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  3. Some time ago, I opined that recycling -- at least as most people have thought of it since the 1970s -- is a waste of time. And so it is amusing to note some surface similarities between a passage I wrote at the time, and one from a recent piece in the leftist U.K. Guardian. There is no cause to cry Plagiarism! and certainly less to say, "Great minds think alike." In my piece, I wrote: This ritual might be better than toting a blue can to the curb every week -- if it involved burning trash. (Image by Jimmy Salazar, via Unsplash, license.)Let's be clear about what recycling is. Although you might think it was invented by hippies who, as Ayn Rand once put it, "would pollute any stream by stepping into it," recycling pre-dates China itself, and began the moment someone realized that it saved time, effort, and/or money to re-use an object or any of its raw materials. In fact, the practice was so economical that there was no need for scolds and government bureaucrats: People have made careers by buying, collecting and selling scrap metal, rags, and even human waste. Nevertheless, in the days of rag-pickers and night soil collectors, some things were recycled and some things were not -- because it was a waste of time, effort, or money. Tells, those large mounds arising after centuries of human habitation, attest to this in addition to accounting for many archaeological discoveries. But around the 1970s, hippies changed the goal of recycling from benefiting human life to preserving the natural world. Lest you think I quibble, consider how that affects even a simple choice: Toss out a cheap soft drink bottle -- or wash it and send it off to a recycling plant, regardless of whether it is quicker or cheaper to make a new one.And here is a similar passage from the Guardian: Recycling is as old as thrift. The Japanese were recycling paper in the 11th century; medieval blacksmiths made armour from scrap metal. During the second world war, scrap metal was made into tanks and women's nylons into parachutes. "The trouble started when, in the late 70s, we began trying to recycle household waste," says [Professor Roland] Geyer. This was contaminated with all sorts of undesirables: non-recyclable materials, food waste, oils and liquids that rot and spoil the bales.Both of us acknowledge the ancient pedigree of recycling, its past thriftiness, and the fact that something went amiss in the 1970's. But to read the Guardian, you would think that recycling household waste was a new idea. It was not. Look in any old cookbook at some of the animal parts and leftovers people used to incorporate into their cooking and you'll see what human-centered recycling of household waste looks like. Recall also that, even back then, there were things even rag-pickers didn't recycle. When food became really cheap due to the green revolution (the real revolution, concerning agriculture) people didn't have to keep eating slop, and it became as uneconomical to recycle certain food wastes as the packaging some of the food came in. But if you don't understand the difference between thrift and "saving" (some idealized version of) "nature" -- perhaps because you view thrift as a mere commandment rather than a life-promoting virtue -- then such a distinction will make no sense. Christian morality -- or its secularized leftist/Kantian offshoot -- will lead such a person to believe that recycling is a good thing regardless of whether it actually promotes human life. This is because both directly lead to a failure to understand the nature or practicality of virtue. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no such thing as an action that is intrinsically good, such as the mindless ritual that recycling has become over the last fifty years. -- CAV Link to Original
  4. Yesterday
  5. Hi William. I have a shelf of books on physics and philosophy of time in my personal library, but so far, the time has not been right for taking a deep plunge into their contents. Three seem most closely related to your interests in this post: McTaggart’s Paradox (2016) by R. D. Ingthorsson, a philosopher. NOW – The Physics of Time (2016) by R. A. Muller, a physicist. (clip) The Order of Time (2018) by Carlo Rovelli, a physicist. Rovelli thinks twentieth-century physics show that an objective global present does not exist. Presentism, the view that there is an objective global present, is false. He thinks that simply from special relativity, in which he rightly takes reference frames, relative velocities between them, clocks, and light beams to be objective things in terms of which SR is cast and tested. He moves from objective frame-relativity of simultaneity of distant events with local events to lack of any such thing as an objective global present without explanation for that move. Perhaps that move can be made smooth, perhaps not. His conclusion is that presentism is false and “the world should not be thought of as a succession of presents. / What alternatives do we have?” [Unger and Smolin pose an additional alternative “inclusive time” in their book The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time (2015), which seems unnecessarily extravagant to me, at least in all they try to hitch up to it.] “Philosophers call ‘eternalism’ the idea that flow and change are illusory: present, past, and future are all equally real and equally existent. Eternalism is the idea that the whole of spacetime, as outlined in the above [SR] diagrams, exists all together without anything changing. Nothing really flows.* –p. 108 ((* “In the terminology of a celebrated article by John McTaggart (1908), this is equivalent to denying the reality of the A-series (the organization of time into ‘past-present-future’) The meaning of temporal determinations would then be reduced to only the B-series (the organization of time into ‘before-it, after-it’). For McTaggart, this implies denying the reality of time. To my mind, McTaggart is too inflexible: the fact that my car works differently from how I’d imagined it and how I’d originally defined it in my head does not mean that my car is not real”.)) –pp. 221–22 “The distinction between past, present, and future is not an illusion. It is the temporal structure of the world. But the temporal structure of the world is not that of presentism. The temporal relations between events are more complex than we previously thought, but they do not cease to exist on account of this. The relations of filiations do not establish a global order [linear sequence of presents self-same across all material frames, i.e., for all bits of non-zero rest mass]), but this does not make them illusory. If we are not all in single file, it does not follow that there are no relations between us. Change, what happens—this is not an illusion. What we have discovered is that it does not follow a global order.” –p. 110 So Rovelli has it that even though A-series is shown false, as objective structure, by SR, the relation past-present-future remains objective temporal structure, just not the A-series one presumed before SR. William, I don't know how many physicists follow along Rovelli's lines in this area of philosophical wider view taking in SR spacetime and kinematics. However, I doubt that any of them who have thought about it so much as the authors I've mentioned in this post have needed or relied on any particular schools of philosophy in their quest for wider understanding.
  6. It looks like belief in the B-theory is not synonymous with denial of objective reality or change. A certain type of B-theorist rejects them, but many attempt to have their B-theory and change too. I suspect that belief in B-theory stems from subjectivism. Basically, you want the past and future to exist with the present, and so they do. The rest is silly rationalizing.
  7. Gone, apparently, are the days I could half-jokingly summarize my political philosophy as, "The government should keep its hands out of our pockets and out of our pants." Uh-oh! (Image by Cristian Newman, via Unsplash, license.)It's late to retire that joke, I know, with the Republicans no longer even imagining spending cuts. But still, once you read Megan McArdle's piece regarding the idea of changing the legal basis for defining sexual assault, you will have had a rude awakening. A new variety of Puritan is working to bring horror stories about consent forms from college campuses to everyone's bedroom. Here is McArdle explaining why the idea is a bad one: [A]s any biologist, or sales manager, can tell you, systems that rely entirely on positive feedback are unstable. They have no natural stopping point, no way of saying "enough." Which is the fundamental problem with affirmative consent: There is no way to be completely sure that consent was sufficiently affirmative. That's why good systems almost always incorporate at least some negative feedback -- and why rape laws have historically relied on "no means no," not "yes means yes." Affirmative consent's plain unworkability hasn't damaged its appeal in some quarters. California in 2014 and New York in 2015 imposed these rules on state college campuses. On Monday, the American Bar Association's House of Delegates considered a proposal to urge state legislatures to adopt an affirmative-consent standard in their criminal codes. The idea drew the support of 165 ABA delegates, but they were outnumbered by 265 more-sensible colleagues, who voted to table the measure indefinitely. But the idea remains in the air. [bold added]A consequence of such a "standard" that McArdle later names is that it criminalizes just about any sexual encounter. She is absolutely correct to warn against "a legal system that makes everyone into either a victim or a criminal." If you thought the left stood, however imperfectly, for freedom in the social realm, think again: Approaches to the law like this -- where one has no way of knowing one's own compliance -- are the stuff from which dictatorships are made. Two quotes from Ayn Rand are relevant here (and happen to appear consecutively in The Ayn Rand Lexicon (Go there for references.): It is a grave error to suppose that a dictatorship rules a nation by means of strict, rigid laws which are obeyed and enforced with rigorous, military precision. Such a rule would be evil, but almost bearable; men could endure the harshest edicts, provided these edicts were known, specific and stable; it is not the known that breaks men's spirits, but the unpredictable. A dictatorship has to be capricious; it has to rule by means of the unexpected, the incomprehensible, the wantonly irrational; it has to deal not in death, but in sudden death; a state of chronic uncertainty is what men are psychologically unable to bear. [bold added]In other words, affirmative consent is worse than even the most benighted bedroom legislation I have ever heard of. And: The legal hallmark of a dictatorship [is] preventive law -- the concept that a man is guilty until he is proved innocent by the permissive rubber stamp of a commissar or a Gauleiter. [bold added]Affirmative consent alone would not, of course, spell our doom. But passage of such would set a very bad precedent, and getting the public used to such laws would further erode our semi-individualist culture, to say the least. -- CAV Link to Original
  8. Last week
  9. Addendum of mine to my article on Descartes/Rand Kant argued against Descartes’ view that the existence of one’s mind is more immediately and more certainly known than the existence of one’s body.[1] Kant cast out Descartes’ view that the mind is a thinking substance.[2] Because Kant rejected also Descartes’ ontological proof for the existence of God,[3] Descartes’ first philosophy collapses. Metaphysical arguments to rational necessity of the existence of God or immortality of the soul are all cases of reason flapping its wings in a vacuum, by the lights of Kant. The THE CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON (KrV) contains Kant’s case for a more limited scope for effective theoretical reason: stay within the bounds of possible sensory experience. Kant accepted, as had Descartes and Aquinas before him, some notion that ‘I think’ entails ‘I am’. Then again, with Rand’s mature philosophy, acknowledgment that ‘Existence exists’ entails existence of one who acknowledges. For Kant, contra Descartes, ‘I think’ does not mean I think with a mental substance,[4] radically distinct from body; and thinking of my body and of bodies outside me is as certain as the circumstance that I think and that I exist as a thinking thing.[5] Kant had a role for ‘I think’ basic to his transcendental idealism, and such is not the role it had in the first philosophy of Descartes. Let me call Kant’s the “company-role” of ‘I think’. “The ‘I think’ must be capable of accompanying all my presentations; for otherwise something would be presented to me that could not be thought at all—which is equivalent to saying that the presentation either would be impossible, or at least would be nothing to me.”[6] (B131–32) Kant’s ‘I think’ is utterly dependent on there being rational judgments it attends. ‘I think’ is not premier of knowing, contra Descartes. Neither it nor the ‘cogito sum’ containing it nor join of the ‘cogito sum’ to the premise of divine, absolute perfection amount to an adequate foundation of all human cognition.[7] We might object, however, to Kant’s reasoning in the quoted passage. In early development we each had been perceiving and investigating and coordinating without any ability to reflect and realize of those episodes ‘I am having’ or ‘I am doing’, let alone ‘I am thinking’. It might be countered for Kant, in our current context of cognitive developmental psychology, that to each such episode adults around the infant or toddler can attach ‘He is having’ or ‘She is doing’ and that grown older the former little one could say of filmed early episodes ‘I was seeing’, ‘I was searching’, and so forth. The objection remains, for those remarks would be merely as from outside and pronounced on the little person, not by that person as he or she perceived, investigated, and coordinated. That such episodes occur without first-person capability to reflect and realize ‘I am having’ or ‘I am doing’ means that, notwithstanding the important fact of the company-role of ‘I think’ for all mature, discursive human cognition, it is not a necessary condition for the possibility of all human cognition in the apriori way Kant argued at B131–32. Kant’s argument there ignores the existential fact that discursive thought has a genesis from and an alliance with prelinguistic thought in early development. When Kant does discuss the pertinent infant development, in his anthropology lectures,[8] he foists the necessity argued in B131–32 off on all that development. The company-role of ‘I think’ (as well as ‘I am having’ and ‘I am doing’) is a necessity for adult human cognition, though not for the ultimate reason and not with the type of ultimate necessity given it by Kant. And self-reflection is not a necessity for one’s earliest stage of cognition. The necessity of the company-role of ‘I think’ and its precursors ‘I am having’ and ‘I am doing’ is most basically biological, not transcendental. Without adult capability for some self-reflection, and its precursors in development, there will have been no capability for language, thence not yet human cognition in such a species. Conceptual necessities are from the life of mind situated in larger life situated in the world. Conceptual necessities do not require Kant’s conceit of generative mind as ultimate origin of temporal and spatial organization in sensory experience and objective world nor Kant’s conceit of generative mind as base origin of its own fundamental concepts as forms with which the world as known shall be. Necessary conditions on the possibility of experience and cognition are in my view rightly seen as situated within biological necessities, not within Kant’s supposed, wider transcendental necessities.[9] Organicism in human consciousness—with its unities, roles, interdependencies, and self-generations—is offspring of and sign of the biological nature of consciousness. Kant saw it rather the other way around.[10] As with any other body, the body of a physical organism is in his view an object standing in spatial, temporal, and causal connections whose source of necessity is the transcendental synthetic unity of apperception.[11] Organic unities of organisms, according to Kant, are to be seen as if they were designed by a cosmic intelligence, keeping in mind that those unities are projections of the unities of our own reason, which is to say organic unities of organisms are to be understood as if sourced (and as in fact divinely sourced) in organic unities of intelligence.[12] ~~~~~~~~ The ‘I’ of Kant’s company-role ‘I think’ is a unified conceptual maker of coherence from variety in the ‘I’s world of perception.[13] As Béatrice Longuenesse observes: Because the causal relation is among the organizing principles constituting the coherence-making self that must be able to accompany any sensory experience it has, we have in Kant’s company-role ‘I think’ a post in Kant’s fence against Hume’s skepticism concerning necessary connection between distinct perceived events.[14] ~~~~~~~~ NOTES [1] Kant 1781(A) and 1787(B): A366–80, B274–79. [2] A343–47 B401–6, A348–51, B407–8, B416–22. Rand, and I with her, replace substance of Aristotle or of Descartes with entity, and we would count the mind and the self as an entity, notwithstanding the special ways in which one knows one’s own mind and self. [3] A592–603, B620–31. [4] But see Heidegger 1953, 318–21/304–7. [5] Kant, KrV B270–79. [6] Also B137–39, B157–-58n, A341–43, B399–401, A347 B405, A354–55, A397- 402, B422–23n, B428–32, A848 B876; 1798, 7:127–28. [7] Kitcher 2011, 57–62, 116–17, 193–97. [8] Kant 1798, 7:128-29. [9] Cf. Criticism of Kant, on possible origins of necessity in synthetic apriori judgments, by Gottlob Ernst Schulze 1792, 142–45. [10] Mensch 2013, 99–109, 113–24, 130–45, 153–54. [11] Kant, KrV A22–36 B37–53, B131–69, B232–34, A189–211 B235–56. [12] A317–18 B374, B425, A686–704 B714–32. [13] A67 B92, A107–8, A113–14, A119, A124–25, B129–39, A199–202 B244–47, A214–18 B261–65, A228–30 B281–82, A234–35 B286–87, A255-56 B311, A401–2; see also Kitcher 2011, 138–41, 144–50, 193–97. [14] Longuenesse 2008, 15–16; see also Kitcher 2011, 152–57, 170–73; Allison 2008, 107–12, 204–5. REFERENCES Allison, H. E. 2008. Custom and Reason in Hume – A Kantian Reading of the First Book of the Treatise. New York: Oxford University Press. Heidegger, M. 1953 [1927]. Being and Time. 7th ed. J. Stambaugh and D. J. Schmidt, translators, 2010. Albany: State University of New York Press. Kant, I. 1781, 1787. Critique of Pure Reason. W. S. Pluhar, translator. 1996. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing. ——. 1798. Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View. In Immanuel Kant – Anthropology, History, and Education. G. Zöller and R. B. Louden, editors, 2007. G. Zöller, translator. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kitcher, P. 2011. Kant’s Thinker. New York. Oxford University Press. Longuenesse, B. 2008. Kant’s “I Think” versus Descartes’ “I Am a Thing that Thinks.” In Kant and the Early Moderns. D. Garber and B. Longuenesse, editors. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Mensch, J. 2013. Kant’s Organicism – Epigenesis and the Development of Critical Philosophy. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Schulze, G. E. 1792. Aenesidemus. In Between Kant and Hegel – Texts in the Development of Post-Kantian Idealism. G. di Giovanni and H. S. Harris, translators, 2000. 2nd ed. Indianapolis: Hackett.
  10. Howdy, Ilya! Have you read her essay Philosophy: Who Needs It (in which she specifically encourages her readers to read Kant in order to learn how to defeat his methods)? Or Causality versus Duty (in which she discusses the meaning, nature and consequences of Kant's claims)? She did not tell us not to read Kant, but the opposite. She did not say his works were meaningless (and therefore harmless), but the opposite. I don't have direct evidence of whether she actually read Kant or somehow happened to guess every single one of his claims. You've got me there. Every other statement you made was the precise opposite of the truth? But I Kant say whether or not she actually read Kant. Meaning that words do not MEAN anything except for how you string them together - including the words he used to express that. Which means it actually means nothing (by his epistemological standards; not mine). Meaning that he knows damn well what words mean; he KNOWS that "this grass is green" but has some (presumably non-Aristotelian) reason for calling such speech "illegitimate" and carrying on as if he didn't know, after all. Which is kind of impressive, in a way. Not in particular. Judging by the quoted sections you've shared with us, he misrepresents the whole universe equally. When Rand wrote "'we know that we can know nothing' they chatter, blanking out that they are claiming knowledge", that was the only answer this guy ever did deserve. --- I understand that you want to know why Rand didn't specifically respond to your dude, Ilya, but that's boring. Have you read her dissections of Rawles, Keynes or Skinner? If she had mentioned him she would've absolutely crushed him. I'll be back tomorrow for page 2! PS: Most people who oppose Rand (especially philosophers) do so because of cowardice. They don't have the balls to see through their own eyes and think with their own brain.
  11. Consider nominalism. To arrive at the conclusion that time is an illusion, what line of reasoning is not being pursued? Like distinguishing dreams, hallucinations, illusions, etc., as contrasted against what? Calendars are produced identifying the cycles of the moon, equinoxes, solstices. Time keeping devices were brought about to overcome navigational difficulties in determining time from the position of celestial bodies at sea. Which constellations are dominant in the night sky, when planetary alignments are to occur . . . for time to be an illusion, a comprehensive integration with the rest of one's knowledge need be brushed aside. To consider that time passes differently under different contexts does not negate this either. If travel at the speed of light returns a twin older or younger (I don't recall off the bat), the constellations, moons, equinoxes etc, would have passed regularly for the other twin, and when rejoined, both would experience the continuation under the context derived on earth.
  12. You don't have to stretch like that to find the actual problems with his definition. Please calm down before you hurt yourself. vs. Ayn Rand's definition: Think of the DNA and the brain. Aren't they patterns? The brain - structure of neural connections. Watch my video on this topic: 1: Life forms are not patterns. A tree HAS certain patterns but a tree IS NOT a pattern, itself. 2: 3: Do DNA strands or brains have patterns (since neither IS a pattern)? Maybe; depending on how you look at them. I couldn't define what a "pattern" is, off the top of my head, but I know it involves a specific mental function. A DNA strand has an orderly repeating "pattern" if you think of its structure; it might have one in terms of its base pair "code", or it might be a bunch of gibberish that doesn't do anything. A "pattern" can mean anything in the universe that's viewed in a certain way by a thinking being, and absolutely nothing in the absence of such beings. There's a wealth of deep insights into the nature of life that's summed up by Rand's metaphor that "life is motion", all of which are wiped out by your umbrella term of "pattern". 4: It's quite invigorating to see someone honestly trying to improve Objectivism. I know I wasn't very nice to your idea just now, but please don't read any mal intent into it. Your heart was in the right place (as far as I can tell); the idea you ran with was just a little bit crap. Which is nothing to be ashamed of - the vast majority of all ideas are crap! The only way to find a good one is to sift through all the rest first. So I think it'd be great if you tried again. I'd probably have to tear that idea down too (let's face it - there aren't many things about Objectivism that one can improve) but in all reason and justice it would at least deserve a fair hearing.
  13. To start off, I'm not arguing that change isn't objectively real. I think it is. I'm asking how Objectivist intellectuals explain the sociological fact that most physicists are confused on a particular philosophical point. From what I understand, most physicists accept the B-theory of time, which denies the objective reality of change, on the grounds that it is supposedly implied by Einstein's theory of relativity. (I don't have a source for that other than anecdotes, so if I'm wrong then by all means let me know, but this is what I've consistently heard.) I'm curious whether any Objectivist intellectual has given an explanation of the fact that most physicists accept the B-theory of time. The type of explanation I'm looking for is the same type of explanation given of a-causal interpretations of quantum mechanics by Harriman in The Logical Leap, where he points out that the physicists who accept these interpretations of quantum mechanics are logical positivists. I found that satisfying, and I'm curious whether anyone has provided a similar explanation of the widespread acceptance of the B-theory of time among physicists. Thanks in advance.
  14. 19th century: Alexander Dumas (e.g. Count of Monte Cristo) Mark Twain Harry Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin) Nathaniel Hawthorn
  15. I'll look into some Hugo, thanks!
  16. Rand's recommendation of Hugo paid off handsomely. I struck out on Dostoyevsky and Conrad. The Secret Agent has some amusingly contemporary allusions, but otherwise both authors escaped me.
  17. I love Rand's non-fiction, but when it comes to fiction, these are my favorite eras. Frankenstein and Alice in Wonderland are two favorites! What do you like?
  18. I’m no art expert, but often media and technique as well as the result are taken into account when labelling artistic works. In traditional real world media, two dimensional representations like drawings are created with things like charcoal or pencil or colored pencil whereas paintings are traditionally created using oil paint or acrylics etc Other works are similarly labelled by technique or medium (and sometimes end product) A “drawing” is the product of a sum of an artists colored strokes of a pencil and a “painting” similarly a sum of an artists colored strokes with a brush. Sculpture can be built up from clay to create a mould and cast in which bronze may be poured which can be distinguished from a “carving” which by definition starts from some block of medium being carved or chipped away whether or not that material is the final work or used for a cast. In the modern digital mediums similarly there are multiple techniques. Digital photographic works can be manipulated or augmented digitally using photoshop 3d modelling with software like Blender or 3dsMax can create a 3d model entirely from scratch and can output 2d images, 3d printed objects, or be incorporated into games or movies. Some real media simulation software directly take artist input from a stylus to simulate pencil or paint strokes on a digital canvas for the creation of “digital drawings” or “digital paintings”... a sum of colored strokes input by an artist’s stylus. So many considerations are involved. Here a 3d modelling program is used to virtually sculpt and compose a scene. Lighting is chosen and placed, materials and textures applied to virtual surfaces. Camera position and FOV are carefully chosen. Global effects like haze are applied and a scene is rendered using ray tracing for example. As a final stage global adjustment of the image is often performed with image manipulation software... such as saturation gamma color cast etc. Some manual touch up can also be performed. This is an incredibly technical and laborious process to create what often can be (as the case is here) a real piece of Art. Myriad possibilities include Digital Sculpture Digital Rendering Digital Art Digital Illustration Virtual Sculpture Virtual Art Virtual Illustration 3D Rendering
  19. Hey all, my name is Roger. I’ve been an objectivist since graduate school (philosophy at Boston University), and now run my own company. I've never participated in an objectivist organizations since I didn’t want their help in building my own thing. I’ve build my own thing now, so it’s time to join the community. happy to connect with everyone!
  20. Could you clarify...what would you call them? What choices are you thinking of here?
  21. Well, the Modi government has repealed Article 370 without any mass Kashmiri movement or support and it's definitely been controversial. Kashmiris (atleast the ones in Kashmir valley) were flying Pakistani and ISIS flags (as well as flags of other terrorist organizations as a symbol of freedom) and clearly don't seem to want to join India. There has been a communications blackout in the region aimed at curbing protests (the curfew has been lifted in the Jammu & Ladakh regions which have majority Hindu/Buddhist population). Temporarily, there is no freedom of speech or freedom of movement in the region. When curfew in Kashmir valley is lifted, there's probably going to be mass protests and conflicts between Kashmiris and the Indian Army. India is definitely not a capitalist country and it's questionable if this move is economically useful for Kashmiris. However, now private companies and investors (as well as Indians from other states) would be allowed to buy land in Kashmir (so it would probably be better). Pakistani prime minister, Imran Khan has been going from door to door, calling the Indian government fascist Nazis and Hindu supremacists (and anyone who doesn't oppose India to be Hitler appeasers). Many media outlets are also fueling the fear mongering, with clickbait titles such as "Is India trying to 'ethnically cleanse' Kashmir?". Once curfew is lifted in the Kashmir valley, we'll know what to make of all this.
  22. Four Funny Things Some of these come from rabbit holes. You have been warned... 1. Click the "view" button here for an amusing synopsis of The Wizard of Oz. 2. If you find humor in stories about people being flummoxed by/around/concerning computers, the retro-looking Computer Stupidities site has you covered. Image by Lara Far, via Unsplash, license.I recently had a problem setting the video resolution on a new laptop. Me: "It seems that the resolution is supposed to be 1900x1200. It's set to that, but it's not displaying right." Tech Support: "Yes, that is 1900x1200." Me: "No, I have my old computer up here, and it's also set to that resolution, and the icons are much smaller." Tech Support: "Well, so what? Don't you want a bigger resolution?" Me: "Um, no, a bigger resolution means that the icons get smaller. I think I should reinstall the drivers." Tech Support: "No. How long have you been experiencing this problem?" Me: "Since the computer started, remember?" Tech Support: "Just on this startup?" Me: "Yes, this is the only startup." Tech Support: "OK, what did you change on the computer since the last startup?" Me: "What? Nothing. Listen, this is a new comp--" Tech Support: "No, I mean, what have you done with your computer recently?" Me: "I took it out of the box." Tech Support: "Why was your computer in a box?"The above conversation came from the "stupid tech support" section. 3. Professor Andreas Zeller offers academics a list of twelve LaTeX packages that will get your paper accepted: The pagefit package. This immensely useful package makes your paper exactly fit within a given page limit, applying a genetic search algorithm to reduce baseline distances, white space, font sizes, or bibliographic references until it exactly fits. Just write \usepackage[pages=12,includingbibliography]{pagefit} and enjoy.I do not miss journal submission guidelines. 4. Some time back, Alison Green of Ask a Manager asked her readers to post stories of unprofessional behavior they did not regret. I suspect that the below may have been one of the funniest of the hundreds of responses she received: I quit a job on my first day. Very similar situation- boss got angry because I didn't know things and I apparently wasn't "grateful enough" for being hired. Boss decided to go to lunch and leave me to run the reception/pick-up/drop-off area (this was daycare/preschool). Parent came in angry about something and proceeded to yell at me for 10 minutes about it. When they finally paused for air, I told them it was my first day, I didn't know how to fix their problem and they should probably find another daycare. When boss came back from lunch 2 hours later, I told her this wasn't working for me. She demanded her logo shirt back so I took it off and walked to my car in my bra. I don't regret it.I hope for the kids' sake that that boss is out of that business. -- CAV Link to Original
  23. Just curious. As someone familiar with Objective concepts, from the myriad of choices, why do you call your visual art works "Paintings"?
  24. My recently completed digital painting "Winged Victory"
  25. Miss Manners offers her take on a woman complaining about her boyfriend's insistence on her delivering his lunch to work every day -- and his childish behavior regarding her reasonable pushback: Image by Drew Beamer, via Unsplash, license.GENTLE READER: As living together is often touted as a tryout period prior to a more permanent arrangement, it might be productive to examine the lessons learned about your boyfriend's behavior, as Miss Manners assures you that your own was proper.I couldn't agree more, and offer my own positive experience with a similar situation waaaay back from before Mrs. Van Horn and I tied the knot. The first time she had me rush something to her at the airport, I figured it was a one-off, and complied in time for her to take off. (This was before our government instituted security theater at airports in response to the atrocities of September 11, 2001.) But then it happened a second and a third time, and on the third time, I decided the established pattern was something that had to change. I told her I had other things to do, and that she needed to think of the purpose of her trip when packing. (I had noticed it was always something peculiar to the trip.) She thanked me for noticing the problem. It never happened again. In fact, much later, she once even spontaneously mentioned how helpful it was that I gave her such clear, succinct, and actionable advice. -- CAV Link to Original
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