Saturday, March 01, 2003

whoa! the things you pick up from reading Neil Gaiman's blog. there's a random quiz up there from Teresa Nielsen Hayden's blog about what form of poetry you are. i turned out to be either a terza rima or an ottava rima. now to go find out what that means. =) in the meantime, go take the test, it's great funness and involves asking yourself: what would i rather drop from a sixty-six story building, a cat or a small child?

ooh! ooh! i just read more on the Gaiman blog and saw a posting from Derek Lin. hey derek! good job! he was talking about Tiger Balm. one more thing about home that isn't here, but is known in some weird, Telephone-game-like way.

in the spirit of randomness, today's blog entry will have very little serious content, and it will be labelled so you can avoid it. it is, after all, friday. time for the ol' brain to take a breather.

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a small footnote to my earlier comments about names: Windsong is the name of a My Little Pony. [janice: Skydancer is also a My Little Pony.] Windsong is a purple My Little Pony with blue hair, and she has wings. she also has a mark on her face reminiscent of my mole. so perhaps it is a little scary. on quite another note, i do believe i remember once upon a time i owned at least one My Little Pony. but it was so long ago...i have vague impressions of perhaps blueness, but i'm not sure i trust any memories from before 1991. they have passed their expiration date. if i had photos, or video, or some kind of memory-in-exteral-storage-device, i would trust those -- they are less fallible than human memory.

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and while i'm on the random notes tangent: the next Harry Potter is on preorder, which means it's going to come out in the next couple of months, and we'll be treated to months of stacks of Harry Potter hardcovers sitting on shelves and on the floor of the Barnes and Noble on campus, winking seductively or perhaps not so seductively at us. and all i can think of right now is: summer reading! and 'I want Nightwatch!' because terry pratchett is A God!!

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in class today i wound up sitting there thinking quietly to myself: what makes a human being a human being? the readings for my Japanese Civilisations class this week involved literature from early 20th century Japan. go read, if you have the time, The Caterpillar by Edogawa Rampo [a pseudonym which was meant to resemble 'Edgar Allan Poe'] and The Tattoo by Tanizaki Junichiro: both are explorations of what it means to be human, what kind of hidden desires humanity might have, what perceptions of humanity might make you into. The Caterpillar is definitely the stranger of the two, involving a quadruple amputee war hero and his 'dutiful' wife. and at the end of it, you ask yourself all kinds of questions: what makes a human being behave like a human being? if there is no reason to be nice to another person, if whatever you do to another 'person' is irrelevant, do you have any impetus to be 'humane'? and then there's the whole issue of nationalism and honour -- what value does it have, is it something we should all aspire towards?

then i go to Environmental Ecology, and my prof suggests that Game Theory is one way to explain the co-operative behaviour [the symbiotic behaviour?] between species in nature. and i'm thinking to myself: you're ascribing rationality to something that doesn't have a consciousness. don't you have to at least have a consciousness to have rationality? and i know that for Game Theory to work, you have to have rationality, in the sense of ordered preferences. i refuse to believe that 'genetic predispositions' can produce Game-Theory-like outcomes on a regular basis, unless you'll willing to concede that consciousness and rationality don't mean anything and human beings function on a level that is fundamentally identical to fungi and nitrogen-fixing bacteria. so i'm just gonna leave it at that.

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The Recipe in a few hours. prior to that, SAMSU elections for the coming year, and dinner with the SAMSU crew. should be all kinds of fun. 'til later --


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