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11 years Ago

Role Reversal

Published by marco on

“I don’t think it’s America’s role to go into other countries and say ‘this is how we do things…so should you.’”
George W. Bush on September 2000

Faith in That Which You Don’t Understand

Published by marco on

“Anyone who is critical of organized religion and, at the same time, invests in the stockmarket, is a hypocrite.”
Naseem Taleb

Justifying Your Bigoted Position

Published by marco on

“Dude, don’t try to cover your hate with numbers.”
Chuck Mertz on December 19th, 2008 (This is Hell Radio Show)


The factoid on the table was that 0.7% of the world population at any given time is drunk. Krys Bigosinski (who is Polish), immediately blurted that “most of them were in Russia” and, when called on it, started using pseudo-math to justify his position.

The practice of “covering hate with numbers” is an extremely common one and not nearly often enough called out for what it is.

Coming to Terms with Google Hive-Mind

Published by marco on

“Of course you’re instantly a unit in Great Google’s Adword databank of commercial trickery and avarice – but if you’re cool with that, as I lazily am, the advantages are legion. I use Gmail as a hub for all my email accounts and I am hopelessly devoted to Google Calendars. The G1 had all my Google data installed and syncing within moments of connection.”

It Beats Thinkin’

Published by marco on

“Propaganda has but one brush—a broad one—and only two colors—black and white; despite this—or, most likely, because of it, people prefer it to a plethora of brush sizes and myriad grays.”

Control

Published by marco on

“What better way to control a man than by giving him the vote and telling him he’s free?”
Albert Camus

The Gold Standard

Published by marco on

“[Gold] gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head.”

How to Lose an Argument

Published by marco on

“Never argue with idiots; they’ll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”
unknown

The Perfect Argument

Published by marco on

“For once, it would be nice to hear a logical chain of reasoning that doesn’t include any leaps of faith, and isn’t based on the 100%-certainty of a guy whose proof is hidden behind a wall of national security. Especially when that guy’s been wrong every other time he’s opened his mouth. Any discussion that refers to a guy like that is a waste of time for everyone involved.”
me

The Convergence of Postmodernism and Republican Thought

Published by marco on

“The very idea that there is no truth, but only the filter of narrative through which truth is invented is something I learned at the feet of the most leftist professors at Yale and am learning again from Sarah Palin during the Vice Presidential debate, and I find that very disorienting.”
Interview by John Hodgman (The AV Club)

Co-dependency

Published by marco on

“But we are suggesting neither that the human race would voluntarily turn power over to the machines nor that the machines would willfully seize power. What we do suggest is that the human race might easily permit itself to drift into a position of such dependence on the machines that it would have no practical choice but to accept all of the machines’ decisions. … Eventually a stage may be reached at which the decisions necessary to keep the system running will be so complex that human beings... [More]”

Learning How To Think

Published by marco on

“The point here is that I think this is one part of what teaching me how to think is really supposed to mean. To be just a little less arrogant. To have just a little critical awareness about myself and my certainties. Because a huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be automatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded.[…] learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to... [More]”
Kenyon Commencement Address by David Foster Wallace on May 21, 2005

Fanaticism

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“A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim.”
George Santayana

Fate

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“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.”
Stephen Hawking

Apathy

Published by marco on

“My greatest regret is that, under our Constitution, the American people can have almost anything they want, but it just seems they don’t want much of anything at all.”


The Nader version appears to be a paraphrase of “[t]he people can have anything they want, the only problem is they do not want anything”, which, though possibly more accurate, doesn’t read nearly as well.

Personality Test

Published by marco on

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”
Maya Angelou


As of right now, this author finds that rainy days are good for catching up on inside hobbies, provided there aren’t too many rainy days in a row and that they are suitably interspersed with non-rainy days, which can be used for those lovely outdoor activities that tend to make the inside-hobbies–checklist pile up so much; this... [More]

Advertising’s Purpose

Published by marco on

“It did what all ads are supposed to do: create an anxiety relievable by purchase.”
David Foster Wallace

How to Stay Healthy

Published by marco on

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Unhappy Meals by Michael Pollan (New York Times)

Quick Recovery

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“Suprising, actually. He did quite well, coming back from … from fainting.”
Eurosport announcer, referring to French weightlifter Benjamin Hennequin


To be honest, the audio was much, much better, delivered as it was in a dry, extremely serious tone, with no indication of the comment’s wittiness. his co-announcer seemingly took no notice.

Putin : Georgia :: ____ : Iraq

Published by marco on

“Where on earth did Putin get the idea that he could just manufacture a non-existent crisis, invade a sovereign nation and overthrow its government just because he personally detests that nation’s leader?

“Oh. Never mind.”

What was Putin Thinking? by Ken Silverstein (Harper's)

Majestic Law

Published by marco on

“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

On Writing

Published by marco on

“If only you’d remember before ever you sit down to write that you’ve been a reader long before you were ever a writer. You simply fix that fact in your mind, then sit very still and ask yourself, as a reader, what piece of writing in all the world Buddy Glass would most want to read if he had his heart’s choice. The next step is terrible, but so simple I can hardly believe it as I write it. You just sit down shamelessly and write the thing yourself.”

Citation found in Friend’s: Bright Shiny... [More] by Kevin Kopelson (n+1)

Miracles

Published by marco on

“There are two ways to live – one is to believe everything is a miracle, the second is to believe nothing is a miracle. I belong to the second group.”


Terim coached the Turkish national side in the Euro 2008, where they fought their way through to the semifinals with “late goals helping to secure victories in their games against Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Croatia”.

Bolivian Riddle

Published by marco on

Question: What’s the only country that will never have a coup d’état?

Answer: The United States, because they don’t have a U.S. embassy.”

Jim Shultz on May 31, 2008 (This is Hell)

It’s Just a Ride

Published by marco on

“The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly coloured and it’s very loud and it’s fun, for a while.

“Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, ‘Hey − don’t... [More]”

It's Just a Ride by Bill Hicks

Programming with Feeling

Published by marco on

“Back in my COBOL days I came across a program with three GOTO statements in a row, all to the same place. I asked the original programmer why he did that, and he replied that he wanted to make sure it really went there.

“Oh. I guess he only wrote one GOTO when he didn’t really care if it went there or not.”

Election Frenzy

Published by marco on

“This seizes the country every four years because we have all been brought up to believe that voting is crucial in determining our destiny, that the most important act a citizen can engage in is to go to the polls and choose one of the two mediocrities who have already been chosen for us. It is a multiple choice test so narrow, so specious, that no self-respecting teacher would give it to students.”
Election Madness by Howard Zinn (ZNet)

Margaret Thatcher

Published by marco on

“She ended the Cold War did she? Well good for her. I couldn’t stand her.”

Believing in Communism

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“Yes I called Marxism ‘the sweetest dream’ in one of my books. Then I discovered it was all a load of old socks. It seems incredible now that quite intelligent people believed in it all. What doubts there were were expressed in sly jokes. The jokes contradicted everything we believed in. We used to joke about how we were wrong about everything.”

The 51st State

Published by marco on

“I wish they’d just get it over with and make [Iraq] the 51st state, because I think it’s the perfect red state: religious fundamentalists, lots of weaponry. How could you go wrong? We’re already spending a significant fraction of our gross national product on the infrastructure, such as it is, on Iraq. Make it the 51st state and get it over with. [Laughs.]”


From an interview with the Oscar-winning director of Fog of War (IMDb) and the new Standard Operating Procedure (IMDb).