Friday, April 27, 2012

Saying that it's your opinion does not get you a free pass.

I've noticed a trend in class debates. When someone is arguing a point, but someone else brings up a good counterargument, they'll retreat and say, "Yeah, well, that's my opinion" as a kind of defense. Generally this person is someone who has figured out what freedom of speech means, but not what "opinion" means, because they won't pull out this defense against a valid opinion; they'll use it to defend an argument. While everyone is entitled to their opinions, saying that you're right because it's your opinion and it cannot be wrong does not get you a free pass. If you use the "opinion clause" on things that aren't opinions, then your statement is still up for debate, and it can, in fact, be wrong. Quite wrong, actually.

For instance, the following is an opinion. "I don't like girls." It is a subjective statement about your personal feelings. 
The following is not an opinion: "Girls are dumber than boys." It is an objective statement about reality. It doesn't explicitly say how you feel about girls; it makes a testable claim about the real world, and thus is subject to scrutiny, and ultimately, a ruling on its accuracy. 

In conclusion: An opinion is a statement about how you feel about something. If your statement ends up saying something about anything other than you, it is not an opinion, and can be proved to be wrong.

Addendum: Another thing. Even when "it's my opinion" is used on something that is an opinion, it still doesn't mean that the opinion can't be examined! Though something subjective can't be "wrong", per se, it can still be misguided. Saying "it's my opinion" doesn't mean that everyone should just accept your feelings on something and not examine where they come from or why you feel that way. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Try walking a mile in my boots

Is it okay if I just interject as many boot-related jokes as I can? Great.

I have a pair of combat boots I acquired a year ago for far more than they were worth. They were gorgeous, very punk rock-looking pieces of complete crap. Though initially they looked really nice, it didn't take more than a few months of wear for the fake leather to peel, the soles to fall off, the treads to wear down by 0.25 centimeters, and the black shoelaces to mysteriously fade to red. Let's just say, these boots weren't made for walking.

I can't help it, though. I love them. I love them to pieces. They've still managed to look boot-iful and be relatively functional, even in their advanced stage of disrepair. I love them enough to invest an inordinate amount of time trying to save them from their inevitable destruction. I've re-glued the soles five times (in both the front and back) and colored in the peeled leather with sharpie. I've continued to wear them even after the glue from fixing the sole squirted up into the shoe and hardened into an uncomfortable lump directly under my heel. I love these boots.
I get that the feeling isn't mutual.

Recently, my boots have decided to play a new game with me. The zipper on the side of my left boot broke. This left a whole side of the boot flapping around, and my foot practically falling out of the side. I'm trying so hard to fix it, but it's a real pain in the boot-y. I've tied the laces about it, even wrapped a belt around it just to keep it together.

It didn't work. There was still an entire section on the side where the boot bulged out, exposing my socks. Not effective.
So instead of that, I sewed up the side, right where the zipper was.
This seems to be working for the moment, though I don't know how long it'll hold up. It's just normal thin thread, and one snapped thread could ruin it all. Furthermore, without a zipper, I have to lace it up the front, which is a pain in the boot.
Though it pains me deeply, I think it may be time to give these boots the boot. I guess I'm going to have to lace up my big-girl boots and put the body in the boot.

Oh, god! The jokes, they burn! Someone save me from myself before it's too late! Ahhhhhhh! Oh god! They're too much! It's too much!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

I pretend I can draw sometimes.

The concept for this drawing was stolen from Emily Carroll who is pretty darn awesome, if I do say. I am actually not a particularly prolific or talented artist, but I do try occasionally, with varying success.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

In Which Hipster Librarian and I Have a Conversation

At the library, I mostly hang out in a back corner and a).knit, b).read, or c).stare blandly into space. Due to my geographic isolation, I was surprised when I was actually approached by a young librarian with thick black-rimmed glasses, and proceeded to have a conversation. This wouldn't have been so strange in and of itself if not for the fact that he actually knew who Nietzsche was.

Hipster Librarian: Hey, is that a Nietzsche t-shirt?
Me: Um. Yes. It is.

HL: I didn't know they sold Nietzsche t-shirts.
Me: Yeah, I got it online. The internet's a crazy place.
HL: Have you read anything by Nietzsche?
Me: Erm, no, but I know some select quotes and the gist of his philosophy. I just liked the shirt because it's also a Nirvana reference.
HL: You should read some of his works.
Me: I've been meaning to...

Then he walked away, and I was left feeling slightly judged. I'm fully aware that Nietzsche is actually not one of the nicer philosophers - his brainchild was nihilism for hell's sake - but, you've got to admit, the guy is amusing. He was mostly crazy, was a fairly good writer, and had an excellent mustache. What's not to love? (Besides the fact that he was racist, sexist, and nihilistic. Whatever). Still, though, I probably should read some of his works. Otherwise I'll seem like that kid that wears a Nietzsche t-shirt just because of the Nirvana reference instead of his philosophies. And that's, like, so mainstream.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Conversations with Librarians

Septagenarian Librarian [to me]: I just had to say, have you ever thought of going into fashion design? Because I love your whole style and look. You should be a model.
Me: Oh, thank you! You know, I am attempting to make clothing...
SL: Huh!
Me: It' far, but I'm working on a dress.
SL: Well, that's neat! What grade are you in?
Me: I'm a senior.
SL: So, will you be going to college for clothing design?
Me: No, neurobiology, actually.
SL: Huh. 

This may be the best thing about being a dilettante. People find it terribly confusing. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Ah, Easter. I love holidays, even if they were made to celebrate men rising from the dead to become flying zombies, and before that pagan fertility festivals or whatnot. Who doesn't love to spend time with family, eat tasty brunch, and enjoy the crisp spring weather?
(I mean, sure, it all comes with the price of being stuck in a cramped white building for an hour, listening to mediocre songs and delusional babblings, but, hey! Brunch! Looking on the bright side, right?) 
This year, instead of traditional hot cross buns, we had Easter breakfast pizza and fruit salad, which really was a fine trade off, in my opinion. Also, oodles of chocolate poured into our house over night, so I should be contentedly munching on goodies for weeks to come. All in all, Easter is superb.

I must admit - something interesting. During the sermon today, the pastor was discussing Mary Magdalene and stated that she and the Mary from the Mary and Martha story were the same person. My biblical studies had suggested that they were disparate people. I suppose it could be different in the Gnostic bible, and I am well aware that the Bible is hardly the most authoritative historical source, but I must admit - I'm always a bit thrown when I am better versed in the Bible than a Christian. It's like, whoa. Isn't this your book? It's not my book - I'm a heretic, for hell's sake. Shouldn't you know this thing better than I do?
(Then and again... Reading the Bible... Rarely a good option for anyone wanting to stay faithful. There's some pretty crazy stuff in there.)

Anyway, enough talking. I hope you're all having a fabulous Easter. If you don't celebrate Easter, then have a happy Sunday and get out and enjoy the springtime. Go for a walk. Eat chocolate. Frolic through the sparse and slightly browned flowers. Enjoy yourself!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Status Bashing!

It's time for a super special new installment of ... Stupid Status Snarking! Basically, this is a game where I pretend to be a total jerk for my your amusement!

"4 year old - I love you mommy!! 10 year old - OK mom!! 16 year old - My mom is so annoying!! 18 year old - I'm leaving this house...... 25 year old - Mom you were right! ...... 30 year old - I wanna go to my mom's house! 50 years old - I don't wanna lose my mom.... :'( 70 years old - I would give up anything in this world to have my mom with me right now!! <3 <3 xoxo Put this as your status if you appreciate your mom.....A girl ignored it and 365 days later her mom passed away!"

Oh, my granny goodness! A girl ignored it and exactly one year later her mother died?! What a terrible girl, not demonstrating her appreciation for her maternal figure through the passing on of saccharine tripe! It must be the curse of the poorly written, sickeningly trite chain status! If you don't pass on this over-punctuated message, YOUR MOTHER WILL DIE. Better pass it along then! Better to annoy the crap out of all your friends than to risk vague, anecdotal threats from bored Facebook denizens. Thanks.

I also appreciate how it goes from silly stereotypes of pre-adults to fairly dark stuff about not wanting their mom to die and leave them all alone in this dark, cruel world. Someone's having existential pangs...

Let's see, what's next on the list of stupid things people put on Facebook?

"There is no proof that God exists, but there's no proof that he doesn't either."

Sometimes I get fed up with people on my news feed and delete them, but I always feel bad about deleting people for ideological reasons. I mean, I find this silly probability-ignoring agnosticism to be irritating, but I hate to be that jerk that deletes people just because they don't agree with them. 
So, instead, I just lambaste them on my blog, which they'll probably never look at anyway. Win-win!

*rubs hands together* So, do you think that just because you can't prove that something doesn't exist, you should pretend it does? It's one of the flaws of logic that you cannot disprove anything intangible objectively. Anything is technically possible. But just because it's possible, does that mean that we should pretend it is real? You can't prove that unicorns, fairies, or mermaids don't exist. Do you believe in unicorns just because you can't say definitively that they don't exist? Are you agnostic about unicorns
If so, that's silly. Unicorns don't exist. There is no reason to assume that unicorns exist, because there is no credible evidence for unicorns. Even though there is a teensy tiny little infinitesimal chance that unicorns exist, the probability of such an event is so small that it is useless to regard it as anything significant. Otherwise, you would have to regard all other events as equally possible, and that would be wildly inhibiting. What if two possibilities are contradictory? What then? Which is right? The way to determine that, would be, of course, by looking for evidence supporting one possibility over another, which is what rational people do anyway.

Oh, and comment of the day: "Faith is believing in something common sense says not to."

You'd think that statement would be a wake-up call. "Hm, faith is contrary to common sense. MAYBE I SHOULD RETHINK THIS." 
You know how they say that common sense isn't actually that common?