matt is fun
Don't Eff with your TA
A List of Senses (Perceptics) that L. Ron Hubbard Obviously Overlooked
I recently found out that L. Ron Hubbard rejected the received view that there are only five human senses. Instead he identified 57 modes of sensation, which he called perceptics. You can see the list here (scroll to the bottom). My only beef is that Hubbard obviously omitted the following perceptics, which I employ all the time:
Salty Liquorish Tasten
Happy Meal Toy Reception
Crystalline knowledge (Stevie Nicks)
Capacity to fake the funk (oxymoron)
Getting stung by poison needles
Tanooki Suit (wearing)
The overlooking of kinds of perceptics (a legitimate sense itself)
Ingrown toenail prediction
Fear of showing socks (overcome with short ankle-socks)
The capacity to stop water from boiling by watching it
Emotional State of Virginia
Ability to Notice the existence of non-existent Lt. Cmdr. Howard D. Thompson
Awareness of Healing Medicine (past and present)
Awareness of Quality Pornography
Perception of “Appetite for Destruction” (good G&R album)
Professor Murder gets Four Shining Stars!
Check out this
P-Fork review of the band of one of my main dogs.
I have always wondered myself "how these guys manage to pack so much thrilling nervous energy into such a shallow program."
I am pretty sure now that PM packs so much thrilling energy into such a shallow program by using hydrogen cells.
Visit PM's website here.
Thanks to Yoni for cyber-developing a get rich quick idea that some fools and I (including Yoni) imagineered.
Peep our trillion dollar idea here.
For secret reasons I have spent a bit of the last few weeks working on a resume. Normally my targeted employer would be a liberal, but to hedge my bets I have written up a separate resume that should be appealing to republican employers.
What does a forensic vagina specialist look like?
are some more scary implications of genuinely adopting the view that abortion is a form of murder.
Disingenuous Anti-Abortion Positions
How do Catholics (and other relevant Christian types) square their view that abortion is a kind of mass murder with their rigid ‘abstinence only’ sex education policy?
When there is genocide or a case of mass murder before you, if you want to behave ethically you do anything you can to stop it. If you can save lives by selling your watch or by sacrificing little luxuries, you do this. Intense evil seems to call for a radical restructuring of priorities, where stopping evil trumps all other kinds of mundane concerns. I call this ethical principle the Schindler’s List Principle. Here is a passage from the movie capturing the force of the principle:
Oskar Schindler: I could have got more out. I could have got more. I don't know. If I'd just... I could have got more.
Itzhak Stern: Oskar, there are eleven hundred people who are alive because of you. Look at them.
Oskar Schindler: If I'd made more money... I threw away so much money. You have no idea. If I'd just...
Itzhak Stern: There will be generations because of what you did.
Oskar Schindler: I didn't do enough!
Itzhak Stern: You did so much.
[Schindler looks at his car]
Oskar Schindler: This car. Goeth would have bought this car. Why did I keep the car? Ten people right there. Ten people. Ten more people.
[removing Nazi pin from lapel]
Oskar Schindler: This pin. Two people. This is gold. Two more people. He would have given me two for it, at least one. One more person. A person, Stern. For this.
Oskar Schindler: I could have gotten one more person... and I didn't! And I... I didn't!
If there is even a slight chance that alternative sex education programs and condom promotion can reduce the magnitude of a “mass murder,” why aren’t Catholics more open to these options? Why not give a little ground on the sex education position for the sake of possibly saving more ‘lives?’ Why not take a queue from Schindler?
Dogmatism over sex education, when alternative forms of education might reduce the number of abortions, makes Catholics (if you take them at their word) look like Schindler contemporaries who want to address the horrors of a genocide, but who also want to keep their nice pins, watches, and cars—and so they do. So, they don’t look very Schindlerian at all.
They either look like (i) idiots, who fail to prioritize the obligation to save lives over the obligation to provide ideal sex education, or (ii) like selfish jerks who want their abstinence cake ‘and to eat too’ so much that they are willing to permit more murder (than in the case where they don’t get their way on abstinence), or (iii) they look like people who are disingenuous about their view that legalized abortion is mass murder.
I think that option (iii) is the most charitable reading of the Catholic position given this problem. That Catholics equate the termination of a fetus with the murder of a person only disingenuously is supported by a recently popularized thought experiment
that asks us to consider the choice between saving a Petri dish and a small child in a house fire. Who would save the dish? Who believes that the tissue in the dish is just a valuable as a child? The Catholic position requires some bullet biting here that many would find unacceptable.
Even if they don’t admit the disingenuousness of the abortion-as-murder position, it would be nice if Catholics would leave the sex education question open. Such a move would at least take pressure off the temptation outsiders have to read Catholics’ violation of the Schindler principle as a case of selfishness or stupidity.UPDATE:Here
is some evidence that just came out in support of the hypothesis that decreasing condom use increases abortion rates. Thanks to T. Re for the link.
Item: I make more money than Mikhail Gorbachev
Who says philosophy doesn't pay?
PHOTO EVIDENCE DEMONSTRATING IRAQ’S PEACE
Even though recent photo evidence
that was intended to prove that Iraq
is safe and peaceful has been discredited
, I do not think it is sensible to draw the positive conclusion from this that Iraq
is unsafe or not peaceful.
Furthermore, I believe that photo evidence in general has not been discredited, as a means for telling the untold story of Iraq
’s safety and peacefulness.
To be sure, if one has current pictures of Iraq that portray safety, it will be thereby demonstrated that the Liberal media is missing something, as it exclusively reports stories of violence and civil war… It just so happens that I have such evidence from my Iraq trip. Observe these photos of peace and draw your own conclusions.
My Friend Brian Actually Had a Beer with John Kerry Last Night
This flies in the face of a right wing smear campaign, whose aim it was to show that drinking a beer with Kerry is logically impossible. I think Brian has provided us with a proof of the possibility of drinking a beer with Kerry, albeit too late.
According to election-time wisdom, Bush was supposed to be the go to guy for drinks at Hooters and shit like that, while Kerry was the lamestain
. But, even though the election is over, permit me to suggest that this characterization was always threatened by Bush's sobriety
and Kerry's radical Samuel Adams-drinking-ass.
Remesh Ponnuru hates death and political parties that support it.
Is the guy who wrote the book The Party of Death—in which it is ‘argued’ that Democrats maintain a pro-death agenda, and only Republicans can stop them (because Democrats are so menacingly powerful right now)—is this the same guy who gives sympathetic nods to atom-bomb-dropping on our enemies and also to increased tolerance towards wartime “collateral damage” i.e. having a more chill attitude over dead innocents?
Is it me or do these endorsements sound slightly pro death? Not that anyone is explicitly pro death. Any book title that implies otherwise is what we would call a Strawman book title. But his rhetorical dishonesty is less important than the fact that this young man is obviously confused about what kinds of political decisions yield the most harm for humanity.
It also strikes me that Ponnuru is more eager to consider explanations of violence towards innocents in the case of manly wars, than he is to consider the relevant conditions under which womanly women receive abortions. Killing in war is understandable because of x, y, z, while controlling birth must be an issue of indulgent death-lust. The charity principle probably ought not be applied so selectively.
Anyway, this book, The Party of Death, which will probably be on the Great Books List in 100 years, is edited by our boy Ben Domenech, which is funny because he knows a lot about parties—those of death and otherwise. Just check out this super article in which he pretended to give his own opinions about parties.
My Favorite Song Right Now
is Ghostface's "Back like that." Maybe you should listen to it.
What Ben Domenech had written on the topic of partying before he decided to steal P.J. O'Rourke's party story.
So, you may know about the now resigned Washington Post Blogger, Ben Domenech.
Apparently in dec. of 2000 under lots of pressure from his college news paper to put out the great American Account of "Real Parties," Domenech cracked and just stole funnyman (sic) P. J. O’Rourke’s party story-- a very self destructive move for a future gurrrnalist. So why would someone do something like this?
The following is a draft, showing us what the earlier pre-plagiarized party story looked like. Its quality (or lack t/o) gives us some insight into why a young man would choose to steal a PJ O’Rourke story over composing his own.
An Expert Article on Partying by the Party Expert Himself
Ben Domenech (Party Expert) Contrasting Real and Fake Parties:
Real Parties are very, very, very, very fun.
Fake parties are not even parties… at all.
At a real party you will stay up late and make fun of Clinton’s welfare state and eat muchies (like combos, or Rold-Gold Pretzels, or cereal snacks).
At a fake party, you will be asleep and therefore not eating anything, and probably also not even dreaming about how welfare is so bad.
At a real party there are no taxes.
At a fake party you have to pay taxes, which impinge on your liberty.
Each of the following items will never be idenitcal to a "real party" due to categorical differences:
Never have a party alone. Whom to invite: People who can party a lot, cuz partying is cool.
Never copy someone else’s party, for that would be a fake party, even if it otherwise had the qualities of a real party.
Never give handouts, government or otherwise.
Never have a pizza party with not enough pizzas for all of the magic card players.
Funnyman P.J. O’Rourke, cuz his book that I am reading now is so funny and cool.
People who know to use the word “whom” in cases where the pronoun “who” is not nominative (like I did above).
People who will bring Final Fantasy games and toys.
The University of Richmond
Whom not to invite: Lawyers
Curse word users
The Party of Death
“Affirmative Action Recipients”
A reasonable volume is expected by all guests, so that inter-guest-conversation is not disturbed. As for musical content, allow me to recommend Ben Folds Five, for their excellent song that condemns abortion, “Brick.” (Note to reader: Your party will last longer than this song, so plan to include other Ben Folds Five songs, or to play this one a few times over). Thank You Notes:
Never copy someone else’s thank you note, even if it clearly gets your point across better and makes you look cooler to other people than the note you were going to write. Don’t do it, even if there is a note there in front of you that you are looking at, and it is very good (like even if P.J. O’Rourke wrote it), and you are getting pressure from other people to write the note, and what you have already written is not that good. But you must write a thank you note, or else it looks bad.
Obviously these are pictures of me do'n hick things.
If only I could be Pierce Bush’s TA…
You may have seen this hilarious interview, in which 20 year old Pierce Bush (P-Bushy 2028) accuses Dubai port deal opponents (critics of his uncle, G. Dub.) of racism.
He defended (if you can call it that) this view earlier in a letter to the Houston Chronicle.
Having TA-ed 20 year olds a bit, it was clear to me that the case that Pierce presented in this document could have been a bit stronger. As his TA, these are the constructive comments that I would have provided for him.
Some Possible Bush Responses to Recent Accusations that he Relies too heavily on Strawman Arguments in his Speeches
1) Some folks have recently said that I am made entirely out of straw. I strongly disagree. I have a soul and body and a brain, all of which are made from God’s love. And how could they say that about the commander and chief in a time of war?
2) There are some really decent people who believe that we should draw straws to arrive at a plan to fix Iraq. But that is a foolhardy policy. Instead we should pray to get such a plan.
3) My opponents will say that every single thing I have ever said is a Strawman fallacy. Well, that is just false. I say things like “Hey Laura, nice school teach’n” which is not even a characterization of anyone’s argument.
4) Some say that I want to use Democrats as straw men to scare away crows from the crops. Nothing is farther from the truth. I want to reach across the isle to work with Democrats so that I can get authorized more often to use force against some other countries.
Reductio b-ad pictorum
Here is my reductio on Plato's Republic, which I just had the misfortune of familiarizing myself with.
This book is a piece of shit.
It is time to export it forever from philosophy to classics, or literature, or just to someplace where bad arguments and fascist idealism are less incompatible with the curriculum.
Two Views that Suggest the Primitiveness of their Supporters
1) The un-philosophical life is not worth living.
2) The Philosopher King is the ideal political leader.
Both of these views have origins in ancient philosophy, where cheerleading for philosophy was first included in the content of philosophy itself. I am more concerned with primitive people who are alive now and who subscribe to this shit, rather than with dead primitive people, so the following comments are aimed at the former, less dead group.
The first view 1) means either just “yah philosophy!”, or “yah philosophy and if you haven’t thought this also then your life is without value” or something in between.
People in other disciplines, it seems to me, are often too busy producing other things to spend their work time justifying their jobs. What is weird about this thesis, though, is not just the amount of time ‘philosophers’ spend defending it (when they could be doing work), but that philosophy is the kind of discipline with low enough standards to allow positive value judgments about it to count as philosophy itself.
I suppose evidence could support the weaker claim that philosophy helps people in ways x, y, and z. Guaranteed though, almost no one who advances this view has such evidence, and they probably wouldn’t even count it as philosophy if they had it.
View 2) is a combination of “yah philosophy” and an attempted power grab. It is very odd to me. I guess if you believe philosophy people are the smartest, best, and all that, then you also think that they should lead nations. This view, however, that philosophy people are so great (which certainly lacks empirical support), seems to be nothing more than the kind of shitty narrow discipline-egoism that you find in the mouths of many academic assholes. I am guessing that there are enough jerk-personalities in the sciences who would use science to advance the notion of Science Kings, if the discipline did not have strict rules that precluded such non-sense from counting as science.
So much the worse for philosophy—for 2000 years it has been unable to block self-congratulation from its content.
Some things that people around Matt do not enjoy enough
I just watched the last episode of season 3 of "Home Movies" last night, while my partner (henceforth PartnerC2000) lay passed out on the bed from Bronx-teaching induced narcolepsy. This show is one of the funniest I have ever seen.
My complaint is not so much with PartnerC2000, who likes lots of things but sleeps through most of them. Rather it is with a broader group of people who surround me and have seen one or two episodes of this show and set it aside. There are also those who have never seen it, and so are lucky in that they have three seasons of amazingness ahead of them, but unlucky if they will never discover it. To both of these groups I strongly recommend "Home Movies." (By strong recommendation I mean watch this or fuck you).
Other shows/movies that are incredible, and yet not perfectly received:
A Few Pictures Depicting my Mansfield-like strength
These pictures should give you an idea of how manly this blogger is!