Category Archives: philosophy

Government

Am I weird in hoping that we create a government where everyone’s interests are represented…that way they can argue about the relative importance of all sorts of big issues so I don’t have to?  Vote for who you think will represent you best and all that…I’d rather not trick or convince people to my side.  World would be a dull place if we were all of the same mind.

Then again, having other people represent my will by proxy is a bit strange for someone on the control freak end of things like me…

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Significant Moments

And the world starts turning again…Prompted by realisation that I’ve been getting “significant advances in dance technique” recently – notably,  running into the picture of my first hardcore social dip. Canada Day, 2010, to Dal Richards. When you suddenly realise – I am no longer the same person I was yesterday. (And crazily enough – there is photographic evidence.)

And the crazy thing is, of course, when you do it, it’s as if you’ve been doing it all your life. I remember afterwards going “Was that alright? Did I do it right? That was my first time!” and the follow telling me “That was awesome!”.

It is one thing to wish for change.  It is another for it to actually happen.  Like today – plan was to work non-stop.  It’s now 11pm…past time to seriously crack down and do things. I seem to be solidly in relaxed mostly non-working holiday mode.

One of the distracting otherthings that did happen was putting this blog into a bit more order – I’m going to try to organise things a little bit better, just so I don’t have to plow through it’s entirety if I just want to hunt up an old post about a particular topic.

But while doing so, it was interesting to see exactly how impactful dancing has been, recently.  Pre-2010, dance posts were pretty rare…although I surprised myself in discovering that I did attend the Vancouver Lindy Exchange, despite having no real recollection of it anymore. Did I dance ’till morning (highly unlikely).  Did I even go on multiple days?  I think I probably only went to the Saturday night dance…

Flash forward to a resolution early 2010 to do something with this dancing thing.  I’m assuming this is effectively my first midlife crisis.  I’m glad I ended up doing something useful with it though! What’s interesting is corresponding the blog posts with pictures – and how so many recent pictures now have me dancing – as unsurprisingly that’s where the bulk of my social time ends up.

Now, weirdly enough, I contemplate the possibility of competing – purely amateur rank, but now seriously wanting to look decent while looking like I’m having the time of my life – while having the time of my life! Passing the bar to make the advanced class at Camp Jitterbug doesn’t seem quite like a crazy dream anymore…

When to give up…

Never give up, never surrender right?  One of my favorite anime bloggers (Star Crossed) is picking up Seikai no Monshou (“Crest of the Stars” – maybe that ought to be rather “Star Emblem”).  Actually,  was super excited for a moment when I thought that a new installment in the series was coming out – still holding out hope for the next chapter.

Still,  thinking again of the first episode,  when the president of the planet surrenders against an interstellar armada – should you fight to the bitter end when you know you’re beat?  Not only that,  but before even trying?  After all,  isn’t it better to end it all without bloodshed?  Sure,  the conquering Abh have a more feudal-style class system going with lords and royalty,  but if all it took was to have a hereditary governor for them to leave the planet alone.  And you could even have the governor be someone sympathetic … or even from the planet itself … like the president …

And yet,  surrendering at that juncture labelled the president to those terms with words like “traitorous scum” … you can imagine how popular that made him (hint: the key word is “executed”). I guess that’s why martyrs probably look like foolish idiots at the time,  and it’s only in the 20/20 vision of hindsight that we recognize their true importance.

But the story isn’t about the president,  but rather his son – completely blameless,  but suddenly becoming the hereditary “lord-prince” of a planet that really wasn’t all that keen on having a lord-prince,  and his life in a completely different culture.  All this is barely scratching at the episode 1 – wait till we run into the royalty. Good stuff.

Yeah, looking back it seems that I was intrigued by this again a year ago …notsalgia still going strong.  Maybe I’ll try hunting up the novels – seems Tokyopop is translating the original novels!

Edit:  It seems there’s a (partial?) fan translation of the fourth novel (latest non-animated installment) by Baka-Tsuki.

Cartoon Morality

Realised that now that I’ve had a minute to take a breather,  that I want to find a new action-anime.  It’s been a little while since I’ve taken a look at the available things to watch,  but I usually figure there’s some guilty-pleasure anime out there that has thrill-a-minute action combined with conscience-soothing minor flakes of plot.   For the last little while,  it’s been Code Geass,  but with the carnage-filled cliff-hanger not-quite-ending that won’t be resolved until the final two episodes not airing till summer,  there’s now a gap to be filled.

Code Geass has definitely scratched the morality itch — I’ve had plenty of inner turmoil about the value of chaotic revolution versus careful evolution,  ends-justifying-means,  or not?   Handy that the show has a choose-your-own-hero aspect,  although “Lelouch of the
Revolution”  subtitle is a not-so-subtle hint as to who gets most of the focus.  I know that the corresponding mangas also include one called “Suzaku of the Counterattack”,  and part of me is thinking that might be a likely name for Season 2.  The other part of me wants the big finale right away!  I’ve reconciled my support for both by believing that everyone needs to choose their personal poison — usually,  it’s going to an anguishing couple notches beyond what you’d prefer,  but real life isn’t usually concerned about the easy path.  And, of course,  be ready for those who don’t see the world your way.  You can’t be everyone’s hero,  and you’re bound to be someone’s enemy.

Black Lagoon also had the fun with guns aspect — no giant robots,  but you can’t win them all — with a little philosophy thrown in to think about the role of mercs and other agents of “necessary violence” and their role in society.  I’m resolved on this point in believing that in this age, agents of violence are created by a society,  and as usual for anything we humans imagine up,  we both love and fear its power.

So in some sense,  I’m a firm believer that we’re all a victim of circumstances beyond our control.  Nature or nurture often turns out to be the same — usually, limited choices here. And I’m a big fan of taking responsibility for the actions anyways.   But because of all this,  I’m ultimately of the forgive the mistakes,  because I’m so far from being “free of sin” that it would be ridiculous for me to throw the first stone.  Or any stone,  for that matter.  Stones hurt, after all,  so be careful not to dish out what you can’t take in return.

Hacking LaTeX Philosophy

Ah…LaTeX documents are usually a thing of beauty.  After getting strange results in a standard word processor (i.e. Word), I realised hacking LaTeX to fit a document inside a page limit is like wrestling with your conscience – how far are you willing to compromise yourself to get the job done?

Then again, that’s probably giving LaTeX a bit more credit than it really deserves — sometimes,  the program really acts like a headstrong eccentric fashion designer.  “Placement Hints” usually equates to “Completely Ignored” — success in that area is probably more due to accidental coinciding philosophy rather than any particular flexibility on LaTeX’s part.

And OpenOffice?  Memories of the gargantuan mecha-godzilla beast, crushing processor and memory limits alike, usually get me to steer clear.