It's like Mardi Gras meets the bombing of Dresden...
Thursday, March 23, 2006
The Beach
I'm working on a couple of things for class that could be modified into decent blog posts, so watch out for that. In the mean time, check out the view from the beach house I stayed in last weekend.
It is also looking like I might be getting an apartment on the beach up on the Outer Banks, making that my semi-permanent view...

Actually, I am getting an apartment on the beach. Type "Kill Devil Hills, NC" here to see, and look at the satellite view...
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
An Anti-Bush Post?
First, the post-modernism post below is still going. So I'm not giving up on it yet. I want at least one J. Morgan comment to make me feel validated before I'm ready to throw it out.

Second, I read this article about "The Great Conservative Crack-Up" today while not paying attention in my Management Science class, and in honor, I'll make one lone post against the President.

One thing I really can't stand about George Bush is how everything has to be framed in context of moral absolutes. For example, I was watching a press conference this morning on CNBC, and he said- "I think not extending the tax cuts would be wrong." Wrong? I'll agree that it is economically short-sighted, but I'm going to stop short of putting tax hikes up with sloth and lechery. For the most part, I'm of the opinion that a majority of government action is morally neutral. I don't think that Moses lost the third tablet containing commandments regulating the correct amount of farm subsidies, smoking bans, and tax exemptions anymore than I think the snake told Eve, "Eat the fruit, and then we'll go kick the riff-raff off the welfare rolls!" It seems to me that arguing for or against legislation devoid of moral overtones on a good/evil basis does nothing to help frame the argument responsibly or reach a consensus based on the merits of the issue. If you want me to vote for tax cuts, then preach the Laffer Curve or point out that the government raised more revenue with the cuts than without. Don't tell me that Ted Kennedy wants to cancel Christmas so that abortion clinics can have an extra day to slay babies.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Caught on the Horns of Post-Modernism
I've been reading Cosmopolis by Stephen Toulmin as part of an independent study project I've arranged with my professorial nemesis here on campus (he's trying to steer me toward the dark side and I've been trying to resist), and 100 pages in, my face muscles are beginning to feel the strain from being rocked so freaking hard. From what I've read so far, Toulmin is arguing (well, since I'm on a post-modern tangent here I'll say what I've gathered since authorial intent is impossible to discern) that scientific and philosophical inquiry has been hijacked for the last few hundred years by an insistence on looking for abstract, general truth, instead of focusing on local, specific truth (an example being trying to define the laws of ethics instead of determining what is ethical in certain instances). Toulmin goes on to argue that this shift towards Cartesian and Newtonian broad, overarching theory was a result of the abandonment of skeptical humanism with its lack of absolute truth claims, in the face of upheaval in Western Europe and the onset of the religious wars...

...and I'm totally fine with all of that. I agree that history needs to be contextualized, and I'm fine with Toulmin arguing that social turmoil can lead to grasping for absolutes. Taking things out of context can lead to misunderstanding (like the Book of Genesis? Bingo!) and more information can be pulled from a text more accurately when interpreted in the light of its influences. Does this post seem random? Would context help? How about this- for the most part, I'm surrounded by people who are convinced of the existence of God and are fine with defining absolutes through him. I, however, am not convinced of the existence of God. Therefore, I have no system with which I can derive absolutes (though I'm convinced they exist, or at least should exist). Does this play a role in my reactionary aversion to post-modern extremes? Absolutely.

And there lies my problem. I'm building my framework in a search for metanarratives with post-modern tools and materials, so I'm unsure as to how to proceed when these tools have been marketed as metanarrative destroying objects and the piece of property I bought sits on Lake Derrida. Is it possible to accept post-modernism without eventually falling into relativism? Charles says it might be, but I'm not sure. If you want me, I'll be at Lenin's sipping on apple martinis...
Monday, March 13, 2006
Saddam and the Sophists
I was directed to this editorial on some similarities between Saddam and the Nazis by a link from J. Nordlinger's Impromptus. My favorite part-
Saddam acknowledged in court that he had ordered the summary trial that led to the execution of the villagers and the destruction of their farmland. "Where is the crime?" he asked, claiming that as president of Iraq all his actions were lawful.
Apparently, Saddam hasn't read up on the last 2500 years of Western Philosophy. Even with Saddam's help, the score is still Thrasymachus- 0, Socrates- 1.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
New Template!
I've been trying to write a post that will match the sheer awesomeness of my new template, but I've been failing miserably. I'll think of a totally sweet topic and start writing, then find that I don't know enough to make it cohesive, or that I can't make it interesting. So instead, I'm going to compile a short list of things that are almost as sweet as my new template.
  1. Finding money in the back pocket of pants that have been laying on the floor for weeks.
  2. Cake- as in the Band.
  3. Watching people trip.
  4. Being offered a job with a shady business growth and development firm (I'm not sure what they do either) just because the owner saw me reading investment and finance books at Barnes and Noble. I don't know, but I'm pretty sure this isn't the way legitimate companies go around recruiting labor. If Stephen Hawking walked, er... rolled, in and saw me pick up a book on black holes, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't assume I was a theoretical physicist , nor would he offer me a research grant.
  5. The Producer Pant from Express.
  6. Flatulence.
  7. Valence electrons and/or The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.
  8. Group projects with non-traditional students. They may be middle aged, overweight, and for the most part complete failures, but goddamit they'll work their ass off to pass the class.
  9. Phone calls from Grandma, but before the part where she starts crying and tells me her grandkids are the only thing she has left to live for, you know, the part that isn't incredibly awkward.
  10. Boobs... no, wait, boobs are probably cooler.
Anyway, I'm hoping to get a sweet post on post-modernism up fairly soon, but I'm kinda stuck for now, I'm just not sure where to go with it...
Saturday, March 04, 2006
College Golf (Again)
Three years ago I was breaking records, winning college golf tournaments for Grove City and thinking about playing professionally. So, I decided to transfer to the worst college in America. Consquently, for the last couple of years, I've hated college and that apathy and frustration extended to other parts of my life, and one of the things that suffered was my golf game. Now finally, the end of college is in sight, and I'm more optimistic about life in general. Is it a coincidence that I'm finally starting to play well enough to play competitively again? I think not...

Anyway, I'm off playing my first tournament in two and a half years with the team down on the Alabama/Georgia line- I won't be back until the middle of next week so forgive my lack of blogging action, and hopefully it's the start of a season that will end with a National Championship... so, catch you bitches later!