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best description of nihilism ever   
10:36pm 29/04/2008
mood: cheerful
From a comment left on my favorite science blog, PZ Myer's Pharyngula:

"In the end, nihilism is the dead end of religion. It recognizes that God is dead, but goes no further to abandon the absurd neo-Platonic assumptions that allowed one to fantasize the existence of God in the first place. It is the cold comfort of masochism when sadism is denied us."
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in memoriam   
05:06am 28/04/2008
mood: sad
April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing,
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
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Late at night, I become high-minded and idealistic (and use too many semi-colons)   
04:00am 28/04/2008
mood: contemplative
So tonight I basically posted my entire ethical philosophy in my blogspot blog:


Sometimes even I am surprised at my own occasional idealism...
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New blog   
04:09pm 26/04/2008
mood: productive
I have a new blog, this time on blogger:


If I don't let it wither and die as I do all of my blogs (haha, there's a joke...), it will have somewhat more substantive posts than are typical for this LJ. I'll still post random thoughts and memes and what not on LJ though...never fear....some stuff also might get X-posted between LJ and blogger....
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F-List survey   
02:58pm 25/04/2008
mood: curious


What kind of topic do you consider "off-limit" for joking about? How far is "too far"?

I'm really curious, because it seems to differ a lot from person to person, and I think leads to a lot of interpersonal offense...

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Uncommon Sense....   
09:42pm 24/04/2008
mood: chipper
My Modern Psychotherapies professor, on the scientific worldview:

“Science is a world without spirits, without the supernatural, without angels, without demons….To talk about these things is just not credible if you are taking science as a worldview.”
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The Onion: Son of a Bitch Mouse Solves Maze Researchers Spent Months Building   
03:42pm 20/04/2008
mood: amused
An amusing bit of behavioral science humor:

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last night's dinner conversation gem   
03:30pm 20/04/2008
mood: calm
At dinner at Orso's, talking about existential despair and psychotherapy:

"I read Camus, then I read the DSM, and now I'm insane."
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05:40pm 19/04/2008
mood: nerdy
A while ago, anisky made a post asking for thoughts on the defining qualities of the 'Millennial Generation' (aka 'Gen Y'). I didn't post a reply because I couldn't think of anything succinct and apt off the top of my head, though I intended to think about it further and post a reply.

I subsequently forgot about it, but remembered recently and came up with 3 words: the mac store.

I really think that the mac store -- with its mac-inspired architectural aesthetic, computers all over the story open for the public to use (including to do silly things like post lj entries), indy/alternative music playing over the speakers, etc -- basically epitomizes Gen Y, or at least the privileged, educated segment of it to which I and most of my fellow college students belong.
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In which the phrase "no intelligence allowed" receives a whole new depth of meaning   
07:22pm 13/04/2008
mood: frustrated
Despite my general desire to be apathetic and ignorant of political and social issues that raise my ire (being angry at mass stupidity just takes too much emotional energy), I have been following the saga of the ID/creationist agitprop film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed with some interest.

Now, clips are online:


Includes, among other things, the plagiarized "inside the cell video," bits of interviews with PZ Myers & Dawkins, horrific mangling of the concept of random mutations, the "irreducable complexity" of the cell -- and oh yes, how could I forget? Darwinism=atheism=Nazism agitprop. 

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dinner time conversation   
01:27am 12/04/2008
mood: amused
Tonight, while eating at Bistrot Margot:

Me: Do you think prostitution should be illegal?
DS: No.
Me: Yeah, me neither.
MP: Well, just to be contrary, I do.
DS: Oh, go fuck yourself...for free.
MP: Unfortunately, that's all I can do.
     No one has spoken1 has spokenhave spoken Talk back!
a re-realization   
06:46pm 11/04/2008
mood: distressed
At times, I am forcibly reminded of a simple but distressing issue:

I am really quite ill-equipped to deal with the quotidian demands of life. If there were an easy way to just give up without consequence, I think I might.
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02:45pm 11/04/2008
mood: distressed
Sometimes I really hate how my dreams can seem as real, and sometimes even almost *more* real, as/than reality. It can be incredibly annoying and disconcerting, and can screw up an otherwise perfectly good day.
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cat mirror adorability   
06:27pm 26/03/2008
mood: amused
This is just too cute for words.

Adorability Under Cut (video)Collapse )
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The Onion: Is the Government Spying on Paranoid Schizophrenics Enough?   
05:12pm 25/03/2008
mood: amused
Hilarious Onion Video Under the CutCollapse )
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secularization, kind of   
05:48am 23/03/2008
mood: chipper
Today in the airport, the ticketing woman said the funniest thing to me:

"Have a wonderful Easter...if applicable."

I don't know why, but the "if applicable" clause just cracked me up.
     No one has spoken1 has spokenhave spoken Talk back!
airport misadventures   
10:08pm 22/03/2008
mood: chipper
So I'm in my favorite place in the world (really), the airport, and I'm going to be here for the next 11 hours or so. This was not my original intent (believe it or not), but after a series of misadventures/errors (some my fault, some not), I missed my flight.

My flight was supposed to leave O'Hare at 8:40 pm, so I planned on having an early dinner with a friend at 4:30 pm downtown and leaving the restaurant by 6ish to take the blue line the rest of the way to O'Hare. This would get me to the airport with 1.5 hours to spare.

Well, first I was stupid enough to not start packing until about half an hour before I was supposed to leave to get to the restaurant. So even though I rushed through packing (forgot at least one thing too...:\) I ended up meeting my friend about half an hour late. Fortunately the restaurant kept our reservation, but because we're both very slow eaters (and it was Italian tapas, which lends itself well to slow consumption), I didn't end up getting out of the restaurant until about 6:45. Then my train got delayed a bit. By the time I got to the airport, it was going to be a big rush to get to my flight in time. (I had a little over half an hour, but I've made it in such short time before. They tell you your luggage might not get shipped with the rest, but it's doable.)

United has check in at Terminals 2 and 1, and I was directed to Terminal 2, so I went there. I was initially given the wrong directions, so that took some time. Then when I got there, no one was there and there was a sign directing me to Terminal 1. Crap! I pleaded with the lone woman there to just allow me to check in, but apparently the machines were shut down. Then, naturally, I barely missed the shuttle to Terminal 1 and had to wait for that for a while. Finally I got to Terminal 1, where there was a short but annoying line. Then, trying to use the machine to start checking in, I accidentally put my passport into the ticket slot (yeah...I'm good that way). They had to get the main United check in guy to come over and unlock the machine to get my passport out. He then tried to run my passport through, and we discovered (surprise, surprise) that my flight had already departed. I explain my story thus far to him, leaving out the restaurant part and exaggerating the length of time my train had been delayed (had to make it not look like my fault; instead of thinking I was an idiot, he felt sorry for me; this would come in handy later).

I told him I'd happily fly standby, all while looking (and feeling) rather distraught. He looked for another flight to LAX departing this evening; shockingly, there were none (my flight left at 9:40 pm). I told him I really wouldn't mind spending the night in the airport. (This is true. I love the airport. There is a sense of anonymity and a neither-here-nor-there feeling that greatly appeals to me.) He found a flight with one seat available at 9:05 am, and another at 6:35 am that may clear up if some passengers don't show up, and so I decide to fly standby. He told me that this is going to cost $100. "Okay, I don't even have $100," I told him quite truthfully, continuing to look distraught. "I suppose I could try calling my parents; can you take their credit cards over the phone?" He looked torn about what to do for a moment, then told me since this wasn't my fault (if only he knew), he would waive the fee, and gave me a free ticket for the 9:05 am flight.

And so here I am, having missed my flight and no more the worse off for it, because as I've said, I love the airport. And I love nice airport personnel. Though I think I need to stop relying on my belief in my ability to talk myself out of any situation; I never for a moment truly thought I'd have to pay. Then again, if this continues to work, why should I stop? (Yes, I know the flaw in that reasoning quite well.)
     No one has spoken12 has spokenhave spoken Talk back!
End of the World as We Know It   
09:18pm 21/03/2008
mood: bored
I know at least some people on my flist like REM, so here's a cute little vid I found on youtube to "It's the End of the World as We Know It"

Embedded Media Should Always be Under CutCollapse )

ETA: The embedded media should actually work now.
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dostoevsky fans on my flist? well, there might be one or two....   
08:25pm 21/03/2008
mood: apathetic
Do I have any Dostoevsky fans on my flist? If so, this is for you.

Frantically, all last night and most of today, I was working on a paper on Dostoevsky in Soviet Russia. I finished it this afternoon (kind of had to; it was due). It is far from being perfect (written mostly over the course of one night, not proofread, and ends unfortunately abruptly with no real conclusion...oops...really a bit of a disaster there). Nevertheless, I found the topic to be rather interesting, and some of the stereotypical Marxist language used by Soviet Dostoevsky critics is kind of hilarious. So if you have any interest in laughing at Marxist-Leninist rhetoric, learning about Dostoevsky, or just wasting your time reading a random term paper, I give you this essay.

Unfortunately, some of the formatting (italicization of titles, etc) has been lost in the Word-to-LJ transition, but I think it should all be clear enough anyhow. I might go back and fix it later. Probably not. I'm rather sick of this essay, as evidenced by the fact that I couldn't be bothered to proofread it or to give it a proper conclusion.
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things take a turn for the worse   
04:50pm 16/03/2008
mood: frustrated
And I thought today couldn't get any worse.

But it could. And it did.

My fridge has developed a ton of ice around the freezer compartment and now won't seal properly. This will no doubt either cause everything in it to spoil, or cause the fridge to run up a huge electricity bill preventing such an occurrence. I should probably empty out the fridge and unplug it but it seems like so much trouble.

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