Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Chemistry and Porn

I am reading Creation Revisited which is an extremely interesting molecular physics lesson. My friend Andy thinks that books (preferring film) are unnecessary and I invoked this book as something that would be impossible to convey through film. The more I read it and think about it the more I think he is right. This book could be made into a movie, in fact, I decided, not only was I wrong to think that it couldn't be a movie but it would actually be more interesting, and more effective as a movie.

Furthermore, lessons like those taught in this book, are much easier to conceptualize visually, than textually. For example, if you could expand the size of the nucleus of an atom to the size of a man, the electrons would be orbiting him at a distance of 100 km, the remainder of the space being empty. Now even for those of us who can visualize these distances easily it would be much simpler to digest this info as a picture.

Now for the really interesting part, in case any gets bored, the visual "lessons" could be interspersed with material that is far more interesting. For example hardcore pornography. I wonder if any of the schools of education at the elite universities of the world would be interested in developing this as a project.

Take a bunch of average dipshits who have been subjected to the brain abuse that passes for education and teach them concepts considered difficult for their age group. I'm just spitballing here but if I could teach differential equations to a group of 15 year old high school dropouts by mixing porn into their video lessons who could object?

I'm anticipating a discussion on morality here, so I pose the following query to all you nay sayers who may oppose my "Snatch your way to math brilliance" program:

1) Which is less moral - stupidity or pornography?

Those of you who know me will appreciate that the question is purely rhetorical as I find porn to be as moral as any of the video diarrhea we are subjected to on a daily basis. Whether it is a billboard exhortation to consume more malt liquor or a television ad for a boner pill so that a 65 year old CEO has more reason to ditch the mother of his grown children and marry that bright young secretary with the great rack.

People I implore you to consider the merits of my proposal. I further submit to the few religious zealots who might actually still be reading to put the following query into the moral machinery of whatever brand of hocus pocus you subscibe to:

Do you or your children play first person shooter video games?
If so, do you take pleasure in the destruction of your video enemies?
Is this more or less morally reprehensible than genitalia mixed with differential equations?

In the immortal words of my favorite blogger: If you disagree with anything on this page you are wrong. Porn for our children, that's my campaign slogan.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

And what the hell are you doing here?

'So I was telling Natasha about our converstaion last night, she wanted to know why you were here if this place is such a 'shithole' as you put it."
"Do you really have to ask"?
"I have a suspicion but I wasn't going to share it with Natasha, she's already not all that crazy about you".
"What's your suspicion"?
"Tochno. You think I oculd get the kind of ass in the states that I'm getting here? My dad used to call his pilot's wings silver leg spreaders, this blue passport is like ..."
"Yeah, I get it".
"I don't think you do, can you imagine being abole to walk up to every beautiful woman you see and start talking shit".
"Does my Russian give me away as American"?
"It is obvious that you are foreign, but not by your Russian, you could be Latvian or Lithuanian judging simply by language, it is your attitude that makes it clear that you are American or German".
"How so"?
"Your sense of entitlement, you own everything you see, it is pretty disgusting to be honest, but I see the women you are with so whatever it is you are doing I am not in a positon to criticize".
"They are all whores".
"Of course, you think a woman with any self respect is going to respond to your approach"?
"Self respect is an obstacle to quick sex".
"No argument there, but you are also deeply intellectual, aren't you interested in having a relationship with someone with whom you can have a conversation".
"Maybe this is an unseen element of American culture but I guess I don't think of women as intellectual, if a chick has something witty to say that's great but deep down I am suspicious that all they care about is being the prettiest, richest, or most powerful".
"You realize of course that you sound like a sociopath".
"Sound like? I would kill people for sport if I could get away with it".
"Too many action movies huh"?
"You know what it is, I'm so sick of giving peiople the benefit of the doubt and then finding out they are just one more dumb fuck Chrisitan or fascist or insert-doctrine-here-ist. When the fucj did everyone abdicate the ability to think for themselves, when did it become fashionable to support police and miliatry suppression of our basic rights as human beings"?
"And how is this related to your hatred of women"?
"Maybe because I expect them to be the ones to see throught it, I expect the captain of the football team to be a mindless asshole, but I always held out hope that his mom might talk some sense into him, when she didn't I guess I decided to take it out on all the females in the world".
"So you hate women for not living up to their potential".
"Freud was a douchebag so if you are going to psychoanalyze me at least have the common decency to pretend you are a Jungian".
"You are teh most educated barbarian I have ever met".
"I look forward to a good book while raping and pillaging".

Soviets Jews are "nearly pitch black"

"Look Sasha, you and I both know that if you really want to leave this place you can, maybe in the 70's and 80's it was a big deal, but now? Shit man, take a train to Warsaw, nobody is watching the border anymore."
"It isn't that simple, not because of the travel restrictions, which really don't amount to much to anyone with a modicum of ingenuity, but because of what happens when you get where you are going. As a Russian I would be an illegal alien in almost any country I went to. You Americans can pretty much go where you want without drawing the attention of the authorities, for us it's a different story."
"Point taken, but beyond that, this place is a fucking shithole, it's dreary, there isn't any work, the museums and the ballet aren't what they used to be, wouldn't it be worth rolling the dice and just dropping roots somewhere else? You're young, you and Natasha don't have any kids yet, do you really want to be stuck here forever?"
"It's not so simple."
"Why not, I didn't like America so I left, I'm not exactly the picture of stability here in Moscow, I work sometimes, I have a visa sometimes, but most of the time I'm ducking the militia in the subway because I don't have proper documentation and I still wouldn't even consider going back to the states."
"It is different for you, your whole life you moved around, now you don't like a place you leave. I am Russian, there is no other country that I can live in where I will be home, Nasha, ours, part of ...I don't now how to put it to you. You come from a culture of immigration, your parents have ten different cultural lineages, you don't worry about leaving home because you don't really have one."
"I have thought about Sweden, Poland and Norway. Those are the three countries that figure most prominently in my family tree, but what does it mean to be a part of a country anyway? Are international borders any less arbitrary than creation myths? Nationalism, patriotism, religion, they're all just concentrated forms of stupidity."
"On an intellectual level I know you are right, but I feel connected to this place. I love the old veterans with their medals on the subway, proud because they don't have to pay, I love knowing we defeated the fascists and sent Gagarin into space. As a scientist I can appreciate all the contradictions in these emotions, that Stalin and Hitler were allies, that Stalin probably killed more Jews than Hitler, that the space race was just part of an arms build up, but somehow it gets to me, like an old Russian folk song."
"I never understood fervent Russian patriotism in Jews."
"They say that in the West most Jews drive German cars."
"Probably. And speaking of that, you guys could go to Israel, do you feel any patriotic pull that direction?"
"Not really, tth anti-semitism in Russian culture is so rampant that even we Jews adopt it. Half of us pretend not to be Jewish and the other half pretend their Russian identity comes first."
"I wonder sometimes if I am Jewish."
"That's why nobody in Russia takes you for a Jew"
"How's that"?
"Remember when we first met and I asked you if you were Jewish and you said 'maybe, I'm not sure'"?
"By Russian standards that automatically makes you non-Jewish".
"Because if you were Jewish you would deny it".
"That's pretty sick, and this Russian culture is so dear to your Jewish heart that you won't leave"?
"Maybe it is Stockholm Syndrome on a national scale, I identify with the culture that oppresses me, like an African-American patriot, or a Jewish member of the SS."
"You Russians are dark".
"We Russian Jews are nearly pitch black".

Friday, January 4, 2008

Letterman is a douchebag

As if organized labor isn't already decimated enough Letterman was whooping it up with union jokes as he crossed the picket line for the third night. I always had a sneaking suspicion he was useless but the habit of watching him I developed in college died hard.

Say what you want about Brangelina but at least they are using their star power to do something useful. It always blows me away when people who are safely ensconced in the cultural elite not only sit back and do nothing but actively harm social justice movements. The mainstream media has already successfully portrayed the writers' strike as a bunch of rich cry babies that have nothing to do with organized labor and now Letterman and Leno deliver the death blow by returning to air without them.

They probably are a bunch of cry babies (I'm quite sure the vast majority of them are not rich) but that is not the point. A strike is a strike and every picket line crossed hurts the idea that those who are producing have power by withholding their production.

Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich got squeezed out of the 'election' process. No big surprise there, the last thing anyone in the incestuous family of press, politics and big business wants is someone who runs on ideas.

"Secret prisons, secret renditions, loss of habeas corpus and soft fascism" Ron Paul is actually talking about this stuff? No wonder Fox is keeping him off the air.

more from Agathe - Ulrich's diary

"...Our reality, as far as it is dependent on us, is for the most part only an expression of opinion, although we ascribe every imaginable kind of importance to it. We may give our lives a specific manifestation in the stones of buildings: it is always done for the sake of a meaning we impute to it. We may kill or sacrifice ourselves: we are acting only on the basis of a supposition. I might even say that all our passions are mere suppositions; how often we err in them; we can fall into them merely out of a longing for decisiveness! [religion, military, political activism, social activism]. And also, doing something out of 'free' will really assumes that it is merely being done at the instigation of an opinion....