It's like Mardi Gras meets the bombing of Dresden...
Monday, August 28, 2006
Community College Sweetness
I'm currently taking my last couple of classes for my undergraduate degree through some online classes at a local community college. The best part about online classes is the required participation on discussion boards, as teachers and profs somehow think that steps need to be taken to compensate for a lack of discussion that might occur in a normal classroom setting.

Hi, I'm a nontraditional student. When I'm not wearing jerseys over long sleeve t-shirts to cover the stench of desperation and failure, you can find me rambling about how the government eliminated my low skill manufacturing job, or posting irrelevant replies on discussion boards using this weird, electrical, type-y gadget thing...

My opinion is that this is completely unnecessary. At the community college level (where classes consist of those who struggled through high school, empty nest mothers, and bored retirees), virtually nothing important is ever brought up in a class discussion. Why? Here is what each discussion boils down to- 1) The kids who barely escaped high school aren't interested, unless it's a discussion about parties, drugs or alcohol 2) The retooling mothers are incapable of discussing anything other than children and 3) the retirees can only talk about what things used to be like. Add a good dose of idiocy, and you get get discussions like the one going on in my Intro to Computers Class, over the required topic of "Are Computers Necessary to College Students"-

Highlights (typos, poor grammar, and stupidity included):

" Students do not need a computer for success,but sure does make it easier when they work. They have made us lazy. Students do not research papers as they used to by reading different litatures on the subject. Students use the search engine to do our work. It does make it faster and easier,but I can do the same a little longer but same results."

The point this older lady appears to be using is that she can do something in a way that is both slower, and more difficult, yet only returns the same results. Note to her- doing something faster, easier, and getting the same results is not technically laziness, I believe it's called efficiency.

"I think that it is very important to use computers in college and it does help you become sucessful! In most classes you end up doing papers or some type of work that involves a computer. Computers are involved in everything now days, pretty soon everything will be ran by computers. Computers help me out alot for my classes, without them I would not be albe to take my internet classes and then I would not be able to work as much. "

Pretty soon everything will be ran by computers.. ummm, what? I'm not saying she's wrong, I'm just saying I can't wait to get my first digital belt, or my very own wireless Q-Tips.

This next one was under the subject- "Computers in todays world... have become A MUST BUT it doesn't have to be"- Thank you CNN. Anyway, here is what she had to say.

"Though computers seem to be becoming "smarter" they can't replace our own human brains. I think that is one thing scientists and the technical world haven't been able to duplicate it yet. At least to our own magintude, besides HUMAN's invented and make computers. They're only as smart as we can make them. So yea they can help in many ways it still doesn't replace being able to use our heads in LEARNING."

First, I don't know why the phrase "At least to our own magintude" is before the comma, but after the period. Had it been the other way, it would have made more sense, but still not much overall. Nor do I understand what the "HUMAN" is possessing, or how most of this paragraph relates to the intended topic. If I was the prof, I would respond to this with a comment like this-

"What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

Finally, my personal favorite is this reply-

" I agree, I to use my computer for school because I'm forced to work full time and internet classes are more convient. They are still very stressful when things do not work as they are supose to like the internet to stay on or when I push a wrong button it dosn't leave forever into cybird space. I have many assignments out there!!!"

"Ummm... what?!"

The absolute highlight would have to be "cybird" space. I don't think this can be a typo, because I can't imagine typing "bird" instead of "ber". The letter "i" is just too freaking far away on the keyboard to accidentally hit. I really think this lady thought she used the correct term...
Friday, August 25, 2006
Summer Movie Review
First, let me make the disclaimer that I have not actually seen any of these movies I'm going to review. In fact, the last movie I saw at a theatre was Underworld: Evolution, and it was at a second-run theatre at that. And it was awesome, on so many different levels. Anyway, I'm going to list a few movies and tell exactly why I didn't see them, not least of which is the fact that I refuse to go to movies by myself, and I'm removed of meaningful human contact by what feels like a million, bajillion miles.

Movie: Accepted
IMDB plot outline: When a high school burnout discovers he's been rejected from every college he's applied to, he creates a fake university in order to fool his overzealous parents.
Reason for my lack of attendance: This movie is completely unrealistic on about fifty different levels. First, Justin Long is the star. I mean, I can tolerate him in meaningless supporting roles, but starring? I don't know. Was Ryan Reynolds not available to do another slacker college movie? Two, it is absolutely impossible to be rejected by every college. At last chance, he'd be accepted here. Three, without an R rating, there is no chance that there will be enough boobs in this movie to hold my attention.

Movie: Dead or Alive
IMDB plot outline: The movie adaptation of the best selling video game series Dead or Alive.
Reason for my lack of attendance: Umm, to start, how about the plot outline doesn't actually outline a plot. It just describes where the movie came from. The only thing that could possibly save this movie would be if John Wu directed it, and I can't believe I just wished John Wu would direct anything. Look, I'm fine with sex and violence being an integral part of a movie (see: A History of Violence), but, I'm not sure if I can watch a movie which only revolves around the two. Wait, yes I can... actually, I think this is going to be the greatest movie ever!

Movie: World Trade Center
IMDB plot outline: Two Port Authority police officers become trapped under the rubble of the World Trade Center.
Reason for my lack of attendance: 1) Nicholas Cage. 2) Nicholas Cage. 3) Nicholas Cage. 4) I hate watching movies where the America loses (ie. Pearl Harbor). 5) Read the plot outline, I'd consider it if it read like this: Two Port Authority police offers are exposed to radioactive waste while trapped underneath the Twin Towers. Developing super powers, they rescue everyone, and then hunt down Osama Bin Ladin, while taking plenty of time to get wicked drunk, do lines of coke of stripper's asses, and arm wrestle grizzly bears and midgets. Starring- Ron Perlman and that huge, huge guy who gets his ass kicked in the beginning of Troy.

Movie: The Covenant
IMDB plot- Sorry, I'm talking to this hot Lithuanian at the coffee shop... this post will never be completed...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Children = Accessories?
From the Virginian-Pilot:

"For the working mom who is pretty much on top of trends, her kids become a reflection of who they are. You do for your kids what you do for your own wardrobe..." says Jaye Hersh, "When you're walking down the street holding your daughter's hand, it makes you feel good when she looks good. It's like having the right car or the right handbag..."

I don't have kids, but I'm pretty sure that's not what it's like...
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Rich Arabs Like Israel
I found this over at Nationalreview- I found it interesting, although slightly vague. If anyone knows where I can go to Grad school and research things like this, I'd be interested.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Things Not to Do at a Golf Course
Since I'm getting out of the business, I figure anything I'll ever want to post about the golf business I should post now, before I lose my authority. So, in case any of you are ever wanting to go to a golf course, here is a quick list of do's and don't's-

Do call for a teetime, and actually have an idea of what time you want to play. Also, when calling for a teetime, Don't provide any information that is unnecessary to the actual business of obtaining a time, you're just wasting both of our time.

Examples of Bad Phone Calls-

Customer: "Hey, what's the earliest tee time you have available on Wednesday?"
Me: "7:24"
Customer: "Great, can we get four on about nine o'clock?"

Customer: "Hey, my name is Joe, I live in New Jersey, we just drove down last night and we're renting a house on the beach. We've got about thirty of us here, my whole mother's side of the family. We're..."

Do tip people working if you're trying to scam something like a discounted rate or some kind of service for free. Don't ask for one. I sure as hell won't give it to you. Double Don't ask for one like this (I got this one today)-

Him: "Hi, my name's Frank Carter, I work for ESPN and NBA TV televising basketball games. Do you have some kind of discount for that? A lot of other places have given us a break..."
Me: "Why? Why would any golf course give you a discount? What is it that you do that in any way benefits us enough to discount your rate? How does *** Golf Club recover this money down the road?"
(I didn't actually say that, but I wanted to. He was big, and angry, and black, and his hand came halfway up my arm when we shook, so what I said was- "Yeah, no problem, I'll give you the unaccompanied guest rate (which is exactly the same as what he would have paid), how does that sound?" He seemed to appreciate it.)

If you play somewhere less than twice a year, Do get in your car and drive away if something happened that you don't appreciate. Don't come complain to anyone who works there, they don't care. Double Don't complain about anything that can't be fixed. Ex-

Some Douche- "I just wanted to let you know that your driving range is way to close to the first hole, there were balls coming into the fairway while we were playing..."
Me: "Actually, I just talked to our maintenance staff, we're going to rebuild the first hole twenty yards farther right to fix this."
Douche: "What? Really?"
Me: *Blank Stare*

Do hang up the phone if you're on hold for more than a few minutes, like two minutes. Don't sit there and wait while the people working take bets on how long you'll hold (today's winner, 22 minutes!), they're not picking that phone back up.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
For the fourth time in four months, I'm busy packing up everything I own and moving it to a new apartment/condo/house/cottage. Well, specifically, I'm moving it all back to a condo that I used to live at, and had to move out of for a month because our landlady is a complete and total bitch. Unfortunately, due to a few acquisitions of an Xbox 360, numerous books, a fair amount of new clothes to replace ones that were perfectly fine, and the non-perishables I failed to eat before moving, everything I own no longer fits in my truck. So, instead of one cleverly packed uber-trip, I have to make a couple of smaller, less careful trips. It isn't too bad, since my old condo is only a mile away, but it's going to suck in two or three months, when instead of driving a mile, I'm driving to Akron/Charlottesville/Denver/Florida/?/Grad school somewhere, and I have to start throwing things away again...
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Article Review
I ran into this over at apparently an 18-year old male made himself a fake press pass to get into baseball games and talk to some of the Met's players. How illegal is that? Well, apparently he could get seven years, which strikes me as odd, since in New York the average sentence for vehicular manslaughter is about 16 months. Hmmm... fake press pass vs. hitting and killing someone with a vehicle, saving $28 in admission and getting to talk to few heroes vs. running a person over with a car... yeah, that sounds about right.
At least this person didn't see a free baseball game!

Courtesy of Google News, I found the exact article I saw a couple of days ago in CNN titled: "Earth's Moon could become a Planet." According to the new definition proposed by the IAU- "Every round object orbiting the sun is a planet, unless it orbits another planet. But there is a big caveat: If the center of gravity, called the barycenter, is outside the larger object, then the smaller object is a planet." The article then goes on to describe how the moon moves a few inches farther away from the Earth every year, so that eventually (we're talking billions of years) the moon may end up being labeled as a planet. Suddenly, I stopped caring. So, as for the title- Technically correct? Yes. Incredibly misleading? Yes. Did I end up reading the article? Yes, and then I blogged about it. Touche CNN!

Finally, I urge all of you to check out this thrilling exchange played out over a few days between the Redness and I. Pay special attention around the 28th move, a brilliant fork by the Redness forces an early (yet tactically brilliant) Queen sacrifice by me, which paves the way for a crushing victory. Somewhere, Miyamoto Musashi is smiling...
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Books and Airtran
First, let me declare that Airtran is the greatest discount airline ever. Granted, I've never flown anything but Airtran, but why would I? I've flown Airtran probably 12-20 times, and I've never had a bad experience, a flight delay, or suffered a catastrophic crash resulting in my death or permanent disfiguration. Granted, with the exception of some middle-aged jewelry retailer-women who mistakenly operated under the assumption that I was somebody, I've never sat next to anyone attractive or interesting, but c'mon, I just found out I could fly from Newport News, VA to West Palm Beach, FL for $49 each way. Are you serious? Count me in.
Secondly, I went on a reading binge this weekend and knocked out The Interrogators, Confessions of an Economic Hitman, and a large portion of Fermat's Enigma. A few reactions:

1) The Interrogators- Awesome. A fascinating insider account of the intelligence battle between US Forces and those picked up in raids and battle during the invasion of Afghanistan, and incredibly descriptive when it comes to the method used by Army intelligence to break prisoners without crossing obvious moral barriers. This book got me so pumped up about America that I started a USA chant while picking up some weird chicken stuff at the Chinese restaurant on the way back to my house. It didn't take.

2) Confessions of an Economic Hitman- This book should come with a warning, and it should read "Contents of prologue may make book appear more interesting than it really is." Basically, the point John Perkins tries to make is this: The US Government, which is both controlled by and acts through US Corporations, actively solicits loans to developing countries through organizations like the World Bank. These loans are then used to pay American companies to develop infrastructure, effectively channeling the money back out of the country and crippling its economy with debt payments. As a result, these countries are then forced into doing whatever America wants, Perkins calls it- "exacting our pound of flesh." Actually, I think it's a legitimate argument, however, Perkins is short on details, long on moralizing, and incredibly tedious. For someone who brags, "writing comes easy to me", his book is about as literary as a Dean Koontz novel, and fails to hold my attention as well as, let's say, The Lusty Argonian Maid. If anybody is familiar with a book on the same topic, with more substantiation, let me know. I'd like to be able to fall back on more than just John Perkin's self-righteousness to support an anti-corporate position.

3) Fermat's Enigma- Simon Singh's account of the solving of Fermat's Last Theorem. At least, I think they solved it in the end, I don't know, I didn't finish it, I just stopped caring. I'm not sure when this happened, but I think sometime after the start of Dr. Carlson's Calc Two class, but before my 38% on the final, my brain learned to just shut off . A quick equation highlighting this problem- (|Numbers + Letters|)/relative complexity= amount of interest. I think this would be better phrased as a limit problem, and it somehow approaches zero, logarithmically, or something, I don't know, I just blacked out writing that paragraph. Redness, I'll be happy to mail this back to you, I only ask that you mail me back a few hours of my life in return.

Anyway, fresh off the Amazon train is The 48 Laws of Power, The 33 Strategies of War, War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning (I need to finish that up), The Island of the Day Before (thanks to EAP for reminding me that there is an Eco novel that I haven't read yet), and The Name of the Rose, and Gates of Fire (which even if I never reread them (unlikely), deserve a spot in the Pantheon of my future bookshelf. So, in conclusion, there are two peaches sitting on the counter at work, and just looking at them and imagining biting into that weird fuzz is enough to make my skin crawl...
Monday, August 14, 2006
Microsoft Game Development
This is awesome. I'm not sure what kind of effect it will have on the video game market, or how I'm supposed to purchase the games produced, but I think this is a really, really neat idea.

New post is in the works, so if anyone has anything left to say about the previous post, then get on it before I pass it over.
Friday, August 11, 2006
How Far Does the Rabbit Hole Go?
Recent comments on Charles’ blog have slipped from Lieberman-Lamont back to the Iraq War, and explaining my position requires a bit more space, so presto- an attempted post jack!

My own personal position on the Iraq war has become less hawkish the more I read, in some part to the principled objections of Charles, J. Morgan, and others, and in some part through knowledge gained elsewhere. I’ll sum up the old position, and then try to convey the new:

Old Position: Saddam crossed multiple lines, all of which dictate the loss of independent sovereignty and a unilateral, global response. Regardless of immediate terrorist threats (and independent of motive), removing Saddam from power was an appropriate, somewhat pressing need, and I couldn’t care less for Bush’s justification for US action- I was in.

New Position- I still agree with most of the old position, only I think engaging in Iraq was a tactical, strategic mistake, and I think initiating war is out until this aspect is solved. Partly from reading the first few pages of “War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning”, partly from reading Robert Greene’s page over at Rudius Media (the host of great sites such as Tucker Max, Tard-Blog, and others…), and partly from less gripping, less recent sources, I think that America got caught up in an emotional backlash created by 9/11, and the helped fuel the rise of conventional arguments (“For us or against us”) over necessary tactical discussion on the war (“What is the criteria for victory?”).

I strongly recommend reading “Western Strategy is Bankrupt” by Robert Greene over here. It’s been hugely influential in the way I view the war, and I think Robert Greene does a great job of reframing the debate in angles not taken by the MSM, other media, and partisan apologist groups.

“Terrorists understand that western democracies have certain limitations. The public generally has little taste for big-scale wars in which lots of lives might be lost. They have little taste for wars that would have to last several years to have any effect. They know that a politician in power must consider his response to a terrorist attack in terms of his own political situation. He must play to the public and perhaps do something dramatic in the short-term, but cannot take action designed for the long run, because election cycles do not allow this. They know that politicians come and go in the West and that every four years a new party can totally alter the situation. The terrorists can think long term, while we can only respond in the short term. This is an asymmetry of power that is rarely discussed--that of time.

Furthermore, we in the West only tend to think in terms of conventional warfare even when we think we are talking about the unconventional. A case in point: to us, war must have clear objectives, this objective generally being victory on the battlefield. But this is nonsense. There can be all kinds of objectives that have nothing to do with conventional victories on the battlefield. Seen in the western light, it is hard to understand what Osama bin Laden is after. If he wants to take over the middle east, well, he seems to be failing in that light. But terrorists can have a different objective: namely to create and exploit chaos, to stir things up and rewrite a stalemated situation. Their goals can be limited, or even vague, without making them ineffective.

Another case was the Yom Kippur War in which the Arabs successfully launched a surprise attack on Israel, but eventually were pushed back on several fronts and defeated. Although Israeli military officials were chastised for allowing this surprise, they were generally credited with using an effective strategy to counter this attack. What was not considered was the fact that the Arabs in this war knew they could not defeat Israel militarily. (Sadat later admitted this.) They did not have the weapons or the armies. They wanted to demonstrate to the public that Israel was vulnerable, not this monolithic beast that could not be challenged. In the Arab world this war was seen as a turning point in morale and it has been so ever since. It is a great mistake to not understand the strategy of your enemy, but equally bad is to misread its intentions, its objectives. Sometimes it is not to gain territory or win set-piece battles. Sometimes battles, wars, attacks have political purposes that play out over time. We seem blind to this possibility.”

In our attempt to clean out the Middle East of terrorists we’ve created a large mistake in forgetting that war and politics are inseparable. Fearing that the rest of the world will see our actions as an extension of American hegemony, we’ve attempted to conduct the war in a strictly militant fashion, leaving the politics of the region to, well, the region. I don’t think this will work. I’m all for exporting democracy (in some form) as an alternative to totalitarianism around the world, but I think we’ve got to come clean that part of exporting democracy is exporting America, and if exporting America is out, then we are in no position to get involved.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been obsessed with analyzing my motives for certain actions (“Why am I doing this? Why did I just say that?”) and trying to figure out where I’m doing things that reflect who I am, and where I’m attempting to create an image, or manipulate those around me. (It’s scary how much it’s the latter). I think that idea is applicable in this instance- What are we trying to do? We’re trying to change the equation in the Middle East by creating America Jr. to counteract Syria, Iran, and others. (I’m totally for this by the way, let J. Morgan dream of landed gentry, and let me dream of American Imperialism) Can we create America Jr. without attempting to create Iraqi-Americans? No. You can’t just slap two coats of paint on any car sitting in a junkyard and expect it to run, and we can't set up a democracy without changing the culture underneath it to something complimentary. We've got to be upfront that either we're posting soldiers in Iraq to keep the fight over there, or realize that the tools we've laid out aren't sufficient to the job. I don't think this is a "We never brought enough soldiers " issue, it's that we brough paintball guns to a debate.

So, what do we do now? We can't just say, "We're here, some of us are queer (but we aren't allowed to discuss it), get over it", we've got to come up with some plan that allows us to withdraw without leaving a giant power vacuum, a civil war that involves more than just the Sunni Triangle, or win, somehow, I think. I don't know how we're going to do this, you tell me. I only know that everything is a whole lot more nuanced than I used to think it was, and every new piece of information gives me two new shades of grey...
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
The Peace Law Open Letter
I was looking through the email attached to my blog for the first time in months, and I found a wonderfully informative piece from Jack from Melbourne about "the profoundly conservative (but not right wing) Social Wisdom Teaching of Avatar Adi Da Samraj." Since I'm at work, and bored, I read through most of it, and I'll post a few of my favorite excerpts from the essay titled (entitled?) "On Liberation from ego and egoic Society, or, Cooperation + Tolerance = Peace". Incidentally, the "Cooperation + Tolerance = Love" equation was first discovered by Pythagoras- wait, maybe I'm thinking of John Lennon... I don't even know anymore. Anyway-

The ego-"I", whether individual or collective, is eventually reduced to sorrow and despair (or chronic life-depression), because of (and as an experiential result of) the inability of life (in and of itself) to generate Happiness and Joy and Immortality. And that self-contained depression finally becomes anger, or loveless confrontation with the total world and every form of presumed "not-self"—including even (and especially) the Transcendental, Inherently Spiritual, and Self-Evidently Divine Self-Identity (or One and Only and Non-Separate Self-Condition), Which is "locked away", by means of conventional (or merely exoteric) ideas of "God Apart", and is (thereby) made into an "Other" by the egoic mind.
If you didn't catch that, don't worry, our boy (or girl, I'm not sure) Avatar Adi Da Samraj clarifies in a later paragraph-
The only-by-Me Revealed and Given Way of Adidam is the Divine Way of the always already presently existing (and always already able to be functioning) heart in every one—and It is, therefore, based on the always present-time-existing participatory intelligence (expressed as devotional heart-recognition of Me), and the always present-time recognition-response of devotional love of Me, and counter-egoic surrender of self-contraction by Means of that devotional love of Me.
Yes, Yes, that's it. It's all clear to me now. By the way, I was lying. I didn't read through 4,149 words of this crap (word count courtesy of Microsoft Word), I just selected two blurbs at random. Furthermore, I remember being taught that the correct way to write anything is to parenthesize multiple times in a sentence and capitalize random words, wait, nevermind, it was the exact opposite. Anyway, I'm pumped I didn't attach a real email address to my blog, so I don't have to sift through this very often.

Anyway, let's hear what Joe Biden says about people like Avatar Adi Da Samraj:

Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Stories and Conventions
I read this interesting article (suprisingly) at Malcolm Gladwell's website. I was expecting some fluff, like how eating Kraft Easy Mac three times a week leads to an increase in left-handedness and then absolutely nothing about why this matters, but instead was treated to a book review of "Why?", by Charles Tilly, which I fully intend to order off of Amazon but most likely will never get around to doing it.

Anyway, interesting excerpt-
Some social situations don't lend themselves to the easy reconciliation of reason and role. In Jonathan Franzen's novel "The Corrections," for example, one of the characters, Gary, is in the midst of a frosty conversation with his wife, Caroline. Gary had the sense, Franzen writes, "that Caroline was on the verge of accusing him of being 'depressed,' and he was afraid that if the idea that he was depressed gained currency, he would forfeit his right to his opinions. . . . Every word he spoke would become a symptom of disease; he would never again win an argument." Gary was afraid, in other words, that a technical account of his behavior—the explanation that he was clinically depressed—would trump his efforts to use the stories and conventions that permitted him to be human. But what was his wife to do? She wanted him to change.
Why this excerpt? It reminds of a recent frosty conversation between a somewhat inebriated Redness and his wife. I'd explain, but everyone who reads this was there and should see the parallels...
Monday, August 07, 2006
Work Related Stress
I've been back at work for two days now since my mini-vacation, and every time I hand someone a credit card receipt to sign (which is pointless), I've been fantasizing about stabbing them in the eye with the pen. Why? I've spent the morning researching psychological stress regarding environments, and I've been surprised (not happily) by the fact that the Wikipedia torture article has had much more relevant information about my work environment than a site like MindTools. Unfortunately, my immediate work environment contains roughly ten stressors that qualify as psychological or physical torture. The list:

1) Extended Solitary Confinement- I'm working on a ten hour day today, with only momentary contact with other coworkers, mainly when they come in to grab a drink out of our Coke machine, which emits-

2) Constant Low Frequency sound- In this case, the annoying hum of a compressor, which runs constantly, filling the-

3) Confined Space- ,which happens to be a monochromatic, doublewide trailer, with its mindless buzzing. Furthermore, the trailer is constantly experiencing-

4) Alterations to Room Temperature- It can be hot and humid, much like our disconnected outside bathroom, or freezing cold, depending on sudden changes in the outside temperature and irregular changing of the thermostat. Bad, but much worse is the-

5) Shaming and Public Humiliation- which is predominantly self-imposed due to the fact that I'm a glorified counter clerk. Yes, I'm ashamed of what I do.

6) Constant, Irregular, Annoying Stimuli- which is provided by ringing telephones, five ringing telephones. It rings all day, every day, and is exacerbated by the fact that every conversation is exactly the same, driving me insane with it's mindless repetition.

7) Poor Lighting- In our 800 sq ft. trailer, we have no less than 16 five foot long fluorescent lights, which have been shown in numerous experiments to have adverse effects on humans.

8) Sensory deprivation- Not in the sense that there is nothing for my senses to process, but by the fact that there is nothing meaningful for my senses to interpret. Just annoying sound, harsh light, and extreme boredom. Here comes a killing spree...

9) Poor Ergonomics- This isn't in Wikipedia, but the fact that the keyboard and mouse are in the most inconvenient position (with no room on the desk to make them better, believe me, I've tried) and the the computer is my only diversion, AND being forced to stand for hours on end behind the counter since we have Judas Chairs instead of stools- -has to count for something (we have stools, but they aren't much better). Not only that, but the counter is located at the only place in the golf shop where I can't look out a window- somewhere, right now, the creator of the Hawthorne studies is rolling in his grave.

10) I'm poorly compensated, and my job lacks any real meaning.

In conclusion, I can't decide whether to pray to John McCain or OSHA to come rescue me.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Is Death a Disease?
“The first person to live to be 1,000 years old is certainly alive today; indeed, he or she may be about to turn 60,” says Aubrey de Grey, the Cambridge University geneticist who has become the de facto spokesman of the anti-ageing crusade.

Interested? Read this article from Barron's. I read it a few months ago, and it blew my mind. I tried earlier (unsuccessfully) to find a copy online to reference so I could write this post, and reading this article in the NY Times today prompted me to look again. I found it this time.

I'm not going to waste time paraphrasing either article, I'm just going to note that the issue makes me somewhat conflicted. Before I go on, let's make two assumptions for the point of argument.

1) We're going to assume that Aubrey de Grey is A) correct on his scientificness and B) not a Russian mystic.2) We aren't talking about aging normally until 75 and then just hanging on for a few more decades, we're talking the aging process scaled out over centuries.

On one hand, I have trouble justifying the need for anyone to live past a 100, but I'm willing to admit that at 21 years old, being 200 is no more incomprehensible to me than 85, and that death is an issue I haven't really thought a lot about. I mean, the whole thing doesn't seem on the up and up (somehow I can't see the medical system offering equal access to life extension), but unless I join some gnostic cult and learn the secrets of the universe, you can bet I'll be first in line in sixty years.

Here's my estimate of reactions from you all (going from most opposed to most in favor)- J. Morgan, Hans, Charles, Standingout, Redness, Me. I can't really offer a good guess for Mair and EAP, and I'm not sure where GMack fits in. I think he'd be up for two centuries more of fashion, although he'd probably kill himself once we end up wearing this-
Scantily clad women in mithril space clothes? Schwing and schwing!