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2013.03.22: A Day Off, or finally immanentizing the Eschaton.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Some reading, little work, some pain.

I.

I managed to 'acquire' some lower back pain, pain that had, mostly, left me around the beginning of February after I suffered under its yoke since Christmas and through January. It could have been the ab-exercises yesterday, it could have been the burpees, it could have been the weather. It could have been none of the above.

I took this as a hint, a clue, a sign to take it 'easy' (or 'take it easy') today.


II.

My reading has been mainly internet-based today, which disappoints me a little.

The internet itself -- which can, now, officially shut down as its ultimate purpose has been achieved ("The Internet finally reaches its apex as man marrying My Little Pony character writes angry email to erotic pony artist" www.avclub.com/articles/
the-internet-finally-reach
es-its-apex-as-man-marry,94206/
) -- is very much a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

And that's partially because it mirror the world. That's a world that includes people like: Ruben Diaz, minister in the Church of God and Democratic state senator from New York; Ryan T. Anderson, a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation; law professor Robert George; and Princeton alum Sherif Girgis, all mentioned in:

[1] "'Severing Love From Diapers': The Other Case Against Gay Marriage" www.npr.org/2013/03/20/1
74848127/severing-love-fro
m-diapers-gay-marriage-opp
onents-make-their-case


This was a reasonable enough article about such peoples' supposed 'reasoning', or, rather justification for their bigotry; George is responsible for a recent opinion piece at CNN:

[2] "Opinion: Gay marriage, then group marriage?" /www.cnn.com/2013/03/20/
opinion/george-gay-marriag
e/index.html


The latter just angered me a bit yesterday; the former, however, was so full of illogic and fascinatingly outdated and stupidly offensive assumptions that it provided an anchor of sorts, a tether, a hook. A way to sink one's teeth in and start tearing. And for that I am somewhat thankful.

Were I teaching a course on critical thinking this semester I'd want to use the NPR article as a demonstration of dishonest, bold, bald assertions masked as 'arguments'. There are so many other things in that piece that I'm fascinated by, such as the archaic gender roles that are assumed, the paternalism, and so on, but if I cover those things, it will be elsewhere and/or in a different forum.

On a more 'positive' note, I was intrigued by another NPR writeup:

[3] "Mosh Pit Math: Physicists Analyze Rowdy Crowd" www.npr.org/2013/03/22/1
74962714/mosh-pit-math-phy
sicists-analyze-rowdy-crowd


The article is a nice and suggestive summary; the comments -- I know, I KNOW ... DO NOT read coments on the IntarWebs! -- are frequently asinine, even when they are, one assumes, attemping to be helpfully critical, but that provided another writing impetus for me, one much more dissertation-related. It's not exactly Kant, but it is about formal causality, and the two instances here provided perfect examples for part of my own writeup; in other reading material, Douglas Hofstadter's discussion of traffic patterns and traffic jams in "I Am A Strange Loop" relates as well.

And that is how what I read today fired me up and inspired me.


III.

We found ourselves downtown today for lunch at 'Don Toño's' ... after the lunch rush but before happy hour. It was the two of us and three televisions on three different channels. I had a view of March Madness, while Ms. S. had 'Divorce Court' or such and some other sports channel, I think.

The service was good, and the food was quite tasty.

Another restaurant in town makes a grilled mushroom quesadilla that I rather adore, but the vegetable quesadilla here (with grilled onions and bell pepper) might give it a run for its money. If it had any money.

It's just a saying, you understand.

I probably should not have had dessert ... but it's Friday and I'm allowed a treat, no?


IV. Addendum

So wrote Oscar Wilde: "[t]he best work in literature is always done by those who do not depend on it for their daily bread and the highest form of literature, Poetry, brings no wealth to the singer [...] Make some sacrifice for your art and you will be repaid but ask of art to sacrifice herself for you and a bitter disappointment may come to you."
-- www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo
-way/2013/03/22/175010851/
book-news-newly-found-osca
r-wilde-letter-sacrifice-for-your-art



"On April 1, the world’s great powers came closer to nuclear war than ever before, all because of an obscure island named Fernando Poo."
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SPKRAUSE 3/29/2013 2:43PM

    It's a Friday later ... I update ... and I note that since last Friday I've had far too many 'treats' and 'days off'. Tsk tsk.

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