Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dehumanizing Science

Today's quote: The point is that he is an insecure fuck, like all beautiful-but-handed-everything-on-a-silver-platter people. He doesn't trust anyone in this world but you. You've been born into royalty baby. You know it. Now you just gotta be thankful, and wear the crown.

I've come across an interesting question. Today, when you ask most people to name one living scientist, they usually draw a blank. Or, if they name one it's usually Stephen Hawking. One guy theorizes that the only reason people know Hawking's name is because he's in a wheelchair. That could very well be true. What else would explain why there are more brilliant scientists toiling away in obscurity?

In general, we just don't know very much about the people working behind the scenes anymore. Why is this?

On a different note, I've just written a new article that is published here

If you want to help me out, you can visit and register as a user. Then, do a search for my article and give it a Shout, if you want to.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Living Virtually

Today's quote: That you can lose yourself. Everything. All boundaries. All time. That two bodies can become so mixed up, that you don't know who's who or what's what. And just when the sweet confusion is so intense you think you're gonna die... you kind of do. Leaving you alone in your separate body, but the one you love is still there. That's a miracle. You can go to heaven and come back alive. You can go back anytime you want with the one you love.

I have had a most awful love-hate relationship with a few games. Mostly, it's been World of Warcraft, but in small part it has also been with the Sims. It's a love-hate kind of thing because the concept in both games is to improve your character so that it becomes more powerful-- hopefully something near the top of the food chain. I guess I can't stand the irony of you are playing a game designed upon the idea of improving yourself and gaining skills, and yet in real life you sit there pouring your energy into something virtual while the rest of the world passes you by.

What is it about these types of games? At times I hate World of Warcraft with every part of my soul. I despise how much time it takes from improving the real me, not the character I play on a screen. I hate how people I know try to plan things around holidays going on in the game, or other special events. I keep telling myself that a person plays a game for fun, and that's really the only objective. However, I guess I find myself wishing that WoW was not quite so immersive...that it didn't draw you in with its siren song. I have fun playing Warcraft also, and sometimes I'm relieved that it's a game that only plays in rounds, it's not something based on a cumulative improvement/leveling goal. You only play the game at that time, and when that round is over, the next time you play you start over from scratch, as does everyone else in the game. It's what I have tried to play to escape playing WoW so much. But then, I resent the fact that I'm playing another computer game to keep myself from playing WoW. It's like falling back on a lesser narcotic in the attempt of trying to wean myself off an addiction to heroin.

By contrast, WoW is one of the most multi-faceted role-playing games out there because the game offers you any number of things that you can do in game. One of the primary goals is to level your character so that it becomes more powerful, but there are other things you can choose to do also. You have professions you can choose to gain skill in; hell, you can even choose to become an expert fisher by spending all your time fishing in the rivers and lakes in that world. At times, I feel overwhelmed with all the things that I perceive my character should become able at. This is when the irony starts to strike me as cruel, because I then begin to muse over how much effort or time I spend trying to gain skills for something, that in the end, doesn't really matter. What does matter?

Friday, July 14, 2006

All for Naught

Today's quote: I hope it feels so good to be right. There's nothing more exhilarating than pointing out the shortcomings of others, is there?

So...I was led on quite the merry little goose chase today. I left 45 minutes before my interview with a marketing company today. The drive normally takes about 20 minutes from where I live. Guess how long it took me? 1 HOUR. The next stupid thing was that their door with the suite number was conveniently blocked, so I couldn't see the suite number. Actually, all the suites around it were in similar fashion, so I was driving around the building trying to ascertain if I was even on the right side of the building. I finally decided to park somewhere and walk around to get a closer look.

I finally made it to the proper place, only to be amazed at how small it was. The place was about 2 rooms. While I was waiting there, I saw another woman come in and start filling out the same typical employee information sheet I had just filled out. To my amusement, she seemed rather distraught over the questions it was asking. She pulled out several pieces of folded up paper, only to stare at the form in a perplexed fashion and scratch her head. This made me wonder about her chances of getting hired.

Finally, I was led back to the "conference room" to speak with the manager. My interview with him lasted 5 minutes. You know why? Because people like them take bullshitting to unprecedented heights. The positions they had open were for sales people to canvas neighborhoods hawking merchandise. In other words, I would have been one of the people my father was forever chasing off the premises with threats. The ad for the position labeled it as "advertising and marketing representative." Duties included "preparing and providing marketing materials for the internal sales team and prospective clients; developing excellent written and verbal skills." Wow, what a way to say that you're basically going to be hoofing it door-t0-door being a huge pain in the ass by trying to sell something. And where would the "excellent written skills" be coming from? Surely they don't mean having the customer fill out purchase orders??

As soon as I got it out of him what the job was really about, the interview was over. Driving 20+ miles at over an hour away, and this is what I got. I had tried asking the woman on the phone yesterday what kind of duties would be involved, and she'd refused to give me a straight answer. All of this for a 5 minute interview. I guess you win some, you lose some.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Today's quote: Sea turtles, mate. A pair of them strapped to my feet.

I saw Pirates today. I was totally taken aback by how long the line was to get in for the movie, even though I'd arrived an hour early for the showing. By a sheer stroke of luck I was able to obtain seating in the stadium seat section, even though I was almost at the back of the line. While waiting in line, I saw various people dressed up as pirates walking around. When did these two movies develop this type of following? It only had one prior film made, and it was nothing like the Harry Potter series.

***Spoiler Alert***

The movie was more entertaining than I thought it would be, given what I'd heard from the radio interviews from the morning. Of course, the one scene with the rolling giant wheel and the three dueling men was rather ridiculous. I also had issue with the witch who had the most atrocious Jamaican accent ever and black lipstick smeared haphazardly on her. Lastly, Elizabeth coldly chaining Sparrow to the doomed ship to die made me like her just a little less. You sort of think of her as an honorable sort of person, but I guess she's not above having a bit of original sin herself.

There are some moments that are just too ridiculous for words, other moments full of tension and drama. I suppose it was a decent mix, and at least it didn't keep me from being too bored or feeling like it had a stagnant plot. All in all, it was ok. Did I think it deserved its record-breaking box office sales? Not really.