the only easy day was yesterday

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Simple Interest

i was watching law and order and an interesting question came to mind. one that can be argued from 1's and 0's all the way to general right and wrong.

Artificial intelligence, i though - it would solve many questions about environmental causes for behavior; sexual abused children becoming abusers...but upon sucessful creation of ai (which is likely impossible) must we treat the "thing" we create that lives and thinks ethically? could we recreate the experiment in order to conduct tests like the molested/molester test? or is it just as wrong? (hint: this gets at your criteria for human dignity - compare it to cloaning humans for the same experiments)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hip Hop Blog Dude Calls out TI :
"But again, I digress. My issue is not so much why it is that T.I. is free to walk the streets - it’s that he plans to use his court-ordered community service to give lectures to today’s youth, what with their fragile, egg-shell minds. This strikes me as a bad idea for a few reasons.
First of all, the guy’s a fucking idiot, and I’m not sure if I’d want someone that dumb talking to my kids. The shit might rub off on them.
I mean, look at the shit he got busted for in the first place. What kind of dumbass, let alone a dumbass with multiple felony convictions on his record, agrees over the phone - to some bodyguard he’s only known for a brief period of time - to accept a cache of weapons in exchange for money, in a parking lot outside the motherfucking BET Awards? That just shows a lack of critical thinking."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rarely So Affected

When I ordered "I Am Legend" earlier today, I thought I'd signed up for another ill 2 hours of Will Smith kicking some serious ass. Instead I experienced the saddest moment I've ever seen in a film (though that really only concerns to dog lovers), and a good ending - by which I mean not a happy ending. The movie is by all means sincerely depressing. The scene where he has to kill his dog - his only living companion - literally hurts to watch. Maybe Will Smith can only play one roll, but he plays it damn convincingly. The plot has holes in places, and of course it's far fetched, but it eminates a surprisingly strong notion of genuine human heroism. As an averagely raised American child, I am subject to the same lack of belief that anyone can truly change anything for mankind - and not that it would even necessarily have a greater meaning, but more that we are essentially futile in all of our actions. Unfortunately the American ethical mantra gives itself to this - if everyone is entirely autonomous and does not infringe on anyone else's rights, where can anyone really be effective to another? Not anywhere significant, because we all want to be independent; so this leads to that and we're all up in arms about politics and whatnot, and its the necessary state of affairs given our governmental system - which, albeit the possibility [probability] of biased and shaky leadership, is the most philosophically sound governing system there will ever be. 

I Am Legend managed to change my tone slightly. The movie culminates with the Legend sacrificing himself in order to protect the cure he found for the virus, in the form of throwing himself at a group of zombies with a grenade in his hand. Instantly I thought of what we really consider a hero - a particular Navy SEAL named Michael Monsoor, who just a few weeks ago was awarded the purple heart posthumously for throwing himself onto a grenade in order to save two of his brothers in arms. Unfortunately that's all he did. He  also probably made his platoon buddies feel really guilty about it for the rest of their lives as well as the memory of being splattered with their brother's entrails. But still the same act is of such miniscule consequence compared to the that of our fictional counterpart's. What does it take to have a genuinely transcendent figure that rises above the rest and conquors and unites? Wherefore do we find that long lost sense of "Legend" that has always been the honor of the greatest people in history to strive for? Do we no longer hold the acheivements  of Achilles and Heracles and Aeneas as something to be honored? Just because we're such avid scientists and we think we've got everything down just fine does that mean there is no more room left for awe of the world and those who are brave enough to face the futility and strive for greatness anyway?

Anyway besides all this ranting the point is that Colossal figures drive us. I couldn't care less about a political triumph over the economy, or anything of the sort, but at the same time i know our government is exactly what humanity needs to be exactly what each person wants themselves to be. So our minds and our rights are protected, and our 'souls' denied the wonder they crave - i wonder if suppressed minds and skewed rights might bring brighter souls; the intellectual goal, after all, will never be acheived...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

stray dogs

"Forget the anarchist part of it. I'm through with the movement long since. I saw men didn't want to be saved from themselves, for that would mean they'd have to give up greed, and they'll never pay that price for liberty. So I said to the world, God bless all here, and may the nest man win and die of gluttony! And I took a seat in the grandstand of philosophical detachment to fall asleep observing the cannibals do their death dance."

i like the quote, it's well written, but i feel the need to add a disclaimer, and that i think it's crap, it's just well said crap. it's from the iceman cometh, eugene o'neill.

Friday, April 18, 2008

In the spirit of posting videos...

Apparently this debate was straight up poorly run.

Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote an open letter to the ABC pair, declaring, “you disgraced my profession of journalism, and, by association, me and a lot of hard-working colleagues who do still try to ferret out the truth, rather than worry about who can give us the best deal on our capital gains taxes.” He added, “asking Obama whether he thought Rev. Wright ‘loved America’ and then suggesting that Obama himself is somehow a hater of the American flag, or worse, were flat-out repulsive.”

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Purina: "Oh, yea, we've also stopped aging in children"

This Just In: Toyota Succesfully Defies Fundamental Rule of Logic

Green Freaks Ecstatic

can't imbed that motherfucker. isn't asking if a car company - that makes cars only for money, and for nothing else, cars that pollute no matter how green you paint them - can grow with the environment the exact same thing as asking whether something can be something and not something at the very same time and in the same respect? and isn't that the cardinal rule of logic- quite possibly one of the things that helps our minds to make sense of the world we live in?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Everything is Dubitable

There are two very important things on my mind. One; the want to set more firmly, via writing, my position on my own ethical outlook - im more comfortable with things when ive versed myself in every aspect and consequence of their reason. And two; doubt...

Doubt is annoying. Very much so. My concern is not doubt itself, which I actually hold to be the only indubitable thing there is (that is, that we, as humans, will always doubt), but what we must do to live a sane life in the shadow of doubt. There's a reason they say that all philosophy is, foremost, still struggling with descartes, and furthermore, socrates - because there's no way to get around what they said, and there's infinite ways we can try, but only so many very smart people every generation who can give those tries their 15 minutes of fame. Descartes, in a more modern way (so i shall use him instead of sox), says that there is nothing which we cannot doubt, besides, of course, the self. Actually, you can doubt the self in time using the same method of skepticism employed by Descartes (that is, the only self you can believe that you are indeed, is the self at any individual moment; your feeling of having existed may have been put there), but it's sort of useless, so we wont bother.

The point is, that its in our nature to doubt, and its very strongly in mine. Reason leads to doubt, which leads to clever ways to get around doubt, which also results in clever ways to manipulate other things, which ends in lovely things like laptop computers and the internet. But for those who are stuck in doubt (all of us), we are always, sooner or later, going to doubt everything we do and have done and the worth of anything and everything. It is for the reason of doubt that i can no longer continue to lead as intellectual a life as i had previously aspired to; it is my nature to doubt, and the life of academia leads to doubts which are too overwhelming for my own mental health.

But I must live, and doubt overwhelms all that I do. And when I doubt, I revert to the instinct of bodily comforts. I know my goal requires me to wake up early, but when I wake I find some half asleep reason to doubt what I know to be a better life for me than just keeping my body comfortable. The greatest comfort I can know is that which comes after hard work and overwhelming loads of work, etc. I've been to the place where i read and eat and sleep and wonder, and I can't do it, it drives me insane. 

So we all, not only me, must in some respects delude ourselves in order to reach what we want in a sane fashion, because the non-deluded life is the life of doubting everything there is to doubt. So the question is: how do we dispell the doubt? What is the best way to trick the mind into believing that the goal we've set is the right goal? How do i keep my mind from reverting back to it's instinctual state? Is it a matter of habit? Do we simply need to keep stubornly believing our own shit until it becomes 'second nature'?