Sunday, May 01, 2005

Taker... My Ass

Recently, Trillian, posted an article on her bog entitled Give and Take. In a nutshell it was her generalization that people typically fall into one of two categories: Givers and Takers. I read her post, and made my comment. I basically surmised that I was neither a giver nor a taker because I was too lazy to be either.

I was recently at a friend's (Eddie) house for dinner, with his wife, my wife, Trillian, and her husband Arthur. The discussion turned to Trillian's recent post, and my comment. Apparently, Eddie did not agree with my comment, in fact, he thinks I am the biggest taker he knows. Not only that, but Trillian, her husband, and Eddie's wife all concurred! I gotta say....... I don't see it.

I mean, maybe I do take advantage of a "loophole" here and there, and perhaps I walk a precarious ethical line on occasion, but in the grand scheme of things, I don't consider myself a taker. I mean, sure, I may not be sensitive to the world around me... in fact, I may not be sensitive at all..... but I resent the implication that these things make me a taker.

Now..... don't get me wrong... I'm not a giver either. I don't go out of my way to help the poor and unfortunate. You won't find me spending my free time reading to seniors in the retirement home on weekends. In fact, ironically, I think everyone who knows me would agree that there is one thing that I give without question. I am always willing to teach friends how to "manipulate the loopholes". Both Arthur and Eddie (two self-professing takers) have sat through conversations on DVD burning, newsgroups, satellite rigging, and XBOX modding. I give till it hurts!!!!

OKAY........ maybe I am a taker!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

You know... They outta....

Outlaw DVD players in Minivans

I can't help but watch while I'm driving on the highway behind one. By the time I can identify the movie that is playing on the 5" screen, I have to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision.

Keep the prices of all burgers at McDonald's at $1.69 every day

Sometimes I feel like a BigMac on Wednesday, or a McChicken on Monday.

Try NOT to align the seem of the Tim Horton's cup with the flip back lid thingie

What are the odds. I seem to get this all the time. It's like they do it on purpose just to piss me off.

Outlaw the 3 year expiry on a outdoors card that has 5 yearly validation sticker spots

I think some of you know what I mean. ( Eddie and Arthur )

Put an OPEN button on the remote for the Panasonic S97 DVD player

The remote has every other possible button imaginable, but you can't open the DVD tray without pressing the button on the physical unit.

Design a pair of men's underwear that doesn't disintegrate at the crotch

... or maybe just a pill that my wife could take to make her not care that I have a bunch of crotchless underwear.

Offer a discount on gasoline for those who car-pool to work

There should be a government funded incentive for those you choose to help the environment by driving to work with a colleague.

Stop studios from re-releasing new special edition DVD versions of your favourite film

How many times have you picked up a DVD and then seen a new special edition come out a few months later, only to find that a few months later a super extra extended special edition is available, and then the ultra uber extended special collectors edition is released with the 5 minutes of "never before seen footage". ARGHHHHHHHH!!!

I've ranted enough for one evening....

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

An Ethical Dilemma...

Many of the problems and principles of introductory ethics deal with runaway trolleys and fat men. Confused! For those who are unfamiliar with these problems, let me elaborate. Here are two scenarios where a bystander can act or not act in an ethical or unethical manner (you decide):

Basic Trolley Problem:
A runaway trolley is hurtling out of control down a track toward five innocent people. If left unchecked, it will continue on its path and kill the five innocent people. Between the trolley and the five victims, there is a switch. If you throw the switch, the trolley will be diverted onto another track and kill only one innocent person. The question is...... Is it ethical (morally permissible) to divert the trolley, saving the five and killing the one?

Fat Man Problem:
Same out of control trolley, same five innocent victims, but this time there is no switch. Instead there is a fat man standing on a bridge overlooking the track. The fat man's weight would be enough to stop the trolley from hitting the five. Is it morally permissible to push the fat man in front of the trolley, stopping it, and saving the five?

Most people would say that in example one (Basic Trolley Problem) it would be permissible, or even mandatory to pull the switch and divert the trolley, whereas it would be impermissible to save the five in the fat man example. Both problems involve sacrificing the life of one in order to save five. What's the difference? Discuss!

Monday, January 10, 2005

To infinity...

and beyond.

One of the topics that has always fascinated me has got be infinity. Both things that are infinity small (like my desire to achieve), and those that are infinitely large (like my ego). But seriously, let's examine a famous philosophical example of infinite smallness.... I give you, Zeno's paradox.

Zeno (circa 450 BC) is credited with the proof that you can never reach your destination, or if taken to an extreme, that all movement is impossible. The argument is as follows:

  • Zeno surmised that in order to reach a destination one would have to travel half of the distance first. One then would have to travel half of the remaining distance. Then half of that remaining distance, and so on, and so on. Because there will always be a half way point between the distance remaining and the goal, you can never reach the goal.
  • Again, taken to the extreme, it proves that motion itself is impossible. Before I can cover any distance, I must cover half of that distance, and before I can do that, I must cover half of half of that distance, and so on, so that in reality I can never move any distance at all, because doing so involves moving an infinite number of small intermediate distances first.

Wow... I need a moment to ponder my existence.

The coolest thing is that this paradox was not fully resolved mathematically until the mid 1800's. You gotta love the ancient Philosophers!!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

I wonder who invented the Whiteboard.....

was the blackboard not good enough?

Let's discuss:

Blackboard vs. Whiteboard (BB vs WB)

  • BB is black, WB is white (duh!!)
  • Vomitous sound made when running fingernails down BB, no such issue with WB (it squeaks)
  • BB is textured and dull (like my wit) , WB is smooth and shiny (like my ass)
  • BB chalk is messy and gets on clothes, WB markers are stinky and rub off on hands
  • Chalk is rarely stolen from BB shelf, WB markers never seem to be on the shelf when needed
  • Chalk lasts until it is gone (down to the nub), WB markers dry out quickly (unless they are stolen)
  • BBs are easily cleaned with water and a sponge , WBs are a pain in the ass to clean and require toxic solutions
  • Any chalk will work on a BB with little issue, use the wrong type of marker on a WB and feel my wrath (Sharpie = Death)
  • You can emphasize your point by banging your chalk on a BB, you can wreck the marker by doing the same on a WB
  • Expelled BB chalk can irritate computer technology, expelled WB marker smell can irritate nearby nostrils

I guess when it comes right down to it, the Blackboard seem to have more going for it.

One more thing: Have you ever seen an artistic person draw a well shaded picture on a blackboard (or sidewalk)? Chalk allows for colour overlap, shading, smudging, and all out artistic control. Whiteboards..... suck!

Oh... and most important.... without chalk... we wouldn't have Simon and the land of "chawk drawrings" (phonetic)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

If a tree fell in the forest.....

and there was no one there to hear it...... would the other trees laugh at it and call it names?

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Same old... Same old

I was conversing with my driving partner (fellow commuter) today about how alternative music used to be just that..... Alternative. Now that the "alternative" scene is popular, the alternative is no longer alternative. Like the trends before it, the market is being saturated with so many bands with the same sound and same melodies.

On the drive home, we heard a series of "uninterrupted commercial free new rock", and 3 of the 4 songs sounded almost identical. Now, I understand the concept of making music that sells, and if a band has a hit song on a previous album, why not try to duplicate it on your next album, by churning out the same old melodic chords, bridge, melody, and chorus.

Like television, if you have something that sells, duplicate and ram it down the throats of the consumer. Don't we all watch the 3 C.S.I's and the 3 Law and Orders.

If you're interested, check out the link below, it demonstrates musically exactly what I'm talking about. Thanks to Eric for the link.