Jan. 18th, 2011 01:42 pm
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I just encountered a rant which triggered an urge to rant myself. the subject: "give till it hurts."

I have never understood the sentiment behind that phrase.

Even in it's most positive usage, I can't help but think that it is counter productive. If followed regularly, it will result in one of two things; an unwillingness to continue to give at that level among those of lesser dedication and an inability to continue to give at that level among those who initially are willing to dig deeper at the start. I suppose that "Give until just before it hurts," or "Give until you experience discomfort," just don't have the same snap to them.

And the reason that this set me off, is that everyone that I've ever encountered who used that phrase has had their own ideas about what sort of "luxuries" you should be willing to give up to facilitate your giving. And if your priorities differ from theirs, well you are just being selfish even if you are giving more than they would expect in a different area.

And some of the people using the phrase are just hypocrites. The rant that got me going, which I read on the internet, listed internet access as one of the things people don't really need and should be willing to go without in order to help the needy. It would be nice to believe that it was his/her last post before taking his/her own advice, but I wouldn't bet on it.


Dec. 9th, 2010 12:09 am
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This won't make sense to some people, but I found it amusing:


Dec. 8th, 2010 11:58 am
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As might be expected, in the wake of that story of the discovery of Arsenic based life some doubts about the methodology are surfacing. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.


Nov. 17th, 2010 02:31 pm
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I should have known better.

I actually did know better, but thought I might be wrong.

I make it a general rule to avoid books where one of the cover blurbs says "[book name] is unlike any novel you have ever read." and I can immediately think of at least two refutations of the statement. This time, however, I had enjoyed other works by the author, and I know authors don't get to control what goes on the cover, so I decided to give it a shot anyway. *sigh* again.

I'm going to keep trying, maybe the author will find the voice I remember from his other works a little further in, but it's not looking too good. I should have followed my rule, I made it for a reason. When I find that statement to be so immediately contradicted by my experience, the uniqueness is usually that it is uniquely bad.
zengar: (Default)
Terry Pratchett, one of the better satirists of our age, pointed out way back in his book the color of magic published in 1983 that rulers have a love/hate relationship with tourists. Not because of anything in particular they might do or say or see, but because they are by definition something that is out of place. I'm sure that these rules weren't intended to reduce the amount of people flying, but I'm sure that certain parties involved wouldn't be heartbroken if air travel was reduced to a known subset (business travelers) with easily identifiable origins, destinations, and durations of stay. No more of this "We're going to Hawaii for two weeks and will be somewhere on the islands."

I'm not suggesting any sort of conspiracy theory, just a lot of individuals who see their interests being served and side effects they can live with, and to hell with anyone else.
zengar: (Default)
I may or may not end up using this journal. I have never posted anything over on my Live journal account that would cause me concern as a result of the current kerfuffle. However, this is the second such major shake up that I've noticed, so I figured I ought to get a fall back position set up, and my entries copied over.
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Don't watch this video (a commercial from the National Republican Trust) if you don't want to raise your blood pressure. I flagged it as promoting hatred towards a religion, but since it was posted on July 2, I assume I'm not the first to do so and it's still there.
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I will actually afford some respect to anti-"ground zero mosque" protesters if they also protest against this guy. Admittedly, not much respect unless they can come up with equal evidence that the Islamic community center has that much hate behind it, but still more respect than I give them now.
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Those who don't remember the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them.
(via [livejournal.com profile] cavalorn and [livejournal.com profile] ed_dirt)


Jul. 28th, 2010 04:43 pm
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Why couldn't THIS SHOW have happened while I was living less than a mile away? Yeah, I know, the bands involved didn't yet have the renown necessary for such touring at that time, but still....

heh :)

May. 21st, 2010 11:44 am
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In case you didn't notice, Google's logo today is a FUNCTIONAL game of Pac-Man.
zengar: (Default)
And felt the need to share it. It seems that one of the people talking used to work for (or possibly was a partner in) a company around here. This company was bought up by a smart an savvy con-artist who them proceeded to be very good for the company . . . for a year or so. It seems that this, hmm I cant' really call him a scammer - well, scum I guess, was making sweatheart deals with each of the employees. While none of the deals was technically illegal, (although some were reportedly rather shady) and none of them taken individually would have done much harm, in the end a formerly profitable company was bankrupt. The employees were left with, to pick a number off the top of my head, $100,000 and no job while the con-artist got $100,000 TIMES THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES and the freedom to go looking for another mark.

Sounds an awful lot like what happened in the banking crises, doesn't it? As many people have said before, it's easier to cheat a dishonest man than an honest one.
zengar: (Default)
I've never understood main characters whose primary reaction to adventure is denial. Reluctance? Certainly. Outright rejection and attempts to run away? Understandable. But pure denial?

I ant to think that the reaction of the majority of people, should their workplace be destroyed (rather thoroughly, might I add) by magic, would be less "Magic doesn't exist!" and more "My workplace just got destroyed!" It doesn't take belief in magic to believe in danger. Further, I would expect the majority of teens, when actually convinced that magic is real, would react in a manner other than running from the presence of magic wielders who have saved your life in the hopes of reaching parents that 1) don't know anything about magic, 2) are past several KNOWN dangers, and 3) are living at an archeological dig several states away and not expecting anyone much less their children.

I'm on page 200 of a 400 page book (part of a series so I'm very much afraid that NOTHING will get resolved within these covers) and the alleged "main characters" have just take their first proactive step. And unlike all the reactive ones that led them here, this choice has virtually no positive outcomes that I can come up with. They know that there are either a bunch of warriors and a bunch of large animals between them and the car or a bunch of shapeshifters there. they know that the car has been damaged enough by an earlier attack that it would almost certainly be pulled over by the first patrolman to see it. They know that "the enemy" knows that this car is related to his target so even if the main characters might escape the enemy's notice, the car certainly wouldn't. And there's been no indication that they would n=know how to find their parents' digsite even if they managed to find the general area. For that matter, I'm not even sure they have the wherewithal to buy gas for that SUV on their own.

Yes, I know. Not thinking things through is a hallmark of the teenage years. But there's a difference between bad planning and doing something blatantly stupid in order to move the plot forward for a lazy author. If they were REALLY this impulsive they would have been more proactive long before now.
zengar: (Default)
From [livejournal.com profile] theweaselking, with an assist to [livejournal.com profile] silmaril for the title:

SisyphusCat regrets past decisions.
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Today is May 6th. Why is the weather forecast offering the possibility of snow Saturday night? I'm getting really tired of the temperature yo-yoing like this.
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By way of [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid

Lady GaGa and Beyonce's Telephone, combined with Metallica's Enter Sandman. I would not have thought that those two would work so well together.

It's more Safe for Work than the original video was, but... )
zengar: (Default)
Lets say that someone sees something they take issue with on page two out of ten of a forum thread, or comment three out of twenty on a article. Should they A) read further to see if it has already been answered? Or B) immediately post their response and end up looking like an idiot?

I encountered one case today where one person posted five times in a row while getting caught up on a thread and their last post was along the lines of "Oh, I see that this has already been dealt with. Please disregard my preceding angry comments." Of course, this sort of thing is just compounded in situations like this one where there is a slightly misleading headline and (apparently) a lot of people who can't be bothered to actually read the article.

Only tangentially related: that article shows how primitive and prevalent web-spiders actually are, when improving the handling of 404 errors results in "We dropped our outgoing bandwidth by about 66% and our load average on our web server cluster by about 50% after implementing that change"


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