# nihil architecture blogs

## content

### Constitutions are a piece of garbage

2003, a great time for liberty and democracy in the Greatest Nation on Earth. Lawrence v. Texas was ruled. A landmark Supreme Court ruling that ruled that the ban on sodomy was unconstitutional; thus we see the fine work of constitutions in practice. The very fundamental laws that challenge not citizens but governments to protect the citizens against them. Well, it didn’t go right immediately, a similar case was tried in 1986 which ruled in the negative. Apparently the flaw was that the Supreme Court [held] that it had viewed the liberty interest too narrowly.

Perfectly understandable looking at the text of the Fourteenth Amendment:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Hell, I would make mistakes interpreting that too. Because I have no idea what the fuck it actually is supposed to mean. Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. What the hell is this shit even supposed to be telling me? Obviously if I make it a law saying that I can do it, then it is not without due process of law therefore not unconstitutional? liberty, the most vague term ever? So if without a due process some state stops me from walking around naked, that is unconstitutional? These words are so retardedly vague that you can conceivably argue any fucking law to be unconstitutional or constitutional given enough imagination.

But hey, let’s talk about another favourite, the second one:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Crystal clear honestly. So I take it that when I’m arrested on the streets with a nuclear bomb or an RPG, maybe a tank or whatever, then I could of course fall back to my constitutional right to bear arms right? Well, evidently not because it only goes so far. Great we established that obviously the letter of the law doesn’t mean to imply all arms, just some that don’t go too far. Great, vote for me for right honourable genetically engineered executive monkey of the US of A, I will just outlaw any piece of firearm except water guns. Constitutions: difficult is instant, the impossible takes five minutes. So obviously the truth is in the middle, as: What goes too far? which is going to be decided by someone. So in other words, if the constitution was there or not doesn’t make a flying fucking difference because the person who’s going to decide it is going for what he or she thinks goes too far anyway.

How about the first one, the holy grail:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Almost every piece of moral convention has a religious basis. Okay, so enforcing things like male circumcision would never fly because that’s enforcing religion? Great, let’s legalize murder while we’re at it, after all it clearly originates from the bible. You can argue in every single instance that whatever you’re doing isn’t because of your religion but something you’d do regardless of it. Freedom of speech is of course always a good one. For some retarded reason prostitution is illegal, except if you film it, because pornography is protected under the First Amendment. Okay, so apparently the First Amendment makes it legal to perform an unlawful act as long as I film it because freedom of speech? Cool, so why isn’t child porn legal to make or a good old fashioned snuff film? Of course, your opinion isn’t free if it’s ‘hate speech’ of course, where hate speech just means not liking some group where most people have no problem with them. I swear, if this piece of text did not exist wouldn’t make a flying difference, some Supreme Court justices were just okay with porn and decided to frivolously search in the constitution for a reason to make it legal.

Okay, so the US is basically the only western country that still actively practices capital punishment, so there’s the eight guy:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Are you shitting me? Did the grand minds that wrote this text down really think it would change any-thing. excessive hmm? the vaguest term ever. I’m pretty sure what whoever imposes bails or fines imposes what is in his or her mind just right and not excessive? And cruel and unusual? What kind of flying drooling retard actually authors laws with these vague kinds of words.

Which you can do with anything really because this entire piece of text is worded so purposefully vaguely that with enough imagination you can make pretty much anything legal or illegal on constitutional grounds.

And that brings us to the point of Judical Activism. Let’s face it, the fact that the constitution is so vague doesn’t help it and all 9 of those justices are massive judical activists. You don’t have to be a genius transform a list what Scalia thinks the constitution says into the party he votes for. You also don’t have to be a genius to realize that as long as præsidents nominate justices and the senate has to approve it with a mere 50% majority that each and every one of those justices is going to be a judical activist. If you’re a politician who believes in something, why would you not appoint the biggest Judical activist to champion that cause? The people who appoint and nominate justices have no fucking interest in appointing neutral people who interpret the constitution free of political ideology. It’s in their fullest agenda to appoint the biggest judical activists in the history of judical activists.

### Living my life as a woman for a week

For those who don’t know, typically undergoing sex-reassignment therapy, surgery or hormonal, in most countries requires meeting pretty strict criteria, honestly, independent of whatever stress it might cause for people to be born in the wrong body, I feel people have the right to change and modify their body in whatever way they want, chopping of your own arm? Well, it´s your body, not mine, you can’t have mine, but if you want to surgically let your arm be detached, your party. That transgendered people have been known to suffer great psychological trauma from having a body that does not conform to their identity makes it even more stringent. (Note that I also think that transgendered people are silly, just as I think that people with a gender identity at all are silly, gender identities are silly and probably a product of society placing a lot of emphasis on things that are very much irrelevant.

Part of the silly criteria to take in hormones is to have lived your life for a certain amount of time as the opposite sex, getting accustomed to your “new identity”. Okay? So what the fuck does that even mean? Do I have to wear a dress? I know women who dress pretty identically to how I dress, do I have to grow my hair long? I already got that. Do I have to wear makeup? Well, that’s getting a bit patronizing isn’t it?

However, to demonstrate the absurdity of this, I am going to live my life as a woman for a week, maybe more if I like it. This will involve telling everyone to swap pronouns and act a bit more like a woman, I act pretty indifferent to gender roles in general so it shouldn’t be too hard, am probably going to have to change my intonation up a bit though. Since my name is clearly masculine, I’d have to ask people to call me something else.

We’ve ventured into the unknown territories of being a woman, this has started by assuming the name Kim, going to the hassle of explaining a lot of weird shit to a lot of people, and actually getting down to shaving. Kind of ironic, since men tend to be the people shaving their facial hair. Makeup is for bimbos for the time being.

### Why I dislike LaTeX on a fundamental level

LaTeX is pretty much the standard for publishing mathematical documents, a pretty old standard too, and one I dislike on a fundamental level, already I should have acquired copious amounts of nerd-rage by writing this, but you know it turns me one when you guys are mad at me.

My main dislike is hardly the quality of the output—though that could really use some work too, despite what the liberal media may tell you, it’s far from the quality of a professional typesetter—it’s the language used to specify the output. The language to me is so daft and devoid of any reasonable thought, it feels like gotos all over the place again.

The year is 2010, Dijkstra has won, few modern languages still support the goto, those that do often require the code to have special privileges and/or be explicitly placed in some ‘unsafe’ clause. However there are more things to healthy programming, say I’m programming some code which does some-thing with prime numbers, tries to find some pattern in it, just hypothetically, say that initially, I’m not that ambitious, and I investigate only the first 1 000 000 primes. Afterwards, I’m on a lead and I want to scoop it up a notch and go for the first 10 000 000, surely, if I programmed it scalably, I would only have to change the number 1000000 to 10000000 once in my code and the rest adapts right? If I run a gravity simulator, say I want to then try it for two times as much gravity? If I programmed this well I would have to change that number only once right? If I make some program to output a web-page, and I suddenly decide to output XHTML instead of HTML, surely if I did this well I would only have to change one switch some-where and the rest follows?

Okay, so let’s port this idea to LaTeX, a real life example, a friend of mine was once collaborating, he used em-dashes in his version, his parter thought they were too prætentious, so he changed them to commata. He had to edit every single em-dash, a simple substitute didn’t work because it turns out they used --- in more places than em-dashes. It was a frustrating task I can imagine. Now, it’s quite possible to just use \medium-pause every time and let this be output as em-dashes or as commata at one’s pleasure. But this is seldom done, and LaTeX certainly doesn’t make this very convenient nor encourages this. Another quite simple example would be that you’re writing some-thing which uses the speed of light, and in a second edition you find out that the symbol conflicts with some other symbol in the same formula, you’d wish you had used s_l there or some other thing instead of c the entire time, now you have to edit it, probably missing a few, and introducing errors. In my world, I would have used some-thing like [lightspeed] from the start and bound that concept to a symbol at only one piece in the entire code, which is then easily changed. Alternatively, you might find out your publisher’s style doesn’t really like dots and wants crosses or spaces for multiplication, you’re stuck on editing that. You could just search and replace, but of course you want to check. Isn’t it easier to just specify multiplication each time and define the symbol associated with that at some higher level?

Another part we’re always getting hot about is re-use of code, Two or more, use a for!, LaTeX isn’t particularly friendly about this thing either, often you will find multiple æquations which re-use some basic concept into it which often leads to copy-ing and pasting of text. I once learnt that as soon as you copy and paste your code, you’re doing some-thing wrong and I agree with this maxim. Consider this simple example:

 $\land$ and $\lor$ distribute over each other, more formally: \begin{eqnarray} x \land (y \lor z) &=& (x \land y) \or x (\land z) \\ x \lor (y \land z) &=& (x \lor y) \land x (\lor z) \end{eqnarray} 

Splendid, I’d rather just use:

 \mutual_distribution(\land,\lor) 

And define once how this is output, and then be done with it. I can change that template once then later if I want to make some changes. I’m to be honest surprised that LaTeX automatically enumerates your æquations for you and you don’t have to do that yourself. And yes, it is possible with some hacking around to make such a template, but the syntax for it is so limited and confuzzling that almost no one does it, and it almost makes things less readable to begin with. I tried and I tried to make this happen a little more but the language was quite clearly never designed for it that well, and it’s madness and pain.

LaTeX lacks a \Beta on its own, quite obviously because it looks visually the same as B so why bother? Well, even if you were a dusty computer scientists who has a fetish with not keeping his mind ordered, it still begs the quæstion in what typeface?, it’s not unlikely that a typeface exists which for clarity puts Greek letters in a slightly different makeup, and I would not think this would be a bad idea, differentiating A and ? in various manuscripts can be very handy. And this requires extensive workarounds in LaTeX, to be expected from a tool coming from a time which prided itself on writing all possible code with the mentality of not looking ahead and taking into account the future. LaTeX code manages to be a reasonable write-only language, an impressive feat considering you don’t even have to mentally follow the flow of computation, that its commenting syntax is so verbose that it discourages people from using them might be another part of the problem.

Another thing I don’t like is how it enters and closes math-mode, sure, if math-modes can’t nest? Why not take the same open and closing tag right? I am sure to speak for all of us when I say that never has debugging been such a pain as LaTeX incorrect LaTeX math-mode closing, the error messages are so enormously cryptic by misplacing a dollar sign that you often have no idea exactly which it is you misplaced and often when you got it to work you still have no idea what you did wrong. It’s like rebooting your computer when some-thing went wrong and you’re still not exactly sure on how you fixed it. It turns out that closing tags help error messages and help you find them. Maybe this is Donald’s savant mind speaking who makes no errors, but for us mortals this is damned annoying.

It’s quite clear that the base of this language was designed in a time when people were practically still cave-men scratching COBOL code in granite walls to keep track of how many mammoths they hunted down.

Finally, on a more meta-level. LaTeX, well, just PDF or Postscript really, defines a lot of things which I feel a document ought not define. Yes, they are languages to specify the layout for a printing place, every pixel, every vector, and I feel that the only thing that should ever receive that data is the printer, or the person who checks it before it goes to the printer. The consumer should never receive that on his or her computer. Things like font size, font type, letter spacing, colour, text width, line spacing, these should all be properties of the viewer not of the document it reads. Supposedly LaTeX is about legibility, and it has used some archaic myths about what is optimal legibility to algorithmically force that down our throats, in reality probably more Donald Knuth’s præferred style. In the end, legibility is subjective, dependent on person, varies through locus and time, has a genetic and an environmental component, what one person considers legible another does not. So people should be able to adjust those settings in their viewer, computers are powerful enough to calculate that on the fly nowadays. Especially since e-readers are coming up, why not use that advantage?

Some people have already done this, it’s called separation of præsentation and content, take apart what you are saying semantically, and how you are layouting what you say for the most part as you can. It’s scalable, it takes into account that the house style of the publishing magazine may later on change, it enables the same document to easily be published in multiple styles depending on the target audience, it also gives the audience itself control over the style if they receive it in digital format, and so on. I for one hate with a passion that new misodendric hype of basically 1 em line spacing in papers. I’m still not really sure if they actually hit enter twice after every line or make some switch that does that automatically for each line, but as they use LaTeX I would not be surprised if they actually accomplished their treeslaughter by the former. Every time I see it, I would kill to have my PDF viewer implement a simple switch that could take that away, it reads both annoyingly and I’d like my grandchildren to have a plentiful supply of oxygen.

### The plaza close to Ground Zero

There’s been a lot of confusion and fighting over this so called ‘Mosque’ that’s being built at Ground Zero. Opponents noting the insensitivity, proponents saying this is religious freedom and one of the principles that Nation Under God was built on. Then there’s still the debate of Okay, it should be legal, religious freedom says it is, but is it wise?.

Well, wise, maybe not, probably not, but only because of the stupidity of man. Why is this ‘insensitive’? Is it ‘insensitive’, if a crime is done by Christian people to place a church close to that site? Many of the most infamous US criminals were Christians of course. Don’t ask me how they combine this, and don’t ask me how people combine Islam with suicide bombings either; people find their ways. There seems to be a sliding scale of acceptability of bigotry here. If your girlfriend was a bitch, to hate all women thenceforth is unacceptable and bigoted. If your boyfriend was one, to hate all men, well, that’s more acceptable. If you’re robbed by a black man, to then say all black people are scum goes too far and is præjudiced. But to think the same after being robbed by some obscure ethnicity such as Slovenes, that’s more acceptable again. To don’t trust punkers after a group of them beat you up, that’s just a nice argument to demonstrate why supposedly they [all] are scum.

So what is this ‘considering the sensitivity of the issue’ really but compromising for the bigots that can’t see the difference between different people who just happen to all profess being ‘Islamic’; that’s really all it is. Islam, unlike various schools of Christianity is not monolithical in nature, there is no One Supreme Authority such as a pope, there are no churches and people above churches, no bishops and so on. There are people who say they are Muslim, and they of course each all mean a totally different thing with it. For some, being Muslim is little more than faith into The One God and his righteousness and almightiness, and to others, this involves covering women in elaborate cloths. So basically, wise as it may be to be ’sensitive’ to avoid further polarization, it’s still basically giving people what they want for their bigotry and ignorance.

And ignorance is quite the word to describe what most people know of this place, on the right we have a picture of how it’s going to look. Looks kind of like modern architecture nay? And it’s more like a plaza than a Mosque really. These are some of its features accordingly New York Daily News:

• An auditorium
• A theatre
• A swimming pool
• A child-care area
• A performing arts centre
• A book-store
• A fitness centre
• A restaurant, serving kosher dishes
• … last but not least, an Islamic praying centre

Obviously this thing has more in common with a plaza than a Mosque, indeed it’s modeled after 92nd Y. It’s just a plaza with a place people can also pray, how insensitive.

To put matters worse, the thing is not planned at Ground Zero at all, rather so near, three blocks to be præcise… do we really have to pay that much for bigots that people who are part of some religion cannot built a modern art centre three blocks away from some sight that other people who are part of the same religion did some crime?

And I think the simple answer is yes, it’s stupid, but we have no other option. It will polarize people even more and lead to more deaths if they do not give. Just because people are so damned stupid and do so damned little research. Stupid people—alas—are surprisingly powerful when in large groups, and alas surprisingly numerous. Thank you Sarah.

### Perpetration of myths

Friend of mine’s recently got a tortoise and commented to that he seems to reject food the information books and sides all say his species should really like, and seems to præfer food said media never even mentioned. But looking at such media like Tortoise Care the things that are immediately noticeable are:

• The source does not refer to many rational arguments, nor to any empirical research that can make compelling its claims.
• For a very large portion of the things the source claims, testing the accuracy of it scientifically would either be very unethical and tortoise-abuse, or simply downright theoretically impossible.

Which seems to be the trend on about all sites, books, professionals or what-ever that seem to deal in the care of pets or even children, many child psychologists and pædagogues will claim various things about child care that should raise the eye-brow ‘If they ever tested this hypothesis this means that they for 16 year long mistreated a group of children, lucky control group there…’, also, once in a while, these theories are outright rejected, again, with no real empirical or rational argument to support it. No-one nowadays will claim your child needs a substantial amount of physical punishment to grow up, nowadays that’s considered detrimental to the development of a child. Teenagers masturbating used to be a thing best prævented, nowadays part of a child’s ‘natural development’… I hope we all know that phrases like ‘natural’ are best avoided in serious scientific literature, especially when used to communicate a value judgement about some practice…

The term value judgement might be essential, all these sources are inhærently præscriptive; sure, they bring it as descriptive, as simply describing what actions supposedly hurt a tortoise or a child. But in the end the main effort of people communicating and originating such information is to change the way people behave, not to simply inform them with knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Researches into things which can cause certain things in animals that have no such præscriptive character tend to indeed be based on the actual scientific method, whence things such as your child should not be exposed to too much cursing come, I haven’t an idea. Or wait, I do, quite obviously people just don’t want their children to curse and go invent whole faux-sciences like ‘child psychology’ just to give this obviously moralistic notion some false illusion of a ’scientific character’.

### On grammar and shorter sentences

Some people reading this Blog might find my grammatical capabilities dubious, those will probably give up. In fact, I was told from childhood on I should make my sentences shorter in essays, and I could divide native speakers over the fact if my grammar in a given language was correct or not. I’ve lately taken an appreciation to realize that these are ultimately related, take this extreme example of a sentence I once posted in a thread about anti-piracy vs. anti-copyright.

So please, Micra, cut the holier-than-thou self-righteous attitude of that some how it’s a de facto moral absolutism that downloading is bad and your surprise that people here with tonnes more of rational arguments than your morally stagnated dogmatic view on the matter try to ‘justify’ its taking place. [...]

Some people would say that that is grammatically very bad, and all of those would not be able to point out why it’s so bad. A thing I always had, they said it was bad grammar, but they either admitted they couldn’t say why, or say they didn’t feel like it. Point is that it’s very much grammatically correct, allow me to show it by cutting it down and down:

[...] Cut the [...] attitude of that [...] it’s a [...] absolutism that downloading is bad and your surprise that people here with tonnes more of [...] arguments than your [...] view on the matter try to ‘justify’ its taking place. [...]

Then we remove some embedded clauses:

[...] Cut the [...] attitude of that [...] it’s a [...] moral absolutism that downloading is bad and your surprise that people here [...] try to ‘justify’ its taking place. [...]

Finally the bare skeleton of the sentence:

[...] Cut the [...] attitude of that [...] it’s a [...] moral absolutism that downloading is bad. [A]nd [cut] your surprise that people here [...] try to ‘justify’ its taking place. [...]

Now, this is very obviously grammatically correct, and inserting extra adjectives and adpositional clauses surely shall not change this. So, what was wrong with it? It was just a very long sentence inside a very long sentence, maybe that’s hard to read, I can imagine that a lot of people would find a sentence to be grammatically incorrect even though they can’t point out why, simply because they can’t read it. One could call it a mark of supreme bad style in literature to write such sentences.

I can’t say I care, I don’t think about how I’ll word things or ‘prose’ when I debate, I write down what I have to say. Of course this is all defeating to the goal to convince an opponent if he-or-she can’t even read what I’ve to say.

I also don’t believe in ‘good style’, most rules of style were invented at whim by some person at some time any-way, like split-infinitives, that’s just nonsense. But I’ve also come to appreciate this very simple fact reasoning; I write those sentences without thinking or trying, most people find them hard to read, I don’t find them hard to read at all, so does this say a lot about my capability with grammar, or theirs? I’m not stupid in learning languages or seeing patterns, far from it, so, the often told rule of ‘making shorter sentences’, couldn’t it all just be a warped way to say ‘Keep account to the grammatical deficiencies of your audience?’, people that often make long sentences and are perceived as ‘chaotic’ by their audiences have a popular reputation to be quite intelligent nonetheless, what if people just perceive it as chaotic due to their own inability to perceive the more complicated patterns? I’ve made compelling the notion that my sentence was correct, even though a lot of natives would at first sight say that it obviously was not.

I’d find it a not-too unreasonable notion that children who’re told by their teachers to curb the length of their sentences are in fact being told implicitly ‘You’re smarter than I, therefore I find your sentences hard to read.’

But then again, who with half a mind’d deny the universal præsence of dubiousness in linguistic præscriptivism?

### Salvation

In rough lines, the plot of The Terminator (1984):

1. Android gets sent back in time to kill a woman
2. Man gets sent after him to protect her
3. Lots of explosions that barely damage the robot
4. At the final end the android is caught in a huge explosion and and is finally visually severely maimed but continues its pursuit regardless
5. Man sacrifices himself to slay the android
6. Woman helps a little
7. Robot dies

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991):

1. Liquid gets sent back in time to kill a boy
2. Android gets sent after him to protect him
3. Lots of explosions that barely damage the liquid
4. At the final end, by random chance the liquid falls into molten steal and is slain
5. Android sacrifices himself to save the future

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003):

1. Gynoid gets sent back in time to kill a teenager
2. Android gets sent after him to protect him
3. Lots of explosions that barely damage the gynoid
4. At the end, by some huge explosion the gynoid is finally visually severely maimed but continues its pursuit regardless
5. Android sacrifices himself to slay the gynoid

Terminator Salvation (2009):

1. In the præsent, death row convict signs over his body to medical purposes
2. Shit goes wrong
3. In a post apocalyptic world, a human resistence forms against an oppressive AI bent on destroying / enslaving mankind
4. Lots of explosions
5. The death row inmate emerges from the wreckage of one of such
6. Finds its way to the resistance
7. EPIC PLOT TWIST, turns out to be an android similar to the one in the first film
8. Denies this, but is finally shocked to see for himself that he’s been rebuilt.
9. They, being racist fags, try to kill him, he escapes
10. Finally wins their confidence by saving them
11. Gets a job to infiltrate the AI with his cybernetics
12. In there, realizes that the AI manipulated him the whole time, playing on his subconscious mind and using him as a spy apparatus
13. Breaks free of the AI’s control (literally) and goes of to save the person he trapped
14. Saves him from an android of the type of the first film, though he’s wounded
15. Sacrifices himself at the end to save that man, who just happens to be the leader of the resistance, the boy from the second and third film and the son of woman and the man of the first.

Mainstream criticism on all films has been overwhelmingly positive, except the last one, let’s cite some examples:

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times:

After scrutinizing the film, I offer you my summary of the story: Guy dies, finds himself resurrected, meets others, fights. That lasts for almost two hours.

There is nothing visible in this world but a barren wasteland. No towns, no houses, no food, no farms, no nothing. Maybe they live on Spam. The resistance is run from a submarine commanded by Gen. Ashdown (Michael Ironside), who wants to destroy Skynet and all of its human POWs. Connor, who is not even human, vows to save them. Wait. That’s Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), the guy from the past, who looks so much like Connor that maybe he only thinks he’s Wright. Marcus is a convicted murderer from the past, awakened from cryogenic sleep.

The first “Terminator” movie I regret (I suppose) I did not see. “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991) was a fairly terrific movie, set in the (then) future, to prevent the nuclear holocaust of 1997. You remember that. It was about something. In it, Edward Furlong was infinitely more human as John Connor than Christian Bale is in this film.

Claudia Puig of USA Today:

Bale is surprisingly one-dimensional as John Connor, the leader of the human Resistance movement whose destiny is linked to the future of mankind in this doomsday action franchise. He seems to be simply recycling his gravelly Dark Knight growl.

Director McG (both Charlie’s Angels movies) is all about visuals and creating an ominous sense of disorientation, but he’s not as deft with storytelling or eliciting performances. Few characters ever say more than a couple of sentences at a time, and when they do, it’s often to assert the obvious. The predictable story feels as if it were written by a computer program labeled “sequel.”

I haven’t seen one of these films in full, just parts, action is not my style, I know most have, and you can probably look up the plot to confirm that the plots are really like that. Maybe Terminator Salvation does suck, I can imagine that it does, from what I saw from the other films, they all suck. However I don’t think these reviewers are truly honest with themselves and their audience, and I see this happening all the time. They’re trying to find a reason to hate it, they just hate it, for whatever reason, maybe subconscious, maybe they had a bad day when they watched it, maybe they just don’t like Christian Bale and it ruins the whole film for them, maybe it’s the power of suggestion in advance. But they just don’t like it and try to find some way to back this up and write it about it.

Criticizing a Terminator film on one-dimensional acting? What? In the first three films Schwarzenegger played the same character over and over again, he’s playing a robot for fucks sake, it’s one dimensional as can be and you can pardon him there for being a crap actor, especially at the end of Rise of the Machines it becomes so obvious that when he can’t use sunglasses to conceal his facial expression and actually has to make one it looks like a child attempt’s at acting.

And seriously, attacking it on not having enough plot? The First three films, all had the same basic plot. And in all three both time travellers die with the good guy sacrificing himself and in all cases the aggressor seems unstoppable and at the end always dies with some stupid dumb fuck luck deus ex machina, that’s right, it’s a bloody deus ex machina, it’s well hidden but crap, a helicopter out of no-where crashing on your enemy, your enemy randomly falling in molten steel? Seriously, that could have happened at any point in the film, there’s no progression whatsoever in any of those films, except maybe the end of them that usually reveals some strange often paradoxal plot-twist.

I’m not defending Salvation here, I’m criticizing these reviewers for not being honest with themselves and their audience, what-ever reasons they had for not liking it, it’s not mentioned in the reviews. It’s like school days all over again, you hate a classmate really for absurd reasons like his voice and then try to find a more tangible justification for yourself like that he’s an arse or that he’s arrogant while a lot of your friends are just as arrogant.

Which is in the end while film reviews or of art in general which have an opinion of the quality thereof are ultimately ridiculous as much as prætentious, one cannot give a true reason for hating these because it works more on the subconscious level than on ‘hard’ things like plot or acting or scenery. People just hate these things for some subconscious reason and then try to find arguments. Of course, giving a description of the film without a value judgement is a lot more possible. But in the end people want a hierarchy, they want to be able to say that some things are ‘better’ than others, and they want it to be a total order, they want to be able to place every film in it, and they want to præserve the idea that if film x is better than y, and y is better than z than x is also better than z. Even though clearly you can’t do this in art, people still make up ways around it like collecting reviews from mainstream critics and normalizing them. You really can’t go further then ‘I like it’, or ‘I don’t', as soon as you give a reason you’re lying to yourself and your audience.

### SCIENCE

science
, ,
2009/4/30, 18:00

Science is a wonderful, wonderful thing, it’s simply best not done by humans. The human mind is thoroughly ill conceived for scientific reasoning. There are two main ways in science to gather information, the ’scientific method’ and its stricter subset ‘logic’. If people claim that there are things logic can’t investigate then they are misinformed or simply lie. Logic can investigate every-thing, the problem is that it often takes too much time then, way too much, for a human being. The point of logic is that it is infallible, logic produces undeniable truth that is impossible to be refuted at a later time. It’s far more rigorous than the ’scientific method’ which makes a lot of subtle fallacies to be easy on our infantile brains. That’s why logic is really only applied to mathematics, computer science and theoretical physics the lot. Because those sciences are ‘fundamental’, which is a really cocky word for ‘investigate very basic structures’, sure, one can apply correct rigorous logic to biology, it just takes a shitload more time so biologists like to cheat a lot more with rigour as living organisms are a bit more complicated than your average division ring.

And as a result of that, biology and chemistry and what-not is often wrong. Plain wrong, in fact, more often wrong than right it seems as the majority of things it once claimed seem to be thrown into the trash can now. They cheat on logic, let correlation imply causation too much. Say ‘If we’ve seen it five hundred times, we can then assume it’s always like that.’, biology just happily disregards the fact that the entire concept of species and life itself can trivially be shown to lead to contradictions and are thus erronous concepts logically speaking. Chemistry is working with incorrect physical models which are off a little in their result but the correct ones are just too much a bugger to work with in such complicated systems.

But hey, they never said they proved it, whereas mathematics has a concept of ‘proven’, softer sciences often say ‘proven beyond all reasonable doubt’, but apparently it has thus far always turned out wrong if they said that? And they even admit themselves that they probably currently are at this moment and they will refine it in the future. That’s at least one reasonable doubt I can name against the ‘proof’, so no, it’s not proven beyond all reasonable doubt at all. So why is it put forward then?

Point is that science is part media sensation, there is pressure to obtain results. In fact, more often than not, the fact of having a result is more important than the correctness of said result, maybe not explicitly, but since they find it likely that they are currently wrong, why bring it into the open as a discovery? At max as a rough draft I’d say. But then there is again another result, another new spectacle so that we can say to our mirror image ’species of thinkers thou art indeed’.

Take for instance the wild assumption people had in the classical until mediæval times that an object falls at proportional speed to its mass. They didn’t even know the concept of acceleration back then. Obviously this hypothesis is false as for one it’s clearly visible than an object needs some time to start accelerating and for two a simple test will show that the mass isn’t really that relevant, especially in a vacuum with no air resistance. No one even thought of testing it; Gallilei did though, he found out it was wrong, and he was pretty much ignored? That’s probably because people like it if results are there and don’t like it if you take away results, even if the results are quite simply wrong. People aren’t that good at questioning results unless they have a new even spiffier ‘read: newer’ result to take its place. Often if you find a clear flaw in a result and point it out people say ‘What else can we do then?’, well, nothing? I thought science was about investigating knowledge and truth? No answer is better than prætending as if a wrong answer is right? But having an answer, no matter if it’s clearly wrong satisfies our ego a species of thinkers, wise men with beards in toga and philosophers.

Not really, the human mind seems to have the ‘thinking’ power of using correct decuction (logic) only at the most simplest of structures like those devision rings, axiomatic set theory, nonstandard analysis and what other obscure terms I can come up with to gain internets. And most people will even be struck as if reading Cardassian if they find literature in that field, for any structure complicated enough to have any meaning to it we can no longer apply the correct deduction and have to smuggle a little with results. Apparently more than a little as thus far we’ve always been wrong.

People really seem to forget that in a lot of cases just saying ‘I don’t know.’ is really the best answer a scientist can have, but then again, most scientists are actually employees, not scientists, so I can understand.

Also, science is currently not in a position to either say that God exists or it doesn’t, same for what the origins of life are. Sure, evolution is ‘proven beyond a reasonable doubt’, but no theory of the origin of life is currently remotely falsifiable, that’s a difference. Also, evolution has nothing to do with the big bang, physicists calculate things, biologists just guess along really, educated guesses though.

### Interesting

science, society

2009/4/17, 02:56

It was a glorios day for the empire, a magnificent debate about abortion, again. Kind of ridiculously trite and overdone, and I saw the light when I made my argument which no one responed to:

If children under three years old generally do not pass the mirror test, show no sign of empathy, can’t solve maths problem, can’t speak, show no indication of the ability to process cognitive language or possess any other quality which supposedly makes humans sentient and other animals not? Why is it then allowed to butcher a pig for supper but not kill a two year old child. No let alone an embryo whose nervous system has yet to develop?

It’s probably one of the most unconventional arguments against abortion I’ve ever seen, also one of the most stigmatic and inapropriate ones as it sanctions the killing of babies, effectively. However it did make me see that in all those trite debates about the same subject, people always use the same arguments over and over while there exist countless more which are just as powerful, if not more. For instance the topic of euthanesia, often the people against it say that only God decide when life ends. No one ever says back ‘You have death penalty in your country, shut up.’, it’s not only a lot simpler than the ethical debats about suffering. It’s also a lot more powerful, one brings the oponent on the knees. Use said’s own words against itself. There is no escape, Bush is in favour of death penalty and says that only God may decide when life ends, it’s quite simple to assert that he doesn’t quite practice what he preaches.

Are even ideological debates the domain of boundless peer pressure then. Not only the pressure to believe certain things, but also the pressure to use certain arguments? Repeating an argument does not strengthen it, reading an unusual argument is all but the excitement of it.

### Larger than life

reviews
,
2009/3/19, 20:37

It suddenly all came to me when I read this on memory alpha:

Kira: ‘It’s like stepping on ants, Odo!’
Odo: ‘I don’t step on ants, Major.’

When you hear those lines in that episode—which I did at one point—you don’t really expect him to say that, you hadn’t considered that behaviour of Odo at all. But when you hear him say those lines, it makes sense for Odo to not even step on ants, it’s perfectly believable that Odo doesn’t and in fact, it wouldn’t be in a way if it turns out he does step on ants, but you wouldn’t consider it until you are asked ‘Does Odo step on ants?’ and this is exactly why not Kirk, Picard, Riker, Janeway, Data, Chakotay or all those other people famous for being larger-than-life and sacrificing themselves for the rest on all oppertunities are the ultimate good guys but Odo is. Because Odo would do it all as well, and more, but he never has any desire to take credit for it. Not even for his own conscience, to tell himself just how good he is. When Janeway wanted to leave behind in a shuttle to rescue the crew and close the vortex on itself, she boldly announced her plan to every senior officer and she did it for her own guilt. Odo would just sneak away in a shuttle, and Odo wouldn’t do if it there was a much simpler solution, like just planting a time bomb. and checking on the other site if it’s collapsed?

Odo is the man of objective justice, he will tell his friends the fact, he doesn’t take sides, he had to go a certain way to get there, but in the end Odo’s sense of moral is infallible. He’s larger-than-life, holier-than-thou, he’s larger-than-Star-Trek, and even more because you don’t realize it, he doesn’t use big and bold words, he acts, he doesn’t speak. And in the end its all credible because he doesn’t take any credit for it, and though that serves to convince the public, in the end it’s even less likely to occur. Rarely does he lose his temper. He’s serious, he doesn’t show a lot of compassion, and that’s because he doesn’t show compassion when you were morally fallible and he just tells you the case just like with any other person, friend or not because he is morally infallible. He’s larger than life, and maybe because it’s pretty debatable if he even is life. He’s self aware alright, but he has no metabolism except for budget reasons a season long.

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