July 20th, 2006

Semiformalishmaybe

Being Goth Won't Make You Any Less Fat

In some science-fiction books I've read, there's been discussion of increased prevalence of cameras making deception in war considerably less obsolete, frequently with the theory that this would deter war. I can imagine the first premise might not be too far off, but I don't know if the second follows. Similarly, I think the idea that democracies should theoretically never go to war with each other to be rubbish. Scarce resources or differences in values between society are potential causes for war that won't disappear with a particular system for governance. Democracies are typically not homogenous, and with the exception of the American system (which effectively serves to discourage political involvement and placate the masses), there's often considerable vigor in the process that might justify action. I think we're growing ever closer to honesty through surveillance though. Google Earth happens to provide the window that launched this thought in my head today.

It's disappointing how Washington is OK when its allies do something sensible and other countries do not. In particular, I think that it makes a lot of sense that Israel strike at Hezbollah just across the border in Lebanon/Syria (Countries are responsible for when militia within their borders attack other nations). Lebanon/Syria need to either wipe out Hezbollah or be ready for Israel to invade. At the same time, the U.S. has been pressing Turkey to do nothing while the Kurds of Iraq do the same thing, and this has been raising discontent among Turks. I suspect this attitude difference is because of America's sometimes-romance with Kurdish forces compared to its general hostility to Iran-sponsored Hezbollah. I wonder if the current middle east is in the planning stages of another world war. If so, it's disappointing, because I would want neither side to win.

Some phrases that just make me laugh in political discussions...

  • Who are you to .. - I'm me. Haven't we already met? .. Seriously, I have no problems having opinions about absolutely anything, and to suggest that I should not would take a very good argument of which form I've almost never seen.
  • You can't do that - Do you mean that it would not work or that I should not do it? Be careful with your language if you want to communicate.
For the bored, start here, and trace Beechwood to here, where (I think) it starts. Doing this will give you an understanding about the Pittsburgh road system. My (joke) theory is that Beechwood actually does not end, it folds over into hyperspace, and actually connects every city on the planet. All roads lead to Pittsburgh.
Semiformalishmaybe

Goiter Festival

Today was another food adventure, this time to a Peruvian restaurant with Kavita while discussing some web stuff she'd like me to do. There isn't much Peruvian food that I am likely to eat (a lot of casseroles and other foods that I generally dislike), but they had a wonderful Mango cream soup. This was in Shadyside above their Pamela's.

Later, I went with Eric to a local hatter who works out of his home. The guy seemed cool, lived a lot of his time in the states west of Texas (mentioning some Jewish-cowboy connections), and he had a neat painting of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on his wall. After trying a large number of hats on me, he found that my head is simply too large for anything he had, but after taking some measurements, and finding two styles I like, he's going to order some (one black, one light-grey). Hopefully I'll have two hats in a few weeks. Hurrah! I'll need to figure out if I want to dig into the archaic and sexist hat conventions or not, and if so to what extent. I might learn to tip my hat as a greeting, but I think I'll skip the bits specific to women, ignore the flag/anthem bit (patriotism is a character flaw), and possibly ignore the funeral procession bit. I'll probably take my hat off indoors.. Meh. I'm not much for tradition. Unless a tradition or element of manners either intuitively makes sense or is ingrained enough into me that it'd be hard to change, I'm more likely than not to intentionally discard it.

After I got home, I watched Yogen/Premonition, which was pretty creepy and scary. I like Japanese horror -- the genre is generally more intellectual than American horror, or at least the subset I've seen. One thing I like is how darkness is not considered as intrinsically scary. Another is that females (and males) generally have the ability to run more than 10 feet without stumbling.