pauraque_bk: (Default)


Thinking critically -- which was Carl's field, after all -- yields the obvious point that this is emotionally manipulative. I happened to see this comment near the top which kinda says it all: "I actually felt like crying after it was over but I don't know why" (emphasis added). Well, because it's easy to elicit that reaction with music, dramatic shots of the sky, vague statements about the future of humanity... (When I watched The West Wing they'd try this trick nearly every episode, though much more clumsily! It's perhaps telling that one of the only times it worked was when Sam talked about space travel.)

I don't mean to be too cynical about it; I enjoyed the video. I mean, I'm not made of stone. But on one level it's about Carl Sagan, and on another it's about the powerful -- but very vague! -- sense of sublimity that you can induce in people if you phrase something poetically but omit any details. Musicians obviously trade on this all the time, and so do TV shows like Cosmos.

I liked Carl Sagan, and I don't doubt his sincerity or the sincerity of the person who made the video. I also don't want to come off as frowning on works of popular science, which are valuable in themselves (no one can be an expert on everything), and also lead a few people to investigate further. I guess I just like my sublime feelings to be based on something more substantial, not that you can't have your sublime-feelings "candy" too.

It's a bit weird that people are still so easy to manipulate, considering how accustomed we are to all these tricks, the swelling music, the dramatic voiceover, etc. What's, uh... what's up with that?

K, bed now.
pauraque_bk: (Default)


Thinking critically -- which was Carl's field, after all -- yields the obvious point that this is emotionally manipulative. I happened to see this comment near the top which kinda says it all: "I actually felt like crying after it was over but I don't know why" (emphasis added). Well, because it's easy to elicit that reaction with music, dramatic shots of the sky, vague statements about the future of humanity... (When I watched The West Wing they'd try this trick nearly every episode, though much more clumsily! It's perhaps telling that one of the only times it worked was when Sam talked about space travel.)

I don't mean to be too cynical about it; I enjoyed the video. I mean, I'm not made of stone. But on one level it's about Carl Sagan, and on another it's about the powerful -- but very vague! -- sense of sublimity that you can induce in people if you phrase something poetically but omit any details. Musicians obviously trade on this all the time, and so do TV shows like Cosmos.

I liked Carl Sagan, and I don't doubt his sincerity or the sincerity of the person who made the video. I also don't want to come off as frowning on works of popular science, which are valuable in themselves (no one can be an expert on everything), and also lead a few people to investigate further. I guess I just like my sublime feelings to be based on something more substantial, not that you can't have your sublime-feelings "candy" too.

It's a bit weird that people are still so easy to manipulate, considering how accustomed we are to all these tricks, the swelling music, the dramatic voiceover, etc. What's, uh... what's up with that?

K, bed now.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
Is there anyone living who is *more* famous than Michael Jackson? I don't only mean in the sense of number of humans who know about a person, but also level of iconicity, degree of cultural absorption and sense of cultural ownership... these aren't technical terms, I'm just trying to put it into words. Do you guys think anyone comes close?

If you extend it to people who were alive in living memeory, there's Elvis for sure. Other candidates fall way behind, in my opinion. Especially for those who aren't old enough to remember Elvis's life (*raises hand*), he's far more of an icon than a person. He's almost like Santa Claus, in the sense of being a mythic character. That's the level I'm talking about.

I'm usually the curmudgeon who has no particular response to celebrity deaths. Of course I don't *want* them to die, but they're people I don't know -- lots of people I don't know die constantly. I actually think this is a bit different in that MJ was at least verging on mythic stature. Maybe as the living memories of his later-life scandals fade, it'll be even more so.


ETA: Not only is Jeff Goldblum alive, old celebrity death hoax is old! I had no idea.

I hope someday to appear in a news headline stating that I am still alive.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
Is there anyone living who is *more* famous than Michael Jackson? I don't only mean in the sense of number of humans who know about a person, but also level of iconicity, degree of cultural absorption and sense of cultural ownership... these aren't technical terms, I'm just trying to put it into words. Do you guys think anyone comes close?

If you extend it to people who were alive in living memeory, there's Elvis for sure. Other candidates fall way behind, in my opinion. Especially for those who aren't old enough to remember Elvis's life (*raises hand*), he's far more of an icon than a person. He's almost like Santa Claus, in the sense of being a mythic character. That's the level I'm talking about.

I'm usually the curmudgeon who has no particular response to celebrity deaths. Of course I don't *want* them to die, but they're people I don't know -- lots of people I don't know die constantly. I actually think this is a bit different in that MJ was at least verging on mythic stature. Maybe as the living memories of his later-life scandals fade, it'll be even more so.


ETA: Not only is Jeff Goldblum alive, old celebrity death hoax is old! I had no idea.

I hope someday to appear in a news headline stating that I am still alive.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
I forgot my dad's mailing address, and instead of walking upstairs to ask my brother, I opened Google Earth, searched for the city where he lives, and moused around the driving route to get to his house until I found it.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
I forgot my dad's mailing address, and instead of walking upstairs to ask my brother, I opened Google Earth, searched for the city where he lives, and moused around the driving route to get to his house until I found it.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
in chronological order:

- Tiny earthquake, followed by flurry of texts between me and my friend who lives in San Jose, whom I had previously been neglecting talking to. ("did u feel the earthquake?" is always a good icebreaker.)

- Work work work.

- Finding out another friend got mugged. !!!!!!! She is fine.

- Really really emotionally wrenching conversation. Not bad. Good actually. But you know when you dislocate a joint, when they wrench it back into place, that hurts... or so I gather from TV.

- Wiki surfing leads to articles on famous kidnappings.


think I need to go to bed
pauraque_bk: (Default)
in chronological order:

- Tiny earthquake, followed by flurry of texts between me and my friend who lives in San Jose, whom I had previously been neglecting talking to. ("did u feel the earthquake?" is always a good icebreaker.)

- Work work work.

- Finding out another friend got mugged. !!!!!!! She is fine.

- Really really emotionally wrenching conversation. Not bad. Good actually. But you know when you dislocate a joint, when they wrench it back into place, that hurts... or so I gather from TV.

- Wiki surfing leads to articles on famous kidnappings.


think I need to go to bed
pauraque_bk: (Default)
After getting out of work, I have approximately two hours to interact with my girlfriend before she goes to bed. And my work hours are about to be extended. This utterly fails. /counting down days

+

At the supermarket, the guy behind me was loudly complaining to his friend that they should open another checkout and wasn't it horrible that they had to wait, and he would probably never come back. The line was like three people long. The checkout guy was obviously annoyed, but caved to the passive-aggressive douchebaggery and called for another checker.

I looked back at him and hissed "Asshole", and was immediately awash with fear that I was about to have my ass kicked (oh the perils of bein' a dude!), but Passive-Agressive Douchebag merely gave a vapid smirk.

+

So if a fandom develops around the show Kings, will the special hilarity of using the word "canon" in its usual fandom sense be recognized?

+

Upon further investigation, I have discovered that Twitter is kind of like those RPGs that used to exist (maybe still do?) where people portray all kinds of different celebrities, so you get like Jon Stewart randomly interacting with Patrick Stewart and John Kerry and Daniel Radcliffe and whoever else you can imagine, and it's all very amusing. Except Twitter is real.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
After getting out of work, I have approximately two hours to interact with my girlfriend before she goes to bed. And my work hours are about to be extended. This utterly fails. /counting down days

+

At the supermarket, the guy behind me was loudly complaining to his friend that they should open another checkout and wasn't it horrible that they had to wait, and he would probably never come back. The line was like three people long. The checkout guy was obviously annoyed, but caved to the passive-aggressive douchebaggery and called for another checker.

I looked back at him and hissed "Asshole", and was immediately awash with fear that I was about to have my ass kicked (oh the perils of bein' a dude!), but Passive-Agressive Douchebag merely gave a vapid smirk.

+

So if a fandom develops around the show Kings, will the special hilarity of using the word "canon" in its usual fandom sense be recognized?

+

Upon further investigation, I have discovered that Twitter is kind of like those RPGs that used to exist (maybe still do?) where people portray all kinds of different celebrities, so you get like Jon Stewart randomly interacting with Patrick Stewart and John Kerry and Daniel Radcliffe and whoever else you can imagine, and it's all very amusing. Except Twitter is real.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
Copernicus looked kinda like He-Man.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
Copernicus looked kinda like He-Man.

bork

Feb. 12th, 2009 10:42 pm
pauraque_bk: (Default)
My refrigerator is also broken.

Working overtime every day this week because of Valentine's Day, or Singles Awareness Day as one of my friends sadly but adorably calls it.

It's been rather cold lately (though of course "cold" is quite relative, pace [livejournal.com profile] _hannelore). Yesterday one of the homeless people who hangs out near my work came into the store and asked Boss if we sold candles. I watched this interaction very carefully because she has a thing against homeless people but this particular guy was certainly no threat (he sometimes comes in and asks me nicely to trade him bills for coins).

Anyway, she showed him the votive candles. He asked which was the cheapest and she told him. I was at the register, so I ended up ringing him up for a $2.50 scented candle, which he paid for and left. I thought for a second, should I give him a discount? Isn't that even more absurd, if I was going to do that shouldn't I just give him the candle for free? He's buying this vanilla scented votive candle presumably to warm his fucking hands, I can't imagine why else.

I try to feel lucky instead of guilty. Compared to the majority of people, I have a lot. I have much more than I need.

(Only using the guilty mood because I love my mood theme and rarely see most of it, since I use the same four moods all the time.)

bork

Feb. 12th, 2009 10:42 pm
pauraque_bk: (Default)
My refrigerator is also broken.

Working overtime every day this week because of Valentine's Day, or Singles Awareness Day as one of my friends sadly but adorably calls it.

It's been rather cold lately (though of course "cold" is quite relative, pace [livejournal.com profile] _hannelore). Yesterday one of the homeless people who hangs out near my work came into the store and asked Boss if we sold candles. I watched this interaction very carefully because she has a thing against homeless people but this particular guy was certainly no threat (he sometimes comes in and asks me nicely to trade him bills for coins).

Anyway, she showed him the votive candles. He asked which was the cheapest and she told him. I was at the register, so I ended up ringing him up for a $2.50 scented candle, which he paid for and left. I thought for a second, should I give him a discount? Isn't that even more absurd, if I was going to do that shouldn't I just give him the candle for free? He's buying this vanilla scented votive candle presumably to warm his fucking hands, I can't imagine why else.

I try to feel lucky instead of guilty. Compared to the majority of people, I have a lot. I have much more than I need.

(Only using the guilty mood because I love my mood theme and rarely see most of it, since I use the same four moods all the time.)
pauraque_bk: (tas alien underwear bullies)
You know when my new computer gets here, it's going to take like 3 days to install WoW, between installing it, installing BC, and downloading and applying all the patches. The CDs for BC are sitting right here, but I'm not really sure where the original CDs are. That's something to work on.

I'm waiting for [livejournal.com profile] _hannelore to call and alert me that she has arrived in Oakland. The phone has rung twice and both times it was my boss. Exciting! And classy, calling people when they are officially on vacation.

My house is dirty. But it's less dirty than before.
pauraque_bk: (tas alien underwear bullies)
You know when my new computer gets here, it's going to take like 3 days to install WoW, between installing it, installing BC, and downloading and applying all the patches. The CDs for BC are sitting right here, but I'm not really sure where the original CDs are. That's something to work on.

I'm waiting for [livejournal.com profile] _hannelore to call and alert me that she has arrived in Oakland. The phone has rung twice and both times it was my boss. Exciting! And classy, calling people when they are officially on vacation.

My house is dirty. But it's less dirty than before.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
They are applying a gigantic patch to my game. I don't use the background downloader because it makes the game run too slow, so I'm downloading it in one giant chunk and it's taking a long time. I'm doing my laundry.

I decided I had enough money and bought a good computer. It isn't here yet, but I'm excited. 60 FPS, imagine!

[livejournal.com profile] _hannelore is going to be here tomorrow. I haven't seen her in person in over a year. I'm pretty excited about that too.

I need entertainment. [livejournal.com profile] woolf was doing that undying interview meme where people ask you 5 questions on any topic. I could also do this meme, if someone posts some questions! They can even be silly questions, just so I have something to do.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
They are applying a gigantic patch to my game. I don't use the background downloader because it makes the game run too slow, so I'm downloading it in one giant chunk and it's taking a long time. I'm doing my laundry.

I decided I had enough money and bought a good computer. It isn't here yet, but I'm excited. 60 FPS, imagine!

[livejournal.com profile] _hannelore is going to be here tomorrow. I haven't seen her in person in over a year. I'm pretty excited about that too.

I need entertainment. [livejournal.com profile] woolf was doing that undying interview meme where people ask you 5 questions on any topic. I could also do this meme, if someone posts some questions! They can even be silly questions, just so I have something to do.

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