是正式进入红灯区路上拍的... 出现2个,那个胖子也是,口味不同嘛 我接受不大了 这些是最便宜最低级的...
来自学校的姐们曾经很多次碰到同校同学尴尬啊! 再次鄙视这个****社会 ... 同学 认出我了? 呈请一下 我不喜欢去哪里,我也不爱好这个。我只是住这里,这里房子便宜,所以……"
HAHAHAHAHAHA and whose fault is that?

Sex with car - "The 20 year old is in love with his Volkswagen Beetle – and has been having sex with it for four years. Despite never having kissed a girl before, virgin Jordan has become an experienced lover, covering his car with kisses and caresses before having penetrative sex with the exhaust pipe... "When I told my dad I was sexually attracted to my car, he just said that there are lots of different people out there who are attracted to lots of different things."... Jordan is one of just a handful of extreme car lovers in the world known as mechaphiles, and says his obsession was fuelled as a child... Now he has spent a further £200 on a “boy” car, a Trans Am he calls Todd, and is experimenting with a “gay” relationship."
Even better: Man admits 'having sex' with 1,000 cars

YouTube - symphony's Channel - "Play your part in music history. Interested in joining the first-ever collaborative online orchestra? Professionals and amateur musicians of all ages, locations and instruments are welcome to audition for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra by submitting a video performance of a new piece written for the occasion by the renowned Chinese composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). We have tools to help you learn the music, rehearse with the conductor and upload your part for the collaborative video."

Red pen too aggressive, Queensland teachers told - "Queensland's Deputy Opposition Leader Mark McArdle told parliament today that teachers were being advised to reconsider their pen choice because it may offend children."

Most Sung-About Body Part? The Eyes Have It - "Visual artists Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg analyzed over 10,000 songs to find out which parts of the human body were mentioned the most and broke down the resulting data by genre... Across all of the categories, the eyes are most frequently mentioned body part (Hall & Oates, "Private Eyes"), with the exceptions of hip hop, which places a firm emphasis on the posterior (Sir Mix a Lot, "Baby Got Back") and blues (Louisiana Red, "Keep Your Hands Off My Woman") and gospel music (The Gospel, "Put Your Hands Together"), which are respectively focused on the keeping off of one's hands and the clapping or raising of one's hands."

ARIANNA ONLINE - Books: The Female Woman - "The author believes that Women's Libbers are confused middle-class intellectuals who project their own neuroses and hang-ups onto all women -- and thereby do great harm. In her well-written and lively book, Miss Stassinopoulos makes the point that though men and women may be equal, they are certainly different... women are better at certain tasks than men, more comfortable in certain roles, more like each other -- as a group -- than they are like men. The author believes in women's emancipation which insists on equal status and equal opportunity for distinctly female roles. Liberation, which she scorns, forces women into male roles and devalues femininity. It makes women who enjoy family life feel guilty and glorifies the run-of-the-mill nine-to-five job, at the expense of a career in the home. The author says: "Calvin wanted to turn the world into a monastery, while Women's Lib wants to turn it into an orphanage." What is so glamorous, Miss Stassinopoulos asks, about working as a file clerk -- even at Ms magazine? Furthermore, though Women's Lib sees men as a highly privileged group, the oppressors of women, the author holds that man's fate is much more extreme than woman's. Men may be more privileged some of the time, but they are often more deprived. Not only is it hard to be a man, it is also harder to become one."

PDFfiller. On-line PDF form Filler, Editor, Type on PDF ; Fill, Print, Email, Fax and Export - "PDFfiller lets you fill PDF Forms on-line: Fill in Form online. Fast, Easy, Secure."

The Best Hotel in Hell - "Dinnertime at the Peace Hotel finds the chef, immaculate in white hat and freshly pressed apron, waiting personally on his guests. He serves up a feast of curried fish fillet, french fries, camel meat and spaghetti with ground beef, washed down with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, cold sodas and bottled waters. Dessert is a bowl of fruit accompanied with hot sweet, milky tea. The palm trees that sway in the salty sea breeze all around us do little to reveal the improbability of this sumptuous meal tranquilly consumed in this city whose name has become a synonym for anarchy. The reminder that we are in Mogadishu rather than in a beach resort in Mauritius comes in the form of the artillery shells and mortar rounds that whiz above our heads like red shooting stars, and the sound of gunfire and screaming from nearby Bakara Market."

Hetero woman: Feminism turned me into lesbian - ""I was never unsure about my sexuality throughout my teens or 20s. I was a happy heterosexual and had no doubts," said Wilkinson. "Then I changed, through political activity and feminism, spending time with women's organizations. It opened my mind to the possibility of a lesbian identity." Wilkinson divorced her husband and has lived with her partner, Prof. Celia Kitzinger of York University, for the past 17 years."

Bacteria make major evolutionary shift in the lab - "A major evolutionary innovation has unfurled right in front of researchers' eyes. It's the first time evolution has been caught in the act of making such a rare and complex new trait... sometime around the 31,500th generation, something dramatic happened in just one of the populations - the bacteria suddenly acquired the ability to metabolise citrate, a second nutrient in their culture medium that E. coli normally cannot use. Indeed, the inability to use citrate is one of the traits by which bacteriologists distinguish E. coli from other species... Lenski's experiment is also yet another poke in the eye for anti-evolutionists, notes Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago. "The thing I like most is it says you can get these complex traits evolving by a combination of unlikely events," he says. "That's just what creationists say can't happen.""
I want to have Lenski's bacteria. (And infect Creationists with them)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

"Speak the truth, but leave immediately after." - Slovenian Proverb

***

Someone's suggestion as to why women go to the toilet so much: to fart (corroborating evidence)

"Gauche", "awkward", "adroit" and "dexterity" all have etymologies which disparage left-handers - clear evidence of linguistic bigotry. Lucky there's no left-handed lobby around.

I saw a trailer for Cicakman 2: Planet Hitam. God. The special effects were of a standard belonging to the early 90s.

Van Houten's new trick: 'Coca Butter Equivalent Vegetable Fat'. Bastards.

I swear Häagen-Dazs used to have an ad which went: "the most fun you can have in a tub: with your clothes on". However, I can't find it online, and as everyone knows, if you cant find something online it means it doesn't exist; a friend of mine who worked there in 2005 remembers it, so maybe both of us are delusional. [Someone: i only remember the "three words a woman loves to hear the most: another scoop, miss?"]

Mayor Quimby sounds like JFK.

Back Bacon was 1.69/100g and streaky 1.79/100g at Giant. There is something wrong with this world.

Someone said that the RGS 10 year reunion in 2007 was very interesting because it was very bitchy. The girls had been working for 2 years, and many were engaged, married or had kids. And there were boasts like "my surgeon boyfriend got me this". In contrast, the RI 10 year reunion was alright because everyone had just started working.


"I'm aware that there are "biblical issues", otherwise known as obfuscation and tautology."

"Your account has been violated !!!‏" - From a phishing scam. They need to try harder.

"Every cloud has a bolt of lightning" - My take on silver linings

"NUS in general takes a very 'Singaporean' or 'Chinese' approach to learning. Lots of mugging, staring at charts and formulae, etc. I have a friend who went to Oxford for undergrad studies. He did his Master's degree in NUS, and he was not used to the heavy workload." - Hurr hurr

"I once had a conversation with someone who used to work for the government in Singapore. They said that true emigration was running (a few years ago) at about 40,000 people per year - or about 1% of the population of native born Singaporeans leaving per year. That is huge. It implies that a majority of Singaporeans would leave in the course of their lifetimes. This is a country that faces a future without a core of natives. (That is the figure I remember her telling me...she was speaking of a time when the populatio was lower than now (fewer imports yet) so that 1% is about right.) If her comment is remotely near the truth then Singapore has a very real problem with keeping its people." - Hurr hurr x2


The Middle East seems to be the only place in the (semi-)developed world where specifying what gender/nationality you want for a job is acceptable.

Science and engineering graduates do not need a work permit to work in the UK, and are exempt from the "Europeans first" employment policy HURR HURR (it seems to be a EU-wide rule; presumably there's a loophole where science and engineering graduates can clean toilets)


Pressing "Ctrl + C" in Windows message boxes that don't seem to let you to select the text inside is supposed to work in copying their contents to the clipboard. It doesn't work for me

Ctrl + Shift + X - the hotkey I've recently discovered which screws my text into Bi-Di every now and then (it liquefies in Photoshop).

Someone with a Macbook commented that the Macbook was very bad at getting onto wireless networks, and when he installed Windows it was okay - so it was a software issue.
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