lunadelcorvo: (DAO Alistair Steamy Bits)
I don't know where to start. For one thing, I've been sick as all get-out. Blech! Head feels like concrete, gunk in my throat and chest, coughing like a demented seal - I think I'm finally starting to shake whatever bug it is, but I'm exhausted.

My classes (taking) are meh. Only they are actually kind of meh with a vengeance. No really, something can, in fact, be aggressively meh, trust me. On the other hand, the ones I"m teaching are going great. I even got nominated for a faculty favorite award by a sorority on campus... o_O Never heard of it before, but it's kinda awesome!

Getting ready to buy a new iMac - w00t! So I'm combing over files and junk accumulated on my HD. I am a packrat! But cleaning house feels kinda nice, even if it'sonly the digital variety; I've been too sick to do the real kind, and I"m not looking forward to getting caught up once I fell better. And how much does that suck, anyway? "Feeling better? Great, here's the mop!" *sigh*

In game world I may be late to the party (seems I usually am, sadly) but I am so very deeply in love with Dragon Age:Origins. This game - if you remember my squeeing over Neverwinter Nights 2, this is much the same (same devs, even) but times a thousand! The depth and complexity of the plot decisions and the characters - I find it truly impressive. I just adore it. The world, the people - just wow. It is similar, I understand, to the connection a lot of people feel for the Mass Effect series (also same devs). I have not played that, because I'm kind of a Sword & Sorcery gal, but I might have to check it out.

What is bugging me is that the hubby totally does not get it. At all. To him, video games are a big waste of time and energy. If I were to try to explain to him how difficult it is to choose which contender to put on the dwarven throne, or told him that I really, truly cried when my character's parents died, he'd say that was the stupidest thing he'd ever heard. If I showed him that hundreds, thousands of people who felt similarly, or that spoke of how profoundly that game affected them, he'd say they were all losers who needed to get a life. And he wonders why I get defensive about my games?! Alas.

OK, wasn't trying to make this the game-angst post, so I'll leave it there for now....

(And yes, OK, I am very much smitten with Alistair, what does that have to do with anything? You know me and those paladin/templar/warrior types....)
lunadelcorvo: (Stupidity brain hurts)
Just got into a discussion over on [ profile] challenging_god, which soon went well beyond the original question and into silliness. Why? Because it soon became apparent that the other person (who was only to happy to pour on the condescension) simply didn't have a clue what she was talking about. I don't mean fine points of doctrine, or history or anything like that. This is the kind of 'didn't have a clue' where you discover after a few exchanges that the other person is simply operating on deeply and critically flawed premises.

And she didn't even seem to be arguing the religious side of things. Or rather than the usual fundie dogma, she had some odd ideas of religion, which she kept trying to interject into a discussion of a specific question, and then wondering why I said she kept changing definitions. But in this case it was the idea of logical inconsistency.

She could not wrap her head around the notion of logical inconsistency. Her idea of 'omnipotent' means insisting that an omnipotent being could, for example, make a square circle, or make 2 + 2 = 5. Hello? No, sorry - logical inconsistency! Come on, Aquinas put this to bed in the 12th century, folks! I remember my Aquinas professor getting SO frustrated with someone in that class who tried the same thing. He finally kicked him out for the day, telling him he was insulting not only him (the professor) but Aquinas and God himself by insisting on such a ludicrous position.

At least that fellow was trying to argue out of pure, dogged faith. This idiot was trying to say that since God created physics, he could flout its conventions. For one thing, since when does math depend upon physics? I couldn't get her to grasp that numbers are not physical things, that there are constructs, abstracts. Any way I presented it she kept insisting that logical consistency is some human construction, as though if there hadn't been humans, there would be no numbers. Well, not by the names we use, but there would be multiples of things, and then there would be numbers. And then 2 of a thing and 2 more of a thing STILL can't be 5 of a thing. And no being, no matter how powerful, could make a square circle.

This sort of thing always stops me in my tracks. OK, I'm an education junkie, I admit it. But it always amazes me how many people just don't have a grasp on basic logical principles. 'A' and 'not-A' are mutually exclusive. Basic, right? Well, not out there in the world, apparently. How is it that otherwise smart, capable people can miss this stuff? I mean, she wasn't dumb, just tragically ignorant of certain key concepts. I say tragically because her ignorance extended to her smug and unwavering certainty that there is nothing else out there that she might not get.

If rampant ignorance is growing (and it seems to be!) where did this stubborn pride in ignorance come from? Where did people who don't know how logic (or math, or whatever it may be) works get this idea that somehow they are superior in their understanding, despite essentially having none? Is this part of the cult of mediocrity, that thinks 'elite' is a pejorative, and ignorance is noble? Is it just the result of a deeply deficient education system? Are people just too damned busy getting business degrees to bother learning anything about how to, I don't know, think?

What will this mean over time? Will we, as a species, lose all that we gained in terms of thought and reason? OK, over dramatic, perhaps, but still. What happens when we have our machines to think for us, and we don't have to learn to use logic. (I wonder the same thing when I see kids told to use calculators instead of having to learn how to do basic math.) What if our machines fail? What if we can't remember how to think for ourselves? What if our leaders cannot think? (We saw how well that worked for 8 years!)

The discussion I had today is not a surprise (sadly). It is sort of depressing, though, to be reminded how ignorant people can be, and how stubbornly they can defend that ignorance.
lunadelcorvo: (Grrrrr!)
Welcome to the joy of theory. Here is a sample of why I don't like theory.

"Unlike previous historical criticism, which limited itself to simply demonstrating how a work was reflective of its time, New Historicism evaluates how the work is influenced by the time in which it was produced."

Think about that for a minute. Go back, and read it again. Do you see? So you see why I am going frakkin' nuts!!!!! Augh!

And, still no refrigerator. *headdesk*
lunadelcorvo: (Remain calm! I'm a Historian)
OK, fair warning: this is going to be long, rambling, and likely really nerdish. You've been warned.

I have been in this theory class for half a semester now (egads! Half a semester - Ack! But I digress...) and I find that I have gone from enthused, to intimidated, to confused, to exasperated. I have two gripes here, and while this will make me few friends among Humanities folks, I know at least one prof who seems to agree with me. (And, no, it's not the one I am married to!)

So here goes. )

(Edited with cut, because it got even longer than I expected!)

(Edited again to add This Article, which at least brings up much of what I am saying here... So I'm not alone in my frustration! Good to know!)



Things I need to remember:
• Asking for help is not, as it turns out, fatal.
• Laughing is easier than pulling your hair out, and doesn't have the unfortunate side effect of making you look like a plague victim.
• Even the biggest tasks can be defeated if taken a bit at a time.
• I can write a paper the night before it's due, but the results are not all they could be.
• Be thorough, but focused.
• Trust yourself.
• Honesty, always.

Historians are the Cassandras of the Humanities



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