For anyone who cares, my existential employment crisis has come to an end. You are all looking at the newest member of the staff at Mountain Laurel Sudbury School, a free school in New Britain. Taking a cue from the blogmaster, I will not blog about work beyond the fact that I work there.
If for some reason we had to close one branch of Congress, which would you choose and why?
Mundane SF dares to ask: What if not? No space travel, no aliens, no FTL, no time travel, no robots, no nanotechnology, no parallel universes, no immortality, no brain downloads. It’s science fiction, for all those people who don’t like science fiction. (Read it. It’s really, really condescending.)
Coming soon, Mundane Fantasy, which dares to ask: What if humans are the only intelligent race and magic doesn’t exist?
So, when the Democrats let Lieberman speak his mind then decided to vote for the other guy, that was a Stalinist Purge. What’s this, then?
(Note the guest-blog.)
According to The Greek Mythology Personality Test, I’m Prometheus:
“You are most like Prometheus, and you probably knew that before you even took this test. You probably aren’t deliberately altruistic, but you still tend to do things that benefit everyone, even at great expense to your health and personal relationships. You aren’t ruled by your emotions, but you still have a strong sense of justice. You make good descisions, but they can sometimes backfire (and this isn’t due to a flaw in your reasoning, but due to faulty premises instead).
You are very reasonable, you understand systems, you can quickly pinpoint flaws and you know how to correct them. You pride understanding and knowledge above everything else, and your greatest fear is to appear to be incompetent. You tend to be contemptuous of authority, but you don’t accept leadership roles yourself until everyone else has demonstrated their own incompetence.
You’ve built a very specific skill set. You know exactly where your strengths and weaknesses are, and you pride yourself on this kind of self-knowledge. You distrust tradition, which you see as arbitrary, and you rely instead on your own judgements. You also pride yourself on your pragmatism. You’re also a very private person.
Most of all, people think you’re arrogant, but screw them! They’re the ones who benefit from your ideas and discoveries, and if they took the time to understand why it is that you say and think the things you do, they’d realize that you only appear arrogant because you are exactingly precise when it comes to your area of specification, and most of all because, when you don’t know something, you don’t have an opinion about it (unlike most of the loudmouths that you have to deal with on a day-to-day basis).
Relationships are your kryptonite. It isn’t that you don’t want them — in fact, you would very much like a very close relationship with someone who understands you. They’re just the one thing in the world that you’re naturally bad at.
Famous people like you: Niels Bohr, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Werner Heisenberg, Issac Newton, John Maynard Keynes, Erwin Schrodinger
Stay Clear of: Apollo, Icarus, Hermes, Aphrodite
Seek out: Atlas, The Oracle, Daedalus”
Passing thought. Why do a bunch of anti-intellectuals WANT their Designer to be Intelligent?
This one’s for fans of The Office. We all know that Steve Carell’s character of Michael Scott is the bumbling, incompetent manager based on Ricky Gervais’s character of David Brent in the original British version. Having watched both, I think the writers have better served Michael than David with a touch of character depth that explains why Dunder-Mifflin kept him around long enough to get a promotion to manager: he’s an amazing salesman. In the few episodes where he’s needed to make a pitch to a major client, his means may have always exasperated Jan, but the story usually ends with him nonchalantly mentioning that, oh, by the by, he landed the account. In one episode, he even gets a chance to shine when he roundly condemns Ryan’s criticisms when Ryan hasn’t made a single sale and expands upon his philosophy of sales being based around people. Via the Peter Principle, he simply got promoted to his level of incompetence and nobody ever demoted him back to his level of competence. It’s like if Admiral kirk never got demoted back to captain. I think, whenever The Office goes off the air, the perfect happy ending would have Michael Scott go back into sales.
That’s my two cents.
THE ANGRY RIGHT
In Item # 35647 Why Republicans Are Not Libertarians No Matter How Much They Say So, the Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party has introduced a petition to ban Ron Paul from any further Republican debates. Why? Dr. Paul - agreeing with the CIA and the 9-11 Commission - pointed out in the last debate that when you attack people, they tend to want to hurt you. Instead of addressing his point about blowback, Giuliani then attacked a straw man that Paul said we invited 9/11. The only reason nobody else on stage said anything is that the moderator forced them to move along. (Dr. Paul has also said other crazy libertarian things, like that we should use military force against al Qaeda.) And before anyone starts, no, the fact that it isn’t the government trying to silence him doesn’t make it better.
THE SICKO FROM THE LEFT
Michael Moore is making a documentary called Sicko. In it, he attacks the health care industry of America. Fair enough. As part of it, however, he makes a trip to that bastion of freedom and prosperity: Cuba. Castro obligingly used him for his own propaganda, though Fred Thompson notes that Cuban filmmakers have a nasty habit of finding themselves in state mental institutions. I don’t get it. I really don’t. Who takes even a glancing look at history and thinks Communism is a good idea? Jesus, the only reason insurance even exists is because of capitalism. You don’t need walls and armed guards to keep people inside a capitalist country. Some people want walls so we can keep them OUT! You don’t see people risking their lives to escape capitalist countries to make it into Communist ones. Maybe some people might take a hint? PS Michael Moore: the word liberal means of or pertaining to freedom. If you’re going to support a dictatorship over a limited republic in stark contrast to historical liberalism, STOP CALLING YOURSELF A LIBERAL!!
Whereas the word idiotarian has existed for awhile now without any real definition;
Whereas any political term or affiliation needs a proper delineation;
Whereas a Party needs its own platform to keep its opinions and goals clear;
And whereas even the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seem all that smart;
We present the following statement of position:
• Raise taxes, decrease spending.
• Tax the poor most; no taxes for the rich or middle class.
• To be fair, a Bridge to Nowhere for every state.
• In the name of equality, all consensual sex shall be illegal. All marriages must be straight and platonic.
• No more federal interstate funding for Hawaii. The government must protect the sanctity of wordsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ meanings.
• From now on, the government will legislate in the bathroom.
• Each state will determine whether or not men have the right to an abortion.
• Campaign Finance Reform: Third parties must take bribes like everyone else.
• Senators on the campaign trail may declare a Ã¢â‚¬Å“ghost runnerÃ¢â‚¬Â to vote for them.
• A single-payer system for groceries.
• The blood tax: everyone must give blood. Rarer blood types and donors with larger bodies must donate more because of the need and because they can.
• During wartime, everyone must clap to show they believe in the war. Anyone who doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t clap will be arrested for treason.
• Multiversal health care for all Americans. Because universal health care isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t enough. Illegal immigrants only get galactic health care.
• It will be legal to yell fire in a crowded theater if there is, in fact, a fire in a crowded theater.
• Free speech will be allowed Monday through Friday, 8 to 4, and Saturday, 1 to 3, only in places that are neither public property nor privately owned by someone who disagrees with you. Keep track of important blackout dates and other restrictions.
• Questioning the veracity of the Bible will be hate speech. Beating a homosexual to death will not be a hate crime.
• Under the PartyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s proposed PATRIOT III Act, libraries must report anyone who reads Harry Potter immediately to the proper authorities.
• As Biblical mandate should also be federal statute, it will be illegal to make clothing of more than one material.
• As freedom of religion is important, everyone will have the right to be whichever kind of Christian they like.
• ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only torture if you get caught.
• Closed borders for peaceable people. Open borders for terrorists.
• Illegal immigration and murder are both illegal. Since crossing the border is just like murder, illegal immigrants should get the needle.
• Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we fight terrorism. We fund it every Tuesday and Thursday. We take off weekends, just like terrorists do.
• Texas may declare war independently of the rest of the country.
• Terrorist suspects in Guantanamo may have habeas corpus in the form of trial by ordeal or trial by champion.
• From now on, Social Security will work in reverse. The old will pay taxes to benefit the young.
• Medicare will now cover bloodletting and trepanning.
• Anyone who doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t beat their child will be arrested for child abuse.
• From now on, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reasonable search and seizure as long as you quote Shakespeare in the process.
• Astrology MUST be taught alongside astronomy in science class. Also, there must be equal time for the flat earth theory and the geocentric model.
• You may choose your own school, but only after you gain 1000 Education Points and after three years as a member. Subject to availability and the PresidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s permission. Restrictions apply.
• It will be the policy of the United States government to increase Global Warming exponentially.
• The Idiotarian Party fully supports free market socialism.
• In order to protect the Second Amendment, any and all crimes committed with a gun will be pardoned.
• In the name of reproductive freedom, women will have the right to choose their childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s names.
• In order to Protect The Children, all reproductive organs should be banned. That way, there wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be any Children to Protect.
In a case of “my bigotry is better than your bigotry,” a young woman is suing because she got sent to the principal’s office. Why? Because classmates teased her about her LDS status, and she responded, “‘That’s so gay.”
I agree with the retired teacher in the article. Educate; don’t punish. But I don’t feel like emphasizing that part of the story. I feel like emphasizing the fact that this girl is an idiot with a limited vocabulary. Probably spoiled, too. Every time I hear that phrase, I can pretty well rest assured that the person who used it is quite shallow, somebody who doesn’t like thinking much and who doesn’t care to learn how to express themselves in clear and articulate fashion. I wonder how she’d feel if the most common way for morons to express contempt for an idea was to say, “Man, that’s so Mormon!” or “What are you, Mormon?”
Ah, well. As H.L. Mencken said, when you defend free speech, you must inevitably defend bastards.
Brendan’s mom has more than generously offered to help sell some of my old stuff on eBay. Right now, I could use the money more than I could use any comic book or hundreds of extra Magic: the Gathering cards. I know some of the regulars are fellow nerds, so I thought I’d mention. (The link takes you straight to Brendan’s mother’s items list. My stuff starts at the Star Trek: TNG card set. As of this post, there are only two entries, but there should be more soon.)
Every last person in the entire town of Fago, Spain, is a suspect in the mayor’s murder.
(Hat tip: Dave Barry.)
In other news, dog is more likely to bite man when man attacks first.
Bush has decided he has the right to open our mail. If you or I did this, it would be a crime.
I have a few ideas what to start adding to your letters. Ahem.