Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cultural Differences My Ass

When the first words you say upon meeting a new person are,

"Your German is really bad!"

you are a jackass.

I don't care if you are German.

I know Germans who would never say such a thing to me.

So quit using your country as an excuse to be such an asshole.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Time Suck

Ok so I guess I haven't been paying much attention, but apparently Sims 3 comes out next week.

I played Sims 1 & 2...I would say I spent a fair amount of time on them, but I think the part I liked most about the game was creating characters and decorating homes. I usually would scrap a family to make a new one before too long.

So that's why I'm thinking I might buy the new one because there are supposedly limitless possibilities for customization. So I can waste even more time choosing the colors of my couch cushions and socks.

Just not sure if I have the time to waste on another game when I have just become an officer in my kinship in LOTRO (nerd alert!).

Wow, I better soak up this lazy-ass lifestyle while I have the chance this summer. Because it's job-searching time for me this fall when I return to the U.S, assuming there are any jobs left, of course.

Is This Guy for Real?

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies blogged that he thinks people shouldn't pronounce Sotomayor's name correctly by putting the emphasis on the last syllable because it is unnatural for English speakers.
"...insisting on an unnatural pronunciation is something we shouldn’t be giving in to..."
Umm...I'm sorry, I didn't realize it was such a difficult task to say a person's name correctly, Mr. Kry....Kree... oh to hell with it, your name is too complicated for me. I can't be bothered.

What a bonehead.

via Think Progress

The Others

This news story is slightly old, but I was really horrified when I read it.

I got to thinking, would this soldier have commited such a crime when he was at home? Would he have raped and killed an American girl and her family and would fellow soldiers have helped him?

Maybe so.

But I get the feeling that both the war and religious differences are making it easier for soldiers to dehumanize these people.

They don't see them as fellow human beings, but as enemies & sinners who are beneath them.

I think that's one of the terrible things that both religion and war do to people.

On a much lighter note, I finallz got mz laptop back from being repaired (please don't ask me how much it cost, atleast it was cheaper than a new one), but have now become accustomed to using a German kezboard during the last week, and am now having trouble with switching mz Ys and Zs. Hmmph.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Um...there's some really creepy imagery associated with religion.

This picture was taken outside a church in Dresden, Germany.
Scary gargoyle babies.
Enough said.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Signs that the debate you are engaging in is futile:
  • Instead of answering any of your points, they attack you and your expertise/knowledge personally.
  • They deny saying things that they said, even when provided with quotes, which usually leads to...
  • They accuse you of quoting them out of context, even when the context does not change the meaning in any significant way.
  • They become condescending and tell you they feel sorry for you because you don't agree with them.
  • They continue to repeat an argument that you have already refuted.
  • They accuse you of taking things too seriously for continuing the debate, even as they are continuing it.
Just a few I have encountered recently. Anything to add?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Logic as a Flaw

Why is it that on tv shows or in movies when a character is logical and rational,this is usually seen as a flaw, something to overcome? They are usually depicted as cold and unfeeling, and the irrational people who live by their gut are the ones who teach them how to 'feel'.

A few examples come to mind: Temperance Brennan from tv show Bones, Dr. House from House M.D. and Spock from Star Trek.

With ideas like that constantly being shoved down our throats by popular entertainment, it's no wonder our country elected (and re-elected) a president that made decisions based on his gut feelings, and it's no surprise we seem to have a population of people who embrace irrational ideas in favor of using their brains.

Can you think of any instances in popular entertainment where logic and rational thinking were seen as virtues in a character? I mean, besides Scooby Doo.

Just curious.


So I went to see Illuminati (called Angels & Demons in the U.S.?) last night, mostly because it is rare when they play movies in English here and I missed going to the movies.

I have to say I had trouble seeing why some religious people would get so upset about this (you know, besides the fact that some of them just like to get upset over anything). I mean, this film is clearly a fictional work. And I don't even think that it portrayed religion in a bad light.

In fact, the message I think I got out of it was that science and religion could co-exist, but that science was naive and religion was slow to adapt. I think.

Truthfully, the only thing I enjoyed about this film was how hot Ewan McGregor looked in his robes.

Oh, and I also was drooling through the previews for Public Enemies, a film about John Dillinger starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale coming out this year. Yes, please!

Tonight I'm going to see Star Trek, and from what I hear, it should be a lot better than this film.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Health Care

Health care is another one of those things that I give a damn about.

I can't believe that seemingly intelligent people fall for this crap about socialized health care being bad. I'd like to send these people to any Western country besides ours, and show them just how 'horrible' it is. In fact, I think it would do a lot of Americans some good to actually leave the country and see that other cultures and ideas exist besides their own, and that they are not the center of the universe.

It's so terrible not having to worry that if I get sick or something bad happens to me, I wont be able to afford it! And this nonsense about having to wait forever? The waiting times in Germany to get health care are barely discernible from those in the U.S.

I have to think there is something just fundamentally cruel about people who want to deny health care to people who can't afford it. This whole mentality in the U.S. of 'sink or swim' and looking out for yourself while not giving a damn about others is so disgusting to me.

When I turned eighteen I was no longer eligible for my parents' health insurance and all throughout college, until I came to Germany, I was uninsured.

Any time I got sick, on top of not feeling well, I would be completely stressed out about not being able to afford it in addition to my school expenses.

This morning I received 'scary socialized medicine' in Germany. The typical German doctors' total disregard for modesty aside, I was quite pleased with the visit and to learn that I will receive a service here for 31€ that would probably cost 10x as much in the U.S.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Logging Off

I just read this article from CNN, New services promise online life after death.

It's talking about the fact that a growing number of people have various accounts online that will be unreachable after their death, such as domains, bank accounts, email accounts, online auctions, and even online multi-player games and social networking accounts.

There are now some services popping up that offer to reveal passwords and online account information to beneficiaries when you die, for a fee.

One concern is that these services will be prime targets for identity theft.

But if they find a way to do this securely, I can definitely see the appeal. I think our lives are only going to become further dependent on the internet as time goes on.


So I play this MMORPG called Lord of the Rings Online.

And sometimes the scenery in the game is just so beautiful that I have to stop and take some screen shots.

Moments later I was killed by a group of other players (this is a player vs. player region and I was playing my monster character). Uh, Turbine, could you make the game a little less beautiful so I don't get distracted and die again?

An Exercise in Futility Pt.2

So I posted this video clip on my Facebook profile about the National Day of Prayer. The headline chosen to display with it was 'Do we need a National Day of Prayer?'

Now I did not necessarily intend this as a question, because I already know that we do not. I just wanted to share the points made in the video with my friends.

A 'friend' (such a loose definition on Facebook, isn't it?), however, made the mistake of deciding he would answer the question (the poor bastard!) and then resort to condescension to tell me how sorry he felt for me that I don't support the National Day of Prayer.

So apparently if I can't win the argument with my rational debate, I can win it by outlasting their interest in continuing it.

An Exercise in Futility

So I spent a good deal of my life keeping my mouth shut because I was not very sure in my convictions and was also (and still am) very shy.

But lately I have felt the urge to tell people what I think more often, and perhaps this will get me into trouble soon.

I am no longer able to just let someone get away with some stupid passing remark or the spreading of ignorant nonsense. I find myself compelled to respond.

Now recently my friend made a remark on her Facebook status, which may have been more of a statement than a question, but I chose to answer her to the best of my knowledge.

However, soon, her mother-in-law decided to get involved by making what was, in my opinion, a stupid and vague comment. I was not in the mood to let this one alone, and apparently not any of her further stupid comments, either.

Ok, so I get really angry when I hear people talking about how "dangerous" vaccines are. This nonsense is not only stupid, but really harmful.When I discover that I am debating with people who do not seem to have much value for rationality or honest arguments, I tend to become a little more loose in my discussion techniques. So please, let me know where I slipped up. If I ever have a discussion with an intellectual I would be sure to be a lot more cautious.
At this point, I decided to back down and respect my friend's wishes to end the discussion. It's not like I was getting through to this woman anyways.

But wait....there's more.

Now Friend's Husband wants in on the action. Apparently coming in to rescue his poor mother's cause, he sends me this private message:

And here is my reply:

I am still waiting on a response.

I wont be holding my breath.

And also...what is up with this belief that both sides of an argument are valid? I support a person's right to believe whatever they like, but that does not mean that their opinion is necessarily valid or worth considering. This is a faulty assumption that I've seen a lot of people making (i.e. Teaching the Controversy).

"A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it". - David Stevens


So, I was thinking a bit about these torture photos and whether or not I think they should be released.

At first I wasn't sure what to think, because I do believe that the Abu Ghraib photos (rightly) angered many Muslims, and could have quite likely contributed to more of them resorting to violence as a way of expressing that anger.

I do believe that the release of the photos will increase bad feelings towards the US (if that's even possible!), and at first I could understand the concern that this would endanger soldiers' lives.

But then I read something on Think Progress that really hit home:
It’s not the pictures that recruits suicide bombers; it’s what the pictures depict.
The people responsible for authorizing and carrying out these despicable acts are the ones who should have considered the violent reaction if discovered. They are the ones responsible for endangering soldiers' lives, and revealing the truth about it will not change that fact.

If the US is responsible for these actions, then we deserve the bad opinion of the world for them.

Quit Your Apathy

While choosing a name for this blog, I looked up the definition of the word "apathy"

Lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal; indifference.
I suppose my intended use of the word was to describe a general tendency that I've seen in a lot of my peers to be resigned or uninterested as far as current events or topics of heated debate are concerned.

I used to be very apathetic, which I mostly attribute to my blindly accepting everything that my family, peers, and Sunday School teacher told me.

Once I started to form my own opinions, I became passionate about them. Before they were my own, I was quite indifferent.

The most interesting thing I found out about the word "apathy", however, is that in the first ages of the church, the Christians adopted the term to express a "contempt of earthly concerns", and it was considered to be a positive attribute.

No matter what side of the issue you are on, there is a reason for passion and interest. Like they say,

"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."

Growing Out of My Apathy

I spent roughly 20 years in apathy, of which I believe some of the first few can be excused. College expanded my horizons and I started to question things I was taught.

I began to blog about religion under the pseudonym "Amiable". If my family knew about my religious opinions (they may have their suspicions) they would probably blame my change of heart where religious matters are concerned on my university education, and they would be right. It was education that led me here, and I am puzzled as to why this would be considered a bad thing.

After a while I abandoned my blog about religion, as I eventually do many of my interests. I run kind of hot and cold that way.

My feelings about religion have not changed, but my interests in other things have expanded. I no longer want to only write, discuss, or think about one topic.

On a side note, I recently learned that only one space is required after a period, not two. I am working to amend this habit, although I can't understand why it was taught to me in the first place, as I never have used a typewriter.