Friday, July 27, 2007

A call for proof readers

This is an abstract for a paper i am submitting for publication in a few days, could someone look over it and tell me it makes sense. if you could sent them to me by email, that would be keen

since no one else has said any thing, i will take that to mean that there are no more problems. thanks for you feedback.

24 has never been the sort of show to shy away from controversy. Before the show had established itself as a critical and commercial success, the protagonist of the show, Jack Bauer, tortures a terrorist suspect in the back of a limo. Since then, 24 has been the site of much political debate. Anti-war and minority rights activists have argued the show is right-wing propaganda or depicts minority groups as caricatured stereotypes. At the same time, pro-war commentators, both outside and inside the government, argue that the show is an accurate representation of counter-terrorism.

For this paper, I will look at posts made on a message board populated by a dedicated group of fans that discuss a range of television related topics. These topics include critiques of the most recent episodes, speculation about future episodes, and discussion of the television industry. Because of 24's connection to issues related to the War on Terror, one might expect to find an in-depth discussion of the way the show depicts torture. Instead, what one finds are many posts joking about the torture and its place within the show. This paper will apply the psychoanalytic scholarship of Sigmund Freud and Alan Dundes and the sociological scholarship of Ronald G. Webb to analyze the way torture related humor functions within the context of this message board. Then, I will connect the discussion of humor to a wider discourse about the war on terror and torture.

ive added andrew's notes, thanks. (the lack of italics is a fuction of the c/p into HTML)


I will be working with the Freedom Center in Cincinnati as an interpreter and researcher. I may even get to take people to Madison, or do research on Erasmus Darwin MacMaster and Thomas E. Thomas. It is no Holocaust Center, but it will do.
Move in date will be the 15th of August. start date will be the 16th. and there will be some retreat thing starting the 20th.


Woke up today to everything [chat]

All is for chattin'. Honk if you can read the spoiler text.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I have your "special counsel" right here.

Senate Democrats have apparently called for a special counsel to probe whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales perjured himself during his testimony regarding the firing of U.S. attorneys and the domestic surveillance program.

Probing, eh? That sounds difficult. Now, I'm not a fancy lawyer with a fancy lawyering degree, and I have no experience legally probing things (or do i?) but let's see if I can find any evidence that shows Gonzales perjuring himself. But before I do that let me hop over to and read one of their latest articles. You know, just as a bit of a break.

“The dissent related to other intelligence activities,” Gonzales testified at Tuesday’s hearing. “The dissent was not about the terrorist surveillance program.”

“Not the TSP?” responded Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y. “Come on. If you say it’s about other, that implies not. Now say it or not.”

“It was not,” Gonzales answered. “It was about other intelligence activities.”

A four-page memo from the national intelligence director’s office says the White House briefing with the eight lawmakers on March 10, 2004, was about the terror surveillance program, or TSP.

Well, that was certainly difficult.

Senate Democrats? I know you are old and out of touch with reality. I know you read Locke in college and thought he was a sensible guy with great ideas. But how about we skip all that stupid-ass bullshit and just buy a vcr, television and then visit a Kinkos. Here's what you do. At Kinkos you print out all of the memos you have which refute the testimony of Gonzales on big sheets of paper so those near-sighted pedophiles you work with can read them. Then you mount those printouts on a wall somewhere. Say, the walls of the capital. After this you put the television next to the display, attach the vcr to the television, put the tapes of Gonzales testifying in the VCR and hit "Play". If at any point in this you are confused, you doddering old diaper shitters, you can ask any three year old nearby to help.

Then after this is set up and the tape is playing you stand back and you fucking point at it. And you don't stop pointing until all of those shit-for-brains asshole Senators look at it and exclaim, "Holy fucking shit! He lied!"

You can handle pointing, right?

Statute of Limitations: Spoilers

With the release of Deathly Hallows we have a neat opportunity to discuss spoilers and the period of time that must be allowed to pass between a thing being release and information about the thing being presented.

This article, in part, addresses the issue offhandedly.

One quote from the article favors a significant chunk of time:
"I think we should have at least a few months, allow people to read and discuss and digest before blasting it from headlines," says Leaky Cauldron Web master Melissa Anelli.

Another quote, from J.K. Rowling, endorses a shorter period of time:
"You can't be too precious about this stuff. Obviously, as a writer I would prefer people to be able to sit down and read it and discover the ending through reading the whole story. But with 'Half-Blood Prince,' people dangled a sheet over a flyover (overpass) the next day — 'Snape kills Dumbledore.' Part of me does find that very funny; I can't help myself."

What do you think?

Harry Potter: Expanded Epilogue.

The TODAY show interviewed J.K. Rowling and she said some stuff about what happens after Deathly Hallows.

Note: Pirate Pete says, "Thar be spoilers in that thar link!"

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Guitar Hero Rocks the Nineteen Hundred and Eighties

I don't know how many of you picked this thing up on yesterday, but it's out and nobody here seems to be talking about it? Here's a mini-review

Very First Impression: Why is this game costing fifty dollars?
Actual Play Time: Oh boy, 30 new songs! Oh wow some of these are the bee's knees! Whee!
A Few Hours Later: Why the hell did this game cost fifty dollars?

So either we got a huge price break on the first two games, and now we're paying them back for their trouble, or the licenses in this game were SO VERY HUGE, or maybe Activision just knows that there are plenty of us who will shell out full price for a mod. Or I guess there could be a $10 surcharge for any Harmonix game that doesn't feature Freezepop.

I feel kind of bad complaining about the price, since the game is pretty much what I had expected, and I went ahead and bought it anyway. And it's not like it's not fun or anything, the price is really the only thing that's wrong with the whole package. Oh well.

Washington, Washington.

At the Guster concert they walked out to a song called, "Washington". For those who have not seen the video....

MST3K is kinda back

first mike nelson brought us RiffTrax audio commentaries for resent popular films and TV shows (like Crossroads!). Now Nelson along Bill Corbett (brain guy and Crow), and Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo and Bobo) are going to be doing funny commentaries for Shout! Factory. I think we all need to vote for Hollywood After Dark so we can listen to them make fun Rue McClannahan (who takes her close off).

Your Raeks can suck it!

From Gizmodo
its hammering time!

We aren't the only ones who hated it!

The guy at VG Cats hated the Transformers movie, too!

See! There's nothing wrong with us!

The cost of empathy: $11,000 for a cat.

There was a Newsweek article posted today about Frederick R Lynch, a university professor who spent $11,000 on veterinary bills for his cat. Why would a person pay $11,000 for a three legged, twice pancreatic cat which, at best, had a life expectancy of 600 days after the removal of its leg? In the article the author justified spending this money by writing, “But I have to believe that as a society, we're a long way from 17th-century French philosopher René Descartes, who claimed that animals have no right to humane treatment because they have no souls. Today, I'm one of many who think that higher mammals are self-conscious, spiritual creatures.” I think, however, that this justification only serves to cover the primary reason for spending $11,000 on a cat: emotional attachment and a misunderstanding of empathy.

At the beginning of this article the author wrote, “He'd [the cat] wandered into my life 11 years earlier, an abandoned orange tabby. I'd just lost my 16-year-old Himalayan cat to kidney disease. I wasn't ready for another, much less a stray. But Fritz had a remarkable personality radiating from golden eyes that were almost human.” So after the loss of a cat owned for 16 years this new cat appeared with its “eyes that were almost human”. Not only did this new cat fill the emotional gap left by the deceased 16 year old Himalayan, but also this cat, to the author, had “eyes that were almost human” and this, I think, leads to the idea of mistaken empathy.

Empathy is “one's ability to recognize, perceive and directly feel the emotion of another”. The problem with empathy, though, is that it requires an individual to understand how it is to be the being with which one empathizes. To empathize with a bat one would have to know how it is to be a bat. But, as we learned from Nagel, one cannot know how is it to be a bat unless one is a bat. A human can only ever know what it is to be a human imaginine one’s self to be a bat. In the same way one can never know how it is to be cat unless one is a cat. So whenever a human tries to empathize with a cat they are attempting an impossible task, as they cannot know how it is to be a cat, but rather can only know how it is to be a human.

A good example of the mistakes one makes when empathizing with animals can be found in the statement, “I made my choice—our choice. I hoped Fritz would agree.” Cats do not agree and if cats do agree they do not agree in the same sense that humans agree. The author wrote that he believes cats to be “self-conscious”. As a person who has owned three cats I would argue that cats are not “self-conscious” but rather are “self-aware”. The difference is that a self-aware being is aware of its self as an entity. The monologue of such a being would be, “I’m a cat. I’m a cat. I’m a cat.” Self-conscious means that a being is conscious of its own self and would have the monologue of, “I’m a cat. What is it to be a cat? How ought I cat?” Cats may be self-aware, but cats are not self-conscious. So the idea of a cat agreeing with a medical decision, weighing the costs and benefits, analyzing the course of treatment and the life expectations after treatment, is just plain silly.

So if one cannot know how it is to be a cat, and if cats are not self-conscious, why would one attempt to see cats as self-conscious, tiny furry people with whom one can empathize? I think the answer is the emotional attachment between the owner and the cat. Pet owners imagine their pets to be more than they are because this facilitates the emotional connection which they think exists. When my fish was sick I empathized with it, “How would I feel to have a hole in my head?” but this was a mistake on my part. I cannot know how it is to be a Frontosa, just as the author of that article cannot know how it is to be a cat. How would it be to have cancer as a cat? How would it be to be subject to daily medical regiments as a cat? How can one make medical decisions for a being one does not know how it is to be? The only way to do this is to do what Nagel says we cannot, understand how it is to be something other than what we are.

I think that in the case of this article the author is not paying $11,000 for the well-being of the cat. The author is paying $11,000 to lessen his empathetic suffering and to prolong the cat’s life in an attempt to stave off the inevitable grief the cat’s death will bring. The author is paying $11,000 to make himself feel better by doing what his attempts at empathy lead him to think will make the cat feel better; he’s helping himself.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

On Pokéymans.

If you haven't read Gabe's recent posts on Penny-Arcade about his pokémon tournament experience you really need to.

new lolRaek?

From the President's Office

To the Hanover Campus Community:

I am pleased to announce the addition of Lynn Hall to the cabinet. There are two reasons for this addition. First, athletics is an important element in the students’ overall college experience and we need to have their input on campus wide issues. Second, Lynn reports directly to me and I believe all direct reports to the President should serve on the cabinet. Lynn will add her knowledge and sense of fair mindedness to our discussions.

This leadership team will work together to guide the college and it is important that all constituencies are represented. As we look for ways to make Hanover stronger please contact any of the following individuals with ideas and suggestions.


To the Hanover Campus Community:

The Rivers Institute at Hanover College is a very unique opportunity for any college or university. I want to be sure we take full advantage of that opportunity. Therefore, I am placing the Rivers Institute in the academic affairs division which will allow us to continue to build on the strong programs already in place, while providing direction for future growth. The search for an executive director will continue, and once selected, the executive director will report directly to the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs. This represents the next step in the Institute’s maturation and will help ensure that students and faculty are direct beneficiaries of this program

The Institute should enhance our understanding of the culture, economics and science of river systems. It should be a model for interdisciplinary and collaborative study and teaching. It also has an external requirement to find partners from outside Hanover to continue the work once the grant has ended.

If you have suggestions about how we can advance the Rivers Institute, or know of someone who might be interested in the Director position, please contact Rob Graham.

The winds of change & what not.

Monday, July 23, 2007

iPhone: Moer Liek iPWNED!!!!

Joor iPhone r bein teh haxxed.

As an aside, this site used the "ipwned" joke as well, cept they spelled it differently.

Daily Show Tonight

everyone's favorite astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will be on dailyshow tonight

I don't understand Poker.

There is an article on MSNBC about an upcomming game between a World Champion Poker Player and a Computer. It discusses, in part, the mathematics involved in teaching a computer to play poker. So, it's interesting to people who find that sort of thing interesting.

But what I don't understand is how someone can be good at poker. Because I don't "get" it. I don't know what my opponent has, so how can I know if I have something better than what my opponent has?

It's something to discuss.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I Hope Tomorrow is Like Today

I just checked the liner notes for Keep it Togetehr
"I Hope Tomarrow is Like Today" was co-wrote by Kweller.