Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sorites [chat]adox

Sorites Paradox:
Premise 1: 1,000,000 grains of sand is a heap of sand
Premise 2: A heap of sand minus one grain is still a heap.

Repeated applications of Premise 2 (each time starting with one less grain), eventually forces one to accept the conclusion that a heap may be composed of just one grain of sand (and consequently, if one grain of sand is still a heap, then removing that one grain of sand to leave no grains at all still leaves a heap of sand).
So, [chat], at what point does a "heap" of sand cease to be a "heap" and transition to, say, a "pile" of sand?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Greatest Webcomic Edit, Ever

Greatest Webcomic Edit, ever.


Explanation:
Original comic
News Story

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Battlestar Galactica: Space & Timeline

An excellent summary of why the Battlestar Galactica writing staff needs to be shot:


Battlestar Galactical Space & Timeline

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Venture Brothers Action Figures: God Awful

The Monarch and Dean Venture

Doctor Venture and Brock Samson

Some day toy designers will learn that cloth is not something out of which one need make garments for action figures.

Today is not that day.

Explanations?


Watch Kirsten Dunst "Turning Japanese" in Music | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Individual and Community: Individualism is Fucking Retarded

Within political and everyday discourse there is, at base, a fundamental contention manifest over the question of which conception of humanity takes precedence: Either the focus is upon individual human beings or the focus is upon the community of human beings taken together. This contention has been articulated throughout history with great thinkers arguing for each side. Some maintain that "individual" is the proper ontological status while others argue for "community" as the proper ontological status.

The problem is that, really, the entire concept and platform for the "individual" argument is pretty god damned stupid.

Ontologically speaking, unless it is maintained that an individual is a Cartesian cogito floating about thinking naught but tautologies, an individual human being is a biological creature. Individual human beings survive as a result of their interactions with, at the very least, the biological habitat which sustains them. No human being thinks into existence its own oxygen, its own water, its own food. Oxygen, water, and food come to be obtained via an interaction with a community, a going beyond one's self into an other. Were there but one human being, this one human being would still not be an individual, ontologically speaking, provided that the human being's existence was in some way dependent upon an other manifest as oxygen, water, or food. An isolated vegetarian human being would still have a relation to the carrots it consumed, or at very least the one carrot it consumed.

Biological concerns aside, in the year our lord 2010 no human being is completely self-sufficient. A particular individual does not make its own rope, make its own paint, grow its own food, craft its own garments, etc. The previous paragraph dealt with the conception of a hermit alone in the woods eating nuts and berries by articulating that even the relation of the hermit to the nut and berry dissolves any conception of "individual". But hermits aside, it is entirely asinine to maintain that an individual who exchanges society-manifest currency for bread at a Wal-Mart is somehow an individual. To utilize others is to fundamentally undermine an ontological conception of self as individual.

Usually there are sensible articulations of each side to an argument. So, in the case of individual v community it would seem sensible to suppose sensible arguments on each side. Unfortunately, the individual argument is fundamentally "Individualism is the case, provided that the wealth of evidence to the contrary is ignored." To argue for radical individualism, or even a modest version of individualism, is to ignore reality. It is to argue: "Individuals rely upon others to maintain their existence, but this reliance does not count!"

Which is, again, fucking stupid.

A particular human being arguing for the individualist position could attempt to admit the ontological issue but maintain that a particular human being can conceive of itself as an individual. Somehow this conception of individualism could provide a foundation for an individualist position. Unfortunately for this argument, wrong-headedness is not commonly accepted as an effective argumentative strategy. To think one's self a carrot is not to be a carrot. To think one's self an individual is not to be an individual.

It can be argued that individualism has its merits, or that individualism may be preferred. But individualism is simply not the case either ontologically, biologically, or argumentatively for human beings. To inhale oxygen is to manifest a relation. To purchase food is to manifest a relation. To talk or work or run is to manifest a relation.

So what does this all mean? Why the fuck does it matter?

There exists the state of being selfish; one can be selfish. Individualism is a position for which arguments can be made. But these are less than illusions; these are positions maintained by those who decidedly ignore the way things are. To sit in one's home proclaiming that one is an individual is to fail to recognize the causal story of that home's coming to be. To consume a meal by one's supposed lonesome and laud selfishness and individualism is to fail to understand that meal's coming to be. To maintain individualism and live in the world is to fundamentally fail to grasp, at the most basic level, that this conception has fundamentally two parts, a relation, between the individual and the world.

Linguistically there is an articulation for an individual; there is a noun for "self". Conceptually it is possible to divide the community of humanity, the community of existence, into discrete parts. In its living in the world a particular human being manifests a first-person perspective and an internal monologue.

But these are not arguments for individualism; these do not prove that there exists a discrete self-sufficient, isolated individual. These are not evidental points of fact upon which selfishness can be argued or maintained. These are subsets of a larger whole; these are not wholes unto themselves.

This is the real, important, question to address in the community v individual debate: Which is the whole? Which is the part? Does "I" denote "whole" or "part"?

The answer is pretty fucking obvious.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Do you sell the Internet?

This is why 75,000 compters are infected by the Zeus Trojan botnet.



Leo is very nice to this very stupid women.