Feb 17, 2012
commented on SL Letter of the Day: Lying Liars
If you interpret "I can't imagine sleeping with anyone else" to mean, "I am unable to use my imaginative faculties to visually picture a scenario in which I am in bed with someone else", then well, yes the person is probably lying.
But a more reasonable interpretation is probably something like, "I will never sleep with someone else" or "My sleeping with someone else is so unlikely that I doubt it will ever happen". In that case, whether it is true depends on who's saying it. Some are telling the truth; Some people will never actually sleep around, (as I'm sure Dan would agree), even if they are perfectly capable of IMAGINING it (and some of them may never cheat even if they OFTEN imagine it, say, when masturbating).
Compare: "I can't imagine ever throwing my cat off the Space Needle." Really? You can't IMAGINE it? I bet you're imagining it right now. But we understand what you mean: you'd never do it. (I hope.)
Jan 25, 2012
commented on Occupy Seattle May Streamline Decision-Making
@4: If consensus means "acceptance by the whole", then any proposal can be blocked by just one individual. I'd certainly say that one individual is a slim minority.
Someone should go down there and block every last proposal until they decide that democracy is better than "consensus".
I suspect though, that consensus in practice isn't really going to be unanimous agreement, but is one of those slippery ideas that ultimately allows a few people running the meetings to have their way. For example, if everyone present at a meeting agrees with proposal X except for one cranky annoying person who disagrees with everything, SOME random person who wields some informal power (due to their demeanor or style or respect or longevity in the movement) will make a decision about whether a consensus has been reached or whether they should keep talking and try to convince the crankypants. Instead of power and decision-making processes being transparent and open, power is subtly in the hands of unelected people who basically just step up and take it (even if they're totally well-meaning people).
Jan 19, 2012
commented on Textbooks Have Just Been Reinvented, Whether Apple Ultimately Prevails or Not
I, and most of the other college professors I know, ban laptops and iPads in the classroom. I've tried all kinds of other policies, but the temptation to be checking your facebook page (or stumble, or fail blog, or e-mail, or WoW or...) is just too temping for college students to resist. Anytime I let them open their laptops -- even for taking notes on a lecture -- they're dinking around on the web instead of paying attention. So I'm forced to make them take notes with pen and paper, which is annoying for everyone.
I wonder how this pervasive problem will be affected when textbooks are all on the laptop/iPad. Will professors have to be saying, "NO, you cannot look at your e-textbook during class"?
I wonder how the profs of the immanent future will deal with this problem.
Then again, perhaps physically present teachers will be replaced by the Skyping-it-in variety, where students can be at home playing video games and masturbating while "in class".
Jan 9, 2012
commented on 520 Bridge Cheapskates Ruin My Morning
Tolls are flat taxes. I'm against flat taxes (they're terribly regressive), therefore I'm against tolls. I'm surprised that Goldy would be in favor of a tax that hurts poor people (like himself) so much more than rich people.