Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Is it really knowledge?

Something that I am finding in my university studies is a division between the types of subject matter I am studying. A division even more general than that of Math, Science, English, Spanish, etc... I have started to divide what I am learning into two groups; actual information (facts, figures, laws, formulae) and stuff that people made up.
The latter group I have difficulties with... things like "post-colonial reasoning" and "dominant understandings" sound silly to me. It sounds like people sitting around and making shit up.
Now I respect the fact that the people who use and understand these phrases are much smarter and more educated than I am, they have more world experience and probably have a far more mature outlook on life. However I can't get behind the idea of "abstracting to higher and higher levels", when do we stop abstracting and interpreting and gleaning and actually do something with it? I think my dislike of this type of knowledge has a few causes; my age (infallibility of youth and all that), my inexperience with academia, and my need for action! I like doing things, not pontification about the underlying principles and motivations thereof.
This probably makes me a stupider person because I do not appreciate the art of abstracting from ideas already present and regurgitating new knowledge, but I just don't have the patience for it!
Alright, rant over. Back to studying...


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Liberalism vs Conservatism

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be very liberal, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes to support more government programs, in other words redistribution of wealth.

She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch conservative, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.

One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs.

The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in school.

Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked, “How is your friend Audrey doing?”

She replied, “Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the parties and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too hung over.”

Her wise father asked his daughter, “Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.”

The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, “That's a crazy idea, how would that be fair! I've worked really hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!”

The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, “Welcome to the conservative side of the fence.”

If anyone has a better explanation of the difference between conservative and liberal or progressive or neocon I'm all ears.

If you ever wondered what side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. (Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)

-thanks Dad!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Reflections on Academia

Well I've had my first week of university! New city, new job, new home, new friends, and new school! Golly my head is just about ready to explode.
Well the new house is lovely, I have fantastic roommates and we all get along splendidly so thank God for that!
My classes are interesting, Microeconomics, Spanish, Writing, Critical Thinking (or Logic) and Statistics. I'm enjoying them all (either for content or the friends that I share the class with) however something I am NOT enjoying is the blatantly obvious biases that my professors hold! My economics professor made a derogatory comment about the army (which was based on a very old stereotype that no longer applies) and my logic professor continually makes snide remarks about well-known Conservative politicians and church. At least in high school the teachers tried to keep their views to themselves and not influence us too much, I guess this attitude does not apply to university professors...
I have made some new friends, one of which wants to become an environmental lawyer so he can stick it to big oil companies (he and I have plenty to talk about ;)) and a few others in my various classes.
I have noticed an alarming lack of pants on campus! Being stuck behind those who have difficulties walking faster than the flow rate of molasses I notice that the "tights-as-pants" trend is fast becoming an epidemic. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? Put some pants on. Put some PANTS on. Larry has the right idea!
Another thing is smoking. Who still smokes here in the 21st century? There is a plethora of research to show that the benefits of smoking DON'T EXIST. Yet the stairs in front of school still house those dedicated ignoramuses, committed not to let fear or common sense stand in the way of them pumping their lungs full of carcinogens. We salute you brave idiots!

Those are my current reflections on academia, I'm sure there will be more!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Apple is asking for your trust...

I was flipping through the promo blurbs for the iPhone 4G and I came across a startling quote

The iPhone keyboard accelerates your typing because it tracks what you type, then suggests words, corrects spelling, and inserts punctuation for you. The trick is to just type away and trust the intelligence of the keyboard.

Am I the only one who finds it weird that I am supposed to "trust the intelligence of the keyboard"? The really weird part is how accurate that pointer is, I have an older generation iTouch and its true, in order to type fast you have to let the iTouch correct it for you otherwise it just takes too much time. The terminology describing that occurrence just startled me, I have to trust my iPod to help me type... just rubs me the wrong way you know?

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Litra-ture *said in snobby accent*

Wow, I've been thinking a lot about books lately and reading books and lots of stuff pertaining to books. I LOVE reading, I LOVE books, I LOVE well written books. They just make me happy! The way some people feel about their cat I feel about my books! I have my own full-size bookcase in my room just to house all the books I call my own!

So I've stumbled across a few problems; the first of which being that if and when I do have children (be they the fruit of my own loins or someone else's), I will not know if they love reading until 5ish... give or take a year or two. At that point they will be WAY too old to abandon! I'll have a firmly established attachment to them and they will be all the harder to dump on an orphanage/church's doorstep with a note!
Another problem, I will likely have accumulated such a vast collection of books by that point that bringing children into my home will be downright dangerous. They could be crushed by a falling bookcase or develop spinal injuries by sleeping on stacks of books because I have no room for their bed! How awful of a mother would I look if that happened?! Pretty freaking awful.
Furthermore, my children will have no time for formal education because they will be too busy reading all the books I read and loved when I was their age and therefore feel that they should read and love. Which means I'll have to homeschool them. Now my abundance of books will help at that point in teaching my children but with my having to buy more books to supplement their learning and NOT growing into PONTIs will just exacerbate the problem of it being a treacherous environment for a child!

So after careful weighing of the pros and cons, I've decided children will demand FAR too much of me and therefore should be avoided at all costs. Sorry imaginary rugrats, we had a good run but my professed adoration of the written word will trump you.


Saturday, April 03, 2010

You're SOL sparky

I really can't work up a lot of emotion for this guy's death. Eugene Terreblanche? A white-supremacist? Bahahaha love the name. For those with no knowledge of the French language, Terreblanche roughly translates to "white land" or "white earth". I stand amoosed. ;)

I actually had to stifle a snigger at his proposal to create 3 all-white republics in South Africa where blacks are allowed only as guest workers. What are you going to do, have a little piece of cardstock painted the darkest shade of white you'll allow and hold that up to the face of all potential inhabitants? What about the people who have a black parent but by some recessive genetics still look white? How far back are you going to look at lineage in order to determine "how white" someone is? One generation? Two? Three?
The problem with racial profiling like that is you can't make policies around it. Pigments are subjective. I look whiter than most white people simply because I am Nordic in descent. Does that make my friend of Slavic descent less white?
The concept of racism is SO lost on me. Discriminate against someone based on their politics or their favourite baseball team or their car. Don't discriminate based on something as silly as skin colour; genetically predetermined and unchangeable from conception.
People are such colossal ignoramuses sometimes!
I get that way back when people thought your skin was black because you'd sinned or something and if you were good enough God would change you back to white. But we know better now! Science has proven that NO one can control what skin colour they are unless they pull a Michael Jackson! DUH.
Judge someone on something they are actually responsible, not something contrived that they had no hand in. Honestly... *skakes head*


He said it himself!

His mind is boggled! Therefore he is not to be trusted.

"The mind, it boggles." Is just SUCH a funny phrase to me :) I giggle every time I read it! I's amoosed.

So... I'm not sure what I think of Ann Coulter right now. Obviously I like her more than all the other Liberal pundits/authors/talk show hosts/tv shows/celebrities/politicians in respect to her views. But I can't say as I agree in her racist attitude towards the Middle East, I would HATE to be stereotyped along with the Catholic priests molesting people or the KKK being all white-supremacy-ey because they are not an accurate representation of my beliefs and the radicals are not an accurate representation of joe-regular-muslim guy who says his prayers and loves his family.
But it is difficult not to judge people who let this INSANE group of reactionary assholes who are trying to take the Middle East back in time to enslave their women, murder the infidels and live in an effed up society. Its just mind boggling. If the Taliban had not been given the chance to give their grassroots effort some power perhaps they would not be able to murder people who don't help them or bomb European subway lines or stalk Danish cartoonists. I am not blaming them, its hard to say no to people who are offering to make your life a better one when you've just watched the Russians pull away and leave the country in disarray. But I also can't really blame the people who judge them. They are harbouring murderous, unstable, completely insane guys who are sending their women and children as suicide bombers. Its not right.
Then again, your average joe-muslim-guy who moved to Canada to give his family a better life and does NOT support the Taliban or Islamic extremism should not be heckled for his skin colour and religious beliefs.
Granted its hard to gauge how sympathetic the guy behind you in line for groceries is to terrorists. People don't respond favourably to that kind of questioning in most circumstances :p


P.S. my apologies if the discordant manner in which this post was written is confusing. I didn't edit and polish so much as type it all out before I lost interest and forgot what I was trying to say :p

Well isn't it obvious?

He was beating the fear of God into the man! Man some people are just so dense... I thought it was obvious :p

Friday, April 02, 2010

Zombie Twin Barbi!

Mmkay so the first thing that struck me about this wasn't my already-well-developed-disdain for celebrity animal rights activists. Especially the ones who pose nude or burst into tears on tv, and if its simultaneous birthday suited blubbering all the better. But no, the first thing that struck me about it was the ridiculously scary, zombie-esque looking Barbi twins!

I googled more pictures of them and honestly...
Other than the rather obvious T&A they've got going on (which is quite frankly terrifying, do they lose balance easily because of the top weight?) I cannot fathom why people found them attractive.

However I am not a man OR a lesbian therefore I can't really be called upon to judge objectively :P but seriously, those boobs could kill someone.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Absurd literalism

But also pretty amusing and totally accurate.

Phew, glad we got that cleared up

I know I've been wondering about that for QUITE some time now. Ask anyone who knows me! It comes up regularly.


No. Not really.
Seriously? Thats what people make their livelihood doing? Writing about the sexual orientation of various celebrities? *sigh*

Get off your ass

Ugh. Suicide bombers make me sick. Congratulations, you're dead and you've brought a shwack of people with you. Nice legacy. I'm sure your family is proud.
And I'm sorry but world leaders are strongly condemning something? As opposed to moderately condemning something? I want to see stuff blown up! I am absolutely serious here, 38 people lost their lives today because two women thought it would be a good idea to throw their lives away and take as many people as possible with them. Why aren't more people outraged by this?! I want action. I want world leaders to stop strongly condemning things and start getting pissed off. I want them to send agents into Chechnya and find the culprits' leaders and throw them in jail or hang them or something. Just do something! Stop sitting around and condemning stuff, grow a spine.

I know I know, its been another while

And I am terribly terribly sorry for that. I shall pause for you to forgive me.....
Why thank you ;)

Word of the Day
Ghastly - it just makes me smile when I say it! And it totally encompasses my feelings on certain subjects. Polygamy? Ghastly. Liberals? Ghastly. Tights as pants? Uber ghastly.

Yep, this guy is SOOOO my new hero "May amoeba evolve enough wit to hate you" :)
I love this not just because it defends Ann Coulter (which not many people are brave enough to do) but because it is so well written! Seriously, someone who can mention fossil fuel substitution, the founding fathers, amoeba, and offal-eating insects totally gets my love.

Holy Man. Angry eyes much? I get the whole defending your team thing and whatnot but wow.

I can't be the only one who finds this ironic and amusing. But just in case I am; rent a sense of humour!


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

But why are the pants gone?!

I know this is only two examples but I am too lazy to find more.

Where are her pants?

And hers?

After more careful examination I believe that the second video perhaps features a girl wearing flesh tones pants. But really, why take the chance of someone mistaking you for being pantless?!

My name is Zhen and I am a FIRM believer in pants.

Monday, March 01, 2010

The world would be WAY better if I ran it

Because no one would ever, EVER wear tights or leotards as pants. Ever. Seriously, your ass might look nice but save it for someone who WANTS to see it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sad face :(

Stuff like this reminds me of Steve Irwin. He dealt with dangerous animals for years and years and in the end it was a really random, fluke accident that killed him. This chick worked there for 12 years so obviously she loved the job, but thats just awful...

There's a Tory MP in Quebec?!

I have been SO lazy in my news reading! Who knew the quebeckers had it in them to elect a conservative? Not me sirree. Course I vaguely remember that Bernier scandal a little while back when his biker chick girlfriend saw confidential documents but I forgot he was a Tory! I must be going batty...

So anyways, how long do you think before May sets up re-education camps for climate change deniers? I'm guessing 10 years. If that.

How long is a "long history" anyway? Did anyone ask? He's been representing Beauce for 25 years so yeah I guess that could be where the long comes from... Interesting.

Dear All My Former High School Teachers

Thank you for NEVER giving each other lap dances at pep rallies. Even the married ones. I really and truly appreciate it :) thanks.

(for those of you that haven't heard yet, just google "teacher lap dances" and look at the news results)

P.S. I will not be held responsible for the horror to be experienced when viewing search results.

2nd time was NOT the charm apparently

At that point just go buy a gun.