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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Links - 30th July 2010

"In all large corporations, there is a pervasive fear that someone, somewhere is having fun with a computer on company time. Networks help alleviate that fear." - John C. Dvorak

***

Bad translation makes fundamentalists of us all - ""Praise be to God" (Alhamdulilah)... can mean "I am fine", "Cool, the electricity is back" or "Ah, you finally managed to pronounce this word", and so many other things... In Lebanon, they even use "May God dress you" when seeing a hot girl wearing a skirt or a top, meaning I guess, "Please God, quickly cover this great body before I jump on it." The same goes with insults: May God destroy your house, May God burn your religion, May God infect you with disease…But think about it. In English, we say "God damn it", "God bless you", "Jesus Christ""
Keywords: arabic, inshallah, non-religious, part of the language, god willing

Archimedes' Principle of Buoyancy - How do Ships Float? (Bible History Online) - "Why is this important in the study of Biblical history? Good question! As the study of physics and various sciences were being developed in ancient Greece it, among other things, opened a door for the Lord to bring new learning and new technology into the world that would eventually help to prepare the world at just the right time for the coming of the Savior and His gospel. We have to keep in mind that men were living in darkness and the darkness was increasing in its intensity and the only hope for mankind was the message that Jesus Christ and His followers would bring"
???

Females and Harry Potter: Not All That Empowering - "This book explores the sexism inherent in the Harry Potter series, books in which a hero and his male friends are the focus and center of activity and the female characters are passive enablers--at best. Using critical discourse analysis and focusing on five themes (rule following/breaking, intelligence, validating/enabling, mothering, and resistance), the author explores the construction of traditional gender roles throughout the books. She concludes with a discussion of the implications for development of school curricula that enable students to critically deconstruct these texts. "
...

Palestinian jailed for rape after claiming to be Jewish - "A conviction for rape by deception on the grounds of racial misrepresentation is believed to be internationally unprecedented... In 2007, a Syrian pilot walked free from a court in Swansea after being accused of tricking a woman into intercourse by saying it could cure her of a sexually transmitted disease. A court in Massachusetts also acquitted a man who allegedly masqueraded as his twin-brother in order to have sex with the man's wife"
"Politically, I call it rape whenever a woman has sex and feels violated"

Black parents give birth to white baby

Who writes the script? In the end, a purely academic question - "If Mr Cheng had spoken, would the students have simply lapped it all up? Well.they do not seem to necessarily lap up what their textbooks on Singapore history tell them (or is that in fact the problem?)... In the end, the students lost an opportunity to hear a former political detainee speak, which perhaps the academically high achieving JC students among them would have found handy when they appeared before the Public Services Commission for their scholarship interviews. The ‘NLB experience’ would have been a perfect subject to show off their critical thinking skills, ‘thinking out of the box‘, ‘passion’, or whatever the current buzzwords are."

What you don't know about Isaac Newton - "We know now that Newton, the alchemist, hid behind a pseudonym, Jeova sanctus unus, as he slowly and unwittingly poisoned himself with the mercury he continually touched, smelled, and tasted... "Newton was not the first of the age of reason," Keynes said. "He was the last of the magicians"

What is America coming to???? - "I asked her, “Are you serving any meals during our flight?” She looked at me kinda funny and said, “I can’t answer that for security reasons”... Finally a United representative approached me with my bags and said “We are taking you off this flight for security reasons.” “Why” I asked. “You apparently asked the flight attendant if the Police were onboard”"

5 More Mistakes You’re (Still) Making On Twitter - "You Tick The ‘Send Updates To Twitter’ Box On Every Single Social Network, Game And App On The Planet Please… don’t. Only people on Foursquare care about updates from people on Foursquare, and even then it’s a bit one-way. Sending those updates to Twitter verges somewhere between mad and pointless. So you’re at Starbucks. Again. For the third time today. Given that we live 5,000 miles apart, can you remind me why I should care? Or why anybody should? And don’t get me started on things like Mafia Wars. Reality check: if anything on your Twitter profile is auto-posting for you, you’re doing it wrong."

NCBI ROFL: Writing emails as part of sleepwalking after increase in Zolpidem [Ambien].

Stone Age Carving: Ancient Dildo?

Penile Extenders Actually Might Work, Doctors Say - "The penile extender, a traction device for the dedicated — to be used at least six hours a day for at least six months — is not only safe and effective, doctors say, but also can increase erection size and improve erectile function. The results appear in the March issue of the journal BJU International. (For my own sanity, I confirmed that BJU stands for British Journal of Urology, which isn't mentioned at all within the journal.)... "The magnitude of gained length was similar irrespective of baseline size""

Spiritual Women Have More Sex - "For women, however, spirituality was the strongest predictor for the number of sexual partners, the frequency of sex, and the tendency to have sex without a condom. “It is possible female young adults yearn for greater connectedness with other humans,” Burris writes. “Spirituality, at least for women, could be considered a risk factor.”"

snopes.com: A Tale of Two Houses - "Al Gore's Nashville mansion is something of the energy-gobbler the e-mail depicts, while President Bush's Crawford ranch is more the model of responsible resource use the juxtaposition portrays it t be"

Muslims told not to wear 'devilish' Manchester United jersey - "The Johor Religious Council adviser and the Mufti of Perak both state that images of crosses, liquor brands and devils on football shirts are forbidden by Islam and should not be worn by Muslims. Other football shirts deemed unacceptable by the religious leaders include those of Brazil, Portugal, Serbia, Barcelona and Norway because their crests all carry images of a cross. "There is no excuse for wearing such garments because it means, as a Muslim, you are idolising the symbol of another religion," Datuk Nooh Gadot, the Mufti of Johor, said."
Malaysia Boleh!

Writers Explain What It's Like Toiling on the Content Farm - "The articles she wrote -- all of which were selected from an algorithmically generated list -- included How to Wear a Sweater Vest" and How to Massage a Dog That Is Emotionally Stressed," even though she would never willingly don a sweater vest and has never owned a dog. "I was completely aware that I was writing crap," she said. "I was like, 'I hope to God people don't read my advice on how to make gin at home because they'll probably poison themselves.' "Never trust anything you read on eHow.com," she said, referring to one of Demand Media's high-traffic websites, on which most of her clips appeared."

Home from Home - "How do we become who we are? How does family background alter one's sense of self?... London based, DJ Bobby Friction travels to Canada to find out what his life might have been like if his family had moved from India to Canada and not the UK. After spending a day with his trucker cousin, he questions his own identity. Is it easier being Asian in Canada or in Europe?"

Photo Gallery: How to Take Camera Phone Pictures

SHADRAKE: I’d do it all again - "Everything I have written is true. There is a wave of change coming in this country. It’s time for Lee Kwan Yew to stop running Singapore like his own private fiefdom"

Kuriositas: The Hidden Posters of Notting Hill Gate - "In around 1959 Notting Hill Tube Station underwent modernisation. The old lifts were abandoned and new escalators were installed. The passageways to the lift were sealed off. Recent work at the station has rediscovered these passageways and when they were opened they revealed a marvellous time capsule"

The Truth About "Islamic Science" - "Whatever was achieved in science during this time period was rarely done by Arab Muslims. "Islamic science" was almost totally dependent upon translations, frequently made by non-Muslims, of the achievements of pre-Islamic cultures, Greeks, Egyptians, Indians, etc. Moreover, a striking number of Muslim thinkers were Persians, who owed more to their pre-Islamic heritage than they did to Islam... Professor Stanley Jaki observes that the improvements brought by Muslim scientists to the Greek scientific corpus were "never substantial"... The Romans were good at certain types of engineering and technology, but like the Chinese they were surprisingly poor at providing a coherent scientific view of the world... the study of the natural sciences and philosophy was shunned in the Islamic colleges of the Middle East and that all such inquiries were undertaken in carefully guarded private settings... "rational sciences were – in medieval Islam – considered to be 'foreign sciences' and at times heretical"... Science was viewed as Islamic science, the study of the Koran, the hadith, Arab history etc... "though astronomy was implicitly acknowledged to be a 'handmaiden of religion,' it was associated with astrology, and the latter's claim to predict the future ran directly counter to the teachings of Islam"... The Chinese had an established tradition of viewing non-Chinese as barbarians: "For this reason, the Chinese were exceedingly cautious and selective in their borrowings from other cultures""
Another article by the author on Science and Islam
keywords: Golden Age

'Darth Vader' robs bank: Armed man demands cash in New York raid

Younger men in Singapore seek foreign brides - ""Some feel that they pak tor (Cantonese for 'date') a few years, then the Singaporean girls will dump them. "They think it's a waste of time. So they pay and they can choose a pretty wife." Beyond the pragmatism displayed, agencies also said there is now less stigma attached to men seeking a foreign bride... In general, agency owners said Singaporean men are looking for simple women with lower expectations who are willing to stay at home and look after the family... Experts say it is not surprising, given that Singapore is, to a large extent, still a patriarchal society where men prefer to marry someone with a lower socio-economic status... "Men with lower educational qualifications, or on the lower rungs of the social ladder, may not have the option of marrying upwards socially"... Women, he said, can be quite demanding. "Every date, must also pay a lot of money""
I love these feminarchal anecdotal stories which ignore data, and which blame the men for everything (at least Tan Ern Ser alluded to a more complex issue)

The Agnostic Cartographer - "How Google’s open-ended maps are embroiling the company in some of the world’s touchiest geopolitical disputes"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

We love Sweater Kittens

u r wt u wr - July 29th 2010

"It seemed the world was divided into good and bad people. The good ones slept better... while the bad ones seemed to enjoy the waking hours much more." - Woody Allen

***

u r wt u wr:

- 'Let's play' (Front: 'Hard Rock Cafe Dubai')
- '♂ + ♀ = ☺' (Male sign + female sign = :))
- 'READY YOUR BOOM!! but I can't I love you'
- 'I ♥ gorgeous girl'
- 'You are butter. I am bread' (I thought this should've been reversed, ending with "spread me")
- 'Don't play'
- 'I'm promise to love you. Forgive me to if I ever forget'
- 'Your boyfriend wants me. Hey, are you aware?'
- 'Make me smile'
- 'This is what love looks like'
- '100% single. Last day'
- 'Foxy babes scouts team'
- 'Pink isn't just a colour. It's an attitude' (this was not pink)
- 'Us' (so sad)
- 'Stylish girls. Cute. Love rabbit'
- 'Stop looking at me. I know *something*'
- 'Friends don't let friends talk to ugly boys'
- 'Beach babe'
- 'Please do not make me paranoid thanks'
- 'I want to be freak'
- 'Can you d♥ me a favour?'
- 'I need more'
- 'I got the looks you got the money *picture of leggy blonde*' (She had no looks, but the guy with her looked like he had no money either)
- 'Looking for tender loving care'
- 'I *recycle sign* boys'
- 'Leave me alone' (HAHAHAHAHA)
- '*something* Ok all boys you are useless'
- 'I'm still free. Take a chance on me'
- 'Fashion is not a victimless crime'
- 'I am watching you'
- 'My boyfriend and I just broke up cause he wanted to get me married
and *something* i'm free'
- 'Lots of kisses from Paris'
- 'Handle with care'
- 'Milk every possible party'
- 'See you soon'
- 'It's your move'
- 'Objects under this tee are larger than they appear' (This is one of my favourites)


Guy
- [Contributed] '*Soap speaking* Rub me on your butt!'
- 'Free lotion'
- 'I want to be inside you' (said by a hamburger)
- 'Most romantic blugirl summer edition'
- '*not for sale'
- 'I just want to be loved *picture of blowup doll*'
- 'I ♥ gravy' (???)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard

"You've achieved success in your field when you don't know whether what you're doing is work or play." - Warren Beatty

***

Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard
David Moser
University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies

"Chinese is also hard for them, for Chinese people.

If you don't believe this, just ask a Chinese person. Most Chinese people will cheerfully acknowledge that their language is hard, maybe the hardest on earth. (Many are even proud of this, in the same way some New Yorkers are actually proud of living in the most unlivable city in America)...

Chinese does deserve its reputation for heartbreaking difficulty. Those who undertake to study the language for any other reason than the sheer joy of it will always be frustrated by the abysmal ratio of effort to effect. Those who are actually attracted to the language precisely because of its daunting complexity and difficulty will never be disappointed. Whatever the reason they started, every single person who has undertaken to study Chinese sooner or later asks themselves "Why in the world am I doing this?"

1. Because the writing system is ridiculous

... The beauty of the characters is indisputable, but as the Chinese people began to realize the importance of universal literacy, it became clear that these ideograms were sort of like bound feet -- some fetishists may have liked the way they looked, but they weren't too practical for daily use...

Even Chinese kids, whose minds are at their peak absorptive power, have more trouble with Chinese characters than their little counterparts in other countries have with their respective scripts. Just imagine the difficulties experienced by relatively sluggish post-pubescent foreign learners such as myself...

The other day one of my fellow graduate students, someone who has been studying Chinese for ten years or more, said to me "My research is really hampered by the fact that I still just can't read Chinese. It takes me hours to get through two or three pages, and I can't skim to save my life." This would be an astonishing admission for a tenth-year student of, say, French literature, yet it is a comment I hear all the time among my peers (at least in those unguarded moments when one has had a few too many Tsingtao beers and has begun to lament how slowly work on the thesis is coming).

A teacher of mine once told me of a game he and a colleague would sometimes play: The contest involved pulling a book at random from the shelves of the Chinese section of the Asia Library and then seeing who could be the first to figure out what the book was about. Anyone who has spent time working in an East Asia collection can verify that this can indeed be a difficult enough task -- never mind reading the book in question...

2. Because the language doesn't have the common sense to use an alphabet

... Chinese people I know who have studied English for a few years can usually write with a handwriting style that is almost indistinguishable from that of the average American. Very few Americans, on the other hand, ever learn to produce a natural calligraphic hand in Chinese that resembles anything but that of an awkward Chinese third-grader. If there were nothing else hard about Chinese, the task of learning to write characters alone would put it in the rogues' gallery of hard-to-learn languages...

3. Because the writing system just ain't very phonetic

... One could say that Chinese is phonetic in the way that sex is aerobic: technically so, but in practical use not the most salient thing about it...

You're sunk whether your native language is Chinese or not; contrary to popular myth, Chinese people are not born with the ability to memorize arbitrary squiggles. In fact, one of the most gratifying experiences a foreign student of Chinese can have is to see a native speaker come up a complete blank when called upon to write the characters for some relatively common word. You feel an enormous sense of vindication and relief to see a native speaker experience the exact same difficulty you experience every day.

This is such a gratifying experience, in fact, that I have actually kept a list of characters that I have observed Chinese people forget how to write. (A sick, obsessive activity, I know.) I have seen highly literate Chinese people forget how to write certain characters in common words like "tin can", "knee", "screwdriver", "snap" (as in "to snap one's fingers"), "elbow", "ginger", "cushion", "firecracker", and so on. And when I say "forget", I mean that they often cannot even put the first stroke down on the paper. Can you imagine a well-educated native English speaker totally forgetting how to write a word like "knee" or "tin can"? Or even a rarely-seen word like "scabbard" or "ragamuffin"? I was once at a luncheon with three Ph.D. students in the Chinese Department at Peking University, all native Chinese (one from Hong Kong). I happened to have a cold that day, and was trying to write a brief note to a friend canceling an appointment that day. I found that I couldn't remember how to write the character , as in da penti 打喷嚔 "to sneeze". I asked my three friends how to write the character, and to my surprise, all three of them simply shrugged in sheepish embarrassment. Not one of them could correctly produce the character. Now, Peking University is usually considered the "Harvard of China". Can you imagine three Ph.D. students in English at Harvard forgetting how to write the English word "sneeze"?? Yet this state of affairs is by no means uncommon in China. English is simply orders of magnitude easier to write and remember... By contrast, often even the most well-educated Chinese have no recourse but to throw up their hands and ask someone else in the room how to write some particularly elusive character...

4. Because you can't cheat by using cognates...

5. Because even looking up a word in the dictionary is complicated

One of the most unreasonably difficult things about learning Chinese is that merely learning how to look up a word in the dictionary is about the equivalent of an entire semester of secretarial school. When I was in Taiwan, I heard that they sometimes held dictionary look-up contests in the junior high schools. Imagine a language where simply looking a word up in the dictionary is considered a skill like debate or volleyball! Chinese is not exactly what you would call a user-friendly language, but a Chinese dictionary is positively user-hostile...

6. Then there's classical Chinese (wenyanwen)

... Whereas modern Mandarin is merely perversely hard, classical Chinese is deliberately impossible. Here's a secret that sinologists won't tell you: A passage in classical Chinese can be understood only if you already know what the passage says in the first place. This is because classical Chinese really consists of several centuries of esoteric anecdotes and in-jokes written in a kind of terse, miserly code for dissemination among a small, elite group of intellectually-inbred bookworms who already knew the whole literature backwards and forwards, anyway...

7. Because there are too many romanization methods and they all suck

Well, perhaps that's too harsh. But it is true that there are too many of them, and most of them were designed either by committee or by linguists, or -- even worse -- by a committee of linguists... There is a standing joke among sinologists that one of the first signs of senility in a China scholar is the compulsion to come up with a new romanization method.

8. Because tonal languages are weird...

9. Because east is east and west is west, and the twain have only recently met

... I once had a Chinese friend who had read the first translations of Kafka into Chinese, yet didn't know who Santa Claus was...

Incidentally, I'm aware that much of what I've said above applies to Japanese as well, but it seems clear that the burden placed on a learner of Japanese is much lighter because (a) the number of Chinese characters used in Japanese is "only" about 2,000 -- fewer by a factor of two or three compared to the number needed by the average literate Chinese reader; and (b) the Japanese have phonetic syllabaries (the hiragana and katakana characters), which are nearly 100% phonetically reliable and are in many ways easier to master than chaotic English orthography is"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Improving your country's reputation for fun and profit

"Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." - George Bernard Shaw

***

A: it's easy to say that we should tell the youths to be more politically stirred, so to speak. But messages are being sent out by the media and the government to the opposite effect. The recent arrest of Alan Shadrake for writing a book about our capital punishment law is a possible example. though it may not be an in-your-face kind of political warning, we shouldn't downplay the psychological effects of such reactions. If we really think political participation is important, the first step is to send out a clear message that all kinds of opinions, put in a civil manner, are welcome on the table.

B: The recent arrest of Shadrake is a result of the contents of his book, and it targets action of a very specific nature: criminal defamation.

The sad fact is that many people cannot tell truth from fiction, which is why Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code attracted so many followers despite it being a completely fictitious book. The damage to the Church and Christian community was incredible, and despite the efforts of many churches around the world trying to debunk the myths, even a sizeable portion of Christians had their faith shaken badly.

Alan Shandrake's book makes a mockery of the Singapore Judiciary, and damages the reputation of Singapore as a whole. If you think this is not worth sending someone to jail for, here's some food for thought:

One of Singapore's main attraction that distinguishes this tiny dot from many larger countries is it's fair justice system. Foreign companies, MNCs, RnD firms etc choose to set up shop here because they have faith in the judiciary. Why not our neighbours, which have much cheaper land and resources close at hand? Because these companies believe in the Singaporean reputation. That if they set up shop here, they (for lack of a better word) won't get screwed over.

Do you work for (or intend to work for) an international firm? Without this business reputation, do you think the HQ in NYC, London or Beijing would even consider setting up their regional HQ, their research laboratory or their banking facilities right here on this tiny island?

Damaging the reputation of Singapore is not just a political matter. It is also an economic matter, and it threatens the jobs and livelihood of every Singaporean.

A: I appreciate your comments. Firstly I would like to make it clear that I have not read the book written by Shadrake nor have access to insider info regarding his arrest. The point I was making was that we cannot, as a society, expect active political participation without dissent surfacing somewhere or the other. I used Shadrake's arrest as an example to illustrate the possible psychological repercussions on the wider population regarding active dissent. It was not an attempt to question the validity of his arrest, a point which you have so lucidly defended here.

B: Perhaps my focus was skewed towards the reason of the arrest and less towards answering your comment on the effects of the arrest.

As mentioned in my earlier post, Shandrake's arrest targets a very specific type of action, and sends out a negative signal for that particular action: criminal defamation. It is NOT a negative signal against political dissent as a whole. Rather, it is targetted at a very specific type of political dissent which is destructive rather than constructive.

A parallel example would be the caning of the graffiti artist Lloyld Alexander. The signal is NOT that graffiti art is a crime, but rather, the specific nature of how he presented his art: vandalism.

Hope this clarifies my position. :)

C: Have you read the book? Why do you describe Shadrake's political dissent as being "destructive rather than constructive"?

B: I am describing the specific style of his political dissent (criminal defamation) as destructive. You might disagree perhaps, but I certainly believe there are better ways to do things.

Taiwanese politics for example, is a system that has taken destructive politicking to new heights, with rival political magazines posting nude and lewd pictures of politicians for the amusement of the population. They also have some of the coolest fistfights and brawls within their Chambers. ;)

Me: Great idea!

Nigeria can shed its reputation as the world's most corrupt place by suing anyone who claims that it is a corrupt place.

Many companies would then want to invest in Nigeria, which would lead to higher economic growth for Nigeria.

Anthony Grayling on Atheism

"Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together." - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

***

"[On agnosticism] The question at stake here is one about rationality. The intellectual respectability of the claim that there are Gods, the Gods of Olympus, or the Gods of Hinduism, or one God, the God of Christianity, seems to be to be exactly on par with the intellectual respectability of thinking that there are fairies in your garden. Belief in fairies was very very widespread and very well-attested right up until the late 19th century.

Indeed, people believed that fairies were much more present in their lives than God was, because things that went missing, like your shoelaces or a teaspoon or something, had been nicked by them. So the comparison here is not a jokey one.

And if you think that the reasons you have for thinking that there are fairies are very poor reasons. That it's irrational to think that there are such things, then belief in supernatural agencies in general is irrational... [Agnostics] fall foul of this picture...

[On "God moves in mysterious ways"] It's such an easy one, that one. You know, it really gets you out of all sorts of holes, that. And in fact that leads on to this rather interesting thought. That if you invoke the notion of an omniscient, omnipotent, eternal being. The sort of standard idea of God, absolutely anything whatever follows. So that nothing whatever counts as counter-evidence against the existence of a God.

And we're all familiar with Popper's dictum that if a theory, a claim explains everything, if everything is consistent with the truth of the claim, then it's empty. It doesn't explain anything at all.

[On the claim that Science purports to explain everything, or that it claims that it will be able to eventually] I don't think Science does claim that at all, in fact. Science at its normal best: it is a public, a testable, a challengeable project. Always having to maintain its own respectability by saying what would count as counter-evidence against it.

And when people put forward views in Science, they publish them so that other people can test them, review them, try to replicate results, and I think that is absolutely the model of how an epistemology should proceed. Out there in the open and inviting the very toughest kind of response from other people...

[On the claim that there is no morality without God] In classical antiquity, in the Classical Tradition, there are deep, rich, powerful thoughts about the nature of morality, the foundations of ethics. The nature of the good life, which make no appeal whatever to any divine command. Or any government via this sort of spirit monarch in disguise, who will reward you if you do what he or she requires, and punish you if you don't. All the very best and deepest thinking about ethics has come from non-religious traditions...

People whose morality comes in a box that they've taken off the supermarket shelf of ideas, marked Catholism or Islam or something, as opposed to those who've thought for themselves about these things, and realise that they've got to inspect their reasons for treating others as they do, or for living as they do, for the choices they make. And it seems to me that the latter, always: much much more honourable and admirable than the former...

Remember in the UK, the people who go every week to the mosque, or temple, or synagogue, or church, are somewhere between 7 and 8% of the population. And yet they get a huge amount of airtime in the BBC. They get public tax money for their faith-based schools. They've been arguing for exemptions from various laws. And these things are unacceptable.

And so there is a very very serious debate to be had here about the place of religion in the public domain, given that our culture is a functionally secular one. And secularism is something that the religions themselves should be embracing for their own survival. Because if any one religion were to become dominant in the public square, the inevitable effect would be that the other ones are silenced or marginalised.

So it does all of us good if we see a secularist dispensation persist. Having won it with such difficulty in the last few centuries"

(Philosophy Bites)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Force Fireball!


(Hope)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

the 24 types of Libertarian

Guestbook entry from a junior (by 10 years)

"omg i found this site while trawling the web for PW EoM material and i have to say that you are completely awesome (:
here's hoping you dont ever outgrow the awesome : D"

Yayness!

The perfection of pre-modernity

"College isn't the place to go for ideas." - Helen Keller

***

Indian Chief 'Two Eagles' was asked by a white U.S. government official, 'You have observed the white man for 90 years. You've seen his wars and his technological advances. You've seen his progress, and the damage he's done.'

The Chief nodded in agreement.

The official continued, 'Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?'

The Chief stared at the government official for over a minute and then calmly replied, 'When white man find land, Indians running it, no taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water. Women did all the work, Medicine man free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; all night having sex.'

Then the chief leaned back and smiled, 'Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that.'
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