Weather Report

Pink, and hots of it.


What the Tortoise Said to Achilles

For those of you who retain your enchantment with Lewis Carroll:
Achilles had overtaken the Tortoise, and had seated himself comfortably on its back.

"So you've got to the end of our race-course?" said the Tortoise. "Even though it does consist of an infinite series of distances? I thought some wiseacre or other had proved that the thing couldn't be done?"

"It can be done," said Achilles. "It has been done! Sovitur ambulando. You see the distances were constantly diminishing; and so--"

"But if they had been constantly increasing/" the Tortoise interrupted. "How then?"

"Then I shouldn't be here," Achilles modestly replied; "and you would have got several times round the world, by this time!"

"You flatter me--flatten, I mean," said the Tortoise; "for you are a heavy weight, and no mistake! Well now, would you like to hear of a race-course, that most people fancy they can get to the end of in two or three steps, while it really consists of an infinite number of distances, each one longer than the previous one?"

"Very much indeed!" said the Grecian warrior, as he drew from his helmet (few Grecian warriors possessed pockets in those days) an enormous note-book and a pencil. "Proceed! And speak slowly, please! Short-hand isn't invented yet!"

"That beautiful First Proposition of Euclid!" the tortoise murmured dreamily. "You admire Euclid?"

"Passionately! So far, at least, as one can admire a treatise that wo'n't [sic] be published for some centuries to come!"

"Well, now, let's take a little bit of the argument in that First Proposition--just two steps, and the conclusion drawn from them. Kindly enter them in your note-book. and in order to refer to them conveniently, let's call them A, B, and Z:--
(A) Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other.
(B) The two sides of this Triangle are things that are equal to the same.
(Z) The two sides of this Triangle are equal to each other.
Readers of Euclid will grant, I suppose, that Z follows logically from A and B, so that any one who accepts A and B as true, must accept Z as true?"

"Undoubtedly! The youngest child in a High School--as soon as High Schools are invented, which will not be till some two thousand years later--will grant that."

"And if some reader had not yet accepted A and B as true, he might still accept the sequence as a valid one, I suppose?"

"No doubt such a reader might exist. He might say 'I accept as true the Hypothetical Proposition that, if A and B be true, Z must be true; but, I don't accept A and B as true.' Such a reader would do wisely in abandoning Euclid, and taking to football."

"And might there not also be some reader who would say 'I accept A and B as true, but I don't accept the Hypothetical'?"

"Certainly there might. He, also, had better take to football."

"and neither of the these readers," the Tortoise continued, "is as yet under any logical necessity to accept Z as true?"

"Quite so," Achilles assented.

"Well, now, I want you to consider me as a reader fo the second kind, and to force me, logically, to accept Z as true."

"A tortoise playing football would be--" Achilles was beginning

"--an anomaly, of course," the Tortoise hastily interrupted. "Don't wander from the point. Let's have Z first, and football afterwards!"

"I'm to force you to accept Z, am I?" Achilles said musingly. "And your present position is that you accept A and B, but you don't accept the Hypothetical--"

"Let's call it C," said the Tortoise.

"--but you don't accept
(C) If A and B are true, Z must be true."

"That is my present position," said the Tortoise.

"Then I must ask you to accept C."

"I'll do so," said the Tortoise, "as soon as you've entered it in that nore-book of yourse. What else have you got in it?"

"Only a few memoranda," said Achilles, nervously fluttering the leaves: "a few memoranda of--of the battles in which I have distinguished myself!"

"Plenty of blank leaves, I see!" the Tortoise cheerily remarked. "We shall need them all!" (Achilles shuddered.) "Now write as I dictate:--
(A) Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other.
(B) The two sides of this Triangle are things that are equal to the same.
(C) If A and B are true, Z must be true.
(Z) The two sides of this Triangle are equal to each other."

"You should call it D, not Z," said Achilles. "It comes next to the other three. If you accept A and B and C, you must accept Z."

"And why must I?"

"Because it follows logically from them. If A and B and C are true, Z must be true. You don't dispute that, I imagine?"

"If A and B and C are true, Z must be true." the Tortoise thoughtfully repeated. "That's another Hypothetical, isn't it? And, if I failed to see its truth, I might accept A and B and C, and still not accept Z, mightn't I?"

"You might," the candid hero admitted; "though such obtuseness would certainly be phenomenal. Still, the event is possible. So I must ask you to grant one more Hypothetical."

"Very good. I'm quite willing to grant it, as soon as you've written it down. We will call it
(D) If A and B and C are true, Z must be true.
Have you entered that in your note-book?"

"I have!" Achilles joyfully exclaimed, as he ran the pencil into its sheath. "And at last we've to to the end of this ideal race-course! Now that you accept A and B and C and D, of course you accept Z."

"Do I?" said the Tortoise innocently. "Let's make that quite clear. I accept A and B and C and D. Suppose I still refused to accept Z?"

"Then Logic would take you by the throat, and force you to do it!" Achilles triumphantly replied. "Logic would tell you 'You ca'n't help yourself. Now that you've accepted A and B and C and D, you must accept Z!' So you've no choice, you see."

"Whatever Logic is good enough to tell me is worth writing down," said the Tortoise. "so enter it in you book, please. We will call it
(E) If A and B and C and D are true, Z must be true. Until I've granted that, of course, i needn't grant Z. So it's quite a necessary step, you see?"

"I see," said Achilles; and there was a touch of sadness in his tone.

Here the narrator, having pressing business at the Bank, was obliged to leave the happy pair, and did not again pass the spot until some months afterwards. When he did so, Achilles was still seted on the back of the much-enduring Tortoise, and was writing in his nore-book, which appeared to be nearly full. The Tortoise was saying "Have you got that last step written down? Unless I've lost count, that makes a thousand and one. There are several millions more to come. And would you mind, as a personal favour, considering what a lot of instruction this colloquy of ours will provide for the Logicians of the Nineteenth Century--would you mind adopting a pun that my cousing the Mock-Turtle will then make, and allowing yourself to be renamed Taught-Us?"

"As you please!" replied the weary warrior, in the hollow tones of despair, as he buried his face in his hands. "Provided that you, for your part, will adopt a pun the Mock-Turtle never made, and allow yourself to be re-named A Kill-Ease!"
One of my favorite short pieces of his. This is why philosophers occasionally despair of really teaching people who are afflicted by postmodernism (the view that self-contradiction is a desirable tool of scholarship) or otherwise insensible valid argumentation: you can lead a thirsty horse to water, but you can't make him/her/it believe water's for drinking.


Weather Report

The National Weather Service has put a Hangover Watch over portions of the greater metro area to remain in effect until after Car Talk.


Har Har, motherfuckers!

So sneakysis put about a half of a forty in my sheets. Fuck.

Or anyway I'm sure it was her. fizhburn said, you know, it wasn't her. Well why the hell does my matress smell like spat-in beer then? IT IS BECAUSE OF PRANKING MOTHERFUCKERS. When I yell I hella yell a lot and when she gets back from The Chi I'm gonna give her a monkey bitching like you'd never heard something so GODDAMNED COGENT in your life.

Thank you very little, as Maynard'd say, to robotboy for the excellent pointer-at-word.


I am Royal 3

You know, I didn't think so much of him at first. But now I get it: he's everything that I'm not.

I am Royal 2

Goddammmit, you used to be a genius.

No I didn't.

Well anyway that's what they used to say.


I am Royal

"For as long as I can remember I've been considered an asshole. That's just my style. But I'd be real blue if I didn't think you were gonna forgive me for it."


blessing for graders

All night with your quill scritch-scratch
phosphoric comments to cajole
ridicule, criticize, belittle, insult,
remain unwritten. Kindly, willowbending
fingers paint a picture of valiant struggle
(epic tragedy, no less).

Your eyes arcing toward the target, dear
child, but like the hare--
faithful, deliberate, mindful of the rules
you are not--
your racing finish fell short, took too long,
meandered through: no doubt alchemic
caffeinated cannabis hazy self-confidence
and catastrophic procrastinate-
ing the letter I write boldly here below.

Though fate was against them,
still woefull beseeched I hear through
Helvetica, Times, Aldale Mono MT.
You bore their burdens as once we lifted them
upon another's toughened hide;
complicit glances into each idolic experience
a term paper exhausts. Courage.


An Etymology Lesson

Let's check in the Oxford English Dictionary.
'Man' n. I. A human being (irrespective of sex or age). Man was considered until the 20th cent. to include women by implication, though referring primarily to males. It is now freq. understood to exclude women, and is therefore avoided by many people.
Now why might this whole 'man'/'woman' distinction be taken to be sexist? Well, there you go, in a nutshell. Wait, there's more:
'Were' n. 1. A male person; a man. Beowulf 993 Fela {th}æra wæs wera and wifa. Ibid. 1352 O{edh}er..on weres wæstmum wræclastas træd.
2. A husband.
So, a werewolf? That's a man-wolf in the male-only sense. The female werewolf is an unusual and modern notion as compared to the origin of the word 'werewolf' (1802, apparently with confusion whether it's to be a 'warwolf' or a 'war bear'). Did you notice any female "Lycans" in Underworld? Strange, you say, this (dangerous) menagerie is all male. Now there seems to be some etymological debate over
'woman' n. I. 1. a. An adult female human being. (The context may or may not have special reference to sex or to adult age
sing. {alpha} c893 ÆLFRED Oros. III. vi. §2 Minutia hatte an wifmon, {th}e on heora wisan sceolde nunne beon. c1000 ÆLFRIC Gen. ii. 22 God..{asg}eworhte {edh}æt rib, {edh}e he {asg}enam of Adame, to anum wifmen.
Judges iv. 22 {Edh}a clipode seo wimman cu{edh}lice him to. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 15 {Ygh}if {th}a la{ygh}e weren nu, nalde na mon mis-don wi{edh} o{edh}re, ne wepmon ne wifmon ne meiden. c1200 Trin. Coll. Hom. 133 {Th}e lif holi wimman sarra.
a1225 Ancr. R. 12 Hwarse wummon liue{edh} o{edh}er mon bi him one. Ibid. 58 {Th}is is a swu{edh}e dredlich word to wummen {th}et scheawe{edh} hire to wepmones eien. a1240 Ureisun in O.E. Hom. I. 191 Nis no wummon iboren {th}et {edh}e beo iliche. 13.. Coer de L. 3863 Man, wumman, every Sarasyn.

b. Generically without article: The female human being; the female part of the human race, the female sex. Hence gen. woman's = womanly, female, feminine.
c950 Lindisf. Gosp. Matt. xix. 4 Masculum et feminam fecit eos, woepen-monn & wifmonn {asg}eworhte hia. c1000 ÆLFRIC Deut. xxii. 5 Ne scryde nan wif hi mid wæpmannes reafe, ne wæpman mid wifmannes reafe.

4. a. A wife. Now only dial. and U.S.
Cf. OLD WOMAN 1b and the corresp. use of man (MAN n.1 8).
c1450 St. Cuthbert (Surtees) 7041 A night be his woman [cum uxore] he lay. 1598 SHAKES. Merry W. II. ii. 305 See the hell of hauing a false woman: my bed shall be abus'd. a1625 FLETCHER Nice Valour II. i, A man can in his lifetime make but one woman, But he can make his fifty Queanes a month. 1693 DRYDEN Juvenal vi. 295 Prepare thy Neck and put it in the Yoke: But for no mercy from thy Woman look.
The question becomes whether 'woer' or 'were', in the sense of masculine deriving from the OE is to be contrasted with 'wy'/'wu'/'wo' in the sense of feminine, or rather to be contrasted with 'wy'/'wif' as in wife. That is, "male-human" vs. "female-human" (and let's not even discuss who's allowed to "beget": 'male' n. A. adj. I. That belongs to the sex which can beget offspring (contrasted with female); characteristic of or relating to this sex.) or "husband-human" vs. "wife-human" or some combination thereof. How you parse it up will to some extent be an arbitrary division between the way in which power relations divided up stereotypically male from female roles in the society from which the language derives and the actual classificatory status of the words themselves.

In light of this, I propose we start using the word 'wereman' (pronounced WHIR-man). If you'd been wondering why I've kept quiet on recent posts this was one reason--I know it will annoy him to no end---and the other is that it's easier just to let him put his foot in his mouth all under his own power. What I'd hope you take away from this is an appreciation of the way unconscious linguistic currents can affect our thoughts and thereby our acts.


get innamix

got that nu nano an'm rockin' tha toonz fr. here 2 bombay in striding workwise an' homewise both n'also in th'offisk. 4 why u ax? cuz i'z tha 4uD!o|>h:L3 what'd havva life soundtrack playin like that cinema 'f i could. lyfe=drama, fool.

anyhowz gots a lyric 4 u today what pertaining 2 recent postings:
im afraid i will never change
it's okay i am not ashamed
i can say my bed is made

you can bend me
shape me any way
you can bend me
shape me any way you mant me

i maintain i am not in pain
how i try not to place tha blame
i came late to an early game

you can bend me
shape me any way you want me

when i was five i took a dive
when i was ten i walked again
when i was fifteen i kept my motor clear
when i was twenty i got plenty
when i was twenty-five
when i was twenty-five
thx nina gordon, louise post.


Weather Report

Icy temperatures mix with explosive repression to produce excellent aurora-effects at sunrise and sunset today and tomorrow.


sketch (other side of the looking-glass edition)

Shannon had tuned out her friends' chatter. Ashley was telling the same story about having to count down her till four times for the fourth time today. Easy come, easy go, she thought, trying to ignore James' voice message repeating in her mind. She sipped her Bacardi cola swiftly through the straw.

"Look, um I found someone else and this isn't working out between us and you're two thousand miles away. I mean, um, you know I don't think either of us is that faithful anyway so why don't we just call it quits. Don't, you know, bother returning this message."

It was true, neither of them was really the monogamous sort, and anyway the relationship had been pretty open for a while now. Strange, he would put it that way, faithful. She would not cry, not in a bar, not in front of all these people, she would not. A distraction. She forced a smile and tried to pay attention to Ashley's story, which by this telling involved the branch manager, the regional director harassing her over the phone, and a heroic ending that somehow involved a customer's dog. Amy couldn't stop laughing about the dog, a Boston Terrier.

The three picked up on the looks of some guys across the horseshoe bar, apparently joking among themselves but obviously checking them out, no doubt looking to buy them drinks, the old routine. She recognized Phil, hotshot sales manager at the Caddy dealership, a drunk but a good lay she'd heard. What really hurt wasn't the breakup, no, it was James thinking he had the upper hand. Him thinking he had a clue; but he would drop everything including whatever floozy he'd bedded down with in three seconds if she bothered to fly out to D.C. It was degrading, and Shannon felt nauseous for a second.

Then there was Phil, everready, unmarriable, but she was dressed up to pick someone up and they were already aquainted. Why not, it would be an easy catch, and the impact would drown out all the goddamn feelings for a while. When his friends left him alone she circled in, like a shark.


sketch (friday night and the feeling's right edition)

"Gut-check time," said my friend Cliche Jim.

"Whatever. Shot me," I shot at the bartender, who whiskeyed a rocks glass.

"Gonna lay my game down. Like a rolling stone."

"Hella stuffyou," my buddy Clem snapped from under a Bailey's and 'Schlager.

Across the horseshoe bar, three ladies rouged and ready in tube tops on a June Friday were glancing at us with a little too much come-hither for coincidence. We were Joe Friday'd in collars and cuffs, shoepolished. They got the drinks we'd ordered them and winked some thank-yous.

"Alright, let's do this," said eager Jim.

"Tippity tap-tappin' some tonight," said redeyed Clem.

"You go," I said, "and send back the redhead."

"Shannon, right?" said Clem.

The two cruised, yawing, through the filling meatbuyers' floor. There was an exchange of smiles and, jiggling, a single returner. I nudged my empty into ready position near the wells.

"How're you tonight?"

She was great. Just opened a new position at the office. Six quick months to a deadend promotion, sure. Her sister had a baby. Maybe she'd have one. Did I want to get high? She'd love a Bacardi and Diet first. Rum is a sexy drink; it feels better without a condom. I drained my last one quick when her straw gurgled. Her heels clickity clack loud on the pavement in the parking lot and I hoped she had HIV.


doctor of prostitutology

Januarygirl and I are talking about knowing what you want in an SO, and scarfing some poison (fast "food"). I'm thinking of combinging all the best qualities of a porn star and a PhD. She's like, "That's not gonna happen." 'Cuz highly educated human females learn all this stuff about gender and opression and feminism and sexism and all this and are highly conscious of the way in which their interactions take various shapes. Like if they're in a heteronormative dating situation or whatever. It's a turn-off to be always thinking this way about it, and also not wanting to be oppressed and all. Look at the internet and you get basically a lot of grad student bloggish type sites where they complain about not getting the good dick but also have the attitudes that turn them to cold fish. A total raw deal for them. Either get (ful-)filled or get respected, I think is the line drawn here. Those are not exclusive but maybe the wymyn think they are. Raw.


I gave in

I got fizhburn to hook me up with a myspace site that, after some quick Q&A, I put some offensive stuff on. This is because I hate MySpace.


Weather Report

Heteronormativity will be whipping through the hemisphere at gale-force speeds.


Existential freedom, DeBeauvoir

A quote:
We think that the meaning of the situation does not impose itself on the consciousness of a passive subject, that it surges up only bu the disclosure which a free subject effects in his project.
Now, neither scorn nor esteem would have any meaning if one regarded the acts of a man as a purely mechanical resultant. In order for men to beome indignant or to admire, the must be conscious of their own freedom and the freedom of others. Thus, everything occurs within each man and in the collective tactics as if men were free.(1)
Simone De Beauvoir reminds us of the intuition common in latter-day western society that some sort of radical freedom is necessary for (moral) responsibility for (and indeed the intelligibility of) our actions. She has placed existentialist thought in the tradition of DesCartes, Kant, and Hegel. She continues:
But then what revelation can a coherent humanism hope to oppose to the testimony which man brings to bear upon himself? So Marxists often find themselves having to confirm this belief in freedom, even if they have to reconcile it with determination as well as they can.
That is to say, in contradistinction, that existentialism does not need to reconcile with determinism: it denies it. The justification for the denial is apparently the conceptual necessity of regarding ourselves as free actors. But just because we are constituted in such a way that we cannot conceive of ourselves as nonfree (determined) actors, or as actors who are morally responsible when such responsibility comes only with freedom, does not entail that we are free. This is just the mistake committed by the ontological argument for deity, i.e. in sum:
P1. it is necessary that God exists (by definition)
C. therefore God exists.
The argument (God exists -> God exists) anyway does not pass muster. Modal arguments of this sort have a tendency to grasp the minds of folks who accept that a possible necessity is a necessity but not those who accept that a possible necessity is necessary only if it does (contingently) exist. The value of existentialist philosophy is supposed to be how we can deal with this bifurcation in our thought between our empirical knowledge that we are not radically free and our need to believe, for various reasons, that we are:
As for us, whatever the case may be, we believe in freedom. Is it true that this belief must lead us to despair?
... it appears to us that by turning toward this freedom we are going to discover a principle of action whose range will be universal. The characteristic feeature of all ethics is to consider human life as a game that can be won or lost and to teach man the means of winning.
As a not-so-closeted Wittgensteinian, I find this terminology appealing. In fact, I am surprised that there is not more collusion between analytic philosophers of language and (a) existentialists or (b) historical constructionists (some postmodernists are this, the view being that our nature is sociohistorically determined), since these views really can appeal to scientific inquiry as a comon ground if you look at the problem the right way. Anyway, what you need to not do in the case is to take the psychological demand for free agency to be justificatory of metaphysical claims. This is perhaps the source of (part of) what is wrong, in the first instance, with Kant's noumena. But I digress. The metaphysical claim is made weaker, and it is unclear whether it is to be maintained:
To convert the absence into presence, to convert my flight into will, I must assume my project positively. ...my will, establishing the content of the act, is legitimized by it. I realize my escape toward the other as a freedom when, assuming the presence of the object, I thereby assume myself before it as a presence. But this justification requires a constant tension. My project is never founded; it founds itself. [And assuming this choosing role is fulfilling moral freedom.]
We have just describged only the subjective and formal aspect of this freedom. ....no moral question presents itself to the child as long as he is still incapable of recognizing himself in the past or seeing himself in the future. .... I can not genuinely desire an end today without desiring it through my whole existence, insofar as it is the future of this present moment and insofar as it is the surpassed past of days to come. To will is to engage myself to persevere in my will.
So far as a person is unable to make herself static (i.e. in a state of "being) she is forced into a state of existence from which standpoint she is forced to choose how to go on. This is the essential idea of the formulation, that from within it is impossible without abnegating one's identity (and this is only possible to a limited extent, apparently) to avoid acting "freely." This then can be a merely psychological claims about the way were are, as it were, in our social practice, that is the way we are as we see ourselves. In this view the mysteriousness to normal experience of the causal processes that lead many philosophers to deny the existence of free will leads to the subjective view that there is such a thing as radical freedom. So be it. Still, from the remote and philosophical standpoint from which I am viewing things, I do not find that I must tacitly assume that I have radical freedom in order to believe that my choices are morally culpable. My intuitions, however, seem to run counter to the mainstream. Still, one's ordinary intuitions also provide quite convincing evidence that the surface of the earth is flat.

1. The Ethics of Ambiguity. Bernard Frechtman trans. Discussion here is limited to the first section, "Ambiguity and Freedom."

and with that exited the lone star state

which we think well of. although not this well:


the hope was we'd stay high for a while

but definitely not fall on this. ("cannonball!"...)

the whole time turned out relaxing and cool except for the texans, who are by and large a fat fatuous bunch.


farewell we said

to all and sundry.


soon enough it was over

we had to board a plane to get from the terminal to the gate where the real plane was. it's a spaghetti-roaded damn airport that bush intl is.


we also got to check out the local wildlife

or, its replacement (houston is polluted).


the scrabble game was hard to find

given the state of affairs with spelling in the 'xas:

did i mention two neon signs advertising restaurants with "baked potatoe"?


fortunately we passed the time with quiet activities

(i win!)


however, it's a treacherous place if you're not careful

as, for instance, when you can't go swimming.


the river in the woods

Coming down in the plane, parts of TX looked like a quilt (excuse my cliche).


except for the parking

better swap your H3 for a Miniunless you're at walmart or bestbuy or any of the chains that are all right next to each other in neverending sequence there. but even those are pretty much all full of fat people.


TX driving

actually, everything in houston looks the same.

this is actually a real bar called DR Diggers, but it's not even in texas, suckers
that is, like this:


we arrived in houston

where driving looks like this:


we got spruced up