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A by-night flyer and a rainbow rider
Recent Activity
set up a nerdy irc room imo i will teach all of the people to use mibbit
Toggle Commented Sep 26, 2012 on Closing time soon at The Slacktiverse
Oddly enough, yes.
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2012 on Private Slang at The Slacktiverse
We use one of my friends names as a slang term for "Marrying a professor."
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2012 on Private Slang at The Slacktiverse
@TRiG No, thank goodness. The hallucinations were from good ol' fashioned sleep deprivation, 3-5 days worth.
So I had the flu. My buddy decided to drive me to the doctor - I left him in the waiting room with a book and the doctor took me back to an examination room that was three medical-bed things separated by curtains. So he leaves and I'm sitting there waiting and all of the sudden there is a huge commotion. They wheel a woman into the room on a gurney and she's strapped down and crying and the guy with her is crying and the doctors are doing stuff to her, and I'm sitting there very quietly trying to figure out what was going on. Over the course of the emergency I managed to gather from listening in that the couple had been in a rather bad car crash the night before, but since they seemed okay they decided not to visit the hospital. Unfortunately, they were not okay - the woman had sustained internal injuries in the wreck and didn't know about them until the day after, and it was in dangerous territory. Awkard. So as they are getting ready to prep her for surgery or whatever, my doctor comes back in, goes "Does your head hurt?" and I said yes. He gave me a prescription and sent me out. He gave me a prescription for lortab. I'd never had a painkiller outside of surgery. I took the medicine as prescribed. I tripped. You see, I am particularly vulnerable to side-effects that cause drowsiness. Over the course of that week I: 1) Got lost in a two story science building. Unable to find my way out, I resorted to hunkering down and waiting for someone to come by and guide me out. Note: I had been having classes in that building for like three years at that point. 2) Managed to avoid meeting Barack Obama because the night we were arranged to have a small meeting with him, I literally slid across the carpet and slammed my head into a wall. 3) Stopped taking the medicine. The effects didn't go away within six hours. Queue me weeping to my best friend: "I took this medicine and it is going to make me dumb forever!
It's the age of rad non-violent games. The BIT TRIP series is too much fun - BIT TRIP BEAT is like a single player pong where the longer you go without missing a ball, the more elements the beat has. If you miss too many, the screen goes monochrome and there is no music. The various hacking games that are out now are basically puzzle games with command lines - Hacker Evolution and Uplink. World of Goo is classic.
Toggle Commented Aug 2, 2012 on Peace and Pixels at The Slacktiverse
Has anyone brought up "The Last Ringbearer" yet?
I hope things get better for you, hapax.
Toggle Commented Feb 12, 2012 on TBAT announcement at The Slacktiverse
"illegal or illegal" should read "citizens, legal immigrants, and illegal immigrants."
Alabama politicians are the worst. I don't know if ya'll have been following the immigration bill controversy, but Alabama passed the most aggressive, invasive immigration law in the nation. NPR did a great story about it on This American Life, which has a segment where the interviewer asks one of the Republican legislators who passed the bill whether or not Jesus would have voted it. He answers no. The bill works by trying to create a hostile environment for people of Hispanic descent - illegal or illegal. Vigilante "enforcement" has been going on, with people at wal-mart refusing to take or cash checks for people of hispanic descent without a birth certificate, etc. (One of my sisters friends in the band, when he found out what was happening to Hispanic people due to this law, commented "I never thought there would be a day where I would be glad to be black in Alabama.)
@Jemand The problem is that it does treat religious people as non-persons. If you think religious people are just carriers of a harmful thought-disease that needs to be cured, you aren't treating them like people, you are treating them like a rabid dog. I also don't think you are actually getting how sinister "A world where everyone thinks like me" is. Atheists often criticize Christian attempts to proselytize for exactly that reason, and it's a good reason - "I cannot wait until we have a world with no atheists... not that I would force them to give up atheism..." is absolutely terrifying and it's clear that the second part is nonsense.
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2012 on Managing the discussion at The Slacktiverse
@Kisekileia The comments section at FreeThought Blogs isn't actually as bad as it was here because PZ Myers actually bans for anti-woman stuff there - we just happened to get the lurkers who can't post that crap there, and they saw an opportunity to do it to us.
The last line was killer. I love it. Good article MercuryBlue :D
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2012 on The Privileges of Health at The Slacktiverse
@Rupaul That sounds awesome, you are kinda making me want to run out to grab Living in the End Times now. Re: "But how can you tell who is going to come trolling and who is just being a newcomer" - it grows on you as you participate in spaces. I think everyone here that has ever participated in a minority space knows at least a few tells where they see someone come in and say, "I know exactly what this person is going to post" and it's not because they are psychic (apologies to any psychic-claiming slacktiverses!) but because some behavior is just so archetypal that we've all seen it a million times and we don't have to play the game out to the conclusion to know what's going to go on. There's a place where I talk about minority perspectives in gaming and one day this dude came in and said, "The "safe space" concept as it usually manifests itself is so very close to "if you choose to disagree, and if you disagree too hard, or in a way that triggers someone's -anyone's- particular tick, trauma, or quirk, we will either ban you or -lacking this power- be snarky and deride you until you give up." It's like a bizarro version of the exact thing that a handful of posters kept accusing the games forum of as a whole." So everyone knew he was going to be a huge misogynist and pointed it out and made fun of him. Of course, the usual crowd came in and went "But how can you know he hates women? He's just asking questions, man! He hasn't said anything anti-woman" and one of the moderators pointed to another thread where he said: TW: Outrageously dumb anti-women rape-apologia stuff that everyone knew was coming because, seriously, look at that first quote I think one of the wisest quotes I've read on it came from a fellow SA poster who, in a thread where a bunch of people were saying "Well, Ron Paul let's racists write racist things in his newspaper, he let's racists lead his campaign, he has dinner with racists and keeps up with the racist news... But how do you KNOW he is a racist??", said "All this blatant handwaving reminds me of the cross burning at Tulane years ago that was explained away by white people as "we were having a bonfire and the wood just happened to resemble a cross." Of course, the fact that the MLK Jr. Drive sign "somehow" got on their pile of wood was just a strange coincidence too. White people are mostly raised to never see racism, even overt acts of it."
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2012 on Managing the discussion at The Slacktiverse
@AnaMardoll You may be interested in this quote from famous holocaust survivor Victor Frankl who wrote the book "Man's Search for Meaning." After he was rescued from the camps, he became a therapist and the question came up about how he could put so much effort into caring for people who didn't suffer nearly as much as he did. In "Man's Search for Meaning" he says, "To draw an analogy: a man's suffering is similar to the behavior of gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the "size" of human suffering is absolutely relative."
TW: Herein I compare Trigger Warnings to Sexual Ethics. The idea that trigger warnings "stifle discussion" is silly because the whole point in trigger warnings is to allow the content to be posted and invite those who are curious to read it. When someone posts "Trigger Warning: Transhumanism" they aren't ceasing to discuss transhumanism, instead they are discussing it more fully by giving more information up front to the reader. Trigger warnings are to discussion what "informed consent" is to feminist sexual ethics - it frees discussion (like informed consent frees sexuality) by liberating it from the problematic assumption that the default state of being is "I consent to have sex / read this."
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2012 on Managing the discussion at The Slacktiverse <---- I was going to post this interview in a footnote because it is hilarious and illustrates some of the stuff about him, but I forgot. Also while we are talking about food, everyone should try biryani, it is delicious.
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2012 on Managing the discussion at The Slacktiverse
@Kit Whitfield Haha, yep, that's the guy - although he's a philosopher and not a historian, which is a good thing since he views history as a collection things to analyze. He basically uses history like he uses Hitchcock - to drive analysis and inspire questions. He's a complicated figure - I haven't seen his talk on the Reign of Terror (I really should since I made a Reign of Terror joke in the other thread) but I wouldn't be surprised if he came off as a sadist in it. He spent years unemployed because of his refusal to legitimize communist militancy in his home country - he's outrageously anti-Stalinism due to his background, which comes across in his real interviews, but defends Stalinism in many of his books because he wants to "render problematic the too-easy liberal alternatives." His work is purposefully outrageous so it can undermine the End of History - the idea that we've already discovered the best system, capitalism, and so on forever we can only make minor reforms to it. He'll wave the flag of terror in one chapter and in that same chapter turn around and condemn what he was arguing for in the first half as inhuman, because his purpose is to try to re-open closed avenues while being "sufficiently critical" enough not to repeat their mistakes. It doesn't help that thanks to his Lacanian background, almost all of his writing is filtered through that lense, so that the violence he is calling for may be an attempt to be shocking so he can contradict it later or it may be an attempt to talk about cutting yourself off of the law and into the Real, etc. He's kind of like an Anti-Peter Singer - people in philosophy classes read what amounts to (philosophically) reasonable positions by Peter Singer, who actually believes the stuff he is writing, and ask "He can't believe that, can he? He must just be trying to get a reaction" When Zizek writes something outrageous and contradicts it later, students and critics say "He actually believes that! That is so mad that he cannot be pulling our leg" (which is why it's almost as fun to read criticisms of Zizek as Zizek himself, although Zizek has the edge because he expects us to be in on his jokes. Also, he includes actual jokes.) Aside from his leftist stuff, though, I think he's a great source on religion and many Catholics have embraced them for that. His views on applying critical theory to Christianity are both amusing and poignant, his reinterpretations of religious events and writers manage to embrace their points while undermining them and presenting new options, and the way he portrays relations between belief and society have great explanatory power. His comparison of Paul with Lenin paints a very interesting picture of early Christianity and the controversy over Paul and his anti-woman stances. It both enables the Marxist to have greater understanding of the dynamics of early Christianity, but also gives Christians greater understanding of the genesis of Marxism-Leninism. He talks about Death of God theology a lot, which makes sense because he is basically a death of god theologian himself. To use one of his favorite lines, "He may look like a Death of God theologian, and he may write about religion like a Death of God theologian - but do not be fooled! He really is a Death of God theologian!" I'll just throw in an example of one of the provocative things he says and how I think it has explanatory power. In an interview with Charlie Rose** he tries to explain belief-outside-yourself using Santa Clause. He says, if you ask an adult if they believe in Santa Clause, they will say "Of course not, I'm the one that buys the presents and puts them under the tree." If you ask a smart child if they believe in Santa Clause, they will say "Of course not, I know that it's my parents that put the presents under the tree." He sees that neither party really thinks Santa Clause is real, but they both carry on actions that perpetuate Santa Clause - So, Zizek asks, "in what sense can we say that they do not believe?" This idea of belief-through-actions instead of belief-through-thought is useful for analyzing say, the misogynist trolls that show up. One of the blogs commenting on this situation said, "Of course, the people saying these anti-woman slurs love women in their own lives. They do not dislike women - they just dislike a few women in particular." But if they practice misogyny-through-actions, in what sense can we say they do not believe in misogyny? The focus on the inner life as the seat of belief instead of belief-through-actions isn't ideologically neutral, it is ideology, because we live in it.
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2012 on Managing the discussion at The Slacktiverse
@Froborr Sorry, I didn't mean everyone universally, I mean people who are raised to value conflict as conflict. Mostly people engulfed by traditional patriarchal masculinity, which does cast aspersions on people viewed as weak. Mark Driscoll is an example of that. Feminism & Safe Spaces threaten the supremacy of that interpretation of masculinity. I think it would have been more clear if I had reversed the order of that sentence. :P
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2012 on Managing the discussion at The Slacktiverse
Gonna theory-craft here. Because people have a deep-seated contempt for anyone they perceive as "weak" and people who are raised in a debate culture see everything in terms of conflict - if you are "strong" and have "strong" positions, you are virtuous - if you are averse to conflict, you are weak,and therefore morally bad. Is it any surprise that the idea of being averse to conflict - which is traditionally the position regarded as "feminine" by the majority cultures of the west - is spat upon as being weak? I don't think so. The hostility towards feminist attempts to create safe spaces reminds me of something Zizek* talks about in this book, unbelief as the infinite negation of belief, that is, "the pure form of belief deprived of its substantialization - "unbelief" is still the form of belief, like the undead who, as the living dead, remain dead." I think you could say that the current displays of contempt for safe spaces are the infinite negation of Mark Driscoll style calls to enforce masculinity. These attempts have the same form as Driscoll's horrible preaching (attacks against people perceived to be "weak," trying to enforce cultural ideas of what masculinity should be) without the substantialization (the acknowledgement of the gendered nature of these attacks - unlike Driscoll, many people who deem themselves "progressive" yet attack safe spaces would deny that their attempts to hound the week have anything to do with traditional, patriarchal representations of masculinity, instead, claiming that they are "truly neutral" or even positive on issues of gender. Much like the white person who may claim that they, unlike other people, do not have a culture - they are blind to the fact because they are immersed in it.) *I literally just read this so I'm swinging wild here
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2012 on Managing the discussion at The Slacktiverse
The True Gyro is the one that has the most lamb, obviously.
Different situations require different circumstances, but I've found myself in the position of trying to comfort people by letting them know that it's OK to feel what they feel pretty often lately. When you are going through a bad situation, it's pretty easy to turn your gaze on yourself and beat yourself up for letting yourself get emotionally involved and afffected by the situation. I know that it comforts me a lot when people legitimize my reactions during periods of suffering, so I like to help others in the same situations by pointing out that it isn't "weird" to be emotionally affected.
@Sarah It's even funnier because whiteness is completely arbitrary. Benjamin Franklin complained about the swarthy, non-white Germans taking white jobs, dating white women, and eventually making people speak their language. To celebrate "white heritage" is merely to celebrate "The Establishment decided to stop considering my people inferior," which is absolutely nothing worth celebrating as long as there are people the establishment continues to consider inferior. @Froborr I attribute this kind of thing to the pressure society puts on minorities to try to be "the good one" - sometimes "Well, we ARE the good one!" takes hold. It's not surprising to me when it happens, but it's very sad.
Are you seriously resorting to "those primitive muslims are all violent, horrible people?" You obviously don't understand the purpose of this blog, and expecting decent behavior is not some civil rights violation.
Toggle Commented Feb 8, 2012 on Board Post, February 7 2012 at The Slacktiverse
Hahaha are you seriously going to try to play "but fundamentalists act bad so it's okay if I drop down to their level?"
Toggle Commented Feb 8, 2012 on Board Post, February 7 2012 at The Slacktiverse