Why nobody listens to intellectuals
I found this boring article from Mark Shea And the intellectuals wonder why the unwashed ingoramuses ignore them. Tolkein was quite perceptive when he pointed out that the only people that dislike escapism are the jailers.
Well intellectuals like Fernadez-Armesto are our jailers. His whiny complain that realism is suppose to be truer than fiction smacks a little too much of social realism and we all know how monumentally successful that imposed artistic esthetic became.
Worse is that Fernandez-Armesto is exasperatingly patronizing. Maybe he and his colleague over at the Ivory Tower© are incapable of differentiating between fact and fiction- hell I wouldn't either if I had to read such edifying dissertations such as Charlotte's web: a postmodernist, pre-Kantian meditation of spiders in pre-apocolytic literature for a career- but the vast majority do very well in distinguishing between fiction and fact. Indeed, dad pointed out to me that one of the faculties of humans is to dream (una de les facultats dels humans es de somiar as he put in Catalan)To take away this natural faculty is quite frankly to trap us in the totalitarian hell that was Nazi Germany the Soviet Union, Albania and Cambodia among other things and I think we've had enough of that kind of 'reality'
One last point Fernadez-Armesto is incorrect: The Star War mythology isn't Maya meets samurai but Zoasterianism. Yet why should he care? Doesn't STar Wars and other fantasy genre dilute reality and myth?
Entrevue avec François Zimeray: député européen
avec François Zimeray, qui deésire déclencher une enquête à l'égard des Palestiniens et leur utilisation de fond européen pour le terrosime, s'avère forte intéressante. Il déplore l'obession européenne de suspendre leur jugement critique et de renvoyer de dos à dos les Israéliens et les Palestiniens. Plus importantement, pas tous les Européens sont des anti-sémites convaincus qui crache leur judeophobie. Il existe aussi beaucoup des Européeen qui ne s'aveulgent pas face aux événments qui succédent en Israël.
J'en ecourage tous le monde à la lire car il ne grince pas ses dents en dénonçant avec noms à l'appui qui ont refués de signer.Parfois, c'est étonnant de comment l'aveuglement volontaire de la parte de la Commission et les pressions contre les membres du Parlament européen à signer la pétition me laisse totalement ahuri. Que cache-t-il le Parlament européen? Qu'il ou quelques de ses membres sont complices d'un acte de soutien du terrorisme?
Beaucoup question dont beaucoup ne veut pas exposer à la lumière d'un enqûete; bien trop de reputations sont en jeu.
Trentway Buses and Autotaxi.com: taking the wrong direction
The conflict between Trentway Buses and Autotaxi.com- a Quebec based car polling service- is a good illustration of the lament that Collin, Damian and Bruce and myself articulate as to what's wrong with the country.
The conflict is ostensibly over Autotaxi.com and Allô-Stop's offering a service that requires a special license in Ontario. In reality, it's nothing more than a big company protecting its sheltered market from any whiff of competition. I've used Allô-Stop's services within Quebec for many years and never I've been in an accident nor have I ever read any in the newspapers. So Trentway Bus' claims are spurious.
The reason that such informal car pooling services are so popular is because the bus tickets are relatively expensive and the routes are usually milk runs- the bus stops at just about every small town on the way to the principal destination. In fact, it's a pet peeve of mine that in North America, if you don't own a car, you'll be reminded of it everytime you take some form of mass transit. Transportators whether privately- or publicly-owned want to ensure that it's one of the most tedious, time wasting, aggravating experiences imaginable. Car pooling has the advantage that it's quicker much cheaper and you get dropped off pretty much where you want. Better, yet you meet interesting people along the way
What I find particularly galling is that the protectionism comes from Ontario- supposedly one of the more free market, capitalist provinces in the country. However, that's not true and the congratulatory comments by the Ontario Highway Board merely underscores what I've observed for years: that this country is oligarchical with strongly protectionist reflex. Any hint of competition is immediately smothered by regulators or by the major companies using the regulatory framework to crush the potential competitor. The Board which is supposed to ensure compliance with the law as well as what's in the best interests of the public, is merely a competition killer. My attitude, therefore, is particularly cold: I'm fed up with incompetent businesses always running off to the state for unnecessary protectionism or demanding a government bailout and then promptly turning around and hectoring to the consumers about the toughness of market economy competition.
Momentous changes in the Mideast: some reminders
Arabnews' latest articles on the potentially momentous changes to the Mideast
begins with an historical error. Turkey wasn't cast as a loser. It lost because it sided with the losing side of the First World War. Nonetheless, Turkey's outstanding defense of Gallipoli gave it a measure of self-confidence that allowed Ataturk to get rid of the Ottoman institutions which frankly hindered Turkey from dealing with its own problems. I'm rather bemused by columnist's tic that the Arabs got into trouble for rejecting Islamic solidarity under the Ottomans. The Arabs, at that time, were quite astute in assessing the futility of the Ottoman empire. That they were betrayed by the British under the Sykes-Picot Treaty- sure but the Arabs didn't seem to protest too strenuously (Yes I'm aware of the British suppression of the Iraqi revolt in the 20s)
In any case, I was struck by the rather competent analysis of the potential consequences of the Arab's lack of a post Saddam Iraq. Personally, they'll pay a very by simply having no say whatsoever.
Prof musulman congédié
Un professeur musulman a été congédié par les autorités educatives du Gevève
. Il avait violé une norme qui interdit le mélange entre le religieux et le public dans sespropos tenu avec le Monde. Hani Ramdan plaidoait en faveur de la lapidation exigée par le shar'ia ainsi que l'abandon de ceux qui sourrent de la SIDA. En tout cas, les musulmans ne devront pas se poser de questions lorque les non-musulmans les soupçonnent d'être moins que loyaux des valeurs et institutions démocratiques.
She's in America, remember that
I find it rather amusing that Arabnews touts Reem Sheik as a role model
for the students in a poor Washington D.C. neighbourhood. I'd be more impressed if she were teaching a coed class in Saudi Arabia but she's not. Also I find it very telling that she's teaching in America and not Saudi Arabia. That tells me much about both countries: that America despite its faults is still an open country; while Saudi Arabia isn't.
One last thought. Arabnews sure harps on the perceived American stereotypes of Arab women; I bet the journalist excludes the Arab Christian women because they don't fit very neatly in the stereotypes eh?
Teaching English to Franchophones: similar experiences to John
John at Iberian notes has posted an interesting article on English language learning by Spanish/Catalan adults I can attest to very similar experiences with adult Francophones.
THE sounds sounds that really exasperate them are:e W/WH; T/TH and the S/SH/CH which can be fricative, siffilants or plosives. H is a real bitch because they have a tendency to add spurious H where a word begins with a vowel (i.e. ate but they pronounce it hate. Often that causes some very bemusing conversations. Mind you that phenomenon isn't all that mysterious. It's a phenomenon in Latin. The word humor in Classical Latin was really umor but the h was added spuriously. The Italian resolved the problem by purging it from the language) Or to exclude the letter H.
My students learn that pronunciation is just as important in English as in French when they
In the case of the W/WH I remind my students that with the exception of guitar; all the GU words are from Germanic W which the Latinized populations simply couldn't pronounce- and still can't. cf French gûepe= wasp/German Wespe
You even get doublets: warranty and guarantee; ward and guard. In the case of H I remind the students that the letter is pronounced literally from the upper bronchial region. French does have some word where the H is aspirated- the dictionary identifies them by an asterisk I counted some 40 words. Most of them come from the Germanic languages.
Unlike Spanish and Catalan, the French distinguish between the B and the V like in English- a source of constant regret as French is the only Romance language that does differentiate between B & V. With respect to the punctuation rules; French is more stringent- which is my polite way of saying neurotic. I don't know if John's run across the same phenomenon but the French have a real difficult time with the correct usage of the past tenses in English
Attaque chimique en France?
Le Parisien a publié un reportage
dans lequel on prétend qu'un trio d'algériens intégristes interpellés par le DST, possédaient des produits chimiques dans leur appartement. Selon les sources anonymes de services de renseigements, les produits ont été très suspect et seront analysés par le labo policier. En plus, ces même sources affirment que le cellule préparerait quelque chose d'importance.
Selon que je lis dans cet article, l'Europe malheureuesement subira un ataque terroriste grave qui proverquera de blessures et morts. Le fait que cette celule avait des produits chemique et que le DST croit que les terroristes l'auront utilié provoque de frissions. Pire, les terroristes auront élévé la barre dela perversité. Imaginons la réaction lorsque une arme chimqie a été untilsée contre une population civile. Indignation ne serait pas la réponse.
Trent Lott: shaking my head
I haven't commented on Trent Lott's statements made during Thurmond's birthday celebration at the Senate. Enough people have commented on his intemperate remarks. The blogosphere, particularly the Americans, are up in arms. My views on his speeches and dubious apologies are irrelevant as I'm a foreigner but I can shake my head. If I were American, I'd have great difficulty supporting the Republican party. Partly from its country club reputation and partly from the resuscitation of its segregationist past. I have no doubts that Bush really desires to persuade the minorities that the Republican party is their party. However, when the Senate majority leader's past menaces the efforts, it's a test of the party's sincerity towards the minorities to see if the Republican senators will boot Lott from his position. I'm skeptical, I bet Lott will resign and allow the Democratic governor to name a pro tempore senator until a by election is called.
The Bloggar saga: the end for now
I downgraded to v 2,03. I'll wait for version 3,02 or 3,1.
More on Bloggar v 3
Sorry to write about the new software but things are just more and more strange. For example I found a temporary solution to Post and publish bug: use the post button instead. Guess I'd better pass that on to the other users. The really weird thing happen: I was spelling checking and the computer froze and when I hit CRTL ALT DEL the computer shut down. So I had to turn it one again. I shake my head in bemusement. I like Bloggar but this new version is sure making me smile at the bugs I'm discovering
Bloggar v 3: working out the kinks
Ove the weekend, I installed the latest vesion of the wbloggar
There are some amusing bugs to be worked out. For example I downloaded the French version but the interface is in English. Further, I can't seem to publish as I get an error message about HTTP Post failed the error number is the HTTP status code. Wonderful gibberish and no error log to figure out what the hell is wrong
I had to go directly to Blogger and publish it from there (though I'm still riled that I have to use the Real player's mini browse which uses Intenet Explorer components as Blogger is STILL incompatible with Mozilla) It appears that I'm not the only one who can't post and gets the same error message. I'm sure that the bugs wil get ironed out. In the meantime I'll just downgrade to v 2,30 which has given me no problems.
Technology when you use the cutting edge you sometimes bleed.
Why scientists sometimes get a lot of flak
Reading this article
(via Innocents abroad
)Is it any wonder why the ordinary person is increasingly views scientists as nothing but overglorified snake oil salesmen? Frankly, I'm fed up with scientist that treat the lay as nothing better than unwashed, ingnoramuses who can't even pick the shit between the toes; so the scientists become affronted everytime they express some general misgivings. But hey how dare we question the scientific elite? I'll question them and ask a rather pesky one: just what do they expect to accomplish with embryonic cloning? Curing diseases? Yeah right. What I see is nothing more than the succumbing to that oldest of temptation: the libido domendi- the desire to dominate. Once the scientists succeed in cloning embryos, they'll demand that we bow down to them and listen to their musings no matter how outrageous. Really what distinguishes a genetist from a witch doctor or shaman? The latter genuinely believed that they merely represented a a conduit to the supranatural. The former presume they are the supranatural.
So let's cheerfully walk down the path to our dehumanization because at least we'll be honest with ourselves and dispense with the fake optimism that the scientists are out to cure diseases or study mutations or whatever propaganda they'll foist on us.
¡Basta ja! Aquesta obessió que els Estats-Units vol guerra contra l'Islam
Realment quan es llegeix aquest article
em dona nosa. Encara més que es un lider d'un partit tribal
si això no es la cosa més irònica del món. En tot cas, dubto que l'administració Bush demostra molta hostalitat contra el règims arabs o musulmans- llevat l'iraqi. La gent americana es different i ella si es commença ser hòstil. I el comprenc. Deixant de banda l'atac del 11 de septembre, els americans ordinari s'enfaden quan aprenent notícies que la muller del ambaixdor saudí havia donat un diners a una parella ostensiblement per pagar una factura medica però es troben dins un compte d'un dels organitzadors del atac.
Ademés, cap musulmà dit moderat ha denunciat la violència que es perpetua en nom de la seva religió. Doncs, els americans s'afarten.
Els elits musulmans presumeixen que els occidents volen una guerra religiosa-civilitzacional però no la tindran perqu si la tenguessin, perderian.