Friday, June 22, 2007


Zack Parsons knows nothing about Miami.

It's not surprising - Miami is a tourist destination. The superficial impression of the city one might get from a cursory visit must surely be far different from the feel a months-long resident has. Hate, resentment, and disgust are among the elements of that feel, if you were wondering.

Miami is not full of old people. That's northern Florida.

Miami sucks.

South Beach is a tiny, relatively insignificant part of Miami, which itself is just one city in Florida, which is just one state in the US, and, well, you see where this is going. Club life does not dominate Miami as much as, well, poverty.

Miami really sucks.

In other news, I think I could pass the doctoral comps in philosophy at Villanova University right now. This does not mean they are easy, just that I have somehow, accidentally, read all the major works by all the major philosophers. Hm.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Love Letter

Dear Senator Lott,

Sod off.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

No Law School For You

Ok. So, I want to go to law school. I am reasonably bright and articulate, and like Al Sharpton I bathe every day. I took the LSAT this past Monday, and feel that I did pretty well. Things are looking up.

However, I have made the error of beginning to frequent a particular message board for current and prospective law students. I won't name the board, but I do get the impression they are all on LSD. Anyway, in the LSAT Prep forum, I see some of the most ridiculous questions posed.

Someone posted that he was unable to actually identify arguments in the logical reasoning sections. Let me fill you in here... every single stimulus in the logical reasoning section is an argument! All of them. That's the point. You are asked questions based on these arguments. But this kid (who I guarantee thinks he is entitled to a 170+ minimum) claims that he can't "see" an argument when you have three conditional statements followed by a fourth sentence starting with the word "therefore."

And this is just one sample. There are examples of children who think that they want to (and can) be lawyers, and think they can succeed in law school, who can not grasp even the most basic concepts of logic. One discussion revolved around creating a five digit code from all of the numbers {0, 1, 2, 3, 4} in which the second digit is exactly double that of the first. Guess what? That excludes zero (0) in the leading position, now doesn't it? Well, not if you are one of the many morons who can't grasp that. Clue: if you can't figure out why not, you do NOT belong in law school. Just don't try. You will make it that much worse for the rest of us.

The LSAT is supposedly a very good predictor of first year success in law school. So it kills me when these kids claim that they are spending between 20 and 30 hours a week preparing for it. If you invest hundreds if not thousands of hours of your life preparing to take a standardized test, and succeed in bringing up your mediocre score to something that accidentally gets you into a T1 or T2 school, how are you possibly going to succeed in law school? You can't invest all of those hundreds of prep hours into every one of your classes. All you did was increase your bubble sheet skills; you likely didn't learn any more logic, despite the fact that you think you have. Socra-kitten will have fun ripping you apart in the first week or so.

Why does everyone think that they can or should go to law school? There is already an abundance of bad lawyers; don't contribute to the problem. Don't obsess about the LSAT, don't send out 40 applications hoping for at least one or two wait-lists; just stop. No law school for you.

Monday, June 11, 2007


The History Channel is actually taking seriously the idea that machines will somehow "overthrow" us. The logic is bad. The idea is pure sci fi BS. But I can't help but be scared, here in my rocket car flying through the Martian canals.

What if?

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Well, I haven't got around to reviewing that book, or skepticism. I've been too busy reading Theaetetus and Timaeus. I would like to revel in this but I really do regret that I have not properly reviewed the book on early Greek philosophy, because it really needs reviewed.

Well, all right. I'll do it now.

The problems started very soon. The editor of the book, who also (as is the custom with the Cambridge Companions to Philosophy) wrote the first chapter, almost tripped over himself apologizing for saying anything definite. It was all "This is what current scholarship thinks" and "On the whole" and "But others think that perhaps" and it was impossible to get through a paragraph without being reminded that what we really know about the Presocratics is that we know nothing. Well, I've read some fragments. I think that something is true about, say, Thales, and something is false, and some other things are difficult to judge. With a suitable conviction about truth and falsity, one could come to very likely opinions about many of those things in the third category. The editor obviously did not possess the courage to take such stands. This did not bode well for the rest of the book.

However, the rest was actually pretty good. All speculation about meaning was grounded with references to (and full citations of) actual fragments by early Greek philosophers. Thus, if one of the authors said something obviously wrong, the evidence contra would be ready to hand. The major blunder was sacrificing art for PC nonsense. Protagoras' line "Man is the measure of all things, the things that are, that they are, and the things that are not, that they are not" was rendered many times just so, but once as "A human being is the measure of all" &c. I was stunned at the pungency of it. Holy shit. You must be awfully politically devoted to translate a good phrase so poorly.

The book consisted roughly of two parts: surveys of philosophers or schools of philosophy and examinations of themes running between and among numbers of different philosophers. Thus the first part dealt with the monists in one chapter, the pluralists in another, Parmenides in another, and so on. The second part consisted of essays which are to my knowledge original in exploring their respective subjects. There was a chapter on poetics in early Greek philosophy, another on the relation between early Greek history and medicine and the emergence of the concept of causation, and yet another on rational theology.

I would recommend this book. In fact, I do.