Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

Archive for November, 2009

Guess what song this is!

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 30, 2009

If one were to express one’s feelings about the quality, shape, and – to be blunt – size of the area of anatomy belonging to those of the fairer sex, an area that I will forthwith call to question, and if that aforementioned “one” were indeed myself, then I would have to hastily bring it to any curious party’s attention that this desired area of discussion, the hindquarters to speak it quickly, could – and yes should – be likened closer to a giraffe than a lap dog, closer to a behemoth than a deer tick. On this matter, no utterance of falsehood shall ever pass my lips.

The division headings were added at a much later date by unknown persons collecting the disparate texts into one. Most likely, this wasn’t the first one of its kind written. We keep the headers here for separation of sections and unity of the pieces together.
If you call yourself my brethren, then, my kin, you as well as I realize that it your duty as honest gentlemen to come forth and pledge your oath on this wise; furthermore, recognizing that should a kind woman bearing this excess of flesh traverse your threshold (all the more so if the waistline is so tiny as to be out of proportion to the subject matter of this parley), and if it should by chance happen that your eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks – indeed, any speck that may lie between pate and neck – should come near the circular orb, then, my mother’s sons, you recognize that the blood in your veins would course in such a way as to allow for the procreative acts to be carried out in any right time as you see fit, for your manhood would be as a farmer’s crop rising to meet the brightness and roundness of the orange sun.

Give up? The answer!

Posted in Humor | 1 Comment »

It seems that atheists are neither liberal nor conservative.

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 29, 2009

This study asked groups of liberals and conservatives what they fear the world would be like without God. According to the study:
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Posted in Atheism and Religion, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Bill White for Texas?

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 28, 2009

A friend asked me to join a Facebook group supporting Bill White for Texas governor (yes, I know, I live in Texas). Before I make such an important decision, though, I want to make sure I can support him. His page on issues is rather incomplete, but I’ll do what I can. The following is Bill White’s plan, and what I think.
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Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

A Commonly Accepted Flaw in Consequentialism, and Why It’s Wrong

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 25, 2009

Consequentialism is the moral philosophy that morality should be judged solely based on consequences. One widely observed flaw in this philosophy is that a person’s intentions do not matter; as long as there is a generally good outcome, a person with evil intentions is considered in the right. And someone with good intentions who causes a bad outcome is in the wrong. Most people see this as counter-intuitive. However, even under Consequentialism, it is not necessarily true.
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Posted in Ethics | 4 Comments »

More Teaching Win

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 25, 2009

Deception is very much win.

Posted in Education | 1 Comment »

Why does Obama suck? A new insight.

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 22, 2009

A few days ago, I wrote about why Obama sucks. I was watching a movie yesterday, and I heard a quote which seems very relevant. I can’t seem to find the quote, so I will paraphrase. The quote is from a Nazi who is considering peace negotiations with Eisenhower: “I wonder if I should give him a Nazi salute or shake his hand.”

I think that this quote is very relevant to the whole issue of Obama bowing to foreign dignitaries. If you were Eisenhower, and a man who you were going to negotiate with gave you a Nazi salute, how would you react? Would you be very interested in continuing friendly negotiations? I doubt it. Sometimes your gesture of greeting is very important in establishing friendly relations. Sometimes an acceptance of foreign greeting style is a sign of willingness to cooperate, rather than a sign of weakness.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

Tired of the PC/Mac Squabbling

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 20, 2009

Why all this pointless squabbling between whether a PC or a Mac is better? I personally use a Mac, and I happen to like Macs a lot better, but I can understand that some people prefer PCs, and that’s totally fine with me. What really aggravates me, though, is when people make really stupid excuses as to why their side is better than the other. For example, the claim that Macs only have one button. This is only true on laptops; besides, laptop mousepads are terrible anyway. I much prefer to use an external mouse. And anyway, you can right-click by holding down ctrl, which is really not that hard. What is really annoying about this sort of claim is that it really doesn’t matter, and everyone knows it. It’s really just an excuse as to why your faction is better than the other faction. If you’re looking for real evidence of superiority, try bringing up the price of a Mac. They simply cost too much. And you Mac people, don’t bring up the fact that PCs have a somewhat uglier interface. Really, are you using a computer because you want it to look pretty? I personally have the internet open about 90% of the time when I’m on the computer, so I can’t even see the desktop.
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Posted in Computer Science, Rant | 1 Comment »

Why does Obama suck?

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 19, 2009

That’s what this article might as well be called. It’s from a site called “Suppressed News”, which should really be called “The media reports (mostly) unbiased news and I don’t like that so I put a huge bias into the news and then publish it here and call it suppressed so people feel sorry for me and read it.” But that title is too long to fit on one line.

There he goes again. The president, when he met the emperor and empress of Japan in Tokyo on Saturday gave the typical deep bow expected from subjects not peers.

According to about.com, the definitive source on Japanese etiquette, a deep bow is an appropriate sign of respect. And according to the infallible Guardian, Obama was in the right.

You would think the president would have learned his lesson when he caught such wrath for “bowing” to the King of Saudi Arabia earlier this year.

What this tells me is that he does what he and his administration think best, not just what angry and uninformed pseudo-politicians* want him to do.

American presidents do not bow to anyone. They do not bow to heads of state, monarchs, potentates, popes or any other mere mortal.

Why the hell not? The thing about foreign policy is that you have to do this little thing called “cooperate“. And that involves doing something called “compromising“. When you are completely unwilling to compromise (as some of these blatantly nationalistic pseudo-politicians* seem to be), you can only get so far. America may be the best nation in the world (well, I don’t really believe that, but let’s just say it’s true), but that doesn’t mean that we can just do whatever we want.

When President Obama bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia earlier this year the White House rushed to spin it away. They claimed that it was not a “bow” at all. The White House stated that the president was “stooping” to look the feeble king in the eye while shaking hands. Well, you can fool some of the people some of the time. The pictures and the video said it all. — Obama bowed to the Saudi king.

Yeah, how terrible it is that we have a compromising president who cares more about making peace with foreign nations than about looking good. Seriously, get over it. Your president is making an attempt to solidify relations with powerful countries. If you were in charge of foreign policy, we’d probably be in the midst of nuclear war, all because you were unwilling to take the risk of maybe looking silly.

The White House’s take on the president’s latest “bow-movement” is that, while it was a bow, it was done pursuant to protocol. That is an outright lie. There is no such “protocol” for a president of the United States to bow to anyone for any reason.

I’m starting to think that this article might be a joke.

I have been to Japan numerous times with a vice president and president of the United States and never once did they bow to the emperor and nor were they told to do so.

And so if Obama does anything different, it must be terrible, right? Wrong. Obama is greatly different from Bush (the president being referred to by the author) in his foreign policy. He has much less of a “you have to do what we want, because we’re America” attitude. Obama may be moving pretty slowly right now in a lot of areas, but it can be said that his foreign policy is exceptional.

Words and deeds are ways in which foreign governments size up their friends and their enemies. Obama’s silent bow is yet another way of apologizing for America’s misperceived arrogance and superiority. Our president has found yet another way to pander and apologize without ever uttering a single word.

Is an apology really so terrible? Face it: America has not exactly been very nice to some other countries out there in the world. Maybe an apology is due. But if an apology is really the worst thing that you think is going to happen, then I don’t see what you’re all in a fuss about.

America has nothing to apologize for. We are the most generous, compassionate nation on the planet.

I just groaned aloud. Is this really the sort of person I’m dealing with? Go to Vietnam forty years ago. Ask some Vietnamese if they think we are generous and compassionate. Ask some Iraqis if we are generous and compassionate. Hell, ask the British. Get past your stupid nationalism and try actually reading some history.

We have crossed oceans to free Continents from brutal dictators.

Yeah, that’s totally why we entered Iraq (the most recent “brutal dictator”). It wasn’t because they had WMDs and were a threat to us. It wasn’t because they supposedly had a link to Al Qaeda. It wasn’t because we had previously been at war with Hussein and the administration may have had some bitter feelings. It wasn’t because we wanted the oil under their soil. No. It was because we wanted to free the Iraqi people. Because we are just that nice.

When we have fought on foreign soil we never did it to stake a claim to more land for our country. We fought for principle.

The principle of getting as much power as possible, so that we can fight off any enemy that even thinks about trying to attack us. That might be why we spend almost as much money on military than the rest of the world combined, even though we only make up 0.7% of the total expenditure on foreign aid. Our principle is not foreign aid, it is getting and keeping as much power as possible.

When the president bows to heads of state, various representatives of foreign governments or any other “leader” he sends a message that America is weak and subservient.

And you just proved my point. Wow.

Either President Obama does not understand or he does not appreciate what exactly he represents by these wrongful misplaced gestures of “respect.” Or maybe he does and he simply does not care.

Or maybe he fully understands what he is doing — he is the President after all, and has plenty of educational resources about this sort of thing — and does what his administration thinks is best for healthy foreign relations.

America at this time in world history is a great power that commands respect. We are the last best hope for a more peaceful and democratic world.

This sounds like something straight out of one of the Star Wars prequels. Or maybe from one of Hitler’s speeches. As Colin Mochrie would say, this is crap.

Our leaders do not bow out of arrogance — we do not bow because as a free and democratic nation we do not dip our flag or bow our head to any other for any reason.

At this point, I’m only quoting this stuff so my readers can laugh at it.

The fact that a president of the United States does not appreciate this most basic of all protocols is very troubling. It reminds me of his initial refusal to wear a flag pin as a candidate for president and his unwillingness to put his hand over his heart during the playing of the national anthem.

Why is he so ashamed of the country he now leads?

Because he sometimes apologizes and even *gasp* shows respect, that doesn’t mean he’s ashamed.

Bradley A. Blakeman is a professor of Public Policy and Politics at Georgetown University. He served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001- 04.

Hmm. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Probably not, because I don’t know what I’m thinking. But now you know: Professor Bradley A. Blakeman is a complete nutjob and should be avoided at all costs.

*I don’t exactly know what this word means, but it sure is fun to use.

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

Everyone needs to go buy this right now.

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 18, 2009

Best. Video game. EVAR!

Posted in Creationism, Gaming, Humor | 3 Comments »

Insight

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 17, 2009

After wasting an hour reading Abstruse Goose, I have come to the conclusion that no webcomic is worth reading unless you have to look something up at least once every twenty strips.

Posted in Humor | Leave a Comment »

 
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